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Effect of trial-to-trial variability on optimal event-related fMRI design: Implications for Beta-series correlation and multi-voxel pattern analysis. - NeuroImage
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies typically employ rapid, event-related designs for behavioral reasons and for reasons associated with statistical efficiency. Efficiency is calculated from the precision of the parameters (Betas) estimated from a General Linear Model (GLM) in which trial onsets are convolved with a Hemodynamic Response Function (HRF). However, previous calculations of efficiency have ignored likely variability in the neural response from trial to trial, for example due to attentional fluctuations, or different stimuli across trials. Here we compare three GLMs in their efficiency for estimating average and individual Betas across trials as a function of trial variability, scan noise and Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA): "Least Squares All" (LSA), "Least Squares Separate" (LSS) and "Least Squares Unitary" (LSU). Estimation of responses to individual trials in particular is important for both functional connectivity using "Beta-series correlation" and "multi-voxel pattern analysis" (MVPA). Our simulations show that the ratio of trial-to-trial variability to scan noise impacts both the optimal SOA and optimal GLM, especially for short SOAs<5s: LSA is better when this ratio is high, whereas LSS and LSU are better when the ratio is low. For MVPA, the consistency across voxels of trial variability and of scan noise is also critical. These findings not only have important implications for design of experiments using Beta-series regression and MVPA, but also statistical parametric mapping studies that seek only efficient estimation of the mean response across trials.Copyright Â© 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Early-Stage Quantitative Analysis of the Effect of Laparoscopic versus Conventional Inguinal Hernia Repair on Physical Activity. - Chirurgia (Bucharest, Romania : 1990)
To compare the effects of laparoscopic versus conventional inguinal hernia repair techniques on patients physical activity.Ninety-three patients (between 20 and 59 years old) who presented with a need for inguinal hernia repair at the private Safa Hospital, General Surgery Clinic, were evaluated prospectively between November 2011 and March 2013. The patients mean age was 46.1 (+-12.9) years. They were divided into three groups according to hernia repair technique. Thirty underwent total extraperitoneal repair (TEP), 31 had transabdominalpreperitoneal repair (TAPP) and 32 had modified Bassiniprolene mesh grafting (MBPMG). All patients were examined in the physical therapy and rehabilitation unit just before and after the operation. Lower extremity muscles isokinetic and isometric functions were measured with the Cybex isokinetic testing device. Patients length of stay in hospital, need for analgesics in the postoperative period, visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, time of return to work and postoperative complications were also compared.Patients need for postoperative analgesics, the use of VAS scoring system (between 0 and 10), complication rates and the patients VAS scores on movement results were similar to those in the literature. On the postoperative third day, measurements recorded by the Cybex isokinetic testing device showed that the loss of strength in the lower extremities after the MBPMG procedure was greater than with TAPP and TEP. The isokinetic and isometric assessment of all cases revealed that postoperative mean muscle strength loss was two-thirds less in association with the laparoscopic procedure. Within a 95% confidence interval (CI), the significance of findings was accepted at P-values of less than 0.05 (p 0.05).The quantitative data showed that there is a more favourable impact from laparoscopic hernia repair versus open surgery on patients physical activity and return to active work.Celsius.
