Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1667

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Bioengineering and Life Sciences]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

1667 Micro-CT Imaging Of Hard Tissues

Authors: Amir Davood Elmi

Abstract:

From the earliest light microscope to the most innovative X-ray imaging techniques, all of them have refined and improved our knowledge about the organization and composition of living tissues. The old techniques are time consuming and ultimately destructive to the tissues under the examination. In recent few decades, thanks to the boost of technology, non-destructive visualization techniques, such as X-ray computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM), and optical projection tomography (OPT), have come to the forefront. Among these techniques, CT is excellent for mineralized tissues such as bone or dentine. In addition, CT it is faster than other aforementioned techniques and the sample remains intact. In this article, applications, advantages, and limitations of micro-CT is discussed, in addition to some information about micro-CT of soft tissue.

Keywords: Bone, Rapid prototyping, attenuation coefficient, micro-CT, hard tissue

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1666 A Framework for Route Based Pathway Analysis of Gene Expression Data Cohorts

Authors: Pujan Joshi, Honglin Wang, Brent Basso, Seung-Hyun Hong, Charles Giardina, Dong-Guk Shin

Abstract:

Pathway analysis is a key step in genomics study to identify an ordered set of significant pathways that can distinguish test samples from control samples. Topology based (TB) pathway analysis techniques are generally considered to have better performance than non-topology based (ORA & FCS) methods. However, scalability in terms of processing massive volumes of data generated currently by the genomics community remains a limitation of existing pathway analysis methods. Moreover, most pathway analysis methods assign one score to an entire pathway, where the relevance of individual routes within the pathway is lost. A novel topology and route-based pathway analysis framework, Route Based Pathway Analysis in Cohorts (rPAC), is discussed in this paper. This method can effectively process entire cohorts and identify significant pathway routes distinguishing various subgroups within and between cohorts. The identified routes can sometimes belong to pathways that are mostly neutral, highlighting the importance of route-based pathway analysis over traditional pathway-as-a-unit analysis. The rPAC framework begins with identifying all possible transcription factor (TF) centric routes from KEGG signaling pathways. Each route is assigned an activity score, along with its statistical significance in terms of p-value for every sample in each cohort. To summarize the overall route activity in each cohort, each route is assigned a Proportion of Significance (PS) score. The PS score is used to rank the pathway routes, filter the insignificant ones, and for comprehensive comparison of sub-groups within or between cohorts. Case studies of human cancer cohorts from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) repository are given to demonstrate the strength and capabilities of rPAC framework along with some notable observations that highlight key differences between various pathway routes within analyzed cancer cohorts.

Keywords:

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1665 Application of Acoustic Emissions Related to Drought Can Elicit Antioxidant Responses and Capsaicinoids Content in Chili Pepper Plants

Authors: Laura Helena Caicedo Lopez, Luis Miguel Contreras Medina, Ramon Gerardo Guevara Gonzales, Juan E. Andrade

Abstract:

In this study, we evaluated the effect of three different hydric stress conditions: Low (LHS), medium (MHS), and high (HHS) on capsaicinoid content and enzyme regulation of C. annuum plants. Five main peaks were detected using a 2 Hz resolution vibrometer laser (Polytec-B&K). These peaks or “characteristic frequencies” were used as acoustic emissions (AEs) treatment, transforming these signals into audible sound with the frequency (Hz) content of each hydric stress. Capsaicinoids (CAPs) are the main, secondary metabolites of chili pepper plants and are known to increase during hydric stress conditions or short drought-periods. The AEs treatments were applied in two plant stages: the first one was in the pre-anthesis stage to evaluate the genes that encode the transcription of enzymes responsible for diverse metabolic activities of C. annuum plants. For example, the antioxidant responses such as peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD). Also, phenyl-alanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) involved in the biosynthesis of the phenylpropanoid compounds. The chalcone synthase (CHS) related to the natural defense mechanisms and species-specific aquaporin (CAPIP-1) that regulate the flow of water into and out of cells. The second stage was at 40 days after flowering (DAF) to evaluate the biochemical effect of AEs related to hydric stress on capsaicinoids production. These two experiments were conducted to identify the molecular responses of C. annuum plants to AE. Moreover, to define AEs could elicit any increase in the capsaicinoids content after a one-week exposition to AEs treatments. The results show that all AEs treatment signals (LHS, MHS, and HHS) were significantly different compared to the non-acoustic emission control (NAE). Also, the AEs induced the up-regulation of POD (~2.8, 2.9, and 3.6, respectively). The gene expression of another antioxidant response was particularly treatment-dependent. The HHS induced and overexpression of Mn-SOD (~0.23) and PAL (~0.33). As well, the MHS only induced an up-regulation of the CHs gene (~0.63). On the other hand, CAPIP-1 gene gas down-regulated by all AEs treatments LHS, MHS, and HHS ~ (-2.4, -0.43 and -6.4, respectively). Likewise, the down-regulation showed particularities depending on the treatment. LHS and MHS induced downregulation of the SOD gene ~ (-1.26 and -1.20 respectively) and PAL (-4.36 and 2.05, respectively). Correspondingly, the LHS and HHS showed the same tendency in the CHs gene, respectively ~ (-1.12 and -1.02, respectively). Regarding the elicitation effect of AE on the capsaicinoids content, additional treatment controls were included. A white noise treatment (WN) to prove the frequency-selectiveness of signals and a hydric stressed group (HS) to compare the CAPs content. Our findings suggest that WN and NAE did not present differences statically. Conversely, HS and all AEs treatments induced a significant increase of capsaicin (Cap) and dihydrocapsaicin (Dcap) after one-week of a treatment. Specifically, the HS plants showed an increase of 8.33 times compared to the NAE and WN treatments and 1.4 times higher than the MHS, which was the AEs treatment with a larger induction of Capsaicinoids among treatments (5.88) and compared to the controls.

Keywords: acoustic emission, elicitors, Capsaicinoids, hydric stress, plant signaling

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1664 Semi-Natural Meadows of Natura 2000 Habitats – Conservation and Renewable Energy Source

Authors: Mateusz Meserszmit, Mariusz Chrabąszcz, Adriana Trojanowska-Olichwer, Zygmunt Kącki

Abstract:

Semi-natural meadows are valuable communities from the point of view of biodiversity, but their survival is strongly related to human activity. Unfortunately, the current status of preservation of extensively used meadows in Europe is frequently assessed as “unfavorable”. This is due to agricultural activity, in particular the lack of appropriate conservation procedures such as the cutting of meadows or livestock grazing. However, for more effective protective measures, the preservation of the biological diversity of meadows requires an interdisciplinary approach from both scientists and practitioners from many fields. Our research aimed to present the possibility of conservation of semi-natural meadows using cut biomass for the production of bioenergy – biogas, taking into consideration the botanical characteristics of the studied habitat and the chemical properties of biomass. A field study was conducted in Poland, within an area covered by the European Union's nature conservation programme. The samples were collected on four dates (May 24th, July 1st, July 23rd, and September 1st) from a study site established within a Molinion meadow. The biomass collected at the earliest date mostly consisted of plants with flowers in bud or fully open flowers. At the later harvest dates, most plants were at the fruiting or seed shed stage. An earlier stage of plant growth contributed to a lower biomass yield, which also resulted in a lower methane yield per hectare. The methane yield per hectare was at the end of May 482 m3 CH4 ha-1, at the beginning of July 867 m3 CH4 ha-1, at the end of July 759 m3 CH4 ha-1 and at the beginning of September 730 m3 CH4 ha-1. The biomass harvested in May demonstrated a significantly higher content of the elements: N, P, and K, but a lower Ca content compared to later harvested biomass, which may affect the biogas production process. The use of hay as a source of renewable energy can become an important element of conservation adapted for this type of habitat.

