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Metzner K.J.,University of Zürich | Scherrer A.U.,University of Zürich | Von Wyl V.,University of Zürich | Boni J.,University of Zürich | And 49 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2014

Objective: The presence of minority nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-resistant HIV-1 variants prior to antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been linked to virologic failure in treatment-naive patients. Design: We performed a large retrospective study to determine the number of treatment failures that could have been prevented by implementing minority drug-resistant HIV-1 variant analyses in ART-naýve patients in whom no NNRTI resistance mutations were detected by routine resistance testing. Methods: Of 1608 patients in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, who have initiated first-line ART with two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and one NNRTI before July 2008, 519 patients were eligible by means of HIV-1 subtype, viral load and sample availability. Key NNRTI drug resistance mutations K103N and Y181C were measured by allele-specific PCR in 208 of 519 randomly chosen patients. Results: Minority K103N and Y181C drug resistance mutations were detected in five out of 190 (2.6%) and 10 out of 201 (5%) patients, respectively. Focusing on 183 patients for whom virologic success or failure could be examined, virologic failure occurred in seven out of 183 (3.8%) patients; minority K103N and/or Y181C variants were present prior to ART initiation in only two of those patients. The NNRTI-containing, first-line ART was effective in 10 patients with preexisting minority NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 variant. Conclusion: As revealed in settings of case-control studies, minority NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 variants can have an impact on ART. However, the implementation of minority NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 variant analysis in addition to genotypic resistance testing (GRT) cannot be recommended in routine clinical settings. Additional associated risk factors need to be discovered. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health-Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Loginov V.I.,Russian Academy of Medical Sciences | Dmitriev A.A.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Senchenko V.N.,RAS Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology | Pronina I.V.,Russian Academy of Medical Sciences | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The SEMA3B gene is located in the 3p21.3 LUCA region, which is frequently affected in different types of cancer. The objective of our study was to expand our knowledge of the SEMA3B gene as a tumor suppressor and the mechanisms of its inactivation. In this study, several experimental approaches were used: tumor growth analyses and apoptosis assays in vitro and in SCID mice, expression and methylation assays and other. With the use of the small cell lung cancer cell line U2020 we confirmed the function of SEMA3B as a tumor suppressor, and showed that the suppression can be realized through the induction of apoptosis and, possibly, associated with the inhibition of angiogenesis. In addition, for the first time, high methylation frequencies have been observed in both intronic (32-39%) and promoter (44-52%) CpG-islands in 38 non-small cell lung carcinomas, including 16 squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 22 adenocarcinomas (ADC), and in 83 clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC). Correlations between the methylation frequencies of the promoter and the intronic CpG-islands of SEMA3B with tumor stage and grade have been revealed for SCC, ADC and ccRCC. The association between the decrease of the SEMA3B mRNA level and hypermethylation of the promoter and the intronic CpG-islands has been estimated in renal primary tumors (P < 0.01). Using qPCR, we observed on the average 10- and 14-fold decrease of the SEMA3B mRNA level in SCC and ADC, respectively, and a 4-fold decrease in ccRCC. The frequency of this effect was high in both lung (92-95%) and renal (84%) tumor samples. Moreover, we showed a clear difference (P < 0.05) of the SEMA3B relative mRNA levels in ADC with and without lymph node metastases. We conclude that aberrant expression and methylation of SEMA3B could be suggested as markers of lung and renal cancer progression. © 2015 Loginov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Rezaeian A.,Scientific Board | Ghayour-Mobarhan M.,Biochemistry of Nutritional Research Center | Mazloum S.R.,Nursing and Midwifery School | Yavari M.,Educational Development Office | Jafari S.-A.,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences
Singapore Medical Journal | Year: 2014

