Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 34

Search results for: CMV reactivation

34 Analysis of Microstructure around Opak River Pleret Area, Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia, as a Result of Opak Fault Reactivation, Using Stereographic Method

Authors: Gayus Pratama Polunggu, Pamela Felita Adibrata, Hafidh Fathur Riza

Abstract:

Opak Fault is a large fault that extends from the northeast to the southwest of Yogyakarta Special Region. Opak Fault allegedly re-active after the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake, about eleven years ago. Opak Fault is a big fault, therefore the activation will bring up the microstructure around the Opak River. This microstructure will reveal a different direction of force from the Opak Fault because the trigger for the emergence of the microstructure is the reactivation of the Opak Fault. In other words, this microstructure is a potentially severe weak area during a tectonic disaster. This research was conducted to find out the impact from the reactivation of Opak Fault that triggered the emergence of microstructure around Opak River which is very useful for disaster mitigation information around research area. This research used the approach from literature study in the form of the journal of structural geology and field study. The method used is a laboratory analysis in the form of stereographic analysis.

Keywords: Opak fault, reactivation, microstructure, stereographic

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33 Immune Modulation and Cytomegalovirus Reactivation in Sepsis-Induced Immunosuppression

Authors: G. Lambe, D. Mansukhani, A. Shetty, S. Khodaiji, C. Rodrigues, F. Kapadia

Abstract:

Introduction: Sepsis is known to cause impairment of both innate and adaptive immunity and involves an early uncontrolled inflammatory response, followed by a protracting immunosuppression phase, which includes decreased expression of cell receptors, T cell anergy and exhaustion, impaired cytokine production, which may cause high risk for secondary infections due to reduced response to antigens. Although human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is widely recognized as a serious viral pathogen in sepsis and immunocompromised patients, the incidence of CMV reactivation in patients with sepsis lacking strong evidence of immunosuppression is not well defined. Therefore, it is important to determine an association between CMV reactivation and sepsis-induced immunosuppression. Aim: To determine the association between incidence of CMV reactivation and immune modulation in sepsis-induced immunosuppression with time. Material and Methods: Ten CMV-seropositive adult patients with severe sepsis were included in this study. Blood samples were collected on Day 0, and further weekly up to 21 days. CMV load was quantified by real-time PCR using plasma. The expression of immunosuppression markers, namely, HLA-DR, PD-1, and regulatory T cells, were determined by flow cytometry using whole blood. Results: At Day 0, no CMV reactivation was observed in 6/10 patients. In these patients, the median length for reactivation was 14 days (range, 7-14 days). The remaining four patients, at Day 0, had a mean viral load of 1802+2599 copies/ml, which increased with time. At Day 21, the mean viral load for all 10 patients was 60949+179700 copies/ml, indicating that viremia increased with the length of stay in the hospital. HLA-DR expression on monocytes significantly increased from Day 0 to Day 7 (p = 0.001), following which no significant change was observed until Day 21, for all patients except 3. In these three patients, HLA-DR expression on monocytes showed a decrease at elevated viral load (>5000 copies/ml), indicating immune suppression. However, the other markers, PD-1 and regulatory T cells, did not show any significant changes. Conclusion: These preliminary findings suggest that CMV reactivation can occur in patients with severe sepsis. In fact, the viral load continued to increase with the length of stay in the hospital. Immune suppression, indicated by decreased expression of HLA-DR alone, was observed in three patients with elevated viral load.

Keywords: CMV reactivation, immune suppression, sepsis immune modulation, CMV viral load

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32 Use of a Chagas Urine Nanoparticle Test (Chunap) to Correlate with Parasitemia Levels in T. cruzi/HIV Co-Infected Patients

Authors: Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen, Robert H. Gilman, Carolina Mejia, Daniel E. Clark, Jeong Choi, Melissa J. Reimer-Mcatee, Rocio Castro, Jorge Flores, Edward Valencia-Ayala, Faustino Torrico, Ricardo Castillo-Neyra, Lance Liotta, Caryn Bern, Alessandra Luchini

Abstract:

Early diagnosis of reactivation of Chagas disease in HIV patients could be lifesaving; however, in Latin American the diagnosis is performed by detection of parasitemia by microscopy which lacks sensitivity. To evaluate if levels of T. cruzi antigens in urine determined by Chunap (Chagas urine nanoparticle test) are correlated with parasitemia levels in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients. T. cruzi antigens in urine of HIV patients (N=55: 31 T. cruzi infected and 24 T. cruzi serology negative) were concentrated using hydrogel particles and quantified by Western Blot and a calibration curve. The percentage of Chagas positive patients determined by Chunap compared to blood microscopy, qPCR, and ELISA was 100% (6/6), 95% (18/19) and 74% (23/31), respectively. Chunap specificity was 91.7%. Linear regression analysis demonstrated a direct relationship between parasitemia levels (determined by qPCR) and urine T. cruzi antigen concentrations (p<0.001). A cut-off of > 105 pg was chosen to determine patients with reactivation of Chagas disease (6/6). Urine antigen concentration was significantly higher among patients with CD4+ lymphocyte counts below 200/mL (p=0.045). Chunap shows potential for early detection of reactivation and with appropriate adaptation can be used for monitoring Chagas disease status in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients.

Keywords: antigenuria, Chagas disease, Chunap, nanoparticles, parasitemia, poly N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAm)/trypan blue particles (polyNIPAm/TB), reactivation of Chagas disease.

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31 Effect of Environmental Factors on Photoreactivation of Microorganisms under Indoor Conditions

Authors: Shirin Shafaei, James R. Bolton, Mohamed Gamal El Din

Abstract:

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection causes damage to the DNA or RNA of microorganisms, but many microorganisms can repair this damage after exposure to near-UV or visible wavelengths (310–480 nm) by a mechanism called photoreactivation. Photoreactivation is gaining more attention because it can reduce the efficiency of UV disinfection of wastewater several hours after treatment. The focus of many photoreactivation research activities on the single species has caused a considerable lack in knowledge about complex natural communities of microorganisms and their response to UV treatment. In this research, photoreactivation experiments were carried out on the influent of the UV disinfection unit at a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Edmonton, Alberta after exposure to a Medium-Pressure (MP) UV lamp system to evaluate the effect of environmental factors on photoreactivation of microorganisms in the actual municipal wastewater. The effect of reactivation fluence, temperature, and river water on photoreactivation of total coliforms was examined under indoor conditions. The results showed that higher effective reactivation fluence values (up to 20 J/cm2) and higher temperatures (up to 25 °C) increased the photoreactivation of total coliforms. However, increasing the percentage of river in the mixtures of the effluent and river water decreased the photoreactivation of the mixtures. The results of this research can help the municipal wastewater treatment industry to examine the environmental effects of discharging their effluents into receiving waters.

