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Molecular networking as a novel approach to unravel toxin diversity of four strains of the dominant Dinophysis species from French coastal waters.

Harmful Algae 2021 Mar 31;103:102026. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Université de Nantes, MMS, EA 2160, Nantes, France; ThalassOMICS Metabolomics Facility, Plateforme Corsaire, Biogenouest, Nantes, France. Electronic address:

Some species of the genus Dinophysis contain Diarrhetic shellfish Poisoning (DSP) toxins and are the main threat to shellfish farming in Europe including France. Dinophysis species are known to produce two families of bioactive lipophilic toxins: (i) okadaic acid (OA) and their analogues dinophysistoxins (DTXs) and (ii) pectenotoxins (PTXs). Only six toxins (OA, DTX1, DTX2, DTX3, PTX1 and PTX2) regulated by the European Union Legislation (EC No. Read More

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Persons with Substance Abuse Disorders and Other Addictions: Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

MEDICC Rev 2021 Apr 14;23(2):10. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Medical University of Havana.

Cuba implemented policies mandating social distancing on March 11, 2020, which were still in place at the time of this study. During such periods of isolation, people with psychoactive substance-related disorders and other addictions may be tempted to reduce tension, stress, uncertainty and possible distress by increasing the use of substances or practices they have abused. This can mean relapses and setbacks for patients undergoing treatment. Read More

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COVID-19: lessons learnt and priorities in trauma and orthopaedic surgery.

Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

Royal Free Trust NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious health crisis of our time. Global public measures have been enacted to try to prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. The trauma and orthopaedic (T&O) community has overcome challenges in order to continue to deliver acute trauma care to patients and plan for challenges ahead. Read More

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Imaging and Quantification of Intact Neuronal Dendrites via CLARITY Tissue Clearing.

J Vis Exp 2021 Apr 20(170). Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Genetics and Genomics, Baylor College of Medicine; Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine.

Brain activity, the electrochemical signals passed between neurons, is determined by the connectivity patterns of neuronal networks, and from the morphology of processes and substructures within these neurons. As such, much of what is known about brain function has arisen alongside developments in imaging technologies that allow further insight into how neurons are organized and connected in the brain. Improvements in tissue clearing have allowed for high-resolution imaging of thick brain slices, facilitating morphological reconstruction and analyses of neuronal substructures, such as dendritic arbors and spines. Read More

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Gene Targeting in Disease Networks.

Front Genet 2021 23;12:649942. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA, United States.

Profiling of whole transcriptomes has become a cornerstone of molecular biology and an invaluable tool for the characterization of clinical phenotypes and the identification of disease subtypes. Analyses of these data are becoming ever more sophisticated as we move beyond simple comparisons to consider networks of higher-order interactions and associations. Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) model the regulatory relationships of transcription factors and genes and have allowed the identification of differentially regulated processes in disease systems. Read More

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Whole plantar nerve conduction study: a new tool for early diagnosis of peripheral diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2021 May 6:108856. Epub 2021 May 6.

Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Advanced Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", Piazza Luigi Miraglia 2, I-80138, Naples, Italy. Electronic address:

Aims: Peripheral neuropathy (PN) affects two-thirds of type 2 diabetes patients (T2DM). According to diabetic PN length-dependent pattern, neurophysiological evaluation of foot-sole nerves might increase NCS diagnostic sensitivity, hence allowing early diagnosis of PN. Thus, we aim to assess the ability of whole plantar nerve (WPN) conduction in diabetic PN early diagnosis. Read More

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Rapid in vitro prototyping of O-methyltransferases for pathway applications in Escherichia coli.

Cell Chem Biol 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

O-Methyltransferases are ubiquitous enzymes involved in biosynthetic pathways for secondary metabolites such as bacterial antibiotics, human catecholamine neurotransmitters, and plant phenylpropanoids. While thousands of putative O-methyltransferases are found in sequence databases, few examples are functionally characterized. From a pathway engineering perspective, however, it is crucial to know the substrate and product ranges of the respective enzymes to fully exploit their catalytic power. Read More

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ConVid - Behavior Survey by the Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil: conception and application methodology.