INTRODUCTION Iron deficiency, associated with a decline in cognitive function, is the most common nutritional deficiency globally. The present study aimed to identify the impact of weekly iron supplements on the attention function of female students from a high school in North Khorasan Province, Iran.METHODS This was a blind, controlled, clinical trial study, involving 200 female students who were chosen using the stratified randomised sampling method. First, laboratory studies were performed to detect iron consumption limitations. Next, the 200 students were divided randomly and equally into case and control groups. The case group was treated with 50 mg of ferrous sulfate twice a week for 16 weeks. We compared both groups’ data on attention, iron status and erythrocyte indices. Questionnaires were used to collect demographic data, while clinical data was collected using complete blood count and Toulouse-Piéron tests. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, as well as paired and independent t-tests.RESULTS The mean attention scores of the case and control groups were 104.8 ± 7.0 and 52.7 ± 9.6, respectively (p < 0.001). The mean haemoglobin levels of the two groups were 12.5 ± 0.9 and 11.2 ± 1.0, respectively (p < 0.001). Compared to the control group, the attention scores and haemoglobin concentrations of the case group were found to be improved by approximately 90% and 10%, respectively.CONCLUSION Oral iron supplements (50 mg twice a week for 16 weeks) were able to improve the attention span and haematologic indices of female high school students. © 2014, Singapore Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Villandre L.,McGill University | Stephens D.A.,McGill University | Labbe A.,McGill University | Labbe A.,University Institute of Mental Health | And 43 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Background: Transmission patterns of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) could relate to the structure of the underlying sexual contact network, whose features are therefore of interest to clinicians. Conventionally, we represent sexual contacts in a population with a graph, that can reveal the existence of communities. Phylogenetic methods help infer the history of an epidemic and incidentally, may help detecting communities. In particular, phylogenetic analyses of HIV-1 epidemics among men who have sex with men (MSM) have revealed the existence of large transmission clusters, possibly resulting from within-community transmissions. Past studies have explored the association between contact networks and phylogenies, including transmission clusters, producing conflicting conclusions about whether network features significantly affect observed transmission history. As far as we know however, none of them thoroughly investigated the role of communities, defined with respect to the network graph, in the observation of clusters. Methods: The present study investigates, through simulations, community detection from phylogenies. We simulate a large number of epidemics over both unweighted and weighted, undirected random interconnected-islands networks, with islands corresponding to communities. We use weighting to modulate distance between islands. We translate each epidemic into a phylogeny, that lets us partition our samples of infected subjects into transmission clusters, based on several common definitions from the literature. We measure similarity between subjects' island membership indices and transmission cluster membership indices with the adjusted Rand index. Results and Conclusion: Analyses reveal modest mean correspondence between communities in graphs and phylogenetic transmission clusters. We conclude that common methods often have limited success in detecting contact network communities from phylogenies. The rarely-fulfilled requirement that network communities correspond to clades in the phylogeny is their main drawback. Understanding the link between transmission clusters and communities in sexual contact networks could help inform policymaking to curb HIV incidence in MSMs. © 2016 Villandre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Scherrer A.U.,University of Zürich | Von Wyl V.,University of Zürich | Joos B.,University of Zürich | Klimkait T.,University of Basel | And 42 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

The 69 insertion and Q151M mutations are multi-nucleoside/nucleotide resistance mutations (MNR). The prevalence among 4078 antiretroviral therapy (ART)-experienced individuals was <1.3%. Combined ART fully prevented MNR in subtype B infections. Case-control studies were performed to identify risk factors. Control subjects were patients with ≥3 thymidine-analogue mutations. The 69 insertion study (27 control subjects, 14 case patients) identified didanosine exposure as a risk (odds ratio, 5.0 per year; P = .019), whereas the Q151M study (which included 44 control subjects and 25 case patients) detected no associations. Following detection, individuals with Q151M tended to have lower suppression rates and higher mortality rates, relative to control subjects. Additional studies are needed to verify these findings in non-subtype B infections. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.

Rotger M.,University of Lausanne | Gsponer T.,University of Bern | Martinez R.,University of Lausanne | Taffe P.,University of Lausanne | And 51 more authors.
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Background. Metabolic complications, including cardiovascular events and diabetes mellitus (DM), are a major long-term concern in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals. Recent genome-wide association studies have reliably associated multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to DM in the general population. Methods. We evaluated the contribution of 22 SNPs identified in genome-wide association studies and of longitudinally measured clinical factors to DM. We genotyped all 94 white participants in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study who developed DM from 1 January 1999 through 31 August 2009 and 550 participants without DM. Analyses were based on 6054 person-years of follow-up and 13,922 measurements of plasma glucose. Results. The contribution to DM risk explained by SNPs (14% of DM variability) was larger than the contribution to DM risk explained by current or cumulative exposure to different antiretroviral therapy combinations (3% of DM variability). Participants with the most unfavorable genetic score (representing 12% and 19% of the study population, respectively, when applying 2 different genetic scores) had incidence rate ratios for DM of 3.80 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.05-7.06) and 2.74 (95% CI, 1.53-4.88), respectively, compared with participants with a favorable genetic score. However, addition of genetic data to clinical risk factors that included body mass index only slightly improved DM prediction. Conclusions. In white HIV-infected persons treated with antiretroviral therapy, the DM effect of genetic variants was larger than the potential toxic effects of antiretroviral therapy. SNPs contributed significantly to DM risk, but their addition to a clinical model improved DM prediction only slightly, similar to studies in the general population. © 2010 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.

