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Molecular Characterization of Borrelia persica, the Agent of Tick Borne Relapsing Fever in Israel and the Palestinian Authority
Gracia Safdie,Iba Y. Farrah,Reem Yahia,Esther Marva,Amos Wilamowski,Samer S. Sawalha,Naama Wald,Judith Schmiedel,Annette Moter,Ulf B. G?bel,Herve Bercovier,Ziad Abdeen,Marc V. Assous,Yolanta Fishman
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014105
Abstract: The identification of the Tick Borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF) agent in Israel and the Palestinian Authority relies on the morphology and the association of Borrelia persica with its vector Ornithodoros tholozani. Molecular based data on B. persica are very scarce as the organism is still non-cultivable. In this study, we were able to sequence three complete 16S rRNA genes, 12 partial flaB genes, 18 partial glpQ genes, 16 rrs-ileT intergenic spacers (IGS) from nine ticks and ten human blood samples originating from the West Bank and Israel. In one sample we sequenced 7231 contiguous base pairs that covered completely the region from the 5′end of the 16S rRNA gene to the 5′end of the 23S rRNA gene comprising the whole 16S rRNA (rrs), and the following genes: Ala tRNA (alaT), Ile tRNA (ileT), adenylosuccinate lyase (purB), adenylosuccinate synthetase (purA), methylpurine-DNA glycosylase (mag), hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (hpt), an hydrolase (HAD superfamily) and a 135 bp 5′ fragment of the 23S rRNA (rrlA) genes. Phylogenic sequence analysis defined all the Borrelia isolates from O. tholozani and from human TBRF cases in Israel and the West Bank as B. persica that clustered between the African and the New World TBRF species. Gene organization of the intergenic spacer between the 16S rRNA and the 23S rRNA was similar to that of other TBRF Borrelia species and different from the Lyme disease Borrelia species. Variants of B. persica were found among the different genes of the different isolates even in the same sampling area.
Orthotopic Liver Transplantation: Is There a Risk for Listeria monocytogenes Infection?
Urs Ehehalt,Stefan Schmiedel,Ansgar W. Lohse
Case Reports in Medicine , 2010, DOI: 10.1155/2010/901894
Abstract: Immunosuppression of any kind is a known risk factor for infection with Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes). Particularly, patients with impaired liver function are at increased risk of developing an aggravated course of infection with this bacterial pathogen (see Nolla-Salas et al.; 2002 and Cabellos et al.; 2008). It is a well-known pathogen in immunocompromised patients, but has only seldom been reported following orthotopic liver transplantation. Invasion of the central nervous system presenting as meningitis or meningoencephalitis and bacteremia are the principal clinical manifestations of listerial infections (see Brouwer et al.; 2006). We present an account of a case of a patient who developed L. monocytogenes meningitis during the early period after liver transplantation.
Retrospective Study of the Use of a Fractional Radio Frequency Ablative Device in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris and Related Acne Scars  [PDF]
Judith Hellman
Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications (JCDSA) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/jcdsa.2015.54038
Abstract: Background: Acne vulgaris (AV) is a common disease that often results in disfiguring facial scarring that carries into adulthood. Here we report our experience with fractional radiofrequency (FRF) device in treatment of patients with acne and acne related scarring. Materials & Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients with acne scarring who completed a four treatment regimen in our clinic. Results: We identified eight patients who completed four treatments with median age of 20.5 years (range 17 - 41). All patients demonstrated significant improvement of acne lesions and acne scarring. Skin biopsies demonstrated reduction of scar depth and increased new collagen production, and repopulation of the scar tissue by elastic fibers and adnexal structures after the fourth treatment. Conclusion: FRF emerges as a safe and effective treatment modality for AV and acne related scars. Further randomized controlled studies are required to fully evaluate the magnitude of this positive effect and more basic science studies are needed in order to better characterize its mechanism of action on acne lesions.
Long Term Follow-Up Results of a Fractional Radio Frequency Ablative Treatment of Acne Vulgaris and Related Acne Scars  [PDF]
Judith Hellman
Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications (JCDSA) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/jcdsa.2016.63013
Abstract: Introduction: Acne vulgaris and acne scarring are prevalent conditions that can have a negative effect on a patient’s quality of life. Fractional radiofrequency technologies have been shown to be clinically safe and effective in managing acne scars through dermal remodeling without causing direct damage to the epidermis. In a recently published study, we presented our clinical and histological results in the treatment of patients with active acne and acne related scarring using a Fractional RF (FRF) device. In the current article we demonstrate long term follow-up results, up to two years post last fractional treatment. Methods: Four out of the eight patients who completed a four treatment regimen were invited for long term follow-up visit to document treatment results. In some cases, touch-up treatments were conducted to optimize clinical results. Results: Patients demonstrated significant improvement of acne lesions, acne scarring, pores and skin texture. Long term photos demonstrated that clinical improvement progressed with time. Conclusion: The current study further supports the previous findings that FRF is a safe and effective treatment modality for active acne and acne related scars. Treatment protocol can be customized according to patient needs and clinical results last for long term.
