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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Chemoselective Intramolecular Wittig Reactions for the Synthesis of Oxazoles and Benzofurans.
J. Org. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 11-19-2014
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A chemoselective approach was developed for the synthesis of highly functionalized oxazoles and benzofurans using an intramolecular Wittig reaction as the key step. By choosing proper trapping reagent or method of addition of reagents, chemoselectivity can be controlled toward either oxazole or benzofuran derivatives.
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Phenethyl isothiocyanate inhibits in vivo growth of subcutaneous xenograft tumors of human malignant melanoma A375.S2 cells.
In Vivo
PUBLISHED: 09-06-2014
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Numerous studies have shown that phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) induces apoptosis of different types of human cancer cell lines, however, there are no reports showing that PEITC inhibits tumor growth in a xenograft model of melanoma in nude mice. We investigated effects of PEITC on the growth of xenografted A375.S2 cell tumors in nude BALB/c mice. A375.S2 cancer cells were inoculated subcutaneously into the lower flanks of mice. Seven days post-inoculation, mice having one palpable tumor were randomly divided into three groups and injected intraperitoneally with PEITC (0, 20 and 40 mg/kg). PEITC reduced tumor weight but total body weight was unaffected. These in vivo results provide support for further investigations to determine the potential use of PEITC as an anticancer drug.
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Structural study of the RIPoptosome core reveals a helical assembly for kinase recruitment.
Biochemistry
PUBLISHED: 08-13-2014
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Receptor interaction protein kinase 1 (RIP1) is a molecular cell-fate switch. RIP1, together with Fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD) and caspase-8, forms the RIPoptosome that activates apoptosis. RIP1 also associates with RIP3 to form the necrosome that triggers necroptosis. The RIPoptosome assembles through interactions between the death domains (DDs) of RIP1 and FADD and between death effector domains (DEDs) of FADD and caspase-8. In this study, we analyzed the overall structure of the RIP1 DD/FADD DD complex, the core of the RIPoptosome, by negative-stain electron microscopy and modeling. The results show that RIP1 DD and FADD DD form a stable complex in vitro similar to the previously described Fas DD/FADD DD complex, suggesting that the RIPoptosome and the Fas death-inducing signaling complex share a common assembly mechanism. Both complexes adopt a helical conformation that requires type I, II, and III interactions between the death domains.
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Structure and function of TatD exonuclease in DNA repair.
Nucleic Acids Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-11-2014
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TatD is an evolutionarily conserved protein with thousands of homologues in all kingdoms of life. It has been suggested that TatD participates in DNA fragmentation during apoptosis in eukaryotic cells. However, the cellular functions and biochemical properties of TatD in bacterial and non-apoptotic eukaryotic cells remain elusive. Here we show that Escherichia coli TatD is a Mg(2+)-dependent 3'-5' exonuclease that prefers to digest single-stranded DNA and RNA. TatD-knockout cells are less resistant to the DNA damaging agent hydrogen peroxide, and TatD can remove damaged deaminated nucleotides from a DNA chain, suggesting that it may play a role in the H2O2-induced DNA repair. The crystal structure of the apo-form TatD and TatD bound to a single-stranded three-nucleotide DNA was determined by X-ray diffraction methods at a resolution of 2.0 and 2.9 Å, respectively. TatD has a TIM-barrel fold and the single-stranded DNA is bound at the loop region on the top of the barrel. Mutational studies further identify important conserved metal ion-binding and catalytic residues in the TatD active site for DNA hydrolysis. We thus conclude that TatD is a new class of TIM-barrel 3'-5' exonuclease that not only degrades chromosomal DNA during apoptosis but also processes single-stranded DNA during DNA repair.
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Atopic diseases and systemic lupus erythematosus: an epidemiological study of the risks and correlations.
Int J Environ Res Public Health
PUBLISHED: 08-08-2014
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Both atopic diseases and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are immune disorders that may lead to physical complications or multi-system comorbidities. This population-based case-control study was designed to evaluate the risk of SLE associated with atopic diseases. Using a national insurance claims dataset in Taiwan, we identified 1673 patients newly diagnosed with SLE and 6692 randomly selected controls frequency matched for gender, age and index date. The odds ratios (OR) for SLE were calculated for associations with allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis and asthma. The SLE patients were predominantly female (82.5%) with a mean age of 40.1 (SD = 18.2). The patients with SLE had a higher rate of atopic dermatitis (6.81% vs. 3.06%), and asthma (10.6% vs. 7.64%) was approximately 2 times more common in the patients with lupus than in those without. The patients with atopic disease (atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and asthma) were at a significant risk for SLE. The overall risk for SLE increased as the number of atopic diseases increased from 1.46 to 2.29, compared with-individuals without the diseases (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, this population-based case-control study demonstrates a significant relationship between atopic diseases and the risk of SLE, especially for females. Atopic dermatitis plays a stronger role than other types of atopic disease in association with SLE.
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Lutein inhibits the migration of retinal pigment epithelial cells via cytosolic and mitochondrial Akt pathways (lutein inhibits RPE cells migration).
Int J Mol Sci
PUBLISHED: 08-08-2014
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During the course of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells will de-differentiate, proliferate, and migrate onto the surfaces of the sensory retina. Several studies have shown that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) can induce migration of RPE cells via an Akt-related pathway. In this study, the effect of lutein on PDGF-BB-induced RPE cells migration was examined using transwell migration assays and Western blot analyses. We found that both phosphorylation of Akt and mitochondrial translocation of Akt in RPE cells induced by PDGF-BB stimulation were suppressed by lutein. Furthermore, the increased migration observed in RPE cells with overexpressed mitochondrial Akt could also be suppressed by lutein. Our results demonstrate that lutein can inhibit PDGF-BB induced RPE cells migration through the inhibition of both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial Akt activation.
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Red cell distribution width is an independent predictor of mortality in necrotizing fasciitis.
Am J Emerg Med
PUBLISHED: 08-07-2014
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Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a rapidly progressing and potentially lethal infectious disease of the soft tissue. An elevated red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is associated with increased risk of death in patients with heart disease and infectious disease. We retrospectively assessed the association of elevated RDW with in-hospital mortality due to NF.
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Examining unidimensionality and improving reliability for the eight subscales of the SF-36 in opioid-dependent patients using Rasch analysis.
Qual Life Res
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2014
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The Medical Outcome Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) is one of the most commonly used questionnaires for monitoring the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) of opioid-dependent patients. However, the unidimensionality and reliability of the SF-36 have not been verified in opioid-dependent patients. The aim of this study was to examine the unidimensionality and to improve the test reliability of the SF-36 for use in opioid-dependent patients.
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Cantharidin induces G2/M phase arrest by inhibition of Cdc25c and Cyclin A and triggers apoptosis through reactive oxygen species and the mitochondria?dependent pathways of A375.S2 human melanoma cells.
Int. J. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 07-22-2014
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Cantharidin (CTD), a component of natural mylabris (Mylabris phalerata Pallas) was reported to have high cytotoxicity in many human cancer cell lines. However, it was not reported to affect human melanoma A375.S2 cells. In the present study, we found that CTD induced cell morphological changes and decreased the percentage of viable cells and induced G2/M phase arrest and induction of apoptosis in A375.S2 cells. Results also showed that CTD induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca2+ and decreased mitochondria membrane potential and lead to the release of cytochrome c, AIF and Endo G. Further investigation revealed that CTD induced A375.S2 cells with an increase of caspase activation and caspase?dependent apoptotic proteins to trigger correlated pathway mechanisms according to western blotting results. Western blotting was used for examining the changes of G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis?associated protein expression and confocal laser microscopy was used to examine the translocation apoptosis?associated protein. Results showed that CTD increased the protein expression of caspase?3, ?8 and ?9, cytochrome c, Bax, Bid, Endo G and AIF but inhibited the levels of Bcl?2 and Bcl?x. CTD induced ER stress?associated protein expression such as GRP78, IRE1?, ATF6? and caspase?12. Based on those observations, we suggest that CTD may have potential as a novel anti?cancer agent for the treatment of skin cancer.