News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

Imagin Medical is the developer of the ultrasensitive i/Blue Imaging System that will establish a new standard of care for urologists in detecting bladder cancer through endoscopes VANCOUVER, BC and BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - October 27, 2016) - Imagin Medical ( : IME) ( : IMEXF) ( : DPD2) (the "Company") announced today that Dr. Liam J. Hurley, a member of the Northeast Urologic Surgery, PC, has joined Imagin's Scientific Board of Advisors. Dr. Hurley obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and his M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine. After spending three years in the U.S. Navy, he completed a General Surgery Residency at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center of Boston and his Urology Residency at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. He is trained as an adult and pediatric urologist with expertise in genitourinary oncology. Dr. Hurley is a private practice community urologist who has clinical affiliations with Tufts New England Medical Center and Lahey Clinic. Other accomplishments include launching The Boston Urologic Society, serving on the Executive Committee for the Massachusetts Association of Practicing Urologists, and presiding as the Eastern Massachusetts representative to the New England Section of the AUA. Dr. Hurley is Board certified in Urology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In 2006, he was chosen as one of Boston's "TOP DOCTORS" by Boston Magazine. "Dr. Hurley's knowledge and expertise in the urology field will be a great asset to our Advisory Board," said Jim Hutchens, Imagin President and CEO. "We look forward to his joining our team as we continue to add relevant expertise to help Imagin succeed." About Imagin Medical Imagin Medical is developing imaging solutions for the early detection of cancer through the use of endoscopes. The Company believes it will radically improve the way physicians detect cancer. Imagin's initial target market is bladder cancer, a major cancer worldwide, the sixth most prevalent in the U.S., and the most costly cancer to treat due to a greater than 50% recurrence rate. Developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, this advanced, ultrasensitive imaging technology is based upon improved optical designs and advanced light sensors. Learn more at www.imaginmedical.com. ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD: Information set forth in this news release contains forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management's current estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations; they are not guarantees of future performance. The Company cautions that all forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain and that actual performance may be affected by a number of material factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control. Accordingly, actual and future events, conditions and results may differ materially from the estimates, beliefs, intentions and expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. Except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking information. The CSE has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained herein and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: phys.org

