Publications by authors named "Usman Ali"

133 Publications

Systematic Investigation of Structural, Morphological, Thermal, Optoelectronic, and Magnetic Properties of High-Purity Hematite/Magnetite Nanoparticles for Optoelectronics.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2022 May 11;12(10). Epub 2022 May 11.

School of Chemical & Materials Engineering, National University of Sciences & Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.

Iron oxide nanoparticles, especially hematite (α-FeO) and magnetite (FeO) have attained substantial research interest in various applications of green and sustainable energy harnessing owing to their exceptional opto-magneto-electrical characteristics and non-toxicity. In this study, we synthesized high-purity hematite and magnetite nanoparticles from a facile top-down approach by employing a high-energy ball mill followed by ultrasonication. A systematic investigation was then carried out to explore the structural, morphological, thermal, optoelectrical, and magnetic properties of the synthesized samples. The experimental results from scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction corroborated the formation of highly crystalline hematite and magnetite nanoparticles with average sizes of ~80 nm and ~50 nm, respectively. Thermogravimetric analysis revealed remarkable results on the thermal stability of the newly synthesized samples. The optical studies confirmed the formation of a single-phase compound with the bandgaps dependent on the size of the nanoparticles. The electrochemical studies that utilized cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques verified these iron oxide nanoparticles as electroactive species which can enhance the charge transfer process with high mobility. The hysteresis curves of the samples revealed the paramagnetic behavior of the samples with high values of coercivity. Thus, these optimized materials can be recommended for use in future optoelectronic devices and can prove to be potential candidates in the advanced research of new optoelectronic materials for improved energy devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano12101635DOI Listing
May 2022

Emerging Solid-to-solid Phase Change Materials for Thermal Energy Harvesting, Storage and Utilization.

Adv Mater 2022 May 26:e2202457. Epub 2022 May 26.

Beijing Key Laboratory for Theory and Technology of Advanced Battery Material, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.

Phase change materials (PCMs) offer tremendous potential to store thermal energy during reversible phase transitions for state-of-the-art applications. The practicality of these materials is adversely restricted by volume expansion, phase segregation, and leakage problems associated with conventional solid-liquid PCMs. Solid-solid PCMs, as promising alternatives to solid-liquid PCMs, are gaining much attention towards practical thermal energy storage (TES) owing to their inimitable advantages such as solid-state processing, negligible volume change during phase transition, no contamination, and long cyclic life. Herein, we aim to provide a holistic analysis of solid-solid PCMs suitable for thermal energy harvesting, storage, and utilization. We start by presenting developing strategies of solid-solid PCMs and then discuss the structure-property relationship followed by potential applications. We finish by presenting an outlook discussion with momentous challenges and future directions. We hope our efforts will provide a guideline to the scientific community to develop high-performance solid-solid PCMs for advanced TES applications . This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202202457DOI Listing
May 2022

Co-relation of Monocyte Count in High vs. Low Thrombus Burden ST-Segment Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Patients Undergoing Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.

Cureus 2022 Apr 21;14(4):e24344. Epub 2022 Apr 21.

Internal Medicine, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi, PAK.

Introduction Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients can lead to poor outcomes. Intra-coronary thrombus development due to atherosclerotic plaque rupture and coronary blood flow blockage causes STEMI. Intracranial thrombosis in STEMI patients is fatal. It was our goal to establish how often patients with STEMI underwent PPCI with a high thrombus burden versus a low thrombus burden and to compare the mean monocyte count between the two groups. Material and methods This cross-sectional study was conducted at KRL Hospital Islamabad from October 2021 to March 2022. At a 95% level of confidence, a 5% margin of error, and keeping a population size of 330, a sample size of 178 was obtained using the Raosoft sample size calculator (Raosoft, Inc., Seattle, WA). The non-probability consecutive sampling method was used. All patients with STEMI undergoing PPCI, aged between 18 and 80 years, and presenting within 24 hours of symptoms were included in our study. Pre-PPCI pharmacological treatment given within three hours of the onset of a heart attack to stabilize patients with myocardial infarction included aspirin, clopidogrel, and an intravenous bolus of 70 U/kg of body weight of un-fractionated heparin. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 26.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Fisher's exact test was employed, and a p-value of less than 0.05 was deemed statistically significant. The odds ratio and confidence interval were also calculated. Results A total of 178 participants were included in the research, out of which males were predominant with more than half of the study population. The mean age in patients having a low thrombus burden was 37.75 ± 6.39 years and that of patients with a high thrombus burden was mean 56.04 ± 7.98 years. In high thrombus burden patients, diabetes mellitus was found in 98.3%, hypertension in 120 patients (100%), obesity in (60%), and tobacco consumption in 120 patients (100%). The mean monocyte count in high burden patients was 70.27 ± 3.24, whereas it was 61.89 ± 5.71 in low burden patients. Only five patients had a Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) score of 5 while 34.8% of patients arrived in three to six hours and 12.9% arrived in less than three hours. Patients with a high monocyte count have 1.3 times more chances of developing the disease when the monocyte count was high (OR = 1.318, 95% CI = 1.140-1.524). Conclusion Patients with STEMI undergoing PPCI had a higher monocyte count upon admission, which was an independent clinical predictor of a high thrombus burden. Our findings suggest that admission monocyte count may be available for early risk stratification of high-thrombus burden in acute STEMI patients and might allow the optimization of anti-thrombotic therapy to improve the outcomes of PPCI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.24344DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9123895PMC
April 2022

Design of a Millimeter-Wave MIMO Antenna Array for 5G Communication Terminals.

Sensors (Basel) 2022 Apr 4;22(7). Epub 2022 Apr 4.

Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Turin, Italy.

