Two recombinant, live attenuated human parainfluenza virus type 1 (rHPIV1) mutant viruses have been developed, using a reverse genetics system, for evaluation as potential intranasal vaccine candidates. These rHPIV1 vaccine candidates have two non-temperature sensitive (non-ts) attenuating (att) mutations primarily in the P/C gene, namely CR84GHNT553A (two point mutations used together as a set) and CΔ170 (a short deletion mutation), and two ts att mutations in the L gene, namely LY942A (a point mutation), and LΔ1710–11 (a short deletion), the last of which has not been previously described. The latter three mutations were specifically designed for increased genetic and phenotypic stability. These mutations were evaluated on the HPIV1 backbone, both individually and in combination, for attenuation, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy in African green monkeys (AGMs).
The rHPIV1 mutant bearing the novel LΔ1710–11 mutation was highly ts and attenuated in AGMs and was immunogenic and efficacious against HPIV1 wt challenge. The rHPIV1-CR84G/Δ170HNT553ALY942A and rHPIV1-CR84G/Δ170HNT553ALΔ1710–11 vaccine candidates were highly ts, with shut-off temperatures of 38°C and 35°C, respectively, and were highly attenuated in AGMs. Immunization with rHPIV1-CR84G/Δ170HNT553ALY942A protected against HPIV1 wt challenge in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. In contrast, rHPIV1-CR84G/Δ170HNT553ALΔ1710–11 was not protective in AGMs due to over-attenuation, but it is expected to replicate more efficiently and be more immunogenic in the natural human host.
The rHPIV1-CR84G/Δ170HNT553ALY942A and rHPIV1-CR84G/Δ170HNT553ALΔ1710–11 vaccine candidates are clearly highly attenuated in AGMs and clinical trials are planned to address safety and immunogenicity in humans.
With massive amounts of data being generated in electronic format, there is a need in basic science laboratories to adopt new methods for tracking and analyzing data. An electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) is not just a replacement for a paper lab notebook, it is a new method of storing and organizing data while maintaining the data entry flexibility and legal recording functions of paper notebooks. Paper notebooks are regarded as highly flexible since the user can configure it to store almost anything that can be written or physically pasted onto the pages. However, data retrieval and data sharing from paper notebooks are labor intensive processes and notebooks can be misplaced, a single point of failure that loses all entries in the volume. Additional features provided by electronic notebooks include searchable indices, data sharing, automatic archiving for security against loss and ease of data duplication. Furthermore, ELNs can be tasked with additional functions not commonly found in paper notebooks such as inventory control. While ELNs have been on the market for some time now, adoption of an ELN in academic basic science laboratories has been lagging. Issues that have restrained development and adoption of ELN in research laboratories are the sheer variety and frequency of changes in protocols with a need for the user to control notebook configuration outside the framework of professional IT staff support. In this commentary, we will look at some of the issues and experiences in academic laboratories that have proved challenging in implementing an electronic lab notebook.
Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues.
In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position.
There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences.
This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
The traditional otorhinoendoscope is widely used in the diagnosis of a variety of ear and nose diseases, but only one doctor can use it at a time. It is also very difficult to share observations from one doctor with another doctor. With advances in electronic health technology, the extended potential application of smartphones to support medical practice or mobile health has grown steadily.
The first phase of the study discussed how smartphones may be used for otorhinoscopic imaging and image management via an innovative adaptor. The second phase of the study was to evaluate the diagnostic capability of the smartphone-based otorhinoendoscope, as compared to the traditional otorhinoendoscope, and its application in mobile health and teleotolaryngology.
We designed a unique adaptor to connect the otorhinoendoscope and smartphone in order to perform smartphone-based otorhinoendoscopy. The main aim was to transform the smartphone into an otorhinoendoscope. We devised a method that would allow us to use the smartphone’s camera to capture otorhinoscopic images. Using a freely available Web-based real-time communication application platform and the 3G (or WIFI) network, the smartphone-based otorhinoendoscope could synchronize the smartphone-based otorhinoscopic image with smartphones, tablet PCs, computer notebooks, or personal computers.
We investigated the feasibility of telemedicine using a smartphone, tablet PC, and computer notebook. Six types of clinical otorhinoscopic images were acquired via the smartphone-based otorhinoendoscope from six patients, which were examined in this study. Three teleconsultants (doctors A, B, and C) reviewed the six types of clinical otorhinoscopic images and made a telediagnosis. When compared to the face-to-face diagnosis, which was made in-person via a traditional otorhinoendoscope, the three teleconsultants obtained scores of a correct primary telediagnosis 83% (5/6), 100% (6/6), and 100% (6/6) of the time, respectively. When the clinical data were provided, the three teleconsultants obtained a correct secondary telediagnosis score of 100% (6/6), 100% (6/6), and 100% (6/6) of the time, respectively.
