Hamilton, Cyd E.
This white paper briefly reviews the research literature exploring complex algal communities as a means of increasing algal biomass production via increased tolerance, resilience, and resistance to a variety of abiotic and biotic perturbations occurring within harvesting timescales. This paper identifies what data are available and whether more research utilizing complex communities is needed to explore the potential of complex algal community stability (CACS) approach as a plausible means to increase biomass yields regardless of ecological context and resulting in decreased algal-based fuel prices by reducing operations costs. By reviewing the literature for what we do and do not know, in terms of CACS methodologies, this report will provide guidance for future research addressing pond crash phenomena.
Swift, Joshua K; Derthick, Annie O
Addressing clients' outcome expectations is an important clinical process that can lead to a strong therapeutic alliance, more positive treatment outcomes, and decreased rates of premature termination from psychotherapy. Five interventions designed to foster appropriate outcome expectations are discussed, including presenting a convincing treatment rationale, increasing clients' faith in their therapists, expressing faith in clients, providing outcome education, and comparing progress with expectations. Clinical examples and research support are provided for each. PMID:24000836
Hills, Andrew P; Okely, Anthony D; Baur, Louise A
Obesity is affecting an increasing proportion of children globally. Despite an appreciation that physical activity is essential for the normal growth and development of children and prevents obesity and obesity-related health problems, too few children are physically active. A concurrent problem is that today's young people spend more time than previous generations did in sedentary pursuits, including watching television and engaging in screen-based games. Active behavior has been displaced by these inactive recreational choices, which has contributed to reductions in activity-related energy expenditure. Implementation of multifactorial solutions considered to offer the best chance of combating these trends is urgently required to redress the energy imbalance that characterizes obesity. The counterproductive 'shame and blame' mentality that apportions responsibility for the childhood obesity problem to sufferers, their parents, teachers or health-care providers needs to be changed. Instead, these groups should offer constant support and encouragement to promote appropriate physical activity in children. Failure to provide activity opportunities will increase the likelihood that the children of today will live less healthy (and possibly shorter) lives than their parents. PMID:20736922
Nobre, Carlos; Brasseur, Guy P.; Shapiro, Melvyn; Lahsen, Myanna; Brunet, Gilbert; Busalacchi, Antonio; Hibbard, Kathleen A.; Seitzinger, Sybil; Noone, Kevin; Ometto, Jean P.
This paper highlights the role of the Earth-system biosphere and illustrates the complex: biosphere-atmosphere interactions in the Amazon Basin, changes in nitrogen cycling, ocean chemistry, and land use. It introduces three important requirements for accelerating the development and use of Earth system information. The first requirement is to develop Earth system analysis and prediction models that account for multi-scale physical, chemical and biological processes, including their interactions in the coupled atmosphere-ocean-land-ice system. The development of these models requires partnerships between academia, national research centers, and operational prediction facilities, and builds upon accomplishments in weather and climate predictions. They will highlight the regional aspects of global change, and include modules for water system, agriculture, forestry, energy, air quality, health, etc. The second requirement is to model the interactions between humans and the weather-climate-biogeochemical system. The third requirement is to introduce novel methodologies to account for societal drivers, impacts and feedbacks. This is a challenging endeavor requiring creative solutions and some compromising because human behavior cannot be fully represented within the framework of present-day physical prediction systems.
Anderson, Beth Ellen; Suk, William A.
Background Complex problems do not respect academic disciplinary boundaries. Environmental health research is complex and often moves beyond these boundaries, integrating diverse knowledge resources to solve such challenges. Here we describe an evolving paradigm for interweaving approaches that integrates widely diverse resources outside of traditional academic environments in full partnerships of mutual respect and understanding. We demonstrate that scientists, social scientists, and engineers can work with government agencies, industry, and communities to interweave their expertise into metaphorical knowledge fabrics to share understanding, resources, and enthusiasm. Objective Our goal is to acknowledge and validate how interweaving research approaches can contribute to research-driven, solution-oriented problem solving in environmental health, and to inspire more members of the environmental health community to consider this approach. Discussion The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program (SRP), as mandated by Congress, has evolved to become a program that reaches across a wide range of knowledge resources. SRP fosters interweaving multiple knowledge resources to develop innovative multidirectional partnerships for research and training. Here we describe examples of how motivation, ideas, knowledge, and expertise from different people, institutions, and agencies can integrate to tackle challenges that can be as complex as the resources they bring to bear on it. Conclusions By providing structure for interweaving science with its stakeholders, we are better able to leverage resources, increase potential for innovation, and proactively ensure a more fully developed spectrum of beneficial outcomes of research investments. Citation Anderson BE, Naujokas MF, Suk WA. 2015. Interweaving knowledge resources to address complex environmental health challenges. Environ Health Perspect 123:1095–1099
Jones, Dean P.; Park, Youngja; Ziegler, Thomas R.
Nutritional metabolomics is rapidly maturing to use small molecule chemical profiling to support integration of diet and nutrition in complex biosystems research. These developments are critical to facilitate transition of nutritional sciences from population-based to individual-based criteria for nutritional research, assessment and management. This review addresses progress in making these approaches manageable for nutrition research. Important concept developments concerning the exposome, predictive health and complex pathobiology, serve to emphasize the central role of diet and nutrition in integrated biosystems models of health and disease. Improved analytic tools and databases for targeted and non-targeted metabolic profiling, along with bioinformatics, pathway mapping and computational modeling, are now used for nutrition research on diet, metabolism, microbiome and health associations. These new developments enable metabolome-wide association studies (MWAS) and provide a foundation for nutritional metabolomics, along with genomics, epigenomics and health phenotyping, to support integrated models required for personalized diet and nutrition forecasting. PMID:22540256
Pöppl, Ronald; Turnbull-Lloyd, Laura; Parsons, Anthony; Bracken, Louise; Keesstra, Saskia; Masselink, Rens
"Connectivity thinking" and related concepts have a long history in geomorphology. Since the beginning of the 21st century connectivity research experienced a huge boom in geomorphology as geomorphologists started to develop new concepts on connectivity to better understand the complexity of geomorphic systems and system response to change. However, progress in the field of connectivity in geomorphology has mostly been developing in a parallel manner, resulting in a multiplicity of definitions, concepts and methodological approaches. Nevertheless, a set of common key challenges amongst the different connectivity concepts and approaches used to understand complex geomorphic systems are also evident. In the course of a theory think tank of the COST Action ES1306 (CONNECTEUR - Connecting European Connectivity Research) the following five different key challenges were detected (Turnbull et al., in prep.): (i) defining the fundamental unit, (ii) distinguishing between structural and functional boundaries, (iii) emergent behavior, (iv) memory effects, (v) measuring connectivity. In this presentation we will a) discuss how these key challenges are addressed and approached in connectivity research in geomorphology, b) evaluate ways in which cross-disciplinary advances may be made by exploring potential for a common toolbox approach to the study of connectivity.
Livingood, William C; Allegrante, John P; Airhihenbuwa, Collins O; Clark, Noreen M; Windsor, Richard C; Zimmerman, Marc A; Green, Lawrence W
Complex and dynamic societal factors continue to challenge the capacity of the social and behavioral sciences in preventive medicine and public health to overcome the most seemingly intractable health problems. This paper proposes a fundamental shift from a research approach that presumes to identify (from highly controlled trials) universally applicable interventions expected to be implemented "with fidelity" by practitioners, to an applied social and behavioral science approach similar to that of engineering. Such a shift would build on and complement the recent recommendations of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research and require reformulation of the research-practice dichotomy. It would also require disciplines now engaged in preventive medicine and public health practice to develop a better understanding of systems thinking and the science of application that is sensitive to the complexity, interactivity, and unique elements of community and practice settings. Also needed is a modification of health-related education to ensure that those entering the disciplines develop instincts and capacities as applied scientists. PMID:22011425
Larsen, Danaé S; Tang, Jingyuan; Ferguson, Lynnette R; James, Bryony J
For the first time this study has shown a direct effect of food textural complexity on satiation. Independent of oral processing time, increasing the textural complexity of a food significantly decreased food intake. Foods with complex textures stimulate many sensory perceptions during oral processing, with a succession of textures perceived between first bite and swallow. Previously the impact of texture on satiation (commonly tested by increasing viscosities of semi-solids) has been explained by texture's influence on oral processing time; a long oral processing time enhances satiation. The results of the current study show that subjects in a randomised cross-over trial who consumed a "starter" (preload) model food with high textural complexity went on to eat significantly less of a two course ad libitum meal. Subjects who consumed a "starter" model food with low textural complexity, but with the same flavour, energy density and oral processing time, ate significantly more of the same ad libitum meal. The results show that increasing the number of textures perceived during chewing of a solid food triggers the satiation response earlier than when chewing a less texturally complex food. Increasing textural complexity of manufactured foods, to allow for greater sensory stimulation per bite, could potentially be used as a tool to enhance the satiation response and decrease food intake. PMID:27235823
Medici, C.; Wade, A. J.; Francés, F.
SummaryThe aim of this study was, within a sensitivity analysis framework, to determine if additional model complexity gives a better capability to model the hydrology and nitrogen dynamics of a small Mediterranean forested catchment or if the additional parameters cause over-fitting. Three nitrogen-models of varying hydrological complexity were considered. For each model, general sensitivity analysis (GSA) and Generalized Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) were applied, each based on 100,000 Monte Carlo simulations. The results highlighted the most complex structure as the most appropriate, providing the best representation of the non-linear patterns observed in the flow and streamwater nitrate concentrations between 1999 and 2002. Its 5% and 95% GLUE bounds, obtained considering a multi-objective approach, provide the narrowest band for streamwater nitrogen, which suggests increased model robustness, though all models exhibit periods of inconsistent good and poor fits between simulated outcomes and observed data. The results confirm the importance of the riparian zone in controlling the short-term (daily) streamwater nitrogen dynamics in this catchment but not the overall flux of nitrogen from the catchment. It was also shown that as the complexity of a hydrological model increases over-parameterisation occurs, but the converse is true for a water quality model where additional process representation leads to additional acceptable model simulations. Water quality data help constrain the hydrological representation in process-based models. Increased complexity was justifiable for modelling river-system hydrochemistry. Increased complexity was justifiable for modelling river-system hydrochemistry.
IntroductionThis circular provides an overview of selected activities that were conducted within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Integrated Methods Development Project, an interdisciplinary project designed to develop new tools and conduct innovative research requiring integration of geologic, geophysical, geochemical, and remote-sensing expertise. The project was supported by the USGS Mineral Resources Program, and its products and acquired capabilities have broad applications to missions throughout the USGS and beyond.In addressing challenges associated with understanding the location, quantity, and quality of mineral resources, and in investigating the potential environmental consequences of resource development, a number of field and laboratory capabilities and interpretative methodologies evolved from the project that have applications to traditional resource studies as well as to studies related to ecosystem health, human health, disaster and hazard assessment, and planetary science. New or improved tools and research findings developed within the project have been applied to other projects and activities. Specifically, geophysical equipment and techniques have been applied to a variety of traditional and nontraditional mineral- and energy-resource studies, military applications, environmental investigations, and applied research activities that involve climate change, mapping techniques, and monitoring capabilities. Diverse applied geochemistry activities provide a process-level understanding of the mobility, chemical speciation, and bioavailability of elements, particularly metals and metalloids, in a variety of environmental settings. Imaging spectroscopy capabilities maintained and developed within the project have been applied to traditional resource studies as well as to studies related to ecosystem health, human health, disaster assessment, and planetary science. Brief descriptions of capabilities and laboratory facilities and summaries of some
Yau, Richard; Rape, Michael
Ubiquitylation is essential for signal transduction as well as cell division and differentiation in all eukaryotes. Substrate modifications range from a single ubiquitin molecule to complex polymeric chains, with different types of ubiquitylation often eliciting distinct outcomes. The recent identification of novel chain topologies has improved our understanding of how ubiquitylation establishes precise communication within cells. Here, we discuss how the increasing complexity of ubiquitylation is employed to ensure robust and faithful signal transduction in eukaryotic cells. PMID:27230526
Kucharczyk, Suzanne; Reutebuch, Colleen K.; Carter, Erik W.; Hedges, Susan; El Zein, Farah; Fan, Hannah; Gustafson, Jenny R.
The outcomes of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are driving the field to address how secondary education might be optimally designed and delivered. We conducted 28 focus groups across four states to explore the contexts, considerations, and complexities associated with delivering and combining evidence-based interventions to meet the…
Eisen, Arri; Cimino, Ashley; Aparicio, Hugo; Marsteller, Patricia; Kushner, Howard
Describes an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the strengths of a research and teaching institution to address issues in a complex problem: the study of race, science, and health. The model involved a feedback loop among two undergraduate courses and a weekly seminar. (SLD)
Abu Jbara, Ahmed
Models, created using different modeling techniques, usually serve different purposes and provide unique insights. While each modeling technique might be capable of answering specific questions, complex problems require multiple models interoperating to complement/supplement each other; we call this Multi-Modeling. To address the syntactic and…
Chan, Philip A.; Maher, Justine; Poole, Danielle; Alexander-Scott, Nicole; Ducharme, R. Bobby; Yates, Gail; Benben, Stacey; Nunn, Amy; Comella, Jaime; Bandy, Utpala; Montague, Brian T.; Kojic, Erna; Chapin, Kimberle; Flanigan, Timothy P.
The rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, are increasing across the United States, including in Rhode Island (RI). These STIs affect many otherwise healthy adolescents and young adults, and represent a significant source of morbidity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages states to develop strategies for addressing increasing STI rates in the setting of diminishing public health resources. The RI Department of Health (DOH) works with providers and funded community-based organizations to promote STI screening, expedited partner therapy, and partner services to reduce STI rates. The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center opened a public HIV/STI Clinic, which offers free and confidential testing for HIV, viral hepatitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, as well as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services to prevent HIV. In collaboration with the RI DOH, the Clinic serves as a referral source across the state for complicated STI cases. PMID:25562058
Models of climate change predict increased variability of weather as well as changes in agro-ecology. The increased variability will pose special challenges for nutrition. This study reviews evidence on climate shocks and nutrition and estimates the economic consequences in terms of reduced schooling and economic productivity stemming from nutritional insults in childhood. Panel data covering up to 20 y indicate that that short-term climate shocks have long-term impacts on children that persist, often into their adult lives. Other studies document the potential for relief programs to offset these shocks providing that the programs can be implemented with flexible financing, rapid identification of those affected by the shock, and timely scale-up. The last of these presumes that programs are already in place with contingency plans drawn up. Arguably, direct food distribution, including that of ready-to-use therapeutic food, may be part of the overall strategy. Even if such programs are too expensive for sustainable widespread use in the prevention of malnutrition, scalable food distribution programs may be cost effective to address the heightened risk of malnutrition following weather-related shocks. PMID:19923387
Pregnant African American women are at higher risk for multiple complex health issues, including depression, than their European American counterparts (Canady, Bullen, Holzman, Broman, & Tian, 2008; Martin et al, 2011; Mathews & MacDorman, 2007; Orr, Blazer, & James, 2006; Segre, Losch, & O'Hara, 2006). Various strategies must be used to address depression through preventive care and promotion of access to appropriate mental health services. Nurses and other health care providers need to examine the relationships between the multifactorial problems to improve the health and well-being of pregnant African American women and their unborn children. This article presents a case study demonstrating the use of complexity science theory to understand and prevent poor health outcomes for pregnant African American women with depression and their unborn children. PMID:26050422
Terblanche, Deon; Jalkanen, Liisa
Megacities and Large Urban Complexes - WMO Role in Addressing Challenges and Opportunities Deon E. Terblanche and Liisa Jalkanen email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland The 21st Century could amongst others, become known as the century in which our species has evolved from Homo sapiens to Homo urbanus. By now the urban population has surpassed the rural population and the rate of urbanization will continue at such a pace that by 2050 urban dwellers could outnumber their rural counterpart by more than two to one. Most of this growth in urban population will occur in developing countries and along coastal areas. Urbanization is to a large extent the outcome of humans seeking a better life through improved opportunities presented by high-density communities. Megacities and large urban complexes provide more job opportunities and social structures, better transport and communication links and a relative abundance of physical goods and services when compared to most rural areas. Unfortunately these urban complexes also present numerous social and environmental challenges. Urban areas differ from their surroundings by morphology, population density, and with high concentration of industrial activities, energy consumption and transport. They also pose unique challenges to atmospheric modelling and monitoring and create a multi-disciplinary spectrum of potential threats, including air pollution, which need to be addressed in an integrated way. These areas are also vulnerable to the changing climate and its implications to sea-level and extreme events, air quality and related health impacts. Many urban activities are significantly impacted by weather events that would not be considered to be of high impact in less densely populated areas. For instance, moderate precipitation events can cause flooding and landslides as modified urban catchments generally have higher run-off to rainfall ratios than their more pristine rural
Waddell, Steve; Cornell, Sarah; Hsueh, Joe; Ozer, Ceren; McLachlan, Milla; Birney, Anna
Most action to address contemporary complex challenges, including the urgent issues of global sustainability, occurs piecemeal and without meaningful guidance from leading complex change knowledge and methods. The potential benefit of using such knowledge is greater efficacy of effort and investment. However, this knowledge and its associated tools and methods are under-utilized because understanding about them is low, fragmented between diverse knowledge traditions, and often requires shifts in mindsets and skills from expert-led to participant-based action. We have been engaged in diverse action-oriented research efforts in Large System Change for sustainability. For us, "large" systems can be characterized as large-scale systems - up to global - with many components, of many kinds (physical, biological, institutional, cultural/conceptual), operating at multiple levels, driven by multiple forces, and presenting major challenges for people involved. We see change of such systems as complex challenges, in contrast with simple or complicated problems, or chaotic situations. In other words, issues and sub-systems have unclear boundaries, interact with each other, and are often contradictory; dynamics are non-linear; issues are not "controllable", and "solutions" are "emergent" and often paradoxical. Since choices are opportunity-, power- and value-driven, these social, institutional and cultural factors need to be made explicit in any actionable theory of change. Our emerging network is sharing and building a knowledge base of experience, heuristics, and theories of change from multiple disciplines and practice domains. We will present our views on focal issues for the development of the field of large system change, which include processes of goal-setting and alignment; leverage of systemic transitions and transformation; and the role of choice in influencing critical change processes, when only some sub-systems or levels of the system behave in purposeful ways
Voets, N.L.; Bernhardt, B.C.; Kim, H.; Yoon, U.
Objective: Converging evidence suggests that abnormalities of brain development may play a role in the pathogenesis of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). As sulco-gyral patterns are thought to be a footprint of cortical development, we set out to quantitatively map folding complexity across the neocortex in TLE. Additionally, we tested whether there was a relationship between cortical complexity and features of hippocampal maldevelopment, commonly referred to as malrotation. Methods: To quantify folding complexity, we obtained whole-brain surface-based measures of absolute mean cortical curvature from MRI scans acquired in 43 drug-resistant patients with TLE with unilateral hippocampal atrophy, and 40 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. In patients, we correlated changes in cortical curvature with 3-dimensional measures of hippocampal positioning. Results: We found increased folding complexity in the temporolimbic cortices encompassing parahippocampal, temporopolar, insular, and fronto-opercular regions. Increased complexity was observed ipsilateral to the seizure focus in patients with left TLE (LTLE), whereas these changes were bilateral in patients with right TLE (RTLE). In both TLE groups, increased temporolimbic complexity was associated with increased hippocampal malrotation. We found tendencies for increased complexity in bilateral posterior temporal cortices in LTLE and contralateral parahippocampal cortices in RTLE to be predictive of unfavorable seizure outcome after surgery. Conclusion: The anatomic distribution of increased cortical complexity overlapping with limbic seizure networks in TLE and its association with hippocampal maldevelopment further imply that neurodevelopmental factors may play a role in the epileptogenic process of TLE. PMID:21148116
Iles, Alison C; Novak, Mark
All ecosystems are subjected to chronic disturbances, such as harvest, pollution, and climate change. The capacity to forecast how species respond to such press perturbations is limited by our imprecise knowledge of pairwise species interaction strengths and the many direct and indirect pathways along which perturbations can propagate between species. Network complexity (size and connectance) has thereby been seen to limit the predictability of ecological systems. Here we demonstrate a counteracting mechanism in which the influence of indirect effects declines with increasing network complexity when species interactions are governed by universal allometric constraints. With these constraints, network size and connectance interact to produce a skewed distribution of interaction strengths whose skew becomes more pronounced with increasing complexity. Together, the increased prevalence of weak interactions and the increased relative strength and rarity of strong interactions in complex networks limit disturbance propagation and preserve the qualitative predictability of net effects even when pairwise interaction strengths exhibit substantial variation or uncertainty. PMID:27322124
Wang, Li; Zhang, Xiulan; Liang, Xiaoyun; Bloom, Gerald
The effectiveness of antibiotics in treating bacterial infections is decreasing in China because of the widespread development of resistant organisms. Although China has enacted a number of regulations to address this problem, but the impact is very limited. This paper investigates the implementation of these regulations through the lens of complex adaptive systems (CAS). It presents the findings from reviews of relevant policy documents and published papers. The paper identifies different types of agent and explores their interaction with regard to the use of antibiotics and their responses to changes of the regulations. It focuses particularly on the impact of perverse financial incentives on overall patterns of use of antibiotics. Implications for the possibilities of nonlinear results, interactive relationships, and new pathways of policy implementation are discussed. The paper concludes that policy-makers need to better understand the objectives, incentives and potential adaptive behaviors of the agents when they implement interventions to improve antibiotic use and reduce the risk of emergence of resistant organisms. PMID:27267876
McKeone, Alyssa; Caruso, Lenora; Bettle, Kailyn; Chase, Ashley; Bryson, Bridget; Schneider, Jean S.; Rule, Audrey C.
Gifted learners need opportunities for critical and creative thinking to stretch their minds and imaginations. Strategies for increasing complexity in the four core areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies were addressed using the Common Core and Iowa Core Standards through several methods. Descriptive adjective object…
Pittman, Candice N.; Heiselt, April K.
With the increasing number of students enrolling in distance education, there is a need to consider the accessibility of course materials in online learning environments. Four major groups of disabilities: mobility, auditory, visual, and cognitive are explored as they relate to their implementation into instructional design and their impact on…
Friedrich, Jana; Janssen, Felix; He, Yunchang; Holtappels, Moritz; Konovalov, Sergey; Prien, Ralf; Rehder, Gregor; Stanev, Emil
, and proved highly suitable to resolve oxygen intrusions into highly stratified systems and hence, to identify and localize processes in complex redoxclines. We also present an example of novel technology applied in the Baltic Sea, which would be highly suitable for the Black Sea. The time series recordings of the profiling instrumentation platform GODESS in the Gotland Basin allowed a thorough characterization of oscillating redoxclines as temporally dynamic, three-dimensional systems. Stand-alone static moorings equipped with optical oxygen sensors, current meters, and turbidity sensors allowed to resolve fast oxygen fluctuations at the sediment-water interface due to, e.g., internal waves and Ekman pumping on the Crimean shelf and identified the formation of seasonal (summer) hypoxia as an highly dynamic process on the north-western Black Sea shelf. This comprehensive study within the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and land-locked water bodies", www.hypox.net) was able to address many aspects of hypoxia, e.g., in the Black Sea, and revealed the vital need for dedicated oxygen monitoring programs to adequately address the risk of hypoxia formation and ecosystem response. The challenge in any kind of monitoring is to choose the appropriate approach and technology that is suited to resolve the temporal and spatial scales on which the phenomenon occurs.
Bowen, Zachary H.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Wilson, Juliette T.
The Ecosystem Dynamics Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center offers an interdisciplinary team of talented and creative scientists with expertise in biology, botany, ecology, geology, biogeochemistry, physical sciences, geographic information systems, and remote-sensing, for tackling complex questions about natural resources. As demand for natural resources increases, the issues facing natural resource managers, planners, policy makers, industry, and private landowners are increasing in spatial and temporal scope, often involving entire regions, multiple jurisdictions, and long timeframes. Needs for addressing these issues include (1) a better understanding of biotic and abiotic ecosystem components and their complex interactions; (2) the ability to easily monitor, assess, and visualize the spatially complex movements of animals, plants, water, and elements across highly variable landscapes; and (3) the techniques for accurately predicting both immediate and long-term responses of system components to natural and human-caused change. The overall objectives of our research are to provide the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, state agencies, and other stakeholders in their endeavors to meet the demand for natural resources while conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ecosystem Dynamics scientists use field and laboratory research, data assimilation, and ecological modeling to understand ecosystem patterns, trends, and mechanistic processes. This information is used to predict the outcomes of changes imposed on species, habitats, landscapes, and climate across spatiotemporal scales. The products we develop include conceptual models to illustrate system structure and processes; regional baseline and integrated assessments; predictive spatial and mathematical models; literature syntheses; and frameworks or protocols for improved ecosystem monitoring, adaptive management, and program evaluation. The descriptions
Chouliaras, G.; Drakatos, G.; Makropoulos, K.; Melis, N. S.
Santorini is the most active volcanic complex in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc. To improve the seismological network detectability of the seismicity in this region, the Institute of Geodynamics of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) recently installed 4 portable seismological stations supplementary to the 3 permanent stations operating in the region. The addition of these stations has significantly improved the detectability and reporting of the local seismic activity in the NOA instrumental seismicity catalogue. In this study we analyze quantitatively the seismicity of the Santorini volcanic complex. The results indicate a recent significant reporting increase mainly for events of small magnitude and an increase in the seismicity rate by more than 100%. The mapping of the statistical significance of the rate change with the z-value method reveals that the rate increase exists primarily in the active fault zone perpendicular to the extensional tectonic stress regime that characterizes this region. The spatial distribution of the b-value around the volcanic complex indicates a low b-value distribution parallel to the extensional stress field, while the b-value cross section of the volcanic complex indicates relatively high b-values under the caldera and a significant b-value decrease with depth. These results are found to be in general agreement with the results from other volcanic regions and they encourage further investigations concerning the seismic and volcanic hazard and risk estimates for the Santorini volcanic complex using the NOA earthquake catalogue.
Fait, Philippe E; McFadyen, Bradford J; Zabjek, Karl; Reed, Nick; Taha, Tim; Keightley, Michelle
The objective of this pilot study was to investigate the effects on cognitive performance of progressively adding tasks specific to ice hockey (skating, stick handling, and obstacle avoidance) during a visual interference task (Stroop Color Word Test-interference condition). In addition, the effects on locomotor performance of progressively adding tasks of stickhandling, visual interference, and obstacle avoidance related to maximal skating speed and minimal obstacle clearance were investigated in eight male athletes ages 10 to 12 years. Results revealed decreased performance on both cognitive and physical measures with increased task complexity, suggesting that adding complexity to an environment influences hockey skill performance. PMID:21466078
Eisen, Arri; Hall, Anne; Lee, Tong Soon; Zupko, Jack
A central problem in higher education is how to best develop in students interdisciplinary thinking and application skills necessary to work and engage effectively in the twenty-first century. Traditional university structures make addressing this problem especially challenging. Using as a model courses with diverse perspectives on water taught by…
Bokov, Plamen; Fiamma, Marie-Noëlle; Chevalier-Bidaud, Brigitte; Chenivesse, Cécile; Straus, Christian; Similowski, Thomas; Delclaux, Christophe
It has been hypothesized that hyperventilation disorders could be characterized by an abnormal ventilatory control leading to enhanced variability of resting ventilation. The variability of tidal volume (VT) often depicts a nonnormal distribution that can be described by the negative slope characterizing augmented breaths formed by the relationship between the probability density distribution of VT and VT on a log-log scale. The objectives of this study were to describe the variability of resting ventilation [coefficient of variation (CV) of VT and slope], the stability in respiratory control (loop, controller and plant gains characterizing ventilatory-chemoresponsiveness interactions) and the chaotic-like dynamics (embedding dimension, Kappa values characterizing complexity) of resting ventilation in patients with a well-defined dysfunctional breathing pattern characterized by air hunger and constantly decreased PaCO2 during a cardiopulmonary exercise test. Compared with 14 healthy subjects with similar anthropometrics, 23 patients with hyperventilation were characterized by increased variability of resting tidal ventilation (CV of VT median [interquartile]: 26% [19-35] vs. 36% [28-48], P = 0.020; slope: -6.63 [-7.65; -5.36] vs. -3.88 [-5.91; -2.66], P = 0.004) that was not related to increased chemical drive (loop gain: 0.051 [0.039-0.221] vs. 0.044 [0.012-0.087], P = 0.149) but that was related to an increased ventilatory complexity (Kappa values, P < 0.05). Plant gain was decreased in patients and correlated with complexity (with Kappa 5 - degree 5: Rho = -0.48, P = 0.006). In conclusion, well-defined patients suffering from hyperventilation disorder are characterized by increased variability of their resting ventilation due to increased ventilatory complexity with stable ventilatory-chemoresponsiveness interactions. PMID:26869707
Zhu, Zhenghong; Bowman, Heather R.; Baghdoyan, Helen A.; Lydic, Ralph
Study Objectives: The trigeminal nuclear complex (V) contains cholinergic neurons and includes the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus (PSTN) which receives sensory input from the face and jaw, and the trigeminal motor nucleus (MoV) which innervates the muscles of mastication. Pain associated with pathologies of V is often managed with opioids but no studies have characterized the effect of opioids on acetylcholine (ACh) release in PSTN and MoV. Opioids can increase or decrease ACh release in brainstem nuclei. Therefore, the present experiments tested the 2-tailed hypothesis that microdialysis delivery of opioids to the PSTN and MoV significantly alters ACh release. Design: Using a within-subjects design and isoflurane-anesthetized Wistar rats (n = 53), ACh release in PSTN during microdialysis with Ringer's solution (control) was compared to ACh release during dialysis delivery of the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin, muscarinic agonist bethanechol, opioid agonist morphine, mu opioid agonist DAMGO, antagonists for mu (naloxone) and kappa (nor-binaltorphimine; nor-BNI) opioid receptors, and GABAA antagonist bicuculline. Measurements and Results: Tetrodotoxin decreased ACh, confirming action potential-dependent ACh release. Bethanechol and morphine caused a concentration-dependent increase in PSTN ACh release. The morphine-induced increase in ACh release was blocked by nor-BNI but not by naloxone. Bicuculline delivered to the PSTN also increased ACh release. ACh release in the MoV was increased by morphine, and this increase was not blocked by naloxone or nor-BNI. Conclusions: These data comprise the first direct measures of ACh release in PSTN and MoV and suggest synaptic disinhibition as one possible mechanism by which morphine increases ACh release in the trigeminal nuclei. Citation: Zhu Z; Bowman HR; Baghdoyan HA; Lydic R. Morphine increases acetylcholine release in the trigeminal nuclear complex. SLEEP 2008;31(12):1629–1637. PMID:19090318
Chen, Ho-Wen; Chang, Ni-Bin
This paper emphasizes the use of fuzzy sets for incorporating objective and subjective uncertainties to address coevolutionary alignment of a suite of water resources redistribution alternatives in a transboundary channel-reservoir system. The highlighted decision making complexity arises from the interactions between two neighboring water systems (i.e., the Tseng-Wen and Kao-Ping River Basins, South Taiwan) where a pending diversion plan has been under intensive debate for over a decade. While the local stakeholders make uncertain science linked with uncertain politics resulting in endless delay of the diversion plan, the environmental advocacy groups stress the increasing concern of loss of biological integrity due to changes of land use when sharing water resources across the boundary. Consequently, there is a need to generate a novel integration that enables us to consider a vast number of internal weirs, water intakes, reservoirs, drainage ditches, and transfer pipelines within the basin and bring out the connectivity via diversion between these two neighboring river basins under uncertainty. To explore the managerial implications with varying risk perception and risk attitude, four types of fuzzy operators tailored for the fuzzy multi-objective decision analysis depict greater flexibility in representing the complexity of possible trade-offs among those alternatives. These trade-offs in the multi-objective evaluation context are constrained by physical, chemical, socioeconomic, managerial, and technical factors reflecting the needs for adaptive water resources management. Findings indicates that the use of fuzzy operators is instructive, which could provide unique guidance for enlightening the potential barriers in sustainable water resources management at the regional scale.
Sulentic Dowell, Margaret-Mary
Teaching quality impacts classroom instruction. Teaching is difficult, demanding and draining work; teaching in urban environs exacerbates the difficulties, the demands and the complexities of teaching. Through the eyes of an assistant superintendent, charged with implementing a new vision for literacy teaching and learning, this manuscript…
The St. Louis River represents a complex fishery management problem. Current fishery management goals have to be developed taking into account bi-state commercial, subsistence and recreational fisheries which are valued for different characteristics by a wide range of anglers, as...
The detection of complexity in behavioral outcomes often requires an estimation of their variability over a prolonged time spectrum to assess processes of stability and transformation. Conventional scholarship typically relies on time-independent measures, "snapshots", to analyze those outcomes, assuming that group means and their…
McNamara, K. P.; O'Reilly, S. L.; George, J.; Peterson, G. M.; Jackson, S. L.; Duncan, G.; Howarth, H.; Dunbar, J. A.
Background: Delivery of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention programs by community pharmacists appears effective and enhances health service access. However, their capacity to implement complex behavioural change processes during patient counselling remains largely unexplored. This study aims to determine intervention fidelity by pharmacists…
Moreira, Pedro S.; Sotiropoulos, Ioannis; Silva, Joana; Takashima, Akihiko; Sousa, Nuno; Leite-Almeida, Hugo; Costa, Patrício S.
