Fuzzy Data, Random Drift, and a Theoretical Model for the Sequential Emergence of Religious Capacity in Genus Homo
The ancient ape ancestral population from which living great ape and human species evolved had demographic features affecting their evolution. The population was large, had great genetic variability, and natural selection was effective at honing adaptations. The emerging populations of chimpanzees and humans were affected more by founder effects and genetic drift because they were smaller. Natural selection did not disappear, but it was not as strong. Consequences of the 'population crash' and the human effective population size are introduced briefly. The history of the ancient apes is written in the genomes of living humans and great apes. The expansion of the brain began before the human line emerged. Coalescence times for some genes are very old – up to several million years, long before Homo sapiens. The mismatch between gene trees and species trees highlights the anthropoid speciation processes, and gives the human genome history a fuzzy, probabilistic quality. However, it suggests traits that might form a foundation for capacities emerging later. A theoretical model is presented in which the genomes of early ape populations provide the substructure for the emergence of religious capacity later on the human line. The model does not search for religion, but its foundations. It suggests a course by which an evolutionary line that began with prosimians eventually produced a human species with biologically based religious capacity. The model of the sequential emergence of religious capacity relies on cognitive science, neuroscience, paleoneurology, primate field studies, cognitive archaeology, genomics, and population genetics. And, it emphasizes five trait types: (1) Documented, positive selection of sensory capabilities on the human line may have favored survival, but also eventually enriched human religious experience. (2) The bonobo model suggests a possible down-regulation of aggression and increase in tolerance while feeding, as well as paedomorphism – but, in a human species that remains cognitively sharp (unlike the bonobo). The two species emerged from the same ancient ape population, so it is logical to search for shared traits. (3) An up-regulation of emotional sensitivity and compassion seems to have occurred on the human line. This finds support in modern genetic studies. (4) The authors’ published model of morality's emergence in Homo erectus encompasses a cognitively based, decision-making capacity that was hypothetically overtaken, in part, by religious capacity. Together, they produced a strong, variable, biocultural capability to support human sociability. (5) The full flowering of human religious capacity came with the parietal expansion and smaller face (klinorhynchy) found only in Homo sapiens. Details from paleoneurology suggest the stage was set for human theologies. Larger parietal lobes allowed humans to imagine inner spaces, processes, and beings, and, with the frontal lobe, led to the first theologies composed of structured and integrated theories of the relationships between humans and the supernatural. The model leads to the evolution of a small population of African hominins that was ready to emerge with religious capacity when the species Homo sapiens evolved two hundred thousand years ago. By 50-60,000 years ago, when human ancestors left Africa, they were fully enabled.
Phylogeography and Evolutionary History of Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) along the Turkish Coastal Waters with Comparisons to the Atlantic
In aquatic environments, fish are accepted as one of the most important natural resources and reduction of the genetic diversity of natural fish populations has become an important fisheries management problem. Measuring genetic diversity in the natural fish population is essential for interpretation, understanding and effective management of fish population or stocks. In this regard, conservation, management and phylogeographic studies of natural fish population are aided by the use of molecular markers to identify the representatives of individual stocks. In this study, the effect of the Turkish Straits System (TSS), comprising a biogeographical boundary that forms the connection between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, on the evolutionary history, phylogeography and intraspecific gene flow of the whiting (Merlangius merlangus)a demersal fish species, was investigated. For these purposes, the mitochondrial DNA (CO1, cyt-b) genes were used. In addition, genetic comparisons samples from other regions (Greece, France, Atlantic) obtained from Genbank and Barcode of Life Database were made to better understand the phylogeographic history of the species at a larger geographic scale. Within this study, high level of genetic differentiation was observed along the Turkish coastal waters based on cyt-b gene, suggesting that TSS is a barrier to dispersal. Two different sub-species were also observed based on mitochondrial DNA, one found in Turkish coastal waters and Greece (M. m. euxinus) and other (M. m. merlangus) in Atlantic, France.
Increase in Specificity of MicroRNA Detection by RT-qPCR Assay Using a Specific Extension Sequence
We describe an innovative method for highly specific detection of miRNAs using a specially modified method of poly(A) adaptor RT-qPCR. We use uniquely designed specific extension sequence, which plays important role in providing an opportunity to affect high specificity of miRNA detection. This method involves two steps of reactions as like previously reported and which are poly(A) tailing and reverse-transcription followed by real-time PCR. Firstly, miRNAs are extended by a poly(A) tailing reaction and then converted into cDNA. Here, we remarkably reduced the reaction time by the application of short length of poly(T) adaptor. Next, cDNA is hybridized to the 3’-end of a specific extension sequence which contains miRNA sequence and results in producing a novel PCR template. Thereafter, the SYBR Green-based RT-qPCR progresses with a universal poly(T) adaptor forward primer and a universal reverse primer. The target miRNA, miR-106b in human brain total RNA, could be detected quantitatively in the range of seven orders of magnitude, which demonstrate that the assay displays a dynamic range of at least 7 logs. In addition, the better specificity of this novel extension-based assay against well known poly(A) tailing method for miRNA detection was confirmed by melt curve analysis of real-time PCR product, clear gel electrophoresis and sequence chromatogram images of amplified DNAs.
Parallel among Urinary Tract Infection in Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Patients: A Case Study
This study detects the bacterial species that responsible for UTI in both diabetic patients and non-diabetic patients, Jordan. 116 urine samples were investigated in order to determine UTI-causing bacteria. These samples distributed unequally between diabetic male (12) and diabetic female (25) and also non-diabetic male (13) and non-diabetic female (66). The results represent that E.coli is responsible for UTI in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients (15.5% and 29.3% respectively) with large proportion (44.8%). This study showed that not all bacterial species that isolated from the non-diabetic sample could be isolated from diabetic samples. E. coli (15.5%), P. aeruginosa (4.3%), K. pneumonia (1.7%), P. mirabilis (2.6%), S. marcescens (0.9%), S. aureus (1.7%), S. pyogenes (1.7%), E. faecalis (0.9%), S. epidermidis (1.7%) and S. saprophyticus (0.9%). But E. aerogenes, E. cloacae, C. freundii, A. baumannii and B. subtilis are five bacterial species that can’t isolate from all diabetic samples. This study shows that for the treatment of UTI in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients, Chloramphenicol (30 μg), Ciprofloxacin (5 μg) and Vancomycin (30 μg) are more favorable than other antibiotics. In the same time, Cephalothin (30μg) is not recommended.
