Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 48555

37
20179
Biological Evaluation and Molecular Modeling Study of Thiosemicarbazide Derivatives as Bacterial Type IIA Topoisomerases Inhibitors
Abstract:
In this contribution, we will describe the inhibitory potency of nine thiosemicarbazide derivatives against bacterial type IIA topoisomerases, their antibacterial profile, and molecular modeling evaluation. We have found that one of the tested compounds, 4-benzoyl-1-(2-methyl-furan-3-ylcarbonyl) thiosemicarbazide, remarkably inhibits the activity of S. aureus DNA gyrase with the IC50 below 5 μM. Besides, this compound displays antibacterial activity on Staphylococcus spp. and E. faecalis at non-cytotoxic concentrations in mammalian cells, with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) values at 25 μg/mL. Based on the enzymatic and molecular modeling studies we propose two factors, i.e. geometry of molecule and hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance as important molecular properties for developing thiosemicarbazide derivatives as potent Staphylococcus aureus DNA gyrase inhibitors.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
36
20177
Searching for Novel Scaffolds of Triazole Non-Nucleoside Inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase
Abstract:
Azoles are a promising class of the new generation of HIV-1 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). From thousands of reported compounds, many possess the same basic structure of an aryl substituted azole ring linked by a thioglycolamide chain with another aromatic ring. To find novel extensions for this primary scaffold, we explored the 5-position substitution of triazole NNRTIs using molecular docking followed by synthesis of selected compounds. We discovered that heterocyclic substituents in 5-position of the triazole ring are detrimental to the inhibitory activity of compounds with 4-membered thioglycolamide linker. This substitution seems to be viable only for compounds with a shorter 2-membered linker such as in derivatives of 4‐benzyl‐3‐(benzyl-sulfanyl)‐5‐(thiophen‐2‐yl)‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazole reported earlier. A new scaffold of 2‐[(4‐benzyl‐5‐methyl‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazol‐3‐yl)sulfanyl]‐N‐phenylacetamide has been identified in this study.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
35
75482
Deceased Donors with Terminal Acute Kidney Injury as a Valuable Source of Organs
Abstract:
Background: Organ transplantation is currently the standard management of patients with end-stage failure of renal, liver or heart. The criteria for organ acceptance became more flexible due to the big discrepancy between organ supply and increasing requirements. However, kidneys from deceased donors with acute kidney injury (AKI) are not widely accepted for transplantation. Aim: The aim of this study was to report the results of kidney transplantation when organs were procured from deceased donors with AKI. Material and Methods: Four hundred sixty-five patients received cadaveric renal transplants in the analyzed period. Data regarding donors, organ storage, recipients, and results of kidney transplantation were collected. Terminal AKI was identified when the terminal serum creatinine concentration was greater than 1.99 mg/dL (110 cases). Results: There were more episodes of delayed graft function (DGF) observed in the AKI group compared to the non-AKI group (50% vs. 29%, P < 0.05). There were no differences in the serum creatinine concentrations in the first, third, or fourth year post-transplantation between groups. There were no differences in patient and graft survival between the groups. Conclusion: Donors with AKI are valuable source of kidneys and may expand the organ pool.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
34
20180
Isotope Effects on Inhibitors Binding to HIV Reverse Transcriptase
Abstract:
In order to understand in details the interactions between ligands and the enzyme isotope effects were studied between clinically used drugs that bind in the active site of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reverse Transcriptase, HIV-1 RT, as well as triazole-based inhibitor that binds in the allosteric pocket of this enzyme. The magnitudes and origins of the resulting binding isotope effects were analyzed. Subsequently, binding isotope effect of the same triazole-based inhibitor bound in the active site were analyzed and compared. Together, these results show differences in binding origins in two sites of the enzyme and allow to analyze binding mode and place of newly synthesized inhibitors. Typical protocol is described below on the example of triazole ligand in the allosteric pocket. Triazole was docked into allosteric cavity of HIV-1 RT with Glide using extra-precision mode as implemented in Schroedinger software. The structure of HIV-1 RT was obtained from Protein Data Bank as structure of PDB ID 2RKI. The pKa for titratable amino acids was calculated using PROPKA software, and in order to neutralize the system 15 Cl- were added using tLEaP package implemented in AMBERTools ver.1.5. Also N-terminals and C-terminals were build using tLEaP. The system was placed in 144x160x144Å3 orthorhombic box of water molecules using NAMD program. Missing parameters for triazole were obtained at the AM1 level using Antechamber software implemented in AMBERTools. The energy minimizations were carried out by means of a conjugate gradient algorithm using NAMD. Then system was heated from 0 to 300 K with temperature increment 0.001 K. Subsequently 2 ns Langevin−Verlet (NVT) MM MD simulation with AMBER force field implemented in NAMD was carried out. Periodic Boundary Conditions and cut-offs for the nonbonding interactions, range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å, are used. After 2 ns relaxation 200 ps of QM/MM MD at 300 K were simulated. The triazole was treated quantum mechanically at the AM1 level, protein was described using AMBER and water molecules were described using TIP3P, as implemented in fDynamo library. Molecules 20 Å apart from the triazole were kept frozen, with cut-offs established on range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å. In order to describe interactions between triazole and RT free energy of binding using Free Energy Perturbation method was done. The change in frequencies from ligand in solution to ligand bounded in enzyme was used to calculate binding isotope effects.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
33
29877
Numerical Simulations for Nitrogen Flow in Piezoelectric Valve
Abstract:
Results of numerical simulations for transonic flow in a piezoelectric valve are presented. The valve is the main part of an adaptive pneumatic shock absorber. Flow structure in the valve domain and the influence of the flow non-uniformity in the valve on a mass flow rate is investigated. Numerical simulation results are compared with experimental data.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
32
20905
Comparison between Approaches Used in Two Walk About Projects
Abstract:
Learning through creation of contextual games is a very promising way/tool for interdisciplinary and international group projects. During 2013 and 2014 we took part and organized two intensive students projects in different conditions. The projects enrolled 68 students and 12 mentors from 5 countries. In the paper we want to share our experience how to strengthen the chances to succeed in short (12-15 days long) student projects. In our case almost all teams prepared working prototype and the results were highly appreciated by external experts.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
31
46613
Environmental Impacts on the Appearance of Disbonds in Metal Rotor Blades of Mi-2 Helicopters
Abstract:
This paper describes the analysis of construction Mi-2 helicopter rotor blades in order to determine the causes of appearance disbonds. Authors describe construction of rotor blade with impact on bonded joins and areas of water migration. They also made analysis which determines possibility of disbond between critical parts of rotor blades based on more than one hundred non-destructive inspections results. They showed which parts of the blades most likely to damage. The main source of damage is water presence.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