Keywords: biomass, Bioenergy, Nature Conservation, grassland

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1663 The Role of Two Macrophyte Species in Mineral Nutrient Cycling in Human-Impacted Water Reservoirs

Authors: Ludmila Polechonska, Agnieszka Klink

Abstract:

The biogeochemical studies of macrophytes shed light on elements bioavailability, transfer through the food webs and their possible effects on the biota, and provide a basis for their practical application in aquatic monitoring and remediation. Measuring the accumulation of elements in plants can provide time-integrated information about the presence of chemicals in aquatic ecosystems. The aim of the study was to determine and compare the contents of micro- and macroelements in two cosmopolitan macrophytes, submerged Ceratophyllum demersum (hornworth) and free-floating Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (European frog-bit), in order to assess their bioaccumulation potential, elements stock accumulated in each plant and their role in nutrients cycling in small water reservoirs. Sampling sites were designated in 25 oxbow lakes in urban areas in Lower Silesia (SW Poland). In each sampling site, fresh whole plants of C. demersum and H. morsus-ranae were collected from squares of 1x1 meters each where the species coexisted. European frog-bit was separated into leaves, stems and roots. For biomass measurement all plants growing on 1 square meter were collected, dried and weighed. At the same time, water samples were collected from each reservoir and their pH and EC were determined. Water samples were filtered and acidified and plant samples were digested in concentrated nitric acid. Next, the content of Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni and Zn was determined using atomic absorption method (AAS). Statistical analysis showed that C. demersum and organs of H. morsus-ranae differed significantly in respect of metals content (Kruskal-Wallis Anova, p<0.05). Contents of Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn were higher in hornwort, while European frog-bit contained more Ca, Fe, K, Mg. Bioaccumulation Factors (BCF=content in plant/concentration in water) showed similar pattern of metal bioaccumulation – microelements were more intensively accumulated by hornwort and macroelements by frog-bit. Based on BCF values both species may be positively evaluated as good accumulators of Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn. However, the distribution of metals in H. morsus-ranae was uneven – the majority of studied elements were retained in roots, which may indicate to existence of physiological barriers developed for dealing with toxicity. Some percent of Ca and K was actively transported to stems, but to leaves Mg only. Although the biomass of C. demersum was two times greater than biomass of H. morsus-ranae, the element off-take was greater only for Cu, Mn, Ni and Zn. Nevertheless, it can be stated that despite a relatively small biomass, compared to other macrophytes, both species may have an influence on the removal of trace elements from aquatic ecosystems and, as they serve as food for some animals, also on the incorporation of toxic elements into food chains. There was a significant positive correlation between content of Mn and Fe in water and roots of H. morus-ranae (R=0.51 and R=0.60, respectively) as well as between Cu concentration in water and in C. demersum (R=0.41) (Spearman rank correlation, p<0.05). High bioaccumulation rates and correlation between plants and water elements concentrations point to their possible use as passive biomonitors of aquatic pollution.

Keywords: Phytoremediation, Biomonitoring, Trace Metals, Aquatic Plants, bioaccumulation, macroelements

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1662 Effect of SCN5A Gene Mutation in Endocardial Cell

Authors: Helan Satish, M. Ramasubba Reddy

Abstract:

The simulation of an endocardial cell for gene mutation in the cardiac sodium ion channel NaV1.5, encoded by SCN5A gene, is discussed. The characterization of Brugada Syndrome by loss of function effect on SCN5A mutation due to L812Q mutant present in the DII-S4 transmembrane region of the NaV1.5 channel protein and its effect in an endocardial cell is studied. Ten Tusscher model of human ventricular action potential is modified to incorporate the changes contributed by L812Q mutant in the endocardial cells. Results show that BrS-associated SCN5A mutation causes reduction in the inward sodium current by modifications in the channel gating dynamics such as delayed activation, enhanced inactivation, and slowed recovery from inactivation in the endocardial cell. A decrease in the inward sodium current was also observed, which affects depolarization phase (Phase 0) that leads to reduction in the spike amplitude of the cardiac action potential.

Keywords: action potential, cardiac arrhythmia, SCN5A gene mutation, sodium channel, Brugada syndrome

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1661 Assessment of in vitro Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Potentials of Methanol Extract of Chrysophyllum albidum Cotyledon

Authors: Christianah Adebimpe Dare, Nelson Oghenebrorhie Elvis

Abstract:

This study was aimed at analysing the phytochemicals in Chrysophyllum albidum cotyledon extract and their in vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The star apple fruit was bought at Igbona market Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. The seed from the fruit was removed and defatted. The residue was exhaustively extracted with methanol. The Chrysophyllum albidum cotyledon methanol extract (CCME) was phytochemically screened, flavonoids and phenol contents, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory assays were carried out on the extract using standard procedures. Phytochemicals analysis revealed the presence of steroids, tannins, flavonoid, saponin, triterpenes, and xanthoproteins. The phenolic concentration, total flavonoids concentration, and total sugar concentration were found to be 26.72 ± 0.048 µgTAE/mg, 23.12 ± 1.92µg of Rutin equivalent (RTE)/mg (10.49 ± 1.12µg of Quercetin equivalent (QE/mg) and 778.38 ± 12.82 µg of glucose/ml, respectively. The extract demonstrated significant inhibitory effect compared with the standards as potent antioxidant with percentage inhibition of DPPH as 38.10 %-39.51 %, lipid peroxidation as 45.85 %-65.85 %; ferric reducing power showed linear correlation to the standard and the anti-inflammatory potential with 22.06 %-26.37 % protection of the human red blood membrane and the percentage inhibition of denaturation of albumin 3.42 %-7.32 %. The study showed that C. albidum cotyledon methanol extract is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent to combat oxidative stress and pathological diseases caused by reactive species.

