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Sample records for affecting humans worldwide

  1. Human arbovirus infections worldwide.

    PubMed

    Gubler, D J

    2001-12-01

    Viral diseases transmitted by blood-feeding arthropods (arboviral diseases) are among the most important of the emerging infectious disease public health problems facing the world at the beginning of the third millennium. There are over 534 viruses listed in the arbovirus catalogue, approximately 134 of which have been shown to cause disease in humans. These are transmitted principally by mosquitoes and ticks. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, a few new arboviral diseases have been recognized. More important, however, is the dramatic resurgence and geographic spread of a number of old diseases that were once effectively controlled. Global demographic and societal changes, and modern transportation have provided the mechanisms for the viruses to break out of their natural ecology and become established in new geographic locations where susceptible arthropod vectors and hosts provide permissive conditions for them to cause major epidemics. West Nile virus is just the the latest example of this type of invasion by exotic viruses. This paper will provide an overview of the medically important arboviruses and discuss several in more detail as case studies to illustrate our tenuous position as we begin the twenty-first century.

  2. Human water consumption intensifies hydrological drought worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Yoshihide; van Beek, Ludovicus P. H.; Wanders, Niko; Bierkens, Marc F. P.

    2013-09-01

    Over the past 50 years, human water use has more than doubled and affected streamflow over various regions of the world. However, it remains unclear to what degree human water consumption intensifies hydrological drought (the occurrence of anomalously low streamflow). Here, we quantify over the period 1960-2010 the impact of human water consumption on the intensity and frequency of hydrological drought worldwide. The results show that human water consumption substantially reduced local and downstream streamflow over Europe, North America and Asia, and subsequently intensified the magnitude of hydrological droughts by 10-500%, occurring during nation- and continent-wide drought events. Also, human water consumption alone increased global drought frequency by 27 (±6)%. The intensification of drought frequency is most severe over Asia (35 ± 7%), but also substantial over North America (25 ± 6%) and Europe (20 ± 5%). Importantly, the severe drought conditions are driven primarily by human water consumption over many parts of these regions. Irrigation is responsible for the intensification of hydrological droughts over the western and central US, southern Europe and Asia, whereas the impact of industrial and households’ consumption on the intensification is considerably larger over the eastern US and western and central Europe. Our findings reveal that human water consumption is one of the more important mechanisms intensifying hydrological drought, and is likely to remain as a major factor affecting drought intensity and frequency in the coming decades.

  3. Human water consumption intensifies hydrological drought worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Y.; Van Beek, L. P.; Wanders, N.; Bierkens, M. F.

    2012-12-01

    Over the past decades, human water consumption has more than doubled, and reduced streamflow over various regions of the world. However, it remains unclear to what degree human water consumption intensifies hydrological droughts, i.e. the occurrence of anomalously low streamflow. Here, we quantify over the period 1960-2010 the impact of human water consumption on the intensity and frequency of hydrological droughts worldwide. We simulated streamflow by the global hydrological and water resources model PCR-GLOBWB at a 0.5 degree spatial resolution, and reduced the amount of streamflow with different levels of human water consumption over the period 1960-2010. We applied the commonly used variable threshold level method to identify below-normal water availability as the onset of hydrological droughts. We then standardized the deficit volume dividing relative to the threshold level to express the intensity of drought conditions to normal streamflow conditions. The results show that human water consumption substantially reduced local and downstream streamflow in many regions of the world. This subsequently intensified hydrological droughts regionally by 10-500%. Irrigation is responsible for the intensification of hydrological droughts over western and central U.S., southern Europe, Asia, and southeastern Australia, whereas the impact of industrial and households' consumption on the intensification is considerably larger over eastern U.S., and western and central Europe. The results also show that drought frequency increased by more than 27% compared to pristine or natural condition as a result of human water consumption. The intensification of drought frequency is most severe over Asia, but also substantial over North America and Europe. Importantly, global population under severe hydrological droughts considerably increased from 0.7 billion in 1960 to 2.2 billion in 2010 due to rapid population growth. As a limited validation exercise, we compared simulated deficit

  4. Technology trends, energy prices affect worldwide rig activity

    SciTech Connect

    Rappold, K.

    1995-09-25

    The major worldwide offshore rig markets have improved slightly this year, while the onshore markets generally lagged slightly. Offshore rig utilization rates have remained strong worldwide, with some areas reaching nearly 100%. Total worldwide offshore rig (jack ups, semisubmersible, drillships, submersibles, and barges) utilization was about 86%. Offshore drilling activity is driven primarily by oil and natural gas price expectations. Natural gas prices tend to drive North American offshore drilling activity, including the shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico. International offshore drilling activity and deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico are more closely tied to oil prices. The paper discusses US rig count, directional drilling activity, jack up rig demand, semisubmersibles demand, rig replacement costs, and new construction.

  5. Shape variability and classification of human hair: a worldwide approach.

    PubMed

    De la Mettrie, Roland; Saint-Léger, Didier; Loussouarn, Geneviève; Garcel, Annelise; Porter, Crystal; Langaney, André

    2007-06-01

    Human hair has been commonly classified according to three conventional ethnic human subgroups, that is, African, Asian, and European. Such broad classification hardly accounts for the high complexity of human biological diversity, resulting from both multiple and past or recent mixed origins. The research reported here is intended to develop a more factual and scientific approach based on physical features of human hair. The aim of the study is dual: (1) to define hair types according to specific shape criteria through objective and simple measurements taken on hairs from 1442 subjects from 18 different countries and (2) to define such hair types without referring to human ethnicity. The driving principle is simple: Because hair can be found in many different human subgroups, defining a straight or a curly hair should provide a more objective approach than a debatable ethnicity-based classification. The proposed method is simple to use and requires the measurement of only three easily accessible descriptors of hair shape: curve diameter (CD), curl index (i), and number of waves (w). This method leads to a worldwide coherent classification of hair in eight well-defined categories. The new hair categories, as described, should be more appropriate and more reliable than conventional standards in cosmetic and forensic sciences. Furthermore, the classification can be useful for testing whether hair shape diversity follows the continuous geographic and historical pattern suggested for human genetic variation or presents major discontinuities between some large human subdivisions, as claimed by earlier classical anthropology.

  6. Human Papillomavirus 18 Genetic Variation and Cervical Cancer Risk Worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Alyce A.; Gheit, Tarik; Franceschi, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human papillomavirus 18 (HPV18) is the second most carcinogenic HPV type, after HPV16, and it accounts for approximately 12% of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) as well as 37% of adenocarcinoma (ADC) of the cervix worldwide. We aimed to evaluate the worldwide diversity and carcinogenicity of HPV18 genetic variants by sequencing the entire long control region (LCR) and the E6 open reading frame of 711 HPV18-positive cervical samples from 39 countries, taking advantage of the International Agency for Research on Cancer biobank. A total of 209 unique HPV18 sequence variants were identified that formed three phylogenetic lineages (A, B, and C). A and B lineages each divided into four sublineages, including a newly identified candidate B4 sublineage. The distribution of lineages varied by geographical region, with B and C lineages found principally in Africa. HPV18 (sub)lineages were compared between 453 cancer cases and 236 controls, as well as between 81 ADC and 160 matched SCC cases. In region-stratified analyses, there were no significant differences in the distribution of HPV18 variant lineages between cervical cancer cases and controls or between ADC and SCC. In conclusion, our findings do not support the role of HPV18 (sub)lineages for discriminating cancer risk or explaining why HPV18 is more strongly linked with ADC than SCC. IMPORTANCE This is the largest and most geographically/ethnically diverse study of the genetic variation of HPV18 to date, providing a comprehensive reference for phylogenetic classification of HPV18 sublineages for epidemiological and biological studies. PMID:26269181

