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Incidence of acute kidney injury among COVID-19 patients in Egypt.

Ren Replace Ther 2021 14;7(1):32. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Gastroenterology, Ahmad Maher Teaching Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.

Background: Despite the fact that the fundamental characteristics of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) are respiratory manifestations, multi-organ failure including the kidney has been documented. There are no clear comparisons of COVID-19 cases with and without acute kidney injury (AKI) to show whether there are aspects of acute kidney injury progression path or outcome that are unique to this disease.

Methods: In this work, we analyzed the data of 734 COVID-19 cases admitted to the Ahmad Maher Teaching Hospital in Cairo, Egypt, between June 6 and July 25, 2020. Read More

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First-year students' math anxiety predicts STEM avoidance and underperformance throughout university, independently of math ability.

NPJ Sci Learn 2021 Jun 14;6(1):17. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Psychology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., United States.

Math anxiety is widely considered a potential barrier to success in STEM. Current thinking holds that math anxiety is directly linked to avoidance of and underperformance in STEM domains. However, past evidence supporting these claims is limited in important ways. Read More

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Who should I involve in my research and why? Patients, carers or the public?

Res Involv Engagem 2021 Jun 14;7(1):41. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

NCRI Consumer Forum, Sarcoma Patients Euronet, Shropshire, UK.

Patient and public involvement in research helps to make it more relevant and useful to the end-users. Involvement influences the design, delivery and dissemination of research, ultimately leading to better services, treatments and care. Researchers are therefore keen to involve patients, carers and public in their work, but are sometimes uncertain about who to involve. Read More

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Do We Become More Cautious for Others When Large Amounts of Money Are at Stake?

Exp Psychol 2021 Jan;68(1):32-40

Aston University, UK.

A considerable proportion of financial decisions are made by agents acting on behalf of other people. Although people are more cautious for others when making medical decisions, this does not seem to be the case for economic decisions. However, studies with large amounts of money are particularly absent from the literature, which precludes a clear comparison to studies in the medical domain. Read More

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January 2021

When band convergence is not beneficial for thermoelectrics.

Nat Commun 2021 Jun 8;12(1):3425. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Band convergence is considered a clear benefit to thermoelectric performance because it increases the charge carrier concentration for a given Fermi level, which typically enhances charge conductivity while preserving the Seebeck coefficient. However, this advantage hinges on the assumption that interband scattering of carriers is weak or insignificant. With first-principles treatment of electron-phonon scattering in the CaMgSb-CaZnSb Zintl system and full Heusler SrSbAu, we demonstrate that the benefit of band convergence can be intrinsically negated by interband scattering depending on the manner in which bands converge. Read More

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Developing countries and the use of ISO Standard 11228-3 for risk management of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Limbs (WRMSDs-ULs): The case of Chile.

Appl Ergon 2021 Jun 6;96:103483. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Centro de Estudio del Trabajo y Factores Humanos, Escuela de Kinesiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile.

Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Limbs (WRMSDs-ULs) are one of the most common occupational diseases worldwide. Repetitive motion is one of the main risk factors associated with these conditions. Several efforts have been made within the scientific community in order to develop specific methods to assess the risk that repetitive work represents. Read More

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COVID-19 in normal, diseased and transplanted liver.

World J Gastroenterol 2021 May;27(20):2576-2585

Hepatology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Tor Vergata, Rome 00133, Italy.

Starting from December 2019 the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has extended in the entire world giving origin to a pandemic. Although the respiratory system is the main apparatus involved by the infection, several other organs may suffer coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related injuries. The human tissues expressing angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) are all possible targets of viral damage. Read More

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Type, size, and position of metastatic lesions explain the deformation of the vertebrae under complex loading conditions.

Bone 2021 Jun 2;151:116028. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Dept of Industrial Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background: Bone metastases may lead to spine instability and increase the risk of fracture. Scoring systems are available to assess critical metastases, but they lack specificity, and provide uncertain indications over a wide range, where most cases fall. The aim of this work was to use a novel biomechanical approach to evaluate the effect of lesion type, size, and location on the deformation of the metastatic vertebra. Read More

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Relationship between endothelin and nitric oxide pathways in the onset and maintenance of hypertension in children and adolescents.