Background: Cognitive performance is a complex process influenced by multiple factors. Cognitive assessment in experimental animals is often based on longitudinal datasets analyzed using uni- and multi-variate analyses, that do not account for the temporal dimension of cognitive performance and also do not adequately quantify the relative contribution of individual factors onto the overall behavioral outcome. To circumvent these limitations, we applied an Autoregressive Latent Trajectory (ALT) to analyze the Morris water maze (MWM) test in a complex experimental design involving four factors: stress, age, sex, and genotype. Outcomes were compared with a traditional Mixed-Design Factorial ANOVA (MDF ANOVA). Results: In both the MDF ANOVA and ALT models, sex, and stress had a significant effect on learning throughout the 9 days. However, on the ALT approach, the effects of sex were restricted to the learning growth. Unlike the MDF ANOVA, the ALT model revealed the influence of single factors at each specific learning stage and quantified the cross interactions among them. In addition, ALT allows us to consider the influence of baseline performance, a critical and unsolved problem that frequently yields inaccurate interpretations in the classical ANOVA model. Discussion: Our findings suggest the beneficial use of ALT models in the analysis of complex longitudinal datasets offering a better biological interpretation of the interrelationship of the factors that may influence cognitive performance. PMID:26955327
Wu, Ying; Yuan, Huizhong; Tan, Shengjun; Chen, Jian-Qun; Tian, Dacheng; Yang, Haiwang
How the structure and base composition of genes changed with the evolution of vertebrates remains a puzzling question. Here we analyzed 895 orthologous protein-coding genes in six multicellular animals: human, chicken, zebrafish, sea squirt, fruit fly, and worm. Our analyses reveal that many gene regions, particularly intron and 3' UTR, gradually expanded throughout the evolution of vertebrates from their invertebrate ancestors, and that the number of exons per gene increased. Studies based on all protein-coding genes in each genome provide consistent results. We also find that GC-content increased in many gene regions (especially 5' UTR) in the evolution of endotherms, except in coding-exons. Analysis of individual genomes shows that 3' UTR demonstrated stronger length and GC-content correlation with intron than 5' UTR, and gene with large intron in all six species demonstrated relatively similar GC-content. Our data indicates a great increase in complexity in vertebrate genes and we propose that the requirement for morphological and functional changes is probably the driving force behind the evolution of structure and base composition complexity in multicellular animal genes. PMID:21777854
Kostryukova, L V; Sanzhakov, M A; Ignatov, D V; Prozorovskyi, V N; Druzhilovskaya, O S; Kasatkina, E S; Medvedeva, N V; Ipatova, O M
It is known that disorders in the cell functioning of the organs/tissues is accompanied by increased expression of certain receptors. A modern approach to improve the specificity of the drug accumulation in the affected area is to construct the delivery nanosystems with the address fragments. Active tagged transport may help to reduce the dose of the drug, minimizing the impact on healthy cells and organs (reduced adverse events). This approach is particularly important in oncology because of the high toxicity of the drugs used. In this work we have obtained and characterized the pharmaceutical composition of doxorubicin and chlorine e6 into colloidal nanoparticles with synthesized previously targeted conjugates based on folic acid and biotin. On the cell culture Hep G2 it was shown an increase in the internalization of drugs when they were introduced in the incubation medium in the form of drug compositions with transport nanosystems and targeted fragments. PMID:27420624
This article investigates the use of computerized fractal analysis for objective characterization of the complexity of platelets in vitro stimulated by low level thrombin (0.02 U mL(-1) ), collected from healthy individuals and observed by means of transmission electron microscopy. Platelet boundaries were extracted by means of automatically image analysis. Local fractal dimension was evaluated by the box-counting technique (measure of geometric complexity of the platelet outline). The results showed that the platelet boundary is fractal when observed by transmission electron microscopy and that, after an in vitro platelet activation test, the shape of platelets present increased geometric complexity in comparison to the no stimulated platelets (P < 0.001), with 100% correct classification. Computerized fractal analysis of platelet shape by transmission electron microscopy can provide accurate, quantitative, data to study platelet activation. The results may play important roles in the evaluation of the platelets status in pathological conditions, like as atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus, where in in vivo activated platelets have been described. PMID:25808036
Background Many challenges arise in complex organizational interventions that threaten research integrity. This article describes a Tool for Evaluating Research Implementation Challenges (TECH), developed using a complexity science framework to assist research teams in assessing and managing these challenges. Methods During the implementation of a multi-site, randomized controlled trial (RCT) of organizational interventions to reduce resident falls in eight nursing homes, we inductively developed, and later codified the TECH. The TECH was developed through processes that emerged from interactions among research team members and nursing home staff participants, including a purposive use of complexity science principles. Results The TECH provided a structure to assess challenges systematically, consider their potential impact on intervention feasibility and fidelity, and determine actions to take. We codified the process into an algorithm that can be adopted or adapted for other research projects. We present selected examples of the use of the TECH that are relevant to many complex interventions. Conclusions Complexity theory provides a useful lens through which research procedures can be developed to address implementation challenges that emerge from complex organizations and research designs. Sense-making is a group process in which diverse members interpret challenges when available information is ambiguous; the groups’ interpretations provide cues for taking action. Sense-making facilitates the creation of safe environments for generating innovative solutions that balance research integrity and practical issues. The challenges encountered during implementation of complex interventions are often unpredictable; however, adoption of a systematic process will allow investigators to address them in a consistent yet flexible manner, protecting fidelity. Research integrity is also protected by allowing for appropriate adaptations to intervention protocols that
Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çağatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; Gilli, A.; Gomoiu, M. T.; Hall, P. O. J.; Hansson, D.; He, Y.; Holtappels, M.; Kirf, M. K.; Kononets, M.; Konovalov, S.; Lichtschlag, A.; Livingstone, D. M.; Marinaro, G.; Mazlumyan, S.; Naeher, S.; North, R. P.; Papatheodorou, G.; Pfannkuche, O.; Prien, R.; Rehder, G.; Schubert, C. J.; Soltwedel, T.; Sommer, S.; Stahl, H.; Stanev, E. V.; Teaca, A.; Tengberg, A.; Waldmann, C.; Wehrli, B.; Wenzhöfer, F.
In this paper we synthesize the new knowledge on oxygen and oxygen-related phenomena in aquatic systems, resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and land-locked water bodies", www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analysed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and in Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems are discussed. Geologically-driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale submicromolar oxygen distributions were resolved. Existing multi-decadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales not resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where natural and anthropogenic hypoxia overlap. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on microbially-mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of
Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çagatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; Gilli, A.; Gomoiu, M. T.; Hall, P. O. J.; Hansson, D.; He, Y.; Holtappels, M.; Kirf, M. K.; Kononets, M.; Konovalov, S.; Lichtschlag, A.; Livingstone, D. M.; Marinaro, G.; Mazlumyan, S.; Naeher, S.; North, R. P.; Papatheodorou, G.; Pfannkuche, O.; Prien, R.; Rehder, G.; Schubert, C. J.; Soltwedel, T.; Sommer, S.; Stahl, H.; Stanev, E. V.; Teaca, A.; Tengberg, A.; Waldmann, C.; Wehrli, B.; Wenzhöfer, F.
In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated
Nespoli, Ester; Rizzo, Francesca; Boeckers, Tobias M; Hengerer, Bastian; Ludolph, Andrea G
Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by fluctuating motor and vocal tics, usually preceded by sensory premonitions, called premonitory urges. Besides tics, the vast majority-up to 90%-of TS patients suffer from psychiatric comorbidities, mainly attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The etiology of TS remains elusive. Genetics is believed to play an important role, but it is clear that other factors contribute to TS, possibly altering brain functioning and architecture during a sensitive phase of neural development. Clinical brain imaging and genetic studies have contributed to elucidate TS pathophysiology and disease mechanisms; however, TS disease etiology still is poorly understood. Findings from genetic studies led to the development of genetic animal models, but they poorly reflect the pathophysiology of TS. Addressing the role of neurotransmission, brain regions, and brain circuits in TS disease pathomechanisms is another focus area for preclinical TS model development. We are now in an interesting moment in time when numerous innovative animal models are continuously brought to the attention of the public. Due to the diverse and largely unknown etiology of TS, there is no single preclinical model featuring all different aspects of TS symptomatology. TS has been dissected into its key symptomst hat have been investigated separately, in line with the Research Domain Criteria concept. The different rationales used to develop the respective animal models are critically reviewed, to discuss the potential of the contribution of animal models to elucidate TS disease mechanisms. PMID:27092043
Nespoli, Ester; Rizzo, Francesca; Boeckers, Tobias M.; Hengerer, Bastian; Ludolph, Andrea G.
Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by fluctuating motor and vocal tics, usually preceded by sensory premonitions, called premonitory urges. Besides tics, the vast majority—up to 90%—of TS patients suffer from psychiatric comorbidities, mainly attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The etiology of TS remains elusive. Genetics is believed to play an important role, but it is clear that other factors contribute to TS, possibly altering brain functioning and architecture during a sensitive phase of neural development. Clinical brain imaging and genetic studies have contributed to elucidate TS pathophysiology and disease mechanisms; however, TS disease etiology still is poorly understood. Findings from genetic studies led to the development of genetic animal models, but they poorly reflect the pathophysiology of TS. Addressing the role of neurotransmission, brain regions, and brain circuits in TS disease pathomechanisms is another focus area for preclinical TS model development. We are now in an interesting moment in time when numerous innovative animal models are continuously brought to the attention of the public. Due to the diverse and largely unknown etiology of TS, there is no single preclinical model featuring all different aspects of TS symptomatology. TS has been dissected into its key symptomst hat have been investigated separately, in line with the Research Domain Criteria concept. The different rationales used to develop the respective animal models are critically reviewed, to discuss the potential of the contribution of animal models to elucidate TS disease mechanisms. PMID:27092043
Sani-Kast, Nicole; Scheringer, Martin; Slomberg, Danielle; Labille, Jérôme; Praetorius, Antonia; Ollivier, Patrick; Hungerbühler, Konrad
Engineered nanoparticle (ENP) fate models developed to date - aimed at predicting ENP concentration in the aqueous environment - have limited applicability because they employ constant environmental conditions along the modeled system or a highly specific environmental representation; both approaches do not show the effects of spatial and/or temporal variability. To address this conceptual gap, we developed a novel modeling strategy that: 1) incorporates spatial variability in environmental conditions in an existing ENP fate model; and 2) analyzes the effect of a wide range of randomly sampled environmental conditions (representing variations in water chemistry). This approach was employed to investigate the transport of nano-TiO2 in the Lower Rhône River (France) under numerous sets of environmental conditions. The predicted spatial concentration profiles of nano-TiO2 were then grouped according to their similarity by using cluster analysis. The analysis resulted in a small number of clusters representing groups of spatial concentration profiles. All clusters show nano-TiO2 accumulation in the sediment layer, supporting results from previous studies. Analysis of the characteristic features of each cluster demonstrated a strong association between the water conditions in regions close to the ENP emission source and the cluster membership of the corresponding spatial concentration profiles. In particular, water compositions favoring heteroaggregation between the ENPs and suspended particulate matter resulted in clusters of low variability. These conditions are, therefore, reliable predictors of the eventual fate of the modeled ENPs. The conclusions from this study are also valid for ENP fate in other large river systems. Our results, therefore, shift the focus of future modeling and experimental research of ENP environmental fate to the water characteristic in regions near the expected ENP emission sources. Under conditions favoring heteroaggregation in these
Muenzner, Julienne K; Biersack, Bernhard; Kalie, Hussein; Andronache, Ion C; Kaps, Leonard; Schuppan, Detlef; Sasse, Florenz; Schobert, Rainer
Gold N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) complexes are an emerging class of anticancer drugs. We present a series of gold(I) biscarbene complexes with NHC ligands derived from the plant metabolite combretastatin A-4 (CA-4) that retain its vascular-disrupting effect, yet address different cellular and protein targets. Unlike CA-4, these complexes did not interfere with tubulin, but with the actin cytoskeleton of endothelial and cancer cells. For the highly metastatic 518A2 melanoma cell line this effect was accompanied by a marked accumulation of cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and a suppression of active prometastatic matrix metalloproteinase-2. Despite these mechanistic differences the complexes were as strongly antivascular as CA-4 both in vitro in tube formation assays with human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and in vivo as to blood vessel disruption in the chorioallantoic membrane of chicken eggs. The antiproliferative effect of the new gold biscarbene complexes in a panel of six human cancer cell lines was impressive, with low sub-micromolar IC50 values (72 h) even against CA-4-refractory HT-29 colon and multidrug-resistant MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells. In preliminary studies with a mouse melanoma xenograft model the complexes led to significant decreases in tumor volume while being very well tolerated. PMID:24648184
Turrin, M.; Kenna, T. C.
The new NGSS provide an important opportunity for scientists to develop curriculum that links the practice of science to research-based data in order to improve understanding in areas of science that are both complex and confusing. Our curriculum focuses in particular on the fate and transport of anthropogenic radionuclides. Radioactivity, both naturally occurring and anthropogenic, is highly debated and largely misunderstood, and for large sections of the population is a source of scientific misunderstanding. Developed as part of the international GEOTRACES project which focuses on identifying ocean processes and quantifying fluxes that control the distributions of selected trace elements and isotopes in the ocean, and on establishing the sensitivity of these distributions to changing environmental conditions, the curriculum topic fits nicely into the applied focus of NGSS with both environmental and topical relevance. Our curriculum design focuses on small group discussion driven by questions, yet unlike more traditional curriculum pieces these are not questions posed to the students, rather they are questions posed by the students to facilitate their deeper understanding. Our curriculum design challenges the traditional question/answer memorization approach to instruction as we strive to develop an educational approach that supports the practice of science as well as the NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts and the Science & Engineering Practices. Our goal is for students to develop a methodology they can employ when faced with a complex scientific issue. Through background readings and team discussions they identify what type of information is important for them to know and where to find a reliable source for that information. Framing their discovery around key questions such as "What type of radioactive decay are we dealing with?", "What is the potential half-life of the isotope?", and "What are the pathways of transport of radioactivity?" allows students to evaluate a
Drehobl, Patricia; Stover, Beth H; Koo, Denise
The public health workforce is vital to protecting the health and safety of the public, yet for years, state and local governmental public health agencies have reported substantial workforce losses and other challenges to the workforce that threaten the public's health. These challenges are complex, often involve multiple influencing or related causal factors, and demand comprehensive solutions. However, proposed solutions often focus on selected factors and might be fragmented rather than comprehensive. This paper describes approaches to characterizing the situation more comprehensively and includes two visual tools: (1) a fishbone, or Ishikawa, diagram that depicts multiple factors affecting the public health workforce; and (2) a roadmap that displays key elements-goals and strategies-to strengthen the public health workforce, thus moving from the problems depicted in the fishbone toward solutions. The visual tools aid thinking about ways to strengthen the public health workforce through collective solutions and to help leverage resources and build on each other's work. The strategic roadmap is intended to serve as a dynamic tool for partnership, prioritization, and gap assessment. These tools reflect and support CDC's commitment to working with partners on the highest priorities for strengthening the workforce to improve the public's health. PMID:25439245
Mittal, Sparsh; Vetter, Jeffrey S
To address the limitations of SRAM such as high-leakage and low-density, researchers have explored use of non-volatile memory (NVM) devices, such as ReRAM (resistive RAM) and STT-RAM (spin transfer torque RAM) for designing on-chip caches. A crucial limitation of NVMs, however, is that their write endurance is low and the large intra-set write variation introduced by existing cache management policies may further exacerbate this problem, thereby reducing the cache lifetime significantly. We present EqualChance, a technique to increase cache lifetime by reducing intra-set write variation. EqualChance works by periodically changing the physical cache-block location of a write-intensive data item within a set to achieve wear-leveling. Simulations using workloads from SPEC CPU2006 suite and HPC (high-performance computing) field show that EqualChance improves the cache lifetime by 4.29X. Also, its implementation overhead is small, and it incurs very small performance and energy loss.
Langbeheim, Elon; Safran, Samuel A.; Livne, Shelly; Yerushalmi, Edit
We analyze the development in students’ understanding of fundamental principles in the context of learning a current interdisciplinary research topic—soft matter—that was adapted to the level of high school students. The topic was introduced in a program for interested 11th grade high school students majoring in chemistry and/or physics, in an off-school setting. Soft matter was presented in a gradual increase in the degree of complexity of the phenomena as well as in the level of the quantitative analysis. We describe the evolution in students’ use of fundamental thermodynamics principles to reason about phase separation—a phenomenon that is ubiquitous in soft matter. In particular, we examine the impact of the use of free energy analysis, a common approach in soft matter, on the understanding of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The study used diagnostic questions and classroom observations to gauge the student’s learning. In order to gain insight on the aspects that shape the understanding of the basic principles, we focus on the responses and explanations of two case-study students who represent two trends of evolution in conceptual understanding in the group. We analyze changes in the two case studies’ management of conceptual resources used in their analysis of phase separation, and suggest how their prior knowledge and epistemological framing (a combination of their personal tendencies and their prior exposure to different learning styles) affect their conceptual evolution. Finally, we propose strategies to improve the instruction of these concepts.
Jeanson, A.; Dahou, S.; Guillaumont, D.; Moisy, P.; Den Auwer, C.; Scheinost, A.; Hennig, C.; Vidaud, C.; Subra, G.; Solari, P. L.
The complexation of thorium, neptunium and plutonium at oxidation state +IV with three ligands of increasing complexity has been investigated. These ligands are relevant for bio inorganic systems. The first ligand is the small nitrilotriacetic acid that often play the role of protecting ligands against hydrolysis. EXAFS results for the Th to Pu series have been correlated to quantum chemical calculations and show an homogeneous behavior of the actinide at oxidation state +IV. For larger ligands, steric effects may become significant and one can ask how the ligand may accommodate the large actinide cation coordination sphere. Model pentapeptides have been synthesized and tested as complexing agents. Comparison with NTA shows that the molecular arrangements are radically different. The third ligand system is transferrin, a diferric metalloptrotein that is well known to coordinate a large variety of cations from transition metals of f-elements. Metalloproteins bear primary, secondary and tertiary structures that all play a crucial role in bonding. At a given oxidation state (+IV), but for various atomic numbers (Th, Np, Pu) EXAFS data at the cation LIII edge exhibit significant coordination discrepancies that are related to a changes in protein geometry. In that sense, the metalloprotein may be viewed as a complex system.
Hood, Leroy E.; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Moritz, Robert L.; Aebersold, Ruedi; Yamamoto, Keith R.; Amos, Michael; Hunter-Cevera, Jennie; Locascio, Laurie
This White Paper sets out a Life Sciences Grand Challenge for Proteomics Technologies to enhance our understanding of complex biological systems, link genomes with phenotypes, and bring broad benefits to the biosciences and the US economy. The paper is based on a workshop hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, 14–15 February 2011, with participants from many federal R&D agencies and research communities, under the aegis of the US National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Opportunities are identified for a coordinated R&D effort to achieve major technology-based goals and address societal challenges in health, agriculture, nutrition, energy, environment, national security, and economic development. PMID:22807061
Cornell, R F; Kassim, A A
The use of modern therapies such as thalidomide, bortezomib and lenalidomide coupled with upfront high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) has resulted in improved survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). However, patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) often have poorer clinical outcomes and might benefit from novel therapeutic strategies. Emerging therapies, such as deacetylase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies and new proteasome inhibitors, appear promising and may change the therapeutic landscape in RRMM. A limited number of studies has shown a benefit with salvage ASCT in patients with RRMM, although there remains ongoing debate about its timing and effectiveness. Improvement in transplant outcomes has re-ignited a debate on the timing and possible role for salvage ASCT and allogeneic stem cell transplant in RRMM. As the treatment options for management of patients with RRMM become increasingly complex, physicians must consider both disease- and patient-related factors in choosing the appropriate therapeutic approach, with the goal of improving efficacy while minimizing toxicity. PMID:26726946
Cornell, R F; Kassim, A A
The use of modern therapies such as thalidomide, bortezomib and lenalidomide coupled with upfront high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) has resulted in improved survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). However, patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) often have poorer clinical outcomes and might benefit from novel therapeutic strategies. Emerging therapies, such as deacetylase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies and new proteasome inhibitors, appear promising and may change the therapeutic landscape in RRMM. A limited number of studies has shown a benefit with salvage ASCT in patients with RRMM, although there remains ongoing debate about its timing and effectiveness. Improvement in transplant outcomes has re-ignited a debate on the timing and possible role for salvage ASCT and allogeneic stem cell transplant in RRMM. As the treatment options for management of patients with RRMM become increasingly complex, physicians must consider both disease- and patient-related factors in choosing the appropriate therapeutic approach, with the goal of improving efficacy while minimizing toxicity. PMID:26726946
Seponski, Desiree M; Lewis, Denise C; Megginson, Maegan C
Mental health issues are significant contributors to the global burden of disease with the highest incidence in resource poor countries; 90% of those in need of mental health treatment reside in low resource countries but receive only 10% of the world's resources. Cambodia, the eighth least developed country in the world, serves as one example of the need to address mental health concerns in low-income, resource poor countries. The current study utilises responsive evaluation methodology to explore how poverty-stricken Cambodian clients, therapists and supervisors experience Western models of therapy as culturally responsive to their unique needs. Quantitative and qualitative data were triangulated across multiple stakeholders using numerous methods including a focus group, interviews, surveys, case illustrations and live supervision observation and analysed using constant comparative analysis. Emerging findings suggest that poverty, material needs, therapy location and financial situations greatly impact the daily lives and mental health conditions of Cambodians and hinder clients' therapeutic progress. The local community needs and context of poverty greatly hinder clients' therapeutic progress in therapy treatment and when therapy does not directly address the culture of poverty, clients did not experience therapy as valuable despite some temporary decreases in mental health symptoms. PMID:25204750
Hauton, Chris; Hudspith, Meggie; Gunton, Laetitia
Future expansion of the crustacean aquaculture industry will be required to ensure global food security. However, this expansion must ensure: (a) that natural resources (including habitat use and fish meal) are sustainably exploited, (b) that the socio-economic development of producing nations is safeguarded, and (c) that the challenge presented by crustacean diseases is adequately met. Conventionally, the problem of disease in crustacean aquaculture has been addressed through prophylactic administration of stimulants, additives or probiotics. However, these approaches have been questioned both experimentally and philosophically. In this review, we argue that real progress in the field of crustacean immune stimulants has now slowed, with only incremental advances now being made. We further contend that an overt focus on the immune effector response has been misguided. In light of the wealth of new data reporting immune system complexity, a more refined approach is necessary - one that must consider the important role played by pattern recognition proteins. In support of this more refined approach, there is now a much greater requirement for the reporting of essential metadata. We propose a broad series of recommendations regarding the 'Minimum Information required to support a Stimulant Assessment experiment' (MISA guidelines) to foster new progression within the field. PMID:24796867
Zaytsev, Yury V.; Morrison, Abigail
High quality neuroscience research requires accurate, reliable and well maintained neuroinformatics applications. As software projects become larger, offering more functionality and developing a denser web of interdependence between their component parts, we need more sophisticated methods to manage their complexity. If complexity is allowed to get out of hand, either the quality of the software or the speed of development suffer, and in many cases both. To address this issue, here we develop a scalable, low-cost and open source solution for continuous integration (CI), a technique which ensures the quality of changes to the code base during the development procedure, rather than relying on a pre-release integration phase. We demonstrate that a CI-based workflow, due to rapid feedback about code integration problems and tracking of code health measures, enabled substantial increases in productivity for a major neuroinformatics project and additional benefits for three further projects. Beyond the scope of the current study, we identify multiple areas in which CI can be employed to further increase the quality of neuroinformatics projects by improving development practices and incorporating appropriate development tools. Finally, we discuss what measures can be taken to lower the barrier for developers of neuroinformatics applications to adopt this useful technique. PMID:23316158
Montoya, D.; Yallop, M.L.; Memmott, J.
Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group diversity is heterogeneously distributed across spatial scales, with some islands hosting more functional groups than others. Functional groups form modules within the community so that food webs with more modular architectures have more functional group diversity. Further, in communities with different interaction types, modularity can be seen as the multifunctional equivalent of trophic complementarity. Collectively, these findings reveal spatial heterogeneity in the number of functional groups that emerges from patterns in the structure of the food web. PMID:26059871
The existence of functional biological organization at the level of multi-species communities has long been contested in ecology and evolutionary biology. I found that adding a trophic level to simulated ecological communities enhanced their ability to compete at the community level, increasing the likelihood of one community forcing all or most species in a second community to extinction. Community-level identity emerged within systems of interacting ecological networks, while competitive ability at the community level was enhanced by intense within-community selection pressure. These results suggest a reassessment of the nature of biological organization above the level of species, indicating that the drive toward biological integration, so prominent throughout the history of life, might extend to multi-species communities. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Frempong, Kwadwo K.; Walker, Martin; Cheke, Robert A.; Tetevi, Edward Jenner; Gyan, Ernest Tawiah; Owusu, Ebenezer O.; Wilson, Michael D.; Boakye, Daniel A.; Taylor, Mark J.; Biritwum, Nana-Kwadwo; Osei-Atweneboana, Mike; Basáñez, María-Gloria
Background. Several African countries have adopted a biannual ivermectin distribution strategy in some foci to control and eliminate onchocerciasis. In 2010, the Ghana Health Service started biannual distribution to combat transmission hotspots and suboptimal responses to treatment. We assessed the epidemiological impact of the first 3 years of this strategy and quantified responses to ivermectin over 2 consecutive rounds of treatment in 10 sentinel communities. Methods. We evaluated Onchocerca volvulus community microfilarial intensity and prevalence in persons aged ≥20 years before the first, second, and fifth (or sixth) biannual treatment rounds using skin snip data from 956 participants. We used longitudinal regression modeling to estimate rates of microfilarial repopulation of the skin in a cohort of 217 participants who were followed up over the first 2 rounds of biannual treatment. Results. Biannual treatment has had a positive impact, with substantial reductions in infection intensity after 4 or 5 rounds in most communities. We identified 3 communities—all having been previously recognized as responding suboptimally to ivermectin—with statistically significantly high microfilarial repopulation rates. We did not find any clear association between microfilarial repopulation rate and the number of years of prior intervention, coverage, or the community level of infection. Conclusions. The strategy of biannual ivermectin treatment in Ghana has reduced O. volvulus microfilarial intensity and prevalence, but suboptimal responses to treatment remain evident in a number of previously and consistently implicated communities. Whether increasing the frequency of treatment will be sufficient to meet the World Health Organization's 2020 elimination goals remains uncertain. PMID:27001801
Component-Based and Whole-Mixtures Assessments in Addressing the Unidentified Fraction of Complex Mixtures: Drinking Water as an Example
J. E. Simmons; L. K. Teuschler; C. Gennings; T. F. Speth; S. D. Richardson; R. J. Miltner; M. G. Narotsky; K. D. Schenck; G. Rice
Kramer, Betty J
This study examined social workers' roles in caring for low-income elders with advanced chronic disease in an innovative, community-based managed care program, from the perspective of elders, family, team members, and social workers. The results are drawn from a larger longitudinal, multimethod case study. Sources of data include survey reports of needs addressed by social workers for 120 deceased elders, five focus groups with interdisciplinary team members, and in-depth interviews with 14 elders and 10 of their family caregivers. A thematic conceptual matrix was developed to detail 32 distinctive social work roles that address divergent needs of elders, family, and team members. Distinctive perceptions of social workers' roles were identified for the different stakeholder groups (i.e., elders, family caregivers, team members, and social workers). Findings from this study may inform supervisors and educators regarding training needs of those preparing to enter the rapidly growing workforce of gerontological social workers who may be called upon to care for elders at the end of life. Training is particularly warranted to help social workers gain the skills needed to more successfully treat symptom management, depression, anxiety, agitation, grief, funeral planning, and spiritual needs that are common to the end of life. PMID:24295099
Burman, Christopher J; Moerschell, Linda; Mamabolo, Robert; Aphane, Marota; Delobelle, Peter
This article argues that decision making is a discrete social driver that can be associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Limpopo province in South Africa. The authors argue that complexity science can inform future research and interventions by presenting two decision making frameworks arising out of complexity science that have the potential to enable young people to better negotiate decision-making contexts whilst simultaneously opening spaces of dialogue that can mitigate the impact of HIV-risk in specific, punctuated contexts. The methodological design was prompted by findings from youth-oriented community engagement projects that include Communication Conversations and Sex & Relationships Education. The proposed methods have the potential to exploit the phenomenon of leadership emergence as a product of decision making at critical moments. This has the potential to promote the growth of home-grown leadership skill sets that make sense to young people and to enable them better manage their own health, thus reducing risk and vulnerability to HIV infection and sexual violence. PMID:25920986
Park, Kyu Ree; Park, Chan Sol; Kim, Beob Gyun
Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of enzyme complex on in vitro dry matter (DM) digestibility for feed ingredients. The objective of experiment 1 was to screen feed ingredients that can be effective substrates for an enzyme complex, mainly consisted of β-pentosanase, β-glucanase and α-amylase, using in vitro digestibility methods. In experiment 1, the test ingredients were three grain sources (barley, corn and wheat) and six protein supplements (canola meal, copra expellers, cottonseed meal, distillers dried grains with solubles, palm kernel expellers and soybean meal). In vitro ileal and total tract digestibility (IVID and IVTTD, respectively) of DM for test ingredients were determined. In vitro digestibility methods consisted of two- or three-step procedure simulating in vivo digestion in the pig gastrointestinal tracts with or without enzyme complex. As the enzyme complex added, the IVID of DM for corn and wheat increased (p < 0.05) by 5.0 and 2.6 percentage unit, respectively. The IVTTD of DM for corn increased (p < 0.05) by 3.1 percentage unit with enzyme complex addition. As the effect of enzyme complex was the greatest in corn digestibility, corn grains were selected to determine the in vitro digestibility of the fractions (starch, germ, hull and gluten) that maximally respond to the enzyme complex in experiment 2. The IVID of DM for corn starch, germ and hull increased (p < 0.05) by 16.0, 2.8 and 1.2 percentage unit, respectively. The IVTTD of DM for corn starch and hull also increased (p < 0.05) by 8.6 and 0.9 percentage unit, respectively, with enzyme complex addition. In conclusion, the enzyme complex increases in vitro DM digestibility of corn and wheat, and the digestibility increments of corn are mainly attributed to the increased digestibility of corn starch. PMID:27247894
The Secretary of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare serves as Chair of the Executive Council of the International Institute for Population Sciences in Bombay. She addressed its 35th convocation in 1993. Global population stands at 5.43 billion and increases by about 90 million people each year. 84 million of these new people are born in developing countries. India contributes 17 million new people annually. The annual population growth rate in India is about 2%. Its population size will probably surpass 1 billion by the 2000. High population growth rates are a leading obstacle to socioeconomic development in developing countries. Governments of many developing countries recognize this problem and have expanded their family planning programs to stabilize population growth. Asian countries that have done so and have completed the fertility transition include China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. Burma, Malaysia, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam have not yet completed the transition. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Nepal, and Pakistan are half-way through the transition. High population growth rates put pressure on land by fragmenting finite land resources, increasing the number of landless laborers and unemployment, and by causing considerable rural-urban migration. All these factors bring about social stress and burden civic services. India has reduced its total fertility rate from 5.2 to 3.9 between 1971 and 1991. Some Indian states have already achieved replacement fertility. Considerable disparity in socioeconomic development exists among states and districts. For example, the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have female literacy rates lower than 27%, while that for Kerala is 87%. Overall, infant mortality has fallen from 110 to 80 between 1981 and 1990. In Uttar Pradesh, it has fallen from 150 to 98, while it is at 17 in Kerala. India needs innovative approaches to increase contraceptive prevalence rates
Ehrler, Frederic; Lovis, Christian; Blondon, Katherine
Recent studies on workflow processes in hospital settings have shown that, since the introduction of EHRs, care-providers spend an increasing amount of their time on documentation rather than on bedside patient care. In order to improve the bedside work process and facilitate bedside documentation, we are developing an evidence-based mobile app for healthcare providers. In this paper, we present a tailored software development life cycle model that we created and validated during the design and development of this smartphone application. PMID:27577371
Gaur, Vidhi; Connor, Timothy; Sanigorski, Andrew; Martin, Sheree D; Bruce, Clinton R; Henstridge, Darren C; Bond, Simon T; McEwen, Kevin A; Kerr-Bayles, Lyndal; Ashton, Trent D; Fleming, Cassandra; Wu, Min; Pike Winer, Lisa S; Chen, Denise; Hudson, Gregg M; Schwabe, John W R; Baar, Keith; Febbraio, Mark A; Gregorevic, Paul; Pfeffer, Frederick M; Walder, Ken R; Hargreaves, Mark; McGee, Sean L
Drugs that recapitulate aspects of the exercise adaptive response have the potential to provide better treatment for diseases associated with physical inactivity. We previously observed reduced skeletal muscle class IIa HDAC (histone deacetylase) transcriptional repressive activity during exercise. Here, we find that exercise-like adaptations are induced by skeletal muscle expression of class IIa HDAC mutants that cannot form a corepressor complex. Adaptations include increased metabolic gene expression, mitochondrial capacity, and lipid oxidation. An existing HDAC inhibitor, Scriptaid, had similar phenotypic effects through disruption of the class IIa HDAC corepressor complex. Acute Scriptaid administration to mice increased the expression of metabolic genes, which required an intact class IIa HDAC corepressor complex. Chronic Scriptaid administration increased exercise capacity, whole-body energy expenditure and lipid oxidation, and reduced fasting blood lipids and glucose. Therefore, compounds that disrupt class IIa HDAC function could be used to enhance metabolic health in chronic diseases driven by physical inactivity. PMID:27626651
Sommer, Maik S.; Schleiff, Enrico
With increasing intracellular complexity, a new cell-biological problem that is the allocation of cytoplasmically synthesized proteins to their final destinations within the cell emerged. A special challenge is thereby the translocation of proteins into or across cellular membranes. The underlying mechanisms are only in parts well understood, but it can be assumed that the course of cellular evolution had a deep impact on the design of the required molecular machines. In this article, we aim to summarize the current knowledge and concepts of the evolutionary development of protein trafficking as a necessary premise and consequence of increased cellular complexity. PMID:25085907
Positive Psychology Interventions Addressing Pleasure, Engagement, Meaning, Positive Relationships, and Accomplishment Increase Well-Being and Ameliorate Depressive Symptoms: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Online Study
Gander, Fabian; Proyer, René T.; Ruch, Willibald
Seligman (2002) suggested three paths to well-being, the pursuit of pleasure, the pursuit of meaning, and the pursuit of engagement, later adding two more, positive relationships and accomplishment, in his 2011 version. The contribution of these new components to well-being has yet to be addressed. In an online positive psychology intervention study, we randomly assigned 1624 adults aged 18–78 (M = 46.13; 79.2% women) to seven conditions. Participants wrote down three things they related to either one of the five components of Seligman's Well-Being theory (Conditions 1–5), all of the five components (Condition 6) or early childhood memories (placebo control condition). We assessed happiness (AHI) and depression (CES-D) before and after the intervention, and 1-, 3-, and 6 months afterwards. Additionally, we considered moderation effects of well-being levels at baseline. Results confirmed that all interventions were effective in increasing happiness and most ameliorated depressive symptoms. The interventions worked best for those in the middle-range of the well-being continuum. We conclude that interventions based on pleasure, engagement, meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment are effective strategies for increasing well-being and ameliorating depressive symptoms and that positive psychology interventions are most effective for those people in the middle range of the well-being continuum. PMID:27242600
Positive Psychology Interventions Addressing Pleasure, Engagement, Meaning, Positive Relationships, and Accomplishment Increase Well-Being and Ameliorate Depressive Symptoms: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Online Study.
