279 research outputs found

    A blended approach to supporting student learning in clinical microbiology laboratory classes

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    Traditional approaches to teaching clinical diagnostic microbiology utilise a gradual but repetitive regime of exposing students to working with and identifying various bacteria growing on artificial culture media. It was anticipated that the addition of a two camera video display system, utilising two 65 inch plasma televisions, into the microbiology laboratory would successfully enable a greater number of organism to be covered in a shorter period of teaching time. One of the main objectives of the system was to improve the ability of the students (n=52) to differentiate between potential pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria based upon the colony morphologies of the organisms on various culture media. 94% of the students agreed that their ability to recognize potential pathogens growing on agar media was improved by using the system. 100% of students agreed that the video projection system was a positive addition to the microbiology laboratory and 100% agreed that using the system during practical classes enhanced their learning of the material in the course. 90% feel that a similar system would be useful in other microbiology units they have studied. The system successfully enabled a content rich syllabus to be taught in limited period of time

    A rapid DNA extraction method suitable for human papillomavirus detection

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    Infection with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes is necessary for the development of cervical cancer. Testing for HPV DNA from liquid based cervical samples can be used as an adjunct to traditional cytological screening. In addition there are ongoing viral load, genotyping, and prevalence studies. Therefore, a sensitive DNA extraction method is needed to maximize the efficiency of HPV DNA detection. The XytXtract Tissue kit is a DNA extraction kit that is rapid and so could be useful for HPV testing, particularly in screening protocols. This study was undertaken to determine the suitability of this method for HPV detection. DNA extraction from HeLa and Caski cell lines containing HPV 18 and 16 respectively together with DNA from five liquid based cervical samples were used in a HPV PCR assay. DNA was also extracted using the QIAamp DNA mini kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) as a comparison. DNA extracts were serially diluted and assayed. HPV DNA was successfully detected in cell lines and cervical samples using the XytXtract Tissue kit. In addition, the XytXtract method was found to be more sensitive than the QIAmp method as determined by a dilution series of the extracted DNA. While the XytXtract method is a closed, the QIAamp method uses a spin column with possible loss of DNA through DNA binding competition of the matrix, which could impact on the final extraction efficiency. The XytXtract is a cheap, rapid and efficient method for extracting HPV DNA from both cell lines and liquid based cervical samples

    Icex: Advances in the automatic extraction and volume calculation of cranial cavities

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    The use of non-destructive approaches for digital acquisition (e.g. computerised tomography-CT) allows detailed qualitative and quantitative study of internal structures of skeletal material. Here, we present a new R-based software tool, Icex, applicable to the study of the sizes and shapes of skeletal cavities and fossae in 3D digital images. Traditional methods of volume extraction involve the manual labelling (i.e. segmentation) of the areas of interest on each section of the image stack. This is time-consuming, error-prone and challenging to apply to complex cavities. Icex facilitates rapid quantification of such structures. We describe and detail its application to the isolation and calculation of volumes of various cranial cavities. The R tool is used here to automatically extract the orbital volumes, the paranasal sinuses, the nasal cavity and the upper oral volumes, based on the coordinates of 18 cranial anatomical points used to define their limits, from 3D cranial surface meshes obtained by segmenting CT scans. Icex includes an algorithm (Icv) for the calculation of volumes by defining a 3D convex hull of the extracted cavity. We demonstrate the use of Icex on an ontogenetic sample (0-19 years) of modern humans and on the fossil hominin crania Kabwe (Broken Hill) 1, Gibraltar (Forbes' Quarry) and Guattari 1. We also test the tool on three species of non-human primates. In the modern human subsample, Icex allowed us to perform a preliminary analysis on the absolute and relative expansion of cranial sinuses and pneumatisations during growth. The performance of Icex, applied to diverse crania, shows the potential for an extensive evaluation of the developmental and/or evolutionary significance of hollow cranial structures. Furthermore, being open source, Icex is a fully customisable tool, easily applicable to other taxa and skeletal regions

    Normal human craniofacial growth and development from 0 to 4 years

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    Knowledge of human craniofacial growth (increase in size) and development (change in shape) is important in the clinical treatment of a range of conditions that afects it. This study uses an extensive collection of clinical CT scans to investigate craniofacial growth and development over the frst 48 months of life, detail how the cranium changes in form (size and shape) in each sex and how these changes are associated with the growth and development of various soft tissues such as the brain, eyes and tongue and the expansion of the nasal cavity. This is achieved through multivariate analyses of cranial form based on 3D landmarks and semi-landmarks and by analyses of linear dimensions, and cranial volumes. The results highlight accelerations and decelerations in cranial form changes throughout early childhood. They show that from 0 to 12 months, the cranium undergoes greater changes in form than from 12 to 48 months. However, in terms of the development of overall cranial shape, there is no signifcant sexual dimorphism in the age range considered in this study. In consequence a single model of human craniofacial growth and development is presented for future studies to examine the physio-mechanical interactions of the craniofacial growth