This paper presents a design of multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna array for 5G millimeter-wave (mm-wave) communication systems. The proposed MIMO configuration consists of a two antenna arrays combination. Each antenna array consists of four elements which are arranged in an even manner, while two arrays are then assembled with a 90-degree shift with respect to each other. The substrate used is a 0.254 mm thick Rogers RT5880 with a dielectric constant of 2.2 and loss tangent of 0.0009, correspondingly. The proposed MIMO antenna array covers the 37 GHz frequency band, dedicated for 5G millimeter-wave communication applications. The proposed antenna element yields a gain of 6.84 dB, which is enhanced up to 12.8 dB by adopting a four elements array configuration. The proposed MIMO antenna array performance metrics, such as envelope correlation coefficient (ECC) and diversity gain (DG), are observed, which are found to be under the standard threshold. More than 85% of the radiation efficiency of the proposed MIMO antenna array is observed to be within the desired operating frequency band. All the proposed designs are simulated in computer simulation technology (CST) software. Furthermore, the measurements are carried out for the proposed MIMO antenna array, where a good agreement with simulated results is observed. Thus, the proposed design can be a potential candidate for 5G millimeter-wave communication systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s22072768DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9003117PMC
April 2022

Development of a virtual classroom for pre-analytical phase of laboratory medicine for undergraduate medical students using the Delphi technique.

PLoS One 2022 6;17(4):e0264447. Epub 2022 Apr 6.

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Background: Amongst the pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical phase of laboratory testing, pre-analytical phase is the most error-prone. Knowledge gaps in understanding of pre-analytical factors are identified in the clinical years amongst undergraduate students due to lack of formal teaching modules on the pre-analytical phase. This study was conducted to seek experts' consensus in Clinical Chemistry on learning objectives and contents using the Delphi technique with an aim to develop an asynchronous virtual classroom for teaching pre-analytical factors of laboratory testing.

Methods: A mixed method study was conducted at the Aga Khan University. A questionnaire comprising of 16 learning objectives and their associated triggers was developed on Google Docs for developing the case vignettes. A four-point Likert Scale, which included strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree, was utilized for the learning objectives. An open-ended question was included for experts to suggest new items for inclusion. A cut off of at least 75% agreement was set to establish consensus on each item. A total of 17 Chemical Pathology faculty from 13 institutions across Pakistan were invited to participate in the first round of Delphi. Similar method of response was used in round two to establish consensus on the newly identified items suggested by the faculty in round 1. Later, the agreed-upon objectives and triggers were used to develop interactive scenarios over Moodle to concurrently test and teach medical students in a nonchalant manner.

Results: A total of 17 responses were received in Round 1 of the Delphi process (response rate = 100%), while 12 responses were received in Round 2 (response rate = 71%). In round 1, all 16 learning objectives reached the required consensus (≥ 75%) with no additional learning objectives suggested by the experts. Out of 75 triggers in round 1, 61 (81.3%) reached the consensus to be included while 39 were additionally suggested. In 2nd round, 17 out of 39 newly suggested triggers met the desired consensus. 14 triggers did not reach the consensus after two rounds, and were therefore eliminated. The virtual classroom developed using the agreed-upon learning objectives and triggers consisted of 20 items with a total score of 31 marks. The questions included multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks, drag and drop sequences and read-and-answer comprehensions. Specific learning points were included after each item and graphs and pictures were included for a vibrant experience.

Conclusion: We developed an effective and interactive virtual session with expert consensus on the pre-analytical phase of laboratory testing for undergraduate medical students which can be used for medical technologist, graduate students and fellows in Chemical Pathology.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0264447PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8985926PMC
April 2022

Associations between lung function and physical and cognitive health in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA): A cross-sectional study from a multicenter national cohort.

PLoS Med 2022 02 9;19(2):e1003909. Epub 2022 Feb 9.

Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Background: Low lung function is associated with high mortality and adverse cardiopulmonary outcomes. Less is known of its association with broader health indices such as self-reported respiratory symptoms, perceived general health, and cognitive and physical performance. The present study seeks to address the association between forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), an indicator of lung function, with broad markers of general health, relevant to aging trajectory in the general population.

Methods And Findings: From the Canadian general population, 22,822 adults (58% females, mean age 58.8 years [standard deviation (SD) 9.6]) were enrolled from the community between June 2012 and April 2015 from 11 Canadian cities and 7 provinces. Mixed effects regression was used to assess the cross-sectional relationship between FEV1 with self-reported respiratory symptoms, perceived poor general health, and cognitive and physical performance. All associations were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), education, smoking status, and self-reported comorbidities and expressed as adjusted odds ratios (aORs). Based on the Global Lung Function Initiative (GLI) reference values, 38% (n = 8,626) had normal FEV1 (z-scores >0), 37% (n = 8,514) mild (z-score 0 to > -1 SD), 19% (n = 4,353) moderate (z-score -1 to > -2 SD), and 6% (n = 1,329) severely low FEV1 (z-score = < -2 SD). There was a graded association between lower FEV1 with higher aOR [95% CI] of self-reported moderate to severe respiratory symptoms (mild FEV1 1.09 [0.99 to 1.20] p = 0.08, moderate 1.45 [1.28 to 1.63] p < 0.001, and severe 2.67 [2.21 to 3.23] p < 0.001]), perceived poor health (mild 1.07 [0.9 to 1.27] p = 0.45, moderate 1.48 [1.24 to 1.78] p = <0.001, and severe 1.82 [1.42 to 2.33] p < 0.001]), and impaired cognitive performance (mild 1.03 [0.95 to 1.12] p = 0.41, moderate 1.16 [1.04 to 1.28] p < 0.001, and severe 1.40 [1.19 to 1.64] p < 0.001]). Similar graded association was observed between lower FEV1 with lower physical performance on gait speed, Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, standing balance, and handgrip strength. These associations were consistent across different strata by age, sex, tobacco smoking, obstructive, and nonobstructive impairment on spirometry. A limitation of the current study is the observational nature of these findings and that causality cannot be inferred.

