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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a considerable challenge to public health across the globe. Whole grain is highly recommended as an inseparable part of a healthy diet and has been proposed as an effective way to manage NAFLD. The objective in this study was to evaluate the effects of whole grain consumption on hepatic steatosis and liver enzymes as primary outcomes in patients with NAFLD. Over the 12 weeks of this open-label, randomized controlled clinical trial, 112 patients [mean age: 43± 8.7 y; body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2): 32.2 ± 4.3] were randomly assigned to two groups to receive dietary advice; either to obtain at least half of their cereal servings each day from whole-grain foods or from usual cereals. By the end of the study, the grades of NAFLD showed a significant decrease in the intervention group (P < 0.001). In addition, a significant reduction in serum concentration of alanine aminotransferase (P < 0.001), aspartate aminotransferase (P < 0.001), γ-glutamyltransferase (P = 0.009), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.004) and diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.008) were observed in the intervention group compared to the control group. After adjusting, however, no significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of lipid profile, glycemic status, and anthropometric measurements. Overall, our study demonstrated that consumption of whole grains for 12 weeks had beneficial effects on hepatic steatosis and liver enzymes concentrations in patients with NAFLD.
In engineering design, surrogate models are often used instead of costly computer simulations. Typically, a single surrogate model is selected based on the previous experience. We observe, based on an analysis of the published literature, that fitting an ensemble of surrogates (EoS) based on cross-validation errors is more accurate but requires more computational time. In this paper, we propose a method to build an EoS that is both accurate and less computationally expensive. In the proposed method, the EoS is a weighted average surrogate of response surface models, kriging, and radial basis functions based on overall cross-validation error. We demonstrate that created EoS is accurate than individual surrogates even when fewer data points are used, so computationally efficient with relatively insensitive predictions. We demonstrate the use of an EoS using hot rod rolling as an example. Finally, we include a rule-based template which can be used for other problems with similar requirements, for example, the computational time, required accuracy, and the size of the data.
Cysticercus tenuicollis as metacestode of Taenia hydatigena is the most prevalent taeniid species in livestock. Eighty-eight C. tenuicollis samples were collected from sheep (n = 44) and goats (n = 44) of the northern Iran from 2015 to 2016. The isolated parasites were characterized by morphometric keys. The DNA of the larval stage was extracted, amplified and sequenced targeting mitochondrial 12S rRNA and Cox 1 markers. A significant difference in larval rostellar hook length was observed in 12S rRNA haplotypes. Analysis of molecular variance of 12S rRNA indicated a moderate genetic diversity in the C. tenuicollis isolates. The pairwise sequence distance of C. tenuicollis showed an intra-species diversity of 0.3–0.5% and identity of 99.5–100%. Using the 12S rRNA sequence data we found a moderate genetic difference (Fst; 0.05421) in C. tenucollis isolates collected from livestock of the northern and southeastern regions of Iran. We concluded that the genetic variants of C. tenuicollis are being undoubtedly distributing mostly in different parts of Iran. Further studies with a larger number of T. hydatigena isolates collected from various intermediate and definitive hosts are needed to study this evolutionary assumption and also to determine the apparent genetic differences observed in the studied regions.
Little is known about intimate partner abuse (IPA) among couples during pregnancy in Iran. This study aimed to compare the rates of IPA by pregnant women towards their husbands (perpetration), and women’s experience of IPA from their husbands (victimization) and determine the predictors of the two behaviours. The cross-sectional study was conducted on 525 pregnant women at 24–30 weeks of gestation visiting governmental health care centres/posts in Tabriz, Iran, in 2014. The study sample was selected using random cluster sampling. The Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2) was used to assess IPA perpetration and victimization. The McNemar test was employed to compare the prevalences of IPA perpetration and victimization, and adjusted logistic regression was utilized to determine the socio-demographic predictors of overall IPA perpetration and victimization. The overall rates of women’s reported abuse of their husbands (perpetration) and women’s experience of abuse from their husbands (victimization) were 70% and 67%, respectively, but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.086). The prevalence of psychological aggression perpetrated by women towards their husbands was significantly higher than that experienced by the women from their husbands (65% vs 58%, p<0.001). The prevalences of sexual coercion (15% vs 30%) and injury (8% vs 16%) perpetrated by women on their husbands were significantly lower those they experienced by the women from their husbands (p<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference between the prevalence of perpetration of physical violence towards husbands by women (19%) and that experienced by women from their husbands (22%) (p=0.072). Women’s and husbands’ satisfaction with their own occupations were predictors of both perpetration and victimization of IPA. The observed high rates of IPA perpetration by, women and victimization of, women during pregnancy, and the significantly higher rate of violence towards women compared with that perpetrated by women, especially for sexual coercion and injury, require health policymakers and care providers to make serious efforts to identify such violence, and take appropriate measures to reduce it, during pregnancy in women in Iran.
