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Abstract

With the enhancement of people’s awareness of drinking health, the health factors in Wuliangye-flavour liquor is worth our attention. Bacterial communities in 4 layers of Zaopei from the same fermentation pit and amino acids as major health factors in 4 liquors directly related Zaopeis were investigated by Illumina MiSeq sequencing and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, respectively. Results indicated that 18 amino acids were detected and 8 dominant bacteria (genus level) were observed. Meanwhile, total amino acids, 11 amino acids (Glu, Asp, Val, etc), bacterial diversity, and the percentages of Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas increased with the increase of Zaopei’s depth; 5 amino acids (Pro, Ser, Phe, etc) and the percentages of Pediococcus and Bacteroides first increased and then decreased with the increase of Zaopei’s depth. Moreover, 11 amino acids were significantly (P < 0.01) and strongly (|ρ| > 0.8) positively correlated with Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas numbers.

Restricted access

Abstract

Tanzania’s education system has been passing through different changes in its policies and strategic implementation plans. As a result, improvements in various areas, such as increased students’ enrolment rate, improved pass rates, and improved infrastructure at all levels have been realized. This pilot study aimed at understanding the awareness and perception of policymakers, employers, instructors, and students of the importance of policies in integrating workplace learning and technical higher education. With the main question being, how stakeholders in the education sector perceive the importance of policies in integrating workplace learning and technical higher education. In order to answer the above question, a qualitative study with semi-structured interviews was conducted with policymakers, employers, instructors, and students. Most of the interviewees stated that policies have significant roles in ensuring the smooth integration and implementation of these two learning modes. On the other side, several challenges were mentioned in policy implementation and realization of the strategic plans. These challenges were categorized as those related to the public’s and students’ awareness and readiness, financial constraints, educational institutes’ readiness, and operationalization of the organizations and educational institutes. From this pilot study, insightful information is gained on the importance of having policies that take into account all main stakeholders in higher education.

Open access

Abstract

Transcription factors of the nuclear factor kappa‐light‐chain‐enhancer of activated B cells (NF-ĸB) family control important signaling pathways in the regulation of the host innate immune system. Various bacterial pathogens in the human gastrointestinal tract induce NF-ĸB activity and provoke pro-inflammatory signaling events in infected epithelial cells. NF-ĸB activation requires the phosphorylation-dependent proteolysis of inhibitor of ĸB (IĸB) molecules including the NF-ĸB precursors through ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. The canonical NF-ĸB pathway merges on IĸB kinases (IKKs), which are required for signal transduction. Using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, secreted embryonic alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) reporter assays and cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we demonstrate that the actin-binding protein cortactin is involved in NF-ĸB activation and subsequent interleukin-8 (IL-8) production upon infection by Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enterica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Our data indicate that cortactin is needed to efficiently activate the c-Sarcoma (Src) kinase, which can positively stimulate NF-ĸB during infection. In contrast, cortactin is not involved in activation of NF-ĸB and IL-8 expression upon infection with Campylobacter species C. jejuni, C. coli or C. consisus, suggesting that Campylobacter species pluralis (spp.) induce a different signaling pathway upstream of cortactin to trigger the innate immune response.

Open access

Abstract

Despite vaccine availability, the global spread of COVID-19 continues, largely facilitated by emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutations. Our earlier research documented that a specific combination of plant-derived compounds can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 binding to its ACE2 receptor and controlling key cellular mechanisms of viral infectivity. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of a defined mixture of plant extracts and micronutrients against original SARS-CoV-2 and its Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Kappa, and Mu variants. The composition containing vitamin C, N-acetylcysteine, resveratrol, theaflavin, curcumin, quercetin, naringenin, baicalin, and broccoli extract demonstrated a highest efficacy by inhibiting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) binding of SARS-CoV-2 to its cellular ACE2 receptor by 90%. In vitro exposure of test pseudo-typed variants to this formula for 1 h before or simultaneously administrated to human pulmonary cells resulted in up to 60% inhibition in their cellular entry. Additionally, this composition significantly inhibited other cellular mechanisms of viral infectivity, including the activity of viral RdRp, furin, and cathepsin L. These findings demonstrate the efficacy of natural compounds against SARS-CoV-2 including its mutated forms through pleiotropic mechanisms. Our results imply that simultaneous inhibition of multiple mechanisms of viral infection of host cells could be an effective strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Open access

