Publications by authors named "Yeji Kim"

81 Publications

Association between metabolic syndrome and incidence of cholelithiasis in the Korean population.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Jun 7. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.

Background And Aim: Cholelithiasis is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases worldwide. The metabolic syndrome (MetS), a combination of various metabolic abnormalities, is also common with a continually increasing prevalence. These diseases are associated with several risk factors. However, data on the association between MetS components and cholelithiasis are insufficient. This study aimed to analyze the association of MetS and its components with the incidence of cholelithiasis using national data from the Korean population.

Methods: Data were obtained from the National Health Insurance Corporation of Korea, and 207 850 individuals without cholelithiasis in 2009 were enrolled and followed up until 2013. A multivariate Cox proportional hazard model was used to calculate the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the incidence of cholelithiasis according to the presence of MetS and the number of MetS components. Furthermore, the risk of cholelithiasis was evaluated in individuals with a single metabolic component.

Results: The multivariate adjusted HRs and 95% CIs for incident cholelithiasis according to 1, 2, 3, and 4-5 MetS components were 1.08 (0.93-1.24), 1.22 (1.06-1.41), 1.35 (1.17-1.57), and 1.35 (1.15-1.57), respectively (P < 0.001). This increasing trend was observed in both sexes. Compared with participants with no metabolic components, those with low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol had a significantly increased risk for cholelithiasis (adjusted HR, 1.39 [95% CI, 1.05-1.85]).

Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome is a potential risk factor for cholelithiasis. Low HDL cholesterol level is the most relevant factor among MetS components for incident cholelithiasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgh.15568DOI Listing
June 2021

A MYC and RAS co-activation signature in localized prostate cancer drives bone metastasis and castration resistance.

Nat Cancer 2020 Nov 19;1(11):1082-1096. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Understanding the intricacies of lethal prostate cancer poses specific challenges due to difficulties in accurate modeling of metastasis in vivo. Here we show that mice (for -) develop prostate cancer with a high penetrance of metastasis to bone, thereby enabling detection and tracking of bone metastasis in vivo and ex vivo. Transcriptomic and whole-exome analyses of bone metastasis from these mice revealed distinct molecular profiles conserved between human and mouse and specific patterns of subclonal branching from the primary tumor. Integrating bulk and single-cell transcriptomic data from mouse and human datasets with functional studies in vivo unravels a unique MYC/RAS co-activation signature associated with prostate cancer metastasis. Finally, we identify a gene signature with prognostic value for time to metastasis and predictive of treatment response in human patients undergoing androgen receptor therapy across clinical cohorts, thus uncovering conserved mechanisms of metastasis with potential translational significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43018-020-00125-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8171279PMC
November 2020

In-sensor reservoir computing for language learning via two-dimensional memristors.

Sci Adv 2021 May 14;7(20). Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Physics, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Korea.

The dynamic processing of optoelectronic signals carrying temporal and sequential information is critical to various machine learning applications including language processing and computer vision. Despite extensive efforts to emulate the visual cortex of human brain, large energy/time overhead and extra hardware costs are incurred by the physically separated sensing, memory, and processing units. The challenge is further intensified by the tedious training of conventional recurrent neural networks for edge deployment. Here, we report in-sensor reservoir computing for language learning. High dimensionality, nonlinearity, and fading memory for the in-sensor reservoir were achieved via two-dimensional memristors based on tin sulfide (SnS), uniquely having dual-type defect states associated with Sn and S vacancies. Our in-sensor reservoir computing demonstrates an accuracy of 91% to classify short sentences of language, thus shedding light on a low training cost and the real-time solution for processing temporal and sequential signals for machine learning applications at the edge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abg1455DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121431PMC
May 2021

Successful Removal of a Difficult Common Bile Duct Stone by Percutaneous Transcholecystic Cholangioscopy.

Clin Endosc 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Internal Medicine, Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Common bile duct (CBD) stones are prevalent in 11% to 21% of patients with gallstones and can cause various clinical manifestations, from biliary colic to biliary sepsis. The treatment of choice is endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, but approximately 5% to 10% of CBD stones are difficult to remove using these conventional endoscopic methods. Although percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopy and lithotripsy can be used as an alternative, it can be technically demanding and risky if the intrahepatic duct is not dilated. We report a case of a large CBD stone that was successfully removed using percutaneous transcholecystic cholangioscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5946/ce.2020.301DOI Listing
May 2021

Human METTL18 is a histidine-specific methyltransferase that targets RPL3 and affects ribosome biogenesis and function.

Nucleic Acids Res 2021 04;49(6):3185-3203

Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway.

Protein methylation occurs primarily on lysine and arginine, but also on some other residues, such as histidine. METTL18 is the last uncharacterized member of a group of human methyltransferases (MTases) that mainly exert lysine methylation, and here we set out to elucidate its function. We found METTL18 to be a nuclear protein that contains a functional nuclear localization signal and accumulates in nucleoli. Recombinant METTL18 methylated a single protein in nuclear extracts and in isolated ribosomes from METTL18 knockout (KO) cells, identified as 60S ribosomal protein L3 (RPL3). We also performed an RPL3 interactomics screen and identified METTL18 as the most significantly enriched MTase. We found that His-245 in RPL3 carries a 3-methylhistidine (3MH; τ-methylhistidine) modification, which was absent in METTL18 KO cells. In addition, both recombinant and endogenous METTL18 were found to be automethylated at His-154, thus further corroborating METTL18 as a histidine-specific MTase. Finally, METTL18 KO cells displayed altered pre-rRNA processing, decreased polysome formation and codon-specific changes in mRNA translation, indicating that METTL18-mediated methylation of RPL3 is important for optimal ribosome biogenesis and function. In conclusion, we have here established METTL18 as the second human histidine-specific protein MTase, and demonstrated its functional relevance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkab088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034639PMC
April 2021

Mucin degrader accelerates intestinal stem cell-mediated epithelial development.