30
78444
Design and Analysis of Active Rocket Control Systems
Abstract:
The presented work regards a single-stage aerodynamically controlled solid propulsion rocket. Steering a rocket to fly along a predetermined trajectory can be beneficial for minimizing aerodynamic losses and achieved by implementing an active control system on board. In this particular case, a canard configuration has been chosen, although other methods of control have been considered and preemptively analyzed, including non-aerodynamic ones. The objective of this work is to create a system capable of guiding the rocket, focusing on roll stabilization. The paper describes initial analysis of the problem, covers the main challenges of missile guidance and presents data acquired during the experimental study.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
29
13677
Accounting Policies in Polish and International Legal Regulations
Abstract:
Accounting policies are a set of solutions compliant with legal regulations that an entity selects and adopts, and which guarantee a proper quality of financial statements. Those solutions may differ depending on whether the entity adopts national or international accounting standards. The aim of this article is to present accounting principles (policies) in Polish and international legal regulations and their adoption in selected Polish companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The research method adopted in this work is the analysis and evaluation of legal conditions in Polish companies.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
28
81468
The Potential of Braking Energy Recuperation in a City Bus Diesel Engine in the Japanese JE05 Emission Test Cycle
Abstract:
This paper discusses a model of a bus-driving scheme. Rapid changes in speed result in a constantly changing kinetic energy accumulated in a bus mass and an increased fuel consumption due to hardly recuperated kinetic energy. The model is based on the results achieved from chassis dynamometer, airport and city street researches. The verified model was applied to simulate the mechanical energy recuperation during the Japanese JE05 Emission Test Cycle. The simulations were performed for several values of vehicle mass. The research results show that fuel economy is impacted by kinetic energy recuperation.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
27
73598
Financial Instrument with High Investment Risk on the Warsaw Stock Exchange
Abstract:
The market of financial instruments with high risk is developing very dynamically in recent years and attracts more and more interest of investors. It consists essentially of two groups of instruments, i.e. derivatives and exchange traded product (ETP), and each year new types are introduced and offered to investors. The aim of this paper is to present the principles concerning financial instruments with high investment risk available on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), because they have quite complex constructions, and to evaluate the development of this market. In order to achieve this aim, statistical data from 2014-2016 was analyzed. The results confirm that the financial instruments with high investment risk available on the WSE constitute a diversified and the most numerous group of financial instruments and attract the most interest of investors. Responsible investing requires, however, a good knowledge of how they work and how they can generate profit to not expose oneself to unexpected losses.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
26
30883
Assessment of Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Consumption from Means of Transport in Agriculture
Abstract:
The paper discusses the problem of load transport using farm tractors and road tractor units. This type of carriage of goods is often done with farm vehicles. The tests were performed with the PEMS equipment (Portable Emission Measurement System) under actual traffic conditions. The vehicles carried a load of 20000 kg. This research method is one of the most desired because it provides reliable information on the actual vehicle emissions and fuel consumption (carbon balance method). For the tests, a route was selected that simulated a trip from a small town to a food-processing facility located in a city. The analysis of the obtained results gave a clear answer as to what vehicles need to be used for the carriage of this type of cargo in terms of exhaust emissions and fuel consumption.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
25
81532
Fuel Economy of Electrical Energy in the City Bus during Japanese Test Procedure
Abstract:
This paper discusses a model of fuel consumption and on-board electricity generation. Rapid changes in speed result in a constantly changing kinetic energy accumulated in a bus mass and an increased fuel consumption due to hardly recuperated kinetic energy. The model is based on the results achieved from chassis dynamometer, airport and city street researches. The verified model was applied to simulate the on-board electricity generation during the Japanese JE05 Emission Test Cycle. The simulations were performed for several values of vehicle mass and electrical load applied to on-board devices. The research results show that driving dynamics has an impact on a consumption of fuel to drive alternators.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
24
58754
Iron-Metal-Organic Frameworks: Potential Application as Theranostics for Inhalable Therapy of Tuberculosis
Abstract:
MOFs (Metal-Organic Frameworks) belong to a new group of porous materials with a hybrid organic-inorganic construction. Their structure is a network consisting of metal cations or clusters (acting as metallic centers, nodes) and the organic linkers between nodes. The interest in MOFs is primarily associated with the use of their well-developed surface and large porous. Possibility to build MOFs of biocompatible components let to use them as potential drug carriers. Furthermore, forming MOFs structure from cations possessing paramagnetic properties (e.g. iron cations) allows to use them as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) contrast agents. The concept of formation of particles that combine the ability to transfer active substance with imaging properties has been called theranostic (from words combination therapy and diagnostics). By building MOF structure from iron cations it is possible to use them as theranostic agents and monitoring the distribution of the active substance after administration in real time. In the study iron-MOF: Fe-MIL-101-NH2 was chosen, consisting of iron cluster in nodes of the structure and amino-terephthalic acid as a linker. The aim of the study was to investigate the possibility of applying Fe-MIL-101-NH2 as inhalable theranostic particulate system for the first-line anti-tuberculosis antibiotic – isoniazid. The drug content incorporated into Fe-MIL-101-NH2 was evaluated by dissolution study using spectrophotometric method. Results showed isoniazid encapsulation efficiency – ca. 12.5% wt. Possibility of Fe-MIL-101-NH2 application as the MRI contrast agent was demonstrated by magnetic resonance tomography. FeMIL-101-NH2 effectively shortening T1 and T2 relaxation times (increasing R1 and R2 relaxation rates) linearly with the concentrations of suspended material. Images obtained using multi-echo magnetic resonance imaging sequence revealed possibility to use FeMIL-101-NH2 as positive and negative contrasts depending on applied repetition time. MOFs micronization via ultrasound was evaluated by XRD, nitrogen adsorption, FTIR, SEM imaging and did not influence their crystal shape and size. Ultrasonication let to break the aggregates and achieve very homogeneously looking SEM images. MOFs cytotoxicity was evaluated in in vitro test with a highly sensitive resazurin based reagent PrestoBlue™ on L929 fibroblast cell line. After 24h no inhibition of cell proliferation was observed. All results proved potential possibility of application of ironMOFs as an isoniazid carrier and as MRI contrast agent in inhalatory treatment of tuberculosis. Acknowledgments: Authors gratefully acknowledge the National Science Center Poland for providing financial support, grant no 2014/15/B/ST5/04498.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