Conclusions: We observed graded associations between lower FEV1 with higher odds of disabling respiratory symptoms, perceived poor general health, and lower cognitive and physical performance. These findings support the broader implications of measured lung function on general health and aging trajectory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003909DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8870596PMC
February 2022

The functions of phospholipases and their hydrolysis products in plant growth, development and stress responses.

Prog Lipid Res 2022 04 5;86:101158. Epub 2022 Feb 5.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China; Hubei Hongshan Laboratory, Wuhan, 430070, China. Electronic address:

Cell membranes are the initial site of stimulus perception from environment and phospholipids are the basic and important components of cell membranes. Phospholipases hydrolyze membrane lipids to generate various cellular mediators. These phospholipase-derived products, such as diacylglycerol, phosphatidic acid, inositol phosphates, lysophopsholipids, and free fatty acids, act as second messengers, playing vital roles in signal transduction during plant growth, development, and stress responses. This review focuses on the structure, substrate specificities, reaction requirements, and acting mechanism of several phospholipase families. It will discuss their functional significance in plant growth, development, and stress responses. In addition, it will highlight some critical knowledge gaps in the action mechanism, metabolic and signaling roles of these phospholipases and their products in the context of plant growth, development and stress responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plipres.2022.101158DOI Listing
April 2022

Characteristics of Essential Oils of Family: Their Chemical Compositions, Properties and Effects on Broiler Production.

J Poult Sci 2022 Jan;59(1):16-37

Department of Animal Nutrition, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan.

There has been an upsurge of interest in the phytobiotics coincident with the onset of the potential ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in the broiler industry and because many kinds of nutraceuticals play an important role in improving growth performance, feed efficiency, and gut health of broilers. In the previous years, significant biological activities of essential oils (EOs) belonging to phytobiotics were observed, including anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. We found new perspectives on the roles of EOs, particularly extracts from the family, which is one of the largest plant families, in potential replacement of AGPs, and on the chemical composition involved in regulating microorganism activity and oxidative damage. Furthermore, the positive effects of EOs on broiler production and the possible mechanisms inducing the involvement of gut health and growth performance have been studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2141/jpsa.0210042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8791775PMC
January 2022

Effect of Different Packaging Atmosphere on Microbiological Shelf Life, Physicochemical Attributes, and Sensory Characteristics of Chilled Poultry Fillets.

Food Sci Anim Resour 2022 Jan 1;42(1):153-174. Epub 2022 Jan 1.

Department of Meat Science and Technology/Faculty of Animal Production and Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan.

This trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of overwrap, vacuum, and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on poultry breast fillets' microbiological, biochemical shelf life and sensory attributes. The fillets were divided into 4 groups, and each of the treatments was replicated 3 times with 60 breast fillets. The first group was a control group with overwrap packaging; the second group was vacuum packed (VP); the third and fourth groups were MAP-1: 0% O, 40% CO, 60% N, and MAP-2: 20% O, 40% CO, 40% N. The microbiological and biochemical analyses were performed for the total viable count, coliform count, count, count, total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N), pH, cooking loss, color, lipid oxidation, tenderness, and sensory analysis. The data were analysed through two-way ANOVA by Minitab (Minitab 17.3.1). Meat treated with understudy MAP compositions and vacuum packaging reduced total viable count, count, and total coliform count than control (p<0.05). TVB-N remained below the recommended limit throughout storage except aerobic packaging (p<0.05). Cooking loss (%) was lowered and showed non-significant results (p>0.05) between vacuum packaging and both MAP concentrations. The meat stored in MAP-2 was characterised by higher (p<0.05) visual scores. Whilst MAP-1 showed higher (p<0.05) L* values and overall acceptability. Sample packaged under aerobic packaging showed significant (p<0.05) results for b* and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Meat stored in aerobic packaging showed higher (p<0.05) shear force values. The outcome of this trial may help to promote the application of understudy MAP compositions and rapid detection of microbes by biochemical analysis under local conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5851/kosfa.2021.e71DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8728502PMC
January 2022

Application and toxicity studies of arabinoxylan and β-D-glucan stearic acid ester composite coatings in extending postharvest storage of peach.

Sci Rep 2021 12 13;11(1):23848. Epub 2021 Dec 13.

National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Sector-81 (Knowledge City), S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali, Punjab, 140306, India.

Peaches are good source of nutrients and known for their taste and aroma. The highly perishable nature of the peaches tends to decay rapidly during transportation and storage is a serious constraint for efficient transportation and storage. Therefore, the effect of arabinoxylan (AX) and β-D-glucan stearic acid ester (SABG) composite coating material was examined for the postharvest storage quality of peach under storage at 22 ± 2 °C with 85% relative humidity (RH). Both, AX-SABG and shellac (1-2%) coatings significantly reduced the change in the quality attributes like weight loss (1.2-1.4 fold), respiration rate (1.1-1.2 fold), ripening index (1.3-1.5 fold) and firmness (1.3-1.5 fold) during 6 days storage as compared to the uncoated peaches. In addition, AX-SABG (1-2%) coating was more effective in retaining aroma volatiles and reducing disease incidence compared to shellac. Further, acute and chronic toxicological studies have shown no tissue related toxicity and mortality in mice. Our results suggest that AX-SABG as an edible coating has the potential to preserve the fruit quality during 6 days storage at 22 ± 2 °C and extend the postharvest shelf life of peach during storage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-03163-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8668965PMC
December 2021

Phytochemical profile and antiproliferative activities of acetone extracts of Blume. and Hook. in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.