  7. Human Papillomavirus 45 Genetic Variation and Cervical Cancer Risk Worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Alyce A.; Heideman, Daniëlle A. M.; Boon, Debby; Gheit, Tarik; Snijders, Peter J. F.; Tommasino, Massimo; Franceschi, Silvia

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human papillomavirus 45 (HPV45) is a member of the HPV18-related alpha-7 species and accounts for approximately 5% of all cervical cancer cases worldwide. This study evaluated the genetic diversity of HPV45 and the association of HPV45 variants with the risk of cervical cancer by sequencing the entire E6 and E7 open reading frames of 300 HPV45-positive cervical samples from 36 countries. A total of 43 HPV45 sequence variants were identified that formed 5 phylogenetic sublineages, A1, A2, A3, B1, and B2, the distribution of which varied by geographical region. Among 192 cases of cervical cancer and 101 controls, the B2 sublineage was significantly overrepresented in cervical cancer, both overall and in Africa and Europe separately. We show that the sequence analysis of E6 and E7 allows the classification of HPV45 variants and that the risk of cervical cancer may differ by HPV45 variant sublineage. IMPORTANCE This work describes the largest study to date of human papillomavirus 45 (HPV45)-positive cervical samples and provides a comprehensive reference for phylogenetic classification for use in epidemiological studies of the carcinogenicity of HPV45 genetic variants, particularly as our findings suggest that the B2 sublineage of HPV45 is associated with a higher risk of cervical cancer. PMID:24501412

  8. Genomic Patterns of Homozygosity in Worldwide Human Populations

    PubMed Central

    Pemberton, Trevor J.; Absher, Devin; Feldman, Marcus W.; Myers, Richard M.; Rosenberg, Noah A.; Li, Jun Z.

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide patterns of homozygosity runs and their variation across individuals provide a valuable and often untapped resource for studying human genetic diversity and evolutionary history. Using genotype data at 577,489 autosomal SNPs, we employed a likelihood-based approach to identify runs of homozygosity (ROH) in 1,839 individuals representing 64 worldwide populations, classifying them by length into three classes—short, intermediate, and long—with a model-based clustering algorithm. For each class, the number and total length of ROH per individual show considerable variation across individuals and populations. The total lengths of short and intermediate ROH per individual increase with the distance of a population from East Africa, in agreement with similar patterns previously observed for locus-wise homozygosity and linkage disequilibrium. By contrast, total lengths of long ROH show large interindividual variations that probably reflect recent inbreeding patterns, with higher values occurring more often in populations with known high frequencies of consanguineous unions. Across the genome, distributions of ROH are not uniform, and they have distinctive continental patterns. ROH frequencies across the genome are correlated with local genomic variables such as recombination rate, as well as with signals of recent positive selection. In addition, long ROH are more frequent in genomic regions harboring genes associated with autosomal-dominant diseases than in regions not implicated in Mendelian diseases. These results provide insight into the way in which homozygosity patterns are produced, and they generate baseline homozygosity patterns that can be used to aid homozygosity mapping of genes associated with recessive diseases. PMID:22883143

  9. Tick-borne infections in human and animal population worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Brites-Neto, José; Duarte, Keila Maria Roncato; Martins, Thiago Fernandes

    2015-01-01

    The abundance and activity of ectoparasites and its hosts are affected by various abiotic factors, such as climate and other organisms (predators, pathogens and competitors) presenting thus multiples forms of association (obligate to facultative, permanent to intermittent and superficial to subcutaneous) developed during long co-evolving processes. Ticks are ectoparasites widespread globally and its eco epidemiology are closely related to the environmental conditions. They are obligatory hematophagous ectoparasites and responsible as vectors or reservoirs at the transmission of pathogenic fungi, protozoa, viruses, rickettsia and others bacteria during their feeding process on the hosts. Ticks constitute the second vector group that transmit the major number of pathogens to humans and play a role primary for animals in the process of diseases transmission. Many studies on bioecology of ticks, considering the information related to their population dynamics, to the host and the environment, comes possible the application and efficiency of tick control measures in the prevention programs of vector-borne diseases. In this review were considered some taxonomic, morphological, epidemiological and clinical fundamental aspects related to the tick-borne infections that affect human and animal populations. PMID:27047089

  10. Food Affects Human Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolata, Gina

    1982-01-01

    A conference on whether food and nutrients affect human behavior was held on November 9, 1982 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Various research studies on this topic are reviewed, including the effects of food on brain biochemistry (particularly sleep) and effects of tryptophane as a pain reducer. (JN)

  11. Imported Human Rabies Cases Worldwide, 1990–2012

    PubMed Central

    Carrara, Philippe; Parola, Phillipe; Brouqui, Phillipe; Gautret, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    Sixty cases of human rabies in international travelers were reviewed from 1990–2012. A significant proportion of the cases were observed in migrants or their descendants when emigrating from their country of origin or after a trip to visit friends and relatives or for other reasons (43.3%). The cases were not necessarily associated with long-term travel or expatriation to endemic countries; moreover, cases were observed in travelers after short trips of two weeks or less. A predominance of male patients was observed (75.0%). The proportion of children was low (11.7%). Cases from India and Philippines were frequent (16 cases/60). In a significant proportion of cases (51.1%), diagnosis was challenging, with multiple missed diagnoses and transfers from ward to ward before the final diagnosis of rabies. Among the 28 patients whose confirmed diagnosis was obtained ante-mortem, the mean time between hospitalization and diagnosis was 7.7 days (median time: 6.0 days, range 2–30) including four cases with a diagnosis delayed by 15 or more days. In five cases, a patient traveled through one or more countries before ultimately being hospitalized. Three factors played a role in delaying the diagnosis of rabies in a number of cases: (i) a low index of suspicion for rabies in countries where the disease has been eradicated for a long time or is now rare, (ii) a negative history of animal bites or exposure to rabies, and (iii) atypical clinical presentation of the disease. Clinical symptomatology of rabies is complex and commonly confuses physicians. Furthermore, failure in diagnosing imported cases in more developed countries is most likely related to the lack of medical familiarity with even the typical clinical features of the disease. PMID:23658853

  12. Breast cancer: a neglected disease for the majority of affected women worldwide.

    PubMed

    Ginsburg, Ophira M; Love, Richard R

    2011-01-01

    Recent progress with declines in mortality in some high-income countries has obscured the fact that for the majority of women worldwide who are newly diagnosed, breast cancer is a neglected disease in the context of other numerically more frequent health problems. For this growing majority, it is also an orphan disease, in that detailed knowledge about tumor characteristics and relevant host biology necessary to provide even basic care is absent. With the possible exception of nutritional recommendations, current international cancer policy and planning initiatives are irrelevant to breast cancer. The progress that has occurred in high-income countries has come at extraordinary fiscal expense and patient toxicity, which of themselves suggest nonrelevance to women and healthcare practitioners in middle- and low-income countries. The implications of these circumstances appear clear: if the promise of the now 60-year-old Declaration of Human Rights that the fruits of medical science accrue to all mankind is to be realized with respect to breast cancer, a basic and translational global research initiative should be launched. PMID:21410589

  13. Trends affecting hospitals' human resources.

    PubMed

    Neudeck, M M

    1985-01-01

    Hospital workers at every level--from administrators to housekeepers--will be affected by the interaction of changes already underway in the healthcare industry. Societal forces that will affect the hospital workforce include demographic change, the rise of the participatory ethic and decentralization, a growing philosophy of job entitlement, and new pressures for unionization. At the same time, the industry is faced with changing manpower requirements, cost containment, and the oversupply of physicians. This article identifies some of the likely effects of these changes on hospital human resources and suggests ways that administrators can prepare for them.

