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Protocol for The Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic (PdP) study: A longitudinal cohort study of mental health among pregnant Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic and developmental outcomes in their children.

JMIR Res Protoc 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, NW, Calgary, CA.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and countermeasures implemented by governments around the world have led to dramatically increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Pregnant women may be particularly vulnerable to the negative psychological effects of COVID-19 public health measures, because they represent a demographic that is most affected by disasters and because pregnancy itself entails significant life changes that require major psychosocial and emotional adjustments. The Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic (PdP) study was designed to investigate the associations between exposure to objective hardship caused by the pandemic, perceived stress and psychological distress in pregnant individuals, and developmental outcomes in their offspring. Read More

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Core-Shell Tecto Dendrimers Enable Enhanced Tumor MR Imaging through an Amplified EPR Effect.

Biomacromolecules 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Nano-Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China.

Development of nanoplatforms that can amplify the passive tumor targeting effect based on enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect is crucial for precision cancer nanomedicine applications. Herein, we present the development of core-shell tecto dendrimers (CSTDs) as a platform for enhanced tumor magnetic resonance (MR) imaging through an amplified EPR effect. In this work, poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers of generation 5 (G5) were decorated with β-cyclodextrin (CD) and then assembled with G3 PAMAM dendrimers premodified with adamantane (Ad) via supramolecular recognition of CD and Ad. Read More

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When lockdown policies amplify social inequalities in COVID-19 infections: evidence from a cross-sectional population-based survey in France.

BMC Public Health 2021 Apr 12;21(1):705. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Sorbonne University, Paris, France.

Background: Significant differences in COVID-19 incidence by gender, class and race/ethnicity are recorded in many countries in the world. Lockdown measures, shown to be effective in reducing the number of new cases, may not have been effective in the same way for all, failing to protect the most vulnerable populations. This survey aims to assess social inequalities in the trends in COVID-19 infections following lockdown. Read More

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Chronic Kidney Disease of Undetermined Etiology around the World.

Kidney Blood Press Res 2021 Apr 12:1-10. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Nephrology and Dialysis, G. Brotzu Hospital, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.

Background: Epidemics of chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology (CKDu) are occurring on the Pacific coast of Central America, in Sri Lankan and Indian agricultural communities, and in other hotspots around the world. CKDu primarily affects male agricultural workers, and traditional risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension are not involved in the pathogenesis. Although a causal factor has not yet been identified, culprits include repeated volume depletion-induced kidney injury, as well as exposure to agrichemicals, heavy metals and nephrotoxins contained in drugs, beverages, and traditional medications. Read More

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The Role of Social Media in Providing Support from Friends for Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Patients and Survivors of Sarcoma: Perspectives of AYA, Parents, and Providers.

J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol 2021 Apr 12. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.

The aims of the current study were to better understand, from the perspective of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with sarcoma, parents, and providers, the friendship support needs of AYAs with bone and soft tissue sarcoma and the role of social media in facilitating social support for AYAs with sarcoma. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 participants. AYA ( = 10) ranged in age from 14 to 23 years (mean 19. Read More

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From Learning to Relearning: A Framework for Diminishing Bias in Social Robot Navigation.

Front Robot AI 2021 24;8:650325. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Computer Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

The exponentially increasing advances in robotics and machine learning are facilitating the transition of robots from being confined to controlled industrial spaces to performing novel everyday tasks in domestic and urban environments. In order to make the presence of robots safe as well as comfortable for humans, and to facilitate their acceptance in public environments, they are often equipped with social abilities for navigation and interaction. Socially compliant robot navigation is increasingly being learned from human observations or demonstrations. Read More

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Biological Significance of NOTCH Signaling Strength.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 26;9:652273. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Xiamen Cardiovascular Hospital, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

The evolutionarily conserved NOTCH signaling displays pleotropic functions in almost every organ system with a simple signaling axis. Different from many other signaling pathways that can be amplified via kinase cascades, NOTCH signaling does not contain any intermediate to amplify signal. Thus, NOTCH signaling can be activated at distinct signaling strength levels, disruption of which leads to various developmental disorders. Read More

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The Role of Lytic Infection for Lymphomagenesis of Human γ-Herpesviruses.

Christian Münz

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2021 26;11:605258. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Viral Immunobiology, Institute of Experimental Immunology, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are two oncogenic human γ-herpesviruses that are each associated with 1-2% of human tumors. They encode bona fide oncogenes that they express during latent infection to amplify their host cells and themselves within these. In contrast, lytic virus particle producing infection has been considered to destroy host cells and might be even induced to therapeutically eliminate EBV and KSHV associated tumors. Read More

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Evaluating Simulations as Preparation for Health Crises like CoVID-19: Insights on Incorporating Simulation Exercises for Effective Response.

Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 2021 Apr 5:102245. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre, Bournemouth University Business School, DG14, Dorset House, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB, UK.

Today's health emergencies are increasingly complex due to factors such as globalization, urbanization and increased connectivity where people, goods and potential vectors of disease are constantly on the move. These factors amplify the threats to our health from infectious hazards, natural disasters, armed conflicts and other emergencies wherever they may occur. The current CoVID-19 pandemic has provided a clear demonstration of the fact that our ability to detect and predict the initial emergence of a novel human pathogen (for example, the spill-over of a virus from its animal reservoir to a human host), and our capacity to forecast the spread and transmission the pathogen in human society remains limited. Read More

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EntroPhylo: An entropy-based tool to select phylogenetic informative regions and primer design.

Infect Genet Evol 2021 Apr 7:104857. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology (GMBio), Department of Biology, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão 49100-000, Brazil. Electronic address:

We present a novel entropy-based computational tool that selects phylogenetic informative genomic regions associated with degenerate primer design. This tool identifies proper phylogenetic markers and proposes suitable degenerate primers to amplify and sequence them. The algorithm calculates the entropy value per site, and the selected region is used for primer design. Read More

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Intratumoral OH2, an oncolytic herpes simplex virus 2, in patients with advanced solid tumors: a multicenter, phase I/II clinical trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Apr;9(4)

Binhui Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Wuhan, China.

Background: OH2 is a genetically engineered oncolytic herpes simplex virus type 2 designed to selectively amplify in tumor cells and express granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor to enhance antitumor immune responses. We investigated the safety, tolerability and antitumor activity of OH2 as single agent or in combination with HX008, an anti-programmed cell death protein 1 antibody, in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Methods: In this multicenter, phase I/II trial, we enrolled patients with standard treatment-refractory advanced solid tumors who have injectable lesions. Read More

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Immunometabolism in systemic lupus erythematosus: Relevant pathogenetic mechanisms and potential clinical applications.

J Formos Med Assoc 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Internal Medicine, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, 10630, Taiwan; Department of Medical Research, Cathay General Hospital, Taipei, 10630, Taiwan; School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei, 24205, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex, heterogeneous, systemic autoimmune disease involving a wide array of aberrant innate and adaptive immune responses. The immune microenvironment of SLE promotes the metabolic reprogramming of immune cells, leading to immune dyshomeostasis and triggering autoimmune inflammation. Different immune subsets switch from a resting state to a highly metabolic active state by alternating the redox-sensitive signaling pathway and the involved metabolic intermediates to amplify the inflammatory response, which is critical in SLE pathogenesis. Read More

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Oncogenic extrachromosomal DNA functions as mobile enhancers to globally amplify chromosomal transcription.

Cancer Cell 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington, CT 06032, USA. Electronic address:

Extrachromosomal, circular DNA (ecDNA) is emerging as a prevalent yet less characterized oncogenic alteration in cancer genomes. We leverage ChIA-PET and ChIA-Drop chromatin interaction assays to characterize genome-wide ecDNA-mediated chromatin contacts that impact transcriptional programs in cancers. ecDNAs in glioblastoma patient-derived neurosphere and prostate cancer cell cultures are marked by widespread intra-ecDNA and genome-wide chromosomal interactions. Read More

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On the Mechanism of Human Saliva Interaction with Environmental Dust in Relation to Spreading of Viruses.

Langmuir 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Mechanical Engineering Department, KFUPM, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia.

Environmental effects such as dust mitigation can amplify the spread of viruses via inhaling infected dust particles. Infusion and the spreading rate of human saliva over the dust particles can play a critical role in contiguous virus spread. In the present study, mechanical and chemical interactions of human saliva with environmental dust particles are considered. Read More

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Optogenetic Amplification Circuits for Light-Induced Metabolic Control.

ACS Synth Biol 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, United States.

Dynamic control of microbial metabolism is an effective strategy to improve chemical production in fermentations. While dynamic control is most often implemented using chemical inducers, optogenetics offers an attractive alternative due to the high tunability and reversibility afforded by light. However, a major concern of applying optogenetics in metabolic engineering is the risk of insufficient light penetration at high cell densities, especially in large bioreactors. Read More

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