23
81457
The Modeling of City Bus Fuel Economy during the JE05 Emission Test Cycle
Abstract:
This paper discusses a model of fuel economy in a city bus driving in a dynamic urban environment. Rapid changes in speed result in a constantly changing kinetic energy accumulated in a bus mass and an increased fuel consumption due to hardly recuperated kinetic energy. The model is based on the bench test results achieved from chassis dynamometer, airport and city street researches. The verified model was applied to simulate the behavior of a bus during the Japanese JE05 Emission Test Cycle. The fuel consumption was calculated for three separate research stages, i.e. urban, downtown and motorway. The simulations were performed for several values of vehicle mass and electrical load applied to on-board devices. The research results show fuel consumption is impacted by driving dynamics.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
22
51796
Exchange Traded Products on the Warsaw Stock Exchange
Abstract:
A dynamic development of financial market is accompanied by the emergence of new products on stock exchanges which give absolutely new possibilities of investing money. Currently, the most innovative financial instruments offered to investors are exchange traded products (ETP). They can be defined as financial instruments whose price depends on the value of the underlying instrument. Thus, they offer investors a possibility of making a profit that results from the change in value of the underlying instrument without having to buy it. Currently, the Warsaw Stock Exchange offers many types of ETPs. They are investment products with full or partial capital protection, products without capital protection as well as leverage products, issued on such underlying instruments as indices, sector indices, commodity indices, prices of energy commodities, precious metals, agricultural produce or prices of shares of domestic and foreign companies. This paper presents the mechanism of functioning of ETP available on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the results of the analysis of statistical data on these financial instruments.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
21
58124
Finite Element Analysis of Mini-Plate Stabilization of Mandible Fracture
Abstract:
The aim of the presented investigation is to recognize the possible mechanical issues of mini-plate connection used to treat mandible fractures and to check the impact of different factors for the stresses and displacements within the bone-stabilizer system. The mini-plate osteosynthesis technique is a common type of internal fixation using metal plates connected to the fractured bone parts by a set of screws. The selected two types of plate application methodology used by maxillofacial surgeons were investigated in the work. Those patterns differ in location and number of plates. The bone geometry was modeled on the base of computed tomography scans of hospitalized patient done just after mini-plate application. The solid volume geometry consisting of cortical and cancellous bone was created based on gained cloud of points. Temporomandibular joint and muscle system were simulated to imitate the real masticatory system behavior. Finite elements mesh and analysis were performed by ANSYS software. To simulate realistic connection behavior nonlinear contact conditions were used between the connecting elements and bones. The influence of the initial compression of the connected bone parts or the gap between them was analyzed. Nonlinear material properties of the bone tissues and elastic-plastic model of titanium alloy were used. The three cases of loading assuming the force of magnitude of 100N acting on the left molars, the right molars and the incisors were investigated. Stress distribution within connecting plate shows that the compression of the bone parts in the connection results in high stress concentration in the plate and the screws, however the maximum stress levels do not exceed material (titanium) yield limit. There are no significant differences between negative offset (gap) and no-offset conditions. The location of the external force influences the magnitude of stresses around both the plate and bone parts. Two-plate system gives generally lower von Misses stress under the same loading than the one-plating approach. Von Mises stress distribution within the cortical bone shows reduction of high stress field for the cases without the compression (neutral initial contact). For the initial prestressing there is a visible significant stress increase around the fixing holes at the bottom mini-plate due to the assembly stress. The local stress concentration may be the reason of bone destruction in those regions. The performed calculations prove that the bone-mini-plate system is able to properly stabilize the fractured mandible bone. There is visible strong dependency between the mini-plate location and stress distribution within the stabilizer structure and the surrounding bone tissue. The results (stresses within the bone tissues and within the devices, relative displacements of the bone parts at the interface) corresponding to different models of the connection provide a basis for the mechanical optimization of the mini-plate connections. The results of the performed numerical simulations were compared to clinical observation. They provide information helpful for better understanding of the load transfer in the mandible with the stabilizer and for improving stabilization techniques.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
20
39922
The Impact of Modeling Method of Moisture Emission from the Swimming Pool on the Accuracy of Numerical Calculations of Air Parameters in Ventilated Natatorium
Abstract:
The aim of presented research was to improve numerical predictions of air parameters distribution in the actual natatorium by the selection of calculation formula of mass flux of moisture emitted from the pool. Selected correlation should ensure the best compliance of numerical results with the measurements&#39; results of these parameters in the facility. The numerical model of the natatorium was developed, for which boundary conditions were prepared on the basis of measurements&#39; results carried out in the actual facility. Numerical calculations were carried out with the use of ANSYS CFX software, with six formulas being implemented, which in various ways made the moisture emission dependent on water surface temperature and air parameters in the natatorium. The results of calculations with the use of these formulas were compared for air parameters&#39; distributions: Specific humidity, velocity and temperature in the facility. For the selection of the best formula, numerical results of these parameters in occupied zone were validated by comparison with the measurements&#39; results carried out at selected points of this zone.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
19
63530
Numerical Analysis of Mandible Fracture Stabilization System
Abstract:
The aim of the presented work is to recognize the impact of mini-plate application approach on the stress and displacement within the stabilization devices and surrounding bones. The mini-plate osteosynthesis technique is widely used by craniofacial surgeons as an improved replacement of wire connection approach. Many different types of metal plates and screws are used to the physical connection of fractured bones. Below investigation is based on a clinical observation of patient hospitalized with mini-plate stabilization system. Analysis was conducted on a solid mandible geometry, which was modeled basis on the computed tomography scan of the hospitalized patient. In order to achieve most realistic connected system behavior, the cortical and cancellous bone layers were assumed. The temporomandibular joint was simplified to the elastic element to allow physiological movement of loaded bone. The muscles of mastication system were reduced to three pairs, modeled as shell structures. Finite element grid was created by the ANSYS software, where hexahedral and tetrahedral variants of SOLID185 element were used. A set of nonlinear contact conditions were applied on connecting devices and bone common surfaces. Properties of particular contact pair depend on screw - mini-plate connection type and possible gaps between fractured bone around osteosynthesis region. Some of the investigated cases contain prestress introduced to the mini-plate during the application, what responds the initial bending of the connecting device to fit the retromolar fossa region. Assumed bone fracture occurs within the mandible angle zone. Due to the significant deformation of the connecting plate in some of the assembly cases the elastic-plastic model of titanium alloy was assumed. The bone tissues were covered by the orthotropic material. As a loading were used the gauge force of magnitude of 100N applied in three different locations. Conducted analysis shows significant impact of mini-plate application methodology on the stress distribution within the miniplate. Prestress effect introduces additional loading, which leads to locally exceed the titanium alloy yield limit. Stress in surrounding bone increases rapidly around the screws application region, exceeding assumed bone yield limit, what indicate the local bone destruction. Approach with the doubled mini-plate shows increased stress within the connector due to the too rigid connection, where the main path of loading leads through the mini-plates instead of plates and connected bones. Clinical observations confirm more frequent plate destruction of stiffer connections. Some of them could be an effect of decreased low cyclic fatigue capability caused by the overloading. The executed analysis prove that the mini-plate system provides sufficient support to mandible fracture treatment, however, many applicable solutions shifts the entire system to the allowable material limits. The results show that connector application with the initial loading needs to be carefully established due to the small material capability tolerances. Comparison to the clinical observations allows optimizing entire connection to prevent future incidents.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
18
33054
Countercyclical Capital Buffer in the Polish Banking System
Abstract:
The aim of this paper is the identification of periods of excessive credit growth in the Polish banking sector in years 2007-2014 using different methodologies. Due to the lack of precise guidance in CRD IV regarding methods of calculating the credit gap and related deviations from the long-term trends, a few filtering methods are applied, e.g. Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King. The solutions based on the switching model are also proposed. The next step represent computations of both the credit gap, and the counter cyclical capital buffer (CCB) rates on a quarterly basis. The calculations are carried out for the entire banking sector in Poland, as well as for its components (commercial and co-operative banks), and different types of loans. The calculations show vividly that in the analysed period there were the times of excessive credit growth. However, the results are different for the above mentioned sub-sectors. Of paramount importance here are mortgage loans, where the outcomes are distorted by high exchange rate fluctuations. The research on the CCB is now going to gain popularity as the buffer will soon become one of the tools of the macro prudential policy under CRD IV. Although the presented method is focused on the Polish banking sector, it can also be applied to other member states. Especially to the Central and Eastern European countries, that are usually characterized by smaller banking sectors compared to EU-15.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
17
58310
Support for Planning of Mobile Personnel Tasks by Solving Time-Dependent Routing Problems
Abstract:
Implementation concepts of a decision support system for planning and management of mobile personnel tasks (sales representatives and others) are discussed. Large-scale periodic time-dependent vehicle routing and scheduling problems with complex constraints are solved for this purpose. Complex nonuniform constraints with respect to frequency, time windows, working time, etc. are taken into account with additional fast adaptive procedures for operational rescheduling of plans in the presence of various disturbances. Five individual solution quality indicators with respect to a single personnel person are considered. This paper deals with modeling issues corresponding to the problem and general solution concepts. The research was supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme ‘Innovative Economy’ for the years 2007-2013; Priority 1 Research and development of modern technologies under the project POIG.01.03.01-14-076/12: 'Decision Support System for Large-Scale Periodic Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Problems with Complex Constraints.'
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
16
51481
Changes in Financial Reporting of Polish Entities Resulting from the Implementation of Directive 34/EU and Evaluation of the Changes by Accountants
Abstract:
In June 2013, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a directive on financial reporting (Directive 2013/34/EU). The main objective was to simplify the principles of the preparation of financial statements, including the principles of the presentation and disclosures of financial information by adapting reporting burdens to the type and size of an undertaking. Therefore, the Directive introduced a classification of all undertakings into five groups, i.e. micro, small, medium-sized, large and public-interest entities, and defined in detail the classification criteria. The principles of the preparation of financial statements and the presentation of financial information as well as applicable simplifications were defined for each group. The EU Member States had to implement the provisions of Directive 34 relating to accounting and financial reporting into domestic norms until January 1, 2016. In Poland, the provisions of Directive 34 were implemented into domestic accounting norms specified in the Polish Accounting Act on a gradual basis. On July 11, 2014, the Polish Parliament adopted an amendment to the Act, introducing the Directive's solutions for micro-undertakings and on July 23, 2015, for the remaining undertakings. The aim of this paper is to present Polish solutions relating to financial reporting after the implementation of Directive 34 and the results of the survey conducted among accountants regarding the evaluation of the implemented simplifications for micro and small undertakings.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
15
58050
Physiological Normoxia and Cellular Adhesion of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Primary Cells: Real-Time PCR and Immunohistochemistry Study
Abstract:
Cell adhesion is of fundamental importance in the cell communication, signaling, and motility, and its dysfunction occurs prevalently during cancer progression. The knowledge of the molecular and cellular processes involved in abnormalities in cancer cells adhesion has greatly increased, and it has been focused mainly on cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) and tumor microenvironment. Unfortunately, most of the data regarding CAMs expression relates to study on cells maintained in standard oxygen condition of 21%, while the emerging evidence suggests that culturing cells in ambient air is far from physiological. In fact, oxygen in human tissues ranges from 1 to 11%. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of physiological lymph node normoxia (5% O2), and hyperoxia (21% O2) on the expression of cellular adhesion molecules of primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells (DLBCL) isolated from 10 lymphoma patients. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to confirm the differential expression of several CAMs, including ICAM, CD83, CD81, CD44, depending on the level of oxygen. Our findings also suggest that DLBCL cells maintained at ambient O2 (21%) exhibit reduced growth rate and migration ability compared to the cells growing in normoxia conditions. Taking into account all the observations, we emphasize the need to identify the optimal human cell culture conditions mimicking the physiological aspects of tumor growth and differentiation.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
