Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 1618 in total

  1. Kumar S, Ratnavelu K
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0157633.
    PMID: 27322645 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157633
    Scholars (n = 580) from 69 countries who had contributed articles in the field of Economics during the year 2015 participated in a survey that gauged their perceptions of various aspects of co-authorship, including its benefits, motivations, working relationships, order of authorship and association preferences. Among the main findings, significant differences emerged in the proportion of co-authored papers based on age, gender and number of years the researchers had spent in their present institution. Female scholars had a greater proportion of co-authored papers than male scholars. Respondents considered improved quality of paper, contribution of mutual expertise, and division of labor as the biggest benefits of and motivation for co-authorship. Contrary to common perceptions that Economics researchers used a predominantly alphabetical order of authorship, our study found that a considerable percentage of respondents (34.5%) had practiced an order of authorship based on the significance of the authors' contribution to the work. The relative importance of tasks differed significantly according to whether researchers co-authored as mentors or co-authored as colleagues. Lastly, researchers were found to associate, to varying degrees, with other researchers based on socio-academic parameters, such as nationality, ethnicity, gender, professional position and friendship. The study indicates that Economics authors perceive co-authorship as a rewarding endeavor. Nonetheless, the level of contribution and even the choice of association itself as a co-author depends to a great extent on the type of working relationship and socio-academic factors.
  2. Nazarbahjat N, Kadir FA, Ariffin A, Abdulla MA, Abdullah Z, Yehye WA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0156022.
    PMID: 27272221 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156022
    A series of new 2-(ethylthio)benzohydrazone derivatives (1-6) were prepared and characterised by IR, 1H NMR, and 13C NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The newly prepared compounds were screened for their in vitro antioxidant activities using free radical scavenging 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Among them, most powerful antioxidant, compound 1 has been selected in order to illustrate anti-ulcer effect on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal lesions in rats. Four groups of Sprague Dawley rats were respectively treated with 10% Tween 20 as ulcer control group, 20 mg/kg omeprazole as reference group, 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg compound 1 as experimental animals. Macroscopically, ulcer control group showed extensive hemorrhagic lesions of gastric mucosa compared with omeprazole or compound 1. Rats pre-treated with compound 1 showed increased in gastric pH and gastric mucus. Histologically, ulcer control group showed severe damage to gastric mucosa with edema and leucocytes infiltration of submucosal layer. In immunohistochemical analysis, rats which were pre-treated with compound 1 showed up-regulation of HSP70 and down-regulation of Bax proteins. In conclusion, the gastroprotective effect of compound 1 may be due to its antioxidant activity, and/or due to up-regulation of HSP70 and down-regulation of Bax protein in stained tissue section.
  3. Rosli R, Ming LC, Abd Aziz N, Manan MM
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0155385.
    PMID: 27249414 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155385
    BACKGROUND: Spontaneous reporting on adverse drug reactions (ADR) has been established in Malaysia since 1987, and although these reports are monitored by the Malaysia drug monitoring authority, the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau, information about ADRs in the paediatric patient population still remains unexplored. The aims of this study, therefore, were to characterize the ADRs reported in respect to the Malaysian paediatric population and to relate the data to specific paediatric age groups.

    METHODS: Data on all ADRs reported to the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau between 2000 and 2013 for individuals aged from birth to 17 years old were analysed with respect to age and gender, type of reporter, suspected medicines (using the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification), category of ADR (according to system organ class) as well as the severity of the ADR.

    RESULTS: In total, 11,523 ADR reports corresponding to 22,237 ADRs were analysed, with half of these reporting one ADR per report. Vaccines comprised 55.7% of the 11,523 ADR reports with the remaining being drug related ADRs. Overall, 63.9% of ADRs were reported for paediatric patients between 12 and 17 years of age, with the majority of ADRs reported in females (70.7%). The most common ADRs reported were from the following system organ classes: application site disorders (32.2%), skin and appendages disorders (20.6%), body as a whole general disorders (12.8%) and central and peripheral nervous system disorders (11.2%). Meanwhile, ADRs in respect to anti-infectives for systemic use (2194/5106; 43.0%) were the most frequently reported across all age groups, followed by drugs from the nervous system (1095/5106; 21.4%). Only 0.28% of the ADR cases were reported as fatal. A large proportion of the reports were received from healthcare providers in government health facilities.

