Heavy rare earth elements affect early life stages in Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula sea urchins.

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Heavy rare earth elements affect early life stages in Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula sea urchins.

Environ Res. 2017 Jan 17;154:240-246

Authors: Oral R, Pagano G, Siciliano A, Gravina M, Palumbo A, Castellano I, Migliaccio O, Thomas PJ, Guida M, Tommasi F, Trifuoggi M

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) have been scarcely studied for their toxicity, in spite of their applications in several technologies. Thus HREEs require timely investigations for their adverse health effects.
METHODS: Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula embryos and sperm were exposed to trichloride salts of five HREEs (Dy, Ho, Er, Yb and Lu) and to Ce(III) as a light REE (LREE) reference to evaluate: 1) developmental defects (% DD) in HREE-exposed larvae or in the offspring of HREE-exposed sperm; 2) mitotic anomalies; 3) fertilization success; and 4) reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, and nitric oxide (NO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. Nominal HREE concentrations were confirmed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).
RESULTS: HREEs induced concentration-related DD increases in P. lividus and A. lixula larvae, ranging from no significant DD increase at 10(-7)M HREEs up to ≅100% DD at 10(-5)M HREE. Larvae exposed to 10(-5)M Ce(III) resulted in less severe DD rates compared to HREEs. Decreased mitotic activity and increased aberration rates were found in HREE-exposed P. lividus embryos. Significant increases in ROS formation and NO levels were found both in HREE-exposed and in Ce(III) embryos, whereas only Ce(III), but not HREEs resulted in significant increase in MDA levels. Sperm exposure to HREEs (10(-5)-10(-4)M) resulted in a concentration-related decrease in fertilization success along with increase in offspring damage. These effects were significantly enhanced for Dy(III), Ho(III), Er(III) and Yb(III), compared to Lu(III) and to Ce(III).
CONCLUSION: HREE-associated toxicity affected embryogenesis, fertilization, cytogenetic and redox endpoints showing different toxicities of tested HREEs.

PMID: 28107742 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

SN 595: What’s Up with WhatsApp?

Security Now (MP3)

A classic bug at GoDaddy bypassed domain validation for 8850 issued certificates, could flashing a peace sign compromise your biometric data?, it's not only new IoT devices that may tattle, many autos have been able to for the past 15 years, McDonald's gets caught in a web security bypass, more famous hackers have been hacked, Google uses AI to increase image resolution, more on the value or danger of password tricks, and... does WhatsApp incorporate a deliberate crypto backdoor?

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Hosts: Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte

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Insights into the molecular basis of long-term storage and survival of sperm in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

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Insights into the molecular basis of long-term storage and survival of sperm in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 16;7:40236

Authors: Paynter E, Millar AH, Welch M, Baer-Imhoof B, Cao D, Baer B

Abstract
Honeybee males produce ejaculates consisting of large numbers of high quality sperm. Because queens never re-mate after a single mating episode early in life, sperm are stored in a specialised organ for years but the proximate mechanisms underlying this key physiological adaptation are unknown. We quantified energy metabolism in honeybee sperm and show that the glycolytic metabolite glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (GA3P) is a key substrate for honeybee sperm survival and energy production. This reliance on non-aerobic energy metabolism in stored sperm was further supported by our findings of very low levels of oxygen inside the spermatheca. Expression of GA3P dehydrogenase (GAPDH), the enzyme involved in catabolism of GA3P, was significantly higher in stored compared to ejaculated sperm. Therefore, long-term sperm storage seems facilitated by the maintenance of non-aerobic energy production, the need for only the ATP-producing steps of glycolysis and by avoiding sperm damage resulting from ROS production. We also confirm that honeybee sperm is capable of aerobic metabolism, which predominates in ejaculated sperm while they compete for access to the spermatheca, but is suppressed during storage. Consequently, the remarkable reproductive traits of honeybees are proximately achieved by differential usage of energy production pathways to maximise competitiveness and minimise damage of sperm.

PMID: 28091518 [PubMed - in process]

Moderate aerobic exercise training for improving reproductive function in infertile patients: A randomized controlled trial.

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Moderate aerobic exercise training for improving reproductive function in infertile patients: A randomized controlled trial.