Cad Saude Publica 2021 30;37(3):e00268320. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

The ConVid - Behavior Survey was conducted in Brazil from April 24 to May 24, 2020, aiming to investigate changes in lifestyles and health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we present the conception and methodology of the research. We used a cross-sectional study using an Internet questionnaire, with questions validated in previous health surveys. Read More

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Participatory needs assessment and action planning for a clinical and translational research network.

J Clin Transl Sci 2020 Dec 21;5(1):e69. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Great Plains IDeA-Clinical and Translational Research Network, Omaha, NE, USA.

The goal of this study was to assess the utility of participatory needs assessment processes for continuous improvement of developing clinical and translational research (CTR) networks. Our approach expanded on evaluation strategies for CTR networks, centers, and institutes, which often survey stakeholders to identify infrastructure or resource needs, using the case example of the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network. Our 4-stage approach (i. Read More

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December 2020

Brain-wide functional diffuse optical tomography of resting state networks.

J Neural Eng 2021 May 4. Epub 2021 May 4.

Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 173 Felgar St., Gallogly Hall, Room 101, Norman, 73019, UNITED STATES.

Objective: Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) has the potential in reconstructing resting-state networks (RSNs) in human brains with high spatio-temporal resolutions and multiple contrasts. While several RSNs have been reported and successfully reconstructed using DOT, its full potential in recovering a collective set of distributed brain-wide networks with the number of RSNs close to those reported using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has not been demonstrated.

Approach: The present study developed a novel brain-wide DOT (BW-DOT) framework that integrates a cap-based whole-head optode placement system with multiple computational approaches, i. Read More

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The inferior fronto-occipital fascicle: a century of controversies from anatomy theaters to operative neurosurgery.

J Neurosurg Sci 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Division of Neurosurgery, Structural and Functional Connectivity Lab, S. Chiara Hospital, Trento, Italy.

Introduction: Since its first description in the early 19th century, the inferior frontooccipital fascicle (IFOF) and its anatomo-functional features were neglected in the neuroscientific literature for the last century. In the last decade, the rapid development of in vivo imaging for the reconstruction of white matter (WM) connectivity (i.e. Read More

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Neural Network Analysis of Electron Microscopy Video Data Reveals the Temperature-Driven Microphase Dynamics in the Ions/Water System.

Small 2021 May 3:e2007726. Epub 2021 May 3.

N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Prospect 47, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation.

Real-time field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) measurements and neural network analysis were successfully merged to observe the temperature-induced behavior of soft liquid microdomains in mixtures of different ionic liquids with water. The combination of liquid FE-SEM and in situ heating techniques revealed temperature-driven solution restructuring for ions/water systems with different water states and their critical point behavior expressed in a rapid switch between thermal expansion and shrinkage of liquid microphases at temperatures of ≈100-130 °C, which was directly recorded on electron microscopy videos. Automation of FE-SEM video analysis by a neural network approach allowed quantification of the morphological changes in ions/water systems during heating on the basis of thousands of images processed with a speed almost equal to the frame rate of original electron microscopy videos. Read More

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Diagnosability of Synthetic Retinal Fundus Images for Plus Disease Detection in Retinopathy of Prematurity.

AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2020 25;2020:329-337. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology.

Advances in generative adversarial networks have allowed for engineering of highly-realistic images. Many studies have applied these techniques to medical images. However, evaluation of generated medical images often relies upon image quality and reconstruction metrics, and subjective evaluation by laypersons. Read More

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January 2021

Advances in Proteomics Allow Insights Into Neuronal Proteomes.

Front Mol Neurosci 2021 15;14:647451. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), Bethesda, MD, United States.

Protein-protein interaction networks and signaling complexes are essential for normal brain function and are often dysregulated in neurological disorders. Nevertheless, unraveling neuron- and synapse-specific proteins interaction networks has remained a technical challenge. New techniques, however, have allowed for high-resolution and high-throughput analyses, enabling quantification and characterization of various neuronal protein populations. Read More

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CB antagonism increases excitatory synaptogenesis in a cortical spheroid model of fetal brain development.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 30;11(1):9356. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27834, USA.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a complex role in the development of neural circuitry during fetal brain development. The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB) controls synaptic strength at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses and thus contributes to the balance of excitatory and inhibitory signaling. Imbalances in the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory synapses have been implicated in various neuropsychiatric disorders associated with dysregulated central nervous system development including autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Read More

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Insights into Mechanical Behavior and Biological Properties of Chia Seed Mucilage Hydrogels.