Modern telecommunications are moving towards (massive) multi-input multi-output (MIMO) systems in 5th generation (5G) technology, increasing the dimensionality of the systems dramatically. In this paper, the impairments of radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers (PAs) in a 3 × 3 MIMO system are compensated in both the time and the frequency domains. A three-dimensional (3D) time-domain memory polynomial-type model is proposed as an extension of conventional 2D models. Furthermore, a 3D frequency-domain technique is formulated based on the proposed time-domain model to reduce the dimensionality of the model, while preserving the performance in terms of model errors. In the 3D frequency-domain technique, the bandwidth of the system is split into several narrow sub-bands, and the parameters of the model are estimated for each sub-band. This approach requires less computational complexity, and also the procedure of the parameters estimation for each sub-band can be implemented independently. The device-under-test consists of three RF PAs including input and output cross-talk channels. The proposed techniques are evaluated in both behavioral modeling and digital pre-distortion (DPD) perspectives. The experimental results show that the proposed DPD technique can compensate the errors of non-linearity and memory effects in the both time and frequency domains.
Although previous studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of some components of whole grains on premenstrual syndrome (PMS), our literature review shows that no clinical trial has studied the effect of whole grain consumption on PMS so far. Therefore, the present study was designed to study the effect of diets rich in whole grains on PMS among nurses. This study is a parallel controlled clinical trial with a 3-month intervention period in which, after following two menstrual cycles among nurses, 100 nurses diagnosed with PMS were randomly divided into two groups of intervention and control, with fifty individuals in each. Those in the intervention group replaced at least four servings of refined grains in their daily diets with whole grains. To supply four servings, 120 g of bread made with whole flour was given to the intervention group on a daily basis. Those in the control group, however, continued their regular daily consumption of grains. The two groups were compared regarding PMS symptoms after adjusting the confounding variables. The repeated measurement test showed that the interaction between the time factor and the experimental group on the mean score of PMS symptoms was significant. That is, the intervention group showed a significant decrease in the general, mood, physical and behavioural symptoms of PMS compared with the controls (P<0·001, P=0·01, P<0·001 and P=0·003, respectively). Therefore, daily consumption of whole grains in place of refined grains can contribute to improvement in PMS symptoms. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.