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Enantioselective effects of herbicide imazapyr on Arabidopsis thaliana.
J Environ Sci Health B
PUBLISHED: 07-19-2014
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The enantioselective toxicity of chiral herbicides in the environment is of increasing concern. To investigate the enantioselective effects of the chiral herbicide imazapyr on target organisms, we exposed Arabidopsis thaliana to imazapyr enantiomers and racemate. The results show that imazapyr was enantioselectively toxic to A. thaliana. The total chlorophyll content in A. thaliana was affected more by (+)-imazapyr than (±)-imazapyr and (-)-imazapyr. Concentrations of proline and malondialdehyde reflected a toxic effect in the order of (+)-imazapyr > (±)-imazapyr > (-)-imazapyr at every concentration. Acetolactate synthase (ALS) activity was inhibited more by (+)-imazapyr than (±)-imazapyr or (-)-imazapyr. At 100 mg L(-1) of imazapyr, ALS activity was 78%, 43%, and 19% with (-)-, (±)-, and (+)-imazapyr, respectively. The results suggest the significant enantioselective toxicity of imazapyr in A. thaliana for greater toxicity with (+)-imazapyr than (±)-imazapyr and (-)-imazapyr, which suggests that (+)-imazapyr has more herbicidal effect.
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Upregulated Interleukin-21 Receptor on B Cells Associated with the Downregulation of IgE in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis.
J. Interferon Cytokine Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-10-2014
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Allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis, caused by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated reaction to specific allergens are a common chronic condition worldwide. Interleukin-21 (IL-21), a type I cytokine that is produced by T cells, exerts regulatory effects on a variety of immune cells. In our previous study, we found that serum levels of IL-21 were significantly decreased in patients with severe atopic dermatitis, suggesting that IL-21 might play a role in allergic reactions. In this study, we investigated the role of IL-21/IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) in patients with allergic rhinitis. Our results demonstrated that there was no difference in IL-21 serum levels between allergic rhinitis patients and controls. However, allergic patients had significantly increased expression of IL-21R on naive and memory B cells. IL-21R was upregulated through stimulation by the combination of CD40 ligand (CD40L) and IL-4. IL-21 alone neither induced nor inhibited IgE secretion from CD40L-stimulated B cells. However, IL-21 inhibited IgE secretion of B cells that were induced by the combination of CD40L and IL-4 in allergic patients. Moreover, a negative correlation between the expression of IL-21R and serum levels of IgE was found in patients with allergy. These results suggest that the role of IL-21 in an ongoing allergic reaction is to downregulate the IgE level by binding to IL-21R on B cells, which increases the expression in allergic patients.
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Advantage management strategy in competition via technological race perspective: empirical evidence from the Taiwanese manufacturing industry.
ScientificWorldJournal
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2014
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This study investigated the advantage management strategies of a firm regarding the technological race in the manufacturing sector. This is to reveal whether firms adopt a catch-up or leapfrogging strategy in the competition for innovation. The results show that competition is fierce in the Taiwanese manufacturing industry. Taiwanese manufacturing firms (mostly SMEs) tend to adopt the "catch-up" strategy to keep up with their competitors in order to remain in the technological race. The result indicates that, under financial constraints, Taiwanese manufacturing firms attempt to invest in R&D to catch up with their rivals or to avoid being eliminated from the race.
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Nanoscale analysis of a functionalized polythiophene surface by adhesion mapping.
Anal. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 06-27-2014
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Functionalized ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) monomers, hydroxymethyl EDOT (EDOT-OH), and zwitterionic phosphorylcholine EDOT (EDOT-PC) were electropolymerized to prepare the homopolymers poly(EDOT-OH) and poly(EDOT-PC), and mixtures of these monomers were used to produce the copolymer poly(EDOT-OH)-co-poly(EDOT-PC). Force-extension-curve-based atomic force microscopy (AFM) was utilized to analyze the surfaces of the films. The PEDOT-OH film yielded force-extension curves for short stretching, and the PEDOT-PC film yielded curves for long stretching. A dendron-modified AFM tip with anthracene groups tethered at the end resulted in adhesion maps with the highest contrast. The analytical data for the copolymer films correlated with the corresponding monomer composition, and the maps revealed that the average size for the copolymer nanodomains ranged from 10-14 nm. This approach can be applied to studies aimed at understanding the surface structure of other relevant polymers and copolymers at the nanoscale level.
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Interleukin-21 suppresses the differentiation and functions of T helper 2 cells.
Immunology
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2014
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T helper (Th) 2 cells, which produce IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, control immunity to all forms of allergic inflammatory responses. IL-21 reduces allergic symptoms in murine models and inhibits IL-4-induced IgE secretion by B cells. However, whether or not IL-21 directly affects Th2 cells which leads to reduced allergic symptoms is unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of IL-21 on the differentiation and effector functions of Th2 cells. We found that IL-21 reduced the number of differentiated Th2 cells and these Th2 cells showed a diminished Th2 cytokine production. IL-21 suppressed Th2 cytokine production of already polarized Th2 cells by downregulation of transcription factor GATA-3. IL-21 also induced apoptosis of Th2 cells with decreased anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-2. Intranasal administration of IL-21 at the beginning of OVA sensitization or before OVA challenge decreased Th2 cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of OVA/alum immunized allergic mice. In addition, the inhibitory effects of IL-21 on Th2 effector functions can also be found in allergic patients. Our results demonstrate that IL-21 suppresses the development of Th2 cells and functions of polarized Th2 cells. Hence, the administration of IL-21 may be considered for use as a preventive and therapeutic approach when dealing with Th2 mediated allergic diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Rapid construction of an effective antifouling layer on a Au surface via electrodeposition.
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2014
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A new approach to immobilize zwitterionic molecules rapidly and highly efficiently on a gold surface applies aniline-based electrodeposition. The zwitterion-functionalized antifouling surface enables a decrease of the adsorption of non-specific proteins by 95% from fetal bovine serum (FBS, 10%).
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Regulation of estrogen receptor ? function in oral squamous cell carcinoma cells by FAK signaling.
Endocr. Relat. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2014
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Estrogen receptor ? (ERA) is a DNA-binding transcription factor that plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth. Previous studies indicated that the expression of ER? in cell lines and tumors derived from oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The aim of this study was to examine the activity and function of ER? in OSCC cells and the mechanism underlying ER? activation. Immunochemical analyses in benign (n=11) and malignant (n=21) lesions of the oral cavity showed that ER? immunoreactivity was observed in 43% (9/21) of malignant lesions, whereas none of benign lesions showed ER? immunoreactivity. The ER? expression was also found in three OSCC cell lines and its transcriptional activity was correlated with cell growth. Addition of estradiol stimulated cell growth, whereas treatment of tamoxifen or knockdown of ER? expression caused reduced cell growth. Interestingly, the expression and activity of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) were associated with the phosphorylation of ER? at serine 118 in OSCC cells. Elevated expression of FAK in the slow-growing SCC25 cells caused increases in ER? phosphorylation, transcriptional activity, and cell growth rate, whereas knockdown of FAK expression in the rapid-growing OECM-1 cells led to reduced ER? phosphorylation and activity and retarded cell growth. Inhibition of the activity of protein kinase B (AKT), but not ERK, abolished FAK-promoted ER? phosphorylation. These results suggest that OSCC cells expressed functional ER?, whose activity can be enhanced by FAK/AKT signaling, and this was critical for promoting cell growth. Thus, FAK and ER? can serve as the therapeutic targets for the treatment of OSCC.