The use of previously available technologies in the absence of any additional expensive devices could significantly increase the quality of diagnostics while lowering extraneous costs. Furthermore, this could also increase the connectivity between most isolated family doctors and remote referral centers.
otorhinoendoscope; smartphone; mobile health; teleotolaryngology; telediagnosis
The need to train physicians committed to learning throughout their careers has prompted medical schools to encourage the development and practice of self-regulated learning by students. Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) require students to exercise self-regulated learning skills. As mobile tools, tablets can potentially support self-regulation among LIC students.
We provided 15 LIC students with tablet computers with access to the electronic health record (EHR), to track their patient cohort, and a multiplatform online notebook, to support documentation and retrieval of self-identified clinical learning issues. Students received a 1-hour workshop on the relevant features of the tablet and online notebook. Two focus groups with the students were used to evaluate the program, one early and one late in the year and were coded by two raters.
Students used the tablet to support their self-regulated learning in ways that were unique to their learning styles and increased access to resources and utilization of down-time. Students who used the tablet to self-monitor and target learning demonstrated the utility of tablets as learning tools.
LICs are environments rich in opportunity for self-regulated learning. Tablets can enhance students’ ability to develop and employ self-regulatory skills in a clinical context.
mobile learning; self-regulated learning; clinical learning; longitudinal integrated clerkship; workplace learning
During the past several years, Baylor College of Medicine has made a substantial commitment to the use of information technology in support of its corporate and academic programs. The concept of an Integrated Academic Information Management System (IAIMS) has proved central in our planning, and the IAIMS activities that we have undertaken with funding from the National Library of Medicine have proved to be important extensions of our technology development. Here we describe our Virtual Notebook system, a conceptual and technologic framework for task coordination and information management in biomedical work groups. When fully developed and deployed, the Virtual Notebook will improve the functioning of basic and clinical research groups in the college, and it currently serves as a model for the longer-term development of our entire information management environment.
MeduMobile was a project to develop and evaluate learning scenarios for medical students and teachers by use of video communication and notebooks. Its core part was assigned to various medical routines, conferences or meetings such as doctor-patient bedside conversation. These were filmed by video teams and broadcasted live via the WLAN of the Charité campus to course participating students. One type of the learning arrangements was the autopsy conference as an on-call scenario.
Materials and methods
The MeduMobile project consisted of two main compartments: the regular seminar event which took place every week or month, and the on-call event. For an on-call event the students were informed two hours before the lesson's start. A mobile video team organised the video conference via a specific MeduMobile seminar system. This software offered the students to log. The MeduMobile seminar system is based on the Windows operating system and realises an extended video communication via WLAN. Thirteen access points were implemented at the Charité Campus Virchow Klinikum and Campus Mitte. A questionnaire was developed to investigate in the response and learning effect of the mobile seminar system.
During the MeduMobile project 42 video conferences with (cumulative) 145 participating students took place. Four autopsy conferences could be organised as on-call scenarios within this project. A prospective, not randomised follow-up study was included 25 students of the 1st – 6th clinical semester. According to the answers, professional reasoning, professional performance, sustainability, and the complexity were broadly accepted by the students.
In principle, the MeduMobile realised an interdisciplinary case presentation using video conference and web page. The evaluation indicates a high acception of such complex case presentation with multidisciplinary settings. The use of the notebooks in mobile learning enables an interconnective training and promotes a complex learning.
The Gram-negative saprophyte Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an infectious disease which is endemic in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. This bacterium possesses many virulence factors which are thought to contribute to its survival and pathogenicity. Using a virulent clinical isolate of B. pseudomallei and an attenuated strain of the same B. pseudomallei isolate, 6 genes BPSL2033, BP1026B_I2784, BP1026B_I2780, BURPS1106A_A0094, BURPS1106A_1131, and BURPS1710A_1419 were identified earlier by PCR-based subtractive hybridization. These genes were extensively characterized at the molecular level, together with an additional gene BPSL3147 that had been identified by other investigators. Through a reverse genetic approach, single-gene knockout mutants were successfully constructed by using site-specific insertion mutagenesis and were confirmed by PCR. BPSL2033::Km and BURPS1710A_1419::Km mutants showed reduced rates of survival inside macrophage RAW 264.7 cells and also low levels of virulence in the nematode infection model. BPSL2033::Km demonstrated weak statistical significance (P = 0.049) at 8 hours after infection in macrophage infection study but this was not seen in BURPS1710A_1419::Km. Nevertheless, complemented strains of both genes were able to partially restore the gene defects in both in vitro and in vivo studies, thus suggesting that they individually play a minor role in the virulence of B. pseudomallei.
