REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0055.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: ‘ bites’ ; bite marks; human bite marks; bias; cognitive bias; contextual bias
Online: 5 December 2023 (04:32:52 CET)
Considering bitemark evidence, forensic dentists must give testimony that could have catastrophic consequences. A bitemark is often the only physical evidence on a body, and odontologists' testimony should be powerful and simple to understand. Given that perpetrators may be executed or imprisoned for life, a defective bitemark analysis is comparable to dentists' most crucial clinical decisions regarding diagnosis. Bias affects human bitemark analysis, and forensic dentists must examine its invisible impacts to avoid making mistakes. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of different types of bias in bitemark analysis and methods during analysis by conducting a scoping review. The majority of the 14 articles that were taken into consideration were published in 2019. USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands published the most articles. 36% of the publications addressed contextual bias, while 57% acknowledged cognitive bias. Preventive measures have been recommended to address bias in bitemark analysis. These consist of limiting the availability of unrelated data during the research, employing several comparison samples for a more impartial assessment, and repeating the analysis while being blind to past findings. These preventative measures reduce cognitive and contextual bias and improve bitemark analysis in forensic investigations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1993.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: mesothelin; acute myeloid leukemia; glycolysis; oxygen consumption rate
Online: 30 November 2023 (13:38:57 CET)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive malignancy characterized by rapid growth and uncontrolled proliferation of undifferentiated myeloid cells. Metabolic reprogramming is commonly observed in the bone marrow of AML patients, as leukemia cells require increased ATP supply to support disease progression. In this study, we examined the potential role of mesothelin as a metabolic modulator in myeloid cells in AML. Mesothelin is a well-known marker of solid tumors that promotes cancer cell proliferation and survival. We initially analyzed alterations in mesothelin expression in the myeloblast subpopulations, defined as SSC-Alow/CD45dim, obtained from bone marrow of AML patients using flow cytometry. Our results showed overexpression of mesothelin in 34.8% of AML patients. Subsequently, metabolic changes in leukemia cells were evaluated by comparing the oxygen consumption rates (OCR) of bone marrow samples derived from adult AML patients. Notably, higher OCR was observed in the mesothelin-positive compared to the mesothelin-low and non-expressing groups. Treatment with recombinant human mesothelin protein enhanced OCR and increased the mRNA expression of glycolytic enzymes and mitochondrial complex II in KG1α AML cells. Notably, siRNA targeting mesothelin in KG1α cells led to reduction of glycolysis-related gene expression but had no effect on the mitochondrial complex gene. The collective results demonstrate that mesothelin induces metabolic changes in leukemia cells, facilitating acquisition of a rapid supply of ATP for proliferation in AML. Therefore, targeting of mesothelin presents a potentially promising approach for mitigating the progression of AML through inhibition of glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration in myeloid cells.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1977.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: L. acidophilus JB2CON; probiotic dahi; shelf life; Escherichia coli
Online: 30 November 2023 (11:19:45 CET)
The principal goal of this current study was to isolate a new potential probiotic strain to prepare contamination-free probiotic dahi in a dosage form with desired shelf life. To achieve our target, firstly, probiotic dahi was prepared by a probiotic strain, Lactobacillus acidophilus JB2CON (OM909067) (identified by 16S sequencing) isolated from natural dahi in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The isolate showed five probiotic features by in vitro test and had an antagonistic effect against five different pathogens. More interestingly, it inhibited Escherichia coli (diameter of zone of inhibition = 15.75±0.35) the most. In the time-kill analysis method, E. coli was killed totally within 5.50 hours of fermentation. Finally, the time duration of 14 days was an ideal shelf life, because the probiotic count increased but a slight change in pH did not affect the taste (sourness/acidity) of dahi. The most significant impact of this research is that the probiotic dahi of our experiment might be used as a cheap option for preventing pathogenic Escherichia coli-related foodborne diseases worldwide, especially in underdeveloped countries like Bangladesh.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1971.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Autoimmune hepatitis; International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group; simplified diagnostic criteria; histology; plasma cell clusters; lobular hepatitis, portal hepatitis
Online: 30 November 2023 (10:14:46 CET)
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic, relapsing and remitting, immune mediated liver disease which progresses to cirrhosis if left untreated. A significant number of patients may present with acute hepatitis or acute liver failure, which are often misdiagnosed as toxic liver injury. AIH shows a preponderance for young women but may be seen in children and elderly. Diagnosis requires integration of clinical, biochemical and serologic parameters along with supportive liver histology and exclusion of other causes of liver disease. Liver biopsy is a pre-requisite for diagnosis of AIH, to assess severity and stage of disease, exclude other entities and recognize any concurrent morbidities. No single biomarker or histologic feature is pathognomonic for AIH. The diagnostic and histologic criteria have undergone several modifications since the Original Scoring system proposed by the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group (IAIHG) in 1993. Recently, IAIHG has proposed consensus recommendations for histologic criteria, relevant for both acute and chronic AIH. This review article will describe the evolving diagnostic criteria for AIH with their limitations and utility, with an emphasis on the role of liver histology in diagnosis and management of AIH.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1842.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: gait; perturbations; treadmill; provoked trips; provoked slips; entropy
Online: 29 November 2023 (11:07:14 CET)
Background: This study aimed to investigate how external perturbations caused by the treadmill belt's acceleration (Acc) and deceleration (Dec) during the Initial Contact (Initial), Mid Stance (Mid) and Pre-Swing (ToeOff) phase affect gait regularity in young adults. Methods: Twenty-one healthy young females walked on a treadmill in a virtual environment (Grail, Motek), where four unexpected perturbations were applied to the left belt at Initial, Mid, and ToeOff. Sample Entropy (SampEn) was calculated for the center of mass (CoM) displacements, for six perturbation scenarios in three directions: anterior-posterior (AP), medial-lateral (ML), and vertical (vert), with SampEn vector lengths (m) ranging from 2 to 10. Results: The CoM displacement exhibited its highest regularity (low SampEn values) in the AP and vert-directions during Dec_ToeOff, across all m values. Similarly, this pattern was observed in the ML-direction, but exclusively for m = 2 and 4. The least regular CoM trajectories (high SampEn values) were for Dec_Mid in the AP-direction, across all m values. This trend persisted in the ML-direction, only for m = 2 and 4. However, the most irregular CoM displacements in the ML-direction occurred during Dec_ToeOff for the remaining m values. Vertical CoM displacements exhibited the highest irregularities during Dec_Initial for m ≥ 4. Conclusions: Evaluating the regularity of CoM displacements using SampEn can be a useful tool for assessing how gait perturbations are handled.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1819.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: genome‐wide association; human genetics; machine learning
Online: 28 November 2023 (15:41:32 CET)
Machine learning, including deep learning, reinforcement learning, and generative artificial intelligence are revolutionising every area of our lives when data is made available. With the help of these methods, we can decipher information from larger datasets while addressing the complex nature of biological systems in a more efficient way. Although machine learning methods have been introduced to human genetic epidemiological research as early as 2004, those were never used to their full capacity. In this review, we outline some of the main applications of machine learning to assigning human genetic loci to health outcomes. We summarise widely used methods and discuss their advantages and challenges. We also identify several tools, such as Combi, GenNet and GMSTool, specifically designed to integrate these methods for hypothesis-free analysis of genetic variation data. We elaborate on the additional value and limitations of these tools from a geneticist’s perspective. Finally, we discuss the fast-moving field of foundation models and large multi-modal omics biobank initiatives.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1674.v1
Online: 27 November 2023 (07:56:01 CET)
The study of angiosperm flora, endemic plants in the literature, and investigations of ‘POWO Build a checklist’ were used to compile an updated list of Bangladesh's endemic plants. According to the study, at least 49 (1.24%) of Bangladesh's 3,956 plant species are endemic to the country including 5 varieties, belonging to 41 genera in 26 families. Magnoliopsida account for thirty of them, Liliopsida for the remaining sixteen, and Pteridohpytes for the final three. The four families Zingiberaceae (9 taxa), Araceae (6 taxa), Rubiaceae (4 taxa), and Euphorbiaceae (3 taxa), include the most endemic taxa. The five most numerous endemic taxa belong to the Curcuma genus. The endemic flora, which is mostly found in the districts of Chattogram, Moulvibazar, and Rangamati, consists of 13 tree species, 4 shrubs, 5 climbers, and 27 herbaceous plant species.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1369.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: VBNC state; stress; beneficial bacteria; rhizosphere; latency; survival
Online: 24 November 2023 (04:11:22 CET)
Many bacteria have the ability to survive in challenging environments; however, they cannot grow on standard culture media, a phenomenon known as the Viable but Non-Culturable (VBNC) state. Bacteria commonly go into the VBNC state under nutrient-poor environments or under stressful conditions. This review explores the concept of the VBNC state, providing insights into the beneficial bacteria known to employ this strategy. The investigation covers different chemical and physical factors that can induce the latency state, cell features, and gene expression observed in cells in the VBNC state. The revision also covered the significance and applications of beneficial bacteria, methods for evaluating bacterial viability, the ability of bacteria to persist in environments associated with higher organisms, and the factors that facilitate the return to the culturable state. Knowledge about beneficial bacteria capable of entering the VBNC state remains limited, however, beneficial bacteria in this state could face adverse environmental conditions, and return to culturable state when conditions become suitable and continue to exert their beneficial effects. Likewise, this unique feature positions them as potential candidates for healthcare applications, such as the use of probiotic bacteria to enhance human health, applications in industrial microbiology for the production of prebiotics, functional foods, and in the beer and wine industry. Moreover, their use in formulations to increase crop yield and for bacterial bioremediation offers an alternative pathway to harness their beneficial attributes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1407.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Phα 1β ; analgesic; dofetilide; Kv11.1 potassium channel; hERG channel interaction; HEK293-hERG; cells viability
Online: 22 November 2023 (09:48:35 CET)
Phα1β a spider peptide, purified from the venom of Phoneutria nigriventer inhibits high voltage calcium channels and is antagonist of TRPA1 receptor two important pain transduction path-ways. In the last 15 years, we have showed, in preclinical tests with Phα1β native and recombi-nant in rodent models of pain the potential of Phα1β to become a new analgesic drug. Evaluation of new drug on human ERG channel is requirement of the regulatory agencies. For the hERG channel inhibition assay it was used the commercial kit FLIPR® Potassium Assay. It was tested the effect of Phα1β and as positive control dofetilide, a well characterized hERG block-er. Phα1β 56, 225, 450 and 900 pMol caused at a higher concentration a very weak inhibition of the hERG channel activity of about 13.47 % with channel inhibition at 50%, IC50 > 900 pMol. Dofetilide (0.0001 - 10 µM), a known hERG inhibitor, caused a well-known, concentra-tion-dependent inhibition of the hERG channel with a mean IC50 of 0.1642 µM (0.1189 – 0.2282 µM. For the cytotoxicity assay, Phα1β concentrations of 56, 225, 450 and 900 pMol incubated for 24 h with HEK293-hERG cells did not alter the viability of the HEK293-hERG cells. It is con-cluded that Phα1β even at high concentrations does not interfere with hERG channels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1374.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. indicus TY-11; TEM; anti-E. coli activity; 16S metagenomics
Online: 22 November 2023 (05:58:27 CET)
The goal of the current study was to discover a novel potential probiotic strain of Lactobacillus spp. with anti-Escherichia coli activity from locally produced yogurt in Tongi, Gazipur, Bangladesh, compare its antagonistic activity with a commercial probiotic mixture of several strains, and approve a novel method for confirming the viability and relative abundance of the microbial community in a probiotic mixer. We carried out 16S sequencing, 16S metagenomics, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analysis, and other in vitro laboratory experiments to reach this objective. The strain TY-11 was identified as Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. indicus (16S sequence accession number OQ652026). It was gram-positive, anaerobic, lactose fermenting, and round-ended rod that typically measured 0.7 to 1.3 µm by 2.2 to 9 µm. In addition to having seven probiotic characteristics, it also showed an antagonistic impact on six different pathogens, but what's more noteworthy is that E. coli was the pathogen it inhibited most strongly (inhibition zone diameter was 18.88±0.18 mm). The most important and ground-breaking finding of this work was determining the probiotic features of a new probiotic strain, TY-11, whose antibacterial activity was virtually as effective as that of the probiotic combination with three different strains. Furthermore, the results of 16S high throughput sequencing and the conventional plate count method demonstrated a strong correlation (0.999) at the genus level, indicating that the use of both of these approaches in combination may be a practical way to assess the relative abundance of the microbial community and their viability in commercially available probiotic blends.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1262.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: maternal age; newborn metabolites; inborn errors of metabolism; public health; newborn screening; precision medicine
Online: 21 November 2023 (09:34:55 CET)
Pregnancy at advanced maternal age is considered a risk factor for adverse maternal, fetal, and neonatal outcomes. Here we investigated whether maternal age could be associated with differences in the blood levels of newborn screening (NBS) markers for inborn metabolic disorders on the Recommended Universal Screening Panel (RUSP). Population-level NBS data from screen-negative singleton infants were examined, which included blood metabolic markers and covariates such as gestational age, birth weight, age at blood collection, infant sex, parent-reported ethnicity, and maternal age at delivery. Marker levels were compared between maternal age groups (age range: 15-44 years) using effect size analyses, which controlled for group size differences and potential confounding from other covariates. Our results showed that 13% of the markers had maternal age-related differences including newborn metabolites with either increased (C14, C16, C18, C18:1, C3DC) or decreased (C5OH) levels at advanced maternal age group (≥35 years, absolute Cohen’s d ≥ 0.2). The increased C3DC levels in this group correlated with a higher false-positive rate in newborn screening for malonic acidemia (p-value < 0.001), while no significant difference in screening performance was seen for other markers. Maternal age at delivery is associated with inborn metabolic differences and should be considered together with other clinical variables in genetic disease screening.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1176.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: sulforaphane; osteoclasts; osteoclastogenesis; NRF2 and NF-KB
Online: 17 November 2023 (14:54:59 CET)
Sulforaphane, the native but unstable form of SFX-01, is an antioxidant that activates NRF2 and inhibits NF-KB pathways to achieve its actions. Resolving the mechanism(s) by which SFX-01 serves to control the various osteoclastogenic stages may expose pathways that could be explored for therapeutic use. Here we seek to identify the stage of osteoclastogenesis targeted by SFX-01 and explore whether, like SFN, it exerts its actions via the NRF2 and NF-KB pathways. Osteoclasts generated from the bone marrow (BM) of mice were cultured with SFX-01 at different timepoints to examine each phase of osteoclastogenesis separately. This showed that SFX-01 exerted actions throughout the process of osteoclastogenesis, but had its largest effects in the early osteoclast precursor differentiation stage. Thus, treatment with SFX-01 for the duration of culture, for the initial 3 days differentiation or for as little as the first 24 hours was sufficient for effective inhibition. This aligned with data suggesting that SFX-01 reduced DC-STAMP levels, osteoclast nuclear number and modified cytoskeletal architecture. Pharmacological regulation of NRF2 pathways, via selective inhibitors/activators, supported anti-osteoclastogenic roles for an SFX-01-mediated by NRF2 activation, as well as a need for tight NF-KB pathway regulation in osteoclast formation/function.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0461.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Genome-scale metabolic model reconstruction; manual curation; quick tips; systems biology
Online: 7 November 2023 (14:59:34 CET)
Constraint-based metabolic modeling approaches have enhanced our knowledge and understanding of the metabolism of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. This approach highly depends on the reconstruction process of genome-scale metabolic models (Mmodels). M-models can guide effective experimental design and yield new insights into the function and control of biological systems. Despite the recent advances in the automated generation of draft metabolic network reconstructions, the manual curation of these networks remains a labor-intensive and challenging task. Thus, these ten quick tips for the manual curation process are essential for optimizing high-quality metabolic model generation in less time. This collection of tips describes in great detail the resources and methods to ensure successful reconstruction. Furthermore, it increases the scope of other protocols of metabolic modeling by including resources to reconstruct eukaryotic organisms. Thus, all tips are applicable to a wide range of eukaryotic organisms. We believe this manuscript will interest a broad audience and researchers from different disciplines, spanning from microbiology and systems biology to biotechnology.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0380.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi; Discrete Typing Units; genomics; Chagas disease manifestations; ecoepidemiology
