Welcome to Biomedicine & Prevention

Biomedicine & Prevention is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research articles as well as review articles in several areas of the life sciences. The journal’s Editorial Board covers several subject areas mainly focusing on prevention and health promotion. Prevention is covered not as an exclusive health competence discipline but in a holistic way, including environmental sciences, engineering, physics, legal implications and legislation.

Physical activity and nutritional supplementation to reduce frailty in community- dwelling older adults, searching for evidence: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Frailty is a potentially reversible syndrome that determines an increased risk of adverse health outcomes when exposed to a stressor representing a major risk factor for negative health-related events in the elderly. The aim of this study was to evaluate the most effective intervention in reducing the frailty status, considering both physical activity and nutritional intervention in community-dwelling older adults, for highlight the better strategy in reducing the prevalence of frail elderly. A systematic literature research, restricted to clinical trials published in the last 10 years, written in English, was performed in November 2016 through PubMed and Cochrane Central Register. Of 602 articles eight papers met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. This systematic review showed that physical intervention alone or combined with nutritional supplementation should improve the frailty status

Dual-use Molecules from Yeast

New evolving biological technologies, such as synthetic biology, re-ceive great attention by international organizations dealing with CBRN, such as Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weap-ons (OPCW), whose mission is to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or the Australia Group Ex-port Control Regime (AG), which focuses on export control of chemical and biological dual-use materials. The tools of synthetic biology are applied for many peaceful purposes (production of bio-fuels, pharmaceutical products, molecules) but in some cases, they could be misused with bioterrorism purposes: on the one hand, with the bottom-up approach, synthetic genomes could be produced from scratch, including viruses present in the control list of biological agents. On the other hand, the top-down approach permits the inser-tion of heterologous genes in model organisms, reconstructing a bio-synthetic pathway to produce a molecule of interest. Also, this ap-plication opens concerns for a dual-use application, especially because the molecules of pharmaceutical interest could also be expoloited for harmful uses. Here, we present recent applications of synthetic biology to produce opioids and cannabinoids in yeast, en-lightening the possibility to produce also lethal molecules such as toxins.

Mycotoxins: a new concern for biosecurity?

Among the biological agents that could be used as weapons, the risk constituted by the use of toxins cannot be underestimated. Although toxins do not share all the characteristics of the other classes of biological agents (e.g. toxins are unable to reproduce themselves in the host, as well they do not result in a communicable disease after the toxication), they can result in severe diseases for humans. Moreover, the release of some classes of toxins, especially of fungal origin (mycotoxins), can result in dramatic effects on the cattle and on the agriculture, affecting the economy and the sustainability of a country. In this paper, the natural outbreaks and the voluntary release of fungal toxins (con-firmed or not), and their inclusion in the bioarsenal of certain countries, will be analyzed by cases studies.

Metals dyshomeostasis in Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review.

Although much is known about pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), available evidence doesn’t explain everything and contiguous hypotheses such as “the brain trace metal dyshomeostasis” take place in order to enlighten the residual part of disease risk. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the currently available studies concerning metal concentration in biological human matrices of AD subjects. All the studies meeting the eligibility criteria showed a large variability of outcomes. Therefore, although there is some evidence of a difference in metal concentration between AD and non-AD subjects, it should be interpreted with caution. Moreover, because of the complex interaction between iron, copper and zinc, it could be worthwhile to focus on studies investigating Cu/Zn, Cu/Fe, and Zn/Fe ratios as possible biomarkers of this effect, instead of concentrating on measuring single metal levels in biological matrices, in particular those with a clear tendency to insignificant variations in AD subjects (e.g. chrome, molybdenum, nickel and tin).

Psychobiotics as integrative therapy for neuropsychiatric disorders with special emphasis on the microbiota-gut-brain axis.

The gut microbiome has a dynamic nature and can be influenced by a variety of factors. The bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain is known as the gut-brain axis. This term has been expanded to microbiota-gut-brain axis, since gut microbiota is of primary importance to this pathway. The focus of this review is the role of gut microbiota in specific neurological disorders and the preventive and therapeutic potential deriving from modulation of gut composition with probiotics in such psychiatric conditions.

Biomarkers of environmental marine pollution for NACCP process along Calabrian coasts.

Environmental pollution is a serious risk factor for human health and for the protection of ecosystems. Aquatic ecosystems are among those most exposed to pollution. The identification of new biomarkers is required to apply the Nutrient, hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (NACCP) process. Recently it has been developed a new method of investigation to evaluate the effects of pollution on the biological component of an ecosystem that assesses physiological state of its populating organisms. The aim of the present study is focusing on reliability of mussels as bioindicator organisms of coastal marine pollution in Calabria.