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light sense [keywords]
- 'They did not have a word': The parental quest to locate a 'true sex' for their intersex children. [Journal Article]
- Psychol Health 2008; 23(4):493-507.
Given the paucity of research in this area, the primary aim of this study was to explore how parents of infants with unclear sex at birth made sense of 'intersex'. Qualitative methods were used (semi-structured interviews, interpretative phenomenological analysis) with 10 parents to generate pertinent themes and provide ideas for further research. Our analysis highlights the fundamental shock engendered by the uncertain sex status of children, and documents parental struggles to negotiate a coherent sex identity for their children. Findings are discussed in light of the rigid two-sex system which pervades medicine and everyday life, and we argue that greater understanding of the complexity of sex and gender is required in order to facilitate better service provision and, ultimately, greater informed consent and parental participation regarding decisions about their children's status.
- Short-Term Effects of Bright Light Therapy in Adults with Chronic Nonspecific Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Pain Med 2014 Aug 26.
The present trial evaluated incorporation of bright light therapy in the treatment of chronic nonspecific back pain (CNBP).A prospective, randomized, controlled, multicenter, open design with three parallel trial arms was used.Subjects received a novel therapeutic, an expected therapeutic ineffective low dose, or no light exposure at three different medical centers.A total of 125 CNBP patients reporting pain intensity of ≥3 points on item 5 of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) were included.Over 3 weeks, 36 active treatment, 36 placebo controls, and 33 controls received 3 or no supplementary light exposures of 5.000 lx or 230 lx, respectively.Changes in self-reported scores of pain intensity (BPI sub-score 1) and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Questionnaire) were the primary outcome measures. Secondary outcome measures were changes in self-reported overall pain sensation (BPI total score), grade of everyday life impairment (BPI sub-score 2), mood (visual analog scale), and well-being (World Health Organization-Five Well-Being Index).Changes in pain intensity were higher (1.0 [0.8-1.6]) in the bright light group compared with controls (0.3 [-0.1-0.8]; effect size D = 0.46). Changes in the depression score were also higher in the intervention group (1.5 [0.0-2.5]) compared with controls (0.0 [0.0-2.0]; effect size D = 0.86). No differences were seen in change scores between intervention vs sham group.The present randomized controlled trial shows that light therapy even in low dose could improve depressive symptoms and reduce pain intensity in CNBP patients. Further research is needed for optimizing parameters of frequency, dose, and duration of therapeutic light exposure.
- Genetic control and estimation of genetic parameters for seed-coat darkening of carioca beans. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Genet Mol Res 2014; 13(3):6486-6496.
The maintenance of the light color of the grains of carioca beans is a requirement for the development of new cultivars of common beans because it enables the storage of grains for long periods so that they may be traded at a proper opportunity. Crosses of cultivar BRSMG Madrepérola, which presents slow grain darkening, were made to 10 elite lines presenting normal darkening to obtain information about the genetic control of the trait and estimates of phenotypic and genotypic parameters. Progenies at the tegument generations F3 and F4 and their parents were evaluated at the locations of Santo Antônio de Goiás and Ponta Grossa at 71, 106, and 155 days of storage for seed-coat darkening using a rank of scores ranging from 1 (very light colored grains) to 5 (very dark colored grains). Genotypic and phenotypic variances and broad-sense heritabilities were estimated for each population. The segregation ratios were subjected to the chi-square test to establish the genetic control. Some populations did not present consistent patterns of genetic control, while others presented monogenic or double-recessive digenic segregation, indicating that the trait is controlled by few genes. Six segregant populations were identified with both low means for darkening and high expected gain under selection. Despite the strong environmental influence on the expression of the traits and the occurrence of the genotype by environment interaction, the estimates of genotypic and phenotypic parameters indicate the possibility of successful selection to develop lines with slow seed-coat darkening.
- Do textured insoles effect postural control and spatiotemporal parameters of gait and plantar sensation in people with multiple sclerosis? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PM R 2014 Aug 18.