Cytokine. 2017 Jan 13;92:55-67

Authors: Hajizadeh Maleki B, Tartibian B

Abstract
This study investigated for the first time the changes in seminal markers of inflammation, oxidative stress status, semen parameters, sperm DNA integrity as well as pregnancy rate following 24weeks of moderate aerobic exercise in infertile patients. A total of 1026 sedentary men (aged 25-40years) attending the infertility clinic with history of more than one year of infertility, were screened and 419 were randomized to either exercise (EX, n=210) or non-exercise (NON-EX, n=209) groups. Exercise training favorably attenuated seminal markers of both inflammation (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) and oxidative stress (ROS, MDA, 8-Isoprostane) as well as enhanced antioxidant defense system (SOD, catalase and TAC) (P<0.05). These changes correlate with favorable improvements in semen parameters, sperm DNA integrity and pregnancy rate (P<0.05). The results provide information about the effectiveness of moderate aerobic exercise training as a treatment option for male factor infertility. The 4-week detraining period was not enough to reverse all benefits promoted by exercise intervention.

PMID: 28092795 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

SN 594: A Look Into PHP Malware

Security Now (MP3)

The US Federal Trade Commission steps into the IoT and home networking malpractice world, a radio station learns a lesson in what words NOT to repeat, Google plans to even eliminate the checkbox, a crucial caveat to the "passwords are long enough" argument, more cause to be wary of third-party software downloads, a few follow-ups to last week's topics, a bit of miscellany and a close look at a well-known piece of PHP malware.

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Mitochondria in teleost spermatozoa.

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Mitochondria in teleost spermatozoa.

Mitochondrion. 2017 Jan 05;:

Authors: Ulloa-Rodríguez P, Figueroa E, Díaz R, Lee-Estevez M, Short S, Farías JG

Abstract
There is an extraordinary diversity of reproductive modes in teleost and this variability is related to the phylogenetic relationships and adaption to very different biotopes. As in all vertebrates, sperm is produced as the end product of the process of spermatogenesis, and regarding teleost the spermatozoa lack an acrosome in almost all species and motility is activated as a response to osmolarity and ion content of the aquatic medium where the sperm is released. In this context, mitochondria possess a fundamental role for fish spermatozoa motility and integrity, hence, fertilizing potential; they are the energy supplier that allows flagellar movement and their dysfunction could play a main role in structural and functional damage to the spermatozoa. The ATP production through oxidative phosphorylation provides not only energy for cell activities, which includes Na(+)/K(+) ATPase pump, endocytosis, protein synthesis and many other cell processes; but also produces reactive oxygen species, that under mitochondrial dysfunction causes oxidative stress. The assessment of mitochondrial function (e.g. through measurement of mitochondrial membrane potential) as well as ATP content (mostly supplied by mitochondrial respiration) can be useful as quality markers of fish spermatozoa. Also quantification of ROS and antioxidant status, strongly influenced by mitochondria, are used as complementary measurements. There is much information about sperm mitochondria and their function but studies of these aspects on fish reproduction are still required for applications in aquaculture. The real role of fish sperm mitochondria under short and long term storage and in vitro manipulation is not fully understood yet. Thus future research should focus on these matters.

PMID: 28065674 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Forensic likelihood ratio: Statistical problems and pitfalls.

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Forensic likelihood ratio: Statistical problems and pitfalls.

Sci Justice. 2017 Jan;57(1):73-75

Authors: Dawid AP

Abstract
This article is a response to the position papers published in the Science & Justice virtual special issue on measuring and reporting the precision of forensic likelihood ratios. I point out a number of serious statistical errors in some of these papers. These issues need to be properly addressed before the philosophical debate can be conducted in earnest.

PMID: 28063590 [PubMed - in process]

A new approach to obtain metric data from video surveillance: Preliminary evaluation of a low-cost stereo-photogrammetric system.

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A new approach to obtain metric data from video surveillance: Preliminary evaluation of a low-cost stereo-photogrammetric system.