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Large enhancement in neurite outgrowth on a cell membrane-mimicking conducting polymer.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 05-12-2014
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Although electrically stimulated neurite outgrowth on bioelectronic devices is a promising means of nerve regeneration, immunogenic scar formation can insulate electrodes from targeted cells and tissues, thereby reducing the lifetime of the device. Ideally, an electrode material capable of electrically interfacing with neurons selectively and efficiently would be integrated without being recognized by the immune system and minimize its response. Here we develop a cell membrane-mimicking conducting polymer possessing several attractive features. This polymer displays high resistance towards nonspecific enzyme/cell binding and recognizes targeted cells specifically to allow intimate electrical communication over long periods of time. Its low electrical impedance relays electrical signals efficiently. This material is capable to integrate biochemical and electrical stimulation to promote neural cellular behaviour. Neurite outgrowth is enhanced greatly on this new conducting polymer; in addition, electrically stimulated secretion of proteins from primary Schwann cells can also occur on it.
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Structure and function of a single-chain, multi-domain long-chain acyl-CoA carboxylase.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 05-04-2014
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Biotin-dependent carboxylases are widely distributed in nature and have important functions in the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, cholesterol and other compounds. Defective mutations in several of these enzymes have been linked to serious metabolic diseases in humans, and acetyl-CoA carboxylase is a target for drug discovery in the treatment of diabetes, cancer and other diseases. Here we report the identification and biochemical, structural and functional characterizations of a novel single-chain (120 kDa), multi-domain biotin-dependent carboxylase in bacteria. It has preference for long-chain acyl-CoA substrates, although it is also active towards short-chain and medium-chain acyl-CoAs, and we have named it long-chain acyl-CoA carboxylase. The holoenzyme is a homo-hexamer with molecular mass of 720 kDa. The 3.0 Å crystal structure of the long-chain acyl-CoA carboxylase holoenzyme from Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis revealed an architecture that is strikingly different from those of related biotin-dependent carboxylases. In addition, the domains of each monomer have no direct contact with each other. They are instead extensively swapped in the holoenzyme, such that one cycle of catalysis involves the participation of four monomers. Functional studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa suggest that the enzyme is involved in the utilization of selected carbon and nitrogen sources.
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Influence of thyroid transcription factor-1 on fluorodeoxyglucose uptake and prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer.
Anticancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2014
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To assess the correlation between thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF1) protein expression in primary tumors from patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake, and to determine its effect on survival outcomes.
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Emotion recognition from single-trial EEG based on kernel Fisher's emotion pattern and imbalanced quasiconformal kernel support vector machine.
Sensors (Basel)
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2014
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Electroencephalogram-based emotion recognition (EEG-ER) has received increasing attention in the fields of health care, affective computing, and brain-computer interface (BCI). However, satisfactory ER performance within a bi-dimensional and non-discrete emotional space using single-trial EEG data remains a challenging task. To address this issue, we propose a three-layer scheme for single-trial EEG-ER. In the first layer, a set of spectral powers of different EEG frequency bands are extracted from multi-channel single-trial EEG signals. In the second layer, the kernel Fisher's discriminant analysis method is applied to further extract features with better discrimination ability from the EEG spectral powers. The feature vector produced by layer 2 is called a kernel Fisher's emotion pattern (KFEP), and is sent into layer 3 for further classification where the proposed imbalanced quasiconformal kernel support vector machine (IQK-SVM) serves as the emotion classifier. The outputs of the three layer EEG-ER system include labels of emotional valence and arousal. Furthermore, to collect effective training and testing datasets for the current EEG-ER system, we also use an emotion-induction paradigm in which a set of pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) are employed as emotion induction stimuli. The performance of the proposed three-layer solution is compared with that of other EEG spectral power-based features and emotion classifiers. Results on 10 healthy participants indicate that the proposed KFEP feature performs better than other spectral power features, and IQK-SVM outperforms traditional SVM in terms of the EEG-ER accuracy. Our findings also show that the proposed EEG-ER scheme achieves the highest classification accuracies of valence (82.68%) and arousal (84.79%) among all testing methods.
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Thermodielectric generation of defect modes in a photonic liquid crystal.
Opt Express
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2014
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Photonic defect modes induced by in situ formation of an ill-defined defect layer is demonstrated in a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC). The local deformation of the one-dimensionally periodic helical structure is achieved by means of the thermodielectric effect, which alters the pitch in the middle of the cholesteric structure. The defect-mode peak in the photonic band gap appears in the transmission spectrum only when the incident circularly polarized light has the same handedness as that of the CLC structure. The wavelength of the deformation-induced defect mode can be tuned upon varying the dielectric heating power by simply applying a frequency-modulated voltage.
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Structural insights into DNA repair by RNase T--an exonuclease processing 3' end of structured DNA in repair pathways.
PLoS Biol.
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2014
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DNA repair mechanisms are essential for preservation of genome integrity. However, it is not clear how DNA are selected and processed at broken ends by exonucleases during repair pathways. Here we show that the DnaQ-like exonuclease RNase T is critical for Escherichia coli resistance to various DNA-damaging agents and UV radiation. RNase T specifically trims the 3' end of structured DNA, including bulge, bubble, and Y-structured DNA, and it can work with Endonuclease V to restore the deaminated base in an inosine-containing heteroduplex DNA. Crystal structure analyses further reveal how RNase T recognizes the bulge DNA by inserting a phenylalanine into the bulge, and as a result the 3' end of blunt-end bulge DNA can be digested by RNase T. In contrast, the homodimeric RNase T interacts with the Y-structured DNA by a different binding mode via a single protomer so that the 3' overhang of the Y-structured DNA can be trimmed closely to the duplex region. Our data suggest that RNase T likely processes bulge and bubble DNA in the Endonuclease V-dependent DNA repair, whereas it processes Y-structured DNA in UV-induced and various other DNA repair pathways. This study thus provides mechanistic insights for RNase T and thousands of DnaQ-like exonucleases in DNA 3'-end processing.
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Gland-preserving robotic surgery for benign submandibular gland tumours: a comparison between robotic and open techniques.
Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg
PUBLISHED: 02-17-2014
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Benign tumours of the submandibular gland are usually treated surgically. Gland-preserving techniques, which can be used to completely remove the tumour, preserve the function of the gland and reduce complications, but conventional open operations result in obvious scars on the neck. We aimed to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of gland-preserving robotic surgery using a hairline approach. We compared robotic with open techniques for gland-preserving operations to remove benign tumours of the submandibular gland. Patients were matched for age and sex (4 in each group). All patients in the robotic surgery group had their tumours removed successfully through hairline approaches. No patient had operative complications or postoperative functional nerve deficit, and an aesthetically pleasing outcome was achieved by concealing the scars within the hairline. Robotic operations took longer than open operations. No recurrence was noted during follow-up. Gland-preserving robotic surgery is a feasible alternative to conventional techniques and has potential advantages for safety and aesthetic outcome.
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3D bioelectronic interface: capturing circulating tumor cells onto conducting polymer-based micro/nanorod arrays with chemical and topographical control.
Small
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2014
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The three-dimensional (3D) poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT)-based bioelectronic interfaces (BEIs) with diverse dimensional micro/nanorod array structures, varied surface chemical pro-perties, high electrical conductivity, reversible chemical redox switching, and high optical transparency are used for capturing circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Such 3D PEDOT-based BEIs can function as an efficient clinical diagonstic and therapeutic platform.
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The association of genetic polymorphisms in the ?-opioid receptor 1 gene with body weight, alcohol use, and withdrawal symptoms in patients with methadone maintenance.
J Clin Psychopharmacol
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2014
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Methadone is a synthetic opioid that binds to the ?-opioid receptor with a low affinity. This study tested the hypotheses that the genetic polymorphisms in the ?-opioid receptor 1 (OPRK1) gene region are associated with methadone treatment responses in a Taiwan methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) cohort. Seventeen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in OPRK1 were selected and genotyped on DNA of 366 MMT patients. Six SNPs from rs7843965 to rs1051660 (intron 2 to exon 2) were significantly associated with body weight (P < 0.007). A haplotype of 4 SNPs rs7832417-rs16918853-rs702764-rs7817710 (exon 4 to intron 3) was associated with bone or joint aches (P ? 0.004) and with the amount of alcohol use (standard drinks per day; global P < 0.0001). The haplotype rs10958350-rs7016778-rs12675595 was associated with gooseflesh skin (global P < 0.0001), yawning (global P = 0.0001), and restlessness (global P < 0.0001) withdrawal symptoms. The findings suggest that genetic polymorphisms in OPRK1 were associated with the body weight, alcohol use, and opioid withdrawal symptoms in MMT patients.
