Utilization of algae includes both macroalgae for human consumption dating back to thousands of years, as well as the application of microalgae in health promoting dietary supplements. The autotrophic growth of microalgae is slow, but can be accelerated by optimizing their cultivation conditions. Efficiency optimizations for time and economy should be performed in many parallel experiments. A new high-throughput microalgae cultivation method is presented here, applying 24-low-well microplate with varying illumination, in which the cell growth is followed via evaluation of scanned images. A strain of the genus Nannochloropsis and two Chlorella vulgaris species have been chosen as well described and frequently applied model organisms in order to test the recently developed cultivation system. In these scaled down experiments, the custom design lighting panel was tested by studying the effect of the colour of illumination on cell growth kinetics. RGB LEDs (i.e. light emitting diodes, red: 622 nm, green: 528 nm, and blue: 467 nm) were used individually or together providing red, green, blue, and white colours. While the effect of light’s colour on algae growth was evaluated, also the new system was proven to be suitable for comparing maximal growth rates for different microalgae strains. While the tested two Chlorella isolates reached 1.2–1.4 g l–1 concentrations, the Nannochloropsis strain reached 1.4 g l–1 final cell dry weight, and specific growth rates were observed between 0.58–0.62 day–1.
Building life cycle assessment is getting more and more attention within the topic of environmental impact caused by the built environment. Although more and more research focus on the embodied impact of buildings, the investigation of the operational energy use still needs attention. The majority of the building stock still does not comply with the nearly zero energy requirements. Also, in case of retrofitting, when most of the embodied impact is already spent on the existing structures (and so immutable), the importance of the operational energy rises. There are several methods to calculate the energy performance of buildings covering the range from simplified seasonal methods to detailed hourly energy simulations. Not only the accuracy of the calculations, but the computational time can be significantly different within the methods. The latter is especially important in case of optimization, when there is limited time to perform one calculation. Our research shows that the use of different calculation techniques can lead to different optima for environmental impacts in case of retrofitting. In this paper we compare these calculation methods with focus on computational time, accuracy and applicability to environmental optimization of buildings. We present the results in a case study of the retrofitting of a middle-sized apartment house in Hungary.
Authors:Ivett Kovács, Tibor Németh, Gabriella B. Kiss, and Zsolt Benkó
The laboratory micro X-ray diffraction (μ-XRD) technique is a suitable method to study minerals in-situ in whole-rock specimens without any sample preparation or in polished thin sections, and even in small amounts in powdered form. The micro X-ray diffraction method uses the conventional, closed-tube X-ray generator, but modifications were needed in the diffraction column, sample holder and detector in order to achieve μ-XRD capability.
In this paper, we present a case study of the capillary method used in µ-XRD on hydrothermal clay mineral assemblages that formed in the Velence Mts (Hungary). The capillary method in µ-XRD has many advantages in the investigation of small amounts of clay minerals: (1) easy and rapid preparation of randomly oriented, powdered samples; (2) rapid measurements; (3) accurate diffraction patterns. By using the capillary method, the formation of preferred orientation can be eliminated; thus the (hkl) reflection of the clay minerals can be precisely measured. Illite polytype quantification and the investigation of (060) reflection of clay minerals can be used satisfactorily in µ-XRD.
Hydrothermal clay mineral assemblages are indicative of temperature and pH. Their examination can determine the physicochemical parameters of the hydrothermal fluids that interacted with the host granite in the Velence Mts. The analyzed hydrothermal clay minerals from the western part of the mountains suggest lower temperatures (150–200 °C) and intermediate pH conditions. In contrast, the clay mineral assemblages' characteristics for the eastern part of the mountains indicate more intense argillization and higher temperatures (∼220 °C) and intermediate pH conditions.
Authors:N Szegedi, E Zima, M Clemens, A Szekely, RG Kiss, G Szeplaki, L Geller, B Merkely, Z Csanadi, and G Duray
Catheter ablation is a proven therapy of focal atrial tachycardia. However limited information is available about the additional value of electroanatomical over conventional mapping methods for this specific arrhythmia.
Consecutive catheter ablation procedures of FAT were analyzed in two cardiology centres. Only conventional mapping was used in 30 of the 60 procedures whereas additionally CARTO mapping was performed in another 30 procedures. Acute, six-month success rate, and procedural data were analyzed.
Localization of ectopic foci is congruent with previously published data. There was no statistically significant difference between procedure time and fluoroscopy time using additionally CARTO mapping, compared to conventional mapping only. Acute success rate was higher in procedures guided by CARTO mapping than in procedures based on conventional mapping (27/30 vs. 18/30, p = 0.0081). During the 6-month follow-up period there was a better outcome (p = 0.045) in case of CARTO guided procedures (success: 11 cases, partial success: 12 cases, failure: 4 cases) compared to conventional mapping (success: 4 cases, partial success: 18 cases, failure: 7 cases).
Catheter ablation of focal atrial tachycardias using the CARTO electroanatomical mapping system seems to provide higher acute and 6-month success rate compared to ablation using conventional mapping methods only.