Gut Microbes 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-20

Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Department of Convergence Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Mucin-degrading bacteria are densely populated in the intestinal epithelium; however, their interaction with intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and their progeny have not been elucidated. To determine whether mucin-degrading bacteria play a role in gut homeostasis, mice were treated with , a specialized species that degrades mucin. Administration of for 4 weeks accelerated the proliferation of Lgr5 ISCs and promoted the differentiation of Paneth cells and goblet cells in the small intestine (SI). We found similar effects of in the colon. The levels of acetic and propionic acids were higher in the cecal contents of -treated mice than in PBS-treated mice. SI organoids treated with cecal contents obtained from -treated mice were larger and could be diminished by treatment with G protein-coupled receptor (Gpr) 41/43 antagonists. Pre-treatment of mice with reduced gut damage caused by radiation and methotrexate. Further, a novel isotype of the strain was isolated from heathy human feces that showed enhanced function in intestinal epithelial regeneration. These findings suggest that mucin-degrading bacteria (e.g., ) may play a crucial role in promoting ISC-mediated epithelial development and contribute to intestinal homeostasis maintenance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2021.1892441DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946046PMC
March 2021

COVID-19 Vaccines (Revisited) and Oral-Mucosal Vector System as a Potential Vaccine Platform.

Vaccines (Basel) 2021 Feb 18;9(2). Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University, Jangan-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do 16419, Korea.

There are several emerging strategies for the vaccination of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) however, only a few have yet shown promising effects. Thus, choosing the right pathway and the best prophylactic options in preventing COVID-19 is still challenging at best. Approximately, more than two-hundred vaccines are being tested in different countries, and more than fifty clinical trials are currently undergoing. In this review, we have summarized the immune-based strategies for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and the different vaccine candidate platforms that are in clinical stages of evaluation, and up to the recently licensed mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines of Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna's. Lastly, we have briefly included the potentials of using the 'RPS-CTP vector system' for the development of a safe and effective oral mucosal COVID-19 vaccine as another vaccine platform.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9020171DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922043PMC
February 2021

A deep learning approach to evaluate the feasibility of enzymatic reactions generated by retrobiosynthesis.

Biotechnol J 2021 May 18;16(5):e2000605. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Metabolic and Biomolecular Engineering National Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST Institute for BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Retrobiosynthesis allows the designing of novel biosynthetic pathways for the production of chemicals and materials through metabolic engineering, but generates a large number of reactions beyond the experimental feasibility. Thus, an effective method that can reduce a large number of the initially predicted enzymatic reactions has been needed. Here, we present Deep learning-based Reaction Feasibility Checker (DeepRFC) to classify the feasibility of a given enzymatic reaction with high performance and speed. DeepRFC is designed to receive Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System (SMILES) strings of a reactant pair, which is defined as a substrate and a product of a reaction, as an input, and evaluates whether the input reaction is feasible. A deep neural network is selected for DeepRFC as it leads to better classification performance than five other representative machine learning methods examined. For validation, the performance of DeepRFC is compared with another in-house reaction feasibility checker that uses the concept of reaction similarity. Finally, the use of DeepRFC is demonstrated for the retrobiosynthesis-based design of novel one-carbon assimilation pathways. DeepRFC will allow retrobiosynthesis to be more practical for metabolic engineering applications by efficiently screening a large number of retrobiosynthesis-derived enzymatic reactions. DeepRFC is freely available at https://bitbucket.org/kaistsystemsbiology/deeprfc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/biot.202000605DOI Listing
May 2021

The Development of a Sleep Intervention for Firefighters: The FIT-IN (Firefighter's Therapy for Insomnia and Nightmares) Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 11 24;17(23). Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Psychology, Sungshin University, Seoul 02844, Korea.

: Firefighters are vulnerable to irregular sleep patterns and sleep disturbance due to work characteristics such as shift work and frequent dispatch. However, there are few studies investigating intervention targeting sleep for firefighters. This preliminary study aimed to develop and test a sleep intervention, namely FIT-IN (Firefighter's Therapy for Insomnia and Nightmares), which was based on existing evidence-based treatment tailored to firefighters in consideration of their occupational characteristics. : This study implemented a single-group pre-post study design, utilizing an intervention developed based on brief behavior therapy for insomnia with imagery rehearsal therapy components. FIT-IN consisted of a total of three sessions (two face-to-face group sessions and one telephone session). Participants were recruited from Korean fire stations, and a total of 39 firefighters participated. Participants completed a sleep diary for two weeks, as well as the following questionnaires to assess their sleep and psychological factors: insomnia severity index (ISI), disturbing dream and nightmare severity index (DDNSI), Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS), depressive symptom inventory-suicidality subscale (DSI), and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). These questionnaires were administered before the first session and at the end of the second session. : The FIT-IN program produced improvements in sleep indices. There was a significant increase in sleep efficiency ( < 0.01), and a decrease in sleep onset latency, number of awakenings, and time in bed ( < 0.05), as derived from weekly sleep diaries. In addition, significant decreases were shown for insomnia ( < 0.001) and nightmare severity ( < 0.01). : There were significant improvements in sleep and other clinical indices (depression, PTSD scores) when comparing pre-and post-intervention scores. FIT-IN may be a feasible and practical option in alleviating sleep disturbance in this population. Further studies will be needed to ascertain FIT-IN's effectiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7727785PMC
November 2020

Relationship between urinary phthalate metabolites and diabetes: Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS) cycle 3 (2015-2017).

