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Topic review
Updated time: 24 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Agata Zieba
Definition: The fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme (FAAH) belongs to the serine hydrolase superfamily. It is involved in the degradation of biologically active lipids. Enzyme inhibitors may exhibit analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and antidepressant activity. Importantly, blockade of FAAH does not cause undesirable side effects of direct cannabinoid agonists. Due to that fact, its blockade became an emerging strategy in the treatment of several central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral diseases. The development of novel effective FAAH inhibitors became a key focus in drug design.
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Topic review
Updated time: 15 Jun 2021
Submitted by: Petroula Nana
Definition: Abdominal aortic aneurysm represents a distinct group of vascular lesions, in terms of surveillance and treatment. Amongst clinically applicable biomarkers, D-dimers, LDL-C, HDL-C, TC, ApoB, and HbA1c were found to bear the most significant association with AAA growth rates. In terms of the experimental biomarkers, PIIINP, osteopontin, tPA, osteopontin, haptoglobin polymorphisms, insulin-like growth factor I, thioredoxin, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), and genetic factors, as polymorphisms and microRNAs were positively correlated with increased AAA expansion rates.
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Topic review
Updated time: 21 May 2021
Submitted by: Zhenqi Jiang
Definition: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used to diagnose diseases due to its high spatial, temporal and soft tissue resolution. Environment-responsive or smart MRI nanoprobes can specifically target cells based on differences in the cellular environment and improve the contrast between diseased tissues and normal tissues.
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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: 07 Sep 2021
Submitted by: Giorgio Lofrese
Definition: Dural lacerations are relatively common findings in thoracic and lumbar spinal fractures. Differently from the posterior dural tears, the repair of the anterior ones is a challenge. Compared to all the documented strategies for obtaining a watertight closure of an anterior dural laceration, the coating techniques revealed advantages of preserving neural structures, being adaptable to anterior and antero-lateral dural tears of any size.
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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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