Cannabinoid CB2 agonists produce antinociception without central nervous system (CNS) side-effects. This study was designed to characterize the pharmacological and antinociceptive profile of AM1710, a CB2 agonist from the cannabilactone class of cannabinoids. AM1710 did not exhibit off-target activity at 63 sites evaluated. AM1710 also exhibited limited blood brain barrier penetration. AM1710 was evaluated in tests of antinociception and CNS activity. CNS side-effects were evaluated in a modified tetrad (tail flick, rectal temperature, locomotor activity and rota-rod). Pharmacological specificity was established using CB1 (SR141716) and CB2 (SR144528) antagonists. AM1710 (0.1–10 mg/kg i.p.) produced antinociception to thermal but not mechanical stimulation of the hindpaw. AM1710 (5 mg/kg i.p.) produced a longer duration of antinociceptive action than the aminoalkylindole CB2 agonist (R,S)-AM1241 (1 mg/kg i.p.) at maximally antinociceptive doses. Antinociception produced by the low (0.1 mg/kg i.p.) dose of AM1710 was blocked selectively by the CB2 antagonist SR144528 (6 mg/kg i.p.), whereas antinociception produced by the high dose of AM1710 (5 mg/kg i.p.) was blocked by either SR144528 (6 mg/kg i.p.) or SR141716 (6 mg/kg i.p.). AM1710 did not produce hypoactivity, hypothermia, tail flick antinociception, or motor ataxia when evaluated in the tetrad at any dose. In conclusion, AM1710, a CB2-preferring cannabilactone, produced antinociception in the absence of CNS side-effects. Thus, any CB1-mediated antinociceptive effects of this compound may be attributable to peripheral CB1 activity. The observed pattern of pharmacological specificity produced by AM1710 is consistent with limited blood brain barrier penetration of this compound and absence of CNS side-effects.
cannabinoid; CB2; antinociception; tetrad; pain
Part diary, part scientific record, biological field notebooks often contain details necessary to understanding the location and environmental conditions existent during collecting events. Despite their clear value for (and recent use in) global change studies, the text-mining outputs from field notebooks have been idiosyncratic to specific research projects, and impossible to discover or re-use. Best practices and workflows for digitization, transcription, extraction, and integration with other sources are nascent or non-existent. In this paper, we demonstrate a workflow to generate structured outputs while also maintaining links to the original texts. The first step in this workflow was to place already digitized and transcribed field notebooks from the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History founder, Junius Henderson, on Wikisource, an open text transcription platform. Next, we created Wikisource templates to document places, dates, and taxa to facilitate annotation and wiki-linking. We then requested help from the public, through social media tools, to take advantage of volunteer efforts and energy. After three notebooks were fully annotated, content was converted into XML and annotations were extracted and cross-walked into Darwin Core compliant record sets. Finally, these recordsets were vetted, to provide valid taxon names, via a process we call “taxonomic referencing.” The result is identification and mobilization of 1,068 observations from three of Henderson’s thirteen notebooks and a publishable Darwin Core record set for use in other analyses. Although challenges remain, this work demonstrates a feasible approach to unlock observations from field notebooks that enhances their discovery and interoperability without losing the narrative context from which those observations are drawn.
“Compose your notes as if you were writing a letter to someone a century in the future.”
Perrine and Patton (2011)
Field notes; notebooks; crowd sourcing; digitization; biodiversity; transcription; text-mining; Darwin Core; Junius Henderson; annotation; taxonomic referencing; natural history; Wikisource; Colorado; species occurrence records
The electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) has the potential to replace the paper notebook with a marked-up digital record that can be searched and shared. However, it is a challenge to achieve these benefits without losing the usability and flexibility of traditional paper notebooks. We investigate a blog-based platform that addresses the issues associated with the development of a flexible system for recording scientific research.
We chose a blog-based approach with the journal characteristics of traditional notebooks in mind, recognizing the potential for linking together procedures, materials, samples, observations, data, and analysis reports. We implemented the LabTrove blog system as a server process written in PHP, using a MySQL database to persist posts and other research objects. We incorporated a metadata framework that is both extensible and flexible while promoting consistency and structure where appropriate. Our experience thus far is that LabTrove is capable of providing a successful electronic laboratory recording system.
