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COVID-19 and Antiphospholipid Antibodies: Time for a Reality Check?

Semin Thromb Hemost 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Section of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) comprise a panel of autoantibodies that reflect a potential prothrombotic risk in several autoimmune conditions, most notably antiphospholipid (antibody) syndrome (APS). aPL can be divided into those that form part of the laboratory criteria for APS, namely, lupus anticoagulant (LA), as well as anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL) and anti-β2-glycoprotein I antibodies (aβ2GPI) of the immunoglobulin G and M classes, and those that form a group considered as "noncriteria antibodies." The noncriteria antibodies include, for example, antiphosphatidylserine antibodies (aPS), antiprothrombin antibodies (aPT), and antiphosphatidylserine/prothrombin complex antibodies (aPS/PT). Read More

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Associations of Obesity with Linear Growth and Puberty.

Horm Res Paediatr 2021 Jun 15:1-17. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Background: The prevalence of obesity in childhood has increased dramatically in recent decades with increased risk of developing cardiometabolic and other comorbidities. Childhood adiposity may also influence processes of growth and puberty.

Summary: Growth patterns of obesity during childhood have been shown to be associated with increased linear growth in early childhood, leading to accelerated epiphyseal growth plate (EGP) maturation. Read More

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Overhydration May Be the Missing Link between Peritoneal Protein Clearance and Mortality.

Nephron 2021 Jun 15:1-7. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Amsterdam University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Introduction: Peritoneal protein loss (PPL) has been associated with mortality. Inflammation was assumed a putative cause with malnutrition as a consequence. Hydrostatic convection is a major drive for microvascular protein transport, but most studies in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients overlooked this mechanism. Read More

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Development and validation of a novel ferroptosis-related gene signature for predicting prognosis and immune microenvironment in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Int Immunopharmacol 2021 Jun 12;98:107789. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Otolaryngology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; Department of Hearing and Speech Science, Xinhua College, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Ferroptosis plays an important role across variable cancer types. However, few studies have focused on the prognostic patterns of ferroptosis-related genes in HNSCC. Cohorts with mRNA expression profiles, as well as corresponding clinical data of HNSCC patients from published studies, were collected and consolidated from public databases. Read More

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Hybrid power generation for increasing water and energy securities during drought: Exploring local and regional effects in a semi-arid basin.

J Environ Manage 2021 Jun 12;294:112989. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Division of Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities - DIIAV, Brazilian Institute for Space Research - INPE, São José Dos Campos, SP, Brazil.

Reservoirs of hydropower plants (HPP) can amend water, energy, and food security in semi-arid regions. However, during severe droughts, the priority of energy demand leads to critical conditions of water availability. To reduce water use for energy, one possible measure is the adoption of solar power, an abundant energy source in semi-arid regions. Read More

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Dissection of phospholipases A reveals multifaceted peptides targeting cancer cells, Leishmania and bacteria.

Bioorg Chem 2021 May 31;114:105041. Epub 2021 May 31.

Biomolecules Discovery Group, Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam, Km 7 Via Muyuna, Tena, Napo, Ecuador. Electronic address:

Cationic peptides bio-inspired by natural toxins have been recognized as an efficient strategy for the treatment of different health problems. Due to the specific interaction with substrates from biological membranes, snake venom phospholipases (PLAs) represent valuable scaffolds for the research and development of short peptides targeting parasites, bacteria, and cancer cells. Considering this, we evaluated the in vitro therapeutic potential of three biomimetic peptides (pCergo, pBmTxJ and pBmje) based on three different amino acid sequences from Asp49 PLAs. Read More

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Clusters of comorbidities in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Respir Med 2021 Jun 1;185:106490. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Center for Rare Lung Diseases, Department of Respiratory Diseases and Allergy, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Introduction: Comorbidities are common in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and negatively impact health-related quality of life, health-care costs and mortality. Retrospective studies have focused on individual comorbidities, but clusters of multiple comorbidities have rarely been analysed. This study aimed to comprehensively and prospectively assess comorbidities in a multicentre, real-world cohort of patients with IPF, including prespecified conditions of special interest and to analyse clusters of comorbidities and examine characteristics, disease course and mortality of the clusters. Read More

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The association between bladder dysfunction, balance and falls in women with multiple sclerosis: The specific contribution of fear of falling.