Multi-Target Regulation by Small RNAs Synchronizes Gene Expression Thresholds and May Enhance Ultrasensitive Behavior
J?rn Matthias Schmiedel, Ilka Maria Axmann, Stefan Legewie
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042296
Abstract: Cells respond to external cues by precisely coordinating multiple molecular events. Co-regulation may be established by the so-called single-input module (SIM), where a common regulator controls multiple targets. Using mathematical modeling, we compared the ability of SIM architectures to precisely coordinate protein levels despite environmental fluctuations and uncertainties in parameter values. We find that post-transcriptional co-regulation as exemplified by bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) is particularly robust: sRNA-mediated regulation establishes highly synchronous gene expression thresholds for all mRNA targets without a need for fine-tuning of kinetic parameters. Our analyses reveal that the non-catalytic nature of sRNA action is essential for robust gene expression synchronization, and that sRNA sequestration effects underlie coupling of multiple mRNA pools. This principle also operates in the temporal regime, implying that sRNAs could robustly coordinate the kinetics of mRNA induction as well. Moreover, we observe that multi-target regulation by a small RNA can strongly enhance ultrasensitivity in mRNA expression when compared to the single-target case. Our findings may explain why bacterial small RNAs frequently coordinate all-or-none responses to cellular stress.
Knowledge and attitude of final - year medical students in Germany towards palliative care - an interinstitutional questionnaire-based study
Martin Weber, Sven Schmiedel, Friedemann Nauck, Bernd Alt-Epping
BMC Palliative Care , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1472-684x-10-19
Abstract: We designed a composite, three-step questionnaire (self estimation of confidence, knowledge questions, and opinion on the actual and future medical curriculum) conducted online of final - year medical students at two universities in Germany.From a total of 318 enrolled students, 101 responded and described limited confidence in dealing with specific palliative care issues, except for pain therapy. With regard to questions examining their knowledge base in palliative care, only one third of the students (33%) answered more than half of the questions correctly. Only a small percentage of students stated they had gained sufficient knowledge and experience in palliative care during their studies, and the vast majority supported the introduction of palliative care as a mandatory part of the undergraduate curriculum.This study identifies medical students' limited confidence and knowledge base in palliative care in 2 German universities, and underlines the importance of providing a mandatory palliative care curriculum.The necessity of improving palliative care for patients with advanced and incurable diseases has been increasingly acknowledged over the last two decades in Germany, and is now sustained by broad societal consensus [1]. Additionally, the German Medical Association has commented on palliative care in several national assemblies and has strongly requested improvements in several areas, including medical education [2]. Until recently, palliative care was not a mandatory part of the undergraduate curriculum, and it remained the responsibility of the medical schools to offer courses in palliative care. Only a few of the 35 medical schools in Germany included mandatory courses, whereas the vast majority did not provide comprehensive palliative care education [3,4].However, as a consequence of changes in the Medical Licensure Act of 2009 (?ApprO as of 03.07.2002, last amended in 31.07.2009, §27 and supplement 15 to §29 sect. 3 sentence 2), palliative care has become
Procalcitonin serum levels in tertian malaria
Christoph Manegold, Stefan Schmiedel, Collins B Chiwakata, Manfred Dietrich
Malaria Journal , 2003, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-2-34
Abstract: PCT serum levels in 37 patients with tertian malaria were analysed. Clinical and laboratory parameters were assessed and statistically correlated both to the initial PCT levels and during the course of the disease.PCT levels rose for one day after commencing treatment and declined thereafter. However, there was no significant correlation with parasite burden, clinical parameters, laboratory values, or the presence of semi-immunity. Before treatment, the majority of patients showed normal or slightly elevated PCT levels (< 2.5 ng/ml), but PCT was markedly elevated (4.8 – 47 ng/ml) in one third of the population. The two groups did not differ by any other of the assessed parameters. Thus, while the post-treatment course of PCT resembles falciparum malaria, the lack of correlation between disease severity and even high PCT levels in a large proportion of patients is intriguing.There is a fundamental difference in the relationship of PCT with tertian malaria not seen in other infectious diseases in which elevated PCT levels have been observed. This suggests distinct pathophysiological pathways in