LabTrove implements a one-item one-post system, which enables us to uniquely identify each element of the research record, such as data, samples, and protocols. This unique association between a post and a research element affords advantages for monitoring the use of materials and samples and for inspecting research processes. The combination of the one-item one-post system, consistent metadata, and full-text search provides us with a much more effective record than a paper notebook. The LabTrove approach provides a route towards reconciling the tensions and challenges that lie ahead in working towards the long-term goals for ELNs. LabTrove, an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) system from the Smart Research Framework, based on a blog-type framework with full access control, facilitates the scientific experimental recording requirements for reproducibility, reuse, repurposing, and redeployment.
This article presents a plethora of fragments from the medical notebooks found in the Cairo Genizah that comprise a unique source of historical data for scholarly study and for a better understanding of the ways in which medieval medical knowledge in Egypt was transferred from theory to practice and vice versa. These documents provide the most direct evidence we have for preferred practical medical recipes because they record the choices of medical practitioners in medieval Cairo. Since the language most commonly used in them was Judaeo-Arabic, they were evidently written by Jews. The medical genre in the notebooks was primarily pharmacopoeic, consisting of apparently original recipes for the treatment of various diseases. There are also a few notebooks on materia medica. The subject matter of the Genizah medical notebooks shows that they were mostly of an eclectic nature, i.e. the writers had probably learnt about these treatments and recipes from their teachers, applied them at the hospitals where they worked or copied them from the books they read. Foremost among the subjects dealt with were eye diseases, followed by skin diseases, coughs and colds, dentistry and oral hygiene, and gynaecological conditions. The writers of the Genizah notebooks apparently recorded the practical medical knowledge they wished to preserve for their future use as amateur physicians, students, traditional healers or professional practitioners.
Cairo Genizah; History of Medicine; Jewish; Medieval Middle East; Middle Ages; Notebook
Chemotherapeutic agents produce dose-limiting peripheral neuropathy through mechanisms that remain poorly understood. We previously showed that AM1710, a cannabilactone CB2 agonist, produces antinociception without producing central nervous system (CNS)-associated side effects. The present study was conducted to examine the antinociceptive effect of AM1710 in rodent models of neuropathic pain evoked by diverse chemotherapeutic agents (cisplatin and paclitaxel). A secondary objective was to investigate the potential contribution of alpha-chemokine receptor (CXCR4) signaling to both chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and CB2 agonist efficacy.
AM1710 (0.1, 1 or 5 mg/kg i.p.) suppressed the maintenance of mechanical and cold allodynia in the cisplatin and paclitaxel models. Anti-allodynic effects of AM1710 were blocked by the CB2 antagonist AM630 (3 mg/kg i.p.), but not the CB1 antagonist AM251 (3 mg/kg i.p.), consistent with a CB2-mediated effect. By contrast, blockade of CXCR4 signaling with its receptor antagonist AMD3100 (10 mg/kg i.p.) failed to attenuate mechanical or cold hypersensitivity induced by either cisplatin or paclitaxel. Moreover, blockade of CXCR4 signaling failed to alter the anti-allodynic effects of AM1710 in the paclitaxel model, further suggesting distinct mechanisms of action.
Our results indicate that activation of cannabinoid CB2 receptors by AM1710 suppresses both mechanical and cold allodynia in two distinct models of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. By contrast, CXCR4 signaling does not contribute to the maintenance of chemotherapy-induced established neuropathy or efficacy of AM1710. Our studies suggest that CB2 receptors represent a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of toxic neuropathies produced by cisplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapeutic agents.
Endocannabinoid; Cannabilactone; AM1710; Chemotherapy; Neuropathic pain; Chemokine; CXCR4; Mechanical allodynia; Cold allodynia; Hyperalgesia
Biology, biomedicine and healthcare have become data-driven enterprises, where scientists and clinicians need to generate, access, validate, interpret and integrate different kinds of experimental and patient-related data. Thus, recording and reporting of data in a systematic and unambiguous fashion is crucial to allow aggregation and re-use of data. This paper reviews the benefits of existing biomedical data standards and focuses on key elements to record experiments for therapy development. Specifically, we describe the experiments performed in molecular, cellular, animal and clinical models. We also provide an example set of elements for a therapy tested in a phase I clinical trial.
