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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
The health technology assessment of the compulsory accident insurance scheme of hand transplantation in Switzerland.
J Hand Surg Eur Vol
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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Recently the decision-making committee of the compulsory Swiss accident insurance scheme needed to make a basic decision as to whether to fund hand transplantation under that scheme or not. A Health Technology Assessment was commissioned to inform decision-making and gain experience with applicability of the method. The following were main findings from various domains. Compared with prosthesis fitting, the outcome of hand transplantation is satisfactory for function and sensibility. Complications due to immunosuppression are frequent, sometimes severe and potentially life-shortening. The direct medical costs over the entire life span calculated for a 35-year-old unilaterally amputated base case patient were CHF 528,600 (EUR 438,500) higher than for a prosthesis. There are challenging ethical, legal and organizational issues. The committee decided not to reimburse hand transplantation for ethical reasons. The Health Technology Assessment has been shown to be a useful tool for decision-making in the context of Swiss accident insurance. Level of evidence: IV.
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Effects of the dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha/gamma agonist aleglitazar on renal function in patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes: a Phase IIb, randomized study.
BMC Nephrol
PUBLISHED: 11-18-2014
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Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease, which substantially increases the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. This Phase IIb safety study (AleNephro) in patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, evaluated the renal effects of aleglitazar, a balanced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha/gamma agonist.
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Phosphonium-Organophosphate Ionic Liquids as Lubricant Additives: Effects of Cation Structure on Physicochemical and Tribological Characteristics.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 11-18-2014
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Our previous work suggested great potential for a phosphonium-organophosphate ionic liquid (IL) as an anti-wear lubricant additive. In this study, a set of five ILs were carefully designed and synthesized, with identical organophosphate anions but dissimilar phosphonium cations, to allow systematic investigation of the effects of cation alkyl chain length and symmetry on physicochemical and tribological properties. Symmetric cations with shorter alkyl chains seem to increase the density and thermal stability due to closer packing. On the other hand, either higher cation symmetry or longer alkyl moieties induces a higher viscosity, though the viscosity index is dependent more on molecular mass than on symmetry. While a larger cation size generally increases an IL's solubility in non-polar hydrocarbon oils, six-carbon seems to be the critical minimum alkyl chain length for high oil miscibility. Both the two ILs, that are mutually oil miscible, have demonstrated promising lubricating performance at 1.04% treat rate, though the symmetric-cation IL moderately outperformed the asymmetric-cation IL. Characterizations on the tribofilm formed by the best-performing symmetric-cation IL revealed the film thickness, nanostructure, and chemical composition. Results here provide fundamental insights for future molecular design in developing oil-soluble ILs as lubricant additives.
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[Options and Limitations in Endovascular Therapy for Acute and Chronic Mesenteric Arterial Occlusions.]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 11-17-2014
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Background: The significance of endovascular therapy for mesenteric ischaemia (MI) is being debated. Despite initially lower mortality and morbidity, inconsistent early and late results led to questions concerning indications and technical applications of the procedure. Methods: 91 patients with MI underwent endovascular treatment in a period of 11 years. In 78 (85.7?%) patients a stent was deployed and in 13 (14.3?%) an angioplasty was performed, principally of the superior mesenteric artery (n?=?81/91, 89?%). Follow-up consisted of a clinical and an ultrasound examination in all cases. Mean follow-up was 4.2 years. Our results were compared to those in the literature. Results: Endovascular treatment of the intestinal arteries accounted for 0.6?% of all vascular procedures. Seven of 91 patients (7.7?%) died after an initial PTA/stenting. The overall peri-interventional morbidity was 6.6?% (n?=?6/91). Medium- to long-term complications were encountered in 20 patients (22?%), primarily during the first year (85?%). Six of 91 patients developed an in-stent stenosis (6.6?%) and 14/91 patients (15.4?%) stent occlusion. Additionally 2 dislocated stents (2.2?%) and an arterial perforation with bleeding into the mesentery (1.1?%) were seen. Although 3 of these 20 patients were successfully treated with an additional PTA or stenting (15.0?%; n?=?3/91, 3.3?%), surgical conversion was necessary in 9 (n?=?9/20, 45?%; n?=?9/91, 9.9?%). The postoperative mortality was respectively 22.2?% (n?=?2/9; n?=?2/91, 2.2?%). In the case of acute MI, endovascular procedures are only indicated for patients without peritonitis. In chronic MI, the indication for endovascular treatment depends on the type of occlusion and the vascular anatomy. Despite favourable early results, the outcome of endovascular treatment deteriorates with time reaching a 1-year patency rate of 63?% in a multicentre analysis. This leads to secondary procedures in 30?%. A surgical conversion carries a high mortality. Conclusion: The endovascular treatment of intestinal artery disease cannot be considered the treatment of choice, it is rather an alternative method in patients with functional or local contraindications to surgery. Life-long follow-up is necessary to prevent stent complications with fatal consequences. A prospective randomised study concerning the evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of surgical and endovascular therapy of intestinal artery occlusive disease is required.
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[Differential Vascular Medical Management of Visceral Artery Aneurysms in a Single-Centre Consecutive Patient Cohort as Part of an Ongoing Disease-Specific Systematic Clinical Prospective Observational Study.]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 11-13-2014
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Aim, Patients and Methods: By means of a systematic single-centre prospective observational study, spectrum (symptomatology, frequency) and diagnostics of the different visceral artery aneurysm sites as well as the postinterventional course of the various therapeutic options used according to local finding and patient's clinical status as well as risk factors were analysed to contrast the different procedures (conservative, image-guided radiological intervention, open vascular surgery) in consideration of their decision-making criteria and their early postinterventional outcome (on the basis of complication rate, peri-interventional morbidity and hospital lethality) including relevant references from the literature. Results: During a time period of 14 years, 22 patients (sex ratio: 12 males/10 females; mean age: 54.3 [range: 22-76] years) were registered. Most frequently, visceral artery aneurysms occurred in the splenic artery (50?%). The gastroduodenal artery, the hepatic artery and the right renal artery were affected in each with 13.6?% (n?=?3/22), the superior mesenteric artery in 9.1?% (n?=?2/22). The majority of patients (54.5?%) were treated with image-guided radiological intervention, whereas in 31.8?%, the patient underwent open vascular surgery and 13.6?% of cases were managed with "watchful waiting". While morbidity was 21.1?% (n?=?4/19), overall lethality was 9.1?% (n?=?2/22). Conclusion: Decision-making for a specific therapeutic approach should be made (i) after adequate diagnostic measures (transabdominal ultrasound, MR angiography, duplex ultrasonography, CT-A/DSA if required), (ii) on an individual case-adapted base, (iii) in a vascular surgical centre, (iv) case-associated to the specific local finding (in particular, according to size/specific probability of rupture [cave: gravidity]) and (v) according to the individual risk profile using the whole spectrum of therapeutic options (conservative vs. interventional; image-guided radiological intervention [endovascular repair such as embolisation, stent or stent graft] vs. open vascular surgery [according to a step-up approach]; open vascular ligation vs. reconstruction after exclusion of the aneurysm) including sufficient quality assurance of the treatment results as well as control investigations (duplex ultrasonography; MR-A if required) in a specialised vascular surgical out-patient centre within appropriate time intervals.
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Closing the genotype-phenotype gap: Emerging technologies for evolutionary genetics in ecological model vertebrate systems.
Bioessays
PUBLISHED: 11-08-2014
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The analysis of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of the genotype-phenotypic connection has, so far, only been possible in a handful of genetic model systems. Recent technological advances, including next-generation sequencing methods such as RNA-seq, ChIP-seq and RAD-seq, and genome-editing approaches including CRISPR-Cas, now permit to address these fundamental questions of biology also in organisms that have been studied in their natural habitats. We provide an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of these novel techniques and experimental approaches that can now be applied to ecological and evolutionary vertebrate models such as sticklebacks and cichlid fish. We can anticipate that these new methods will increase the understanding of the genetic and epigenetic factors influencing adaptations and phenotypic variation in ecological settings. These new arrows in the methodological quiver of ecologist will drastically increase the understanding of the genetic basis of adaptive traits - leading to a further closing of the genotype-phenotype gap.
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"Building Block Picture" of the Electronic Structure of Aqueous Cysteine Derived from Resonant Inelastic Soft X-ray Scattering.
J Phys Chem B
PUBLISHED: 11-07-2014
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The electronic structure of the amino acid l-cysteine in an aqueous environment was studied using resonant inelastic soft X-ray scattering (RIXS) in a 2D map representation and analyzed in the framework of a "building block" approach. The element selectivity of RIXS allows a local investigation of the electronic structure of the three functional groups of cysteine, namely, the carboxyl, amino, and thiol groups, by measuring at the O K, N K, and S L2,3 edges, respectively. Variation of the pH value allows an investigation of molecules with protonated and deprotonated functional groups, which can then be compared with simple reference molecules that represent the isolated functional groups. We find that such building blocks can provide an excellent description of X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) and RIXS spectra, but only if all nearest-neighbor atoms are included. This finding is analogous to the building block principle commonly used in X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The building blocks show a distinct spectral character (fingerprint) and allow a comprehensive interpretation of the cysteine spectra. This simple approach opens the path to investigate the electronic structure of more complex biological molecules in aqueous solutions using XES and RIXS.
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[Influencing factors on the length of stay in lumbar spine surgery : Analysis of the German spine registry.]
Orthopade
PUBLISHED: 11-06-2014
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Spinal disc herniation, lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis are known to be leading causes of lumbar back pain. The cost of low back pain management and related operations are continuously increasing in the healthcare sector. There are many studies regarding complications after spine surgery but little is known about the factors predicting the length of stay in hospital. The purpose of this study was to identify these factors in lumbar spine surgery in order to adapt the postoperative treatment.
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[Analysis of Survival Time and Other Event Times - What Does the Surgeon Need to Know?]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2014
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Background: Survival time is an important parameter to investigate therapeutic measures. It plays a crucial role in study concepts, data analyses as well as publications. Aim: The aim of this study was to emphasise essential points, which need to be taken into account to (i) gain resilient results of survival time analysis and (ii) appropriately evaluate scientific reports. Corner Points/Main Statements: (i) The main analytical methods are Kaplan-Meier procedure to estimate survival time curves, the log rank test to compare two or more survival curves from independent samples and Cox regression for comparisons under simultaneous consideration of several influencing factors. (ii) Dependent relationships between survival and censoring probabilities may falsify these statistical procedures. (iii) For several end points, which need to be differentiated (such as death, progression etc.), and for interdependent sample elements, extended statistical procedures such as competing risk analyses or extended Cox regression models are available. Conclusion: Survival time analysis can be considered as being extraordinarily important for evaluation of data obtained in therapeutic studies. For the academic and publishing physician, in particular, for the clinical surgeon, a basic understanding of these methodological aspects in statistics is indispensable.
