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Batista R.,National Institute of Health | Oliveira M.,Instituto Of Tecnologia Quimica E Biologica
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology

Before market introduction, genetic engineered (GE) food products, like any other novel food product, are subjected to extensive assessment of their potential effects on human health. In recent years, a number of profiling technologies have been explored aiming to increase the probability of detecting any unpredictable unintended effect and, consequently improving the efficiency of GE food safety assessment. These techniques still present limitations associated with the interpretation of the observed differences with respect to their biological relevance and toxicological significance. In order to address this issue, in this study, we have performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of five different ears of five different MON810 maize plants and of other five of the non-transgenic near-isogenic line. We have also performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of the pool of the five protein extractions of MON810 and control lines. We have notice that, in this example, the exclusive use of data from 2D-electrophoresed pooled samples, to compare these two lines, would be insufficient for an adequate safety evaluation. We conclude that, when using " omics" technologies, it is extremely important to eliminate all potential differences due to factors not related to the ones under study, and to understand the role of natural plant-to-plant variability in the encountered differences. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

The knowledge of the frequency and relative weight of mutation and recombination events in evolution is essential for understanding how microorganisms reach fitted phenotypes. Traditionally, these evolutionary parameters have been inferred by using data from multilocus sequence typing (MLST), which is known to have yielded conflicting results. In the near future, these estimations will certainly be performed by computational analyses of full-genome sequences. However, it is not known whether this approach will yield accurate results as bacterial genomes exhibit heterogeneous representation of loci categories, and it is not clear how loci nature impacts such estimations. Therefore, we assessed how mutation and recombination inferences are shaped by loci with different genetic features, using the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis as the study model. We found that loci assigning a high number of alleles and positively selected genes yielded nonconvergent estimates and incongruent phylogenies and thus are more prone to confound algorithms. Unexpectedly, for the model under evaluation, housekeeping genes and noncoding regions shaped estimations in a similar manner, which points to a nonrandom role of the latter in C. trachomatis evolution. Although the present results relate to a specific bacterium, we speculate that microbe-specific genomic architectures (such as coding capacity, polymorphism dispersion, and fraction of positively selected loci) may differentially buffer the effect of the confounding factors when estimating recombination and mutation rates and, thus, influence the accuracy of using full-genome sequences for such purpose. This putative bias associated with in silico inferences should be taken into account when discussing the results obtained by the analyses of full-genome sequences, in which the "one size fits all" approach may not be applicable. Source

Di Pasquale A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Morino S.,Neuromuscular Disease Unit of santAndrea Hospital | Loreti S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Bucci E.,Neuromuscular Disease Unit of santAndrea Hospital | And 2 more authors.

Objective: To evaluate the ultrasound (US) characteristics of peripheral nerves in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) and their correlations with electrodiagnostic (EDX) characteristics. Methods: Nineteen patients with CIDP and 19 healthy controls matched by age and body mass index were included in a blind case-control, observational study. All patients underwent a neurologic examination (including inflammatory neuropathy cause and treatment [INCAT] and Medical Research Council [MRC] sum score) and an EDX study. Each patient and each control underwent a US study of 14 nerve segments, yielding a total number of 266 segments scanned in each group. Results: US changes, characterized by an increased nerve cross-sectional area (NCSA), were detected in 53% of the 266 patient nerve segments. Mean NCSA was higher in nerve segments of patients than in those of controls (p < 0.001). Nerve segments with abnormal US belonged to patients with longer disease duration, lower MRC sum score, higher INCAT score, and progressive disease form (all p < 0.0001). All the aforementioned variables were independently associated with the occurrence of US changes. Motor nerve conduction was significantly lower in nerve segments with increased NCSA than in those with normal NCSA (p < 0.0001). NCSA in segments with prevalent myelin damage was higher than that in segments with prevalent axonal damage (p 0.001) or in segments with normal EDX characteristics (p < 0.0001). NCSA and motor nerve conduction velocity were inversely correlated in nerve segments with EDX evidence of myelin damage (R 0.599; p < 0.0001). Conduction blocks were associated with increased NCSA (p 0.001). Conclusions: US may, similar to MRI, have a supporting role in the diagnosis of CIDP. US and EDX changes are correlated. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology. Source

Kim D.W.,National Institute of Health
Genome / National Research Council Canada = Génome / Conseil national de recherches Canada

We captured the whole human exome by hybridization using synthesized oligonucleotides, based on a high-density microarray design, and we sequenced those captured human exons using high-throughput sequencing on a Genome Sequencer FLX instrument. Of the uniquely mapped reads, 71% fell within target regions, and these corresponded to coverage of 94% of human genes, 87% of exons, and 70% of the total base-pair length of the CCDS set. Our study provides strong evidence for the practical usefulness of this method on a genome-wide scale, showing the resequenced whole human exome database with 501 microRNAs and 307 novel SNPs. Source

Ciccozzi M.,National Institute of Health
BMC infectious diseases

Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) is one of the most pressing health emergencies in the world with a global prevalence of about 170 million people chronically infected worldwide. In Europe, Italy has the highest HCV prevalence (3 - 4.4%) with peaks of 12.6 - 26% in Southern regions and the major islands. In Italy HCV genotype 1b prevails, and genotype 4 is mainly found in the south of the country where the prevalence is particularly high in regions such as Calabria.Phylogenetics analysis is a molecular tool widely used to study rapidly-evolving RNA viruses that establish chronic infections such as HCV. Searching the scientific literature, it was found that thirty-nine genetic studies on HCV genotypes have been carried out in Italy between 1997 to 2012 years. However, phylogenetic analysis was performed only in fourteen out of thirty-nine HCV studies (36%) considered. Monitoring the genetic evolution of HCV is an essential step to control the local as well as global HCV epidemic and to develop efficient preventive and therapeutic strategies. Source

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