Abstract

Serotonergic (or “classic”) psychedelics have struck many researchers as raising significant philosophical questions that, until recently, were largely unexplored by academic philosophers. This paper provides an overview of four emerging lines of research at the intersection of academic philosophy and psychedelic science that have gained considerable traction in the last decade: selfless consciousness, psychedelic epistemology, psychedelic ethics, and spiritual/religious naturalism. In this paper, we highlight philosophical questions concerning (i) psychedelics, self-consciousness, and phenomenal consciousness, (ii) the epistemic profile of the psychedelic experience; (iii) ethical concerns about the appropriate use of psychedelics; and (iv) whether spiritual or religious dimensions of psychedelic use are compatible with a naturalistic worldview.

Open access
Imaging
Authors: Judit Simon, Szilvia Herczeg, Sarolta Borzsák, Judit Csőre, Anna Sára Kardos, Gergely Mérges, Emese Zsarnóczay, Nándor Szegedi, Melinda Boussoussou, Borbála Vattay, Márton Kolossváry, Bálint Szilveszter, László Gellér, Béla Merkely, and Pál Maurovich-Horvat

Abstract Background and Aim

To assess the prevalence of incidental extracardiac findings in patients who underwent cardiac CT for the evaluation of left atrial (LA) anatomy before atrial fibrillation (AF) catheter ablation. We also aimed to determine the independent predictors of relevant extracardiac alterations.

Patients and Methods

We studied consecutive patients who underwent cardiac CT with a 256-slice scanner for the visualization of LA anatomy before AF ablation. Prevalence of clinically significant and not significant extracardiac findings were recorded. Moreover, we determined the variables associated with relevant extracardiac alterations with uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results

In total, 1,952 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac CT examination between 2010 and 2020 were included in our study (mean age 61.2±10.6 years; 66.2% male). Incidental extracardiac findings were detected in 820 (42.0%; 95%CI=0.40-0.44%) patients, while clinically significant alterations were reported in 416 (21.3%; 95%CI=20.0-23.2%) patients. When analyzing the predictors of clinically relevant alterations, age (OR=1.04; 95%CI=1.03- 1.05), male sex (OR=1.39; 95%CI=1.12-1.73), chest pain (OR=1.46; 95%CI=1.09-1.93), hypertension (OR=1.42; 95%CI=1.12-1.81), heart failure (OR=1.68; 95%CI=1.09-2.53), obstructive CAD (OR=1.56; 95%CI=1.16-2.09) and prior stroke/TIA (OR=1.56; 95%CI=1.04- 2.30) showed association with clinically significant incidental findings in the univariate analysis (all p<0.05). In the multivariate analysis, age (OR=1.04; 95%CI=1.02-1.06; p<0.001) proved to be the only significant predictor of clinically relevant extracardiac finding.

Conclusion

Cardiac CT performed before AF ablation is not only helpful in understanding LA anatomy, but might also identify clinically significant pathologies. These incidental findings might have further diagnostic or therapeutic consequences.

Open access

Abstract

Background

Recently, there has been significantly increased participation in online gaming and other addictive behaviors particularly in adolescents. Tendencies to avoid social interaction and become more involved in technology-based activities pose the danger of creating unhealthy addictions. Thus, the presence of relatively immature cognitive control and high risk-taking properties makes adolescence a period of major changes leading to an increased rate of emotional disorders and addiction.

Aims

The critical roles of frontostriatal circuits in addiction have become the primary focus associated with reward in the striatum and cognitive control in the PFC. Internet gaming disorder (IGD) and nicotine addiction are currently becoming more and more serious.

Methods

In the light of neuroimaging, the similarity between brain mechanisms causing substance use disorder (SUD) and IGD have been described in previous literature.

Results

In particular, two distinct brain systems affect the way we act accounting for uncharacteristic neural function in addiction: the affective system comprises of the striatum driven by emotional, reward-related, and internal stimuli, and a cognitive system consisting of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) supporting the ventral affective system's actions via inhibitory control.

Discussion and Conclusion

Therefore, as a novel concept, we focused on the implication of frontostriatal circuits in nicotine addiction and IGD by reviewing the main findings from our studies compared to those of others. We hope that all of these neuroimaging findings can lead to effective intervention and treatment for addiction especially during this critical period.

Open access