Gait Posture 2021 Jun 10;88:252-257. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; Multiple Sclerosis Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel; Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Electronic address:

Background: Bladder dysfunction is the most common autonomic disturbance in people with MS (PwMS). Only a few studies have examined the relationship between bladder dysfunction and falls in PwMS. Bladder dysfunction has been deemed only a secondary outcome measure, and classified by a gross measure providing a limited perspective of this disturbing symptom. Read More

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Restoring NAD by NAMPT is essential for the SIRT1/p53-mediated survival of UVA- and UVB-irradiated epidermal keratinocytes.

J Photochem Photobiol B 2021 Jun 12;221:112238. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

DHC Corporation Laboratories, Division 2, 2-42 Hamada, Mihama-ku, Chiba 261-0025, Japan.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a crucial coenzyme in energy production. The imbalance of NAD synthesis has been found to trigger age-related diseases, such as metabolic disorders, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Also, UV irradiation induces NAD depletion in the skin. Read More

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Feature engineering and machine learning for causality assessment in pharmacovigilance: Lessons learned from application to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System.

Comput Biol Med 2021 Jun 8;135:104517. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Our objective was to support the automated classification of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) reports for their usefulness in assessing the possibility of a causal relationship between a drug product and an adverse event.

Method: We used a data set of 326 redacted FAERS reports that was previously annotated using a modified version of the World Health Organization-Uppsala Monitoring Centre criteria for drug causality assessment by a group of SEs at the FDA and supported a similar study on the classification of reports using supervised machine learning and text engineering methods. We explored many potential features, including the incorporation of natural language processing on report text and information from external data sources, for supervised learning and developed models for predicting the classification status of reports. Read More

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A biomechanical model for testing cage subsidence in spine specimens with osteopenia or osteoporosis under permanent maximum load.

World Neurosurg 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Orthopedic, Trauma and Plastic Surgery, University Hospital Leipzig. Electronic address:

Intervertebral fusions in cases of reduced bone density are a tough challenge. From a biomechanical point of view, the majority of current studies have focused on the range of motion or have shown test setups for single component tests. Definite setups for biomechanical testing of the primary stability of a 360° fusion using a screw rod system and cage on the osteoporotic spine are missing. Read More

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Ototoxic hearing loss from antimalarials: A systematic narrative review.

Travel Med Infect Dis 2021 Jun 12:102117. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Background: Drugs used in curative and prophylactic antimalarial treatment may be ototoxic and lead to permanent hearing loss, but there is no consensus regarding prevalence and permanence of ototoxic hearing loss caused by antimalarials. The purpose of this systematic narrative review was to synthesize current evidence on antimalarial ototoxicity in human populations.

Method: Studies published between 2005 and 2018 that reported prevalence of post-treatment hearing loss in individuals treated for malaria. Read More

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Quantitative Assessment of Age-dependent changes in Porphyrins from Fluorescence Images of Ultraviolet Photography by Image Processing.

Photodiagnosis Photodyn Ther 2021 Jun 12:102388. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Graduate School of Science and Technology, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan. Electronic address:

Background: Skin is the first line of defense against harmful external environmental factors. Lots of skin flora living on the skin surface deal with skin health care and skin disease treatment and prevention, such as bacteria, which form the unique and complex skin micro-ecological system. Propionibacterium acnes (P. Read More

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J Biotechnol 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica, dei Materiali e della Produzione Industriale, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, P.le V. Tecchio, 80, 80125, Napoli, Italy.

Reactive absorption into aqueous solutions promoted by carbonic anhydrase (CA, E.C. 4. Read More

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Regularity detection under stress: Faster extraction of probability-based regularities.

PLoS One 2021 15;16(6):e0253123. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.