Pediatr Nephrol 2021 Jun 3. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

School of Medicine and Surgery, University Milano - Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

The mechanisms that regulate blood pressure are numerous and complex; one mechanism that plays an important role in this scenario is represented by the balance between the vasoconstrictor effect of endothelin-1 and the vasodilator effect of nitric oxide. While there is agreement on the fact that increased endothelin-1 activity and decreased nitric oxide bioavailability are present in hypertensive adults, the situation is less clear in children and adolescents. Not all studies agree on the finding of an increase in plasma endothelin-1 levels in hypertensive children and adolescents; in addition, the picture is often confused by the concomitant presence of obesity, a condition that stimulates the production of endothelin-1. Read More

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'Good' and 'Bad' deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic: insights from a rapid qualitative study.

BMJ Glob Health 2021 06;6(6)

Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Dealing with excess death in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the question of a 'good or bad death' into sharp relief as countries across the globe have grappled with multiple peaks of cases and mortality; and communities mourn those lost. In the UK, these challenges have included the fact that mortality has adversely affected minority communities. Corpse disposal and social distancing guidelines do not allow a process of mourning in which families and communities can be involved in the dying process. Read More

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Don't Let Sexual and Reproductive Health become Collateral Damage in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Public Health Perspective.

Afr J Reprod Health 2020 Jun;24(s1):56-63

Discipline of Public Health Medicine, University of KwaZulu- Natal.

South Africa, similar to many other countries in the African continent is still experiencing challenges in its efforts to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care to women and adolescent girls, and it has become clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is the latest threat to universal access to SRH. In the face of this threat, the Sustainable Developmental Goals that call on the global community to -leave no one behind‖ may become a blurred vision unless we adopt a wider lens away from the tunnel vision that currently plagues health systems around the globe. This paper therefore exposes how SRH may become collateral damage in the face of the present COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

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Principles and Current Clinical Landscape of Multispecific Antibodies against Cancer.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 May 26;22(11). Epub 2021 May 26.

Thoraxklinik and National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) at Heidelberg University Hospital, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany.

Building upon the resounding therapeutic success of monoclonal antibodies, and supported by accelerating progress in engineering methods, the field of multispecific therapeutic antibodies is growing rapidly. Over 140 different molecules are currently in clinical testing, with excellent results in recent phase 1-3 clinical trials for several of them. Multivalent bispecific IgG-modified formats predominate today, with a clear tendency for more target antigens and further increased valency in newer constructs. Read More

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Targeting the Proteasome in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma: Complexity and Limitations of Patient-Individualized Preclinical Drug Discovery.

Biomedicines 2021 May 31;9(6). Epub 2021 May 31.

Molecular Urooncology, Department of Urology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 517, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Systemic treatment options for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have significantly expanded in recent years. However, patients refractory to tyrosine kinase and immune checkpoint inhibitors still have limited treatment options and patient-individualized approaches are largely missing.

Patients And Methods: In vitro drug screening of tumor-derived short-term cultures obtained from seven patients with clear cell RCC was performed. Read More

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Two Novel Mutations in the Gene in Pediatric Patients with Alagille Syndrome: The First Case Series in Czech Republic.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 May 28;11(6). Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Clinical Genetics and Genomics, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital Brno, Masaryk University, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Background: Alagille syndrome (ALGS) is a highly variable multisystem disorder inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern with incomplete penetration. The disorder is caused by mutations in the gene, only rarely in the gene, which gives rise to malformations in multiple organs. Bile duct paucity is the main characteristic feature of the disease. Read More

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Exploratory Data Analysis of Cell and Mitochondrial High-Fat, High-Sugar Toxicity on Human HepG2 Cells.

Nutrients 2021 May 19;13(5). Epub 2021 May 19.

CNC-Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, CIBB-Centre for Innovative Biomedicine and Biotechnology, University of Coimbra, UC-Biotech, Biocant Park, 3060-197 Cantanhede, Portugal.

