The common industrial starches are typically derived from cereals (corn, wheat, rice, sorghum), tubers (potato, sweet potato), roots (cassava), and legumes (mung bean, green pea). Sago (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) starch is perhaps the only example of commercial starch derived from another source, the stem of palm (sago palm). Sago palm has the ability to thrive in the harsh swampy peat environment of certain areas. It is estimated that there are about 2 million ha of natural sago palm forests and about 0.14 million ha of planted sago palm at present, out of a total swamp area of about 20 million ha in Asia and the Pacific Region, most of which are under- or nonutilized. Growing in a suitable environment with organized farming practices, sago palm could have a yield potential of up to 25 tons of starch per hectare per year. Sago starch yield per unit area could be about 3 to 4 times higher than that of rice, corn, or wheat, and about 17 times higher than that of cassava. Compared to the common industrial starches, however, sago starch has been somewhat neglected and relatively less attention has been devoted to the sago palm and its starch. Nevertheless, a number of studies have been published covering various aspects of sago starch such as molecular structure, physicochemical and functional properties, chemical/physical modifications, and quality issues. This article is intended to piece together the accumulated knowledge and highlight some pertinent information related to sago palm and sago starch studies.
Skin colour is vital information in dermatological diagnosis. It reflects pathological condition beneath the skin and commonly being used to indicate the extent of a disease. Psoriasis is a skin disease which is indicated by the appearance of red plaques. Although there is no cure for psoriasis, there are many treatment modalities to help control the disease. To evaluate treatment efficacy, PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) which is the current gold standard method is used to determine severity of psoriasis lesion. Erythema (redness) is one parameter in PASI. Commonly, the erythema is assessed visually, thus leading to subjective and inconsistent result. In this work, we proposed an objective assessment of psoriasis erythema for PASI scoring. The colour of psoriasis lesion is analyzed by DeltaL, Deltahue, and Deltachroma of CIELAB colour space. References of lesion with different scores are obtained from the selected lesions by two dermatologists. Results based on 38 lesions from 22 patients with various level of skin pigmentation show that PASI erythema score can be determined objectively and consistent with dermatology scoring.
Primary immunodeficiency disorders are heterogeneous group of illnesses that predispose patients to serious complications. Registries for these disorders have provided important epidemiological data and shown both racial and geographical variations. The clinical features of 76 patients with primary immunodeficiency disorders registered in Kuwait National Primary Immunodeficiency Registry from 2004 to 2006 were recorded. Ninety-eight percent of the patients presented in childhood. The prevalence of these disorders in children was 11.98 in 100,000 children with an incidence of 10.06 in 100,000 children. The distribution of these patients according to each primary immunodeficiency category is: combined T and B cell immunodeficiencies (21%), predominantly antibody immunodeficiency (30%), other well defined immunodeficiencies (30%), diseases of immune dysregulation (7%), congenital defects of phagocyte number, function or both (8%), and complement deficiencies (4%). The consanguinity rate within the registered patients was 77%. The patients had a wide range of clinical features affecting different body systems. Primary immunodeficiency disorders are prevalent in Kuwait and have a significant impact into the health system.
Cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are quickly becoming a useful model for infectious disease and transplantation research. Even though cynomolgus macaques from different geographic regions are used for these studies, there has been limited characterization of full-length major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I immunogenetics of distinct geographic populations. Here, we identified 48 MHC class I cDNA nucleotide sequences in eleven Indonesian cynomolgus macaques, including 41 novel Mafa-A and Mafa-B sequences. We found seven MHC class I sequences in Indonesian macaques that were identical to MHC class I sequences identified in Malaysian or Mauritian macaques. Sharing of nucleotide sequences between these geographically distinct populations is also consistent with the hypothesis that Indonesia was a source of the Mauritian macaque population. In addition, we found that the Indonesian cDNA sequence Mafa-B7601 is identical throughout its peptide binding domain to Mamu-B03, an allele that has been associated with control of Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) viremia in Indian rhesus macaques. Overall, a better understanding of the MHC class I alleles present in Indonesian cynomolgus macaques improves their value as a model for disease research, and it better defines the biogeography of cynomolgus macaques throughout Southeast Asia.
High ambient temperature has been reported to increase oxidative stress by increasing lipid peroxidation and decreasing antioxidant defence in transition dairy cows. It is also known to cause an increase in plasma cortisol levels in goats, European hedgehog and human volunteers. High levels of glucocorticoids have been reported to decrease blood glutathione and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity in rats. Although institutional animal houses in research laboratories of developed countries maintain animals in air-conditioned rooms at constant temperature, the same is not true of animal houses in the developing countries especially those belonging to smaller institutions and this could affect the results of the experiments being conducted on these animals. The present research study was done to assess the effects of seasonal variations on the status of erythrocyte oxidative damage, antioxidant defence and plasma cortisol levels in adult female Wistar rats. Rats were kept in their home cages and were left in non-air-conditioned procedure rooms in two different seasons, Hot season (March-May) and Cool season (June to September). Erythrocyte Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and plasma cortisol levels were significantly increased in rats exposed to high ambient temperature and humidity of the hot season as compared to the rats of the cool season. Erythrocyte reduced glutathione levels, erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities were significantly decreased in the hot season group of rats. The results of our experiments showed that exposure of adult female Wistar rats to high ambient temperature and humidity of the hot season increases neuroendocrine stress, oxidative stress and decreases antioxidant defence in them.
The magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) examination has all but replaced the diagnostic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) examination for imaging the biliary tree and pancreatic ducts in many practical aspects of the clinical setting. Despite this increase in popularity, many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiographers still find aspects of the MRCP examination quite challenging. The aim of this tutorial paper is to provide useful technical advice on how to overcome such perceived challenges and thus produce a successful diagnostic MRCP examination. This paper will be of interest to novice MRI radiographers who are at the beginning of their learning curve in MRCP examination. Other MRI radiographers who are interested in practical tips for protocol variations may also find the paper useful.
There are a number of models for the acquisition of digital image management systems. The specific details for development of a budget for a PACS/RIS acquisition will depend upon the acquisition model - although there are similarities in the overarching principles and general information, particularly concerning the radiology service requirements that will drive budget considerations.While budgeting for PACS/RIS should follow the same principles as budgeting for any new technology, it is important to understand how far the implementation of digital image management systems can reach in a healthcare setting. Accurate identification of those elements of the healthcare service that will be affected by a PACS/RIS implementation is a critical component of successful budget formation and of the success of any business case and subsequent project that relies on those budget estimates.A budget for a PACS/RIS capital acquisition project should contain capital and recurrent elements. The capital is associated with the acquisition of the system in a purchase model and capital budget may also be required for upgrade - depending upon a facility's financial management processes.The recurrent (or operational) cost component for the PACS/RIS is associated with maintaining the system(s) in a sustainable operational state.It is also important to consider the service efficiencies, cost savings and service quality improvements that PACS/RIS can generate and include these factors into the economic analysis of any proposal for a PACS/RIS project.
Outbreaks of dengue disease are constant threats to tropical and subtropical populations but range widely in severity, from mild to haemorrhagic fevers, for reasons that are still elusive. We investigated the interferon (IFN) response in infected human cell lines A549 and HepG2, using two strains (NGC and TSV01) of dengue serotype 2 (DEN2) and found that the two viruses exhibited a marked difference in inducing type I IFN response. While TSV01 infection led to activation of type I antiviral genes such as EIF2AK2 (PKR), OAS, ADAR and MX, these responses were absent in NGC-infected cells. Biochemical analysis revealed that NGC but not TSV01 suppressed STAT-1 and STAT-2 activation in response to type I IFN (alpha and beta). However, these two strains did not differ in their response to type II IFN (gamma). Although unable to suppress IFN signalling, TSV01 infection caused a weaker IFN-beta induction compared with NGC, suggesting an alternative mechanism of innate immune escape. We extended our study to clinical isolates of various serotypes and found that while MY10245 (DEN2) and MY22713 (DEN4) could suppress the IFN response in a similar fashion to NGC, three other strains of dengue [EDEN167 (DEN1), MY02569 (DEN1) and MY10340 (DEN2)] were unable to suppress the IFN response, suggesting that this difference is strain-dependent but not serotype-specific. Our report indicates the existence of a strain-specific virulence factor that may impact on disease severity.
Md Zain F, Hong JYH, Wu LL, Harun F, Rasat R, Jalaludin MY, et al.
Citation: Annual Report of the Diabetes in Children & Adolescent Registry (DiCARE) 2006-2007. Kuala Lumpur: Clinical Research Centre; 2008
The objective of Diabetes in Children and Adolescents Registry (DiCARE) under the Ministry of Health (MOH) is to collect information about diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents in Malaysia. This is important in estimating the incidence of diabetes mellitus among children and adolescents and at the same time evaluating the risk factors and the management. The registry aims to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of health care among the young diabetics and the health economics of diabetes. The issues related to diabetes care can be looked into and solved when the patients are still young, with the hope that they will become knowledgeable adults who can reasonably handle their diabetes well and thus decrease the long term complications. This information is deemed important in assisting the MOH, Non-Governmental Organizations, healthcare providers and industries in the planning and evaluation of diabetes mellitus prevention and control.
Osteoporosis only became a 'disease' entity in the 20th century. After the initial observations and definitions of osteoporosis based on Caucasian populations, systematic research in Asian populations started in the 1980s. Significant variations between different ethnic groups with respect to the rate of osteoporotic fractures, bone mineral density and disease risk factors emerged from the data; this article highlights some of the earlier important findings and the dissimilarities. Osteoporosis is therefore not a homogeneous disease across the world.
MeSH terms: Asia; Ethnic Groups; Malaysia; Osteoporosis; Risk Factors; Bone Density
In this study, we analysed the genetic polymorphisms present in the third intron region of Interleukin-4 gene in Malaysian patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Overall, the RP I and II alleles were found evenly distributed in both the SLE patients and control individuals. There was no significant association observed in the distribution of allelic and genotypic frequencies between SLE patients and healthy controls. The result obtained is similar to a previous study carried out on SLE Chinese patients in Taiwan.