    DISCUSSION: ADR reports concerning vaccines and anti-infectives were the most commonly reported in children, and are mainly seen in adolescents, with most of the ADRs manifesting in skin reactions. The majority of the ADR reports were received from nurses in the public sector, reporting ADRs associated with vaccine administration. The low fatality rate of ADR cases reported could potentially be caused by reporting bias due to the very low reporting percentage from the private healthcare institutions. This study indicates that ADR rates among Malaysian children are higher than in developed countries. Constant ADR reporting and monitoring, especially in respect to paediatric patients, should be undertaken to ensure their safety.

  4. Ramanathan B, Poh CL, Kirk K, McBride WJ, Aaskov J, Grollo L
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0155900.
    PMID: 27223692 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155900
    Dengue virus (DENV) is a major public health threat worldwide. A key element in protection from dengue fever is the neutralising antibody response. Anti-dengue IgG purified from DENV-2 infected human sera showed reactivity against several peptides when evaluated by ELISA and epitope extraction techniques. A multi-step computational approach predicted six antigenic regions within the E protein of DENV-2 that concur with the 6 epitopes identified by the combined ELISA and epitope extraction approach. The selected peptides representing B-cell epitopes were attached to a known dengue T-helper epitope and evaluated for their vaccine potency. Immunization of mice revealed two novel synthetic vaccine constructs that elicited good humoral immune responses and produced cross-reactive neutralising antibodies against DENV-1, 2 and 3. The findings indicate new directions for epitope mapping and contribute towards the future development of multi-epitope based synthetic peptide vaccine.
  5. Rusi, Majid SR
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0154566.
    PMID: 27182595 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154566
    Nanostructured network-like MnO2-NiO composite electrodes were electrodeposited onto stainless steel substrates via different electrodeposition modes, such as chronopotentiometry, chronoamperometry, and cyclic voltammetry, and then subjected to heat treatment at 300°C for metal oxide conversion. X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy were used to study the crystalline natures and morphologies of the deposited films. The electrochemical properties were investigated using cyclic voltammetry and charge/discharge tests. The results revealed that the electrochemical performance of the as-obtained composite electrodes depended on the electrodeposition mode. The electrochemical properties of MnO2-NiO composite electrodes prepared using cyclic voltammetry exhibited the highest capacitance values and were most influenced by the deposition cycle number. The optimum specific capacitance was 3509 Fg-1 with energy and power densities of 1322 Wh kg-1 and 110.5 kW kg-1, respectively, at a current density of 20 Ag-1 in a mixed KOH/K3Fe(CN)6 electrolyte.
  6. Ahmed RH, Huri HZ, Al-Hamodi Z, Salem SD, Al-Absi B, Muniandy S
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0154369.
    PMID: 27111895 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154369
    BACKGROUND: Genetic polymorphisms of the Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 (DPP4) gene may play a role in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study aimed to investigate the possible association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the DPP4 gene in Malaysian subjects with T2DM and evaluated whether they had an effect on the serum levels of soluble dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (sDPP-IV).

    METHOD: Ten DPP4 SNPs were genotyped by TaqMan genotyping assays in 314 subjects with T2DM and 235 controls. Of these, 71 metabolic syndrome (MetS) subjects were excluded from subsequent analysis. The odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence interval (CIs) were calculated using multiple logistic regression for the association between the SNPs of DPP4 and T2DM. In addition, the serum levels of sDPP-IV were investigated to evaluate the association of the SNPs of DPP4 with the sDPP-IV levels.