Online: 7 November 2023 (11:40:14 CET)
Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan causative of Chagas disease (ChD), exhibits striking genetic and phenotypic intraspecific diversity, along with ecoepidemiological complexity. Human-pathogen interactions lead to distinct clinical presentations of ChD. In 2009, an international consensus classified T. cruzi strains into six discrete typing units (DTUs), TcI to TcVI, later including TcBat, and proposed reproducible genotyping schemes for DTU identification. This article aims to review the impact of classifying T. cruzi strains into DTUs on our understanding of biological, ecoepidemio-logical, and pathogenic aspects of T. cruzi. We will explore the likely origin of DTUs and the intrinsic characteristics of each group of strains concerning genome organization, genomics, and suscepti-bility to drugs used in ChD treatment. We will also provide an overview of the association of DTUs with mammalian reservoirs, and summarize the geographic distribution, and the clinical implica-tions, of prevalent specific DTUs in ChD patients. Throughout this review, we will emphasize the crucial roles of both parasite and human genetics in defining ChD pathogenesis and chemotherapy outcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0200.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: hair follicles; regeneration; alopecia; colostrum; growth factors
Online: 3 November 2023 (11:17:19 CET)
Normally, people lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day and generate new ones from the stem cells of hair follicles, but in people suffering from baldness, the condition called alopecia or androgenetic alopecia, the stem cells remain inactive and are unable to regenerate new hair. The stages of hair growth have been studied to better understand how hair grows and what might be done to prevent or treat premature hair loss. Anagen is referred to as the active phase of hair growth in which the hair shaft is produced by the hair follicle, whereas during catagen and telogen phases the lower part of hair follicle regresses until its growth stops. Although 9% of hair follicles remain in telogen at any one time, a variety of factors including growth factors and cytokines promote the transition from telogen to anagen and the subsequent stimulation of hair growth. In this work, we discuss a new possible treatment, AMPLEX PLUS that could help significantly slow hair loss and encourage new hair growth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0195.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: biological profile; radiology; bone loss; forensic anthropology
Online: 3 November 2023 (11:14:46 CET)
Estimating age at death is essential to establish a biological profile from human skeletal remains in both forensic and archeological settings. Imaging studies of skeletal age changes in adults have described metamorphosis of trabecular bone structure and bone loss in the proximal femur , as well as changes in morphology during different stages of life. This study aims to assess the utility of a digital representation of conventional X-ray films of the proximal femur for the estimation of age at death in a sample of 91 adult individuals (47 females and 44 males) of the Coimbra Identified Skeletal Collection. The proposed approach showed a root mean squared error (RMSE) of 17.32 years (and mean absolute error of 13.47 years) for females and an RMSE of 14.06 years (mean absolute error of 11.08 years) for males. The main advantage of this approach is the consistency in the feature detection and extraction, as X-ray images projected on the femora space will always produce the same set features to be analyzed for age estimation while more traditional methods rely heavily on operator experience which can lead to inconsistent age estimates among experts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0878.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: AKT; cold atmospheric plasma; ERK; miRNA; oral carcinoma
Online: 13 October 2023 (10:04:03 CEST)
Despite recent advancements, therapies remain ineffective against advanced oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), resulting in unsatisfactory therapeutic outcomes. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) offers a promising approach in the treatment of malignant neoplasms. Yet, the exact mechanisms driving CAP-induced cancer cell death are not fully understood. This study revealed a significant reduction in the viability of OSCC cell lines, inactivation of AKT and ERK, and the downregulation of the miR-21, miR-31, miR-134, miR-146a and miR-211 expression followed the CAP treatment. Pretreatment with ZVAD, 3-MA, and Fer-1 synergistically reduced CAP-induced cell death, indicating a combined induction of variable death pathways by CAP. Activation of AKT and ERK, alongside combined treatments using death inhibitors and miRNA mimics, counteracted the cell mortality associated with CAP. CAP-induced downregulation of miR-21, miR-31, miR-187 and miR-211 expression was rescued by AKT and ERK activation. Additionally, CAP treatments notably inhibited the growth of SAS cell xenografts on nude mice. The reduced expression of oncogenic miRNAs in vivo aligned with in vitro findings. In conclusion, our study indicates that CAP jet treatment diminishes OSCC cell viability by abrogating survival signals and oncogenic miRNA expression.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0824.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: cultural heritage; monument degradation; fungal diversity; preservation and restoration
Online: 12 October 2023 (11:59:02 CEST)
This review resumes published data on fungal diversity in and within monuments (e.g., religious and secular monuments, museums, and statues), covering a multidisciplinary investigation into the complex interactions between fungi and cultural heritage structures. Fungi represent remarkable adversaries to monuments, potentially compromising their structural integrity and aesthetic value. Based on a bibliographic search of manuscripts published, the knowledge of fungal communities colonizing monuments was comprehensively assessed. This work first describes the diverse fungal species implicated in the degradation of monument materials (e.g., stone, metal, and glass). It elucidates the factors governing fungal colonization and proliferation in and within these structures (e.g., environmental conditions, construction materials, and human interventions). Finally, the efficacy of preservation and restoration techniques to mitigate fungal threats and safeguard our cultural heritage is also discussed. This synthesis highlights the pivotal role of mycological research in heritage conservation, and a platform for future studies to address critical knowledge gaps is provided. Understanding fungal diversity in and within monuments is critical to preserving these invaluable cultural treasures, as it informs targeted conservation strategies and ensures their longevity in the face of fungal challenges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0636.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Mucormycosis; Mucorales; Syncephalastrum; genotype; phenotype
Online: 11 October 2023 (03:35:24 CEST)
Mucormycosis is known to be a rare opportunistic infection caused by Syncephalastrum species, which are Mucorales fungi of the Zygomycetes class. These moulds are rarely involved in clinical diseases and are generally seen as contaminants in the clinical laboratory. However, in recent years, case reports of human infections due to Syncephalastrum have increased, especially in immunocompromised hosts. In this study, we describe two new Syncephalastrum species, which were isolated from human nails and sputum samples from two different patients. We used several methods of genomic and phenotypic characterisation. The phenotypic analysis, relied on morphological features, analysed both by optical and scanning electron microscopy. We used Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight mass spectrometry, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and BiologTM technology to characterise the proteomic, chemical mapping, and carbon source assimilation profiles, respectively. The genomic analysis relied on multilocus sequence analysis of the rRNA internal transcribed spacers and D1/D2 large-subunit domains, and fragments of the translation elongation factor 1-alpha, and the β-tubulin genes. The two novel species in the genus Syncephalastrum, namely S. massiliense PMMF0073 and S. timoneanum PMMF0107, have a similar morphology to S. racemosum, but each display distinct phenotypic and genotypic features. The polyphasic approach, combining the results of complementary phenotypic and genomic assays, was instrumental in describing and characterising these two new Syncephalastrum species.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0557.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: nerve regeneration; non-coding RNAs; exosome; traumatic brain injury; blood-brain barrier
Online: 10 October 2023 (03:25:35 CEST)
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, microvesicles, and other lipid vesicles derived from cells, play a pivotal role in intercellular communication by transferring information between cells. EVs secreted by progenitor and stem cells have been associated with the therapeutic effects observed in cell-based therapies, and they also contribute to tissue regeneration following injury, such as in orthopedic surgery cases. This review briefly explores the involvement of EVs in tissue repair and nerve regeneration, their potential as drug carriers, and their significance in stem cell research and cell-based therapies. It underscores the importance for bioengineers to comprehend and manipulate EV activity to optimize the efficacy of tissue engineering and regenerative therapies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0169.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: genetic code symmetry, mitochondrial genetic code, energy code, DNA quadruplet symmetry, classification of trinucleotides/codons
Online: 4 October 2023 (07:43:22 CEST)
The Supersymmetry Genetic code (SSyGC) table is based on five physicochemical symmetries: 1) double mirror symmetry on the principle of the horizontal and vertical mirror symmetry axis between all bases (purines [A, G) and pyrimidines (U, C)], and 2) of bases in form of codons 3) direct – complement like codon/anticodon symmetry in the sixteen alternating boxes of the genetic code columns, 4) A+T rich and C+G rich alternate codons in the same row between both columns of the genetic code, 5) the same position between divided and undivided codon boxes in relation to horizontal mirror symmetry axes. The SSyGC table has a unique physicochemical purine – pyrimidine symmetry net which is as the core symmetry common for all, more than thirty different nuclear and mitochondrial genetic codes. This net is present in the SSyGC table of all RNA and DNA living species. None of these symmetries is present in the Standard Genetic Code (SGC) table which is constructed on the alphabetic horizontal and vertical U-C-A-G order of bases. Here we show that the free energy value of each codon incorporated as fundamentally mapping the “energy code” in the SSyGC table is compatible with mirror symmetry. On the other hand, in the SGC table the same free energy values of codons are dispersed and a mirror symmetry between them is not recognizable. At the same time the mirror symmetry of the SSyGC table and the DNA quadruplets together with our classification of codons/trinucleotides are perfectly imbedded in the mirror symmetry energy mapping of codons/trinucleotides and point out in favor of maintaining the integrity of the genetic code and DNA genome. We also argue that physicochemical symmetries of the SSyGC table in the manner of the purine – pyrimidine symmetry net, the quadruplet symmetry of DNA molecule and the free energy of codons have remined unchanged during all of evolution. The unchangeable and universal symmetry properties of the genetic code, DNA molecule and energy code are decreasing disorder between codons/trinucleotides and shed a new light on evolution. Diversity in all living species on Earth is broad, but the symmetries of the Supersymmetry Genetic Code as the code of life and the DNA quadruplets related to the” energy code” are unique, unchangeable and have the power of natural laws.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1871.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: cognitive flexibility; mood; energy; concentration; motivation; nootropics
Online: 27 September 2023 (11:52:54 CEST)
This study assessed the acute effects of oral methylliberine (DynamineTM) supplementation on cognitive function and indices of well-being. This was a double-blind, randomized, within-subject crossover trial. 25 healthy men and women (33.5±10.7yr, 172.7±8.6cm, 73.3±11.0kg) underwent pretesting before ingesting methylliberine (100mg) or placebo (PLA) for 3 days. On the fourth day participants were tested before their 4th dose (baseline) and every hour post-ingestion for 3 hours. After a one-week washout period, participants repeated testing with the alternate investigational product. The testing battery consisted of vitals, Stroop test and Trail Making Test-B, and visual analog scales that assessed various indices of well-being. Mixed factorial ANOVA with repeated measures were used to assess all variables. There were significant (p≤0.050) interactions in concentration, motivation, and mood. Methylliberine improved concentration 1- and 3-hours, motivation 3 hours, and mood 1-, 2-, and 3 hours (p≤0.050). Methylliberine improved energy, sustained energy, and mood in all participants to a greater extent than PLA at 1-hour and 3-hours relative to baseline (p≤0.050). PLA improved motivation at 1- and 2-hours and mood at 2-hours (p≤0.050). Methylliberine improved concentration, well-being, and the ability to tolerate stress to a greater extent than PLA at 3-hours relative to baseline (p≤0.050). Women observed elevations in sustained energy 1- and 3-hours (p≤0.050) in methylliberine vs. PLA. Methylliberine had negligible influence on cognitive function, vitals (p>0.050), and no adverse events were reported. Methylliberine significantly improved subjective feelings of energy, concentration, motivation, and mood, but not cognitive function. PLA improved motivation and mood at hours 1 and 2, while methylliberine sustained benefits for longer. Methylliberine also improved concentration, well-being, and the ability to tolerate stress to a greater degree than PLA while having no detrimental effects on vital signs. Methylliberine also seems to have a positive impact on sustained energy in women.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1874.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: dehydration; drinking pattern; exercise; heat stress; physiological and perceptual functions
Online: 27 September 2023 (10:36:15 CEST)
A drinking strategy aiming to replace a given percentage of the sweat losses incurred during exercise should result in reproducible fluid intake volume and, hence, fluid balance from one exercise session to the other performed under similar scenarios. Whether this may also be the case with ad libitum drinking during exercise is unclear. We characterized the repeatability of ad libitum fluid intake during repeated 1 h exercise sessions and examine its effect over time on fluid balance and selected physiological functions and perceptual sensations. Twelve (3 women) healthy individuals participated in this study. At weekly intervals, they completed 4, 2 x 30 min walking/jogging exercise bouts (55% VO2max, 40°C, 20-30% relative humidity) interspersed by a 3 min recovery period. During exercise, participants replaced water (20°C) ad libitum. There were no significant differences among the 4 exercise sessions for absolute fluid intake volume (~ 1000 mL · h-1), percent body mass loss (~ 0.4%), sweat rate (~ 1300 mL · h-1) and percent of sweat loss replaced by fluid intake (~ 80%). Heart rate, rectal temperature and perceived thirst and heat stress did not differ significantly between the first and fourth exercise session. Perceived exertion was significantly lower during the fourth vs. the first exercise session, but the difference was trivial, < 1 arbitrary unit. In conclusion, ad libitum fluid intake during 4 successive identical 1 h walking/jogging sessions conducted in the heat will result in similar fluid intake volumes and perturbations in fluid balance, heart rate, rectal temperature and perceived thirst, heat stress and exertion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1498.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Floristic composition; Biological Spectrum; Sultan Khail Valley; Pakistan
Online: 22 September 2023 (08:32:26 CEST)
The present study was conducted to explore the floristic composition, life form, and leaf size spectrum of vegetation, seasonality, and habitat condition of the Sultan Khail valley, Hindu Kush range, Pakistan. Regular trips were arranged during 2017–2019 to collect plant specimens and prepare a checklist of the flora of the area. The life form and leaf size spectrum of vegetation were determined. The plant species were also classified based on their habitat. The area is home to 332 species belonging to 234 genera and 96 families. Asteraceae (32 species) was the dominant family in the area, followed by Rosaceae (28 species) and Lamiaceae (21 species). Therophytes were found to be dominant in the area, followed by phanerophytes, while microphylls were the dominant leaf size class, followed by nanophylls. Seasonal variation in life forms showed that the spring, autumn, and winter seasons' flora was dominated by phanerophytes, while therophytes were dominant in the summer season. Seasonal variation in leaf size spectra showed that microphylls were dominant in the spring and summer, while in the autumn and winter seasons, nanophylls were dominant. The highest numbers of species were found in dry places, followed by forests. The flora of the study area is diverse. The habitat condition of the area is dry. The area's phytoclimate is thero-phanerophytic. The flora of the area is subjected to severe anthropogenic stress and needs proper conservation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1481.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli; Shiga toxin subtype; Stx2n; Genome Sequence
Online: 21 September 2023 (11:26:00 CEST)
The sharing of genome sequences in online data repositories, allows for large scale analyses of specific genes or gene families. This can result in the detection of novel gene subtypes as well as development of improved detection methods. Here we used publicly available WGS data to detect a novel Stx subtype, Stx2n in two clinical E. coli strains isolated in the USA. During this process, additional Stx2 subtypes were detected; six Stx2j one Stx2m strain and one Stx2o, all were analyzed for variability from the originally described subtypes [1,2]. Complete genome sequences were assembled from short or long read sequencing and analyzed for serotype, and ST types. The stx2n and Stx2o WGS were further analyzed for virulence genes pro-phage analysis and phage insertion sites. Nucleotide and amino acid maximum parsimony trees showed expected clustering of the previously described subtypes and a clear separation of the novel Stx2n subtype. WGS data was used to design OMNI PCR primers for the detection of all known Stx1 (283 bp amplicon), Stx2 (400 bp amplicon), eae (222bp amplicon) and Stx2f (438 bp amplicon) subtypes. These primers were tested in three different laboratories, using standard reference strains. Analysis of complete genome sequence showed variability in serogroup, virulence genes, ST type, and Stx2 pro-pages showed variability in size, gene composition, and phage insertion sites. The isolates with Stx2n and Stx2o in this study demonstrated toxicity for Vero cells. The Stx2n strain were induced when grown with sub-inhibitory concentrations of Cip, and toxicity was detected. Taken together, these data highlight the need to reinforce genomic surveillance to identify the emergence of potential new Stx2 or Stx1 variants. The importance of this surveillance has a paramount impact in public health. Per our description in this study, we suggest that 2017C-4317 be designated as the Stx2n type-strain.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1328.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: ultrasound (US); multi-parametric ultrasound (mp-US); gray-scale ultrasound (GSUS); color-Doppler ultrasound (CDUS); contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS); sonoelastography (SE); testicular lesions; testicular tumors; differential diagnosis