We introduce the Guidelines for Information About Therapy Experiments (GIATE), a minimum information checklist creating a consistent framework to transparently report the purpose, methods and results of the therapeutic experiments. A discussion on the scope, design and structure of the guidelines is presented, together with a description of the intended audience. We also present complementary resources such as a classification scheme, and two alternative ways of creating GIATE information: an electronic lab notebook and a simple spreadsheet-based format. Finally, we use GIATE to record the details of the phase I clinical trial of CHT-25 for patients with refractory lymphomas. The benefits of using GIATE for this experiment are discussed.
While data standards are being developed to facilitate data sharing and integration in various aspects of experimental medicine, such as genomics and clinical data, no previous work focused on therapy development. We propose a checklist for therapy experiments and demonstrate its use in the 131Iodine labeled CHT-25 chimeric antibody cancer therapy. As future work, we will expand the set of GIATE tools to continue to encourage its use by cancer researchers, and we will engineer an ontology to annotate GIATE elements and facilitate unambiguous interpretation and data integration.
This paper describes the design of RS/1,™ the Research System, and its use in clinical patient studies. RS/1 is an interactive computer software system developed by the Medical Systems Group at BBN.
Investigators and technicians who have never before used computers can learn RS/1 with a few hours of training. It uses familiar and intuitive concepts for data handling and data analysis, such as the “automated notebook” format of data storage, the direct use of graphs in curve-fitting, and a simple command language.
Its versatility has made RS/1 useful in clinical research contexts, especially for studies involving patient care data.
Breast cancer screening continues to be underutilized by the population in general, but is particularly underutilized by traditionally underserved minority populations. Two of the most at risk female minority groups are American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and Latinas. American Indian women have the poorest recorded 5-year cancer survival rates of any ethnic group while breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer mortality among Latina women. Breast cancer screening rates for both minority groups are near or at the lowest among all racial/ethnic groups. As with other health screening behaviors, women may intend to get a mammogram but their intentions may not result in initiation or follow through of the examination process. An accumulating body of research, however, demonstrates the efficacy of developing 'implementation intentions' that define when, where, and how a specific behavior will be performed. The formulation of intended steps in addition to addressing potential barriers to test completion can increase a person's self-efficacy, operationalize and strengthen their intention to act, and close gaps between behavioral intention and completion. To date, an evaluation of the formulation of implementation intentions for breast cancer screening has not been conducted with minority populations.
In the proposed program, community health workers will meet with rural-dwelling Latina and American Indian women one-on-one to educate them about breast cancer and screening and guide them through a computerized and culturally tailored "implementation intentions" program, called Healthy Living Kansas - Breast Health, to promote breast cancer screening utilization. We will target Latina and AI/AN women from two distinct rural Kansas communities. Women attending community events will be invited by CHWs to participate and be randomized to either a mammography "implementation intentions" (MI2) intervention or a comparison general breast cancer prevention informational intervention (C). CHWs will be armed with notebook computers loaded with our Healthy Living Kansas - Breast Health program and guide their peers through the program. Women in the MI2 condition will receive assistance with operationalizing their screening intentions and identifying and addressing their stated screening barriers with the goal of guiding them toward accessing screening services near their community. Outcomes will be evaluated at 120-days post randomization via self-report and will include mammography utilization status, barriers, and movement along a behavioral stages of readiness to screen model.
This highly innovative project will be guided and initiated by AI/AN and Latina community members and will test the practical application of emerging behavioral theory among minority persons living in rural communities.
ClinicalTrials (NCT): NCT01267110
Spinal glial and proinflammatory cytokine actions are strongly implicated in pathological pain. Spinal administration of the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL-10) abolishes pathological pain and suppresses proinflammatory interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). Drugs that bind the cannabinoid type 2 receptor (CB2R) expressed on spinal glia reduce mechanical hypersensitivity. To better understand the CB2R-related anti-inflammatory profile of key anatomical nociceptive regions, we assessed mechanical hypersensitivity and protein profiles following intrathecal application of the cannabilactone CB2R agonist, AM1710, in two animal models; unilateral sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury(CCI), and spinal application of HIV-1 glycoprotein 120 (gp120), a model of peri-spinal immune activation. In CCI animals, lumbar dorsal spinal cord and corresponding dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry for expression of IL-10, IL-1β, phosphorylated p38-mitogen-activated-kinase (p-p38MAPK), a pathway associated with proinflammatory cytokine production, glial cell markers, and degradative endocannabinoid enzymes including monoacyl glycerol lipase (MAGL). AM1710 reversed bilateral mechanical hypersensitivity. CCI revealed decreased IL-10 expression in dorsal spinal cord and DRG while AM1710 resulted in increased IL-10, comparable to controls. Adjacent DRG and spinal sections revealed increased IL-1β, p-p38MAPK, glial markers and/or MAGL expression, while AM1710 suppressed all but spinal p-p38MAPK and microglial activation. In spinal gp120 animals, AM1710 prevented bilateral mechanical hypersensitivity. For comparison to immunohistochemistry, IL-1β and TNF-α protein quantification from lumbar spinal and DRG homogenates was determined, and revealed increased DRG IL-1β protein levels from gp120, that was robustly prevented by AM1710 pretreatment. Cannabilactone CB2R agonists are emerging as anti-inflammatory agents with pain therapeutic implications.