    RESULTS: Dominant, recessive, and additive genetic models were employed to test the association of DPP4 polymorphisms with T2DM, after adjusting for age, race, gender and BMI. The rs12617656 was associated with T2DM in Malaysian subjects in the recessive genetic model (OR = 1.98, p = 0.006), dominant model (OR = 1.95, p = 0.008), and additive model (OR = 1.63, p = 0.001). This association was more pronounced among Malaysian Indians, recessive (OR = 3.21, p = 0.019), dominant OR = 3.72, p = 0.003) and additive model (OR = 2.29, p = 0.0009). The additive genetic model showed that DPP4 rs4664443 and rs7633162 polymorphisms were associated with T2DM (OR = 1.53, p = 0.039), and (OR = 1.42, p = 0.020), respectively. In addition, the rs4664443 G>A polymorphism was associated with increased sDPP-IV levels (p = 0.042) in T2DM subjects.

    CONCLUSIONS: DPP4 polymorphisms were associated with T2DM in Malaysian subjects, and linked to variations in sDPP-IV levels. In addition, these associations were more pronounced among Malaysian Indian subjects.

  7. Wong RS, Ismail NA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151949.
    PMID: 27007413 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151949
    There are not many studies that attempt to model intensive care unit (ICU) risk of death in developing countries, especially in South East Asia. The aim of this study was to propose and describe application of a Bayesian approach in modeling in-ICU deaths in a Malaysian ICU.
  8. Abdullah BM, Zubairi SI, Huri HZ, Hairunisa N, Yousif E, Basu RC
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151603.
    PMID: 27008312 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151603
    Presently, plant oils which contain high percentage of linoleic acid 1 are perceived to be a viable alternative to mineral oil for biolubricant applications due to their biodegradability and technical properties. In order to get biodegradable lubricant, triester derivatives compounds (1-5) were synthesized and characterized. The processes involved were monoepoxidation of linoleic acid 2, oxirane ring opening 3, esterification 4 and acylation 5. The structures of the products were confirmed by FTIR, 1H and 13C-NMR and LC-MS. The results that showed lowest temperature properties were obtained for triester 5, with a pour point value (PP) of -73°C, highest onset temperature (260°C) and lowest volatility at 0.30%. Viscosity index (VI) increased for the ester's synthetic compounds (2, 3, 4, 5), while the PP decreased. This behavior is the result of the increase of the chain length of the branching agents. Triester based linoleic acid has improved properties such as low-temperature and tribological properties. These results will make it feasible for plant oil to be used for biolubricants, fuels in chain saws, transmission oil and brake fluid.
  9. Hearn AJ, Ross J, Bernard H, Bakar SA, Hunter LT, Macdonald DW
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0151046.
    PMID: 27007219 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151046
    The marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata is a poorly known wild cat that has a broad distribution across much of the Indomalayan ecorealm. This felid is thought to exist at low population densities throughout its range, yet no estimates of its abundance exist, hampering assessment of its conservation status. To investigate the distribution and abundance of marbled cats we conducted intensive, felid-focused camera trap surveys of eight forest areas and two oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Study sites were broadly representative of the range of habitat types and the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance and fragmentation present in contemporary Sabah. We recorded marbled cats from all forest study areas apart from a small, relatively isolated forest patch, although photographic detection frequency varied greatly between areas. No marbled cats were recorded within the plantations, but a single individual was recorded walking along the forest/plantation boundary. We collected sufficient numbers of marbled cat photographic captures at three study areas to permit density estimation based on spatially explicit capture-recapture analyses. Estimates of population density from the primary, lowland Danum Valley Conservation Area and primary upland, Tawau Hills Park, were 19.57 (SD: 8.36) and 7.10 (SD: 1.90) individuals per 100 km2, respectively, and the selectively logged, lowland Tabin Wildlife Reserve yielded an estimated density of 10.45 (SD: 3.38) individuals per 100 km2. The low detection frequencies recorded in our other survey sites and from published studies elsewhere in its range, and the absence of previous density estimates for this felid suggest that our density estimates may be from the higher end of their abundance spectrum. We provide recommendations for future marbled cat survey approaches.
  10. Mousavi Kahaki SM, Nordin MJ, Ashtari AH, J Zahra S
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0149710.
    PMID: 26985996 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149710
    An invariant feature matching method is proposed as a spatially invariant feature matching approach. Deformation effects, such as affine and homography, change the local information within the image and can result in ambiguous local information pertaining to image points. New method based on dissimilarity values, which measures the dissimilarity of the features through the path based on Eigenvector properties, is proposed. Evidence shows that existing matching techniques using similarity metrics--such as normalized cross-correlation, squared sum of intensity differences and correlation coefficient--are insufficient for achieving adequate results under different image deformations. Thus, new descriptor's similarity metrics based on normalized Eigenvector correlation and signal directional differences, which are robust under local variation of the image information, are proposed to establish an efficient feature matching technique. The method proposed in this study measures the dissimilarity in the signal frequency along the path between two features. Moreover, these dissimilarity values are accumulated in a 2D dissimilarity space, allowing accurate corresponding features to be extracted based on the cumulative space using a voting strategy. This method can be used in image registration applications, as it overcomes the limitations of the existing approaches. The output results demonstrate that the proposed technique outperforms the other methods when evaluated using a standard dataset, in terms of precision-recall and corner correspondence.
  11. Yang TY, Dehghantanha A, Choo KK, Muda Z
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(3):e0150300.
    PMID: 26982207 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150300
    Instant messaging (IM) has changed the way people communicate with each other. However, the interactive and instant nature of these applications (apps) made them an attractive choice for malicious cyber activities such as phishing. The forensic examination of IM apps for modern Windows 8.1 (or later) has been largely unexplored, as the platform is relatively new. In this paper, we seek to determine the data remnants from the use of two popular Windows Store application software for instant messaging, namely Facebook and Skype on a Windows 8.1 client machine. This research contributes to an in-depth understanding of the types of terrestrial artefacts that are likely to remain after the use of instant messaging services and application software on a contemporary Windows operating system. Potential artefacts detected during the research include data relating to the installation or uninstallation of the instant messaging application software, log-in and log-off information, contact lists, conversations, and transferred files.
  12. Tan T, Ong WS, Rajasekaran T, Nee Koo K, Chan LL, Poon D, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0156008.
    PMID: 27231951 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156008
    PURPOSE: Elderly cancer patients are at increased risk for malnutrition. We aim to identify comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) based clinical factors associated with increased nutritional risk and develop a clinical scoring system to identify nutritional risk in elderly cancer patients.