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Surface-charge accumulation effects on open-circuit voltage in organic solar cells based on photoinduced impedance analysis.
Phys Chem Chem Phys
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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The accumulation of dissociated charge carriers plays an important role in reducing the loss occurring in organic solar cells. We find from light-assisted capacitance measurements that the charge accumulation inevitably occurred at the electrode and photovoltaic layer interface for bulk-heterojunction ITO/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:PCBM/Ca/Al solar cells. Our results indicate, for the first time through impedance measurements, that the charge accumulation exists at the anode side of the device, and more importantly, we successfully identify the type of charge accumulated. Further study shows that the charge accumulation can significantly affect open circuit voltage and short circuit current. As a result, our experimental results from light assisted capacitance measurements provide a new understanding of the loss in open-circuit voltage and short-circuit photocurrent based on charge accumulation. Clearly, controlling charge accumulation presents a new mechanism to improve the photovoltaic performance of organic solar cells.
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Changes in the use of complementary and alternative medicine in Taiwan: a comparison study of 2007 and 2011.
Complement Ther Med
PUBLISHED: 01-25-2014
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In this study, we explored the differences in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) based on data from 2007 and 2011 national surveys in Taiwan.
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Topical N-acetylcysteine accelerates wound healing in vitro and in vivo via the PKC/Stat3 pathway.
Int J Mol Sci
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2014
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N-Acetylcysteine (Nac) is an antioxidant administered in both oral and injectable forms. In this study, we used Nac topically to treat burn wounds in vitro and in vivo to investigate mechanisms of action. In vitro, we monitored glutathione levels, cell proliferation, migration, scratch-wound healing activities and the epithelialization-related proteins, matrixmetalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and proteins involved in regulating the expression of MMP-1 in CCD-966SK cells treated with Nac. Various Nac concentrations (0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mM) increased glutathione levels, cell viability, scratch-wound healing activities and migration abilities of CCD-966SK cells in a dose-dependent manner. The MMP-1 expression of CCD-966SK cells treated with 1.0 mM Nac for 24 h was significantly increased. Levels of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase C (PKC), janus kinase 1 (Jak1), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3), c-Fos and Jun, but not extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (Erk1/2), were also significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner compared to the controls. In addition, Nac induced collagenous expression of MMP-1 via the PKC/Stat3 signaling pathway. In vivo, a burn wound healing rat model was applied to assess the stimulation activity and histopathological effects of Nac, with 3.0% Nac-treated wounds being found to show better characteristics on re-epithelialization. Our results demonstrated that Nac can potentially promote wound healing activity, and may be a promising drug to accelerate burn wound healing.
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Cell adhesion as a novel approach to determining the cellular binding motif on the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein.
J. Virol. Methods
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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Emerging life threatening pathogens such as severe acute aspiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV), avian-origin influenzas H7N9, and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have caused a high case-fatality rate and psychological effects on society and the economy. Therefore, a simple, rapid, and safe method to investigate a therapeutic approach against these pathogens is required. In this study, a simple, quick, and safe cell adhesion inhibition assay was developed to determine the potential cellular binding site on the SARS-CoV spike protein. Various synthetic peptides covering the potential binding site helped to minimize further the binding motif to 10-25 residues. Following analyses, 2 peptides spanning the 436-445 and 437-461 amino acids of the spike protein were identified as peptide inhibitor or peptide vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV.
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Crude extract of Rheum palmatum L inhibits migration and invasion of LS1034 human colon cancer cells acts through the inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-2/-9 by MAPK signaling.
Environ. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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Crude extract of Rheum palmatum L. (CERP) has been used to treat different diseases in the Chinese population for decades. In this study, we investigated the anti-metastasis effects of CERP on LS1034 human colorectal cancer cells in vitro and examined potential mechanisms of its effects. CERP significantly inhibited cell migration and invasion of LS1034 cells. We also found that CERP inhibited protein levels of matrix metalloproteinases-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9), and cytosolic NF-kB p65, RHO A, ROCK 1. Furthermore, we found CERP inhibited protein levels of GRB2, SOS1, MKK7, FAK, Rho A, ROCK 1, VEGF, PKC, AKT, phosphor-AKT (Thr308), Cyclin D, iNOS, COX2, NF-kB p65, p-ERK1/2, p-JNK1/2, p-p38, p-c-jun, MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-1, MMP-7, MMP-10, UPA and increased the protein level of Ras in LS1034 cells. In conclusion, our results suggest that CERP may be used as a novel anti-metastasis agent for the treatment of human colon cancer cells. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2014.
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Characterization of photovoltaics with In2S3 nanoflakes/p-Si heterojunction.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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We demonstrate that heterojunction photovoltaics based on hydrothermal-grown In2S3 on p-Si were fabricated and characterized in the paper. An n-type In2S3 nanoflake-based film with unique 'cross-linked network' structure was grown on the prepared p-type silicon substrate. It was found that the bandgap energy of such In2S3 film is 2.5 eV by optical absorption spectra. This unique nanostructure significantly enhances the surface area of the In2S3 films, leading to obtain lower reflectance spectra as the thickness of In2S3 film was increased. Additionally, such a nanostructure resulted in a closer spacing between the cross-linked In2S3 nanostructures and formed more direct conduction paths for electron transportation. Thus, the short-circuit current density (Jsc) was effectively improved by using a suitable thickness of In2S3. The power conversion efficiency (PCE, ?) of the AZO/In2S3/textured p-Si heterojunction solar cell with 100-nm-thick In2S3 film was 2.39%.
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Steatocystoma multiplex as initial impression of non-small cell lung cancer with complete response to gefitinib.
Chin. J. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2014
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Cutaneous metastases are rare and seldom present at the time of first diagnosis of cancer. Data from various studies show that 1-12% of lung cancer patients experience tumor spread to the skin. The scalp, chest, and abdomen are favored sites of skin metastases from lung cancers, but metastases to multiple skin sites in a single patient are rarely reported. We describe a 56-year-old lung adenocarcinoma patient, initially diagnosed with steatocystoma multiplex who responded well to gefitinib treatment. The efficacy of conventional chemotherapy for cutaneous metastases has been limited because of the relatively poor blood supply to the skin. It has been demonstrated that tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), gefitinib, has significant clinical benefit in lung cancer patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation even in metastases to the brain. However, the therapeutic response to gefitinib in patients with skin metastases is seldom mentioned in the literature. We report one case of lung adenocarcinoma with multiple skin metastases that were successfully treated with gefitinib.
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Advanced Cu chemical displacement technique for SiO2-based electrochemical metallization ReRAM application.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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This study investigates an advanced copper (Cu) chemical displacement technique (CDT) with varying the chemical displacement time for fabricating Cu/SiO2-stacked resistive random-access memory (ReRAM). Compared with other Cu deposition methods, this CDT easily controls the interface of the Cu-insulator, the switching layer thickness, and the immunity of the Cu etching process, assisting the 1-transistor-1-ReRAM (1T-1R) structure and system-on-chip integration. The modulated shape of the Cu-SiO2 interface and the thickness of the SiO2 layer obtained by CDT-based Cu deposition on SiO2 were confirmed by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The CDT-fabricated Cu/SiO2-stacked ReRAM exhibited lower operation voltages and more stable data retention characteristics than the control Cu/SiO2-stacked sample. As the Cu CDT processing time increased, the forming and set voltages of the CDT-fabricated Cu/SiO2-stacked ReRAM decreased. Conversely, decreasing the processing time reduced the on-state current and reset voltage while increasing the endurance switching cycle time. Therefore, the switching characteristics were easily modulated by Cu CDT, yielding a high performance electrochemical metallization (ECM)-type ReRAM.
