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2022 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Iain Perry ◽  
Ifan B. Jâms ◽  
Roser Casas-Mulet ◽  
Josefina Hamutoko ◽  
Angela Marchbank ◽  

By identifying fragments of DNA in the environment, eDNA approaches present a promising tool for monitoring biodiversity in a cost-effective way. This is particularly pertinent for countries where traditional morphological monitoring has been sparse. The first step to realising the potential of eDNA is to develop methodologies that are adapted to local conditions. Here, we test field and laboratory eDNA protocols (aqueous and sediment samples) in a range of semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia. We successfully gathered eDNA data on a broad suite of organisms at multiple trophic levels (including algae, invertebrates and bacteria) but identified two key challenges to the implementation of eDNA methods in the region: 1) high turbidity requires a tailored sampling technique and 2) identification of taxa by eDNA methods is currently constrained by a lack of reference data. We hope this work will guide the deployment of eDNA biomonitoring in the arid ecosystems of Namibia and neighbouring countries.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Bouthaina Hasnaoui ◽  
Adama Zan Diarra ◽  
Jean-Michel Berenger ◽  
Hacène Medkour ◽  
Ahmed Benakhla ◽  

AbstractMatrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has proved effective for the identification of many arthropods. A total of 432 termite specimens were collected in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, Switzerland and France. Morphologically, 22 species were identified, including Ancistrotermes cavithorax, Amitermes evuncifer, Cryptotermes brevis, Cubitermes orthognathus, Kalotermes flavicollis, Macrotermes bellicosus, Macrotermes herus, Macrotermes ivorensis, Macrotermes subhyalinus, Microcerotermes parvus, Microtermes sp., Odontotermes latericius, Procubitermes sjostedti, Promirotermes holmgreni, Reticulitermes grassei, Reticulitermes lucifugus, Reticulitermes santonensis, Trinervitermes geminatus, Trinervitermes occidentalis, Trinervitermes togoensis, Trinervitermes sp., Trinervitermes trinervoides and Trinervitermes trinervius. Analysis of MALDI-TOF MS spectra profiles from termites revealed that all were of high quality, with intra-species reproducibility and inter-species specificity. Blind testing of the spectra of 389 termites against our updated database with the spectra of 43 specimens of different termite species revealed that all were correctly identified with log score values (LSVs) ranging from 1.65 to 2.851, mean 2.290 ± 0.225, median 2.299, and 98.4% (383) had LSVs > 1.8. This study is the first on the use of MALDI-TOF for termite identification and shows its importance as a tool for arthropod taxonomy and reinforces the idea that MALDI-TOF MS is a promising tool in the field of entomology.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Loni Berkowitz ◽  
Fernanda Cabrera-Reyes ◽  
Cristian Salazar ◽  
Carol D. Ryff ◽  
Christopher Coe ◽  

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a multicomponent risk condition that reflects the clustering of individual cardiometabolic risk factors related to abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. MetS increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, there still is not total clinical consensus about the definition of MetS, and its pathophysiology seems to be heterogeneous. Moreover, it remains unclear whether MetS is a single syndrome or a set of diverse clinical conditions conferring different metabolic and cardiovascular risks. Indeed, traditional biomarkers alone do not explain well such heterogeneity or the risk of associated diseases. There is thus a need to identify additional biomarkers that may contribute to a better understanding of MetS, along with more accurate prognosis of its various chronic disease risks. To fulfill this need, omics technologies may offer new insights into associations between sphingolipids and cardiometabolic diseases. Particularly, ceramides –the most widely studied sphingolipid class– have been shown to play a causative role in both T2DM and CVD. However, the involvement of simple glycosphingolipids remains controversial. This review focuses on the current understanding of MetS heterogeneity and discuss recent findings to address how sphingolipid profiling can be applied to better characterize MetS-associated risks.

2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
Iris C. ten Have ◽  
Josepha J. G. Kromwijk ◽  
Matteo Monai ◽  
Davide Ferri ◽  
Ellen B. Sterk ◽  

AbstractTransforming carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals and fuels, is a promising tool for environmental and industrial purposes. Here, we present catalysts comprising of cobalt (oxide) nanoparticles stabilized on various support oxides for hydrocarbon production from carbon dioxide. We demonstrate that the activity and selectivity can be tuned by selection of the support oxide and cobalt oxidation state. Modulated excitation (ME) diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) reveals that cobalt oxide catalysts follows the hydrogen-assisted pathway, whereas metallic cobalt catalysts mainly follows the direct dissociation pathway. Contrary to the commonly considered metallic active phase of cobalt-based catalysts, cobalt oxide on titania support is the most active catalyst in this study and produces 11% C2+ hydrocarbons. The C2+ selectivity increases to 39% (yielding 104 mmol h−1 gcat−1 C2+ hydrocarbons) upon co-feeding CO and CO2 at a ratio of 1:2 at 250 °C and 20 bar, thus outperforming the majority of typical cobalt-based catalysts.

