The Effects of COVID-19 on Athletes with Disabilities; Treatment options for dogs with osteoarthritis; Characterize the effects of mutated p53 on chromatin accessibility; Understanding inequalities in access to affordable and healthy food in the US; Improving the fit of reused N95 and KN95 masks through 3D printing

A study of Polish athletes with disabilities shows the effects of COVID-19 on training – BMC research notes

Ilgar Jafarov, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in all areas of human life, from the effects on health care and the economy to education and the movement of people. The pandemic has also impacted many sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games, which were supposed to take place in 2020 but were postponed to 2021 disrupted. To better understand the impact on athletes with disabilities, Piotr Urbański from the University of Physical Education in Poznan, Poland, and his colleagues decided to interview 166 athletes who were either members of the Polish Paralympic Committee or the Polish Disabled Sports Association. The study found that the athletes were badly affected by the pandemic and while a majority reported training at home, 12% stopped training altogether. Across the group, athletes reduced their training from 9.4 hours per week to 5.3 hours per week, highlighting the impact of the pandemic on these athletes, many of whom are hoping to compete in the Paralympic Games in August and September this year to be able to.

Plasma-Rich Platelet Products May Help In The Treatment Of Bilateral Hip Osteoarthritis In Dogs – BMC Veterinary Research

PvOberstein, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disease that affects pets. In dogs, OA often affects the hip joint, causing impaired function and pain in the animals. There are limited treatment options, with most treatments focusing on relieving pain and improving joint function rather than treating the disease. There has been recent interest in the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) to treat musculoskeletal disorders such as OA. Alves from the University of Evora, Portugal, and colleagues from the Portuguese National Guard set out to test the use of PRP to treat police service dogs with bilateral hip OA. After intra-articular administration of the PRP, the team used a variety of scales, including the Canine Brief Pain and Canine Orthopedic Indices, to measure response to treatment. When compared to a control group that received a saline solution, the PRP-treated dogs saw improvements in pain and function scores and no additional medication was required during the study follow-up period. The team concluded that a PRP product could be a good therapeutic option for hip OA in dogs.

Mutant p53 influences the accessibility of chromatin in tumor cells through direct and indirect mechanisms – BMC cancer

Dhaka & Radhakrishnan 2021 BMC Cancer CC-BY 4.0

The transcription factor p35, which is encoded by TP53, is a well characterized tumor suppressor and mutations in the gene sequence can affect its tumor suppressor activity. Some mutations can also lead to function-enhancing oncogenic activity. The effects of mutations on p53 binding to the genome are well documented, but changes in chromatin accessibility have not been characterized. In their study, Bhavya Dhaka and Radhakrishnan Sabarinathan of the National Center for Biological Sciences, India, used chromatin accessibility data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to identify regions in the genome where chromatin accessibility in tumors with mutated mutations p53 is changed. The pair identified 1587 and 984 areas where chromatin accessibility was lost and increased in breast cancer, and 1143 lost and 640 were gained in colon cancer, respectively. Surprisingly, less than half of the identified sites contained sequence motifs for p53 binding. However, these are regions associated with other transcriptional regulators, suggesting that functionally enhanced p53 mutants use both direct and indirect mechanisms to affect chromatin accessibility.

National Representative Survey in the US Provides Insight into Factors Affecting Inequalities in Access to Affordable, Healthy Food – BMC diet

Pixabay CC0

In recent years, inequalities in access to quality and affordable food have been identified across the United States. This is primarily due to the existence of food deserts – geographic regions where it is difficult to buy affordable, high quality food – within minority neighborhoods. Much of the research to date has focused on assessing access and food quality using directories, census records, and / or geographic information systems. In their study, Sansom and Hannibal of the Texas A&M School of Public Health, USA, conducted a nationwide representative survey to better understand the motivations and efforts of minority groups to reach businesses that offer healthy foods. Their survey of 1,612 participants found that saving money and having a good selection of foods, including organic foods, were important factors for minorities when choosing where to buy groceries. In addition, less driving was an important criterion. However, the survey showed that minorities in the US have to drive significantly longer than white colleagues to get to business. The Sansom and Hannibal study highlights the variety of issues that need to be addressed in order to reduce inequalities.

Inexpensive 3D printing mask frames can extend the life of N95 and KN95 masks – BMC Biomedical Engineering

McAvoy et al. 2021 BMC Biomedical Technology CC-BY 4.0

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in supply shortages of various types of personal protective equipment, including the N95 and KN95 respirators used by health professionals. This has resulted in masks being used for extended periods of time and, in some cases, re-used after decontamination procedures. However, the reusability of these masks is hampered by a deterioration in the fit of the masks. To improve reusability, Malia McAvoy from Harvard Medical School, USA and colleagues set out to develop a mask frame for damaged and / or ill-fitting masks. Using inexpensive 3D printing, the team developed a mask frame made up of two printed side panels connected by malleable wire bonds that allowed the user to mold the frame and mask to their face to restore the tight fit. The frame is then held in place by a rubber band around the head. The team tested the fit on 45 volunteers with and without mask frames on four different brands of the N95 or KN95 standard. Of volunteers who use masks with broken and effective ligaments, an average of 85% passed the seat test, suggesting that the mask frames can extend the life of the masks.


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