An analysis of the extent of overlap between habitats of the Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus during summer and winter in Iran, and Iranian protected areas, discovered slight overlap between the two. Our study aimed to survey suitable habitats of the Egyptian Vulture during summer and winter in Iran using MaxEnt, a species distribution modelling method, and compare the results with the locations and span of protected areas. Model fitness was assessed using the area under the ROC-plot and True Skill Statistics. We found that habitat suitability in Iran varies for the Egyptian Vulture during summer and winter. Summer visitors are scattered in the north and west of Iran, concentrated along the Zagros and Alborz mountain ranges. Winter visitors and residents are scattered in coastal areas in the south. Habitat protection for winter visitors was the greatest, with 10% of suitable habitat covered, while less than 10% of suitable habitat for residents and summer visitors fell within protected areas. The Egyptian Vulture is categorised as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. Different environmental factors influence the suitability of habitat for the species. While some factors such as NDVI and anthropogenic disturbance influence all visitors in a similar way, the effects of others such as elevation and distance from protected areas vary for summer and winter visitors. Since designation of protected areas in Iran is mainly determined by the distribution of mammal species, protection of bird habitats is often overlooked. Suitable habitat for the species should be considered when selecting protected areas in future.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the deadliest brain tumor with an approximate 14 month survival rate after diagnosis and treatment. Temozolomide (TMZ), the chemotherapeutic drug of choice for GBM, is an alkylating agent that causes DNA damage. TMZ treatment results in the induction of apoptosis in GBM cells, however, it induces autophagy and consequently chemoresistance. Statins are mevalonate (MEV) cascade inhibitors with beneficial effects on the enhancement of the survival rate of patients with different types of cancer. Here, we determined the effect of simvastatin (Simva), a blood brain barrier permeable statin, on the sensitization of GBM cells to TMZ induced apoptosis through inhibition of autophagy flux. We pretreated two GMB cell lines, U251 and U87 cells, with low doses of Simva (1 and 2.5 M, respectively) with or without different intermediates of the mevalonate cascade and then treated cells with TMZ (100 M) for 48-96 hrs. A signficiantly reduced viability and increased in the population of apoptotic dead cells were observed in GBM cells treated with the Simva-TMZ compared to cells treated with TMZ alone. Addition of MEV, Farnesyl pyrophosphate, Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate and cholesterol did not attenuate these effects significantly. Sima-TMZ treatment did not alter the total cholesterol pool in U87 and U251 cells compared to controls. Western blot analysis, immunocytochemistry and transmission electron microscopy revealed that Simva-TMZ inhibited autophagic flux. Overall, the results suggest that sensitization of GBM cells to TMZ-induced apoptosis by Simva is independent on the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway but may involve inhibition of autophagy.
A uniform nanometric thin liquid film on a solid substrate can become unstable due to the action of van der Waals (vdW) forces. The instability leads to dewetting of the uniform film and the formation of drops. To minimize the total free energy of the system, these drops coarsen over time until one single drop remains. Here, using a thermodynamically consistent framework, we derive a new model for thin films in partial wetting with a free energy that resembles the Cahn–Hilliard form with a height-dependent surface tension that leads to a generalized disjoining pressure, and revisit the dewetting problem. Using both linear stability analysis and nonlinear simulations we show that the new model predicts a slightly smaller critical instability wavelength and a significantly (up to six-fold) faster growth rate than the classical model in the spinodal regime; this faster growth rate brings the theoretical predictions closer to published experimental observations. During coarsening at intermediate times, the dynamics become self-similar and model-independent; we therefore observe the same scalings in both the classical (with and without thermal noise) and new models. Both models also lead to a mean-field Lifshitz–Slyozov–Wagner (LSW)-type droplet-size distribution at intermediate times for small drop sizes. We, however, observe a skewed drop-size distribution for larger drops in the new model; while the tail of the distribution follows a Smoluchowski equation, it is not associated with a coalescence-dominated coarsening, calling into question the association made in some earlier experiments. Our observations point to the importance of the height dependence of surface tension in the early and late stages of dewetting of nanometric films and motivate new high-resolution experimental observations to guide the development of improved models of interfacial flows at the nanoscale.
Blood eosinophil count is associated with a variety of common complex outcomes in epidemiological observation. The aim of this study was to explore the causal association between determined blood eosinophil count and 20 common complex outcomes (10 metabolic, 6 cardiac, and 4 pulmonary). Through Mendelian randomization, we investigated genetic evidence for the genetically determined eosinophil in association with each outcomes using individual-level LifeLines cohort data (n = 13,301), where a weighted eosinophil genetic risk score comprising five eosinophil associated variants was created. We further examined the associations of the genetically determined eosinophil with those outcomes using summary statistics obtained from genome-wide association study consortia (6 consortia and 14 outcomes). Blood eosinophil count, by a 1-SD genetically increased, was not statistically associated with common complex outcomes in the LifeLines. Using the summary statistics, we showed that a higher genetically determined eosinophil count had a significant association with lower odds of obesity (odds ratio (OR) 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.74, 0.89]) but not with the other traits and diseases. To conclude, an elevated eosinophil count is unlikely to be causally associated to higher risk of metabolic, cardiac, and pulmonary outcomes. Further studies with a stronger genetic risk score for eosinophil count may support these results.