    PATIENTS AND METHODS: CGA data was collected from 249 Asian patients aged 70 years or older. Nutritional risk was assessed based on the Nutrition Screening Initiative (NSI) checklist. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied to assess the association between patient clinical factors together with domains within the CGA and moderate to high nutritional risk. Goodness of fit was assessed using Hosmer-Lemeshow test. Discrimination ability was assessed based on the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC). Internal validation was performed using simulated datasets via bootstrapping.

    RESULTS: Among the 249 patients, 184 (74%) had moderate to high nutritional risk. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified stage 3-4 disease (Odds Ratio [OR] 2.54; 95% CI, 1.14-5.69), ECOG performance status of 2-4 (OR 3.04; 95% CI, 1.57-5.88), presence of depression (OR 5.99; 95% CI, 1.99-18.02) and haemoglobin levels <12 g/dL (OR 3.00; 95% CI 1.54-5.84) as significant independent factors associated with moderate to high nutritional risk. The model achieved good calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow test's p = 0.17) and discrimination (AUC = 0.80). It retained good calibration and discrimination (bias-corrected AUC = 0.79) under internal validation.

    CONCLUSION: Having advanced stage of cancer, poor performance status, depression and anaemia were found to be predictors of moderate to high nutritional risk. Early identification of patients with these risk factors will allow for nutritional interventions that may improve treatment tolerance, quality of life and survival outcomes.