Online: 20 September 2023 (04:34:09 CEST)
Background: Ultrasonography (US) represents the gold standard imaging method for the assessment of testicular lesions (TL). The gray-scale (GSUS) and color-Doppler (CDUS) ultrasound examination allow sonographers to investigate size, margins, echotexture and vascular features of TL, with the effort to differentiate benign from malignant lesions. Recently, the use of contrast-enhanced US (CEUS) and sonoelastography (SE) led to further improvements in the differential diagnosis of TL. Although GSUS and CDUS are often sufficient to suggest the benign or malignant nature of TL, CEUS can be decisive in the differential diagnosis of unclear findings, while SE can help to strengthen the diagnosis. The contemporary combination of GSUS, CDUS, CEUS and SE led to a new diagnostic paradigm named multiparametric US (mp-US), able to provide a more detailed characterization of TL than the single techniques alone. This narrative and pictorial review is aimed to describe the mp-US appearance of several TL. Methods: An extensive Medline search was performed identifying studies in the English language focusing on mp-US evaluation of TL. Results: a practical mp-US “identity card” and iconographic characterization of several benign and malignant TL is provided herein. Conclusions: the mp-US characterization of TL reported herein can be useful in daily clinical practice.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1277.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: body control; awareness; balance; training; assessment
Online: 20 September 2023 (03:28:25 CEST)
Proprioception is an essential part of human movement and body awareness. It is the body's perception of its own spatial understanding, which helps us to accurately move our limbs and maintain balance. Purpose: This study aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge and analyse bibliometric data about proprioception in gymnastics and acrobatics. Methodology: This article consisted of two phases: 1) a bibliometric review (based Web of Science) and 2) a systematic review (Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus) of literature. "Gymnast*", "propriocep*", were utilized as search terms to find and choose published data. From a total of 164 studies, 30 were included for data extraction (n participants= 1432 of different age, sports, physical activities, and physical condition. Heterogeneity of studies design and assessment make it difficult to interpret the outcomes and the effect of proprioceptive interventions and comparations between samples. Proprioception is difficult to define in gymnastics considering the evidence references and the physiological considerations. Also, assessment tools used do not necessary evaluate proprioception globally considering the senses involved in gymnastics. Gymnastics training enhances joint awareness and force sense, improving proprioception and reducing injury risk. Proprioceptive exercises should be incorporated into gymnastics programs to enhance stability and precision in movements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1138.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: burial; entombment; ossicular chain; postmortem imaging; postmortem interval; preservation; submersion
Online: 18 September 2023 (09:33:58 CEST)
Three tiny bones compose the human ossicular chain: malleus, incus and stapes. Also known as auditory ossicles, they are united by joints in the middle ear cavity of the petrous part of the temporal bone. Completely developed 2 years after birth, the ossicular chain is involved in the physiological process of hearing, by which sound waves from the environment are converted into electrochemical impulses. In the last 500 years, most studies have focussed on the morphogenesis, morphological variability and clinical pathology of the ossicular chain, whilst only a few studies have added relevant knowledge to anthropology and forensic science. The auditory ossicles and the enclosing petrous bone are some of the hardest in the human skeleton. This reflects in a relative resistance to fire. In the post mortem period and in favourable circumstances, the auditory ossicles can fossilize and survive for millions of years. Post mortem loss in skeletal or decomposed remains can be ascribed to their destruction or physical displacement, by either macro-micro-faunal action and/or any other natural or artificial disturbance. Physical displacement is closely connected to the depositional environment of the skeletal remains, such as burial, entombment (sarcophagus, coffin, vault…), submersion or exposure to natural elements. Auditory ossicles can be recovered in situ, or very close to their anatomical location, when the skeletal material has been involved in an archaeological excavation. In the case of accessible or disturbed remains, scavengers may remove the tiny ossicles, and/or they can slip out of the middle ear cavity following skull movements. Entombment offers an effective protection against the displacement of the auditory ossicles, whereas aquatic submersion and aquatic movement almost invariably displace them. The preservation of the human auditory ossicles should be critically considered in the comprehensive context of any forensic investigation on human remains, since it can assist the reconstruction of their taphonomic history. Taphonomic histories of remains can add crucial information to forensic investigations (e.g., the Post Mortem Interval, PMI). The aim of this study, limited by scarce relevant literature, is to discuss the potential role of the ossicular chain, detected by post mortem imaging techniques, as a taphonomical indicator in decomposing and/or skeletonized bodies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0773.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: chitosan hydrogels; bladder cancer; metformin; intravesical administration; orthotopic model
Online: 12 September 2023 (11:47:59 CEST)
Our previous study found that intravesical perfusion metformin has excellent inhibitory effects against bladder cancer (BC). However, this administration route allows the drug to be diluted and excreted in urine. Therefore, increasing the adhesion of metformin to the bladder mucosal layer may prolong the retention time and increase the pharmacological activity. It is well known that chitosan (Cs) has a strong adhesion to the bladder mucosal layer. Thus, this study established a novel for-mulation of metformin to enhance its antitumor activity by extending its retention time. In this research, we prepared Cs freeze-dried powder and investigated the effect of metformin-loaded chitosan hydrogels (MLCH) in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that MLCH had a strong in-hibitory effect against proliferation and colony formation in vitro. The reduction in BC weight and expression of tumour biomarkers in orthotopic mice showed the robust antitumor activity of MLCH via intravesical administration in vivo. The non-toxic profile of MLCH was observed as well, using histological examinations. Mechanistically, MLCH showed stronger functional activation of the AMPK/mTOR signalling pathway compared with metformin alone. These findings highlighted the potential of this novel formulation as an efficient candidate for managing BC via intravesical ad-ministration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0730.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: clopidogrel; pharmacogenetics; cytochrome P-450 CYP2C19; Clinical Data Warehouse; personalized medicine
Online: 12 September 2023 (07:15:53 CEST)
Clopidogrel is one of the most prescribed antiplatelet drugs for cardiovascular diseases prevention. Clopidogrel is a prodrug metabolised by CYP2C19 in active metabolites with anti-aggregant effect. Pharmacogenetic variants such as CYP2C19*2 variant can alter the anti-aggregant effect of clopidogrel leading to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease relapse. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prescription characteristics of CYP2C19 pharmacogenetics in patients on clopidogrel treatment, based on a specific query in a clinical data warehouse. We evaluated the demographics of patients, prescribers, medical indications, CYP2C19 pharmacogenetic tests and therapeutic changes. Neurologists were the main prescribers of CYP2C19 pharmacogenetic tests associated with clopidogrel treatment in a context of suspicion of stroke relapse. Pharmacogenetic tests were mainly prescribed a posteriori to clopidogrel prescription. Clopidogrel pharmacogenetic resistance was associated with the prescription of lysine acetylsalicylate in substitution of clopidogrel. Clear clinical practice guidelines are needed to position CYP2C19 pharmacogenetic testing for patients on clopidogrel treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0646.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: energy cost; endurance; training; technique; tactic; fatigue; performance; time series; mathematical modelling; sex difference
Online: 11 September 2023 (14:45:18 CEST)
Pacing strategy refers to the distribution of effort and speed throughout the race to achieve optimal performance. The study aims to understand whether the choice of pacing strategy in swimming depends on the length of competitions and how sex, age, and performance level influence this strategy. Participants were the finalists of the 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle events at the elite and junior world championships in 2022-2023. Race outcomes and pacing parameters were compared between the two distances and across different groups of swimmers. Swimmers in both distances did not break world records. Pacing strategy generally followed a U-shape with significant differences in the frequency and duration of speed changes between the two distances. The 800-meter exhibited more frequent changes in acceleration while the 1500-meter events generally followed a more consistent time series pattern. There were differences in pacing strategies between males and females and between junior and elite swimmers. Swimmers closer to world records showed more consistent pacing patterns compared to those farther from records. The study suggests that pacing strategies are influenced by race distance, sex, age, and performance level. The research highlights the complex interplay between physiological and psychological factors that shape a swimmer's decision-making during a race.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0518.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Oxidative stress; NADPH oxidase; Ethanol; Blood pressure; Endothelium
Online: 7 September 2023 (11:00:10 CEST)
Consumption of high amounts of ethanol is a risk factor for development of cardiovascular diseases such as arterial hypertension. The hypertensive state induced by ethanol is a complex multi-factorial event, and oxidative stress is a pathophysiological hallmark of vascular dysfunction associated with ethanol consumption. Increasing levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the vasculature triggers important processes underlying vascular injury, including accumulation of intracellular Ca2+ ions, reduced bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), endothelial dysfunction, and loss of the anticontractile effect of perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT). The enzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase plays a central role in vascular ROS generation in response to ethanol. Activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is an upstream mechanism which contributes to NADPH oxidase stimulation, overproduction of ROS and vascular dysfunction. This review discusses the mechanisms of vascular dysfunction induced by ethanol, detailing the contribution of ROS to these processes. Data examining the association between neuroendocrine changes and vascular oxidative stress induced by ethanol are also reviewed and discussed. These issues are of paramount interest to public health as ethanol contributes to blood pressure elevation in the general population, and it is linked to cardiovascular conditions and diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0253.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: stess; chronic fatigue syndrome; depression; dysbiosis; serotonin/cortisol
Online: 5 September 2023 (07:52:50 CEST)
Intestinal microbiota attracts daily attention of a growing number of study which have attempted to link gut dysbiosIs with a variety of disease states: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflamed bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease (CD), leaky gut syndrome (LGS), food intolerance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, etc.. In our study we analyzed how intestinal dysbiosis may be related to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and depression through the exchange of information through the gut-brain axis (GBA). We studied 33 subjects, 13 males and 20 females, who reported CFS or/and depression: we investigated their salivary cortisol levels, blood serotonin, omega 3/6 ratio, intestinal dysbiosis (calculated on the urinary levels of indoxyl sulfate and skatole), and we looked for the presence of Candida a. or mycetes in the stool; the data accumulated with this research show a correlation between the presence of Candida a./miceti, indoxyl sulfate urine values beyond the physiological and low serotonin levels. In addition, data analysis showed that the EPA/DHA values also show pro-inflammatory levels in case of dysbiosis and low serotonina levels. The relationship, however, with cortisol levels requires further research although this study showed a statistically significant positive correlation between these values, measured at specific times, and serotonin levels. Aims its connections with We investigated the relationship between stress (evaluated through the measurement of salivary cortisol levels) and gastrointestinal efficiency measured as a function of intestinal fermentative and putrefactive dysbiosis, evaluating the levels of urinary indoxyl sulfate in the first case (a possible correlation with the presence of Candida spp or Mycetes in the subjects feces was investigated), urinary skatole levels in the second one, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (SFC) and depression. In these patients we also have studied omega 3/6 ratio, and finally we have analized the impact that the alteration of these parameters can have on the serotonin levels. This research attemps to highlight the contact points, in some cases not so obvious, among these topics, contact points that, although they give us interesting indications, show the need to be further deepened by analyzing a larger amount of data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2199.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: antibacterial; glutamate metabolism; antimicrobial resistance; central metabolism; dipeptide permeases; phosphorus-containing glutamate analogues
Online: 31 August 2023 (13:18:01 CEST)
New antibiotics are unquestionably needed in the fight to the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria. So far, antibiotics targeting bacterial central metabolism have been poorly investigated. By determining the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of desmethylphosphinothricin (Glu-γ-PH), an analogue of glutamate with a phosphinic moiety re-placing the γ-carboxyl group, we previously showed its promising antibacterial activity on Escherichia coli. Herein we synthetized and determined the growth inhibition exerted on E. coli by an L-Leu dipeptide derivative of Glu-γ-PH (L-Leu-D,L-Glu-γ-PH). Furthermore, we compared the growth inhibition obtained with this dipeptide with that exerted by the free amino acid, i.e. Glu-γ-PH, and by their phosphonic and non-desmethylated analogues. All tested compounds were more effective when assayed in chemically defined minimal medium. The dipeptide L-Leu-D,L-Glu-γ-PH had a significantly improved antibacterial activity (2 μg/mL), at a concentra-tion between the non-desmethytaled (0.1 μg/mL) and the phosphonic (80 μg/mL) analogues. Also in Bacillus subtilis the dipeptide L-Leu-D,L-Glu-γ-PH displayed an activity comparable to that of the antibiotic amoxicillin. This work highlights the antibacterial relevance of the phosphinic pharmacophore and proposes new avenues to the development of novel antimicrobial drugs containing the phosphinic moiety.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2069.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: liver sinusoid; fenestrations; fenestrae; liver haemodynamic; CFD; liver fluid dynamic model; computational liver model
Online: 31 August 2023 (03:49:17 CEST)
The hepatic sinusoids are lined by thin endothelium containing transcellular pores dubbed fenestra. These fenestrations are completely open channels connecting the sinusoidal lumen to the underlying Space of Disse (SoD) and the hepatocytes of the liver parenchyma. The fenestrations are in the size range 0.05-0.35µm in diameter and cover between 5-15% of the sinusoidal endothelial surface area depending on their location along the sinusoids. Motivation/Research Question: So far, the narrowness of the sinusoids prevented the direct measurement of hemodynamic features such as sinusoidal pressure and flow velocity. A better understanding of these parameters might help in better understanding the physiology of the hepatic niche and possible implications in liver diseases. Few simulations of liver blood flow focus on the level of the individual sinusoid, fewer still include the transcellular pores (fenestrations) of the sinusoidal endothelium, and none have included i) a porosity gradient along the sinusoid wall modelled with through-all pores rather than a porus medium, ii) the presence of the Space of Disse, iii) lymphatic drainage. Model: Computed fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations performed using a numerical model with relevant anatomical characteristics (length, diameter, porous size and porosity). Boundary conditions included physiological/pathological values of inlet/outlet pressure and lymphatic outflow from the portal region of the SoD. Results: The pressure and flow velocity of the sinusoidal lumen was entirely dependent on the shape, i.e. constant versus divergent radius and not dependent on porosity in the sinusoidal wall. The velocity through the space of Disse (SoD) was affected by the addition of lymphatic drainage and increases in porosity in the pericentral area of the model. Variations in porosity also affected flow velocity through the fenestrations. Conclusions: The flow velocity in the SoD was modified by differences in porosity, while the flow velocity in the lumen of the sinusoids was unaffected, even by the absence of fenestrations. The overall shape of the vessel is the singular most important factor in the pressure flow behavior of the sinusoidal lumen. The flow rate over the hepatocytes is the flow rate through the SoD, and is modestly affected by the distribution of porosity along the sinusoid, and by the addition of a lymphatic drainage, this parameter would be of interest for modelling blood exchange with the hepatic parenchyma, especially if accounting for zonation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2027.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: central nervous system tumor; co-expression network; drug repurposing