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[Medical Rehabilitation in Gastrointestinal Oncology.]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2014
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Background: The demographic change of the human population comes along with an increasing aging, a rise of chronic diseases, particular carcinosis, as well as the need for prolonged working life times. This causes big challenges for the public health systems, primarily in the field of surgery. In this respect, oncological rehabilitation has an important supporting function. Its mission is to reintegrate the patient after surgery back into domestic, social and professional life. This article covers the most significant questions for rehabilitation of gastrointestinal oncology. Purpose: The aim of this study is to illustrate the legal foundations and routes to access oncological rehabilitation as well as to provide a survey of the contents of oncological rehabilitation with a special emphasis on gastrointestinal tumours. Method: We surveyed experience in clinical rehabilitation by means of an appropriate literature search. Key Findings and Conclusions: Oncological rehabilitation is anchored in social legislation. The terms of reference are different from those of an acute hospital. Apart from the treatment of numerous specific somatic problems, both psycho-oncological care and social-medical consultation and evaluation are centrally important tasks.
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[Unicentre Results in Surgery of Primary Hyperparathyroidism with Postoperative Long-Term Follow-Up and Value of Intraoperative Quick Parathormone Test.]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2014
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Background: The increasing use of focussed parathyroidectomy is attributed to introduction of intraoperative parathyroid hormone measurement (ioPTH) and novel preoperative imaging techniques. This study assesses the early postoperative and long-term outcomes of surgery and the value of standardised ioPTH in patients undergoing surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT). Methods: From 01/01/1996 to 09/30/2011, all consecutive patients undergoing surgery for pHPT were documented. Data of this observational study were retrospectively evaluated. Patients were subdivided into 2 groups: A.) use of Quick Intraoperative Intact PTH Assay (n?=?142; "ioPTH group") vs. B.) control group ("CG", n?=?44). For clinical long-term follow-up, also pre- and postoperative signs, symptoms and findings of the initial 43 patients obtained during the first 4 years of the study were semiquantitatively compared. Results: 186 consecutive operations for pHPT were performed - in particular, 73 sole parathyroidectomies; 113 combined thyroid and parathyroid resections. Mean operation time was 87 (SD ±?48) min for parathyroidectomy and 120 (SD ±?49) min for combined resections. A persisting hypercalcaemia was found in 16 patients (8.6?%) while postoperative elevation of serum calcium and parathormone occurred in 7 patients (3.8?%). Postoperative hypocalcaemia was present in 35 patients (18.8?%). Differences between both groups regarding hypocalcaemia (p?=?1.0), hypercalcaemia (p?=?0.67), hyperparathyrinaemia (p?=?0.12) and rate of reintervention (p?=?0.055) were not significant. Thirty nine of the initial 43 patients reported one or more signs of pHPT (90.7?%). Most frequent symptoms were nephrolithiasis (41.9?%), back pain (51.2?%), discomfort in the upper abdomen (41.9?%), fatigue (41.9?%) and general weakness (61.1?%). Follow-up investigations (mean, 4.7 [range, 3.2-6.5] years) revealed that 65?% of patients reported improvement of general condition, 27?% had no change and 8?% reported deterioration. Conclusions: IoPTH is now standard in parathyroid surgery. Value of ioPTH correlates directly with selected centre-specific intraoperative criteria. The stricter the criteria the more reliable is the exclusion of multiglandular disease. Surgery for pHPT was performed with a very low complication rate. Through the long-term follow-up, nearly two thirds of patients benefited from the operation.
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[Anatomical and functional prognosis of secondary retinal detachments after sutureless macular surgery].
J Fr Ophtalmol
PUBLISHED: 10-02-2014
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To evaluate the incidence, characteristics and risk factors for rhegmatogenous complications of transconjunctival sutureless 23-gauge vitrectomy (TSV) in macular surgery. The results were correlated with those reported in the literature.
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Identification of Predictive CT Angiographic Factors in the Development of High-Risk Type 2 Endoleaks after Endovascular Aneurysm Repair in Patients with Infrarenal Aortic Aneurysms.
Rofo
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2014
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Purpose: An extensive analysis of the value of computed tomography (CT) parameters as potential predictors of the clinical outcome of type 2 endoleaks after endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR). Materials and Methods: Initial CT scans of 130 patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) were retrospectively reviewed. On the basis of postoperative CT scans and angiographies, patients were stratified into a low-risk group (LRG; without or transient type 2 endoleak; n?=?80) and a high-risk group (HRG, persistent type 2 endoleak or need for reintervention; n?=?50). Statistical analysis comprised a univariate and multivariate analysis. Results: Anatomical, thrombus-specific, as well as aortic side branch parameters were assessed on the initial CT scan. Of all anatomical parameters, the diameter of the immediate infrarenal aorta was significantly different in the univariate analysis (LRG 22.4?±?3.8?mm; HRG 23.6?±?2.5?mm; p?=?0.03). The investigation of the thrombus-specific parameters showed a trend towards statistical significance for the relative thrombus load (LRG 31.7?±?18.0?%; HRG 25.3?±?17.5?%; p?=?0.09). Assessment of aortic side branches revealed only for the univariate analysis significant differences in the patency of the inferior mesenteric artery (LRG 71.3?%; HRG 92.0?%; p?=?0.003) and their diameter (LRG 3.3?±?0.7?mm; HRG 3.8?±?0.9?mm; p?=?0.004). In contrast, the number of lumbar arteries (LAs; LRG 2.7?±?1.4; HRG 3.6?±?1.2; univariate: p?=?0.01; multivariate: p?=?0.006) as well as their diameter (LRG 2.1?±?0.4?mm; HRG 2.4?±?0.4?mm; univariate: p?
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The genomic substrate for adaptive radiation in African cichlid fish.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 09-03-2014
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Cichlid fishes are famous for large, diverse and replicated adaptive radiations in the Great Lakes of East Africa. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cichlid phenotypic diversity, we sequenced the genomes and transcriptomes of five lineages of African cichlids: the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), an ancestral lineage with low diversity; and four members of the East African lineage: Neolamprologus brichardi/pulcher (older radiation, Lake Tanganyika), Metriaclima zebra (recent radiation, Lake Malawi), Pundamilia nyererei (very recent radiation, Lake Victoria), and Astatotilapia burtoni (riverine species around Lake Tanganyika). We found an excess of gene duplications in the East African lineage compared to tilapia and other teleosts, an abundance of non-coding element divergence, accelerated coding sequence evolution, expression divergence associated with transposable element insertions, and regulation by novel microRNAs. In addition, we analysed sequence data from sixty individuals representing six closely related species from Lake Victoria, and show genome-wide diversifying selection on coding and regulatory variants, some of which were recruited from ancient polymorphisms. We conclude that a number of molecular mechanisms shaped East African cichlid genomes, and that amassing of standing variation during periods of relaxed purifying selection may have been important in facilitating subsequent evolutionary diversification.
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Markers of vitamin B6 status and metabolism as predictors of incident cancer: The Hordaland Health Study.
Int. J. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2014
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Dietary intake and/or circulating concentrations of vitamin B6 have been associated with risk of cancer, but results are inconsistent and mechanisms uncertain. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is the most commonly used marker of B6 status. We recently proposed the ratio 3-hydroxykynurenine/xanthurenic acid (HK/XA) as an indicator of functional vitamin B6 status, and the 4-pyridoxic acid (PA) /(pyridoxal (PL) +PLP) ratio (PAr) as a marker of vitamin B6 catabolism during inflammation. We compared plasma PLP, HK/XA and PAr as predictors of cancer incidence in a prospective community-based cohort in Norway. This study included 6539 adults without known cancer at baseline (1998-99) from the Hordaland Health Study (HUSK). HR and 95% CI were calculated for the risk of overall and site-specific cancers using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression with adjustment for potential confounders. After a median follow-up time of 11.9 years, 963 cancer cases (501 men and 462 women) were identified. Multivariate-adjusted Cox-regression showed no significant relation of plasma PLP or HK/XA with risk of incident cancer. In contrast, PAr was significantly associated with risk of cancer with HR (95% CI) =1.31 (1.12-1.52) per 2 standard deviation (SD) increment (P < 0.01). Further analysis showed that PAr was a particular strong predictor of lung cancer with HR (95% CI) =2.46 (1.49-4.05) per 2 SD increment (P < 0.01). The present results indicate that associations of vitamin B6 with cancer may be related to increased catabolism of vitamin B6, in particular for lung cancer where inflammation may be largely involved in carcinogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Plasma choline, nicotine exposure, and risk of low bone mineral density and hip fracture: the Hordaland health study.
J. Bone Miner. Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-20-2014
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Choline, obtained from diet and formed by biosynthesis, is the immediate precursor of betaine. Animal studies suggest an impact of choline on bone metabolism. We examined the associations of plasma choline and betaine with bone mineral density (BMD), the risk of hip fractures, and possible effect-modification by nicotine exposure. The Hordaland Health Study (1998 to 2000) included 7074 women and men (ages 46 to 49 or 71 to 74 years). In 5315, BMD was measured. The oldest (n?=?3311) were followed for hip fractures through 2009. Risk associations were studied by logistic and Cox regression by comparing the lowest and middle tertiles with the highest, as well as trends across tertiles of plasma choline and betaine. In analyses adjusted for sex and age, participants in the lowest (odds ratio [OR]?=?2.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69-2.37) and middle (OR?=?1.39, CI 1.17-1.66) tertiles of plasma choline had an increased risk of low BMD (lowest quintile) (p trend?
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Identification of a human mitochondrial RNA that promotes tropomyosin synthesis and myocardial differentiation.
In Vitro Cell. Dev. Biol. Anim.