  13. Watanabe M, Roth TL, Bauer SJ, Lane A, Romick-Rosendale LE
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0156318.
    PMID: 27232336 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156318
    A variety of wildlife species maintained in captivity are susceptible to iron storage disease (ISD), or hemochromatosis, a disease resulting from the deposition of excess iron into insoluble iron clusters in soft tissue. Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is one of the rhinoceros species that has evolutionarily adapted to a low-iron diet and is susceptible to iron overload. Hemosiderosis is reported at necropsy in many African black and Sumatran rhinoceroses but only a small number of animals reportedly die from hemochromatosis. The underlying cause and reasons for differences in susceptibility to hemochromatosis within the taxon remains unclear. Although serum ferritin concentrations have been useful in monitoring the progression of ISD in many species, there is some question regarding their value in diagnosing hemochromatosis in the Sumatran rhino. To investigate the metabolic changes during the development of hemochromatosis and possibly increase our understanding of its progression and individual susceptibility differences, the serum metabolome from a Sumatran rhinoceros was investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics. The study involved samples from female rhinoceros at the Cincinnati Zoo (n = 3), including two animals that died from liver failure caused by ISD, and the Sungai Dusun Rhinoceros Conservation Centre in Peninsular Malaysia (n = 4). Principal component analysis was performed to visually and statistically compare the metabolic profiles of the healthy animals. The results indicated that significant differences were present between the animals at the zoo and the animals in the conservation center. A comparison of the 43 serum metabolomes of three zoo rhinoceros showed two distinct groupings, healthy (n = 30) and unhealthy (n = 13). A total of eighteen altered metabolites were identified in healthy versus unhealthy samples. Results strongly suggest that NMR-based metabolomics is a valuable tool for animal health monitoring and may provide insight into the progression of this and other insidious diseases.
  14. Fong MY, Rashdi SA, Yusof R, Lau YL
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0155627.
    PMID: 27195821 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155627
    BACKGROUND: Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian malaria parasite that has been reported to cause malaria in humans in Southeast Asia. This parasite invades the erythrocytes of humans and of its natural host, the macaque Macaca fascicularis, via interaction between the Duffy binding protein region II (PkDBPαRII) and the Duffy antigen receptor on the host erythrocytes. In contrast, the P. knowlesi gamma protein region II (PkγRII) is not involved in the invasion of P. knowlesi into humans. PkγRII, however, mediates the invasion of P. knowlesi into the erythrocytes of M. mulata, a non-natural host of P. knowlesi via a hitherto unknown receptor. The haplotypes of PkDBPαRII in P. knowlesi isolates from Peninsular Malaysia and North Borneo have been shown to be genetically distinct and geographically clustered. Also, the PkDBPαRII was observed to be undergoing purifying (negative) selection. The present study aimed to determine whether similar phenomena occur in PkγRII.

    METHODS: Blood samples from 78 knowlesi malaria patients were used. Forty-eight of the samples were from Peninsular Malaysia, and 30 were from Malaysia Borneo. The genomic DNA of the samples was extracted and used as template for the PCR amplification of the PkγRII. The PCR product was cloned and sequenced. The sequences obtained were analysed for genetic diversity and natural selection using MEGA6 and DnaSP (version 5.10.00) programmes. Genetic differentiation between the PkγRII of Peninsular Malaysia and North Borneo isolates was estimated using the Wright's FST fixation index in DnaSP (version 5.10.00). Haplotype analysis was carried out using the Median-Joining approach in NETWORK (version

    RESULTS: A total of 78 PkγRII sequences was obtained. Comparative analysis showed that the PkγRII have similar range of haplotype (Hd) and nucleotide diversity (π) with that of PkDBPαRII. Other similarities between PkγRII and PkDBPαRII include undergoing purifying (negative) selection, geographical clustering of haplotypes, and high inter-population genetic differentiation (FST index). The main differences between PkγRII and PkDBPαRII include length polymorphism and no departure from neutrality (as measured by Tajima's D statistics) in the PkγRII.

    CONCLUSION: Despite the biological difference between PkγRII and PkDBPαRII, both generally have similar genetic diversity level, natural selection, geographical haplotype clustering and inter-population genetic differentiation index.