Saudi J Biol Sci 2021 Nov 9;28(11):6324-6331. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Applied Biology, College of Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The plants extracts are widely used in traditional medicines and hence considered a potential source for drug discovery. In this study, we assessed the phytochemical composition of and in acetone extracts and checked its antiproliferative potential in MDA-MB-231 cells. We found that both plants are rich in phenolic and flavonoid compounds and are efficient in antioxidant activities. The total phenolic compounds in were 44.15 ± 1.38 µg/mg whereas in were 27.73 ± 1.35 µg/mg. Total flavonoids in were 105.39 ± 2.92 µg/mg whereas in were 101.56 ± 1.75 µg/mg. The ferric reducing power assay indicates 66.38 ± 2.6% reduction by whereas 78.43 ± 0.47% reduction by Similarly, the total antioxidant capacity of was found to be 59.95 ± 1.13 whereas for the recorded value was 33.03 ± 1.67%. Using GCMS analysis, we identified 25 compounds in whereas 26 in Four of these compounds are common in both plants. The morphological study and MTT assay revealed that both plants have antiproliferative potential as both plants exerted significant effects on the shape of the MDA-MB-231 cells and inhibited cellular proliferation in time and dose dependent manner. We conclude that both plants have potential anticancer compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.06.098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568994PMC
November 2021

Sustainable Hydrates for Enhanced Carbon Dioxide Capture from an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle in a Fixed Bed Reactor.

Ind Eng Chem Res 2021 Aug 15;60(30):11346-11356. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

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

An increase in temperature of up to 2 °C occurs when the amount of CO reaches a range of 450 ppm. The permanent use of mineral oil is closely related to CO emissions. Maintaining the sustainability of fossil fuels and eliminating and reducing CO emissions is possible through carbon capture and storage (CCS) processes. One of the best ways to maintain CCS is hydrate-based gas separation. Selected type T1-5 (0.01 mol % sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) + 5.60 mol % tetrahydrofuran (THF), with the help of this silica gel promotion was strongly stimulated. A pressure of 36.5 bar of CO is needed in HO to investigate the CO hydrate formation. Therefore, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME at 0.10 mol %) along with SDS (0.01 mol %) labeled as T1A-2 was used as an alternative to THF at the comparable working parameters in which CO uptake of 5.45 mmol of CO/g of HO was obtained. Additionally, it was found that with an increase in tetra--butyl ammonium bromide (TBAB) supplementation of CO, the hydrate and operating capacity of the process increased. When the bed height was reduced from 3 cm to 2 cm with 0.1 mol % TBAB and 0.01% SDS (labelled as T3-2) in fixed bed reactor (FBR), the outcomes demonstrated a slight expansion in gas supply to 1.54 mmol of CO/g of HO at working states of 283 K and 70 bar. The gas selectivity experiment by using the high-pressure volume analysis through hydrate formation was performed in which the highest CO uptake for the employment of silica contacts with water in fuel gas mixture was observed in the non-IGCC conditions. Thus, two types of reactor configurations are being proposed for changing the process from batch to continuous with the employment of macroporous silica contacts with new consolidated promoters to improve the formation of CO hydrate in the IGCC conditions. Later, much work should be possible on this with an assortment of promoters and specific performance parameters. It was reported in previous work that the repeatability of equilibrium moisture content and gas uptake attained for the sample prepared by the highest rates of stirring was the greatest with the CIs of ±0.34 wt % and ±0.19 mmol of CO/g of HO respectively. This was due to the amount of water occluded inside silica gel pores was not an issue or in other words, vigorous stirring increased the spreadability. The variation of pore size to improve the process can be considered for future work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.1c01174DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8385709PMC
August 2021

Association Between Abundance of in the Gut Microbiota and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia.

Front Psychiatry 2021 30;12:685910. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Department of Science and Education, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.

Increasing evidence indicates an interaction between dysbiosis of the microbiota and the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. However, limited information is available on the specific microbial communities associated with symptoms of schizophrenia. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate gut microbiota dysbiosis and its relationship with psychopathologies in schizophrenia. We recruited 126 participants and divided them into three groups according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, criteria-acute group (patients with acute schizophrenia), remission group (patients with schizophrenia in remission), and control group (healthy controls). Psychotic symptoms were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Microbiota compositions, diversity and community structure were evaluated using 16S rRNA sequencing. Pearson's correlation analysis was used to evaluate the association between bacterial taxa and psychotic symptoms. The beta-diversity of microbiota composition in the acute group was distinct from that in the remission and control groups (PC1 = 21.11% vs. PC2 = 12.86%, = 0.021). Furthermore, Pearson's correlation analysis revealed that abundance of s was positively correlated with negative psychiatric symptoms ( = 0.303, = 0.021), while abundance of was negatively correlated with negative psychiatric symptoms ( = - = ). Moreover, abundance of was positively correlated with cognition ( = 0.428, = 0.009), excitement ( = 0.266, = 0.037), and depression ( = 0.295, = 0.020). The study findings suggest that alterations in certain gut microbiota may interfere with psychological symptoms in schizophrenia. Our results provide evidence that may help in the development of therapeutic strategies using microbial-based targets. The data that support the findings of this study have been deposited in the NCBI (https://submit.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/) with accession number SUB9453991.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.685910DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362742PMC
July 2021

Effect of cellulose and starch fatty acid esters addition on microstructure and physical properties of arabinoxylan films.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 Oct 8;270:118317. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Sector-81 (Knowledge City), S.A.S. Nagar, Mohali 140306, Punjab, India. Electronic address:

Arabinoxylan (AX) and cellulose were extracted from wheat straw, whereas starch was extracted from potato peel. Thereafter, cellulose and starch were esterified with lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic acids to prepare corresponding cellulose (CFAs) and starch fatty acid esters (SFAs) with DS 2.1-2.8. XRD study revealed remarkable loss of crystallinity in cellulose and starch due to fatty acid esterification. The addition of palmitate and stearate esters of cellulose and starch to AX formed laminar film microstructures which limited water vapor permeability whereas films prepared by blending AX with laurate and myristate esters of starch and cellulose were less effective as water vapor barrier due to their non-layer microstructures. The laminar structures also resulted significant reduction in mechanical strength of the composite films. Furthermore, all AX-CFAs and AX-SFAs films were thermally more stable than native composite films. These films might be used to produce industrially useful coating material for food products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2021.118317DOI Listing
October 2021

Robust Focus Volume Regularization in Shape From Focus.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2021 17;30:7215-7227. Epub 2021 Aug 17.

Shape from focus (SFF) reconstructs 3D shape of the scene from a sequence of multi-focus images, and the quality of reconstructed shape mainly depends on the accuracy of image focus volume (FV). Traditional SFF techniques exhibit poor performance in preserving structural edges and fine details while removing noisy artifacts, and mostly they do not incorporate any additional shape prior. Therefore, in this paper, we propose to refine FV by formulating an energy minimization framework that employs a nonconvex regularizer and incorporates two types of shape priors. The proposed regularizer is robust against noisy focus values. The first proposed shape prior is input image sequence and it is a single and static shape prior. While, the second shape prior corresponds to a series of shape priors. These shape priors are FVs which are iteratively obtained on-the-fly. Both of these shape priors constrain the solution space for output FV. We optimize nonconvex energy function through majorize-minimization algorithm which iteratively guarantees a local minimum and converges quickly. Experiments have been conducted to evaluate accuracy and convergence properties of the proposed method. Experimental results of synthetic and real image sequences demonstrate that our method achieves superior results in terms of ability to reconstruct accurate 3D shapes as compared to existing approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TIP.2021.3100268DOI Listing
August 2021

Proteome-wide identification of S-sulphenylated cysteines in Brassica napus.

Plant Cell Environ 2021 11 15;44(11):3571-3582. Epub 2021 Aug 15.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Deregulation of reduction-oxidation (redox) metabolism under environmental stresses results in enhanced production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which ultimately leads to post-translational modifications (PTMs) of responsive proteins. Redox PTMs play an important role in regulation of protein function and cellular signalling. By means of large-scale redox proteomics, we studied reversible cysteine modification during the response to short-term salt stress in Brassica napus (B. napus). We applied an iodoacetyl tandem mass tags (iodoTMT)-based proteomic approach to analyse the redox proteome of B. napus seedlings under control and salt-stressed conditions. We identified 1,821 sulphenylated sites in 912 proteins from all samples. A great number of sulphenylated proteins were predicted to localize to chloroplasts and cytoplasm and GO enrichment analysis of differentially sulphenylated proteins revealed that metabolic processes such as photosynthesis and glycolysis are enriched and enzymes are overrepresented. Redox-sensitive sites in two enzymes were validated in vitro on recombinant proteins and they might affect the enzyme activity. This targeted approach contributes to the identification of the sulphenylated sites and proteins in B. napus subjected to salt stress and our study will improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the redox regulation in response to salt stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.14160DOI Listing
November 2021

Biomarkers for Impending Risk of Osteoporosis in Premenopausal Women.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2021 Aug;31(8):910-915

Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.

Objective: To compare 'cytokines' and 'bone turnover markers' in pre- and post-menopausal women and identify their relationship with bone mineral density (BMD) in both groups.  Study Design: A cross-sectional study.

Place And Duration Of Study: Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, from June 2017 to August 2019.

Methodology: Groups comprised of healthy premenopausal and postmenopausal women from the general population belonging to different ethnic groups and socio-economic status. Serum cytokines and bone turnover markers were assessed by solid-phase immunoassays, BMD (gm /cm2)] measurement was performed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the hip, lumbar spine, and proximal femur. Results were interpreted as a sum of T scores calculated by BMD of the above-mentioned sites.

Results: Cytokines and bone turnover markers were significantly high in post-menopausal women (p<0.001). A negative correlation (r = 0.32) of TNF α with BMD (total T scores) observed in premenopausal women was found to be significant, however, no significant association of BMD was detected in post-menopausal women.

Conclusion: There is an increase in the production of cytokines and bone turnover markers after menopause. TNF-α follows this usual pattern of increase in post-menopausal women and can predict impending bone loss and osteopenia in premenopausal females. Therefore, estimation of this cytokine in pre-menopausal women can give a fair indication of a decline in BMD, bone health, and risk of future osteoporosis. Key Words: Bone mineral density, Cytokines, Bone turnover markers, Osteoporosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.29271/jcpsp.2021.08.910DOI Listing
August 2021

Synthesis, spectral analysis and biological evaluation of 2-{[(morpholin-4-yl)ethyl]thio}-5-phenyl/aryl-1,3,4-oxadiazole derivatives.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2021 Jan;34(1(Special)):441-446

Department of Chemistry & Bio-Chemistry, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

A series of new derivatives of 4-(2-chloroethyl)morpholine hydrochloride (5) were efficiently synthesized. Briefly, different aromatic organic acids (1a-f) were refluxed to acquire respective esters (2a-f) using conc. HSO as catalyst. The esters were subjected to nucleophillic substitution by monohydrated hydrazine to acquire hydrazides (3a-f). The hydrazides were cyclized with CS2 in the presence of KOH to yield corresponding oxadiazoles (4a-f). Finally, the derivatives, 6a-f, were prepared by reacting oxadiazoles (4a-f) with 5 using NaH as activator. Structures of all the derivatives were elucidated through 1D-NMR EI-MS and IR spectral data. All these molecules were subjected to antibacterial and hemolytic activities and showed good antibacterial and hemolytic potential relative to the reference standards.
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January 2021

Cyclam-Modified Polyethyleneimine for Simultaneous TGFβ siRNA Delivery and CXCR4 Inhibition for the Treatment of CCl-Induced Liver Fibrosis.