PUBLISHED: 08-15-2014
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Heart disease is the number one killer in the USA, making cardiogenesis and its related pathways a relevant area of study for improving health and life expectancy. The Mexican salamander (axolotl), Ambystoma mexicanum, provides an excellent vertebrate animal model for studying myofibrillogenesis due to its naturally occurring cardiac nonfunction mutation. Homozygous recessive embryos do not develop normal hearts due to a lack of myofibril formation. In previous studies, myofibril-inducing ribonucleic acid (MIR) from the normal wild-type axolotl genome was found to rescue mutant nonfunctioning hearts through restoration of tropomyosin levels followed by normal myofibril formation. Our purpose in this study is to identify and characterize functional homologs for the MIR from human fetal heart ribonucleic acid (RNA). After randomized cloning of human fetal heart RNA, 396 clones were analyzed for rescuing ability by using mutant heart rescue bioassays and confocal microscopy. By these analyses, we discovered a functional homolog of MIR from human fetal heart RNA, which is associated with the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit II gene. This RNA came from our clone #30 and induces tropomyosin synthesis and myofibrillogenesis in mutant axolotl hearts which ordinarily do not synthesize tropomyosin or form organized myofibrils. Clone #30, a mitochondrial RNA molecule associated with human cytochrome c oxidase, serves as a functional homolog of MIR, leading to tropomyosin production, organized myofibrils, and beating cardiac tissue in mutant hearts. These findings hold great potential for the treatment and repair of damaged hearts in patients who have suffered from myocardial infarctions and other heart diseases.
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[Helicobacter pylori: short overview on selected data from the history and their value for clinical medicine, in particular, surgery - what does the (general/abdominal) surgeon need to know].
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 08-13-2014
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The discovery of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) represents one of the most notable events in the field of experimental and clinical medicine with great impact to daily practice even to surgery. It has led to a paradigm shift in the treatment of peptic ulcer disease. For the time period of almost one century, several scientists had described spiral-shaped bacteria in the stomach of animals and humans. However, it lasted till the early 1980s when Robin Warren and Barry Marshall successfully cultured H. pylori and recognised its causal relationship to chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Since then, our knowledge about H. pylori and related diseases has been continuously growing. Today, the bacterium is known to be mainly responsible for the development of chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, MALT lymphoma and is considered as the main risk factor for the development of gastric cancer - all this led to a switch in the basic aetiopathogenetic considerations. In particular, eradication of H. pylori helped to i) develop an aetiology-based therapeutic and preventive approach to the diseases listed above according and adapted to findings, stage and manifestation, and ii) define a new role of surgery in the treatment concept. In addition, more and more evidence is being gathered for a possible association between the bacterium and several extragastric diseases.
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Mapping active promoters by ChIP-seq profiling of H3K4me3 in cichlid fish - a first step to uncover cis-regulatory elements in ecological model teleosts.
Mol Ecol Resour
PUBLISHED: 08-03-2014
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Evolutionary alterations to cis-regulatory sequences are likely to cause adaptive phenotypic complexity, through orchestrating changes in cellular proliferation, identity and communication. For non-model organisms with adaptive key-innovations, patterns of regulatory evolution have been predominantly limited to targeted sequence-based analyses. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) is a technology that has been predominantly used in genetic model systems and is a powerful experimental tool to screen for active cis-regulatory elements. Here, we show that it can also be used in ecological model systems and permits genome-wide functional exploration of cis-regulatory elements. As a proof of concept, we use ChIP-seq technology in adult fin tissue of the cichlid fish Oreochromis niloticus to map active promoter elements, as indicated by occupancy of trimethylated Histone H3 Lysine 4 (H3K4me3). The fact that cichlids are one of the most phenotypically diverse and species-rich families of vertebrates could make them a perfect model system for the further in-depth analysis of the evolution of transcriptional regulation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Riboflavin status modifies the effects of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) polymorphisms on homocysteine.
Genes Nutr
PUBLISHED: 07-31-2014
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Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR), riboflavin-dependent enzymes, participate in homocysteine metabolism. Reported effects of riboflavin status on the association between the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism and homocysteine vary, and the effects of the MTRR 66A>G or MTRR 524C>T polymorphisms on homocysteine are unclear. We tested the hypothesis that the effects of the MTHFR 677C>T, MTRR 66A>G and MTRR 524C>T polymorphisms on fasting plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) depend on riboflavin status (erythrocyte glutathionine reductase activation coefficient, optimum: <1.2; marginally deficient: 1.2-1.4; deficient: ?1.4) in 771 adults aged 18-75 years. MTHFR 677T allele carriers with middle or low tertile plasma folate (<14.7 nmol/L) had 8.2 % higher tHcy compared to the 677CC genotype (p < 0.01). This effect was eliminated when riboflavin status was optimal (p for interaction: 0.048). In the lowest cobalamin quartile (?273 pmol/L), riboflavin status modifies the relationship between the MTRR 66 A>G polymorphism and tHcy (p for interaction: 0.034). tHcy was 6.6 % higher in MTRR 66G allele carriers compared to the 66AA genotype with marginally deficient or optimal riboflavin status, but there was no difference when riboflavin status was deficient (p for interaction: 0.059). tHcy was 13.7 % higher in MTRR 524T allele carriers compared to the 524CC genotype when cobalamin status was low (p < 0.01), but no difference was observed when we stratified by riboflavin status. The effect of the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism on tHcy depends on riboflavin status, that of the MTRR 66A>G polymorphism on cobalamin and riboflavin status and that of the MTRR 524C>T polymorphism on cobalamin status.
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Electronic structure and band alignment at an epitaxial spinel/perovskite heterojunction.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 07-30-2014
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The electronic properties of solid-solid interfaces play critical roles in a variety of technological applications. Recent advances of film epitaxy and characterization techniques have demonstrated a wealth of exotic phenomena at interfaces of oxide materials, which are critically dependent on the alignment of their energy bands across the interface. Here we report a combined photoemission and electrical investigation of the electronic structures across a prototypical spinel/perovskite heterojunction. Energy-level band alignment at an epitaxial Co3O4/SrTiO3(001) heterointerface indicates a chemically abrupt, type I heterojunction without detectable band bending at both the film and substrate. The unexpected band alignment for this typical p-type semiconductor on SrTiO3 is attributed to its intrinsic d-d interband excitation, which significantly narrows the fundamental band gap between the top of the valence band and the bottom of the conduction band. The formation of the type I heterojunction with a flat-band state results in a simultaneous confinement of both electrons and holes inside the Co3O4 layer, thus rendering the epitaxial Co3O4/SrTiO3(001) heterostructure to be a very promising material for high-efficiency luminescence and optoelectronic device applications.
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[Palliative treatment of advanced gastric cancer from surgical point of view.]
Chirurg
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2014
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Data are available on two multicenter observational studies, the East German Gastric Cancer Study (EGGCS) '02 (surgical interventions only) and the German Gastric Cancer Study II (QCGC) from 2007 to 2009 (after inauguration of multimodal therapeutic concepts) with regard to palliative treatment of advanced gastric cancer. Through the first investigation period from January to December 2002 (EGGCS) overall 1139 patients with primary gastric cancer were registered and evaluated and then from 2007 to 2009 (QCGC) another 2897 patients were included. Comparing both time periods, there were no significant changes in the distribution of tumor sites and stages according to the Union Internationale Contre le Cancer (UICC) classification, in particular, there was no significant reduction of advanced tumor stages. From 2007 to 2009 in total 521 patients (18?%) received neoadjuvant therapy, 401 patients (13.9?%) out of the group with curative intention and 120 (4.1?%) out of the group of patients with palliative intention. The proportion of palliative patients who underwent chemotherapy (with neoadjuvant intention and/or postoperatively) was 32.5?% (n?=?223). Thus, the rate of palliative treatment (rate of no R0 resection status 29.6?%, rate of patients who did not undergo surgical intervention at all 9.5?%) could be diminished from almost 40?% in 2002 to 24.5?% through the time period from 2007 to 2009. Taking all patients together (with curative and palliative intention) an increase of the 4-year survival probability from 40.0 % to 48.5?% was observed after inauguration of multimodal therapy. After a 5-year follow-up median survival time was 34 months during the investigation period from 2007 to 2009 considering all study subjects. Patients who had undergone palliative surgical interventions benefited from postoperative palliative chemotherapy; however, as expected this was of greater benefit to patients with resecting surgical interventions than those with non-resecting operations. Palliative tumor resection (even R2 resection status) should be part of a concept of multimodal palliative therapy in cases of acceptable perioperative risk.
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Evolution of the vertebrate Pax4/6 class of genes with focus on its novel member, the Pax10 gene.
Genome Biol Evol
PUBLISHED: 06-22-2014
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The members of the paired box (Pax) family regulate key developmental pathways in many metazoans as tissue-specific transcription factors. Vertebrate genomes typically possess nine Pax genes (Pax1-9), which are derived from four proto-Pax genes in the vertebrate ancestor that were later expanded through the so-called two-round (2R) whole-genome duplication. A recent study proposed that pax6a genes of a subset of teleost fishes (namely, acanthopterygians) are remnants of a paralog generated in the 2R genome duplication, to be renamed pax6.3, and reported one more group of vertebrate Pax genes (Pax6.2), most closely related to the Pax4/6 class. We propose to designate this new member Pax10 instead and reconstruct the evolutionary history of the Pax4/6/10 class with solid phylogenetic evidence. Our synteny analysis showed that Pax4, -6, and -10 originated in the 2R genome duplications early in vertebrate evolution. The phylogenetic analyses of relationships between teleost pax6a and other Pax4, -6, and -10 genes, however, do not support the proposed hypothesis of an ancient origin of the acanthopterygian pax6a genes in the 2R genome duplication. Instead, we confirmed the traditional scenario that the acanthopterygian pax6a is derived from the more recent teleost-specific genome duplication. Notably, Pax6 is present in all vertebrates surveyed to date, whereas Pax4 and -10 were lost multiple times in independent vertebrate lineages, likely because of their restricted expression patterns: Among Pax6-positive domains, Pax10 has retained expression in the adult retina alone, which we documented through in situ hybridization and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction experiments on zebrafish, Xenopus, and anole lizard.
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Resolution of three cryptic agricultural pests (Ceratitis fasciventris, C. anonae, C. rosa, Diptera: Tephritidae) using cuticular hydrocarbon profiling.
Bull. Entomol. Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2014
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Discrimination of particular species within the species complexes of tephritid fruit flies is a very challenging task. In this fruit-fly family, several complexes of cryptic species have been reported, including the African cryptic species complex (FAR complex). Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) appear to be an excellent tool for chemotaxonomical discrimination of these cryptic species. In the present study, CHC profiles have been used to discriminate among three important agricultural pests from the FAR complex, Ceratitis fasciventris, Ceratitis anonae and Ceratitis rosa. Hexane body surface extracts of mature males and females were analyzed by two-dimensional gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection and differences in CHC profiles between species and sexes tested through multivariate statistics and compared with species identification by means of microsatellite markers. Quantitative as well as qualitative CHC profile differences between sexes and species are reported. The CHC profiles consisted of a mixture of linear, internally methyl-branched and mono-, di- and tri-unsaturated alkanes. Twelve compounds were pinpointed as potential chemotaxonomical markers. The present study shows that presence or absence of particular CHCs might be used in the chemical diagnosis of the FAR complex. Moreover, our results represent an important first step in the development of a useful chemotaxonomic tool for cryptic species identification of these important agricultural pests.
