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Objectives Matrix differences among serum samples from non-pregnant and pregnant patients could bias measurements. Standard Reference Material 1949, Frozen Human Prenatal Serum, was developed to provide a quality assurance material for the measurement of hormones and nutritional elements throughout pregnancy. Methods Serum from non-pregnant women and women in each trimester were bottled into four levels based on pregnancy status and trimester. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods were developed and applied to the measurement of thyroid hormones, vitamin D metabolites, and vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP). Copper, selenium, and zinc measurements were conducted by inductively coupled plasma dynamic reaction cell MS. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroglobulin (Tg), and thyroglobulin antibody concentrations were analyzed using immunoassays and LC-MS/MS (Tg only). Results Certified values for thyroxine and triiodothyronine, reference values for vitamin D metabolites, VDBP, selenium, copper, and zinc, and information values for reverse triiodothyronine, TSH, Tg, and Tg antibodies were assigned. Significant differences in serum concentrations were evident for all analytes across the four levels (p≤0.003). TSH measurements were significantly different (p<0.0001) among research-only immunoassays. Tg concentrations were elevated in research-only immunoassays vs. Federal Drug Administration-approved automated immunoassay and LC-MS/MS. Presence of Tg antibodies increased differences between automated immunoassay and LC-MS/MS. Conclusions The analyte concentrations' changes consistent with the literature and the demonstration of matrix interferences in immunoassay Tg measurements indicate the functionality of this material by providing a relevant matrix-matched reference material for the different stages of pregnancy.

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Objectives Assess all risk factors of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in pregnancy and puerperium. Methods Different guidelines for VTE prevention have been analyzed. Results Various recommendations have appeared for practitioners during the last 10-15 years on the basis of the risk factors analysis in order to prevent VTE in pregnant women more effectively. Nevertheless, none of these recommendations can yet take into account all risk factors, although convenient scoring systems have emerged for risk assessment and clear recommendations on anti-thrombotic prophylaxis regimens in risk groups in recent years. Conclusions VTE is the third most common cause of death on Earth after myocardial infarctions and strokes, according to the World Health Organization. Pregnancy is a unique condition of woman, when enormous changes occur in functioning of the most important systems of homeostasis in a relatively short time. These are physiological hypercoagulation, slowing of blood flow, increase in circulating blood volume, etc. However, while being physiological, these changes increase the risks of venous thromboembolism by almost six times. In some cases, there appears an imbalance or dissociation between the functioning of natural antithrombotic systems and the activation of coagulation as a consequence of genetically or acquired determined causes (genetic thrombophilia, antiphospholipid syndrome, comorbidities, obstetric complications and other exogenous and endogenous factors). Accordingly, identification of risk factors, their systematization, and determination of VTE risks in pregnancy and puerperium is one of the most important tasks of clinical medicine. This article will review historical understanding of thrombosis in pregnant women, progress in understanding VTE risk factors in pregnant women, and available reserves in identifying new risk factors during pregnancy and puerperium in order to stratify risks more efficiently.

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Objectives A recent discussion surrounding the extension of antenatal corticosteroid (ACS) use beyond 34 weeks of gestation did not include the subgroup of infants of diabetic mothers (IDM). We aimed to examine the association between ACS exposure and outcomes in neonates born at term and at near-term gestation in a large cohort of IDMs. Methods We selected 13976 eligible near-term and term infants who were included in the PEARL-Peristat Perinatal Registry Study (PPS). We assessed the association of ACS exposure with neonatal outcomes in a multivariate regression model that controlled for diabetes mellitus (DM) and other perinatal variables. Results The incidence of DM was 28% (3,895 of 13,976) in the cohort. Caesarean section was performed in one-third of the study population. The incidence of ACS exposure was low (1.8%) and typically occurred>2 weeks before delivery. The incidence rates of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)/ transient tachypnoea of newborns (TTN), all-cause neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions, NICU admissions for hypoglycaemia, and low 5-min Apgar scores were 3.5, 8.8, 1.3, and 0.1%, respectively. In a multivariate regression model, ACS was associated with a slight increase in NICU admissions (OR: 1.44; 95% CI: 1.04-2.03; p=0.028), but not with RDS/TTN. Conclusions Although the low exposure rate was a limitation, ACS administration did not reduce respiratory morbidity in near-term or term IDMs. It was independently associated with an increase in NICU admissions. Randomized controlled trials are required to assess the efficacy and safety of ACS administration in diabetic mothers at late gestation.

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Spinal injury is among the most severe and feared injuries an athlete may face. We present an up-to-date review of the recent literature, stratifying recommendations based on injury location (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine) and type, as well as, the level of competitive play (high school, collegiate, professional). A literature search was completed to identify all publications reporting return to play guidelines for athletic injuries or injury-related surgery irrespective of the study design. Publication dates were not restricted by year. Search terms used included “return to play” and “spinal injury” on National Library of Medicine (PubMed) and Google Scholar. Selection criteria for literature included axial spine injury guidelines for athletic participation post-injury or post-surgery. Literature found from the search criteria was sorted based on level of competition and location of axial spine injury involved. It was found that professional athletes are more likely to suffer severe spinal injuries, require surgery, and necessitate a longer return to play (RTP), with high school and college athletes usually returning to play within days or weeks. Injuries occur mainly within contact sports and concordance exists between initial and subsequent spinal injuries. Adequate rest, rehabilitation, and protective equipment alongside the education of athletes and coaches are recommended. In conclusion, a multidisciplinary approach to patient management is required with consideration for the emotional, social, and perhaps financial impact that spinal injury may have upon the athlete. Consensus from the literature states that in order for an athlete to safely return to play, that athlete should not be actively suffering from pain, should have a full range of motion, and complete return of their strength in the absence of neurological deficit.