Challenges Facing Medical Residents' Satisfaction in the Middle East: A Report From United Arab Emirates. - Teaching and learning in medicine
Phenomenon: Medical residents' satisfaction with the quality of training for medical residency training specialists is one of the core measures of training program success. It will also therefore contribute to the integrity of healthcare in the long run. Yet there is a paucity of research describing medical residents' satisfaction in the Middle East, and there are no published studies that measure the satisfaction of medical residents trained within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This makes it difficult to develop a quality residency training program that might meet the needs of both physicians and society.The authors designed a questionnaire to assess medical residents' satisfaction with the Dubai residency training program in order to identify insufficiencies in the training, clinical, and educational aspects. The survey was a self-report questionnaire composed of different subscales covering sociodemographic and educational/academic profile of the residents along with their overall satisfaction of their training, curriculum, work environment, peer teamwork, and their personal opinion on their medical career.Respondents showed a substantial level of satisfaction with the residency training. The vast majority of residents (80%, N = 88) believe that their residency program curriculum and rotation was "good," "very good," or "excellent." Areas of dissatisfaction included salary, excessive paperwork during rotations, and harassment. Insights: This is the first report that studies the satisfaction of medical residents in all specialties in Dubai, UAE. Our findings provide preliminary evidence on the efficiency of different modifications applied to the residency program in UAE. To our knowledge, there has not been any previous study in the Middle East that has analyzed this aspect of medical residents from different specialties. The authors believe that this report can be used as a baseline to monitor the effectiveness of interventions applied in the future toward improving residency training programs in this region.
Intragenic KANSL1 mutations and chromosome 17q21.31 deletions: broadening the clinical spectrum and genotype-phenotype correlations in a large cohort of patients. - Journal of medical genetics
The 17q21.31 deletion syndrome phenotype can be caused by either chromosome deletions or point mutations in the KANSL1 gene. To date, about 60 subjects with chromosome deletion and 4 subjects with point mutation in KANSL1 have been reported. Prevalence of chromosome deletions compared with point mutations, genotype-phenotype correlations and phenotypic variability have yet to be fully clarified.We report genotype-phenotype correlations in 27 novel subjects with 17q21.31 deletion and in 5 subjects with KANSL1 point mutation, 3 of whom were not previously reported.The prevalence of chromosome deletion and KANSL1 mutation was 83% and 17%, respectively. All patients had similar clinical features, with the exception of macrocephaly, which was detected in 24% of patients with the deletion and 60% of those with the point mutation, and congenital heart disease, which was limited to 35% of patients with the deletion. A remarkable phenotypic variability was observed in both categories, mainly with respect to the severity of ID. Cognitive function was within normal parameters in one patient in each group. Craniosynostosis, subependymal heterotopia and optic nerve hypoplasia represent new component manifestations.In KANSL1 haploinsufficiency syndrome, chromosome deletions are greatly prevalent compared with KANSL1 mutations. The latter are sufficient in causing the full clinical phenotype. The degree of intellectual disability (ID) appears to be milder than expected in a considerable number of subjects with either chromosome deletion or KANSL1 mutation. Striking clinical criteria for enrolling patients into KANSL1 analysis include speech delay, distinctive facial dysmorphism, macrocephaly and friendly behaviour.Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Scalable Production of Recombinant Membrane Active Peptides and Its Potential as a Complementary Adjunct to Conventional Chemotherapeutics. - PloS one
The production of short anticancer peptides in recombinant form is an alternative method for costly chemical manufacturing. However, the limitations of host toxicity, bioactivity and column purification have impaired production in mass quantities. In this study, short cationic peptides were produced in aggregated inclusion bodies by double fusion with a central protein that has anti-cancer activity. The anticancer peptides Tachiplicin I (TACH) and Latarcin 1 (LATA) were fused with the N- and C-terminus of the MAP30 protein, respectively. We successfully produced the recombinant TACH-MAP30-LATA protein and MAP30 alone in E. coli that represented 59% and 68% of the inclusion bodies. The purified form of the inclusion bodies was prepared by eliminating host cell proteins through multiple washing steps and semi-solubilization in alkaline buffer. The purified active protein was recovered by inclusive solubilization at pH 12.5 in the presence of 2 M urea and refolded in alkaline buffer containing oxides and reduced glutathione. The peptide-fusion protein showed lower CC50 values against cancer cells (HepG2, 0.35Â±0.1 Î¼M and MCF-7, 0.58Â±0.1 Î¼M) compared with normal cells (WRL68, 1.83Â±0.2 Î¼M and ARPE19, 2.5Â±0.1 Î¼M) with outstanding activity compared with its individual components. The presence of the short peptides facilitated the entry of the peptide fusion protein into cancer cells (1.8 to 2.2-fold) compared with MAP30 alone through direct interaction with the cell membrane. The cancer chemotherapy agent doxorubicin showed higher efficiency and selectivity against cancer cells in combination with the peptide- fusion protein. This study provides new data on the mass production of short anticancer peptides as inclusion bodies in E. coli by fusion with a central protein that has similar activity. The product was biologically active against cancer cells compared with normal cells and enhanced the activity and selective delivery of an anticancer chemotherapy agent.