Online: 30 August 2023 (09:04:04 CEST)
Primary central nervous system and brain tumors are one of the global burdens that are continuously increasing in cases and requiring more treatment options. Surgery has been the leading treatment option for tumors, however, the localization of the tumor and its infiltrating nature make this option challenging. DNA microarray expression profiles of different CNS tumors provide insight into potential biomarkers for identifying different tumor types and subtypes. Here, we utilized the differentially expressed genes common in four expression profiles, GSE66354, GSE68848, GSE74195, and GSE43290 to reconstruct the gene co-expression network. In this study, we were able to identify preserved cluster genes, hub genes, co-regulating transcription factors, miRNA families, and candidate repurposed drugs. Fourteen identified hub genes, which were, CACNA1A, DNM1, GABRA1, GRIA2, MAPT, SLC17A7, SNAP25, SNAP91, STXBP1, SYT1, COL1A1, COL6A2, FBN2, and FN1 appeared to play a role in tumor progression and may serve as drug targets. We also reported the DEGs in each tumor type, which were ATRT, EPN, PA, MED, PNET, MEN, ACM, ODG, and GBM. Five identified miRNA families, which were, let-7 family, mir-124 family, mir-1 family, mir-103 family, and mir-27 family described in the literature to have tumor-suppressing characteristics. Drug-gene and drug-transcription factor network revealed 32 candidate repurposed drugs and 13 were validated through connectivity map analysis. Here, two main repurposed drugs fit the regulatory requirement for gene interaction, these were, quercetin and vorinostat. Future validation in experimental studies may utilize the future use of the candidate repurposed drugs. Our study provides insights into drug repurposing prospects and understanding tumor expressions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1749.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: retinoblastoma; TFF1; aqueous humor; liquid biopsy; therapy monitoring
Online: 24 August 2023 (12:33:18 CEST)
Effective management of retinoblastoma (RB), the most prevalent childhood eye cancer, depends on reliable monitoring and diagnosis. A promising candidate in this context is the secreted trefoil family factor peptide 1 (TFF1), recently discovered as a promising new biomarker in patients with a more advanced subtype of retinoblastoma. The present study investigated TFF1 expression within aqueous humor (AH) of enucleated eyes and compared TFF1 levels in AH and corresponding blood serum samples from RB patients undergoing intravitreal chemotherapy (IVC). TFF1 was consistently detectable in AH, confirming its potential as a biomarker. Crucially, our data confirmed that TFF1 secreting cells within the tumor mass originate from RB tumor cells, not from surrounding stromal cells. IVC therapy responsive patients exhibited remarkably reduced TFF1 levels post-therapy. By contrast, RB patients` blood serum displayed low to undetectable levels of TFF1 even after sample concentration and no therapy-dependent changes were observed. Our findings suggest that compared to blood serum AH represents the more reliable source for TFF1 if used for liquid biopsy RB marker analysis in RB patients. Thus, analysis of TFF1 in AH of RB patients potentially provides a minimal invasive tool for monitoring RB therapy efficacy, suggesting its importance for effective treatment regimens.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1600.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Dietary Intake; Macronutrients; Sport Nutrition; Sport Performance; Football; VO2max
Online: 23 August 2023 (09:35:58 CEST)
This study represents the first to examine the nutritional status of Moroccan football players. The aim of this research is to assess the energy and macronutrient intake of professional players from a club competing in the Moroccan professional league "Botola-Pro." Moreover, the study tries to find the potential correlation between nutritional intake and physical performance. A total of 27 professional players participated in a seven consecutive-day study, during a microcycle of the preseason period. The dietary intake was evaluated using the self-reported, complemented by a 24-hour recall. The InBody 120 bioelectrical impedance was employed for assessing body composition measurements, while the Yo-Yo test was utilized to evaluate physical performance; which estimates the maximal oxygen consumption level (VO2max). Among these players, their protein intake levels aligned with recommendations (1.6 to 2.2 g/kg of Body Mass). On the other hand, fat intake slightly surpassed the recommended values. However, carbohydrate intake was relatively subdued compared to recommendations of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in the pre-season training phase. A positive correlation was observed (P-value of < 0.001 and R=0.831) between carbohydrate intake and the measure of VO2max. This suggests that an increase in carbohydrate consumption is associated with enhanced performance, especially within the range of 6 to 8 g/kg BM per day. Conversely, a negative correlation was identified (P-value of < 0.01 and R= − 0.847) between the percentage of dietary fat and the VO2max. The findings of this study highlight areas of nutrition that could be enhanced among professional football players to optimize their performance. In effect, nutritional education is necessary for this category of athletes. Thus, an individual care approach is strongly recommended.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1451.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Genetics and Genomics; Evolutionary Biology; Zoology
Online: 22 August 2023 (03:43:10 CEST)
The Oriental ratsnake Ptyas mucosa is a common non-venomous snake of the colubrid family, with a wide geographic range spanning much of South and Southeast Asia. P. mucosa is widely cultivated dut to it used in traditional medicine, scientific research, and handicrafts. Therefore, genome resources could play an important role in the efficacy of traditional medicine and the analysis of the living environment of the species. We collected a snake sample in Hezhou, Guangxi, China, which was identified as P. mucosa by morphological identification. Here we present a highly continuous P. mucosa genome with a genome size of 1.74Gb. The scaffold N50 length is 9.57Mb and the maximal length of scaffold is 78.3Mb, the P. mucosa genome has a CG content of 37.9% and the integrity of the gene reached 86.6%.Assembled using long-reads, the total length of the repeat sequence in the genome reached 735 Mb, and its repeat content was as high as 42.19%. A total of 24,869 functional genes were annotated. This study will assist in the understanding of the P. mucosa, and also provide a basis for medicinal research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1168.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: methylseleninic acid; sodium selenite; selenous acid; selenomethionine, cytokines, cytokine storm; COVID-19
Online: 16 August 2023 (08:06:28 CEST)
COVID-19 patients suffer from detrimental effects of cytokine storm and not much success has been achieved to overcome this issue. We sought to test the ability of selenium in reducing the impact of two important cytokine storm players; IL-6 and TNF-a. The effects of four selenium compounds were evaluated on the secretion of these cytokines from THP-1 macrophages in vitro following LPS challenge. Also, potential impact of methylseleninic acid (MSeA) on Nrf2 and IkBa was determined following short treatment of THP-1 macrophages. MSeA was observed to be the most potent selenium form to reduce IL-6 and TNF-a levels among the four selenium compounds tested. In addition, an increase in Nrf2 and decrease in pIkBa in human macrophages was observed following MSeA treatment. Our data indicate that COVID-19 patients might benefit by suppressing their cytokine storm with addition of MSeA to the standard therapy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1042.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Sphingolipid, Diabetes, Obesity, Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetic Kidney Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetic Complications
Online: 14 August 2023 (11:14:44 CEST)
Sphingolipids play an important role in the development of diabetes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as in the development of both micro- and macro-vascular complications. Several reviews have been published concerning the role of sphingolipids in diabetes but most of the emphasis has been on the possible mechanisms by which sphingolipids, mainly ceramides, contribute to the development of diabetes. Research on circulating levels of the different classes of sphingolipids in serum and in lipoproteins and their importance as biomarkers to predict not only the development of diabetes but also of its complications has only recently emerged and it is still in its infancy. This review summarizes the previously published literature concerning sphingolipid-mediated mechanisms involved in the development of diabetes and its complications focusing on how circulating plasma sphingolipid levels and the relative content carried by the different lipoproteins may impact their role as possible biomarkers both in the development of diabetes and mainly in the development of diabetic complications. Further studies in this field may open new therapeutic avenues to prevent or arrest/reduce both the development of diabetes and progression of its complications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1012.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: PEG10; PEG11/RTL1; RTL/SIRH genes; placenta; brain; innate immunity; human disease; mammalian development and evolution
Online: 14 August 2023 (09:58:16 CEST)
Eutherians have 11 retrotransposon Gag-like (RTL)/sushi-ichi retrotransposon homolog (SIRH) genes presumably derived from a certain retrovirus. Accumulating evidence indicates that the RTL/SIRH genes play a variety of roles in the current mammalian developmental system, such as in the placenta, brain and innate immune system in a eutherian-specific manner. It has been shown that the functional role of Paternally Expressed 10 (PEG10) in placental formation is unique to the therian mammals, as are the eutherian-specific roles of PEG10 and PEG11/RTL1 in maintaining the fetal capillary network and the endocrine regulation of RTL7/SIRH7 (aka Leucine Zipper Down-Regulated in Cancer 1 (LDOCK1)) in the placenta. In the brain, PEG11/RTL1 is expressed in the corticospinal tract and hippocampal commissure, mammalian-specific structures, and in the corpus callosum, a eutherian-specific structure. Unexpectedly, at least three RTL/SIRH genes, RTL5/SIRH8, RTL6/SIRH3 and RTL9/SIRH10, play important roles in combating a variety of pathogens, viruses, bacteria and fungi, respectively, suggesting that the innate immunity system of the brain in eutherians has been enhanced by the emergence of these new components. In this review, we will summarize the function of 10 out of the 11 RTL/SIRH genes and discuss their roles in eutherian development and evolution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0696.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: vitamin D; supplements; sport nutrition; swimming; adolescent athletes.
Online: 9 August 2023 (09:49:06 CEST)
The purpose of this research was two-fold: (a) to observe whether highly trained adolescent swimmers abide to vitamin D supplement recommendations; and (b) to monitor changes in circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) that occur between the autumn and winter months. Twenty swimmers (age: 17 ± 2 years) from a UK high-performance swimming club volunteered to complete two blood spot cards to determine 25(OH)D concentration: the first in an autumn training phase (October) and the second during winter training (January). All swimmers were advised to consume vitamin D3 supplements across the assessment period; however, only 50% of swimmers adhered to this recommendation. Resultantly, a winter decline in 25(OH)D was observed in non-supplementing swimmers (79.6 ± 25.2 to 52.6 ± 15.1 nmol·L-1, p = 0.005), with swimmers either displaying an ‘insufficient’ (60%) or ‘deficient’ (40%) vitamin D status. In comparison, greater maintenance of 25(OH)D occurred in supplementing swimmers (92.0 ± 25.5 to 97.2 ± 38.3 nmol·L-1, p = 0.544), although variable outcomes occurred at the individual level (four increased, three maintained, three declined). These findings highlight possible risks of vitamin D insufficiency during the winter for swimmers in the UK, possibly requiring standardised supplement practices. Moreover, alternative educational strategies may be required for swimmers to transfer knowledge to practice in order to improve supplement adherence in future.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0651.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: cancer; adhesion; metastasis; inhibition; therapeutic approaches; targeted therapies
Online: 9 August 2023 (02:48:16 CEST)
This comprehensive review delves into cancer's complexity, focusing on adhesion, metastasis, and inhibition. It explores the pivotal role of these factors in disease progression and therapeutic strategies. This review covers cancer cell migration, invasion, and colonization of distant organs, emphasizing the significance of cell adhesion and the intricate metastasis process. Inhibition approaches targeting adhesion molecules, such as integrins and cadherins, are discussed. Overall, this review contributes significantly to advancing cancer research and developing targeted therapies, holding promise for improving patient outcomes worldwide. Exploring different inhibition strategies revealed promising therapeutic targets to alleviate adhesion and metastasis of cancer cells. The effectiveness of integrin-blocking antibodies, small molecule inhibitors targeting FAK and the TGF-β pathway, and combination therapies underscores their potential to disrupt focal adhesions and control epithelial-mesenchymal transition processes. The identification of as FAK, Src, β-catenin and SMAD4 offers valuable starting points for further research and the development of targeted therapies. The complex interrelationships between adhesion and metastatic signaling networks will be relevant to the development of new treatment approaches.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0334.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: biofilm; colonization; degradation; microorganisms; subtidal, intertidal and splash zones; extracellular polymeric materials (EPS)
Online: 3 August 2023 (10:52:52 CEST)
Concrete is the most utilized construction material worldwide. In the marine environment, it is subject to chemical degradation through reactions with chloride (the most important ion), sulfate and magnesium ions in seawater and to biodeterioration resulting from biological (initially microbiological) activities, principally acid production. These two types of corrosion are reviewed and the failure of attempts to predict the degree of deterioration resulting from each is noted. Chemical (abiotic) corrosion is greatest in the splash zone of coastal constructions, while phenomenological evidence suggests that biodeterioration is greatest in tidal zones. There have been no comparative experiments to determine the rates and types of microbial biofilm formation in these zones. Both chemical and microbiological concrete deterioration are complex and have not been successfully modeled. The interaction between abiotic corrosion and biofilm formation is considered. EPS can maintain surface hydration, potentially reducing abiotic corrosion. The early marine biofilm contains relatively specific bacterial colonizers, including cyanobacteria and proteobacteria; these change over time, producing a generic concrete biofilm, but adhesion of microorganisms to concrete in the oceans is little investigated. The colonization of artificial reefs is briefly discussed. Concrete appears to be a relatively prescriptive substrate, with modifications necessary to increase colonization for the required goal of increasing biological diversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0123.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Entropy; Electron-Ion Interaction Potential; COVID-19; Phylogenetic analysis; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 2 August 2023 (03:29:01 CEST)
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, causative agent of COVID-19, is known for its genetic diversity. Virus variants of concern (VOCs) as well as variants of interest (VOIs) are classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) according to their potential risk to global health. This study seeks to enhance the identification and classification of such variants by developing a novel bioinformatics criterion centered on the virus's spike protein (SP1), a key player in host cell entry, immune response, and a mutational hotspot. To achieve this, we pioneered a unique phylogenetic algorithm which calculates EIIP-entropy as a distance measure based on the distribution of the Electron-Ion Interaction Potential (EIIP) of amino acids in SP1. This method offers a comprehensive, scalable, and rapid approach to analyze large genomic data sets and predict the impact of specific mutations. This innovative approach provides a robust tool for classifying emergent SARS-CoV-2 variants into potential VOCs or VOIs. It could significantly augment surveillance efforts and understanding of variant characteristics, while also offering potential applicability to the analysis and classification of other emerging viral pathogens and enhancing global readiness against emerging and re-emerging viral pathogens.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1838.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: terpenes; metallic ions; complexes; microencapsulation; biofilm
Online: 28 July 2023 (10:49:06 CEST)
Microbiological risk associated to abiotic surfaces is one of the most important issue worldwide. Surface contaminations by pathogenic bacterial biofilms or adherent cell affect a number of sectors including medical services, food industries, human services, and the environment. There is a need to synthesize or to setup novel antimicrobials. Terpenes are usually found in essential oils and have potent antimicrobial activities. However, the direct use of these molecules is often inefficient due to their low water solubility, loss of volatile compounds, thermal degradation, oxidation and toxicity. The need for biosourced compounds with antimicrobial activity, low toxicity and low cost promote the search for new stable metal complexes based on terpene ligands. This will enable the manufacture of value-added products with a lower environmental impact, as well as the production of high value added commodities. The goal of this review is to discuss the development of novel antimicrobial complexes derived from terpenes. In addition, this review explored how to improve their bioactivities and characteristics by using a formulation based on microencapsulation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1250.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: tardigrade; reproduction; taxonomy; distribution; microbiome
Online: 18 July 2023 (14:14:36 CEST)
Paramacrobiotus species has been described from almost every corner of the world. To date 45 species have been reported from this genus. The species’ presence in different climatic conditions and habitat provides evidence of their adaptation to various harsh environments. In this review, we provide a concise summary of changes observed due to various cryptobiotic conditions in many species of this genus, geographical distribution of all the species, feeding behaviour, life history, microbiome community, Wolbachia endosymbiont identification, reproduction, phylogeny and general taxonomy of the species from genus Paramacrobiotus. Furthermore, we provide a new diagnostic key to the genus Paramacrobiotus based on the morphological and morphometric characters of adults and eggs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1067.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: diurnals butterflies; farmland; edges flora; migratory butterflies
