SciCombinator

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Brain metastasis is a major cause for cancer death in patients with lung cancer. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and hsa-miR-217 has been identified to mediate the development of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

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Background and objectives: It is unclear why many patients with hypothyroidism prefer the use of desiccated thyroid extract (DTE) as a thyroid hormone replacement formulation over levothyroxine (LT4) treatment, as recommended by clinical practice guidelines. We analyzed patient-reported information from patient online forums to better understand patient preferences for and attitudes toward the use of DTE to treat hypothyroidism. Materials and Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods study by evaluating the content of online posts from three popular hypothyroidism forums from patients currently taking DTE (n = 673). From these posts, we extracted descriptive information on patient demographics and clinical characteristics and qualitatively analyzed posts' content to explore patient perceptions on DTE and other therapies further. Results: Nearly half (46%) of the patients reported that a clinician initially drove their interest in trying DTE. Patients described many reasons for switching from a previous therapeutic approach to DTE, including lack of improvement in hypothyroidism-related symptoms (58%) and the development of side effects (22%). The majority of patients described DTE as moderately to majorly effective overall (81%) and more effective than the previous therapy (77%). The most frequently described benefits associated with DTE use were an improvement in symptoms (56%) and a change in overall well-being (34%). One-fifth of patients described side effects related to the use of DTE. Qualitative analysis of posts' content supported these findings and raised additional issues around the need for individualizing therapy approaches for hypothyroidism (e.g., a sense of each patient has different needs), as well as difficulties obtaining DTE (e.g., issues with pharmacy availability). Conclusions: Lack of individualized treatment and a feeling of not been listened to were recurrent themes among DTE users. A subset of patients may prefer DTE to LT4 for many reasons, including perceived better effectiveness and improved overall well-being, despite the risks associated with DTE.

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Microencapsulated peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) essential oil (MPEO) is a prospective botanical herbicide. A hypothesis was formulated, that the type of growth medium (vermiculite or silty clay loam soil substrate) affects the phytotoxic potential of MPEO. A pot experiment in a randomized design assessed the effect of five doses of MPEO in a range of 0-108 g m-2 or 0-145 g m-2, mixed with vermiculite or with soil, respectively, on early growth of white mustard (Sinapis alba L. cv. Zlata), tested here as a model “weed” species. The morphologic analyses were supported by selected biochemical measurements. The two highest doses of microcapsules (from 73 to 145 g m-2) caused a significant decrease of plants' height and biomass. An increase of anthocyanin content in the aboveground parts of mustard is supportive for the induction of defense mechanisms against MPEO-triggered stress in mustard leaves. In conclusion, MPEO appears as a promising bio-herbicide. However, we are aware that further studies on the mechanisms of action of MPEO in different weed species are necessary to test (i) whether or not the effect is consistent to be proficiently exploited for weed control in field and (ii) to deepen the biochemical and physiological reactions by the plants against MPEO treatments.

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Photoresponsive polymers have attracted increasing interest for a variety of applications. Here, we report a family of photoresponsive polypeptoid-based copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(N-(S-(o-nitrobenzyl)-thioethyl) glycine)-co-poly(N-(2-phenylethyl) glycine) (PEG-b-PNSN-co-PNPE) synthesized by the controlled ring-opening polymerization (ROP) technique. The key feature of the design is to incorporate both o-nitrobenzyl group moiety to offer the photoresponsive property and phenethyl residues to tune the structural and amphiphilic property of the system. We demonstrate that the cleavage degree of the o-nitrobenzyl group can reach to 100% upon UV-irradiation. With delicate design, a photoresponsive vesicle-to-sphere transition has been observed that facilitates the release of the encapsulants. This work provides a facile approach to prepare a type of photoresponsive polymers with tunable properties for drug delivery.

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People with neurological disorders suffer from poor mobility, poor balance, fatigue, isolation and monotonous everyday activities. Studies show that equine-assisted interventions can improve their mobility and balance, but could these kinds of interventions also increase participants' activity repertoire and self-assessed health, and reduce their fatigue? The study was conducted as a prospective, controlled study with three cohorts followed for one year: intervention group (n = 14), control group Passive (n = 29), and control group Active (n = 147). Participants in the study were affected by neurological disease or injury that limited their opportunities for an active everyday life. The intervention group lacked regular activities outside the home before the intervention, which consisted of riding once a week, led by a certified therapist. Control group Passive lacked regular activities outside the home, while control group Active had several activities outside the home per week. Primary outcome measures were activity repertoire measured with Occupational Value Assessment questionnaire. Secondary outcome measures were global self-assessed health measured with EuroQol-VAS and fatigue measured with Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire. The intervention group’s activity repertoire and self-assessed health increased significantly compared to both baseline and the control groups. Equine-assisted interventions could help to improve the perceived value of everyday occupations and quality of life, as well as break isolation and increase the activity repertoire of people with neurological disorders.

