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1.  Environmental factors influencing the risk of autism 
Autism is a developmental disability with age of onset in childhood (under 3 years old), which is characterized by definite impairments in social interactions, abnormalities in speech, and stereotyped pattern of behaviors. Due to the progress of autism in recent decades, a wide range of studies have been done to identify the etiological factors of autism. It has been found that genetic and environmental factors are both involved in autism pathogenesis. Hence, in this review article, a set of environmental factors involved in the occurrence of autism has been collected, and finally, some practical recommendations for reduction of the risk of this devastating disease in children are represented.
doi:10.4103/1735-1995.200272
PMCID: PMC5377970
Autism; environmental factors; etiological factors
2.  RORA and Autism in The Isfahan Population: Is There An Epigenetic Relationship 
Cell Journal (Yakhteh)  2016;18(4):540-546.
Objective
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulty in verbal and non-verbal communication, impaired social interaction, and restricted and repetitive behavior. It has been recently introduced as a multigenic disorder with significant epigenetic effects on its pathology. Recently, epigenetic silencing of retinoic acid receptor- related orphan receptor alpha (RORα) gene (which has an essential role in neural tissue development) was shown to have occurred in autistic children due to methylation of its promoter region. This may thus explain a significant part of the molecular pathogenesis of autism. Therefore, we aimed to confirm this finding by implementing a case-control (experimental) study in the population of Isfahan.
Materials and Methods
The methylation status of a 136 bp sequence of a GpG island (encompassing 13 CpG sites) in the RORA promoter region (positions -200 to -64) as an experimental study was examined in the lymphocyte cells of 30 autistic children after sodium bisulfite treatment using the melting curve analysis-methylation (MCA-Meth) assay compared with normal children. Also, quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis was used to estimate the level of mRNA transcripts and to evaluate MCA-Meth analysis results.
Results
This study revealed no methylation in the examined promoter regions in both autistic and normal children, with the melting curve of all studied samples being comparable to that of the non-methylated control. The results of MCA-Meth analysis were also consistent with qRT-PCR results. We therefore observed no significant difference in the levels of RORα transcripts in the blood lymphocytes between autistic and healthy children.
Conclusion
The methylation of the RORA promoter region may not be considered as a common epigenetic risk factor for autism in all populations. Hence, the molecular pathogenesis of autism remains unclear in the population investigated.
PMCID: PMC5086332  PMID: 28042538
Autism; Epigenetics; Methylation; RORA; Promoter
3.  Osteogenic Differentiation and Mineralization on Compact Multilayer nHA-PCL Electrospun Scaffolds in a Perfusion Bioreactor 
Background
Monolayer electrospun scaffolds have already been used in bone tissue engineering due to their high surface-tovolume ratio, interconnectivity, similarity to natural bone extracellular matrix (ECM), and simple production.
Objectives
The aim of this study was to evaluate the dynamic culture effect on osteogenic differentiation and mineralizationi into a compact cellular multilayer nHA-PCL electrospun construct. The dynamic culture was compared with static culture.
Materials and Methods
The calcium content, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and cell viability were investigated on days 3 and 7.
Results
When the dynamic culture compared to static culture, the mineralization and ALP activity were increased in dynamic culture. After 7 days, calcium contents were 41.24 and 20.44 μg.(cm3)-1, and also normalized ALP activity were 0.32 and 0.19 U.mg-1 in dynamic and static culture, respectively. Despite decreasing the cell viability until day 7, the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results showed that, due to higher mineralization, a larger area of the construct was covered with calcium deposition in dynamic culture.
Conclusions
The dynamic flow could improve ALP activity and mineralization into the compact cellular multilayer construct cultured in the perfusion bioreactor after 7 days. Fluid flow of media helped to facilitate the nutrients transportation into the construct and created uniform cellular construct with high mineralization. This construct can be applied for bone tissue engineering.
doi:10.15171/ijb.1382
PMCID: PMC5435031
Mineralization; Electrospun scaffolds; Multilayer construct; Osteogenic differentiation; Perfusion bioreactor
4.  Association of ACE gene D polymorphism with left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with diastolic heart failure: a case–control study 
BMJ Open  2016;6(2):e010282.
Objectives
To explore the association between ACE gene insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in patients with hypertension who have developed heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Being a major contributor to the development of diastolic heart dysfunction, the renin angiotensin aldosterone system and its genetic variations are thought to induce LVH in hypertensive hearts apart from haemodynamic factors.
Design
Case control study.
Setting
An Iranian referral university hospital.