Gander, Fabian; Proyer, René T; Ruch, Willibald
Seligman (2002) suggested three paths to well-being, the pursuit of pleasure, the pursuit of meaning, and the pursuit of engagement, later adding two more, positive relationships and accomplishment, in his 2011 version. The contribution of these new components to well-being has yet to be addressed. In an online positive psychology intervention study, we randomly assigned 1624 adults aged 18-78 (M = 46.13; 79.2% women) to seven conditions. Participants wrote down three things they related to either one of the five components of Seligman's Well-Being theory (Conditions 1-5), all of the five components (Condition 6) or early childhood memories (placebo control condition). We assessed happiness (AHI) and depression (CES-D) before and after the intervention, and 1-, 3-, and 6 months afterwards. Additionally, we considered moderation effects of well-being levels at baseline. Results confirmed that all interventions were effective in increasing happiness and most ameliorated depressive symptoms. The interventions worked best for those in the middle-range of the well-being continuum. We conclude that interventions based on pleasure, engagement, meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment are effective strategies for increasing well-being and ameliorating depressive symptoms and that positive psychology interventions are most effective for those people in the middle range of the well-being continuum. PMID:27242600
Keranen, Soile V.E.
The developmental increase in structural complexity in multicellular life forms depends on local, often non-periodic differences in gene expression. These depend on a network of gene-gene interactions coded within the organismal genome. To better understand how genomic information generates complex expression patterns, I have modeled the pattern forming behavior of small artificial genomes in virtual blastoderm embryos. I varied several basic properties of these genomic signaling networks, such as the number of genes, the distributions of positive (inductive) and negative (repressive) interactions, and the strengths of gene-gene interactions, and analyzed their effects on developmental pattern formation. The results show how even simple genomes can generate complex non-periodic patterns under suitable conditions. They also show how the frequency of complex patterns depended on the numbers and relative arrangements of positive and negative interactions. For example, negative co-regulation of signaling pathway components increased the likelihood of (complex) patterns relative to differential negative regulation of the pathway components. Interestingly, neither quantitative differences either in strengths of signaling interactions nor multiple response thresholds to signal concentration (as in morphogen gradients) were essential for formation of multiple, spatially unique cell types. Thus, with combinatorial code of gene regulation and hierarchical signaling interactions, it is theoretically possible to organize metazoan embryogenesis with just a small fraction of the metazoan genome. Because even small networks can generate complex patterns when they contain a suitable set of connections, evolution of metazoan complexity may have depended more on selection for favourable configurations of signaling interactions than on the increase in numbers of regulatory genes.
Guala, M.; Hu, S. J.; Chamorro, L. P.
Turbulent boundary layer measurements in both wind tunnel and in the near-neutral atmospheric surface layer revealed in the last decade the significant contribution of the large scales of motions to both turbulent kinetic energy and Reynolds stresses, for a wide range of Reynolds number. These scales are known to grow throughout the logarithmic layer and to extend several boundary layer heights in the streamwise direction. Potentially, they are a source of strong unsteadiness in the power output of wind turbines and in the aerodynamic loads of wind turbine blades. However, the large scales in realistic atmospheric conditions deserves further study, with well controlled boundary conditions. In the atmospheric wind tunnel of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, with a 16 m long test section and independently controlled incoming flow and floor temperatures, turbulent boundary layers in a range of stability conditions, from the stratified to the convective case, can be reproduced and monitored. Measurements of fluctuating temperature, streamwise and wall normal velocity components are simultaneously obtained by an ad hoc calibrated and customized triple-wire sensor. A wind turbine model with constant loading DC motor, constant tip speed ratio, and a rotor diameter of 0.128m is used to mimic a large full scale turbine in the atmospheric boundary layer. Measurements of the fluctuating voltage generated by the DC motor are compared with measurements of the blade's angular velocity by laser scanning, and eventually related to velocity measurements from the triple-wire sensor. This study preliminary explores the effect of weak stability and complex terrain (through a set of spanwise aligned topographic perturbations) on the large scales of the flow and on the fluctuations in the wind turbine(s) power output.
Davis, Anne Powel
The pluralistic and often competing goals of myriad constituents, the changing demographics of students, the uncertainty of funding, and the growing demands for accountability from stakeholders have increased the complexity of systems which community college leaders must manage. Emerging from the recent literature on community colleges is a call…
De Andrade, Anderson; Höglinger, Günter
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterised by intracellular aggregation of the microtubule-associated protein tau. The tau protein exists in 6 predominant isoforms. Depending on alternative splicing of exon 10, three of these isoforms have four microtubule-binding repeat domains (4R), whilst the others only have three (3R). In PSP there is an excess of the 4R tau isoforms, which are thought to contribute significantly to the pathological process. The cause of this 4R increase is so far unknown. Several lines of evidence link mitochondrial complex I inhibition to the pathogenesis of PSP. We demonstrate here for the first time that annonacin and MPP+, two prototypical mitochondrial complex I inhibitors, increase the 4R isoforms of tau in human neurons. We show that the splicing factor SRSF2 is necessary to increase 4R tau with complex I inhibition. We also found SRSF2, as well as another tau splicing factor, TRA2B, to be increased in brains of PSP patients. Thereby, we provide new evidence that mitochondrial complex I inhibition may contribute as an upstream event to the pathogenesis of PSP and suggest that splicing factors may represent an attractive therapeutic target to intervene in the disease process. PMID:25402454
As the sophistication and sensitivity of chemical instrumentation increases so do the number of applications. Correspondingly, new questions and opportunities for systems previously studied also arise. As with most plants, the emission of volatiles from agricultural products is complex and varies am...
Stefanaki, Anastasia; Kantsa, Aphrodite; Tscheulin, Thomas; Charitonidou, Martha; Petanidou, Theodora
The architectural complexity of flower structures (hereafter referred to as floral complexity) may be linked to pollination by specialized pollinators that can increase the probability of successful seed set. As plant-pollinator systems become fragile, a loss of such specialized pollinators could presumably result in an increased likelihood of pollination failure. This is an issue likely to be particularly evident in plants that are currently rare. Using a novel index describing floral complexity we explored whether this aspect of the structure of flowers could be used to predict vulnerability of plant species to extinction. To do this we defined plant vulnerability using the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece, a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. We also tested whether other intrinsic (e.g. life form, asexual reproduction) or extrinsic (e.g. habitat, altitude, range-restrictedness) factors could affect plant vulnerability. We found that plants with high floral complexity scores were significantly more likely to be vulnerable to extinction. Among all the floral complexity components only floral symmetry was found to have a significant effect, with radial-flower plants appearing to be less vulnerable. Life form was also a predictor of vulnerability, with woody perennial plants having significantly lower risk of extinction. Among the extrinsic factors, both habitat and maximum range were significantly associated with plant vulnerability (coastal plants and narrow-ranged plants are more likely to face higher risk). Although extrinsic and in particular anthropogenic factors determine plant extinction risk, intrinsic traits can indicate a plant's proneness to vulnerability. This raises the potential threat of declining global pollinator diversity interacting with floral complexity to increase the vulnerability of individual plant species. There is potential scope for using plant-pollinator specializations to identify plant species particularly at
Stefanaki, Anastasia; Kantsa, Aphrodite; Tscheulin, Thomas; Charitonidou, Martha; Petanidou, Theodora
The architectural complexity of flower structures (hereafter referred to as floral complexity) may be linked to pollination by specialized pollinators that can increase the probability of successful seed set. As plant—pollinator systems become fragile, a loss of such specialized pollinators could presumably result in an increased likelihood of pollination failure. This is an issue likely to be particularly evident in plants that are currently rare. Using a novel index describing floral complexity we explored whether this aspect of the structure of flowers could be used to predict vulnerability of plant species to extinction. To do this we defined plant vulnerability using the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece, a Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. We also tested whether other intrinsic (e.g. life form, asexual reproduction) or extrinsic (e.g. habitat, altitude, range-restrictedness) factors could affect plant vulnerability. We found that plants with high floral complexity scores were significantly more likely to be vulnerable to extinction. Among all the floral complexity components only floral symmetry was found to have a significant effect, with radial-flower plants appearing to be less vulnerable. Life form was also a predictor of vulnerability, with woody perennial plants having significantly lower risk of extinction. Among the extrinsic factors, both habitat and maximum range were significantly associated with plant vulnerability (coastal plants and narrow-ranged plants are more likely to face higher risk). Although extrinsic and in particular anthropogenic factors determine plant extinction risk, intrinsic traits can indicate a plant’s proneness to vulnerability. This raises the potential threat of declining global pollinator diversity interacting with floral complexity to increase the vulnerability of individual plant species. There is potential scope for using plant—pollinator specializations to identify plant species particularly
Hazawa, Masaharu; Tomiyama, Kenichi; Saotome-Nakamura, Ai; Obara, Chizuka; Yasuda, Takeshi; Gotoh, Takaya; Tanaka, Izumi; Yakumaru, Haruko; Ishihara, Hiroshi; Tajima, Katsushi
Highlights: • Radiation increases cellular uptake of exosomes. • Radiation induces colocalization of CD29 and CD81. • Exosomes selectively bind the CD29/CD81 complex. • Radiation increases the cellular uptake of exosomes through CD29/CD81 complex formation. - Abstract: Exosomes mediate intercellular communication, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) or their secreted exosomes affect a number of pathophysiologic states. Clinical applications of MSC and exosomes are increasingly anticipated. Radiation therapy is the main therapeutic tool for a number of various conditions. The cellular uptake mechanisms of exosomes and the effects of radiation on exosome–cell interactions are crucial, but they are not well understood. Here we examined the basic mechanisms and effects of radiation on exosome uptake processes in MSC. Radiation increased the cellular uptake of exosomes. Radiation markedly enhanced the initial cellular attachment to exosomes and induced the colocalization of integrin CD29 and tetraspanin CD81 on the cell surface without affecting their expression levels. Exosomes dominantly bound to the CD29/CD81 complex. Knockdown of CD29 completely inhibited the radiation-induced uptake, and additional or single knockdown of CD81 inhibited basal uptake as well as the increase in radiation-induced uptake. We also examined possible exosome uptake processes affected by radiation. Radiation-induced changes did not involve dynamin2, reactive oxygen species, or their evoked p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent endocytic or pinocytic pathways. Radiation increased the cellular uptake of exosomes through CD29/CD81 complex formation. These findings provide essential basic insights for potential therapeutic applications of exosomes or MSC in combination with radiation.
Though President Barack Obama has rarely made healthcare references in his State of the Union addresses, health policy experts are hoping he changes that strategy this year. "The question is: Will he say anything? You would hope that he would, given that that was the major issue he started his presidency with," says Dr. James Weinstein, left, of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system. PMID:23487896
Nguyen, Chinh D.; Wellman, Andrew; Jordan, Amy S.; Eckert, Danny J.
Study Objectives: To determine the effects of mild airflow limitation on K-complex frequency and morphology and electroencephalogram (EEG) spectral power. Methods: Transient reductions in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) during stable N2 sleep were performed to induce mild airflow limitation in 20 patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and 10 healthy controls aged 44 ± 13 y. EEG at C3 and airflow were measured in 1-min windows to quantify K-complex properties and EEG spectral power immediately before and during transient reductions in CPAP. The frequency and morphology (amplitude and latency of P200, N550 and N900 components) of K-complexes and EEG spectral power were compared between conditions. Results: During mild airflow limitation (18% reduction in peak inspiratory airflow from baseline, 0.38 ± 0.11 versus 0.31 ± 0.1 L/sec) insufficient to cause American Academy of Sleep Medicine-defined cortical arousal, K-complex frequency (9.5 ± 4.5 versus 13.7 ± 6.4 per min, P < 0.01), N550 amplitude (25 ± 3 versus 27 ± 3 μV, P < 0.01) and EEG spectral power (delta: 147 ± 48 versus 230 ± 99 μV2, P < 0.01 and theta bands: 31 ± 14 versus 34 ± 13 μV2, P < 0.01) significantly increased whereas beta band power decreased (14 ± 5 versus 11 ± 4 μV2, P < 0.01) compared to the preceding non flow-limited period on CPAP. K-complex frequency, morphology, and timing did not differ between patients and controls. Conclusion: Mild airflow limitation increases K-complex frequency, N550 amplitude, and spectral power of delta and theta bands. In addition to providing mechanistic insight into the role of mild airflow limitation on K-complex characteristics and EEG activity, these findings may have important implications for respiratory conditions in which airflow limitation during sleep is common (e.g., snoring and OSA). Citation: Nguyen CD, Wellman A, Jordan AS, Eckert DJ. Mild airflow limitation during N2 sleep increases k-complex frequency and slows
Berman, E S; Wu, L; Fortson, S L; Nelson, D O; Kulp, K S; Wu, K J
Characterizing and classifying molecular variation within biological samples is critical for determining fundamental mechanisms of biological processes that will lead to new insights including improved disease understanding. Towards these ends, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) was used to examine increasingly complex samples of biological relevance, including monosaccharide isomers, pure proteins, complex protein mixtures, and mouse embryo tissues. The complex mass spectral data sets produced were analyzed using five common statistical and chemometric multivariate analysis techniques: principal component analysis (PCA), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA), soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA), and decision tree analysis by recursive partitioning. PCA was found to be a valuable first step in multivariate analysis, providing insight both into the relative groupings of samples and into the molecular basis for those groupings. For the monosaccharides, pure proteins and protein mixture samples, all of LDA, PLSDA, and SIMCA were found to produce excellent classification given a sufficient number of compound variables calculated. For the mouse embryo tissues, however, SIMCA did not produce as accurate a classification. The decision tree analysis was found to be the least successful for all the data sets, providing neither as accurate a classification nor chemical insight for any of the tested samples. Based on these results we conclude that as the complexity of the sample increases, so must the sophistication of the multivariate technique used to classify the samples. PCA is a preferred first step for understanding ToF-SIMS data that can be followed by either LDA or PLSDA for effective classification analysis. This study demonstrates the strength of ToF-SIMS combined with multivariate statistical and chemometric techniques to classify increasingly complex biological samples
Smith, Anne; Sadagopan, Neeraja; Walsh, Bridget; Weber-Fox, Christine
The potential role of phonological complexity in destabilizing the speech motor systems of adults who stutter was explored by assessing the performance of 17 adults who stutter and 17 matched control participants on a nonword repetition task. The nonwords varied in length and phonological complexity. Behavioral results revealed no differences between the stuttering and normally fluent groups on accuracy of nonword repetition. In contrast, dramatic differences between groups were observed in the kinematic data. Indices of the consistency of inter-articulator coordination revealed that adults who stutter were much less consistent in their coordinative patterns over repeated productions. With increasing length and complexity of the nonwords, between-group differences in coordinative consistency were more pronounced. Coordination consistency measures revealed that adults who stutter (but not normally fluent adults) showed within-session practice effects; their coordinative consistency improved in five later compared to five earlier productions. Adults who stutter produced the nonwords at a slower rate, but both groups showed increased rates of production on the later trials, indicating a practice effect for duration for both groups. We conclude that, though the adults who stutter performed behaviorally with the same accuracy as normally fluent adults, the nonword repetition task reveals remarkable differences in the speech motor dynamics underlying fluent speech production in adults who stutter compared to their normally fluent peers. These results support a multifactorial, dynamic model of stuttering in which linguistic complexity and utterance length are factors that contribute to the probability of breakdown of the speech motor system. PMID:20412979
Azzone, G F
Adaptations during phylogenesis or ontogenesis can occur either by maintaining constant or by increasing the informational content of the organism. In the former case the increasing adaptations to external perturbation are achieved by increasing the rate of genome replication; the increased amount of DNA reflects an increase of total but not of law informational content. In the latter case the adaptations are achieved by either istructionist or evolutionary mechanism or a combination of both. Evolutionary adaptations occur during ontogenesis mainly in the brain-mind, immunological and receptor systems and involve a repertoire of receptors that are., clonally distributed, genome-conditioned and amplified by somatic mutation. Specificity and intensity of responses are achieved a posteriori as a result of natural selection of the clones. The major adaptations during phylogenesis are accompanied by increased complexity. They have been attributed to shifts, short in time and space, against the entropic drive and thus occur notwithstanding the entropic drive and the second law of thermodynamics. The alternative view, is that the generation of complexity is due to the second law of thermodynamics in its extended formulation which includes Prigogine's theorem of minimum entropy production. This view requires however that natural selection provides the biological system with structures that bring the reactions within Onsager's range. The hierarchical organization of the natural world thus reflects a stratified thermodynamic stability. As the evolutionary adaptations generate new information they may be assimilated to Maxwell demon type of processes. PMID:9646724
Forkink, Marleen; Basit, Farhan; Teixeira, José; Swarts, Herman G.; Koopman, Werner J.H.; Willems, Peter H.G.M.
Inhibitor studies with isolated mitochondria demonstrated that complex I (CI) and III (CIII) of the electron transport chain (ETC) can act as relevant sources of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here we studied ROS generation and oxidative stress induction during chronic (24 h) inhibition of CI and CIII using rotenone (ROT) and antimycin A (AA), respectively, in intact HEK293 cells. Both inhibitors stimulated oxidation of the ROS sensor hydroethidine (HEt) and increased mitochondrial NAD(P)H levels without major effects on cell viability. Integrated analysis of cells stably expressing cytosolic- or mitochondria-targeted variants of the reporter molecules HyPer (H2O2-sensitive and pH-sensitive) and SypHer (H2O2-insensitive and pH-sensitive), revealed that CI- and CIII inhibition increased cytosolic but not mitochondrial H2O2 levels. Total and mitochondria-specific lipid peroxidation was not increased in the inhibited cells as reported by the C11-BODIPY581/591 and MitoPerOx biosensors. Also expression of the superoxide-detoxifying enzymes CuZnSOD (cytosolic) and MnSOD (mitochondrial) was not affected. Oxyblot analysis revealed that protein carbonylation was not stimulated by CI and CIII inhibition. Our findings suggest that chronic inhibition of CI and CIII: (i) increases the levels of HEt-oxidizing ROS and (ii) specifically elevates cytosolic but not mitochondrial H2O2 levels, (iii) does not induce oxidative stress or substantial cell death. We conclude that the increased ROS levels are below the stress-inducing level and might play a role in redox signaling. PMID:26516986
Webb, Michael I; Wu, Boris; Jang, Thalia; Chard, Ryan A; Wong, Edwin W Y; Wong, May Q; Yapp, Donald T T; Walsby, Charles J
A series of pyridine-based derivatives of the clinically successful Ru(III)-based complexes indazolium [trans-RuCl4(1H-indazole)2] (KP1019) and sodium [trans-RuCl4(1H-indazole)2] (KP1339) have been synthesized to probe the effect of hydrophobic interactions with human serum albumin (hsA) on anticancer activity. The solution behavior and protein interactions of the new compounds were characterized by using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and UV/Vis spectroscopy. These studies have revealed that incorporation of hydrophobic substituents at the 4'-position of the axial pyridine ligand stabilizes non-coordinate interactions with hsA. As a consequence, direct coordination to the protein is inhibited, which is expected to increase the bioavailability of the complexes, thus potentially leading to improved anticancer activity. By using this approach, the lifetimes of hydrophobic protein interactions were extended from 2 h for the unsubstituted pyridine complex, to more than 24 h for several derivatives. Free complexes were tested for their anticancer activity against the SW480 human colon carcinoma cell line, exhibiting low cytotoxicity. Pre-treatment with hsA improved the solubility of every compound and led to some changes in activity. Particularly notable was the difference in activity between the methyl- and dibenzyl-functionalized complexes. The former shows reduced activity after incubation with hsA, indicating reduced bioavailability due to protein coordination. The latter exhibits little activity on its own but, following treatment with hsA, exhibited significant cytotoxicity, which is consistent with its ability to form non-coordinate interactions with the protein. Overall, our studies demonstrate that non-coordinate interactions with hsA are a viable target for enhancing the activity of Ru(III)-based complexes in vivo. PMID:24203647
de Lima Petito, Nicolly; da Silva Dias, Daiana; Costa, Valéria Gonçalves; Falcão, Deborah Quintanilha; de Lima Araujo, Kátia Gome
Red bell pepper carotenoids were complexed with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (2-HPβCD) in different mass ratios (1:4, 1:6, 1:8 and 1:10) through ultrasonic homogenization in order to increase carotenoid solubility and their use as natural pigment in food. Inclusion complexes, red bell pepper extract and physical mixtures were analyzed by DSC, FT-IR, (1)H NMR and DLS. Solubility assay was performed to identify the effect of complexation on the solubility of carotenoids. From characterization assays, results showed that inclusion process occurred for all tested ratios. Results for water solubility assays demonstrated clear differences between solubility index of inclusion complexes (8.06±2.59-16.55±4.40mg/mL) and physical mixtures (3.53±1.44-7.3±1.88mg/mL), while carotenoid extract was no water soluble, as expected. These results indicated that molecular inclusion of carotenoids in 2-HPβCD was efficient to enhance their solubility in water, enabling application of red bell pepper carotenoid as natural pigment and/or bioactive substances in food. PMID:27132832
Paul, Maureen; Norton, Mary E
Restrictions on access to abortion in the United States have reached proportions unprecedented since the nationwide legalization of abortion in 1973. Although some restrictions aim to discourage women from having abortions, many others impede access by affecting the timeliness, affordability, or availability of services. Evidence indicates that these restrictions do not increase abortion safety; rather, they create logistic barriers for women seeking abortion, and they have the greatest effect on women with the fewest resources. In this commentary, we recall the important role that obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) have played, both before and after Roe v. Wade, in facilitating access to safe abortion care. Using the literature on abortion safety and access as a foundation, we propose several practical ideas about what we as ob-gyns can do to address the current threat to abortion access, whether or not we provide abortion services in practice. We hope that this commentary will encourage discourse within our profession and prompt other suggestions. As ob-gyns who are dedicated to addressing health disparities and promoting the health and well-being of our patients, we can make a difference. PMID:27275804
Joshi, P. S.
From jets to cosmos to cosmic censorship P S Joshi Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400005, India E-mail: email@example.com 1. Introduction At the outset, I should like to acknowledge that part of the title above, which tries to capture the main flavour of this meeting, and has been borrowed from one of the plenary talks at the conference. When we set out to make the programme for the conference, we thought of beginning with observations on the Universe, but then we certainly wanted to go further and address deeper questions, which were at the very foundations of our inquiry, and understanding on the nature and structure of the Universe. I believe, we succeeded to a good extent, and it is all here for you in the form of these Conference Proceedings, which have been aptly titled as 'Vishwa Mimansa', which could be possibly translated as 'Analysis of the Universe'! It is my great pleasure and privilege to welcome you all to the ICGC-2011 meeting at Goa. The International Conference on Gravitation and Cosmology (ICGC) series of meetings are being organized by the Indian Association for General Relativity and Gravitation (IAGRG), and the first such meeting was planned and conducted in Goa in 1987, with subsequent meetings taking place at a duration of about four years at various locations in India. So, it was thought appropriate to return to Goa to celebrate the 25 years of the ICGC meetings. The recollections from that first meeting have been recorded elsewhere here in these Proceedings. The research and teaching on gravitation and cosmology was initiated quite early in India, by V V Narlikar at the Banares Hindu University, and by N R Sen in Kolkata in the 1930s. In course of time, this activity grew and gained momentum, and in early 1969, at the felicitation held for the 60 years of V V Narlikar at a conference in Ahmedabad, P C Vaidya proposed the formation of the IAGRG society, with V V Narlikar being the first President. This
Albantakis, Larissa; Hintze, Arend; Koch, Christof; Adami, Christoph; Tononi, Giulio
Natural selection favors the evolution of brains that can capture fitness-relevant features of the environment's causal structure. We investigated the evolution of small, adaptive logic-gate networks (“animats”) in task environments where falling blocks of different sizes have to be caught or avoided in a ‘Tetris-like’ game. Solving these tasks requires the integration of sensor inputs and memory. Evolved networks were evaluated using measures of information integration, including the number of evolved concepts and the total amount of integrated conceptual information. The results show that, over the course of the animats' adaptation, i) the number of concepts grows; ii) integrated conceptual information increases; iii) this increase depends on the complexity of the environment, especially on the requirement for sequential memory. These results suggest that the need to capture the causal structure of a rich environment, given limited sensors and internal mechanisms, is an important driving force for organisms to develop highly integrated networks (“brains”) with many concepts, leading to an increase in their internal complexity. PMID:25521484
Hearne, Luke; Cocchi, Luca; Zalesky, Andrew; Mattingley, Jason B
Successful performance of challenging cognitive tasks depends on a consistent functional segregation of activity within the default-mode network, on the one hand, and control networks encompassing frontoparietal and cingulo-opercular areas on the other. Recent work, however, has suggested that in some cognitive control contexts nodes within the default-mode and control networks may actually cooperate to achieve optimal task performance. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine whether the ability to relate variables while solving a cognitive reasoning problem involves transient increases in connectivity between default-mode and control regions. Participants performed a modified version of the classic Wason selection task, in which the number of variables to be related is systematically varied across trials. As expected, areas within the default-mode network showed a parametric deactivation with increases in relational complexity, compared with neural activity in null trials. Critically, some of these areas also showed enhanced connectivity with task-positive control regions. Specifically, task-based connectivity between the striatum and the angular gyri, and between the thalamus and right temporal pole, increased as a function of relational complexity. These findings challenge the notion that functional segregation between regions within default-mode and control networks invariably support cognitive task performance, and reveal previously unknown roles for the striatum and thalamus in managing network dynamics during cognitive reasoning. PMID:25833189
Chukudebelu, W O; Lucas, A O; Ransome-kuti, O; Akinla, O; Obayi, G U
The theme of the 3rd International Conference of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) held October 26, 1986 in Enugu was maternal morbidity and mortality in Africa. The opening addresses emphasize the high maternal mortality rate in Africa and SOGON's dedication to promoting women's health and welfare. In order to reduce maternal mortality, the scope of this problem must be made evident by gathering accurate mortality rates through maternity care monitoring and auditing. Governments, health professionals, educators, behavioral scientists, and communication specialists have a responsibility to improve maternal health services in this country. By making the population aware of this problem through education, measures can be taken to reduce the presently high maternal mortality rates. Nigerian women are physically unprepared for childbirth; therefore, balanced diets and disease prevention should be promoted. Since about 40% of deliveries are unmanaged, training for traditional birth attendants should be provided. Furthermore, family planning programs should discourage teenage pregnancies, encourage birth spacing and small families, and promote the use of family planning techniques among men. The problem of child bearing and rearing accompanied by hard work should also be investigated. For practices to change so that maternal mortality rates can be reduced, attitudes must be changed such that the current rates are viewed as unacceptable. PMID:12179275
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my great honor and pleasure to present an opening address of the 3rd International Workshop on "State of the Art in Nuclear Cluster Physics"(SOTANCP3). On the behalf of the organizing committee, I certainly welcome all your visits to KGU Kannai Media Center belonging to Kanto Gakuin University, and stay in Yokohama. In particular, to whom come from abroad more than 17 countries, I would appreciate your participations after long long trips from your homeland to Yokohama. The first international workshop on "State of the Art in Nuclear Cluster Physics", called SOTANCP, was held in Strasbourg, France, in 2008, and the second one was held in Brussels, Belgium, in 2010. Then the third workshop is now held in Yokohama. In this period, we had the traditional 10th cluster conference in Debrecen, Hungary, in 2012. Thus we have the traditional cluster conference and SOTANCP, one after another, every two years. This obviously shows our field of nuclear cluster physics is very active and flourishing. It is for the first time in about 10 years to hold the international workshop on nuclear cluster physics in Japan, because the last cluster conference held in Japan was in Nara in 2003, about 10 years ago. The president in Nara conference was Prof. K. Ikeda, and the chairpersons were Prof. H. Horiuchi and Prof. I. Tanihata. I think, quite a lot of persons in this room had participated at the Nara conference. Since then, about ten years passed. So, this workshop has profound significance for our Japanese colleagues. The subjects of this workshop are to discuss "the state of the art in nuclear cluster physics" and also discuss the prospect of this field. In a couple of years, we saw significant progresses of this field both in theory and in experiment, which have brought better and new understandings on the clustering aspects in stable and unstable nuclei. I think, the concept of clustering has been more important than ever. This is true also in the
Dunne, Jennifer A.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Kuris, Armand M.; Martinez, Neo D.; McLaughlin, John P.; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Poulin, Robert; Reise, Karsten; Stouffer, Daniel B.; Thieltges, David W.; Williams, Richard J.; Zander, Claus Dieter
Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters structure. We assess whether such changes in network structure result from unique roles and traits of parasites or from changes to diversity and complexity. We analyzed seven highly resolved food webs that include metazoan parasite data. Our analyses show that adding parasites usually increases link density and connectance (simple measures of complexity), particularly when including concomitant links (links from predators to parasites of their prey). However, we clarify prior claims that parasites ‘‘dominate’’ food web links. Although parasites can be involved in a majority of links, in most cases classic predation links outnumber classic parasitism links. Regarding network structure, observed changes in degree distributions, 14 commonly studied metrics, and link probabilities are consistent with scale-dependent changes in structure associated with changes in diversity and complexity. Parasite and free-living species thus have similar effects on these aspects of structure. However, two changes point to unique roles of parasites. First, adding parasites and concomitant links strongly alters the frequency of most motifs of interactions among three taxa, reflecting parasites’ roles as resources for predators of their hosts, driven by trophic intimacy with their hosts. Second, compared to free-living consumers, many parasites’ feeding niches appear broader and less contiguous, which may reflect complex life cycles and small body sizes. This study provides new insights about generic versus unique impacts of parasites on food web structure, extends the generality of food web theory, gives a more rigorous framework for assessing the impact of any species on trophic
Biviano, Angelo B.; Ciaccio, Edward J.; Whang, William; Garan, Hasan
Introduction Intravenous ibutilide is used to convert atrial fibrillation (AF) to sinus rhythm due to its Class III antiarrhythmic mechanisms. However, the effects of ibutilide on local electrograms during AF have not been elucidated. Methods and Results We used electrogram (EGM) analysis techniques to characterize how ibutilide administration changes the frequency, morphology, and repeatability of AF EGM signals, thereby providing insight into ibutilide’s antiarrhythmic mechanism of action. AF recordings were collected from 21 patients with AF both before and after ibutilide administration. The effects of ibutilide on the following AF EGM parameters were assessed: 1) dominant frequency, 2) variations in EGM amplitude and overall morphology, 3) repetition of electrogram patterns, and 4) complexity of the AF frequency spectra. When comparing pre- vs. post-ibutilide administration EGMs, DF decreased from 5.45 to 4.02 Hz (p<0.0001). There was an increase both in the variability of AF EGM amplitudes (p=0.003) and variability of overall AF EGM morphologies (p=0.003). AF EGM pattern repetitiveness decreased (p=0.01), and the AF frequency spectral profile manifested greater complexity (p=0.02). Conclusions Novel electrogram signal analysis techniques reveal that ibutilide administration causes increased complexity in the atrial electrical activation pattern while decreasing rate. These findings may be explained by the progressive destabilization of higher frequency, more homogeneous primary drivers of AF over the course of ibutilide administration and/or less uniform propagation of atrial activation, until AF maintenance becomes more difficult and either transforms to atrial tachycardia or terminates to sinus rhythm. PMID:23875908
Ladies and Gentlemen, It is an honor for me to present my welcome address in the 3rd International Workshop on "State of the Art in Nuclear Cluster Physics"(SOTANCP3), as the president of Kanto Gakuin University. Particularly to those from abroad more than 17 countries, I am very grateful for your participation after long long trips from your home to Yokohama. On the behalf of the Kanto Gakuin University, we certainly welcome your visit to our university and stay in Yokohama. First I would like to introduce Kanto Gakuin University briefly. Kanto Gakuin University, which is called KGU, traces its roots back to the Yokohama Baptist Seminary founded in 1884 in Yamate, Yokohama. The seminary's founder was Albert Arnold Bennett, alumnus of Brown University, who came to Japan from the United States to establish a theological seminary for cultivating and training Japanese missionaries. Now KGU is a major member of the Kanto Gakuin School Corporation, which is composed of two kindergartens, two primary schools, two junior high schools, two senior high schools as well as KGU. In this university, we have eight faculties with graduate school including Humanities, Economics, Law, Sciences and Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Design, Human and Environmental Studies, Nursing, and Law School. Over eleven thousands students are currently learning in our university. By the way, my major is the geotechnical engineering, and I belong to the faculty of Sciences and Engineering in my university. Prof. T. Yamada, here, is my colleague in the same faculty. I know that the nuclear physics is one of the most active academic fields in the world. In fact, about half of the participants, namely, more than 50 scientists, come from abroad in this conference. Moreover, I know that the nuclear physics is related to not only the other fundamental physics such as the elementary particle physics and astrophysics but also chemistry, medical sciences, medical cares, and radiation metrology
Ferriero, Rosa; Boutron, Audrey; Brivet, Michele; Kerr, Douglas; Morava, Eva; Rodenburg, Richard J; Bonafé, Luisa; Baumgartner, Matthias R; Anikster, Yair; Braverman, Nancy E; Brunetti-Pierri, Nicola
Objective Deficiency of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) is the most common genetic disorder leading to lactic acidosis. PDHC deficiency is genetically heterogenous and most patients have defects in the X-linked E1-α gene but defects in the other components of the complex encoded by PDHB, PDHX, DLAT, DLD genes or in the regulatory enzyme encoded by PDP1 have also been found. Phenylbutyrate enhances PDHC enzymatic activity in vitro and in vivo by increasing the proportion of unphosphorylated enzyme through inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases and thus, has potential for therapy of patients with PDHC deficiency. In the present study, we investigated response to phenylbutyrate of multiple cell lines harboring all known gene defects resulting in PDHC deficiency. Methods Fibroblasts of patients with PDHC deficiency were studied for their enzyme activity at baseline and following phenylbutyrate incubation. Drug responses were correlated with genotypes and protein levels by Western blotting. Results Large deletions affecting PDHA1 that result in lack of detectable protein were unresponsive to phenylbutyrate, whereas increased PDHC activity was detected in most fibroblasts harboring PDHA1 missense mutations. Mutations affecting the R349-α residue were directed to proteasome degradation and were consistently unresponsive to short-time drug incubation but longer incubation resulted in increased levels of enzyme activity and protein that may be due to an additional effect of phenylbutyrate as a molecular chaperone. Interpretation PDHC enzyme activity was enhanced by phenylbutyrate in cells harboring missense mutations in PDHB, PDHX, DLAT, DLD, and PDP1 genes. In the prospect of a clinical trial, the results of this study may allow prediction of in vivo response in patients with PDHC deficiency harboring a wide spectrum of molecular defects. PMID:25356417
Rokudai, Susumu; Laptenko, Oleg; Arnal, Suzzette M; Taya, Yoichi; Kitabayashi, Issay; Prives, Carol
Monocytic leukemia zinc finger (MOZ)/KAT6A is a MOZ, Ybf2/Sas3, Sas2, Tip60 (MYST)-type histone acetyltransferase that functions as a coactivator for acute myeloid leukemia 1 protein (AML1)- and Ets family transcription factor PU.1-dependent transcription. We previously reported that MOZ directly interacts with p53 and is essential for p53-dependent selective regulation of p21 expression. We show here that MOZ is an acetyltransferase of p53 at K120 and K382 and colocalizes with p53 in promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies following cellular stress. The MOZ-PML-p53 interaction enhances MOZ-mediated acetylation of p53, and this ternary complex enhances p53-dependent p21 expression. Moreover, we identified an Akt/protein kinase B recognition sequence in the PML-binding domain of MOZ protein. Akt-mediated phosphorylation of MOZ at T369 has a negative effect on complex formation between PML and MOZ. As a result of PML-mediated suppression of Akt, the increased PML-MOZ interaction enhances p21 expression and induces p53-dependent premature senescence upon forced PML expression. Our research demonstrates that MOZ controls p53 acetylation and transcriptional activity via association with PML. PMID:23431171
Alexander, P C
Total world population is growing at the annual rate of 2%. While this rate of growth represents a decline from the annual growth rate of 2.5% during the early 1960s, world population still continues to grow rapidly in absolute terms as a result of the already enormous population base. Experts predict world population to grow to 12-14 billion before it stabilizes. Most of this growth will be due to high fertility amid declining mortality in developing countries; 80% of world population by the year 2000 will be in developing countries. India, for example, had a population of 358 million people in 1950. That population, however, should grow to more than one billion by the year 2000. The author, governor of Maharashtra, congratulates all who have successfully completed courses at the International Institute for Population Sciences during the year and voices his expectation that graduates will use their newfound knowledge and expertise in research and teaching as well as in developing meaningful and effective population policies in their respective countries. He also describes some of India's current population-related problems and future prospects. India has thus far kept its rate of food production above the rate of population growth. Even so, the average caloric intake in India needs to be increased by at least 50% in order for the population to maintain adequate health standards. The current scarcity of additional arable land, the need to halt further deforestation, and the ongoing absolute growth in population, however, suggest that India will be unable to raise the level of caloric intake for its people. India may even become dependent upon other countries to provide food for its population. PMID:12346131
Ladies and Gentlemen My cordial thanks to you for participating in our workshop and to all those who have sponsored it. When in 1957 I attended the International Congress on Fundamental Constants held in Turin on the occasion of the first centenary of the death of Amedeo Avogadro, I did not expect that about thirty-five years later a small but representative number of distinguished scientists would meet here again, to discuss how to go beyond the sixth decimal figure of the Avogadro constant. At that time, the uncertainty of the value of this constant was linked to the fourth decimal figure, as reported in the book by DuMond and Cohen. The progress made in the meantime is universally acknowledged to be due to the discovery of x-ray interferometry. We are honoured that one of the two founding fathers, Prof. Ulrich Bonse, is here with us, but we regret that the other, Prof. Michael Hart, is not present. After Bonse and Hart's discovery, the x-ray crystal density method triggered, as in a chain reaction, the investigation of two other quantities related to the Avogadro constant—density and molar mass. Scientists became, so to speak, resonant and since then have directed their efforts, just to mention a few examples, to producing near-perfect silicon spheres and determining their density, to calibrating, with increasing accuracy, mass spectrometers, and to studying the degree of homogeneity of silicon specimens. Obviously, I do not need to explain to you why the Avogadro constant is important. I wish, however, to underline that it is not only because of its position among fundamental constants, as we all know very well its direct links with the fine structure constant, the Boltzmann and Faraday constants, the h/e ratio, but also because when a new value of NA is obtained, the whole structure of the fundamental constants is shaken to a lesser or greater extent. Let me also remind you that the second part of the title of this workshop concerns the silicon
King, E.; Karaoz, U.; Molins, S.; Bouskill, N.; Anantharaman, K.; Beller, H. R.; Banfield, J. F.; Steefel, C. I.; Brodie, E.
