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Agriculture in the Central Himalayan Region depends on the availability of suitable germplasm as well as natural conditions. Due to extreme weather conditions, food and nutrition security is a major issue for communities inhabiting these remote and inaccessible areas. Millets are common crops grown in these areas. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv) is an important crop and forms a considerable part of the diet in this region. The aim of the present study was to explore, collect, conserve and evaluate the untapped genetic diversity of foxtail millet at the molecular level and discover variability in their nutritional traits. A total of 30 accessions having unique traits of agronomic importance were collected and molecular profiling was performed. A total of 63 alleles were generated with an average of 2.52 alleles per locus and average expected heterozygosity of 0.37 ± 0.231. Significant genetic variability was revealed through the genetic differentiation (Fst) and gene flow (Nm) values. Structure-based analysis divided whole germplasm into three sub-groups. Rich variability was found in nutritional traits such as dietary fibre in husked grains, carbohydrate, protein, lysine and thiamine content. The collected germplasm may be useful for developing nutritionally rich and agronomically beneficial varieties of foxtail millet and also designing strategies for utilization of unexploited genetic diversity for food and nutrition security in this and other similar agro-ecological regions.
The mountain ecosystem of the Central Himalayan Region is known for its diversity of crops and their wild relatives. In spite of adverse climatic conditions, this region is endowed with a rich diversity of millets. Hence, the aim of the present study was to explore, collect, conserve and evaluate the diversity of barnyard millet (Echinochloa frumentacea) to find out the extent of diversity available in different traits and the traits responsible for abiotic stress tolerance, and to identify trait-specific accessions for crop improvement and also for the cultivation of millets in the region as well as in other similar agro-ecological regions. A total of 178 accessions were collected and evaluated for a range of morpho-physiological and biochemical traits. Significant variability was noted in days to 50% flowering, days to 80% maturity, 1000 seed weight and yield potential of the germplasm. These traits are considered to be crucial for tailoring new varieties for different agro-climatic conditions. Variations in biochemical traits such as lipid peroxidation (0·552–7·421 nmol malondialdehyde formed/mg protein/h), total glutathione (105·270–423·630 mmol/g fresh weight) and total ascorbate (4·980–9·880 mmol/g fresh weight) content indicate the potential of collected germplasm for abiotic stress tolerance. Principal component analysis also indicated that yield, superoxide dismutase activity, plant height, days to 50% flowering, catalase activity and glutathione content are suitable traits for screening large populations of millet and selection of suitable germplasm for crop improvement and cultivation. Trait-specific accessions identified in the present study could be useful in crop improvement programmes, climate-resilient agriculture and improving food security in areas with limited resources.
Docetaxel, cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil is an efficacious induction regimen but is more toxic than cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil. This study aimed to determine whether docetaxel and cisplatin without 5-fluorouracil maintains efficacy while decreasing toxicity.
A multicenter non-comparative pilot study of locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck was performed. Patients received primary therapy comprising three cycles of 75 mg/m2 docetaxel and 75 mg/m2 cisplatin followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy. The primary endpoint was the response rate to the docetaxel and cisplatin induction regimen.
A total of 26 patients were enrolled: of these, 23 (88.5 per cent) received all three docetaxel and cisplatin cycles. Common grade 3–4 adverse events were febrile neutropenia (19.2 per cent of patients), diarrhoea (19.2 per cent) and non-neutropenic infection (15.4 per cent). The overall response rate to docetaxel and cisplatin induction chemotherapy was 65.4 per cent. A total of 23 patients (88.5 per cent) subsequently received chemoradiotherapy with a median radiotherapy dose of 70 Gy. The response rate to chemoradiotherapy was 73 per cent. At a median follow up of 44 months, the 3-year progression-free survival and overall survival rates were 62 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively.
Docetaxel and cisplatin induction chemotherapy is a feasible induction regimen with comparable efficacy to docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil induction chemotherapy.