Vote Classifier for Driving Fatigue Recognition Based on a Single EEG Electrode
Driving fatigue has become an important factor for traffic accidents, and recognition system for driving fatigue has great significance to public health. In order to estimate driving fatigue, vote classifier using four entropy features based on EEG signals was developed and analyzed in this study, which determined whether a driver was in fatigue state. The proposed method employs entropy measures for feature extraction from a single electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode. Four type of entropies measures, including fuzzy entropy (FE), approximate entropy (AE), sample entropy (SE) and spectral entropy (PE), were deployed for the analysis of original EEG signals. Three base classifiers, including K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Decision Tree (DT), and four ensemble methods including Bagging, Random Forest (RF), Boosting, Vote, were employed and analyzed. Vote-classifier was used to combine conceptually different machine learning classifiers and use a majority-vote (MV) or weighted average (WA) to predict driving fatigue. Such a classifier can be useful for a set of equally well-performing model in order to balance out their individual weaknesses. In this work, two types of voting classifiers are employed: Type A is combining three base classifiers, and type B are combining three other ensemble classifiers. Results show that: (1) The average recognition rate of one electrode of base classifiers in this work can be up to 82.7% based on a combination of feature FE + classifier DT. (2) The performance of bagging ensemble method depends on the selection of feature set and number of base classiﬁer. With the bagging ensemble method, only the base classiﬁer DT got signiﬁcant performance improvements, where the average accuracy increased from 82.7% to 83.1%. (3) RF improve the average accuracy comparing to DT significantly from 82.7% to 83.4%. (4) The boosting method can obviously improve the performance and increased highest average accuracy from 82.7% to 84.3%. The boosting method can reduce the difference between different feature sets. (5) Vote method can obviously improve the performance of the recognition system. The average accuracies based on vote classifier were reaching 85.4% with WA mode and 82.8% with MA mode in type A, while in type B, the average accuracies based on vote classifier were reaching 88.0% with WA mode and 88.5% with MA mode. A single EEG electrode with vote classifier may be good candidates for usage in portable system for driving fatigue detection. It is hoped that these ﬁndings may provide an effective approach for auxiliary diagnosis of driving fatigue, in order to maintain public health and avoiding life-threatening.
Isolation and Characterization of the First Known Inhibitor Cystine Knot Peptide in Sea Anemone: Inhibitory Activity on Acid-Sensing Ion Channels
Armando A. Rodríguez
, Emilio Salceda
, Anoland Garateix
, André J. Zaharenko
, Steve Peigneur
, Omar López
, Tirso Pons
, Michael Richardson
, Maylín Díaz
, Yasnay Hernández
, Ludger Ständker
, Jan Tytgat
, Enrique Soto
Acid-sensing ion channels are cation (Na+) channels activated by a pH drop. These proteins belong to the ENaC/degenerin superfamily of sodium channels. ASICs are involved in sensory perception, synaptic plasticity, learning, memory formation, cell migration and proliferation, nociception, and neurodegenerative disorders, among other processes; therefore those molecules that specifically target these channels are of growing pharmacological and biomedical interest. Sea anemones produce a large variety of ion channels peptide toxins; however, those acting on ligand-gated ion channels, such as Glu-gated, Ach-gated ion channels, and acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), remain barely explored. The peptide PhcrTx1 is the first compound characterized from the sea anemone Phymanthus crucifer, and it constitutes a novel ASIC inhibitor. This peptide was purified by chromatographic techniques and pharmacologically characterized on acid-sensing ion channels of mammalian neurons using patch-clamp techniques. PhcrTx1 inhibited ASIC currents with an IC50 of 100 nM. Edman degradation yielded a sequence of 32 amino acids residues, with a molecular mass of 3477 Da by MALDI-TOF. No similarity to known sea anemone peptides was found in protein databases. The computational analysis of Cys-pattern and secondary structure arrangement suggested that this is a structurally ICK (Inhibitor Cystine Knot)-type peptide, a scaffold that had not been found in sea anemones but in other venomous organisms. These results show that PhcrTx1 represents the first member of a new structural group of sea anemones toxins acting on ASICs. Also, this peptide constitutes a novel template for the development of drugs against pathologies related to ASICs function.
Energy Consumption in Biodiesel Production at Various Kinetic Reaction of Transesterification
Biodiesel is considered to be one of the potential renewable alternatives to petroleum since it is biodegradable, non-toxic, and has low emission profiles. The main challenge of its commercialization is the associated high production cost due to the competition of biodiesel feedstock with food uses. Non-competitive feedstocks such as waste cooking oils normally contain a large amount of free fatty acids (FFAs). A Large amount of fatty acid degrades the alkaline catalyst in the biodiesel production, thereby decreasing the biodiesel production rate. Biodiesel production processes including esterification and transesterification are conducting in a mixed system, in which the hydrodynamic effect on the reaction could not be completely defined. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of variation rate constant and activation energy on energy consumption of biodiesel production. Usually, the changes of rate constant and activation energy depend on the operating temperature and the degradation of the catalyst. By varying the activation energy and kinetic rate constant, the effects can be seen on the energy consumption of biodiesel production. The result showed that the energy consumption of biodiesel is dependent on the changes of rate constant and activation energy. Furthermore, this study was simulated using Aspen HYSYS.