14
63347
Wear Resistance and Thermal Stability of Tungsten Boride Layers Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering
Abstract:
Tungsten and boron compounds belong to the group of superhard materials and its hardness could exceed 40 GPa. In this study, the properties of the tungsten boride (WB) layers deposited in magnetron sputtering process are investigated. The sputtering process occurred from specially prepared targets that were composed of boron and tungsten mixed in molar ratio of 2.5 or 4.5 and sintered in spark plasma sintering process. WB layers were deposited on silicon (100) and stainless steel 304 substrates at room temperature (RT) or in 570 °C. Layers deposited in RT and in elevated temperature varied considerably. Layers deposited in RT are amorphous and have low adhesion. In contrast, the layers deposited in 570 °C are crystalline and have good adhesion. All deposited layers have a hardness about 40 GPa. Moreover, the friction coefficient of crystalline layers is 0.22 and wear rate is about 0.67•10-6 mm3N-1m-1. After material characterization the WB layers were annealed in argon atmosphere in 1000 °C for 1 hour. On the basis of X-Ray Diffraction analysis, it has been noted that the crystalline layers are thermally stable and do not change their phase composition, whereas the amorphous layers change their phase composition. Moreover, after annealing, on the surface of WB layers some cracks were observed. It is probably connected with the differences of the thermal expansion between the layer and the substrate. Despite of the presence of cracks, the wear resistance of annealed layers is still higher than the wear resistance of uncoated substrate. The analysis of the structure and properties of tungsten boride layers lead to the discussion about the application area of this material.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
13
31045
Designing an Exhaust Gas Energy Recovery Module Following Measurements Performed under Real Operating Conditions
Abstract:
The paper presents preliminary results of the development of an automotive exhaust gas energy recovery module. The aim of the performed analyses was to select the geometry of the heat exchanger that would ensure the highest possible transfer of heat at minimum heat flow losses. The starting point for the analyses was a straight portion of a pipe, from which the exhaust system of the tested vehicle was made. The design of the heat exchanger had a cylindrical cross-section, was 300 mm long and was fitted with a diffuser and a confusor. The model works were performed for the mentioned geometry utilizing the finite volume method based on the Ansys CFX v12.1 and v14 software. This method consisted in dividing of the system into small control volumes for which the exhaust gas velocity and pressure calculations were performed using the Navier-Stockes equations. The heat exchange in the system was modeled based on the enthalpy balance. The temperature growth resulting from the acting viscosity was not taken into account. The heat transfer on the fluid/solid boundary in the wall layer with the turbulent flow was done based on an arbitrarily adopted dimensionless temperature. The boundary conditions adopted in the analyses included the convective condition of heat transfer on the outer surface of the heat exchanger and the mass flow and temperature of the exhaust gas at the inlet. The mass flow and temperature of the exhaust gas were assumed based on the measurements performed in actual traffic using portable PEMS analyzers. The research object was a passenger vehicle fitted with a 1.9 dm3 85 kW diesel engine. The tests were performed in city traffic conditions.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
12
78256
Flame Propagation Velocity of Selected Gas Mixtures Depending on the Temperature
Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is demonstration the test results of research influence of temperature on the velocity of flame propagation using gas and air mixtures for selected gas mixtures. The research was conducted on the test apparatus in the form of duct 2 m long. The test apparatus was funded from the project: “Development of methods to neutralize threats of explosion for determined tanks contained technical gases, including alternative sources of supply in the fire environment, taking into account needs of rescuers” number: DOB-BIO6/02/50/2014. The Project is funded by The National Centre for Research and Development. This paper presents the results of measurement of rate of pressure rise and rate in flame propagation, using test apparatus for mixtures air and methane or air and propane. This paper presents the results performed using the test apparatus in the form of duct measuring the rate of flame and overpressure wave. Studies were performed using three gas mixtures with different concentrations: Methane (3% to 8% vol), Propane (3% to 6% vol). As regard to the above concentrations, tests were carried out at temperatures 20 and 30 ̊C. The gas mixture was supplied to the inside of the duct by the partial pressure molecules. Data acquisition was made using 5 dynamic pressure transducers and 5 ionization probes, arranged along of the duct. Temperature conditions changes were performed using heater which was mounted on the duct’s bottom. During the tests, following parameters were recorded: maximum explosion pressure, maximum pressure recorded by sensors and voltage recorded by ionization probes. Performed tests, for flammable gas and air mixtures, indicate that temperature changes have an influence on overpressure velocity. It should be noted, that temperature changes do not have a major impact on the flame front velocity. In the case of propane and air mixtures (temperature 30 ̊C) was observed DDT (Deflagration to Detonation) phenomena. The velocity increased from 2 to 20 m/s. This kind of explosion could turn into a detonation, but the duct length is too short (2 m).
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
11
79474
Flame Propagation Velocity of Selected Gas Mixtures Depending on the Temperature
Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is demonstration the test results of research influence of temperature on the velocity of flame propagation using gas and air mixtures for selected gas mixtures. The research was conducted on the test apparatus in the form of duct 2 m long. The test apparatus was funded from the project: “Development of methods to neutralize threats of explosion for determined tanks contained technical gases, including alternative sources of supply in the fire environment, taking into account needs of rescuers” number: DOB-BIO6/02/50/2014. The Project is funded by The National Centre for Research and Development. This paper presents the results of measurement of rate of pressure rise and rate in flame propagation, using test apparatus for mixtures air and methane or air and propane. This paper presents the results performed using the test apparatus in the form of duct measuring the rate of flame and overpressure wave. Studies were performed using three gas mixtures with different concentrations: Methane (3% to 8% vol), Propane (3% to 6% vol). As regard to the above concentrations, tests were carried out at temperatures 20 and 30 ̊C. The gas mixture was supplied to the inside of the duct by the partial pressure molecules. Data acquisition was made using 5 dynamic pressure transducers and 5 ionization probes, arranged along of the duct. Temperature conditions changes were performed using heater which was mounted on the duct’s bottom. During the tests, following parameters were recorded: maximum explosion pressure, maximum pressure recorded by sensors and voltage recorded by ionization probes. Performed tests, for flammable gas and air mixtures, indicate that temperature changes have an influence on overpressure velocity. It should be noted, that temperature changes do not have a major impact on the flame front velocity. In the case of propane and air mixtures (temperature 30 ̊C) was observed DDT (Deflagration to Detonation) phenomena. The velocity increased from 2 to 20 m/s. This kind of explosion could turn into a detonation, but the duct length is too short (2 m).