Keywords: photoreactivation, reactivation fluence, river water, temperature, ultraviolet disinfection, wastewater effluent

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30 Influence of Strike-Slip Faulting in the Tectonic Evolution of North-Eastern Tunisia

Authors: Aymen Arfaoui, Abdelkader Soumaya, Ali Kadri, Noureddine Ben Ayed

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The major contractional events characterized by strike-slip faulting, folding, and thrusting occurred in the Eocene, Late Miocene, and Quaternary along with the NE Tunisian domain between Bou Kornine-Ressas- Msella and Cap Bon Peninsula. During the Plio-Quaternary, the Grombalia and Mornag grabens show a maximum of collapse in parallelism with the NNW-SSE SHmax direction and developed as 3rd order extensive regions within a regional compressional regime. Using available tectonic and geophysical data supplemented by new fault-kinematic observations, we show that Cenozoic deformations are dominated by first order N-S faults reactivation, this sinistral wrench system is responsible for the formation of strike-slip duplexes, thrusts, folds, and grabens. Based on our new structural interpretation, the major faults of N-S Axis, Bou Kornine-Ressas-Messella (MRB), and Hammamet-Korbous (HK) form an N-S first order restraining stepover within a left-lateral strike-slip duplex. The N-S master MRB fault is dominated by contractional imbricate fans, while the parallel HK fault is characterized by a trailing of extensional imbricate fans. The Eocene and Miocene compression phases in the study area caused sinistral strike-slip reactivation of pre-existing N-S faults, reverse reactivation of NE-SW trending faults, and normal-oblique reactivation of NW-SE faults, creating a NE-SW to N-S trending system of east-verging folds and overlaps. Seismic tomography images reveal a key role for the lithospheric subvertical tear or STEP fault (Slab Transfer Edge Propagator) evidenced below this region on the development of the MRB and the HK relay zone. The presence of extensive syntectonic Pliocene sequences above this crustal scale fault may be the result of a recent lithospheric vertical motion of this STEP fault due to the rollback and lateral migration of the Calabrian slab eastward.

Keywords: Tunisia, strike-slip fault, contractional duplex, tectonic stress, restraining stepover, STEP fault

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29 Functional Characterization of Rv1019, a Putative TetR Family Transcriptional Regulator of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis H37Rv

Authors: Akhil Raj Pushparajan, Ranjit Ramachandran, Jijimole Gopi Reji, Ajay Kumar Ramakrishnan

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Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is one of the leading causes of death by an infectious disease. In spite of the availability of effective drugs and a vaccine, TB is a major health concern and was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). The success of intracellular pathogens like Mtb depends on its ability to overcome the challenging environment in the host. Gene regulation controlled by transcriptional regulators (TRs) plays a crucial role for the bacteria to adapt to the host environment. In vitro studies on gene regulatory mechanisms during dormancy and reactivation have provided insights into the adaptations employed by Mtb to survive in the host. Here we present our efforts to functionally characterize Rv1019, a putative TR of Mtb H37Rv which was found to be present at significantly varying levels during dormancy and reactivation in vitro. The expression of this protein in the dormancy-reactivation model was validated by qRT-PCR and western blot. By DNA- protein interaction studies and reporter assays we found that under normal laboratory conditions of growth this protein behaves as an auto-repressor and tetracycline was found to abrogate this repression by interfering with its ability to bind DNA. Further, by cDNA analysis, we found that this TR is co-transcribed with its downstream genes Rv1020 (mfd) and Rv1021 (mazG) which are involved in DNA damage response in Mtb. Constitutive expression of this regulator in the surrogate host M. smegmatis showed downregulation of the orthologues of downstream genes suggested that Rv1019 could negatively regulate these genes. Our finds also show that M. smegmatis expressing Rv1019 is sensitive to DNA damage suggests the role of this protein in regulating DNA damage response induced by oxidative stress. Because of its role in regulating DNA damage response which may help in the persistence of Mtb, Rv1019 could be used as a prospective target for therapeutic intervention to fight TB.

Keywords: auto-repressor, DNA repair, mycobacterium smegmatis, mycobacterium tuberculosis, tuberculosis

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28 West Nile Virus in North-Eastern Italy: Overview of Integrated Surveillance Activities

Authors: Laura Amato, Paolo Mulatti, Fabrizio Montarsi, Matteo Mazzucato, Laura Gagliazzo, Michele Brichese, Manlio Palei, Gioia Capelli, Lebana Bonfanti

Abstract:

West Nile virus (WNV) re-emerged in north-eastern Italy in 2008, after ten years from its first appearance in Tuscany. In 2009, a national surveillance programme was implemented, and re-modulated in north-eastern Italy in 2011. Hereby, we present the results of surveillance activities in 2008-2016 in the north-eastern Italian regions, with inferences on WNV epidemiological trend in the area. The re-modulated surveillance programmes aimed at early detecting WNV seasonal reactivation by searching IgM antibodies in horses. In 2013, the surveillance plans were further modified including a risk-based approach. Spatial analysis techniques, including Bernoulli space-time scan-statistics, were applied to the results of 2010–2012 surveillance on mosquitoes, equines, and humans to identify areas where WNV reactivation was more likely to occur. From 2008 to 2016, residential horses tested positive for anti-WNV antibodies on a yearly basis (503 cases), also in areas where WNV circulation was not detected in mosquito populations. Surveillance activities detected 26 syndromic cases in horses, 102 infected mosquito pools and WNV in 18 dead wild birds. Human cases were also recurrently detected in the study area during the surveillance period (68 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease). The recurrent identification of WNV in animals, mosquitoes, and humans indicates the virus has likely become endemic in the area. In 2016, findings of WNV positives in horses or mosquitoes were included as triggers for enhancing screening activities in humans. The evolution of the epidemiological situation prompts for continuous and accurate surveillance measures. The results of the 2013-2016 surveillance indicate that the risk-based approach was effective in early detecting seasonal reactivation of WNV, key factor of the integrated surveillance strategy in endemic areas.