Soybean is a leading oilseed crop in India, which contains about 40% of protein and 20% of oil. Core collection will accelerate the management and utilization of soybean genetic resources in breeding programmes. In the present study, eight agromorphological traits of 3443 soybean germplasm were analysed for the development of core collection using the principal component score (PCS) strategy and the power core method. The PCS strategy yielded core collection (CC1) of 576 accessions, which accounted for 16.72% of the entire collection (EC). The analysis based on the power core programme resulted in CC2 of 402 accessions, which accounted for 11.67% of the EC. Statistical analysis showed similar trends for the mean and range estimated in both core collections and EC. In addition, the variance, standard deviation and coefficient of variance were in general higher in core collections than in the EC. The correlations observed in the EC in general were preserved in core collections. A total of 311 and 137 unique accessions were found in CC1 and CC2 in addition to 265 accessions that were found to be common in both core collections. These 265 common accessions were the most diverse core sets, which accounted for 7.64% of the EC. We proposed to constitute an integrated core collection (ICC) by integrating both common and unique accessions. The ICC comprised 713 accessions, which accounted for about 20.62% of the EC. Statistical analysis indicated that the ICC captured maximum variation than CC1 and CC2. Therefore, the ICC can be extensively evaluated for a large number of economically important traits for the identification of desirable genotypes and for the development of mini core collection in soybean.
Metal oxide nanostructures have shown significant promise for biosensors, gas sensors, photocatalyst and other biomedical applications. Among these, zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures, exhibiting interesting properties such as high catalytic activity, biocompatibility, high isoelectric point, large surface to volume ratio, make them a good candidate for biosensing applications. Here we report the synthesis of ZnO nanorods (ZnONR) on ITO films in aqueous phase and its application in Urea biosensor fabrication. ZnONR have been synthesized by a two-step method, first seed growth of ZnO by sputtering on ITO films followed by decomposition of zinc nitrate hexahydrate / hexamethylenetetramine (HMT) in aqueous phase. Exploiting the high isoelectric point of ZnO, a Urease/ZnONR/ITO bioelectrode has been fabricated by physical binding of Urease (Urs) onto ZnONRs. X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), and cyclic voltammetry (CV) have been used to characterize ZnONR and the Urs/ZnONR/ITO bioelectrode. The FE-SEM and XRD measurements confirm the formation of ZnONR. The electrochemical data from the Urs/ZnONR/ITO biolectrode reveal linearity between 1-11 mM with sensitivity of 0.9 μA/mM and a relatively low Michaelis-Menten constant (Km) of 5.01 mM for urea sensing. The results indicate the potential of ZnONR films for fabrication of commercial biosensors.
Three junction a-Si based photovoltaic modules have been made using a design which provides high initial efficiency and good resistance to photodegradation. The cells have a Si/Si/SiGe configuration in which the i-layer in the middle junction is 4000Å thick. The most efficient module measured to date has an aperture area efficiency of 9.82%. This design will limit light-induced efficiency losses to 15% or less, based on small area results, however defect related problems have increased this value to 17 – 23%. Preliminary data on the effect of shunts on stability is presented. We discuss various concerns related to large area deposition and scale-up.
We report a study of a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H dual-bandgap p-i-n type tandem solar cells and Modules. Refined bandgap grading in the a-SiGe:H bottom cell results in higher Jsc (higher red response) without loss in FF or Voc. IMprovements in the tunnel junction consisting of doped widegap a-SiC:H and μC-Si lead to higher FF and lower optical loss. Undoped widegap a-SiC:H is used as interface layers in the top junction. Initial conversion efficiencies of 11.4% and 10.5% have been obtained for small-area cells and one-square-foot modules, respectively. The double junction cells and modules exhibit good stability and saturation of light-induced degradation, showing only ∼15% decrease in conversion efficiency after more than 1000 hours of simulated AM1.5 illumination. The stabilized efficiencies are 9.6% and 9.1%, respectively, for small area cell and large area Module. We also present some findings from the computer simulations of multijunction solar cell performance using a simple lump-circuit device Model.
Some of the significant steps in technological development for large-scale commercialization of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) based multijunction photovoltaic modules are presented. These developments are establishing a high quality baseline process for manufacturing large-area ( ˜ 8 ft2) a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H tandem junction modules with improved stabilized conversion efficiency, throughput, yield, and reduced materials usage.
Some of the significant steps in technological development for large-scale commercialization of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) based multijunction photovoltaic modules are presented. These developments are establishing a high quality baseline process for manufacturing large-area ( ∼ 8 ft2) a-Si:H/a-SiGe:H tandem junction modules with improved stabilized conversion efficiency, throughput, yield, and reduced materials usage.