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Parallel evolution of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes via non-parallel routes.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2014
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Fundamental to understanding how biodiversity arises and adapts is whether evolution is predictable in the face of stochastic genetic and demographic factors. Here we show rapid parallel evolution across two closely related but geographically isolated radiations of Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid fishes. We find significant morphological, ecological and genetic differentiation between ecomorphs in sympatry, reflected primarily in elongated versus high-bodied shape, differential ecological niche use and genetic differentiation. These eco-morphological divergences are significantly parallel across radiations. Based on 442,644 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms, we identify strong support for the monophyly of, and subsequent sympatric divergence within, each radiation. However, the order of speciation differs across radiations; in one lake the limnetic ecomorph diverged first while in the other a benthic ecomorph. Overall our results demonstrate that complex parallel phenotypes can evolve very rapidly and repeatedly in similar environments, probably due to natural selection, yet this evolution can proceed along different evolutionary genetic routes.
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The evolutionary genomics of cichlid fishes: explosive speciation and adaptation in the postgenomic era.
Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2014
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With more than 1,500 species, cichlid fishes provide textbook examples of recent and diverse adaptive radiations, rapid rates of speciation, and the parallel evolution of adaptive phenotypes among both recently and distantly related lineages. This extraordinary diversity has attracted considerable interest from researchers across several biological disciplines. Their broad phenotypic variation coupled with recent divergence makes cichlids an ideal model system for understanding speciation, adaptation, and phenotypic diversification. Genetic mapping, genome-wide analyses, and genome projects have flourished in the past decade and have added new insights on the question of why there are so many cichlids. These recent findings also show that the sharing of older DNA polymorphisms is extensive and suggest that linage sorting is incomplete and that adaptive introgression played a role in the African radiation. Here, we review the results of genetic and genomic research on cichlids in the past decade and suggest some potential avenues to further exploit the potential of the cichlid model system to provide a better understanding of the genomics of adaptation and speciation.
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[Current state of remunerations of on-duty and on-call urologists in France: a study from AFUF].
Prog. Urol.
PUBLISHED: 05-28-2014
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The French Association of Urologists-in-training (AFUF) aimed to assess the current state of remunerations of on-call and on-duty residents, assistants and lecturers in urology in France.
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Targeted quantification of C-reactive protein and cystatin c and its variants by immuno-MALDI-MS.
Anal. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 05-28-2014
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The most common technologies for quantitative determination of protein biomarkers are immunoassays, which exist in various formats. Immunoassays offer sensitive and fast protein quantification, but can hardly discriminate between protein variants. Post-translational modifications and genetic variants increase protein microheterogeneity and may play important roles in biological processes. Mass spectrometry combined with immunoaffinity enrichment detects protein microheterogeneity and can quantify different isoforms. We here present an immuno-MALDI-MS approach for the combined quantification of two important biomarkers of inflammation and renal function, C-reactive protein (CRP) and cystatin C, respectively. Antibodies were immobilized onto reversed-phase tips, which allows easy and flexible sample processing. Quantification was performed in singleplex and duplex assays, and characteristics were evaluated for different internal standards, i.e., PEGylated and polyhistidine-tagged proteins. The best performances were obtained for polyhistidine-tagged standards with respect to limits of detection (CRP, 0.10 ?g/mL; cystatin C, 0.003 ?g/mL) and coefficients of variation (CRP, 2.4-7.0%; cystatin C, 3.0-8.9%). The methods were benchmarked against immunoturbidimetry and nephelometry and demonstrated good between-assay agreement (R(2) = 0.989 for CRP; R(2) = 0.939 for cystatin C). Several variants of cystatin C were identified and quantified, while none were observed for CRP. This immuno-MALDI method describes a novel approach for targeted quantitative investigation of protein microheterogeneity and is well suited for assessment of biomarker status in precious samples from biobanks due to its low sample consumption.
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Postnatal Visual Deprivation in Rats Regulates Several Retinal Genes and Proteins, Including Differentiation-Associated Fibroblast Growth Factor-2.
Dev. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 05-26-2014
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Little is known about the retinal cellular basis of amblyopia, which is a developmental disease characterized by impaired visual acuity. This study examined the retinal transcripts associated with experimentally induced unilateral amblyopia in rats. Surgical tarsorrhaphy of the eyelids on one side was performed in pups prior to eye opening at postnatal day 14, thereby preventing any visual experience. This condition was maintained for over 2 months, after which electroretinograms (ERGs) were recorded, the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) arrangement and number were determined using neuroanatomical tracing, the retinal transcripts were studied using microarray analysis, regulated mRNAs were confirmed with quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR, and proteins were stained using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. An attenuated ERG was found in eyes that were deprived of visual experience. Retrograde neuroanatomical staining disclosed a larger number of RGCs within the retina on the visually deprived side compared to the non-deprived, control side, and a multilayered distribution of RGCs. At the retinomic level, several transcripts associated with retinal differentiation, such as fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2), were either up- or downregulated. Most of the transcripts could be verified at the mRNA level. To unravel the role of a differentiation-associated protein, we tested FGF-2 in dissociated postnatal retinal cell cultures and found that FGF-2 is a potent factor triggering ganglion cell differentiation. The data suggest that visual experience shapes the postnatal retinal differentiation, whereas visual deprivation induces changes at the functional, cellular and molecular levels within the retina. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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EUS-Guided Bile Duct Drainage (EUBD) in 95 Patients.
Ultraschall Med
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2014
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Purpose: Bile duct stenting during ERCP has long been established as the gold standard for the treatment of biliary obstruction. However, when the ampulla cannot be reached or bile duct cannulation fails, percutaneous or surgical drainage is performed. The study aimed to investigate the feasibility and long-term outcome of a potential alternative intervention, EUS-guided transluminal biliary drainage (EUBD), in a representative number of patients. Materials and Methods: All patients undergoing EUBD were included in a prospectively collected single-center database over a 10-year period. Feasibility was characterized by technical and clinical success, including long-term follow-up data. Results: From IV/2002 - XI/2012, 10?832 EUS and 8756 ERCP procedures were performed. Simultaneously, 223 PTCD and 95 EUBD were performed. Cholangiography was achieved in 93/95 patients (97.9?%). However, in one patient stone extraction was executed by means of the rendezvous technique. Therefore, drainage was not necessary. Intention to treat with EUS-guided drainage was given in 80/94 patients (86.9?%) using different techniques depending on anatomical variations and requirements. The cause of bile duct obstruction could not be cured in 77 patients (malignancy). In 18 patients, a benign (n?=?15) or unknown etiology (n?=?3) of bile duct stenosis was found. The complication rate was 15.7?% (mortality, 1.1?%; n?=?1/95). The follow-up ranged from 3?-?60 months with reintervention in 3 patients. Conclusion: EUBD is a promising therapy for bile duct obstruction in patients predominantly with malignant diseases. Using EUBD, an excellent interventional approach is available for long-term internal drainage to prevent percutaneous drainage (PTCD). EUS-guided drainage is challenging and needs extraordinary interventional expertise, preferentially in tertiary gastroenterological and endoscopic centers.
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Genetic mapping of horizontal stripes in Lake Victoria cichlid fishes: benefits and pitfalls of using RAD markers for dense linkage mapping.
Mol. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 04-28-2014
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The genetic dissection of naturally occurring phenotypes sheds light on many fundamental and longstanding questions in speciation and adaptation and is a central research topic in evolutionary biology. Until recently, forward-genetic approaches were virtually impossible to apply to nonmodel organisms, but the development of next-generation sequencing techniques eases this difficulty. Here, we use the ddRAD-seq method to map a colour trait with a known adaptive function in cichlid fishes, well-known textbook examples for rapid rates of speciation and astonishing phenotypic diversification. A suite of phenotypic key innovations is related to speciation and adaptation in cichlids, among which body coloration features prominently. The focal trait of this study, horizontal stripes, evolved in parallel in several cichlid radiations and is associated with piscivorous foraging behaviour. We conducted interspecific crosses between Haplochromis sauvagei and H. nyererei and constructed a linkage map with 867 SNP markers distributed on 22 linkage groups and total size of 1130.63 cM. Lateral stripes are inherited as a Mendelian trait and map to a single genomic interval that harbours a paralog of a gene with known function in stripe patterning. Dorsolateral and mid-lateral stripes were always coinherited and are thus under the same genetic control. Additionally, we directly quantify the genotyping error rates in RAD markers and offer guidelines for identifying and dealing with errors. Uncritical marker selection was found to severely impact linkage map construction. Fortunately, by applying appropriate quality control steps, a genotyping accuracy of >99.9% can be reached, thus allowing for efficient linkage mapping of evolutionarily relevant traits.
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Role of surface functionality in the electrochemical performance of silicon nanowire anodes for rechargeable lithium batteries.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2014
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We report the synthesis of silicon nanowires using the supercritical-fluid-liquid-solid growth method from two silicon precursors, monophenylsilane and trisilane. The nanowires were synthesized at least on a gram scale at a pilot scale facility, and various surface modification methods were developed to optimize the electrochemical performance. The observed electrochemical performance of the silicon nanowires was clearly dependent on the origination of the surface functional group, either from the residual precursor or from surface modifications. On the basis of detailed electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and confocal Raman spectroscopy studies, we analyzed the surface chemical reactivity of the silicon nanowires with respect to their electrochemical performance in terms of their capacity retention over continuous charge-discharge cycles.
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Regulatory gene networks that shape the development of adaptive phenotypic plasticity in a cichlid fish.