  15. Rouffaer LO, Lens L, Haesendonck R, Teyssier A, Hudin NS, Strubbe D, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(5):e0155366.
    PMID: 27168186 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155366
    In recent decades major declines in urban house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have been observed in north-western European cities, whereas suburban and rural house sparrow populations have remained relatively stable or are recovering from previous declines. Differential exposure to avian pathogens known to cause epidemics in house sparrows may in part explain this spatial pattern of declines. Here we investigate the potential effect of urbanization on the development of a bacterial pathogen reservoir in free-ranging house sparrows. This was achieved by comparing the prevalence of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium in 364 apparently healthy house sparrows captured in urban, suburban and rural regions across Flanders, Belgium between September 2013 and March 2014. In addition 12 dead birds, received from bird rescue centers, were necropsied. The apparent absence of Salmonella Typhimurium in fecal samples of healthy birds, and the identification of only one house sparrow seropositive for Salmonella spp., suggests that during the winter of 2013-2014 these birds did not represent any considerable Salmonella Typhimurium reservoir in Belgium and thus may be considered naïve hosts, susceptible to clinical infection. This susceptibility is demonstrated by the isolation of two different Salmonella Typhimurium strains from two of the deceased house sparrows: one DT99, typically associated with disease in pigeons, and one DT195, previously associated with a passerine decline. The apparent absence (prevalence: <1.3%) of a reservoir in healthy house sparrows and the association of infection with clinical disease suggests that the impact of Salmonella Typhimurium on house sparrows is largely driven by the risk of exogenous exposure to pathogenic Salmonella Typhimurium strains. However, no inference could be made on a causal relationship between Salmonella infection and the observed house sparrow population declines.
  16. Lee SY, Ng WL, Mahat MN, Nazre M, Mohamed R
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0154631.
    PMID: 27128309 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154631
    The identification of Aquilaria species from their resinous non-wood product, the agarwood, is challenging as conventional techniques alone are unable to ascertain the species origin. Aquilaria is a highly protected species due to the excessive exploitation of its precious agarwood. Here, we applied the DNA barcoding technique to generate barcode sequences for Aquilaria species and later applied the barcodes to identify the source species of agarwood found in the market. We developed a reference DNA barcode library using eight candidate barcode loci (matK, rbcL, rpoB, rpoC1, psbA-trnH, trnL-trnF, ITS, and ITS2) amplified from 24 leaf accessions of seven Aquilaria species obtained from living trees. Our results indicated that all single barcodes can be easily amplified and sequenced with the selected primers. The combination of trnL-trnF+ITS and trnL-trnF+ITS2 yielded the greatest species resolution using the least number of loci combination, while matK+trnL-trnF+ITS showed potential in detecting the geographical origins of Aquilaria species. We propose trnL-trnF+ITS2 as the best candidate barcode for Aquilaria as ITS2 has a shorter sequence length compared to ITS, which eases PCR amplification especially when using degraded DNA samples such as those extracted from processed agarwood products. A blind test conducted on eight agarwood samples in different forms using the proposed barcode combination proved successful in their identification up to the species level. Such potential of DNA barcoding in identifying the source species of agarwood will contribute to the international timber trade control, by providing an effective method for species identification and product authentication.
  17. Suwarnalata G, Tan AH, Isa H, Gudimella R, Anwar A, Loke MF, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153725.
    PMID: 27100827 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153725
    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Its etiology remains elusive and at present only symptomatic treatments exists. Helicobacter pylori chronically colonizes the gastric mucosa of more than half of the global human population. Interestingly, H. pylori positivity has been found to be associated with greater of PD motor severity. In order to investigate the underlying cause of this association, the Sengenics Immunome protein array, which enables simultaneous screening for autoantibodies against 1636 human proteins, was used to screen the serum of 30 H. pylori-seropositive PD patients (case) and 30 age- and gender-matched H. pylori-seronegative PD patients (control) in this study. In total, 13 significant autoantibodies were identified and ranked, with 8 up-regulated and 5 down-regulated in the case group. Among autoantibodies found to be elevated in H. pylori-seropositive PD were included antibodies that recognize Nuclear factor I subtype A (NFIA), Platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB) and Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A3 (eIFA3). The presence of elevated autoantibodies against proteins essential for normal neurological functions suggest that immunomodulatory properties of H. pylori may explain the association between H. pylori positivity and greater PD motor severity.