Gels 2021 Apr 20;7(2). Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Via Licio Giorgieri 5, 34127 Trieste, Italy.

In this contribution we report insights on the rheological properties of chia () seed mucilage hydrogels. Creep experiments performed in steady state conditions allowed calculation of Newtonian viscosities for chia hydrogels with different polymer concentration, pointing at inter-chain interactions as the main responsible for the different behavior toward network slipping under constant stress. A combination of oscillatory frequency and stress sweep tests highlighted a moderate effect of temperature in influencing hydrogel mechanics. Read More

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Toward a Comparison of Classical and New Privacy Mechanism.

Entropy (Basel) 2021 Apr 15;23(4). Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Engineering Department, Universidad del Pacífico, Lima 15076, Peru.

In the last decades, the development of interconnectivity, pervasive systems, citizen sensors, and Big Data technologies allowed us to gather many data from different sources worldwide. This phenomenon has raised privacy concerns around the globe, compelling states to enforce data protection laws. In parallel, privacy-enhancing techniques have emerged to meet regulation requirements allowing companies and researchers to exploit individual data in a privacy-aware way. Read More

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Fish-Ing for Enhancers in the Heart.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 10;22(8). Epub 2021 Apr 10.

International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, 02-109 Warsaw, Poland.

Precise control of gene expression is crucial to ensure proper development and biological functioning of an organism. Enhancers are non-coding DNA elements which play an essential role in regulating gene expression. They contain specific sequence motifs serving as binding sites for transcription factors which interact with the basal transcription machinery at their target genes. Read More

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Node Centrality Measures Identify Relevant Structural MRI Features of Subjects with Autism.

Brain Sci 2021 Apr 14;11(4). Epub 2021 Apr 14.

National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), Bologna Division, I-40127 Bologna, Italy.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication and restricted patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. Although the etiopathogenesis of idiopathic ASD has not been fully elucidated, compelling evidence suggests an interaction between genetic liability and environmental factors in producing early alterations of structural and functional brain development that are detectable by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the group level. This work shows the results of a network-based approach to characterize not only variations in the values of the extracted features but also in their mutual relationships that might reflect underlying brain structural differences between autistic subjects and healthy controls. Read More

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A Graph Theory approach to assess nature's contribution to people at a global scale.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 27;11(1):9118. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Miquel Marqués 21, 07190, Esporles, Spain.

The use of Graph Theory on social media data is a promising approach to identify emergent properties of the complex physical and cognitive interactions that occur between humans and nature. To test the effectivity of this approach at global scales, Instagram posts from fourteen natural areas were selected to analyse the emergent discourse around these areas. The fourteen areas, known to provide key recreational, educational and heritage values, were investigated with different centrality metrics to test the ability of Graph Theory to identify variability in ecosystem social perceptions and use. Read More

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A novel methodology to describe neuronal networks activity reveals spatiotemporal recruitment dynamics of synchronous bursting states.

J Comput Neurosci 2021 Apr 27. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes, Universite de Paris, UMR 7057 CNRS, Paris, France.

We propose a novel phase based analysis with the purpose of quantifying the periodic bursts of activity observed in various neuronal systems. The way bursts are intiated and propagate in a spatial network is still insufficiently characterized. In particular, we investigate here how these spatiotemporal dynamics depend on the mean connection length. Read More

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The cyber-risk in cardiology: towards an investigation on the self-perception among the cardiologists.

Mhealth 2021 20;7:28. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Università di Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy.

Background: The strong demand for health data by cybercrime exposes hospital structures in particular to IT risks. The greater connectivity to existing IT networks has in fact exposed Administrations to new IT security vulnerabilities, as healthcare is an extremely interesting target for cybercrime for two fundamental reasons: on the one hand, it is a source rich in valuable data and on the other, very often, the defenses are weak.

Methods: The general purpose of the study was to investigate the cybersecurity in cardiology, a strategic field of the health care. Read More

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Effects of Chemical and Geometric Microstructures on the Crystallization of Surface Droplets during Solvent Exchange.