Mol. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2014
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Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of organisms with a given genotype to develop different phenotypes according to environmental stimuli, resulting in individuals that are better adapted to local conditions. In spite of their ecological importance, the developmental regulatory networks underlying plastic phenotypes often remain uncharacterized. We examined the regulatory basis of diet-induced plasticity in the lower pharyngeal jaw (LPJ) of the cichlid fish Astatoreochromis alluaudi, a model species in the study of adaptive plasticity. Through raising juvenile A. alluaudi on either a hard or soft diet (hard-shelled or pulverized snails) for between 1 and 8 months, we gained insight into the temporal regulation of 19 previously identified candidate genes during the early stages of plasticity development. Plasticity in LPJ morphology was first detected between 3 and 5 months of diet treatment. The candidate genes, belonging to various functional categories, displayed dynamic expression patterns that consistently preceded the onset of morphological divergence and putatively contribute to the initiation of the plastic phenotypes. Within functional categories, we observed striking co-expression, and transcription factor binding site analysis was used to examine the prospective basis of their coregulation. We propose a regulatory network of LPJ plasticity in cichlids, presenting evidence for regulatory crosstalk between bone and muscle tissues, which putatively facilitates the development of this highly integrated trait. Through incorporating a developmental time-course into a phenotypic plasticity study, we have identified an interconnected, environmentally responsive regulatory network that shapes the development of plasticity in a key innovation of East African cichlids.
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Interferon-?-induced inflammatory markers and the risk of cancer: The Hordaland Health Study.
Cancer
PUBLISHED: 03-19-2014
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It has been reported that interferon-? (IFN-?)-induced inflammatory markers, such as circulating neopterin and kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio (KTR), are increased in patients with cancer and are also a predictor of poor prognosis. However, whether baseline levels of these makers are associated with subsequent cancer risk in the general population remains unknown.
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Introgressive hybridization and latitudinal admixture clines in North Atlantic eels.
BMC Evol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2014
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Hybridization, the interbreeding of diagnosably divergent species, is a major focus in evolutionary studies. Eels, both from North America and Europe migrate through the Atlantic to mate in a vast, overlapping area in the Sargasso Sea. Due to the lack of direct observation, it is unknown how these species remain reproductively isolated. The detection of inter-species hybrids in Iceland suggests on-going gene flow, but few studies to date have addressed the influence of introgression on genetic differentiation in North Atlantic eels.
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Crater lake habitat predicts morphological diversity in adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes.
Evolution
PUBLISHED: 02-19-2014
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Adaptive radiations provide an excellent opportunity for studying the correlates and causes for the origin of biodiversity. In these radiations, species diversity may be influenced by either the ecological and physical environment, intrinsic lineage effects, or both. Disentangling the relative contributions of these factors in generating biodiversity remains a major challenge in understanding why a lineage does or does not radiate. Here, we examined morphological variation in body shape for replicate flocks of Nicaraguan Midas cichlid fishes and tested its association with biological and physical characteristics of their crater lakes. We found that variability of body elongation, an adaptive trait in freshwater fishes, is mainly predicted by average lake depth (N = 6, P < 0.001, R(2) = 0.96). Other factors considered, including lake age, surface area, littoral zone area, number of co-occurring fish species, and genetic diversity of the Midas flock, did not significantly predict morphological variability. We also showed that lakes with a larger littoral zone have on average higher bodied Midas cichlids, indicating that Midas cichlid flocks are locally adapted to their crater lake habitats. In conclusion, we found that a lake's habitat predicts the magnitude and the diversity of body elongation in repeated cichlid adaptive radiations.
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Revisiting de Beer's textbook example of heterochrony and jaw elongation in fish: calmodulin expression reflects heterochronic growth, and underlies morphological innovation in the jaws of belonoid fishes.
Evodevo
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2014
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Heterochronic shifts during ontogeny can result in adaptively important innovations and might be initiated by simple developmental switches. Understanding the nature of these developmental events can provide insights into fundamental molecular mechanisms of evolutionary change. Fishes from the Suborder Belonoidei display a vast array of extreme craniofacial morphologies that appear to have arisen through a series of heterochronic shifts. We performed a molecular heterochrony study, comparing postembryonic jaw development in representatives of the Suborder Belonoidei, the halfbeak Dermogenys pusilla (where the lower jaw is considerably elongated compared to the upper jaw) and the needlefish Belone belone (where both jaws are elongated), to a representative of their sister group the Suborder Adrianichthyoidei, the medaka Oryzias latipes, which has retained the ancestral morphology.
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Crater lake cichlids individually specialize along the benthic-limnetic axis.
Ecol Evol
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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A common pattern of adaptive diversification in freshwater fishes is the repeated evolution of elongated open water (limnetic) species and high-bodied shore (benthic) species from generalist ancestors. Studies on phenotype-diet correlations have suggested that population-wide individual specialization occurs at an early evolutionary and ecological stage of divergence and niche partitioning. This variable restricted niche use across individuals can provide the raw material for earliest stages of sympatric divergence. We investigated variation in morphology and diet as well as their correlations along the benthic-limnetic axis in an extremely young Midas cichlid species, Amphilophus tolteca, endemic to the Nicaraguan crater lake Asososca Managua. We found that A. tolteca varied continuously in ecologically relevant traits such as body shape and lower pharyngeal jaw morphology. The correlation of these phenotypes with niche suggested that individuals are specialized along the benthic-limnetic axis. No genetic differentiation within the crater lake was detected based on genotypes from 13 microsatellite loci. Overall, we found that individual specialization in this young crater lake species encompasses the limnetic-as well as the benthic macro-habitat. Yet there is no evidence for any diversification within the species, making this a candidate system for studying what might be the early stages preceding sympatric divergence. A common pattern of adaptive diversification in freshwater fishes is the repeated evolution of open water (limnetic) species and of shore (benthic) species. Individual specialization can reflect earliest stages of evolutionary and ecological divergence. We here demonstrate individual specialization along the benthic-limnetic axis in a young adaptive radiation of crater lake cichlid fishes.
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Scalable production of microbially mediated zinc sulfide nanoparticles and application to functional thin films.
Acta Biomater
PUBLISHED: 02-03-2014
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A series of semiconducting zinc sulfide (ZnS) nanoparticles were scalably, reproducibly, controllably and economically synthesized with anaerobic metal-reducing Thermoanaerobacter species. These bacteria reduced partially oxidized sulfur sources to sulfides that extracellularly and thermodynamically incorporated with zinc ions to produce sparingly soluble ZnS nanoparticles with ?5nm crystallites at yields of ?5gl(-1)month(-1). A predominant sphalerite formation was facilitated by rapid precipitation kinetics, a low cation/anion ratio and a higher zinc concentration compared to background to produce a naturally occurring hexagonal form at the low temperature, and/or water adsorption in aqueous conditions. The sphalerite ZnS nanoparticles exhibited narrow size distribution, high emission intensity and few native defects. Scale-up and emission tunability using copper doping were confirmed spectroscopically. Surface characterization was determined using Fourier transform infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies, which confirmed amino acid as proteins and bacterial fermentation end products not only maintaining a nano-dimensional average crystallite size, but also increasing aggregation. The application of ZnS nanoparticle ink to a functional thin film was successfully tested for potential future applications.
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Dominance of an invasive fruit fly species, Bactrocera invadens, along an altitudinal transect in Morogoro, Eastern Central Tanzania.
Bull. Entomol. Res.
PUBLISHED: 02-03-2014
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Bactrocera invadens, a fruit fly from Asia, is an invasive pest species across Africa. It appears to continue spreading, not only in latitude but also in altitude. To assess its capacity to infest a large variety of hosts and its competition with other fruit fly species, a study along an altitudinal gradient was conducted. At low altitudes, the high abundance in the field and high infestation of B. invadens in different fruit species make it a serious pest. At high altitudes, colonization has started and B. invadens occurs in low numbers by reproducing successfully in high altitude fruits. Overall the abundance and infestation of B. invadens is influenced by its direct competitor Ceratitis rosa and the presence of its preferred host species. C. rosa is still the dominant species in temperate fruits grown at high altitude. Ceratitis cosyra, however, is negatively affected by B. invadens, this species seems to have shifted hosts to avoid competition. The broad host range and competitive potential of B. invadens increase the risk for further spread not only to higher areas, but also to subtropical regions.
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The imprinted NPAP1 gene in the Prader-Willi syndrome region belongs to a POM121-related family of retrogenes.
Genome Biol Evol
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2014
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We have recently shown that the human Nuclear pore-associated protein (NPAP1)/C15orf2 gene encodes a nuclear pore-associated protein. This gene is one of several paternally expressed imprinted genes in the genomic region 15q11q13. Because the Prader-Willi syndrome is known to be caused by the loss of function of paternally expressed genes in 15q11q13, a phenotypic contribution of NPAP1 cannot be excluded. NPAP1 appears to be under strong positive Darwinian selection in primates, suggesting an important function in primate biology. Interestingly, however, in contrast to all other protein-coding genes in 15q11q13, NPAP1 has no ortholog in the mouse. Our investigation of the evolutionary origin of NPAP1 showed that the gene is specific to primate species and absent from the 15q11q13-orthologous regions in all nonprimate mammals. However, we identified a group of paralogous genes, which we call NPAP1L, in all placental mammals except rodents. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that NPAP1, NPAP1L, and another group of genes (UPF0607), which is also restricted to primates, are closely related to the vertebrate transmembrane nucleoporin gene POM121, although they lack the transmembrane domain. These three newly identified groups of genes all lack conserved introns, and hence, are likely retrogenes. We hypothesize that, in the common ancestor of placentals, the POM121 gene retrotransposed and gave rise to an NPAP1-ancestral retrogene NPAP1L/NPAP1/UPF0607. Our results suggest that the nuclear pore-associated gene NPAP1 originates from the vertebrate nucleoporin gene POM121 and--after several steps of retrotransposition and duplication-has been subjected to genomic imprinting and positive selection after integration into the imprinted SNRPN-UBE3A chromosomal domain.
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Methanol fractionation of softwood Kraft lignin: impact on the lignin properties.
ChemSusChem
PUBLISHED: 01-25-2014
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The development of technologies to tune lignin properties for high-performance lignin-based materials is crucial for the utilization of lignin in various applications. Here, the effect of methanol (MeOH) fractionation on the molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, glass transition temperature (Tg ), thermal decomposition, and chemical structure of lignin were investigated. Repeated MeOH fractionation of softwood Kraft lignin successfully removed the low-molecular-weight fraction. The separated high-molecular-weight lignin showed a Tg of 211 °C and a char yield of 47 %, much higher than those of as-received lignin (Tg 153 °C, char yield 41 %). The MeOH-soluble fraction of lignin showed an increased low-molecular-weight fraction and a lower Tg (117 °C) and char yield (32%). The amount of low-molecular-weight fraction showed a quantitative correlation with both 1/Tg and char yield in a linear regression. This study demonstrated the efficient purification or fractionation technology for lignin; it also established a theoretical and empirical correlation between the physical characteristics of fractionated lignins.