Ann Occup Environ Med 2020 18;32:e34. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

Background: We aimed to determine relationship diabetes according to urinary phthalate metabolites using adult data from Korean National Environmental Health Survey cycle 3 (2015-2017).

Method: This study was conducted on 3,781 adults aged 19 years and older (1,648 men and 2,133 women) based on KoNEHS cycle 3. Participants' data were analyzed by gender; Relationship between phthalate metabolites in the urine and diabetes was analyzed by dividing the sociodemographic variables, health behavior-related variables, and urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations into quartiles. To determine the relationship between urinary phthalate metabolites and the prevalence of diabetes, the odds ratio (OR) was calculated using logistic regression analysis.

Results: Based on the 1st quartile of each metabolite, the ORs for di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) (4th quartile), mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP) (2nd quartile, 3rd quartile and 4th quartile), mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP) (4th quartile), mono-(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECCP) (4th quartile), mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) (3rd quartile and 4th quartile), mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP) (2nd quartile) and 4th quartile), and mono (3-carboxypropyl) phthalate (MCPP) (3rd quartile and 4th quartile) were significantly higher after the adjustment in men. The ORs for DEHP (2nd quartile, 3rd quartile and 4th quartile), MEHHP (2nd quartile, 3rd quartile and 4th quartile), MEOHP (4th quartile), MECCP (4th quartile), MBzP (4th quartile), and MCPP (4th quartile) were significantly higher after the adjustment in women.

Conclusion: This study investigated relationship between urinary phthalate metabolites and diabetes. The higher urinary phthalate metabolites, the higher the prevalence of diabetes. Further regulation of phthalate may be needed, and further studies are warranted to confirm the association between phthalate concentration and other chronic diseases (such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.35371/aoem.2020.32.e34DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7533299PMC
September 2020

Components of metabolic syndrome and their relation to the risk of incident cerebral infarction.

Endocr J 2021 Mar 10;68(3):253-259. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Departments of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) consists of 5 metabolic components, which are recognized as risk factors for cerebral infarction. The present study was to evaluate the relative influence of individual metabolic component on incident cerebral infarction. Using a data of 209,339 Koreans registered in National Health Information Corporation, we evaluated the risk for incident cerebral infarction according to the number of metabolic component and each metabolic component for 4.37 years' follow-up. Cox proportional hazards model was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) for cerebral infarction and their confidence interval (CI). The more metabolic components accompanied the worse metabolic profile, leading increased incidence of cerebral infarction. The risk of cerebral infarction increased proportionally to the number of present metabolic components (number 0: reference, number 1: 1.78 [1.42-2.23], number 2: 2.20 [1.76-2.74], number 3: 2.61 [2.09-3.25] and number 4-5: 3.18 [2.54-3.98]). Compared to subjects without metabolic component, the impact of each component on cerebral infarction was relatively higher in elevated fasting glucose (1.56 [1.14-2.13]) and elevated BP (2.13 [1.66-2.73]), indicating no statistical significance in low HDL-cholesterol (1.53 [0.96-2.44]), high triglyceride (1.24 [0.84-1.84]) and abdominal obesity (1.05 [0.63-1.73]). Proportional relationship was found between the number of metabolic component and risk of cerebral infarction. Out of metabolic components, fasting glucose and BP are more powerful predictor for cerebral infarction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1507/endocrj.EJ20-0486DOI Listing
March 2021

M13 Bacteriophage-Assisted Morphological Engineering of Crack-Based Sensors for Highly Sensitive and Wide Linear Range Strain Sensing.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Oct 22;12(40):45590-45601. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Department of Nano Fusion Technology and BK21 Plus Nano Convergence Technology Division, Pusan National University, Busan 46214, Republic of Korea.

Despite their extraordinary mechanosensitivities, most channel-like crack-based strain sensors are limited by their poor levels of stretchability and linearity. This work presents a simple yet efficient way of modulating the cracking structure of thin metal films on elastomers to facilitate the development of high-performance wearable strain sensors. A net-shaped crack structure based on a thin platinum (Pt) film can be produced by coating an elastomer surface with M13 bacteriophages (phages) and consequently engineering the surface strain upon stretching. This process produces a Pt-on-phage (PoP) strain sensor that simultaneously exhibits high levels of stretchability (24%), sensitivity (maximum gauge factor ≈ 845.6 for 20-24%), and linearity ( ≈ 0.988 up to 20%). In addition, the sensor performance can be further modulated by either changing the phage coating volume or adding a silver nanowire coating to the PoP sensor film. The balanced strain-sensing performance, combined with fast response times and high levels of mechanical flexibility and operational stability, enables the devices to detect a wide range of human motions in real time after being attached to various body parts. Furthermore, PoP-based strain sensors can be usefully extended to detect more complex multidimensional strains through further strain engineering on a cross-patterned PoP film.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c13307DOI Listing
October 2020

Quality of Life Assessment of Severely Visually Impaired Individuals Using Aira Assistive Technology System.