Keywords: Lipid Peroxidation, Free Radicals, albumin denaturation, reactive species

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1660 Mobulid Ray Fishery Characteristics and Trends in East Java to Inform Management Decisions

Authors: Irianes C. Gozali, Selvia Oktaviyani, Sila K. Sari, Betty J.L. Laglbauer, Muhammad G. Salim, Isabel Ender, Fahmi, Didik Rudianto

Abstract:

Muncar, East Java, is one of the largest artisanal fisheries in Indonesia. Sharks and rays are caught as both target and bycatch, for local meat consumption and with some derived products exported. Of the seven mobulid ray species occurring in Indonesia, five have been recorded as retained bycatch at Muncar fishing port: the spinetail devil ray (Mobula mobular), the bentfin devil ray (Mobula thurstoni), the sicklefin devil ray (Mobula tarapacana), the oceanic manta ray (Mobula birostris) and the reef manta ray (Mobula alfredi). Both manta ray species are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and are protected in Indonesia despite still being captured as bycatch, while all the three devil ray species mentioned here are listed as Endangered and do not currently benefit from any protection in Indonesian waters. Mobulid landings in East Java are caused primarily by small-scale drift gillnets but they also occasionally occur on longlines and in purse-seines operating off the coast of East Java and occasionally in fishing grounds located as far as the Makassar and Sumba Straits. Landing trends from 2015-2019 (non-continuous surveys) revealed that the highest abundance of mobulid rays at Muncar fishing port occurs during the upwelling season from June-October. During El-Nino or above-average temperature years, this may extend until November (such as in 2015 and 2019). The strong seasonal upwelling along the East Java coast is linked to higher zooplankton abundance (inferred from chlorophyll-a sea-surface concentrations), on which mobulids forage, along with teleost fishes constituting the primary target of gillnet fisheries in the Bali Strait. Mobulid ray landings in Muncar were dominated by Mobula mobular, followed by M. thurstoni, M. tarapacana, M. birostris and M. alfredi, however, the catch varied across years and seasons. A majority of immature individuals were recorded in M. mobular and M. thurstoni, and slight decreases in landings, despite no known changes in fishing effort, were observed across the upwelling seasons of 2015-2018 for M. mobular. While all mobulids are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which regulates international trade in gill plates sought after in the Chinese Medicine Trade, local and national-level management measures are required to sustain mobulid populations. The findings presented here provide important baseline data, from which potential management approaches can be identified.

Keywords: Indonesia, devil ray, mobulid, Manta ray

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1659 Characterization of Transmembrane Proteins with Five Alpha-Helical Regions

Authors: Misty Attwood, Helgi Schioth

Abstract:

Transmembrane proteins are important components in many essential cell processes such as signal transduction, cell-cell signalling, transport of solutes, structural adhesion activities, and protein trafficking. Due to their involvement in diverse critical activities, transmembrane proteins are implicated in different disease pathways and hence are the focus of intense interest in understanding functional activities, their pathogenesis in disease, and their potential as pharmaceutical targets. Further, as the structure and function of proteins are correlated, investigating a group of proteins with the same tertiary structure, i.e., the same number of transmembrane regions, may give understanding about their functional roles and potential as therapeutic targets. In this in silico bioinformatics analysis, we identify and comprehensively characterize the previously unstudied group of proteins with five transmembrane-spanning regions (5TM). We classify nearly 60 5TM proteins in which 31 are members of ten families that contain two or more family members and all members are predicted to contain the 5TM architecture. Furthermore, nine singlet proteins that contain the 5TM architecture without paralogues detected in humans were also identifying, indicating the evolution of single unique proteins with the 5TM structure. Interestingly, more than half of these proteins function in localization activities through movement or tethering of cell components and more than one-third are involved in transport activities, particularly in the mitochondria. Surprisingly, no receptor activity was identified within this family in sharp contrast with other TM families. Three major 5TM families were identified and include the Tweety family, which are pore-forming subunits of the swelling-dependent volume regulated anion channel in astrocytes; the sidoreflexin family that acts as mitochondrial amino acid transporters; and the Yip1 domain family engaged in vesicle budding and intra-Golgi transport. About 30% of the proteins have enhanced expression in the brain, liver, or testis. Importantly, 60% of these proteins are identified as cancer prognostic markers, where they are associated with clinical outcomes of various tumour types, indicating further investigation into the function and expression of these proteins is important. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of proteins with 5TM regions and provides details of the unique characteristics and application in pharmaceutical development.

Keywords: Drug Targets, cancer prognostic marker, transmembrane protein

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1658 Mathematical Modeling of Avascular Tumor Growth and Invasion

Authors: Ben Nadler, Mohsen Akbari, Meitham Amereh

Abstract:

Cancer has been recognized as one of the most challenging problems in biology and medicine. Aggressive tumors are a lethal type of cancers characterized by high genomic instability, rapid progression, invasiveness, and therapeutic resistance. Their behavior involves complicated molecular biology and consequential dynamics. Although tremendous effort has been devoted to developing therapeutic approaches, there is still a huge need for new insights into the dark aspects of tumors. As one of the key requirements in better understanding the complex behavior of tumors, mathematical modeling and continuum physics, in particular, play a pivotal role. Mathematical modeling can provide a quantitative prediction on biological processes and help interpret complicated physiological interactions in tumors microenvironment. The pathophysiology of aggressive tumors is strongly affected by the extracellular cues such as stresses produced by mechanical forces between the tumor and the host tissue. During the tumor progression, the growing mass displaces the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM), and due to the level of tissue stiffness, stress accumulates inside the tumor. The produced stress can influence the tumor by breaking adherent junctions. During this process, the tumor stops the rapid proliferation and begins to remodel its shape to preserve the homeostatic equilibrium state. To reach this, the tumor, in turn, upregulates epithelial to mesenchymal transit-inducing transcription factors (EMT-TFs). These EMT-TFs are involved in various signaling cascades, which are often associated with tumor invasiveness and malignancy. In this work, we modeled the tumor as a growing hyperplastic mass and investigated the effects of mechanical stress from surrounding ECM on tumor invasion. The invasion is modeled as volume-preserving inelastic evolution. In this framework, principal balance laws are considered for tumor mass, linear momentum, and diffusion of nutrients. Also, mechanical interactions between the tumor and ECM is modeled using Ciarlet constitutive strain energy function, and dissipation inequality is utilized to model the volumetric growth rate. System parameters, such as rate of nutrient uptake and cell proliferation, are obtained experimentally. To validate the model, human Glioblastoma multiforme (hGBM) tumor spheroids were incorporated inside Matrigel/Alginate composite hydrogel and was injected into a microfluidic chip to mimic the tumor’s natural microenvironment. The invasion structure was analyzed by imaging the spheroid over time. Also, the expression of transcriptional factors involved in invasion was measured by immune-staining the tumor. The volumetric growth, stress distribution, and inelastic evolution of tumors were predicted by the model. Results showed that the level of invasion is in direct correlation with the level of predicted stress within the tumor. Moreover, the invasion length measured by fluorescent imaging was shown to be related to the inelastic evolution of tumors obtained by the model.

Keywords: Cancer, Mathematical Modeling, microfluidic chip, invasion, tumor spheroids

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1657 Peptide Aptasensor for Electrochemical Detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Authors: Shah Abbas

Abstract:

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic, inflammatory autoimmune disease, affecting an overall 1% of the global population. Despite being tremendous efforts by scientists, early diagnosis of RA still has not been achieved. In the current study, a Graphene oxide (GO) based electrochemical sensor has been developed for early diagnosis of RA through Cyclic voltammetry. Chitosan (CHI), a CPnatural polymer has also been incorporated along with GO in order to enhance the biocompatibility and functionalization potential of the biosensor. CCPs are known antigens for Anti Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies (ACPAs) which can be detected in serum even 14 years before the appearance of symptoms, thus they are believed to be an ideal target for the early diagnosis of RA. This study has yielded some promising results regarding the binding and detection of ACPAs through changes in the electrochemical properties of biosensing material. The cyclic voltammogram of this biosensor reflects the binding of ACPAs to the biosensor surface, due to its shifts observed in the current flow (cathodic current) as compared to the when no ACPAs bind as it is absent in RA negative patients.

Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cyclic Voltammetry, Graphene Oxide, peptide sensor, anti citrullinated peptide antibodies

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1656 Biotechnology Approach: A Tool of Enhancement of Sticky Mucilage of Pulicaria Incisa (Medicinal Plant) for Wounds Treatment

Authors: Djamila Chabane, Asma Rouane, Karim Arab

Abstract:

Depending of the chemical substances responsible for the pharmacological effects, a future therapeutic drug might be produced by extraction from whole plants or by callus initiated from some parts. The optimized callus culture protocols now offer the possibility to use cell culture techniques for vegetative propagation and open minds for further studies on secondary metabolites and drug establishment. In Algerian traditional medicine, Pulicaria incisa (Asteraceae) is used in the treatment of daily troubles (stomachache, headhache., cold, sore throat and rheumatic arthralgia). Field findings revealed that many healers use some fresh parts (leaves, flowers) of this plant to treat skin wounds. This study aims to evaluate the healing efficiency of artisanal cream prepared from sticky mucilage isolated from calluses on dermal wounds of animal models. Callus cultures were initiated from reproductive explants (young inflorescences) excised from adult plants and transferred to a MS basal medium supplemented with growth regulators and maintained under dark for for months. Many calluses types were obtained with various color and aspect (friable, compact). Several subcultures of calli were performed to enhance the mucilage accumulation. After extraction, the mucilage extracts were tested on animal models as follows. The wound healing potential was studied by causing dermal wounds (1 cm diameter) at the dorsolumbar part of Rattus norvegicus; different samples of the cream were applied after hair removal on three rats each, including two controls (one treated by Vaseline and one without any treatment), two experimental groups (experimental group 1, treated with a reference ointment "Madecassol® and experimental group 2 treated by callus mucilage cream for a period of seventeen days. The evolution of the healing activity was estimated by calculating the percentage reduction of the area wounds treated by all compounds tested compared to the controls by using AutoCAD software. The percentage of healing effect of the cream prepared from callus mucilage was (99.79%) compared to that of Madecassol® (99.76%). For the treatment time, the significant healing activity was observed after 17 days compared to that of the reference pharmaceutical products without any wound infection. The healing effect of Madecassol® is more effective because it stimulates and regulates the production of collagen, a fibrous matrix essential for wound healing. Mucilage extracts also showed a high capacity to heal the skin without any infection. According to this pharmacological activity, we suggest to use calluses produced by in vitro culture to producing new compounds for the skin care and treatment.

Keywords: Wounds, calluses, Pulicaria incisa, mucilage

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1655 Investigation of the Excitotoxicity Pathways in Neuroblastoma Cells

Authors: Merve Colak, Gizem Donmez Yalcin

Abstract:

Glutamate has many neurological functions in the central nervous system and is found at high concentrations in the brain. Increased levels of glutamate in the neuronal space are toxic, causing neuron damage and death. This is called glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity is among the causes of many neurological diseases such as trauma, cerebral ischemia, epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease. Since neuroblastoma cells are known to be excitotoxic, we propose that excitotoxicity can be studied in neuroblastoma cells. Excitotoxicity can be induced using kainic acid in neuroblastoma cells. Measuring the secretion of glutamate, excitotoxicity can be analyzed in neuroblastoma cells.

Keywords: glutamate, excitotoxicity, kainic acid, Sirt4

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1654 Improving the Biocontrol of the Argentine Stem Weevil; Using the Parasitic Wasp Microctonus hyperodae

Authors: John G. Skelly, Peter K. Dearden, Thomas W. R. Harrop, Sarah N. Inwood, Joseph Guhlin

Abstract:

The Argentine stem weevil (ASW; L. bonariensis) is an economically important pasture pest in New Zealand, which causes about $200 million of damage per annum. Microctonus hyperodae (Mh), a parasite of the ASW in its natural range in South America, was introduced into New Zealand to curb the pasture damage caused by the ASW. Mh is an endoparasitic wasp that lays its eggs in the ASW halting its reproduction. Mh was initially successful at preventing ASW proliferation and reducing pasture damage. The effectiveness of Mh has since declined due to decreased parasitism rates and has resulted in increased pasture damage. Although the mechanism through which ASW has developed resistance to Mh has not been discovered, it has been proposed to be due to the different reproductive modes used by Mh and the ASW in New Zealand. The ASW reproduces sexually, whereas Mh reproduces asexually, which has been hypothesised to have allowed the ASW to ‘out evolve’ Mh. Other species within the Microctonus genus reproduce both sexually and asexually. Strains of Microctonus aethiopoides (Ma), a species closely related to Mh, reproduce either by sexual or asexual reproduction. Comparing the genomes of sexual and asexual Microctonus may allow for the identification of the mechanism of asexual reproduction and other characteristics that may improve Mh as a biocontrol agent. The genomes of Mh and three strains of Ma, two of which reproduce sexually and one reproduces asexually, have been sequenced and annotated. The French (MaFR) and Moroccan (MaMO) reproduce sexually, whereas the Irish strain (MaIR) reproduces asexually. Like Mh, The Ma strains are also used as biocontrol agents, but for different weevil species. The genomes of Mh and MaIR were subsequently upgraded using Hi-C, resulting in a set of high quality, highly contiguous genomes. A subset of the genes involved in mitosis and meiosis, which have been identified though the use of Hidden Markov Models generated from genes involved in these processes in other Hymenoptera, have been catalogued in Mh and the strains of Ma. Meiosis and mitosis genes were broadly conserved in both sexual and asexual Microctonus species. This implies that either the asexual species have retained a subset of the molecular components required for sexual reproduction or that the molecular mechanisms of mitosis and meiosis are different or differently regulated in Microctonus to other insect species in which these mechanisms are more broadly characterised. Bioinformatic analysis of the chemoreceptor compliment in Microctonus has revealed some variation in the number of olfactory receptors, which may be related to host preference. Phylogenetic analysis of olfactory receptors highlights variation, which may be able to explain different host range preferences in the Microctonus. Hi-C clustering implies that Mh has 12 chromosomes, and MaIR has 8. Hence there may be variation in gene regulation between species. Genome alignment of Mh and MaIR implies that there may be large scale genome structural variation. Greater insight into the genetics of these agriculturally important group of parasitic wasps may be beneficial in restoring or maintaining their biocontrol efficacy.