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Diagnosis of Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease: a comparison between open biopsy and minimally invasive ultrasound-guided core biopsy.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease (KFD) is a self-limited disease without any need of surgical treatments. Sampling of tissue is the only invasive procedure during the clinical course. However, the standard sampling procedure with accuracy, minimal invasiveness, and esthetic maintenance has not been established yet. In this study, a retrospective review of clinical utility and pathological presentations of the ultrasound-guided core biopsy (USCB) and the open biopsy (OB) in consecutive KFD patients. From 2010 to 2012, 34 consecutive patients were enrolled. USCB was performed in 11 patients, and OB was done in 26 patients. KFD was confirmed in 82% cases by USCB. Similar pathological presentations were found both in the specimens of USCB and OB. In the three patients who had received both USCB and OB, KFD was confirmed by USCB in one case, while two by OB. Sampling errors were found both in USCB and OB. For diagnosing KFD, USCB can serve as the first-line diagnostic tool. OB can be applied only in the failed cases of USCB.
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Biofiltration of odorous fume emitted from recycled nylon melting operations.
J Air Waste Manag Assoc
PUBLISHED: 12-19-2013
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This study aimed to develop a biofilter packed only with fern chips for the removal of odorous compounds from recycled nylon melting operations. The fern chip biofilters could avoid the shortcomings of traditional media, such as compaction, drying, and breakdown, which lead to the performance failure of the biofilters. A pilot-scale biofilter consisting of an acrylic column (14 cm2 x 120 cm height) packed with fern chips to a volume of around 19.6 L was used for the test. Experimental results indicate that oxygen- and nitrogen-containing hydrocarbons as well as paraffins were major volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from thermal smelting of recycled nylon at 250 degrees C. With operation conditions of medium pH of 5.5-7.0, empty bed retention time (EBRT) of 6-12 sec, influent total hydrocarbon (THC) concentrations of 0.65-2.61 mg m(-3), and volumetric organic loading of 0.05-0.85 g m(-3) hr(-1), the fern-chip-packed biofilter with nutrients of milk, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, and glucose could achieve an overall THC removal efficiency of around 80%. Burnt odor emitted from the smelting of the recycled nylon could be eliminated by the biofilter.
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Light extraction enhancement with radiation pattern shaping of LEDs by waveguiding nanorods with impedance-matching tips.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 12-17-2013
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Syringe-like ZnO nanorods (NRs) were fabricated on InGaN/GaN light emitting diodes (LEDs) by a hydrothermal method. Without sacrificing the electrical performances of LEDs, syringe-like NRs can enhance light extraction capability by 10.5% at 20 mA and shape the radiation profile with a view angle collimated from 136° to 121°. By performing optical experiments and simulation, it is found that the superior light extraction efficiency with a more collimated radiation pattern is attributed to the waveguiding effect of NRs and the mitigation of abrupt index change by the tapered ends of syringe-like ZnO NRs. This work demonstrates the importance of the nanostructure morphology in LED performances and provides the architecture design guidelines of nanostructures to a variety of optical devices.
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Eight forms of moving meditation for preventing falls in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults.
Forsch Komplementmed
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2013
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In numerous countries worldwide, fall prevention among older adults is a major public health issue. For older adults, regular participation in moderate physical activity or exercise lowers the risks of falls. However, scant information is available regarding the prevention strategies that the most at-risk groups may undertake. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a fall prevention strategy, eight forms of moving meditation (EFMM), on community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults in Taiwan.
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Citric acid induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis of human immortalized keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) via caspase- and mitochondrial-dependent signaling pathways.
Anticancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-15-2013
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Citric acid is an alpha-hydroxyacid (AHA) widely used in cosmetic dermatology and skincare products. However, there is concern regarding its safety for the skin. In this study, we investigated the cytotoxic effects of citric acid on the human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT. HaCaT cells were treated with citric acid at 2.5-12.5 mM for different time periods. Cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis were investigated by 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) staining, flow cytometry, western blot and confocal microscopy. Citric acid not only inhibited proliferation of HaCaT cells in a dose-dependent manner, but also induced apoptosis and cell cycle-arrest at the G2/M phase (before 24 h) and S phase (after 24 h). Citric acid increased the level of Bcl-2-associated X protein (BAX) and reduced the levels of B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2), B-cell lymphoma-extra large (BCL-XL) and activated caspase-9 and caspase-3, which subsequently induced apoptosis via caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways. Citric acid also activated death receptors and increased the levels of caspase-8, activated BH3 interacting-domain death agonist (BID) protein, Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF), and Endonuclease G (EndoG). Therefore, citric acid induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway in the human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT. The study results suggest that citric acid is cytotoxic to HaCaT cells via induction of apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest in vitro.
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Lower operation voltage in dual-frequency cholesteric liquid crystals based on the thermodielectric effect.
Opt Express
PUBLISHED: 10-10-2013
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Dual-frequency cholesteric liquid crystal (DFCLC) devices characteristically require high operation voltage, which hinders their further development in thin-film-transistor driving. Here we report on a lower-voltage switching method based on the thermodielectric effect. This technique entails applying a high-frequency voltage to occasion dielectric oscillation heating so to induce the increase in crossover frequency. The subsequent change in dielectric anisotropy of the DFCLC allows the switching, with a lower operation voltage, from the planar state to the focal conic or homeotropic state. The temperature rise incurred by the dielectric heating is described.
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Carving of non-asbestiform tremolite and the risk of lung cancer: a follow-up mortality study in a historical nephrite processing cohort.
Occup Environ Med
PUBLISHED: 09-18-2013
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The health risks associated with exposure to non-asbestiform asbestos minerals, including nephrite, are unclear. In 1965 nephrite processing began in the town of Fengtian in Taiwan, and the majority of inhabitants were involved in the industry from 1970 until 1980. The objectives of this study were to examine lung cancer deaths and assess the carcinogenic effects of nephrite carving.
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Functional genetic polymorphisms in CYP2C19 gene in relation to cardiac side effects and treatment dose in a methadone maintenance cohort.
OMICS
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2013
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Abstract Methadone maintenance therapy is an established treatment for heroin dependence. This study tested the influence of functional genetic polymorphisms in CYP2C19 gene encoding a CYP450 enzyme that contributes to methadone metabolism on treatment dose, plasma concentration, and side effects of methadone. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs4986893 (exon 4) and rs4244285 (exon 5), were selected and genotyped in 366 patients receiving methadone maintenance therapy in Taiwan. The steady-state plasma concentrations of both methadone and its EDDP metabolite enantiomers were measured. SNP rs4244285 allele was significantly associated with the corrected QT interval (QTc) change in the electrocardiogram (p=0.021), and the Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale (TESS) total score (p=0.021) in patients who continued using heroin, as demonstrated with a positive urine opiate test. Using the gene dose (GD) models where the CYP2C19 SNPs were clustered into poor (0 GD) versus intermediate (1 GD) and extensive (2 GD) metabolizers, we found that the extensive metabolizers required a higher dose of methadone (p=0.035), and showed a lower plasma R-methadone/methadone dose ratio (p=0.007) in urine opiate test negative patients, as well as a greater QTc change (p=0.008) and higher total scores of TESS (p=0.018) in urine opiate test positive patients, than poor metabolizers. These results in a large study sample from Taiwan suggest that the gene dose of CYP2C19 may potentially serve as an indicator for the plasma R-methadone/methadone dose ratio and cardiac side effect in patients receiving methadone maintenance therapy. Further studies of pharmacogenetic variation in methadone pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are warranted in different world populations.
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Oral administration of benzyl-isothiocyanate inhibits in vivo growth of subcutaneous xenograft tumors of human malignant melanoma A375.S2 cells.