Genome-Wide Homozygosity Analysis of the Longevous Phenotype in the Amish Population
Introduction: Numerous research efforts have focused on searching for ‘longevity genes’. However, attempting to decipher the genetic component of the longevous phenotype have resulted in limited success and the mechanisms governing longevity remain to be explained. We conducted a genome-wide homozygosity analysis (GWHA) of the founder population of the Amish community in central Ohio. While genome-wide association studies using unrelated individuals have revealed many interesting longevity associated variants, these variants are typically of small effect and cannot explain the observed patterns of heritability for this complex trait. The Amish provide a large cohort of extended kinships allowing for in depth analysis via family-based approach excellent population due to its. Heritability of longevity increases with age with significant genetic contribution being seen in individuals living beyond 60 years of age. In our present analysis we show that the heritability of longevity is estimated to be increasing with age particularly on the paternal side. Methods: The present analysis integrated both phenotypic and genotypic data and led to the discovery of a series of variants, distinct for stratified populations across ages and distinct for paternal and maternal cohorts. Specifically 5437 subjects were analyzed and a subset of 893 successfully genotyped individuals was used to assess CHIP heritability. We have conducted the homozygosity analysis to examine if homozygosity is associated with increased risk of living beyond 90. We analyzed AMISH cohort genotyped for 614,957 SNPs. Results: We delineated 10 significant regions of homozygosity (ROH) specific for the age group of interest (>90). Of particular interest was ROH on chromosome 13, P < 0.0001. The lead SNPs rs7318486 and rs9645914 point to COL4A2 and our lead SNP. COL25A1 encodes one of the six subunits of type IV collagen, the C-terminal portion of the protein, known as canstatin, is an inhibitor of angiogenesis and tumor growth. COL4A2 mutations have been reported with a broader spectrum of cerebrovascular, renal, ophthalmological, cardiac, and muscular abnormalities. The second region of interest points to IRS2. Furthermore we built a classifier using the obtained SNPs from the significant ROH region with 0.945 AUC giving ability to discriminate between those living beyond to 90 years of age and beyond. Conclusion: In conclusion our results suggest that a history of longevity does indeed contribute to increasing the odds of individual longevity. Preliminary results are consistent with conjecture that heritability of longevity is substantial when we start looking at oldest fifth and smaller percentiles of survival specifically in males. We will validate all the candidate variants in independent cohorts of centenarians, to test whether they are robustly associated with human longevity. The identified regions of interest via ROH analysis could be of profound importance for the understanding of genetic underpinnings of longevity.
Evaluating Gene-Gene Interaction among Nicotine Dependence Genes on the Risk of Oral Clefts
Background: Maternal smoking is a recognized risk factor for nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL/P). It has been reported that the effect of maternal smoking on oral clefts is mediated through genes that influence nicotine dependence. The polymorphisms of cholinergic receptor nicotinic alpha (CHRNA) and beta (CHRNB) subunits genes have previously shown strong associations with nicotine dependence. Here, we attempted to investigate whether the above genes are associated with clefting risk through testing for potential gene-gene (G×G) and gene-environment (G×E) interaction. Methods: We selected 120 markers in 14 genes associated with nicotine dependence to conduct transmission disequilibrium tests among 806 Chinese NSCL/P case-parent trios ascertained in an international consortium which conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of oral clefts. We applied Cordell’s method using “TRIO” package in R to explore G×G as well as G×E interaction involving environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) based on conditional logistic regression model. Results: while no SNP showed significant association with NSCL/P after Bonferroni correction, we found signals for G×G interaction between 10 pairs of SNPs in CHRNA3, CHRNA5, and CHRNB4 (p
Mechanical Performance of Sandwich Square Honeycomb Structure from Sugar Palm Fibre
This study focus on the compression and tensile properties of new and recycle square honeycombs structure from sugar palm fibre (SPF) and polylactic acid (PLA) composite. The end data will determine the failure strength and energy absorption for both new and recycle composite. The control SPF specimens were fabricated from short fibre co-mingled with PLA by using a bra-blender set at 180°C and 50 rpm consecutively. The mixture of 30% fibre and 70% PLA were later on the hot press at 180°C into sheets with thickness 3mm consecutively before being assembled into a sandwich honeycomb structure. An INSTRON tensile machine and Abaqus 6.13 software were used for mechanical test and finite element simulation. The percentage of error from the simulation and experiment data was 9.20% and 9.17% for both new and recycled product. The small error of percentages was acceptable due to the nature of the simulation model to be assumed as a perfect model with no imperfect geometries. The energy absorption value from new to recycled product decrease from 312.86kJ to 282.10kJ. With this small decrements, it is still possible to implement a recycle SPF/PLA composite into everyday usages such as a car's interior or a small size furniture.
Diversity of Short-Horned Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Caelifera) from Forested Region of Kolhapur District, Maharashtra, India of Northern Western Ghats.
The present investigation was directed to study the diversity of Short-horned grasshoppers from forested area of Kolhapur district, Maharashtra, India which is spread along the hilly terrain of the Northern Western Ghats. The collection was made during 2013 to 2015, identified with the help of reference collection of ZSI, Kolkata and recent literature and dry preserved. The study resulted in enumeration of 40 species of short-horned grasshoppers belonging to 4 families of sub order: Caelifera. The family Acrididae was dominant (27 species) followed by Tetrigidae (8 species), Pyrgomorphidae (4 species) and Chorotypidae (1 species). The report of 40 species from the forest habitat of study region highlights the significance of the Western Ghats. Ecologically, short-horned grasshoppers are integral to food chains, being consumed by a wide variety of animals. The data of the present study may prove useful for the policy makers for conserving the diversity of Northern Western Ghats, especially on the background of large-scale habitat destruction taking place in this region.
Interaction of Steinernema Glaseri, an Entomopathogenic Nematode with a Predatory Fungus Arthrobotrys Superba on Different Nutrient Media
Steinernema glaseri is known to be the most potent biocontrol agent against a number of insect pests of various orders and of diverse habitats under laboratory conditions. But in nature many micro pathogens may affect the efficacy of such entomopathogenic nematodes. Keeping this in view, the interaction of Steinernema glaseri with a predatory fungus Arthrobotrys superba was assessed on eight different nutrient media. The activity of A.superba was evaluated in terms of trap formation, conidiophore formation, and number of adhesive cells formed in the presence and absence of nematodes. The fungus failed to form any trap on any of the culture media in the absence of nematodes. However, in the presence of nematodes, the trap formation by the test fungus was increased but the number of conidiophores decreased with increase in dilution of Corn Meal Agar from 5% to 2%. Higher number of chlamydospores were observed in phenylalanine treated medium which indicates the inhibiting effect of phenylalanine on the growth of A. superba. Our results suggest that care should be taken during release of entomopathogenic nematodes in an agroecosystem for managing various insect pests in a more efficient manner.
