54 research outputs found

    Food for Thought: Restaurants and Place Making

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    A bare geographic space is like a brand-new home that hasn’t been lived in yet. As people begin to inhabit these spaces, they build into it to make it representative of themselves, much like we design and set up our houses to turn them into homes. This is how a place goes from just being a location to something that has a deeper meaning to its inhabitants. We look to create into the spaces we inhabit our own little corner of what is familiar to us, so that we can call a space our own. This is the essence of what place making is, and it happens through a variety of ways. Place making has been studied in the past by numerous scholars. This article takes a look at place making on a college campus, with the main focus being on place making for ethnic minority communities. It questions the strengths and benefits of place making, as well as what detrimental effects can be there when a group is denied the ability to practice place making. Four groups that have been chosen for the study: the Indian community, the Chinese community, the Japanese community and the African American community. While the article looks at the strengths of place making as a whole, special emphasis has been placed on restaurants as the agents of place making for reasons outlined later in the paper

    Prevalence study of common environmental allergens in children with asthma and allergic rhinitis in Kolkata: A hospital-based study

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    Background: Studies evaluating the role of skin prick testing (SPT) as the sole testing technique in children below 12 years of age involving a broader and more relevant group of aero- and food-allergens in this part of India are still lacking. Objectives: To identify the commonly prevalent environmental allergens by SPT in children with asthma as per British Thoracic Society and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network Criteria and allergic rhinitis (AR) as per British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology Criteria attending the OPD of a tertiary care pediatric unit in the eastern part of India. Methods: Testing of inhalant and food allergens by SPT in children from 4 to 12 years age group with asthma and AR satisfying the inclusion criteria. Results: Total 106 children (70 males and 36 females) were included in the study. Study of inhalant allergens in asthmatic patients revealed the highest positivity for house dust mite followed by male cockroach and among food allergens, highest positivity for egg/egg products, followed by milk/milk products. Study of inhalant allergens in asthmatic patients with coexistent AR revealed the highest positivity for house dust mite, cockroach male and female and among food allergens, highest for milk/milk products, egg/egg products, banana, and mustard. Conclusions: In Kolkata, in the eastern part of the country, among the asthmatic children of 4-12 years age group, the most common inhalant allergens were house dust mite and cockroach, whereas the common food allergens identified were milk and milk products, egg and egg products, and mustard

    Mitochondrial Sirtuins: Their Role in Different Diseases

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    This review paper aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the three mitochondrial sirtuins (SIRT3, SIRT4, and SIRT5). Investigating their structural features, enzymatic activities, target proteins, involvement in diverse illness situations, and the therapeutic modulators created for SIRT3 and SIRT5 are the study's goals. We conducted a thorough literature survey, focusing on works that discussed the biochemical and physiological roles of SIRT3, SIRT4, and SIRT5 in the mitochondria. We looked over relevant research papers, reviews, and databases to learn more about their molecular make-ups, enzyme activity, and substrates. Studies indicating their involvement in metabolic pathways, physiological processes, and disease correlations gained considerable attention. Deacetylase activity in SIRT3 affects the TCA cycle, fatty acid oxidation, and glycolysis; SIRT4 affects the amino acids and TCA cycle; and SIRT5's acyl modifications affect the urea cycle, ROS, and glucose oxidation. Therapeutic alternatives are available for both SIRT3 and SIRT5. The review paper emphasizes the crucial functions of SIRT3, SIRT4, and SIRT5 in mitochondrial metabolism and their implications in a variety of illness situations in its conclusion. With a better understanding of their roles and potential therapeutic regulation, metabolic disorders, and other associated diseases may be treated. Unlocking the full potential of mitochondrial sirtuins as therapeutic targets will require more research in this area

    Tumor-associated macrophages: an effective player of the tumor microenvironment

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    Cancer progression is primarily caused by interactions between transformed cells and the components of the tumor microenvironment (TME). TAMs (tumor-associated macrophages) make up the majority of the invading immune components, which are further categorized as anti-tumor M1 and pro-tumor M2 subtypes. While M1 is known to have anti-cancer properties, M2 is recognized to extend a protective role to the tumor. As a result, the tumor manipulates the TME in such a way that it induces macrophage infiltration and M1 to M2 switching bias to secure its survival. This M2-TAM bias in the TME promotes cancer cell proliferation, neoangiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, matrix remodeling for metastatic support, and TME manipulation to an immunosuppressive state. TAMs additionally promote the emergence of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are known for their ability to originate, metastasize, and relapse into tumors. CSCs also help M2-TAM by revealing immune escape and survival strategies during the initiation and relapse phases. This review describes the reasons for immunotherapy failure and, thereby, devises better strategies to impair the tumor–TAM crosstalk. This study will shed light on the understudied TAM-mediated tumor progression and address the much-needed holistic approach to anti-cancer therapy, which encompasses targeting cancer cells, CSCs, and TAMs all at the same time

    Immune evasion by cancer stem cells ensures tumor initiation and failure of immunotherapy

