Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: ruby

17 Clinical Factors of Quality Switched Ruby Laser Therapy for Lentigo Depigmentation

Authors: SunWoo Lee, TaeBum Lee, YoonHwa Park, YooJeong Kim

Abstract:

Solar lentigines appear predominantly on chronically sun-exposed areas of skin, such as the face and the back of the hands. Among the several ways to lentigines treatment, quality-switched lasers are well-known effective treatment for removing solar lentigines. The present pilot study was therefore designed to assess the efficacy of quality-switched ruby laser treatment of such lentigines compare between pretreatment and posttreatment of skin brightness. Twenty-two adults with chronic sun-damaged skin (mean age 52.8 years, range 37–74 years) were treated at the Korean site. A 694 nm Q-switched ruby laser was used, with the energy density set from 1.4 to 12.5 J/cm2, to treat solar lentigines. Average brightness of skin color before ruby laser treatment was 137.3 and its skin color was brightened after ruby laser treatment by 150.5. Also, standard deviation of skin color was decreased from 17.8 to 16.4. Regarding the multivariate model, age and energy were identified as significant factors for skin color brightness change in lentigo depigmentation by ruby laser treatment. Their respective odds ratios were 1.082 (95% CI, 1.007–1.163), and 1.431 (95% CI, 1.051–1.946). Lentigo depigmentation treatment using ruby lasers resulted in a high performance in skin color brightness. Among the relative factors involve with ruby laser treatment, age and energy were the most effective factors which skin color change to brighter than pretreatment.

Keywords: depigmentation, lentigine, quality switched ruby laser, skin color

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16 Software Transactional Memory in a Dynamic Programming Language at Virtual Machine Level

Authors: Szu-Kai Hsu, Po-Ching Lin

Abstract:

As more and more multi-core processors emerge, traditional sequential programming paradigm no longer suffice. Yet only few modern dynamic programming languages can leverage such advantage. Ruby, for example, despite its wide adoption, only includes threads as a simple parallel primitive. The global virtual machine lock of official Ruby runtime makes it impossible to exploit full parallelism. Though various alternative Ruby implementations do eliminate the global virtual machine lock, they only provide developers dated locking mechanism for data synchronization. However, traditional locking mechanism error-prone by nature. Software Transactional Memory is one of the promising alternatives among others. This paper introduces a new virtual machine: GobiesVM to provide a native software transactional memory based solution for dynamic programming languages to exploit parallelism. We also proposed a simplified variation of Transactional Locking II algorithm. The empirical results of our experiments show that support of STM at virtual machine level enables developers to write straightforward code without compromising parallelism or sacrificing thread safety. Existing source code only requires minimal or even none modi cation, which allows developers to easily switch their legacy codebase to a parallel environment. The performance evaluations of GobiesVM also indicate the difference between sequential and parallel execution is significant.

Keywords: global interpreter lock, ruby, software transactional memory, virtual machine

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15 Luminescent Enhancement with Morphology Controlled Gd2O3:Eu Phosphors

Authors: Ruby Priya, Om Parkash Pandey

Abstract:

Eu doped Gd₂O₃ phosphors are synthesized via co-precipitation method using ammonia as a precipitating agent. The concentration of the Eu was set as 4 mol% for all the samples. The effect of the surfactants (CTAB, PEG, and SDS) on the structural, morphological and luminescent properties has been studied in details. The as-synthesized phosphors were characterized by X-ray diffraction technique, Field emission scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy and photoluminescence technique. It was observed that the surfactants have not changed the crystal structure, but influenced the morphology of as-synthesized phosphors to a great extent. The as-synthesized phosphors are expected to be promising candidates for optoelectronic devices, biosensors, MRI contrast agents and various biomedical applications.

Keywords: co-precipitation, Europium, photoluminescence, surfactants

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14 Structural and Luminescent Properties of EU Doped SrY₂O₄ Phosphors

Authors: Ruby Priya, O. P. Pandey

Abstract:

Herein, we report the structural and luminescent properties of undoped and Eu doped SrY₂O₄ phosphors. The phosphors are synthesized via the combustion synthesis route using glycine as a fuel. The structural, morphological, and optical characterizations are done via X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), photoluminescent (PL) techniques. The pure phase SrY₂O₄ is obtained at 1100℃, below which impure phases such as Y₂O₃ and SrO were dominant. All the phosphors are excited under UV excitation and exhibited intense emission around 611 nm, which is the typical transition of Eu ions. The phase formation of the synthesized phosphors is studied via analyzing XRD patterns. The as-synthesized phosphors find tremendous applications in optoelectronic devices, light-emitting diodes, and sensors.

