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Topic review
Updated time: 21 Jan 2021
Submitted by: Adnan Anwar
Definition: This work represents a comprehensive analysis of the potential AI, ML, and IoT technologies for defending against the COVID-19 pandemic. The existing and potential applications of AI, ML, and IoT, along with a detailed analysis of the enabling tools and techniques are outlined. A critical discussion on the risks and limitations of the aforementioned technologies are also included.
Entry Collection : COVID-19
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Topic review
Updated time: 29 Jul 2020
Submitted by: Shengnan Wu
Definition: Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is in charge of numerous catabolic and anabolic signaling pathways to sustain appropriate intracellular adenosine triphosphate levels in response to energetic and/or cellular stress. In addition to its conventional roles as an intracellular energy switch or fuel gauge, emerging research has shown that AMPK is also a redox sensor and modulator, playing pivotal roles in maintaining cardiovascular processes and inhibiting disease progression. Pharmacological reagents, including statins, metformin, berberine, polyphenol, and resveratrol, all of which are widely used therapeutics for cardiovascular disorders, appear to deliver their protective/therapeutic effects partially via AMPK signaling modulation. The functions of AMPK during health and disease are far from clear. Accumulating studies have demonstrated crosstalk between AMPK and mitochondria, such as AMPK regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis and mitochondrial dysfunction causing abnormal AMPK activity. In this review, we begin with the description of AMPK structure and regulation, and then focus on the recent advances toward understanding how mitochondrial dysfunction controls AMPK and how AMPK, as a central mediator of the cellular response to energetic stress, maintains mitochondrial homeostasis. Finally, we systemically review how dysfunctional AMPK contributes to the initiation and progression of cardiovascular diseases via the impact on mitochondrial function.
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Topic review
Updated time: 13 Jan 2021
Submitted by: Youling Xiong
Definition: Protein oxidation, a phenomenon that was not well recognized previously but now better under-stood, is a complex chemical process occurring ubiquitously in food systems and can be induced by processing treatments as well. While early research concentrated on muscle protein oxidation, later investigations included plant, milk, and egg proteins. The process of protein oxidation involves both radicals and nonradicals, and amino acid side chain groups are usually the site of initial oxidant attack which generates protein carbonyls, disulfide, dityrosine, and protein radicals. The ensuing alteration of protein conformational structures and formation of protein polymers and aggregates can result in significant changes in solubility and functionality, such as gelation, emulsification, foaming, and water-holding. Oxidant dose-dependent effects have been widely reported, i.e., mild-to-moderate oxidation may enhance the functionality while strong oxidation leads to insolubilization and functionality losses. Therefore, controlling the extent of protein oxidation in both animal and plant protein foods through oxidative and antioxidative strategies has been of wide interest in model system as well in in situ studies.
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Topic review
Updated time: 09 Dec 2020
Submitted by: Viorica Patrulea
Definition: Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), also called host defense peptides (HDPs), are found in bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. They typically consist of 10–50 amino acid residues (very rarely up to 100 amino acids) and generally possess cationic (net charge ranging from −4 to +20) and amphipathic structures.