2022 ◽  
Florian K. Groeber-Becker ◽  
Anna Leikeim ◽  
Maximiliane Wußmann ◽  
Freia F. Schmidt ◽  
Nuno G. B. Neto ◽  

Abstract Malignant melanoma is among the tumor entities with the highest increase of incidence worldwide. To elucidate melanoma progression and develop new effective therapies, rodent models are commonly used. While these do not adequately reflect human physiology, two-dimensional cell cultures lack crucial elements of the tumor microenvironment. To address this shortcoming, we have developed a melanoma skin equivalent based on an open-source epidermal model. Melanoma cell lines with different driver mutations were incorporated into these models forming distinguishable tumor aggregates within a stratified epidermis. Although barrier properties of the skin equivalents were not affected by incorporation of melanoma cells, their presence resulted in a higher metabolic activity indicated by an increased glucose consumption. Furthermore, we re-isolated single cells from the models to characterize the proliferation state within the respective model. The applicability of our model for tumor therapeutics was demonstrated by treatment with a commonly used v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF) inhibitor vemurafenib. This selective BRAF inhibitor successfully reduced tumor growth in the models harboring BRAF-mutated melanoma cells. Hence, our model is a promising tool to investigate melanoma development and as a preclinical model for drug discovery.

2022 ◽  
Emilio López-Navarro

Impaired Theory of Mind (ToM) ability is a core feature of psychotic disorders that challenges psychosis treatment. We aimed to explore the effect of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBI) on ToM ability in a randomized clinical trial (RCT). A sample of 36 participants diagnosed with psychotic disorder were recruited from a community center and randomly allocated to Integrated Rehabilitation Treatment (IRT) or IRT+MBI. ToM skills were assessed through the Hinting Test and the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET). IRT+MBI scored higher in RMET than IRT at posttreatment. MBI is a promising tool for improving ToM ability in psychosis.Keywords: psychotic disorders, theory of mind, mindfulness-based-interventions.

Weeerapong Sanmontree ◽  
Peera Wongupparaj

The Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START) is deemed the most appropriate instrument for assessing violence risks and management because of its balanced approach between dynamic risk and protective factors. Although several facets of reliability and predictive validity of this tool were strong, its inter-rater reliability, construct validity, and implementation in Asian population were under-investigated. The objective of this research was to examine the inter-rater reliability and construct validity of the START: Thai version within forensic psychiatric inpatients. The participants consisted of 118 forensic psychiatric inpatients hospitalized at Galya Rajanagarindra Institute in Thailand. Trained mental health professionals (i.e., psychiatrists, forensic nurses, clinical psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists) assessed each participant across twenty domains of the Thai START. The inter-rater reliability was examined using the intraclass correlation coefficient and a confirmatory factor analysis for ordinal data was used to test the construct validity of the scale. The main finding showed a good-to-excellent inter-rater reliability and supported two relational constructs (i.e., strength vs vulnerability subscales) of the Thai START. The Thai START is a promising tool for using in Thai forensic psychiatric setting but some items were not significant in contributing to the scale. This study also provides the guideline for implementing the tool in non-Western forensic psychiatric populations.

2022 ◽  
Zengpeng Han ◽  
Nengsong Luo ◽  
Jiaxin Kou ◽  
Lei Li ◽  
Wenyu Ma ◽  

Viral tracers that permit efficient retrograde targeting of projection neurons are powerful vehicles for structural and functional dissections of the neural circuit and for the treatment of brain diseases. Recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAVs) are the most potential candidates because they are low-toxic with high-level transgene expression and minimal host immune responses. Currently, some rAAVs based on capsid engineering for retrograde tracing have been widely used in the analysis and manipulation of neural circuits, but suffer from brain area selectivity and inefficient retrograde transduction in certain neural connections. Here, we discovered that the recombinant adeno-associated virus 11 (rAAV11) exhibits potent retrograde labeling of projection neurons with enhanced efficiency to rAAV2-retro in some neural connections. Combined with calcium recording technology, rAAV11 can be used to monitor neuronal activities by expressing Cre recombinase or calcium-sensitive functional probe. In addition, we further showed the suitability of rAAV11 for astrocyte targeting. These properties make rAAV11 a promising tool for the mapping and manipulation of neural circuits and gene therapy of some neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.

2022 ◽  
Vol 3 (1) ◽  
pp. 27-33
Mateusz Gładysz ◽  
Vinzent März ◽  
Stefan Ruemke ◽  
Evgenii Rubalskii ◽  
Peter Maria Vogt ◽  

Secondary infections of skin grafts pose a continuous problem in burn patients, very often leading to loss of transplanted skin grafts and making multiple surgical revisions necessary. We present a case report about persisting Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in burn patients with known diabetes. The burn wounds in lower extremities required repeated debridements, multiple skin grafting attempts and finally an application of the dermal scaffold NovoSorb BTM. With these measures, we managed to undertake a successful reconstruction of infected burn defects and pre-vent an amputation. We concluded that the NovoSorb BTM could be seen as an additional promising tool in a burn surgery armamentarium. In cases where radical surgical wound decontamination is not possible without risking the loss of the limb, the application of NovoSorb BTM over a contaminated field can win extra time for topical infection treatment and additionally provide an excellent skin grafting ground.

Binoy Kumar Show ◽  
Sandipan Banerjee ◽  
Aishiki Banerjee ◽  
Richik GhoshThakur ◽  
Amit Kumar Hazra ◽  

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