Safflower seed (Corthamus tinctorius) was recognized to contain the highest concentration of linoleic acid among all oilseeds (Dubois et al., 2007), but research in this field is a few and almost non for Iranian safflower seed. The use of in vitro gas method based on syringes appears to be most convenient in developing countries where resources may be limited in recent years (Makkar, 2004). The Objective of this study was to compare nutritive value of two varieties of safflower seed (IL-111(I) and Native (N)) cultivated in Isfahan, Iran to each other and to the other oilseeds.
This cross-sectional study was carried out to capture possible maternal factors affecting newborns’ anthropometric measurements. Data were collected from eight public health centres and referral university hospital records in Tabriz and Heriss districts, north-west Iran, for 807 mother–neonate pairs delivering live singleton births and their offspring during the two years up to August 2014. The incidence of low birth weight (LBW) was 5.1%. A close correlation was found between maternal anthropometry and birth order with neonatal anthropometric data. Birth order and maternal height and body mass index (BMI) positively affected neonates’ birth size (weight, length and head circumference). The rate of LBW was significantly higher for older (≥35 years), taller (≥170 cm), underweight (BMI<18.5) and non-iron-taking women and in the first-born babies. The odds of having LBW newborns in older, taller, underweight, obese and irregular iron-taking women were 3.82, 4.00, 9.07, 3.50 and 2.50 times those of mid-age group, middle-height, overweight and regular iron-taking women, respectively. First-born newborns were 5.97 times more likely to be LBW compared with second-birth neonates. The results indicate that maternal anthropometric indices, age, iron intake and birth order influence the risk of LBW in newborns.
Background: CAS is reported to have higher complication rates in elderly compared to younger patients. This effect may be a surrogate for unfavourable anatomy (tortuosity, arch/access vessel atheroma burden) for endovascular treatment. We report our experience with 42 highly selected patients with favourable anatomy in spite of age. Methods: From a cohort of 217 consecutive patients undergoing CAS at St Michael’s Hospital from 2010-2016, stroke and a composite outcome of stroke, MI or death at 30 days post procedure was recorded. We compared outcomes in patients below and above the age of 75. Results: In 217 patients, 175 (80.7%) were below and 42 (19.3%) were above age 75 years. The stroke rate was 1.7% (n=3) and 2.4% (n=1), for patients below and above age 75 years respectively (p=0.58). The composite outcome rate was 4.0% (n=7) and 4.8% (n=2) for patients below and above age 75 years respectively (p=0.69). Conclusions: Patients without high-risk anatomic features were selected for CAS treatment. In this selected group, outcomes for those older than 75 years are comparable to the younger age category. Complication rates were comparable to the results in major randomized symptomatic carotid trials.
Background: On imaging, thrombosed aneurysms can be mistaken for tumor with potentially disastrous consequences. Methods: We present two cases of aneurysms mimicking tumor. Results:Patient 1 (6 months of left-sided facial weakness): MRI demonstrated a 3.3 cm, T1-isotense, T2-hypertense heterogeneous enhancing mass favored to represent a CPA schwannoma. Biopsy revealed a thrombosed aneurysm. DSA subsequently revealed an area of contrast penetration, treated by parent artery (AICA) obliteration. Two-year follow-up revealed stable occlusion with reduced mass effect. Patient 2 (1 year of headaches): Imaging demonstrated an extra-axial T1-mixed, T2-hyperintense heterogeneously enhancing mass in the left CPA adjacent to the vertebral artery, enlarging from 1.7 cm to 3.2 cm over 2 years. DSA revealed slow, crescentic filling with suggestion of arborisation distally. Patient deteriorated due to mass effect requiring a VP shunt and passed away from SAH 3 months later. Imaging review revealed crescentic filling of the remnant lumen on CE-MRA and signal voids on T2 in both cases, which may suggest the aneurysm diagnosis. However our cases did not have other features such as lamellated thrombus or pulsation artifact. Conclusions: Central contrast enhancement does not necessarily preclude the diagnosis of thrombosed aneurysm. The possibility of revascularization or penetration of contrast through the thrombus in giant aneurysms needs to be considered.