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
10
76395
Long-Term Results of Coronary Bifurcation Stenting with Drug Eluting Stents
Abstract:
Background: Coronary bifurcation is one of the most complex lesion in patients with coronary ar-tery disease. Provisional T-stenting is currently one of the recommended techniques. The aim was to assess optimal methods of treatment in the era of drug-eluting stents (DES). Methods: The regis-try consisted of data from 1916 patients treated with coronary percutaneous interventions (PCI) using either first- or second-generation DES. Patients with bifurcation lesion entered the analysis. Major adverse cardiac and cardiovascular events (MACCE) were assessed at one year of follow-up and comprised of death, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), repeated PCI (re-PCI) of target ves-sel and stroke. Results: Of 1916 registry patients, 204 patients (11%) were diagnosed with bifurcation lesion >50% and entered the analysis. The most commonly used technique was provi-sional T-stenting (141 patients, 69%). Optimization with kissing-balloons technique was performed in 45 patients (22%). In 59 patients (29%) second-generation DES was implanted, while in 112 pa-tients (55%), first-generation DES was used. In 33 patients (16%) both types of DES were used. The procedure success rate (TIMI 3 flow) was achieved in 98% of patients. In one-year follow-up, there were 39 MACCE (19%) (9 deaths, 17 AMI, 16 re-PCI and 5 strokes). Provisional T-stenting resulted in similar rate of MACCE to other techniques (16% vs. 5%, p=0.27) and similar occurrence of re-PCI (6% vs. 2%, p=0.78). The results of post-PCI kissing-balloon technique gave equal out-comes with 3% vs. 16% of MACCE in patients in whom no optimization technique was used (p=0.39). The type of implanted DES (second- vs. first-generation) had no influence on MACCE (4% vs 14%, respectively, p=0.12) and re-PCI (1.7% vs. 51% patients, respectively, p=0.28). Con-clusions: The treatment of bifurcation lesions with PCI represent high-risk procedures with high rate of MACCE. Stenting technique, optimization of PCI and the generation of implanted stent should be personalized for each case to balance risk of the procedure. In this setting, the operator experience might be the factor of better outcome, which should be further investigated.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
9
28454
Tonal Pitch Structure as a Tool of Social Consolidation
Abstract:
Social consolidation has often been indicated as an adaptive function of music which led to the evolution of music faculty. According to many scholars this function is possible thanks to musical rhythm that enables sensorimotor synchronization to a musical beat. The ability to synchronize to music allows performing music collectively which enhances social cohesion. However, the collective performance of music consists also in spectral synchronization that depends on musical pitch structure. Similarly to rhythmic synchronization, spectral synchronization is a result of ‘brain states alignment’ between people who collectively listen to or perform music. In order to successfully synchronize pitches performers have to adequately expect the pitch structure. The most common form of music which predominates among all human societies is tonal music. In fact tonality understood in the broadest sense as such an organization of musical pitches in which some pitch is more important than others is the only kind of musical pitch structure that has been observed in all currently known musical cultures. The perception of such a musical pitch structure elicits specific emotional reactions which are often described as tensions and relaxations. These facts provoke some important questions. What is the evolutionary reason that people use pitch structure as a form of vocal communication? Why different pitch structures elicit different emotional states independent of extra-musical context? It is proposed in the current presentation that in the course of evolution pitch structure became a human specific tool of communication the function of which is to induce emotional states such as uncertainty and cohesion. By the means of eliciting these emotions during collective music performance people are able to unconsciously give cues concerning social acceptance. This is probably one of the reasons why in all cultures people collectively perform tonal music. It is also suggested that tonal pitch structure had been invented socially before it became an evolutionary innovation of Homo sapiens. It means that a predisposition to tonally organize pitches evolved by the means of ‘Baldwin effect’ – a process in which natural selection transforms the learned response of an organism into the instinctive response. The hypothetical evolutionary scenario of the emergence of tonal pitch structure will be proposed. In this scenario social forces such as a need for closer cooperation play the crucial role.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
8
52096
Motor Coordination and Body Mass Index in Primary School Children
Abstract:
Obese children will probably become obese adults, consequently exposed to an increased risk of comorbidity and premature mortality. Body weight may be indirectly determined by continuous development of coordination and motor skills. The level of motor skills and abilities is an important factor that promotes physical activity since early childhood. The aim of the study is to thoroughly understand the internal relations between motor coordination abilities and the somatic development of prepubertal children and to determine the effect of excess body weight on motor coordination by comparing the motor ability levels of children with different body mass index (BMI) values. The data were collected from 436 children aged 7&ndash;10 years, without health limitations, fully participating in school physical education classes. Body height was measured with portable stadiometers (Harpenden, Holtain Ltd.), and body mass&mdash;with a digital scale (HN-286, Omron). Motor coordination was evaluated with the Kiphard-Schilling body coordination test, K&ouml;rperkoordinationstest f&uuml;r Kinder. The normality test by Shapiro-Wilk was used to verify the data distribution. The correlation analysis revealed a statistically significant negative association between the dynamic balance and BMI, as well as between the motor quotient and BMI (p&lt;0.01) for both boys and girls. The results showed no effect of gender on the difference in the observed trends. The analysis of variance proved statistically significant differences between normal weight children and their overweight or obese counterparts. Coordination abilities probably play an important role in preventing or moderating the negative trajectory leading to childhood overweight and obesity. At this age, the development of coordination abilities should become a key strategy, targeted at long-term prevention of obesity and the promotion of an active lifestyle in adulthood. Motor performance is essential for implementing a healthy lifestyle in childhood already. Physical inactivity apparently results in motor deficits and a sedentary lifestyle in children, which may be accompanied by excess energy intake and overweight.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
7
67790
The Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Joining Processes for Air Conditioning Systems
Abstract:
In the paper the results of welding of car’s air–conditioning elements are presented. Acc. to new European directives 2006/40/EC which described the greenhouse gasses elimination, the producers of cars will have to stop using traditional refrigerant and to change it to carbon dioxide (R744). This refrigerant is environmental friendly. However, it should be noted, that the air condition system working with R744 refrigerant operates at high temperature (up to 150°C) and high pressure (up to 130 bar). These two parameters are much higher than for other refrigerants. Thus new materials, design as well as joining technologies are strongly needed for these systems. One of the perspective materials are AISI 304 and AISI 316L steels as well as aluminium alloys 5xxx. As a joining process laser welding, plasma welding, electron beam welding as well as high rotary friction welding can be applicated. In the study the metallographic examination based on light microscopy as well as SEM were applied to estimate the quality of welded joints. The analysis of welding was supported by numerical modelling based on Sysweld software. The results indicated that the proper quality of stainless steel’s welded joints for laser, plasma and electron beam welding can be achieved. Moreover, high rotary friction welding allows to guarantee the metallic continuity in the aluminium welded area. The metallographic examination revealed that the grain growth in the heat affected zone (HAZ) in laser and electron beam welded joints were not observed. It is due to low heat input and short welding time. The grain growth and subgrains can be observed at room temperature when the solidification mode is austenitic. This caused low microstructural changes during solidification. The columnar grain structure was found in the weld metal. Meanwhile, the equiaxed grains were detected in the interface. The numerical modelling of laser welding process allowed to estimate the temperature profile in the welded joint as well as predicts the dimensions of welds. The good agreement between FEM analysis and experimental data was achieved.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
6
58060