Nuclear Mitochondrial Pseudogenes in the Anastrepha fraterculus Complex
Exotic, invasive tephritid fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) are a major threat to fruit and vegetable industries in the United States. The establishment of pest fruit fly in the agricultural industries and produce severe ecological and economic impacts on agricultural diversification and trade. Detection and identification of these agricultural pests in a timely manner will facilitate the possibility of eradication from newly invaded areas. Identification of larval stages to species level is difficult, but is required to determine pest loads and their pathways into the United States. The aim of this study is the New World genus, Anastrepha which includes pests of major economic importance. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene sequences were amplified from Anastrepha fraterculus specimens collected from South America (Ecuador and Peru). Phylogenetic analysis was performed to characterize the Anastrepha fraterculus complex at a molecular level. During phylogenetics analysis numerous nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes (numts) were discovered in different specimens. The numts are nonfunctional copies of the mtDNA present in the nucleus and are easily coamplified with the mitochondrial COI gene copy by using conserved universal primers. This is problematic for DNA Barcoding, which attempts to characterize all living organisms by using the COI gene. This study is significant for national quarantine use, as morphological diagnostics to separate larvae of the various members remain poorly developed.
Stepanovia osogoviensis sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in Galls of Diplolepis rosae from Bulgaria
A new distinctive species of Stepanovia Kostjukov (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae) was reared in laboratory from mature galls of Diplolepis rosae (Linnaeus) (Cynipidae). The galls were collected from Rosa sp. bushes growing in Osogovo Mt. in Western Bulgaria. The new species is close to Stepanovia rosae Boyadzhiev & Todorov but differs in POL and OOL characteristics, width of antennae, forewings and ovipositor sheaths characteristics, different U-shaped pale stripe above clypeus and the length of the ventral plaque on male antenna. The taxonomically important morphological features are illustrated and compared with the rest species of the genus using Scanning electron microscopy and light reflection by compound microscopy. Images of male genitalia are also prepared.
Evaluation of Cytotoxic Effect of Mitoxantrone Conjugated Magnetite Nanoparticles and Graphene Oxide-Magnetite Nanocomposites on Mesenchymal Stem Cells
In this work targeted drug delivery is proposed to decrease adverse effect of drugs with concomitant reduces in consumption and treatment outgoings. Nanoparticles (NPs) can be prepared from a variety of materials such as lipid, biodegradable polymer that prevent the drugs cytotoxicity in healthy cells, etc. One of the most important drugs used in chemotherapy is mitoxantrone (MTX) which prevents cell proliferation by inhibition of topoisomerase II and DNA repair; however, it is not selective and has some serious side effects. In this study, mentioned aim is achieved by using several nanocarriers like magnetite (Fe3O4) and their composites with magnetic graphene oxide (Fe3O4@GO). Also, cytotoxic potential of Fe3O4, Fe3O4-MTX, and Fe3O4@GO-MTX nanocomposite were evaluated on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In this study, we reported the synthesis of monodisperse Fe3O4 NPs and Fe3O4@GO nanocomposite and their structures were investigated by using field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra, atomic force microscopy (AFM), Brauneur Emmet Teller (BET) isotherm and contact angle studies. Moreover, we used 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay to evaluate cytotoxic effects of MTX, Fe3O4 NPs, Fe3O4-MTX and Fe3O4@GO-MTX nanocomposite on MSCs. The in-vitro MTT results indicated that all concentrations of MTX and Fe3O4@GO-MTX nanocomposites showed cytotoxic effects while all concentrations of Fe3O4 NPs and Fe3O4-MTX NPs did not show any cytotoxic effect on stem cells. The results from this study indicated that using Fe3O4 NPs as anticancer drug delivery systems could be a trustworthy method for cancer treatment. But for reaching excellent and accurate results, further investigation is necessary.
Change of Endocrine and Exocrine Insufficiency on Non-Diabetes Patients after Distal Pancreatectomy: A Nationwide Database Study
Background. The aim of this population-based study was to determine the occurrence of diabetes and exocrine pancreatic insufficiencies (EPI) on non-diabetes subjects receiving distal pancreatectomy (DP).
Method. A nationwide cohort study between 2000 and 2010 was collected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Among 3264 DP patients, we identified 1410 non-diabetes and 966 non-diabetes non-EPI.
Results. Of 1410 non-diabetes DP subjects, 312 patients (22.1%) developed newly-diagnosed diabetes after PD. On a multiple logistic regression model, co-morbid hyperlipidemia (odds ratio, 1.640; 95% CI, 1.362–2.763; P < 0.001) and pancreatitis (odds ratio, 2.428; 95% CI, 1.889–3.121; P < 0.001) significantly contributed to higher incidences of diabetes after DP. Moreover, 380 subjects (39.3%) developed EPI, and pancreatic cancer is the statistically significant risk factor (odds ratio, 4.663; 95% CI, 2.108–6.085; P < 0.001).
Conclusion. The patients with co-morbid hyperlipidemia and chronic pancreatitis had higher rates of newly-diagnosed diabetes after DP. Moreover, pancreatic cancer subjects had higher rates of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency after DP. The clinicians should be alert to follow up glucose metabolism and clinical symptoms of fat intolerance for DP patients.
Evaluation of Serine and Branched Chain Amino Acid Levels in Depression and the Beneficial Effects of Exercise in Rats
Objective: Amino acid neurotransmitter system dysfunction plays a major role in the pathophysiology of depression. The objective of the present study was to identify the amino acids as possible metabolite biomarkers for depression using GCMS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) before and after exercise regimen in brain samples of depression induced animal models. Methods: Depression-like behaviour was induced by Chronic Unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). Severity of depression was measured by forced swim test (FST) and sucrose consumption test (SCT). Swimming protocol was followed for 4 weeks of exercise treatment. Brain obtained from depressed and exercise treated rats were used for the metabolite analysis by GCMS. Subsequent statistical analysis obtained by ANOVA followed by post hoc test revealed significant metabolic changes. Results: Amino acids such as alanine, glycine, serine, glutamate, homocysteine, proline and branched chain aminoacids (BCAs) Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine were determined in brain samples of control, depressed and exercised groups. Among these amino acids, the levels of D-Serine and branched chain amino acids were found to be decreased in depression induced rats. After four weeks of swimming exercise regimen, there were improvements in the levels of serine and Branched chain amino acids. Conclusion: We suggest that Serine and BCAs may be investigated as potential metabolite markers using GCMS and their beneficial metabolic changes in Exercise.