Transl Vis Sci Technol 2020 03 20;9(4):21. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Shiley Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Purpose: To assess patient-reported quality of life outcome improvements in severely visually impaired (SVI) individuals using the Aira system over a 1-year follow-up period.

Methods: Aira is an on-demand assistive technology designed for SVI. Aira subscribers were recruited and administered the validated 28-item Impact of Vision Impairment-Very Low Vision Questionnaire by phone before starting Aira with follow-ups at 3 months and 1 year. Total score and validated subset scores of activities of daily living, mobility, and safety (ADLMS) and emotional well-being (EWB) were assessed. Pearson correlation analyses and paired -tests were used to examine the data.

Results: Fifty participants (mean, age, 52.5 years; 25 males, 25 females) were recruited with a mean of 401 ± 66.3 days to follow-up. The initial total score (mean, 53.1 ± 18.9) significantly improved at 1 year (mean, 63.1 ± 16.2; = 0.0002). The initial ADLMS score (mean, 30.7 ± 11.3) significantly improved at 1 year (mean, 37.2 ± 10.7; = 0.001). The initial EWB score (mean, 22.5 ± 8.5) significantly improved at 1 year (mean, 25.9 ± 8.0; = 0.0001). There was no significant difference between the 3-month and 1-year total ( = 0.972), ADLMS ( = 0.897), and EWB scores ( = 0.700). There was a significant correlation between minutes used and improvement in total (r = 0.371; = 0.009), ADLMS (r = 0.302; = 0.035), and EWB (r = 0.439; = 0.002) scores.

Conclusions: Aira use significantly improves Impact of Vision Impairment-Very Low Vision total, ADLMS, and EWB scores for SVI individuals at 3 months. This improvement is sustained at the 1-year follow-up and correlated with total minutes used.

Translational Relevance: Aira technology may provide sustained improvement in quality of life for SVI, and further study to evaluate the usefulness of this technology to assist SVI may be beneficial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.4.21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7396172PMC
March 2020

Multimaterial and multifunctional neural interfaces: from surface-type and implantable electrodes to fiber-based devices.

J Mater Chem B 2020 08;8(31):6624-6666

Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea.

Neural interfaces have enabled significant advancements in neuroscience and paved the way for clinical applications in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of neurological disorders. A variety of device modalities, such as electrical, chemical and optical neural interfacing, are required for the comprehensive monitoring and modulation of neural activity. The development of recent devices with multimodal functionalities has been driven by innovations in materials engineering, especially the utilization of organic soft materials such as polymers, carbon allotropes, and hydrogels. A transition from rigid to soft materials has improved device performance through enhanced biocompatibility and flexibility to realize stable long-term performance. This article provides a comprehensive review of a variety of neural probes ranging from surface-type and implantable electrodes to fiber-based devices. We also highlight the influence of materials on the development of these neural interfaces and their effects on device performance and lifetime.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0tb00872aDOI Listing
August 2020

Relationship between seafood consumption and bisphenol A exposure: the Second Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS 2012-2014).

Ann Occup Environ Med 2020 5;32:e10. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

Background: This study aimed to identify the relationship between exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and seafood consumption using a nationally representative data of the general Korean population.

Methods: This study was conducted on 5,402 adults aged 19 years and older (2,488 men, 2,914 women) based on the second Korean National Environmental Health Survey (2012-2014). We stratified the data according to gender and analyzed urinary BPA concentrations in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, health behavior, dietary factor, and seafood consumption. In the high and low BPA exposure groups, the odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using logistic regression analysis according to the top 75th percentile concentration.

Results: In men, large fish and tuna and other seafood categories had significantly higher ORs before and after adjustment in the group who consumed seafood more than once a week than in the group who rarely consumed seafood, with an adjusted value of 1.97 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12-3.48) and 1.74 (95% CI: 1.10-2.75), respectively. In the shellfish category, the unadjusted OR was 1.61 (95% CI: 1.00-2.59), which was significantly higher in the group who consumed seafood more than once a week than in the group who rarely consumed seafood. However, the OR after adjusting for the variables was not statistically significant. In women, the frequency of seafood consumption and the concentration of urinary BPA were not significantly associated.

Conclusions: BPA concentration was higher in men who frequently consumed large fish and tuna, shellfish and other seafood in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.35371/aoem.2020.32.e10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7204842PMC
March 2020

Synthesis of Carbon Dots via Hydrothermal Reaction for Selective Detection of Serotonin.

J Nanosci Nanotechnol 2020 09;20(9):5365-5368

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Gachon University, Seongnam-dearo 1342, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 13120, Republic of Korea.

Serotonin (5-HT) is a significant neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of mood, social behavior, depression, and other neurological activities. In this work, we synthesized nitrogen-doped carbon dots using naturally occurring amino acids such as L-aspartic acid and L-cysteine by employing a one-step hydrothermal reaction. The amino acid-derived carbon dots (CDs) are called AACDs. The as-synthesized AACDs showed strong blue-color emission under UV light and photoluminescence (PL) emission maximum wavelength at 457 nm with an excitation wavelength of 344 nm. The AACDs had superior aqueous solubility due to the carboxyl (-COOH) and amine (-NH₂) functional groups on their surface. 5-HT could be detected by adding cobalt ions (Co) to the AACDs. The Co ions facilitate cross-linking between free amino and carboxylate groups. Fluorescence quenching by AACDs incorporating Co ion was observed to be dependent on the concentration of serotonin. The limit of detection (LOD) of AACDs for 5-HT was 2.24 M.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2020.17646DOI Listing
September 2020

p16 Expression Correlates with Invasive Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasms in HIV-Infected Mozambicans.