Blocking of Histamine Release and IgE Binding to FcÎµRI on Human Basophils by Antibodies Produced in Camels. - Allergy, asthma & immunology research
The production of camel heavy-chain antihuman IgE (huIgE) that has the potential to block IgE-FcÎµRI interaction and histamine release by basophils.Camels were immunized with a synthetic loop peptide (SLP) designed in a multiple antigen peptide system (MAPS) forming SLP-MAPS immunogen. Camel polyclonal antibodies (PCAs) were produced, purified, characterized using Protein A & G, ELISA, and SDS-PAGE, and tested for their potency to block passive sensitization and histamine release of human basophils using flow cytometry (FCM) and ELISA, respectively.FCM data indicated that camel conventional (IgG1) and heavy chain antibodies (HCAbs; IgG2, and IgG3) had blocking activities of 43.9%, 72%, and 96.6%, respectively. Moreover, both IgG2 and IgG3 achieved remarkable inhibition rates of 93.98% and 97.05% in histamine release, respectively, whereas the IgG1inhibiting activity was 60.05%.Camel PCAs produced against SLP-MAPS were capable of blocking the IgE-receptor interaction and the release of histamine by basophils with superiority to HCAbs. These findings may pave the way toward the possible use of camel anti-huIgE HCAbs as blocking antibodies in the treatment of IgE-mediated allergy and asthma.
Transorbital transnasal endoscopic combined approach to the anterior and middle skull base: a laboratory investigation. - Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica : organo ufficiale della SocietaÌ€ italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale
Orbital approaches provide significant trajectory to the skull base and are used with differently designed pathways. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of a combined transorbital and transnasal approach to the anterior and middle cranial fossa. Cadaveric dissection of five silicon-injected heads was used. A total of 10 bilateral transorbital approaches and 5 extended endonasal approaches were performed. Identification of surgical landmarks, main anatomical structures, feasibility of a combined approach and reconstruction of the superior orbital defect were examined. Rod lens endoscope (with 0Â° and 45Â° lenses) and endoscopic instruments were used to complete the dissection. The transorbital approach showed good versatility and provides the surgeon with a direct route to the anterior and middle cranial fossa. The transorbital avascular plane showed no conflict with major nerves or vessels. Large exposure area from crista galli to the third ventricle was demonstrated with significant control of different neurovascular structures. A combined transorbital transnasal approach provides considerable value in terms of extent of exposure and free hand movement of the two surgeons, and allows better visualisation and control of the ventral skull base, thus overcoming the current surgical limits of a single approach. Combination of these two minimally invasive approaches should reduce overall morbidity. Clinical trials are needed to evaluate the virtual applications of this approach.