  14. Scientific literature on infectious diseases affecting livestock animals, longitudinal worldwide bibliometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Ducrot, Christian; Gautret, Marjolaine; Pineau, Thierry; Jestin, André

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of this bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature were to describe the research subjects and the international collaborations in the field of research on infectious diseases in livestock animals including fishes and honeybees. It was based on articles published worldwide from 2006 through 2013. The source of data was the Web of Science, Core collection(®) and only papers fully written in English were considered. Queries were built that combined 130 descriptors related to animal species and 1213 descriptors related to diseases and pathogens. To refine and assess the accuracy of the extracted database, supplementary filters were applied to discard non-specific terms and neighbouring topics, and numerous tests were carried out on samples. For pathogens, annotation was done using a thematic terminology established to link each disease with its corresponding pathogen, which was in turn classified according to its family. A total of 62,754 articles were published in this field during this 8-year period. The average annual growth rate of the number of papers was 5%. This represents the reference data to which we compared the average annual growth rate of articles produced in each of the sub-categories that we defined. Thirty-seven percent of the papers were dedicated to ruminant diseases. Poultry, pigs and fishes were covered by respectively 21, 13 and 14% of the total. Thirty-seven percent of papers concerned bacteria, 33% viruses, 19% parasites, 2% prions, the remaining being multi-pathogens. Research on virology, especially on pigs and poultry, is increasing faster than the average. There also is increasing interest in monogastric species, fish and bees. The average annual growth rate for Asia was 10%, which is high compared to 3% for Europe and 2% for the Americas, indicating that Asia is currently playing a leading role in this field. There is a well established network of international collaborations. For 75% of the papers, the co

  15. Worldwide Distribution of HIV Type 1 Epitopes Recognized by Human Anti-V3 Monoclonal Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Swetnam, James; Pinter, Abraham; Krachmarov, Chavdar; Nadas, Arthur; Almond, David; Zolla-Pazner, Susan

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Epitopes, also known as antigenic determinants, are small clusters of specific atoms within macromolecules that are recognized by the immune system. Such epitopes can be targeted with vaccines designed to protect against specific pathogens. The third variable loop (V3 loop) of the HIV-1 pathogen's gp120 surface envelope glycoprotein can be a highly sensitive neutralization target. We derived sequence motifs for the V3 loop epitopes recognized by the human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) 447-52D and 2219. Searching the HIV database for the occurrence of each epitope motif in worldwide viruses and correcting the results based on published WHO epidemiology reveal that the 447-52D epitope we defined occurs in 13% of viruses infecting patients worldwide: 79% of subtype B viruses, 1% of subtype C viruses, and 7% of subtype A/AG sequences. In contrast, the epitope we characterized for human anti-V3 mAb 2219 is present in 30% of worldwide isolates but is evenly distributed across the known HIV-1 subtypes: 48% of subtype B strains, 40% of subtype C, and 18% of subtype A/AG. Various assays confirmed that the epitopes corresponding to these motifs, when expressed in the SF162 Env backbone, were sensitively and specifically neutralized by the respective mAbs. The method described here is capable of accurately determining the worldwide occurrence and subtype distribution of any crystallographically resolved HIV-1 epitope recognized by a neutralizing antibody, which could be useful for multivalent vaccine design. More importantly, these calculations demonstrate that globally relevant, structurally conserved epitopes are present in the sequence variable V3 loop. PMID:19320565

  16. A quantitative comparison of the similarity between genes and geography in worldwide human populations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chaolong; Zöllner, Sebastian; Rosenberg, Noah A

    2012-08-01

    Multivariate statistical techniques such as principal components analysis (PCA) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) have been widely used to summarize the structure of human genetic variation, often in easily visualized two-dimensional maps. Many recent studies have reported similarity between geographic maps of population locations and MDS or PCA maps of genetic variation inferred from single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, this similarity has been evident primarily in a qualitative sense; and, because different multivariate techniques and marker sets have been used in different studies, it has not been possible to formally compare genetic variation datasets in terms of their levels of similarity with geography. In this study, using genome-wide SNP data from 128 populations worldwide, we perform a systematic analysis to quantitatively evaluate the similarity of genes and geography in different geographic regions. For each of a series of regions, we apply a Procrustes analysis approach to find an optimal transformation that maximizes the similarity between PCA maps of genetic variation and geographic maps of population locations. We consider examples in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, East Asia, and Central/South Asia, as well as in a worldwide sample, finding that significant similarity between genes and geography exists in general at different geographic levels. The similarity is highest in our examples for Asia and, once highly distinctive populations have been removed, Sub-Saharan Africa. Our results provide a quantitative assessment of the geographic structure of human genetic variation worldwide, supporting the view that geography plays a strong role in giving rise to human population structure.

  17. A comparison of worldwide phonemic and genetic variation in human populations

    PubMed Central

    Creanza, Nicole; Ruhlen, Merritt; Pemberton, Trevor J.; Rosenberg, Noah A.; Feldman, Marcus W.; Ramachandran, Sohini

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide patterns of genetic variation are driven by human demographic history. Here, we test whether this demographic history has left similar signatures on phonemes—sound units that distinguish meaning between words in languages—to those it has left on genes. We analyze, jointly and in parallel, phoneme inventories from 2,082 worldwide languages and microsatellite polymorphisms from 246 worldwide populations. On a global scale, both genetic distance and phonemic distance between populations are significantly correlated with geographic distance. Geographically close language pairs share significantly more phonemes than distant language pairs, whether or not the languages are closely related. The regional geographic axes of greatest phonemic differentiation correspond to axes of genetic differentiation, suggesting that there is a relationship between human dispersal and linguistic variation. However, the geographic distribution of phoneme inventory sizes does not follow the predictions of a serial founder effect during human expansion out of Africa. Furthermore, although geographically isolated populations lose genetic diversity via genetic drift, phonemes are not subject to drift in the same way: within a given geographic radius, languages that are relatively isolated exhibit more variance in number of phonemes than languages with many neighbors. This finding suggests that relatively isolated languages are more susceptible to phonemic change than languages with many neighbors. Within a language family, phoneme evolution along genetic, geographic, or cognate-based linguistic trees predicts similar ancestral phoneme states to those predicted from ancient sources. More genetic sampling could further elucidate the relative roles of vertical and horizontal transmission in phoneme evolution. PMID:25605893

  18. Zoonotic helminths affecting the human eye

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Nowaday, zoonoses are an important cause of human parasitic diseases worldwide and a major threat to the socio-economic development, mainly in developing countries. Importantly, zoonotic helminths that affect human eyes (HIE) may cause blindness with severe socio-economic consequences to human communities. These infections include nematodes, cestodes and trematodes, which may be transmitted by vectors (dirofilariasis, onchocerciasis, thelaziasis), food consumption (sparganosis, trichinellosis) and those acquired indirectly from the environment (ascariasis, echinococcosis, fascioliasis). Adult and/or larval stages of HIE may localize into human ocular tissues externally (i.e., lachrymal glands, eyelids, conjunctival sacs) or into the ocular globe (i.e., intravitreous retina, anterior and or posterior chamber) causing symptoms due to the parasitic localization in the eyes or to the immune reaction they elicit in the host. Unfortunately, data on HIE are scant and mostly limited to case reports from different countries. The biology and epidemiology of the most frequently reported HIE are discussed as well as clinical description of the diseases, diagnostic considerations and video clips on their presentation and surgical treatment. Homines amplius oculis, quam auribus credunt Seneca Ep 6,5 Men believe their eyes more than their ears PMID:21429191

  19. The prion protein gene in humans revisited: lessons from a worldwide resequencing study.

    PubMed

    Soldevila, Marta; Andrés, Aida M; Ramírez-Soriano, Anna; Marquès-Bonet, Tomàs; Calafell, Francesc; Navarro, Arcadi; Bertranpetit, Jaume