Ocul Oncol Pathol 2020 Mar 5;6(2):123-128. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Service of Pathology, Maputo Central Hospital, Maputo, Mozambique.

Background: p16 immunohistochemistry is widely used to diagnose human papillomavirus (HPV)-related squamous neoplasms of cervix, anogenital, head, and neck tissues. The incidence of these HPV-related squamous neoplasms is markedly increased in the HIV-infected population. Ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) is also more common in HIV-infected patients. However, the expression pattern of p16 in OSSN among HIV-infected patients is unclear. Here, we examined the expression of p16 in OSSN surgical excisions collected from a large HIV-infected cohort from -Mozambique.

Methods: OSSN surgical tissue specimens were collected from 75 Mozambican patients. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from these OSSNs were sectioned, stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), and p16 expression by immunohistochemistry. H&E slides were reviewed to determine if OSSNs were noninvasive conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasms or invasive squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). Cases were classified as p16 positive or negative based on diffuse nuclear and cytoplasmic expression of p16 in neoplastic cells.

Results: p16 positivity was found in a minority of OSSN cases (14/75). p16 positivity was significantly associated with the invasive SCC type of OSSN in HIV-infected patients ( value of 0.026).

Conclusions: The majority of OSSNs in our HIV-infected cohort do not express p16. However, those cases that are p16-positive are significantly more likely to be the invasive SCC form of OSSN. We propose that p16 expression may identify more aggressive OSSNs in HIV-infected populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000502096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7109427PMC
March 2020

Dietary cellulose prevents gut inflammation by modulating lipid metabolism and gut microbiota.

Gut Microbes 2020 07 5;11(4):944-961. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, University of Ulsan College of Medicine/Asan Medical Center , Seoul, Republic of Korea.

A Western diet comprising high fat, high carbohydrate, and low fiber content has been suggested to contribute to an increased prevalence of colitis. To clarify the effect of dietary cellulose (an insoluble fiber) on gut homeostasis, for 3 months mice were fed a high-cellulose diet (HCD) or a low-cellulose diet (LCD) based on the AIN-93G formulation. Histologic evaluation showed crypt atrophy and goblet cell depletion in the colons of LCD-fed mice. RNA-sequencing analysis showed a higher expression of genes associated with immune system processes, especially those of chemokines and their receptors, in the colon tissues of LCD-fed mice than in those of HCD-fed mice. The HCD was protective against dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis in mice, while LCD exacerbated gut inflammation; however, the depletion of gut microbiota by antibiotic treatment diminished both beneficial and non-beneficial effects of the HCD and LCD on colitis, respectively. A comparative analysis of the cecal contents of mice fed the HCD or the LCD showed that the LCD did not influence the diversity of gut microbiota, but it resulted in a higher and lower abundance of and organisms, respectively. Additionally, linoleic acid, nicotinate, and nicotinamide pathways were most affected by cellulose intake, while the levels of short-chain fatty acids were comparable in HCD- and LCD-fed mice. Finally, oral administration of to LCD-fed mice elevated crypt length, increased goblet cells, and ameliorated colitis. These results suggest that dietary cellulose plays a beneficial role in maintaining gut homeostasis through the alteration of gut microbiota and metabolites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2020.1730149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524403PMC
July 2020

Hierarchical Cluster Analysis of Medical Chemicals Detected by a Bacteriophage-Based Colorimetric Sensor Array.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2020 Jan 9;10(1). Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Department of Nanofusion Technology, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea.

M13 bacteriophage-based colorimetric sensors, especially multi-array sensors, have been successfully demonstrated to be a powerful platform for detecting extremely small amounts of target molecules. Colorimetric sensors can be fabricated easily using self-assembly of genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage which incorporates peptide libraries on its surface. However, the ability to discriminate many types of target molecules is still required. In this work, we introduce a statistical method to efficiently analyze a huge amount of numerical results in order to classify various types of target molecules. To enhance the selectivity of M13 bacteriophage-based colorimetric sensors, a multi-array sensor system can be an appropriate platform. On this basis, a pattern-recognizing multi-array biosensor platform was fabricated by integrating three types of sensors in which genetically engineered M13 bacteriophages (wild-, RGD-, and EEEE-type) were utilized as a primary building block. This sensor system was used to analyze a pattern of color change caused by a reaction between the sensor array and external substances, followed by separating the specific target substances by means of hierarchical cluster analysis. The biosensor platform could detect drug contaminants such as hormone drugs (estrogen) and antibiotics. We expect that the proposed biosensor system could be used for the development of a first-analysis kit, which would be inexpensive and easy to supply and could be applied in monitoring the environment and health care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano10010121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023180PMC
January 2020

Current status of pan-genome analysis for pathogenic bacteria.

Curr Opin Biotechnol 2020 06 28;63:54-62. Epub 2019 Dec 28.

Metabolic and Biomolecular Engineering National Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (BK21 Plus Program), Institute for the BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea; Systems Metabolic Engineering and Systems Healthcare Cross-Generation Collaborative Laboratory, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea; BioProcess Engineering Research Center and BioInformatics Research Center, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Biological knowledge accumulated over the decades and advances in computational methods have facilitated the implementation of pan-genome analysis that aims at better understanding of genotype-phenotype associations of a specific group of organisms. Pan-genome analysis has been shown to be an effective approach to better understand a clade of pathogenic bacteria because it helps developing various and tailored therapeutic strategies on the basis of their biological similarities and differences. Here, we review recent progress in the pan-genome analysis of pathogenic bacteria. In particular, we focus on computational tools that allow streamlined pan-genome analysis. Also, various applications of pan-genome analysis including those relevant to devising strategies for the prevention and treatment of pathogenic bacteria are reviewed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.copbio.2019.12.001DOI Listing
June 2020

The human methyltransferase ZCCHC4 catalyses N6-methyladenosine modification of 28S ribosomal RNA.