Comparison of Physical and Chemical Effects on Senescent Cells
Every day cells in our organism are exposed to various factors: chemical agents, reactive oxygen species, ionizing radiation, and others. These factors can cause damage to DNA, cellular membrane, intracellular compartments, and proteins. The fate of cells depends on the exposure intensity and duration. The prolonged and intense exposure causes the irreversible damage accumulation, which triggers the permanent cell cycle arrest (cellular senescence) or cell death programs. In the case of low dose of impacts, it can lead to cell renovation and to cell functional state improvement. Therefore, it is a pivotal question to investigate the factors and doses that result in described positive effects. In order to estimate the influence of different agents, the proliferation index and levels of cell death markers (annexin V/propidium iodide), senescence-associated β-galactosidase, and lipofuscin were measured. The experiments were conducted on primary human fibroblasts of the 8th passage. According to the levels of mentioned markers, these cells were defined as senescent cells. The effect of low-frequency magnetic field was investigated. Different modes of magnetic field exposure were tested. The physical agents were compared with chemical agents: metformin (10 mM) and taurine (0.8 mM and 1.6 mM). Cells were incubating with chemicals for 5 days. The highest decrease in the level of senescence-associated β-galactosidase (21%) and lipofuscin (17%) was observed in the primary senescent fibroblasts after 5 days after double treatments with 48 h intervals with low-frequency magnetic field. There were no significant changes in the proliferation index after magnetic field application. The cytotoxic effect of magnetic field was not observed. The chemical agent taurine (1.6 mM) decreased the level of senescence-associated β-galactosidase (23%) and lipofuscin (22%). Metformin improved the activity of senescence-associated β-galactosidase on 15% and the level of lipofuscin on 19% in this experiment. According to these results, the effect of double treatment with 48 h interval with low-frequency magnetic field and the effect of taurine (1.6 mM) were comparable to the effect of metformin, for which anti-aging properties are proved. In conclusion, this study can become the first step towards creation of the standardized system for the investigation of different effects on senescent cells.
Determining Cellular Biomarkers Sensitive to Low Damaging Exposure
At present, translational medicine is a rapidly developing branch of biomedicine. The main idea of translational medicine is a practical application of fundamental research. One of the possible applications for translational medicine is researching therapies that improve human age-related organism condition. To fill the gap between experiments and clinical practice, it is necessary to create the standardized system for the investigation of different effects on cellular aging models.
In this study, primary human fibroblasts derived from patients of different ages were used as a cellular aging model. The senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity, lipofuscin, γ-H2AX, the reactive oxygen species level, and cell death markers (annexin V/propidium iodide) were used as biomarkers of the cell functional state. The effects of damaging exposures (oxidative stress and heat shock), potential positive factors (metformin and acetaminophen), and their combinations were investigated using the described biomarkers.
Oxidative stress and heat shock caused the increase in the levels of all biomarkers, and only the cells from young patients partly coped with stress 3 days after the exposures. Metformin improved the state of pretreatment cells from young and old patients. The acetaminophen did not show significant changes in the biomarker levels compare to the action of metformin.
This study proved the opportunity to develop a standardized screening system based on biomarkers of the cell functional state to identify potential positive or negative effects of some physical and chemical exposures. Moreover, such a system can be useful for the aims of regenerative medicine to determine the effect of cell pretreatment before transplantation.
Study of Age-Dependent Changes of Peripheral Blood Leukocytes Apoptotic Properties
Aging has a suppressive influence on human immune cells. Apoptosis may play important role in age-dependent immunosuppression and lymphopenia. Prevention of apoptosis may be promoted by BCL2-dependent and BCL2-independent manner. BCL2 is an antiapoptotic factor that has an antioxidative role by locating the glutathione at mitochondria and repressing oxidative stress. STAT3 may suppress apoptosis in BCL2-independent manner and promote cell survival blocking cytochrome-c release and reducing ROS production.
The aim of our study was to estimate the influence of aging on BCL2-dependent and BCL2-independent prevention of apoptosis via measurement of BCL2 and STAT3 mRNAs expressions.
The study was done on Armenian population (2 groups: 37 healthy young (mean age±SE; min/max age, male/female: 37.6±1.1; 20/54, 15/22), 28 healthy aged (66.7±1.5; 57/85, 12/16)). mRNA expression in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) was determined by RT-PCR using PSMB2 as the reference gene. Statistical analysis was done with Graph-Pad Prism 5; P < 0.05 considered as significant.
The expression of BCL2 mRNA was lower in aged group (0.199) compared with young ones (0.643)(p < 0.01). Decrease expression was also recorded for female and male subgroups (p < 0.01). The expression level of STAT3 mRNA was increased (young, 0.228; aged, 0.428) (p < 0.05) during aging (in the whole age group and male/female subgroups).
Decreased level of BCL2 mRNA may indicate about the suppression of BCL2-dependent prevention of apoptosis during aging in peripheral blood leukocytes. At the same time increased the level of STAT3 may suggest about activation of BCL2-independent prevention of apoptosis during aging.
Development of Noninvasive Method to Analyze Dynamic Changes of Matrix Stiffness and Elasticity Characteristics
One of the most important unsolved problems in modern medicine is the increase of chronic diseases that lead to organ dysfunction or even complete loss of function. Current methods of treatment do not result in decreased mortality and disability statistics. Currently, the best treatment for many patients is still transplantation of organs and/or tissues. Therefore, finding a way of correct artificial matrix biofabrication in case of limited number of natural organs for transplantation is a critical task. One important problem that needs to be solved is development of a nondestructive and noninvasive method to analyze dynamic changes of mechanical characteristics of a matrix with minimal side effects on the growing cells. This research was focused on investigating the properties of matrix as a marker of graft condition. In this study, the collagen gel with human primary dermal fibroblasts in suspension (60, 120, 240*103 cells/mL) and collagen gel with cell spheroids were used as model objects. The stiffness and elasticity characteristics were evaluated by a semiconductor laser autodyne. The time and cell concentration dependency of the stiffness and elasticity were investigated. It was shown that these properties changed in a non-linear manner with respect to cell concentration. The maximum matrix stiffness was observed in the collagen gel with the cell concentration of 120*103 cells/mL. This study proved the opportunity to use the mechanical properties of matrix as a marker of graft condition, which can be measured by noninvasive semiconductor laser autodyne technique.