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Two new lignans, 3,4-(10-methoxy-phenylallyl)-9″-((10'-isopropanol-3',4'-furan)-phenylacetyl)-8″-dioxane-7″-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (1), 3,4-benzolactone-9″-((12'-isopropanol-3',4'-furan)-phenylbutenone)-8″-dioxane-7″-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (2), and nine known lignan derivatives (3-11) were isolated from the flower buds of Magnolia biondii Pamp. for the first time. Their structures were elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR, UV, IR, and MS data, as well as by comparison with those of the references. Compounds (1-11) were evaluated for their neuroprotective activities against 6-OHDA-induced cell death in SH-SY5Y cells. As a result, compounds 1, 2, and 5 exhibited significant neuroprotective activities with IC50 values in the range of 3.08-6.12 μM.

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Heat-stable enterotoxin (STa) produced by enterotoxigenic E. coli causes acute diarrhea and also can be used as a specific probe for colorectal cancer cells. STa contains three intra-molecular disulfide bonds (C1-C4, C2-C5, and C3-C6 connectivity). The chemical synthesis of STa provided not only the native type of STa but also a topological isomer that had the native disulfide pairings. Interestingly, the activity of the topological isomer was approximately 1/10-½ that of the native STa. To further investigate the bioactive conformation of this molecule and the regulation of disulfide-coupled folding during its chemical syntheses, we examined the folding mechanism of STa that occurs during its chemical synthesis. The folding intermediate of STa with two disulfide bonds (C1-C4 and C3-C6) and two Cys(Acm) residues, the precursor peptide, was treated with iodine to produce a third disulfide bond under several conditions. The topological isomer was predominantly produced under all conditions tested, along with trace amounts of the native type of STa. In addition, NMR measurements indicated that the topological isomer has a left-handed spiral structure similar to that of the precursor peptide, while the native type of STa had a right-handed spiral structure. These results indicate that the order of the regioselective formation of disulfide bonds is important for the regulation of the final conformation of disulfide-rich peptides in chemical synthesis.

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The purposes of this study were to explore the resemblance in the weight status within couples with different family contextual factors and analyze the influence of the level of overweight or obesity of a spouse on that of the other spouse.

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The Ras pathway is frequently deregulated in cancer, actively contributing to tumor development and progression. Oncogenic activation of the Ras pathway is commonly due to point mutation of one of the three Ras genes, which occurs in almost one third of human cancers. In the absence of Ras mutation, the pathway is frequently activated by alternative means, including the loss of function of Ras inhibitors. Among Ras inhibitors, the GTPase-Activating Proteins (RasGAPs) are major players, given their ability to modulate multiple cancer-related pathways. In fact, most RasGAPs also have a multi-domain structure that allows them to act as scaffold or adaptor proteins, affecting additional oncogenic cascades. In cancer cells, various mechanisms can cause the loss of function of Ras inhibitors; here, we review the available evidence of RasGAP inactivation in cancer, with a specific focus on the mechanisms. We also consider extracellular inputs that can affect RasGAP levels and functions, implicating that specific conditions in the tumor microenvironment can foster or counteract Ras signaling through negative or positive modulation of RasGAPs. A better understanding of these conditions might have relevant clinical repercussions, since treatments to restore or enhance the function of RasGAPs in cancer would help circumvent the intrinsic difficulty of directly targeting the Ras protein.

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In this work, the plasma was used in the dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) technique for modifying the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) surface. The treatments were performed via argon or oxygen, for 10 min, at a frequency of 820 Hz, voltage of 20 kV, 2 mm distance between electrodes, and atmospheric pressure. The efficiency of the plasma was determined through the triple Langmuir probe to check if it had enough energy to promote chemical changes on the material surface. Physicochemical changes were diagnosed through surface characterization techniques such as contact angle, attenuated total reflection to Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), X-ray excited photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Plasma electronics temperature showed that it has enough energy to break or form chemical bonds on the material surface, impacting its wettability directly. The wettability test was performed before and after treatment through the sessile drop, using distilled water, glycerin, and dimethylformamide, to the profile of surface tensions by the Fowkes method, analyzing the contact angle variation. ATR-FTIR and XPS analyses showed that groups and bonds were altered or generated on the surface when compared with the untreated sample. The AFM showed a change in roughness, and this directly affected the increase of wettability.

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Digital Twin technology has been rising in popularity thanks to the popularity of machine learning in the last decade. As the life expectancy of people around the world is increasing, so is the focus on physical activity to remain healthy especially in the current times where people are staying sedentary while in quarantine. This article aims to provide a survey on the field of Digital Twin technology focusing on machine learning and coaching techniques as they have not been explored yet. We also define what Digital Twin Coaching is and categorize the work done so far in terms of the objective of the physical activity. We also list common Digital Twin Coaching characteristics found in the articles reviewed in terms of concepts such as interactivity, privacy and security and also detail future perspectives in multimodal interaction and standardization, to name a few, that can guide researchers if they choose to work in this field. Finally, we provide a diagram for the Digital Twin Ecosystem showing the interaction between relevant entities and the information flow as well as an idealization of an ideal Digital Twin Ecosystem for team sports' athlete tracking.