118 research outputs found

    Obestatin: a new element for mineral metabolism and inflammation in patients on hemodialysis.

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    Background: Obestatin plays a key role in the process of energy balance maintenance with an anorectic effect. The main aim of the study was to evaluate obestatin in uremic patients to determine whether it is correlated with nutritional and inflammatory status. Methods: We studied plasma obestatin in uremic patients (n = 50) undergoing hemodialysis therapy and in healthy subjects. Plasma obestatin was measured using an ELISA kit. Results: Obestatin levels in uremic patients were lower than in healthy subjects (p 23 had lower obestatin levels than those with a BMI Conclusions: Based on the present observational data, obestatin might be implicated in the inflammatory state and the disturbances of calcium/phosphate metabolism of hemodialysis patients. However, further studies are warranted to determine whether this hormone plays a key role in contributing to malnutrition and to the chronic inflammatory process

    The emerging quantum technology industry: capital cities, entrepreneurship, and policy

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    This paper provides an empirical account of the evolution of the key emerging technology, quantum technology. It presents a survey of academic and industry sources to explore the current position of Washington DC and London UK as concentrations of relevant innovation activity. It explores the conditions under which certain parts of the innovation process are located in these two capital cities. Elements of the innovation process include the presence of start-up businesses and the emergence of quantum industry clusters in these two places. Also of note is the gender dimension in the commercialisation process, specifically the underrepresentation of female entrepreneurs and senior decision-makers

    Side-gate leakage and field emission in all-graphene field effect transistors on SiO2/Si substrate

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    We fabricate planar all-graphene field-effect transistors with self-aligned side-gates at 100 nm from the main graphene conductive channel, using a single lithographic step. We demonstrate side-gating below 1V with conductance modulation of 35% and transconductance up to 0.5 mS/mm at 10 mV drain bias. We measure the planar leakage along the SiO2/vacuum gate dielectric over a wide voltage range, reporting rapidly growing current above 15 V. We unveil the microscopic mechanisms driving the leakage, as Frenkel-Poole transport through SiO2 up to the activation of Fowler-Nordheim tunneling in vacuum, which becomes dominant at high voltages. We report a field-emission current density as high as 1uA/um between graphene flakes. These findings are essential for the miniaturization of atomically thin devices

    Side-gate leakage and field emission in all-graphene field effect transistors on SiO2/Si substrate

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    We fabricate planar all-graphene field-effect transistors with self-aligned side-gates at 100 nm from the main graphene conductive channel, using a single lithographic step. We demonstrate side-gating below 1V with conductance modulation of 35% and transconductance up to 0.5 mS/mm at 10 mV drain bias. We measure the planar leakage along the SiO2/vacuum gate dielectric over a wide voltage range, reporting rapidly growing current above 15 V. We unveil the microscopic mechanisms driving the leakage, as Frenkel-Poole transport through SiO2 up to the activation of Fowler-Nordheim tunneling in vacuum, which becomes dominant at high voltages. We report a field-emission current density as high as 1uA/um between graphene flakes. These findings are essential for the miniaturization of atomically thin devices.Comment: Research article, 8 pages, 5 figure

    Mapping regional strengths in a key enabling technology: the distribution of Internet of Things competences across European regions

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    The Internet of Things (IoT) can trigger innovation processes across all sectors of the economy. However, this potential is not available to all regions. As with other enabling technologies, the competences required to develop IoT solutions are numerous and var-ied, ranging from hardware to software and related services, and are often provided by different companies. To map the application potential of these technologies across Eu-ropean regions, we use textual analysis applied to the description of companies’ activi-ties, which in turn allows us to identify the NACE codes associated with five main IoT domains. We identify clusters of regions characterised by different mixes of compe-tences in IoT technologies, and we discern three groups of regions – regions with spe-cialised IoT competences in software, data processing and telecommunications, regions with specialised IoT competences in hardware manufacturing, and regions with cross-layer IoT competences. Regions with cross layer IoT competences are highly concen-trated in the North-West of Europe and have a significant presence in either urban re-gions, often centred in the capital cities and their metropolitan areas, or in very-high income manufacturing regions. Regions specialised in hardware manufacturing coin-cide with the more established manufacturing regions in Germany, Italy and France. Regions specialised in software, data processing and telecommunications tend to be urban, medium-high income regions in North-West Europe. We discuss the policy im-plications of our findings at both European and regional levels

    Mapping the distribution of Internet of Things competences across European regions

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    Digital transformation is a key strategic issue for countries and regions aiming to boost economic growth, job creation, technology development and innovation. With a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT) the paper maps the potential of IoT technologies across European regions, using textual analysis applied to the description of companies’ activities. Results identify three categories of regions (IoT leaders, co-designers and suppliers) capturing their potential to harness opportunities in IoT, based on the variety of IoT competences that are present. This mapping can support regional policies, particularly in the context of smart specialization strategies building on IoT systems

    The protective effect of bergamot oil extract on lecitine-like oxyLDL receptor-1 expression in balloon injury-related neointima formation.