Consumption and Diffusion Based Model of Tissue Organoid Development
In vitro organoid cultivation requires the simultaneous provision of necessary vascularization and nutrients perfusion of cells during organoid development. However, many aspects of this problem are still unsolved. The functionality of vascular network intergrowth is limited during early stages of organoid development since a function of the vascular network initiated on final stages of in vitro organoid cultivation. Therefore, a microchannel network should be created in early stages of organoid cultivation in hydrogel matrix aimed to conduct and maintain minimally required the level of nutrients perfusion for all cells in the expanding organoid. The network configuration should be designed properly in order to exclude hypoxic and necrotic zones in expanding organoid at all stages of its cultivation.
In vitro vascularization is currently the main issue within the field of tissue engineering. As perfusion and oxygen transport have direct effects on cell viability and differentiation, researchers are currently limited only to tissues of few millimeters in thickness. These limitations are imposed by mass transfer and are defined by the balance between the metabolic demand of the cellular components in the system and the size of the scaffold. Current approaches include growth factor delivery, channeled scaffolds, perfusion bioreactors, microfluidics, cell co-cultures, cell functionalization, modular assembly, and in vivo systems. These approaches may improve cell viability or generate capillary-like structures within a tissue construct. Thus, there is a fundamental disconnect between defining the metabolic needs of tissue through quantitative measurements of oxygen and nutrient diffusion and the potential ease of integration into host vasculature for future in vivo implantation.
A model is proposed for growth prognosis of the organoid perfusion based on joint simulations of general nutrient diffusion, nutrient diffusion to the hydrogel matrix through the contact surfaces and microchannels walls, nutrient consumption by the cells of expanding organoid, including biomatrix contraction during tissue development, which is associated with changed consumption rate of growing organoid cells.
The model allows computing effective microchannel network design giving minimally required the level of nutrients concentration in all parts of growing organoid. It can be used for preliminary planning of microchannel network design and simulations of nutrients supply rate depending on the stage of organoid development.
Network Analysis to Reveal Microbial Community Dynamics in the Coral Reef Ocean
Understanding environmental system is one of the important tasks. In recent years, conservation of coral environments has been focused for biodiversity issues. The damage of coral reef under environmental impacts has been observed worldwide. However, the casual relationship between damage of coral and environmental impacts has not been clearly understood. On the other hand, structure/diversity of marine bacterial community may be relatively robust under the certain strength of environmental impact. To evaluate the coral environment conditions, it is necessary to investigate relationship between marine bacterial composition in coral reef and environmental factors. In this study, the Time Scale Network Analysis was developed and applied to analyze the marine environmental data for investigating the relationship among coral, bacterial community compositions and environmental factors. Seawater samples were collected fifteen times from November 2014 to May 2016 at two locations, Ishikawabaru and South of Sesoko in Sesoko Island, Okinawa. The physicochemical factors such as temperature, photosynthetic active radiation, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved organic matter and depth were measured at the coral reef area. Metagenome and metatranscriptome in seawater of coral reef were analyzed as the biological factors. Metagenome data was used to clarify marine bacterial community composition. In addition, functional gene composition was estimated from metatranscriptome. For speculating the relationships between physicochemical and biological factors, cross-correlation analysis was applied to time scale data. Even though cross-correlation coefficients usually include the time precedence information, it also included indirect interactions between the variables. To elucidate the direct regulations between both factors, partial correlation coefficients were combined with cross correlation. This analysis was performed against all parameters such as the bacterial composition, the functional gene composition and the physicochemical factors. As the results, time scale network analysis revealed the direct regulation of seawater temperature by photosynthetic active radiation. In addition, concentration of dissolved oxygen regulated the value of chlorophyll. Some reasonable regulatory relationships between environmental factors indicate some part of mechanisms in coral reef area.
Prospects of Acellular Organ Scaffolds for Drug Discovery
Drug toxicity often goes undetected until clinical trials, the most expensive and dangerous phase of drug development. Both human cell culture and animal studies have limitations that cannot be overcome by improvements in drug testing protocols. Tissue engineering is an emerging alternative approach to creating models of human malignant tumors for experimental oncology, personalized medicine, and drug discovery studies. This new generation of bioengineered tumors provides an opportunity to control and explore the role of every component of the model system including cell populations, supportive scaffolds, and signaling molecules. An area that could greatly benefit from these models is cancer research. Recent advances in tissue engineering demonstrated that decellularized tissue is an excellent scaffold for tissue engineering. Decellularization of donor organs such as heart, liver, and lung can provide an acellular, naturally occurring three-dimensional biologic scaffold material that can then be seeded with selected cell populations. Preliminary studies in animal models have provided encouraging results for the proof of concept. Decellularized Organs preserve organ microenvironment, which is critical for cancer metastasis. Utilizing 3D tumor models results greater proximity of cell culture morphological characteristics in a model to its in vivo counterpart, allows more accurate simulation of the processes within a functioning tumor and its pathogenesis. 3D models allow study of migration processes and cell proliferation with higher reliability as well. Moreover, cancer cells in a 3D model bear closer resemblance to living conditions in terms of gene expression, cell surface receptor expression, and signaling. 2D cell monolayers do not provide the geometrical and mechanical cues of tissues in vivo and are, therefore, not suitable to accurately predict the responses of living organisms. 3D models can provide several levels of complexity from simple monocultures of cancer cell lines in liquid environment comprised of oxygen and nutrient gradients and cell-cell interaction to more advanced models, which include co-culturing with other cell types, such as endothelial and immune cells. Following this reasoning, spheroids cultivated from one or multiple patient-derived cell lines can be utilized to seed the matrix rather than monolayer cells. This approach furthers the progress towards personalized medicine. As an initial step to create a new ex vivo tissue engineered model of a cancer tumor, optimized protocols have been designed to obtain organ-specific acellular matrices and evaluate their potential as tissue engineered scaffolds for cultures of normal and tumor cells. Decellularized biomatrix was prepared from animals’ kidneys, urethra, lungs, heart, and liver by two decellularization methods: perfusion in a bioreactor system and immersion-agitation on an orbital shaker with the use of various detergents (SDS, Triton X-100) in different concentrations and freezing. Acellular scaffolds and tissue engineered constructs have been characterized and compared using morphological methods. Models using decellularized matrix have certain advantages, such as maintaining native extracellular matrix properties and biomimetic microenvironment for cancer cells; compatibility with multiple cell types for cell culture and drug screening; utilization to culture patient-derived cells in vitro to evaluate different anticancer therapeutics for developing personalized medicines.