Online: 17 July 2023 (10:30:26 CEST)
Farmland edge plants can support high butterfly richness. Our objective was determine if, even in farms under intensive cultivation, the diversity of plants (mostly native) in crop edges is enough to sustain a high species richness of butterfly. We characterized the vegetation on the edges of Medicago sativa farms in central Mexico and identified the species of diurnals butterflies (Rhopalocera) associated. Butterflies and plants were counted along transects at the edges of a cul-tivated field during 24 months. We found 2710 individuals of plants, belonging to 48 different species from 24 families; 1749 individuals of diurnal butterflies, belonging to 57 species from six families. Most than half of the plant species found were native flora of central Mexico and with ethnobotanical use. A similarity analysis test showed significant differences in floristic composi-tion between transects. The Canonical Correspondence Analysis between butterfly species and plant families showed three groups. Six butterfly species were migratory and four mexican en-demic species, most of them associated with a group formed by Amaranthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Annonaceae Lamiaceae Apiaceae and Fabaceae families. The high diversity of plants in our agro-ecosystem plays an important role to sustain a high diversity of butterflies and could be useful as biological corridors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0857.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: wet granulation; acoustic classification; machine learning; convolutional neural networks
Online: 12 July 2023 (13:45:27 CEST)
Wet granulation is a frequent process in the pharmaceutical industry. As a starting point for numerous dosage forms, the quality of the granulation not only affects subsequent production steps but also impacts the quality of the final product. It is thus crucial and economical to monitor this operation thoroughly. Here, we report on identifying different phases of a granulation process using a machine learning approach. The phases reflect the water content which in turn influences the processability and quality of the granule mass. We used two kinds of microphones and an acceleration sensor to capture acoustic emissions and vibrations. We trained convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to classify the different phases using transformed sound recordings as the input. We achieved a classification accuracy of up to 90 % using vibrational data and an accuracy of up to 97 % using the audible microphone data. Our results indicate the suitability of using audible sound and machine learning to monitor pharmaceutical processes. Moreover, since recording acoustic emissions is contactless, it readily complies with legal regulations and present Good Manufacturing Practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0644.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Habenaria dentata; medicinal orchid plant; genetic diversity; ISSR; cluster analysis
Online: 11 July 2023 (03:11:34 CEST)
In order to explore the genetic diversity of the extremely small population wild plant Habenaria dentata and protect and optimize its wild resources. The genetic diversity of 133 samples from 6 wild populations of H.dentata was analyzed by ISSR molecular marker technique to provide a scientific basis for the screening of improved germplasm resources. The results show that the average number of alleles (Na) was 1.765, the average number of effective alleles (Ne) was 1.424, the average Nei 's gene diversity index (He) was 0.252, the average Shannon information diversity index (I) was 0.381, and the average percentage of polymorphic loci (PPL) was 76.499%. The variation within populations was 77.34%, and the variation between populations was 22.66%. Gene flow (Nm) was 1.705 8, greater than 1. The results of cluster analysis showed that the six populations were mainly divided into four branches and not classified according to geographical location. There was no significant correlation between geographical location and genetic distance between populations (r=0.557, P>0.05). The genetic diversity of H.dentata is high. Among the six wild populations, the genetic diversity of Mulun population is the highest and this population can be used as a key protection unit.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0542.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: eye health; visual impairment; age-related macular degeneration; glaucoma; retinitis pigmentosa; diabetic retinopathy; therapeutic strategies
Online: 10 July 2023 (08:29:38 CEST)
Visual impairment and blindness are a growing public health problem, as they reduce the quality of life of millions of people. The management and treatment of these diseases represent a scientific and therapeutic challenge, since the different cellular and molecular actors involved in the pathophysiology are still being identified. The visual system components, particularly the retinal cells, are extremely sensitive to genetic or metabolic alterations, and immune cells activated by insults contribute to biological events that culminate with vision loss and irreversible blindness. Several ocular diseases are linked to retinal cell loss, and diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are characterized by pathophysiological hallmarks that represent possibilities to study and develop novel treatments for retinal cells degeneration. Here, we present a compilation of revisited information on retinal degeneration, including pathophysiologic and molecular features, biochemical hallmarks and possible directions for novel treatments, aiming to assist as a guide for innovative research. The expansion of knowledge of the mechanistic bases of the pathobiology of eye diseases, including information on the complex interactions of genetic predisposition, chronic inflammation, and environmental and aging-related factors will allow the identification of new therapeutic strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0418.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: sport nutrition; ergogenic aids; swimming; adolescent athletes.; supplements
Online: 6 July 2023 (10:58:16 CEST)
The aim of this study was to observe the nutritional supplement practices of highly trained swimmers on a national talent pathway, since it is often reported that swimmers engage in widespread supplement use at the elite level. Thus, this study conducted short interviews based on a validated supplement intake questionnaire with forty-four swimmers from a high-performance swimming club, which had three distinct talent stages: development (aged 11–14 years, n = 20), age-group (aged 13 – 17 years, n = 13), and national level (aged ≥16 years, n = 11). Ninety-eight percent of the interviewed swimmers reported using at least one supplement, with performance (34%) and recovery (19%) cited as the primary reasons. National swimmers used more total supplements (8.1 ± 3.4 supplements) compared to age-group (4.8 ± 2.0 supplements, p = 0.003, g = 1.17) and development (3.9 ± 1.7 supplements, p <0.001, g = 1.69) swimmers, mostly because of a greater intake of ergogenic aids (2.4 ± 1.4 supplements vs. age-group: 0.5 ± 0.5 sup-plements, p <0.001, g = 1.12; vs. development: 0.1 ± 0.2 supplements, p <0.001, g = 1.81). Par-ents/guardians were the primary supplement informants of development swimmers (74%, p <0.001, V = 0.50), whereas performance nutritionists informed ~50% of supplements used by age-group and national swimmers (p <0.001, V = 0.51). Based on these results, supplement edu-cation and greater focus on basic sport nutrition practices may be required for parents/guardians at the development level. Moreover, further research is needed to support the high number of ergogenic aids used by national swimmers, with the efficacy of these supplements currently equivocal in the applied setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2201.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Sport; Micronuclei; Gene Polymorphisms; Buccal Mucosa Cells
Online: 30 June 2023 (10:35:44 CEST)
Regular physical activity is considered one of the most valid tools able to reduce the risk of on-set of many diseases in humans. However, it is known that intense physical activity is able to induce high levels of genomic damage, while a moderate exercise was found to induce a favora-ble adaptive response by the organism. We evaluated, in a sample of amateur athletes practicing different disciplines, the level of genomic damage by means of the buccal micronuclei assay, comparing obtained data with those of subjects who practiced sport occasionally or that do not practiced any sport. The aim was to evaluate whether physical activity affects background levels of genomic damage and whether the different sports disciplines, as well as some genes poly-morphisms, differentially affect these levels. A total of 206 subjects, 125 athletes and 81 controls, were recruited. Athletes showed significantly lower values of micronuclei, nuclear buds and bi-nucleated cells with respect to controls. Sprinters and martial arts athletes showed significantly higher frequencies of micronuclei than other categories of athletes. Finally, neither sex nor gene polymorphisms seem to influence the levels of genomic damage, confirming that the observed genomic damage is probably due to the type of the sport activity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2210.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: aquaporins; AQP4; AQP1; antibodies; autoimmunity; CNS demyelination; NMOSD
Online: 30 June 2023 (10:16:07 CEST)
Aquaporins (AQPs; AQP0-AQP12) are water channels expressed in many and diverse cell types, participating in various functions of cells, tissues and systems, including the central nervous system (CNS). AQP dysfunction and autoimmunity to AQPs are implicated in several diseases. The best-known example of autoimmunity against AQPs is the antibodies to AQP4 which are involved in the pathogenesis of Neuromyelitis Optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a demyelinating disease of the CNS. The present review focuses on the discovery and the potential role of antibodies against AQP1 in the CNS, and their potential involvement in CNS demyelination and specifically in NMOSD. We describe (a) the several techniques developed for the detection of the AQP1-antibodies, with emphasis on methods that specifically identify antibodies targeting the extracellular domain of AQP1, i.e., those of potential pathogenic role, and (b) the available evidence supporting the pathogenic relevance of AQP1-antibodies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1908.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Polymerase chain reaction; DNA polymerases; Intra-protein interactions; Protein satbility
Online: 27 June 2023 (12:46:21 CEST)
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a widely used technique in the biosciences and has become increasingly popular in recent years. One of the key elements of this technique is the use of a DNA polymerase that is heat-stable and retains fidelity during the process. To this end, archaeal Fam-ily-B DNA polymerases are preferred due to their high thermostability and fidelity. In particular, the DNA polymerase from Thermus aquaticus (Taq DNApol) is widely utilized in PCR procedures. In this work, a novel in-silico structure-based methodology was employed to examine the most heat-tolerant DNA polymerase available. In spite of this, Thermococcus kodakarensis and Geobacillus stearothermophilus DNApol are more stable and heat-tolerant DNApols due to their high number of intra-protein interactions. Variations in the content of polar amino acids also played a significant role in the increase in heat stability. A further factor contributing to the stability of proteins is the stabilization of helix in secondary structure through the use of charged amino acids. DNApol from these organisms has been shown to be suitable for use in PCR, as well as in other biological processes able to withstand high temperatures. In this study, it has been demonstrated that im-provements in PCR performance can be easily obtained by blending elements from closely related archaeal polymerases, a strategy that may, in the future, be extended to other archaeal polymer-ases. This approach allowed for a comprehensive analysis of the enzyme's thermal stability and fidelity, leading to an improved understanding of the polymerase's properties and potential ap-plications
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1650.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Esophageal cancer; Targeted drug therapies; Pathway targeting; Drug resistance; Patient survival rates
Online: 23 June 2023 (09:44:00 CEST)
Esophageal cancer is a formidable challenge in the realm of cancer treatment. Conventional methods such as surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy have demonstrated limited success rates in managing this disease. In response, targeted drug therapies have emerged as a promising strategy to improve outcomes for patients. These therapies aim to disrupt specific pathways involved in the growth and development of esophageal cancer cells. This review explores various drugs used to target specific pathways, including cetuximab and monoclonal antibodies (gefitinib) that target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), trastuzumab that targets human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), drugs targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), mTOR inhibitors, and cMET inhibitors. Additionally, the article discusses the impact of drug resistance on the effectiveness of these therapies, highlighting factors such as cancer stem cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, immune-inflammatory cells, cytokines, hypoxia, and growth factors. While drug targeting approaches do not provide a complete cure for esophageal cancer due to drug resistance and associated side effects, they offer potential for improving patient survival rates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1628.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Epidemic Spatial Heterogeneity; Diversity; Spatio-Temporal Patterns; Cluster Analysis
Online: 22 June 2023 (12:45:04 CEST)
Results from an explorative study revealing spatio-temporal patterns of the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 epidemic in Germany are presented. We dispense with contestable model assumptions and show the intrinsic spatio-temporal patterns of the epidemic dynamics. The analysis is based on COVID-19 incidence data, which are age-stratified and spatially resolved at the county level, provided by the Federal Government’s Public Health Institute of Germany (RKI) for public use. Although the 400 county-related incidence time series show enormous heterogeneity both with respect to temporal features as well as spatial distributions, the counties’ incidence curves organise into well distinguished clusters that coincide with East and West Germany. The analysis is based on dimensionality reduction, multidimensional scaling, network analysis, and diversity measures. Dynamical changes are captured by means of difference-in-difference methods which are related to fold changes of the effective reproduction numbers. The age-related dynamical patterns suggest a considerably stronger impact of children, adolescents and seniors on the epidemic activity than previously expected. Besides these concrete interpretations, the work mainly aims at providing an atlas for spatio-temporal patterns of the epidemic which serves as a basis to be further explored with the expertise from different disciplines, particularly sociology and policy makers. The study should also be understood as a methodological contribution to getting a handle on the unusual complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1519.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: biomechanics; martial arts; impact force; maximum velocity
Online: 21 June 2023 (10:01:17 CEST)
Impact force and maximum velocity are important indicators of kick efficiency in fighting activities. Therefore, this systematic review compared the front kick (FK) and roundhouse kick (RK), including maximal and impact force, maximum velocity, maximum angular velocity, and execution time, at different target types and experience levels. The Web of Science, SportDiscus, and PubMed were systematically searched from January 1982 to May 2022, according to PRISMA guidelines. The normalized kicking values were compared using one-way ANOVA. Eighteen articles, including FK with a pooled sample of 113 elite men, 109 sub-elite men, and 46 novices, and 25 articles, including RK with a sample of 238 elite men, 143 sub-elite men, and 27 novice men, fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The primary findings were that the impact forces of FK were higher than RK for the novice, sub-elite, and elite groups by 47% (p<0.01), 92% (p<0.01), and 120% (p<0.01), respectively. Moreover, the maximum foot velocity of RK was faster than FK for the sub-elite and elite groups by 44% (p<0.01) and 48% (p<0.01), respectively. The Elite group had 65% (p<0.01) higher knee extension angular velocity within RK than FK, and 138% (p<0.01) higher hip extension angular velocity within FK than RK.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1332.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; natural products; phytochemicals; chemotherapeutics; chemoprevention
Online: 19 June 2023 (09:04:03 CEST)
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a type of cancer that arises from the epithelium lining of the oral cavity, hypopharynx, oropharynx, and larynx. Despite advancement of the current treatment to HNSCC, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, the overall survival rate of HNSCC remains poor due to late diagnosis and acquired resistance to treatment. Natural products have been extensively explored as a safer and more acceptable alternative to current treatments, with numerous studies displaying their potential against HNSCC. This review highlights preclinical studies in the past 5 years involving natural products against HNSCC and explores the signalling pathways altered by these products. This review also addresses challenges and future directions of the use of natural products as chemotherapeutic and chemoprevention agents against HNSCC.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1236.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: biosensor; SOI-FET; transistor; detection; virus; particles; probability; plausibility
Online: 16 June 2023 (11:49:20 CEST)
Detection of virus in sample is an actual problem in biotechnology, virology, medicine using biosensor. History of problem dates back to middle of last century and is associated with development of an ion-sensitive solid-state device for neurophysiological measurements. Aim of work is theoretical investigation process of detection antibody+antigen (AB+AG) complexes using SOI-FET biosensor. On example of crystal with ten biosensors, estimates of probability detection AB+AG complexes influenza virus are made. In detection process, following four results are possible: – target complex is present in test sample, and it was correctly detected; – target complex is present in sample, but it was not detected; – target complex is absent in sample, but background particles are mistakenly detected as target complex; – target complex is absent in sample, background particles present in sample and are correctly detected as noise.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0888.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: FAD; bycatch; striped dolphin; Mediterranean Sea; Italian seas.