    2006-02-01

    Ample evidence has accumulated showing that different coding variants of the PRNP gene confer differential susceptibility for prion diseases. Here we evaluate the patterns of nucleotide variation in PRNP exon 2, which includes all the protein-coding sequence, by resequencing a worldwide sample of 174 humans for 2378 bp. In line with previous studies, we found two main haplotypes differentiated by nonsynonymous substitution in codon 129. Our analyses reveal the worldwide pattern of variation at the PRNP gene to be inconsistent with neutral expectations, indicating instead an excess of low-frequency variants, a footprint of the action of either positive or purifying selection. A comparison of neutrality test statistics for PRNP with other human genes indicates that the signal of positive selection on PRNP is stronger than expected from a possible confounding genome-wide background signal of population expansion. Two main conclusions arise from our analysis. First, the existence of an ancient, stable, balanced polymorphism that has been claimed in a previous study and related to cannibalism can be rejected and is shown to be due to ascertainment bias. Second, our results are consistent with a complex history of selection including mainly positive selection, even if short local periods of balancing selection (Kuru-like episodes), or even a weak purifying selection model, are consistent with our data. PMID:16369046

  20. Worldwide DNA sequence variation in a 10-kilobase noncoding region on human chromosome 22.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Z; Jin, L; Fu, Y X; Ramsay, M; Jenkins, T; Leskinen, E; Pamilo, P; Trexler, M; Patthy, L; Jorde, L B; Ramos-Onsins, S; Yu, N; Li, W H

    2000-10-10

    Human DNA sequence variation data are useful for studying the origin, evolution, and demographic history of modern humans and the mechanisms of maintenance of genetic variability in human populations, and for detecting linkage association of disease. Here, we report worldwide variation data from a approximately 10-kilobase noncoding autosomal region. We identified 75 variant sites in 64 humans (128 sequences) and 463 variant sites among the human, chimpanzee, and orangutan sequences. Statistical tests suggested that the region is selectively neutral. The average nucleotide diversity (pi) across the region was 0.088% among all of the human sequences obtained, 0.085% among African sequences, and 0.082% among non-African sequences, supporting the view of a low nucleotide diversity ( approximately 0.1%) in humans. The comparable pi value in non-Africans to that in Africans indicates no severe bottleneck during the evolution of modern non-Africans; however, the possibility of a mild bottleneck cannot be excluded because non-Africans showed considerably fewer variants than Africans. The present and two previous large data sets all show a strong excess of low frequency variants in comparison to that expected from an equilibrium population, indicating a relatively recent population expansion. The mutation rate was estimated to be 1.15 x 10(-9) per nucleotide per year. Estimates of the long-term effective population size N(e) by various statistical methods were similar to those in other studies. The age of the most recent common ancestor was estimated to be approximately 1.29 million years ago among all of the sequences obtained and approximately 634,000 years ago among the non-African sequences, providing the first evidence from a noncoding autosomal region for ancient human histories, even among non-Africans.

  1. Effects of Upstream Human Changes on Nutrient Fluxes to Major Deltas World-Wide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Cappellen, P.; Dürr, H. H.; Maavara, T.

    2015-12-01

    Major deltas world-wide are connected to large river systems, and while they make up <1% of the shoreline, they are at the receiving end of 25-42% of all discharge, suspended sediment load and nutrient load. Thus, in addition to the pressure from human impact in the deltas, changes far upstream are tightly linked to effects downstream. The Global-NEWS approach has explored scenarios along storylines that influence future nutrient fluxes, and if highlighted for individual delta, reveals large differences in future change, with most of the influence being attributed to factors such as land use change or increased damming. Notably the latter factor has received recent attention with regards to nutrient fluxes, and phosphorus (P) in particular (Maavara et al. in review): the largest increases in P retention by reservoirs, between 2000 and 2030, are expected to occur in the Yangtze, Mekong, Amazon and Ganges-Brahmaputra river basins. Here, we discuss how Global-NEWS and other approaches assess these future changes in nutrient fluxes, and how the expected new boom in dam construction can influence these fluxes to deltas world-wide.

  2. Estimation of damage and human losses due to earthquakes worldwide - QLARM strategy and experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trendafiloski, G.; Rosset, P.; Wyss, M.; Wiemer, S.; Bonjour, C.; Cua, G.

    2009-04-01

    Within the framework of the IMRPOVE project, we are constructing our second-generation loss estimation tool QLARM (earthQuake Loss Assessment for Response and Mitigation). At the same time, we are upgrading the input data to be used in real-time and scenario mode. The software and databases will be open to all scientific users. The estimates include: (1) total number of fatalities and injured, (2) casualties by settlement, (3) percent of buildings in five damage grades in each settlement, (4) a map showing mean damage by settlement, and (5) functionality of large medical facilities. We present here our strategy and progress so far in constructing and calibrating the new tool. The QLARM worldwide database of the elements-at-risk consists of point and discrete city models with the following parameters: (1) Soil amplification factors; (2) distribution of building stock and population into vulnerability classes of the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS-98); (3) most recent population numbers by settlement or district; (4) information regarding medical facilities where available. We calculate the seismic demand in terms of (a) macroseismic (seismic intensity) or (b) instrumental (PGA) parameters. Attenuation relationships predicting both parameters will be used for different regions worldwide, considering the tectonic regime and wave propagation characteristics. We estimate damage and losses using: (i) vulnerability models pertinent to EMS-98 vulnerability classes; (ii) building collapse rates pertinent to different regions worldwide; and, (iii) casualty matrices pertinent to EMS-98 vulnerability classes. We also provide approximate estimates for the functionality of large medical facilities considering their structural, non-structural damage and loss-of-function of the medical equipment and installations. We calibrate the QLARM database and the loss estimation tool using macroseismic observations and information regarding damage and human losses from past earthquakes

  3. Punctuated bursts in human male demography inferred from 1,244 worldwide Y-chromosome sequences.

    PubMed

    Poznik, G David; Xue, Yali; Mendez, Fernando L; Willems, Thomas F; Massaia, Andrea; Wilson Sayres, Melissa A; Ayub, Qasim; McCarthy, Shane A; Narechania, Apurva; Kashin, Seva; Chen, Yuan; Banerjee, Ruby; Rodriguez-Flores, Juan L; Cerezo, Maria; Shao, Haojing; Gymrek, Melissa; Malhotra, Ankit; Louzada, Sandra; Desalle, Rob; Ritchie, Graham R S; Cerveira, Eliza; Fitzgerald, Tomas W; Garrison, Erik; Marcketta, Anthony; Mittelman, David; Romanovitch, Mallory; Zhang, Chengsheng; Zheng-Bradley, Xiangqun; Abecasis, Gonçalo R; McCarroll, Steven A; Flicek, Paul; Underhill, Peter A; Coin, Lachlan; Zerbino, Daniel R; Yang, Fengtang; Lee, Charles; Clarke, Laura; Auton, Adam; Erlich, Yaniv; Handsaker, Robert E; Bustamante, Carlos D; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2016-06-01

    We report the sequences of 1,244 human Y chromosomes randomly ascertained from 26 worldwide populations by the 1000 Genomes Project. We discovered more than 65,000 variants, including single-nucleotide variants, multiple-nucleotide variants, insertions and deletions, short tandem repeats, and copy number variants. Of these, copy number variants contribute the greatest predicted functional impact. We constructed a calibrated phylogenetic tree on the basis of binary single-nucleotide variants and projected the more complex variants onto it, estimating the number of mutations for each class. Our phylogeny shows bursts of extreme expansion in male numbers that have occurred independently among each of the five continental superpopulations examined, at times of known migrations and technological innovations. PMID:27111036

  4. National Incorporation of Global Human Rights: Worldwide Expansion of National Human Rights Institutions, 1966-2004

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koo, Jeong-Woo; Ramirez, Francisco O.