Keywords: combustion, europium, glycine, luminescence

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13 Scope of Lasers in Periodontics

Authors: Atmaja Patel

Abstract:

Since the development of lasers in 1951, the first medical application was reported by Goldman in 1962. In 1960, T.H. Maiman produced the first Ruby laser and was used in cardiovascular surgery by McGuff in 1963. After a long time of investigations and new developments in laser technology first clinical applications were performed by Choy and Ginsburg in 1983. Introduction of the first true dental laser was in 1989. This paper is to highlight the various treatments and prevention of periodontal diseases. Lasers have become more predictable and effective form of treatment for periodontal diseases. The advantages of lasers include reduced use of anaesthesia, coagulation that yields a dry surgical field and hence better visibility, reduced need of sutures, minimal swelling and scarring, less pain and medication, faster healing and increased patient acceptance.

Keywords: lasers, periodontal surgery, diode laser, healing

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12 Attitudes toward Programming Languages Based on Characteristics

Authors: Mohammad Shokoohi-Yekta, Hamid Mirebrahim

Abstract:

A body of research has been devoted to investigating the preferences of computer programmers. These researches used various questionnaires to find out what programming language is most popular among programmers. The problem with such research is that the programmers are usually familiar with only a few languages; therefore, disregarding a number of other languages which might have characteristics that match their preferences more closely. To overcome such a problem, we decided to investigate the preferences of programmers in regards to the characteristics of languages, which help us to discover the languages that include the most characteristics preferred by the users. We conducted a user study to measure the preferences of programmers on different characteristics of programming languages and then tried to compare existing languages in the areas of application, Web and system programming. Overall, the results of our study indicated that the Ruby programming language has the highest preference score in the two areas of application and Web, and C++ has the highest score in the system area. The results of our study can also help programming language designers know the characteristics they should consider when developing new programming languages in order to attract more programmers.

Keywords: object orientation, programming language design, programmers' preferences, characteristic

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11 The Video Database for Teaching and Learning in Football Refereeing

Authors: M. Armenteros, A. Domínguez, M. Fernández, A. J. Benítez

Abstract:

The following paper describes the video database tool used by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) as part of the research project developed in collaboration with the Carlos III University of Madrid. The database project began in 2012, with the aim of creating an educational tool for the training of instructors, referees and assistant referees, and it has been used in all FUTURO III courses since 2013. The platform now contains 3,135 video clips of different match situations from FIFA competitions. It has 1,835 users (FIFA instructors, referees and assistant referees). In this work, the main features of the database are described, such as the use of a search tool and the creation of multimedia presentations and video quizzes. The database has been developed in MySQL, ActionScript, Ruby on Rails and HTML. This tool has been rated by users as "very good" in all courses, which prompt us to introduce it as an ideal tool for any other sport that requires the use of video analysis.

Keywords: assistants referees, cloud computing, e-learning, instructors, FIFA, referees, soccer, video database

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10 Use of Thermosonication to Obtain Minimally Processed Mosambi Juice

Authors: Ruby Siwach, Manish Kumar, Raman Seth

Abstract:

Extent of inactivation of pectin methylesterase (PME) in mosambi juice during thermal and thermosonication treatments was studied to obtain a minimally processed product. Effect of both treatments on cloud value, pH, titratable acidity, oBrix, and sensory attributes (flavour and taste) was studied. Thermal treatments (HT) were carried out at three temperatures 60, 70, and 80°C in a serological water bath for 5, 10, 15, and 20 min at each temperature. Thermosonication treatments (TS) were also given for same time-temperature combinations in water bath of a thermosonicator. Treated samples were stored in a deep freezer at 18°C for PME assay. PME activity of untreated sample was also assayed and residual PME activity and % loss in PME activity was calculated at each time-temperature combination. The extent of inactivation of PME increased with increase in treatment temperature and duration. Thermosonication treatments were found far more effective than thermal treatments of same time temperature combination in PME inactivation and retention of sensory attributes.