Keywords: arboviruses, horses, Italy, surveillance, west nile virus, zoonoses

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27 Microstructure and Corrosion Properties of Pulsed Current Gas Metal Arc Welded Narrow Groove and Ultra-Narrow Groove of 304 LN Austenitic Stainless Steel

Authors: Nikki A. Barla, P. K. Ghosh, Sourav Das

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Two different groove sizes 13.6 mm (narrow groove) and 7.5 mm (ultra-narrow groove) of 304 LN austenitic stainless steel (ASS) plate was welded using pulse gas metal arc welding (P-GMAW). These grooves were welded using multi-pass single seam per layer (MSPPL) deposition technique with full assurance of groove wall fusion. During bead on plate deposition process, the thermal cycle was recorded using strain buster (temperature measuring device). Both the groove has heat affected Zone (HAZ) width of 1-2 mm. After welding, the microstructure studies was done which revealed that there was higher sensitization (Chromium carbide formation in grain boundary) in the HAZ of 13.6 mm groove weldment as compared to the HAZ of 7.5 mm weldment. Electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation test (EPR) was done in 0.5 N H₂SO₄ + 1 M KSCN solution to study the degree of sensitization (DOS) and it was observed that 7.5 mm groove HAZ has lower DOS. Mass deposition in the 13.6 mm weld is higher than 7.5mm groove weld, which naturally induces higher residual stress in 13.6 mm weld. Comparison between microstructural studies and corrosion test summarized that the residual stress affects the sensitization property of welded ASS.

Keywords: austenitic stainless steel (ASS), electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation test (EPR), microstructure, pulse gas metal arc welding (P-GMAW), sensitization

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26 Reactivation of Hydrated Cement and Recycled Concrete Powder by Thermal Treatment for Partial Replacement of Virgin Cement

Authors: Gustave Semugaza, Anne Zora Gierth, Tommy Mielke, Marianela Escobar Castillo, Nat Doru C. Lupascu

Abstract:

The generation of Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) has globally increased enormously due to the enhanced need in construction, renovation, and demolition of construction structures. Several studies investigated the use of CDW materials in the production of new concrete and indicated the lower mechanical properties of the resulting concrete. Many other researchers considered the possibility of using the Hydrated Cement Powder (HCP) to replace a part of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), but only very few investigated the use of Recycled Concrete Powder (RCP) from CDW. The partial replacement of OPC for making new concrete intends to decrease the CO₂ emissions associated with OPC production. However, the RCP and HCP need treatment to produce the new concrete of required mechanical properties. The thermal treatment method has proven to improve HCP properties before their use. Previous research has stated that for using HCP in concrete, the optimum results are achievable by heating HCP between 400°C and 800°C. The optimum heating temperature depends on the type of cement used to make the Hydrated Cement Specimens (HCS), the crushing and heating method of HCP, and the curing method of the Rehydrated Cement Specimens (RCS). This research assessed the quality of recycled materials by using different techniques such as X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetry (TG), Scanning electron Microscopy (SEM), and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF). These recycled materials were thermally pretreated at different temperatures from 200°C to 1000°C. Additionally, the research investigated to what extent the thermally treated recycled cement could partially replace the OPC and if the new concrete produced would achieve the required mechanical properties. The mechanical properties were evaluated on the RCS, obtained by mixing the Dehydrated Cement Powder and Recycled Powder (DCP and DRP) with water (w/c = 0.6 and w/c = 0.45). The research used the compressive testing machine for compressive strength testing, and the three-point bending test was used to assess the flexural strength.

Keywords: hydrated cement powder, dehydrated cement powder, recycled concrete powder, thermal treatment, reactivation, mechanical performance

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25 The Evolution of Deformation in the Southern-Central Tunisian Atlas: Parameters and Modelling

Authors: Mohamed Sadok Bensalem, Soulef Amamria, Khaled Lazzez, Mohamed Ghanmi

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The southern-central Tunisian Atlas presents a typical example of external zone. It occupies a particular position in the North African chains: firstly, it is the eastern limit of atlassicstructures; secondly, it is the edges between the belts structures to the north and the stable Saharan platform in the south. The evolution of deformation studyis based on several methods such as classical or numerical methods. The principals parameters controlling the genesis of folds in the southern central Tunisian Atlas are; the reactivation of pre-existing faults during later compressive phase, the evolution of decollement level, and the relation between thin and thick-skinned. One of the more principal characters of the southern-central Tunisian Atlas is the variation of belts structures directions determined by: NE-SW direction named the attlassic direction in Tunisia, the NW-SE direction carried along the Gafsa fault (the oriental limit of southern atlassic accident), and the E-W direction defined in the southern Tunisian Atlas. This variation of direction is the result of an important variation of deformation during different tectonics phases. A classical modeling of the Jebel ElKebar anticline, based on faults throw of the pre-existing faults and its reactivation during compressive phases, shows the importance of extensional deformation, particular during Aptian-Albian period, comparing with that of later compression (Alpine phases). A numerical modeling, based on the software Rampe E.M. 1.5.0, applied on the anticline of Jebel Orbata confirms the interpretation of “fault related fold” with decollement level within the Triassic successions. The other important parameter of evolution of deformation is the vertical migration of decollement level; indeed, more than the decollement level is in the recent series, most that the deformation is accentuated. The evolution of deformation is marked the development of duplex structure in Jebel AtTaghli (eastern limit of Jebel Orbata). Consequently, the evolution of deformation is proportional to the depth of the decollement level, the most important deformation is in the higher successions; thus is associated to the thin-skinned deformation; the decollement level permit the passive transfer of deformation in the cover.

Keywords: evolution of deformation, pre-existing faults, decollement level, thin-skinned

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24 The Impact of Treatment of Latent Tuberculosis on the Incidence: The Case of Algeria

Authors: Schehrazad Selmane

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We present a deterministic model which describes the dynamics of tuberculosis in Algerian population where the vaccination program with BCG is in place since 1969 and where the WHO recommendations regarding the DOTS (directly observed treatment, short course) strategy are in application. The impact of an intervention program, targeting recently infected people among all close contacts of active cases and their treatment to prevent endogenous reactivation, on the incidence of tuberculosis, is investigated. We showed that a widespread treatment of latently infected individuals for some years is recommended to shift from higher to lower equilibrium state and thereafter relaxation is recommended.

Keywords: deterministic model, reproduction number, stability, tuberculosis

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23 Study of Intergranular Corrosion in Austenitic Stainless Steels Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

Authors: Satish Kolli, Adriana Ferancova, David Porter, Jukka Kömi

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Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) has been used to detect sensitization in austenitic stainless steels that are heat treated in the temperature regime 600-820 °C to produce different degrees of sensitization in the material. The tests were conducted at five different DC potentials in the transpassive region. The quantitative determination of degree of sensitization has been done using double loop electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation tests (DL-EPR). The correlation between EIS Nyquist diagrams and DL-EPR degree of sensitization values has been studied. The EIS technique can be used as a qualitative tool in determining the intergranular corrosion in austenitic stainless steels that are heat treated at a given temperature.