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Topic review
Updated time: 14 Mar 2021
Definition: The fruit, vegetable, legume, and cereal industries generate many wastes, representing an environmental pollution problem. However, these wastes are a rich source of antioxidant molecules such as terpenes, phenolic compounds, phytosterols, and bioactive peptides with potential applications mainly in the food and pharmaceutical industries, and they exhibit multiple biological properties including antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antihypertensive, anticancer, and antibacterial properties. The aforementioned has increased studies on the recovery of antioxidant compounds using green technologies to value plant waste, since they represent more efficient and sustainable processes. In this review, the main antioxidant molecules from plants are briefly described and the advantages and disadvantages of the use of conventional and green extraction technologies used for the recovery and optimization of the yield of antioxidant naturals are detailed; finally, recent studies on biological properties of antioxidant molecules extracted from plant waste are presented here.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 04 Mar 2021
Submitted by: Giacomo Lazzarino
Definition: Under physiological conditions, reactive oxygen species (ROS) play pivotal roles in various processes of human spermatozoa. Indeed, semen requires the intervention of ROS to accomplish different stages of its maturation. However, ROS overproduction is a well-documented phenomenon occurring in the semen of infertile males, potentially causing permanent oxidative damages to a vast number of biological molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids of biological membrane lipids), negatively affecting the functionality and vitality of spermatozoa. ROS overproduction may concomitantly occur to the excess generation of reactive nitrogen species (RNS), leading to oxidative/nitrosative stress and frequently encountered in various human pathologies. Under different conditions of male infertility, very frequently accompanied by morpho-functional anomalies in the sperm analysis, several studies have provided evidence for clear biochemical signs of damages to biomolecules caused by oxidative/nitrosative stress. In the last decades, various studies aimed to verify whether antioxidant-based therapies may be beneficial to treat male infertility have been carried out.
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Topic review
Updated time: 16 Dec 2020
Definition: Astrocytes, the most numerous glia cells in the brain, have many housekeeping functions, maintain the homeostasis of the CNS and are responsible for neuroprotection and defense. Long regarded as a non-specific, mere consequence of AD pathology, activation of astrocytes is now considered a key factor in both initiation and progression of the disease, and suppression of astrogliosis exacerbates neuropathology. Reactive astrocytes overexpress many cytokines, chemokines, and signaling molecules that activate or damage neighboring cells and their interplay with microglia and neurons can result in virtuous/vicious cycles which differ in different brain regions. Heterogeneity of glia, either between or within a particular brain region, is likely relevant in healthy conditions and disease processes. Understanding the spatial differences and roles of glia will allow assessing how those interactions can influence the state and progression of the disease, and will be critical to identify therapeutic strategies.
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Topic review
Updated time: 26 Nov 2020
Submitted by: Lorenzo Zanella
Definition: The halophyte Atriplex portulacoides (syn. Halimione portulacoides) occurs in habitats that are exposed to seawater inundations, and shows biochemical adaptations to saline and oxidative stresses. Its composition includes long chain lipids, sterols, phenolic compounds, glutathione, carotenoids,and micronutrients such as Fe, Zn, Co and Cu. The productivity of A. portulacoides in natural environments, and its adaptability to non-saline soils, make it a potential crop of high economic interest. This plant is suitable to be exploited as a functional food that is potentially able to reduce oxidative stress and inflammatory processes in humans and animals. This plant offers a valuable example of valorisation of the biodiversity for promoting the sustainability and diversification in agriculture.
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Topic review
Updated time: 18 Mar 2021
Submitted by: Xavier Salom-Roig
Definition: Aurilides are a class of depsipeptides occurring mainly in marine cyanobacteria. Members of the aurilide family have shown to exhibit strong cytotoxicity against various cancer cell lines. These compounds bear a pentapeptide, a polyketide, and an α-hydroxy ester subunit in their structure.
Entry Collection : Organic Synthesis
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Topic review
Updated time: 20 Nov 2020
Submitted by: Justyna Paprocka
Definition: Diseases primarily affecting the basal ganglia in children result in characteristic disturbances of movement and muscle tone. Both experimental and clinical evidence indicates that the basal ganglia also play a role in higher mental states. The basal ganglia can be affected by neurometabolic, degenerative diseases or other conditions from which they must be differentiated. Neuroradiological findings in basal ganglia diseases are also known. However, they may be similar in different diseases. Their assessment in children may require repeated MRI examinations depending on the stage of brain development (mainly the level of myelination). A large spectrum of pathological changes in the basal ganglia in many diseases is caused by their vulnerability to metabolic abnormalities and chemical or ischemic trauma. The diagnosis is usually established by correlation of clinical and radiological findings. Neuroimaging of basal ganglia in neurometabolic diseases is helpful in early diagnosis and monitoring of changes for optimal therapy.
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