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A new somatic cell count index to more accurately predict milk yield losses
Janez Jeretina, Dejan Škorjanc, Drago Babnik, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: Intramammary infection and clinical mastitis in dairy cows leads to considerable economic losses for farmers. The somatic cell concentration in cow's milk has been shown to be an excellent indicator for the prevalence of subclinical mastitis. In this study, a new somatic cell count index (SCCI) was proposed for the accurate prediction of milk yield losses caused by elevated somatic cell count (SCC). In all, 97238 lactations (55207 Holstein cows) from 2328 herds were recorded between 2010 and 2014 under different scenarios (high and low levels of SCC, four lactation stages, different milk yield intensities, and parities (1, 2, and _>3). The standard shape of the curve for SCC was determined using completed standard lactations of healthy cows. The SCCI was defined as the sum of the differences between the measured interpolated values of the natural logarithm of SCC (ln(SCC)) and the values for the standard shape of the curve for SCC for a particular period, divided by the total area enclosed by the standard curve and upper limit of ln(SCC)=10 for SCC. The phenotypic potential of milk yield (305-day milk yield - MY305) was calculated using regression coefficients estimated from the linear regression model for parity and breeding values of cows for milk yield. The extent of daily milk yield loss caused by increased SCC was found to be mainly related to the early stage of lactation. Depending on the possible scenarios, the estimated milk yield loss from MY305 for primiparous cows was at least 0.8 to 0.9 kg day -1 and for multiparous cows it ranged from 1.3 to 4.3 kg day-1. Thus, the SCCI was a suitable indicator for estimating daily milk yield losses associated with increased SCC and might provide farmers reliable information to take appropriate measures for ensuring good health of cows and reducing milk yield losses at the herd level.
Keywords: dairy cows, milk production, lactation intervals, milk yield losses, somatic cell count index
Published: 24.10.2017; Views: 851; Downloads: 400
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3.
Viral infections in queen bees (Apis mellifera carnica) from rearing apiaries
Aleš Gregorc, Tamás Bakonyi, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Viral infection could have an impact on the success of queen rearing and a potential effect on reduced queen quality. Newly mated honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) queens were collected from mating nuclei in queen rearing operations in Slovenia. Altogether, 81 queens were sampled from 27 rearing apiaries in 2006 and 72 queens from 24 apiaries in 2008. Queens were analysed for the presence of four viruses: acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), sacbrood virus (SBV) and deformed wing virus (DWV) by using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In 2006, 12%, 9% and 1% prevalence was found for ABPV, DWV and SBV, respectively; BQCV was not detected. Two years later, DWV, BQCV, SBV and ABPV were detected in 58%, 24%, 11% and 10% bee queens, respectively. In 2006, fourteen out of twenty-seven apaiaries were virus free, whereas in 2008 only three out of twenty-four apiaries were virus free. This is the first evidence of virus infection occurring in newly mated queens from mating nuclei in rearing apiaries. The possible impacts of queen rearing technology and epidemiological influences on virus infection are discussed in this study.
Keywords: queen bees, black queen cell virus, acute bee paralysis virus, sacbrook virus, deforming wing virus
Published: 04.08.2017; Views: 604; Downloads: 289
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An evaluation of SOX2 and hTERC gene amplifications as screening markers in oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas
Nadja Kokalj-Vokač, Bogdan Čizmarevič, Andreja Zagorac, Boris Zagradišnik, Boštjan Lanišnik, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are among the most common cancers. The poor survival rate among oral cancer patients can be attributed to several factors, one of them being lack of early detection. A key approach to this problem would be to detect potentially malignant lesion at their early stage. Using the FISH technique, oral brush cytology slides can be an easy and rapid screening approach for malignant cell detection. The present study was designed to detect hTERC and SOX2 amplifications in OSSC exfoliative tumor cells and evaluate whether those two gene amplifications might serve as a supportive biomarker in early detection and diagnosis of oral and oropharyngeal SCC. Results: Brush biopsies were collected from exophytic and exulcerated oral and oropharyngeal lesions of the oral cavity of 71 patients and 22 healthy controls. FISH techniques using a TERC-specific DNA probe and a SOX2 DNA specific probe both combined with a centromere 3-specific control probe was performed on the cytology slides. A 100 squamous epithelial cell nuclei of the smears per slide were analysed. As abnormal FISH pattern were considered amplified and polyploid patterns. From 71 brush biopsies of oropharynx and other locations in oral cavity analysed by FISH 49 were considered to be abnormal (69%). The over representation of polyploidy and/or TERC/SOX2 amplification in tumour samples was statistically significant when compared to controls (p = 0.01). Conclusion: SOX2 and TERC gene amplifications are common in all squamous cell carcinomas and their detection in early stages could be crucial for early detection and more accurate prognosis. Our study strongly suggests that early detection by FISH on cytobrushed samples could be a possible non-invasive screening method even before a tissue biopsy is performed.
Keywords: SOX and hTERC gene amplifications, brush biopsy, Oral, oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma
Published: 29.06.2017; Views: 716; Downloads: 307
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5.
Native cellulose nanofibrills induce immune tolerance in vitro by acting on dendritic cells
Sergej Tomić, Vanja Kokol, Dušan Mihajlović, Aleksandar Mirčić, Miodrag Čolić, 2016, original scientific article