Keywords: electrochemical technique, intergranular corrosion, sensitization, stainless steels

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22 A Study of the Weld Properties of Inconel 625 Based on Nb Content

Authors: JongWon Han, NoHoon Kim, HyoIk Ahn, HaeWoo Lee

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In this study, shielded metal arc welding was performed as a function of Nb content at 2.24 wt%, 3.25 wt%, and 4.26 wt%. The microstructure was observed using scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) and showed the development of a columnar dendrite structure in the specimen having the least Nb content. From the hardness test, the hardness value was confirmed to reduce with decreasing Nb content. From electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis, the largest grain size was found in the specimen with Nb content of 2.24 wt%. The potentiodynamic polarization test was carried out to determine the pitting corrosion resistance; there was no significant difference in the pitting corrosion resistance with increasing Nb content. To evaluate the degree of sensitization to intergranular corrosion, the Double Loop Electrochemical Potentiodynamic Reactivation(DL-EPR test) was conducted. A similar degree of sensitization was found in two specimens except with a Nb content of 2.24 wt%, while a relatively high degree of sensitization was found in the specimen with a Nb content of 2.24 wt%.

Keywords: inconel 625, Nb content, potentiodynamic test, DL-EPR test

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21 Cut-Off of CMV Cobas® Taqman® (CAP/CTM Roche®) for Introduction of Ganciclovir Pre-Emptive Therapy in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients

Authors: B. B. S. Pereira, M. O. Souza, L. P. Zanetti, L. C. S. Oliveira, J. R. P. Moreno, M. P. Souza, V. R. Colturato, C. M. Machado

Abstract:

Background: The introduction of prophylactic or preemptive therapies has effectively decreased the CMV mortality rates after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). CMV antigenemia (pp65) or quantitative PCR are methods currently approved for CMV surveillance in pre-emptive strategies. Commercial assays are preferred as cut-off levels defined by in-house assays may vary among different protocols and in general show low reproducibility. Moreover, comparison of published data among different centers is only possible if international standards of quantification are included in the assays. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the first international standard for CMV detection. The real time PCR COBAS Ampliprep/ CobasTaqMan (CAP/CTM) (Roche®) was developed using the WHO standard for CMV quantification. However, the cut-off for the introduction of antiviral has not been determined yet. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study to determine: 1) the sensitivity and specificity of the new CMV CAP/CTM test in comparison with pp65 antigenemia to detect episodes of CMV infection/reactivation, and 2) the cut-off of viral load for introduction of ganciclovir (GCV). Pp65 antigenemia was performed and the corresponding plasma samples were stored at -20°C for further CMV detection by CAP/CTM. Comparison of tests was performed by kappa index. The appearance of positive antigenemia was considered the state variable to determine the cut-off of CMV viral load by ROC curve. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software version 19 (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA.). Results: Thirty-eight patients were included and followed from August 2014 through May 2015. The antigenemia test detected 53 episodes of CMV infection in 34 patients (89.5%), while CAP/CTM detected 37 episodes in 33 patients (86.8%). AG and PCR results were compared in 431 samples and Kappa index was 30.9%. The median time for first AG detection was 42 (28-140) days, while CAP/CTM detected at a median of 7 days earlier (34 days, ranging from 7 to 110 days). The optimum cut-off value of CMV DNA was 34.25 IU/mL to detect positive antigenemia with 88.2% of sensibility, 100% of specificity and AUC of 0.91. This cut-off value is below the limit of detection and quantification of the equipment which is 56 IU/mL. According to CMV recurrence definition, 16 episodes of CMV recurrence were detected by antigenemia (47.1%) and 4 (12.1%) by CAP/CTM. The duration of viremia as detected by antigenemia was shorter (60.5% of the episodes lasted ≤ 7 days) in comparison to CAP/CTM (57.9% of the episodes lasting 15 days or more). This data suggests that the use of antigenemia to define the duration of GCV therapy might prompt early interruption of antiviral, which may favor CMV reactivation. The CAP/CTM PCR could possibly provide a safer information concerning the duration of GCV therapy. As prolonged treatment may increase the risk of toxicity, this hypothesis should be confirmed in prospective trials. Conclusions: Even though CAP/CTM by ROCHE showed great qualitative correlation with the antigenemia technique, the fully automated CAP/CTM did not demonstrate increased sensitivity. The cut-off value below the limit of detection and quantification may result in delayed introduction of pre-emptive therapy.

Keywords: antigenemia, CMV COBAS/TAQMAN, cytomegalovirus, antiviral cut-off

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20 Investigation on The Feasibility of a Solar Desiccant Cooling System in Libya

Authors: A. S. Zgalei, B. T. Al-Mabrouk

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With a particularly significant growth rate observed in the Libyan commercial and residential buildings coupled with a growth in energy demand, solar desiccant evaporative cooling offers energy savings and promises a good sharing for sustainable buildings where the availability of solar radiation matches with the cooling load demand. The paper presents a short introduction for the desiccant systems. A mathematical model of a selected system has been developed and a simulation has been performed in order to investigate the system performance at different working conditions and an optimum design of the system structure is established. The results showed a technical feasibility of the system working under the Libyan climatic conditions with a reasonable COP at temperatures that can be obtained through the solar reactivation system. Discussion of the results and the recommendations for future work are proposed.

Keywords: computer program, solar desiccant wheel cooling, system modelling, simulation, technical feasibility

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19 Analysis and Prediction of the Behavior of the Landslide at Ain El Hammam, Algeria Based on the Second Order Work Criterion

Authors: Zerarka Hizia, Akchiche Mustapha, Prunier Florent

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The landslide of Ain El Hammam (AEH) is characterized by a complex geology and a high hydrogeology hazard. AEH's perpetual reactivation compels us to look closely at its triggers and to better understand the mechanisms of its evolution in mass and in depth. This study builds a numerical model to simulate the influencing factors such as precipitation, non-saturation, and pore pressure fluctuations, using Plaxis software. For a finer analysis of instabilities, we use Hill's criterion, based on the sign of the second order work, which is the most appropriate material stability criterion for non-associated elastoplastic materials. The results of this type of calculation allow us, in theory, to predict the shape and position of the slip surface(s) which are liable to ground movements of the slope, before reaching the rupture given by the plastic limit of Mohr Coulomb. To validate the numerical model, an analysis of inclinometer measures is performed to confirm the direction of movement and kinematic of the sliding mechanism of AEH’s slope.