    2009-01-01

    Using an event history framework we analyze the adoption rate of national human rights institutions. Neo-realist perspective predicts adoption rates to be positively influenced by favorable national profiles that lower the costs and make it more reasonable to establish these institutions. From a world polity perspective adoption rates will be…

  5. Human papillomavirus 33 worldwide genetic variation and associated risk of cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Alyce A.; Heideman, Daniëlle A.M.; Boon, Debby; Chen, Zigui; Burk, Robert D.; De Vuyst, Hugo; Gheit, Tarik; Snijders, Peter J.F.; Tommasino, Massimo; Franceschi, Silvia; Clifford, Gary M.

    2014-01-01

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) 33, a member of the HPV16-related alpha-9 species group, is found in approximately 5% of cervical cancers worldwide. The current study aimed to characterize the genetic diversity of HPV33 and to explore the association of HPV33 variants with the risk for cervical cancer. Taking advantage of the International Agency for Research on Cancer biobank, we sequenced the entire E6 and E7 open reading frames of 213 HPV33-positive cervical samples from 30 countries. We identified 28 HPV33 variants that formed 5 phylogenetic groups: the previously identified A1, A2, and B (sub) lineages and the novel A3 and C (sub)lineages. The A1 sublineage was strongly over-represented in cervical cases compared to controls in both Africa and Europe. In conclusion, we provide a classification system for HPV33 variants based on the sequence of E6 and E7 and suggest that the association of HPV33 with cervical cancer may differ by variant (sub)lineage. PMID:24314666

  6. Worldwide survey of published procedures to culture human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, A M; Meletti, T; Guimarães, R; Stelling, M P; Marinho, P A N; Valladão, A S; Rehen, S K

    2010-01-01

    Since their derivation 11 years ago, human embryonic stem (hES) cells have become a powerful tool in both basic biomedical research and developmental biology. Their capacity for self-renewal and differentiation into any tissue type has also brought interest from fields such as cell therapy and drug screening. We conducted an extensive analysis of 750 papers (51% of the total published about hES cells between 1998 and 2008) to present a spectrum of hES cell research including culture protocols developed worldwide. This review may stimulate discussions about the importance of having unvarying methods to culture hES cells, in order to facilitate comparisons among data obtained by research groups elsewhere, especially concerning preclinical studies. Moreover, the description of the most widely used cell lines, reagents, and procedures adopted internationally will help newcomers on deciding the best strategies for starting their own studies. Finally, the results will contribute with the efforts of stem cell researchers on comparing the performance of different aspects related to hES cell culture methods.

  7. Arthropods affecting the human eye.

    PubMed

    Panadero-Fontán, Rosario; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-02-28

    Ocular infestations by arthropods consist in the parasitization of the human eye, either directly (e.g., some insect larvae causing ophthalmomyiasis) or via arthropods feeding on lachrymal/conjunctival secretions (e.g., some eye-seeking insects, which also act as vectors of eye pathogens). In addition, demodicosis and phthiriasis may also cause eye discomfort in humans. Ophthalmomyiasis by larvae of the families Oestridae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, are frequent causative agents of human ocular infestations. Over the last decades, the extensive use of macrocyclic lactones in cattle has reduced the frequency of infestations by Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum (family Oestridae), and consequently, human infestations by these species. A prompt diagnosis of ocular myiasis (e.g., by serological tests) is pivotal for positive prognoses, particularly when the larvae are not detectable during the ophthalmologic examination. Molecular diagnoses may also assist physicians and parasitologists in achieving time-efficient diagnoses of infestations by Oestridae causing myiasis. Finally, due to widespread international travel to exotic destinations, cases of myiasis are increasing in non-endemic areas, therefore requiring physicians to acquire a profound knowledge of the clinical symptoms linked to these infestations to prevent costly, inappropriate treatments or severe complications. PMID:25620292

  8. Arthropods affecting the human eye.

    PubMed

    Panadero-Fontán, Rosario; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-02-28

    Ocular infestations by arthropods consist in the parasitization of the human eye, either directly (e.g., some insect larvae causing ophthalmomyiasis) or via arthropods feeding on lachrymal/conjunctival secretions (e.g., some eye-seeking insects, which also act as vectors of eye pathogens). In addition, demodicosis and phthiriasis may also cause eye discomfort in humans. Ophthalmomyiasis by larvae of the families Oestridae, Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae, are frequent causative agents of human ocular infestations. Over the last decades, the extensive use of macrocyclic lactones in cattle has reduced the frequency of infestations by Hypoderma bovis and Hypoderma lineatum (family Oestridae), and consequently, human infestations by these species. A prompt diagnosis of ocular myiasis (e.g., by serological tests) is pivotal for positive prognoses, particularly when the larvae are not detectable during the ophthalmologic examination. Molecular diagnoses may also assist physicians and parasitologists in achieving time-efficient diagnoses of infestations by Oestridae causing myiasis. Finally, due to widespread international travel to exotic destinations, cases of myiasis are increasing in non-endemic areas, therefore requiring physicians to acquire a profound knowledge of the clinical symptoms linked to these infestations to prevent costly, inappropriate treatments or severe complications.

  9. Differences in Primary Sites of Infection between Zoonotic and Human Tuberculosis: Results from a Worldwide Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Dürr, Salome; Müller, Borna; Alonso, Silvia; Hattendorf, Jan; Laisse, Cláudio J. M.; van Helden, Paul D.; Zinsstag, Jakob

    2013-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most devastating infectious diseases worldwide. Whilst global burden estimates for M. tuberculosis infection (MtTB) are well established, accurate data on the contribution of zoonotic TB (zTB) caused by M. bovis or M. caprae to human TB are scarce. The association of M. bovis infection with extrapulmonary tuberculosis has been suggested repeatedly, though there is little scientific evidence available to support this relationship. The present study aimed to determine globally the occurrence of extrapulmonary TB and the primary site (i.e. primary body location affected) of zTB in comparison with MtTB, based on previously published reports. A systematic literature review was conducted in 32 different bibliographic databases, selecting reports on zTB written in English, French, German, Spanish or Portuguese. Data from 27 reports from Africa, America, Europe and the Western Pacific Region were extracted for analyses. Low income countries, in Africa and South-East Asia, were highly underrepresented in the dataset. The median proportion of extrapulmonary TB cases was significantly increased among zTB in comparison with data from registries of Europe and USA, reporting mainly MtTB cases (47% versus 22% in Europe, 73% versus 30% in the USA). These findings were confirmed by analyses of eight studies reporting on the proportions of extrapulmonary TB in comparable populations of zTB and MtTB cases (median 63% versus 22%). Also, disparities of primary sites of extrapulmonary TB between zTB and MtTB were detected. Our findings, based on global data, confirm the widely suggested association between zTB and extrapulmonary disease. Different disability weights for zTB and MtTB should be considered and we recommend separate burden estimates for the two diseases. PMID:24009789

  10. Geographic population structure analysis of worldwide human populations infers their biogeographical origins

    PubMed Central

    Elhaik, Eran; Tatarinova, Tatiana; Chebotarev, Dmitri; Piras, Ignazio S.; Maria Calò, Carla; De Montis, Antonella; Atzori, Manuela; Marini, Monica; Tofanelli, Sergio; Francalacci, Paolo; Pagani, Luca; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Xue, Yali; Cucca, Francesco; Schurr, Theodore G.; Gaieski, Jill B.; Melendez, Carlalynne; Vilar, Miguel G.; Owings, Amanda C.; Gómez, Rocío; Fujita, Ricardo; Santos, Fabrício R.; Comas, David; Balanovsky, Oleg; Balanovska, Elena; Zalloua, Pierre; Soodyall, Himla; Pitchappan, Ramasamy; GaneshPrasad, ArunKumar; Hammer, Michael; Matisoo-Smith, Lisa; Wells, R. Spencer; Acosta, Oscar; Adhikarla, Syama; Adler, Christina J.; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Clarke, Andrew C.; Cooper, Alan; Der Sarkissian, Clio S. I.; Haak, Wolfgang; Haber, Marc; Jin, Li; Kaplan, Matthew E.; Li, Hui; Li, Shilin; Martínez-Cruz, Begoña; Merchant, Nirav C.; Mitchell, John R.; Parida, Laxmi; Platt, Daniel E.; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Renfrew, Colin; Lacerda, Daniela R.; Royyuru, Ajay K.; Sandoval, Jose Raul; Santhakumari, Arun Varatharajan; Soria Hernanz, David F.; Swamikrishnan, Pandikumar; Ziegle, Janet S.