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Studies on supercapacitor electrode material from activated lignin-derived mesoporous carbon.
Langmuir
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2014
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We synthesized mesoporous carbon from pre-cross-linked lignin gel impregnated with a surfactant as the pore-forming agent and then activated the carbon through physical and chemical methods to obtain activated mesoporous carbon. The activated mesoporous carbons exhibited 1.5- to 6-fold increases in porosity with a maximum Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area of 1148 m(2)/g and a pore volume of 1.0 cm(3)/g. Both physical and chemical activation enhanced the mesoporosity along with significant microporosity. Plots of cyclic voltammetric data with the capacitor electrode made from these carbons showed an almost rectangular curve depicting the behavior of ideal double-layer capacitance. Although the pristine mesoporous carbon exhibited a range of surface-area-based capacitance similar to that of other known carbon-based supercapacitors, activation decreased the surface-area-based specific capacitance and enhanced the gravimetric specific capacitance of the mesoporous carbons. A vertical tail in the lower-frequency domain of the Nyquist plot provided additional evidence of good supercapacitor behavior for the activated mesoporous carbons. We have modeled the equivalent circuit of the Nyquist plot with the help of two constant phase elements (CPE). Our work demonstrated that biomass-derived mesoporous carbon materials continue to show potential for use in specific electrochemical applications.
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Species-specific differences in adaptive phenotypic plasticity in an ecologically relevant trophic trait: hypertrophic lips in Midas cichlid fishes.
Evolution
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2014
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The spectacular species richness of cichlids and their diversity in morphology, coloration, and behavior have made them an ideal model for the study of speciation and adaptive evolution. Hypertrophic lips evolved repeatedly and independently in African and Neotropical cichlid radiations. Cichlids with hypertrophic lips forage predominantly in rocky crevices and it has been hypothesized that mechanical stress caused by friction could result in larger lips through phenotypic plasticity. To test the influence of the environment on the size and development of lips, we conducted a series of breeding and feeding experiments on Midas cichlids. Full-sibs of Amphilophus labiatus (thick-lipped) and Amphilophus citrinellus (thin-lipped) each were split into a control group which was fed food from the water column and a treatment group whose food was fixed to substrates. We found strong evidence for phenotypic plasticity on lip area in the thick-lipped species, but not in the thin-lipped species. Intermediate phenotypic values were observed in hybrids from thick- and thin-lipped species reared under "control" conditions. Thus, both a genetic, but also a phenotypic plastic component is involved in the development of hypertrophic lips in Neotropical cichlids. Moreover, species-specific adaptive phenotypic plasticity was found, suggesting that plasticity is selected for in recent thick-lipped species.
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Evolution of genomic structural variation and genomic architecture in the adaptive radiations of African cichlid fishes.
Front Genet
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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African cichlid fishes are an ideal system for studying explosive rates of speciation and the origin of diversity in adaptive radiation. Within the last few million years, more than 2000 species have evolved in the Great Lakes of East Africa, the largest adaptive radiation in vertebrates. These young species show spectacular diversity in their coloration, morphology and behavior. However, little is known about the genomic basis of this astonishing diversity. Recently, five African cichlid genomes were sequenced, including that of the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), a basal and only relatively moderately diversified lineage, and the genomes of four representative endemic species of the adaptive radiations, Neolamprologus brichardi, Astatotilapia burtoni, Metriaclima zebra, and Pundamila nyererei. Using the Tilapia genome as a reference genome, we generated a high-resolution genomic variation map, consisting of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), short insertions and deletions (indels), inversions and deletions. In total, around 18.8, 17.7, 17.0, and 17.0 million SNPs, 2.3, 2.2, 1.4, and 1.9 million indels, 262, 306, 162, and 154 inversions, and 3509, 2705, 2710, and 2634 deletions were inferred to have evolved in N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra, respectively. Many of these variations affected the annotated gene regions in the genome. Different patterns of genetic variation were detected during the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes. For SNPs, the highest rate of evolution was detected in the common ancestor of N. brichardi, A. burtoni, P. nyererei, and M. zebra. However, for the evolution of inversions and deletions, we found that the rates at the terminal taxa are substantially higher than the rates at the ancestral lineages. The high-resolution map provides an ideal opportunity to understand the genomic bases of the adaptive radiation of African cichlid fishes.
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The gut microbial community of Midas cichlid fish in repeatedly evolved limnetic-benthic species pairs.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Gut bacterial communities are now known to influence a range of fitness related aspects of organisms. But how different the microbial community is in closely related species, and if these differences can be interpreted as adaptive is still unclear. In this study we compared microbial communities in two sets of closely related sympatric crater lake cichlid fish species pairs that show similar adaptations along the limnetic-benthic axis. The gut microbial community composition differs in the species pair inhabiting the older of two crater lakes. One major difference, relative to other fish, is that in these cichlids that live in hypersaline crater lakes, the microbial community is largely made up of Oceanospirillales (52.28%) which are halotolerant or halophilic bacteria. This analysis opens up further avenues to identify candidate symbiotic or co-evolved bacteria playing a role in adaptation to similar diets and life-styles or even have a role in speciation. Future functional and phylosymbiotic analyses might help to address these issues.
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[What Should a Surgeon Know about Family Medicine?]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 12-10-2013
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Background: Surgeons have only limited options from case-specific contacts to generate a comprehensive picture about family medicine as a discipline and the family practitioner with its specific issues and characteristics. Thus, the typical function of the family practitioner is often not sufficiently taken into account while aiming for a better cooperation: the primary care of "unselected reasons for encounter" with integration of bio-psycho-social aspects, long-term care, close distance contacts and low-threshold access. In addition, family practitioners and surgeons have different expectations regarding their cooperation, which are important to know and handle. Methods: A selective literature search was undertaken on the self-conception and professional functioning of family medicine as well as on mutual expectations to improve cooperation at the outpatient-inpatient interface. Results/Conclusion: Surgeons benefit from the knowledge on self-conception and functioning of family practitioners by using options and potentials for the reduction of problems at the outpatient-inpatient interface and for an optimised network.
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Oxygen-functionalized few-layer graphene sheets as active catalysts for oxidative dehydrogenation reactions.
ChemSusChem
PUBLISHED: 12-06-2013
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Nanostructured graphitic forms of carbons have shown intersting potential for catalysis research and are ideal candidates to substitute the conventional metal-oxide catalysts because they can be easily disposed, which enables a greener, more sustainable catalytic process. Few-layer graphene and its functionalized form offer the opportunity to investigate the nature of graphitic active sites for oxidation reactions in well-defined carbon-based catalysts. In this paper, we report the utilization of oxygen-functionalized few-layer graphene sheets containing variable amounts of oxygen in the heterogeneous catalytic oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) reaction of isobutane at 400ºC. Interestingly, there is poor correlation between oxygen content and catalytic performance. Carbonyl groups were found to be highly stable, and graphene that had higher sp(2) character, the lowest oxygen content, and fewer edge sites presented the lowest specific rate of isobutane reaction, although the isobutene selectivity remained high. The reoxidation of the graphene surface occurred at the same rate as the ODH reaction suggesting a Mars-van Krevelen type of mechanism, similar to that which takes place on oxide surfaces. These results appear to suggest that a higher fraction of exposed edges where oxygen active sites can be formed and exchanged should lead to more active catalysts for ODH reactions.
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[EUS-Guided Drainage of the Pancreatic Duct (EUPD) - Promising Therapeutic Alternative to Surgical Intervention in Case of Symptomatic Retention of the Pancreatic Duct and Unsuccessful ERP.]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 11-29-2013
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Background: Transpapillary ERP is the gold standard in symptomatic retention of the pancreatic duct or pancreatic fistula; however, it fails in 5-10?% due to a papilla which cannot be reached or cannulated, or in postoperative changes which do not allow conventional endoscopic drainage. Method: Based on our clinical, endoscopic and EUS-related experience as well as a literature search, EUS-guided pancreaticography and drainage of the pancreatic duct (EUPD) are described as alternative approach i) to symptomatic retention of pancreatic duct, ii) for cases with stenoses of the pancreatic duct and anastomoses which cannot be treated with conventional endoscopy, and iii) for patients with postoperative pancreatic fistula within the diagnostic and therapeutic management, including adequate indication, performance and outcome. Results: EUPD is indicated in cases with i) altered anatomy of upper GI tract (congenital; papilla or pancreaticoenteric anastomosis), ii) symptomatic retention of pancreatic duct due to changes in peripapillary region or iii) stenosis of pancreatic duct/anastomosis, and iv) if surgical intervention cannot be done with a reasonable risk-benefit ratio. EUPD can provide a success rate of 25 to 92?%, a complication rate of 14 to 40?% (bleeding, perforation, pancreatitis, pain) and long-term clinical success rate of 69 to 78?% (pain-, symptom-free). Advantages are sustained endoscopic methodological variability, minimal invasiveness, improvement in quality of life, possible endoscopic revision of complications and conventional endoscopic equipment. In contrast disadvantages include high level of expertise, only low case load, long learning curve, instruments needing further optimisation, and a still not good clinical success rate of 70?% as well as status as an experimental clinical method. Conclusion: With adequate experience EUPD is for carefully selected patients an uncomplicated, elegant and safe method and represents an alternative therapeutic option for the interventional endoscopist allowing more invasive procedures to be avoided. Further prospective and systematic evaluations and technical refinements of EUPD-associated results are needed in order to establish general therapeutic guidelines on indications, peri-interventional management and to define a practical guideline-relevant procedure.
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[Alterations of Vertebrocerebral Arterial Branches in Children and Adolescents - Current Aspects of Epidemiology, Diagnostics, Treatment, Outcome and Follow-Up Including a Representative Case Report.]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 11-15-2013
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Introduction: Vascular alterations such as arterial lesions themselves or caused by injuries (external site) occur only rarely in children and adolescents. By means of a narrative review including our own clinical experience and a representative case report, vascular alterations in children and adolescents are discussed. Complex Patient- & clinical Finding-associated Aspects: - Dissections of vertebrocerebral arterial branches: usually, the aetiopathogenesis reveals external factors or primary alterations of the vascular wall. The therapeutic approach comprises anticoagulation or surgical, sometimes endovascular intervention in cases of recurrent ischaemic symptoms. - Aneurysm of the carotid artery: the therapeutic approach is characterised by surgical and interventional treatment according to the individual case-specific finding, alternatives in vascular reconstruction can be derived from the classification by de Jong et al. Representative Case Report: An 11 year old boy was diagnosed with intracranial dissection of the left vertebral artery initially treated with anticoagulation (6 months) and a consecutive neurosurgical approach (trepanation and coverage of the dissecting aneurysm) and, subsequently (within the 16th year of age), he underwent interventional treatment (coil embolisation) because of an expansion of the aneurysm. In addition, an aneurysm of the right internal carotid artery was found, which was approached surgically with interposition of a vena-saphena-magna segment. Conclusion: Vascular alterations such as dissections and aneurysms of vertebrocerebral arterial branches in children and adolescents are challenging. Dissections should be treated with anticoagulation. In the case of recurrent ischaemic symptoms or in cases of pressure phenomenon including neurological alterations, interventional or surgical treatment is indicated. In the case of an aneurysm of the carotid artery, there is an indication for surgical treatment: In children and teenagers, venous segments for interposition and single-stitch sutures are usually used. Competent decision-making for treatment and periinterventional management require appropriate interdisciplinary expertise.