Because forest elephants are one the slowest reproducing mammals in the world, it will take almost a century for them to recover from the intense poaching they have suffered since 2002. Credit: Andrea Turkalo/WCS Because forest elephants are one the slowest reproducing mammals in the world, it will take almost a century for them to recover from the intense poaching they have suffered since 2002. Not only does it take more than two decades for female forest elephants to begin reproducing, but they also give birth only once every five to six years. The findings are from a first-ever study of forest elephant demography published Aug. 31 in the Journal of Applied Ecology. There are two species of elephants in Africa. Savannah elephants make up the majority across the continent, with smaller numbers of the more diminutive forest elephants restricted to tropical forests. Forest elephants have experienced serious poaching, driving an estimated population decline of 65 percent between 2002 and 2013 according to a study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Their reported low birth rates mean that it will take forest elephants at least 90 years to recover from these losses, according to researchers from the WCS, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Elephant Listening Project, Colorado State University, and Save the Elephants. The team used decades of intensive monitoring data that recorded births and deaths of the elephants using the Dzanga Bai in Central African Republic, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sangha Trinational area. (Dzanga Bai translates roughly as "village of elephants.") "This work provides another critical piece of understanding regarding the dire conservation status of forest elephants," said the study's lead author Andrea Turkalo, WCS Associate Conservation Scientist, who over several decades collected the detailed data on the Dzanga elephants despite tough logistical challenges and political instability. Using data Turkalo collected from 1990 to 2013 during nearly daily visits to a mineral rich forest clearing, or bai, that attracts elephants and other wildlife, the authors were able to uncover the age at which the forest elephants had their first calves, the length of time between calves, and other behaviors. The team found that forest elephants begin breeding later and have much longer calving intervals than other elephants, which means the population takes much longer to increase. "Female forest elephants in the Dzanga population typically breed for the first time after 23 years of age, a markedly late age of maturity relative to other mammals," Turkalo said. "In contrast, Savannah elephants typically begin breeding at age 12. In addition, breeding female forest elephants only produced a calf once every five or six years, relative to the three- to four-year interval found for Savannah elephants." The authors believe that the low birth rate is due to the challenges of living in a tropical forest, where new plant growth is mostly limited to the canopy. Said Peter Wrege, a Behavioral Ecologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Elephant Listening Project: "While we think of tropical forests as incredibly productive areas, most production occurs in the high canopy inaccessible to ground-dwelling species. In addition, vegetation in tropical systems are laden with compounds to defend their leaves from herbivores, including elephants. This means accessing resources is challenging for terrestrial fauna." George Wittemyer, chair of the Scientific Board of Save the Elephants and a professor in Wildlife Conservation at Colorado State University, said the findings are essential to assessing the status of forest elephants and projecting population decline in the face of illegal killing. "Legislation regarding ivory trade must consider the collateral effects on forest elephants and the difficulties of protecting them," Wittemyer said. "Trade in ivory in one nation can influence the pressures on elephants in other nations." The paper's findings show that the forest elephant is particularly susceptible to poaching - vital information in the push to close domestic ivory markets, which will be debated at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which runs from Sept. 1-10 in Hawaii, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which meets in Johannesburg in late September. The authors also highlight the importance of the results for interpreting carcass data collected through the Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants program, which has shown high levels of poaching across central Africa. "Only by understanding the basic biology of forest elephants and other species, can we properly determine the level of threats they face from human activities," said Wittemyer. Forest elephants have critical ecological roles in these forests, and many tree species rely on the elephants to disperse their seeds. Continued decline in forest elephant numbers and range is likely to drive severe changes to these ecosystems, making their conservation status a significant global issue. Failing to protect forest elephants would also damage Central African forests, which are important for absorbing climate change gases. Explore further: At least 26 elephants massacred by C.African poachers

Hasse B.,University of Zürich | Ledergerber B.,University of Zürich | Hirschel B.,University of Geneva | Vernazza P.,Cantonal Hospital | And 48 more authors.
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Background. Access to antiretroviral therapy may have changed condom use behavior. In January 2008, recommendations on condom use for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive persons were published in Switzerland, which allowed for unprotected sex under well-defined circumstances ("Swiss statement"). We studied the frequency, changes over time, and determinants of unprotected sex among HIV-positive persons. Methods. Self-reported information on sexual preference, sexual partners, and condom use was collected at semi-annual visits in all participants of the prospective Swiss HIV Cohort Study from April 2007 through March 2009. Multivariable logistic regression models were fit using generalized estimating equations to investigate associations between characteristics of cohort participants and condom use. Findings. A total of 7309 participants contributed to 21,978 visits. A total of 4291 persons (80%) reported sexual contacts with stable partners, 1646 (30%) with occasional partners, and 557 (10%) with stable and occasional partners. Of the study participants, 5838 (79.9%) of 7309 were receiving antiretroviral therapy, and of these, 4816 patients (82%) had a suppressed viral load. Condom use varied widely and differed by type of partner (visits with stable partners, 10,368 [80%] of 12,983; visits with occasional partners, 4300 [88%] of 4880) and by serostatus of stable partner (visits with HIV-negative partners, 7105 [89%] of 8174; visits with HIV-positive partners, 1453 [48%] of 2999). Participants were more likely to report unprotected sex with stable partners if they were receiving antiretroviral therapy, if HIV replication was suppressed, and after the publication of the "Swiss statement." Noninjection drug use and moderate or severe alcohol use were associated with unprotected sex. Conclusions. Antiretroviral treatment and plasma HIV RNA titers influence sexual behavior of HIV-positive persons. Noninjection illicit drug and alcohol use are important risk factors for unprotected sexual contacts. © 2010 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.