Online: 13 June 2023 (07:50:10 CEST)
Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are anchored floating structures often made with cheap scrapped materials and used to aggregate pelagic fish under their artificial shadow. Globally, the dangerous impact of FADs has well known. They pose a severe threat due to known and unknown levels of bycatch, the danger to navigation, and their high potential to become marine litter. Entanglement and consequent mortality in FADs of protected species and species of conservation concern (e.g., sharks, sea turtles, and cetaceans) are a serious concern for several international inter-governmental bodies (e.g., EU, GFCM, and IWC). This work describes the first case of a cetacean, a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), killed by a FAD in the Mediterranean Sea. This dolphin was found stranded along the coast of the central Tyrrhenian Sea. The evidence suggests that this specimen suffered a painful death. Although this is the first confirmed case of a cetacean killed by a FAD in Italian waters, given the extent of the deployment of FADs, the scale of this type of interaction with protected species might be seriously underestimated. Therefore, actions and monitoring need to be implemented urgently to effectively protect and conserve marine biodiversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0774.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: animal release; invasive species management; South Korea; traditional markets; Trachemys scripta
Online: 12 June 2023 (05:43:04 CEST)
The pond slider (Trachemys scripta) was designated as an invasive alien species in South Korea in 2001. Although the prevention and control of invasive species have received considerable atten-tion worldwide, studies on the current status and effective management of T. scripta in South Korea are lacking. This study aimed to elucidate the status of domestic reuse of T. scripta and provide effective management suggestions. Analysis of the National Institute of Ecology's “Na-tionwide Survey of Non-native Species in Korea” conducted from 2015 to 2022 confirmed the habitats of 1,440 T. scripta individuals at 295 sites. T. scripta is the most frequently observed among invasive turtles identified in the Korean Peninsula. To determine the reuse of T. scripta, 13 tradi-tional markets were surveyed; five markets were confirmed to have T. scripta. Although the exact distribution route is unknown, individuals living or abandoned in the region might be resold in the market. T. scripta is mostly sold for ritual purposes. Moreover, T. scripta accounted for 31% of freshwater turtles abandoned between 2019 and 2022. Their continuous reuse has been confirmed 22 years after their designation as an invasive alien species. Therefore, effective and fundamental management measures for T. scripta are required.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0578.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: contemporary conceptualism; cognitive situation; biological systematics; philosophy of systematics; taxonomic theory; taxonomic monism & pluralism; taxonomic nomenclature
Online: 8 June 2023 (03:51:46 CEST)
Biological systematics, exploring the structure of taxonomic diversity (TD), needs a proper conceptualization that would (a) make it complying with certain universal criteria of scientificity and (b) take into account specificity of its studied object. This article outlines a possible conceptual framework for this natural science discipline based on the ideas of contemporary conceptualism. One of the most fundamental of them includes a concept of cognitive situation shaped by three interrelated basic components—ontic, epistemic, and subjective. Its core position is taken by a taxonomic theory (TT) being a conceptual construct resulted from a “summative” effect of all three components and designed for studying TD. The general TT is shown to be composed by a hierarchically arranged array of partial TTs of various levels of generality, and this construct serves as a conceptual justification of taxonomic pluralism. Several kinds of partial TTs are suggested to recognise, viz., ontology- and epistemology-oriented, aspect- and object-based, etc. The aspect-based TTs are of special importance as the conceptual foundations of particular research programs in systematics. The object-based partial TTs are shown to be implemented by concepts of species and homology. A large-scale relation between taxonomic theory and nomenclature is briefly considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1921.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: ACL; screening; injury-risk; prevention; LESS; asymmetry; soccer
Online: 26 May 2023 (10:42:12 CEST)
The study aimed to identify football players at high risk (HR) for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury via a four-test battery and assess possible factors affecting classification. Ninety-one professional and semi-professional athletes participated in a field-based preseason screening. Aknowledged inter-limb asymmetry limits for quadriceps and hamstrings isometric strength, and Single Leg Triple Hop for distance, in addition to the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) comprised the test-battery. Additional assessment of hip adductors and core stability completed the global functional profile of the players. Sixty-one players were identified as HR and 30 as low-risk (LR) for ACL injury. Test-battery classified adequately 78,0% of them (Chi-square= 27,485 p=,000), identifying only 4 misclassified cases in the LR group, this low number being important for avoiding improper treatment of injury-prone athletes. All partcipants were considered healthy, and history of a previously rehabilitated injury did not interfere with the results. LESS seems to be the optimal criterion for classification and also the best predictor of both the initial grouping and the secondary one with the wrong vs correct classification cases. The proposed test-battery provides a promising option for field-based preseason ACL-risk assessment of football players and needs to be studied prospectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1797.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Visualization, Bioinformatics, Proteins, Software, Web services
Online: 25 May 2023 (10:19:44 CEST)
Motivation: The visualization of biological data is a fundamental technique that enables researchers to understand and explain biology. Some of these visualizations have become iconic, for instance: tree views for taxonomy, cartoon rendering of 3D protein structures, or tracks to represent features in a gene or protein, for instance in a genome browser. Nightingale provides visualizations in the context of proteins and protein features. Results: Nightingale is a library of re-usable data visualization web components that are currently used by UniProt and InterPro, among other projects. The components can be used to display protein sequence features, variants, interaction data, 3D structure, etc. These components are flexible, allowing users to easily view multiple data sources within the same context, as well as compose these components to create a customized view. Availability: Nightingale examples and documentation are freely available at https://ebi-webcomponents.github.io/nightingale/. It is distributed under the MIT license, and its source code can be found at https://github.com/ebi-webcomponents/nightingale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1600.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Breast cancer; Rutin; Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition; Metastasis; Angiogenesis
Online: 23 May 2023 (07:41:57 CEST)
Rutin has been reported as a potential anti-cancer agent for several decades. This study evaluated the effects of rutin on the proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Increasing concentrations of rutin significantly stimulated the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells compared to controls. Wound scratch assay demonstrated that rutin had an inducing effect on the migration of the cells. In MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, rutin upregulated MKI67, VIM, CDH2, FN1, and VEGFA and downregulated CDH1 and THBS1 genes. It also increased N-cadherin and VEGFA and decreased E-cadherin and thrombospondin 1 protein expression. Our data indicated that rutin could stimulate proliferation, migration, and pro-angiogenic activity in two different breast cancer cell lines. This phytoestrogen induced invasion and migration of both cell lines by a mechanism involving the EMT process. This suggests that rutin may act as a breast cancer-promoting phytoestrogen.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1476.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: psoriasis; systemic treatment; biologic treatment; immune checkpoint
Online: 22 May 2023 (08:42:21 CEST)
Programmed-death-1 (PD-1) receptor plays a major physiological role in maintainance of im-mune tolerance, and, by interaction with its ligands (PD-L1 and PD-L2), prevents the develop-ment of multiple immune-mediated diseases. There is growing evidence of an important role of PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in pathogenesis of psoriasis. 84 subjects with psoriasis were included into the study, together with 29 healthy subjects as a control group. 28 of psoriatic patients were treated with biologice therapy (TNF-alpha, interleukin (IL)-12/23 or IL-17 inhibitors). Amounts of PD1 and PD-L1 positive T-cells in peripheral blood were evaluated using flow cytometry. Significantly lower levels of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with the expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 were found in psoriatic patients when compared to healthy individuals, i.e. CD3/PD1, CD3/PDL1, CD4/PD1, CD4/PDL1, CD8/PDL1, CD19/PD1, CD19/PDL1 positive cells. Biologic treatment resulted in elevation of CD3/PDL1, CD8/PDL1 and decrease of CD8/PD1 posi-tive PBMCs. Our results confirm previous observations of disrupted PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in psoriasis, and that this disturbances may play an important role in development of the disease. Biologic drugs may reverse several abnormalities observed within this pathway, which may ex-plain their excellent efficacy in the treatment of psoriasis. Further research should be conducted to fully explain the results obtained.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1399.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Salvia; CYP76AH; P450; biosynthesis; functional gene
Online: 19 May 2023 (07:52:34 CEST)
Salvia is a large genus in traditional Chinese medicine with hundreds of species. Tanshinones are a highly representative class of exclusive compounds found in the Salvia genus that exhibit significant biological activity. Tanshinone components have been identified in 16 species of the Salvia genus. The CYP76AH subfamily (P450) is crucial for the synthesis of tanshinone due to its catalytic generation of polyhydroxy structures. 420CYP76AH genes were obtained, clear clustering relationships. In this study 15 CYP76AH genes from 10 Salvia species were cloned and studied from the perspectives of evolution and catalytic efficiency. Structure-function relationship revealed several conserved residues which might be related to the function of CYP76AHs. Amino acids (97I, 116V, and 290T) are conserved in CYP76AH1 group, while amino acids (117G, 208S, 237Y, and 479F) are CYP76AH3 group protein sequence characteristics with unique enzyme function.This research holds significant implications for the classification of the Salvia genus and provide efficient catalytic elements for the synthetic biology production of tanshinones.Keywords: Salvia; CYP76AH; P450; biosynthesis; functional gene
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0920.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Aryl urea, angiogenesis, PD-L1, VEGFR-2, immune checkpoints, CD-11b, CD-80, THP-1, HT-29, co-cultures, tumor microenvironment.
Online: 25 April 2023 (10:23:02 CEST)
Thirteen benzylethylenearyl ureas and one carbamate have been designed, synthesized and biologically evaluated as regards their antiproliferative activity on tumor cell lines HEK-293 and A-549 and on the immune and endothelial Jurkat T cells and HMEC-1, respectively. A relationship between the structure of the synthetic compounds and their antiproliferative activity has been established. Compounds C.1, C.3, C.12 and C.14 were chosen for further biological studies in order to determine their potential as oncoimmunomodulating agents. Some compounds exhibited significant inhibitory effects on both total PD-L1 and VEGFR-2 in HT-29 cell line, showing urea C.12 active against both targets. Some compounds could reduce more than 50% of cancer living cells, compared to non-treated ones, when assessed in co-cultures using HT-29 and THP-1 cells. In addition, these compounds showed no effect on the immune cell viability and significantly reduce CD11b expression, which is a promising target for immune modulation in anti-cancer therapies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0677.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Metabolomics; Simultaneous Quantitation and Discovery (SQUAD); Targeted Metabolomics; Untargeted Metabolomics
Online: 21 April 2023 (07:29:13 CEST)
Untargeted and targeted approaches are the traditional metabolomics workflows acquired for a wider understanding of the metabolome under focus. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. The untargeted, for example, is maximizing the detection and accurate identification of thousands of metabolites, while the targeted is maximizing the linear dynamic range and quantification sensitivity. These workflows, however, are acquired separately, so researchers compromise either a low-accuracy overview of total molecular changes (i.e., untargeted analysis) or a detailed yet blinkered snapshot of a selected group of metabolites (i.e., targeted analysis) by selecting one of the workflows over the other. In this review, we present a novel single injection simultaneous quantitation and discovery (SQUAD) metabolomics that combines targeted and untargeted workflows. It is used to identify and accurately quantify a targeted set of metabolites. It also allows data retro-mining to look for global metabolic changes that were not part of the original focus. This offers a way to strike the balance between targeted and untargeted approaches in one single experiment and address the two’s limitations. This simultaneous acquisition of hypothesis-led and discovery-led datasets allows scientists to gain more knowledge about biological systems in a single experiment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0226.v2
Online: 5 April 2023 (12:35:21 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for society, especially for those residing in long-term care facilities (LTCF). This study aimed to describe rates of infection, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19 among older people and staff of LTCF in a state of Southeastern Brazil and identify strategies to prevent and control the disease spread. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 164 LTCF (6,017 older people). Among the studied LTCF, 48.7% confirmed COVID-19 infection in older people, resulting in 39.6% hospitalization and 32.3% death among infected. Moreover, 68.9% of LTCF confirmed COVID-19 infection in the staff, with 7.3% hospitalization and 1.2% death. Preventive measures were identified and classified as organizational, infrastructure, hygiene items and personal protective equipment, and staff training against COVID-19. These measures showed strategies and barriers experienced in the daily routine of LTCF during the pandemic. LTCF in Brazil experienced challenges similar to observed worldwide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0534.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Aquifer; Groundwater recharge; Groundwater microbial ecology; Snowmelt; Bacterial communities Perturbation
Online: 31 March 2023 (02:25:18 CEST)
Events of groundwater recharge are associated with changes in the composition of aquifer microbial communities but also abiotic conditions. Modification in the structure of the community can be the result of different environmental condition favoring or hindering certain taxa or due to the introduction of surface-derived taxa. Yet, in both cases, the local hydrogeochemical settings of the aquifer is likely to affect the amount of variation observed. Therefore, in our study, we used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to assess how microbial communities change in response to snowmelt and the potential connectivity between subsurface and surface microbiome in two distinct aquifers located in the region of Vaudreuil-Soulange (Québec, Canada). At both sites, we observed an increase in groundwater level and decrease in temperature following the onset of snow melt in March 2019. Bacterial community composition of each aquifer was significantly different (p < 0.05) between samples collected prior and after groundwater recharge. Furthermore, microbial source tracking results suggested low contribution of surface environments to groundwater microbiome except for months associated with recharge (March 2019 and April 2019). Overall, despite differences in soil permeability between both sites, the period of snow melt was followed by important changes in the composition of microbial communities from aquifers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0430.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: EAQD-PC; Metacognitive skills; train and learning model
Online: 22 December 2022 (13:49:40 CET)
Biology is so complex that it has to be studied in different ways and focuses on processes. Self-regulation skills in learning are important metacognitive skills for students in studying Biology. Learning models that train strategic students in learning are a must so that they gain meaningful learning experiences through the process of exploration, analysis of new information carried out in learning by applying self-questioning strategies to monitor why new information can be trusted. The results of the synthesis between old knowledge and new knowledge are enhanced through peer coaching in class. This research was conducted to develop an EAQD-PC learning model (exploring, analyzing, questioning, defining peer coaching) and tools that are valid, practical, and effective. The model development procedure includes the preliminary research stage, the prototype stage, and the assessment stage. Model validation data was collected using expert validation instruments. While the practicality of the model components is measured by the implementation observation sheet. The effectiveness of the model was measured using a metacognitive skill test and a questionnaire. This model is applied to students majoring in Biology Education at Muhammadiyah University of Bone, even semester 2019/2020. The results showed that the components of the EAQD-PC model (a) with a value of 3.87, and valid learning model supporting tools with a value of 3.83, (b) practicality with a value of 3.89 and (c) effectiveness with a value of 3, 97 . This study proves that the EAQD-PC model is practical and effective for training students' metacognitive skills.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0164.v1
Online: 9 November 2022 (02:05:25 CET)
In the age of social media your personal branding is critical to find a job. Information is highly available and handy for everyone looking for a job as well as for people trying to recruit employees at all levels. Currently, there is a first e-impression that encompasses employee education, qualifications, and relationships. This e-impression is given by your social media, specifically those websites that were built to facilitate interactions between employee and employer during the job-hunting process. There are different websites that enable you to establish a social network. For example, meet, Xing, Bark, Opportunity, Lunchmeet, and LinkedIn among others. This article is written by a group of young undergraduate and graduate researchers, who have noticed the importance of social networks to apply for graduate school and industry jobs. This manuscript offers ten simple rules that include resources to facilitate the journey on LinkedIn-like social networks, hoping that you have a successful career description in the most popular professional social networking site.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0320.v4
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: data; reproducibility; FAIR; data reuse; public data; big data; analysis
Online: 2 November 2022 (02:55:49 CET)