Keywords: Genomics, argentine stem weevil, asexual, Microctonus hyperodae

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1653 The Order Russulales of Basidiomycota: Systematics, Ecology and Chemotaxonomy

Authors: Marco Clericuzio, Alfredo Vizzini

Abstract:

The secondary metabolites of Russulales (one of the main orders of phylum Basidiomycota), have been studied. They are mainly terpenoids, with sesquiterpenes being the most common ones, but also triterpenoids and prenylated phenols have been isolated. We found that classes of specific compounds seem to be often allied to systematic groupings, so that they may have chemotaxonomic significance. Moreover, the ecological implications of such metabolites, as well as their biological activities, are discussed. Lately, we have focused our attention on the anti-arthropod activity of Russula metabolites, in particular on the toxicity against mites and other crop pests.

Keywords: Fungi, insecticidal activity, terpenoids, chemotaxonomy, russulales

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1652 Estimating Interdependence of Social Statuses in a Cooperative Breeding Birds through Mathematical Modelling

Authors: Santanu Ray, Sinchan Ghosh, Fahad Al Basir, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

Abstract:

The cooperatively breeding birds have two major ranks for the sexually mature birds. The breeders mate and produce offspring while the non-breeding helpers increase the chick production rate through help in mate-finding and allo-parenting. However, the chicks also cooperate to raise their younger siblings through warming, defending and food sharing. Although, the existing literatures describes the evolution of allo-parenting in birds but do not differentiate the significance of allo-parenting in sexually immature and mature helpers separately. This study addresses the significance of both immature and mature helpers’ contribution to the total sustainable bird population in a breeding site using Blue-tailed bee-eater as a test-bed species. To serve this purpose, a mathematical model has been built considering each social status and chicks as separate but interactive compartments. Also, to observe the dynamics of each social status with changing prey abundance, a prey population has been introduced as an additional compartment. The model was analyzed for stability condition and was validated using field-data. A simulation experiment was then performed to observe the change in equilibria with a varying helping rate from both the helpers. The result from the simulation experiment suggest that the cooperative breeding population changes its population sizes significantly with a change in helping rate from the sexually immature helpers. On the other hand, the mature helpers do not contribute to the stability of the population equilibrium as much as the immature helpers.

Keywords: Behavioural Modelling, Altruism, Blue-tailed bee eater, Mathematical Ethology

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1651 Effects of Evening vs. Morning Training on Motor Skill Consolidation in Morning-Oriented Elderly

Authors: Maria Korman, Carmit Gal, Ella Gabitov, Avi Karni

Abstract:

The main question addressed in this study was whether the time-of-day wherein training is afforded is a significant factor for motor skill ('how-to', procedural knowledge) acquisition and consolidation into long term memory in the healthy elderly population. Twenty-nine older adults (60-75 years) practiced an explicitly instructed 5-element key-press sequence by repeatedly generating the sequence ‘as fast and accurately as possible’. Contribution of three parameters to acquisition, 24h post-training consolidation, and 1-week retention gains in motor sequence speed was assessed: (a) time of training (morning vs. evening group) (b) sleep quality (actigraphy) and (c) chronotype. All study participants were moderately morning type, according to the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire score. All participants had sleep patterns typical of age, with average sleep efficiency of ~ 82%, and approximately 6 hours of sleep. Speed of motor sequence performance in both groups improved to a similar extent during training session. Nevertheless, evening group expressed small but significant overnight consolidation phase gains, while morning group showed only maintenance of performance level attained at the end of training. By 1-week retention test, both groups showed similar performance levels with no significant gains or losses with respect to 24h test. Changes in the tapping patterns at 24h and 1-week post-training were assessed based on normalized Pearson correlation coefficients using the Fisher’s z-transformation in reference to the tapping pattern attained at the end of the training. Significant differences between the groups were found: the evening group showed larger changes in tapping patterns across the consolidation and retention windows. Our results show that morning-oriented older adults effectively acquired, consolidated, and maintained a new sequence of finger movements, following both morning and evening practice sessions. However, time-of-training affected the time-course of skill evolution in terms of performance speed, as well as the re-organization of tapping patterns during the consolidation period. These results are in line with the notion that motor training preceding a sleep interval may be beneficial for the long-term memory in the elderly. Evening training should be considered an appropriate time window for motor skill learning in older adults, even in individuals with morning chronotype.

Keywords: Motor Learning, Elderly, chronotype, time-of-day, memory consolidation

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1650 A Photoredox (C)sp³-(C)sp² Coupling Method Comparison Study

Authors: Ying Wang, Shasline Gedeon, Tiffany W. Ardley, Nathan J. Gesmundo, Katarina A. Sarris, Ana L. Aguirre

Abstract:

Drug discovery and delivery involve drug targeting, an approach that helps find a drug against a chosen target through high throughput screening and other methods by way of identifying the physical properties of the potential lead compound. Physical properties of potential drug candidates have been an imperative focus since the unveiling of Lipinski's Rule of 5 for oral drugs. Throughout a compound's journey from discovery, clinical phase trials, then becoming a classified drug on the market, the desirable properties are optimized while minimizing/eliminating toxicity and undesirable properties. In the pharmaceutical industry, the ability to generate molecules in parallel with maximum efficiency is a substantial factor achieved through sp²-sp² carbon coupling reactions, e.g., Suzuki Coupling reactions. These reaction types allow for the increase of aromatic fragments onto a compound. More recent literature has found benefits to decreasing aromaticity, calling for more sp³-sp² carbon coupling reactions instead. The objective of this project is to provide a comparison between various sp³-sp² carbon coupling methods and reaction conditions, collecting data on production of the desired product. There were four different coupling methods being tested amongst three cores and 4-5 installation groups per method; each method ran under three distinct reaction conditions. The tested methods include the Photoredox Decarboxylative Coupling, the Photoredox Potassium Alkyl Trifluoroborate (BF3K) Coupling, the Photoredox Cross-Electrophile (PCE) Coupling, and the Weix Cross-Electrophile (WCE) Coupling. The results concluded that the Decarboxylative method was very difficult in yielding product despite the several literature conditions chosen. The BF3K and PCE methods produced competitive results. Amongst the two Cross-Electrophile coupling methods, the Photoredox method surpassed the Weix method on numerous accounts. The results will be used to build future libraries.

Keywords: Drug discovery, high throughput chemistry, photoredox chemistry, sp³-sp² carbon coupling methods

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1649 Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of Limeum indicum and Euphorbia granulata

Authors: Hina Ashraf, Noshaba Dilbar

Abstract:

Medicinal plants are considered as rich source of ingredients which can be used in drug development and synthesis. Moreover, these plants play a vital role in the development of human culture of using ayurvedic medicines around the whole world. Among all plants, dessert plants are being proved as effective source of ayurvedic medicines and remedy against many diseases. Considering the fact, two plant species Limium indicum and Euphorbia granulata were taken from Cholistan dessert of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Firstly, phytochemical screening was done by making dry and fresh plant extracts in five different solvents i.e Petroleum ether, benzene, chloroform, ethanol and methanol. Standard confirmation tests for all compounds were applied for analysis. Results revealed the presence of high range of bioactive compounds such as alakaloids, terpenoids, glycosides, steroids, flavonoids, saponins, phytosterols, oxalic acid, anthocyanin and quinone in both plants. Best results were obtained by methanolic, chloroform and petroleum ether extracts and methanolic, ethanolic and benzene extracts of Limium indicum and Euphorbia granulate respectively. Considering the results, methanolic extracts of both plants were further analysed for antibacterial activity. Plants were analysed against four pathogens including Escherchia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aruginosa using disc diffusion method. Limium indicum showed highly significant activity against all pathogens while Euphorbia granulata showed significant activity against Klebsiella pneumonia and Proteus vulgaris but lesser against Escherchia coli and Pseudomonas aruginosa. MIC of extracts against each positive bacterium was calculated and recorded. Present plants can be considered for making useful drugs but further studies are needed to isolate active agents from plant extracts for drug development.