The Effect of Swirl on the Flow Distribution in Automotive Exhaust Catalysts
Abstract:
The application of turbocharging in automotive engines leads to swirling flow entering the catalyst. The behaviour of this type of flow within the catalyst has yet to be adequately documented. This work discusses the effect of swirling flow on the flow distribution in automotive exhaust catalysts. Compressed air supplied to a moving-block swirl generator allowed for swirling flow with variable intensities to be generated. Swirl intensities were measured at the swirl generator outlet using single-sensor hot-wire probes. The swirling flow was fed into diffusers with total angles of 10°, 30° and 180°. Downstream of the diffusers, a wash-coated diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) of length 143.8 mm, diameter 76.2 mm and nominal cell density of 400 cpsi was fitted. Velocity profiles were measured at the outlet sleeve about 30 mm downstream of the monolith outlet using single-sensor hot-wire probes. Wall static pressure was recorded using a multi-tube manometer connected to pressure taps positioned along the diffuser walls. The results show that as swirl is increased, more of the flow is directed towards the diffuser walls. The velocity decreases around the centre-line and maximum velocities are observed close to the outer radius of the monolith for all flow rates. At the maximum swirl intensity, reversed flow was recorded near the centre of the monolith. Wall static pressure measurements in the 180° diffuser indicated no pressure recovery as the flow enters the diffuser. This is indicative of flow separation at the inlet to the diffuser. To gain insight into the flow structure, CFD simulations have been performed for the 180° diffuser for a flow rate of 63 g/s. The geometry of the model consists of the complete assembly from the upstream swirl generator to the outlet sleeve. Modelling of the flow in the monolith was achieved using the porous medium approach, where the monolith with parallel flow channels is modelled as a porous medium that resists the flow. A reasonably good agreement was achieved between the experimental and CFD results downstream of the monolith. The CFD simulations allowed visualisation of the separation zones and central toroidal recirculation zones that occur within the expansion region at certain swirl intensities which are highlighted.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
5
50068
Adaptive Power Control of the City Bus Integrated Photovoltaic System
Abstract:
This paper presents an adaptive controller to track the maximum power point of a photovoltaic modules (PV) under fast irradiation change on the city-bus roof. Photovoltaic systems have been a prominent option as an additional energy source for vehicles. The Municipal Transport Company (MPK) in Lublin has installed photovoltaic panels on its buses roofs. The solar panels turn solar energy into electric energy and are used to load the buses electric equipment. This decreases the buses alternators load, leading to lower fuel consumption and bringing both economic and ecological profits. A DC–DC boost converter is selected as the power conditioning unit to coordinate the operating point of the system. In addition to the conversion efficiency of a photovoltaic panel, the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) method also plays a main role to harvest most energy out of the sun. The MPPT unit on a moving vehicle must keep tracking accuracy high in order to compensate rapid change of irradiation change due to dynamic motion of the vehicle. Maximum power point track controllers should be used to increase efficiency and power output of solar panels under changing environmental factors. There are several different control algorithms in the literature developed for maximum power point tracking. However, energy performances of MPPT algorithms are not clarified for vehicle applications that cause rapid changes of environmental factors. In this study, an adaptive MPPT algorithm is examined at real ambient conditions. PV modules are mounted on a moving city bus designed to test the solar systems on a moving vehicle. Some problems of a PV system associated with a moving vehicle are addressed. The proposed algorithm uses a scanning technique to determine the maximum power delivering capacity of the panel at a given operating condition and controls the PV panel. The aim of control algorithm was matching the impedance of the PV modules by controlling the duty cycle of the internal switch, regardless of changes of the parameters of the object of control and its outer environment. Presented algorithm was capable of reaching the aim of control. The structure of an adaptive controller was simplified on purpose. Since such a simple controller, armed only with an ability to learn, a more complex structure of an algorithm can only improve the result. The presented adaptive control system of the PV system is a general solution and can be used for other types of PV systems of both high and low power. Experimental results obtained from comparison of algorithms by a motion loop are presented and discussed. Experimental results are presented for fast change in irradiation and partial shading conditions. The results obtained clearly show that the proposed method is simple to implement with minimum tracking time and high tracking efficiency proving superior to the proposed method. This work has been financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development, PBS, under Grant Agreement No. PBS 2/A6/16/2013.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
4
50112
Simulation Research of Innovative Ignition System of ASz62IR Radial Aircraft Engine
Abstract:
The research in the field of aircraft internal combustion engines is currently driven by the needs of decreasing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while fulfilling the level of safety. Currently, reciprocating aircraft engines are found in sports, emergency, agricultural and recreation aviation. Technically, they are most at a pre-war knowledge of the theory of operation, design and manufacturing technology, especially if compared to that high level of development of automotive engines. Typically, these engines are driven by carburetors of a quite primitive construction. At present, due to environmental requirements and dealing with a climate change, it is beneficial to develop aircraft piston engines and adopt the achievements of automotive engineering such as computer-controlled low-pressure injection, electronic ignition control and biofuels. The paper describes simulation research of the innovative power and control systems for the aircraft radial engine of high power. Installing an electronic ignition system in the radial aircraft engine is a fundamental innovative idea of this solution. Consequently, the required level of safety and better functionality as compared to the today’s plug system can be guaranteed. In this framework, this research work focuses on describing a methodology for optimizing the electronically controlled ignition system. This attempt can reduce emissions of toxic compounds as a result of lowered fuel consumption, optimized combustion and engine capability of efficient combustion of ecological fuels. New, redundant elements of the control system can improve the safety of aircraft. Consequently, the required level of safety and better functionality as compared to the today’s plug system can be guaranteed. The simulation research aimed to determine the vulnerability of the values measured (they were planned as the quantities measured by the measurement systems) to determining the optimal ignition angle (the angle of maximum torque at a given operating point). The described results covered: a) research in steady states; b) velocity ranging from 1500 to 2200 rpm (every 100 rpm); c) loading ranging from propeller power to maximum power; d) altitude ranging according to the International Standard Atmosphere from 0 to 8000 m (every 1000 m); e) fuel: automotive gasoline ES95. The three models of different types of ignition coil (different energy discharge) were studied. The analysis aimed at the optimization of the design of the innovative ignition system for an aircraft engine. The optimization involved: a) the optimization of the measurement systems; b) the optimization of actuator systems. The studies enabled the research on the vulnerability of the signals to the control of the ignition timing. Accordingly, the number and type of sensors were determined for the ignition system to achieve its optimal performance. The results confirmed the limited benefits, in terms of fuel consumption. Thus, including spark management in the optimization is mandatory to significantly decrease the fuel consumption. This work has been financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development, INNOLOT, under Grant Agreement No. INNOLOT/I/1/NCBR/2013.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
3
52092
Socio-Economic Determinants of Physical Activity of Non-Manual Workers, Including the Early Senior Group, from the City of Wroclaw in Poland
Abstract:
Physical activity as a part of people&rsquo;s everyday life reduces the risk of many diseases, including those induced by lifestyle, e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, degenerative arthritis, and certain types of cancer. That refers particularly to professionally active people, including the early senior group working on non-manual positions. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and the socio-economic status of non-manual workers from Wroclaw&mdash;one of the biggest cities in Poland, a model setting for such investigations in this part of Europe. The crucial problem in the research is to find out the percentage of respondents who meet the health-related recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the volume, frequency, and intensity of physical activity, as well as to establish if the most important socio-economic factors, such as gender, age, education, marital status, per capita income, savings and debt, determine the compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations. During the research, conducted in 2013, 1,170 people (611 women and 559 men) aged 21&ndash;60 years were examined. A diagnostic poll method was applied to collect the data. Physical activity was measured with the use of the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire with extended socio-demographic questions, i.e. concerning gender, age, education, marital status, income, savings or debts. To evaluate the relationship between physical activity and selected socio-economic factors, logistic regression was used (odds ratio statistics). Statistical inference was conducted on the adopted ex ante probability level of p&lt;0.05. The majority of respondents met the volume of physical effort recommended for health benefits. It was particularly noticeable in the case of the examined men. The probability of compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations was highest for workers aged 21&ndash;30 years with secondary or higher education who were single, received highest incomes and had savings. The results indicate the relations between physical activity and socio-economic status in the examined women and men. People with lower socio-economic status (e.g. manual workers) are physically active primarily at work, whereas those better educated and wealthier implement physical effort primarily in their leisure time. Among the investigated subjects, the youngest group of non-manual workers have the best chances to meet the WHO standards of physical activity. The study also confirms that secondary education has a positive effect on the public awareness on the role of physical activity in human life. In general, the analysis of the research indicates that there is a relationship between physical activity and some socio-economic factors of the respondents, such as gender, age, education, marital status, income per capita, and the possession of savings. Although the obtained results cannot be applied for the general population, they show some important trends that will be verified in subsequent studies conducted by the authors of the paper.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
2
77871
EGF Serum Level in Diagnosis and Prediction of Mood Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults
Abstract:
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a well-known neurotrophic factor that involves in neuronal growth and synaptic plasticity. The proteomic research provided in order to identify novel candidate biological markers for mood disorders focused on elevated EGF serum level in patients during depression episode. However, the EGF association with mood disorder spectrum among adolescents and young adults has not been studied extensively. In this study, we aim to investigate the serum levels of EGF in adolescents and young adults during hypo/manic, depressive episodes and in remission compared to healthy control group. In our study, we involved 80 patients aged 12-24 years in 2-year follow-up study with a primary diagnosis of mood disorder spectrum, and 35 healthy volunteers matched by age and gender. Diagnoses were established according to DSM-IV-TR criteria using structured clinical interviews: K-SADS for child and adolescents, and SCID for young adults. Clinical and biological evaluations were made at baseline and euthymic mood (at 3th or 6th month of treatment and after 1 and 2 years). The Young Mania Rating Scale and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression were used for assessment. The study protocols were approved by the relevant ethics committee. Serum protein concentration was determined by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) method. Human EGF (cat. no DY 236) DuoSet ELISA kit was used (R&D Systems). Serum EGF levels were analysed with following variables: age, age under 18 and above 18 years old, sex, family history of affective disorders, drug-free vs. medicated. Shapiro-Wilk test was used to test the normality of the data. The homogeneity of variance was calculated with Levene’s test. EGF levels showed non-normal distribution and the homogeneity of variance was violated. Non-parametric tests: Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskall-Wallis ANOVA, Friedman’s ANOVA, Wilcoxon signed rank test, Spearman correlation coefficient was applied in the analyses The statistical significance level was set at p< 0.05. Elevated EGF level at baseline (p=0.001) and at month 24 (p=0.02) was detected in study subjects compared with controls. Increased EGF level in women at month 12 (p=0.02) compared to men in study group have been observed. Using Wilcoxon signed rank test differences in EGF levels were detected: decrease from baseline to month 3 (p=0.014) and increase comparing: month 3 vs. 24 (p=0.013); month 6 vs. 12 (p=0.021) and vs. 24 (p=0.008). EGF level at baseline was negatively correlated with depression and mania occurrence at 24 months. EGF level at 24 months was positively correlated with depression and mania occurrence at 12 months. No other correlations of EGF levels with clinical and demographical variables have been detected. The findings of the present study indicate that EGF serum level is significantly elevated in the study group of patients compared to the controls. We also observed fluctuations in EGF levels during two years of disease observation. EGF seems to be useful as an early marker for prediction of diagnosis, course of illness and treatment response in young patients during first episode od mood disorders, which requires further investigation. Grant was founded by National Science Center in Poland no 2011/03/D/NZ5/06146.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
1
60165
Neural Correlates of Diminished Humor Comprehension in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
Abstract:
The present study aimed at evaluation of neural correlates of humor comprehension impairments observed in schizophrenia. To investigate the nature of this deficit in schizophrenia and to localize cortical areas involved in humor processing we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study included chronic schizophrenia outpatients (SCH; n=20), and sex, age and education level matched healthy controls (n=20). The task consisted of 60 stories (setup) of which 20 had funny, 20 nonsensical and 20 neutral (not funny) punchlines. After the punchlines were presented, the participants were asked to indicate whether the story was comprehensible (yes/no) and how funny it was (1-9 Likert-type scale). fMRI was performed on a 3T scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens) using 32-channel head coil. Three contrasts in accordance with the three stages of humor processing were analyzed in both groups: abstract vs neutral stories - incongruity detection; funny vs abstract - incongruity resolution; funny vs neutral - elaboration. Additionally, parametric modulation analysis was performed using both subjective ratings separately in order to further differentiate the areas involved in incongruity resolution processing. Statistical analysis for behavioral data used U Mann-Whitney test and Bonferroni’s correction, fMRI data analysis utilized whole-brain voxel-wise t-tests with 10-voxel extent threshold and with Family Wise Error (FWE) correction at alpha = 0.05, or uncorrected at alpha = 0.001. Between group comparisons revealed that the SCH subjects had attenuated activation in: the right superior temporal gyrus in case of irresolvable incongruity processing of nonsensical puns (nonsensical > neutral); the left medial frontal gyrus in case of incongruity resolution processing of funny puns (funny > nonsensical) and the interhemispheric ACC in case of elaboration of funny puns (funny > neutral). Additionally, the SCH group revealed weaker activation during funniness ratings in the left ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, the medial frontal gyrus, the angular and the supramarginal gyrus, and the right temporal pole. In comprehension ratings the SCH group showed suppressed activity in the left superior and medial frontal gyri. Interestingly, these differences were accompanied by protraction of time in both types of rating responses in the SCH group, a lower level of comprehension for funny punchlines and a higher funniness for absurd punchlines. Presented results indicate that, in comparison to healthy controls, schizophrenia is characterized by difficulties in humor processing revealed by longer reaction times, impairments of understanding jokes and finding nonsensical punchlines more funny. This is accompanied by attenuated brain activations, especially in the left fronto-parietal and the right temporal cortices. Disturbances of the humor processing seem to be impaired at the all three stages of the humor comprehension process, from incongruity detection, through its resolution to elaboration. The neural correlates revealed diminished neural activity of the schizophrenia brain, as compared with the control group. The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no 2014/13/B/HS6/03091).
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):