Keywords: landslide, second order work, precipitation, inclinometers

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18 Dye Removal from Aqueous Solution by Regenerated Spent Bleaching Earth

Authors: Ahmed I. Shehab, Sabah M. Abdel Basir, M. A. Abdel Khalek, M. H. Soliman, G. Elgemeie

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Spent bleaching earth (SBE) recycling and utilization as an adsorbent to eliminate dyes from aqueous solution was studied. Organic solvents and subsequent thermal treatment were carried out to recover and reactivate the SBE. The effect of pH, temperature, dye’s initial concentration, and contact time on the dye removal using recycled spent bleaching earth (RSBE) was investigated. Recycled SBE showed better removal affinity of cationic than anionic dyes. The maximum removal was achieved at pH 2 and 8 for anionic and cationic dyes, respectively. Kinetic data matched with the pseudo second-order model. The adsorption phenomenon governing this process was identified by the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms for anionic dye while Freundlich model represented the sorption process for cationic dye. The changes of Gibbs free energy (ΔG°), enthalpy (ΔH°), and entropy (ΔS°) were computed and compared through thermodynamic study for both dyes.

Keywords: Spent bleaching earth, reactivation, regeneration, thermal treatment, dye removal, thermodynamic

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17 Application of Electrical Resistivity Tomography to Image the Subsurface Structure of a Sinkhole, a Case Study in Southwestern Missouri

Authors: Shishay T. Kidanu

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The study area is located in Southwestern Missouri and is mainly underlain by Mississippian Age limestone which is highly susceptible to karst processes. The area is known for the presence of various karst features like caves, springs and more importantly Sinkholes. Sinkholes are one of the most common karst features and the primary hazard in karst areas. Investigating the subsurface structure and development mechanism of existing sinkholes enables to understand their long-term impact and chance of reactivation and also helps to provide effective mitigation measures. In this study ERT (Electrical Resistivity Tomography), MASW (Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves) and borehole control data have been used to image the subsurface structure and investigate the development mechanism of a sinkhole in Southwestern Missouri. The study shows that the main process responsible for the development of the sinkhole is the downward piping of fine grained soils. Furthermore, the study reveals that the sinkhole developed along a north-south oriented vertical joint set characterized by a vertical zone of water seepage and associated fine grained soil piping into preexisting fractures.

Keywords: ERT, Karst, MASW, sinkhole

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16 Adsorptive Desulfurization of Tire Pyrolytic Oil Using Cu(I)–Y Zeolite via π-Complexation

Authors: Moshe Mello, Hilary Rutto, Tumisang Seodigeng

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The accelerating requirement to reach 0% sulfur content in liquid fuels demands researchers to seek efficient alternative technologies to challenge the predicament. In this current study, the adsorption capabilities of modified Cu(I)-Y zeolite were tested for removal of organosulfur compounds (OSC) present in TPO. The π-complexation-based adsorbent was obtained by ion exchanging Y-zeolite with Cu+ cation using liquid phase ion exchange (LPIE). Preparation of the adsorbent involved firstly ion-exchange between Na-Y zeolite with a Cu(NO3)2 aqueous solution of 0.5M for 48 hours followed by reduction of Cu2+ to Cu+. Batch studies for TPO in comparison with model diesel comprising of sulfur compounds such as thiophene (TH), benzothiophene (BTH), dibenzothiophene (DBT) and 4,6-dimethyldibenzothiophe (4,6-DMDBT) showed that modified Cu(I)-Y zeolite is an effective adsorbent for removal of OSC in liquid fuels. The effect of multiple operating conditions such as adsorbent dosage, reaction time and temperature were studied to optimize the process. For model diesel fuel, the selectivity for adsorption of sulfur compounds followed the order 4,6-DMDBT> DBT> BTH> TH. Interpretation of the results was justified using the molecular orbital theory and calculations. Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms were used to predict adsorption of the reaction mixture. The Cu(I)-Y zeolite is fully regeneratable and this is achieved by a simple procedure of blowing the adsorbent with air at 350 °C, followed by reactivation at 450 °C in a rich helium surrounding.

Keywords: adsorption, desulfurization, TPO, zeolite

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15 Study of Landslide Behavior with Topographic Monitoring and Numerical Modeling

Authors: ZerarkaHizia, Akchiche Mustapha, Prunier Florent

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Landslide of Ain El Hammam (AEH) has been an old slip since 1969; it was reactivated after an intense rainfall period in 2008 where it presents a complex shape and affects broad areas. The schist of AEH is more or less altered; the alteration is facilitated by the fracturing of the rock in its upper part, the presence of flowing water as well as physical and chemical mechanisms of desegregation in joint of altered schist. The factors following these instabilities are mostly related to the geological formation, the hydro-climatic conditions and the topography of the region. The city of AEH is located on the top of a steep slope at 50 km from the city of TiziOuzou (Algeria). AEH’s topographic monitoring of unstable slope allows analyzing the structure and the different deformation mechanism and the gradual change in the geometry, the direction of change of slip. It also allows us to delimit the area affected by the movement. This work aims to study the behavior of AEH landslide with topographic monitoring and to validate the results with numerical modeling of the slip site, when the hydraulic factors are identified as the most important factors for the reactivation of this landslide. With the help of the numerical code PLAXIS 2D and PlaxFlow, the precipitations and the steady state flow are modeled. To identify the mechanism of deformation and to predict the spread of the AEH landslide numerically, we used the equivalent deviatory strain, and these results were visualized by MATLAB software.

Keywords: equivalent deviatory strain, landslide, numerical modeling, topographic monitoring

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14 New Active Dioxin Response Element Sites in Regulatory Region of Human and Viral Genes

Authors: Ilya B. Tsyrlov, Dmitry Y. Oshchepkov

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A computational search for dioxin response elements (DREs) in genes of proteins comprising the Ah receptor (AhR) cytosolic core complex was performed by highly efficient tool SITECON. Eventually, the following number of new DREs in 5’flanking region was detected by SITECON: one in AHR gene, five in XAP2, eight in HSP90AA1, and three in HSP90AB1 genes. Numerous DREs found in genes of AhR and AhR cytosolic complex members would shed a light on potential mechanisms of expression, the stoichiometry of unliganded AhR core complex, and its degradation vs biosynthesis dynamics resulted from treatment of target cells with the AhR most potent ligand, 2,3,7,8-TCDD. With human viruses, reduced susceptibility to TCDD of geneencoding HIV-1 P247 was justified by the only potential DRE determined in gag gene encoding HIV-1 P24 protein, whereas the regulatory region of CMV genes encoding IE gp/UL37 has five potent DRE, 1.65 kb/UL36 – six DRE, pp65 and pp71 – each has seven DRE, and pp150 – ten DRE. Also, from six to eight DRE were determined with SITECON in the regulatory region of HSV-1 IE genes encoding tegument proteins, UL36 and UL37, and of UL19 gene encoding bindingglycoprotein C (gC). So, TCDD in the low picomolar range may activate in human cells AhR: Arnt transcription pathway that triggers CMV and HSV-1 reactivation by binding to numerous promoter DRE within immediate-early (IE) genes UL37 and UL36, thus committing virus to the lytic cycle.