Keywords: Medicinal Plants, antibacterial activity, phytochemical screening, Euphorbia granulata, Limium indicum

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1648 In-Vitro Immersion Test of Spinal Implant Alloys

Authors: Benjawan Saengwichian, Philip Hyde, Alasdair Charles

Abstract:

Magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs) have been used to stabilise and correct the spinal curvature in children to support non-invasive scoliosis adjustment. Although the encapsulated driving components are intended to be isolated from body fluid contact, in-vivo corrosion was observed on these components by sealing mechanism damage. Consequently, a corrosion circuit is bridged and progresses by body fluids, resulting in malfunction of the lengthening mechanism. Additionally, several reports indicate the delayed symptoms of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage and infections associated with corrosion after spinal implantation. Metallosis has been also reported in long-term use. However, there is no data on corrosion resistance of spinal implant alloys in CSF. In this study, an in-vitro immersion configuration was designed to simulate in-vivo corrosion of 440C SS-Ti6Al4V couples. The 440C SS was heat-treated to investigate the effect of tempering temperature on intergranular corrosion (IGC), while crevice and galvanic corrosion were studied by limiting the clearance of dissimilar couples. Tests were carried out in a neutral artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) under aeration and deaeration for 2 months. The composition of the passive film and metal ion release were analysed. The effect of galvanic coupling, pH, dissolved oxygen, anion species on corrosion rate and corrosion mechanisms are discussed based on quantitative and qualitative measurement. The results suggest ACSF is more aggressive than PBS due to the combination of aggressive chlorides and sulphate anions, while phosphate in PBS acts as an inhibitor to delay corrosion. The presence of vivianite on SS surface in PBS lowered corrosion rate (CR) more than 5 times for aeration and nearly 2 times for deaeration, compared with ACSF. The CR of 440C is dependent on passive film property varied by tempering temperature and anion species. Although CR of Ti6Al4V is insignificant, it tends to release more Ti ions in deaerated ACSF than under aeration, about 6 µg/L. It seems the crevice-like design has more effect on macroscopic corrosion than combining the dissimilar couple, while IGC is predominantly observed.

Keywords: cerebrospinal fluid, intergranular corrosion, Crevice corrosion, Magnetically controlled growing rods

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1647 Efficient Production of Cell-Adhesive Motif From Human Fibronectin Domains to Design a Bio-Functionalized Scaffold for Tissue Engineering

Authors: Amina Ben Abla, Sylvie Changotade, Geraldine Rohman, Guilhem Boeuf, Cyrine Dridi, Ahmed Elmarjou, Florence Dufour, Didier Lutomski, Abdellatif Elm’semi

Abstract:

Understanding cell adhesion and interaction with the extracellular matrix is essential for biomedical and biotechnological applications, including the development of biomaterials. In recent years, numerous biomaterials have emerged and were used in the field of tissue engineering. Nevertheless, the lack of interaction of biomaterials with cells still limits their bio-integration. Thus, the design of bioactive biomaterials to improve cell attachment and proliferation is of growing interest. In this study, bio-functionalized material was developed combining a synthetic polymer scaffold surface with selected domains of type III human fibronectin (FNIII-DOM) to promote cell adhesion and proliferation. Bioadhesive ligand includes cell-binding domains of human fibronectin, a major ECM protein that interacts with a variety of integrins cell-surface receptors, and ECM proteins through specific binding domains were engineered. FNIII-DOM was produced in bacterial system E. coli in 5L fermentor with a high yield level reaching 20mg/L. Bioactivity of the produced fragment was validated by studying cellular adhesion of human cells. The adsorption and immobilization of FNIII-DOM onto the polymer scaffold were evaluated in order to develop an innovative biomaterial.

Keywords: Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, Fibronectin, cellular adhesion

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1646 Identification and Differentiation of Fagonia Arabica and Fagonia Indica by Using DNA Barcode Region Matk

Authors: Noshaba Dilbar, Aisha Tahir, Amer Jamil

Abstract:

During the last decade, DNA barcoding proved to be an authentic tool for discovery and identification of plants. In the present study, DNA barcoding of two species, Fagonia arabica and Fagonia indica was done for differentiation by using matK region. matK gene is considered as a universal barcode because of its easy alignment and high discrimination ability. In this study, matK yielded 100% sequencing results. The sequences from both plants were aligned at clustal W and observed that there is no nucleotide variation and polymorphism among both sequences. This was further analysed by BLAST which showed the similar sequences from different plants belonging to same family but didn’t find sequence of both species. Considering this, the resulted sequence was submitted by the name of Fagonia arabica with accession number KM276890. In the end, we analysed the results from BOLD which gave us the final conclusion that both plants are same as their matK sequences are 100% identical. In literature, both Fagonia indica and Fagonia arabica names are used for this plant but there is no clear differentiation has been observed in these plants. Results evaluate that Fagonia indica and Fagonia arabica are the alternative names of same plant.

Keywords: DNA barcoding, Fagonia arabica, Fagonia indica, matK

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1645 Phenotype Prediction of DNA Sequence Data: A Machine and Statistical Learning Approach

Authors: Mpho Mokoatle, Darlington Mapiye, James Mashiyane, Stephanie Muller, Gciniwe Dlamini

Abstract:

Great advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have resulted in availability of huge amounts of sequencing data in public and private repositories, enabling a holistic understanding of complex biological phenomena. Sequence data are used for a wide range of applications such as gene annotations, expression studies, personalized treatment and precision medicine. However, this rapid growth in sequence data poses a great challenge which calls for novel data processing and analytic methods, as well as huge computing resources. In this work, a machine and statistical learning approach for DNA sequence classification based on $k$-mer representation of sequence data is proposed. The approach is tested using whole genome sequences of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) isolates to (i) reduce the size of genomic sequence data, (ii) identify an optimum size of k-mers and utilize it to build classification models, (iii) predict the phenotype from whole genome sequence data of a given bacterial isolate, and (iv) demonstrate computing challenges associated with the analysis of whole genome sequence data in producing interpretable and explainable insights. The classification models were trained on 104 whole genome sequences of MTB isoloates. Cluster analysis showed that k-mers maybe used to discriminate phenotypes and the discrimination becomes more concise as the size of k-mers increase. The best performing classification model had a k-mer size of 10 (longest k-mer) an accuracy, recall, precision, specificity, and Matthews Correlation coeffient of 72.0%, 80.5%, 80.5%, 63.6%, and 0.4 respectively. This study provides a comprehensive approach for resampling whole genome sequencing data, objectively selecting a k-mer size, and performing classification for phenotype prediction. The analysis also highlights the importance of increasing the k-mer size to produce more biological explainable results, which brings to the fore the interplay that exists amongst accuracy, computing resources and explainability of classification results. However, the analysis provides a new way to elucidate genetic information from genomic data, and identify phenotype relationships which are important especially in explaining complex biological mechanisms.