With an increasing amount of biological data available publicly, there is a need for a guide on how to successfully download and use this data. The Ten simple rules for using public biological data are: 1) use public data purposefully in your research, 2) evaluate data for your use case, 3) check data reuse requirements and embargoes, 4) be aware of ethics for data reuse, 5) plan for data storage and compute requirements, 6) know what you are downloading, 7) download programmatically and verify integrity, 8) properly cite data, 9) make reprocessed data and models Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) and share, and 10) make pipelines and code FAIR and share. These rules are intended as a guide for researchers wanting to make use of available data and to increase data reuse and reproducibility.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0402.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: evolution; fitness; optimisation; algorithmic information theory
Online: 24 August 2022 (02:28:26 CEST)
Evolution by natural selection is often viewed as an optimisation process where an organism's phenotypic traits are adapted gradually to improve its fitness. Because of the many different traits with potentially conflicting requirements, among other factors, this optimisation process may appear onerous. Building on recent mathematical work connecting optima and simplicity, we here show that for certain generic phenotype fitness requirements --- those based on physics and engineering principles --- optimal phenotypic shapes will tend to `simple', in the sense of low algorithmic or descriptional complexity. As a result, we argue that adapting to these types of generic fitness requirements will be a much `easier' task for natural selection, compared to a null expectation based on arbitrary optimisation requirements. Further, selection's task may be easier still due to the fact that optimal phenotypes for one set of generic fitness constraints may also be close to optimal for other generic constraints, such that adapting to one constraint yields the other `for free'.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0101.v1
Online: 4 August 2022 (05:21:03 CEST)
Abstract: The present study seeks to investigate MNOs leadership style and how it influences their compassion competence and their personal level of compassion at work. This is a cross-sectional study carried out from December 2019 to May 2020 using the method of convenience sampling. The study involved 235 MNOs serving in Greek Military Hospitals. A single questionnaire containing Compassion at Work index, Compassion competence scale, and Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X), and socio-demographic and professional data, was used for data collection. A total of 400 printed questionnaires were distributed with a response rate of 58.75%. Data analysis was performed using the statistical package SPSS 22.0. The research showed that the transformational and transactional leadership styles coexist in the Nursing Corps of the Armed Forces with an average value of 2.72(SD=0.70)-2.95(SD=0.54) points and 2.47(SD=0.69)-2.74(SD=0.63) points respectively, while the passive style represented a very small percentage with an average subscale value of 0.88(SD=0.61)-0.94(SD=0.63) points. It was also found that both actual compassion at work and compassion ability had improved with the increase of transformational or transactional leadership style characteristics and amelioration of leadership outcome criteria. On the other side, a deterioration of these was observed with the increase of the passive leadership. Specifically, a higher score in the «Intellectual Stimulation» scale was associated with a higher level of compassion at work in the dimension «Experiencing the suffering of others» (p=0.010/SD=0.14), while higher values on the «Laissez-Faire Leadership» scale were associated with less compassion at work in the same dimension (p<0.001/SD=0.13). Also, a higher score on the «Contingent Reward» scale was associated with more compassion at work in the dimension «Takes appropriate action» (p=0.023/SD=0.16). Furthermore, higher values observed in the «Inspirational Motivation», «Individual Consideration» and «Extra Effort» scales were associated with a better communication ability (p=0.035/SD=0.09, p=0.022/SD=0.12, and p=0.042/SD=0.08 accordingly). Finally, a higher score on the «Effectiveness» scale was associated with higher sensitivity (p=0.049/SD=0.08). Teaching appropriate leadership behavior, promoting a culture of compassion, and continuing to train nurses to manage their emotions should be included in the infrastructure of nursing science.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0260.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Heat Wave; Heat-related illness; Early heat-health warning systems
Online: 18 July 2022 (10:14:10 CEST)
Exposure to extreme heat is a known risk factor that is associated with increased heat-related illness (HRI) outcomes. The relevance of heat wave definitions could change across the health conditions and geographies due to the heterogenous climate profile. This study compared the sensitivity of 28 heat wave definitions associated with HRI emergency department visits over five summer seasons (2011-2016), stratified by two physiographic regions (Coastal and Piedmont) in North Carolina. The HRI rate ratios associated with heat waves were estimated using the generalized linear regression framework assuming a negative binomial distribution. We compared the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) values across the heat wave definitions to identify an optimal heat wave definition. In the Coastal region, heat wave definition based on daily maximum temperature with a threshold >90th percentile for two or more consecutive days had the optimal model fit. In the Piedmont region, heat wave definition based on the daily minimum temperature with a threshold value >90th percentile for two or more consecutive days was optimal. Additionally, we observed that the optimal heat wave definitions from this study captured moderate and frequent heat episodes than the national weather service (NWS) heat products that worked best for extreme heat episodes. This study compared the HRI morbidity risk associated with epidemiologic-based heat wave definitions and with NWS heat products. Our findings could be used for public health education and suggest recalibrating NWS heat products.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0119.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: health policy; unorganised sector; brick-kiln workers; migrant; migration
Online: 8 June 2022 (08:54:52 CEST)
Urbanization is a global phenomenon and as the economies are shifting from rural based subsistence to services based, the net flow of migration is inevitable. Unfortunately, In India, migration is very poorly understood. India is next to China in production of bricks, accounting for nearly 13% of global annual bricks’ production. The condition of brick-kiln workers is pitiable, especially due to poor care available. They are exposed to health hazards such as various communicable diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and occupational health hazards. The diseases such as respiratory problems, allergies, gastrointestinal ailments and malnutrition are frequent in these populations. This paper reflects upon various policies that exist for the welfare of unorganised sector but do these workers qualify for these benefits? This paper provides empirical basis for paradigm shift for policy formulation to provide safety nets for migrant population and have better urban planning for future.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0032.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Conformity assessment; lot inspection; acceptance sampling; Quality level; sample size; Bayesian statistics; prior distribution; posterior distribution; consumer risk; producer risk
Online: 2 June 2022 (10:59:47 CEST)
The ISO 2859 and ISO 3951 series provide acceptance sampling procedures for lot inspection, allowing both sample size and acceptance rule to be determined, starting from a specific value either for the consumer or producer risk. However, insufficient resources often make it difficult to implement “ISO sampling plans.” In cases where the sample size is determined by external constraints, the focus shifts from determining sample size to determining consumer and producer risks. Moreover, if the sample size is very low (e.g. one single item), prior information should be included in the statistical analysis. For this reason, it makes sense to work within a Bayesian theoretical framework, such as that described in JCGM 106. Accordingly, the approach from JCGM 106 is adopted and broadened so as to allow application to lot inspection. The discussion is based on a “real-life” example of lot inspection on the basis of a single item. Starting from simple assumptions, expressions for both the prior and posterior distributions are worked out, and it is shown how the concepts from JCGM 106 can be reinterpreted in the context of lot inspection. Conceptual differences regarding the definition of consumer and producer risks in JCGM 106 and in the ISO acceptance sampling standards are elucidated and a numerical example is provided.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0328.v3
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Evolution; Speciation; Crossbreeding; Hybridization; Species spectrum; Polyploidization; Somatic cell hybridization; Mutation
Online: 3 March 2022 (10:25:51 CET)
Although Darwin‘s evolutionary mutation theory has been widely accepted, many endeavors have been tried to challenge it. With more and more observation of successful hybridization and hybrids, the sexual isolation between species has become vague. The mechanism of evolution has been expanded from the classical model of evolution to multiple routes of speciation. Furthermore, a fundamental crossbreeding theory has been raised and proved by two lines of evidences: paleopolyploidy and fan-shaped spectrum of species. Ancient genome duplications are widespread throughout eukaryotic lineages, particularly in plants. The genome polyploidization, especially in the somatic cell hybridization, can break through the sexual incompatibility between diploid counterparts to hybridize and produce new species. By comparing characteristics, all species in every taxon, both in the extinct fossil and extant organisms, can be arranged into fan-shaped spectrum according to their similarity: left primitive type-middle advanced type-right primitive type. The species are primitive at the two ends and advanced at the middle. The primitive two species always resemble two types of more primitive species that can be confirmed as their ancestors respectively, and the middle species is half similar to the two ancestors respectively. These suggest that the species in the spectrum come from two different ancestors by crossbreeding and gene combination. As a sum, advanced species originated from crossbreeding of two primitive ancestors, by major method of polyploidization, and proved by results of fan-shaped spectrum of species. Then, sex is the cause, force and opportunity for evolution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0419.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Convention on Biological Diversity; Access and Benefit Sharing; Nagoya Protocol; industry perspective
Online: 23 November 2021 (10:46:33 CET)
Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) is a framework which refers to a relatively recent type of legal requirements for access to and/or use of “genetic resources”. They are based on diverse national and regional laws and regulations, which mostly result from the implementation of the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its supplementary agreement, the Nagoya Protocol. Their ambition is to achieve fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources as an incentive to conserve and sustainably use them. This paper describes the experiences, practical constraints and complexities encountered by users of genetic resources when dealing with ABS legislation, with a focus on users from the private sector. We provide insights on how ABS laws have fundamentally changed the way of working with genetic resources in the hope that it inspires re-thinking of the ABS framework, to better support the overall objectives of the CBD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0303.v2
Online: 19 November 2021 (08:38:42 CET)
Science continues to become more interdisciplinary and to involve increasingly complex data sets. Many projects in the biomedical and health-related sciences follow or aim to follow the principles of FAIR data sharing, which has been demonstrated to foster collaboration, to lead to better research outcomes, and to help ensure reproducibility of results. Data generated in the course of biomedical and health research present specific challenges for FAIR sharing in the sense that they are heterogeneous and highly sensitive to context and the needs of protection and privacy. Data sharing must respect these features without impeding timely dissemination of results, so that they can contribute to time-critical advances in medical therapy and treatment. Modeling and simulation of biomedical processes have become established tools, and a global community has been developing algorithms, methodologies, and standards for applying biomedical simulation models in clinical research. However, it can be difficult for clinician scientists to follow the specific rules and recommendations for FAIR data sharing within this domain. We seek to clarify the standard workflow for sharing experimental and clinical data with the simulation modeling community. By following these recommendations, data sharing will be improved, collaborations will become more effective, and the FAIR publication and subsequent reuse of data will become possible at the level of quality necessary to support biomedical and health-related sciences.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0530.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: energy; homeostasis; neural network; behavior; free energy principle
Online: 30 September 2021 (17:49:37 CEST)
Explaining the emergence of behavior and understanding on the basis of neuronal mechanisms is still elusive. One renowned proposal is the Free Energy Principle (FEP), which uses an information-theoretic framework derived from thermodynamic considerations to describe how behavior and understanding would emerge. FEP starts from a whole organism approach, based on mental states and phenomena, mapping them into the neuronal substrate. An alternative approach, the Energy Homeostasis Principle (EHP), initiates a similar explanatory effort, but starting from single neuron phenomena and building up to the whole organism’s behavior and understanding. In this work, we develop the EHP as an alternative but complementary vision to FEP and try to explain how behavior and understanding would emerge from the local requirements of the neurons. Based on EHP and a strict naturalist approach that sees living beings as physical and deterministic systems, we explain scenarios where learning would emerge without the need for volition or goals. Given these starting points, we state several considerations of how we see the nervous system, particularly the role of function, purpose, and the conception of goal-oriented behaviors. We problematize these conceptions, giving an alternative teleology-free framework in which behavior and, ultimately, understanding would still emerge. We reinterpret neural processing explaining basic learning situations up to simple anticipatory behavior. Finally, we end the work with an evolutionary perspective of how this non-goal-oriented behavior appears. We acknowledge that in the current form of our proposal, we are still far from explaining the emergence of understanding. Still, we set the ground for an alternative neuron-based framework to ultimately explain understanding.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0132.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS); resource mobilization; Digital Sequence Information (DSI); Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; biodiversity crisis
Online: 7 September 2021 (16:07:18 CEST)
Facing unprecedented global declines in the extent and integrity of ecosystems, the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) in Kunming, China, presents an opportunity for transformative change. However, a lack of consensus on two key issues – resource mobilization and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) associated with Digital Sequence Information (DSI) – risks stalling negotiations for an ambitious ‘Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework’ as the next 10-year strategic plan under the Convention on Biological Diversity. We highlight systemic misconceptions concerning the financing of biodiversity and the burden this places on the ABS system. In the context of DSI, we caution that conflating ABS with resource mobilization risks disrupting modern science policy built on open access, with potentially severe ramifications for scientific research and innovation. To resolve these tensions, we call for a recalibration of discussions on ABS in order to maximize the value delivered by biodiversity for all of society, including indigenous peoples and local communities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0550.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Heat; Heatwave; Cardiovascular diseases; Respiratory diseases; Hospital admissions; Climate change; ambient temperature; Public health; time series; summer months
Online: 23 September 2020 (10:32:12 CEST)
There is a lack of knowledge concerning the effects of ambient heat exposure on morbidity in Northern Europe. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the relationships of daily summer-time temperature and heatwaves with cardiorespiratory hospital admissions in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland. Methods: Time-series models adjusted for potential confounders such as air pollution were used to investigate the associations of daily temperature and heatwaves with cause-specific cardiorespiratory hospital admissions, during summer months of 2001-2017. Daily number of hospitalizations was obtained from the national hospital discharge register, weather information from the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Results: Increased daily temperature was associated with decreased risk of total respiratory hospital admissions and asthma. Heatwave days were associated with 20.5% (95% CI: 6.9, 35.9) increased risk of pneumonia admissions and during long or intense heatwaves also with total respiratory admissions in the oldest age group (≥ 75 years). There were also suggestive positive associations between heatwave days and admissions due to myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular diseases. In contrast, risk of arrhythmia admissions was decreased 20.8% (95% CI: 8.0, 31.8) during heatwaves. Conclusions: Heatwaves, rather than single hot days, are a health threat affecting the morbidity even in a Northern climate.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: historical kinds; individuation; cultural evolution; evolutionary innovation
Online: 22 September 2020 (08:45:54 CEST)
Two welcome extensions of evolutionary thinking have come to prominence over the last thirty years: the so-called “extended evolutionary synthesis” (EES) and debate about biological kinds and individuals. These two agendas have, however, remained orthogonal to one another. The EES has mostly restricted itself to widening the explanations of adaptation offered by the preceding “modern evolutionary synthesis” by including additional mechanisms of inheritance and variation; while discussion of biological kinds has turned toward philosophical questions of essential vs. contingent properties of life forms and realist vs. epistemological approaches to categorization and classification. Here we attempt to broaden the explanatory scope of evolutionary theory by linking these two agendas. We expand on the mechanistic orientation of the EES, using new understandings of networked systems of components in order to engage the distinct intellectual challenge of the origination of historical kinds. With this phrase we designate a subset of natural kinds that acquires, through evolutionary processes, a quasi-independent lineage-history. Such kinds emerge in both biology and culture, and we enlarge the limited number of historical kinds that have thus far been recognized in evolutionary biology in a series of paradigmatic exemplars, from genes and cell types to rituals and music. For each exemplar we discern specific mechanisms by which it arose and persists; comparing these, we suggest a general unity in the ways in which diverse historical kinds originate.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0211.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: New Zealand; biomarkers; environmental health assessment; Anguilla dieffenbachii