Keywords: dioxin response elements, Ah receptor, AhR: Arnt transcription pathway, human and viral genes

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13 Comparison of Serological and Molecular Diagnosis of Cerebral Toxoplasmosis in Blood and Cerebrospinal Fluid in HIV Infected Patients

Authors: Berredjem Hajira, Benlaifa Meriem, Becheker Imene, Bardi Rafika, Djebar Med Reda

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Recent acquired or reactivation T.gondii infection is a serious complication in HIV patients. Classical serological diagnosis relies on the detection of anti-Toxoplasma immunoglobulin ; however, serology may be unreliable in HIV immunodeficient patients who fail to produce significant titers of specific antibodies. PCR assays allow a rapid diagnosis of Toxoplasma infection. In this study, we compared the value of the PCR for diagnosing active toxoplasmosis in cerebrospinal fluid and blood samples from HIV patients. Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies IgG and IgM titers were determined by ELISA. In parallel, nested PCR targeting B1 gene and conventional PCR-ELISA targeting P30 gene were used to detect T. gondii DNA in 25 blood samples and 12 cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients in whom toxoplasmic encephalitis was confirmed by clinical investigations. A total of 15 negative controls were used. Serology did not contribute to confirm toxoplasmic infection, as IgG and IgM titers decreased early. Only 8 out 25 blood samples and 5 out 12 cerebrospinal fluid samples PCRs yielded a positive result. 5 patients with confirmed toxoplasmosis had positive PCR results in either blood or cerebrospinal fluid samples. However, conventional nested B1 PCR gave best results than the P30 gene one for the detection of T.gondii DNA in both samples. All samples from control patients were negative. This study demonstrates the unusefulness of the serological tests and the high sensitivity and specificity of PCR in the diagnosis of toxoplasmic encephalitis in HIV patients.

Keywords: cerebrospinal fluid, HIV, Toxoplasmosis, PCR

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12 Mnemotopic Perspectives: Communication Design as Stabilizer for the Memory of Places

Authors: C. Galasso

Abstract:

The ancestral relationship between humans and geographical environment has long been at the center of an interdisciplinary dialogue, which sees one of its main research nodes in the relationship between memory and places. Given its deep complexity, this symbiotic connection continues to look for a proper definition that appears increasingly negotiated by different disciplines. Numerous fields of knowledge are involved, from anthropology to semiotics of space, from photography to architecture, up to subjects traditionally far from these reasonings. This is the case of Design of Communication, a young discipline, now confident in itself and its objectives, aimed at finding and investigating original forms of visualization and representation, between sedimented knowledge and new technologies. In particular, Design of Communication for the Territory offers an alternative perspective to the debate, encouraging the reactivation and reconstruction of the memory of places. Recognizing mnemotopes as a cultural object of vertical interpretation of the memory-place relationship, design can become a real mediator of the territorial fixation of memories, making them increasingly accessible and perceptible, contributing to build a topography of memory. According to a mnemotopic vision, Communication Design can support the passage from a memory in which the observer participates only as an individual to a collective form of memory. A mnemotopic form of Communication Design can, through geolocation and content map-based systems, make chronology a topography rooted in the territory and practicable; it can be useful to understand how the perception of the memory of places changes over time, considering how to insert them in the contemporary world. Mnemotopes can be materialized in different format of translation, editing and narration and then involved in complex systems of communication. The memory of places, therefore, if stabilized by the tools offered by Communication Design, can make visible ruins and territorial stratifications, illuminating them with new communicative interests that can be shared and participated.

Keywords: memory of places, design of communication, territory, mnemotope, topography of memory

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11 Role of Male Partners in Postpartum Family Planning

Authors: Stephen Rulisa, Aimee Nyiramahirwe

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Background: Strategies to increase the uptake of contraception services have been adopted in Rwanda, but the unmet need for family planning remains high. Women in the postpartum period are at higher risk for unintended pregnancy due to the silent conversion from lactational amenorrhea to reactivation of ovulatory cycles. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of male partners in the uptake of postpartum contraception. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted among women who delivered at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali for a period of 3 months with random sampling. A questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic and antenatal data, information on male companionship, and intent to use postpartum contraception at admission. Participants were contacted six weeks later to collect data on contraceptive use. The outcome variables were uptake of postpartum contraception and types of contraceptives taken (long-acting vs. short-acting), controlling for male companionship during the antenatal period. A Chi-square test was used and a p-value ≤0.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 209 women were recruited with a mean age of 30.8±5.2 years. The majority (60.9%) were multigravida, and 66.5% were multiparous. More than half (55%) had male partner companionship, 18.3% had companionship for four antenatal visits, and 28.2% had education on contraception with their male partner. Factors significantly associated with uptake of postpartum contraception were: age above 30 years, owning or heading a business, multigravidity, multiparity, antenatal care at a health center or district hospital, cesarean delivery, and previous utilization of contraception. Male companionship significantly increased the intent to use contraception, uptake of modern contraception in general, and uptake of long active contraceptives but did not predict the uptake of short-acting contraceptives. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a positive association between male companionship during antenatal care, labor and delivery with the uptake of postpartum family planning. Our study suggests more sensitization to involve the male partners, improving the education on contraception during antenatal care and further research to assess the sustained uptake of contraception beyond the postpartum period.

