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Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of eicosane on glutamate and NMDA-induced retinal ganglion cell injury

AIM: To investigate the protective effects, antioxidant potential, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of eicosane on glutamate-induced cell damage and on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced retinal ganglion cell (RGC) injury in a mouse model of glaucoma. METHODS: The protective effects of eicosane on the rat R28 retinal precursor cell line were assessed using cell counting kit-8 assays and Hoechst-propidium iodide staining. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was measured using the fluorescent probe 2'-7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate and flow cytometry. The protective role of eicosane on NMDA-induced RGC injury in a mouse glaucoma model was determined by immunostaining of frozen sections of retina. The effects of eicosane on the metabolome of the retina in mice with NMDA-induced RGC damage were evaluated by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) and untargeted metabolomics analyses. RESULTS: Eicosane treatment significantly attenuated glutamate-induced damage to R28 cells in vitro. Eicosane also protected RGCs against NMDA-induced injury in a mouse glaucoma model. Untargeted metabolomics analyses showed that eicosane increased multiple metabolites, including L-arginine and L-carnitine, in the retina. CONCLUSION: Eicosane has protective effects, antioxidant potential, and anti-inflammatory properties in an in vitro model of glutamate-induced cell damage and in an in vivo model of NMDA-induced RGC injury in mouse glaucoma through modulation of L-arginine and/or L-carnitine metabolism.

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The effects of identity salience on product judgment in a domain of trade-offs

Purpose This paper aims to investigate a condition under which identity salience effects are weakened. By examining how identity salience influences individuals’ product judgment in a domain of trade-offs, the current research demonstrates that the utilitarian value of a product is an important determinant of the effectiveness of identity salience on product judgment. Design/methodology/approach This research consists of two experiments. In Experiment 1, the authors examined whether identity salience effects were mitigated when the level of the perceived utilitarian value of an identity-incongruent product was greater than that of an identity-congruent product. In Experiment 2, the authors examined the effectiveness of internal attribution as a moderator that strengthens identity salience effects when the perceived utilitarian value of an identity-incongruent (vs. identity-congruent) product is higher. Findings In Experiment 1, the authors show that when the utilitarian value of a product with an attribute congruent (vs. incongruent) with one’s salient identity is lower, individuals do not show a greater preference for the identity-congruent (vs. identity-incongruent) product, mitigating the identity salience effects. Experiment 2 demonstrates that when individuals with a salient identity attribute a decision outcome to the self, they display a greater preference for the identity-congruent product even when its utilitarian value is lower compared to that of the identity-incongruent product. Research limitations/implications The research contributes to previous research examining conditions under which identity salience effects are weakened [e.g. social influence by others (Bolton and Reed, 2004); self-affirmation (Cohen et al., 2007)] by exploring the role of the utilitarian value of a product, which has not been examined yet in prior research. Also, by doing so, the current research adds to the literature on identity salience in a domain of trade-offs (Benjamin et al., 2010; Shaddy et al., 2020, 2021). Finally, this research reveals that when a decision outcome is attributed to the self, identity salience effects become greater. By finding a novel determinant of identity salience effects (i.e. internal attribution), the present research contributes to the literature that has examined factors that amplify identity salience effects [e.g. cultural relevance (Chattaraman et al., 2009); social distinctiveness (Forehand et al., 2002); different types of groups (White and Dahl, 2007)]. Practical implications The findings provide managerial insights on identity-based marketing by showing a condition under which identity-based marketing does not work [i.e. when the utilitarian value of an identity-congruent (vs. identity-incongruent) product is lower] and how to enhance the effectiveness of identity-based marketing by using internal attribution. Originality/value By exploring the role of utilitarian value, not yet examined in prior research, the present research adds to the knowledge of the conditions under which identity salience effects are weakened. Furthermore, by finding a novel determinant of identity salience effects (i.e. internal attribution), the research contributes to the literature on factors that amplify identity salience effects.