Balance and gait deficits are common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Physical interventions directed at improving balance and walking abilities have implemented using various approaches. Nonetheless, no mode of training has been universally agreed upon.To determine if textured insoles have immediate effects on postural control and spatiotemporal parameters of gait and plantar sensation in people with people with MS and to explore effects 4 weeks after insole wear as to whether any immediate effects are maintained over time.Within-subject experimental study with a 4-week intervention phase.Multiple Sclerosis Center, Center of Advanced Technologies in Rehabilitation, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.Twenty-five relapsing-remitting patients diagnosed with MS, 16 women and 9 men, aged 49.6 (S.D= 6.5) years.Textured insoles customized according to foot size and adapted to the participant's casual shoes.Spatiotemporal parameters of gait and center of pressure (CoP) excursions during static postural control were studied using the Zebris FDM-T Treadmill (Zebris® Medical GmbH, Germany). Light-touch and pressure-sensation thresholds were determined using the Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments test RESULTS: Textured insoles did not alter static postural control parameters when examined with eyes open. Examination during the eyes closed task demonstrated an immediate reduction in the CoP path length (298.4 (S.E.=49.7) vs. 369.9 (S.E.=56.3); mm; P=.04) and sway rate (12.0 (S.E.=1.4) vs. 15.1 (S.E.=1.6); mm/s; P=.03) following insertion of the textured insoles compared to casual shoes. These findings were maintained at termination of the insole 4-week intervention period. In terms of spatiotemporal parameters of gait, differences were not observed between casual shoes and shoes with textured insoles at baseline. Likewise, no differences were observed between initial and concluding gait trials. Significant differences in plantar sensitivity measures were not observed following the insole 4-week intervention phase.Although there were improvements in some aspects of balance, the efficacy of textured insoles in the MS population remains unclear.
- Effect of arsenic on reflectance spectra and chlorophyll fluorescence of aquatic plants. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Chemosphere 2014 Aug 21.:697-703.
Arsenic pollution of groundwater is a serious problem in many regions of Latin America that causes severe risks to human health. As a consequence, non-destructive monitoring methodologies, sensitive to arsenic presence in the environment and able to perform a rapid screening of large polluted areas, are highly sought-after. Both chlorophyll - a fluorescence and reflectance of aquatic plants may be potential indicators to sense toxicity in water media. In this work, the effects of arsenic on the optical and photophysical properties of leaves of different aquatic plants (Vallisneria gigantea, Azolla filiculoides and Lemna minor) were evaluated. Reflectance spectra were recorded for the plant leaves from 300 to 2400nm. The spectral distribution of the fluorescence was also studied and corrected for light re-absorption processes. Photosynthetic parameters (Fv/Fm and ΦPSII) were additionally calculated from the variable chlorophyll fluorescence recorded with a pulse amplitude modulated fluorometer. Fluorescence and reflectance properties for V. gigantea and A. filiculoides were sensitive to arsenic presence in contrast to the behaviour of L. minor. Observed changes in fluorescence spectra could be interpreted in terms of preferential damage in photosystem II. The quantum efficiency of photosystem II for the first two species was also affected, decreasing upon arsenic treatment. As a result of this research, V. gigantea and A. filiculoides were proposed as bioindicators of arsenic occurrence in aquatic media.
- When Proteins Start to Make Sense: Fine-tuning Aminoglycosides for PTC Suppression Therapy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Medchemcomm 2014 Aug 1; 5(8):1092-1105.
Aminoglycosides (AGs) are highly potent antibacterial agents, which are known to exert their deleterious effects on bacterial cells by interfering with the translation process, leading to aberrant protein synthesis that usually results in cell death. Nearly 45 years ago, AGs were shown to induce read-through activity in prokaryotic systems by selectively encoding tRNA molecules at premature termination codon (PTC) positions; resulting in the generation of full length functional proteins. However, only in the last 20 years this ability has been demonstrated in eukaryotic systems, highlighting their potential as therapeutic agents to treat PTC induced genetic disorders. Despite the great potential, AGs use in these manners is quite restricted due to relatively high toxicity values observed upon their administration. Over the last few years several synthetic derivatives were developed to overcome some of the enhanced toxicity issues, while in parallel showed significantly improved PTC suppression activity in various in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo models of a variety of different diseases models underling by PTC mutations. Although these derivatives hold great promise to serve as therapeutic candidates they also demonstrate the necessity to further understand the molecular mechanisms of which AGs confer their biological activity in eukaryotic cells for further rational drug design. Recent achievements in structural research shed light on AGs mechanism of action and opened a new avenue in the development of new and improved therapeutic derivatives. The following manuscript highlights these accomplishments and summarizes their contributions to the state of art rational drug design.
- Primary cilia signaling mediates intraocular pressure sensation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Aug 20.