The biogeochemical functioning of ecosystems is shaped in part by genomic information stored in the subsurface microbiome. Cultivation-independent approaches allow us to extract this information through reconstruction of thousands of genomes from a microbial community. Analysis of these genomes, in turn, gives an indication of the organisms present and their functional roles. However, metagenomic analyses can currently deliver thousands of different genomes that range in abundance/importance, requiring the identification and assimilation of key physiologies and metabolisms to be represented as traits for successful simulation of subsurface processes. Here we focus on incorporating -omics information into BioCrunch, a genome-informed trait-based model that represents the diversity of microbial functional processes within a reactive transport framework. This approach models the rate of nutrient uptake and the thermodynamics of coupled electron donors and acceptors for a range of microbial metabolisms including heterotrophs and chemolithotrophs. Metabolism of exogenous substrates fuels catabolic and anabolic processes, with the proportion of energy used for cellular maintenance, respiration, biomass development, and enzyme production based upon dynamic intracellular and environmental conditions. This internal resource partitioning represents a trade-off against biomass formation and results in microbial community emergence across a fitness landscape. Biocrunch was used here in simulations that included organisms and metabolic pathways derived from a dataset of ~1200 non-redundant genomes reflecting a microbial community in a floodplain aquifer. Metagenomic data was directly used to parameterize trait values related to growth and to identify trait linkages associated with respiration, fermentation, and key enzymatic functions such as plant polymer degradation. Simulations spanned a range of metabolic complexities and highlight benefits originating from simulations
Allen-Scott, Lisa K.; Buntain, Bonnie; Hatfield, Jennifer M.; Meisser, Andrea
To improve health at the human, animal, and ecosystem interface, defined as One Health, training of researchers must transcend individual disciplines to develop a new process of collaboration. The transdisciplinary research approach integrates frameworks and methodologies beyond academic disciplines and includes involvement of and input from policy makers and members of the community. The authors argue that there should be a significant shift in academic institutions’ research capacity to achieve the added value of a transdisciplinary approach for addressing One Health problems. This Perspective is a call to action for academic institutions to provide the foundations for this salient shift. The authors begin by describing the transdisciplinary approach, propose methods for building transdisciplinary research capacity, and highlight three value propositions that support the case. Examples are provided to illustrate how the transdisciplinary approach to research adds value through improved sustainability of impact, increased cost-effectiveness, and enhanced abilities to mitigate potentially harmful unintended consequences. The authors conclude with three key recommendations for academic institutions: (1) a focus on creating enabling environments for One Health and transdisciplinary research, (2) the development of novel funding structures for transdisciplinary research, and (3) training of “transmitters” using real-world-oriented educational programs that break down research silos through collaboration across disciplines. PMID:25650827
Pereverzev, Yuriy V; Prezhdo, Oleg V; Sokurenko, Evgeni V
A number of biological bonds show dramatically increased lifetimes at zero-force conditions, compared to lifetimes when even a small tensile force is applied to the ligand. The discrepancy is so great that it cannot be explained by the traditional receptor-ligand binding models. This generic phenomenon is rationalized here by considering the interaction of water with the receptor-ligand complex. It is argued that the water-protein interaction creates an energy barrier that prevents the ligand unbinding in the absence of the force. The properties of the interaction are such that even application of a relatively low force results in a dramatic drop of the bond lifetime due to the alteration of the water-receptor and water-ligand interaction network. The phenomenon is described by the presence of a second shallow interaction energy minimum for the bound ligand followed by a wide receptor-ligand dissociation barrier. The general analysis is applied quantitatively to the actin-myosin system, which demonstrates the gigantic drop of the bond lifetime at small forces and catch behavior (an increase in the lifetime) at moderate forces. The base hypothesis proposed to explain the small-force abnormal drop in the bond lifetime suggests that the majority of biological bonds may exhibit this phenomenon irrespectively whether they behave as slip or catch-slip bonds. PMID:18710275
Ancel, Ersin; Shih, Ann T.
This paper highlights the development of a model that is focused on the safety issue of increasing complexity and reliance on automation systems in transport category aircraft. Recent statistics show an increase in mishaps related to manual handling and automation errors due to pilot complacency and over-reliance on automation, loss of situational awareness, automation system failures and/or pilot deficiencies. Consequently, the aircraft can enter a state outside the flight envelope and/or air traffic safety margins which potentially can lead to loss-of-control (LOC), controlled-flight-into-terrain (CFIT), or runway excursion/confusion accidents, etc. The goal of this modeling effort is to provide NASA's Aviation Safety Program (AvSP) with a platform capable of assessing the impacts of AvSP technologies and products towards reducing the relative risk of automation related accidents and incidents. In order to do so, a generic framework, capable of mapping both latent and active causal factors leading to automation errors, is developed. Next, the framework is converted into a Bayesian Belief Network model and populated with data gathered from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). With the insertion of technologies and products, the model provides individual and collective risk reduction acquired by technologies and methodologies developed within AvSP.
Bolognin, Silvia; Zatta, Paolo; Lorenzetto, Erika; Valenti, Maria Teresa; Buffelli, Mario
Several lines of evidence have supported the potential involvement of metal ions in the etiology of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this interaction are still partially unknown. Previous work from our laboratory has shown that β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) aggregation was strongly influenced by the conjugation of the peptide with few metal ions (aluminum, copper, zinc, and iron) that are found in high concentrations in the senile plaque core. The binding of aluminum (Al) to Aβ specifically stabilized the peptide in an oligomeric conformation. Here, we show that the aggregation of Aβ-Al was boosted by sodium dodecyl sulfate, a detergent that mimics some characteristics of biological membrane, suggesting a potential role for membrane components in the Aβ aggregation process. Notably, we also found that Aβ-Al caused mitochondrial dysfunction and reactive oxygen species production in primary cortical neurons. Aβ-Al strongly promoted also alterations in cytoskeleton network as shown by the increased F-actin expression and the occurrence of neuritic beading. Interestingly, the neurotoxic effect of this metal complex was associated with a decreased mRNA expression of ubiquitin thiolesterase, an ubiquitin-dependent protein involved in catabolic process, and by the increased expression of glutaminyl cyclase, responsible for pathological post-translational modification of Aβ. These results suggest that, in neuronal cells, Aβ-Al can induce relevant detrimental changes that resemble pathological hallmarks of AD. PMID:23416043
Zhou, Yan; Zhou, Lili; Ruan, Zheng; Mi, Shumei; Jiang, Min; Li, Xiaolan; Wu, Xin; Deng, Zeyuan; Yin, Yulong
Dietary polyphenols are thought to be beneficial for human health by acting as antioxidants. Chlorogenic acid (CGA) is abundant in plant-based foods as an ester of caffeic acid and quinic acid. In this study, we investigated the effects of CGA on mitochondrial protection. Our results demonstrated that pretreatment with CGA ameliorated the intestinal mitochondrial injury induced by H2O2; membrane potential was increased, mitochondrial swelling, levels of reactive oxygen species, contents of 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine, and cytochrome c released were decreased. The beneficial effects of CGA were accompanied by an increase in antioxidant and respiratory-chain complex I, IV, and V activities. In trinitrobenzene-sulfonic acid-induced colitic rats indicated that CGA supplementation improved mitochondria ultrastructure and decreased mitochondrial injury. Our results suggest a promising role for CGA as a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant in combating intestinal oxidative injury. Daily intake of diets containing CGA, such as coffee and honeysuckle, may be useful for prevention of intestinal diseases. PMID:26824685
Mulcahy, J. P.; Walters, D. N.; Bellouin, N.; Milton, S. F.
The inclusion of the direct and indirect radiative effects of aerosols in high-resolution global numerical weather prediction (NWP) models is being increasingly recognised as important for the improved accuracy of short-range weather forecasts. In this study the impacts of increasing the aerosol complexity in the global NWP configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) are investigated. A hierarchy of aerosol representations are evaluated including three-dimensional monthly mean speciated aerosol climatologies, fully prognostic aerosols modelled using the CLASSIC aerosol scheme and finally, initialised aerosols using assimilated aerosol fields from the GEMS project. The prognostic aerosol schemes are better able to predict the temporal and spatial variation of atmospheric aerosol optical depth, which is particularly important in cases of large sporadic aerosol events such as large dust storms or forest fires. Including the direct effect of aerosols improves model biases in outgoing long-wave radiation over West Africa due to a better representation of dust. However, uncertainties in dust optical properties propagate to its direct effect and the subsequent model response. Inclusion of the indirect aerosol effects improves surface radiation biases at the North Slope of Alaska ARM site due to lower cloud amounts in high-latitude clean-air regions. This leads to improved temperature and height forecasts in this region. Impacts on the global mean model precipitation and large-scale circulation fields were found to be generally small in the short-range forecasts. However, the indirect aerosol effect leads to a strengthening of the low-level monsoon flow over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal and an increase in precipitation over Southeast Asia. Regional impacts on the African Easterly Jet (AEJ) are also presented with the large dust loading in the aerosol climatology enhancing of the heat low over West Africa and weakening the AEJ. This study highlights the
Mulcahy, J. P.; Walters, D. N.; Bellouin, N.; Milton, S. F.
Inclusion of the direct and indirect radiative effects of aerosols in high resolution global numerical weather prediction (NWP) models is being increasingly recognised as important for the improved accuracy of short-range weather forecasts. In this study the impacts of increasing the aerosol complexity in the global NWP configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) are investigated. A hierarchy of aerosol representations are evaluated including three dimensional monthly mean speciated aerosol climatologies, fully prognostic aerosols modelled using the CLASSIC aerosol scheme and finally, initialised aerosols using assimilated aerosol fields from the GEMS project. The prognostic aerosol schemes are better able to predict the temporal and spatial variation of atmospheric aerosol optical depth, which is particularly important in cases of large sporadic aerosol events such as large dust storms or forest fires. Including the direct effect of aerosols improves model biases in outgoing longwave radiation over West Africa due to a better representation of dust. However, uncertainties in dust optical properties propogate to its direct effect and the subsequent model response. Inclusion of the indirect aerosol effects improves surface radiation biases at the North Slope of Alaska ARM site due to lower cloud amounts in high latitude clean air regions. This leads to improved temperature and height forecasts in this region. Impacts on the global mean model precipitation and large-scale circulation fields were found to be generally small in the short range forecasts. However, the indirect aerosol effect leads to a strengthening of the low level monsoon flow over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal and an increase in precipitation over Southeast Asia. Regional impacts on the African Easterly Jet (AEJ) are also presented with the large dust loading in the aerosol climatology enhancing of the heat low over West Africa and weakening the AEJ. This study highlights the importance
Mulcahy, Jane; Walters, David; Bellouin, Nicolas; Milton, Sean
Inclusion of the direct and indirect radiative effects of aerosols in high resolution global numerical weather prediction (NWP) models is being increasingly recognised as important for the improved accuracy of short-range weather forecasts. In this study the impacts of increasing the aerosol complexity in the global NWP configuration of the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) are investigated. A hierarchy of aerosol representations are evaluated including three dimensional monthly mean speciated aerosol climatologies, fully prognostic aerosols modelled using the CLASSIC aerosol scheme and finally, initialised aerosols using assimilated aerosol fields from the GEMS project. The prognostic aerosol schemes are better able to predict the temporal and spatial variation of atmospheric aerosol optical depth, which is particularly important in cases of large sporadic aerosol events such as large dust storms or forest fires. Including the direct effect of aerosols improves model biases in outgoing longwave radiation over West Africa due to a better representation of dust. Inclusion of the indirect aerosol effects has significant impacts on the SW radiation particularly at high latitudes due to lower cloud amounts in high latitude clean air regions. This leads to improved surface radiation biases at the North Slope of Alaska ARM site. Verification of temperature and height forecasts is also improved in this region. Impacts on the global mean model precipitation and large-scale circulation fields were found to be generally small in the short range forecasts. However, the indirect aerosol effect leads to a strengthening of the low level monsoon flow over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal and an increase in precipitation over Southeast Asia. This study highlights the importance of including a more realistic treatment of aerosol-cloud interactions in global NWP models and the potential for improved global environmental prediction systems through the incorporation of more complex
Edel, Kai H; Kudla, Jörg
Calcium serves as a versatile messenger in adaptation reactions and developmental processes in plants and animals. Eukaryotic cells generate cytosolic Ca(2+) signals via Ca(2+) conducting channels. Ca(2+) signals are represented in form of stimulus-specific spatially and temporally defined Ca(2+) signatures. These Ca(2+) signatures are detected, decoded and transmitted to downstream responses by an elaborate toolkit of Ca(2+) binding proteins that function as Ca(2+) sensors. In this article, we examine the distribution and evolution of Ca(2+)-conducting channels and Ca(2+) decoding proteins in the plant lineage. To this end, we have in addition to previously studied genomes of plant species, identified and analyzed the Ca(2+)-signaling components from species that hold key evolutionary positions like the filamentous terrestrial algae Klebsormidium flaccidum and Amborella trichopoda, the single living representative of the sister lineage to all other extant flowering plants. Plants and animals exhibit substantial differences in their complements of Ca(2+) channels and Ca(2+) binding proteins. Within the plant lineage, remarkable differences in the evolution of complexity between different families of Ca(2+) signaling proteins are observable. Using the CBL/CIPK Ca(2+) sensor/kinase signaling network as model, we attempt to link evolutionary tendencies to functional predictions. Our analyses, for example, suggest Ca(2+) dependent regulation of Na(+) homeostasis as an evolutionary most ancient function of this signaling network. Overall, gene families of Ca(2+) signaling proteins have significantly increased in their size during plant evolution reaching an extraordinary complexity in angiosperms. PMID:25477139
De Marzi, Mauricio C; Todone, Marcos; Ganem, María B; Wang, Qian; Mariuzza, Roy A; Fernández, Marisa M; Malchiodi, Emilio L
Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRP) are pattern recognition receptors that can bind or hydrolyse peptidoglycan (PGN). Four human PGRP have been described: PGRP-S, PGRP-L, PGRP-Iα and PGRP-Iβ. Mammalian PGRP-S has been implicated in intracellular destruction of bacteria by polymorphonuclear cells, PGRP-Iα and PGRP-Iβ have been found in keratinocytes and epithelial cells, and PGRP-L is a serum protein that hydrolyses PGN. We have expressed recombinant human PGRP and observed that PGRP-S and PGRP-Iα exist as monomer and disulphide dimer proteins. The PGRP dimers maintain their biological functions. We detected the PGRP-S dimer in human serum and polymorphonuclear cells, from where it is secreted after degranulation; these cells being a possible source of serum PGRP-S. Recombinant PGRP do not act as bactericidal or bacteriostatic agents in the assayed conditions; however, PGRP-S and PGRP-Iα cause slight damage in the bacterial membrane. Monocytes/macrophages increase Staphylococcus aureus phagocytosis in the presence of PGRP-S, PGRP-Iα and PGRP-Iβ. All PGRP bind to monocyte/macrophage membranes and are endocytosed by them. In addition, all PGRP protect cells from PGN-induced apoptosis. PGRP increase THP-1 cell proliferation and enhance activation by PGN. PGRP-S-PGN complexes increase the membrane expression of CD14, CD80 and CD86, and enhance secretion of interleukin-8, interleukin-12 and tumour necrosis factor-α, but reduce interleukin-10, clearly inducing an inflammatory profile. PMID:25752767
Yoo, Byoung Kwon; Santhekadur, Prasanna K.; Gredler, Rachel; Chen, Dong; Emdad, Luni; Bhutia, Sujit; Pannell, Lewis; Fisher, Paul B.; Sarkar, Devanand
There is virtually no effective treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and novel targets need to be identified to develop effective treatment. We recently documented that the oncogene Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) plays a seminal role in hepatocarcinogenesis. Employing yeast two-hybrid assay and co-immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry we identified Staphylococcal nuclease domain containing 1 (SND1), a nuclease in the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) facilitating RNAi-mediated gene silencing, as an AEG-1 interacting protein. Co-immunoprecipitation and co-localization studies confirmed that AEG-1 is also a component of RISC and both AEG-1 and SND1 are required for optimum RISC activity facilitating siRNA and miRNA-mediated silencing of luciferase reporter gene. In 109 human HCC samples SND1 was overexpressed in ∼74% cases compared to normal liver. Correspondingly, significantly higher RISC activity was observed in human HCC cells compared to immortal normal hepatocytes. Increased RISC activity, conferred by AEG-1 or SND1, resulted in increased degradation of tumor suppressor mRNAs that are target of oncomiRs. Inhibition of enzymatic activity of SND1 significantly inhibited proliferation of human HCC cells. As a corollary, stable overexpression of SND1 augmented and siRNA-mediated inhibition of SND1 abrogated growth of human HCC cells in vitro and in vivo thus revealing a potential role of SND1 in hepatocarcinogenesis. Conclusion We unravel a novel mechanism that overexpression of AEG-1 and SND1 leading to increased RISC activity might contribute to hepatocarcinogenesis. Targeted inhibition of SND1 enzymatic activity might be developed as an effective therapy for HCC. PMID:21520169
Asthma, an inflammatory airways disease, has become an urgent health problem affecting an estimated 17 million persons in the United States alone (CDC 1998 MMWR 47). Since 1979, the death rate from asthma has increased by almost 56%. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated posit...
Peron, Angela; Vignoli, Aglaia; La Briola, Francesca; Volpi, Angela; Montanari, Emanuele; Morenghi, Emanuela; Ghelma, Filippo; Bulfamante, Gaetano; Cefalo, Graziella; Canevini, Maria Paola
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is generally characterized by the presence of benign tumors, but some patients with malignancies have been reported in the literature. We examined a large Italian TSC population (240 individuals followed from 2001 to 2015, aged 3 months-74 years), assessing the frequency of malignancies to determine whether there is an increased risk for cancer in this disorder, and looking for possible features associated with the development of neoplasia. Fifteen patients had malignancies (6.25%); median age at diagnosis was 37.5 years (range of 1.6-58). Five of seven renal tumors were renal cell carcinomas. Eight patients had a non-renal malignancy (3.3%), but we did not find a more prevalent type of cancer. No patient developed more than one malignancy. The prevalence of all malignant tumors was compatible with the prevalence in the general population (5.6%, 95%CI 2.99-9.31%, vs. 4.4% in Italy). Median age at cancer diagnosis was lower (37.5 years, 95%CI 28.6-44.7, vs. 66.0 years). Two patients (13.3%) died of their cancer, while outcome was favorable in the remaining individuals. Malignant tumors were more frequently diagnosed in patients with mutations in TSC1 when compared to TSC2 and patients with no mutation identified (P = 0.032). Our study demonstrated that TSC patients do not seem to have an increased risk for malignancies besides renal cell carcinoma. However, when cancer develops, age at diagnosis is lower than in the general population, and malignant tumors are more frequently diagnosed in patients with mutations in TSC1. Further studies are needed to confirm these data. ©2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27061015
Kimberly, David A; Salice, Christopher J
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that global climate change will have significant impacts on environmental conditions including potential effects on sensitivity of organisms to environmental contaminants. The objective of this study was to test the climate-induced toxicant sensitivity (CITS) hypothesis in which acclimation to altered climate parameters increases toxicant sensitivity. Adult Physa pomilia snails were acclimated to a near optimal 22 °C or a high-normal 28 °C for 28 days. After 28 days, snails from each temperature group were challenged with either low (150 μg/L) or high (300 μg/L) cadmium at each temperature (28 or 22 °C). In contrast to the CITS hypothesis, we found that acclimation temperature did not have a strong influence on cadmium sensitivity except at the high cadmium test concentration where snails acclimated to 28 °C were more cadmium tolerant. However, snails that experienced a switch in temperature for the cadmium challenge, regardless of the switch direction, were the most sensitive to cadmium. Within the snails that were switched between temperatures, snails acclimated at 28 °C and then exposed to high cadmium at 22 °C exhibited significantly greater mortality than those snails acclimated to 22 °C and then exposed to cadmium at 28 °C. Our results point to the importance of temperature variability in increasing toxicant sensitivity but also suggest a potentially complex cost of temperature acclimation. Broadly, the type of temporal stressor exposures we simulated may reduce overall plasticity in responses to stress ultimately rendering populations more vulnerable to adverse effects. PMID:24623389
Hover, David; Weber, Steve; Rosenberg, Danna; Samach, Gabriel; Sears, Adam; Birenbaum, Jeffrey; Woods, Wayne; Yoder, Jonilyn; Racz, Livia; Kerman, Jamie; Oliver, William D.
Maintaining qubit coherence in the face of increased superconducting circuit complexity is a challenge when designing an extensible quantum computing architecture. We consider this challenge in the context of inductively coupled, long-lived, capacitively-shunted flux qubits. Specifically, we discuss our efforts to mitigate the effects of radiation loss, parasitic chip-modes, cross-coupling, and Purcell decay. Our approach employs numerical modeling of the ideal Hamiltonian and electromagnetic analysis of the circuit, both of which are independently shown to be consistent with experimental results. This research was funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering under Air Force Contract No. FA8721-05-C-0002. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of ODNI, IARPA, or the US Government.
Kaiser, Edelgard Anna; Lotze, Ulrich; Schäfer, Hans Hendrik
Treatment of hypertension in the elderly is expected to become more complex in the coming decades. Based on the current landscape of clinical trials, guideline recommendations remain inconclusive. The present review discusses the latest evidence derived from studies available in 2013 and investigates optimal blood pressure (BP) and preferred treatment substances. Three common archetypes are discussed that hamper the treatment of hypertension in the very elderly. In addition, this paper presents the current recommendations of the NICE 2011, JNC7 2013-update, ESH/ESC 2013, CHEP 2013, JNC8 and ASH/ISH guidelines for elderly patients. Advantages of the six main substance classes, namely diuretics, beta-blockers (BBs), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and direct renin inhibitors (DRIs) are discussed. Medical and economic implications of drug administration in the very elderly are presented. Avoidance of treatment-related adverse effects has become increasingly relevant. Current substance classes are equally effective, with similar effects on cardiovascular outcomes. Selection of substances should therefore also be based on collateral advantages of drugs that extend beyond BP reduction. The combination of ACEIs and diuretics appears to be favorable in managing systolic/diastolic hypertension. Diuretics are a preferred and cheap combination drug, and the combination with CCBs is recommended for patients with isolated systolic hypertension. ACEIs and CCBs are favorable for patients with dementia, while CCBs and ARBs imply substantial cost savings due to high adherence. PMID:24711696
Karamanlidis, Georgios; Lee, Chi Fung; Garcia-Menendez, Lorena; Kolwicz, Stephen C.; Suthammarak, Wichit; Gong, Guohua; Sedensky, Margaret M.; Morgan, Philip G.; Wang, Wang; Tian, Rong
Summary Mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction is linked to the pathogenesis of multiple diseases including heart failure but the specific mechanisms for this link remain largely elusive. We modeled the impairment of mitochondrial respiration by inactivation of the Ndufs4 gene, a protein critical for Complex I (C-I) assembly, in the mouse heart (cKO). While C-I supported respiration decreased by >40%, the cKO mice maintained normal cardiac function in vivo and high-energy phosphate content in isolated perfused hearts. However, the cKO mice developed accelerated heart failure after pressure overload or repeated pregnancy. Decreased NAD+/NADH ratio by C-I deficiency inhibited Sirt3 activity, leading to increase in protein acetylation, and sensitization of the permeability transition in mitochondria (mPTP). NAD+ precursor supplementation to cKO mice partially normalized the NAD+/NADH ratio, protein acetylation and mPTP sensitivity. These findings describe a mechanism connecting mitochondrial dysfunction to the susceptibility to diseases and propose a potential therapeutic target. PMID:23931755
Feltelius, N; Persson, I; Ahlqvist-Rastad, J; Andersson, M; Arnheim-Dahlström, L; Bergman, P; Granath, F; Adori, C; Hökfelt, T; Kühlmann-Berenzon, S; Liljeström, P; Maeurer, M; Olsson, T; Örtqvist, Å; Partinen, M; Salmonson, T; Zethelius, B
In response to the 2009-2010 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic, a mass vaccination programme with the AS03-adjuvanted influenza A(H1N1) vaccine Pandemrix was initiated in Sweden. Unexpectedly, there were a number of narcolepsy cases amongst vaccinated children and adolescents reported. In this review, we summarize the results of a joint cross-disciplinary national research effort to investigate the adverse reaction signal from the spontaneous reporting system and to better understand possible causative mechanisms. A three- to fourfold increased risk of narcolepsy in vaccinated children and adolescents was verified by epidemiological studies. Of importance, no risk increase was observed for the other neurological and autoimmune diseases studied. Genetic studies confirmed the association with the allele HLA-DQB1*06:02, which is known to be related to sporadic narcolepsy. Furthermore, a number of studies using cellular and molecular experimental models investigated possible links between influenza vaccination and narcolepsy. Serum analysis, using a peptide microarray platform, showed that individuals who received Pandemrix exhibited a different epitope reactivity pattern to neuraminidase and haemagglutinin, as compared to individuals who were infected with H1N1. Patients with narcolepsy were also found to have increased levels of interferon-gamma production in response to streptococcus-associated antigens. The chain of patient-related events and the study results emerging over time were subjected to intense nationwide media attention. The importance of transparent communication and collaboration with patient representatives to maintain public trust in vaccination programmes is also discussed in the review. Organizational challenges due to this unexpected event delayed the initiation of some of the research projects, still the main objectives of this joint, cross-disciplinary research effort were reached, and important insights were acquired for future, similar
Barone, Vincenzo; Biczysko, Malgorzata; Puzzarini, Cristina
For many years, scientists suspected that the interstellar medium was too hostile for organic species and that only a few simple molecules could be formed under such extreme conditions. However, the detection of approximately 180 molecules in interstellar or circumstellar environments in recent decades has changed this view dramatically. A rich chemistry has emerged, and relatively complex molecules such as C60 and C70 are formed. Recently, researchers have also detected complex organic and potentially prebiotic molecules, such as amino acids, in meteorites and in other space environments. Those discoveries have further stimulated the debate on the origin of the building blocks of life in the universe. Many efforts continue to focus on the physical, chemical, and astrophysical processes by which prebiotic molecules can be formed in the interstellar dust and dispersed to Earth or to other planets.Spectroscopic techniques, which are widely used to infer information about molecular structure and dynamics, play a crucial role in the investigation of planetary atmosphere and the interstellar medium. Increasingly these astrochemical investigations are assisted by quantum-mechanical calculations of structures as well as spectroscopic and thermodynamic properties, such as transition frequencies and reaction enthalpies, to guide and support observations, line assignments, and data analysis in these new and chemically complicated situations. However, it has proved challenging to extend accurate quantum-chemical computational approaches to larger systems because of the unfavorable scaling with the number of degrees of freedom (both electronic and nuclear).In this Account, we show that it is now possible to compute physicochemical properties of building blocks of biomolecules with an accuracy rivaling that of the most sophisticated experimental techniques, and we summarize specific contributions from our groups. As a test case, we present the underlying computational machinery
Robinson, Stephen J; Parkin, Isobel AP
Background Abiotic stress, including low temperature, limits the productivity and geographical distribution of plants, which has led to significant interest in understanding the complex processes that allow plants to adapt to such stresses. The wide range of physiological, biochemical and molecular changes that occur in plants exposed to low temperature require a robust global approach to studying the response. We have employed Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) to uncover changes in the transcriptome of Arabidopsis thaliana over a time course of low temperature stress. Results Five SAGE libraries were generated from A. thaliana leaf tissue collected at time points ranging from 30 minutes to one week of low temperature treatment (4°C). Over 240,000 high quality SAGE tags, corresponding to 16,629 annotated genes, provided a comprehensive survey of changes in the transcriptome in response to low temperature, from perception of the stress to acquisition of freezing tolerance. Interpretation of these data was facilitated by representing the SAGE data by gene identifier, allowing more robust statistical analysis, cross-platform comparisons and the identification of genes sharing common expression profiles. Simultaneous statistical calculations across all five libraries identified 920 low temperature responsive genes, only 24% of which overlapped with previous global expression analysis performed using microarrays, although similar functional categories were affected. Clustering of the differentially regulated genes facilitated the identification of novel loci correlated with the development of freezing tolerance. Analysis of their promoter sequences revealed subsets of genes that were independent of CBF and ABA regulation and could provide a mechanism for elucidating complementary signalling pathways. The SAGE data emphasised the complexity of the plant response, with alternate pre-mRNA processing events increasing at low temperatures and antisense transcription
Tercyak, Kenneth P.; Silber, Elana; Johnson, Andrea C.; Fleischmann, Adina; Murphy, Sarah E.; Mays, Darren; O’Neill, Suzanne C.; Sharkey, Christina M.; Shoretz, Rochelle
Approximately 12% of women living in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. While all women face formidable challenges posed by the threat of living with or at increased risk for breast cancer, those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent face additional challenges owing to higher BRCA1/2 mutation prevalence in this population. Amidst calls for population-based screening for hereditary breast cancer risk, much can be learned from the experiences of Jewish women about their needs. The present study is a secondary analysis of psychoeducational program satisfaction and evaluation data previously collected by a community organization dedicated to serving women of all Jewish backgrounds facing, or at risk for, breast cancer. Among respondents (n = 347), over one-third were referred to the organization by family or friends, most often after a cancer crisis. Of the information and support resources offered, the greatest level of engagement occurred with the one-on-one peer support and health care symposia resources. Respondents endorsed high levels of satisfaction with the programs and services, and a strong desire to give back to the community. These data suggest that culturally-relevant information and support services for Jewish women could be scaled-up for larger dissemination to meet the anticipated needs in this special population.