cannabinoid; CCI; paraffin immunohistochemistry; rat; spectral analysis; gp120
Chemotherapeutic treatment results in chronic pain in an estimated 30-40 percent of patients. Limited and often ineffective treatments make the need for new therapeutics an urgent one. We compared the effects of prophylactic cannabinoids as a preventative strategy for suppressing development of paclitaxel-induced nociception. The mixed CB1/CB2 agonist WIN55,212-2 was compared with the cannabilactone CB2-selective agonist AM1710, administered subcutaneously (s.c.), via osmotic mini pumps before, during, and after paclitaxel treatment. Pharmacological specificity was assessed using CB1 (AM251) and CB2 (AM630) antagonists. The impact of chronic drug infusion on transcriptional regulation of mRNA markers of astrocytes (GFAP), microglia (CD11b) and cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) was assessed in lumbar spinal cords of paclitaxel and vehicle-treated rats.
Both WIN55,212-2 and AM1710 blocked the development of paclitaxel-induced mechanical and cold allodynia; anti-allodynic efficacy persisted for approximately two to three weeks following cessation of drug delivery. WIN55,212-2 (0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg/day s.c.) suppressed the development of both paclitaxel-induced mechanical and cold allodynia. WIN55,212-2-mediated suppression of mechanical hypersensitivity was dominated by CB1 activation whereas suppression of cold allodynia was relatively insensitive to blockade by either CB1 (AM251; 3 mg/kg/day s.c.) or CB2 (AM630; 3 mg/kg/day s.c.) antagonists. AM1710 (0.032 and 3.2 mg/kg /day) suppressed development of mechanical allodynia whereas only the highest dose (3.2 mg/kg/day s.c.) suppressed cold allodynia. Anti-allodynic effects of AM1710 (3.2 mg/kg/day s.c.) were mediated by CB2. Anti-allodynic efficacy of AM1710 outlasted that produced by chronic WIN55,212-2 infusion. mRNA expression levels of the astrocytic marker GFAP was marginally increased by paclitaxel treatment whereas expression of the microglial marker CD11b was unchanged. Both WIN55,212-2 (0.5 mg/kg/day s.c.) and AM1710 (3.2 mg/kg/day s.c.) increased CB1 and CB2 mRNA expression in lumbar spinal cord of paclitaxel-treated rats in a manner blocked by AM630.
Conclusions and implications
Cannabinoids block development of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy and protect against neuropathic allodynia following cessation of drug delivery. Chronic treatment with both mixed CB1/CB2 and CB2 selective cannabinoids increased mRNA expression of cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) in a CB2-dependent fashion. Our results support the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for suppressing chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in humans.
Cannabinoid; CB1; CB2; Chemotherapy; Cold allodynia; Mechanical allodynia; Osmotic mini pump; Paclitaxel
ST1710, a member of the multiple antibiotic resistance regulator (MarR) family of regulatory proteins in bacteria and archaea, plays important roles in development of antibiotic resistance, a global health problem. Here, we present the crystal structure of ST1710 from Sulfolobus tokodaii strain 7 complexed with salicylate, a well-known inhibitor of MarR proteins and the ST1710 complex with its promoter DNA, refined to 1.8 and 2.10 Å resolutions, respectively. The ST1710–DNA complex shares the topology of apo-ST1710 and MarR proteins, with each subunit containing a winged helix-turn-helix (wHtH) DNA binding motif. Significantly large conformational changes occurred upon DNA binding and in each of the dimeric monomers in the asymmetric unit of the ST1710–DNA complex. Conserved wHtH loop residues interacting with the bound DNA and mutagenic analysis indicated that R89, R90 and K91 were important for DNA recognition. Significantly, the bound DNA exhibited a new binding mechanism.
eCAT is an electronic lab notebook (ELN) developed by Axiope Limited. It is the first online ELN, the first ELN to be developed in close collaboration with lab scientists, and the first ELN to be targeted at researchers in non-commercial institutions. eCAT was developed in response to feedback from users of a predecessor product. By late 2006 the basic concept had been clarified: a highly scalable web-based collaboration tool that possessed the basic capabilities of commercial ELNs, i.e. a permissions system, controlled sharing, an audit trail, electronic signature and search, and a front end that looked like the electronic counterpart to a paper notebook.