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), one of the deleterious stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, remains a significant cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. In the current work, we used an exploratory data analysis to investigate time-dependent cellular and mitochondrial effects of different supra-physiological fatty acids (FA) overload strategies, in the presence or absence of fructose (F), on human hepatoma-derived HepG2 cells. We measured intracellular neutral lipid content and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, mitochondrial respiration and morphology, and caspases activity and cell death. Read More

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HERV-K(HML7) Integrations in the Human Genome: Comprehensive Characterization and Comparative Analysis in Non-Human Primates.

Biology (Basel) 2021 May 14;10(5). Epub 2021 May 14.

Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Cagliari, Italy.

Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs) are ancient relics of infections that affected the primate germ line and constitute about 8% of our genome. Growing evidence indicates that ERVs had a major role in vertebrate evolution, being occasionally domesticated by the host physiology. In addition, human ERV (HERV) expression is highly investigated for a possible pathological role, even if no clear associations have been reported yet. Read More

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Scalable, Micro-Neutralization Assay for Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Virus-Neutralizing Antibodies in Human Clinical Samples.

Viruses 2021 05 12;13(5). Epub 2021 May 12.

Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.

As the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic expanded, it was clear that effective testing for the presence of neutralizing antibodies in the blood of convalescent patients would be critical for development of plasma-based therapeutic approaches. To address the need for a high-quality neutralization assay against SARS-CoV-2, a previously established fluorescence reduction neutralization assay (FRNA) against Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was modified and optimized. The SARS-CoV-2 FRNA provides a quantitative assessment of a large number of infected cells through use of a high-content imaging system. Read More

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In the twilight zone: An epidemiological study of sleep-related hallucinations.

Compr Psychiatry 2021 Jul 18;108:152247. Epub 2021 May 18.

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; NORMENT Center of Excellence, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway; Psychology and Neuroscience of Cognition Research Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.

Background: Few studies have investigated hallucinations that occur at the onset/offset of sleep (called hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations; HHHs), despite the fact that their prevalence in the general population is reported to be higher than the prevalence of daytime hallucinations. We utilized data from an epidemiological study to explore the prevalence of HHHs in various modalities. We also investigated phenomenological differences between sleep-related (HHHs) and daytime hallucinations in the auditory modality. Read More

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Definition, categorization, and environmental risk assessment of biopharmaceuticals.

Sci Total Environ 2021 May 19;789:147884. Epub 2021 May 19.

Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. Electronic address:

Biopharmaceuticals are associated with the revolutionary treatment of various diseases, and according to the European Medicines Agency, biopharmaceuticals derived from biological sources are perceived to not cause significant environmental risk. However, there is currently no broadly recognized definition or categorization of biopharmaceuticals despite the fact that improved technology has made it possible to modify them to obtain more efficient medicines, thereby raising questions about their biological origins and risks. The aim of this paper, based on a literature review, is to derive a clear definition of biopharmaceuticals and evaluate the European Union's regulation and environmental risk assessment (ERA) procedures for them. Read More

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Three cases of hearing impairment with surprising subjective improvements after prayer. What can we say when analyzing them?

Explore (NY) 2021 May 15. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Haematology, Amsterdam University Medical Centre, location VUmc, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Aim: to enhance the understanding of documented mismatches between 'subjective' experiences and 'objective' data in three cases of self-reported instantaneous healing of hearing impairment upon prayer.

Method: description of three cases taken out of a larger retrospective case-based study of prayer healing in the Netherlands. In this larger study multiple reported healings were investigated using both medical files and patients' narratives through in-depth interviews. Read More

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Trend of emergency general surgery procedures during COVID-19 pandemic.

Minerva Surg 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of General Surgery, Cattinara University Hospital, Trieste, Italy.

Background: In early 2020, the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) spread rapidly throughout the whole world, causing a massive response in terms of health resource disposal. Moreover, lockdowns were imposed in entire countries. This study aims to assess whether there was a downward trend in emergency general surgery (EGS) procedures accomplished throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and to determine patients' and diseases' characteristics. Read More

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Respiratory and Cardiovascular Health Effects of e-Cigarette Substitution: Protocol for Two Living Systematic Reviews.

JMIR Res Protoc 2021 May 27;10(5):e29084. Epub 2021 May 27.

