SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

131

The objective of this study was to establish the efficacy and safety of procalcitonin (PCT)-guided antibiotic discontinuation in critically ill patients with sepsis in a country with a high prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and a national health insurance system.

131

Fumonisins are mycotoxins (MTs) produced mainly by the fungus Fusarium verticillioides, the main pathogens of maize which cause ear rot. The aim of this work was to evaluate some factors that may lead to high fumonisin production by F. verticillioides in maize grains, correlating the pathogen inoculation method with different genotypes grown in four Brazilian states. Experiments were conducted in 2015-2016 in maize crops from experimental maize fields located in four distinct states of Brazil. Results showed that contamination by fumonisin mycotoxins occurred even on symptomatic or asymptomatic grains. In all municipalities, the samples showed levels of fumonisin B1 that were higher than would be tolerable for the human consumption of corn products (the current tolerance limit for fumonisin is 1.5 μg g-1). High severity of grains infected with F. verticillioides does not always show high concentrations of fumonisins. Environments with higher temperatures may influence the production of high concentrations of fumonisin in maize hybrids. Spray inoculation methods and inoculation at the center of spikes did not influence fumonisin concentrations. Results showed that the hybrids P3630H, P32R48 and P3250 presented higher disease severity, as well as higher mycotoxin levels in the studied locations with higher temperatures.

21

Five-year survival for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients remains below 7% due to the lack of effective treatments. Here, we report that combined ablation of EGFR and c-RAF expression results in complete regression of a significant percentage of PDAC tumors driven by Kras/Trp53 mutations in genetically engineered mice. Moreover, systemic elimination of these targets induces toxicities that are well tolerated. Response to this targeted therapy correlates with transcriptional profiles that resemble those observed in human PDACs. Finally, inhibition of EGFR and c-RAF expression effectively blocked tumor progression in nine independent patient-derived xenografts carrying KRAS and TP53 mutations. These results open the door to the development of targeted therapies for PDAC patients.

21

The recent availability of Schottky-type field emission electron microprobes provides incentive to consider analyzing micrometer-sized features. Yet, to quantify sub-micrometer-sized features, the electron interaction volume must be reduced by decreasing accelerating voltage. However, the K lines of the transition elements (e.g., Fe) then cannot be excited, and the L lines must be used. The Fe Lα1,2 line is the most intense of the L series but bonding effects change its atomic parameters because it involves a valence band electron transition. For successful traditional electron probe microanalysis, the mass absorption coefficient (MAC) must be accurately known, but the MAC of Fe Lα1,2 radiation by Fe atoms varies from one Fe-compound to another and is not well known. We show that the conventional method of measuring the MAC by an electron probe cannot be used in close proximity to absorption edges, making its accurate determination impossible. Fortunately, we demonstrate, using a set of Fe-silicide compounds, that it is possible to derive an accurate calibration curve, for a given accelerating voltage and takeoff angle, which can be used to quantify Fe in Fe-silicide compounds. The calibration curve can be applied to any spectrometer without calibration and gives accurate quantification results.

21

Hybrid design and artificial aeration has been widely applied in wetlands, but little is known about their effectiveness in the removal of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Here we investigated the performance of various mesocosm-scale constructed wetlands (CWs) with artificial aeration and hybrid design in removal of antibiotics and ARGs from antibiotics-spiked domestic sewage. Four hybrid constructed wetland systems with zeolite as substrate and Iris tectorum Maxim as plant were set up to have different artificial aeration designs. The aqueous removal efficiencies of total antibiotics ranged from 87.4% to 95.3%, while those of total ARGs varied from 87.8% to 99.1%. The mass removal of antibiotics by the CWs was attributed mainly to the microbial degradation. The present study imply that sorption of substrates and biological processes could be the two main mechanisms for ARGs elimination. The results from this study showed the hybrid CWs with artificial aeration could enhance treatment efficiencies of antibiotics and ARGs as well as conventional pollutants.

21

The goal of this work is to understand how the phase diagram of the platinum-palladium (Pt-Pd) alloy changes with size and shape and how it correlates with catalytic properties. By using nano-thermodynamics, the size and shape effects on the phase diagram of Pt-Pd nanoparticles were determined theoretically. The phase diagram of some nanoparticles (sphere, tetrahedron, octahedron, decahedron, cube, cuboctahedron and rhombic dodecahedron) exhibits a congruent melting point that becomes more and more pronounced when the size decreases. At the right of the congruent melting point i.e. close to the Pt-rich side, the coexistence region exhibits a contraction while an expansion is noticed at larger palladium concentrations. From the Gibbs free energy analysis, the stability of all the considered shapes has been determined versus temperature and composition. Furthermore, the surface segregation was also calculated and it is shown that the surface segregation is reversed at very small sizes. Indeed, below a critical size, Pd does not segregate anymore at the surface like it normally does for larger nanoparticles; but Pt does. The critical size range has been determined for each considered shape; and within this range Pt and Pd co-exist at the surface. Finally, the most catalytically active shapes are predicted to be the tetrahedron and the cube in agreement with the available experimental data and other theoretical results.

21

This study sought to compare risk factors for suicidal ideation among heterosexual and sexual minority college students from a previously understudied conservative region of the U.S.

0

To compare the reliability of spirometry and body plethysmography in detecting restrictive lung disease in clay excavation workers exposed to free crystalline silica (FCS). The exhaled breath condensate (EBC) biomarkers of oxidative stress were also assessed in order to evaluate early lung damage.

0

Current Italian regulations and procedures for surface decontamination of antineoplastic drugs (ADs) are not clear. Therefore, most hospital pharmacies follow internal procedures as an interpretation of the recommended handling guidelines.

0

New occupational hazards and risks are emerging in our progressively globalized society, in which ageing, migration, wild urbanization and rapid economic growth have led to unprecedented biological, chemical and physical exposures, linked to  novel technologies, products and duty cycles. A focus shift from worker health to worker/citizen and community health is crucial. One of the major revolutions of the last decades is the computerization and digitization of the work process, the so-called “work 4.0”, and of the workplace.