Abstract: Cellulose nanofibrills (CNFs) are attractive biocompatible, natural nanomaterials for wide biomedical applications. However, the immunological mechanisms of CNFs have been poorly investigated. Considering that dendritic cells (DCs) are the key immune regulatory cells in response to nanomaterials, our aim was to investigate the immunological mechanisms of CNFs in a model of DC-mediated immune response. We found that non-toxic concentrations of CNFs impaired the differentiation, and subsequent maturation of human monocyte-derived (mo)-DCs. In a co-culture with CD4+T cells, CNF-treated mo-DCs possessed a weaker allostimulatory and T helper (Th)1 and Th17 polarizing capacity, but a stronger capacity to induce Th2 cells and CD4+CD25hiFoxP3hi regulatory T cells. This correlated with an increased immunoglobulin-like transcript-4 and indolamine dioxygenase-1 expression by CNF-treated mo-DCs, following the partial internalization of CNFs and the accumulation of CD209 and actin bundles at the place of contacts with CNFs. Cumulatively, we showed that CNFs are able to induce an active immune tolerance by inducing tolerogenic DCs, which could be beneficial for the application of CNFs in wound healing and chronic inflammation therapies.
Keywords: nanocellulose, cytotoxicity, T-cell proliferation, cytokine production, in vitro
Published: 23.06.2017; Views: 654; Downloads: 300
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6.
Membrane potential and calcium dynamics in beta cells from mouse pancreas tissue slices
Jurij Dolenšek, Denis Špelič, Maša Skelin, Borut Žalik, Marko Gosak, Marjan Rupnik, Andraž Stožer, 2015, review article

Abstract: Beta cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans are precise biological sensors for glucose and play a central role in balancing the organism between catabolic and anabolic needs. A hallmark of the beta cell response to glucose are oscillatory changes of membrane potential that are tightly coupled with oscillatory changes in intracellular calcium concentration which, in turn, elicit oscillations of insulin secretion. Both membrane potential and calcium changes spread from one beta cell to the other in a wave-like manner. In order to assess the properties of the abovementioned responses to physiological and pathological stimuli, the main challenge remains how to effectively measure membrane potential and calcium changes at the same time with high spatial and temporal resolution, and also in as many cells as possible. To date, the most wide-spread approach has employed the electrophysiological patch-clamp method to monitor membrane potential changes. Inherently, this technique has many advantages, such as a direct contact with the cell and a high temporal resolution. However, it allows one to assess information from a single cell only. In some instances, this technique has been used in conjunction with CCD camera-based imaging, offering the opportunity to simultaneously monitor membrane potential and calcium changes, but not in the same cells and not with a reliable cellular or subcellular spatial resolution. Recently, a novel family of highly-sensitive membrane potential reporter dyes in combination with high temporal and spatial confocal calcium imaging allows for simultaneously detecting membrane potential and calcium changes in many cells at a time. Since the signals yielded from both types of reporter dyes are inherently noisy, we have developed complex methods of data denoising that permit for visualization and pixel-wise analysis of signals. Combining the experimental approach of high-resolution imaging with the advanced analysis of noisy data enables novel physiological insights and reassessment of current concepts in unprecedented detail.
Keywords: calcium sensors, membrane potential sensors, calcium imaging, membrane potential imaging, beta cell, pancreas, denoising, patch-clamp
Published: 22.06.2017; Views: 759; Downloads: 97
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7.
The role of functional foods, nutraceuticals, and food supplements in intestinal health
Avrelija Cencič, Walter Chingwaru, 2010, review article

Abstract: New eating habits, actual trends in production and consumption have a healyh, environmental and social impact. The EU is fighting diseases characteristics of a modern age, such as obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, allergies and dental problems. Developed countries are also faced with problems relatingto aging populations, high energy foods, and unbalanced diets. The potential of nutraceuticals/functional foods/food supplements in mitigating health problems, especially in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is discused. Certain members of gut microflora (e.g., probiotic/protective strains) play a role in the host health due to its involvment in nutritional, immunologic and physiologic functions. The potential mechanisms by which nutraceuticals/functional foods/food supplements may alter a host's health arealso highlighted in this paper. The establishment of novel functional call models of the GI and analytical tools that allow tests in controlled experiments are highly desired for gut research.
Keywords: nutraceutical, functional food, food supplement, intestinal health, probiotic, intestinal cell models, gut research
Published: 22.06.2017; Views: 817; Downloads: 302
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8.
Protein adsorption on various plasma-treated polyethylene-terephthalate substrates
Nina Recek, Morana Jaganjac, Metod Kolar, Lidija Milković, Miran Mozetič, Karin Stana-Kleinschek, Alenka Vesel, 2013, original scientific article