Langmuir 2021 May 23;37(17):5290-5298. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Alberta T6G 1H9, Canada.

In this work, we investigate the crystallization of droplets formed on micropatterned surfaces. By solvent exchange in a microchamber, a ternary solution consisting of a model compound β-alanine, water, and isopropanol was displaced by a flow of isopropanol. In the process, oiling-out droplets formed and crystallized. Read More

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How to build a fast and accurate code-modulated brain-computer interface.

J Neural Eng 2021 May 13;18(4). Epub 2021 May 13.

Brain-Computer Interfacing and Neural Engineering Laboratory, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom.

In the last decade, the advent of code-modulated brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) has allowed the implementation of systems with high information transfer rates (ITRs) and increased the possible practicality of such interfaces. In this paper, we evaluate the effect of different numbers of targets in the stimulus display, modulation sequences generators, and signal processing algorithms on the accuracy and ITR of code-modulated BCIs.We use both real and simulated electroencephalographic (EEG) data, to evaluate these parameters and methods. Read More

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Artificial Intelligence in Colorectal Polyp Detection and Characterization.

Int J Clin Res Trials 2021 20;6. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Internal Medicine, State University of New York, USA.

Background: Over the past 20 years, the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL) has allowed for fast sorting and analysis of large sets of data. In the field of gastroenterology, colorectal screening procedures produces an abundance of data through video and imaging. With AI and DL, this information can be used to create systems where automatic polyp detection and characterization is possible. Read More

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Stakeholder perspectives on the effectiveness of the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership: a qualitative study.

BMC Nutr 2021 Apr 22;7(1):12. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

The George Institute for Global Health, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia.

Background: Interventions to reduce population salt intake are feasible and cost-effective. The Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership implemented a complex, multi-faceted salt reduction intervention between 2014 and 2020 in the Australian state of Victoria. This study aimed to understand stakeholder perspectives on the effectiveness of the Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership. Read More

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Evolution of genetic networks for human creativity.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

The genetic basis for the emergence of creativity in modern humans remains a mystery despite sequencing the genomes of chimpanzees and Neanderthals, our closest hominid relatives. Data-driven methods allowed us to uncover networks of genes distinguishing the three major systems of modern human personality and adaptability: emotional reactivity, self-control, and self-awareness. Now we have identified which of these genes are present in chimpanzees and Neanderthals. Read More

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Cryo-balloon catheter localization in X-Ray fluoroscopy using U-net.

Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Internal Medicine II, Ulm University Medical Center, Albert-Einstein-Allee 23, 89081, Ulm, Germany.

Purpose: Automatic identification of interventional devices in X-ray (XR) fluoroscopy offers the potential of improved navigation during transcatheter endovascular procedures. This paper presents a prototype implementation of fully automatic 3D reconstruction of a cryo-balloon catheter during pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) procedures by deep learning approaches.

Methods: We employ convolutional neural networks (CNN) to automatically identify the cryo-balloon XR marker and catheter shaft in 2D fluoroscopy during PVI. Read More

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Ringing Decay of Gamma Oscillations and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, 701 Grove Rd, Greenville, SC, 29605, USA.

Research suggest that in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a disturbance in the coordinated interactions of neurons within local networks gives rise to abnormal patterns of brainwave activity in the gamma bandwidth. Low frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been proven to normalize gamma oscillation abnormalities, executive functions, and repetitive behaviors in high functioning ASD individuals. In this study, gamma frequency oscillations in response to a visual classification task (Kanizsa figures) were analyzed and compared in 19 ASD (ADI-R diagnosed, 14. Read More

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Cover versions as an impact indicator in popular music: A quantitative network analysis.

PLoS One 2021 19;16(4):e0250212. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Institute for Advanced Social Studies (IESA-CSIC), Córdoba, Spain.

In contemporary popular music, covering or adapting previous songs signals a tribute or reworking of popular hits, which implies acknowledgement of the original musicians. This connection can be interpreted as a form of musical impact among artists. A network graph with more than 106k artists and 855k cover versions extracted from the web site SecondHandSongs was created. Read More

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