Keywords: pectin methylesterase, heat inactivation kinetics, thermosonication, thermal treatment

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9 Revisiting the Historical Narratives of the Old Churches in Albay, Bikol Region, Philippines

Authors: Ruby Ann L. Ayo

Abstract:

As cultural heritage reflects the historical origin of a certain group of people, it reveals their customs, traits, beliefs, practices and even values they hold on for years. One of the tangible examples of cultural heritage is the physical structures including the old churches. The study looked-into the existing historical narratives of the century Old Catholic churches in the Province of Albay, Bikol Region, Philippines: NuestraSeñora de Salvacion in Joroan, Tiwi, Albay; the Our Lady of the Gate in Daraga, Albay; the San Juan de Bautista in Tabaco City and the St. John the Baptist in Camalig, Albay. The historical narratives were analysed in terms of validity and reliability of the secondary documents with reference to the elements of history revealing consistency and adequacy of historical facts. The contents were examined using a modified Checklist of Historical Documents. The historical narratives were likewise submitted to the content expert for validation as regards historical authenticity and accuracy. The contents of the narratives were scrutinized according to the following codes: (1.1) the Patron Saints;(1.2) factors that paved to their constructions; (1.3) the people responsible for their constructions; (1.4) the misconceptions about their constructions; and (1.5) their contributions to Bikol heritage. Based on the codes, themes were identified as: (2.1) Marian Devotees and Christ-centered Patron Saints; (2.2) geographical, socio-political and cultural factors; (2.3) church and government officials; (2.4) misconceptions on the dates of constructions and original sites; and (2.5) popular pilgrim sites and well-admired architectural designs.

Keywords: historical narratives, old churches, cultural heritage, historical validity and reliability, elements of history

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8 Philippine National Police Strategies in the Implementation of 'Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding of the Rule-Of-Law' Plan 2030

Authors: Ruby A. L. Espineli

Abstract:

The study assessed the Philippine National Police strategies in the implementation of ‘Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding of the Rule-of-Law’ P.A.T.R.O.L Plan 2030. Its operational roadmap presents four perspectives which include resource management, learning and growth, process excellence; and community. Focused group discussion, observation, and distribution of survey questionnaire to selected PNP officers and community members were done to identify and describe the implementation, problems encountered and measures to address the problems of the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L Plan 2030. In resource management, PNP allocates most sufficient funds in providing service firearms, patrol vehicle, and internet connections. In terms of learning and growth, the attitude of PNP officers is relatively higher than their knowledge and skills. Moreover, in terms of process excellence, the PNP use several crime preventions and crime solution strategies to deliver an immediate response to calls of the community. As regards, community perspective, PNP takes effort in establishing partnership with community. It is also interesting to note that PNP officers and community were both undecided on the existence of problems encountered in the implementation of P.A.T.R.O.L Plan 2030. But, they had proactive behavior as they agreed on all the specified measures to address the problems encountered in implementation of PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030. A strategic framework, based on the findings was formulated in this study that could improve and entrench the harmonious working relationship between the PNP and stakeholders in the enhancement of the implementation of PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030.

Keywords: community perspectives, learning and growth, process excellence, resource management

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7 Oxidation States of Trace Elements in Synthetic Corundum

Authors: Ontima Yamchuti, Waruntorn Kanitpanyacharoen, Chakkaphan Sutthirat, Wantana Klysuban, Penphitcha Amonpattarakit

Abstract:

Natural corundum occurs in various colors due to impurities or trace elements in its structure. Sapphire and ruby are essentially the same mineral, corundum, but valued differently due to their red and blue varieties, respectively. Color is one of the critical factors used to determine the value of natural and synthetic corundum. Despite the abundance of research on impurities in natural corundum, little is known about trace elements in synthetic corundum. This project thus aims to quantify trace elements and identify their oxidation states in synthetic corundum. A total of 15 corundum samples in red, blue, and yellow, synthesized by melt growth process, were first investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis to determine the composition. Electron probe micro-analyzer (EPMA) was used to identify the types of trace elements. Results confirm that all synthetic corundums contain crystalline Al₂O₃ and a wide variety type of trace element, particularly Cr, Fe, and Ti. In red, yellow, and blue corundums respectively. To further determine their oxidation states, synchrotron X-ray absorption near edge structure spectrometry (XANES) was used to observe absorbing energy of each element. XANES results show that red synthetic corundum has Cr³⁺ as a major trace element (62%). The pre-edge absorption energy of Cr³⁺ is at 6001 eV. In addition, Fe²⁺ and Fe³⁺ are dominant oxidation states of yellow synthetic corundum while Ti³⁺and Ti⁴⁺ are dominant oxidation states of blue synthetic corundum. the average absorption energy of Fe and Ti is 4980 eV and 7113 eV respectively. The presence of Fe²⁺, Fe³⁺, Cr³⁺, Ti³⁺, and Ti⁴⁺ in synthetic corundums in this study is governed by comparison absorption energy edge with standard transition. The results of oxidation states in this study conform with natural corundum. However yellow synthetic corundums show difference oxidation state of trace element compared with synthetic in electron spin resonance spectrometer method which found that Ni³⁺ is a dominant oxidation state.

