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[en] Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).
[en] Dysphagia is a frequent and the most common symptom of malignant disease in the oesophagus. Adequate palliation with low morbidity in dysphagia due to inoperable oesophageal carcinoma is difficult to achieve. Surgery probably provides the most effective palliation of dysphagia, but it is associated with a high morbidity. Self-expanding metal stents seem to offer excellent palliation with minimal morbidity for patients with inoperable carcinoma of the oesophagus. Stent treatment has a good and prompt effect on dysphagia and can be recommended for palliation of patients with malignant oesophageal strictures. A combination of radiotherapy (40 Gy) and the self-expanding metal stents can result in a prolonged palliation. This combined treatment was generally well tolerated
[en] Radioiodine captation decreases in patients studied from 1969 to 1977 (13% decrease at H.6 in normal patients) and plasmatic thyroxine increases from 1973 to 1977 (from 6.2 microg/100 ml to 9,6 in normal patients). This indicates an inflation of the iodine pool of the studied population, probably due to the iodine included in seaweed and derivatives which are used in industrial alimentation
[fr]La fixation du radioiode a diminue chez les patients etudies de 1969 a 1977 (la fixation a H6 a diminue de 13% chez les sujets normaux) et le taux de thyroxine plasmatique a augmente de 1973 a 1977 (de 6,2 microg/100 ml a 9,6 chez les sujets normaux). Cela traduit une augmentation du pool iode de la population etudiee, probablement due a l'iode contenu dans les algues et leurs derives utilises dans l'alimentation industrielle
[en] Gas discharge plasmas formed at atmospheric pressure and near room temperature have recently been shown to be potentially useful for surface and wound sterilization, antisepsis, bleeding cessation, wound healing, and cancer treatment, among other biomedical applications. This tutorial review summarizes the field, stressing the likely role of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species created in these plasmas as the biologically and therapeutically active agents. Reactive species, including radicals and non-radical compounds, are generated naturally within the body and are now understood to be essential for normal biological functions. These species are known to be active agents in existing therapies for wound healing, infection control, and cancer treatment. But they are also observed at elevated levels in persons with many diseases and are associated with aging. The physical and chemical complexity of plasma medical devices and their associated biochemical effects makes the development of safe, effective plasma medical devices and procedures a challenge, but encouragingly rapid progress has been reported around the world in the last several years
[en] Studying the effects of NPs on proteins may help understanding potential biological injuries such as changes in protein fibrillation, exposure of new antigenic epitopes, and loss of function such as enzymatic activity impairment. In this mini-review we present recent data which help understand the basis of NP-protein interactions and their subsequent potential effects on key mediators of biological functions such as enzymes.
[en] A study was conducted to estimate the functional reserve of the liver of patients with severe hepatitis by computed tomography (CT), in particular employing the integrated CT number of the whole liver (ICTN). ICTN was calculated by integrating the product of 'area' times 'mean CT number' of the liver in each CT slice for the entire height of the liver. The following results were obtained: 1) In patients with fulminant hepatitis (FH) as well as those with subacute hepatitis (SAH), ICTN was found to be significantly lower as compared to that of patients with acute hepatitis (AH) or non-hepatic diseases. In addition, in FH and SAH patients, ICTN showed a larger degree of decrease when compared with such conventional parameters as either estimated liver volume or mean hepatic CT number. Thus, ICTN seems to more sensitively reflect the changes in functional reserve of the liver. 2) ICTN showed significant positive correlations with prothrombin time and plasma BCAA/AAA ratio, and a significant negative correlation with plasma methionine level. 3) Time course of changes in ICTN correlated well with the clinical features of severe hepatitis. In particular, patients with initial ICTN values above 20 l·HU/m2 of body surface area showed significantly higher survival rate than those with initial ICTN below 20. In conclusion, ICTN well indicates the functional reserve of the liver, and is further suggested to be valuable as a parameter to predict the prognosis of patients with severe hepatitis. (author)