Int J Nanomedicine 2021 1;16:4451-4470. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Department of Pharmacy, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, 515041, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.

Background: Liver fibrosis is a chronic liver disease with excessive production of extracellular matrix proteins, leading to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and death.

Purpose: This study aimed at the development of a novel derivative of polyethyleneimine (PEI) that can effectively deliver transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) siRNA and inhibit chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) for TGFβ silencing and CXCR4 Inhibition, respectively, to treat CCl-induced liver fibrosis in a mouse model.

Methods: Cyclam-modified PEI (PEI-Cyclam) was synthesized by incorporating cyclam moiety into PEI by nucleophilic substitution reaction. Gel electrophoresis confirmed the PEI-Cyclam polyplex formation and stability against RNAase and serum degradation. Transmission electron microscopy and zeta sizer were employed for the morphology, particle size, and zeta potential, respectively. The gene silencing and CXCR4 targeting abilities of PEI-Cyclam polyplex were evaluated by luciferase and CXCR4 redistribution assays, respectively. The histological and immunohistochemical staining determined the anti-fibrotic activity of PEI-Cyclam polyplex. The TGFβ silencing of PEI-Cyclam polyplex was authenticated by Western blotting.

Results: The H NMR of PEI-Cyclam exhibited successful incorporation of cyclam content onto PEI. The PEI-Cyclam polyplex displayed spherical morphology, positive surface charge, and stability against RNAse and serum degradation. Cyclam modification decreased the cytotoxicity and demonstrated CXCR4 antagonistic and luciferase gene silencing efficiency. PEI-Cyclam/siTGFβ polyplexes decreased inflammation, collagen deposition, apoptosis, and cell proliferation, thus ameliorating liver fibrosis. Also, PEI-Cyclam/siTGFβ polyplex significantly downregulated α-smooth muscle actin, TGFβ, and collagen type III.

Conclusion: Our findings validate the feasibility of using PEI-Cyclam as a siRNA delivery vector for simultaneous TGFβ siRNA delivery and CXCR4 inhibition for the combined anti-fibrotic effects in a setting of CCl-induced liver fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S314367DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8257077PMC
July 2021

Discordant Pathological and Endoscopic Diagnosis: Consider Floaters.

ACG Case Rep J 2021 May 14;8(5):e00583. Epub 2021 May 14.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

A tissue floater or extraneous cross-contamination tissue on a microscopic slide is rare; however, it is a potential cause of diagnostic error. Occasionally, on collecting and processing of specimens, cross-contamination of tissue occurs leading to pathologic findings that are inconsistent with endoscopic findings. If the extraneous tissue is neoplastic, it can lead to a false-positive diagnosis. We present a case of discordant pathological and endoscopic diagnosis of invasive squamous carcinoma of the esophagus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14309/crj.0000000000000583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8126555PMC
May 2021

Cynandione A and PHA-543613 inhibit inflammation and stimulate macrophageal IL-10 expression following α7 nAChR activation.

Biochem Pharmacol 2021 08 13;190:114600. Epub 2021 May 13.

King's Lab, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Pharmacy, Shanghai 200240, China. Electronic address:

Cynandione A, an acetophenone isolated from Cynanchum Wilfordii Radix, attenuates inflammation. The present study aimed to study the mechanisms underlying cynandione A-induced antiinflammation. Treatment with cynandione A and the specific α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) agonist PHA-543613 remarkably reduced overexpression of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 cells and primary peritoneal macrophages, and endotoxemic mice. Both cynandione A and PHA-543613 also stimulated IL-10 expression in naïve and LPS-treated macrophages and endotoxemic mice. Cynandione A- and PHA-543613-inhibited proinflammatory cytokine expression was completely blocked by the α7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine and the IL-10 antibody. The stimulatory effect of cynandione A and PHA-543613 on IL-10 expression were suppressed by methyllycaconitine and knockdown of α7 nAChRs using siRNA/α7 nAChR. Cynandione A significantly stimulated STAT3 phosphorylation, which was attenuated by methyllycaconitine and the IL-10 neutralizing antibody. The STAT3 activation inhibitor NSC74859 also blocked cynandione A-inhibited proinflammatory cytokine expression. Taken together, our results, for the first time, demonstrate that cynandione A and PHA-543613 inhibit inflammation through macrophageal α7 nAChR activation and subsequent IL-10 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2021.114600DOI Listing
August 2021

Nonspecific phospholipase C4 hydrolyzes phosphosphingolipids and sustains plant root growth during phosphate deficiency.