Pulsed laser deposited cerium oxide (CeO2) nanoporous thin film on platinum (Pt) coated glass has been used for immobilization of glucose oxidase (GOx) by electrostatic interaction. Atomic force microscopy studies reveal the formation of nanoporous surface morphology of CeO2 thin film. Differential pulse voltammetric and optical measurements show that the GOx/CeO2/Pt bioelectrode is sensitive to the detection of glucose over the concentration upto 300 mg/dl. A low value of enzyme's kinetic parameter (Michaelis-Menten constant∼1.01 mM) indicates enhanced enzyme affinity of GOx to glucose.
Young's syndrome describes a combination of male infertility, azoospermia, bronchiectasis and sinusitis. Although Young's syndrome is a well accepted disorder within the realms of infertility medicine, it is also accepted as being a potential cause of sino-nasal disease which is rarely seen by otolaryngologists. However, the significance of the sinus component within this triad is not fully understood. To gain further insight into the relationship of sinusitis with Young's syndrome, we reviewed all of the currently available published literature.
Within the reviewed literature, the diagnosis of sinusitis in Young's syndrome was crude and poorly defined; there was little emphasis on sinus disease in most publications.
The prevalence of Young's syndrome is reported to be declining, and the level of evidence regarding sinus disease within this syndrome is limited to case series only. There is, in fact, little evidence to support Young's syndrome being a significant aetiological factor for sinus disease, nor indeed to support the existence of Young's syndrome as an entity in its own right. The only documented aetiological factor is mercury exposure in childhood, an event that is seldom currently encountered; this would support our theory of the extinction of the condition. As an incidental finding, we found that the term Young's syndrome refers to two different medical conditions.
To report cases of long-term surgical complications, implant failure and revision surgery, within a large bone-anchored hearing aid programme.
Retrospective, case–cohort study.
Tertiary referral centre.
One hundred and sixty-five adults and children who had undergone a total of 177 bone-anchored hearing aid implantations.
Diagnosis and explanation of adverse events and device failure.
Main outcome measures:
Operative complications and survival analysis, surgical challenges related to revisions, and causes of failure.
Twenty-one per cent of patients (3.4 per cent of those observed) suffered from skin reactions; this rate did not increase over time. Seventeen per cent had loss of osseointegration at a median interval of 6.3 months. Loss of osseointegration was observed more frequently in patients with a 3 mm compared with a 4 mm fixture (p < 0.001). Intra-operatively, the only complication was bleeding, occurring in 3 per cent of patients. Post-operative complications included: primary bleeding (2 per cent); severe skin reactions requiring intravenous antibiotics, cautery or grafting (8 per cent); thickening or overgrowth of skin requiring excision (8 per cent); failure of osseointegration requiring a new fixture (18 per cent); and graft necrosis requiring revision (1 per cent). In two patients, it was necessary to explore the area to remove overgrowth of bone. In 16 patients (10 per cent), the bone-anchored hearing aid had to be abandoned due to failure of osseointegration (n = 4), dissatisfaction with the aid (n = 6), intolerable pain (n = 4), hair growth around the abutment (n = 1) or recurrent infections (n = 1). In 12 of these patients, the bone-anchored hearing aid was removed surgically. Overall, 57 patients (34 per cent) underwent revision surgery.
Awareness of complications is becoming increasingly important in bone-anchored hearing aid programme. A substantial workload of device maintenance should be anticipated, and patients should be appropriately counselled beforehand. Ninety per cent of our patients chose to persevere with this form of hearing rehabilitation.
Dizziness is a common and often complex complaint. Between nine and 13 per cent of patients seen in general practice are referred to a variety of specialist clinics. The diagnoses and outcomes of these referrals are seldom reported.
To determine the proportion of patients referred to an otology led vertigo clinic in whom an otological cause for vertigo could be identified.
Design of study:
Prospective cohort study of consecutive new clinic attendees over one year.
Setting and methods:
Otology led vertigo clinic in an urban teaching hospital in England. Patients' details including age, sex, referring clinician, investigations, diagnoses, treatment and final outcome were recorded in an anonymised database.
91 new patients, 31 men and 60 women with a mean age of 52.6 years (range 16–81) were seen. General practitioners referred 87 per cent of the patients. Twenty-seven patients underwent further investigations including imaging, electronystagmography and other audiological tests. A labyrinthine disorder accounted for 50 per cent of the diagnoses. Ménière's disease or a variant was diagnosed in 20 patients (21 per cent). Fifty-six patients (61 per cent) reported resolution of or improvement in their symptoms. Thirty-one patients (34 per cent) were asymptomatic and free of abnormal findings on initial attendance and were discharged from hospital care.