Authors:B. Mammel, T. Kvárik, Zs. Szabó, J. Gyarmati, T. Ertl, J. Farkas, Zs. Helyes, T. Atlasz, D. Reglődi, and P. Kiss
Numerous studies indicate that smoking during pregnancy exerts harmful effects on fetal brain development. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of maternal smoking during pregnancy on the early physical and neurobehavioral development of newborn rats. Wistar rats were subjected to whole-body smoke exposure for 2 × 40 min daily from the day of mating until day of delivery. For this treatment, a manual closed-chamber smoking system and 4 research cigarettes per occasion were used. After delivery the offspring were tested daily for somatic growth, maturation of facial characteristics and neurobehavioral development until three weeks of age. Motor coordination tests were performed at 3 and 4 weeks of age. We found that prenatal cigarette smoke exposure did not alter weight gain or motor coordination. Critical physical reflexes indicative of neurobehavioral development (eyelid reflex, ear unfolding) appeared significantly later in pups prenatally exposed to smoke as compared to the control group. Prenatal smoke exposure also resulted in a delayed appearance of reflexes indicating neural maturity, including hind limb grasping and forelimb placing reflexes. In conclusion, clinically relevant prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke results in slightly altered neurobehavioral development in rat pups. These findings suggest that chronic exposure of pregnant mothers to cigarette smoke (including passive smoking) results in persisting alterations in the developing brain, which may have long-lasting consequences supporting the concept of developmental origins of health and disease (DoHAD).
Authors:G. Molnár, V. A. Gyarmathy, J. Takács, S. Sándor, B. Kiss, J. Fazakas, and P. L. Kanizsai
Conditions that have similar initial presentations as sepsis may make early recognition of sepsis in an emergency room (ER) difficult. We investigated whether selected physiologic and metabolic parameters can be reliably used in the emergency department to differentiate sepsis from other disease states that mimic it, such as dehydration and stroke.
Loess regression on retrospective follow-up chart data of patients with sepsis-like symptoms (N = 664) aged 18+ in a large ER in Hungary was used to visualize/identify cutoff points for sepsis risk. A multivariate logistic regression model based on standard triage data was constructed with its corresponding receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and compared with another model constructed based on current sepsis guidelines.
Age, bicarbonate, HR, lactate, pH, and body temperature had U, V, W, or reverse U-shaped associations with identifiable inflexion points, but the cutoff values we identified were slightly different from guideline cutoff values. In contrast to the guidelines, no inflexion points could be observed for the association of sepsis with SBP, DPB, MAP, and RR and therefore were treated as continuous variables. Compared to the guidelines-based model, the triage data-driven final model contained additional variables (age, pH, bicarbonate) and did not include lactate. The data-driven model identified about 85% of sepsis cases correctly, while the guidelines-based model identified only about 70% of sepsis cases correctly.
Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence for the necessity of finding improved tools to identify sepsis at early time points, such as in the ER.
Authors:Gabriella Vácz, Attila Cselenyák, Zsuzsanna Cserép, Rita Benkő, Endre Kovács, Eszter Pankotai, Andrea Lindenmair, Susanne Wolbank, Charlotte M. Schwarz, Dénes B. Horváthy, Levente Kiss, István Hornyák, and Zsombor Lacza
Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) are promising tools for endothelial repair in vascular regenerative medicine. We hypothesized that these epithelial cells are capable of repairing the damaged endothelial layer following balloon injury of the carotid artery in adult male rats.
Two days after injury, the transplanted hAECs were observed at the luminal side of the arterial wall. Then, 4 weeks after the injury, significant intimal thickening was observed in both untreated and cell implanted vessels. Constriction was decreased in both implanted and control animals. Immunohistochemical analysis showed a few surviving cells in the intact arterial wall, but no cells were observed at the site of injury. Interestingly, acetylcholine-induced dilation was preserved in the intact side and the sham-transplanted injured arteries, but it was a trend toward decreased vasodilation in the hAECs’ transplanted vessels.
We conclude that hAECs were able to incorporate into the arterial wall without immunosuppression, but failed to improve vascular function, highlighting that morphological implantation does not necessarily result in functional benefits and underscoring the need to understand other mechanisms of endothelial regeneration.
Authors:Zs. Sári, T. Kovács, T. Csonka, M. Török, É. Sebő, J. Toth, D. Tóth, E. Mikó, B. Kiss, D. Szeőcs, K. Uray, Zs. Karányi, I. Kovács, G. Méhes, P. Árkosy, and P. Bai
Breast cancer is characterized by oncobiosis, the abnormal composition of the microbiome in neoplastic diseases. The biosynthetic capacity of the oncobiotic flora in breast cancer is suppressed, as suggested by metagenomic studies. The microbiome synthesizes a set of cytostatic and antimetastatic metabolites that are downregulated in breast cancer, including cadaverine, a microbiome metabolite with cytostatic properties. We set out to assess how the protein expression of constitutive lysine decarboxylase (LdcC), a key enzyme for cadaverine production, changes in the feces of human breast cancer patients (n = 35). We found that the fecal expression of Escherichia coli LdcC is downregulated in lobular cases as compared to invasive carcinoma of no special type (NST) cases. Lobular breast carcinoma is characterized by low or absent expression of E-cadherin. Fecal E. coli LdcC protein expression is downregulated in E-cadherin negative breast cancer cases as compared to positive ones. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of LdcC expression in lobular and NST cases revealed that fecal E. coli LdcC protein expression might have predictive values. These data suggest that the oncobiotic transformation of the microbiome indeed leads to the downregulation of the production of cytostatic and antimetastatic metabolites. In E-cadherin negative lobular carcinoma that has a higher potential for metastasis formation, the protein levels of enzymes producing antimetastatic metabolites are downregulated. This finding represents a new route that renders lobular cases permissive for metastasis formation. Furthermore, our findings underline the role of oncobiosis in regulating metastasis formation in breast cancer.