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[Skills lab from the surgical point of view. Experiences from the Magdeburg Medical School--The University of Magdeburg].
Chirurg
PUBLISHED: 11-01-2013
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For the acquisition of practical skills, the separate learning atmosphere of a skills lab(oratory) is very suitable. Numerous educational objectives of surgical teaching can be pursued using phantoms, manikins or mutual training among students prior to real practical use during clinical traineeships or internships.
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[Increasingly individualised therapeutic options in the rare isolated aneurysm of the iliac artery--vascular surgical versus image-guided endovascular intervention].
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 10-22-2013
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Isolated aneurysms of the iliac artery are rare but in case of rupture potentially life-threatening.
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[Carcinoma of the pararenal gland infiltrating the surrounding tissue and involving the inferior vena cava].
Aktuelle Urol
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2013
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?HISTORY AND ADMISSION FI NDINGS: A 61-year-old woman presented with a 2-month-history of progressive deterioration, increasing exertional dyspnoea and pain in the right upper abdomen (past medical history: bronchial asthma and hypertension). The physical examination showed mild generalized weakness, tenderness in the right upper abdomen, and ascites.
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[How Much Blood and What Components does the Patient need Intra- and Perioperatively?]
Zentralbl Chir
PUBLISHED: 09-10-2013
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By the optimised availability of less expensive and safe red cell packs and other blood products over the last 20 years, numerous surgical interventions have become possible without any demand for comments on the precise need. However, a number of publications indicates that blood transfusion may also induce disadvantageous effects on the postoperative course by immunomodulation, which requires a rather restrictive indication for transfusion. Furthermore, demographic development leads to a decrease in that portion of the population with the potential for blood donation accompanied simultaneously by an increase of the percentage of older patients with more need of blood products during medical treatment. This makes blood-sparing measures necessary. In addition, costs for red cell packs have increased, in particular, for the generally compatible blood group 0 - an extra amount for rhesus negative blood. The present narrative review highlights, therefore, important news from the clinical transfusion medicine, immunohaematology and haemostaseology and their impact on daily transfusion practice. In this context, "blood management" is considered as one of the very effective blood-sparing measures, which focusses especially i) on the substitution of iron in case of depressed preoperative haemoglobin as well as ii) to elucidate disorders of coagulation by structured medical history and, subsequently, to balance possible need by a specific plan for substitution. Simultaneously, prospective studies are initiated to investigate how far the transfusion trigger of a patient can be lowered down to a still appropriate level. As far as consolidated findings are already available, they are described with regard to the single blood components and taking into account the cross-sectional guidelines of the "Bundesärztekammer" (Federal Physicians Chamber). Finally, initial evidence is provided characterising patient- and blood donor-specific, blood group-dependent features of a reasonable haemotherapy.
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[Allergic adverse transfusion reactions in paediatrics, a 3-year study].
Transfus Clin Biol
PUBLISHED: 08-13-2013
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In the transfused patients, in France, in 2011, allergy ranked as the third adverse transfusion reaction. In order to evaluate the incidence and symptomatology of allergic adverse transfusion reactions in the paediatric people, a study was performed.
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Genomic architecture of ecologically divergent body shape in a pair of sympatric crater lake cichlid fishes.
Mol. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 08-08-2013
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Determining the genetic bases of adaptations and their roles in speciation is a prominent issue in evolutionary biology. Cichlid fish species flocks are a prime example of recent rapid radiations, often associated with adaptive phenotypic divergence from a common ancestor within a short period of time. In several radiations of freshwater fishes, divergence in ecomorphological traits - including body shape, colour, lips and jaws - is thought to underlie their ecological differentiation, specialization and, ultimately, speciation. The Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) of Nicaragua provides one of the few known examples of sympatric speciation where species have rapidly evolved different but parallel morphologies in young crater lakes. This study identified significant QTL for body shape using SNPs generated via ddRAD sequencing and geometric morphometric analyses of a cross between two ecologically and morphologically divergent, sympatric cichlid species endemic to crater Lake Apoyo: an elongated limnetic species (Amphilophus zaliosus) and a high-bodied benthic species (Amphilophus astorquii). A total of 453 genome-wide informative SNPs were identified in 240 F2 hybrids. These markers were used to construct a genetic map in which 25 linkage groups were resolved. Seventy-two segregating SNPs were linked to 11 QTL. By annotating the two most highly supported QTL-linked genomic regions, genes that might contribute to divergence in body shape along the benthic-limnetic axis in Midas cichlid sympatric adaptive radiations were identified. These results suggest that few genomic regions of large effect contribute to early stage divergence in Midas cichlids.
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Dynamics of ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen and pH in gravesoil during the extended postmortem interval.
J. Forensic Sci.
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2013
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Estimating the postmortem interval of skeletal remains is difficult, as few tools exist to do so. To address this problem, we conducted a field experiment to measure the chemistry of swine (Sus scrofa domesticus Linnaeus) gravesoil after 1 year and 3 years postmortem. Carcasses were placed on the soil surface of a pasture during June in a cold (Dfa) climate. Significant (p < 0.05) increases in ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen, pH, total nitrogen, and nitrate in gravesoil were detected 1 year postmortem. Significant differences in gravesoil chemistry were not detected 3 years postmortem. These observations coincided with gaps in plant growth 1 year postmortem and the development of lush vegetation 3 years postmortem. We conclude that these phenomena can be used to assist the decision-making process regarding the allocation of resources during the early stages of a death investigation.
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Saltatory evolution of the ectodermal neural cortex gene family at the vertebrate origin.
Genome Biol Evol
PUBLISHED: 07-12-2013
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The ectodermal neural cortex (ENC) gene family, whose members are implicated in neurogenesis, is part of the kelch repeat superfamily. To date, ENC genes have been identified only in osteichthyans, although other kelch repeat-containing genes are prevalent throughout bilaterians. The lack of elaborate molecular phylogenetic analysis with exhaustive taxon sampling has obscured the possible link of the establishment of this gene family with vertebrate novelties. In this study, we identified ENC homologs in diverse vertebrates by means of database mining and polymerase chain reaction screens. Our analysis revealed that the ENC3 ortholog was lost in the basal eutherian lineage through single-gene deletion and that the triplication between ENC1, -2, and -3 occurred early in vertebrate evolution. Including our original data on the catshark and the zebrafish, our comparison revealed high conservation of the pleiotropic expression pattern of ENC1 and shuffling of expression domains between ENC1, -2, and -3. Compared with many other gene families including developmental key regulators, the ENC gene family is unique in that conventional molecular phylogenetic inference could identify no obvious invertebrate ortholog. This suggests a composite nature of the vertebrate-specific gene repertoire, consisting not only of de novo genes introduced at the vertebrate origin but also of long-standing genes with no apparent invertebrate orthologs. Some of the latter, including the ENC gene family, may be too rapidly evolving to provide sufficient phylogenetic signals marking orthology to their invertebrate counterparts. Such gene families that experienced saltatory evolution likely remain to be explored and might also have contributed to phenotypic evolution of vertebrates.
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Dietary intake of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of myocardial infarction in coronary artery disease patients with or without diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study.
BMC Med
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2013
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A beneficial effect of a high n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) intake has been observed in heart failure patients, who are frequently insulin resistant. We investigated the potential influence of impaired glucose metabolism on the relation between dietary intake of n-3 LCPUFAs and risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in patients with coronary artery disease.
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Seasonal variation of carcass decomposition and gravesoil chemistry in a cold (Dfa) climate.
J. Forensic Sci.
PUBLISHED: 07-03-2013
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It is well known that temperature significantly affects corpse decomposition. Yet relatively few taphonomy studies investigate the effects of seasonality on decomposition. Here, we propose the use of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system and describe the decomposition of swine (Sus scrofa domesticus) carcasses during the summer and winter near Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. Decomposition was scored, and gravesoil chemistry (total carbon, total nitrogen, ninhydrin-reactive nitrogen, ammonium, nitrate, and soil pH) was assessed. Gross carcass decomposition in summer was three to seven times greater than in winter. Initial significant changes in gravesoil chemistry occurred following approximately 320 accumulated degree days, regardless of season. Furthermore, significant (p < 0.05) correlations were observed between ammonium and pH (positive correlation) and between nitrate and pH (negative correlation). We hope that future decomposition studies employ the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system to understand the seasonality of corpse decomposition, to validate taphonomic methods, and to facilitate cross-climate comparisons of carcass decomposition.
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Multi-gene phylogeny of Madagascars plated lizards, Zonosaurus and Tracheloptychus (Squamata: Gerrhosauridae).
Mol. Phylogenet. Evol.
PUBLISHED: 06-08-2013
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We analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of the Malagasy plated lizards in the family Gerrhosauridae based on DNA sequence fragments of four mitochondrial and five nuclear genes. Various clades were strongly supported by the concatenated data set and also recovered by separate analyses of mtDNA and nucDNA. In particular, two clades here named the Z. rufipes group (containing Z. bemaraha , Z. brygooi , Z. rufipes , Z. subunicolor , Z. tsingy and an undescribed candidate species from northern Madagascar) and the Z. ornatus group (containing Z. anelanelany , Z. laticaudatus , Z. karsteni , Z. ornatus , Z. quadrilineaus, and Z. trilineatus) were resolved with strong support. A third clade named the Z. madagascariensis group contains Z. madagascariensis with a nested Z. haraldmeieri; the status of that species requires further investigation. Tentatively we also include Z. aeneus in this species group although its phylogenetic relationships were poorly resolved. A fourth clade with less support included Z. boettgeri and Z. maximus. The phylogenetic position of the genus Tracheloptychus remains uncertain: whereas in the species tree it was recovered as the sister group to Zonosaurus, other methods indicated that it was nested within Zonosaurus, albeit alternative topologies were rejected with only marginal statistical support.