Online: 9 September 2020 (11:45:52 CEST)
The Matāura River is the sixth largest river system in New Zealand and has long been subject to agricultural, industrial, and residential land use activities. The catchment has geographic and economic value and is of great cultural importance for local Māori, who have concerns over potential adverse impacts that anthropogenic stressors exert on the health of the river. There is a dearth of information on the impacts of these stressors towards the health of native species such as the longfin eel Anguilla dieffenbachii. This study assessed the environmental status of the Matāura River using biological and chemical methodologies incorporating A. dieffenbachii as a bioindicator species for exposure to combined anthroprogenic stressors. A range of biomarker endpoints were measured in caged and wild-caught eels (when available) to characterize site-specific responses to combined anthropogenic stressors. While there was no clear indication of cumulative impacts moving from pristine headwaters to the lower reaches of the Matāura River biomarkers of xenobiotic metabolization were induced in A. dieffenbachia and there was evidence of chemical contamination in sediments and tissues.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0647.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Biological Organization Principles; Dynamical Systems; Bayesian Inference and Brian; FEP; Autopoiesis; Evolution; Cognition; Niche; KAM-dynamics Contents
Online: 28 August 2020 (15:08:56 CEST)
The Autopoiesis and Cognition Theory (ACT), by Maturana and Varela, based on the notions of Biological Closure and Structural Coupling, is a well-known theory on how to understand biological organization [1, 2, 3]. Although, for example, the Free Energy Principle framework evokes some entailments of autopoiesis in a more formal setting [4, 5]; and ACT has been used in many fields, its impact has been restricted because it lacks quantitative analysis. Here we present a theoretical framework grounded in accepted and well-developed ideas from Mathematics and Physics which advance the understanding of the Principles of Biological Organization under the guidance of Biological Closure and Structural Coupling. The disciplines of Differential Geometry/Topology, Mechanics and Complex Dynamical Systems provide a powerful, elegant, and well-established body of knowledge to support our Biological Organization Principles (BOP) framework. In particular, Stochastic Mechanics and KAM theory (from Kolmogorov, Arnold and Moser theorem) allow us to develop, using the notions of Biological Closure and Structural Coupling, a central core of BOP termed Dynamical Closure Mechanism. Under the proposed framework, a wide variety of bio- logical phenomena can be understood, shedding new light on biological explanations. However, an understanding of biological organization may require the re-evaluation of dogmas on how we think on biology as it seems inescapable that what is needed is an integration of analysis and notions derived from mathematics, physics, and biology to generate a new landscape of ideas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0085.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Accelerometer; throwing velocity; inertial measurement unit; throwing load; shoulder load
Online: 4 August 2020 (11:03:03 CEST)
Understanding the shoulder-specific load in handball is important for both prevention and rehabilitation of shoulder injuries. The shoulder-specific load is largely a result of the number and speed of throws. However, it is difficult to quantify number and speed of throws in handball due to limitations in the current technology. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a novel method to estimate throwing speed in handball using a low-cost accelerometer-based device. Nineteen experienced handball players each performed 25 throws of varying types while we measured the acceleration of the wrist using the accelerometer and the throwing speed using 3D motion capture. Using cross-validation, we developed four prediction models using combinations of the logarithm of the peak total acceleration, sex and throwing type as the predictor and the throwing speed as the outcome. We found that all models were well-calibrated (mean calibration of all models: 0.0 m/s, calibration slope range: 0.99-1.00) and precise (R2 = 0.71-0.85, mean absolute error = 1.32-1.82 m/s). We conclude that the developed method appear to provide practitioners and researchers with a feasible and cheap method to estimate throwing speeds in handball.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0226.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: positive assortment; public goods; collective action; common-pool resources; cooperation; game theory; group selection; kin selection; social dilemma
Online: 16 June 2020 (12:35:40 CEST)
Public goods are produced at all levels of the biological hierarchy, from the secretion of diffusible molecules by cells to social interactions in humans. However, the cooperation needed to produce public goods is vulnerable to exploitation by free-riders — the Tragedy of the Commons. The dominant solutions to this problem of collective action are that some form of positive assortment (due to kinship or spatial structure) or enforcement (reward and punishment) is necessary for public-goods cooperation to evolve and be maintained. However, these solutions are only needed when individual contributions to the public good accrue linearly, and the assumption of linearity is never true in biology. We explain how cooperation for nonlinear public goods is maintained endogenously and does not require positive-assortment or enforcement mechanisms, and we review the considerable empirical evidence for the existence and maintenance of nonlinear public goods in microbiology, cancer biology, and behavioral ecology. We argue that it is time to move beyond discussions about assortment and enforcement in the study of cooperation in biology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0132.v1
Online: 8 March 2020 (04:40:36 CET)
Body temperature responses were recorded during phases of work (waiting to work in close proximity to search site, active work in a search site, and post-work recovery crated in vehicle) in human remains detection dogs during search training. State or federally certified human remains detection dogs (n = 8) completed eight iterations of searching, rotating through six different types of search environments to detect numerous scent sources including partial and complete, buried, hidden, or fully visible human remains. Internal temperature (Tgi) of the body was measured continuously using an ingestible thermistor in the gastrointestinal tract. Mean total phase times were: waiting to work: 9.17 minutes (± 2.27); active work: 8:58 minutes (± 2:49); and post work recovery: 24:04 minutes (± 10.59). Tgi was impacted by phase of work (P < 0.001) with a small increase during active work, with mean peak temperature 39.4 °C (± 0.34 ºC) during that period. Tgi continued to increase for a mean of 7:37 (± 6:04) minutes into the post-work recovery phase in the handler’s vehicle with a mean peak Tgi of 39.66 °C (± 0.41 ºC). No significant increase in temperature was measured during the waiting to work phase, suggesting anticipation of work did not appear to contribute to overall body temperature increase during the waiting to work recovery cycle. Continued increase of gastrointestinal body temperature several minutes after cessation of exercise indicates that risk of heat injury does not immediately stop when the dog stops exercising, although none of the dogs in this study reached clinically concerning body temperatures or displayed any behavioral signs suggestive of pending heat injury. More work is needed to better understand the impact of vehicle crating on post-work recovery temperatures in dogs.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: regeneration; bioelectricity; planaria; bistability; memory; cognitive science
Online: 28 November 2019 (03:12:53 CET)
Nervous systems and brains’ computational abilities are an evolutionary innovation, specializing and speed-optimizing ancient biophysical dynamics. Bioelectric signaling originated in cells’ communication with the outside world and with each other, in order to cooperate toward adaptive construction and repair of multicellular bodies. Here we review the emerging field of developmental bioelectricity, which links the field of basal cognition to state-of-the-art questions in regenerative medicine, synthetic bioengineering, cognitive science, and even machine learning and artificial intelligence. One of the predictions of this view is that regeneration and regulative development are able to restore correct large-scale anatomies from diverse starting states because, like the brain, they exploit bioelectric encoding of distributed goal states - in this case, pattern memories. Based on this idea, we propose a new interpretation of recent stochastic regenerative phenotypes in planaria, by appealing to computational models of memory representation and processing in the brain. Moreover, we discuss novel findings showing that bioelectric changes induced in planaria can be stored in tissue for over a week, thus revealing that somatic bioelectric circuits in vivo can implement a long-term, re-writable memory medium. A consideration of the mechanisms, evolution, and functionality of basal cognition makes novel predictions and provides an integrative perspective on the evolution, physiology, and biomedicine of information processing in vivo.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0205.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: disasters; health status; coping skill; nursing student
Online: 17 November 2019 (13:44:29 CET)
The frequency of earthquakes in South Korea is increasing. This study aimed to examine and identify the factors influencing the degree of disaster-incident-related shock among Korean nursing students with the disaster experience. The study sample consisted of 153 nursing students who have been living around Phohang-si in Gyeongsang-do, South Korea, and who having the experience of disaster-incident-related shock. Measures were Impact of Event Scale, Perceived health status scale, Psychological Well-Being Scale, and Coping Strategy Indicator in Korean version. The data collection period was from October to December, 2018. The factor that was found to have the most influence on disaster-incident-related shock among Korean nursing students was the perceived health status (β = 0.48), followed by gender (β = -0.28), coping skill (β = 0.18), psychological well-being (β = 0.14), need for disaster education (β = 0.12), and major satisfaction (β = -0.12). This study provides preliminary evidence that perceived health status is a major and primary predictor of disaster-incident-related shock among Korean nursing students, next followed by coping skill, and psychological well-being. The findings can be reflected in the pertinent curriculum by actively considering these influence factors in designing nursing education interventions for disaster-incident-related shock in the Korean nursing students.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0319.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Phototoxicity, Photodamage, Super-Resolution Microscopy, Fluorescence
Online: 30 August 2019 (08:22:58 CEST)
Super-Resolution Microscopy enables non-invasive, molecule-specific imaging of the internal structure and dynamics of cells with sub-diffraction limit spatial resolution. One of its major limitations is the requirement for high-intensity illumination, generating considerable cellular phototoxicity. This factor considerably limits the capacity for live-cell observations, particularly for extended periods of time. Here, we overview new developments in hardware, software and probe chemistry aiming to reduce phototoxicity. Additionally, we discuss how the choice of biological model and sample environment impacts the capacity for live-cell observations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0184.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: depression; nurturing; honest signaling; reproductive suppression; anthocyanins; hormesis
Online: 15 July 2019 (13:31:03 CEST)
Background: Solon (2019) introduced genetic bandwagoning in a very general sense: A variant sequentially 1) evaluates its holder’s quality and 2) induces its holder to relinquish resources if the holder’s quality is low. Here, I introduce a more complex form of bandwagoning in order to account for a series of phenomena considered “paradoxical” by scientists specializing in their literatures: a) depression, b) differential nurturing, c) honest signaling of quality, d) reproductive suppression, e) stress-induced anthocyanins, and f) hormesis. These literatures are characterized by the following findings: 1) Low-quality individuals incur a cost against reproductive success compared to higher-quality individuals. 2) Individuals not (yet) identified as low-quality incur a cost against their ability to survive predators and/or parasites compared to individuals that have already been identified as low-quality. 3) Females incur a cost against reproductive success compared to males. 4) Males incur a cost against their ability to survive predators and/or parasites compared to females. 5) If conditions are challenging, individuals gain in both reproductive success and their ability to survive predators and/or parasites compared to less challenging conditions; however, too-challenging conditions detract from both. For each literature, at least one of these findings is unaccommodated by existing theory when considered in the context of that literature. Despite existing theory, these patterns are remarkably persistent. Question: Can paradoxes fitting these patterns be explained by genetic bandwagoning theory? Conclusion: Here, reservation is introduced as a form of bandwagoning in which a bandwagoning variant induces its holder to reserve from (i.e., withhold) some of its ability to survive parasites or predators. Reservation would occur for the purpose of assessing a holder’s quality when conditions are sufficiently unchallenging that few individuals are chronically stressed, so it is otherwise difficult to evaluate a holder’s quality. If the holder is subsequently killed, wounded, or infected, then it is identified as lacking the quality that would allow its descendants to survive more challenging conditions. The holder loses some or all of its resources as a direct consequence of the very death, wounding, or infection that identified its low quality. That is, in reservation, the two steps of bandwagoning are accomplished simultaneously. (This way of bandwagoning is distinguished from when the two steps are accomplished sequentially, which is termed resonation.) Reservation shares numerous premises with Zahavi’s handicap principle. If conditions are challenging, individuals would downregulate reservation and also be less likely to forego resources through resonation (which accounts for (5)). Additionally, a bandwagoning variant would likely evolve to vary the reservation it induces from holder to holder as a hedge against the possibility that conditions suddenly turn severe before it can adjust the reservation. Individuals already identified as low-quality would downregulate reservation (which accounts for (2) above) and would instead forego resources through resonation (which accounts for (1)). Additionally, females would downregulate reservation (which accounts for (4)) and, as a consequence, surviving females are more likely than surviving males to forego resources through resonation (which accounts for (3)).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0257.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: street vendors, consumers, food safety, knowledge, attitudes, practices
Online: 21 May 2019 (10:08:50 CEST)
Street vended foods are ready-to-eat food and beverages prepared and/ or sold in the streets. This trade provides for 85-99% of total employment in most African countries and 50% or more is constituted by women. The preparation of street vended foods is normally under unsatisfactory conditions and these may lead to the contamination of food. This descriptive survey was conducted in Maseru around the taxi ranks amongst 141 participants (48 food handlers and 93 consumers) using a semi structured questionnaire, open ended questionnaire and observation checklist. Majority of the food handlers were females (n=35, 60%) and males constituted only (n=23, 40%). On average the vendor population that participated in this study was considered to have poor knowledge of food safety since they scored 49%±11. With regard to the consumers, 63% were males and 37% were females, and only 6% reported that they never buy street vended foods mainly due to the food safety issues and hygiene. Based on the results of this study, it is thus recommended that educational interventions be implemented. The observation study showed that they also operated under unhygienic conditions and 95% of food handlers had the incorrect knowledge that washing utensils with detergent leaves them free of contamination. Regarding the consumer perceptions, they highlighted that the trade has the potential to grow and be profitable on condition that hygiene is emphasized and infrastructure improved so as to provide safe quality food.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0266.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: historical individuals, extended evolutionary synthesis, evolutionary innovation, culture
Online: 24 April 2019 (11:20:29 CEST)
Since its inception, evolutionary theory has experienced a number of extensions. The most important of these took the forms of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (MES), embracing genetics and population biology in the early 20th century, and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) of the last thirty years, embracing, among other factors, non-genetic forms of inheritance. While we appreciate the motivation for this recent extension, we argue that it does not go far enough, since it restricts itself to widening explanations of adaptation by adding mechanisms of inheritance and variation. A more thoroughgoing extension is needed, one that widens the explanatory scope of evolutionary theory. In addition to adaptation and its various mechanisms, evolutionary theory must recognize as a distinct intellectual challenge the origin of what we call “historical kinds.” Under historical kinds we include any process that acquires a quasi-independent and traceable lineage-history in biological and cultural evolution. We develop the notion of a historical kind in a series of paradigmatic exemplars, from genes and homologues to rituals and music, and we propose a preliminary characterization.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0352.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: marine biotoxins; contaminated seafood; public health
Online: 29 December 2018 (02:31:01 CET)
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are natural events produced by massive concentration of toxic phytoplankton that can color red, ocher, brown or yellow large extensions of water, its intensity depends on the different species of phytoplankton involved in the proliferation. The spreading of these formations involves an interaction of biological, chemical, meteorological and anthropogenic factors. Several species with potential toxicity have been reported along Mexican coasts, such as Gymnodinium catenatum, Karenia brevis, Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum. The toxic bloom not only causes an impact during the event, it produces negative effects afterward, such as accumulating deposits of organic matter, alterations of benthic community structure and composition, species presence/absence, and bioaccumulation of toxins in organisms such as bivalve molluscs mainly. Poisoning may occur by consuming contaminated seafood or by direct exposure to aerosols of the toxins, which can provoke diarrhea or even death. Due to the impact of this type of event on the economy, environment and public health, strategies for monitoring, prevention, and systematic mitigation have been implemented for the evaluation of HAB effects. The aim of this review was to determine the state-of-the art of HAB, their reports and effects on the environment and public health in Mexico.