ISSN (Print): 2468-4228
ISSN (Online): 2468-4236
ISSN (Print): 2468-4228
ISSN (Online): 2468-4236
Aims & Scope
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Editor(s): Catherine M. Greene
eISBN: 978-1-60805-362-9, 2012
This e-book is a review on current understanding of the role of toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the lung in health and disease. Topics covered include 1) the expression, function and activation of TLRs during bacterial, viral and fungal infection of the airways, 2) the role of TLRs in the pathogenesis of genetic and environmental pulmonary disorders, and 3) TLR biology in lung transplantation. Each chapter highlights recent advances in a selected domain in lung disease research. This e-book serves as a comprehensive resource for both scientists and clinicians studying innate immune mechanisms in the lung and provides a single reference comprising both basic and specialized information.
Editor(s): Aakash Goyal and Priti Maheshwari
eISBN: 978-1-60805-403-9, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60805-404-6 ISSN: 2589-1464 (Print) ISSN: 2213-2708 (Online)
Volume 1 - Frontiers on Recent Developments on Plant Science is an edited, peer-reviewed volume comprised of a collection of individual chapters from leading research groups across different continents. Due to its multidisciplinary nature, the combined experiences and expertise in plant science has an increasing importance both in agriculture and industry. This evidenced by inclusion of plant biotechnology in academic curricula from high school to undergraduate and postgraduate degree levels, and even in Ph.D. courses. Plant Biotechnology encompasses a wide range of narrow research areas such as agricultural biotechnology, industrial and environmental biotechnology, pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences and drug development from plant sources, plant-microbe host interactions studies, biochemical and molecular studies on gene expression using various plant models, gene targeting, homologous and non-homologous recombination studies on plant models, RNAi technology in plants, cereal biotechnology, biotechnology of endangered plant species, forestry, phytoremediation technologies, genetic engineering, gene delivery approaches, plant tissue culture and biological and biochemical techniques and methods/protocols involved in different focal area of plant science.
Editor(s): Adit Ben-Baruch
eISBN: 978-1-60805-256-1, 2012
Tumor development and progression are multi-factorial processes, in which genomic alterations and modifications in gene expression in pre-malignant cells are joined by deleterious microenvironmental factors. The tumor microenvironment contains stroma cells and leukocytes, soluble factors and matrix components. The intensive interplay that exists between the host factors and the tumor cells plays a major role in dictating the final outcome of the malignant process.
Inflammatory mediators are pivotal microenvironmental factors present in the tumor milieu. These inflammatory components support cell growth and invasion, induce mutagenesis, increase angiogenicity, and suppress potential anti-tumor immune functions. The inflammatory constituents that prevail in tumors include leukocytes and soluble mediators - cytokines and chemokines.
This e-book describes the roles played by these mediators in malignancy, and explains the basis for their consideration as therapeutic targets in cancer.
The e-book is a timely overview of the roles played by inflammatory soluble mediators in neoplastic diseases. The topics addressed in this volume serve as a handy reference to investigators studying basic aspects of the malignant tumor growth, to clinicians who wish to better understand the processes involved in malignancy, and to pharmacological professionals seeking novel candidates for therapeutic intervention in cancer.
Editor(s): Georgios P. Stamou
eISBN: 978-1-60805-280-6, 2012
Discussions on historical and philosophical issues in ecology have been rather limited. This volume presents an enriched and comprehensive review on ecological issues. The topics covered in this e-book include the emergence of the field of life-history strategies in population ecology, the model building tradition in community ecology, the holism/reductionism debate, the ecosystemic and systemic approach as well as a discussion of the emergence, development and dominance of the biodiversity concept. By bringing together diverse ideas, points of view and theoretical traditions, often treated separately, the book allows the development of ecology as a whole discipline to emerge. This introductory book is intended to stimulate discussion among both beginners and professionals in the field of history and/or philosophy of science, as well as ecologists. The topics covered are also central to the concerns of scholars engaged in environmental studies, environmental ethics and policy-making.