In Vivo
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2013
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A number of experiments have demonstrated that benzyl-isothiocyanate (BITC) induces cytotoxic cell death through the induction of apoptosis in various human cancer cell lines. In the present study, we investigated the effects of BITC on the growth of A375.S2 cell xenograft tumors in nude BALB/c mice in vivo. The A375.S2 cancer cells were inoculated subcutaneously into the lower flanks of each nude mouse. After cancer cell inoculation, all animals were maintained in the animal room for seven days and all mice produced one palpable tumor. Animals were randomly divided into two groups, each mouse was individually given intraperitoneal injections of BITC (20 mg/kg) or not (control). Results from the in vivo experiments indicated that BITC did not significantly affect the body weight of nude BALB/c mice bearing xenograft A375.S2 cell tumors but did significantly decrease the tumor weight.
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E6 and E7 of human papillomavirus type 18 and UVB irradiation corporately regulate interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 expressions in basal cell carcinoma.
Exp. Dermatol.
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2013
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The lack of a human papillomavirus (HPV)-infected skin cancer cell line has hampered the investigation of the interaction of UV and HPV in skin carcinogenesis. We identified a human basal cell carcinoma (BCC-1/KMC) cell line integrated with E6 and E7 genes of high-risk HPV type 18 and demonstrated that repression of E6 and E7 results in proliferation inhibition. Sublethal ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiation induced the expressions of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8), as well as viral E6 and E7 genes, in BCC-1/KMC cells. When E6 and E7 expressions were inhibited, IL-6/IL-8 expressions were repressed. Furthermore, IL-6/IL-8 remained inducible by UVB irradiation when E6 and E7 were inhibited. These results indicated that IL-6 and IL-8 can be upregulated by viral E6 and E7 proteins without UVB irradiation. Moreover, chronic exposure to UVB upregulates IL-6 and IL-8 when E6/E7 is induced by UVB.
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AtRH57, a DEAD-box RNA helicase, is involved in feedback inhibition of glucose-mediated abscisic acid accumulation during seedling development and additively affects pre-ribosomal RNA processing with high glucose.
Plant J.
PUBLISHED: 08-06-2013
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The Arabidopsis thaliana T-DNA insertion mutant rh57-1 exhibited hypersensitivity to glucose (Glc) and abscisic acid (ABA). The other two rh57 mutants also showed Glc hypersensitivity similar to rh57-1, strongly suggesting that the Glc-hypersensitive feature of these mutants results from mutation of AtRH57. rh57-1 and rh57-3 displayed severely impaired seedling growth when grown in Glc concentrations higher than 3%. The gene, AtRH57 (At3g09720), was expressed in all Arabidopsis organs and its transcript was significantly induced by ABA, high Glc and salt. The new AtRH57 belongs to class II DEAD-box RNA helicase gene family. Transient expression of AtRH57-EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein) in onion cells indicated that AtRH57 was localized in the nucleus and nucleolus. Purified AtRH57-His protein was shown to unwind double-stranded RNA independent of ATP in vitro. The ABA biosynthesis inhibitor fluridone profoundly redeemed seedling growth arrest mediated by sugar. rh57-1 showed increased ABA levels when exposed to high Glc. Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that AtRH57 acts in a signaling network downstream of HXK1. A feedback inhibition of ABA accumulation mediated by AtRH57 exists within the sugar-mediated ABA signaling. AtRH57 mutation and high Glc conditions additively caused a severe defect in small ribosomal subunit formation. The accumulation of abnormal pre-rRNA and resistance to protein synthesis-related antibiotics were observed in rh57 mutants and in the wild-type Col-0 under high Glc conditions. These results suggested that AtRH57 plays an important role in rRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis and participates in response to sugar involving Glc- and ABA signaling during germination and seedling growth.
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Antecedents to cardiac arrests in a teaching hospital intensive care unit.
Resuscitation
PUBLISHED: 07-26-2013
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In hospital cardiac arrests (CA) treated with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) outside of the intensive care unit (ICU) have poor outcomes. Most are preceded by deranged vital signs. There are, however, limited studies assessing antecedents to CAs inside the ICU.
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Annealing effect and photovoltaic properties of nano-ZnS/textured p-Si heterojunction.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 07-19-2013
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The preparation and characterization of heterojunction solar cell with ZnS nanocrystals synthesized by chemical bath deposition method were studied in this work. The ZnS nanocrystals were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Lower reflectance spectra were found as the annealing temperature of ZnS film increased on the textured p-Si substrate. It was found that the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the AZO/ZnS/textured p-Si heterojunction solar cell with an annealing temperature of 250[degree sign]C was eta = 3.66%.
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CYP1A2 genetic polymorphisms are associated with early antidepressant escitalopram metabolism and adverse reactions.
Pharmacogenomics
PUBLISHED: 07-18-2013
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The liver CYP1A2 enzyme may metabolize antidepressant escitalopram (S-CIT) to S-desmethylcitalopram (S-DCIT) and S-didesmethylcitalopram (S-DDCIT). This study tested whether genetic polymorphisms in the CYP1A2 gene are associated with the treatment responses to S-CIT.
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In vitro selection of peptide aptamers using a ribosome display for a conducting polymer.
J. Biosci. Bioeng.
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2013
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Ribosome display was used to select peptide aptamers from a random library composed of hydrophilic amino acids for a conducting polymer, poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl). Binding of aptamers was measured by quartz crystal microbalance, and the secondary structure of the peptide was investigated by circular dichroism.
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Pulmonary fibrosis in workers exposed to non-asbestiform tremolite asbestos minerals.
Epidemiology
PUBLISHED: 06-01-2013
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Studies of the health effects of non-asbestiform asbestos minerals remain inconclusive. Nephrite is a type of non-asbestiform tremolite mineral. We assessed the risk for pulmonary fibrosis in workers who process nephrite.
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Structure activity relationships of peptidic analogs of MyoD for the development of Id1 inhibitors as antiproliferative agents.
J. Pept. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 05-24-2013
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Id proteins, inhibitors of DNA binding proteins, have highly conserved dimerization motif known as the helix-loop-helix (HLH) domain that acts as a negative regulator of basic HLH (bHLH) transcription factors. In signaling pathways, Id proteins play an important role in cellular development, proliferation, and differentiation. The mechanism of Id proteins is to antagonize bHLH proteins, thereby preventing them from binding to DNA and inhibiting transcription of cellular differentiation-associated genes in cancer. Recently, we reported an inhibitor of Id1, peptide 3C, which showed good affinity to Id1 protein and exhibited inhibitory effects in cancer cells. In this study, Ala (A)-substituted analogs of peptide 3C were synthesized by SPPS, purified by RP-HPLC, and characterized by MALDI-TOF MS. Binding of each peptide to Id1 or Id1-HLH (the HLH domain of Id1) was monitored by surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based biosensor. Biological effect of each peptide in MCF-7 breast cancer cells was analyzed by MTT cell viability assay. The secondary structure of substituted analogs of peptide 3C was investigated by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. SPR results revealed that A-substituted analogs of peptide 3C showed weaker binding to Id1 than that of peptide 3C, indicating that the six amino acid residues in the N-terminal of peptide 3C were all essential for binding to Id1 and the importance of amino acid residue was I(2) ?>?Q(6) ?>?Y(1) ?>?G(4) ?>?L(5) ?>?E(3). In addition, substitution of E(3) in peptide 3C with D, Q, and R did not improve the binding potency of peptide 3C. MTT assay demonstrated that neither A-substituted nor position 3-substituted analogs of peptide 3C showed increased antiproliferative effect in MCF-7 cancer cells. CD results indicated that peptide 3C exhibited the highest content of ?-helical structure (39.37%), suggesting that the ?-helical structure may contribute to its binding potency for Id1 and Id1-HLH. SAR results provided important information for the development of peptidic inhibitors of Id1 as anticancer agents and demonstrated peptide 3C as a promising lead for further modifications.
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Association of blood lead and mercury with estimated GFR in herbalists after the ban of herbs containing aristolochic acids in Taiwan.
Occup Environ Med
PUBLISHED: 05-23-2013
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This study was undertaken to explore the association of estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) with exposure to aristolochic acids (ALAs) and nephrotoxic metals in herbalists after the ban of herbs containing ALAs in Taiwan.
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Functional characterization and transcriptional analysis of galE gene encoding a UDP-galactose 4-epimerase in Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris.