Leelawiwat, Wanna; Rutvisuttinunt, Wiriya; Arroyo, Miguel; Mueanpai, Famui; Kongpechsatit, Oranuch; Chonwattana, Wannee; Chaikummao, Supaporn; de Souza, Mark; vanGriensven, Frits; McNicholl, Janet M; Curlin, Marcel E
In Thailand, new HIV-1 infections are largely concentrated in certain risk groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM), where annual incidence may be as high as 12% per year. The paucity of information on the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 in Thai MSM limits progress in understanding the epidemic and developing new prevention methods. We evaluated HIV-1 subtypes in seroincident and seroprevalent HIV-1-infected men enrolled in the Bangkok MSM Cohort Study (BMCS) between 2006 and 2011. We characterized HIV-1 subtype in 231 seroprevalent and 194 seroincident subjects using the multihybridization assay (MHA). Apparent dual infections, recombinant strains, and isolates found to be nontypeable by MHA were further characterized by targeted genomic sequencing. Most subjects were infected with HIV-1 CRF01_AE (82%), followed by infections with recombinants (11%, primarily CRF01_AE/B recombinants), subtype B (5%), and dual infections (2%). More than 11 distinct chimeric patterns were observed among CRF01B_AE/B recombinants, most involving recombination within integrase. A significant increase in the proportion of nontypeable strains was observed among seroincident MSM between 2006 and 2011. CRF01_AE and subtype B were the most and least common infecting strains, respectively. The predominance of CRF01_AE among HIV-1 infections in Thai MSM participating in the BMCS parallels trends observed in Thai heterosexuals and injecting drug users. The presence of complex recombinants and a significant rise in nontypeable strains suggest ongoing changes in the genetic makeup of the HIV-1 epidemic in Thailand, which may pose challenges for HIV-1 prevention efforts and vaccine development. PMID:25366819
Stadelmann, David; Torgler, Benno
Using a quasi-natural voting experiment encompassing a 160-year period (1848-2009) in Switzerland, we investigate whether a higher level of complexity leads to increased reliance on trusted parliamentary representatives. We find that when more referenda are held on the same day, constituents are more likely to refer to parliamentary recommendations when making their decisions. This finding holds true even when we narrow our focus to referenda with a relatively lower voter turnout on days on which more than one referendum is held. We also demonstrate that when constituents face a higher level of complexity, they follow the parliamentary recommendations rather than those of interest groups. "Viewed as a geometric figure, the ant's path is irregular, complex, hard to describe. But its complexity is really a complexity in the surface of the beach, not a complexity in the ant." (  p. 51). PMID:24391888
Stadelmann, David; Torgler, Benno
Using a quasi-natural voting experiment encompassing a 160-year period (1848–2009) in Switzerland, we investigate whether a higher level of complexity leads to increased reliance on trusted parliamentary representatives. We find that when more referenda are held on the same day, constituents are more likely to refer to parliamentary recommendations when making their decisions. This finding holds true even when we narrow our focus to referenda with a relatively lower voter turnout on days on which more than one referendum is held. We also demonstrate that when constituents face a higher level of complexity, they follow the parliamentary recommendations rather than those of interest groups. “Viewed as a geometric figure, the ant’s path is irregular, complex, hard to describe. But its complexity is really a complexity in the surface of the beach, not a complexity in the ant.” (  p. 51) PMID:24391888
The goal of this study was to test whether the “loss of the complexity” hypothesis can be applied to compare the metabolic patterns of mouse models with known differences in metabolic and endocrine function as well as life span. Here, we compare the complexity of locomotor activity and metabolic patterns (energy expenditure, VO2, and respiratory quotient) of the long-lived growth hormone receptor gene deleted mice (GHR− /−) and their wild-type littermates. Using approximate entropy as a measure of complexity, we observed greater metabolic complexity, as indicated by greater irregularity in the physiological fluctuations of the GHR− /− mice. Further analysis of the data also revealed lower energy costs of locomotor activity and a stronger relationship between locomotor activity and respiratory quotient in the GHR− /− mice relative to controls. These findings suggest underlying differences in metabolic modulation in the GHR− /− mice revealed especially through measures of complexity of their time-dependent fluctuations. PMID:23788654
Boelman, Natalie T; Magney, Troy S; Logan, Barry A; Griffin, Kevin L; Eitel, Jan U H; Greaves, Heather; Prager, Case M; Vierling, Lee A
As the Arctic warms, tundra vegetation is becoming taller and more structurally complex, as tall deciduous shrubs become increasingly dominant. Emerging studies reveal that shrubs exhibit photosynthetic resource partitioning, akin to forests, that may need accounting for in the "big leaf" net ecosystem exchange models. We conducted a lab experiment on sun and shade leaves from S. pulchra shrubs to determine the influence of both constitutive (slowly changing bulk carotenoid and chlorophyll pools) and facultative (rapidly changing xanthophyll cycle) pigment pools on a suite of spectral vegetation indices, to devise a rapid means of estimating within canopy resource partitioning. We found that: (1) the PRI of dark-adapted shade leaves (PRIo) was double that of sun leaves, and that PRIo was sensitive to variation among sun and shade leaves in both xanthophyll cycle pool size (V + A + Z) (r (2) = 0.59) and Chla/b (r (2) = 0.64); (2) A corrected PRI (difference between dark and illuminated leaves, ΔPRI) was more sensitive to variation among sun and shade leaves in changes to the epoxidation state of their xanthophyll cycle pigments (dEPS) (r (2) = 0.78, RMSE = 0.007) compared to the uncorrected PRI of illuminated leaves (PRI) (r (2) = 0.34, RMSE = 0.02); and (3) the SR680 index was correlated with each of (V + A + Z), lutein, bulk carotenoids, (V + A + Z)/(Chla + b), and Chla/b (r (2) range = 0.52-0.69). We suggest that ΔPRI be employed as a proxy for facultative pigment dynamics, and the SR680 for the estimation of constitutive pigment pools. We contribute the first Arctic-specific information on disentangling PRI-pigment relationships, and offer insight into how spectral indices can assess resource partitioning within shrub tundra canopies. PMID:27193900
Loke, Lynette H L; Todd, Peter A
Complexity is well accepted as one of the primary drivers of biodiversity, however, empirical support for such positive associations is often confounded with surface area and undermined by other potential explanatory factors, especially the type of structural component (e.g., pits, crevices, overhangs, etc.). In the present study, sample units (artificial substrates) of equal surface area (± 0.2%) were used to simultaneously examine the independent effects of complexity and different structural component types on species richness (S), abundance (N), and community composition. We created simple and complex concrete substrates of four different geometric designs using novel software. The substrates (n = 8) were mounted onto granite seawalls (at two tidal heights) on two islands south of Singapore Island. After 13 months of colonization, all 384 tiles were collected and their assemblages compared. A total of 53 744 individuals of 70 species/morphospecies were collected and identified. Our results show that greater complexity can support greater species richness and different communities that are independent of surface area. Furthermore, the type of structure (e.g., "pits," "grooves," "towers") can have an effect on richness and community composition that is independent of complexity. PMID:27145613
Rapp, P E; Zimmerman, I D; Vining, E P; Cohen, N; Albano, A M; Jiménez-Montaño, M A
The interspike interval spike trains of spontaneously active cortical neurons can display nonrandom internal structure. The degree of nonrandom structure can be quantified and was found to decrease during focal epileptic seizures. Greater statistical discrimination between the two physiological conditions (normal vs seizure) was obtained with measurements of context-free grammar complexity than by measures of the distribution of the interspike intervals such as the mean interval, its standard deviation, skewness, or kurtosis. An examination of fixed epoch data sets showed that two factors contribute to the complexity: the firing rate and the internal structure of the spike train. However, calculations with randomly shuffled surrogates of the original data sets showed that the complexity is not completely determined by the firing rate. The sequence-sensitive structure of the spike train is a significant contributor. By combining complexity measurements with statistically related surrogate data sets, it is possible to classify neurons according to the dynamical structure of their spike trains. This classification could not have been made on the basis of conventional distribution-determined measures. Computations with more sophisticated kinds of surrogate data show that the structure observed using complexity measures cannot be attributed to linearly correlated noise or to linearly correlated noise transformed by a static monotonic nonlinearity. The patterns in spike trains appear to reflect genuine nonlinear structure. The limitations of these results are also discussed. The results presented in this article do not, of themselves, establish the presence of a fine-structure encoding of neural information. PMID:8046447
Sturmbauer, C; Levinton, J S; Christy, J
The current phylogenetic hypothesis for the evolution and biogeography of fiddler crabs relies on the assumption that complex behavioral traits are assumed to also be evolutionary derived. Indo-west Pacific fiddler crabs have simpler reproductive social behavior and are more marine and were thought to be ancestral to the more behaviorally complex and more terrestrial American species. It was also hypothesized that the evolution of more complex social and reproductive behavior was associated with the colonization of the higher intertidal zones. Our phylogenetic analysis, based upon a set of independent molecular characters, however, demonstrates how widely entrenched ideas about evolution and biogeography led to a reasonable, but apparently incorrect, conclusion about the evolutionary trends within this pantropical group of crustaceans. Species bearing the set of "derived traits" are phylogenetically ancestral, suggesting an alternative evolutionary scenario: the evolution of reproductive behavioral complexity in fiddler crabs may have arisen multiple times during their evolution. The evolution of behavioral complexity may have arisen by coopting of a series of other adaptations for high intertidal living and antipredator escape. A calibration of rates of molecular evolution from populations on either side of the Isthmus of Panama suggest a sequence divergence rate for 16S rRNA of 0.9% per million years. The divergence between the ancestral clade and derived forms is estimated to be approximately 22 million years ago, whereas the divergence between the American and Indo-west Pacific is estimated to be approximately 17 million years ago. Images Fig. 1 PMID:11607711
Daugelavicius, R; Bamford, J K; Grahn, A M; Lanka, E; Bamford, D H
IncP-type plasmids are broad-host-range conjugative plasmids. DNA translocation requires DNA transfer-replication functions and additional factors required for mating pair formation (Mpf). The Mpf system is located in the cell membranes and is responsible for DNA transport from the donor to the recipient. The Mpf complex acts as a receptor for IncP-specific phages such as PRD1. In this investigation, we quantify the Mpf complexes on the cell surface by a phage receptor saturation technique. Electrochemical measurements are used to show that the Mpf complex increases cell envelope permeability to lipophilic compounds and ATP. In addition it reduces the ability of the cells to accumulate K+. However, the Mpf complex does not dissipate the membrane voltage. The Mpf complex is rapidly disassembled when intracellular ATP concentration is decreased, as measured by a PRD1 adsorption assay. PMID:9260964
Brady, Kristina L; Ponnampalam, Stephen N; Bumbulis, Michael J; Setzer, David R
We have identified four mutations in Xenopus TFIIIA that increase the stability of TFIIIA-5 S rRNA gene complexes. In each case, the mutation has a relatively modest effect on equilibrium binding affinity. In three cases, these equilibrium binding effects can be ascribed primarily to decreases in the rate constant for protein-DNA complex dissociation. In the fourth case, however, a substitution of phenylalanine for the wild-type leucine at position 148 in TFIIIA results in much larger compensating changes in the kinetics of complex assembly and dissociation. The data support a model in which a relatively unstable population of complexes with multi-component dissociation kinetics forms rapidly; complexes then undergo a slow conformational change that results in very stable, kinetically homogeneous TFIIIA-DNA complexes. The L148F mutant protein acts as a particularly potent transcriptional activator when it is fused to the VP16 activation domain and expressed in yeast cells. Substitution of L148 to tyrosine or tryptophan produces an equally strong transcriptional activator. Substitution to histidine results in genetic and biochemical effects that are more modest than, but similar to, those observed with the L148F mutation. We propose that an amino acid with a planar side chain at position 148 can intercalate between adjacent base pairs in the intermediate element of the 5 S rRNA gene. Intercalation occurs slowly but results in a very stable DNA-protein complex. These results suggest that transcriptional activation by a cis-acting sequence element is largely dependent on the kinetic, rather than the thermodynamic, stability of the complex formed with an activator protein. Thus, transcriptional activation is dependent in large part on the lifetime of the activator-DNA complex rather than on binding site occupancy at steady state. Introduction of intercalating amino acids into zinc finger proteins may be a useful tool for producing artificial transcription factors with
Chung, Yun-Ching; Carter, Erik W.; Sisco, Lynn G.
Although positive peer relationships can facilitate the academic learning, skill development, and emotional well-being of students with complex communication challenges, few peer interactions are likely to take place in school settings apart from intentional intervention and support efforts. We conducted a systematic review to identify and examine…
Lackey, Lela; McArthur, Evonne; Laederach, Alain
Genome-wide association studies aim to correlate genotype with phenotype. Many common diseases including Type II diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are complex genetic traits with hundreds of different loci that are associated with varied disease risk. Identifying common features in the genes associated with each disease remains a challenge. Furthermore, the role of post-transcriptional regulation, and in particular alternative splicing, is still poorly understood in most multigenic diseases. We therefore compiled comprehensive lists of genes associated with Type II diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and COPD in an attempt to identify common features of their corresponding mRNA transcripts within each gene set. The SERPINA1 gene is a well-recognized genetic risk factor of COPD and it produces 11 transcript variants, which is exceptional for a human gene. This led us to hypothesize that other genes associated with COPD, and complex disorders in general, are highly transcriptionally diverse. We found that COPD-associated genes have a statistically significant enrichment in transcript complexity stemming from a disproportionately high level of alternative splicing, however, Type II Diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease genes were not significantly enriched. We also identified a subset of transcriptionally complex COPD-associated genes (~40%) that are differentially expressed between mild, moderate and severe COPD. Although the genes associated with other lung diseases are not extensively documented, we found preliminary data that idiopathic pulmonary disease genes, but not cystic fibrosis modulators, are also more transcriptionally complex. Interestingly, complex COPD transcripts are more often the product of alternative acceptor site usage. To verify the biological importance of these alternative transcripts, we used RNA-sequencing analyses to determine that COPD-associated genes are frequently expressed in
Lackey, Lela; McArthur, Evonne; Laederach, Alain
Genome-wide association studies aim to correlate genotype with phenotype. Many common diseases including Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are complex genetic traits with hundreds of different loci that are associated with varied disease risk. Identifying common features in the genes associated with each disease remains a challenge. Furthermore, the role of post-transcriptional regulation, and in particular alternative splicing, is still poorly understood in most multigenic diseases. We therefore compiled comprehensive lists of genes associated with Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and COPD in an attempt to identify common features of their corresponding mRNA transcripts within each gene set. The SERPINA1 gene is a well-recognized genetic risk factor of COPD and it produces 11 transcript variants, which is exceptional for a human gene. This led us to hypothesize that other genes associated with COPD, and complex disorders in general, are highly transcriptionally diverse. We found that COPD-associated genes have a statistically significant enrichment in transcript complexity stemming from a disproportionately high level of alternative splicing, however, Type II Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease genes were not significantly enriched. We also identified a subset of transcriptionally complex COPD-associated genes (~40%) that are differentially expressed between mild, moderate and severe COPD. Although the genes associated with other lung diseases are not extensively documented, we found preliminary data that idiopathic pulmonary disease genes, but not cystic fibrosis modulators, are also more transcriptionally complex. Interestingly, complex COPD transcripts are more often the product of alternative acceptor site usage. To verify the biological importance of these alternative transcripts, we used RNA-sequencing analyses to determine that COPD-associated genes are frequently
Mercer, Stewart W; Fitzpatrick, Bridie; Gourlay, Glen; Vojt, Gaby; McConnachie, Alex; Watt, Graham CM
Background Evidence of the beneficial effects of longer consultations in general practice is limited. Aim To evaluate the effect of increasing consultation length on patient enablement in general practice in an area of extreme socioeconomic deprivation. Design of study Longitudinal study using a ‘before and after’ design. Setting Keppoch Medical Centre in Glasgow, which serves the most deprived practice area in Scotland. Method Participants were 300 adult patients at baseline, before the introduction of longer consultations, and 324 at follow-up, more than 1 year after the introduction of longer consultations. The intervention studied was more time in complex consultations. Patient satisfaction, perceptions of the GPs' empathy, GP stress, and patient enablement were collected by face-to-face interview. Additional qualitative data were obtained by individual interviews with the GPs, relating to their perceptions of the impact of the longer consultations. Results Response rates of 70% were obtained. Overall, 53% of consultations were complex. GP stress was higher in complex consultations. Patient satisfaction and perception of the GPs' empathy were consistently high. Average consultation length in complex consultations was increased by 2.5 minutes by the intervention. GP stress in consultations was decreased after the introduction of longer consultations, and patient enablement was increased. GPs' views endorsed these findings, with more anticipatory and coordinated care being possible in the longer consultations. Conclusion More resource to provide more time in complex consultations in an area of extreme deprivation is associated with an increase in patient enablement. PMID:18252071
Brown, David J.; Proulx, Michael J.
Perceptual learning can be specific to a trained stimulus or optimally generalized to novel stimuli with the breadth of generalization being imperative for how we structure perceptual training programs. Adapting an established auditory interval discrimination paradigm to utilise complex signals, we trained human adults on a standard interval for either 2, 4, or 10 days. We then tested the standard, alternate frequency, interval, and stereo input conditions to evaluate the rapidity of specific learning and breadth of generalization over the time course. In comparison with previous research using simple stimuli, the speed of perceptual learning and breadth of generalization were more rapid and greater in magnitude, including novel generalization to an alternate temporal interval within stimulus type. We also investigated the long term maintenance of learning and found that specific and generalized learning was maintained over 3 and 6 months. We discuss these findings regarding stimulus complexity in perceptual learning and how they can inform the development of effective training protocols. PMID:24349800
Yang, Chun-Yuh; Chiu, Hui-Fen; Tsai, Shang-Shyue; Chang, Chih-Ching; Chuang, Hung-Yi
The petrochemical and petroleum industries are the main sources of industrial air pollution in Taiwan. Data in this study concern outdoor air pollution and the health of individuals living in communities in close proximity to petrochemical industrial complexes. The prevalence of delivery of preterm birth infants was significantly higher in mothers living near petrochemical industrial complexes than in control mothers living elsewhere in Taiwan. After controlling for several possible confounders (including maternal age, season, marital status, maternal education, and infant sex), the adjusted odds ratio was 1.18 (95% CI=1.04-1.34) for delivery of preterm infants in the petrochemically polluted region. The data provide further support for the hypothesis that air pollution can affect the outcome of pregnancy. PMID:12176003
Stadler, Mira; Walter, Stefanie; Walzl, Angelika; Kramer, Nina; Unger, Christine; Scherzer, Martin; Unterleuthner, Daniela; Hengstschläger, Markus; Krupitza, Georg; Dolznig, Helmut
Solid cancers are not simple accumulations of malignant tumor cells but rather represent complex organ-like structures. Despite a more chaotic general appearance as compared to the highly organized setup of healthy tissues, cancers still show highly differentiated structures and a close interaction with and dependency on the interwoven connective tissue. This complexity within cancers is not known in detail at the molecular level so far. The first part of this article will shortly describe the technology and strategies to quantify and dissect the heterogeneity in human solid cancers. Moreover, there is urgent need to better understand human cancer biology since the development of novel anti-cancer drugs is far from being efficient, predominantly due to the scarcity of predictive preclinical models. Hence, in vivo and in vitro models were developed, which better recapitulate the complexity of human cancers, by their intrinsic three-dimensional nature and the cellular heterogeneity and allow functional intervention for hypothesis testing. Therefore, in the second part 3D in vitro cancer models are presented that analyze and depict the heterogeneity in human cancers. Advantages and drawbacks of each model are highlighted and their suitability to preclinical drug testing is discussed. PMID:26320002
Chupin, Stéphanie; Baron, Stéphanie; Nivet-Antoine, Valérie; Vessières, Emilie; Ayer, Audrey; Henrion, Daniel; Lenaers, Guy; Reynier, Pascal; Procaccio, Vincent
Resveratrol is often described as a promising therapeutic molecule for numerous diseases, especially in metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. While the mechanism of action is still debated, an increasing literature reports that resveratrol regulates the mitochondrial respiratory chain function. In a recent study we have identified mitochondrial complex I as a direct target of this molecule. Nevertheless, the mechanisms and consequences of such an interaction still require further investigation. In this study, we identified in silico by docking study a binding site for resveratrol at the nucleotide pocket of complex I. In vitro, using solubilized complex I, we demonstrated a competition between NAD+ and resveratrol. At low doses (<5μM), resveratrol stimulated complex I activity, whereas at high dose (50 μM) it rather decreased it. In vivo, in brain mitochondria from resveratrol treated young mice, we showed that complex I activity was increased, whereas the respiration rate was not improved. Moreover, in old mice with low antioxidant defenses, we demonstrated that complex I activation by resveratrol led to oxidative stress. These results bring new insights into the mechanism of action of resveratrol on mitochondria and highlight the importance of the balance between pro- and antioxidant effects of resveratrol depending on its dose and age. These parameters should be taken into account when clinical trials using resveratrol or analogues have to be designed. PMID:26684010
Mondragón-Rodríguez, Siddhartha; Basurto-Islas, Gustavo; Lee, Hyoung-gon; Perry, George; Zhu, Xiongwei; Castellani, Rudy J; Smith, Mark A
Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and have been the focus of disease etiology and pathogenesis. However, in the larger picture of a complex disease, the precise etiology of the lesions per se, as well as the clinical disease, remain to be defined. In this regard, to date no single process has been identified as a useful target and treatment efforts have shown no meaningful progress. Therefore, alternative ideas that may lead to new and effective treatment options are much needed. PMID:20420489
Wichard, Thomas; Mishra, Bhoopesh; Myneni, Satish C. B.; Bellenger, Jean-Philippe; Kraepiel, Anne M. L.
The micronutrient molybdenum is a necessary component of the nitrogen-fixing enzyme nitrogenase. Molybdenum is very rare in soils, and is usually present in a highly soluble form, making it susceptible to leaching. However, it is generally thought that molybdenum attaches to mineral surfaces in acidic soils; this would prevent its escape into the groundwater, but would also impede uptake by microbes. Here we use X-ray spectroscopy to examine the chemical speciation of molybdenum in soil samples from forests in Arizona and New Jersey. We show that in the leaf litter layer, most of the molybdenum forms strong complexes with plant-derived tannins and tannin-like compounds; molybdenum binds to these organic ligands across a wide pH range. In deeper soils, molybdenum binds to both iron oxides and natural organic matter. We suggest that the molybdenum bound to organic matter can be captured by small complexing agents that are released by nitrogen-fixing bacteria; the molybdenum can then be incorporated into nitrogenase. We conclude that the binding of molybdenum to natural organic matter helps prevent leaching of molybdenum, and is thus a critical step in securing new nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems.
Woodsmith, Jonathan; Jenn, Robert C.; Sanderson, Chris M.
Ubiquitination controls the stability or function of many human proteins, thereby regulating a wide range of physiological processes. In most cases the combinatorial pattern of protein interactions that facilitate substrate recognition or modification remain unclear. Moreover, the efficiency of ubiquitination reactions can be altered by the formation of homo- and heterotypic E3-RING complexes. To establish the prevalence and nature of binary E3-RING/E3-RING interactions systematic yeast two-hybrid screens were performed to test 7269 potential interactions between 124 human E3-RING proteins. These studies identified 228 dimeric interactions between 100 E3-RINGs, of which 205 were novel. Complementary co-immunoprecipitation studies were performed to test predicted network interactions, showing a high correlation (64%) with primary yeast two-hybrid data. This data was integrated with known E3-RING interactions, tissue expression profiles and proteomic ubiquitination datasets to facilitate identification of subnetworks in which E3-RING dimerization events have the potential to alter network structure. These results reveal a widespread yet selective pattern of E3-RING dimerization events, which have the potential to confer further combinatorial complexity within human ubiquitination cascades. PMID:22493164
Wichard, T.; Mishra, B; Myneni, S; Bellenger, J; Kraepiel, A
The micronutrient molybdenum is a necessary component of the nitrogen-fixing enzyme nitrogenase1, 2. Molybdenum is very rare in soils, and is usually present in a highly soluble form, making it susceptible to leaching3, 4. However, it is generally thought that molybdenum attaches to mineral surfaces in acidic soils; this would prevent its escape into the groundwater, but would also impede uptake by microbes3. Here we use X-ray spectroscopy to examine the chemical speciation of molybdenum in soil samples from forests in Arizona and New Jersey. We show that in the leaf litter layer, most of the molybdenum forms strong complexes with plant-derived tannins and tannin-like compounds; molybdenum binds to these organic ligands across a wide pH range. In deeper soils, molybdenum binds to both iron oxides and natural organic matter. We suggest that the molybdenum bound to organic matter can be captured by small complexing agents that are released by nitrogen-fixing bacteria; the molybdenum can then be incorporated into nitrogenase. We conclude that the binding of molybdenum to natural organic matter helps prevent leaching of molybdenum, and is thus a critical step in securing new nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems.
Boone, Katherine B.; Davidson, Denise L.; Bauman, Mark
The evolution of the resident assistant position and its history are important to understanding its increasing complexities. In this article we examine how court cases and federal legislation, along with changes in popular culture, have altered and shaped the role of the resident assistant. Our premise is that this role, originally relatively…
Yaman, Ferhan; Acikan, Izzet; Dundar, Serkan; Simsek, Sercan; Gul, Mehmet; Ozercan, Ibrahim Hanifi; Komorowski, James; Sahin, Kazim
Background Arginine silicate inositol complex (ASI; arginine 49.5%, silicon 8.2%, and inositol 25%) is a novel material that is a bioavailable source of silicon and arginine. ASI offers potential benefits for vascular and bone health. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential effects of ASI complex on bone healing of critical-sized defects in rats. Methods The rats were randomly assigned to two groups of 21 rats each. The control group was fed a standard diet for 12 weeks; after the first 8 weeks, a calvarial critical-sized defect was created, and the rats were sacrificed 7, 14, and 28 days later. The ASI group was fed a diet containing 1.81 g/kg of ASI for 12 weeks; after the first 8 weeks, a calvarial critical-sized defect was created, and the rats were sacrificed 7, 14, and 28 days later. The calvarial bones of all the rats were then harvested for evaluation. Results Osteoblasts and osteoclasts were detected at higher levels in the ASI group compared with the control group at days 7, 14, and 28 of the calvarial defect (P<0.05). New bone formation was detected at higher levels in the ASI group compared with the controls at day 28 (P<0.05). However, new bone formation was not detected at days 7 and 14 in both the groups (P>0.05). Conclusion ASI supplementation significantly improved bone tissue healing in rats with critical-sized defects. This study demonstrated that ASI can enhance bone repair and has potential as a therapeutic regimen in humans. PMID:27390517
McKay, Mary; Block, Megan; Mellins, Claude; Traube, Dorian E.; Brackis-Cott, Elizabeth; Minott, Desiree; Miranda, Claudia; Petterson, Jennifer; Abrams, Elaine J.
SUMMARY This article describes a family-based HIV prevention and mental health promotion program specifically designed to meet the needs of perinatally-infected preadolescents and their families. This project represents one of the first attempts to involve perinatally HIV-infected youth in HIV prevention efforts while simultaneously addressing their mental health and health care needs. The program, entitled CHAMP+ (Collaborative HIV Prevention and Adolescent Mental Health Project-Plus), focuses on: (1) the impact of HIV on the family; (2) loss and stigma associated with HIV disease; (3) HIV knowledge and understanding of health and medication protocols; (4) family communication about puberty, sexuality and HIV; (5) social support and decision making related to disclosure; and (6) parental supervision and monitoring related to sexual possibility situations, sexual risk taking behavior and management of youth health and medication. Findings from a preliminary evaluation of CHAMP+ with six families are presented along with a discussion of challenges related to feasibility and implementation within a primary health care setting for perinatally infected youth. PMID:20852676
Yang, Peng; Marinakos, Stella M.; Chilkoti, Ashutosh
Protein immobilization on surfaces is useful in many areas of research, including biological characterization, antibody purification, and clinical diagnostics. A critical limitation in the development of protein microarrays and heterogeneous protein-based assays is the enormous work and associated costs in the purification of proteins prior to their immobilization on a surface; methods to address this problem would simplify the development of interfacial diagnostics that use a protein as the recognition element. Herein, we describe an approach for the facile, site-specific immobilization of proteins on a surface without any preprocessing or sample purification steps that ligates an intein fusion protein at its C-terminus by reaction with a hydrazine group presented by a surface. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this methodology can directly immobilize a protein directly from cell lysate on to a protein-resistant surface. This methodology is also compatible with soft lithography and inkjet printing, so that one or more proteins can be patterned on a surface without need for purification. PMID:21142101
With Barack Obama making history by becoming the United States' first mixed-race president, his inauguration is calling attention to the nation's growing multiracial population, whose youngest members are showing up with increasing frequency at schoolhouse doors. Yet while the growth of the U.S. population of children with mixed-race backgrounds…
Thai, Chau; Boers, Frank
Studies have shown that learners' task performance improves when they have the opportunity to repeat the task. Conditions for task repetition vary, however. In the 4/3/2 activity, learners repeat a monologue under increasing time pressure. The purpose is to foster fluency, but it has been suggested in the literature that it also benefits other…
Joseph, Bellal; Aziz, Hassan; Pandit, Viraj; Hays, Daniel; Kulvatunyou, Narong; Tang, Andrew; Wynne, Julie; O' Keeffe, Terence; Green, Donald J; Friese, Randall S; Gruessner, Rainer; Rhee, Peter
Coagulopathy is a defined barrier for organ donation in patients with lethal traumatic brain injuries. The purpose of this study was to document our experience with the use of prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) to facilitate organ donation in patients with lethal traumatic brain injuries. We performed a 4-year retrospective analysis of all patients with devastating gunshot wounds to the brain. The data were analyzed for demographics, change in international normalized ratio (INR), and subsequent organ donation. The primary end point was organ donation. Eighty-eight patients with lethal traumatic brain injury were identified from the trauma registry of whom 13 were coagulopathic at the time of admission (mean INR 2.2 ± 0.8). Of these 13 patients, 10 patients received PCC in an effort to reverse their coagulopathy. Mean INR before PCC administration was 2.01 ± 0.7 and 1.1 ± 0.7 after administration (P < 0.006). Correction of coagulopathy was attained in 70 per cent (seven of 10) patients. Of these seven patients, consent for donation was obtained in six patients and resulted in 19 solid organs being procured. The cost of PCC per patient was $1022 ± 544. PCC effectively reveres coagulopathy associated with lethal traumatic brain injury and enabled patients to proceed to organ donation. Although various methodologies exist for the treatment of coagulopathy to facilitate organ donation, PCC provides a rapid and cost-effective therapy for reversal of coagulopathy in patients with lethal traumatic brain injuries. PMID:24887662
Compagni, Amelia; Cavalli, Laura; Jommi, Claudio
In Italy, the process of power decentralization to Regional Governments has particularly affected pharmaceutical care policies. Regions are experimenting with various strategies to govern drugs utilization and expenditure, and differentiating their approaches, leading to an ever-changing and complex institutional scenario. Pharmaceutical companies have created new professional roles, the Regional Affairs Managers (RAM), with the mandate to monitor the different regional contexts and measures, and to establish relationships with the public actors in charge of pharmaceutical policies. This analysis shows how public affairs/lobbying actions at regional level and the creation of a solid political competence within companies are still in an early phase. The activities carried out by RAMs remain limited to an exchange of information and only rarely are perceived by Regional public servants (RRs) as giving support to their work or influence decisions. The interaction with RAMs is often seen as little relevant and still too concentrated on products and a marketing/commercial approach rather than on broader issues of interest to RRs who need to manage the pharmaceutical care system at large. The level of acceptance of this type of activity is also variable and RRs' attitudes alternate between diffidence, polite tolerance, and openness to a constructive dialogue about pharmaceuticals and their management in a regional healthcare system. PMID:18384907
Warnaar, Pascal; Couto, Joao; Negrello, Mario; Junker, Marc; Smilgin, Aleksandra; Ignashchenkova, Alla; Giugliano, Michele; Thier, Peter; De Schutter, Erik
Climbing fiber (CF) triggered complex spikes (CS) are massive depolarization bursts in the cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC), showing several high frequency spikelet components (±600 Hz). Since its early observations, the CS is known to vary in shape. In this study we describe CS waveforms, extracellularly recorded in awake primates (Macaca mulatta) performing saccades. Every PC analyzed showed a range of CS shapes with profoundly different duration and number of spikelets. The initial part of the CS was rather constant but the later part differed greatly, with a pronounced jitter of the last spikelets causing a large variation in total CS duration. Waveforms did not effect the following pause duration in the simple spike (SS) train, nor were SS firing rates predictive of the waveform shapes or vice versa. The waveforms did not differ between experimental conditions nor was there a preferred sequential order of CS shapes throughout the recordings. Instead, part of their variability, the timing jitter of the CS’s last spikelets, strongly correlated with interval length to the preceding CS: shorter CS intervals resulted in later appearance of the last spikelets in the CS burst, and vice versa. A similar phenomenon was observed in rat PCs recorded in vitro upon repeated extracellular stimulation of CFs at different frequencies in slice experiments. All together these results strongly suggest that the variability in the timing of the last spikelet is due to CS frequency dependent changes in PC excitability. PMID:25918500
Main, Bradley J; Lee, Yoosook; Collier, Travis C; Norris, Laura C; Brisco, Katherine; Fofana, Abdrahamane; Cornel, Anthony J; Lanzaro, Gregory C
In certain cases, a species may have access to important genetic variation present in a related species via adaptive introgression. These novel alleles may interact with their new genetic background, resulting in unexpected phenotypes. In this study, we describe a selective sweep on standing variation on the X chromosome in the mosquito Anopheles coluzzii, a principal malaria vector in West Africa. This event may have been influenced by the recent adaptive introgression of the insecticide resistance gene known as kdr from the sister species Anopheles gambiae. Individuals carrying both kdr and a nearly fixed X-linked haplotype, encompassing at least four genes including the P450 gene CYP9K1 and the cuticular protein CPR125, have rapidly increased in relative frequency. In parallel, a reproductively isolated insecticide-susceptible A. gambiae population (Bamako form) has been driven to local extinction, likely due to strong selection from increased insecticide-treated bed net usage. PMID:26359110
This study investigates the effect of foveal load (i.e., processing difficulty of currently fixated words) on parafoveal information processing. Contrary to the commonly accepted view that high foveal load leads to reduced parafoveal processing efficiency, results of the present study showed that increasing foveal visual (but not linguistic) processing load actually increased the amount of parafoveal information acquired, presumably due to the fact that longer fixation duration on the pretarget word provided more time for parafoveal processing of the target word. It is therefore proposed in the present study that foveal linguistic processing load is not the only factor that determines parafoveal processing; preview time (afforded by foveal word visual processing load) may jointly influence parafoveal processing. PMID:25911574
Desquiret-Dumas, Valérie; Gueguen, Naïg; Leman, Géraldine; Baron, Stéphanie; Nivet-Antoine, Valérie; Chupin, Stéphanie; Chevrollier, Arnaud; Vessières, Emilie; Ayer, Audrey; Ferré, Marc; Bonneau, Dominique; Henrion, Daniel; Reynier, Pascal; Procaccio, Vincent
Resveratrol (RSV) has been shown to be involved in the regulation of energetic metabolism, generating increasing interest in therapeutic use. SIRT1 has been described as the main target of RSV. However, recent reports have challenged the hypothesis of its direct activation by RSV, and the signaling pathways remain elusive. Here, the effects of RSV on mitochondrial metabolism are detailed both in vivo and in vitro using murine and cellular models and isolated enzymes. We demonstrate that low RSV doses (1–5 μm) directly stimulate NADH dehydrogenases and, more specifically, mitochondrial complex I activity (EC50 ∼1 μm). In HepG2 cells, this complex I activation increases the mitochondrial NAD+/NADH ratio. This higher NAD+ level initiates a SIRT3-dependent increase in the mitochondrial substrate supply pathways (i.e. the tricarboxylic acid cycle and fatty acid oxidation). This effect is also seen in liver mitochondria of RSV-fed animals (50 mg/kg/day). We conclude that the increase in NADH oxidation by complex I is a crucial event for SIRT3 activation by RSV. Our results open up new perspectives in the understanding of the RSV signaling pathway and highlight the critical importance of RSV doses used for future clinical trials. PMID:24178296
Chellali, Amine; Schwaitzberg, Steven D.; Jones, Daniel B.; Romanelli, John; Miller, Amie; Rattner, David; Roberts, Kurt E.; Cao, Caroline G.L.