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One of the challenges today is to face fake news (false information) in health due to its potential impact on people’s lives. This article contributes to a new application of social impact in social media (SISM) methodology. This study focuses on the social impact of the research to identify what type of health information is false and what type of information is evidence of the social impact shared in social media. The analysis of social media includes Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter. This analysis contributes to identifying how interactions in these forms of social media depend on the type of information shared. The results indicate that messages focused on fake health information are mostly aggressive, those based on evidence of social impact are respectful and transformative, and finally, deliberation contexts promoted in social media overcome false information about health. These results contribute to advancing knowledge in overcoming fake health-related news shared in social media.

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The Internet of Things is constantly capturing interest from modern applications, changing our everyday life and empowering industrial applications. Interaction and the collaboration among smart devices offer new challenges to security since they conflict with economic and energy consumption requirement constraints. On the other hand, the lack of security measures could negatively impact the concrete adoption of this paradigm. This paper focuses on the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol, widely adopted in the Internet of Things. This protocol does not implement natively secure authentication mechanisms, which are demanded to developers. Hence, this paper proposes a novel OTP (one-time password)-authentication schema for MQTT, which uses the Ethereum blockchain to implement a second-factor out-of-band channel. The proposal enables the authentication of both local and remote devices preserving user privacy and guaranteeing trust and accountability via Ethereum smart contracts.

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Autophagy is an essential mechanism to maintain cellular homeostasis. Besides its role in controlling the quality of cytoplasmic components, it participates in nutrient obtaining and lipid mobilization under stressful conditions. Furthermore, autophagy is involved in the regulation of systemic metabolism as its blockade in hypothalamic neurons can affect the central regulation of metabolism and impact body energy balance. Moreover, hypothalamic autophagy can be altered during obesity, one of the main alterations of metabolism nowadays. In this review, we focus on the role of astrocytes, essential cells for brain homeostasis, which represent key metabolic regulators. Astrocytes can sense metabolic signals in the hypothalamus and modulate systemic functions as glucose homeostasis and feeding response. Moreover, the response of astrocytes to obesity has been widely studied. Astrocytes are important mediators of brain inflammation and can be affected by increased levels of saturated fatty acids associated with obesity. Although autophagy plays important roles for astrocyte homeostasis and functioning, the contribution of astrocyte autophagy to systemic metabolism has not been analyzed yet. Furthermore, how obesity can impact astrocyte autophagy is poorly understood. More studies are needed in order to understand the contribution of astrocyte autophagy to metabolism.

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Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been widely studied and applied in the field of tumor diagnosis and treatment because of their special fundamental properties. In order to make AuNPs more suitable for tumor diagnosis and treatment, their natural properties and the interrelationships between these properties should be systematically and profoundly understood. The natural properties of AuNPs were discussed from two aspects: physical and chemical. Among the physical properties of AuNPs, localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), radioactivity and high X-ray absorption coefficient are widely used in the diagnosis and treatment of tumors. As an advantage over many other nanoparticles in chemicals, AuNPs can form stable chemical bonds with S-and N-containing groups. This allows AuNPs to attach to a wide variety of organic ligands or polymers with a specific function. These surface modifications endow AuNPs with outstanding biocompatibility, targeting and drug delivery capabilities. In this review, we systematically summarized the physicochemical properties of AuNPs and their intrinsic relationships. Then the latest research advancements and the developments of basic research and clinical trials using these properties are summarized. Further, the difficulties to be overcome and possible solutions in the process from basic laboratory research to clinical application are discussed. Finally, the possibility of applying the results to clinical trials was estimated. We hope to provide a reference for peer researchers to better utilize the excellent physicochemical properties of gold nanoparticles in oncotherapy.

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The Centers for Disease Control declared e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) a national outbreak due to the high incidence of emergency department admissions and deaths. We have identified chemical constituents in e-cig counterfeit cartridges and compared these to medical-grade and CBD containing cartridges. Apart from vitamin E acetate (VEA) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), other potential toxicants were identified including solvent-derived hydrocarbons, silicon conjugated compounds, various terpenes, pesticides/plasticizers/polycaprolactones, and metals. This study provides additional insights into the chemicals associated with EVALI cartridges and thus may contribute to the underlying disease mechanism of acute lung injury.