Nucleic Acids Res 2020 01;48(2):830-846

Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo 0316, Norway.

RNA methylations are essential both for RNA structure and function, and are introduced by a number of distinct methyltransferases (MTases). In recent years, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of eukaryotic mRNA has been subject to intense studies, and it has been demonstrated that m6A is a reversible modification that regulates several aspects of mRNA function. However, m6A is also found in other RNAs, such as mammalian 18S and 28S ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), but the responsible MTases have remained elusive. 28S rRNA carries a single m6A modification, found at position A4220 (alternatively referred to as A4190) within a stem-loop structure, and here we show that the MTase ZCCHC4 is the enzyme responsible for introducing this modification. Accordingly, we found that ZCCHC4 localises to nucleoli, the site of ribosome assembly, and that proteins involved in RNA metabolism are overrepresented in the ZCCHC4 interactome. Interestingly, the absence of m6A4220 perturbs codon-specific translation dynamics and shifts gene expression at the translational level. In summary, we establish ZCCHC4 as the enzyme responsible for m6A modification of human 28S rRNA, and demonstrate its functional significance in mRNA translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz1147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6954407PMC
January 2020

Responses of Types 1 and 2 Neovascularization in Age-Related Macular Degeneration to Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Treatment: Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Analysis.

Semin Ophthalmol 2019 27;34(3):168-176. Epub 2019 May 27.

a Department of Ophthalmology, Kim's Eye Hospital, Myung-Gok Eye Research Institute , Konyang University College of Medicine , Seoul , South Korea.

: To compare the responses of types 1 (sub-pigment epithelial) and 2 (subretinal) neovascularization in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment. : Fifty-five treatment-naïve neovascular AMD eyes (53 patients) were retrospectively included for analysis. All patients were treated with three loading injections of anti-VEGF agent, followed by further injections as required. The lesion size and vascular density of type 1 and 2 lesions before and after treatment for 12 months were analyzed using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). : The mean lesion size of the type 1 neovascularization group (42 eyes) showed no significant change from 2.12 ± 1.01 mm at baseline to 2.08 ± 0.91 mm at 12 months (P = .682). However, the mean lesion size of type 2 neovascularization significantly decreased from 1.23 ± 0.93 mm at baseline to 0.79 ± 0.61 mm at 12 months (P = .022). The proportion of eyes with lesion sizes that decreased by more than 40% from baseline was also significantly higher for the type 2 compared to the type 1 neovascularization group (46.2% versus 11.9%, P = .007). Vascular density showed no significant changes for both groups after treatment and showed no association with the change in lesion size. There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of visual acuity improvement. : OCTA analysis revealed different responses to anti-VEGF treatment depending on the location of neovascularization in neovascular AMD. Type 2 neovascularization was significantly regressed compared to type 1 neovascularization after anti-VEGF treatment. However, the changes in vascular density and visual outcome showed no significant differences between groups after 12 months of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08820538.2019.1620791DOI Listing
July 2019

Loss of PKM2 in Lgr5 intestinal stem cells promotes colitis-associated colorectal cancer.

Sci Rep 2019 04 17;9(1):6212. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Department of Convergence Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine/Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The regulatory properties of pyruvate kinase M2 isoform (PKM2), the key glycolytic enzyme, influence altered energy metabolism including glycolysis in cancer. In this study, we found that PKM2 was highly expressed in patients with ulcerative colitis or colorectal cancer (CRC). We then investigated the effectiveness of conditionally ablating PKM2 in Lgr5 intestinal stem cells (ISC) using a mouse model of colitis-associated CRC (AOM plus DSS). Tamoxifen-inducible Lgr5-driven deletion of PKM2 in ISC (PKM2-Tx) significantly promoted tumor incidence and size in the colon and lower body weight compared with findings in vehicle-treated mice (PKM2-Veh). Histopathologic analysis revealed considerable high-grade dysplasia and adenocarcinoma in the colon of PKM2-Tx mice while PKM2-Veh mice had low- and high-grade dysplasia. Loss of PKM2 was associated with dominant expression of PKM1 in Lgr5 ISC and their progeny cells. Further, the organoid-forming efficiency of whole cancer cells or Lgr5 cells obtained from colon polyps of PKM2-Tx mice was significantly increased when compared with PKM2-Veh mice. Cancer organoids from PKM2-Tx mice exhibited increased mitochondrial oxygen consumption and a shift of metabolites involved in energy metabolism. These findings suggest that loss of PKM2 function in ISC promotes colitis-associated CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42707-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470145PMC
April 2019

Comparison of smartphone ophthalmoscopy vs conventional direct ophthalmoscopy as a teaching tool for medical students: the COSMOS study.

Clin Ophthalmol 2019 18;13:391-401. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Department of Ophthalmology, Shiley Eye Institute, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA,

Purpose: To investigate the utility of smartphone ophthalmology for medical students for learning fundoscopy compared with direct ophthalmoscopy.