Background NOTES is an emerging technique for performing surgical procedures, such as cholecystectomy. Debate about its real benefit over the traditional laparoscopic technique is on-going. There have been several clinical studies comparing NOTES to conventional laparoscopic surgery. However, no work has been done to compare these techniques from a Human Factors perspective. This study presents a systematic analysis describing and comparing different existing NOTES methods to laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Methods Videos of endoscopic/laparoscopic views from fifteen live cholecystectomies were analyzed to conduct a detailed task analysis of the NOTES technique. A hierarchical task analysis of laparoscopic cholecystectomy and several hybrid transvaginal NOTES cholecystectomies was performed and validated by expert surgeons. To identify similarities and differences between these techniques, their hierarchical decomposition trees were compared. Finally, a timeline analysis was conducted to compare the steps and substeps. Results At least three variations of the NOTES technique were used for cholecystectomy. Differences between the observed techniques at the substep level of hierarchy and on the instruments being used were found. The timeline analysis showed an increase in time to perform some surgical steps and substeps in NOTES compared to laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Conclusion As pure NOTES is extremely difficult given the current state of development in instrumentation design, most surgeons utilize different hybrid methods – combination of endoscopic and laparoscopic instruments/optics. Results of our hierarchical task analysis yielded an identification of three different hybrid methods to perform cholecystectomy with significant variability amongst them. The varying degrees to which laparoscopic instruments are utilized to assist in NOTES methods appear to introduce different technical issues and additional tasks leading to an increase in the surgical time. The
Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Inui, Ken; Hayashi, Shintaro; Miyata, Keita; Suzuki, Tomonori; Ohyama, Tohru; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Niwa, Koichi
Clostridium botulinum produces a large toxin complex (L-TC) that increases paracellular permeability in intestinal epithelial cells by a mechanism that remains unclear. Here, we show that mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are involved in this permeability increase. Paracellular permeability was measured by FITC-dextran flux through a monolayer of rat intestinal epithelial IEC-6 cells, and MAPK activation was estimated from western blots. L-TC of C. botulinum serotype D strain 4947 increased paracellular dextran flux and activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38, but not c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in IEC-6 cells. The permeability increase induced by L-TC was abrogated by the p38 inhibitor SB203580. These results indicate that L-TC increases paracellular permeability by activating p38, but not JNK and ERK. PMID:23884081
Minteer, Danielle M.; Gerlach, Jorg C.
The concept of bioreactors in biochemical engineering is a well-established process; however, the idea of applying bioreactor technology to biomedical and tissue engineering issues is relatively novel and has been rapidly accepted as a culture model. Tissue engineers have developed and adapted various types of bioreactors in which to culture many different cell types and therapies addressing several diseases, including diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2. With a rising world of bioreactor development and an ever increasing diagnosis rate of diabetes, this review aims to highlight bioreactor history and emerging bioreactor technologies used for diabetes-related cell culture and therapies. PMID:25160666
Troeberg, Linda; Mulloy, Barbara; Ghosh, Peter; Lee, Meng-Huee; Murphy, Gillian; Nagase, Hideaki
The semi-synthetic sulfated polysaccharide PPS (pentosan polysulfate) increases affinity between the aggrecan-degrading ADAMTSs (adamalysins with thrombospondin motifs) and their endogenous inhibitor, TIMP (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases)-3. In the present study we demonstrate that PPS mediates the formation of a high-affinity trimolecular complex with ADAMTS-5 and TIMP-3. A TIMP-3 mutant that lacks extracellular-matrix-binding ability was insensitive to this affinity increase, and truncated forms of ADAMTS-5 that lack the Sp (spacer) domain had reduced PPS-binding ability and sensitivity to the affinity increase. PPS molecules composed of 11 or more saccharide units were 100-fold more effective than those of eight saccharide units, indicating the involvement of extended or multiple protein-interaction sites. The formation of a high-affinity trimolecular complex was completely abolished in the presence of 0.4 M NaCl. These results suggest that PPS enhances the affinity between ADAMTS-5 and TIMP-3 by forming electrostatically driven trimolecular complexes under physiological conditions. PMID:22299597
Braunisch, Veronika; Coppes, Joy; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Suchant, Rudi; Zellweger, Florian; Bollmann, Kurt
Species adapted to cold-climatic mountain environments are expected to face a high risk of range contractions, if not local extinctions under climate change. Yet, the populations of many endothermic species may not be primarily affected by physiological constraints, but indirectly by climate-induced changes of habitat characteristics. In mountain forests, where vertebrate species largely depend on vegetation composition and structure, deteriorating habitat suitability may thus be mitigated or even compensated by habitat management aiming at compositional and structural enhancement. We tested this possibility using four cold-adapted bird species with complementary habitat requirements as model organisms. Based on species data and environmental information collected in 300 1-km2 grid cells distributed across four mountain ranges in central Europe, we investigated (1) how species’ occurrence is explained by climate, landscape, and vegetation, (2) to what extent climate change and climate-induced vegetation changes will affect habitat suitability, and (3) whether these changes could be compensated by adaptive habitat management. Species presence was modelled as a function of climate, landscape and vegetation variables under current climate; moreover, vegetation-climate relationships were assessed. The models were extrapolated to the climatic conditions of 2050, assuming the moderate IPCC-scenario A1B, and changes in species’ occurrence probability were quantified. Finally, we assessed the maximum increase in occurrence probability that could be achieved by modifying one or multiple vegetation variables under altered climate conditions. Climate variables contributed significantly to explaining species occurrence, and expected climatic changes, as well as climate-induced vegetation trends, decreased the occurrence probability of all four species, particularly at the low-altitudinal margins of their distribution. These effects could be partly compensated by modifying
Benoit, Bérengère; Laugerette, Fabienne; Plaisancié, Pascale; Géloën, Alain; Bodennec, Jacques; Estienne, Monique; Pineau, Gaëlle; Bernalier-Donadille, Annick; Vidal, Hubert; Michalski, Marie-Caroline
The impacts of high-fat diets (HFDs) on the onset of metabolic endotoxemia and low-grade inflammation are well established in rodent models. However, the dose-effect of dietary lipid intakes on these parameters is not known. We hypothesized that increasing dietary lipid amounts could be linked to parallel increases of endotoxemia, low-grade inflammation, and metabolic and intestinal alterations. Six-week-old male C57BL/6J mice were fed a low-fat diet (LFD, 2.6 wt% of lipids), a moderate HFD (mHFD, 22 wt% of lipids), or a very HFD (vHFD, 45 wt% of lipids) formulated mainly using chow ingredients and milk fat. After 12 weeks, white adipose tissues, liver, intestine, distal colon contents, and plasma were collected. Only vHFD mice significantly increased body weight and fat mass vs LFD mice. This was associated with increases of plasma concentrations of triglycerides, leptin and adiponectin, and liver lipids. No such differences were observed between LFD and mHFD mice. However, mHFD developed metabolic endotoxemia and inflammation, unlike vHFD mice. In turn, vHFD mice showed more goblet cells in all intestine segments vs both other groups and a decrease of Bacteroides-Prevotella in their microbiota vs LFD mice. Finally, mHFD mice colon exhibited a decrease in lactobacilli and in the levels of occludin phosphorylation. Altogether, using complex HFD, no associations were observed between dietary lipid amounts and the magnitude of endotoxemia, inflammation, and physiological alterations developed. These results reveal the impact of the diet composition on intestinal goblet cells and mucus coat, bringing new insights about further consequences on HFD-induced metabolic disorders. PMID:25687164
Hakonen, Maria; May, Patrick J C; Alho, Jussi; Alku, Paavo; Jokinen, Emma; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Tiitinen, Hannu
Recent studies have shown that acoustically distorted sentences can be perceived as either unintelligible or intelligible depending on whether one has previously been exposed to the undistorted, intelligible versions of the sentences. This allows studying processes specifically related to speech intelligibility since any change between the responses to the distorted stimuli before and after the presentation of their undistorted counterparts cannot be attributed to acoustic variability but, rather, to the successful mapping of sensory information onto memory representations. To estimate how the complexity of the message is reflected in speech comprehension, we applied this rapid change in perception to behavioral and magnetoencephalography (MEG) experiments using vowels, words and sentences. In the experiments, stimuli were initially presented to the subject in a distorted form, after which undistorted versions of the stimuli were presented. Finally, the original distorted stimuli were presented once more. The resulting increase in intelligibility observed for the second presentation of the distorted stimuli depended on the complexity of the stimulus: vowels remained unintelligible (behaviorally measured intelligibility 27%) whereas the intelligibility of the words increased from 19% to 45% and that of the sentences from 31% to 65%. This increase in the intelligibility of the degraded stimuli was reflected as an enhancement of activity in the auditory cortex and surrounding areas at early latencies of 130-160ms. In the same regions, increasing stimulus complexity attenuated mean currents at latencies of 130-160ms whereas at latencies of 200-270ms the mean currents increased. These modulations in cortical activity may reflect feedback from top-down mechanisms enhancing the extraction of information from speech. The behavioral results suggest that memory-driven expectancies can have a significant effect on speech comprehension, especially in acoustically adverse
Brantsæter, Margrethe; Nordgreen, Janicke; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Tahamtani, Fernanda M.; Popova, Anastasija; Janczak, Andrew M.
The complexity of the rearing environment is important for behavioral development and fearfulness. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that laying hens reared in a complex aviary system with exposure to mild intermittent stressors would be less fearful, less sensitive to stress, and would use elevated areas of the pen more often as adults than hens reared in a barren cage environment. Laying hens (N = 160) were housed in the same rearing house; half of the birds (n = 80) in an aviary and the other half (n = 80) in cages. At 16 weeks of age, the birds were transported to the experimental facilities. Their behavior was recorded at 19 and 23 weeks of age and analyzed by analysis of variance on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds have lower levels of fearfulness compared with cage-reared birds both at 19 weeks and at 23 weeks of age. When comparing the response induced by initial exposure to a novel object at 19 and 23 weeks of age, more aviary-reared birds tended to fly up at 19 weeks compared to the cage-reared birds, indicating a tendency toward a more active behavioral response in the aviary-reared birds than in cage-reared birds. There was no difference between treatments in the flight response at 23 weeks. The groups did not differ in defecation frequency or the concentration of fecal corticosterone metabolites at either age. At 19 weeks, observation of the spatial distribution in the home pens indicated that more aviary-reared birds spent time on the low perch, the elevated platform, and the upper perch, compared to the cage-reared birds. However, at 23 weeks of age, these differences were no longer detected. The results of this study support the hypothesis that increased environmental complexity during rearing reduces fearfulness of adult laying hens. PMID:26973843
Brantsæter, Margrethe; Nordgreen, Janicke; Rodenburg, T Bas; Tahamtani, Fernanda M; Popova, Anastasija; Janczak, Andrew M
The complexity of the rearing environment is important for behavioral development and fearfulness. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that laying hens reared in a complex aviary system with exposure to mild intermittent stressors would be less fearful, less sensitive to stress, and would use elevated areas of the pen more often as adults than hens reared in a barren cage environment. Laying hens (N = 160) were housed in the same rearing house; half of the birds (n = 80) in an aviary and the other half (n = 80) in cages. At 16 weeks of age, the birds were transported to the experimental facilities. Their behavior was recorded at 19 and 23 weeks of age and analyzed by analysis of variance on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds have lower levels of fearfulness compared with cage-reared birds both at 19 weeks and at 23 weeks of age. When comparing the response induced by initial exposure to a novel object at 19 and 23 weeks of age, more aviary-reared birds tended to fly up at 19 weeks compared to the cage-reared birds, indicating a tendency toward a more active behavioral response in the aviary-reared birds than in cage-reared birds. There was no difference between treatments in the flight response at 23 weeks. The groups did not differ in defecation frequency or the concentration of fecal corticosterone metabolites at either age. At 19 weeks, observation of the spatial distribution in the home pens indicated that more aviary-reared birds spent time on the low perch, the elevated platform, and the upper perch, compared to the cage-reared birds. However, at 23 weeks of age, these differences were no longer detected. The results of this study support the hypothesis that increased environmental complexity during rearing reduces fearfulness of adult laying hens. PMID:26973843
Greenwood, Sarah; Chen, Jan-Chang; Chen, Chaur-Tzuhn; Jump, Alistair S
Altitudinal treelines are typically temperature limited such that increasing temperatures linked to global climate change are causing upslope shifts of treelines worldwide. While such elevational increases are readily predicted based on shifting isotherms, at the regional level the realized response is often much more complex, with topography and local environmental conditions playing an important modifying role. Here, we used repeated aerial photographs in combination with forest inventory data to investigate changes in treeline position in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan over the last 60 years. A highly spatially variable upslope advance of treeline was identified in which topography is a major driver of both treeline form and advance. The changes in treeline position that we observed occurred alongside substantial increases in forest density, and lead to a large increase in overall forest area. These changes will have a significant impact on carbon stocking in the high altitude zone, while the concomitant decrease in alpine grassland area is likely to have negative implications for alpine species. The complex and spatially variable changes that we report highlight the necessity for considering local factors such as topography when attempting to predict species distributional responses to warming climate. PMID:25141823
Each year at the annual ASHG meeting, addresses are given in honor of the society and a number of award winners. A summary of each of these addresses is given below. On the next pages, we have printed the Presidential Address and the addresses for the William Allan Award. The other addresses, accompanied by pictures of the speakers, can be found at www.ashg.org.
Jiwani, Shahanawaz; Ohr, Ryan J.; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Hackstadt, Ted; Alvarado, Stephenie; Romero, Adriana; Jewett, Travis J.
Actin polymerization is required for Chlamydia trachomatis entry into nonphagocytic host cells. Host and chlamydial actin nucleators are essential for internalization of chlamydiae by eukaryotic cells. The host cell Arp2/3 complex and the chlamydial translocated actin recruiting phosphoprotein (Tarp) are both required for entry. Tarp and the Arp2/3 complex exhibit unique actin polymerization kinetics individually, but the molecular details of how these two actin nucleators cooperate to promote bacterial entry is not understood. In this study we provide biochemical evidence that the two actin nucleators act synergistically by co-opting the unique attributes of each to enhance the dynamics of actin filament formation. This process is independent of Tarp phosphorylation. We further demonstrate that Tarp colocalization with actin filaments is independent of the Tarp phosphorylation domain. The results are consistent with a model in which chlamydial and host cell actin nucleators cooperate to increase the rate of actin filament formation. PMID:22465117
Rojas, Cristian Antonio; Eloy, Nubia Barbosa; Lima, Marcelo de Freitas; Rodrigues, Roberta Lopes; Franco, Luciana Ozório; Himanen, Kristiina; Beemster, Gerrit T S; Hemerly, Adriana Silva; Ferreira, Paulo Cavalcanti Gomes
The Anaphase Promoting Complex (APC) controls CDK activity by targeting the ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of S-phase and mitosis-promoting cyclins. Here, we report that the ectopic expression of the Arabidopsis CDC27a, an APC subunit, accelerates plant growth and results in plants with increased biomass production. CDC27a overexpression was associated to apical meristem restructuration, protoplasts with higher (3)H-thimidine incorporation and altered cell-cycle marker expression. Total protein extracts immunoprecipitated with a CDC27a antibody showed ubiquitin ligase activity, indicating that the Arabidopsis CDC27a gets incorporated into APC complexes. These results indicate a role of AtCDC27a in regulation of plant growth and raise the possibility that the activity of the APC and the rates of plant cell division could be regulated by the concentration of the CDC27a subunit. PMID:19629716
McCabe, D; Harrison, P; Mackie, I; Sidhu, P; Purdy, G; Lawrie, A; Watt, H; Machin, S; Brown, M
Objective: The risk of stroke in patients with recently symptomatic carotid stenosis is considerably higher than in patients with asymptomatic stenosis. In the present study it was hypothesised that excessive platelet activation might partly contribute to this difference. Methods: A full blood count was done and whole blood flow cytometry used to measure platelet surface expression of CD62P, CD63, and PAC1 binding and the percentage of leucocyte–platelet complexes in patients with acute (0–21 days, n = 19) and convalescent (79–365 days) symptomatic (n = 16) and asymptomatic (n = 16) severe (⩾70%) carotid stenosis. Most patients were treated with aspirin (37.5–300 mg daily) although alternative antithrombotic regimens were more commonly used in the symptomatic group. Results: The mean platelet count was higher in patients with acute and convalescent symptomatic compared with asymptomatic carotid stenosis. There were no significant differences in the median percentage expression of CD62P and CD63, or PAC1 binding between the acute or convalescent symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The median percentages of neutrophil–platelet (p = 0.004), monocyte–platelet (p = 0.046), and lymphocyte–platelet complexes (p = 0.02) were higher in acute symptomatic than in asymptomatic patients. In patients on aspirin monotherapy, the percentages of neutrophil–platelet and monocyte–platelet complexes (p = 0.03) were higher in acute symptomatic (n = 11) than asymptomatic patients (n = 14). In the convalescent phase, the median percentages of all leucocyte–platelet complexes in the symptomatic group dropped to levels similar to those found in the asymptomatic group. Conclusion: Increased platelet count and leucocyte–platelet complex formation may contribute to the early excess risk of stroke in patients with recently symptomatic carotid stenosis. PMID:16107361
Worth, Andrew J.; Basu, Sankha S.; Snyder, Nathaniel W.; Mesaros, Clementina; Blair, Ian A.
Rotenone is a naturally occurring mitochondrial complex I inhibitor with a known association with parkinsonian phenotypes in both human populations and rodent models. Despite these findings, a clear mechanistic link between rotenone exposure and neuronal damage remains to be determined. Here, we report alterations to lipid metabolism in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells exposed to rotenone. The absolute levels of acetyl-CoA were found to be maintained despite a significant decrease in glucose-derived acetyl-CoA. Furthermore, palmitoyl-CoA levels were maintained, whereas the levels of many of the medium-chain acyl-CoA species were significantly reduced. Additionally, using isotopologue analysis, we found that β-oxidation of fatty acids with varying chain lengths helped maintain acetyl-CoA levels. Rotenone also induced increased glutamine utilization for lipogenesis, in part through reductive carboxylation, as has been found previously in other cell types. Finally, palmitoylcarnitine levels were increased in response to rotenone, indicating an increase in fatty acid import. Taken together, these findings show that alterations to lipid and glutamine metabolism play an important compensatory role in response to complex I inhibition by rotenone. PMID:25122772
Chang, Chuang-Rung; Kao, Mou-Chieh; Chen, Kuan-Wei; Chiu, Shih-Che; Hsu, Ming-Ling; Hsiang, I-Chou; Chen, Yu-Jen; Chen, Linyi
High energy ionizing radiation can cause DNA damage and cell death. During clinical radiation therapy, the radiation dose could range from 15 to 60 Gy depending on targets. While 2 Gy radiation has been shown to cause cancer cell death, studies also suggest a protective potential by low dose radiation. In this study, we examined the effect of 0.2-2 Gy radiation on hippocampal neurons. Low dose 0.2 Gy radiation treatment increased the levels of MTT. Since hippocampal neurons are post-mitotic, this result reveals a possibility that 0.2 Gy irradiation may increase mitochondrial activity to cope with stimuli. Maintaining neural plasticity is an energy-demanding process that requires high efficient mitochondrial function. We thus hypothesized that low dose radiation may regulate mitochondrial dynamics and function to ensure survival of neurons. Our results showed that five days after 0.2 Gy irradiation, no obvious changes on neuronal survival, neuronal synapses, membrane potential of mitochondria, reactive oxygen species levels, and mitochondrial DNA copy numbers. Interestingly, 0.2 Gy irradiation promoted the mitochondria fusion, resulting in part from the increased level of a mitochondrial fusion protein, Mfn2, and inhibition of Drp1 fission protein trafficking to the mitochondria. Accompanying with the increased mitochondrial fusion, the expressions of complexes I and III of the electron transport chain were also increased. These findings suggest that, hippocampal neurons undergo increased mitochondrial fusion to modulate cellular activity as an adaptive mechanism in response to low dose radiation. PMID:26415228
Van Eerdenbrugh, Katrien; Verhoest, Niko; De Mulder, Tom
Discharge assessment through rating curves is a widespread technique in the field of hydrologic monitoring. In practical applications, this technique often consists of the use of one or multiple power laws, based on rather stringent assumptions concerning the nature of the prevailing flow conditions. In reality, those assumptions are regularly violated, inducing considerable uncertainties in the calculated discharges. It is thus important to estimate the effect of those simplifications when performing an overall uncertainty analysis of rating curve discharges. In this study, different rating curve formulations are compared based on both results of a hydrodynamic model and measured water levels and discharges. The results of a hydrodynamic model are used to justify the applicability of several rating curve models with increased complexity as an alternative for a single power law equation. With the hydrodynamic model, situations are simulated that correspond to steady state conditions and to minimal effect of downstream boundaries. Comparison of simulations results with those of measurement-driven simulations leads to an increased understanding of the rating curve dynamics. It allows for evaluation of rating curve formulations accounting for the influences of hysteresis and backwater effects which are neglected in power law rating curves. Subsequently, the performance of those rating curve models and the identifiability of their parameters are assessed based on available stage-discharge measurements and their accompanying uncertainties as described in literature. This assessment is performed based on the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE). Rejection criteria to distinguish behavioural from non-behavioural models are defined by uncertainties on both water levels and discharge measurements that envelop measured data points. The results of the hydrodynamic model clearly indicate benefits of adding complexity to the rating curve model, mainly by
Schloesser, Anke; Esatbeyoglu, Tuba; Piegholdt, Stefanie; Dose, Janina; Ikuta, Naoko; Okamoto, Hinako; Ishida, Yoshiyuki; Terao, Keiji; Matsugo, Seiichi; Rimbach, Gerald
Brain aging is accompanied by a decrease in mitochondrial function. In vitro studies suggest that tocotrienols, including γ- and δ-tocotrienol (T3), may exhibit neuroprotective properties. However, little is known about the effect of dietary T3 on mitochondrial function in vivo. In this study, we monitored the effect of a dietary T3/γ-cyclodextrin complex (T3CD) on mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels in the brain of 21-month-old mice. Mice were fed either a control diet or a diet enriched with T3CD providing 100 mg T3 per kg diet for 6 months. Dietary T3CD significantly increased mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels compared to those of controls. The increase in MMP and ATP due to dietary T3CD was accompanied by an increase in the protein levels of the mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM). Furthermore, dietary T3CD slightly increased the mRNA levels of superoxide dismutase, γ-glutamyl cysteinyl synthetase, and heme oxygenase 1 in the brain. Overall, the present data suggest that T3CD increases TFAM, mitochondrial membrane potential, and ATP synthesis in the brains of aged mice. PMID:26301044
Macedo, Levy W; Cararo, José H; Maravai, Soliany G; Gonçalves, Cinara L; Oliveira, Giovanna M T; Kist, Luiza W; Guerra Martinez, Camila; Kurtenbach, Eleonora; Bogo, Maurício R; Hipkiss, Alan R; Streck, Emilio L; Schuck, Patrícia F; Ferreira, Gustavo C
Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) is an imidazole dipeptide synthesized in excitable tissues of many animals, whose biochemical properties include carbonyl scavenger, anti-oxidant, bivalent metal ion chelator, proton buffer, and immunomodulating agent, although its precise physiological role(s) in skeletal muscle and brain tissues in vivo remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the in vivo effects of acute carnosine administration on various aspects of brain bioenergetics of young Wistar rats. The activity of mitochondrial enzymes in cerebral cortex was assessed using a spectrophotometer, and it was found that there was an increase in the activities of complexes I-III and II-III and succinate dehydrogenase in carnosine-treated rats, as compared to vehicle-treated animals. However, quantitative real-time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) data on mRNA levels of mitochondrial biogenesis-related proteins (nuclear respiratory factor 1 (Nrf1), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1-α (Ppargc1α), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam)) were not altered significantly and therefore suggest that short-term carnosine administration does not affect mitochondrial biogenesis. It was in agreement with the finding that immunocontent of respiratory chain complexes was not altered in animals receiving carnosine. These observations indicate that acute carnosine administration increases the respiratory chain and citric acid cycle enzyme activities in cerebral cortex of young rats, substantiating, at least in part, a neuroprotector effect assigned to carnosine against oxidative-driven disorders. PMID:26476839
Aeschlimann, Martin; Brixner, Tobias; Fischer, Alexander; Hensen, Matthias; Huber, Bernhard; Kilbane, Deirdre; Kramer, Christian; Pfeiffer, Walter; Piecuch, Martin; Thielen, Philip
We reconstruct the optical response of nanostructures of increasing complexity by fitting interferometric time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) data from an ultrashort (21 fs) laser excitation source with different harmonic oscillator-based models. Due to its high spatial resolution of ~40 nm, PEEM is a true near-field imaging system and enables in normal incidence mode a mapping of plasmon polaritons and an intuitive interpretation of the plasmonic behaviour. Using an actively stabilized Mach-Zehnder interferometer, we record two-pulse correlation signals with 50 as time resolution that contain information about the temporal plasmon polariton evolution. Spectral amplitude and phase of excited plasmon polaritons are extracted from the recorded phase-resolved interferometric two-pulse correlation traces. We show that the optical response of a plasmon polariton generated at a gold nanoparticle can be reconstructed from the interferometric two-pulse correlation signal using a single harmonic oscillator model. In contrast, for a corrugated silver surface, a system with increased plasmonic complexity, in general an unambiguous reconstruction of the local optical response based on coupled and uncoupled harmonic oscillators, fails. Whereas for certain local responses different models can be discriminated, this is impossible for other positions. Multidimensional spectroscopy offers a possibility to overcome this limitation.
Bongard, Robert D; Yan, Ke; Hoffmann, Raymond G; Audi, Said H; Zhang, Xiao; Lindemer, Brian J; Townsley, Mary I; Merker, Marilyn P
Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with various forms of lung injury and disease that also involve alterations in pulmonary endothelial permeability, but the relationship, if any, between the two is not well understood. This question was addressed by perfusing isolated intact rat lung with a buffered physiological saline solution in the absence or presence of the mitochondrial complex I inhibitor rotenone (20 μM). Compared to control, rotenone depressed whole lung tissue ATP from 5.66 ± 0.46 (SEM) to 2.34 ± 0.15 µmol · g(-1) dry lung, with concomitant increases in the ADP:ATP and AMP:ATP ratios. Rotenone also increased lung perfusate lactate (from 12.36 ± 1.64 to 38.62 ± 3.14 µmol · 15 min(-1) perfusion · g(-1) dry lung) and the lactate:pyruvate ratio, but had no detectable impact on lung tissue GSH:GSSG redox status. The amphipathic quinone coenzyme Q1 (CoQ1; 50 μM) mitigated the impact of rotenone on the adenine nucleotide balance, wherein mitigation was blocked by NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase 1 or mitochondrial complex III inhibitors. In separate studies, rotenone increased the pulmonary vascular endothelial filtration coefficient (Kf) from 0.043 ± 0.010 to 0.156 ± 0.037 ml · min(-1) · cm H2O(-1) · g(-1) dry lung, and CoQ1 protected against the effect of rotenone on Kf. A second complex I inhibitor, piericidin A, qualitatively reproduced the impact of rotenone on Kf and the lactate:pyruvate ratio. Taken together, the observations imply that pulmonary endothelial barrier integrity depends on mitochondrial bioenergetics as reflected in lung tissue ATP levels and that compensatory activation of whole lung glycolysis cannot protect against pulmonary endothelial hyperpermeability in response to mitochondrial blockade. The study further suggests that low-molecular-weight amphipathic quinones may have therapeutic utility in protecting lung barrier function in mitochondrial insufficiency. PMID:23912160
Bongard, Robert D.; Yan, Ke; Hoffmann, Raymond G.; Audi, Said H.; Zhang, Xiao; Lindemer, Brian J.; Townsley, Mary I.; Merker, Marilyn P.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with various forms of lung injury and disease that also involve alterations in pulmonary endothelial permeability, but the relationship, if any, between the two is not well understood. This question was addressed by perfusing the isolated intact rat lung with a buffered physiological saline solution in the absence or presence of the mitochondrial complex I inhibitor rotenone (20 uM). As compared to control, rotenone depressed whole lung tissue ATP from 5.66 ± 0.46 (SEM) to 2.34 ± 0.15 (SEM) μmol·gram−1 dry lung, with concomitant increases in the ADP:ATP and AMP:ATP ratios. Rotenone also increased lung perfusate lactate (from 12.36 ± 1.64 (SEM) to 38.62 ± 3.14 μmol·15 min−1 perfusion·gm−1 dry lung) and the lactate:pyruvate ratio, but had no detectable impact on lung tissue GSH:GSSG redox status. The amphipathic quinone, coenzyme Q1 (CoQ1; 50 μM) mitigated the impact of rotenone on the adenine nucleotide balance, wherein mitigation was blocked by NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) or mitochondrial complex III inhibitors. In separate studies, rotenone increased the pulmonary vascular endothelial filtration coefficient (Kf) from 0.043 ± 0.010 (SEM) to 0.156 ± 0.037 (SEM) ml·min−1·cm H2O−1·gm−1 dry lung weight, and CoQ1 protected against the effect of rotenone on Kf. A second complex I inhibitor, piericidin A, qualitatively reproduced the impact of rotenone on Kf and the lactate/pyruvate ratio. Taken together, the observations imply that pulmonary endothelial barrier integrity depends on mitochondrial bioenergetics as reflected in lung tissue ATP levels and that compensatory activation of whole lung glycolysis cannot protect against pulmonary endothelial hyperpermeability in response to mitochondrial blockade. The study further suggests that low molecular weight amphipathic quinones may have therapeutic utility in protecting lung barrier function in mitochondrial insufficiency. PMID:23912160
Ashmore, Tom; Fernandez, Bernadette O; Branco-Price, Cristina; West, James A; Cowburn, Andrew S; Heather, Lisa C; Griffin, Julian L; Johnson, Randall S; Feelisch, Martin; Murray, Andrew J
Hypoxic exposure is associated with impaired cardiac energetics in humans and altered mitochondrial function, with suppressed complex I-supported respiration, in rat heart. This response might limit reactive oxygen species generation, but at the cost of impaired electron transport chain (ETC) activity. Dietary nitrate supplementation improves mitochondrial efficiency and can promote tissue oxygenation by enhancing blood flow. We therefore hypothesised that ETC dysfunction, impaired energetics and oxidative damage in the hearts of rats exposed to chronic hypoxia could be alleviated by sustained administration of a moderate dose of dietary nitrate. Male Wistar rats (n = 40) were given water supplemented with 0.7 mmol l−1 NaCl (as control) or 0.7 mmol l−1 NaNO3, elevating plasma nitrate levels by 80%, and were exposed to 13% O2 (hypoxia) or normoxia (n = 10 per group) for 14 days. Respiration rates, ETC protein levels, mitochondrial density, ATP content and protein carbonylation were measured in cardiac muscle. Complex I respiration rates and protein levels were 33% lower in hypoxic/NaCl rats compared with normoxic/NaCl controls. Protein carbonylation was 65% higher in hearts of hypoxic rats compared with controls, indicating increased oxidative stress, whilst ATP levels were 62% lower. Respiration rates, complex I protein and activity, protein carbonylation and ATP levels were all fully protected in the hearts of nitrate-supplemented hypoxic rats. Both in normoxia and hypoxia, dietary nitrate suppressed cardiac arginase expression and activity and markedly elevated cardiac l-arginine concentrations, unmasking a novel mechanism of action by which nitrate enhances tissue NO bioavailability. Dietary nitrate therefore alleviates metabolic abnormalities in the hypoxic heart, improving myocardial energetics. PMID:25172947
Wang, Feng; Liang, Yuting; Jiang, Yuji; Yang, Yunfeng; Xue, Kai; Xiong, Jinbo; Zhou, Jizhong; Sun, Bo
Plants have an important impact on soil microbial communities and their functions. However, how plants determine the microbial composition and network interactions is still poorly understood. During a four-year field experiment, we investigated the functional gene composition of three types of soils (Phaeozem, Cambisols and Acrisol) under maize planting and bare fallow regimes located in cold temperate, warm temperate and subtropical regions, respectively. The core genes were identified using high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0), and functional molecular ecological networks (fMENs) were subsequently developed with the random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework. Our results demonstrated that planting significantly (P < 0.05) increased the gene alpha-diversity in terms of richness and Shannon - Simpson’s indexes for all three types of soils and 83.5% of microbial alpha-diversity can be explained by the plant factor. Moreover, planting had significant impacts on the microbial community structure and the network interactions of the microbial communities. The calculated network complexity was higher under maize planting than under bare fallow regimes. The increase of the functional genes led to an increase in both soil respiration and nitrification potential with maize planting, indicating that changes in the soil microbial communities and network interactions influenced ecological functioning.