Keywords: postpartum, family planning, contraception, male partner, uptake

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10 Prevalence of Seropositivity for Cytomegalovirus in Patients with Hereditary Bleeding Diseases in West Azerbaijan of Iran

Authors: Zakieh Rostamzadeh, Zahra Shirmohammadi

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Human cytomegalovirus is a species of the cytomegalovirus family of viruses, which in turn is a member of the viral family known as herpesviridae or herpesviruses. Although they may be found throughout the body, HCMV infections are frequently associated with the salivary glands. HCMV infection is typically unnoticed in healthy people, but can be life-threatening for the immunocompromised such as HIV-infected persons, organ transplant recipients, or newborn infants. After infection, HCMV has an ability to remain latent within the body over long periods. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) causes infection in immunocompromised, hemophilia patients and those who received blood transfusion frequently. This study aimed at determining the prevalence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies in hemophilia patients. Materials and Methods: A retrospective observational study was carried out in Urmia, North West of Iran. The study population comprised a sample of 50 hemophilic patients born after 1985 and have received blood factors in West Azerbaijan. The exclusion criteria include: drug abusing, high risk sexual contacts, vertical transmission of mother to fetus and suspicious needling. All samples were evaluated with the method of ELISA, with a certain kind of kit and by a certain laboratory. Results: Fifty hemophiliacs from 250 patients registered with Urmia Hemophilia Society were enrolled in the study including 43 (86%) male, and 7 (14%) female. The mean age of patients was 10.3 years, range 3 to 25 years. None of patients had risk factors mentioned above. Among our studied population, 34(68%) had hemophilia A, 1 (2%) hemophilia B, 8 (16%) VWF, 3(6%) factor VII deficiency, 1 (2%) factor V deficiency, 1 (2%) factor X deficiency, 1 (2%). Sera of 50 Hemodialysis patients were investigated for CMV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM. % 91.89 patients were anti-CMV IgG positive and %40.54 was seropositive for anti-CMV IgM. 37.8% patient had serological evidence of reactivation and 2.7% of patients had the primary infection. Discussion: There was no relationship between the antibody titer and: drug abusing, high risk sexual contacts, vertical transmission of mother to fetus and suspicious needling.

Keywords: bioinformatics, biomedicine, cytomegalovirus, immunocompromise

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9 Mutations in rpoB, katG and inhA Genes: The Association with Resistance to Rifampicin and Isoniazid in Egyptian Mycobacterium tuberculosis Clinical Isolates

Authors: Ayman K. El Essawy, Amal M. Hosny, Hala M. Abu Shady

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The rapid detection of TB and drug resistance, both optimizes treatment and improves outcomes. In the current study, respiratory specimens were collected from 155 patients. Conventional susceptibility testing and MIC determination were performed for rifampicin (RIF) and isoniazid (INH). Genotype MTBDRplus assay, which is a molecular genetic assay based on the DNA-STRIP technology and specific gene sequencing with primers for rpoB, KatG, and mab-inhA genes were used to detect mutations associated with resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid. In comparison to other categories, most of rifampicin resistant (61.5%) and isoniazid resistant isolates (47.1%) were from patients relapsed in treatment. The genotypic profile (using Genotype MTBDRplus assay) of multi-drug resistant (MDR) isolates showed missing of katG wild type 1 (WT1) band and appearance of mutation band katG MUT2. For isoniazid mono-resistant isolates, 80% showed katG MUT1, 20% showed katG MUT1, and inhA MUT1, 20% showed only inhA MUT1. Accordingly, 100% of isoniazid resistant strains were detected by this assay. Out of 17 resistant strains, 16 had mutation bands for katG distinguished high resistance to isoniazid. The assay could clearly detect rifampicin resistance among 66.7% of MDR isolates that showed mutation band rpoB MUT3 while 33.3% of them were considered as unknown. One mono-resistant rifampicin isolate did not show rifampicin mutation bands by Genotype MTBDRplus assay, but it showed an unexpected mutation in Codon 531 of rpoB by DNA sequence analysis. Rifampicin resistance in this strain could be associated with a mutation in codon 531 of rpoB (based on molecular sequencing), and Genotype MTBDRplus assay could not detect the associated mutation. If the results of Genotype MTBDRplus assay and sequencing were combined, this strain shows hetero-resistance pattern. Gene sequencing of eight selected isolates, previously tested by Genotype MTBDRplus assay, could detect resistance mutations mainly in codon 315 (katG gene), position -15 in inhA promotes gene for isoniazid resistance and codon 531 (rpoB gene) for rifampicin resistance. Genotyping techniques allow distinguishing between recurrent cases of reinfection or reactivation and supports epidemiological studies.

Keywords: M. tuberculosis, rpoB, KatG, inhA, genotype MTBDRplus

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8 Riverine Urban Heritage: A Basis for Green Infrastructure

Authors: Ioanna H. Lioliou, Despoina D. Zavraka

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The radical reformation that Greek urban space, has undergone over the last century, due to the socio-historical developments, technological development and political–geographic factors, has left its imprint on the urban landscape. While the big cities struggle to regain urban landscape balance, small towns are considered to offer high quality lifescapes, ensuring sustainable development potential. However, their unplanned urbanization process led to the loss of significant areas of nature, lack of essential infrastructure, chaotic built environment, incompatible land uses and urban cohesiveness. Natural environment reference points, such as springs, streams, rivers, forests, suburban greenbelts, and etc.; seems to be detached from urban space, while the public, open and green spaces, unequally distributed in the built environment, they are no longer able to offer a complete experience of nature in the city. This study focuses on Greek mainland, a small town Elassona, and aims to restore spatial coherence between the city’s homonymous river and its urban space surroundings. The existence of a linear aquatic ecosystem, is considered a precious greenway, also referred as blueway, able to initiate natural penetrations and ecosystems empowering. The integration of disconnected natural ecosystems forms the basis of a strategic intervention scheme, where the river becomes the urban integration tool / feature, constituting the main urban corridor and an indispensible part of a wider green network that connects open and green spaces, ensuring the function of all the established networks (transportation, commercial, social) of the town. The proposed intervention, introduces a green network highlighting the old stone bridge at the ‘entrance’ of the river in the town and expanding throughout the town with strategic uses and activities, providing accessibility for all the users. The methodology used, is based on the collection of design tools used in related urban river-design interventions around the world. The reinstallation/reactivation of the balance between natural and urban landscape, besides the environmental benefits, contributes decisively to the illustration/projection of urban green identity and re-enhancement of the quality of lifescape qualities and social interaction.