Keywords: Next Generation Sequencing, Bootstrapping, k-mers, AWD-LSTM

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1644 Preliminary Phytochemical Screening and Comparison of Different Extracts of Capparidaceae Family

Authors: Noshaba Dilbar, Maria Jabbar

Abstract:

Medicinal plants are considered to be the richest source of drug discovery. The main cause of medicinal properties of plants is the presence of bioactive compounds in them. Phytochemical screening is the valuable process that detects bioactive compounds(secondary metabolites) in plants. The present study was carried out to determine phytochemical profile and ethnobotanical importance of Capparidaceae species. ( Capparis spinosa and Dipterygium glaucum). The selection of plants was made on basis of traditional knowledge of their usage in ayurvedic medicines. Different type of solvents(ethanol, methanol, chloroform, benzene and petroleum ether) were used to make extracts of dry and fresh plants. Phytochemical screening was made by using various standard techniques. Results reveal the presence of large range of bioactive compounds i.e alakloids, saponins, flavonoids, terpenoids, glycosides, phenols and steroids. Methanol, petroleum ether and chloroform extracts showed high extractability of bioactive compounds. The results obtained ensure these plants a reliable source of pharmacological industry and can be used in making of various biological friendly drugs.

Keywords: Bioactive Compounds, Secondary Metabolites, phytochemical screening, Capparidaceae

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1643 Phenotype Prediction of DNA Sequence Data: A Machine and Statistical Learning Approach

Authors: Mpho Mokoatle, Darlington Mapiye, James Mashiyane, Stephanie Muller, Gciniwe Dlamini

Abstract:

Great advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have resulted in availability of huge amounts of sequencing data in public and private repositories, enabling a holistic understanding of complex biological phenomena. Sequence data are used for a wide range of applications such as gene annotations, expression studies, personalized treatment and precision medicine. However, this rapid growth in sequence data poses a great challenge which calls for novel data processing and analytic methods, as well as huge computing resources. In this work, a machine and statistical learning approach for DNA sequence classification based on k-mer representation of sequence data is proposed. The approach is tested using whole genome sequences of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) isolates to (i) reduce the size of genomic sequence data, (ii) identify an optimum size of k-mers and utilize it to build classification models, (iii) predict the phenotype from whole genome sequence data of a given bacterial isolate, and (iv) demonstrate computing challenges associated with the analysis of whole genome sequence data in producing interpretable and explainable insights. The classification models were trained on 104 whole genome sequences of MTB isoloates. Cluster analysis showed that k-mers maybe used to discriminate phenotypes and the discrimination becomes more concise as the size of k-mers increase. The best performing classification model had a k-mer size of 10 (longest k-mer) an accuracy, recall, precision, specificity, and Matthews Correlation coeffient of 72.0 %, 80.5 %, 80.5 %, 63.6 %, and 0.4 respectively. This study provides a comprehensive approach for resampling whole genome sequencing data, objectively selecting a k-mer size, and performing classification for phenotype prediction. The analysis also highlights the importance of increasing the k-mer size to produce more biological explainable results, which brings to the fore the interplay that exists amongst accuracy, computing resources and explainability of classification results. However, the analysis provides a new way to elucidate genetic information from genomic data, and identify phenotype relationships which are important especially in explaining complex biological mechanisms

Keywords: Next Generation Sequencing, Bootstrapping, k-mers, AWD-LSTM

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1642 Prediction of Sepsis Illness from Patients Vital Signs Using Long Short-Term Memory Network and Dynamic Analysis

Authors: Marcio Freire Cruz, Naoaki Ono, Shigehiko Kanaya, Carlos Arthur Mattos Teixeira Cavalcante

Abstract:

The systems that record patient care information, known as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and those that monitor vital signs of patients, such as heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure have been extremely valuable for the effectiveness of the patient’s treatment. Several kinds of research have been using data from EMRs and vital signs of patients to predict illnesses. Among them, we highlight those that intend to predict, classify, or, at least identify patterns, of sepsis illness in patients under vital signs monitoring. Sepsis is an organic dysfunction caused by a dysregulated patient's response to an infection that affects millions of people worldwide. Early detection of sepsis is expected to provide a significant improvement in its treatment. Preceding works usually combined medical, statistical, mathematical and computational models to develop detection methods for early prediction, getting higher accuracies, and using the smallest number of variables. Among other techniques, we could find researches using survival analysis, specialist systems, machine learning and deep learning that reached great results. In our research, patients are modeled as points moving each hour in an n-dimensional space where n is the number of vital signs (variables). These points can reach a sepsis target point after some time. For now, the sepsis target point was calculated using the median of all patients’ variables on the sepsis onset. From these points, we calculate for each hour the position vector, the first derivative (velocity vector) and the second derivative (acceleration vector) of the variables to evaluate their behavior. And we construct a prediction model based on a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Network, including these derivatives as explanatory variables. The accuracy of the prediction 6 hours before the time of sepsis, considering only the vital signs reached 83.24% and by including the vectors position, speed, and acceleration, we obtained 94.96%. The data are being collected from Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care (MIMIC) Database, a public database that contains vital signs, laboratory test results, observations, notes, and so on, from more than 60.000 patients.

Keywords: sepsis, prediction, Dynamic Analysis, long short-term memory

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1641 Synergistic Effect of Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi to Enhance Wheat Grain Yield, Biofortification and Soil Health: A Field Study

Authors: Radheshyam Yadav, Ramakrishna Wusirika

Abstract:

Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) Fungi are ubiquitous in soil and often very critical for crop yield and agriculture sustainability, and this has motivated the agricultural practices to support and promote PGPB and AM Fungi in agriculture. PGPB can be involved in a range of processes that affect Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) transformations in soil and thus influence nutrient availability and uptake to the plants. A field study with two wheat cultivars, HD-3086, and HD-2967 was performed in Malwa region, Bathinda of Punjab, India, to evaluate the effect of native and non-native PGPB alone and in combination with AM fungi as an inoculant on wheat grain yield, nutrient uptake and soil health parameters (dehydrogenase, urease, β‐glucosidase). Our results showed that despite an early insignificant increase in shoot length, plants treated with PGPB (Bacillus sp.) and AM Fungi led to a significant increase in shoot growth at maturity, aboveground biomass, nitrogen (45% - 40%) and phosphorus (40% - 34%) content in wheat grains relative to untreated control plants. Similarly, enhanced grain yield and nutrients uptake i.e. copper (27.15% - 36.25%) iron (43% - 53%) and zinc (44% - 47%) was recorded in PGPB and AM Fungi treated plants relative to untreated control. Overall, inoculation with native PGPB alone and in combination with AM Fungi provided benefits to enhance grain yield, wheat biofortification, and improved soil fertility, despite this effect varied depending on different PGPB isolates and wheat cultivars. These field study results provide evidence of the benefits of agricultural practices involving native PGPB and AM Fungi to the plants. These native strains and AM Fungi increased accumulations of copper, iron, and zinc in wheat grains, enhanced grain yield, and soil fertility.