Wang, Feng; Liang, Yuting; Jiang, Yuji; Yang, Yunfeng; Xue, Kai; Xiong, Jinbo; Zhou, Jizhong; Sun, Bo
Plants have an important impact on soil microbial communities and their functions. However, how plants determine the microbial composition and network interactions is still poorly understood. During a four-year field experiment, we investigated the functional gene composition of three types of soils (Phaeozem, Cambisols and Acrisol) under maize planting and bare fallow regimes located in cold temperate, warm temperate and subtropical regions, respectively. The core genes were identified using high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0), and functional molecular ecological networks (fMENs) were subsequently developed with the random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework. Our results demonstrated that planting significantly (P < 0.05) increased the gene alpha-diversity in terms of richness and Shannon – Simpson’s indexes for all three types of soils and 83.5% of microbial alpha-diversity can be explained by the plant factor. Moreover, planting had significant impacts on the microbial community structure and the network interactions of the microbial communities. The calculated network complexity was higher under maize planting than under bare fallow regimes. The increase of the functional genes led to an increase in both soil respiration and nitrification potential with maize planting, indicating that changes in the soil microbial communities and network interactions influenced ecological functioning. PMID:26396042
Vrijenhoek, Joyce E. P.; van Holten, Thijs C.; Elsenberg, Ellen H. A. M.; Mak-Nienhuis, Elske M.; de Borst, Gert Jan; Jukema, J. Wouter; Pijls, Nico H. J.; Waltenberger, Johannes; van Zonneveld, Anton Jan; Moll, Frans L.; McClellan, Elizabeth; Stubbs, Andrew; Pasterkamp, Gerard; Hoefer, Imo; de Groot, Philip G.; Roest, Mark
Objective Platelet reactivity, platelet binding to monocytes and monocyte infiltration play a detrimental role in atherosclerotic plaque progression. We investigated whether platelet reactivity was associated with levels of circulating platelet-monocyte complexes (PMCs) and macrophages in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques. Methods Platelet reactivity was determined by measuring platelet P-selectin expression after platelet stimulation with increasing concentrations of adenosine diphosphate (ADP), in two independent cohorts: the Circulating Cells cohort (n = 244) and the Athero-Express cohort (n = 91). Levels of PMCs were assessed by flow cytometry in blood samples of patients who were scheduled for percutaneous coronary intervention (Circulating Cells cohort). Monocyte infiltration was semi-quantitatively determined by histological examination of atherosclerotic carotid plaques collected during carotid endarterectomy (Athero-Express cohort). Results We found increased platelet reactivity in patients with high PMCs as compared to patients with low PMCs (median (interquartile range): 4153 (1585–11267) area under the curve (AUC) vs. 9633 (3580–21565) AUC, P<0.001). Also, we observed increased platelet reactivity in patients with high macrophage levels in atherosclerotic plaques as compared to patients with low macrophage levels in atherosclerotic plaques (mean±SD; 8969±3485 AUC vs. 7020±3442 AUC, P = 0.02). All associations remained significant after adjustment for age, sex and use of drugs against platelet activation. Conclusion Platelet reactivity towards ADP is associated with levels of PMCs and macrophages in human atherosclerotic carotid plaques. PMID:25122139
Wang, Huan; Hou, Lei; Kwak, Dongmin; Fassett, John; Xu, Xin; Chen, Angela; Chen, Wei; Blazar, Bruce R; Xu, Yawei; Hall, Jennifer L; Ge, Jun-Bo; Bache, Robert J; Chen, Yingjie
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with an increase of leukocyte infiltration, proinflammatory cytokines, and fibrosis in the heart and lung. Regulatory T cells (Tregs, CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+)) suppress inflammatory responses in various clinical conditions. We postulated that expansion of Tregs attenuates CHF progression by reducing cardiac and lung inflammation. We investigated the effects of interleukin-2 (IL-2) plus IL-2 monoclonal antibody clone JES6-1 complexes (IL2/JES6-1) on induction of Tregs, transverse aortic constriction-induced cardiac and lung inflammation, and CHF progression in mice. We demonstrated that end-stage CHF caused a massive increase of lung macrophages and T cells, as well as relatively mild left ventricular (LV) leukocyte infiltration. Administration of IL2/JES6-1 caused an ≈6-fold increase of Tregs within CD4(+) T cells in the spleen, lung, and heart of mice. IL2/JES6-1 treatment of mice with existing transverse aortic constriction-induced LV failure markedly reduced lung and right ventricular weight and improved LV ejection fraction and LV end-diastolic pressure. Mechanistically, IL2/JES6-1 treatment significantly increased Tregs; suppressed CD4(+) T-cell accumulation; dramatically attenuated leukocyte infiltration, including decreasing CD45(+) cells, macrophages, CD8(+) T cells, and effector memory CD8(+); and reduced proinflammatory cytokine expressions and fibrosis in the lung of mice. Furthermore, IL2/JES6-1 administered before transverse aortic constriction attenuated the development of LV hypertrophy and dysfunction in mice. Our data indicate that increasing Tregs through administration of IL2/JES6-1 effectively attenuates pulmonary inflammation, right ventricular hypertrophy, and further LV dysfunction in mice with existing LV failure, suggesting that strategies to properly expand Tregs may be useful in reducing CHF progression. PMID:27160197
Sailani, M. Reza; Makrythanasis, Periklis; Valsesia, Armand; Santoni, Federico A.; Deutsch, Samuel; Popadin, Konstantin; Borel, Christelle; Migliavacca, Eugenia; Sharp, Andrew J.; Duriaux Sail, Genevieve; Falconnet, Emilie; Rabionet, Kelly; Serra-Juhé, Clara; Vicari, Stefano; Laux, Daniela; Grattau, Yann; Dembour, Guy; Megarbane, Andre; Touraine, Renaud; Stora, Samantha; Kitsiou, Sofia; Fryssira, Helena; Chatzisevastou-Loukidou, Chariklia; Kanavakis, Emmanouel; Merla, Giuseppe; Bonnet, Damien; Pérez-Jurado, Luis A.; Estivill, Xavier; Delabar, Jean M.; Antonarakis, Stylianos E.
Congenital heart defect (CHD) occurs in 40% of Down syndrome (DS) cases. While carrying three copies of chromosome 21 increases the risk for CHD, trisomy 21 itself is not sufficient to cause CHD. Thus, additional genetic variation and/or environmental factors could contribute to the CHD risk. Here we report genomic variations that in concert with trisomy 21, determine the risk for CHD in DS. This case-control GWAS includes 187 DS with CHD (AVSD = 69, ASD = 53, VSD = 65) as cases, and 151 DS without CHD as controls. Chromosome 21–specific association studies revealed rs2832616 and rs1943950 as CHD risk alleles (adjusted genotypic P-values <0.05). These signals were confirmed in a replication cohort of 92 DS-CHD cases and 80 DS-without CHD (nominal P-value 0.0022). Furthermore, CNV analyses using a customized chromosome 21 aCGH of 135K probes in 55 DS-AVSD and 53 DS-without CHD revealed three CNV regions associated with AVSD risk (FDR ≤ 0.05). Two of these regions that are located within the previously identified CHD region on chromosome 21 were further confirmed in a replication study of 49 DS-AVSD and 45 DS- without CHD (FDR ≤ 0.05). One of these CNVs maps near the RIPK4 gene, and the second includes the ZBTB21 (previously ZNF295) gene, highlighting the potential role of these genes in the pathogenesis of CHD in DS. We propose that the genetic architecture of the CHD risk of DS is complex and includes trisomy 21, and SNP and CNV variations in chromosome 21. In addition, a yet-unidentified genetic variation in the rest of the genome may contribute to this complex genetic architecture. PMID:23783273
Background Hitchhiking mapping and association studies are two popular approaches to map genotypes to phenotypes. In this study we combine both approaches to complement their specific strengths and weaknesses, resulting in a method with higher statistical power and fewer false positive signals. We applied our approach to dairy cattle as they underwent extremely successful selection for milk production traits and since an excellent phenotypic record is available. We performed whole genome association tests with a new mixed model approach to account for stratification, which we validated via Monte Carlo simulations. Selection signatures were inferred with the integrated haplotype score and a locus specific permutation based integrated haplotype score that works with a folded frequency spectrum and provides a formal test of signifance to identify selection signatures. Results About 1,600 out of 34,851 SNPs showed signatures of selection and the locus specific permutation based integrated haplotype score showed overall good accordance with the whole genome association study. Each approach provides distinct information about the genomic regions that influence complex traits. Combining whole genome association with hitchhiking mapping yielded two significant loci for the trait protein yield. These regions agree well with previous results from other selection signature scans and whole genome association studies in cattle. Conclusion We show that the combination of whole genome association and selection signature mapping based on the same SNPs increases the power to detect loci influencing complex traits. The locus specific permutation based integrated haplotype score provides a formal test of significance in selection signature mapping. Importantly it does not rely on knowledge of ancestral and derived allele states. PMID:22289501
Costa, Dominique; Pradier, Claire-Marie; Tielens, Frederik; Savio, Letizia
attention will be drawn to the added value provided by the combination of several experimental surface science techniques and to the precious contribution of advanced complementary computational methods to resolve the details of systems of increased complexity. Finally, some hints on experiments performed in presence of water and then characterized in UHV and on the related theoretical work will be presented. This is a further step towards a better approximation of real biological systems. However, since the methods employed are often not typical of surface science, this topic is not developed in detail.
Carter, Amanda M; Tegeder, Mechthild
Legumes are able to access atmospheric di-nitrogen (N2) through a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia that reside within root nodules. In soybean, following N2 fixation by the bacteroids, ammonia is finally reduced in uninfected cells to allantoin and allantoic acid . These ureides present the primary long-distance transport forms of nitrogen (N), and are exported from nodules via the xylem for shoot N supply. Transport of allantoin and allantoic acid out of nodules requires the function of ureide permeases (UPS1) located in cells adjacent to the vasculature [2, 3]. We expressed a common bean UPS1 transporter in cortex and endodermis cells of soybean nodules and found that delivery of N from nodules to shoot, as well as seed set, was significantly increased. In addition, the number of transgenic nodules was increased and symbiotic N2 fixation per nodule was elevated, indicating that transporter function in nodule N export is a limiting step in bacterial N acquisition. Further, the transgenic nodules showed considerable increases in nodule N assimilation, ureide synthesis, and metabolite levels. This suggests complex adjustments of nodule N metabolism and partitioning processes in support of symbiotic N2 fixation. We propose that the transgenic UPS1 plants display metabolic and allocation plasticity to overcome N2 fixation and seed yield limitations. Overall, it is demonstrated that transporter function in N export from nodules is a key step for enhancing atmospheric N2 fixation and nodule function and for improving shoot N nutrition and seed development in legumes. PMID:27451897
Content Addressable Memories are designed with comparison circuits built into every bit cell. This parallel structure can increase the speed of searching from O(n) (as with Random Access Memories) to O(1), where n is the number of entries being searched. The high cost in hardware limits the application of CAM within situations where higher searching speed is extremely desired. Spintronics technology can build non-volatile Magnetic RAM with only one device for one bit cell. There are various technologies involved, like Magnetic Tunnel Junctions, off-easy-axis programming method, Synthetic Anti-Ferromagnetic tri-layers, Domain Wall displacement, Spin Transfer Torque tri-layers and etc. With them, particularly the Tunnel Magneto-Resistance variation in MTJ due to difference in magnetization polarity of the two magnets, Magnetic CAM can be developed with reduced hardware cost. And this is demonstrated by the discussion in this dissertation. Six MCAM designs are discussed. In the first design, comparand (C), local information (S) and their complements are stored into 4 MTJs connected in XOR gate pattern. The other five designs have one or two stacks for both information storage and comparison, and full TMR ratio can be taken advantage of. Two challenges for the five are specifically programming C without changing S and selectively programming a cell out of an array. The solutions to specific programming are: by confining the programming field for C in a ring structure design; by using field programming and spin polarized current programming respectively for C and S in the SAF+DW and SAF+STT tri-layer design; by making use of the difference in thresholds between direct mode and toggle mode switching in the SAF+SAF design. The problem of selective programming is addressed by off-easy-axis method and by including SAF tri-layers. Cell with STT tri-layers for both C and S can completely avoid the problems of specific and selective programming, but subject to the limit of
Mintz, Laurie B.; Jackson, Aaron P.; Neville, Helen A.; Illfelder-Kaye, Joyce; Winterowd, Carrie L.; Loewy, Michael I.
The authors articulate the need for a "Counseling Psychology Model Training Values Statement Addressing Diversity" (henceforth "Values Statement"). They discuss the historic unwillingness of the field to address values in a sophisticated or complex way and highlight the increasingly common training scenario in which trainees state that certain…
Al Gadban, Mohammed M.; German, Jashalynn; Truman, Jean-Philip; Soodavar, Farzan; Riemer, Ellen C; Twal, Waleed O; Smith, Kent J; Heller, Demarcus; Hofbauer, Ann F; Oates, Jim C.; Hammad, Samar M.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients display impaired endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) function required for normal vasodilatation. SLE patients express increased compensatory activity of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) generating excess nitric oxide that may result in inflammation. We examined the effects of genetic deletion of NOS2 and NOS3, encoding iNOS and eNOS respectively, on accelerated vascular disease in MRL/lpr lupus mouse model. NOS2 and NOS3 knockout (KO) MRL/lpr mice had higher plasma levels of triglycerides (23% and 35%, respectively), ceramide (45% and 21%, respectively), and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) (21%) compared to counterpart MRL/lpr controls. Plasma levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10) in NOS2 and NOS3 KO MRL/lpr mice were lower (53% and 80%, respectively) than counterpart controls. Nodule-like lesions in the adventitia were detected in aortas from both NOS2 and NOS3 KO MRL/lpr mice. Immunohistochemical evaluation of the lesions revealed activated endothelial cells and lipid-laden macrophages (foam cells), elevated sphingosine kinase 1 expression, and oxidized low-density lipoprotein immune complexes (oxLDL-IC). The findings suggest that advanced vascular disease in NOS2 and NOS3 KO MRL/lpr mice maybe mediated by increased plasma triglycerides, ceramide and S1P; decreased plasma IL-10; and accumulation of oxLDL-IC in the vessel wall. The results expose possible new targets to mitigate lupus-associated complications. PMID:22560558
Kümmerli, Rolf; Keller, Laurent
While adaptive adjustment of sex ratio in the function of colony kin structure and food availability commonly occurs in social Hymenoptera, long-term studies have revealed substantial unexplained between-year variation in sex ratio at the population level. In order to identify factors that contribute to increased between-year variation in population sex ratio, we conducted a comparative analysis across 47 Hymenoptera species differing in their breeding system. We found that between-year variation in population sex ratio steadily increased as one moved from solitary species, to primitively eusocial species, to single-queen eusocial species, to multiple-queen eusocial species. Specifically, between-year variation in population sex ratio was low (6.6% of total possible variation) in solitary species, which is consistent with the view that in solitary species, sex ratio can vary only in response to fluctuations in ecological factors such as food availability. In contrast, we found significantly higher (19.5%) between-year variation in population sex ratio in multiple-queen eusocial species, which supports the view that in these species, sex ratio can also fluctuate in response to temporal changes in social factors such as queen number and queen-worker control over sex ratio, as well as factors influencing caste determination. The simultaneous adjustment of sex ratio in response to temporal fluctuations in ecological and social factors seems to preclude the existence of a single sex ratio optimum. The absence of such an optimum may reflect an additional cost associated with the evolution of complex breeding systems in Hymenoptera societies. PMID:21597259
Walczak, Agata P; Kramer, Evelien; Hendriksen, Peter J M; Tromp, Peter; Helsper, Johannes P F G; van der Zande, Meike; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; Bouwmeester, Hans
Intestinal translocation is a key factor for determining bioavailability of nanoparticles (NPs) after oral uptake. Therefore, we evaluated three in vitro intestinal cell models of increasing complexity which might affect the translocation of NPs: a mono-culture (Caco-2 cells), a co-culture with mucus secreting HT29-MTX cells and a tri-culture with M-cells. Cell models were exposed to well characterized differently sized (50 and 100 nm) and charged (neutral, positively and negatively) polystyrene NPs. In addition, two types of negatively charged NPs with different surface chemistries were used. Size strongly affected the translocation of NPs, ranging up to 7.8% for the 50 nm NPs and 0.8% for the 100 nm NPs. Surface charge of NPs affected the translocation, however, surface chemistry seems more important, as the two types of negatively charged 50 nm NPs had an over 30-fold difference in translocation. Compared with the Caco-2 mono-culture, presence of mucus significantly reduced the translocation of neutral 50 nm NPs, but significantly increased the translocation of one type of negatively charged NPs. Incorporation of M-cells shifted the translocation rates for both NPs closer to those in the mono-culture model. The relative pattern of NP translocation in all three models was similar, but the absolute amounts of translocated NPs differed per model. We conclude that for comparing the relative translocation of different NPs, using one intestinal model is sufficient. To choose the most representative model for risk assessment, in vivo experiments are now needed to determine the in vivo translocation rates of the used NPs. PMID:25093449
Klaus, Todd C.; Cote, M. T.; Girouard, F.; McCauliff, S. D.; Henze, C.; Twicken, J. D.; Li, J.; Tenenbaum, P.; Seader, S.; Clarke, B. D.; Quintana, E. V.; Jenkins, J. M.; Caldwell, D. A.
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has collected data on over 190,000 targets (and counting) since launch on March 6th, 2009, resulting in a growing dataset that must be processed by the Kepler Science Pipeline. The algorithms that make up the pipeline are responsible for clearing the chaff of instrumental and astrophysical noise to detect and model the transit-like signals hidden underneath. We discuss how the Kepler pipeline infrastructure has evolved to meet the growing computational needs of these algorithms. The algorithms and other support software that make up the pipeline were largely developed before launch and tested with simulated data. When confronted with flight data from the Kepler instrument, the pipeline revealed that the higher than expected thermal sensitivity of the instrument, electronics noise and operational procedures all introduced artifacts to the data at levels comparable to, or higher than the sought after transit signals. In the months after launch the team of pipeline developers at the Kepler Science Operations Center (SOC) at NASA Ames Research Center toiled to update the pipeline software to identify and mitigate these artifacts where possible, work that continues today. The increase in complexity caused by these algorithm changes, along with a need for regular reprocessing of a growing dataset to support scientific data analysis and pipeline development created an increasing demand for computing resources. This need in turn drove the need for changes to the pipeline infrastructure software to extend pipeline algorithm execution to NASA’s Advanced Supercomputer (NAS). Use of the NAS as a computing resource allows the pipeline operator to spread the planetary transit search and data validation jobs across tens of thousands of processing cores. With a possible extended mission on the horizon, this need will only grow, and work to port the rest of the pipeline to the NAS has already begun.
Papa, F; Sardaro, N; Lippolis, R; Panelli, D; Scacco, S
This study presents the effect of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) on cell growth and respiratory chain complex I in human keratinocyte cultures. Keratinocyte treatment results in increased level of GRIM-19 and other subunits of complex I, in particular of their carbonylated forms, associated with inhibition of its enzymatic activity. The results show that in keratinocytes ATRA-promoted phosphatase activity controls the proteostasis and activity of complex I. PMID:27358125
Apel, Charles L.; Deamer, David W.
Dehydration/condensation reactions between organic molecules in the prebiotic environment increased the inventory and complexity of organic compounds available for self-assembly into primitive cellular organisms. As a model of such reactions and to demonstrate this principle, we have investigated the esterification reaction between glycerol and decanoic acid that forms glycerol monodecanoate (GMD). This amphiphile enhances robustness of self-assembled membranous structures of carboxylic acids to the potentially disruptive effects of pH, divalent cation binding and osmotic stress. Experimental variables included temperature, water activity and hydrolysis of the resulting ester product, providing insights into the environmental conditions that would favor the formation and stability of this more evolved amphiphile. At temperatures exceeding 50 ∘C, the ester product formed even in the presence of bulk water, suggesting that the reaction occurs at the liquid interface of the two reactants and that the products segregate in the two immiscible layers, thereby reducing hydrolytic back reactions. This implies that esterification reactions were likely to be common in the prebiotic environment as reactants underwent cycles of wetting and drying on rare early landmasses at elevated temperatures
Boer, Karin; Crino, Peter B.; Gorter, Jan A.; Nellist, Mark; Jansen, Floor E.; Spliet, Wim G.M.; van Rijen, Peter C.; Wittink, Floyd R.A.; Breit, Timo M.; Troost, Dirk; Wadman, Wytse J.; Aronica, Eleonora
Cortical tubers in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex are associated with disabling neurological manifestations, including intractable epilepsy. While these malformations are believed to result from the effects of TSC1 or TSC2 gene mutations, the molecular mechanisms leading to tuber formation, as well as the onset of seizures remain largely unknown. We used the Affymetrix Gene Chip platform to provide the first genome wide investigation of gene expression in surgically resected tubers, compared with histological normal perituberal tissue from the same patients or autopsy control tissue. We identified 2501 differentially expressed genes in cortical tubers compared with autopsy controls. Expression of genes associated with cell adhesion e.g., VCAM1, integrins and CD44, or with the inflammatory response, including complement factors, serpinA3, CCL2 and several cytokines, was increased in cortical tubers, whereas genes related to synaptic transmission e.g., the glial glutamate transporter GLT-1, and voltage-gated channel activity, exhibited lower expression. Gene expression in perituberal cortex was distinct from autopsy control cortex suggesting that even in the absence of tissue pathology the transcriptome is altered in TSC. Changes in gene expression yield insights into new candidate genes that may contribute to tuber formation or seizure onset, representing new targets for potential therapeutic development. PMID:19912235
Ashraf Shady's paper provides a first-hand reflection on how a foreign teacher used cogens as culturally adaptive pedagogy to address cultural misalignments with students. In this paper, Shady drew on several cogen sessions to showcase his journey of using different forms of cogens with his students. To improve the quality of cogens, one strategy he used was to adjust the number of participants in cogens. As a result, some cogens worked and others did not. During the course of reading his paper, I was impressed by his creative and flexible use of cogens and at the same time was intrigued by the question of why some cogens work and not others. In searching for an answer, I found that Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism, especially the concept of addressivity, provides a comprehensive framework to address this question. In this commentary, I reanalyze the cogen episodes described in Shady's paper in the light of dialogism. My analysis suggests that addressivity plays an important role in mediating the success of cogens. Cogens with high addressivity function as internally persuasive discourse that allows diverse consciousnesses to coexist and so likely affords productive dialogues. The implications of addressivity in teaching and learning are further discussed.
Leal, Letícia F.; Bueno, Ana Carolina; Gomes, Débora C.; Abduch, Rafael; de Castro, Margaret; Antonini, Sonir R.
Background To date, there is no effective therapy for patients with advanced/metastatic adrenocortical cancer (ACC). The activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is frequent in ACC and this pathway is a promising therapeutic target. Aim To investigate the effects of the inhibition of the Wnt/beta-catenin in ACC cells. Methods Adrenal (NCI-H295 and Y1) and non-adrenal (HeLa) cell lines were treated with PNU-74654 (5–200 μM) for 24–96 h to assess cell viability (MTS-based assay), apoptosis (Annexin V), expression/localization of beta-catenin (qPCR, immunofluorescence, immunocytochemistry and western blot), expression of beta-catenin target genes (qPCR and western blot), and adrenal steroidogenesis (radioimmunoassay, qPCR and western blot). Results In NCI-H295 cells, PNU-74654 significantly decreased cell proliferation 96 h after treatment, increased early and late apoptosis, decreased nuclear beta-catenin accumulation, impaired CTNNB1/beta-catenin expression and increased beta-catenin target genes 48 h after treatment. No effects were observed on HeLa cells. In NCI-H295 cells, PNU-74654 decreased cortisol, testosterone and androstenedione secretion 24 and 48 h after treatment. Additionally, in NCI-H295 cells, PNU-74654 decreased SF1 and CYP21A2 mRNA expression as well as the protein levels of STAR and aldosterone synthase 48 h after treatment. In Y1 cells, PNU-74654 impaired corticosterone secretion 24 h after treatment but did not decrease cell viability. Conclusions Blocking the Tcf/beta-catenin complex inhibits the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in adrenocortical tumor cells triggering increased apoptosis, decreased cell viability and impairment of adrenal steroidogenesis. These promising findings pave the way for further experiments inhibiting the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in pre-clinical models of ACC. The inhibition of this pathway may become a promising adjuvant therapy for patients with ACC. PMID:26515592
Sanderson, Saskia C.; Wardle, Jane
The aim of this study was to improve understanding of smokers' potential reactions to genetic testing for smoking-related diseases. One thousand twenty-four respondents completed a postal survey; 186 were smokers. Questions addressed anticipated psychological and behavioral reactions to genetic test results using hypothetical scenarios. Of…
Safavi, Molood S; Husain, Samar; Vasishth, Shravan
Delaying the appearance of a verb in a noun-verb dependency tends to increase processing difficulty at the verb; one explanation for this locality effect is decay and/or interference of the noun in working memory. Surprisal, an expectation-based account, predicts that delaying the appearance of a verb either renders it no more predictable or more predictable, leading respectively to a prediction of no effect of distance or a facilitation. Recently, Husain et al. (2014) suggested that when the exact identity of the upcoming verb is predictable (strong predictability), increasing argument-verb distance leads to facilitation effects, which is consistent with surprisal; but when the exact identity of the upcoming verb is not predictable (weak predictability), locality effects are seen. We investigated Husain et al.'s proposal using Persian complex predicates (CPs), which consist of a non-verbal element-a noun in the current study-and a verb. In CPs, once the noun has been read, the exact identity of the verb is highly predictable (strong predictability); this was confirmed using a sentence completion study. In two self-paced reading (SPR) and two eye-tracking (ET) experiments, we delayed the appearance of the verb by interposing a relative clause (Experiments 1 and 3) or a long PP (Experiments 2 and 4). We also included a simple Noun-Verb predicate configuration with the same distance manipulation; here, the exact identity of the verb was not predictable (weak predictability). Thus, the design crossed Predictability Strength and Distance. We found that, consistent with surprisal, the verb in the strong predictability conditions was read faster than in the weak predictability conditions. Furthermore, greater verb-argument distance led to slower reading times; strong predictability did not neutralize or attenuate the locality effects. As regards the effect of distance on dependency resolution difficulty, these four experiments present evidence in favor of working memory
Safavi, Molood S.; Husain, Samar; Vasishth, Shravan
Delaying the appearance of a verb in a noun-verb dependency tends to increase processing difficulty at the verb; one explanation for this locality effect is decay and/or interference of the noun in working memory. Surprisal, an expectation-based account, predicts that delaying the appearance of a verb either renders it no more predictable or more predictable, leading respectively to a prediction of no effect of distance or a facilitation. Recently, Husain et al. (2014) suggested that when the exact identity of the upcoming verb is predictable (strong predictability), increasing argument-verb distance leads to facilitation effects, which is consistent with surprisal; but when the exact identity of the upcoming verb is not predictable (weak predictability), locality effects are seen. We investigated Husain et al.'s proposal using Persian complex predicates (CPs), which consist of a non-verbal element—a noun in the current study—and a verb. In CPs, once the noun has been read, the exact identity of the verb is highly predictable (strong predictability); this was confirmed using a sentence completion study. In two self-paced reading (SPR) and two eye-tracking (ET) experiments, we delayed the appearance of the verb by interposing a relative clause (Experiments 1 and 3) or a long PP (Experiments 2 and 4). We also included a simple Noun-Verb predicate configuration with the same distance manipulation; here, the exact identity of the verb was not predictable (weak predictability). Thus, the design crossed Predictability Strength and Distance. We found that, consistent with surprisal, the verb in the strong predictability conditions was read faster than in the weak predictability conditions. Furthermore, greater verb-argument distance led to slower reading times; strong predictability did not neutralize or attenuate the locality effects. As regards the effect of distance on dependency resolution difficulty, these four experiments present evidence in favor of working
Aiassa, Virginia; Zoppi, Ariana; Albesa, Inés; Longhi, Marcela R
The aim of this study was to improve the solubility of chloramphenicol and reduce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in leucocytes induced by this drug, using complexation. Multicomponent complexes were prepared by the addition of β-cyclodextrin with glycine or cysteine. Nuclear magnetic resonance and phase solubility studies provided information at the molecular level on the structure of the complexes and their association binding constants, respectively. In the solid state, all systems were extensively characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis and X-ray powder diffraction. Antimicrobial activity of inclusion complexes was investigated by agar diffusion methods. Finally ROS determination by chemiluminescence was used to investigate the effect of complex formation on the potential toxicity in human leucocytes. These studies revealed that multicomponent complexes can increase the aqueous solubility of chloramphenicol as well as reducing the stress by ROS production in leucocytes and maintaining its microbiological activity. PMID:25659705
Qian, Xinyi Lisa; Yarnal, Careen M; Almeida, David M
Affective complexity, a manifestation of psychological well-being, refers to the relative independence between positive and negative affect (PA, NA). According to the Dynamic Model of Affect (DMA), stressful situations lead to highly inverse PA-NA relationship, reducing affective complexity. Meanwhile, positive events can sustain affective complexity by restoring PA-NA independence. Leisure, a type of positive events, has been identified as a coping resource. This study used the DMA to assess whether leisure time helps restore affective complexity on stressful days. We found that on days with more leisure time than usual, an individual experienced less negative PA-NA relationship after daily stressful events. The finding demonstrates the value of leisure time as a coping resource and the DMA's contribution to coping research. PMID:24659826
Harbertson, James F; Yuan, Chunlong; Mireles, Maria S; Hanlin, Rachel L; Downey, Mark O
Wines were modified with increasing sugar concentrations and decreasing tannin concentrations and analysed by a combination of protein precipitation and bisulphite bleaching. Increasing sugar concentration decreased the precipitation of tannin and protein-precipitable polymeric pigments (PPP). The use of a hydrogen bond disruptor (urea) to reduce protein-tannin and protein-pigment complex formation showed that the effect of sugar concentration occurred by increasing the solubility of the tannin-protein complex, not by interfering with protein-tannin complex formation. By increasing the solubility of pigment-protein complexes, non-protein-precipitable polymeric pigments (nPPP) appeared to increase. There was also an increase in total polymeric pigments at each tannin concentration with increasing glucose and sucrose concentration, indicating that sugar concentration might also affect bisulphite bleaching of wine pigments. While a significant effect of sugar concentration on tannin-protein complex solubility was observed, these effects were greatest at sugar concentrations far in excess of normal wine making conditions. Under normal wine making conditions, sugar concentration will have a negligible effect on protein-precipitable tannin, PPP and nPPP concentrations. PMID:23265524
Maintains that advertising can help people become more aware of social responsibilities. Describes a successful nationwide newspaper advertising competition for college students in which ads address social issues such as literacy, drugs, teen suicide, and teen pregnancy. Notes how the ads have helped grassroots programs throughout the United…
Summarizes 2 state initiatives to address the achievement gap: North Carolina's report by the Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps, containing an 11-point strategy, and Kentucky's legislation putting in place 10 specific processes. The North Carolina report is available at www.dpi.state.nc.us.closingthegap; Kentucky's…
Ness, Frederic W.
The president of the Association of American Colleges addresses at the 62nd annual meeting the theme of the conference: "Looking to the Future--Liberal Education in a Radically Changing Society." Contributions to be made by AAC are examined. (LBH)
Young, Ellie L.; Ashbaker, Betty Y.
This article discusses ways on how to address the problem of sexual harassment in schools. Sexual harassment--simply defined as any unwanted and unwelcome sexual behavior--is a sensitive topic. Merely providing students, parents, and staff members with information about the school's sexual harassment policy is insufficient; schools must take…
Alexander, Joseph K.
The present status and projected future developments of the NASA Space Science and Applications Program are addressed. Emphasis is given to biochemistry experiments that are planned for the Space Station. Projects for the late 1990s which will study the sun, the earth's magnetosphere, and the geosphere are briefly discussed.
Excerpts from the keynote principally address emissions issues in the fossil power industry as related to heat rate improvements. Stack emissions of both sulfur and nitrogen oxides are discussed, and a number of examples are given: (1) PEPCO`s Potomac River Station, and (2) Morgantown station`s NOX reduction efforts. Circulating water emissions are also briefly discussed, as are O & M costs of emission controls.
Chao, Tien-Hsin; Lu, Thomas; Reyes, George
We have developed a Holographic Content Addressable Storage (HCAS) architecture. The HCAS systems consists of a DMD (Digital Micromirror Array) as the input Spatial Light Modulator (SLM), a CMOS (Complementary Metal-oxide Semiconductor) sensor as the output photodetector and a photorefractive crystal as the recording media. The HCAS system is capable of performing optical correlation of an input image/feature against massive reference data set stored in the holographic memory. Detailed system analysis will be reported in this paper.
Aasen, Tone Merethe Berg; Johannessen, Stig
In this second part of the papers, exploring innovation processes from a complexity perspective, we present an empirical example to strengthen further the relevance of the approach. The example draws on a longitudinal research initiative conducted in cooperation with the Norwegian petroleum company Statoil ASA. We conducted our research into the…
Addressing epidemiological and public health analytic challenges in outcome and impact research: a commentary on 'Prechewing Infant Food, Consumption of Sweets and Dairy and Not Breastfeeding are Associated with Increased Diarrhea Risk of Ten Month Old Infants'.
Habicht, Jean-Pierre; Pelto, Gretel H
Based on a paper by Conkle et al 2016, in which the authors use a descriptive epidemiological design to examine the relationship of premastication and other dietary behavioral variables to childhood diarrhea in the US, we address larger issues of "plausible causality" and the challenges involved in moving from epidemiological studies to public health policy. Drawing on examples from breastfeeding research and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) research, we discuss the following propositions: 1. Effective outcome analyses require simultaneous investigation of different, even contradictory, pathways; 2. Outcome versus impact assessments require different analytic procedures including context analysis; 3. Impact analysis requires understanding the trade-offs between detrimental and beneficial outcomes in relation to potential interventions; 4. No estimates exist for the likely detrimental and beneficial impacts of banning premastication, much less for their trade-offs. PMID:27229538
Seed, Kimberley D; Dennis, Jonathan J
The Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) is a group of bacterial pathogens that are highly antibiotic resistant and associated with debilitating respiratory infections. Although bacteriophages of the BCC have been isolated and characterized, no studies have yet examined phage therapy against the BCC in vivo. In a caterpillar infection model, we show that BCC phage therapy is an alternative treatment possibility and is highly effective under specific conditions. PMID:19223640
Hall, J. Storrs; Levy, Saul; Smith, Donald E.; Miyake, Keith M.