Keywords: corundum, trace element, oxidation state, XANES technique

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6 Identification, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of the Major Human Metabolite of NLRP3 Inflammasome Inhibitor MCC950

Authors: Manohar Salla, Mark S. Butler, Ruby Pelingon, Geraldine Kaeslin, Daniel E. Croker, Janet C. Reid, Jong Min Baek, Paul V. Bernhardt, Elizabeth M. J. Gillam, Matthew A. Cooper, Avril A. B. Robertson

Abstract:

MCC950 is a potent and selective inhibitor of the NOD-like receptor pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome that shows early promise for treatment of inflammatory diseases. The identification of major metabolites of lead molecule is an important step during drug development process. It provides an information about the metabolically labile sites in the molecule and thereby helping medicinal chemists to design metabolically stable molecules. To identify major metabolites of MCC950, the compound was incubated with human liver microsomes and subsequent analysis by (+)- and (−)-QTOF-ESI-MS/MS revealed a major metabolite formed due to hydroxylation on 1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-s-indacene moiety of MCC950. This major metabolite can lose two water molecules and three possible regioisomers were synthesized. Co-elution of major metabolite with each of the synthesized compounds using HPLC-ESI-SRM-MS/MS revealed the structure of the metabolite (±) N-((1-hydroxy-1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-s-indacen-4-yl)carbamoyl)-4-(2-hydroxypropan-2-yl)furan-2-sulfonamide. Subsequent synthesis of individual enantiomers and coelution in HPLC-ESI-SRM-MS/MS using a chiral column revealed the metabolite was R-(+)- N-((1-hydroxy-1,2,3,5,6,7-hexahydro-s-indacen-4-yl)carbamoyl)-4-(2-hydroxypropan-2-yl)furan-2-sulfonamide. To study the possible cytochrome P450 enzyme(s) responsible for the formation of major metabolite, MCC950 was incubated with a panel of cytochrome P450 enzymes. The result indicated that CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C18, CYP2C19, CYP2J2 and CYP3A4 are most likely responsible for the formation of the major metabolite. The biological activity of the major metabolite and the other synthesized regioisomers was also investigated by screening for for NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitory activity and cytotoxicity. The major metabolite had 170-fold less inhibitory activity (IC50-1238 nM) than MCC950 (IC50-7.5 nM). Interestingly, one regioisomer had shown nanomolar inhibitory activity (IC50-232 nM). However, no evidence of cytotoxicity was observed with any of these synthesized compounds when tested in human embryonic kidney 293 cells (HEK293) and human liver hepatocellular carcinoma G2 cells (HepG2). These key findings give an insight into the SAR of the hexahydroindacene moiety of MCC950 and reveal a metabolic soft spot which could be blocked by chemical modification.

Keywords: Cytochrome P450, inflammasome, MCC950, metabolite, microsome, NLRP3

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5 A Comparison of qCON/qNOX to the Bispectral Index as Indices of Antinociception in Surgical Patients Undergoing General Anesthesia with Laryngeal Mask Airway

Authors: Roya Yumul, Ofelia Loani Elvir-Lazo, Sevan Komshian, Ruby Wang, Jun Tang