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    Lectin-like oxyLDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) has recently been suggested to be involved in smooth muscle cell (SMC) proliferation and neointima formation in injured blood vessels. This study evaluates the effect of the nonvolatile fraction (NVF), the antioxidant component of bergamot essential oil (BEO), on LOX-1 expression and free radical generation in a model of rat angioplasty. Common carotid arteries injured by balloon angioplasty were removed after 14 days for histopathological, biochemical, and immunohistochemical studies. Balloon injury led to a significant restenosis with SMC proliferation and neointima formation, accompanied by increased expression of LOX-1 receptor, malondialdehyde and superoxide formation, and nitrotyrosine staining. Pretreatment of rats with BEO-NVF reduced the neointima proliferation together with free radical formation and LOX-1 expression in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that natural antioxidants may be relevant in the treatment of vascular disorders in which proliferation of SMCs and oxyLDL-related endothelial cell dysfunction are involved

    sclerostin levels in uremic patients a link between bone and vascular disease

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    AbstractSclerostin is a marker of low-turnover bone disease in end stage renal disease patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum sclerostin in uremic patients, analyzing its behavior during a single hemodialysis session. Twenty-one adult patients on intermittent hemodialysis treatment were enrolled. Acetate Free Bio-filtration (AFB) was the technique employed. Uremic patients were characterized by higher levels of serum sclerostin when compared with values observed in healthy subjects. Sclerostin assessed in pre-dialysis samples was 1.4 ± 1.02 ng/mL, whereas, in post dialysis samples, a reduction of sclerostin values was observed (0.8 ± 0.6 ng/mL; p: 0.008). Sclerostin correlated with parameters of dialysis adequacy, such as creatinine levels and Kt/V values, and it was significantly associated with atherosclerotic disease. Receiver operating characteristics analysis revealed a good diagnostic profile in identifying atherosclerotic disease. Sclerostin, a full dialyzable substance during AFB di..

    Targeting SARS-CoV-2 nsp13 Helicase and Assessment of Druggability Pockets: Identification of Two Potent Inhibitors by a Multi-Site In Silico Drug Repurposing Approach

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    The SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein 13 (nsp13) helicase is an essential enzyme for viral replication and has been identified as an attractive target for the development of new antiviral drugs. In detail, the helicase catalyzes the unwinding of double-stranded DNA or RNA in a 5′ to 3′ direction and acts in concert with the replication–transcription complex (nsp7/nsp8/nsp12). In this work, bioinformatics and computational tools allowed us to perform a detailed conservation analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 helicase genome and to further predict the druggable enzyme’s binding pockets. Thus, a structure-based virtual screening was used to identify valuable compounds that are capable of recognizing multiple nsp13 pockets. Starting from a database of around 4000 drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), we chose 14 shared compounds capable of recognizing three out of four sites. Finally, by means of visual inspection analysis and based on their commercial availability, five promising compounds were submitted to in vitro assays. Among them, PF-03715455 was able to block both the unwinding and NTPase activities of nsp13 in a micromolar range

    The Effect of Bergamot-Derived Polyphenolic Fraction on LDL Small Dense Particles and Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome

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    The occurrence of Metabolic Syndrome (MS) represents an independent risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease states in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, both the size of LDL particles and liver dysfunction identified as non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represent important biomarkers for the development of cardiometabolic risk in patients with MS. Here we studied the effect of bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF) in patients with MS and NAFLD. 107 patients were enrolled at the San Raffaele IRCCS (Rome). All of them showed ultrasonografic evidences of NAFLD and at least three out of five previous identified criteria for the diagnosis of MS. Patients were divided into two groups: one receiving placebo and the second receiving BPF 650 mg twice a day for 120 consecutive days. In the group receiving BPF 650 mg twice a day, a significant reduction of fasting plasma glucose, serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides alongside with an increase of HDL cholesterol was found. This effect was accompanied by significant reduction of both ultrasonographic and metabolic biomarkers of NAFLD. Moreover, a significant reduction of small dense LDL particles, as detected via proton NMR Spectroscopy, was found after BPF treatment. In conclusion, our data confirm the beneficial effect of bergamot-extract in patients with MS an effect highlighted by significant reduction of small dense LDL particles and by improvement of NAFLD biomarkers. This suggests a potential preventive role of bergamot derivatives in reducing cardiometabolic risk
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