168 research outputs found

    Patient-oriented simulation based on Monte Carlo algorithm by using MRI data

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Although Monte Carlo simulations of light propagation in full segmented three-dimensional MRI based anatomical models of the human head have been reported in many articles. To our knowledge, there is no patient-oriented simulation for individualized calibration with NIRS measurement. Thus, we offer an approach for brain modeling based on image segmentation process with <it>in vivo </it>MRI T1 three-dimensional image to investigate the individualized calibration for NIRS measurement with Monte Carlo simulation.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>In this study, an individualized brain is modeled based on <it>in vivo </it>MRI 3D image as five layers structure. The behavior of photon migration was studied for this individualized brain detections based on three-dimensional time-resolved Monte Carlo algorithm. During the Monte Carlo iteration, all photon paths were traced with various source-detector separations for characterization of brain structure to provide helpful information for individualized design of NIRS system.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Our results indicate that the patient-oriented simulation can provide significant characteristics on the optimal choice of source-detector separation within 3.3 cm of individualized design in this case. Significant distortions were observed around the cerebral cortex folding. The spatial sensitivity profile penetrated deeper to the brain in the case of expanded CSF. This finding suggests that the optical method may provide not only functional signal from brain activation but also structural information of brain atrophy with the expanded CSF layer. The proposed modeling method also provides multi-wavelength for NIRS simulation to approach the practical NIRS measurement.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>In this study, the three-dimensional time-resolved brain modeling method approaches the realistic human brain that provides useful information for NIRS systematic design and calibration for individualized case with prior MRI data.</p

    2-(2-Meth­oxy-5-methyl­phen­yl)-2H-benzotriazole

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    In the title mol­ecule, C14H13N3O, the dihedral angle between the mean planes of the benzotriazole ring system and the benzene ring is 57.8 (2)°

    LATS kinase-mediated CTCF phosphorylation and selective loss of genomic binding.

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    Chromatin topological organization is instrumental in gene transcription. Gene-enhancer interactions are accommodated in the same CTCF-mediated insulated neighborhoods. However, it remains poorly understood whether and how the 3D genome architecture is dynamically restructured by external signals. Here, we report that LATS kinases phosphorylated CTCF in the zinc finger (ZF) linkers and disabled its DNA-binding activity. Cellular stress induced LATS nuclear translocation and CTCF ZF linker phosphorylation, and altered the landscape of CTCF genomic binding partly by dissociating it selectively from a small subset of its genomic binding sites. These sites were highly enriched for the boundaries of chromatin domains containing LATS signaling target genes. The stress-induced CTCF phosphorylation and locus-specific dissociation from DNA were LATS-dependent. Loss of CTCF binding disrupted local chromatin domains and down-regulated genes located within them. The study suggests that external signals may rapidly modulate the 3D genome by affecting CTCF genomic binding through ZF linker phosphorylation

    Service Quality of Online Shopping Platforms: A Case-Based Empirical and Analytical Study

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    Customer service is crucially important for online shopping platforms (OSPs) such as eBay and Taobao. Based on the well-established service quality instruments and the scenario of the specific case on Taobao, this paper focuses on exploring the service quality of an OSP with an aim of revealing customer perceptions of the service quality associated with the provided functions and investigating their impacts on customer loyalty. By an empirical study, this paper finds that the “fulfillment and responsiveness” function is significantly related to the customer loyalty. Further analytical study is conducted to reveal that the optimal service level on the “fulfillment and responsiveness” function for the risk averse OSP uniquely exists. Moreover, the analytical results prove that (i) if the customer loyalty is more positively correlated to the service level, it will lead to a larger optimal service level, and (ii) the optimal service level is independent of the profit target, the source of uncertainty, and the risk preference of the OSP

    Epstein–Barr Virus DNase (BGLF5) induces genomic instability in human epithelial cells