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: An objective means for monitoring the anti-nociceptive effects of perioperative medications has long been desired as a way to provide anesthesiologists information regarding a patient’s level of antinociception and preclude any untoward autonomic responses and reflexive muscular movements from painful stimuli intraoperatively. To this end, electroencephalogram (EEG) based tools including BIS and qCON were designed to provide information about the depth of sedation while qNOX was produced to inform on the degree of antinociception. The goal of this study was to compare the reliability of qCON/qNOX to BIS as specific indicators of response to nociceptive stimulation. METHODS: Sixty-two patients undergoing general anesthesia with LMA were included in this study. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was obtained, and informed consent was acquired prior to patient enrollment. Inclusion criteria included American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class I-III, 18 to 80 years of age, and either gender. Exclusion criteria included the inability to consent. Withdrawal criteria included conversion to the endotracheal tube and EEG malfunction. BIS and qCON/qNOX electrodes were simultaneously placed on all patients prior to induction of anesthesia and were monitored throughout the case, along with other perioperative data, including patient response to noxious stimuli. All intraoperative decisions were made by the primary anesthesiologist without influence from qCON/qNOX. Student’s t-distribution, prediction probability (PK), and ANOVA were used to statistically compare the relative ability to detect nociceptive stimuli for each index. Twenty patients were included for the preliminary analysis. RESULTS: A comparison of overall intraoperative BIS, qCON and qNOX indices demonstrated no significant difference between the three measures (N=62, p> 0.05). Meanwhile, index values for qNOX (62±18) were significantly higher than those for BIS (46±14) and qCON (54±19) immediately preceding patient responses to nociceptive stimulation in a preliminary analysis (N=20, * p= 0.0408). Notably, certain hemodynamic measurements demonstrated a significant increase in response to painful stimuli (MAP increased from 74 ±13 mm Hg at baseline to 84 ± 18 mm Hg during noxious stimuli [p= 0.032] and HR from 76 ± 12 BPM at baseline to 80 ± 13 BPM during noxious stimuli [p=0.078] respectively). CONCLUSION: In this observational study, BIS and qCON/qNOX provided comparable information on patients’ level of sedation throughout the course of an anesthetic. Meanwhile, increases in qNOX values demonstrated a superior correlation to an imminent response to stimulation relative to all other indices

Keywords: antinociception, BIS, general anesthesia, LMA, qCON/qNOX

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4 Methylphenidate Use by Canadian Children and Adolescents and the Associated Adverse Reactions

Authors: Ming-Dong Wang, Abigail F. Ruby, Michelle E. Ross

Abstract:

Methylphenidate is a first-line treatment drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a common mental health disorder in children and adolescents. Over the last several decades, the rate of children and adolescents using ADHD medication has been increasing in many countries. A recent study found that the prevalence of ADHD medication use among children aged 3-18 years increased in 13 different world regions between 2001 and 2015, where the absolute increase ranged from 0.02 to 0.26% per year. The goal of this study was to examine the use of methylphenidate in Canadian children and its associated adverse reactions. Methylphenidate use information among young Canadians aged 0-14 years was extracted from IQVIA data on prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies between April 2014 and June 2020. The adverse reaction information associated with methylphenidate use was extracted from the Canada Vigilance database for the same time period. Methylphenidate use trends were analyzed based on sex, age group (0-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-14 years), and geographical location (province). The common classes of adverse reactions associated with methylphenidate use were sorted, and the relative risks associated with methylphenidate use as compared with two second-line amphetamine medications for ADHD were estimated. This study revealed that among Canadians aged 0-14 years, every 100 people used about 25 prescriptions (or 23,000 mg) of methylphenidate per year during the study period, and the use increased with time. Boys used almost three times more methylphenidate than girls. The amount of drug used was inversely associated with age: Canadians aged 10-14 years used nearly three times as many drugs compared to those aged 5-9 years. Seasonal methylphenidate use patterns were apparent among young Canadians, but the seasonal trends differed among the three age groups. Methylphenidate use varied from region to region, and the highest methylphenidate use was observed in Quebec, where the use of methylphenidate was at least double that of any other province. During the study period, Health Canada received 304 adverse reaction reports associated with the use of methylphenidate for Canadians aged 0-14 years. The number of adverse reaction reports received for boys was 3.5 times higher than that for girls. The three most common adverse reaction classes were psychiatric disorders, nervous system disorders and injury, poisoning procedural complications. The number one commonly reported adverse reaction for boys was aggression (11.2%), while for girls, it was a tremor (9.6%). The safety profile in terms of adverse reaction classes associated with methylphenidate use was similar to that of the selected control products. Methylphenidate is a commonly used pharmaceutical product in young Canadians, particularly in the province of Quebec. Boys used approximately three times more of this product as compared to girls. Future investigation is needed to determine what factors are associated with the observed geographic variations in Canada.