  18. Ng KK, Motoda Y, Watanabe S, Sofiman Othman A, Kigawa T, Kodama Y, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0154081.
    PMID: 27100681 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154081
    In current plant biotechnology, the introduction of exogenous DNA encoding desired traits is the most common approach used to modify plants. However, general plant transformation methods can cause random integration of exogenous DNA into the plant genome. To avoid these events, alternative methods, such as a direct protein delivery system, are needed to modify the plant. Although there have been reports of the delivery of proteins into cultured plant cells, there are currently no methods for the direct delivery of proteins into intact plants, owing to their hierarchical structures. Here, we demonstrate the efficient fusion-peptide-based delivery of proteins into intact Arabidopsis thaliana. Bovine serum albumin (BSA, 66 kDa) was selected as a model protein to optimize conditions for delivery into the cytosol. The general applicability of our method to large protein cargo was also demonstrated by the delivery of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, 150 kDa) into the cytosol. The compatibility of the fusion peptide system with the delivery of proteins to specific cellular organelles was also demonstrated using the fluorescent protein Citrine (27 kDa) conjugated to either a nuclear localization signal (NLS) or a peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS). In conclusion, our designed fusion peptide system can deliver proteins with a wide range of molecular weights (27 to 150 kDa) into the cells of intact A. thaliana without interfering with the organelle-targeting peptide conjugated to the protein. We expect that this efficient protein delivery system will be a powerful tool in plant biotechnology.
  19. Ghadiry M, Gholami M, Lai CK, Ahmad H, Chong WY
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153949.
    PMID: 27101247 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153949
    Generally, in a waveguide-based humidity sensors, increasing the relative humidity (RH) causes the cladding refractive index (RI) to increase due to cladding water absorption. However, if graphene oxide (GO) is used, a reverse phenomenon is seen due to a gap increase in graphene layers. In this paper, this interesting property is applied in order to fabricate differential humidity sensor using the difference between RI of reduced GO (rGO) and nano-anatase TiO2 in a chip. First, a new approach is proposed to prepare high quality nano-anatase TiO2 in solution form making the fabrication process simple and straightforward. Then, the resulted solutions (TiO2 and GO) are effortlessly drop casted and reduced on SU8 two channels waveguide and extensively examined against several humid conditions. Investigating the sensitivity and performance (response time) of the device, reveals a great linearity in a wide range of RH (35% to 98%) and a variation of more than 30 dB in transmitted optical power with a response time of only ~0.7 sec. The effect of coating concentration and UV treatment are studied on the performance and repeatability of the sensor and the attributed mechanisms explained. In addition, we report that using the current approach, devices with high sensitivity and very low response time of only 0.3 sec can be fabricated. Also, the proposed device was comprehensively compared with other state of the art proposed sensors in the literature and the results were promising. Since high sensitivity ~0.47dB/%RH and high dynamic performances were demonstrated, this sensor is a proper choice for biomedical applications.
  20. Aftab SM, Mohd Rafie AS, Razak NA, Ahmad KA
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(4):e0153755.
    PMID: 27104354 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153755
    One of the major flow phenomena associated with low Reynolds number flow is the formation of separation bubbles on an airfoil's surface. NACA4415 airfoil is commonly used in wind turbines and UAV applications. The stall characteristics are gradual compared to thin airfoils. The primary criterion set for this work is the capture of laminar separation bubble. Flow is simulated for a Reynolds number of 120,000. The numerical analysis carried out shows the advantages and disadvantages of a few turbulence models. The turbulence models tested were: one equation Spallart Allmars (S-A), two equation SST K-ω, three equation Intermittency (γ) SST, k-kl-ω and finally, the four equation transition γ-Reθ SST. However, the variation in flow physics differs between these turbulence models. Procedure to establish the accuracy of the simulation, in accord with previous experimental results, has been discussed in detail.
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