Attitudes and perceptions among the pediatric health care providers toward influenza vaccination in Qatar: A cross-sectional study. - Vaccine
Influenza is a communicable but preventable viral illness. Despite safe and effective vaccine availability, compliance rates are globally low. Neither local data on percentage of vaccination nor reasons for poor compliance among pediatric health providers are available in Qatar.To estimate the percentage of vaccinated health care providers at pediatrics department and know their perception and attitudes toward influenza vaccinations.Cross-sectional survey, conducted on 300 pediatrics healthcare professionals from January through April 2013 at the main tertiary teaching hospital in Qatar, included details of demographics, frequency, perceptions and suggestive ways to improve the compliance.From among 230 respondents, 90 physicians and 133 allied health care professionals participated in this survey. Our study showed that percentages of participants who received flu vaccination were 67.7% and those who did not receive vaccination were 32.3%. Allied HCPs (69%) are more likely to get the vaccine compared to the physicians (66%). flu vaccination was approximately 5 times likely to be higher in the age group more than 40 years (P=0.002) compared to age less than or equals 40 years. Overall 70% healthcare providers were willing to recommend immunization to colleagues and patients compared to 30%, who were not willing. The reasons for noncompliance included fear of side effects, contracting the flu, vaccine safety and lack of awareness about the effectiveness. In order to promote immunization, participants believe that use of evidence-based statement, participating in an educational campaign, provides no cost/on site campaigns and leadership support is the most practical interventions.In the present study, the vaccine coverage among pediatrics HCPs seems higher than previously reported rates. Despite their positive attitude toward influenza vaccination, low acceptance and misconceptions of seasonal influenza vaccination by pediatric HCPs may have a negative effect on the successful immunization delivery and children immunization rate. Our findings would be useful for designing and implementing educational programs targeted to improve vaccination coverage rates.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Antibacterial activity of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles synthesized by laser ablation in liquid. - Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications
In this study, (50-110 nm) magnetic iron oxide (Î±-Fe2O3) nanoparticles were synthesized by pulsed laser ablation of iron target in dimethylformamide (DMF) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) solutions. The structural properties of the synthesized nanoparticles were investigated by using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, UV-VIS absorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The effect of laser fluence on the characteristics of these nanoparticles was studied. Antibacterial activities of iron oxide nanoparticles were tested against Gram-positive; Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative; Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens. The results showed a noteworthy inhibition on both bacterial strains. The preparation conditions were found to affect significantly the antibacterial activity of these nanoparticles. The synthesized magnetic nanoparticles were used to capture rapidly S. aureus bacteria under the magnetic field effect.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The Role of OmpK35, OmpK36 Porins, and Production of Î²-Lactamases on Imipenem Susceptibility in Klebsiella pneumoniae Clinical Isolates, Cairo, Egypt. - Microbial drug resistance (Larchmont, N.Y.)
OmpK35 and OmpK36 are the major outer membrane porins of Klebsiella pneumoniae. We aimed to study the effect of combined porin loss and production of extended-spectrum Î²-lactamases (ESBLs) on imipenem susceptibility among K. pneumoniae clinical isolates.This study included 91 suspected ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae clinical isolates, isolated from different patient specimens at the Cairo University hospital from January to June 2010. All isolates were subjected to genotypic analysis of the outer membrane protein gene expression using reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and analysis of OmpK35/36 of 38 isolates by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE).By RT-PCR, loss of Omp35 was detected in 78 (85.7%) isolates, loss of Omp36 was detected in 64 (70.32%), and loss of both porins was detected in 62 (68.1%). Out of 91 isolates, 45 (49.5%) were resistant to cefoxitin, and 17 (18.7%) were confirmed as derepressed AmpC producers. Omp35 was lost in all FOX-resistant isolates, whereas Omp36 was lost in 42 (93.3%) (p-value 0.002). The mean of ceftazidime inhibition zone diameter was significantly decreased among ESBL-producing isolates with loss of Omp35/36 (p-value 0.041 and 0.006), respectively. The mean of imipenem minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was markedly increased to 8.55â€‰Î¼g/ml among AmpC-producing isolates with Omp35/36 loss, while the mean of imipenem MIC among the 66 confirmed ESBL producers was 0.32â€‰Î¼g/ml.Imipenem MIC was markedly increased among K. pneumoniae isolates showing AmpC production with loss of both porins OmpK35/36. Meanwhile, the association of porin OmpK35/36 loss with ESBL production was not a direct cause of resistance to imipenem.
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