Methods: After 1 hour of didactic instruction on ophthalmoscopy, second-year medical students in a small group setting were randomized to start training with the direct ophthalmoscope vs smartphone ophthalmoscope and crossed over to the other instrument through the session.

Main Outcome Measures: Ability to visualize the optic nerve and retinal blood vessels in an undilated pupil as well as a survey evaluating ease of use, confidence, and ability to visualize the optic nerve with the two instruments.

Results: One hundred and one medical students participated. Significantly more medical students were able to visualize the optic nerve with the smartphone ophthalmoscope vs the direct ophthalmoscope in an undilated pupil (82.3% vs 48.5%, <0.0001). Students reported a more positive experience with the smartphone ophthalmoscope, specifically regarding ease of use (median of 4 vs 3; <0.0001), their confidence in performing ophthalmoscopy (median of 4 vs 3; <0.0001), and their ability to visualize features of the optic nerve (median 4 vs 3; <0.0001). A significant number of participants preferred the smartphone ophthalmoscope over the traditional direct ophthalmoscope for learning how to identify the optic disc and for evaluating patients (78.2% and 77.2%, respectively; <0.0001).

Conclusion: Smartphone ophthalmoscopy may serve as a useful adjunctive tool to teach direct ophthalmoscopy as well as being an alternative for examining the fundus for noneye care physicians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S190922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6387606PMC
February 2019

Relationship between personal care products usage and triclosan exposure: the second Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS 2012-2014).

Ann Occup Environ Med 2019 28;31. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea.

Background: We aimed to find the exposure level of triclosan (TCS), a known endocrine disruptor, related to the use of personal care products using a nationally representative data of the general population in Korea.

Methods: This study included data of 6288 adults aged 19 years and older (2692 men, 3596 women), based on the Second Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS 2012-2014). The data were divided according to gender. The frequency and proportion of each variable were determined by dividing participants into two groups based on the top 75th percentile concentration of urinary TCS (male: 1.096 μg/g creatinine, female: 1.329 μg/g creatinine). Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using logistic regression analysis for the high TCS exposure and low TCS exposure groups.

Results: Overall, the proportion of participants using personal care products was higher in women than in men. There was a significantly higher proportion of participants in the high TCS exposure group with younger age, higher education and income levels and with more frequent use of fragrance products, hair care products, body cleansers, cosmetics, and antimicrobial agents. In both men and women, ORs tended to increase with increased frequency of use of hair care products, body cleansers, and cosmetics before and after adjustment.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that as the frequency of use of personal care products increases, urine TCS concentration increases. Because TCS is a well-known endocrine disruptor, further studies are needed and explore other health effects with exposure to TCS in general population in Korea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40557-019-0283-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348669PMC
January 2019

Molecular characterization of flavonoid biosynthetic genes and accumulation of baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin in plant and hairy root of .

Saudi J Biol Sci 2018 Dec 7;25(8):1639-1647. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

Department of Crop Science, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-Ro, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 305-764, South Korea.

is well known for its medical applications because of the presence of flavanoids and alkaloids. The present study aimed to explore the molecular aspects and regulations of flavanoids. Five partial cDNAs encoding genes that are involved in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway: phenylalanine ammonia lyase (SlPAL), cinnamate 4-hydroxylase (SlC4H), 4-coumaroyl CoA ligase (Sl4CL), chalcone synthase (SlCHS), and chalcone isomerase (SlCHI) were isolated from . Organ expression analysis showed that these genes were expressed in all organs analyzed with the highest levels correlating with the richest accumulation of wogonin in the roots. Baicalin and baicalein differentially accumulated in plants, with the highest concentration of baicalin and baicalein detected in the leaves and stems, respectively. Exogenous methyl jasmonate (MeJA) significantly enhanced the expression of and , and accumulation of baicalin (22.54 mg/g), baicalein (1.24 mg/g), and wogonin (5.39 mg/g) in hairy roots. In addition, maximum production of baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin in hairy roots treated with MeJA was approximately 7.44-, 2.38-, and 2.12-fold, respectively. Light condition increased the expression level of , the first committed step in flavonoid biosynthesis in hairy roots of after 3 and 4 weeks of development compared to the dark condition. Dark-grown hairy roots contained a higher content of baicalin and baicalein than light-grown hairy roots, while light-grown hairy roots accumulated more wogonin than dark-grown hairy roots. These results may helpful for the metabolic engineering of flavonoids biosynthesis in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2016.08.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303135PMC
December 2018

Characterization of resilin-like proteins with tunable mechanical properties.

J Mech Behav Biomed Mater 2019 03 20;91:68-75. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100, United States; Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2032, United States. Electronic address:

Resilin is an elastomeric protein abundant in insect cuticle. Its exceptional properties, which include high resilience and efficient energy storage, motivate its potential use in tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. Our lab has previously developed recombinant proteins based on the resilin-like sequence derived from Anopheles gambiae and demonstrated their promise as a scaffold for cartilage and vascular engineering. In this work, we describe a more thorough investigation of the physical properties of crosslinked resilin-like hydrogels. The resilin-like proteins rapidly form crosslinked hydrogels in physiological conditions. We also show that the mechanical properties of these resilin-like hydrogels can be modulated simply by varying the protein concentration or the stoichiometric ratio of crosslinker to crosslinking sites. Crosslinked resilin-like hydrogels were hydrophilic and had a high water content when swollen. In addition, these hydrogels exhibited moderate resilience values, which were comparable to those of common synthetic rubbers. Cryo-scanning electron microscopy showed that the crosslinked resilin-like hydrogels at 16 wt% featured a honeycomb-like structure. These studies thus demonstrate the potential to use recombinant resilin-like proteins in a wide variety of applications such as tissue engineering and drug delivery due to their tunable physical properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2018.11.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6774346PMC
March 2019

Microbiota-Derived Lactate Accelerates Intestinal Stem-Cell-Mediated Epithelial Development.