Editor(s): Vincenzo Parenti Castelli and Marco Troncossi
eISBN: 978-1-60805-439-8, 2012
The technological level of upper limb prostheses has always been fairly poor so far if compared with that of other analogous systems (e.g. lower limb prostheses, assistive robots). However, there is no doubt that in the recent years the upper limb research stimulated the most exciting developments in prosthetic technology. Indeed, new terminal devices and novel articulations for the artificial arm have been recently proposed, and the control hardware, software and firmware are in continuous progress for the implementation of effective control options for the wearers as well as for an easier management of the electronic boards. Also the clinical treatment of the patients is significantly improving. This e-book illustrates significant milestones reached by the scientists in prosthetic research considering both technical issues and clinical features, and also sheds lights on new trends and future developments of this field.
Editor(s): Massimiliano Veroux
Co-Editor(s): Pierfrancesco Veroux
eISBN: 978-1-60805-144-1, 2012
Kidney transplantation is worldwide considered the best replacement therapy in patients with end-stage renal disease. However, although impressive improvements in surgical techniques and in the management of immunosuppression, long-term results have not significantly changed over the last decades.
The purpose of this book is not to be a comprehensive review on kidney transplantation, but it would overview the recent acquisitions in the field of kidney transplantation, by offering to clinicians the future directions and the possible fields of research to improve the long term outcome.
The book is divided into 27 chapters. The first part of the book is devoted to the basic principles of immunity and organ transplantation and the clinical evaluation of potential recipient. Moreover, in this section are discussed the most recent strategies to increase the donor pool trying to offer a kidney transplantation to a growing number of patients. The second part of the book is devoted to the immunosuppression. In these two chapters, the authors present an overview on the immunosuppressive management of kidney transplant recipients, with particular emphasis on the minimization of immunosuppression. The third part of the book is devoted to the complications of immunosuppression and to the psychological aspects of transplantation. This section is particularly detailed, and offers a complete point of view on the consequences and benefits of kidney transplantation. Last section is devoted to the future. The clinical tolerance and xenotransplantation are not still the present, but the authors illustrate the fields of application of these fundamental aspects of organ transplantation.
The authors and editors have tried to select an appropriate mix of citations, but it has not been possible to cite all the relevant articles. Apologies are due to those authors whose works we have failed to cite.
Our goal was to provide the most recent acquisitions in a practical manner. We hope that we have succeeded.
Special thanks to all the authors for their excellent and enthusiastic collaboration and special thanks to our patients to whom are dedicated all our efforts.
Editor(s): Qing Qiao
eISBN: 978-1-60805-361-2, 2012
This e-book on diabetes epidemiology starts with the evolution in the diagnostic criteria for diabetes, particularly the changes in the last 15 years and their impact on the prevalence of the disease. The increasing trend in prevalence of diabetes worldwide, and its impact on people’s health and economic development are described by regions and countries. The rationale for a diabetes screening program, recent development in screening strategies and screening tools are thoroughly reviewed and presented. Because obesity is one of the major risk factors for diabetes and has been included in several risk assessment questionnaires, the obesity-diabetes association is particularly addressed in this e-book. The diagnostic cut-off value for surrogate measurement of body fat mass such as body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference is also discussed. The measurement errors and the strength of the association of diabetes with BMI and waist circumference are formally compared. Other diabetes related metabolic disorders such as dyslipidemia and hyperuricemia are also discussed with regard to their association with different degree of glucose intolerance including pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes. The risk of dyslipidemia with cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in people with different glucose levels is estimated within different ethnic groups and the ethnic differences are compared. Recent interest on diabetes-cancer association is on the rise. Academic literature on this issue presented in this volume. The relationship of diabetes with cardiovascular disease is also recognised. In this book the focus is set on the impact of various levels of fasting and 2-hout post-load glucose on the occurrence of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.
Editor(s): Ioan Sporea and Roxana Șirli
eISBN: 978-1-60805-463-3, 2012
Some time ago, Schiano raised the question "To B or not to B", which means "To Biopsy or not to Biopsy" the liver for the evaluation of chronic hepatopathies. For a long period, liver biopsy (LB) was considered the "gold standard" for the evaluation of liver morphology. A major disadvantage of LB is its invasiveness: the risk of post-biopsy discomfort for patients and sometimes, for serious complications; also the lack of sensitivity to detect fibrosis, due to its heterogeneity; and the inability to obtain good quality fragments, adequate for pathological examination. In these conditions, the question is whether LB can be regarded as the "gold standard" for staging and grading chronic hepatitis in daily activity.