During the development of the beta version feedback was incorporated from many groups including the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research, Uppsala University, Children's Hospital Boston, Alex Swarbrick's lab at the Garvan Institute in Sydney and Martin Spitaler at Imperial College. More than 100 individuals and groups worldwide then participated in the beta testing between September 2008 and June 2009. The generally positive response is reflected in the following quote about how one lab is making use of eCAT: "Everyone uses it as an electronic notebook, so they can compile the diverse collections of data that we generate as biologists, such as images and spreadsheets. We use to it to take minutes of meetings. We also use it to manage our common stocks of antibodies, plasmids and so on. Finally, perhaps the most important feature for us is the ability to link records, reagents and experiments."
By developing eCAT in close collaboration with lab scientists, Axiope has come up with a practical and easy-to-use product that meets the need of scientists to manage, store and share data online. eCAT is already being perceived as a product that labs can continue to use as their data management and sharing grows in scale and complexity.
Lancet is a new, simulator-independent Python utility for succinctly specifying, launching, and collating results from large batches of interrelated computationally demanding program runs. This paper demonstrates how to combine Lancet with IPython Notebook to provide a flexible, lightweight, and agile workflow for fully reproducible scientific research. This informal and pragmatic approach uses IPython Notebook to capture the steps in a scientific computation as it is gradually automated and made ready for publication, without mandating the use of any separate application that can constrain scientific exploration and innovation. The resulting notebook concisely records each step involved in even very complex computational processes that led to a particular figure or numerical result, allowing the complete chain of events to be replicated automatically. Lancet was originally designed to help solve problems in computational neuroscience, such as analyzing the sensitivity of a complex simulation to various parameters, or collecting the results from multiple runs with different random starting points. However, because it is never possible to know in advance what tools might be required in future tasks, Lancet has been designed to be completely general, supporting any type of program as long as it can be launched as a process and can return output in the form of files. For instance, Lancet is also heavily used by one of the authors in a separate research group for launching batches of microprocessor simulations. This general design will allow Lancet to continue supporting a given research project even as the underlying approaches and tools change.
IPython; pandas; reproducibility; workflow; simulation; batch computation; provenance; big data
The increasing complexity of medical curricula would benefit from adaptive computer supported collaborative learning systems that support study management using instructional design and learning object principles. However, to our knowledge, there are scarce reports regarding applications developed to meet this goal and encompass the complete medical curriculum. The aim of ths study was to develop and assess the usability of an adaptive computer supported collaborative learning system for medical students to manage study sessions.
A study platform named ALERT STUDENT was built as a free web application. Content chunks are represented as Flashcards that hold knowledge and open ended questions. These can be created in a collaborative fashion. Multiple Flashcards can be combined into custom stacks called Notebooks that can be accessed in study Groups that belong to the user institution. The system provides a Study Mode that features text markers, text notes, timers and color-coded content prioritization based on self-assessment of open ended questions presented in a Quiz Mode. Time spent studying and Perception of knowledge are displayed for each student and peers using charts. Computer supported collaborative learning is achieved by allowing for simultaneous creation of Notebooks and self-assessment questions by many users in a pre-defined Group. Past personal performance data is retrieved when studying new Notebooks containing previously studied Flashcards. Self-report surveys showed that students highly agreed that the system was useful and were willing to use it as a reference tool.
The platform employs various instructional design and learning object principles in a computer supported collaborative learning platform for medical students that allows for study management. The application broadens student insight over learning results and supports informed decisions based on past learning performance. It serves as a potential educational model for the medical education setting that has gathered strong positive feedback from students at our school.
This platform provides a case study on how effective blending of instructional design and learning object principles can be brought together to manage study, and takes an important step towards bringing information management tools to support study decisions and improving learning outcomes.
Medical education; Computer supported collaborative learning; E-learning; Information management; Memory retention; Computer-assisted instruction; Tailored learning; Student-centered learning; Spaced repetition
To describe the clinical profile of Brazilian patients with type 2 diabetes attending the public healthcare system and identify factors associated with poor glycaemic control.
14 centres in five regions of Brazil, including primary care units and outpatient clinics of University Hospitals.
Patients with type 2 diabetes attending outpatient clinics of public healthcare system.