Prospects of Low Immune Response Transplants Based on Acellular Organ Scaffolds
Transplantation is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from different end-stage diseases. However, it is plagued by a constant shortage of donor organs and the subsequent need of a lifelong immunosuppressive therapy for the patient. Currently some researchers look towards using of pig organs to replace human organs for transplantation since the matrix derived from porcine organs is a convenient substitute for the human matrix. As an initial step to create a new ex vivo tissue engineered model, optimized protocols have been created to obtain organ-specific acellular matrices and evaluated their potential as tissue engineered scaffolds for culture of normal cells and tumor cell lines. These protocols include decellularization by perfusion in a bioreactor system and immersion-agitation on an orbital shaker with use of various detergents (SDS, Triton X-100) and freezing. Complete decellularization – in terms of residual DNA amount – is an important predictor of probability of immune rejection of materials of natural origin. However, the signs of cellular material may still remain within the matrix even after harsh decellularization protocols. In this regard, the matrices obtained from tissues of low-immunogenic pigs with α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene knock out (GalT-KO) may be a promising alternative to native animal sources. The research included a study of induced effect of frozen and fresh fragments of GalT-KO skin on healing of full-thickness plane wounds in 80 rats. Commercially available wound dressings (Ksenoderm, Hyamatrix and Alloderm) as well as allogenic skin were used as a positive control and untreated wounds were analyzed as a negative control. The results were evaluated on the 4th day after grafting, which corresponds to the time of start of normal wound epithelization. It has been shown that a non-specific immune response in models treated with GalT-Ko pig skin was milder than in all the control groups. Research has been performed to measure technical skin characteristics: stiffness and elasticity properties, corneometry, tevametry, and cutometry. These metrics enabled the evaluation of hydratation level, corneous layer husking level, as well as skin elasticity and micro- and macro-landscape. These preliminary data may contribute to development of personalized transplantable organs from GalT-Ko pigs with significantly limited potential of immune rejection. By applying growth factors to a decellularized skin sample it is possible to achieve various regenerative effects based on the particular situation. In this particular research BMP2 and Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor have been used. Ideally, a bioengineered organ must be biocompatible, non-immunogenic and support cell growth. Porcine organs are attractive for xenotransplantation if severe immunologic concerns can be bypassed. The results indicate that genetically modified pig tissues with knock-outed α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene may be used for production of low-immunogenic matrix suitable for transplantation.
Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects of an Enantiomerically Pure β-Dipeptide Derivative through PI3K/Akt-Dependent and -Independent Pathways in Human Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Cells
Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignant disease in men. KUD983 is an enantiomerically pure β-dipeptide derivative, which may have anti-cancer effects. In the present study, KUD983 exhibits powerful activity against hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) PC-3 and DU145 cells. The IC50 values of KUD983 in PC-3 and DU145 cells are 0.56±0.07M and 0.50±0.04 M respectively. KUD983 induced G1 arrest of the cell cycle and subsequent apoptosis associated with the down-regulation of several related proteins including cyclin D1, cyclin E and Cdk4, and the de-phosphorylation of RB. The protein expressions of nuclear and total c-Myc protein, which was able to regulate the expression of both cyclin D1 and cyclin E, were significantly suppressed by KUD983. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an important signaling pathway that influences the energy metabolism, cell cycle, proliferation, survival and apoptosis of cells, and is associated with numerous other signaling pathways. The Western Blot data revealed that KUD983 inhibited PI3K/Akt and mTOR/p70S6K/4E-BP1 pathways. The transient transfection of constitutively active myristylated Akt (myr-Akt) cDNA significantly reversed KUD983-induced caspase activation but did not abolish the suppression of mTOR/p70S6K/4E-BP1 signaling cascade indicating the presence of both Akt-dependent and -independent pathways. Moreover, KUD983-induced effect was collaborated with the down-regulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 members (e.g., Bcl-2, and Mcl-1) and IAP family members (e.g., survivin). Furthermore, KUD983 induced autophagic cell death using confocal microscopic examination, investigating the level of conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II and flow cytometric detection of AVO-positive cells. Taken together, the data suggest that KUD983 is an anticancer β-dipeptide against HRPCs through the inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptotic and autophagic cell death. The suppression of signaling pathways mediated by c-Myc, PI3K/Akt and mTOR/p70S6K/4E-BP1 and the collaboration with down-regulation of Mcl-1 and survivin may indicate the mechanism of KUD983 against HRPC.
Effects of Substrate Roughness on E-Cadherin Junction of Oral Keratinocytes
Intercellular junction of keratinocytes is crucial for epithelia to build an epithelial barrier. Junctional epithelium (JE) seals the interfaces between tooth and gingival tissue. Keratinocytes of JE attach to surfaces roughened by abrasion or erosion with aging. Thus behavior of oral keratinocytes on the rough substrates may help understand the epithelial seal of JE of which major intercellular junction is E-cadherin junction (ECJ). The present study investigated the influence of various substrate roughnesses on the development of ECJ between normal human gingival epithelial keratinocytes, HOK-16B cells. HOK-16B cells were slow in the development of ECJ on the rough substrates compared to on the smooth substrates. Furthermore, oral keratinocytes on the substrates of higher roughnesses were delayed in the development of E-cadherin junction than on the substrates of lower roughnesses. Delayed development of E-cadherin junction on the rough substrates was ascribed to the impaired spreading of cells and its higher JNK activity. Cells on the smooth substrates rapidly spread wide cytoplasmic extensions around cells. However, cells on the rough substrates slowly extended narrow cytoplasmic extensions of which number was limited due to the substrate irregularity. As these cytoplasmic extensions formed ECJ when met with the extensions of neighboring cells, thus, the present study demonstrated that a limited chance of contacts between cytoplasmic extensions due to the limited number of cytoplasmic extensions and slow development of cytoplasmic extensions brought about a delayed development of ECJ in oral keratinocytes on the rougher substrates. Sealing between cells was not complete because only part of cell membrane contributes to the formation of intercellular junction between cells on the substrates of higher roughnesses. Interestingly, inhibition of JNK activity promoted the development of ECJ on the rough substrates, of which mechanism remains to be studied further.