A parameterized version of the tree processor was designed and tested (by simulation). The leaf processor design is 90 percent complete. We expect to complete and test a combination of tree and leaf cell designs in the next period. Work is proceeding on algorithms for the computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and once the design is complete we will begin simulating algorithms for large problems. The following topics are covered: (1) the practical implementation of content addressable memory; (2) design of a LEAF cell for the Rutgers CAM architecture; (3) a circuit design tool user's manual; and (4) design and analysis of efficient hierarchical interconnection networks.
Manning, Thomas; Plummer, Sydney; Baker, Tess; Wylie, Greg; Clingenpeel, Amy C; Phillips, Dennis
The bacterium responsible for causing tuberculosis has evolved resistance to antibiotics used to treat the disease, resulting in new multidrug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant M. tuberculosis (XDR-TB) strains. Analytical techniques (1)H and (13)C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Fourier Transform-Ion Cyclotron Resonance with Electrospray Ionization (FT-ICR/ESI), and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) were used to study different aspects of the Cu(II)-polyethylene glycol (PEG-3350)-sucrose-isoniazid and Cu(II)-polyethylene glycol (PEG3350)-glucose-isoniazid complexes. The Cu(II) cation, sucrose or glucose, and the aggregate formed by PEG primarily serve as a composite drug delivery agent for the frontline antibiotic, however the improvement in MIC values produced with the CU-PEG-SUC-INH complex suggest an additional effect. Several Cu-PEG-SUC-INH complex variations were tested against INH resistant and nonresistant strains of M. tuberculosis. PMID:26341133
Environmental health inequalities refer to health hazards disproportionately or unfairly distributed among the most vulnerable social groups, which are generally the most discriminated, poor populations and minorities affected by environmental risks. Although it has been known for a long time that health and disease are socially determined, only recently has this idea been incorporated into the conceptual and practical framework for the formulation of policies and strategies regarding health. In this Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), "Addressing Environmental Health Inequalities-Proceedings from the ISEE Conference 2015", we incorporate nine papers that were presented at the 27th Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. This small collection of articles provides a brief overview of the different aspects of this topic. Addressing environmental health inequalities is important for the transformation of our reality and for changing the actual development model towards more just, democratic, and sustainable societies driven by another form of relationship between nature, economy, science, and politics. PMID:27618906
In response to increased marketplace competition and the need for expanded production capacity, MJ Soffee's manufacturing facility in Fayetteville, North Carolina implemented several energy improvement projects,
Rapamycin reverses age-related increases in mitochondrial ROS production at complex I, oxidative stress, accumulation of mtDNA fragments inside nuclear DNA, and lipofuscin level, and increases autophagy, in the liver of middle-aged mice.
Martínez-Cisuelo, V; Gómez, J; García-Junceda, I; Naudí, A; Cabré, R; Mota-Martorell, N; López-Torres, M; González-Sánchez, M; Pamplona, R; Barja, G
Rapamycin consistently increases longevity in mice although the mechanism of action of this drug is unknown. In the present investigation we studied the effect of rapamycin on mitochondrial oxidative stress at the same dose that is known to increase longevity in mice (14mgofrapamycin/kg of diet). Middle aged mice (16months old) showed significant age-related increases in mitochondrial ROS production at complex I, accumulation of mtDNA fragments inside nuclear DNA, mitochondrial protein lipoxidation, and lipofuscin accumulation compared to young animals (4months old) in the liver. After 7weeks of dietary treatment all those increases were totally or partially (lipofuscin) abolished by rapamycin, middle aged rapamycin-treated animals showing similar levels in those parameters to young animals. The decrease in mitochondrial ROS production was due to qualitative instead of quantitative changes in complex I. The decrease in mitochondrial protein lipoxidation was not due to decreases in the amount of highly oxidizable unsaturated fatty acids. Rapamycin also decreased the amount of RAPTOR (of mTOR complex) and increased the amounts of the PGC1-α and ATG13 proteins. The results are consistent with the possibility that rapamycin increases longevity in mice at least in part by lowering mitochondrial ROS production and increasing autophagy, decreasing the derived final forms of damage accumulated with age which are responsible for increased longevity. The decrease in lipofuscin accumulation induced by rapamycin adds to previous information suggesting that the increase in longevity induced by this drug can be due to a decrease in the rate of aging. PMID:27498120
Cassaignau, Anaïs M. E.; Cabrita, Lisa D.
The translational diffusion of macromolecules can be examined non-invasively by stimulated echo (STE) NMR experiments to accurately determine their molecular sizes. These measurements can be important probes of intermolecular interactions and protein folding and unfolding, and are crucial in monitoring the integrity of large macromolecular assemblies such as ribosome–nascent chain complexes (RNCs). However, NMR studies of these complexes can be severely constrained by their slow tumbling, low solubility (with maximum concentrations of up to 10 μM), and short lifetimes resulting in weak signal, and therefore continuing improvements in experimental sensitivity are essential. Here we explore the use of the paramagnetic longitudinal relaxation enhancement (PLRE) agent NiDO2A on the sensitivity of 15N XSTE and SORDID heteronuclear STE experiments, which can be used to monitor the integrity of these unstable complexes. We exploit the dependence of the PLRE effect on the gyromagnetic ratio and electronic relaxation time to accelerate recovery of 1H magnetization without adversely affecting storage on Nz during diffusion delays or introducing significant transverse relaxation line broadening. By applying the longitudinal relaxation-optimized SORDID pulse sequence together with NiDO2A to 70S Escherichia coli ribosomes and RNCs, NMR diffusion sensitivity enhancements of up to 4.5-fold relative to XSTE are achieved, alongside ~1.9-fold improvements in two-dimensional NMR sensitivity, without compromising the sample integrity. We anticipate these results will significantly advance the use of NMR to probe dynamic regions of ribosomes and other large, unstable macromolecular assemblies. PMID:26253948
Hall, Josh; Levy, Saul; Smith, D.; Wei, S.; Miyake, K.; Murdocca, M.
The progress on the Rutgers CAM (Content Addressable Memory) Project is described. The overall design of the system is completed at the architectural level and described. The machine is composed of two kinds of cells: (1) the CAM cells which include both memory and processor, and support local processing within each cell; and (2) the tree cells, which have smaller instruction set, and provide global processing over the CAM cells. A parameterized design of the basic CAM cell is completed. Progress was made on the final specification of the CPS. The machine architecture was driven by the design of algorithms whose requirements are reflected in the resulted instruction set(s). A few of these algorithms are described.
Renault, Thibaud T; Manon, Stéphen
The pro-apoptototic protein Bax (Bcl-2 Associated protein X) plays a central role in the mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway. In healthy mammalian cells, Bax is essentially cytosolic and inactive. Following a death signal, the protein is translocated to the outer mitochondrial membrane, where it promotes a permeabilization that favors the release of different apoptogenic factors, such as cytochrome c. The regulation of Bax translocation is associated to conformational changes that are under the control of different factors. The evidences showing the involvement of different Bax domains in its mitochondrial localization are presented. The interactions between Bax and its different partners are described in relation to their ability to promote (or prevent) Bax conformational changes leading to mitochondrial addressing and to the acquisition of the capacity to permeabilize the outer mitochondrial membrane. PMID:21641962
Jacobsen, Frode; Omland, Kevin E
In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Brelsford et al. (2011) present strong evidence for a case of hybrid speciation within the yellow-rumped warbler complex. Although homoploid hybrid speciation has now been documented in many animals (Mallet 2007), it seems rare in tetrapods (Mavárez & Linares 2008) and it has barely even been mentioned in birds (Price 2008). Brelsford and colleagues thus present the first detailed molecular evidence suggesting that hybrid speciation can occur in birds. Brelsford et al. (2011) posit that Audubon's warbler (Dendroica auduboni) constitutes a hybrid species originating from the admixture of two distinct parental lineages, represented today by myrtle warbler (D. coronata) and black-fronted warbler (D. nigrifrons). The authors present three major lines of molecular evidence suggesting that this is not simply a case of a hybrid swarm or limited introgression. PMID:21739625
Kestenbaum, Lori A.; Feemster, Kristen A.
In the 20th century, the introduction of multiple vaccines significantly reduced childhood morbidity, mortality, and disease outbreaks. Despite, and perhaps because of, their public health impact, an increasing number of parents and patients are choosing to delay or refuse vaccines. These individuals are described as vaccine hesitant. This phenomenon has developed due to the confluence of multiple social, cultural, political and personal factors. As immunization programs continue to expand, understanding and addressing vaccine hesitancy will be crucial to their successful implementation. This review explores the history of vaccine hesitancy, its causes, and suggested approaches for reducing hesitancy and strengthening vaccine acceptance. PMID:25875982
Kestenbaum, Lori A; Feemster, Kristen A
In the 20th century, the introduction of multiple vaccines significantly reduced childhood morbidity, mortality, and disease outbreaks. Despite, and perhaps because of, their public health impact, an increasing number of parents and patients are choosing to delay or refuse vaccines. These individuals are described as "vaccine hesitant." This phenomenon has developed due to the confluence of multiple social, cultural, political, and personal factors. As immunization programs continue to expand, understanding and addressing vaccine hesitancy will be crucial to their successful implementation. This review explores the history of vaccine hesitancy, its causes, and suggested approaches for reducing hesitancy and strengthening vaccine acceptance. PMID:25875982
Amaral, Carlos P.; Simões, Marco A.; Castelo-Branco, Miguel S.
Classification of neural signals at the single-trial level and the study of their relevance in affective and cognitive neuroscience are still in their infancy. Here we investigated the neurophysiological correlates of conditions of increasing social scene complexity using 3D human models as targets of attention, which may also be important in autism research. Challenging single-trial statistical classification of EEG neural signals was attempted for detection of oddball stimuli with increasing social scene complexity. Stimuli had an oddball structure and were as follows: 1) flashed schematic eyes, 2) simple 3D faces flashed between averted and non-averted gaze (only eye position changing), 3) simple 3D faces flashed between averted and non-averted gaze (head and eye position changing), 4) animated avatar alternated its gaze direction to the left and to the right (head and eye position), 5) environment with 4 animated avatars all of which change gaze and one of which is the target of attention. We found a late (> 300 ms) neurophysiological oddball correlate for all conditions irrespective of their complexity as assessed by repeated measures ANOVA. We attempted single-trial detection of this signal with automatic classifiers and obtained a significant balanced accuracy classification of around 79%, which is noteworthy given the amount of scene complexity. Lateralization analysis showed a specific right lateralization only for more complex realistic social scenes. In sum, complex ecological animations with social content elicit neurophysiological events which can be characterized even at the single-trial level. These signals are right lateralized. These finding paves the way for neuroscientific studies in affective neuroscience based on complex social scenes, and given the detectability at the single trial level this suggests the feasibility of brain computer interfaces that can be applied to social cognition disorders such as autism. PMID:25807525
Chan, Jason C. K.; Wilford, Miko M.; Hughes, Katharine L.
Taking an intervening test between learning episodes can enhance later source recollection. Paradoxically, testing can also increase people's susceptibility to the misinformation effect--a finding termed retrieval-enhanced suggestibility (RES, Chan, Thomas, & Bulevich, 2009). We conducted three experiments to examine this apparent contradiction.…
Xiong, Xiong; Yan-Xia, Li; Ming, Yang; Feng-Song, Zhang; Wei, Li
Wood sawdust and maize straw were selected to co-compost sewage sludge to investigate the effects of organic bulking agents on the formation and molecular transformation of humic substances. The results showed that composting process increased humic acids (HA) while decreased fulvic acids (FA), and the wood sawdust and maize straw promoted the formation of HA by 25.6% and 16.1%, respectively. Results from fluorescence titration demonstrated that organic bulking agents also increased the binding ability of HA with the heavy metal ions, Cu(II) and Cd(II), but had little influence on that of FA. These findings indicate that organic materials especially wood sawdust may be used as bulking agents to reduce the mobility and bioavailability of toxic metals in solid waste composts. PMID:20724147
Roussel, Erwan G; Cragg, Barry A; Webster, Gordon; Sass, Henrik; Tang, Xiaohong; Williams, Angharad S; Gorra, Roberta; Weightman, Andrew J; Parkes, R John
The impact of temperature (0-80°C) on anaerobic biogeochemical processes and prokaryotic communities in marine sediments (tidal flat) was investigated in slurries for up to 100 days. Temperature had a non-linear effect on biogeochemistry and prokaryotes with rapid changes over small temperature intervals. Some activities (e.g. methanogenesis) had multiple 'windows' within a large temperature range (∼10 to 80°C). Others, including acetate oxidation, had maximum activities within a temperature zone, which varied with electron acceptor [metal oxide (up to ∼34°C) and sulphate (up to ∼50°C)]. Substrates for sulphate reduction changed from predominantly acetate below, and H2 above, a 43°C critical temperature, along with changes in activation energies and types of sulphate-reducing Bacteria. Above ∼43°C, methylamine metabolism ceased with changes in methanogen types and increased acetate concentrations (>1 mM). Abundances of uncultured Archaea, characteristic of deep marine sediments (e.g. MBGD Euryarchaeota, 'Bathyarchaeota') changed, indicating their possible metabolic activity and temperature range. Bacterial cell numbers were consistently higher than archaeal cells and both decreased above ∼15°C. Substrate addition stimulated activities, widened some activity temperature ranges (methanogenesis) and increased bacterial (×10) more than archaeal cell numbers. Hence, additional organic matter input from climate-related eutrophication may amplify the impact of temperature increases on sedimentary biogeochemistry. PMID:26207045
Roussel, Erwan G.; Cragg, Barry A.; Webster, Gordon; Sass, Henrik; Tang, Xiaohong; Williams, Angharad S.; Gorra, Roberta; Weightman, Andrew J.; Parkes, R. John
The impact of temperature (0–80°C) on anaerobic biogeochemical processes and prokaryotic communities in marine sediments (tidal flat) was investigated in slurries for up to 100 days. Temperature had a non-linear effect on biogeochemistry and prokaryotes with rapid changes over small temperature intervals. Some activities (e.g. methanogenesis) had multiple ‘windows’ within a large temperature range (∼10 to 80°C). Others, including acetate oxidation, had maximum activities within a temperature zone, which varied with electron acceptor [metal oxide (up to ∼34°C) and sulphate (up to ∼50°C)]. Substrates for sulphate reduction changed from predominantly acetate below, and H2 above, a 43°C critical temperature, along with changes in activation energies and types of sulphate-reducing Bacteria. Above ∼43°C, methylamine metabolism ceased with changes in methanogen types and increased acetate concentrations (>1 mM). Abundances of uncultured Archaea, characteristic of deep marine sediments (e.g. MBGD Euryarchaeota, ‘Bathyarchaeota’) changed, indicating their possible metabolic activity and temperature range. Bacterial cell numbers were consistently higher than archaeal cells and both decreased above ∼15°C. Substrate addition stimulated activities, widened some activity temperature ranges (methanogenesis) and increased bacterial (×10) more than archaeal cell numbers. Hence, additional organic matter input from climate-related eutrophication may amplify the impact of temperature increases on sedimentary biogeochemistry. PMID:26207045
Davies, A L; Bryce, R; Redpath, S M
Conservation conflicts are increasing on a global scale and instruments for reconciling competing interests are urgently needed. Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a structured, decision-support process that can facilitate dialogue between groups with differing interests and incorporate human and environmental dimensions of conflict. MCDA is a structured and transparent method of breaking down complex problems and incorporating multiple objectives. The value of this process for addressing major challenges in conservation conflict management is that MCDA helps in setting realistic goals; entails a transparent decision-making process; and addresses mistrust, differing world views, cross-scale issues, patchy or contested information, and inflexible legislative tools. Overall we believe MCDA provides a valuable decision-support tool, particularly for increasing awareness of the effects of particular values and choices for working toward negotiated compromise, although an awareness of the effect of methodological choices and the limitations of the method is vital before applying it in conflict situations. PMID:23869557
Gobeill, Julien; Pasche, Emilie; Vishnyakova, Dina; Ruch, Patrick
The available curated data lag behind current biological knowledge contained in the literature. Text mining can assist biologists and curators to locate and access this knowledge, for instance by characterizing the functional profile of publications. Gene Ontology (GO) category assignment in free text already supports various applications, such as powering ontology-based search engines, finding curation-relevant articles (triage) or helping the curator to identify and encode functions. Popular text mining tools for GO classification are based on so called thesaurus-based--or dictionary-based--approaches, which exploit similarities between the input text and GO terms themselves. But their effectiveness remains limited owing to the complex nature of GO terms, which rarely occur in text. In contrast, machine learning approaches exploit similarities between the input text and already curated instances contained in a knowledge base to infer a functional profile. GO Annotations (GOA) and MEDLINE make possible to exploit a growing amount of curated abstracts (97 000 in November 2012) for populating this knowledge base. Our study compares a state-of-the-art thesaurus-based system with a machine learning system (based on a k-Nearest Neighbours algorithm) for the task of proposing a functional profile for unseen MEDLINE abstracts, and shows how resources and performances have evolved. Systems are evaluated on their ability to propose for a given abstract the GO terms (2.8 on average) used for curation in GOA. We show that since 2006, although a massive effort was put into adding synonyms in GO (+300%), our thesaurus-based system effectiveness is rather constant, reaching from 0.28 to 0.31 for Recall at 20 (R20). In contrast, thanks to its knowledge base growth, our machine learning system has steadily improved, reaching from 0.38 in 2006 to 0.56 for R20 in 2012. Integrated in semi-automatic workflows or in fully automatic pipelines, such systems are more and more efficient
Matera, J A; Wilson, B K; Hernandez Gifford, J A; Step, D L; Krehbiel, C R; Gifford, C A
Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in feedlot cattle. Significant inflammation and lesions are often observed in lungs of infected cattle. During acute inflammatory responses, histones contribute to mortality in rodents and humans and serum proteins can protect against histone-induced cytotoxicity. We hypothesized that cattle experiencing chronic or fatal cases of BRDC have reduced ability to protect against cytotoxic effects of histones. Serum samples were collected from 66 bull calves at the time of normal feedlot processing procedures. Animals were retrospectively assigned to groups consisting of calves never treated for BRDC (control [CONT]; n = 10), calves treated with antimicrobials once for BRDC (1T; n = 16), calves treated twice for BRDC (2T; n = 13), calves treated 3 times for BRDC (3T; n = 14), or calves treated 4 times for BRDC (4T; n = 13). Samples were also collected each time animals received antimicrobial treatment; animals within a group were further sorted by calves that recovered and calves that died to test histone cytotoxicity. Bovine kidney cells were cultured in duplicate in 96-well plates and exposed to 0 or 50 μg/mL of total histones for 18 h with 1% serum from each animal. Cell viability was assessed by the addition of resazurin for 6 h followed by fluorescent quantification. Fluorescent values from serum alone were subtracted from values obtained for histone treatment for each animal. Serum from CONT, 1T, and 2T at initial processing all exhibited a similar (P > 0.10) response to histone treatment with fluorescent values of -312 ± 557, -1,059 ± 441, and -975 ± 489, respectively. However, 3T and 4T demonstrated an impaired capacity (P < 0.05) to protect against histones (-2,778 ± 471 and -3,026 ± 489) at initial processing when compared to the other groups. When sorted by mortality within group, calves that were treated twice and recovered (-847 ± 331) demonstrated a greater (P
Meehan, Jennifer; Kunches, Joseph
Delta Airlines had an unprecedented experience in 2011: For the first time, a flight was rerouted because of space weather activity. Flight 189 from Detroit, Mich., to Beijing, China, had to reroute due to solar activity that occurred 24-28 September 2011. Over the last decade most airlines that fly routes across the North Pole region have had diversions as a result of solar activity. As cross-polar air traffic increases, standing at 10,993 one-way crossings in 2011, the aviation industry is becoming more aware of the impacts that space weather can have on operations, communications, and navigation, as well as the issue of increased radiation exposure for passengers and flight crew on board.
Measurement of the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) is an important parameter in the evaluation of cerebral function. With positron emission tomography (PET) rCBF has predominantly been quantified using the short-lived radiotracer oxygen-15 labelled water (H 2 15 O) and an adaptation of the Kety one-tissue compartment autoradiographic model. The values attained in putative grey matter, however, are systematically underestimated because of the limited scanner resolution. For this reason we applied a dynamic kinetic two-tissue compartment model including a fast and a slow flow component each with a perfusable tissue fraction. In the fast component rCBF was 2-2.5 times greater than grey matter values using traditional autoradiography in both human and monkey. Visual stimulation in human gave a corrected rCBF increase of approximately 40%. Visual stimulation was also used to indirectly validate carbon-10 labelled carbondioxide ( 10 CO 2 ), a new very short-lived rCBF PET tracer with a half-life of only 19.3 seconds. This allowed an increase in the number of independent PET scans per subject from 12-14 using H 2 15 O to 64 using 10 CO 2 . The experiment demonstrated a maximal activation response in the visual cortex at a 10-15 Hz stimulation frequency. The use of the rCBF PET mapping technique is illustrated by studies of the organization of language and the oculomotor system. With respect to the former, we found confirmation of neuropsychological evidence of the involvement of the left supramarginal/angular gyrus in reading in Japanese of a phonologically based script system, Kana, and of the left posterior inferior temporal gyrus in reading of a morphogram based script system, Kanji. Concerning the organization of the oculomotor system we found overlapping areas in fronto-parietal cortex involved in maintaining visual fixation, and performing visually guided and imagined eye movements. These data show that overt eye movements are not a prerequisite of the
Trávníček, Pavel; Jersáková, Jana; Kubátová, Barbora; Krejčíková, Jana; Bateman, Richard M.; Lučanová, Magdalena; Krajníková, Eva; Těšitelová, Tamara; Štípková, Zuzana; Amardeilh, Jean-Pierre; Brzosko, Emilia; Jermakowicz, Edyta; Cabanne, Olivier; Durka, Walter; Efimov, Peter; Hedrén, Mikael; Hermosilla, Carlos E.; Kreutz, Karel; Kull, Tiiu; Tali, Kadri; Marchand, Olivier; Rey, Manel; Schiestl, Florian P.; Čurn, Vladislav; Suda, Jan
Background and Aims Patterns of ploidy variation among and within populations can provide valuable insights into the evolutionary mechanisms shaping the dynamics of plant systems showing ploidy diversity. Whereas data on majority ploidies are, by definition, often sufficiently extensive, much less is known about the incidence and evolutionary role of minority cytotypes. Methods Ploidy and proportions of endoreplicated genome were determined using DAPI (4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) flow cytometry in 6150 Gymnadenia plants (fragrant orchids) collected from 141 populations in 17 European countries. All widely recognized European species, and several taxa of less certain taxonomic status were sampled within Gymnadenia conopsea sensu lato. Key Results Most Gymnadenia populations were taxonomically and/or ploidy heterogeneous. Two majority (2x and 4x) and three minority (3x, 5x and 6x) cytotypes were identified. Evolution largely proceeded at the diploid level, whereas tetraploids were much more geographically and taxonomically restricted. Although minority ploidies constituted <2 % of the individuals sampled, they were found in 35 % of populations across the entire area investigated. The amount of nuclear DNA, together with the level of progressively partial endoreplication, separated all Gymnadenia species currently widely recognized in Europe. Conclusions Despite their low frequency, minority cytotypes substantially increase intraspecific and intrapopulation ploidy diversity estimates for fragrant orchids. The cytogenetic structure of Gymnadenia populations is remarkably dynamic and shaped by multiple evolutionary mechanisms, including both the ongoing production of unreduced gametes and heteroploid hybridization. Overall, it is likely that the level of ploidy heterogeneity experienced by most plant species/populations is currently underestimated; intensive sampling is necessary to obtain a holistic picture. PMID:23002267
Pharaoh, Gavin; Pulliam, Daniel; Hill, Shauna; Sataranatarajan, Kavithalakshmi; Van Remmen, Holly
Mice deficient in the electron transport chain (ETC) complex IV assembly protein SURF1 have reduced assembly and activity of cytochrome c oxidase that is associated with an upregulation of components of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPR(MT)) and increased mitochondrial number. We hypothesized that the upregulation of proteins associated with the UPR(MT) in response to reduced cytochrome c oxidase activity in Surf1(-/-) mice might contribute to increased stress resistance. To test this hypothesis we asked whether primary cultures of fibroblasts from Surf1(-/-) mice exhibit enhanced resistance to stressors compared to wild-type fibroblasts. Here we show that primary dermal fibroblasts isolated from Surf1(-/-) mice have increased expression of UPR(MT) components ClpP and Hsp60, and increased expression of Lon protease. Fibroblasts from Surf1(-/-) mice are significantly more resistant to cell death caused by oxidative stress induced by paraquat or tert-Butyl hydroperoxide compared to cells from wild-type mice. In contrast, Surf1(-/-) fibroblasts show no difference in sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide stress. The enhanced cell survival in response to paraquat or tert-Butyl hydroperoxide in Surf1(-/-) fibroblasts compared to wild-type fibroblasts is associated with induced expression of Lon, ClpP, and Hsp60, increased maximal respiration, and increased reserve capacity as measured using the Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyzer. Overall these data support a protective role for the activation of the UPR(MT) in cell survival. PMID:27208630
Tundup, Smanla; Pathak, Niteen; Ramanadham, M.; Mukhopadhyay, Sangita; Murthy, K. J. R.; Ehtesham, Nasreen Z.; Hasnain, Seyed E.
Background Many of the PE/PPE proteins are either surface localized or secreted outside and are thought to be a source of antigenic variation in the host. The exact role of these proteins are still elusive. We previously reported that the PPE41 protein induces high B cell response in TB patients. The PE/PPE genes are not randomly distributed in the genome but are organized as operons and the operon containing PE25 and PPE41 genes co-transcribe and their products interact with each other. Methodology/Principal Finding We now describe the antigenic properties of the PE25, PPE41 and PE25/PPE41 protein complex coded by a single operon. The PPE41 and PE25/PPE41 protein complex induces significant (p<0.0001) B cell response in sera derived from TB patients and in mouse model as compared to the PE25 protein. Further, mice immunized with the PE25/PPE41 complex and PPE41 proteins showed significant (p<0.00001) proliferation of splenocyte as compared to the mice immunized with the PE25 protein and saline. Flow cytometric analysis showed 15–22% enhancement of CD8+ and CD4+ T cell populations when immunized with the PPE41 or PE25/PPE41 complex as compared to a marginal increase (8–10%) in the mice immunized with the PE25 protein. The PPE41 and PE25/PPE41 complex can also induce higher levels of IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-2 cytokines. Conclusion While this study documents the differential immunological response to the complex of PE and PPE vis-à-vis the individual proteins, it also highlights their potential as a candidate vaccine against tuberculosis. PMID:18974870
Williams-van Klinken, Catharina; Hajek, John
This article focuses on a detailed description of patterns of address in Dili Tetum today. It outlines the complexities of the address system and points to considerable variation in its evolving present-day use. We find, amongst other things, that a speaker may use a range of address strategies even to the same addressee, and that the use of…
Disability support personnel within Australia include those who provide direct and daily care to people with intellectual disability (ID), largely in residential and day service contexts. Their roles and responsibilities are many, calling on far ranging skills. Yet, they come to these roles with levels of education that range from incomplete high…
Chan, An-Wen; Song, Fujian; Vickers, Andrew; Jefferson, Tom; Dickersin, Kay; Gøtzsche, Peter C.; Krumholz, Harlan M.; Ghersi, Davina; van der Worp, H. Bart
The study protocol, publications, full study report detailing all analyses, and participant-level dataset constitute the main documentation of methods and results for health research. However, journal publications are available for only half of all studies and are plagued by selective reporting of methods and results. The protocol, full study report, and participant-level dataset are rarely available. The quality of information provided in study protocols and reports is variable and often incomplete. Inaccessibility of full information for the vast majority of studies wastes billions of dollars, introduces bias, and has a detrimental impact on patient care and research. To help improve this situation at a systemic level, three main actions are warranted. Firstly, it is important that academic institutions and funders reward investigators who fully disseminate their research protocols, reports, and participant-level datasets. Secondly, standards for the content of protocols, full study reports, and data sharing practices should be rigorously developed and adopted for all types of health research. Finally, journals, funders, sponsors, research ethics committees, regulators, and legislators should implement and enforce policies supporting study registration and availability of journal publications, full study reports, and participant-level datasets. PMID:24411650
Kim, Hee Young; Chung, Jin Mo; Chung, Kyungsoon
Scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to produce a strong antinociceptive effect on persistent pain, and mitochondria are suggested to be the main source of ROS in the spinal dorsal horn. To explore whether excessive generation of mitochondrial superoxide alone can induce pain, the effect of mitochondrial electron transport complex inhibitors on the development of mechanical hyperalgesia was examined in mice. Intrathecal injection of an electron transport complex inhibitor, antimycin A or rotenone, in normal mice resulted in a slowly developing but long-lasting and dose-dependent mechanical hyperalgesia. The levels of mechanical hyperalgesia after antimycin A, a complex III inhibitor, were higher than that with rotenone, a complex I inhibitor. A large increase of mitochondrial superoxide in the spinal dorsal horn and a strong antinociceptive effect of ROS scavengers, phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone (PBN) and 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPOL) were observed in antimycin A-treated mice. The study indicates that the enhanced production of spinal mitochondrial superoxide alone without nerve injury can produce mechanical hyperalgesia. PMID:18832013
The air quality issues that we face today and will face in the future are becoming increasingly more complex and require an improved understanding of human exposure to be effectively addressed. The objectives of this paper are (1) to discuss how concepts of human exposure and ex...
Wezenberg, Sander J; Chen, Kuang-Yen; Feringa, Ben L
Toward the development of visible-light-driven molecular rotary motors, an overcrowded alkene-based ligand and the corresponding ruthenium(II) complex is presented. In our design, a 4,5-diazafluorenyl coordination motif is directly integrated into the motor function. The photochemical and thermal isomerization behavior has been studied by UV/Vis and NMR spectroscopy. Upon coordination to a Ru(II) bipyridine complex, the photoisomerization process can be driven by visible (λmax = 450 nm) instead of UV light and furthermore, a large increase of the speed of rotation is noted. DFT calculations point to a contraction of the diazafluorenyl lower half upon metal-coordination resulting in reduced steric hindrance in the "fjord region" of the molecule. Consequently, it is shown that metal-ligand interactions can play an important role in the adjustment of both photophysical and thermodynamic properties of molecular motors. PMID:26271465
Each year at the annual meeting of The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), addresses are given in honor of The Society and a number of award winners. A summary of each of these addresses is given below. On the following pages, we have printed the presidential address and the addresses for the William Allan Award, the Curt Stern Award, and the Victor A. McKusick Leadership Award. Webcasts of these addresses, as well as those of many other presentations, can be found at http://www.ashg.org.
Each year at the annual meeting of The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), addresses are given in honor of The Society and a number of award winners. A summary of each of these addresses is given below. On the following pages, we have printed the Presidential Address and the addresses for the William Allan Award, the Curt Stern Award, and the Victor A. McKusick Leadership Award. Webcasts of these addresses, as well as those of many other presentations, can be found at http://www.ashg.org.
Cellek, O. O.; Zhang, Y.-H.
Multiband infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) with small pixel pitch have increased device processing complexity since they often need more than two terminals per pixel for readouts. Simpler FPAs are enabled by our newly demonstrated optically-addressed two-terminal multiband photodetector architecture. For long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) and midwavelength infrared (MWIR) imaging applications, the use of quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIP) has been investigated. The results show that the utilization of unipolar QWIPs with bipolar near infrared (NIR) devices is feasible with this new optical-addressing scheme. Potential device performance is analyzed with an equivalent AC circuit model. Proposed design maximizes fill factor and enables small pixel-pitch FPA with single indium-bump per pixel for NIR/MWIR/LWIR multiband detection capability.
Blondin, François; Lepage, Martin
A robust finding among functional neuroimaging studies on visual priming is decreased neural activity in extrastriate and inferior prefrontal cortices for the second presentation of an object relative to its first presentation. This effect can also be observed for different but perceptually similar objects that are alternative exemplars of the initially presented object (e.g. two different pencils). An unanswered question is whether this decrease in activity can be found for the successive presentation of similar complex visual scenes. We used a test in which landscape pictures were divided vertically into three segments. A first segment was presented and followed several stimuli later by a second related segment. Reaction times were faster for the presentation of the second segment relative to the first one. Although perceptually different from the first segment, the presentation of the second segment was nonetheless associated with reduced activity in late stage visual processing areas including parahippocampal/fusiform gyri bilaterally, left middle occipital and temporal gyri, right inferior temporal and superior occipital gyri, and in left inferior frontal gyrus. The observed decreases in activity in these regions replicate results on priming of different exemplars of single objects while further extending these results to similar complex visual scenes. The presentation of the second segment was also associated with increased activity mainly in frontal and parietal regions, two areas known to be associated with memory retrieval. In sum, priming effects can also occur for complex visual scenes that are intrinsically different from each other although similar in their composition. PMID:16168731
Bjørndal, Bodil; Ramsvik, Marie S.; Lindquist, Carine; Nordrehaug, Jan E.; Bruheim, Inge; Svardal, Asbjørn; Nygård, Ottar; Berge, Rolf K.
Seafood is assumed to be beneficial for cardiovascular health, mainly based on plasma lipid lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, other plasma risk factors linked to cardiovascular disease are less studied. This study aimed to penetrate the effect of a phospholipid-protein complex (PPC) from Antarctic krill on one-carbon metabolism and production of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) in rats. Male Wistar rats were fed isoenergetic control, 6%, or 11% PPC diets for four weeks. Rats fed PPC had reduced total homocysteine plasma level and increased levels of choline, dimethylglycine and cysteine, whereas the plasma level of methionine was unchanged compared to control. PPC feeding increased the plasma level of TMAO, carnitine, its precursors trimethyllysine and γ-butyrobetaine. There was a close correlation between plasma TMAO and carnitine, trimethyllysine, and γ-butyrobetaine, but not between TMAO and choline. The present data suggest that PPC has a homocysteine lowering effect and is associated with altered plasma concentrations of metabolites related to one-carbon metabolism and B-vitamin status in rats. Moreover, the present study reveals a non-obligatory role of gut microbiota in the increased plasma TMAO level as it can be explained by the PPC’s content of TMAO. The increased level of carnitine and carnitine precursors is interpreted to reflect increased carnitine biosynthesis. PMID:26371012