Forensic Sci Int. 2016 Dec 23;271:59-67

Authors: Russo P, Gualdi-Russo E, Pellegrinelli A, Balboni J, Furini A

Abstract
Using an interdisciplinary approach the authors demonstrate the possibility to obtain reliable anthropometric data of a subject by means of a new video surveillance system. In general the use of current video surveillance systems provides law enforcement with useful data to solve many crimes. Unfortunately the quality of the images and the way in which they are taken often makes it very difficult to judge the compatibility between suspect and perpetrator. In this paper, the authors present the results obtained with a low-cost photogrammetric video surveillance system based on a pair of common surveillance cameras synchronized with each other. The innovative aspect of the system is that it allows estimation with considerable accuracy not only of body height (error 0.1-3.1cm, SD 1.8-4.5cm) but also of other anthropometric characters of the subject, consequently with better determination of the biological profile and greatly increased effectiveness of the judgment of compatibility.

PMID: 28064063 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Osteometric sex estimation from the os coxa in a Thai population.

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Osteometric sex estimation from the os coxa in a Thai population.

Forensic Sci Int. 2016 Dec 07;:

Authors: Mahakkanukrauh P, Ruengdit S, Tun SM, Case DT, Sinthubua A

Abstract
The coxal bone shows a very high degree of sexual dimorphism both morphologically and metrically. However, despite a number of recent studies on sex estimation from the skeleton in Thailand, no osteometric methods of sexing the Thai os coxa have been proposed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a standard sex estimation method for a Thai population by examining the efficacy of six coxal bone measurements and eight indices obtained from 200 Thai skeletons. Independent samples t-tests revealed statistically significant differences between males and females for all but one of the measurements. The equation with the highest correct allocation accuracy was based on four measurements (pubis length, ischium length, total height and acetabulum diameter) and had a predicted and cross-validated accuracy of 96.9% and a tested accuracy of 97.5% on a holdout sample of 40 individuals. The single variable equation with the highest correct allocation accuracy of 94.4% and a tested accuracy of 97.5% was for the ischiopubic index, which is calculated from ischium length and pubis length. Percentage accuracies in predicting sex from these equations were higher than many previous studies, suggesting high levels of sexual dimorphism in the Thai os coxa.

PMID: 28062152 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Improved cryotolerance and developmental competence of human oocytes matured in vitro by transient hydrostatic pressure treatment prior to vitrification.

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Improved cryotolerance and developmental competence of human oocytes matured in vitro by transient hydrostatic pressure treatment prior to vitrification.

Cryobiology. 2017 Jan 02;:

Authors: Gu R, Feng Y, Guo S, Zhao S, Lu X, Fu J, Sun X, Sun Y

Abstract
BACKGROUND: At present, the metaphase II (MII) oocytes have a very special structure that leads to complex difficulties associated with its vitrification, and their efficacy still needs a large amount of study to observe. The present study was to investigate whether transient hydrostatic pressure (THP), which was utilized for oocytes before vitrification, had positive effect on the oocytes' developmental ability and reactive oxygen species, and had no damage on meiotic spindle, zona pellucida, and DNA copy number.
METHODS: All the immature oocytes used in this research were collected between February 2015 and December 2015 in Shanghai Ji Ai Genetics & IVF Institute. The MII oocytes, which were originated from metaphase I (MI) oocytes, were randomly distributed into three groups: A) fresh oocytes; B) vitrification; and C) vitrification after THP treatment. The embryo developmental outcome was evaluated after intracytoplasmic sperm injection and embryo culture. Furthermore, the meiotic spindle behavior, reactive oxygen species (ROS), zona pellucida (ZP), and DNA copy number variation were evaluated and compared among the three groups.
RESULTS: A total of 568 MII oocytes were included in the study. Embryos from group B had fewer cells on day 3 compared with group A and C (5.01 ± 2.11 for group A, 3.89 ± 2.21 for group B, and 4.69 ± 2.05 for group C). The developmental feature of blastocyst in groups A and C were superior to those of group B. The MII oocytes were manipulated with THP before vitrification, and the equilibration time was significantly shorter in the vitrification procedure (244.9 ± 30.1 vs. 181.5 ± 10.1). The ROS, ZP of vitrified/warmed oocytes in group C were improved with THP before vitrification. THP had no influence on the meiotic spindle and DNA copy number variation of vitrified/warmed oocytes.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study indicated that sublethal THP treatment before vitrification increased the developmental competence of human in vitro matured oocytes, reduced vitrification-related changes in the ROS, which occurred during oocyte vitrification, and did not damage the meiotic spindle, ZP and DNA copy number variation.

PMID: 28057448 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]