Main outcome measured
Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), centrally measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program certified).
A total of 5750 patients aged 61±10 years, with 11±8 years of diabetes duration (66% women, 56% non-white, body mass index: 28.0±5.3 kg/m2) were analysed. Mean HbA1c was 8.6±2.2%, and median HbA1c was 8.1% (6.9% to 9.9%). HbA1c <7% was observed in only 26% of patients. Mean HbA1c was higher (p < 0.01) in the North (9.0±2.6%) and Northeast (8.9±2.4%) than in the Midwest (8.1±2%), Southeast (8.4±2.1%) and South regions (8.3±1.9%). Using the cut-off value of HbA1c above the median, age (0.986 (0.983 to 0.989)), white ethnicity (0.931 (0.883 to 0.981)) and being from Midwest region (0.858 (0.745 to 0.989)) were protective factors, while diabetes duration (1.015 (1.012 to 1.018)), use of insulin (1.710 (1.624 to 1.802)) and living in the Northeast region (1.197 (1.085 to 1.321)) were associated with HbA1c >8%.
The majority of Brazilian patients with type 2 diabetes attending the public healthcare system had HbA1c levels above recommended targets. The recognition of Northeast residents and non-white patients as vulnerable populations should guide future policies and actions to prevent and control diabetes.
Diabetes & Endocrinology; Epidemiology
Although irregularities in human zona pellucida (ZP) morphology are well described, there is scant literature on the clinical significance of ZP dysmorphology. We, therefore, designed a retrospective cohort trial of ZP dysmorphology to assess the clinical significance of ZP dysmorphology and its affect on IVF outcome. Over the same time period a random sample of 77 cycles of 77 subjects with all normal oocyte morphology were selected as controls.
Between July 2006 and December 2010, all fresh non-donor cases performed at a university hospital IVF center were assessed for ZP dysmorphology. ZP dysmorphology included extracytoplasmic abnormalities (dark ZP and large perivitelline space) and oocyte shape (oval or irregularly shaped ZP). 136 IVF cycles from 119 subjects were identified where a majority of oocytes displayed ZP dysmorphology. Over the same time period a random sample of 77 cycles of 77 subjects with all normal oocyte morphology were selected as controls. IVF prognostic and outcome parameters were compared between the patients with dysmorphic and normal oocytes.
136/1710 (8.0%) cycles of fresh non-donor IVF displayed predominant ZP dysmorphology. Dysmorphic and normal oocytes showed no difference in the oocyte quality predictors such as FSH (6.03+/−2.5 vs. 6.8+/−2.3 IU/L), or AMH (2.5+/−2.0 vs. 2.30+/−1.5 ng/ml levels). ZP dysmorphology was associated with markedly diminished clinical pregnancy rates (44% vs. 70%; RR:0.62 [0.48, 0.80]; p = 0.0002), implantation rates (.17 vs. .36; IRR: 0.48 [0.34, 0.68]; p < 0.0001) and live birth rates as compared to non dysmorphic oocytes (29% vs. 52%; RR:0.55 [0.39, 0.79]; p = 0.001).
ZP dysmorphology is associated with markedly diminished pregnancy and implantation rates in IVF. The poorer outcome appears to be independent of the usual markers of ovarian reserve.
In-vitro fertilization; Zona Pellucida; Infertility; Oocyte
Parental rearing behavior is a significant etiological factor for the vulnerability of psychopathology and has been an issue of clinical research for a long time. For this scope instruments are important who asses economically recalled parental rearing behavior in a clinical practice. Therefore, a short German instrument for the assessment of the recalled parental rearing behavior Fragebogen zum erinnerten elterlichen Erziehungsverhalten (FEE) was psychometrically evaluated [Recalled Parental Rearing Behavior].
This questionnaire was evaluated in a representative population sample (N = 2.948) in Germany which included 44.2% male and 55.8% female persons with a mean age of M = 47.35 (SD = 17.10, range = 18–92). For the content evaluation of the FEE the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (FLZ) and the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP) was filled out by the participants.
The FEE scales yielded a good to satisfactory internal consistency and split-half reliability. Its three factors (rejection/punishment, emotional warmth, control/overprotection) correlated positively with most of the areas of life satisfaction. Furthermore, positive associations between interpersonal problems and parental rejection and control could be identified.
The FEE is a short, reliable and valid instrument that can be applied in the clinical practice. In addition, the data proved an association between recalled parental rearing behavior, life satisfaction and interpersonal problems conform to the literature. Finally, specific problems with the retrospective assessment of parental rearing behavior were addressed as well.