Abstract: Protein adhesion and cell response to plasma-treated polymer surfaces were studied. The polymer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was treated in either an oxygen plasma to make the surface hydrophilic, or a tetrafluoromethane CF4 plasma to make the surface hydrophobic. The plasma source was radiofrequency (RF) discharge. The adsorption of albumin and other proteins from a cell-culture medium onto these surfaces was studied using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The cellular response to plasma-treated surfaces was studied as well using an MTT assay and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The fastest adsorption rate was found on the hydrophilic oxygen plasma-treated sample, and the lowest was found on the pristine untreated sample. Additionally, the amount of adsorbed proteins was higher for the oxygen-plasma-treated surface, and the adsorbed layer was more viscoelastic. In addition, cell adhesion studies support this finding because the best cell adhesion was observed on oxygen-plasma-treated substrates.
Keywords: oxygen and fluorine plasma treatment, polymer surface modification, protein adsorption, cell adhesion, quartz crystal microbalance, QCM
Published: 22.06.2017; Views: 536; Downloads: 295
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9.
Reactivation system for proton-exchange membrane fuel-cells
Carlos Restrepo, Oriol Avino, Javier Calvente, Alfonzo Romero, Miro Milanovič, Roberto Giral, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: In recent years, Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) have been the focus of very intensive researches. Manufacturers of these alternative power sources propose a rejuvenation sequence after the FC has been operating at high power for a certain period of time. These rejuvenation methods could be not appropriate for the reactivation of the FC when it has been out of operation for a long period of time or after it has been repaired. Since the developed reactivation system monitors temperature, current, and the cell voltages of the stack, it could be also useful for the diagnostic and repairing processes. The limited number of published contributions suggests that systems developing reactivation techniques are an open research field. In this paper, an automated system for reactivating PEMFCs and results of experimental testing are presented.
Keywords: reactivation system, PEM fuel cell, automated system
Published: 21.06.2017; Views: 636; Downloads: 273
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10.
Planar cell polarity genes frizzled4 and frizzled6 exert patterning influence on arterial vessel morphogenesis
Rene Markovič, Julien Peltan, Marko Gosak, Denis Horvat, Borut Žalik, Benjamin Seguy, Remi Chauvel, Gregoire Malandain, Thierry Couffinhal, Cécile Dupláa, Marko Marhl, Etienne Roux, original scientific article

Abstract: Quantitative analysis of the vascular network anatomy is critical for the understanding of the vasculature structure and function. In this study, we have combined microcomputed tomography (microCT) and computational analysis to provide quantitative three-dimensional geometrical and topological characterization of the normal kidney vasculature, and to investigate how 2 core genes of the Wnt/planar cell polarity, Frizzled4 and Frizzled6, affect vascular network morphogenesis. Experiments were performed on frizzled4 (Fzd4-/-) and frizzled6 (Fzd6-/-) deleted mice and littermate controls (WT) perfused with a contrast medium after euthanasia and exsanguination. The kidneys were scanned with a high-resolution (16 μm) microCT imaging system, followed by 3D reconstruction of the arterial vasculature. Computational treatment includes decomposition of 3D networks based on Diameter-Defined Strahler Order (DDSO). We have calculated quantitative (i) Global scale parameters, such as the volume of the vasculature and its fractal dimension (ii) Structural parameters depending on the DDSO hierarchical levels such as hierarchical ordering, diameter, length and branching angles of the vessel segments, and (iii) Functional parameters such as estimated resistance to blood flow alongside the vascular tree and average density of terminal arterioles. In normal kidneys, fractal dimension was 2.07±0.11 (n = 7), and was significantly lower in Fzd4-/- (1.71±0.04; n = 4), and Fzd6-/- (1.54±0.09; n = 3) kidneys. The DDSO number was 5 in WT and Fzd4-/-, and only 4 in Fzd6-/-. Scaling characteristics such as diameter and length of vessel segments were altered in mutants, whereas bifurcation angles were not different from WT. Fzd4 and Fzd6 deletion increased vessel resistance, calculated using the Hagen-Poiseuille equation, for each DDSO, and decreased the density and the homogeneity of the distal vessel segments. Our results show that our methodology is suitable for 3D quantitative characterization of vascular networks, and that Fzd4 and Fzd6 genes have a deep patterning effect on arterial vessel morphogenesis that may determine its functional efficiency.
Keywords: cell polarity, vascular network, metrics, quantitative analyses
Published: 19.06.2017; Views: 653; Downloads: 314
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