Participants
176 patients with hypertension and a diagnosis of HFpEF on presence of symptoms of heart failure plus Doppler echocardiographic documentation of left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction and/or elevated NT-proBNP levels. Those with significant coronary, valvular, pericardial and structural heart diseases were excluded as well as patients with atrial fibrillation, renal failure and pulmonary causes of dyspnoea. They were divided into two cohorts of 88 cases with and 88 controls without LVH, after determination of LV mass index, using two-dimensional and M-mode echocardiography. The I/D polymorphism of the ACE gene was determined using the PCR method.
Results
The D allele was significantly more prevalent among cases with compared with controls without LVH (p=0.0007). Genotype distributions also differed significantly under additive (p=0.005, OR=0.53, 95% CI 0.34 to 0.84) and recessive (p=0.001, OR=0.29, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.66) models.
Conclusions
In patients with hypertension who develop HFpEF, the D allele of the ACE gene is probably associated with the development of LVH. With the detrimental effects of LVH on the heart's diastolic properties, this can signify the role of genetic contributors to the development of HFpEF in patients with hypertension and may serve as a future risk predictor for the disease.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010282
PMCID: PMC4762084  PMID: 26861937
ACE; Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction; Polymorphism
5.  Factors affecting viability of Bifidobacterium bifidum during spray drying 
Background
There is substantial clinical data supporting the role of Bifidobacterium bifidum in human health particularly in benefiting the immune system and suppressing intestinal infections. Compared to the traditional lyophilization, spray-drying is an economical process for preparing large quantities of viable microorganisms. The technique offers high production rates and low operating costs but is not usually used for drying of substances prone to high temperature. The aim of this study was to establish the optimized environmental factors in spray drying of cultured bifidobacteria to obtain a viable and stable powder.
Methods
The experiments were designed to test variables such as inlet air temperature, air pressure and also maltodextrin content. The combined effect of these variables on survival rateand moisture content of bacterial powder was studied using a central composite design (CCD). Sub-lethal heat-adaptation of a B. bifidum strain which was previously adapted to acid-bile-NaCl led to much more resistance to high outlet temperature during spray drying. The resistant B. bifidum was supplemented with cost friendly permeate, sucrose, yeast extract and different amount of maltodextrin before it was fed into a Buchi B-191 mini spray-dryer.
Results
Second-order polynomials were established to identify the relationship between the responses andthe three variables. Results of verification experiments and predicted values from fitted correlations were in close agreement at 95% confidence interval. The optimal values of the variables for maximum survival and minimum moisture content of B. bifidum powder were as follows: inlet air temperature of 111.15°C, air pressure of 4.5 bar and maltodextrin concentration of 6%. Under optimum conditions, the maximum survival of 28.38% was achieved while moisture was maintained at 4.05%.
Conclusion
Viable and cost effective spray drying of Bifidobacterium bifidum could be achieved by cultivating heat and acid adapted strain into the culture media containing nutritional protective agents.
doi:10.1186/s40199-014-0088-z
PMCID: PMC4334592  PMID: 25618319
Spray drying; Bifidobacterium bifidum; Viability; Moisture; Response surface methodology
6.  “A comparison between sugar consumption and ethanol production in wort by immobilized Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Saccharomyces Ludwigii and Saccharomyces Rouxii on Brewer’S Spent Grain” 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2011;42(2):605-615.
The immobilization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae DSM 70424, Saccharomyces ludwigii DSM 3447 and Saccharomyces rouxii DSM 2531 on brewer’s spent grain and then ethanol production and sugar consumption of these immobilized yeasts were investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the abilities of these three immobilized yeasts for producing alcohol for brewing at two temperatures (7 and 12 °C) using two different sugar levels (one at original level supplied in the brewery and one with 2.5% (w/v), added glucose to the wort).
Increasing both parameters resulted in higher alcohol production by all the yeasts studied. At 7 °C and with original wort density the ethanol content at the end of fermentation was 2.7% (v/v) for S. cerevisiae, 1.7% for S. ludwigii and 2.0% for S. rouxii. After the addition of 2.5% (w/v) glucose at the same temperature (7 °C), the alcohol production was increased to 4.1, 2.8 and 4.1%, respectively. Similar improvements were observed when the fermentation was carried out at 12 °C with/without the addition of glucose to the wort. However, temperature indicated greater influence on S. ludwigii than did on S. rouxii and S. cerevisiae. The immobilization as carried out in this study impacted both S. ludwigii and S. rouxii in a way that they could consume maltose under certain conditions.
doi:10.1590/S1517-838220110002000025
PMCID: PMC3769836  PMID: 24031672
Brewer’s spent grain; Fermentation; Immobilization; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Saccharomyces ludwigii; Saccharomyces rouxii

Results 1-6 (6)