But what alternative can we propose for the evaluation of liver fibrosis at this moment? The answer is: non-invasive methods and the ultrasound elastographic ones presented in this volume.
Transient Elastography (FibroScan, Echosens) is a recognized method in many countries. Published papers and meta-analyses showed the value of this method for the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis (AUROC - 94%); for staging chronic HCV hepatitis (a cut-off value of 7.5 kPa differentiates F0–1 from F2–4 with 67% sensitivity, 87% specificity, 86% positive predictive value (PPV) and 68% negative predictive value (NPV), with a diagnostic accuracy of 76%; but also in HBV chronic infection, NASH, PBC, PBS).
Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) Elastography (Siemens S2000) is another elastographic methods with promising results (a meta-analysis showed that the mean diagnostic accuracy of ARFI expressed as AUROC was 0.88 for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis (F≥2), 0.91 for the diagnosis of severe fibrosis (F≥3), and 0.93 for the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. In the subgroup of patients who underwent both ARFI and TE, the diagnostic accuracy of ARFI was comparable to TE for the diagnosis of significant and severe fibrosis, with a trend to be inferior for the diagnosis of cirrhosis. The future of liver fibrosis evaluation points towards non-invasive methods, decreasing dramatically the number of liver biopsies.
Studies have been published regarding the value of Real Time Elastography, performed for the first time with Hitachi systems (EUB-8500 and EUB-900), which uses an extended combined autocorrelation method to produce a real-time elasticity image by using a freehand approach to compress the tissues with the ultrasound transducer. The relative tissues’ elasticity is calculated and displayed as a color overlay on the conventional B-mode image. HiRT-E could be a promising method for the evaluation of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatopathies, but new methods of color code interpretation are needed to improve the accuracy, as well as a reference acquisition methodology.
ShearWave™ Elastography, the new "kid on the block", produces an image where true local tissue elasticity is displayed in a color map in "real time". Elasticity is displayed using a color coded image superimposed on a B-mode image. Stiffer tissues are coded in red and softer tissues in blue, with an image resolution of approximately 1mm. The true elasticity is assessed based on Shear wave propagation speed into the tissue. It is a very new method and only small studies were presented at international meetings.
Thus, having the alternative of noninvasive elastographic methods for the evaluation of liver fibrosis (maybe together with serum tests such as FibroMax) and knowing the low real life yield of liver biopsy (and the risk of complications), we can safely conclude that, for daily medical activity, liver biopsy can be avoided in the vast majority of cases.
This ebook presents an interesting set of chapters on the subject and is of good value to hepatologists interested in non invasive diagnostic methods for liver diseases.
Editor(s): Alberto Conde-Taboada
eISBN: 978-1-60805-234-9, 2012
Dermatological treatments have changed continuously throughout recent decades. Old drugs are recognized as being effective in new indications and new methods of dosage or application have been reported. Novel drugs have also changed the therapeutic approach in numerous diseases, improving patient health and quality of life. Conversely, new adverse reactions, drug interactions and unfamiliar risks have also increased. This e-book organizes information about different treatments available for treating dermatological conditions, focusing on a practical approach and systematizing drug interactions, adverse events, and patterns of intake or application.
This e-book is comprised of 3 sections, based on the way the treatment is applied: topical treatments, systemic treatments and physical therapies. Topical therapy is probably the most important mode to treat diseases of skin, releasing the active drug directly on the affected area. Both local and global effects can be achieved, as well as different adverse reactions are sometimes obtained. Systemic treatments are important in dermatology in conditions affecting a huge surface or when a potent means of therapy is needed. Physical therapies are highly specific in nature with respect to skin diseases, using different light sources combined with several substances to obtain the desired effect on epidermal structures. Every section contains several chapters dedicated to the different groups of drugs. Specific emphasis is given to the practical usage of each drug with comprehensive tables facilitating the information.