Plant Cell 2021 05;33(3):766-780

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Phosphate is a vital macronutrient for plant growth, and its availability in soil is critical for agricultural sustainability and productivity. A substantial amount of cellular phosphate is used to synthesize phospholipids for cell membranes. Here, we identify a key enzyme, nonspecific phospholipase C4 (NPC4) that is involved in phosphosphingolipid hydrolysis and remodeling in Arabidopsis during phosphate starvation. The level of glycosylinositolphosphorylceramide (GIPC), the most abundant sphingolipid in Arabidopsis thaliana, decreased upon phosphate starvation. NPC4 was highly induced by phosphate deficiency, and NPC4 knockouts in Arabidopsis decreased the loss of GIPC and impeded root growth during phosphate starvation. Enzymatic analysis showed that NPC4 hydrolyzed GIPC and displayed a higher activity toward GIPC as a substrate than toward the common glycerophospholipid phosphatidylcholine. NPC4 was associated with the plasma membrane lipid rafts in which GIPC is highly enriched. These results indicate that NPC4 uses GIPC as a substrate in planta and the NPC4-mediated sphingolipid remodeling plays a positive role in root growth in Arabidopsis response to phosphate deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koaa054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8136900PMC
May 2021

Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Genes of Flooding-Tolerant and Flooding-Sensitive Rapeseeds Differentially Respond to Flooding at the Germination Stage.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Apr 3;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 3.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.

Flooding results in significant crop yield losses due to exposure of plants to hypoxic stress. Various studies have reported the effect of flooding stress at seedling establishment or later stages. However, the molecular mechanism prevailing at the germination stage under flooding stress remains enigmatic. The present study highlights the comparative transcriptome analysis in two rapeseed lines, i.e., flooding-tolerant (Santana) and -sensitive (23651) lines under control and 6-h flooding treatments at the germination stage. A total of 1840 up-regulated and 1301 down-regulated genes were shared by both lines in response to flooding. There were 4410 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with increased expression and 4271 DEGs with reduced expression shared in both control and flooding conditions. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed that "transcription regulation", "structural constituent of cell wall", "reactive oxygen species metabolic", "peroxidase", oxidoreductase", and "antioxidant activity" were the common processes in rapeseed flooding response. In addition, the processes such as "hormone-mediated signaling pathway", "response to organic substance response", "motor activity", and "microtubule-based process" are likely to confer rapeseed flooding resistance. Mclust analysis clustered DEGs into nine modules; genes in each module shared similar expression patterns and many of these genes overlapped with the top 20 DEGs in some groups. This work provides a comprehensive insight into gene responses and the regulatory network in rapeseed flooding stress and provides guidelines for probing the underlying molecular mechanisms in flooding resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10040693DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065761PMC
April 2021

Diagnostic Accuracy of Serum Procalcitonin (PCT) as an Early Biomarker of Neonatal Sepsis using Blood Culture as Gold Standard.

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2021 Apr;30(4):383-387

Department of Chemical Pathology, Ziauddin Medical University and Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.

Objective: To ascertain the diagnostic accuracy of serum PCT as an early biomarker of neonatal sepsis using blood culture as gold standard, so that the condition could be diagnosed and managed early to prevent and reduce morbidity and mortality in neonates.  Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Place And Duration Of Study: Dr. Ziauddin University Hospital, Karachi, from March 2019 to December 2019.

Methodology: A total of 171 neonates, 1-29 days of age, presented with clinical diagnosis of neonatal sepsis, were included in this study. Patients' data regarding age, gender, birth weight, prematurity and premature rupture of membranes (PROM) were collected. Blood cultures were performed in Microbiology Department; and Serum PCT was analyzed on Electrochemiluminescence Immunnoassay Analyzer (Cobas e601). Diagnostic accuracy, including sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of PCT were calculated with contingency tables using blood culture findings as gold standard.

Results: Out of 171 clinically diagnosed cases of neonatal sepsis, 86 (50.3%) were confirmed as having neonatal sepsis (blood culture positive). There was a significant difference in serum PCT levels in both the groups. The sensitivity of PCT was 97.7%; specificity 70.6%; PPV 77.1; NPV 96.8%; likelihood ratio of a positive test (LR+ve) 3.32; likelihood ratio of a negative test (LR -ve) 0.03, and cumulative diagnostic accuracy of PCT 84.2%.

Conclusion: PCT is a very useful biomarker for the early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis, showing 84.2% diagnostic accuracy. Thus PCT can help in making early clinical decisions regarding management of patients. Key Words: Diagnostic accuracy, PCT, Neonatal sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.29271/jcpsp.2021.04.383DOI Listing
April 2021

REVIEW - Advancements in combination therapy of Hepatitis C virus.

Pak J Pharm Sci 2020 Sep;33(5):2171-2178

Department of Biochemistry, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a primary cause of chronic liver disease along with various complications like liver cirrhosis and malignancy which leads to death. It has infected more than 185 million people worldwide. There is no congruence established for the treatment of various genotypes of HCV infection owing to diversity in prevalence globally. Assessment of affected individuals with HCV by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), viral load of HCV and liver enzyme levels (i.e., ALT and AST) are the foundation to evaluate the safety and efficacy of HCV therapies. The antiviral efficacy has been greatly improved and sustained viral response (SVR) rates increased from 6% with interferon monotherapy to 50-80% with PEG-interferon/ribavirin combination therapy to >95% after the approval of all interferon free oral direct acting antiviral agents. The main objective of this review article is to compile data from reference sources regarding the old and current therapeutic strategies used to manage HCV infection. It is accepted that chronic HCV infection increases patient's thrombocytopenia and neutropenia risk and complications increased in co-morbid disorders like in tuberculosis, HIV, diabetes etc. In past treatment associated side effects were the major consequences and many patients have to stop the treatment. But after the approval of direct acting antiviral drugs create a revolution in the treatment of HCV infection. So, it could be concluded that current combination therapies are a promising hope to eradicate and to control HCV but some safety concerns required more considerations Therefore, this review focus on the available latest combination therapies and their effectiveness to eradicate HCV infection.
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September 2020

Depth Hypotheses Fusion through 3D Weighted Least Squares in Shape from Focus.