    2014-01-01

    The search for a method that utilizes biological information to predict humans’ place of origin has occupied scientists for millennia. Over the past four decades, scientists have employed genetic data in an effort to achieve this goal but with limited success. While biogeographical algorithms using next-generation sequencing data have achieved an accuracy of 700 km in Europe, they were inaccurate elsewhere. Here we describe the Geographic Population Structure (GPS) algorithm and demonstrate its accuracy with three data sets using 40,000–130,000 SNPs. GPS placed 83% of worldwide individuals in their country of origin. Applied to over 200 Sardinians villagers, GPS placed a quarter of them in their villages and most of the rest within 50 km of their villages. GPS’s accuracy and power to infer the biogeography of worldwide individuals down to their country or, in some cases, village, of origin, underscores the promise of admixture-based methods for biogeography and has ramifications for genetic ancestry testing. PMID:24781250

  11. A geographically explicit genetic model of worldwide human-settlement history.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hua; Prugnolle, Franck; Manica, Andrea; Balloux, François

    2006-08-01

    Currently available genetic and archaeological evidence is generally interpreted as supportive of a recent single origin of modern humans in East Africa. However, this is where the near consensus on human settlement history ends, and considerable uncertainty clouds any more detailed aspect of human colonization history. Here, we present a dynamic genetic model of human settlement history coupled with explicit geographical distances from East Africa, the likely origin of modern humans. We search for the best-supported parameter space by fitting our analytical prediction to genetic data that are based on 52 human populations analyzed at 783 autosomal microsatellite markers. This framework allows us to jointly estimate the key parameters of the expansion of modern humans. Our best estimates suggest an initial expansion of modern humans approximately 56,000 years ago from a small founding population of approximately 1,000 effective individuals. Our model further points to high growth rates in newly colonized habitats. The general fit of the model with the data is excellent. This suggests that coupling analytical genetic models with explicit demography and geography provides a powerful tool for making inferences on human-settlement history.

  12. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weinstein, Sara B.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2015-01-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host–parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  13. How do humans affect wildlife nematodes?

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Sara B; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-05-01

    Human actions can affect wildlife and their nematode parasites. Species introductions and human-facilitated range expansions can create new host-parasite interactions. Novel hosts can introduce parasites and have the potential to both amplify and dilute nematode transmission. Furthermore, humans can alter existing nematode dynamics by changing host densities and the abiotic conditions that affect larval parasite survival. Human impacts on wildlife might impair parasites by reducing the abundance of their hosts; however, domestic animal production and complex life cycles can maintain transmission even when wildlife becomes rare. Although wildlife nematodes have many possible responses to human actions, understanding host and parasite natural history, and the mechanisms behind the changing disease dynamics might improve disease control in the few cases where nematode parasitism impacts wildlife.

  14. Worldwide construction

    SciTech Connect

    Bell, L.

    1993-10-18

    Major construction projects in worldwide processing and pipelining are tested, showing capacities, contractors, estimated costs, and time of completion. Total capacity figure in Remarks and completion column includes capacity of project listed. The information is divided into petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, sulfur recovery units, gas processing plants, related fuel plants (cogeneration, coal gasification, combined cycles), and pipeline companies.

  15. Analysis of the Genetic Basis of Disease in the Context of Worldwide Human Relationships and Migration

    PubMed Central

    Corona, Erik; Chen, Rong; Sikora, Martin; Morgan, Alexander A.; Patel, Chirag J.; Ramesh, Aditya; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Butte, Atul J.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity across different human populations can enhance understanding of the genetic basis of disease. We calculated the genetic risk of 102 diseases in 1,043 unrelated individuals across 51 populations of the Human Genome Diversity Panel. We found that genetic risk for type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer decreased as humans migrated toward East Asia. In addition, biliary liver cirrhosis, alopecia areata, bladder cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, membranous nephropathy, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, and vitiligo have undergone genetic risk differentiation. This analysis represents a large-scale attempt to characterize genetic risk differentiation in the context of migration. We anticipate that our findings will enable detailed analysis pertaining to the driving forces behind genetic risk differentiation. PMID:23717210

  16. Worldwide construction

    SciTech Connect

    Williamson, M.

    1994-10-17

    The paper lists major construction projects in worldwide processing and pipelining, showing capacities, contractors, estimated costs, and time of construction. The lists are divided into refineries, petrochemical plants, sulfur recovery units, gas processing plants, pipelines, and related fuel facilities. This last classification includes cogeneration plants, coal liquefaction and gasification plants, biomass power plants, geothermal power plants, integrated coal gasification combined-cycle power plants, and a coal briquetting plant.

  17. Worldwide patterns of genetic differentiation imply multiple 'domestications' of Aedes aegypti, a major vector of human diseases.

    PubMed

    Brown, Julia E; McBride, Carolyn S; Johnson, Petrina; Ritchie, Scott; Paupy, Christophe; Bossin, Hervé; Lutomiah, Joel; Fernandez-Salas, Ildefonso; Ponlawat, Alongkot; Cornel, Anthony J; Black, William C; Gorrochotegui-Escalante, Norma; Urdaneta-Marquez, Ludmel; Sylla, Massamba; Slotman, Michel; Murray, Kristy O; Walker, Christopher; Powell, Jeffrey R

    2011-08-22

    Understanding the processes by which species colonize and adapt to human habitats is particularly important in the case of disease-vectoring arthropods. The mosquito species Aedes aegypti, a major vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses, probably originated as a wild, zoophilic species in sub-Saharan Africa, where some populations still breed in tree holes in forested habitats. Many populations of the species, however, have evolved to thrive in human habitats and to bite humans. This includes some populations within Africa as well as almost all those outside Africa. It is not clear whether all domestic populations are genetically related and represent a single 'domestication' event, or whether association with human habitats has developed multiple times independently within the species. To test the hypotheses above, we screened 24 worldwide population samples of Ae. aegypti at 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci. We identified two distinct genetic clusters: one included all domestic populations outside of Africa and the other included both domestic and forest populations within Africa. This suggests that human association in Africa occurred independently from that in domestic populations across the rest of the world. Additionally, measures of genetic diversity support Ae. aegypti in Africa as the ancestral form of the species. Individuals from domestic populations outside Africa can reliably be assigned back to their population of origin, which will help determine the origins of new introductions of Ae. aegypti.