Acute stress can crucially influence learning and memory processes. One of the key processes underlying human learning and memory is the ability of our brain to rapidly detect and extract regularities from sensory input across time and space leading to effective predictive processing. Here, we aimed to get an in-depth look into the effect of stress on the acquisition of two aspects of regularity extraction. Read More

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The Last Bastion of Paternalism? A Reflection on Proceduralism, Power, and Privilege.

J Clin Ethics 2021 ;32(2):173-181

Center for Bioethics and Humanities, SUNY Upstate Medical, 618 Irving Ave., Syracuse, New York 13210 USA.

The two cases presented here may at first seem very different: one patient was an adult, making autonomous decisions for herself and her fetus; the other was a child too young to meaningfully participate in the most significant decisions regarding his health. In both cases, healthcare professionals had to determine the extent to which the parents of a dying fetus or child should be permitted to make agonizing choices about how long to maintain hope and what that death will look like; and in both, health professionals' prognostications influenced their judgments about the patients' best interests and whether they were candidates for certain interventions. While members of both healthcare teams questioned the patients' and families' ability to objectively consider the risks and benefits, the families were focused on the need to be able to live with the decisions made, regardless of outcome. Read More

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Variability in Toxicity of Plastic Leachates as a Function of Weathering and Polymer Type: A Screening Study with the Copepod .

Biol Bull 2021 Jun 12;240(3):191-199. Epub 2021 May 12.

AbstractThe production and use of plastic over many decades has resulted in its accumulation in the world's oceans. Plastic debris poses a range of potential risks to the marine environment and its biota. Especially, the potential hazards of small plastic debris and chemicals associated with plastic have not been extensively studied. Read More

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Teaching Outbreak Investigations with an Interactive Blended Learning Approach.

J Vet Med Educ 2021 Jun 15:e20200077. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Public health is a central but often neglected component of veterinary education. German veterinary public health (VPH) education includes substantial theory-focused lectures, but practical case studies are often missing. To change this, we combined the advantages of case-based teaching and blended learning to teach these topics in a more practical and interactive way. Read More

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Elke Bräuer-Krisch: Dedication, creativity and generosity: May 17, 1961- September 10, 2018.

Jean A Laissue

Int J Radiat Biol 2021 Jun 15:1-24. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Switzerland.

Purpose: This extraordinary woman worked her professional way from a radiation protection engineer to become the successful principal investigator of a prestigious international European project for a new radiation therapy (ERC Synergy grant, HORIZON 2020). The evaluation of the submitted proposal was very positive. The panel proposed that it be funded. Read More

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Patient and neurologist preferences in the UK for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) treatments: findings from a discrete choice experiment.

Curr Med Res Opin 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Kantar Health, New York, NY, USA.

Objective: To evaluate and compare patient and neurologist preferences for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) treatments with respect to benefits and risks associated with common and novel disease-modifying therapies, including brain volume loss (BVL). Patients with non-highly active RRMS and neurologists in the United Kingdom completed an online cross-sectional survey. Patients completed one discrete choice experiment (DCE) exercise and providers completed two, one focusing on treatment for non-highly active RRMS, and another focused on highly active RRMS. Read More

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Strengthening Pathology Capacity to Deliver Quality Cancer Care in Cities in LMICs.

JCO Glob Oncol 2021 Jun;7:917-924

American Society for Clinical Pathology, Chicago, IL.

Diagnostic pathology services for oncology health systems are essential; yet, surveys, observations, and hard data from across low- and middle-income countries have revealed that these services are almost always lacking adequate quality and often missing completely. The City Cancer Challenge Foundation (C/Can), the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and C/Can partner cities undertook intense analysis of their existing pathology services as part of a year-long assessment process including the specific formation of a pathology-focused team. Internal and external expert assessments identified sustainable solutions adapted to the local context and level of resources and created specific local implementation projects. Read More

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Satisfaction and stress levels of dentistry students relating to distance education.

Dent Med Probl 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Nuh Naci Yazgan University, Kayseri, Turkey.

Background: It is not known whether the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected dentistry education.

Objectives: This study aimed to determine the satisfaction and stress levels of dentistry students in Turkey regarding distance education during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to evaluate their opinions on this matter.