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    Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) DNase (BGLF5) is an alkaline nuclease and has been suggested to be important in the viral life cycle. However, its effect on host cells remains unknown. Serological and histopathological studies implied that EBV DNase seems to be correlated with carcinogenesis. Therefore, we investigate the effect of EBV DNase on epithelial cells. Here, we report that expression of EBV DNase induces increased formation of micronucleus, an indicator of genomic instability, in human epithelial cells. We also demonstrate, using γH2AX formation and comet assay, that EBV DNase induces DNA damage. Furthermore, using host cell reactivation assay, we find that EBV DNase expression repressed damaged DNA repair in various epithelial cells. Western blot and quantitative PCR analyses reveal that expression of repair-related genes is reduced significantly in cells expressing EBV DNase. Host shut-off mutants eliminate shut-off expression of repair genes and repress damaged DNA repair, suggesting that shut-off function of BGLF5 contributes to repression of DNA repair. In addition, EBV DNase caused chromosomal aberrations and increased the microsatellite instability (MSI) and frequency of genetic mutation in human epithelial cells. Together, we propose that EBV DNase induces genomic instability in epithelial cells, which may be through induction of DNA damage and also repression of DNA repair, subsequently increases MSI and genetic mutations, and may contribute consequently to the carcinogenesis of human epithelial cells

    Nationwide Surveillance of Influenza during the Pandemic (2009–10) and Post-Pandemic (2010–11) Periods in Taiwan

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    INTRODUCTION: Although WHO declared the world moving into the post-pandemic period on August 10, 2010, influenza A(H1N1) 2009 virus continued to circulate globally. Its impact was expected to continue during the 2010-11 influenza season. This study describes the nationwide surveillance findings of the pandemic and post-pandemic influenza periods in Taiwan and assesses the impact of influenza A(H1N1) 2009 during the post-pandemic period. METHODS: The Influenza Laboratory Surveillance Network consisted of 12 contract laboratories for collecting and testing samples with acute respiratory tract infections. Surveillance of emergency room visits and outpatient department visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) were conducted using the Real-Time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance system and the National Health Insurance program data, respectively. Hospitalized cases with severe complications and deaths were reported to the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System. RESULTS: During the 2009-10 influenza season, pandemic A(H1N1) 2009 was the predominant circulating strain and caused 44 deaths. However, the 2010-11 influenza season began with A(H3N2) being the predominant circulating strain, changing to A(H1N1) 2009 in December 2010. Emergency room and outpatient department ILI surveillance displayed similar trends. By March 31, 2011, there were 1,751 cases of influenza with severe complications; 50.1% reported underlying diseases. Of the reported cases, 128 deaths were associated with influenza. Among these, 93 (72.6%) were influenza A(H1N1) 2009 and 30 (23.4%) A(H3N2). Compared to the pandemic period, during the immediate post-pandemic period, increased number of hospitalizations and deaths were observed, and the patients were consistently older. CONCLUSIONS: Reemergence of influenza A(H1N1) 2009 during the 2010-11 influenza season had an intense activity with age distribution shift. To further mitigate the impact of future influenza epidemics, Taiwan must continue its multifaceted influenza surveillance systems, remain flexible with antiviral use policies, and revise the vaccine policies to include the population most at risk

    New Variants and Age Shift to High Fatality Groups Contribute to Severe Successive Waves in the 2009 Influenza Pandemic in Taiwan