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Reproductive performance of local goats in Municipality of Liquica

One of the small ruminants with a lot of promise and popularity in the Municipality of Liquica are kacang goats. The purpose of this study is to determine how well the local goats in Liquica Municipality reproduce. In this study, a quantitative approach was taken. The research location was chosen using the purposive sampling method. The criterion of having at least three goats and five years of experience with them were used to choose the responders for this study. Solvin's formula was employed to ascertain the sample size. The variables that were observed were the kidding interval, size of the litter, length of pregnancy, and age at puberty. The findings demonstrated that the local goats in Tibar Village had good reproductive performance. Of the 71 respondents, they reported that the average age at puberty was 6.51 ± 0.65, the average gestation period was 5.08 ± 0.28, the average litter size was 1.08 ± 0.36, and the average calving interval was 8.86±0.59. Ulmera Village respondents, numbering seventy, stated that the local goats' puberty age was 7.84 ± 0.93, their gestation period was 5.09 ± 0.28, their litter size was 1.6 ± 0.48, and their calving interval was 8.56 ± 0.53. In Liquisa Municipality, the reproductive performance of Javanese goats is deemed satisfactory despite farmers' continued adherence to customary rearing practices.

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Bio-inspired algorithms for feature engineering: analysis, applications and future research directions

Purpose Nature’s evolution has shaped intelligent behaviors in creatures like insects and birds, inspiring the field of Swarm Intelligence. Researchers have developed bio-inspired algorithms to address complex optimization problems efficiently. These algorithms strike a balance between computational efficiency and solution optimality, attracting significant attention across domains. Design/methodology/approach Bio-inspired optimization techniques for feature engineering and its applications are systematically reviewed with chief objective of assessing statistical influence and significance of “Bio-inspired optimization”-based computational models by referring to vast research literature published between year 2015 and 2022. Findings The Scopus and Web of Science databases were explored for review with focus on parameters such as country-wise publications, keyword occurrences and citations per year. Springer and IEEE emerge as the most creative publishers, with indicative prominent and superior journals, namely, PLoS ONE, Neural Computing and Applications, Lecture Notes in Computer Science and IEEE Transactions. The “National Natural Science Foundation” of China and the “Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology” of India lead in funding projects in this area. China, India and Germany stand out as leaders in publications related to bio-inspired algorithms for feature engineering research. Originality/value The review findings integrate various bio-inspired algorithm selection techniques over a diverse spectrum of optimization techniques. Anti colony optimization contributes to decentralized and cooperative search strategies, bee colony optimization (BCO) improves collaborative decision-making, particle swarm optimization leads to exploration-exploitation balance and bio-inspired algorithms offer a range of nature-inspired heuristics.

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Potential errors during final inspection and certification process of an aircraft component

Purpose According to regulations, aircraft must be in an airworthy condition before they can be operated. To ensure airworthiness, they must be maintained by an approved component maintenance organisation. This study is aimed to identify potential errors that may arise during the final inspection and certification process of aircraft components, categorise them, determine their consequences and quantify the associated risks. Any removed aircraft components must be sent to an approved aircraft component maintenance organisation for further maintenance and issuance of European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Form 1. Thereafter, a final inspection and certification process must be conducted by certifying staff to receive an EASA Form 1. This process is crucial because any errors during this stage can result in the installation of unsafe components in an aircraft. Design/methodology/approach The Systematic Human Error Reduction and Prediction Approach (SHERPA) method was used to identify potential errors. This method involved a review of the procedures of three maintenance organisations, individual interviews with ten subject matter experts and a consensus group of 14 certifying staff from different maintenance organisations to achieve the desired results. Findings In this study, 39 potential errors were identified during the final inspection and certification process. Furthermore, analysis revealed that 48.7% of these issues were attributed to checking errors, making it the most common type of error observed. Originality/value This study pinpoints the potential errors in the final inspection and certification of aircraft components. It offers maintenance organisations a roadmap to assess procedures, implement preventive measures and reduce the likelihood of these errors.

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Dietary diversity and preferences among pregnant women and its association with anaemia

Purpose This study aims to assess dietary choices of pregnant women and its relationship with their anaemia status. Design/methodology/approach A mixed-method study comprising a survey and three focus group discussions (FGDs). The survey included 380 adult pregnant women with data collected on food choices, preferences and haemoglobin (Hb) status. Findings More than 50% of women in the study had Hb concentration < 11.0 g/dl; mean Hb was 10.24 g/dl (SD = 1.59). Univariate analysis was used to generate descriptive tabulations for socio-demographic characteristics of respondents, dietary choices for women and anaemia status. T-test and bivariate analysis between dietary diversity score of the women among the food groups consumed as well as their anaemia (Hb) status. This showed that women with high dietary diversity score had improved Hb status (P = 0.003), and those who consumed meat and fish as well as dark leafy vegetables had significantly high diversity scores (P = 0.031 and P = 0.049). Thematic analysis was used for analysing qualitative data. Research limitations/implications The sample used in the study is unlikely to be fully representative of pregnant women in the Accra Metropolis. In addition, this study used a cross-sectional study design, making it difficult to establish causal associations between nutritional status and food choice of pregnant women. It does not also show variation in dietary practices by seasons of the year. The scope of the study did not allow for a detailed analysis, and this should be considered in future studies. Also, the study did not explore an obstetric factor like past bleeding history as well as the menstrual cycle of these pregnant women, as these factors are likely to interfere with the anaemia status of the pregnant women. Originality/value This paper contributes significant value by specifically focusing on and clarifying the complex relationship between dietary choices and aneamia among pregnant women. It also provides insights into the distinct dietary patterns and preferences of pregnant women, which may be contributing to the high prevalence of aneamia. The results of the study can inform the development of localized, evidence-based interventions to address this critical public health concern, ultimately leading to improved maternal and foetal health outcomes.