Keywords: green network, rehabilitation scheme, urban landscape, urban streams

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7 Refractory T-Cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia with JAK3 Mutation: In Vitro and Clinical Synergy of Tofacitinib and Ruxolitinib

Authors: Mike Wei, Nebu Koshy, Koen van Besien, Giorgio Inghirami, Steven M. Horwitz

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T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare hematologic disease characterized by a T-cell phenotype, rapid progression, and poor prognosis with median survival of less than a year. Alemtuzumab-based chemotherapy has increased the rate of complete remissions but these are often short-lived, and allogeneic transplant is considered the only curative therapy. In recent studies, JAK3 activating mutations have been identified in T-cell cancers, with T-PLL having the highest rate of JAK3 mutations (30 – 42%). As such, T-PLL is a model disease for evaluating the utility of JAK3 inhibitors. We present a case of a 64-year-old man with relapsed-refractory T-PLL. He was initially treated with alemtuzumab and obtained complete response and was consolidated with matched unrelated donor stem cell transplant. His disease stayed in remission for approximately 1.5 years before relapse, which was then treated with a clinical trial of romidepsin-lenalidomide (partial responses then progression at 6 months) and later alemtuzumab. Due to complications of myelosuppression and CMV reactivation, his treatment was interrupted leading to disease progression. The doubling time of lymphocyte count was approximately 20 days and over a span of 60 days the lymphocyte count rose from 8 x 109/L to 68 x 109/L. Exon sequencing showed a JAK3 mutation. The patient consented to and was treated with FDA-approved tofacitinib (initially 5 mg BID, increased to 10 mg BID after 15 days of treatment). An initial decrease in lymphocyte count was followed by progression. In vitro treatment of the patient’s cells showed modest effects of tofacitinib and ruxolitinib as single agents, in the range of doxorubicin, but synergy between the agents. After 40 days of treatment with tofacitinib and with a lymphocyte count of 150 x 109/L, ruxolitinib (5mg BID) was added. Over the 60 days since dual inhibition was started, the lymphocyte count has stabilized. The patient has remained completely asymptomatic during treatment with tofacitinib and ruxolitinib. Neutrophil count has remained normal. Platelet count and hemoglobin have however declined from ~50 x109/L to ~30 x109/L and from 11 g/dL to 8.1 g/dL respectively, since the introduction of ruxolitinib. The stabilization in lymphocyte count confirms the clinical activity of JAK inhibitors in T-PLL as suggested by the presence of JAK3 mutations and by in-vitro assays. It also suggests clinical synergy between ruxolitinib and tofacitinib in this setting. Prospective studies of JAK inhibitors in PLL patients with formal dose-finding studies are needed.

Keywords: tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, JAK3

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6 Light-Controlled Gene Expression in Yeast

Authors: Peter. M. Kusen, Georg Wandrey, Christopher Probst, Dietrich Kohlheyer, Jochen Buchs, Jorg Pietruszkau

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Light as a stimulus provides the capability to develop regulation techniques for customizable gene expression. A great advantage is the extremely flexible and accurate dosing that can be performed in a non invasive and sterile manner even for high throughput technologies. Therefore, light regulation in a multiwell microbioreactor system was realized providing the opportunity to control gene expression with outstanding complexity. A light-regulated gene expression system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was designed applying the strategy of caged compounds. These compounds are photo-labile protected and therefore biologically inactive regulator molecules which can be reactivated by irradiation with certain light conditions. The “caging” of a repressor molecule which is consumed after deprotection was essential to create a flexible expression system. Thereby, gene expression could be temporally repressed by irradiation and subsequent release of the active repressor molecule. Afterwards, the repressor molecule is consumed by the yeast cells leading to reactivation of gene expression. A yeast strain harboring a construct with the corresponding repressible promoter in combination with a fluorescent marker protein was applied in a Photo-BioLector platform which allows individual irradiation as well as online fluorescence and growth detection. This device was used to precisely control the repression duration by adjusting the amount of released repressor via different irradiation times. With the presented screening platform the regulation of complex expression procedures was achieved by combination of several repression/derepression intervals. In particular, a stepwise increase of temporally-constant expression levels was demonstrated which could be used to study concentration dependent effects on cell functions. Also linear expression rates with variable slopes could be shown representing a possible solution for challenging protein productions, whereby excessive production rates lead to misfolding or intoxication. Finally, the very flexible regulation enabled accurate control over the expression induction, although we used a repressible promoter. Summing up, the continuous online regulation of gene expression has the potential to synchronize gene expression levels to optimize metabolic flux, artificial enzyme cascades, growth rates for co cultivations and many other applications addicted to complex expression regulation. The developed light-regulated expression platform represents an innovative screening approach to find optimization potential for production processes.

Keywords: caged-compounds, gene expression regulation, optogenetics, photo-labile protecting group

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5 Recirculation Type Photocatalytic Reactor for Degradation of Monocrotophos Using TiO₂ and W-TiO₂ Coated Immobilized Clay Beads

Authors: Abhishek Sraw, Amit Sobti, Yamini Pandey, R. K. Wanchoo, Amrit Pal Toor

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Monocrotophos (MCP) is a widely used pesticide in India, which belong to an extremely toxic organophosphorus family, is persistent in nature and its toxicity is widely reported in all environmental segments in the country. Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) is a promising solution to the problem of water pollution. TiO₂ is being widely used as a photocatalyst because of its many advantages, but it has a large band gap, due to which it is modified using metal and nonmetal dopant to make it active under sunlight and visible light. The use of nanosized powdered catalysts makes the recovery process extremely complicated. Hence the aim is to use low cost, easily available, eco-friendly clay material in form of bead as the support for the immobilization of catalyst, to solve the problem of post-separation of suspended catalyst from treated water. A recirculation type photocatalytic reactor (RTPR), using ultraviolet light emitting source (blue black lamp) was designed which work effectively for both suspended catalysts and catalyst coated clay beads. The bare, TiO₂ and W-TiO₂ coated clay beads were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and N₂ adsorption–desorption measurements techniques (BET) for their structural, textural and electronic properties. The study involved variation of different parameters like light conditions, recirculation rate, light intensity and initial MCP concentration under UV and sunlight for the degradation of MCP. The degradation and mineralization studies of the insecticide solution were performed using UV-Visible spectrophotometer, and COD vario-photometer and GC-MS analysis respectively. The main focus of the work lies in checking the recyclability of the immobilized TiO₂ over clay beads in the developed RTPR up to 30 continuous cycles without reactivation of catalyst. The results demonstrated the economic feasibility of the utilization of developed RTPR for the efficient purification of pesticide polluted water. The prepared TiO₂ clay beads delivered 75.78% degradation of MCP under UV light with negligible catalyst loss. Application of W-TiO₂ coated clay beads filled RTPR for the degradation of MCP under sunlight, however, shows 32% higher degradation of MCP than the same system based on undoped TiO₂. The COD measurements of TiO₂ coated beads led to 73.75% COD reduction while W-TiO₂ resulted in 87.89% COD reduction. The GC-MS analysis confirms the efficient breakdown of complex MCP molecules into simpler hydrocarbons. This supports the promising application of clay beads as a support for the photocatalyst and proves its eco-friendly nature, excellent recyclability, catalyst holding capacity, and economic viability.

Keywords: immobilized clay beads, monocrotophos, recirculation type photocatalytic reactor, TiO₂

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