Recently Published Article – “Flower Bud Differentiation and Development of ‘Jinsi No.4’ Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) in Hunan Province of Southern China”

Journal: The Open Biotechnology Journal

Author(s): Feng Zou, Jinghua Duan, Huan Xiong, Deyi Yuan, Lin Zhang, Genhua Niu

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Abstract:

Ziziphus jujuba Mill. is one of the most important fruit crops and has been cultivated in China for more than 4000 years. Z. jujuba fruit is rich in nutritional and medicinal values. Compared to other wood fruits, Z. jujuba is unique in its flowering and fruiting characteristics. Floral buds differentiation and formation of Z. jujuba is an essential process that affects yield. Z. jujuba ‘Jinsi No.4’ blooms profusely, yet its final yield is low. In this study, the floral bud differentiation and development of ‘Jinsi No.4’ were examined by paraffin section. Results showed that the floral buds of ‘Jinsi No.4’ differentiated in the current year and started from early April. The duration of a single flower differentiation was short, taking only 7 days for maturation of flowers buds. Floral bud differentiation of ‘Jinsi No.4’ can be divided into six stages, i.e., pre-differentiation, initial differentiation, sepal differentiation, petal differentiation, stamen differentiation, and pistil differentiation. Flower development experienced seven stages, i.e., alabastrum, alabastrum break, sepal flattening, petal flattening, stamen flattening, filament withering, and ovule swelling. Dysplasia was observed in some floral organs in Z. jujuba ‘Jinsi No.4’, suggesting that the dysplasia of floral organs may be one of the main reasons for low yields. Our findings on flower bud development in ‘Jinsi No.4’ will contribute to its production and flowering management in Hunan area of southern China.

To access this article, please visit: https://benthamopen.com/ABSTRACT/TOBIOTJ-11-9

Recently Published Article – “Transgenic Pro-Vitamin A Biofortified Crops for Improving Vitamin A Deficiency and Their Challenges”

Journal: The Open Agriculture Journal

Author(s): Hyejin Lee

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Abstract:

Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) has been a public health problem among children in developing countries. To alleviate VAD, Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS), food fortification, biofortification and nutrition education have been implemented in various degrees of success with their own merits and limits. While VAS is the most widely utilized intervention in developing countries to ease the burden of VAD, some have raised questions on VAS’ effectiveness. Biofortification, often touted as an effective alternative to VAS, has received significant attention. Among the available biofortification methods, adopting transgenic technology has not only facilitated rapid progress in science for enhanced pro-Vitamin A (pVA) levels in target crops, but drawn considerable skepticism in politics for safety issues. Additionally, VAD-afflicted target regions of transgenic pVA crops widely vary in their national stance on Genetically Modified (GM) products, which further complicates crop development and release. This paper briefly reviews VAS and its controversy which partly demanded shifts to food-based VAD interventions, and updates the current status of transgenic pVA crops. Also, this paper presents a framework to provide potential influencers for transgenic pVA crop development under politically challenging climates with GM products. The framework could be applicable to other transgenic micronutrient biofortification.

To access this article, please visit: https://benthamopen.com/ABSTRACT/TOASJ-11-11 

World Malaria Day 2017!

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World Malaria Day seeks to raise awareness about malaria, the serious and sometimes fatal disease that plagues most tropical regions. Malaria is transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito, found in most tropical regions of the world.

Bentham Open publishes very important research studies on Malaria in the following journal:

The Open Microbiology Journal

Recently Published Article – “Identification of Protease Specificity Using Biotin-Labeled Substrates”

Journal: The Open Biochemistry Journal

Author(s): Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Syota Saito, Yoshikazu Sawaguchi, Michio Kimura

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Abstract

Background:

Proteolysis constitutes a major post-translational modification. For example, proteases regulate the activation or inactivation of various proteins, such as enzymes, growth factors, and peptide hormones. Proteases have substrate specificity, and protease expression regulates the specific and regional activation or inactivation of several functional proteins.

Methods:

We demonstrate a novel method for determining protease specificity through the use of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry with biotin-labeled substrates.

Results:

This method was able to determine the specificity of TPCK-trypsin, V8 protease, elastase and cyanogen bromide cleavage, and the results were similar to previous reports. In addition, the method can be used to measure crude samples, such as tumor extracts.

Conclusion:

We demonstrated that this method could identify protease specificity after simple processing, even for crude samples.