Background: The CREST trial remains the most influential study regarding choice of treatment modality for carotid revascularization in the modern era. The effect of the CREST trial on patient outcomes and changes to clinical practice are yet to be fully elucidated. Methods: We report a cohort of 217 consecutive symptomatic average risk patients undergoing CAS at St. Michael’s Hospital, between 2010 and 2016. Outcome measures were stroke, MI and death at 30 days post procedure. Of the 217 patients, 42 were above the age of 75 (19%). Results: The 30-day combined stroke, MI and death outcome for all patients was 4.1%. One death occurred (0.46%) in a patient who suffered an MI. One disabling stroke (0.46%) and 3 mild strokes (1.38%) with full recovery by 6 months occurred. Overall 4 patients suffered an MI (1.84%). Conclusions: As a result of the CREST trial in our single institutional experience there has been a clear migration to treating average risk patients using CAS, a treatment previously reserved for high risk patients. In this average risk cohort we report favourable outcomes when compared to the CREST trial as well as the firmly established benchmarks for CEA complications derived from the NASCET trial.
Arboviruses are pathogens that widely affect the health of people in different communities around the world. Recently, a few successful approaches toward production of effective vaccines against some of these pathogens have been developed, but treatment and prevention of the resulting diseases remain a major health and research concern. The arbovirus infection and replication processes are complex, and many factors are involved in their regulation. Apoptosis, autophagy and the unfolded protein response (UPR) are three mechanisms that are involved in pathogenesis of many viruses. In this review, we focus on the importance of these pathways in the arbovirus replication and infection processes. We provide a brief introduction on how apoptosis, autophagy and the UPR are initiated and regulated, and then discuss the involvement of these pathways in regulation of arbovirus pathogenesis.
Prebiotic oligosaccharides, including galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), are used in infant formula to mimic human milk oligosaccharides, which are known to have an important role in the development of the intestinal microbiota and the immune system in neonates. The maturation of the intestines in piglets closely resembles that of human neonates and infants. Hence, a neonatal piglet model was used to study the multi-faceted effect of dietary GOS in early life. Naturally farrowed piglets were separated from the mother sow 24–48 h postpartum and received a milk replacer with or without the addition of GOS for 3 or 26 d, whereafter several indicators of intestinal colonisation and maturation were measured. Dietary GOS was readily fermented in the colon, leading to a decreased pH, an increase in butyric acid in caecum digesta and an increase in lactobacilli and bifidobacteria numbers at day 26. Histomorphological changes were observed in the intestines of piglets fed a GOS diet for 3 or 26 d. In turn, differences in the intestinal disaccharidase activity were observed between control and GOS-fed piglets. The mRNA expression of various tight junction proteins was up-regulated in the intestines of piglet fed a GOS diet and was not accompanied by an increase in protein expression. GOS also increased defensin porcine β-defensin-2 in the colon and secretory IgA levels in saliva. In conclusion, by applying a neonatal piglet model, it could be demonstrated that a GOS-supplemented milk replacer promotes the balance of the developing intestinal microbiota, improves the intestinal architecture and seems to stimulate the intestinal defence mechanism.
A new approach for designing a single-feed circular microstrip antenna with dual-band/multi-band circularly polarized (CP) radiation are demonstrated and studied experimentally. It is presented that by embedding pairs of asymmetrical ring-shaped arc slots to the boundary of both circular patch and the ground plane the impedance bandwidth of the antenna increases. This can be achieved by making use of both mutual coupling between the resonances of the ring-shaped arc slots and the fundamental resonances of the circular antenna. Also, by extending the ring-shaped arc slots out with narrow slots, the circular microstrip patch antenna can perform dual-band/multi-band CP radiation. Further details of the proposed CP microstrip antenna designs are described, and typical experimental results are presented and discussed.