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    Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a small subpopulation of cells that drive the formation and progression of tumors. However, during tumor initiation, how CSCs communicate with neighbouring immune cells to overcome the powerful immune surveillance barrier in order to form, spread, and maintain the tumor, remains poorly understood. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to understand how a small number of tumor-initiating cells (TICs) survive immune attack during (a) the “elimination phase” of “tumor immune-editing”, (b) the establishment of regional or distant tumor after metastasis, and (c) recurrence after therapy. Mounting evidence suggests that CSCs suppress the immune system through a variety of distinct mechanisms that ensure the survival of not only CSCs but also non-stem cancer cells (NSCCs), which eventually form the tumor mass. In this review article, the mechanisms via which CSCs change the immune landscape of the tissue of origin, which contains macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), natural killer (NK) cells, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, in favour of tumorigenesis were discussed. The failure of cancer immunotherapy might also be explained by such interaction between CSCs and immune cells. This review will shed light on the critical role of CSCs in tumor immune evasion and emphasize the importance of CSC-targeted immunotherapy as a cutting-edge technique for battling cancer by restricting communication between immune cells and CSCs

    Hydrogel composite containing azelaic acid and tea tree essential oil as a therapeutic strategy for Propionibacterium and testosterone-induced acne.

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    Azelaic acid (AzA) is a USFDA bioactive prescribed against acne vulgaris. It possesses delivery challenges like poor aqueous solubility, low skin-penetrability, and dose-dependent side effects, which could be overcome by its synergistic combination with tea tree oil (TTO) as a microemulsion (ME)-based hydrogel composite. AzA-TTO ME was prepared to employ pseudo-ternary phase diagram construction. The best AzA-TTO ME was of uniform size (polydispersity index  90%), and negative zeta potential (-1.42 ± 0.25% mV) values. ME hydrogel composite with optimum rheological and textural attributes showed better permeation, retention, and skin-compliant characteristics, vis-a-vis marketed formulation (Aziderm™) when evaluated in Wistar rat skin. In vitro antibacterial efficacy in bacterial strains, i.e., Staphylococcus aureus, Propionibacterium acne, and Staphylococcus epidermidis, was evaluated employing agar well plate diffusion and broth dilution assay. ME hydrogel has shown an increase in zone of inhibition by two folds and a decrease in minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) by eightfold against P. acnes vis-a-vis AzA. Finally, ME hydrogel composite exhibited a better reduction in the papule density (93.75 ± 1.64%) in comparison to Aziderm™ 72.69 ± 4.67%) on acne as developed in rats by inducing testosterone. Thus, the developed AzA-TTO ME hydrogel composite promises an efficacious and comparatively safer drug delivery system for the topical therapy of acne vulgaris

    Factors associated with the utilisation of postnatal care services among the mothers of Nepal: analysis of Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2011

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    Background: Postnatal care is essential to save the life of the mother and newborn. Knowledge on the determinants of postnatal care assists the policy makers to design, justify and implement appropriate interventions. The current study aimed to analyse the factors associated with utilisation of postnatal care services by mothers in Nepal based on the data from Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2011. Methods: This study utilised the data from NDHS 2011. The association between utilisation of at least one postnatal care visit (within 6 weeks of delivery) and immediate postnatal care (within 24 hours of delivery) with selected factors was examined by using Chi-square test (?2), followed by multiple logistic regression.Result: Of the 4079 mothers, 43.2% reported attending postnatal care within the first six weeks of birth, while 40.9% reported attending immediate postnatal care. Mothers who were from urban areas, from rich families, who were educated, whose partners were educated, who delivered in a health facility, who had attended a four or more antenatal visits, and whose delivery was attended by a skilled attendant were more likely to report attending at least one postnatal care visit. On the other hand, mothers who reported agricultural occupation, and whose partners performed agricultural occupation were less likely to have attended at least one postnatal care visit. Similarly, mothers who were from the urban areas, from rich families, who were educated, whose partners were educated, who had attended four or more antenatal visits, who delivered in a health facility and had delivered in the presence of a skilled birth attendant were more likely to report attending immediate postnatal care. Mothers who reported agricultural occupation, and whose partners performed agricultural occupation were less likely to attend immediate postnatal care. Conclusion: The majority of postnatal mothers in Nepal did not seek postnatal care. Increasing utilisation of the recommended four or more antenatal visits, delivery at health facility and increasing awareness and access to services through community-based programs especially for the rural, poor, and less educated mothers may increase postnatal care attendance in Nepal

    Blood transcriptome responses in patients correlate with severity of COVID-19 disease

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    BackgroundCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Infected individuals display a wide spectrum of disease severity, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the main factors underlying this heterogeneity is the host immune response, with severe COVID-19 often associated with a hyperinflammatory state.AimOur current study aimed to pinpoint the specific genes and pathways underlying differences in the disease spectrum and outcomes observed, through in-depth analyses of whole blood transcriptomics in a large cohort of COVID-19 participants.ResultsAll WHO severity levels were well represented and mild and severe disease displaying distinct gene expression profiles. WHO severity levels 1-4 were grouped as mild disease, and signatures from these participants were different from those with WHO severity levels 6-9 classified as severe disease. Severity level 5 (moderate cases) presented a unique transitional gene signature between severity levels 2-4 (mild/moderate) and 6-9 (severe) and hence might represent the turning point for better or worse disease outcome. Gene expression changes are very distinct when comparing mild/moderate or severe cases to healthy controls. In particular, we demonstrated the hallmark down-regulation of adaptive immune response pathways and activation of neutrophil pathways in severe compared to mild/moderate cases, as well as activation of blood coagulation pathways.ConclusionsOur data revealed discrete gene signatures associated with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 identifying valuable candidates for future biomarker discovery
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