  18. A robust ambient temperature collection and stabilization strategy: Enabling worldwide functional studies of the human microbiome.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Ericka L; Li, Weizhong; Klitgord, Niels; Highlander, Sarah K; Dayrit, Mark; Seguritan, Victor; Yooseph, Shibu; Biggs, William; Venter, J Craig; Nelson, Karen E; Jones, Marcus B

    2016-01-01

    As reports on possible associations between microbes and the host increase in number, more meaningful interpretations of this information require an ability to compare data sets across studies. This is dependent upon standardization of workflows to ensure comparability both within and between studies. Here we propose the standard use of an alternate collection and stabilization method that would facilitate such comparisons. The DNA Genotek OMNIgene∙Gut Stool Microbiome Kit was compared to the currently accepted community standard of freezing to store human stool samples prior to whole genome sequencing (WGS) for microbiome studies. This stabilization and collection device allows for ambient temperature storage, automation, and ease of shipping/transfer of samples. The device permitted the same data reproducibility as with frozen samples, and yielded higher recovery of nucleic acids. Collection and stabilization of stool microbiome samples with the DNA Genotek collection device, combined with our extraction and WGS, provides a robust, reproducible workflow that enables standardized global collection, storage, and analysis of stool for microbiome studies. PMID:27558918

  19. From human mobility to renewable energies. Big data analysis to approach worldwide multiscale phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raischel, F.; Moreira, A.; Lind, P. G.

    2014-10-01

    We address and discuss recent trends in the analysis of big data sets, with the emphasis on studying multiscale phenomena. Applications of big data analysis in different scientific fields are described and two particular examples of multiscale phenomena are explored in more detail. The first one deals with wind power production at the scale of single wind turbines, the scale of entire wind farms and also at the scale of a whole country. Using open source data we show that the wind power production has an intermittent character at all those three scales, with implications for defining adequate strategies for stable energy production. The second example concerns the dynamics underlying human mobility, which presents different features at different scales. For that end, we analyze 12-month data of the Eduroam database within Portuguese universities, and find that, at the smallest scales, typically within a set of a few adjacent buildings, the characteristic exponents of average displacements are different from the ones found at the scale of one country or one continent.

  20. A robust ambient temperature collection and stabilization strategy: Enabling worldwide functional studies of the human microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Ericka L.; Li, Weizhong; Klitgord, Niels; Highlander, Sarah K.; Dayrit, Mark; Seguritan, Victor; Yooseph, Shibu; Biggs, William; Venter, J. Craig; Nelson, Karen E.; Jones, Marcus B.

    2016-01-01

    As reports on possible associations between microbes and the host increase in number, more meaningful interpretations of this information require an ability to compare data sets across studies. This is dependent upon standardization of workflows to ensure comparability both within and between studies. Here we propose the standard use of an alternate collection and stabilization method that would facilitate such comparisons. The DNA Genotek OMNIgene∙Gut Stool Microbiome Kit was compared to the currently accepted community standard of freezing to store human stool samples prior to whole genome sequencing (WGS) for microbiome studies. This stabilization and collection device allows for ambient temperature storage, automation, and ease of shipping/transfer of samples. The device permitted the same data reproducibility as with frozen samples, and yielded higher recovery of nucleic acids. Collection and stabilization of stool microbiome samples with the DNA Genotek collection device, combined with our extraction and WGS, provides a robust, reproducible workflow that enables standardized global collection, storage, and analysis of stool for microbiome studies. PMID:27558918

  1. Worldwide allele frequencies of the human apolipoprotein E gene: climate, local adaptations, and evolutionary history.

    PubMed

    Eisenberg, Dan T A; Kuzawa, Christopher W; Hayes, M Geoffrey

    2010-09-01

    The epsilon4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is associated with increased cholesterol levels and heart disease. Population allele frequencies of APOE have previously been shown to vary, with epsilon4 frequencies generally increasing with latitude. We hypothesize that this trend resulted from natural selection protecting against low-cholesterol levels. In high-latitude cold environments and low-latitude hot environments, metabolic rate is elevated, which could require higher cholesterol levels. To explore this hypothesis, we compiled APOE allele frequencies, latitude, temperature, and elevation from populations around the world. epsilon4 allele frequencies show a curvilinear relationship with absolute latitude, with lowest frequencies found in the mid-latitudes where temperatures generally require less expenditure on cooling/thermogenesis. Controlling for population structure in a subset of populations did not appreciably change this pattern of association, consistent with selection pressures that vary by latitude shaping epsilon4 allele frequencies. Temperature records also predict APOE frequency in a curvilinear fashion, with lowest epsilon4 frequencies at moderate temperatures. The model fit between historical temperatures and epsilon4 is less than between latitude and epsilon4, but strengthened after correcting for estimated temperature differences during the Paleolithic. Contrary to our hypothesis, we find that elevation did not improve predictive power, and an integrated measure of the cholesterol effect of multiple APOE alleles was less related to latitude than was epsilon4 alone. Our results lend mixed support for a link between past temperature and human APOE allele distribution and point to the need to develop better models of past climate in future analyses.

  2. Affective Biases in Humans and Animals.

    PubMed

    Robinson, E S J; Roiser, J P

    2016-01-01

    Depression is one of the most common but poorly understood psychiatric conditions. Although drug treatments and psychological therapies are effective in some patients, many do not achieve full remission and some patients receive no apparent benefit. Developing new improved treatments requires a better understanding of the aetiology of symptoms and evaluation of novel therapeutic targets in pre-clinical studies. Recent developments in our understanding of the basic cognitive processes that may contribute to the development of depression and its treatment offer new opportunities for both clinical and pre-clinical research. This chapter discusses the clinical evidence supporting a cognitive neuropsychological model of depression and antidepressant efficacy, and how this information may be usefully translated to pre-clinical investigation. Studies using neuropsychological tests in depressed patients and at risk populations have revealed basic negative emotional biases and disrupted reward and punishment processing, which may also impact on non-affective cognition. These affective biases are sensitive to antidepressant treatments with early onset effects observed, suggesting an important role in recovery. This clinical work into affective biases has also facilitated back-translation to animals and the development of assays to study affective biases in rodents. These animal studies suggest that, similar to humans, rodents in putative negative affective states exhibit negative affective biases on decision-making and memory tasks. Antidepressant treatments also induce positive biases in these rodent tasks, supporting the translational validity of this approach. Although still in the early stages of development and validation, affective biases in depression have the potential to offer new insights into the clinical condition, as well as facilitating the development of more translational approaches for pre-clinical studies. PMID:27660073

  3. Factors affecting outcomes in patients reaching end-stage kidney disease worldwide: differences in access to renal replacement therapy, modality use, and haemodialysis practices.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Bruce M; Akizawa, Tadao; Jager, Kitty J; Kerr, Peter G; Saran, Rajiv; Pisoni, Ronald L

    2016-07-16

    More than 2 million people worldwide are being treated for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). This Series paper provides an overview of incidence, modality use (in-centre haemodialysis, home dialysis, or transplantation), and mortality for patients with ESKD based on national registry data. We also present data from an international cohort study to highlight differences in haemodialysis practices that affect survival and the experience of patients who rely on this therapy, which is both life-sustaining and profoundly disruptive to their quality of life. Data illustrate disparities in access to renal replacement therapy of any kind and in the use of transplantation or home dialysis, both of which are widely considered preferable to in-centre haemodialysis for many patients with ESKD in settings where infrastructure permits. For most patients with ESKD worldwide who are treated with in-centre haemodialysis, overall survival is poor, but longer in some Asian countries than elsewhere in the world, and longer in Europe than in the USA, although this gap has reduced. Commendable haemodialysis practice includes exceptionally high use of surgical vascular access in Japan and in some European countries, and the use of longer or more frequent dialysis sessions in some countries, allowing for more effective volume management. Mortality is especially high soon after ESKD onset, and improved preparation for ESKD is needed including alignment of decision making with the wishes of patients and families.

  4. Nuclear genetic diversity in human lice (Pediculus humanus) reveals continental differences and high inbreeding among worldwide populations.