Forty-six patients (50.6 per cent, 95 per cent confidence interval, 40.4–60.6 per cent) had vertigo due to an otological disorder. The selection of an otolaryngology based vertigo clinic by the general practitioner for initial referral seems appropriate.
To assess the evidence surrounding the use of certain complementary supplements in otolaryngology. We specifically focussed on four commonly used supplements: spirulina, Ginkgo biloba, Vertigoheel® and nutritional supplements (cod liver oil, multivitamins and pineapple enzyme).
Materials and methods:
A systematic review of the English and foreign language literature. Inclusion criteria: in vivo human studies. Exclusion criteria: animal trials, in vitro studies and case reports. We also excluded other forms of ‘alternative medicine’ such as reflexology, acupuncture and other homeopathic remedies.
Lack of common outcome measures prevented a formal meta-analysis. Three studies on the effects of spirulina in allergy, rhinitis and immunomodulation were found. One was a double-blind, placebo, randomised, controlled trial (RCT) of patients with allergic rhinitis, demonstrating positive effects in patients fed spirulina for 12 weeks. The other two studies, although non-randomised, also reported a positive role for spirulina in mucosal immunity. Regarding the use of Ginkgo biloba in tinnitus, a Cochrane review published in 2004 showed no evidence for this. The one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that followed confirmed this finding. Regarding the use of Vertigoheel in vertigo, two double-blind RCTs and a meta-analysis were identified. The first RCT suggested that Vertigoheel was equally effective in reducing the severity, duration and frequency of vertigo compared with betahistine. The second RCT suggested that Vertigoheel was a suitable alternative to G biloba in the treatment of atherosclerosis-related vertigo. A meta-analysis of only four clinical trials confirms that Vertigoheel was equally effective compared with betahistine, G biloba and dimenhydrinate. Regarding multivitamins and sinusitis, two small paediatric pilot studies reported a positive response for chronic sinusitis and otitis media following a course of multivitamins and cod liver oil. Regarding bromelain (pineapple enzyme) and sinusitis, one randomised, multicentre trial including 116 children compared bromelain monotherapy to bromelain with standard therapy and standard therapy alone, for the treatment of acute sinusitis. The bromelain monotherapy group showed a faster recovery compared with the other groups.
The positive effects of spirulina in allergic rhinitis and of Vertigoheel in vertigo are based on good levels of evidence, but larger trials are required. There is overwhelming evidence that G biloba may play no role in tinnitus. There is limited evidence for the use of multivitamins in sinus symptoms, and larger randomised trials are required.
We present a method to cauterize an actively bleeding source in anterior epistaxis. In our experience, this method is efficient, provides full control of the bleeding, and ensures precise cautery of the bleeding source with minimal usage of chemical cautery sticks.
The effect of alloying additions of Ti and B on the process of micropyretic synthesis on NiAl and on the microstructure of the synthesized alloy was examined. It was observed that the combustibility of the quaternary alloy is good despite the presence of the alloying elements because of an additional combustion reaction between Ti and B. The microstructure of the quaternary alloy was found to consist primarily of the NiAl and Ti boride phases. The effect of preheating of the specimen prior to synthesis on the process of synthesis was also examined. It was observed that preheating not only can change the morphology of the phases but also influence the nature of the phases present in the alloy. The mechanism of the formation of the two phase microstructure during the synthesis from the elemental powders was established by stopping the combustion front and by carrying out a detailed microstructural characterization of regions around the stopped combustion front.
With the advent of new multijunction thin film solar cells, amorphous silicon photovoltaic technology is undergoing a commercial revival with about 30 megawatts of annual capacity coming on-line in the next year. These new a−Si multijunction modules should exhibit stabilized conversion efficiencies on the order of 8%, and efficiencies over 10% may be obtained in the next several years. The improved performance results from the development of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon alloy films with improved optoelectronic properties and from the development of more efficient device structures. Moreover, the manufacturing costs for these multijunction modules using the new large-scale plants should be on the order of $1 per peak watt. These modules may find widespread use in solar farms, photovoltaic roofing, as well as in traditional remote applications.