    Diversity of virulence factors associated with West Australian methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus isolates of human origin

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    An extensive array of virulence factors associated with S. aureus has contributed significantly to its success as a major nosocomial pathogen in hospitals and community causing variety of infections in affected patients. Virulence factors include immune evading capsular polysaccharides, poly-N-acetyl glucosamine, and teichoic acid in addition to damaging toxins including hemolytic toxins, enterotoxins, cytotoxins, exfoliative toxin, and microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules (MSCRAMM). In this investigation, 31 West Australian S. aureus isolates of human origin and 6 controls were analyzed for relative distribution of virulence-associated genes using PCR and/or an immunoassay kit and MSCRAMM by PCR-based typing. Genes encoding MSCRAMM, namely, Spa, ClfA, ClfB, SdrE, SdrD, IsdA, and IsdB, were detected in >90% of isolates. Gene encoding a-toxin was detected in >90% isolates whereas genes encoding ß-toxin and SEG were detectable in 50-60% of isolates. Genes encoding toxin proteins, namely, SEA, SEB, SEC, SED, SEE, SEH, SEI, SEJ, TSST, PVL, ETA, and ETB, were detectable in >50% of isolates. Use of RAPD-PCR for determining the virulence factor-based genetic relatedness among the isolates revealed five cluster groups confirming genetic diversity among the MSSA isolates, with the greatest majority of the clinical S. aureus (84%) isolates clustering in group IIIa

    Iodocionin, a Cytotoxic Iodinated Metabolite from the Mediterranean Ascidian Ciona edwardsii

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    Chemical investigation of the Mediterranean ascidian Ciona edwardsii has been performed, leading to the isolation of two halogenated compounds: a new tyrosineiodinated derivative iodocionin (1) and the relevant brominated analogue (2), previously isolated from a Caribbean sponge. The structure of the new compound 1 has been assigned on the basis of spectroscopic analysis. Both compounds were tested for cytotoxicity in vitro against two different cancer cell lines, L5178Y (mouse lymphoma) and PC-12 (rat pheochromocytoma). Iodocionin was shown to possess significant and selective activity against lymphoma cells with an IC50 of 7.75 μg/mL

    Normal human craniofacial growth and development from 0 to 4 years

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    Knowledge of human craniofacial growth (increase in size) and development (change in shape) is important in the clinical treatment of a range of conditions that affects it. This study uses an extensive collection of clinical CT scans to investigate craniofacial growth and development over the first 48 months of life, detail how the cranium changes in form (size and shape) in each sex and how these changes are associated with the growth and development of various soft tissues such as the brain, eyes and tongue and the expansion of the nasal cavity. This is achieved through multivariate analyses of cranial form based on 3D landmarks and semi-landmarks and by analyses of linear dimensions, and cranial volumes. The results highlight accelerations and decelerations in cranial form changes throughout early childhood. They show that from 0 to 12 months, the cranium undergoes greater changes in form than from 12 to 48 months. However, in terms of the development of overall cranial shape, there is no significant sexual dimorphism in the age range considered in this study. In consequence a single model of human craniofacial growth and development is presented for future studies to examine the physio-mechanical interactions of the craniofacial growth

    Hypertension in children and adolescents A consensus document from ESC Council on Hypertension, European Association of Preventive Cardiology, European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging, Association of Cardiovascular Nursing & Allied Professions, ESC Council for Cardiology Practice and Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology

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    Definition and management of arterial hypertension in children and adolescents are uncertain, due to different positions of current guidelines. The European Society of Cardiology task-force, constituted by Associations and Councils with interest in arterial hypertension, has reviewed current literature and evidence, to produce a Consensus Document focused on aspects of hypertension in the age range of 6-16 years, including definition, methods of measurement of blood pressure, clinical evaluation, assessment of hypertension-mediated target organ damage, evaluation of possible vascular, renal and hormonal causes, assessment and management of concomitant risk factors with specific attention for obesity, and anti-hypertensive strategies, especially focused on life-style modifications. The Consensus Panel also suggests aspects that should be studied with high priority, including generation of multi-ethnic sex, age and height specific European normative tables, implementation of randomized clinical trials on different diagnostic and therapeutic aspects, and long-Term cohort studies to link with adult cardiovascular risk. Finally, suggestions for the successful implementation of the contents of the present Consensus document are also given
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