Microbiol. Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2013
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The Gram-negative plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) is the causative agent of black rot in crucifers, a disease that causes tremendous agricultural loss. In this study, the Xcc galE gene was characterized. Sequence and mutational analysis demonstrated that the Xcc galE encodes a UDP-galactose 4-epimerase (EC 5.1.3.2), which catalyzes the interconversion of UDP-galactose and UDP-glucose. Alanine substitution of the putative catalytic residues (Ser124, Tyr147, and Lys151) of GalE caused loss of epimerase activity. Further study showed that the Xcc galE mutant had reduced biofilm formation ability. Furthermore, reporter assays revealed that galE transcription exhibits a distinct expression profile under different culture conditions, is subject to catabolite repression, and is positively regulated by Clp and RpfF. In addition, the galE transcription initiation site was mapped. This is the first time that UDP-galactose 4-epimerase has been characterized in the crucifer pathogen Xcc.
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A hot hole-programmed and low-temperature-formed SONOS flash memory.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 05-19-2013
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In this study, a high-performance TixZrySizO flash memory is demonstrated using a sol-gel spin-coating method and formed under a low annealing temperature. The high-efficiency charge storage layer is formed by depositing a well-mixed solution of titanium tetrachloride, silicon tetrachloride, and zirconium tetrachloride, followed by 60 s of annealing at 600°C. The flash memory exhibits a noteworthy hot hole trapping characteristic and excellent electrical properties regarding memory window, program/erase speeds, and charge retention. At only 6-V operation, the program/erase speeds can be as fast as 120:5.2 ?s with a 2-V shift, and the memory window can be up to 8 V. The retention times are extrapolated to 106 s with only 5% (at 85°C) and 10% (at 125°C) charge loss. The barrier height of the TixZrySizO film is demonstrated to be 1.15 eV for hole trapping, through the extraction of the Poole-Frenkel current. The excellent performance of the memory is attributed to high trapping sites of the low-temperature-annealed, high-? sol-gel film.
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High-performance, highly bendable MoS2 transistors with high-k dielectrics for flexible low-power systems.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 05-15-2013
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While there has been increasing studies of MoS2 and other two-dimensional (2D) semiconducting dichalcogenides on hard conventional substrates, experimental or analytical studies on flexible substrates has been very limited so far, even though these 2D crystals are understood to have greater prospects for flexible smart systems. In this article, we report detailed studies of MoS2 transistors on industrial plastic sheets. Transistor characteristics afford more than 100x improvement in the ON/OFF current ratio and 4x enhancement in mobility compared to previous flexible MoS2 devices. Mechanical studies reveal robust electronic properties down to a bending radius of 1 mm which is comparable to previous reports for flexible graphene transistors. Experimental investigation identifies that crack formation in the dielectric is the responsible failure mechanism demonstrating that the mechanical properties of the dielectric layer is critical for realizing flexible electronics that can accommodate high strain. Our uniaxial tensile tests have revealed that atomic-layer-deposited HfO2 and Al2O3 films have very similar crack onset strain. However, crack propagation is slower in HfO2 dielectric compared to Al2O3 dielectric, suggesting a subcritical fracture mechanism in the thin oxide films. Rigorous mechanics modeling provides guidance for achieving flexible MoS2 transistors that are reliable at sub-mm bending radius.
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Molecular mechanism for p202-mediated specific inhibition of AIM2 inflammasome activation.
Cell Rep
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2013
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Mouse p202 containing two hemopoietic expression, interferon inducibility, nuclear localization (HIN) domains antagonizes AIM2 inflammasome signaling and potentially modifies lupus susceptibility. We found that only HIN1 of p202 binds double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), while HIN2 forms a homotetramer. Crystal structures of HIN1 revealed that dsDNA is bound on face opposite the site used in AIM2 and IFI16. The structure of HIN2 revealed a dimer of dimers, the face analogous to the HIN1 dsDNA binding site being a dimerization interface. Electron microscopy imaging showed that HIN1 is flexibly linked to HIN2 in p202, and tetramerization provided enhanced avidity for dsDNA. Surprisingly, HIN2 of p202 interacts with the AIM HIN domain. We propose that this results in a spatial separation of the AIM2 pyrin domains, and indeed p202 prevented the dsDNA-dependent clustering of apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing caspase recruitment domain (ASC) and AIM2 inflammasome activation. We hypothesize that while p202 was evolutionarily selected to limit AIM2-mediated inflammation in some mouse strains, the same mechanism contributes to increased interferon production and lupus susceptibility.
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Anticancer activities of an antimicrobial peptide derivative of Ixosin-B amide.
Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 05-09-2013
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In nature, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) represent the first line of defense against infection by pathogens; thus, they are generally good candidates for the development of antimicrobial agents. Recently, we reported two potent antimicrobial peptides, KWLRRVWRWWR-amide (MAP-04-03) and KRLRRVWRRWR-amide (MAP-04-04), which were derived from a fragment of Ixosin-B-amide (KSDVRRWRSRY). Since some cationic AMPs exhibited cytotoxic activity against cancer cells, in the current study, we further investigated the anticancer activity of these potent antimicrobial peptides by antiproliferative assays and wound-healing assays, and the effect of peptide on the cytoskeleton alteration and cell morphology were analyzed by confocal microscopy. Results indicated that MAP-04-03 not only exhibited inhibitory effects on the proliferation (IC50=61.5 ?M) and on the cell migration of MCF-7 breast cancer cells (at a concentration of 5 ?M), but also affected the cytoskeleton at the concentration of 25 ?M. These results demonstrated that MAP-04-03 can serve as a lead peptide analog for developing potent anticancer agents.
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Controlled protein absorption and cell adhesion on polymer-brush-grafted poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) films.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 04-10-2013
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Tailoring the surface of biometallic implants with protein-resistant polymer brushes represents an efficient approach to improve the biocompability and mechanical compliance with soft human tissues. A general approach utilizing electropolymerization to form initiating group (-Br) containing poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophen)s (poly(EDOT)s) is described. After the conducting polymer is deposited, neutral poly((oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate), poly(OEGMA), and zwitterionic poly([2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl)ammonium hydroxide), poly(SBMA), brushes are grafted by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization. Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) experiments confirm protein resistance of poly(OEGMA) and poly(SBMA)-grafted poly(EDOT)s. The protein binding properties of the surface are modulated by the density of polymer brushes, which is controlled by the feed content of initiator-containing monomer (EDOT-Br) in the monomer mixture solution for electropolymerization. Furthermore, these polymer-grafted poly(EDOT)s also prevent cells to adhere on the surface.
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Is there a disparity in the hospital care received under a universal health insurance program in Taiwan?
Int J Qual Health Care
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2013
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To analyze the disparity in hospital care among people of various socio-economic status (SES) under a universal health insurance scheme.
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Different MRI signs in predicting the treatment efficacy of epidural blood patch in spontaneous intracranial hypotension: a case report.
Iran J Radiol
PUBLISHED: 03-30-2013
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The current mainstay of treatment in spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is an epidural blood patch (EBP). Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has a well-established role in the diagnosis of SIH, imaging features regarding the treatment efficacy of EBP have rarely been discussed. We therefore sought to investigate and compare the sequential brain MRI studies before and after EBP by evaluating the changes of the following intracranial structures-the contour of the transverse dural sinus (TDS), tension of the pituitary stalk (or the infundibulum), and thickness of the dura mater. We found that the progressive reversals of these structures are predictive of an effective EBP.
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Efficacy of different probiotic combinations on death and necrotizing enterocolitis in a premature rat model.
J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr.
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2013
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the most effective probiotic combinations to prevent death and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in a premature rat model.
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Transnasal esophagogastroduodenoscopy for evaluation of upper gastrointestinal non-neoplastic disorders in patients with fresh hypopharyngeal cancer.