malaria.Procalcitonin (PCT) is elevated in serum of patients with severe infections of bacterial or parasitic origin [1]. Increased levels have also been described in falciparum malaria [2-6]. It has been recently demonstrated that PCT levels in falciparum malaria correlate with parasitemia and disease severity, and that markedly elevated values (> 25 ng/ml) are associated with a high risk of fatal outcome [5]. In this study, PCT levels were investigated in patients with tertian malaria, which is generally mild without severe organ complications and which is usually non-fatal.Patients with malaria who are seen at the site of the study follow a standard protocol for prospective assessment of relevant parameters. Thirty seven unselected, consecutive patients with tertian malaria due to Plasmodium vivax or Plasmodium ovale seen during 2000 and 2001 and in whom all necessary data w
Retrospektive Bestimmung der elektromagnetischen Exposition durch analoge Rundfunksender im Rahmen von KiSS
J. Philipp,H. Merzenich,H. Brüggemeyer,S. Schmiedel
Advances in Radio Science : Kleinheubacher Berichte , 2007,
Abstract: Im Rahmen einer epidemiologischen Fall-Kontroll-Studie zur Untersuchung eines m glichen Zusammenhangs zwischen der H ufigkeit kindlicher Leuk mien und elektromagnetischer Strahlung (,,KiSS" – Kindliche Leuk mien und Expositionen in der Umgebung von hochfrequenten Sendestationen) soll die Exposition durch leistungsstarke analoge Rundfunksender retrospektiv (Zeitraum 1982–2003) quantifiziert werden. Die zu betrachtenden Sendernetze für AM-H rfunk, FM-H rfunk und analoges Fernsehen unterscheiden sich nicht nur hinsichtlich der Modulationsart und der von den Einzelsendern abgestrahlten Leistung, sondern auch in der Netzkonfiguration und den je nach Wellenbereich verschiedenen Strahlungseigenschaften der Sendeantennen. Damit sind bei diesen drei Rundfunkdiensten sowohl die absolute Gr e als auch die r umliche Struktur der hervorgerufenen Exposition verschieden. Es wird dargelegt, wie die für die Prognose der Rundfunkversorgung verwendeten Rechenverfahren zur Modellierung der Feldst rke für die Modellierung der Exposition herangezogen und durch Kontrollmessungen validiert werden und wie trotz Wahrung der Vertraulichkeit der dabei unabdingbar zu verwendenden Senderbetriebsdaten eine unerwünschte Beeinflussung der Studienergebnisse durch die Senderbetreiber ausgeschlossen wird.
Kindliche Leuk mien und EMF-Expositionen in der Umgebung hochfrequenter Sendestationen (KiSS) ─ Fragestellung und Studienbeschreibung
H. Brüggemeyer,J. Philipp,H. Merzenich,S. Schmiedel
Advances in Radio Science : Kleinheubacher Berichte , 2007,
Abstract: Im Rahmen einer Fall-Kontroll-Studie wird untersucht, ob es einen Zusammenhang zwischen dem Leuk mierisiko bei Kindern und der Exposition gegenüber elektromagnetischen Feldern in der Umgebung leistungsstarker Sendestationen von Rundfunk und Fernsehen gibt. Bislang wurden fünf Studien im Umkreis von Rundfunksendeanlagen durchgeführt. Deren Aussagekraft ist jedoch durch eine grobe Expositionsabsch tzung und ihren kologischen Studienansatz ohne individuelle Expositionsbestimmung limitiert. Wesentliches Element der hier vorgestellten Studie ist dagegen eine individuelle Expositionsabsch tzung, die zum einen auf der Geocodierung von Wohnadressen und Expositionspunktquellen und zum andern auf den tats chlichen Strahlungsleistungen und Betriebsdaten der Senderbetreiber beruht. Das Studiengebiet besteht aus den Umgebungen von 17 leistungsstarken AM-Mittelwellensendern und 8 UKW-FM- bzw. analogen TV-Sendern in Westdeutschland. Zur Studienpopulation geh ren alle im Diagnosezeitraum von 1984 bis 2003 aufgetretenen F lle, die im Studiengebiet leben bzw. gelebt haben. Als F lle werden alle Kinder definiert, die zum Zeitpunkt der Diagnose zwischen 0–14 Jahren alt waren, bei denen eine prim re Leuk mie diagnostiziert wurde und die dem Deutschen Kinderkrebsregister bekannt sind. Jedem Fallkind werden 3 gleich alte Kontrollkinder gleichen Geschlechts aus der gleichen Senderumgebung gegenübergestellt. M glich wurde diese Untersuchung durch die F rderung durch Mittel des Deutschen Mobilfunkforschungsprogramms sowie durch die Mitarbeit aller relevanten Senderbetreiber und des Deutschen Kinderkrebsregisters an der Universit t Mainz. Sie soll bis August 2007 abgeschlossen sein.
The Post-Modern Mind. A Reconsideration of John Ashbery’s “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” (1975) from the Viewpoint of an Interdisciplinary History of Ideas  [PDF]
Roland Benedikter, Judith Hilber
Open Journal of Philosophy (OJPP) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2012.21010
Abstract: This paper gives a short description of basic features of the dominating mindset in the Western world between the 1970s and today, often called “post-modern”, through a re-reading of John Ashbery’s poem “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” (1975). In doing so, it applies the viewpoint of an interdisciplinary history of ideas. Since collective mindsets have become the most important contextual political factors, the implications are multiple.
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