Editor(s): Marcelina Párrizas, Rosa Gasa and Perla Kaliman
eISBN: 978-1-60805-299-8, 2012
Recent advances in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics have made it increasingly clear that genetic sequence alone cannot explain how the genome regulates the development and function of complex multicellular organisms both in health and disease. This inference has led to the expansion of epigenetics as a discipline. Epigenetics refers to the way in which the environment in the wide sense participates in the regulation of gene expression. Several studies show that the well-known beneficial role of a healthy lifestyle over a number of pathologies or as a pre-emptive therapy is at least in part exerted through epigenetic mechanisms, thus giving rise to a new paradigm of preventive medicine based on the concept of genetic plasticity. In Epigenetics of Lifestyle, several contributors provide a comprehensive view of how various facets of lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, stress, addiction or social interactions, affect chromatin (the combination of DNA and proteins that make up the contents of a cell nucleus) - resulting in profound and long-lasting changes in gene function. In summary, Epigenetics of Lifestyle is a fresh approach towards epigenetics and presents the reader with significant research findings in epigenetics and lifestyle studies. This volume is a simplified source of information for both undergraduate and working professionals interested in lifestyle medicine and life sciences in general.
Editor(s): Michel Goldberg
eISBN: 978-1-60805-465-7, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60805-562-3 ISSN: 2589-3076 (Print) ISSN: 2210-2841 (Online)
Phosphorylated Extracellular Matrix Proteins of Bone and Dentin is the second volume of the e-book series Frontiers between Science and Clinic in Odontology. The phosphorylated proteins of the extracellular matrix of bone and teeth play a crucial structural role in the two tissues. They also act as signaling molecules. Phosphorylated extracellular matrix proteins have been implicated in nucleation and mineralization of skeletal tissues. This e-book covers research on these specific proteins, including details about the cells producing these molecules, their impact on bone and teeth pathology (osteogenesis and dentinogenesis imperfecta) and the potential of these molecules in promoting of inhibiting mineralization.
This e-book also explains processes under the control of some enzymes - TNAP and metalloproteases (MMPs) - such as intracellular regulation in bone and dentine, splicing, respective roles of cleavage products, SIBLINGs, nucleation and crystal growth and regulation.
This second volume serves as a valuable reference to practicing odontologists, biology and biomaterials scientists and tissue engineers interested in protein research related to tooth and bone formation.
Author(s): Neelawan Pongsilp
eISBN: 978-1-60805-461-9, 2012
Rhizobia are composed of specific groups of bacteria that have the ability to induce symbiotic nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots or stems of leguminous plants. Rhizobia have attracted a great attention for more than 4 decades because of their enormous agricultural and economic value in sustainable agriculture. Up to the present time, many legumes have been found to be nodulated by several rhizobial species in diverse taxonomic groups. An assessment of rhizobial diversity provides pivotal information in understanding the horizontal gene transfer among bacterial genera and species, the bacterial evolution and the symbiotic effectiveness. The classification of rhizobia is becoming increasingly complex and is revised periodically because of new findings that propose new genera and new species. Phenotypic and Genotypic Diversity of Rhizobia presents the application of conventional and molecular analyses, including numerical analysis, enzyme patterns, serological studies, plasmid profile, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-fingerprinting, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), PCR-RFLP and sequence-based methods, to the examination of rhizobial diversity. Principles of these techniques, the resolving power, the advantage and the limitation of these techniques are evaluated. Current taxonomy of rhizobia classifies them into 17 genera and 118 species. The book explains background knowledge about rhizobia and follows this up with a broad perspective on rhizobial diversity, information on characteristics specific to each group of rhizobia, the relationship among rhizobial groups as well as genetic factors contributed to rhizobial diversity. Contemporary methods for examination of rhizobial diversity are also suggested and discussed. Readers of this e-book will find updated information on key concepts in classification and taxonomy of rhizobia, the categories and techniques used to examine the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of rhizobia (including numerical analysis, enzyme patterns, serological study, plasmid profile, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-fingerprinting, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), PCR-RFLP and sequence analysis).