Gene Expression Analysis for Corals / Zooxanthellae under High Seawater Temperature Stress
Clarifying symbiotic relationships is one of the most important theme for understanding the marine eco-system. Coral reef has been regarded as an important environmental resource. Coral holobiont composed by coral, symbiotic microalgae zooxanthellae, and bacteria have complexed relationship. Zooxanthellae mainly supply organic matter to the host corals through their photosynthetic activity. The symbiotic relationship is indispensable for corals but may easily collapses due to the rise of seawater temperature. However, the molecular mechanism how seawater temperature influences their relationships still remain unclear. In this study, the transcriptomic analysis has applied to elucidate the coral-zooxanthellae relationships under high seawater temperature stress. To observe reactions of corals and zooxanthellae against the rise of seawater temperature, meta-gene expression in coral have been analyzed. The branches from six different colonies of a stony coral, Acropora tenuis, were sampled at nine times by 2016 at two locations, Ishikawabaru and South of Sesoko Island, Okinawa, Japan. The mRNAs extracted from the branches including zooxanthellae were sequenced by illumina HiSeq. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) based on hyper geometric distribution was performed. The seawater temperature at 2016 summer was unusually high, which was caused by El Niño event, and the number of zooxanthellae in coral was decreased in August. GSEA derived the several specific genes expressed in A. tenuis under heat stress conditions. The upregulated genes under heat stress highly related with infection immunity. The downregulated genes significantly contained cell cycle related genes. Thu, it is considered that heat stress cause disorder in cell metabolism of A. tenuis, resulting in serious influence to coral holobiont.
RhoA Regulates E-Cadherin Intercellular Junctions in Oral Squamous Carcinoma Cells
The modulation of the cell-cell junction is critical in epithelial-mesenchymal transition during tumorigenesis. As RhoA activity is known to be up-regulated to dissociate cell-cell junction by contracting acto-myosin complex in various cancer cells, the present study investigated if RhoA activity was also associated with the disruption of the cell-cell junction of oral cancer cells. We studied SCC-25 cells which are established from oral squamous cell carcinoma if their E-cadherin junction (ECJ) was under control of RhoA. Interestingly, development of ECJ of SCC-25 cells depended on the amount of fibronectin (FN) coated on the culture dishes. Seeded cells promptly aggregated to develop ECJ on the substrates coated with a low amount of FN, whereas they were retarded in the development of ECJ on the substrates coated with a high amount of FN. However, it was an unexpected finding that total RhoA activity was lower in the dissociated cells on the substrates of high FN than in the aggregated cells on the substrates of low FN. Treating the dissociated cells on the substrates of high FN with LPA, a RhoA activator, promoted the development to ECJ. In contrast, treating the aggregated cells on the substrates of low FN with Clostridium botulinum C3, a toxin decreasing RhoA activity, dissociated cells concomitant with the disruption of ECJ. Genetical knockdown of RhoA expression by transfecting RhoA siRNA also down-regulated the development of ECJ in SCC-25 cells. Furthermore, PMA, an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), down-regulated the development of ECJ junction of SCC-25 cells on the substrates coated with low FN. In contrast, GO6976, a PKC inhibitor, up-regulated the development of ECJ of SCC-25 cells with the activation of RhoA on the substrates coated with high FN. In conclusion, in the present study, we demonstrated unexpected results that the activation of RhoA promotes the development of ECJ, whereas the inhibition of RhoA retards the development of ECJ in SCC-25 cells.
Preliminary Report on the Assessment of the Impact of the Kinesiology Taping Application versus Placebo Taping on the Knee Joint Position Sense
Introduction: Kinesiology Taping is a very popular physiotherapy method, often used for healthy people, especially athletes, in order to stimulate the muscles and improve their performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the muscle application of Kinesiology Taping on the joint position sense in active motion. Material and Methods: The study involved 50 healthy people - 30 men and 20 women, mean age was 23.2 years (range 18-30 years). The exclusion criteria were injuries and operations of the knee, which could affect the test results. The participants were divided randomly into two equal groups. The first group consisted of individuals with the applied Kinesiology Taping muscle application (KT group), whereas in the rest of the individuals placebo application from red adhesive tape was used (placebo group). Both applications were to enhance the effects of quadriceps muscle activity. Joint position sense (JPS) was evaluated in this study. Error of Active Reproduction of the Joint Position (EARJP) of the knee was measured in 45° flexion. The test was performed prior to applying the patch, with the applied application, then 24 hours after wearing, and after removing the tape. The interval between trials was not less than 30 minutes. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 12.0. We calculated distribution characteristics, Wilcoxon test, Friedman‘s ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U test. Results. In the KT group and the placebo group average test score of JPS before applying application KT were 3.48° and 5.16° respectively, after its application it was 4.84° and 4.88°, then after 24 hours of experiment JPS was 5.12° and 4.96°, and after application removal we measured 3.84° and 5.12° respectively. Differences over time in any of the groups were not statistically significant. There were also no significant differences between the groups. Conclusions: 1. Applying Kinesiology Taping to quadriceps muscle had no significant effect on the knee joint proprioception. Its use in order to improve sensorimitor skills seems therefore to be unreasonable. 2. No differences between applications of KT and placebo indicates that the clinical effect of stretch tape is minimal or absent. 3. The results are the basis for the continuation of prospective, randomized trials of numerous study groups.