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Evolutionary active transposable elements in the genome of the coelacanth.
J. Exp. Zool. B Mol. Dev. Evol.
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2013
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The apparent morphological stasis in the lineage of the coelacanth, which has been called a "living fossil" by many, has been suggested to be causally related to a slow evolution of its genome, with strongly reduced activity of transposable elements (TEs). Analysis of the African coelacanth showed that at least 25% of its genome is constituted of transposable elements including retrotransposons, endogenous retroviruses and DNA transposons, with a strong predominance of non-Long Terminal Repeat (non-LTR) retrotransposons. The coelacanth genome has been shaped by four major general bursts of transposition during evolution, with major contributions of LINE1, LINE2, CR1, and Deu non-LTR retrotransposons. Many transposable elements are expressed in different tissues and might be active. The number of TE families in coelacanth, but also in lungfish, is lower than in teleost fish, but is higher than in chicken and human. This observation is in agreement with the hypothesis of a sequential elimination of many TE families in the sarcopterygian lineage during evolution. Taken together, our analysis indicates that the coelacanth contains more TE families than birds and mammals, and that these elements have been active during the evolution of the coelacanth lineage. Hence, at the level of transposable element activity, the coelacanth genome does not appear to evolve particularly slowly. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 9999B: 1-12, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Shaping development through mechanical strain: the transcriptional basis of diet-induced phenotypic plasticity in a cichlid fish.
Mol. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2013
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Adaptive phenotypic plasticity, the ability of an organism to change its phenotype to match local environments, is increasingly recognized for its contribution to evolution. However, few empirical studies have explored the molecular basis of plastic traits. The East African cichlid fish Astatoreochromis alluaudi displays adaptive phenotypic plasticity in its pharyngeal jaw apparatus, a structure that is widely seen as an evolutionary key innovation that has contributed to the remarkable diversity of cichlid fishes. It has previously been shown that in response to different diets, the pharyngeal jaws change their size, shape and dentition: hard diets induce an adaptive robust molariform tooth phenotype with short jaws and strong internal bone structures, while soft diets induce a gracile papilliform tooth phenotype with elongated jaws and slender internal bone structures. To gain insight into the molecular underpinnings of these adaptations and enable future investigations of the role that phenotypic plasticity plays during the formation of adaptive radiations, the transcriptomes of the two divergent jaw phenotypes were examined. Our study identified a total of 187 genes whose expression differs in response to hard and soft diets, including immediate early genes, extracellular matrix genes and inflammatory factors. Transcriptome results are interpreted in light of expression of candidate genes-markers for tooth size and shape, bone cells and mechanically sensitive pathways. This study opens up new avenues of research at new levels of biological organization into the roles of phenotypic plasticity during speciation and radiation of cichlid fishes.
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Serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations in relation to prostate cancer risk--a Norwegian population-based nested case-control study of 3000 cases and 3000 controls within the JANUS cohort.
Int J Epidemiol
PUBLISHED: 03-20-2013
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Although individual studies have been inconsistent, meta-analyses of epidemiological data suggest that high folate and vitamin B12 levels may be associated with increased prostate cancer risk.
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A new unique form of microRNA from human heart, microRNA-499c, promotes myofibril formation and rescues cardiac development in mutant axolotl embryos.
J. Biomed. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2013
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A recessive mutation "c" in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, results in the failure of normal heart development. In homozygous recessive embryos, the hearts do not have organized myofibrils and fail to beat. In our previous studies, we identified a noncoding Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR) from axolotls which promotes myofibril formation and rescues heart development.
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Sarcosine and other metabolites along the choline oxidation pathway in relation to prostate cancer--a large nested case-control study within the JANUS cohort in Norway.
Int. J. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2013
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Methyl group donors and intermediates of one-carbon metabolism affect DNA synthesis and DNA methylation, and may thereby affect prostate carcinogenesis. Choline, the precursor of betaine, and the one-carbon metabolite sarcosine have been associated with increased prostate cancer risk. Within JANUS, a prospective cohort in Norway (n = 317,000) with baseline serum samples, we conducted a nested case-control study among 3,000 prostate cancer cases and 3,000 controls. Using conditional logistic regression, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for prostate cancer risk were estimated according to quintiles of circulating betaine, dimethylglycine (DMG), sarcosine, glycine and serine. High sarcosine and glycine concentrations were associated with reduced prostate cancer risk of borderline significance (sarcosine: highest vs. lowest quintile OR = 0.86, CI = 0.72-1.01, p(trend) = 0.03; glycine: OR = 0.83, CI = 0.70-1.00, p(trend) = 0.07). Serum betaine, DMG and serine were not associated with prostate cancer risk. However, individuals with a high glycine/serine ratio were at decreased prostate cancer risk (OR = 0.74, CI = 0.69-0.85, p(trend) < 0.001). This population-based study suggested that men with high serum sarcosine or glycine concentrations have modestly reduced prostate cancer risk. Ratios of metabolites reflecting one-carbon balance may be associated with prostate cancer risk, as demonstrated for the glycine/serine ratio, and should be explored in future studies.
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Transcriptomics of morphological color change in polychromatic Midas cichlids.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2013
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Animal pigmentation has received much attention in evolutionary biology research due to its strong implications for adaptation and speciation. However, apart from a few cases the genetic changes associated with these evolutionary processes remain largely unknown. The Midas cichlid fish from Central America are an ideal model system for investigating pigmentation traits that may also play a role in speciation. Most Midas cichlids maintain their melanophores and exhibit a grayish (normal) color pattern throughout their lives. A minority of individuals, however, undergo color change and exhibit a distinctive gold or even white coloration in adulthood. The ontogenetic color change in the Midas cichlids may also shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying pigmentation disorders in humans.
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The African coelacanth genome provides insights into tetrapod evolution.
Chris T Amemiya, Jessica Alföldi, Alison P Lee, Shaohua Fan, Hervé Philippe, Iain MacCallum, Ingo Braasch, Tereza Manousaki, Igor Schneider, Nicolas Rohner, Chris Organ, Domitille Chalopin, Jeramiah J Smith, Mark Robinson, Rosemary A Dorrington, Marco Gerdol, Bronwen Aken, Maria Assunta Biscotti, Marco Barucca, Denis Baurain, Aaron M Berlin, Gregory L Blatch, Francesco Buonocore, Thorsten Burmester, Michael S Campbell, Adriana Canapa, John P Cannon, Alan Christoffels, Gianluca De Moro, Adrienne L Edkins, Lin Fan, Anna Maria Fausto, Nathalie Feiner, Mariko Forconi, Junaid Gamieldien, Sante Gnerre, Andreas Gnirke, Jared V Goldstone, Wilfried Haerty, Mark E Hahn, Uljana Hesse, Steve Hoffmann, Jeremy Johnson, Sibel I Karchner, Shigehiro Kuraku, Marcia Lara, Joshua Z Levin, Gary W Litman, Evan Mauceli, Tsutomu Miyake, M Gail Mueller, David R Nelson, Anne Nitsche, Ettore Olmo, Tatsuya Ota, Alberto Pallavicini, Sumir Panji, Barbara Picone, Chris P Ponting, Sonja J Prohaska, Dariusz Przybylski, Nil Ratan Saha, Vydianathan Ravi, Filipe J Ribeiro, Tatjana Sauka-Spengler, Giuseppe Scapigliati, Stephen M J Searle, Ted Sharpe, Oleg Simakov, Peter F Stadler, John J Stegeman, Kenta Sumiyama, Diana Tabbaa, Hakim Tafer, Jason Turner-Maier, Peter Van Heusden, Simon White, Louise Williams, Mark Yandell, Henner Brinkmann, Jean-Nicolas Volff, Clifford J Tabin, Neil Shubin, Manfred Schartl, David B Jaffe, John H Postlethwait, Byrappa Venkatesh, Federica Di Palma, Eric S Lander, Axel Meyer, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2013
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The discovery of a living coelacanth specimen in 1938 was remarkable, as this lineage of lobe-finned fish was thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. The modern coelacanth looks remarkably similar to many of its ancient relatives, and its evolutionary proximity to our own fish ancestors provides a glimpse of the fish that first walked on land. Here we report the genome sequence of the African coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae. Through a phylogenomic analysis, we conclude that the lungfish, and not the coelacanth, is the closest living relative of tetrapods. Coelacanth protein-coding genes are significantly more slowly evolving than those of tetrapods, unlike other genomic features. Analyses of changes in genes and regulatory elements during the vertebrate adaptation to land highlight genes involved in immunity, nitrogen excretion and the development of fins, tail, ear, eye, brain and olfaction. Functional assays of enhancers involved in the fin-to-limb transition and in the emergence of extra-embryonic tissues show the importance of the coelacanth genome as a blueprint for understanding tetrapod evolution.
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Epileptogenic developmental venous anomaly: insights from simultaneous EEG/fMRI.
Clin EEG Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 02-07-2013
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Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) are associated with epileptic seizures; however, the role of DVA in the epileptogenesis is still not established. Simultaneous interictal electroencephalogram/functional magnetic resonance imaging (EEG/fMRI) recordings provide supplementary information to electroclinical data about the epileptic generators, and thus aid in the differentiation of clinically equivocal epilepsy syndromes. The main objective of our study was to characterize the epileptic network in a patient with DVA and epilepsy by simultaneous EEG/fMRI recordings. A 17-year-old woman with recently emerging generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and atypical generalized discharges, was investigated using simultaneous EEG/fMRI at the university hospital. Previous high-resolution MRI showed no structural abnormalities, except a DVA in the right frontal operculum. Interictal EEG recordings showed atypical generalized discharges, corresponding to positive focal blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) correlates in the right frontal operculum, a region drained by the DVA. Additionally, widespread cortical bilateral negative BOLD correlates in the frontal and parietal lobes were delineated, resembling a generalized epileptic network. The EEG/fMRI recordings support a right frontal lobe epilepsy, originating in the vicinity of the DVA, propagating rapidly to both frontal and parietal lobes, as expressed on the scalp EEG by secondary bilateral synchrony. The DVA may be causative of focal epilepsies in cases where no concomitant epileptogenic lesions can be detected. Advanced imaging techniques, such as simultaneous EEG/fMRI, may thus aid in the differentiation of clinically equivocal epilepsy syndromes.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.