Microsc Microanal 2021 Apr;27(2):344-356

Computer Engineering, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Korea University of Technology and Education, 1600, Chungjeol-ro, Byeongcheon-myeon, 31253Cheonan, South Korea.

In shape-from-focus (SFF) methods, a single focus measure is used to compute the focus volume. However, it seems that a single focus measure operator is not capable of computing accurate focus values for the images of diverse types of object shapes. Furthermore, most of the SFF methods try to improve the depth map without considering any additional structural or prior information. Consequently, the extracted shape of the object might lack important details. In this work, we address these problems and suggest a method in which depth hypotheses are combined for a more accurate 3D shape through 3D weighted least squares. First, depth hypotheses are obtained by applying a number of focus operators. Then, structural prior or guidance volume is extracted from the focus measure volumes. Finally, a 3D weighted least squares optimization technique is applied to the depth hypothesis volume, where weights are computed from the guidance volume. Thus, by inducing structural prior, an improved resultant depth map is obtained. The proposed method was tested using various image sequences of synthetic and microscopic real objects. Experimental results and comparative analysis demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1431927621000106DOI Listing
April 2021

Effect of Diabetes Health Coaching on Glycemic Control and Quality of Life in Adults Living With Type 2 Diabetes: A Community-Based, Randomized, Controlled Trial.

Can J Diabetes 2021 Oct 5;45(7):594-600. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

Diabetes Care and Research Program, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Objectives: Health coaching for type 2 diabetes (T2DM) represents a promising addition toward efforts to improve clinical health outcomes and quality of life. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a 12-month telephone diabetes health coaching (DHC) intervention on glycemic control in persons living with T2DM.

Methods: In this community-based, randomized, controlled trial, adults with T2DM, glycated hemoglobin (A1C) ≥7.5% and telephone access were assigned to either usual diabetes education (DE) or DHC and access to DE. The primary outcome was change in A1C after 1 year, and secondary outcomes included score on the 19-item Audit of Diabetes-Dependent Quality of Life (ADDQoL-19) instrument and self-care behaviours. Safety was assessed in all participants (NCT02128815 at www.clinicaltrials.gov).

Results: Three hundred sixty-five participants (50% females; mean age, 57 years; mean A1C, 8.98%) were randomized to control (DE, n=177) or intervention (DHC, n=188) groups. The A1C level decreased by an absolute amount of 1.8% and 1.3% in the intervention and control groups, respectively. DHC plus DE reduced A1C by 0.49% more than DE alone (95% confidence interval, -0.80 to -0.18; p<0.01) and improved ADDQoL-19 scores, with between-group differences for the average weighted score of 0.28 (95% confidence interval, 0.04 to 0.52; p=0.02). There were no differences between groups for proportion of participants having an emergency department visit or hospitalization.

Conclusions: Providing frequent telephone-based DHC and access to DE to adults living with T2DM for 1 year supports improvements in glycemic control and quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcjd.2020.11.012DOI Listing
October 2021

Depth enhancement through correlation-based guided filtering in shape from focus.

Microsc Res Tech 2021 Jul 25;84(7):1368-1374. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Computer Engineering, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Korea University of Technology and Education, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.

Mostly, shape-from-focus (SFF) techniques do not consider any guidance or prior information from the input image sequence while improving the depth information. Consequently, the resultant depth maps may have inaccuracies due to missing the fine structural details. In this paper, we propose a depth enhancement method based on a novel guidance map and guided filtering. In the proposed method, first, a focus measure is applied on image sequence (volume) to compute the focus volume and an initial depth map is obtained by maximizing the focus measure in the optical direction. The guidance map is computed based on the correlation among the image volume and the focus volume along the optical axis. Finally, the improved depth map is obtained by applying guided filtering of initial depth by incorporating the weights from the suggested guidance map. Experiments were carried out using synthetic and real and microscopic image sequences of various objects. Experimental results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method and a reasonable improvement has been achieved in the quality of reconstructed depth maps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.23716DOI Listing
July 2021

A Quantitative Assessment and Biomagnification of Mercury and Its Associated Health Risks from Fish Consumption in Freshwater Lakes of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

Biol Trace Elem Res 2021 Sep 7;199(9):3510-3526. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Environmental Biology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Islamabad, PO 45320, Pakistan.

Issues regarding biomagnification of mercury (Hg) due to its persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity in freshwater lakes have gained much attention in the last two decades especially in remote regions of the world where anthropogenic inputs are considered as negligible. In this study, spatial distribution of total mercury (THg), interspecific accumulation patterns, trophic transfer, and associated health risks in fish of freshwater lakes (357-3107 masl) in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, were investigated. THg concentrations in the regions were 0.20 ± 0.08 μg g in glacial, 0.54 ± 0.21 μg g in rural, and 1.35 ± 0.46 μg g in urban region. Omnivorous, herbivorous, and carnivorous fish showed THg concentrations of 0.94, 0.85, and 0.49 μg g. Regional, lake, trophic level, and specie-specific differences of THg accumulation were found significant in the study. Among growth parameters, length and age varied significantly among species, trophic levels, and lakes, whereas weight showed significant variation among lakes as well. Condition factor (K) showed significant differences within species, lakes, and trophic levels. Biomagnification was observed in all lakes with the trophic magnification slopes (TMS) ranging from 0.03 to 0.20 with an average of 0.094 ± 0.07. Isotopic values of nitrogen (δN) and condition factor were found to dominate THg accumulation trends; however, no significant health risks were found in the study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-020-02479-zDOI Listing
September 2021

The tongue: an unusual site for esophageal adenocarcinoma metastasis diagnosed with EUS-guided FNA.

Gastrointest Endosc 2021 Apr 8;93(4):977-978. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gie.2020.12.004DOI Listing
April 2021
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