Center for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Background: Despite the clear risks of tobacco use, millions of people continue to smoke. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), commonly called e-cigarettes, have been proposed as a substitute for those who are unwilling or unable to quit. Current systematic and narrative reviews on the health effects of ENDS use, particularly respiratory and cardiovascular effects, have come to differing conclusions. Read More

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Everything in modulation: neuromodulators as keys to understanding communication dynamics.

Integr Comp Biol 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Reed College, Biology Department, Portland, OR.

Across the animal kingdom, the ability to produce communication signals appropriate to social encounters is essential, but how these behaviors are selected and adjusted in a context-dependent manner is poorly understood. This question can be addressed on many levels, including sensory processing by peripheral organs and the CNS, sensorimotor integration in decision-making brain regions, and motor circuit activation and modulation. Because neuromodulator systems act at each of these levels, they are a useful lens through which to explore the mechanisms underlying complex patterns of communication. Read More

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Essential Elements of Forensic Assertive Community Treatment.

Harv Rev Psychiatry 2021 May 21. Epub 2021 May 21.

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

Abstract: Forensic assertive community treatment (FACT) has emerged internationally as an intervention strategy for people with serious mental disorders who are involved with the criminal justice system. Studies to date have shown marked variability, however, in FACT program design and operation. Based upon a literature review and relevant experience, the authors present their perspective on the essential elements of FACT. Read More

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Insulin Resistance as a Common Link Between Current Alzheimer's Disease Hypotheses.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 May 15. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences, Ribeirão Preto Medical School - University of São Paulo (FMRP-USP), Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Almost 115 years ago, Alois Alzheimer described Alzheimer's disease (AD) for the first time. Since then, many hypotheses have been proposed. However, AD remains a severe health public problem. Read More

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Crossed brainstem syndrome revealing bleeding brainstem cavernous malformation: an illustrative case.

BMC Neurol 2021 May 20;21(1):204. Epub 2021 May 20.

Department of Neurosurgery, Timone University Hospital, APHM, 264 rue Saint-Pierre, 13005, Marseille, France.

Background: Since the nineteenth century, a great variety of crossed brainstem syndromes (CBS) have been described in the medical literature. A CBS typically combines ipsilateral cranial nerves deficits to contralateral long tracts involvement such as hemiparesis or hemianesthesia. Classical CBS seem in fact not to be so clear-cut entities with up to 20% of patients showing different or unnamed combinations of crossed symptoms. Read More

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Ethical reflections on Covid-19 vaccines.

Acta Clin Belg 2021 May 19:1-6. Epub 2021 May 19.

Strategic Policy Cell, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

More than 1 year after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic it is becoming increasingly clear that vaccines will prove to be essential in combating this global pandemic. The demand for such vaccines is great (since nearly everyone is a candidate for vaccination) yet supplies are currently limited. This raises clear ethical questions regarding the current and future Covid-19 vaccines. Read More

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Endovascular Solutions for Aortic Arch Diseases: Total and Hybrid.

Surg Technol Int 2021 05 17;38. Epub 2021 May 17.

Division of Cardiac Surgery, IRCCS, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Although the endovascular approach is the therapeutic option of choice for thoracic and abdominal aortic diseases, open surgery is still the treatment of choice for aortic arch diseases. While open surgical repair remains the gold standard treatment for complete aortic arch replacement, it continues to be burdened by high mortality and neurologic complications, especially for patients who require redo surgery. Therefore, in the era of endovascular surgery, it is not surprising that hybrid operating rooms, new technologies, and new approaches are strongly challenging open surgery. Read More

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Genetic causes of fractures and subdural hematomas: fact versus fiction.

Pediatr Radiol 2021 May 17;51(6):1029-1043. Epub 2021 May 17.

George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.

Genetic disorders are in the differential diagnosis when young children present with unexplained fractures or intracranial hemorrhage. For medical and legal reasons, it is imperative to make the correct diagnosis and provide clear, evidence-based explanations of how alternative diagnoses were ruled out. A genetics consultation in cases of suspected child physical abuse should synthesize the history of present illness, medical history, family history, physical examination, and radiologic and laboratory findings in consultation with other specialists. Read More

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