Marta Fernandez-Mercado* and Charles H. Lawrie
Early diagnosis and monitoring of treatment are essential for the efficient management of patients. In this regard, significant efforts have been made to find informative, blood (and other biological fluids) -based biomarkers. Thanks to their innate characteristics, microRNAs (miRNAs) hold the promise of being ideal biomarker molecules for healthcare needs and in cancer in particular. Consequently, the number of studies exploring such exciting possibility has multiplied exponentially in the last couple of years. However, the caveat is that this field is still very much in its infancy, and special attention must be paid to the technological aspects involved in miRNA handling and detection, if miRNAs are to fully realize their potential. In this mini review, we outline the clear possibilities of the circulating miRNome as a source of clinically-relevant biomarkers; describe the challenges faced by this research area, and offer suggestions of best practice in order to facilitate the translation of laboratory studies to the clinic in the not too distant future.
Hironaga Akita*, Zen-ichiro Kimura, Mohd Zulkhairi Mohd Yusoff, and Tamotsu Hoshino
Here we describe the screening and characterization of a lignin-degrading bacterium from an environmental sample. The bacterium was isolated from leaf soil and identified as Pseudomonas sp. strain CCA1 based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Although identified as able to degrade lignin in our screen, the ligninolytic activityof this strain was weak. Nonetheless, assessment of its utilization of lignin-associated aromatic monomers revealed that Pseudomonas sp. strain CCA1 assimilated at least ten lignin-associated aromatic monomers.
Ahmet Ayar*, Hatice Sicramaz, and Imren Cetin
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of colostrum on microbial populations of yogurt and kefir. For this purpose, raw bovine colostrum is freeze-dried and added to yogurt and kefir on 8% and 16% (w/w; colostrum/product) dilutions. The results showed that, effect of colostrum on total mesophilic aerobic bacteria counts of yogurt and kefir are negligible. Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus counts were 0.26-0.29 log CFU/g and 0.38-0.67 log CFU/g higher in colostrum added yogurt samples, respectively. In kefir, lactic streptococci and lactobacilli counts were higher than that of yogurt. However, they weren’t affected from colostrum addition, statistically. This study showed that, colostrum, which contains antimicrobial substances (immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, lysozyme and cytokines), don’t have an adverse effect on specific microbial floras of fermented dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. As a result, colostrum can be added to yogurt and kefir to increase their functional properties.
Rebeca Magnolia Torrente-Rodriguez, Susana Campuzano*, Victor Ruiz-Valdepeñas Montiel, Ana Sagrera, Juan José Dominguez-Cañete, Eva Vargas, Juan José Montoya, Rosario Granados, José Maria Sanchez-Puelles*, and José Manuel Pingarrón*
Whilst breast cancer (BC) management continues to improve, the requirement of novel assays to support the accuracy of HER2 clinical diagnosis remains. Investigation of the potential for miRNAs, recently identified biomarkers of both predictive and prognostic value in BC, to fulfill this role, holds much promise. In this communication we report a new electrochemical strategy, to determine miRNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections from different breast cancer profiles of human patients. We have recently developed a rapid and accurate method to analyze two different target miRNAs in tissue samples. This strategy involves the selective and efficient capture of the DNA/miRNA heteroduplexes, formed by hybridization between the target miRNA and a specific biotinylated DNA probe. This method also includes antibody-conjugated magnetic beads, their labeling with an enzymatic polymer and amperometric transduction using the H2O2/hydroquinone (HQ) system at disposable screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs). Quantitative results achieved with the electrochemical bioplatform in the analyzed FFPE tissue samples demonstrated an association of both miRNAs expression with the clinico-pathological features of the specimens. Moreover, the feasibility to identify HER2 tumor subtype proved a similar sensitivity and accuracy as that obtained with fresh-frozen samples.
Lin Jiang, Jialiang Liang, Wei Huang, Wenfeng Cai, Christian Paul, and Yigang Wang*
Pioneering preclinical studies have demonstrated that cardiomyocytes generated from pluripotent stem cells (PSC-CMs) hold tremendous potential for the treatment of tissue loss and insufficiency (such as HF and MI) that result from heart disease. PSCs stand out as the one of the most promising candidates due to their ability to differentiate into CMs. However, methods for inducing differentiation have lagged behind and are still considered controversial because of the poor capacity for CM differentiation. Here, we introduce alternative methods in various disciplines that promote cardiac differentiation and review the current efforts underway to refine techniques for regenerative purposes. Growth factors, small chemical molecules, electrical stimulation, miRs, and Nanopattered (NP) engineering techniques are emerging as efficient and reproducible options for fine-tuning of desired cardiac lineage differentiation properties and therapeutic treatments for regeneration of tissue lost as a consequence of heart disease.