Lowe syndrome is a rare X-linked congenital disease that presents with congenital cataracts and glaucoma, as well as renal and cerebral dysfunction. OCRL, an inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase, is mutated in Lowe syndrome. We previously showed that OCRL is involved in vesicular trafficking to the primary cilium. Primary cilia are sensory organelles on the surface of eukaryotic cells that mediate mechanotransduction in the kidney, brain, and bone. However, their potential role in the trabecular meshwork (TM) in the eye, which regulates intraocular pressure, is unknown. Here, we show that TM cells, which are defective in glaucoma, have primary cilia that are critical for response to pressure changes. Primary cilia in TM cells shorten in response to fluid flow and elevated hydrostatic pressure, and promote increased transcription of TNF-α, TGF-β, and GLI1 genes. Furthermore, OCRL is found to be required for primary cilia to respond to pressure stimulation. The interaction of OCRL with transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4), a ciliary mechanosensory channel, suggests that OCRL may act through regulation of this channel. A novel disease-causing OCRL allele prevents TRPV4-mediated calcium signaling. In addition, TRPV4 agonist GSK 1016790A treatment reduced intraocular pressure in mice; TRPV4 knockout animals exhibited elevated intraocular pressure and shortened cilia. Thus, mechanotransduction by primary cilia in TM cells is implicated in how the eye senses pressure changes and highlights OCRL and TRPV4 as attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of glaucoma. Implications of OCRL and TRPV4 in primary cilia function may also shed light on mechanosensation in other organ systems.
- Approach to the Patient: Transgender Youth: Endocrine Considerations. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2014 Aug 20.:jc20141919.
Compelling studies have demonstrated that "gender identity"-a person's inner sense of self as male, female, or occasionally a category other than male or female-is not simply a psychosocial construct, but likely reflects a complex interplay of biologic, environmental, and cultural factors. An increasing number of pre-adolescents and adolescents, identifying as "transgender" (a transient or persistent identification with a gender different from their "natal gender"-i.e. the gender that is assumed based on the physical sex characteristics present at birth), are seeking medical services to enable the development of physical characteristics consistent with their affirmed gender. Such services, including use of agents to block endogenous puberty at Tanner stage 2 and subsequent use of cross-sex hormones, are based on longitudinal studies demonstrating that those individuals who were first identified as gender-dysphoric in early or middle childhood and still meet the mental health criteria for being transgender at early puberty are likely to be transgender as adults. Furthermore, onset of puberty in transgender youth is often accompanied by increased "gender dysphoria"-clinically significant distress related to the incongruence between one's affirmed gender and one's "assigned (or natal) gender". Studies have shown that such distress may be ameliorated by a "gender-affirming" model of care. While endocrinologists are familiar with concerns surrounding gender identity in patients with disorders of sex development (DSD), many providers are unfamiliar with the approach to the evaluation and management of transgender youth without a DSD. The goals of this article are to review studies that shed light on the biologic underpinnings of gender identity, the epidemiology and natural history of transgenderism, current clinical practice guidelines for transgender youth, and limitations and challenges to optimal care. Prospective cohort studies focused on long-term safety and efficacy are needed to optimize medical and mental health care for transgender youth.
- Transcriptional interference by antisense RNA is required for circadian clock function. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Nature 2014 Aug 17.
Eukaryotic circadian oscillators consist of negative feedback loops that generate endogenous rhythmicities. Natural antisense RNAs are found in a wide range of eukaryotic organisms. Nevertheless, the physiological importance and mode of action of most antisense RNAs are not clear. frequency (frq) encodes a component of the Neurospora core circadian negative feedback loop, which was thought to generate sustained rhythmicity. Transcription of qrf, the long non-coding frq antisense RNA, is induced by light, and its level oscillates in antiphase to frq sense RNA. Here we show that qrf transcription is regulated by both light-dependent and light-independent mechanisms. Light-dependent qrf transcription represses frq expression and regulates clock resetting. Light-independent qrf expression, on the other hand, is required for circadian rhythmicity. frq transcription also inhibits qrf expression and drives the antiphasic rhythm of qrf transcripts. The mutual inhibition of frq and qrf transcription thus forms a double negative feedback loop that is interlocked with the core feedback loop. Genetic and mathematical modelling analyses indicate that such an arrangement is required for robust and sustained circadian rhythmicity. Moreover, our results suggest that antisense transcription inhibits sense expression by mediating chromatin modifications and premature termination of transcription. Taken together, our results establish antisense transcription as an essential feature in a circadian system and shed light on the importance and mechanism of antisense action.