Keywords: adverse reaction risk, methylphenidate, prescription trend, use variation

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3 Monitoring the Responses to Nociceptive Stimuli During General Anesthesia Based on Electroencephalographic Signals in Surgical Patients Undergoing General Anesthesia with Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA)

Authors: Ofelia Loani Elvir Lazo, Roya Yumul, Sevan Komshian, Ruby Wang, Jun Tang

Abstract:

Background: Monitoring the anti-nociceptive drug effect is useful because a sudden and strong nociceptive stimulus may result in untoward autonomic responses and muscular reflex movements. Monitoring the anti-nociceptive effects of perioperative medications has long been desiredas a way to provide anesthesiologists information regarding a patient’s level of antinociception and preclude any untoward autonomic responses and reflexive muscular movements from painful stimuli intraoperatively.To this end, electroencephalogram (EEG) based tools includingBIS and qCON were designed to provide information about the depth of sedation whileqNOXwas produced to informon the degree of antinociception.The goal of this study was to compare the reliability of qCON/qNOX to BIS asspecific indicators of response to nociceptive stimulation. Methods: Sixty-two patients undergoing general anesthesia with LMA were included in this study. Institutional Review Board(IRB) approval was obtained, and informed consent was acquired prior to patient enrollment. Inclusion criteria included American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class I-III, 18 to 80 years of age, and either gender. Exclusion criteria included the inability to consent. Withdrawal criteria included conversion to endotracheal tube and EEG malfunction. BIS and qCON/qNOX electrodes were simultaneously placed o62n all patientsprior to induction of anesthesia and were monitored throughout the case, along with other perioperative data, including patient response to noxious stimuli. All intraoperative decisions were made by the primary anesthesiologist without influence from qCON/qNOX. Student’s t-distribution, prediction probability (PK), and ANOVA were used to statistically compare the relative ability to detect nociceptive stimuli for each index. Twenty patients were included for the preliminary analysis. Results: A comparison of overall intraoperative BIS, qCON and qNOX indices demonstrated no significant difference between the three measures (N=62, p> 0.05). Meanwhile, index values for qNOX (62±18) were significantly higher than those for BIS (46±14) and qCON (54±19) immediately preceding patient responses to nociceptive stimulation in a preliminary analysis (N=20, * p= 0.0408). Notably, certain hemodynamic measurements demonstrated a significant increase in response to painful stimuli (MAP increased from74±13 mm Hg at baseline to 84± 18 mm Hg during noxious stimuli [p= 0.032] and HR from 76±12 BPM at baseline to 80±13BPM during noxious stimuli[p=0.078] respectively). Conclusion: In this observational study, BIS and qCON/qNOX provided comparable information on patients’ level of sedation throughout the course of an anesthetic. Meanwhile, increases in qNOX values demonstrated a superior correlation to an imminent response to stimulation relative to all other indices.

Keywords: antinociception, bispectral index (BIS), general anesthesia, laryngeal mask airway, qCON/qNOX

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2 Culture and Health Equity: Unpacking the Sociocultural Determinants of Eye Health for Indigenous Australian Diabetics

Authors: Aryati Yashadhana, Ted Fields Jnr., Wendy Fernando, Kelvin Brown, Godfrey Blitner, Francis Hayes, Ruby Stanley, Brian Donnelly, Bridgette Jerrard, Anthea Burnett, Anthony B. Zwi

Abstract:

Indigenous Australians experience some of the worst health outcomes globally, with life expectancy being significantly poorer than those of non-Indigenous Australians. This is largely attributed to preventable diseases such as diabetes (prevalence 39% in Indigenous Australian adults > 55 years), which is attributed to a raised risk of diabetic visual impairment and cataract among Indigenous adults. Our study aims to explore the interface between structural and sociocultural determinants and human agency, in order to understand how they impact (1) accessibility of eye health and chronic disease services and (2) the potential for Indigenous patients to achieve positive clinical eye health outcomes. We used Participatory Action Research methods, and aimed to privilege the voices of Indigenous people through community collaboration. Semi-structured interviews (n=82) and patient focus groups (n=8) were conducted by Indigenous Community-Based Researchers (CBRs) with diabetic Indigenous adults (> 40 years) in four remote communities in Australia. Interviews (n=25) and focus groups (n=4) with primary health care clinicians in each community were also conducted. Data were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed thematically using grounded theory, comparative analysis and Nvivo 10. Preliminary analysis occurred in tandem with data collection to determine theoretical saturation. The principal investigator (AY) led analysis sessions with CBRs, fostering cultural and contextual appropriateness to interpreting responses, knowledge exchange and capacity building. Identified themes were conceptualised into three spheres of influence: structural (health services, government), sociocultural (Indigenous cultural values, distrust of the health system, ongoing effects of colonialism and dispossession) and individual (health beliefs/perceptions, patient phenomenology). Permeating these spheres of influence were three core determinants: economic disadvantage, health literacy/education, and cultural marginalisation. These core determinants affected accessibility of services, and the potential for patients to achieve positive clinical outcomes at every level of care (primary, secondary, tertiary). Our findings highlight the clinical realities of institutionalised and structural inequities, illustrated through the lived experiences of Indigenous patients and primary care clinicians in the four sampled communities. The complex determinants surrounding inequity in health for Indigenous Australians, are entrenched through a longstanding experience of cultural discrimination and ostracism. Secure and long term funding of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services will be valuable, but are insufficient to address issues of inequity. Rather, working collaboratively with communities to build trust, and identify needs and solutions at the grassroots level, while leveraging community voices to drive change at the systemic/policy level are recommended.