Keywords: biofortification, AM Fungi, PGPB, soil microbial enzymes

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1640 Understanding the Dynamics of Human-Snake Negative Interactions: A Study of Indigenous Perceptions in Tamil Nadu, Southern India

Authors: Gautam Talukdar, Mahesh Ganeshan, Abhijit Das, Ramesh Chinnasamy, Srishti Semalty, Vishnu S. Nair, Thirumurugan Vedagiri, Karthy Sivapushanam

Abstract:

Snakes form an integral component of ecological systems. Human population explosion and associated acceleration of habitat destruction and degradation, has led to a rapid increase in human-snake encounters. The study aims at understanding the level of awareness, knowledge, and attitude of the people towards human-snake negative interaction and role of awareness programmes in the Moyar river valley, Tamil Nadu. The study area is part of the Mudumalai and the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserves, which are significant wildlife corridors between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The data was collected using questionnaire covering 644 respondents spread across 18 villages between 2018 and 2019. The study revealed that 86.5% of respondents had strong negative perceptions towards snakes which were propelled by fear, superstitions, and threat of snakebite which was common and did not vary among different villages (F=4.48; p = <0.05) and age groups (X2 = 1.946; p = 0.962). Cobra 27.8% (n = 294) and rat snake 21.3% (n = 225) were the most sighted species and most snake encounter occurred during the monsoon season i.e., July 35.6 (n = 218), June 19.1% (n = 117) and August 18.4% (n = 113). At least 1 out of 5 respondents was reportedly bitten by snakes during their lifetime. The most common species of snakes that were the cause of snakebite were Saw scaled viper (32.6%, n = 42) followed by Cobra 17.1% (n = 22). About 21.3% (n = 137) people reported livestock loss due to pythons and other snakes 21.3% (n = 137). Most people, preferred medical treatment for snakebite (87.3%), whereas 12.7%, still believed in traditional methods. The majority (82.3%) used precautionary measure by keeping traditional items such as garlic, kerosene, and snake plant to avoid snakes. About 30% of the respondents expressed need for technical and monetary support from the forest department that could aid in reducing the human-snake conflict. It is concluded that the general perception in the study area is driven by fear and negative attitude towards snakes. Though snakes such as Cobra were widely worshiped in the region, there are still widespread myths and misconceptions that have led to the irrational killing of snakes. Awareness and innovative education programs rooted in the local context and language should be integrated at the village level, to minimize risk and the associated threat of snakebite among the people. Results from this study shall help policy makers to devise appropriate conservation measures to reduce human-snake conflicts in India.

Keywords: human-wildlife conflict, Neglected Tropical Disease, envenomation, Health-Education, Snakebite Mitigation, Traditional Practitioners

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1639 Determination of Metalaxyl Efficacy in Controlling Phytophthora palmivora Infection of Durian Using Bioassay

Authors: Wisuwat Songnuan, Supawadee Phetkhajone

Abstract:

Metalaxyl is one of the most common and effective fungicides used to control Phytophthora palmivora infection in durian (Durio zibethinus L.). The efficacy of metalaxyl residue in durian under greenhouse condition was evaluated using bioassay. Durian seedlings were treated with 2 methods of application, spraying, and soil drenching of metalaxyl, at recommended concentration (1000 mg/L). Mock treated samples were treated with 0.1% Tween20 and water for spraying and soil drenching methods, respectively. The experiment was performed in triplicates. Leaves were detached from treated plants at 0, 1, 7, 15, 20, 30, and 60 days after application, inoculated with metalaxyl-resistant and metalaxyl-sensitive isolates of P. palmivora, and incubated in a high humidity chamber for 5 days at room temperature. Metalaxyl efficacy was determined by measuring the lesion size on metalaxyl treated and mock treated samples. The results showed that metalaxyl can control metalaxyl-sensitive isolate of P. palmivora for at least 30 days after application in both methods of application. The metalaxyl-resistant isolate was not inhibited in all treatments. Leaf samples from spraying method showed larger lesions compared to soil drench method. These results demonstrated that metalaxyl applications, especially soil drenching methods showed high efficacy to control metalaxyl-sensitive isolates of P. palmivora, although it cannot control metalaxyl-resistant isolates of P. palmivora in all treatments. These qualitative data indicate that metalaxyl may suitable to control metalaxyl-sensitive isolates of P. palmivora infection.

Keywords: degradation, bioassay, Durian, metalaxyl

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1638 Systematic Identification of Noncoding Cancer Driver Somatic Mutations

Authors: Zohar Manber, Ran Elkon

Abstract:

Accumulation of somatic mutations (SMs) in the genome is a major driving force of cancer development. Most SMs in the tumor's genome are functionally neutral; however, some cause damage to critical processes and provide the tumor with a selective growth advantage (termed cancer driver mutations). Current research on functional significance of SMs is mainly focused on finding alterations in protein coding sequences. However, the exome comprises only 3% of the human genome, and thus, SMs in the noncoding genome significantly outnumber those that map to protein-coding regions. Although our understanding of noncoding driver SMs is very rudimentary, it is likely that disruption of regulatory elements in the genome is an important, yet largely underexplored mechanism by which somatic mutations contribute to cancer development. The expression of most human genes is controlled by multiple enhancers, and therefore, it is conceivable that regulatory SMs are distributed across different enhancers of the same target gene. Yet, to date, most statistical searches for regulatory SMs have considered each regulatory element individually, which may reduce statistical power. The first challenge in considering the cumulative activity of all the enhancers of a gene as a single unit is to map enhancers to their target promoters. Such mapping defines for each gene its set of regulating enhancers (termed "set of regulatory elements" (SRE)). Considering multiple enhancers of each gene as one unit holds great promise for enhancing the identification of driver regulatory SMs. However, the success of this approach is greatly dependent on the availability of comprehensive and accurate enhancer-promoter (E-P) maps. To date, the discovery of driver regulatory SMs has been hindered by insufficient sample sizes and statistical analyses that often considered each regulatory element separately. In this study, we analyzed more than 2,500 whole-genome sequence (WGS) samples provided by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) in order to identify such driver regulatory SMs. Our analyses took into account the combinatorial aspect of gene regulation by considering all the enhancers that control the same target gene as one unit, based on E-P maps from three genomics resources. The identification of candidate driver noncoding SMs is based on their recurrence. We searched for SREs of genes that are "hotspots" for SMs (that is, they accumulate SMs at a significantly elevated rate). To test the statistical significance of recurrence of SMs within a gene's SRE, we used both global and local background mutation rates. Using this approach, we detected - in seven different cancer types - numerous "hotspots" for SMs. To support the functional significance of these recurrent noncoding SMs, we further examined their association with the expression level of their target gene (using gene expression data provided by the ICGC and TCGA for samples that were also analyzed by WGS).

Keywords: Cancer genomics, enhancers, noncoding genome, regulatory elements

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