Cell Host Microbe 2018 12;24(6):833-846.e6

Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Department of Convergence Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine/Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Symbionts play an indispensable role in gut homeostasis, but underlying mechanisms remain elusive. To clarify the role of lactic-acid-producing bacteria (LAB) on intestinal stem-cell (ISC)-mediated epithelial development, we fed mice with LAB-type symbionts such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus spp. Here we show that administration of LAB-type symbionts significantly increased expansion of ISCs, Paneth cells, and goblet cells. Lactate stimulated ISC proliferation through Wnt/β-catenin signals of Paneth cells and intestinal stromal cells. Moreover, Lactobacillus plantarum strains lacking lactate dehydrogenase activity, which are deficient in lactate production, elicited less ISC proliferation. Pre-treatment with LAB-type symbionts or lactate protected mice in response to gut injury provoked by combined treatments with radiation and a chemotherapy drug. Impaired ISC-mediated epithelial development was found in mice deficient of the lactate G-protein-coupled receptor, Gpr81. Our results demonstrate that LAB-type symbiont-derived lactate plays a pivotal role in promoting ISC-mediated epithelial development in a Gpr81-dependent manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2018.11.002DOI Listing
December 2018

Improvement in Patient-Reported Quality of Life Outcomes in Severely Visually Impaired Individuals Using the Aira Assistive Technology System.

Transl Vis Sci Technol 2018 Sep 29;7(5):30. Epub 2018 Oct 29.

Shiley Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Purpose: We evaluate patient-reported quality of life outcomes in severely visually impaired (SVI) individuals using the Aira system, an on demand assistive wearable technology.

Methods: Aira is an on-demand assistive wearable technology designed for the severely visually impaired (visual acuity of better eye <20/200). The user wears glasses with a video camera mounted that, when activated, livestreams to a human agent who assists the user in the specified task. Aira subscribers were recruited consecutively and administered the 28-item Impact of Vision Impairment-Very Low Vision (IVI-VLV) Questionnaire, a previously validated survey for vision-related quality of life specifically for low vision individuals. The questionnaire was administered by phone before starting Aira and at 3-month follow-up. Total score as well as validated subset scores of activities of daily living, mobility and safety (ADLMS) and emotional wellbeing (EWB) were assessed.

Results: A total of 69 participants (mean age, 52.1; 35 female, 34 male) were recruited with a mean of 108 (SD = 19.7) days to follow-up. Mean total minutes used over the interval were 334.1 (SD = 318.5). Initial total score (mean 51.7 ± 18.6) significantly improved at follow-up (mean 62.2 ± 15.0; < 0.0001) with mean change +10.4 ± 12.5. ADLMS subset score (mean 30.4 ± 10.8) significantly improved at follow-up (mean 36.6 ± 8.8; < 0.0001) with mean change +6.5 ± 8.7. EWB subset score (mean 21.6 ± 8.8) significantly improved at follow-up (mean 25.6 ± 7.9 respectively; < 0.0001) with mean change +4.0 ± 5.2. There was no correlation between minutes used and improvement in total ( = -0.205, = 0.098), ADLMS ( = -0.237, = 0.055), and EWB ( = -0.242, = 0.051) scores.

Conclusions: In this exploratory study, regardless of minutes used, the use of Aira significantly improves IVI-VLV total score and ADLMS and EWB subscores for SVI individuals. This improvement is not correlated with total minutes used.

Translational Relevance: The Aira assistive technology system may provide improvement in quality of life for low vision patients and is worthy of further study to assess the use of this technology to assist SVI patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/tvst.7.5.30DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6205681PMC
September 2018

Female non-smokers' environmental tobacco smoking exposure by public transportation mode.

Ann Occup Environ Med 2018 19;30:24. Epub 2018 Apr 19.

1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.

Background: This study aimed to analyze environmental tobacco smoking exposure in female nonsmokers by public transportation mode using representative data of Koreans.

Methods: Data from the Second Korean National Environmental Health Survey (2012-2014) were analyzed. Urine cotinine was analyzed by public transport behavior, secondhand smoke exposure, socioeconomic factors, and health-related factors. Participants were 1322 adult females; those with the top 75% urine cotinine concentrations were assigned to the high exposure group. A logistic regression analysis was performed considering appropriate weights and stratification according to the sample design of the Second Korean National Environmental Health Survey.

Results: The geometric mean of urine cotinine concentrations differed according to public transportation modes: subway (1.66 μg/g creatinine) bus (1.77 μg/g creatinine), and taxi (1.94 μg/g creatinine). The odds ratio [OR] was calculated for the high exposure group. The OR of the taxi (2.39; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-5.69) was statistically significantly higher than the subway value (reference), and marginally significant after adjusted with life style, sociodemographic factors and involuntary smoking frequency (2.42, 95% confidence interval, 0.97-6.04).

Conclusions: The odds ratio of passengers who mainly used taxis was marginally significantly higher than those of passengers who used subways and buses after adjusted with life style and sociodemographic factors. Implementation of supplementary measures and further studies on exposure to environmental tobacco smoking in taxis are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40557-018-0239-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5907694PMC
April 2018