Keywords: indigenous, Australia, culture, public health, eye health, diabetes, social determinants of health, sociology, anthropology, health equity, aboriginal and Torres strait islander, primary care

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1 White-Rot Fungi Phellinus as a Source of Antioxidant and Antitumor Agents

Authors: Yogesh Dalvi, Ruby Varghese, Nibu Varghese, C. K. Krishnan Nair

Abstract:

Introduction: The Genus Phellinus, locally known as Phansomba is a well-known traditional folk medicine. Especially, in Western Ghats of India, many tribes use several species of Phellinus for various ailments related to teeth, throat, tongue, stomach and even wound healing. It is one of the few mushrooms which play a pivotal role in Ayurvedic Dravyaguna. Aim: The present study focuses on to investigate phytochemical analysis, antioxidant, and antitumor (in vitro and in vivo) potential of Phellinus robinae from South India, Kerala Material and Methods: The present study explores the following: 1. Phellinus samples were collected from Ranni, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala state, India from Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. and species were identified using rDNA region. 2. The fruiting body was shadow dried, powdered and extracted with 50% alcohol using water bath at 60°C which was further condensed by rotary evaporator and lyophilized at minus 40°C temperature. 3. Secondary metabolites were analyzed by using various phytochemical screening assay (Hager’s Test, Wagner’s Test, Sodium hydroxide Test, Lead acetate Test, Ferric chloride Test, Folin-ciocalteu Test, Foaming Test, Benedict’s test, Fehling’s Test and Lowry’s Test). 4. Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity were analyzed by DPPH, FRAP and Iron chelating assay. 5. The antitumor potential of Water alcohol extract of Phellinus (PAWE) is evaluated through In vitro condition by Trypan blue dye exclusion method in DLA cell line and In vivo by murine model. Result and Discussion: Preliminary phytochemical screening by various biochemical tests revealed presence of a variety of active secondary molecules like alkaloids, flavanoids, saponins, carbohydrate, protein and phenol. In DPPH and FRAP assay PAWE showed significantly higher antioxidant activity as compared to standard Ascorbic acid. While, in Iron chelating assay, PAWE exhibits similar antioxidant activity that of Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) as standard. Further, in the in vitro study, PAWE showed significant inhibition on DLA cell proliferation in dose dependent manner and showed no toxicity on mice splenocytes, when compared to standard chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. In vivo study, oral administration of PAWE showed dose dependent tumor regression in mice and also raised the immunogenicity by restoring levels of antioxidant enzymes in liver and kidney tissue. In both in vitro and in vivo gene expression studies PAWE up-regulates pro-apoptotic genes (Bax, Caspases 3, 8 and 9) and down- regulates anti-apoptotic genes (Bcl2). PAWE also down regulates inflammatory gene (Cox-2) and angiogenic gene (VEGF). Conclusion: Preliminary phytochemical screening revealed that PAWE contains various secondary metabolites which contribute to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging property as evaluated by DPPH, FRAP and Iron chelating assay. PAWE exhibits anti-proliferative activity by the induction of apoptosis through a signaling cascade of death receptor-mediated extrinsic (Caspase8 and Tnf-α), as well as mitochondria-mediated intrinsic (caspase9) and caspase pathways (Caspase3, 8 and 9) and also by regressing angiogenic factor (VEGF) without any inflammation or adverse side effects. Hence, PAWE serve as a potential antioxidant and antitumor agent.

Keywords: antioxidant, antitumor, Dalton lymphoma ascites (DLA), fungi, Phellinus robinae

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