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More than just the flu: Influenza-associated myocardial infarction and its recent revelations.

Approximately 12,200 Canadians are hospitalized with seasonal influenza virus annually, posing a mounting public health issue that has become the epicentre of community-based vaccination campaigns. However, this public health issue has become exacerbated by the recent emergence of literature investigating the association between influenza infection and myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack. In other words, does contracting the flu make one more likely to experience a heart attack? Continue Reading >>

Innovations in Cell & Gene Therapy, 3rd Medicine by Design Symposium

Medicine by Design, a group of regenerative medicine and cell therapy researchers at the University of Toronto (U of T), hosted its 3rd annual symposium at the MaRS Discovery District Auditorium on December 4th, 2018. Twelve researchers from local and international institutions presented their research on muscle, gene, neural, and immune engineering. Continue Reading >>

Reviews

Integrin αIIbβ3 in Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Integrin signalling mediates several intercellular events in order to maintain hemostasis, including platelet adhesion and aggregation during the process of coagulation. Evolutionary pressures have directed the mechanisms which underpin coagulation to develop in a highly-regulated way, as both hypo- and hyper-coagulable states are incompatible with life. This review focuses on our current understanding of the “inside-out” and “outside-in” signalling events that mediate integrin activation and suppression in order to allow for appropriate aggregation of platelets following vascular trauma. Continue Reading >>

The Role of Gut Microbiota in Neurodegenerative Diseases

The human gut microbiota comprises trillions of microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal system and interact extensively with the host. The diversity and stability of the gut microbiota have been linked to not only intestinal health but also brain function. Recent studies suggest that the gut microbiota communicates with the brain through a variety of mechanisms, in what is termed the “gut-brain axis.” Continue Reading >>

Research

A Pilot Study of Microbubble-Delivered Gene Therapy Using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

Oncolytic adenovirus is a frequently used viral vector for gene therapy in cancer treatments. However, they are highly susceptible to liver-drainage or rejection by the immune system upon injection. This leads to an inadequate gene-delivery to the target tumor or unnecessary delivery to healthy tissues, causing necrosis in different organs. This not only decreases the effectiveness of the therapy but also creates additional damages that may lead to severe side effects, outweighing the benefit of the treatment. In order to efficiently deliver the viral vector to the target tumor and tumor tissue only, the adenovirus is inserted into microbubbles. Continue Reading >>

Statistics and Research Methodology Training Needs in Medical Imaging

The purpose of this study is to recommend improvements for research methodology and statistics training resources specifically designed for medical imaging residents, fellows, and faculty. Continue Reading >>

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More than just the flu: Influenza-associated myocardial infarction and its recent revelations.

Canadians spend over $30 billion every year on prescription drugs for treating, managing, and preventing disease (1). Many people have multiple prescriptions for several chronic diseases, and adhering to their medication schedules often becomes difficult to manage Continue Reading >>

Changing seasons and circadian rhythms: e“miR”ging roles of miR-132/212

The human body is not designed to forgo sleep. The record for continued wakefulness is 11 days and 25 minutes—the equivalent of binge-watching the Titanic 81 times! Luckily, we have evolved intrinsic time-keeping mechanisms that anticipate day-night cycles. Multiple transcription-translation feedback loops (TTFLs) function ubiquitously to regulate circadian rhythms (CRs) in the 20,000 neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a central mammalian brain structure that is the central CR oscillator [1]. The SCN receives daily optic light inputs, adjusts individual neuronal oscillation phases, and orchestrates CRs globally by sending temporal information to peripheral tissues and organs [1,2]. Continue Reading >>

Ethical and moral concerns regarding artificial intelligence in law and medicine

The seminar AI in Medicine in Context: Hopes? Nightmares? was held at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto on October 17th, 2017, with special guest Dr. Sunit Das. Dr. Das is a scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital, and an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. Continue Reading >>

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Research

Investigating perceptual grouping by common region through a repetition discrimination task

Visual perception is critical in helping people understand and infer states of the world in which they live. The Gestalt law of common region describes how elements belonging in the same region tend to be perceptually grouped together pre-attentively. An important feat in vision is the ability to organize an unstructured world into more coherent groups of objects. Recent evidence suggests that perceptual grouping occurs not only from visual similarity, but also from associative similarity. More specifically, visually dissimilar shapes are perceptually grouped if they have a learned association. Continue Reading >>

Stereoinversion of chiral carbon centers via oxidation by protonated hypochlorous acid

Chiral carbon centers are present in a wide array of biological molecules, and the loss or inversion of their stereochemistry leads to abnormal structure and function. One way that carbon centers reverse their stereochemistry is through racemization reactions by oxidative or reductive species. Protonated hypochlorous acid (ClOH2 +), formed spontaneously in vivo as a consequence of reactive oxidative species, can oxidize and abstract a hydride from its chiral carbon center, which produces a planar prochiral carbocation. Continue Reading >>

Quantum chemical analysis of the theoretical formation mechanism of glycine in dense molecular clouds

More than ten years ago, the simplest amino acid, glycine (NH2CH2COOH), was found in cometary samples by the Stardust project of NASA. Glycine is one of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids that serve as building blocks for proteins. It has been theorized that some biomolecules, including amino acids, originated in space and were brought to Earth by meteorites, therefore playing an important role in the origin of life. The detection of glycine by Stardust may support this theory. Continue Reading >>

Serotonin mediates Caenorhabditis elegans associative learning by indicating presence or absence of food

Previous research indicates that serotonin signaling in worms acts as an endogenous food signal. When given exogenously, serotonin blocks the formation of this Bnz-starvation association. This study hypothesized that the Bnz-starvation association is negatively regulated by serotonergic signalling. The absence of this satiety signal was considered the unconditioned stimulus in the associative learning paradigm. Since Bnz represents the conditioned stimulus, understanding the nature of the unconditioned stimulus signal will help explain stimuli integration and, consequently, memory formation. Continue Reading >>

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