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    Past influenza pandemics have been characterized by the signature feature of multiple waves. However, the reasons for multiple waves in a pandemic are not understood. Successive waves in the 2009 influenza pandemic, with a sharp increase in hospitalized and fatal cases, occurred in Taiwan during the winter of 2010. In this study, we sought to discover possible contributors to the multiple waves in this influenza pandemic. We conducted a large-scale analysis of 4703 isolates in an unbiased manner to monitor the emergence, dominance and replacement of various variants. Based on the data from influenza surveillance and epidemic curves of each variant clade, we defined virologically and temporally distinct waves of the 2009 pandemic in Taiwan from May 2009 to April 2011 as waves 1 and 2, an interwave period and wave 3. Except for wave 3, each wave was dominated by one distinct variant. In wave 3, three variants emerged and co-circulated, and formed distinct phylogenetic clades, based on the hemagglutinin (HA) genes and other segments. The severity of influenza was represented as the case fatality ratio (CFR) in the hospitalized cases. The CFRs in waves 1 and 2, the interwave period and wave 3 were 6.4%, 5.1%, 15.2% and 9.8%, respectively. The results highlight the association of virus evolution and variable influenza severity. Further analysis revealed that the major affected groups were shifted in the waves to older individuals, who had higher age-specific CFRs. The successive pandemic waves create challenges for the strategic preparedness of health authorities and make the pandemic uncertain and variable. Our findings indicate that the emergence of new variants and age shift to high fatality groups might contribute potentially to the occurrence of successive severe pandemic waves and offer insights into the adjustment of national responses to mitigate influenza pandemics

    High Diversity of Tick-associated Microbiota from Five Tick Species in Yunnan, China

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    Ticks are obligate blood-sucking vectors for multiple zoonotic diseases. In this study, tick samples were collected from Yunnan Province, China, which is well-known as the “Global Biodiversity Hotspot” in the world. This study aimed to clarify the microbial populations, including pathogens, associated with ticks and to identify the diversity of tick-borne microbiota in this region. The 16S rRNA full-length sequencing from pooled tick DNA samples and PCR amplification of pathogenic genera from individual samples were performed to understand tick-associated microbiota in this region. A total of 191 adult ticks of 5 tick species were included and revealed 11 phyla and 126 genera bacteria, including pathogenic Anaplasma , Ehrlichia , Candidatus Neoehrlichia, Rickettsia , Borrelia , and Babesia . Further identification suggested that Rickettsia sp. YN01 was a variant strain of Rickettsia spp. IG-1, but Rickettsia sp. YN02 and Rickettsia sp. YN03, were potentially two new SFGR species. This study revealed the complexity of ecological interactions between host and microbe and provided insight for the biological control of ticks. A high microbial diversity in ticks from Yunnan was identified, and more investigation should be undertaken to elucidate the pathogenicity in the area

    Reassortment and Mutations Associated with Emergence and Spread of Oseltamivir-Resistant Seasonal Influenza A/H1N1 Viruses in 2005–2009

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    A dramatic increase in the frequency of the H275Y mutation in the neuraminidase (NA), conferring resistance to oseltamivir, has been detected in human seasonal influenza A/H1N1 viruses since the influenza season of 2007–2008. The resistant viruses emerged in the ratio of 14.3% and quickly reached 100% in Taiwan from September to December 2008. To explore the mechanisms responsible for emergence and spread of the resistant viruses, we analyzed the complete genome sequences of 25 viruses collected during 2005–2009 in Taiwan, which were chosen from various clade viruses, 1, 2A, 2B-1, 2B-2, 2C-1 and 2C-2 by the classification of hemagglutinin (HA) sequences. Our data revealed that the dominant variant, clade 2B-1, in the 2007–2008 influenza emerged through an intra-subtype 4+4 reassortment between clade 1 and 2 viruses. The dominant variant acquired additional substitutions, including A206T in HA, H275Y and D354G in NA, L30R and H41P in PB1-F2, and V411I and P453S in basic polymerase 2 (PB2) proteins and subsequently caused the 2008–2009 influenza epidemic in Taiwan, accompanying the widespread oseltamivir-resistant viruses. We also characterized another 3+5 reassortant virus which became double resistant to oseltamivir and amantadine. Comparison of oseltamivir-resistant influenza A/H1N1 viruses belonging to various clades in our study highlighted that both reassortment and mutations were associated with emergence and spread of these viruses and the specific mutation, H275Y, conferring to antiviral resistance, was acquired in a hitch-hiking mechanism during the viral evolutionary processes
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