Laryngoscope
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2013
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Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) tract non-neoplastic disorders are detrimental to cancer treatment. This study is to evaluate the feasibility of transnasal esophagogastroduodenoscopy in the diagnosis of UGI disorders at the same time as the diagnosis of hypopharyngeal cancer and to provide the prevalence of UGI disorders in patients with fresh hypopharyngeal cancer.
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A new molecular phylogeny and a new genus, Pendulorchis, of the Aerides-Vanda alliance (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae).
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-24-2013
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The Aerides-Vanda alliance is a complex group in the subtribe Aeridinae (subfamily Epidendroideae, Orchidaceae). Some phylogenetic systems of this alliance have been previously proposed based on molecular and morphological analyses. However, several taxonomic problems within this alliance as well as between it and its allies remain unsolved.
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Electrophysiological and mechanical effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester, a novel cardioprotective agent with antiarrhythmic activity, in guinea-pig heart.
Eur. J. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 01-28-2013
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Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an active component of propolis that exhibits cardioprotective and antiarrhythmic effects. The detailed mechanisms underlying these effects, however, are not entirely understood. The aim of this study was to elucidate the electromechanical effects of CAPE in guinea-pig cardiac preparations. Intracardiac electrograms, left ventricular (LV) pressure, and the anti-arrhythmic efficacy were determined using isolated hearts. Action potentials of papillary muscles were assessed with microelectrodes, Ca(2+) transients were measured by fluorescence, and ion fluxes were measured by patch-clamp techniques. In a perfused heart model, CAPE prolonged the atrio-ventricular conduction interval, the Wenckebach cycle length, and the refractory periods of the AV node and His-Purkinje system, while shortening the QT interval. CAPE reduced the occurrence of reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation and decreased LV pressure in isolated hearts. In papillary muscles, CAPE shortened the action potential duration and reduced both the maximum upstroke velocity and contractile force. In fura-2-loaded single ventricular myocytes, CAPE decreased cell shortening and the Ca(2+) transient amplitude. Patch-clamp experiments revealed that CAPE produced a use-dependent decrease in L-type Ca(2+) current (ICa,L) (IC50=1.1 ?M) and Na(+) current (INa) (IC50=0.43 ?M), caused a negative-shift of the voltage-dependent inactivation and a delay of recovery from inactivation. CAPE decreased the delayed outward K(+) current (IK) slightly, without affecting the inward rectifier K(+) current (IK1). These results suggest that the preferential inhibition of Ca(2+) inward and Na(+) inward currents by CAPE may induce major electromechanical alterations in guinea-pig cardiac preparations, which may underlie its antiarrhythmic action.
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Use of transnasal endoscopy for screening of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in high-risk patients: Yield rate, completion rate, and safety.
Dig Endosc
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2013
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Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma are at high risk for synchronous and/or metachronous esophageal cancer. The present study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of unsedated transnasal endoscopy (TNE) for screening these high-risk patients.
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Remote effect of lower limb acupuncture on latent myofascial trigger point of upper trapezius muscle: a pilot study.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2013
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Objectives. To demonstrate the use of acupuncture in the lower limbs to treat myofascial pain of the upper trapezius muscles via a remote effect. Methods. Five adults with latent myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) of bilateral upper trapezius muscles received acupuncture at Weizhong (UB40) and Yanglingquan (GB34) points in the lower limbs. Modified acupuncture was applied at these points on a randomly selected ipsilateral lower limb (experimental side) versus sham needling on the contralateral lower limb (control side) in each subject. Each subject received two treatments within a one-week interval. To evaluate the remote effect of acupuncture, the range of motion (ROM) upon bending the contralateral side of the cervical spine was assessed before and after each treatment. Results. There was significant improvement in cervical ROM after the second treatment (P = 0.03) in the experimental group, and the increased ROM on the modified acupuncture side was greater compared to the sham needling side (P = 0.036). Conclusions. A remote effect of acupuncture was demonstrated in this pilot study. Using modified acupuncture needling at remote acupuncture points in the ipsilateral lower limb, our treatments released tightness due to latent MTrPs of the upper trapezius muscle.
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Effect of octylphenol on physiologic features during growth in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Chemosphere
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2013
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Alkylphenol ethoxylates are widely used as detergents, emulsifiers, solubilizers, wetting agents and dispersants. Octylphenol (OP) ethoxylates, one of alkylphenol ethoxylates, represent 15-20% of the market, and their metabolic residues may be discharged to surface waters, sediments and soils as a persistent and ubiquitous pollutant. We tested the response of Arabidopsis thaliana to different concentrations of OP. OP affected the germination percentage and mean germination period. 10d treatment with OP, especially high concentration (10 and 50 mg L(-1)), decreased shoot and root biomass and root length of 30 d-old A. thaliana. Content of chlorophyll was decreased but that of proline was increased in leaves with OP treatment. OP caused oxidative stress in leaves; malondialdehyde content was increased, and the activities of ascorbate peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase were induced. OP affects the physiologic and morphologic features of A. thaliana during growth. Because plants might be exposed to OP for a long time in the surroundings, more attention needs to be paid to the effect of OP on plants.
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OrchidBase 2.0: comprehensive collection of Orchidaceae floral transcriptomes.
Plant Cell Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2013
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Both floral development and evolutionary trends of orchid flowers have long attracted the interest of biologists. However, expressed sequences derived from the flowers of other orchid subfamilies are still scarce except for a few species in Epidendroideae. In order to broadly increase our scope of Orchidaceae genetic information, we updated the OrchidBase to version 2.0 which has 1,562,071 newly added floral non-redundant transcribed sequences (unigenes) collected comprehensively from 10 orchid species across five subfamilies of Orchidaceae. A total of 662,671,362 reads were obtained by using next-generation sequencing (NGS) Solexa Illumina sequencers. After assembly, on average 156,207 unigenes were generated for each species. The average length of a unigene is 347 bp. We made a detailed annotation including general information, relative expression level, gene ontology (GO), KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathway mapping and gene network prediction. The online resources for putative annotation can be searched either by text or by using BLAST, and the results can be explored on the website and downloaded. We have re-designed the user interface in the new version. Users can enter the Phalaenopsis transcriptome or Orchidaceae floral transcriptome to browse or search the unigenes. OrchidBase 2.0 is freely available at http://orchidbase.itps.ncku.edu.tw/.
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Triptolide induces S phase arrest via the inhibition of cyclin E and CDC25A and triggers apoptosis via caspase- and mitochondrial-dependent signaling pathways in A375.S2 human melanoma cells.
Oncol. Rep.
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2013
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Triptolide (TPL), a diterpene triepoxide compound, extracted from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. [a traditional Chinese medicinal herb (TCM)], has demonstrated great chemotherapeutic potential for the treatment of tumors. However, the anticancer mechanisms of action of TPL in human skin cancer remain to be further investigated. In this study, we used A375.S2 human melanoma skin cancer cells as a model to investigate the effect of TPL on cell death. A375.S2 cells were treated with various concentrations of TPL for different periods of time and investigated the effects on cell cycle distribution and apoptosis were investigated. The data showed that TPL induced cell morphological changes, decreased the percentage of viable cells, and induced S phase arrest and apoptosis in A375.S2 cells in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, we used flow cytometry analysis and the data showed that TPL promoted reactive oxygen species, NO and Ca2+ production, decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential (??m) and increased the activity of caspase-3, -8 and -9 in the A375.S2 cells. Western blot analysis showed that TPL promoted the expression of p21 and p27 but inhibited that of cyclin A and CDC25A, leading to S phase arrest. Furthermore, the data also showed that TPL promoted the expression of Fas and FasL and increased the activity of caspase-3, -8 and -9, cytochrome c, Bax, apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and endonuclease G (Endo G); however, the expression of Bax was decreased, leading to apoptosis. Based on these observations, TPL induces apoptosis in A375.S2 cells through Fas-, caspase- and mitochondrial-mediated pathways.
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Proteinuria independently predicts unfavorable outcome of ischemic stroke patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Patients with low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria may be at increased risk for stroke. This study investigated whether low eGFR and proteinuria are outcome predictors in stroke patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis.
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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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