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Distribution of pathogenic bacteria and antimicrobial sensitivity of eye infections in Suzhou

AIM: To investigate the types of bacteria in patients with eye infections in Suzhou and their drug resistance to commonly used antibacterial drugs. METHODS: The clinical data of 155 patients were retrospectively collected in this study, and the pathogenic bacteria species and drug resistance of each pathogenic bacteria were analyzed. RESULTS: Among the 155 patients (age from 12 to 87 years old, with an average age of 57, 99 males and 56 females) with eye infections (160 eyes: 74 in the left eye, 76 in the right eye and 5 in both eyes, all of which were exogenous), 71 (45.81%) strains were gram-positive bacteria, 23 (14.84%) strains were gram-negative bacteria and 61 (39.35%) strains were fungi. Gram-positive bacteria were highly resistant to penicillin and erythromycin (78.87% and 46.48% respectively), but least resistant to vancomycin at 0. Gram-negative bacteria were highly resistant to cefoxitin and compound sulfamethoxazole (100% and 95.65% respectively), but least resistant to meropenem at 0. Comparison of the resistance of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria to some drugs revealed statistically significant differences (P<0.05) in the resistance of both to cefoxitin, cotrimoxazole, levofloxacin, cefuroxime, ceftriaxone and ceftazidime, and both had higher rates of resistance to gram-negative bacteria than to gram-positive bacteria. The distribution of bacterial infection strains showed that Staphylococcus epidermidis was the most common strain in the conjunctiva, cornea, aqueous humor or vitreous body and other eye parts. Besides, Fusarium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were also among the most common strains of conjunctival and corneal infections. CONCLUSION: Gram-positive bacteria are the dominant bacteria in eye infections, followed by gram-negative bacteria and fungi. Considering the resistance of gram-negative bacteria to multiple drugs, monitoring of bacteria should be strengthened in eye bacterial infections for effective prevention and control to reduce complications caused by eye infections.

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Aflibercept combined with triamcinolone acetonide in the treatment of diabetic macular edema: optical coherence tomography and optical coherence tomography angiography

AIM: To analyze the relationship between optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA) imaging in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) who are treated with a combination of aflibercept and triamcinolone acetonide (TA). METHODS: A total of 76 eyes newly diagnosed DME were included in this study. They were randomly assigned to receive either aflibercept or a combination of aflibercept and TA. Injections once a month for a total of three injections. Central macular thickness (CMT), number of hyperreflective foci (HRF), height of subretinal fluid (SRF), and area of foveal avascular zone (FAZ) were evaluated using OCT and OCTA at baseline and after each monthly treatment. RESULTS: Both groups showed improvement in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and reduction in macular edema after treatment, and the difference in BCVA between the two groups was statistically significant after each treatment (P<0.05). The difference in CMT between the two groups was statistically significant after the first two injections (P<0.01), but not after the third injection (P=0.875). The number of HRF (1mo: 7.41±8.25 vs 10.86±7.22, P=0.027; 2mo: 5.33±6.13 vs 9.12±8.61, P=0.034; 3mo: 3.58±3.00 vs 6.37±5.97, P=0.007) and height of SRF (1mo: 82.39±39.12 vs 105.77±42.26 μm, P=0.011; 2mo: 36.84±10.02 vs 83.59±37.78 μm, P<0.01; 3mo: 11.57±3.29 vs 45.43±12.60 μm, P<0.01) in combined group were statistically significant less than aflibercept group after each injection, while the area of FAZ showed no significant change before and after treatment in both groups. CONCLUSION: The combination therapy of aflibercept and TA shows more significant effects on DME eyes with decreased HRF and SRF. However, both aflibercept and combination therapy show no significant change in the area of FAZ.

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