To access this article, please visit: https://benthamopen.com/ABSTRACT/TOBIOCJ-11-27

Recently Published Article – “Nitric Oxide and Related Aspects Underlying Angina”

Journal: The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal

Author(s): Carolina Baraldi Araujo Restini, Leticia Gonçalves

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Abstract:

Increased number of patients affected by metabolic syndrome (MS) has prompted the necessity of better understanding what is involved in such syndrome. Nevertheless, the establishment of promising therapies depends on the knowledge about the interaction of molecules within MS. In such context, Nitric Oxide (NO) emerges from a bulk of works relating its roles on aspects of MS, including cardiovascular diseases, their symptoms and comorbidities, which are thought to be triggered by similar sources. NO, nitric oxide synthase and enzymatic chains are keys for those disease and symptoms processes. NO has been separately described as part of hypertensive, ischemic and pain signaling. Although there are similar pathways likely shared for generating cardiovascular symptoms such angina, they are barely associated to NO in literature. The present review aims to clarify the patterns of NO alteration in metabolic syndrome directly concerned to cardiovascular symptoms, especially angina.

To access this article, please visit: https://benthamopen.com/ABSTRACT/TOCMJ-11-33

Recently Published Article – “Villous Tree Model with Active Contractions for Estimating Blood Flow Conditions in the Human Placenta”

Journal: The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal 

Author(s): Yoko Kato, Michelle L. Oyen, Graham J. Burton

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Abstract

Background:

In the human placenta, maternal and fetal bloods exchange substances through the surface of the villous trees: the fetal blood circulates in the villous trees, around which the maternal blood circulates. The blood flows directly influence fetal growth. Stem villi, the main supports of the villous tree, have contractile cells along the axes, whose contractions are expected to influence the blood circulations in the placenta. The displacement is neither measurable nor predictable while non-invasive measurements such as umbilical Doppler waveforms are helpful to predict the histological changes of the villous trees and vascularization in the placenta.

Objective:

The displacement caused by the contraction of the villous tree is necessary to predict the blood flows in the placenta. Hence, a computational villous tree model, which actively contracts, was developed in this study.

Method:

The villous tree model was based on the previous reports: shear moduli of the human placenta; branching patterns in the stem villi. The displacement pattern in the placenta was estimated by the computational model when the shear elastic moduli were changed.

Results:

The results show that the displacement caused by the contraction was influenced by the shear elastic moduli, but kept useful for the blood flows in the placenta. The characteristics agreed with the robustness of the blood flows in the placenta.

Conclusion:

The villous tree model, which actively contracts, was developed in this study. The combination of this computational model and non-invasive measurements will be useful to evaluate the condition of the placenta.

To access this article, please visit: https://benthamopen.com/ABSTRACT/TOBEJ-11-36

Recently Published Article – “Nurse Competence on Physiologic Monitors Use: Toward Eliminating Alarm Fatigue in Intensive Care Units”

Journal: The Open Medical Informatics Journal

Author(s): Azizeh K. Sowan, Ana G. Vera, Elma I. Fonseca, Charles C. Reed, Albert F. Tarriela, Andrea E. Berndt

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Abstract

Background:

Studies on nurse competence on alarm management are a few and tend to be focused on limited skills. In response to Phase II of implementing the National Patient Safety Goal on clinical alarm systems safety, this study assessed nurses’ perceived competence on physiologic monitors use in intensive care units (ICUs) and developed and validated a tool for this purpose.

Methods:

This descriptive study took place in a Magnet hospital in a Southwestern state of the U.S. A Nurse Competence on Philips Physiologic Monitors Use Survey was created and went through validation by 13 expert ICU nurses. The survey included 5 subscales with 59 rated items and two open-ended questions. Items on the first 4 subscales reflect most common tasks nurses perform using physiologic monitors. Items on the fifth subscale (advanced functions) reflect rarely used skills and were included to understand the scope of utilizing advanced physiologic monitors’ features. Thirty nurses from 4 adult ICUs were invited to respond to the survey.

Results:

Thirty nurses (100%) responded to the survey. The majority of nurses were from Neuro (47%) and Surgical Trauma (37%) ICUs. The data supported the high reliability and construct validity of the survey. At least one (3%) to 8 nurses (27%) reported lack of confidence on each item on the survey. On the first four subscales, 3% – 40% of the nurses reported they had never heard of or used 27 features/functions on the monitors. No relationships were found between subscales’ scores and demographic characteristics (p > .05). Nurses asked for training on navigating the central-station monitor and troubleshooting alarms, and the use of unit-specific super users to tailor training to users’ needs.

Conclusion:

This is the first study to create and test a list of competencies for physiologic monitors use. Rigorous, periodic and individualized training is essential for safe and appropriate use of physiologic monitors and to decrease alarm fatigue. Training should be comprehensive to include all necessary skills and should not assume proficiency on basic skills. Special attention should be focused on managing technical alarms. Increasing the number of super users is a recommended strategy for individualized and unit-specific training. There is a need for a usability testing of complex IT-equipped medical devices, such as physiologic monitors, for effective, efficient and safe navigation of the monitors.

To access this article, please visit: https://benthamopen.com/ABSTRACT/TOMINFOJ-11-1