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Momcilovic B.,Institute for Research and Development of the Sustainable Eco Systems
Periodicum Biologorum

The scientific project (SP) peer review process (PRP) is reviewed in the context of an virtual project and with the aim to identify the key stumbling blocks in the current practices of such SP reviewing in Croatia. Current practice of the PRP in Croatia is grossly non transparent and reminds of an »old boys club«. It's not known how the project reviewers are chosen and assigned to review certain subject area, there are no publicly available guidelines of what is considered to be important for such a project PRP and there are no guidelines on how to summarize and quantify the end result of such the PRP. The perennial problem of conflict of interest among the peers competing for the same funding sources is neither addressed nor resolved. The results of the reviewing are not sent to the principal investigators and researchers have no chance to confront the unfair project reviewing, or improve and resubmit their project following the reviewer comments. How the quality of the project assessment is transformed into the funds allocated to the project is mystery, and per capita distribution appears to be the decade followed practice regardless of the proclaimed political declarations in support of the scientific project merits. The role of local ethic committees (LEC) on human subject research in project submission procedure is also critically evaluated since there is a tendency for some LEC to act as a self-imposed pre-project reviewer even before the regular PRP. By virtue of having a power of final project submission approval, LEC may impose censoring of the strictly scientific issues. Therefore, there should be a chance to appeal such LEC practice and what is now grossly limited by the time frame of the project submission deadlines. Peer reviewing would always be subjective to a certain extent, but the excessive and/or unlimited subjectivity of the reviewer opinion and respective allotted funds should be prevented by carefully structured guidelines and full transparency of the whole process of the project peer-reviewing and funding. Source

Prejac J.,University of Zagreb | Visnjevic V.,Institute for Research and Development of the Sustainable Eco Systems | Drmic S.,Neuropsychiatric Hospital Dr. Ivan Barbot | Skalny A.A.,Center for Biotic Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

Today, human iodine deficiency is next to iron the most common nutritional deficiency in developed European and underdeveloped third world countries, respectively. A current biological indicator of iodine status is urinary iodine that reflects the very recent iodine exposure, whereas some long term indicator of iodine status remains to be identified. We analyzed hair iodine in a prospective, observational, cross-sectional, and exploratory study involving 870 apparently healthy Croatians (270 men and 600 women). Hair iodine was analyzed with the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP MS). Population (n870) hair iodine (IH) respective median was 0.499μgg-1 (0.482 and 0.508μgg-1) for men and women, respectively, suggesting no sex related difference. We studied the hair iodine uptake by the logistic sigmoid saturation curve of the median derivatives to assess iodine deficiency, adequacy and excess. We estimated the overt iodine deficiency to occur when hair iodine concentration is below 0.15μgg-1. Then there was a saturation range interval of about 0.15-2.0μgg-1 (r2=0.994). Eventually, the sigmoid curve became saturated at about 2.0μgg-1 and upward, suggesting excessive iodine exposure. Hair appears to be a valuable and robust long term biological indicator tissue for assessing the iodine body status. We propose adequate iodine status to correspond with the hair iodine (IH) uptake saturation of 0.565-0.739μgg-1 (55-65%). © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Momcilovic B.,Institute for Research and Development of the Sustainable Eco Systems | Prejac J.,University of Zagreb | Visnjevic V.,Institute for Research and Development of the Sustainable Eco Systems | Mimica N.,University of Zagreb | And 3 more authors.
Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry

Environmental exposure to silver (Ag) was assessed in occupationally non-exposed adult human population by analyzing Ag in the hair (H · Ag) and whole blood (WB · Ag). H · Ag was analyzed in 311 (123 men, M; 188 women, W); while WB · Ag was determined in 235 of these individuals (90 M, 145 W). Women had more H · Ag than men (M 0.05 vs. W 0.076), whereas WB · Ag concentrations in men and women were not significantly different. A natural distribution of the median derivatives was utilized to generate the dataset to fit the logistic sigmoid curve to assess the current human body burden of environmental Ag population exposure for M and W separately. The H · Ag (μg g-1) below 0.0105 for M and 0.0145 for W, reflects low level of environmental Ag exposure. The adaptive physiological saturation phase followed where H · Ag rose rapidly, first for M and then for W in parallel with biological assay. Both parallel saturation curves converged and plateaued at 0.215 for M and 0.965 for W (μg g-1). The current level of human environmental Ag exposure is low, but cases of high Ag exposure occurred sporadically. In conjunction with the medical histories overt clinical neural toxicity may be expected for H · Ag at 4 μg g-1and higher. There were no significant correlation between the H · Ag and WB · Ag. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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