News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Dec. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of ESG and corporate governance research and ratings, today launched ESG Signals, an innovative quantitative tool that provides securities-level financial risk and opportunity signals based on environmental, social and governance (ESG), trading and financial data. ESG Signals analyzes thousands of correlations between variables over time and applies machine learning to extract meaningfully predictive risk/opportunity signals. Sustainalytics developed ESG Signals in collaboration with Advestis, a FinTech company that specializes in machine learning and big data techniques for asset management firms. ESG Signals combines seven years of Sustainalytics’ ESG research on more than 1,600 companies with trading and financial data from Advestis to provide heads of research and portfolio managers with a portfolio monitoring, alerting and investment decision support tool.  In addition, asset managers and index providers can use ESG Signals to develop new products. For every portfolio security, ESG Signals delivers either an opportunity, neutral or risk signal output. To test the findings, Sustainalytics and Advestis applied ESG Signals to a large cap, market weighted index. The index was adjusted to apply three ESG strategies: normative exclusion, best-in-class selection and a combination of the two. The reweighted indices outperformed the benchmark between 110 and 430 basis points annually, depending on the frequency of rebalancing adopted. “For almost 25 years, Sustainalytics has been at the forefront of supporting ESG-related investment strategies,” said Sustainalytics’ President and Chief Operating Officer, Bob Mann. “ESG Signals further underscores our commitment to innovation by exploiting big data techniques, quantitative modeling and machine learning to examine the links between ESG and financial performance factors. Our goal is to help investment managers identify and leverage ESG indicators with the most meaningful predictive value.” To date, ESG integration strategies have been largely qualitative in nature, primarily implemented as part of a qualitative process for risk mitigation.  As ESG factors become increasingly important considerations among mainstream investors, asset managers are looking for investment tools that have the ability to consistently and algorithmically analyze performance-based correlations to identify the most influent variables and in what circumstances they are most influent. “ESG variables provide additional information not fully captured by today’s financial or trading variables,” said Advestis’ CEO Christoph Geissler. “Leveraging Sustainalytics’ high quality research and extensive ESG experience provides investors with a more comprehensive picture of a portfolio company’s risks and opportunities. We are glad to be partnering with  Sustainalytics to develop ESG Signals and applaud them for their commitment to product innovation.” For more information on ESG Signals, please visit here. About Sustainalytics Sustainalytics is an independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analysis firm supporting investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies. With 14 offices globally, Sustainalytics partners with institutional investors who integrate environmental, social and governance information and assessments into their investment processes. Today, the firm has more than 300 staff members, including 170 analysts with varied multidisciplinary expertise of more than 40 sectors. Through the IRRI survey, investors selected Sustainalytics as the best independent responsible investment research firm for three consecutive years, 2012 through 2014 and in 2015, Sustainalytics was named among the top three firms for both ESG and Corporate Governance research.  For more information, visit www.sustainalytics.com. About Advestis Advestis is a Paris-based FinTech that specializes in machine learning and big data techniques for asset management firms. Founded in 2011 by Christopher Geissler, Advestis employs four full-time professionals and is backed by three senior members of its Scientific Advisory board. Geissler is a financial data scientist with more than 30 years of experience in quantitative finance and machine learning. The firm invests more than 75 percent of its revenues in research and development, and has been awarded the ‘Innovating Fintech’ label by Finance Innovation for its work with Sustainalytics on ESG Signals. Advestis’ capital is owned primarily by the founder, members of its Scientific Board, and Quinten, a Paris-based data science company operating primarily in the healthcare and insurance sectors. For more information, visit www.advestis.com/en/. Disclaimer Nothing contained in this press release and tool shall be construed as to make a representation or warranty, express or implied, regarding the advisability to invest in or include companies in investable universes and/or portfolios. The performance represented is historical; past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and results and the information provided in this press release and tool is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for specific professional advice and in particular financial advice. The information is provided “as is” and, therefore Sustainalytics assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Sustainalytics accepts no liability for damage arising from the use of press release, tool or information contained herein in any manner whatsoever.

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