Material And Methods: This cross-sectional research study was conducted from October to November 2020 with the use of a web-based questionnaire consisting of 3 sections. Read More

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Reducing phenotypic instabilities of a microbial population during continuous cultivation based on cell switching dynamics.

Biotechnol Bioeng 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Terra research and teaching centre, Microbial Processes and Interactions (MiPI), Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Gembloux, Belgium.

Predicting the fate of individual cells among a microbial population (i.e., growth, gene expression) remains a challenge, especially when this population is exposed to very dynamic environmental conditions, such as those encountered during continuous cultivation. Read More

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The AGE Presents Introduction to Geroscience video lecture series.

Geroscience 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195-7470, USA.

The AGE Presents Introduction to Geroscience video lecture series is a collection of high-quality didactic video lectures and associated teaching materials focused on foundational topics in aging biology. The videos are made freely available on YouTube and are targeted toward an audience familiar with concepts learned in the first year of a college undergraduate biology/biomedical major. Members of the American Aging Association also receive the original lecture slides and lecture notes, with additional course materials to be developed in the future. Read More

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Nickel Hypersensitivity to Atrial Septal Occluders: Smoke Without Fire?

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

First Department of Cardiology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Nickel is one of the most common contact allergens worldwide; it is used as the main component of the devices used for atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure. Developing nickel hypersensitivity after PFO/ASD occlusion is significantly rarer described in medical literature than typical nickel contact sensitization. The exact pathophysiological mechanism of this "device syndrome" remains unknown, and many question the real incidence or even the existence of this clinical entity. Read More

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Robotic-assisted percutaneous iliac screw fixation for destructive lumbosacral metastatic lesions: an early single-institution experience.

Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Division of Spine, Department of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, 200 Trent Drive, Durham, NC, 27710, USA.

Background: Robotic-assisted surgery is becoming more widely applied in surgical subspecialties due to its intraoperative and postoperative advantages such as minimally invasive approach, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stay, and decreased incidence of postoperative complications. However, robotic devices were only recently introduced in the field of spinal surgery. Specifically, percutaneous approaches involving computer-assisted image guidance are relatively new in iliac screw fixation. Read More

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Not Just a Simple Sugar: Arabinose Metabolism and Function in Plants.

Plant Cell Physiol 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Growth, development, structure as well as dynamic adaptations and remodelling processes in plants are largely controlled by the properties of their cell walls. These intricate wall structures are mostly made up of different sugars connected through specific glycosidic linkages but also contain many glycosylated proteins. A key plant sugar that is present throughout the plantae, even before the divergence of the land plant lineage, but is not found in animals, is L-Arabinose (L-Ara). Read More

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Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in All of Us Research Program Participants, January 2-March 18, 2020.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

All of Us Research Program, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

Background: With limited SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity in the US at the start of the epidemic (January - March), testing was focused on symptomatic patients with a travel history throughout February, obscuring the picture of SARS-CoV-2 seeding and community transmission. We sought to identify individuals with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the early weeks of the US epidemic.

Methods: All of Us study participants in all 50 US states provided blood specimens during study visits from January 2 to March 18, 2020. Read More

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The spectrum, prevalence and in-hospital outcomes of cardiovascular diseases in a South African district hospital: a retrospective study.

Cardiovasc J Afr 2021 Jun 10;32:1-6. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Cardiac Clinic, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Introduction: The increasing prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in South African rural communities is well reported. However, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) leading to hospital admission and related in-hospital mortality in rural and semi-rural hospitals is unknown.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of hospital records for patients admitted to the Department of Internal Medicine at Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elisabeth, South Africa between 1 April and 31 October 2016. Read More

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Efficacy of continuous positive airway pressure in neonates with respiratory distress syndrome: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Jun;100(24):e26406

Department of Pediatrics, The First People's Hospital of Jiangxia District.

Background: Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is a condition caused by a deficiency in pulmonary surfactant. Many interventions, including pulmonary surfactant, non-invasive respiratory support, and other supportive treatments have been used to prevent RDS. However, recent studies have focused on the continuous positive airway pressure as a significant potential agent for preventing RDS. Read More

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