    PubMed

    Ascunce, Marina S; Toups, Melissa A; Kassu, Gebreyes; Fane, Jackie; Scholl, Katlyn; Reed, David L

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of parasites is important to both basic and applied evolutionary biology. Knowledge of the genetic structure of parasite populations is critical for our ability to predict how an infection can spread through a host population and for the design of effective control methods. However, very little is known about the genetic structure of most human parasites, including the human louse (Pediculus humanus). This species is composed of two ecotypes: the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer), and the clothing (body) louse (Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus). Hundreds of millions of head louse infestations affect children every year, and this number is on the rise, in part because of increased resistance to insecticides. Clothing lice affect mostly homeless and refugee-camp populations and although they are less prevalent than head lice, the medical consequences are more severe because they vector deadly bacterial pathogens. In this study we present the first assessment of the genetic structure of human louse populations by analyzing the nuclear genetic variation at 15 newly developed microsatellite loci in 93 human lice from 11 sites in four world regions. Both ecotypes showed heterozygote deficits relative to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and high inbreeding values, an expected pattern given their parasitic life history. Bayesian clustering analyses assigned lice to four distinct genetic clusters that were geographically structured. The low levels of gene flow among louse populations suggested that the evolution of insecticide resistance in lice would most likely be affected by local selection pressures, underscoring the importance of tailoring control strategies to population-specific genetic makeup and evolutionary history. Our panel of microsatellite markers provides powerful data to investigate not only ecological and evolutionary processes in lice, but also those in their human hosts because of the long-term coevolutionary

  5. Nuclear genetic diversity in human lice (Pediculus humanus) reveals continental differences and high inbreeding among worldwide populations.

    PubMed

    Ascunce, Marina S; Toups, Melissa A; Kassu, Gebreyes; Fane, Jackie; Scholl, Katlyn; Reed, David L

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of parasites is important to both basic and applied evolutionary biology. Knowledge of the genetic structure of parasite populations is critical for our ability to predict how an infection can spread through a host population and for the design of effective control methods. However, very little is known about the genetic structure of most human parasites, including the human louse (Pediculus humanus). This species is composed of two ecotypes: the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer), and the clothing (body) louse (Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus). Hundreds of millions of head louse infestations affect children every year, and this number is on the rise, in part because of increased resistance to insecticides. Clothing lice affect mostly homeless and refugee-camp populations and although they are less prevalent than head lice, the medical consequences are more severe because they vector deadly bacterial pathogens. In this study we present the first assessment of the genetic structure of human louse populations by analyzing the nuclear genetic variation at 15 newly developed microsatellite loci in 93 human lice from 11 sites in four world regions. Both ecotypes showed heterozygote deficits relative to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and high inbreeding values, an expected pattern given their parasitic life history. Bayesian clustering analyses assigned lice to four distinct genetic clusters that were geographically structured. The low levels of gene flow among louse populations suggested that the evolution of insecticide resistance in lice would most likely be affected by local selection pressures, underscoring the importance of tailoring control strategies to population-specific genetic makeup and evolutionary history. Our panel of microsatellite markers provides powerful data to investigate not only ecological and evolutionary processes in lice, but also those in their human hosts because of the long-term coevolutionary

  6. Nuclear Genetic Diversity in Human Lice (Pediculus humanus) Reveals Continental Differences and High Inbreeding among Worldwide Populations

    PubMed Central

    Ascunce, Marina S.; Toups, Melissa A.; Kassu, Gebreyes; Fane, Jackie; Scholl, Katlyn; Reed, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of parasites is important to both basic and applied evolutionary biology. Knowledge of the genetic structure of parasite populations is critical for our ability to predict how an infection can spread through a host population and for the design of effective control methods. However, very little is known about the genetic structure of most human parasites, including the human louse (Pediculus humanus). This species is composed of two ecotypes: the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer), and the clothing (body) louse (Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus). Hundreds of millions of head louse infestations affect children every year, and this number is on the rise, in part because of increased resistance to insecticides. Clothing lice affect mostly homeless and refugee-camp populations and although they are less prevalent than head lice, the medical consequences are more severe because they vector deadly bacterial pathogens. In this study we present the first assessment of the genetic structure of human louse populations by analyzing the nuclear genetic variation at 15 newly developed microsatellite loci in 93 human lice from 11 sites in four world regions. Both ecotypes showed heterozygote deficits relative to Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium and high inbreeding values, an expected pattern given their parasitic life history. Bayesian clustering analyses assigned lice to four distinct genetic clusters that were geographically structured. The low levels of gene flow among louse populations suggested that the evolution of insecticide resistance in lice would most likely be affected by local selection pressures, underscoring the importance of tailoring control strategies to population-specific genetic makeup and evolutionary history. Our panel of microsatellite markers provides powerful data to investigate not only ecological and evolutionary processes in lice, but also those in their human hosts because of the long-term coevolutionary

  7. Five HLA-DP Molecules Frequently Expressed in the Worldwide Human Population Share a Common HLA Supertypic Binding Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Sidney, John; Steen, Amiyah; Moore, Carrie; Ngo, Sandy; Chung, Jolan; Peters, Bjoern; Sette, Alessandro

    2010-01-01

    Compared with DR and DQ, knowledge of the binding repertoires and specificities of HLA-DP alleles is somewhat limited. However, a growing body of literature has indicated the importance of DP-restricted responses in the context of cancer, allergy, and infectious disease. In the current study, we developed high-throughput binding assays for the five most common HLA-DPB1 alleles in the general worldwide population. Using these assays on a comprehensive panel of single-substitution analogs and large peptide libraries, we derived novel detailed binding motifs for DPB1*0101 and DPB1*0501. We also derived more detailed quantitative motifs for DPB1*0201, DPB1*0401, and DPB1*0402, which were previously characterized on the basis of sets of eluted ligands and/or limited sets of substituted peptides. Unexpectedly, all five DP molecules, originally selected only on the basis of their frequency in human populations, were found to share largely overlapping peptide motifs. Testing panels of known DP epitopes and a panel of peptides spanning a set of Phleum pratense Ags revealed that these molecules also share largely overlapping peptide-binding repertoires. This demonstrates that a previously hypothesized DP supertype extends far beyond what was originally envisioned and includes at least three additional very common DP specificities. Taken together, these DP supertype molecules are found in >90% of the human population. Thus, these findings have important implications for epitope-identification studies and monitoring of human class II-restricted immune responses. PMID:20139279

  8. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  9. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  10. 40 CFR 230.76 - Actions affecting human use.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Actions affecting human use. 230.76... Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.76 Actions affecting human use. Minimization of adverse effects on human use... aquatic areas; (c) Timing the discharge to avoid the seasons or periods when human recreational...

  11. Infrasound from Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salt, Alec N.; Kaltenbach, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Wind turbines generate low-frequency sounds that affect the ear. The ear is superficially similar to a microphone, converting mechanical sound waves into electrical signals, but does this by complex physiologic processes. Serious misconceptions about low-frequency sound and the ear have resulted from a failure to consider in detail how the ear…

  12. Does Globalization Affect Human Well-Being?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsai, Ming-Chang

    2007-01-01

    The prevailing theorizing of globalization's influence of human well-being suggests to assess both the favorable and unfavorable outcomes. This study formulates a dialectical model, adopts a comprehensive globalization measure and uses a three-wave panel data during 1980-2000 to empirically test direct and indirect effects of global flows' human…

  13. Does human migration affect international trade? A complex-network perspective.

    PubMed

    Fagiolo, Giorgio; Mastrorillo, Marina

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the relationships between international human migration and merchandise trade, using a complex-network approach. We firstly compare the topological structure of worldwide networks of human migration and bilateral trade over the period 1960-2000. Next, we ask whether the position of any pair of countries in the migration network affects their bilateral trade flows. We show that: (i) both weighted and binary versions of the networks of international migration and trade are strongly correlated; (ii) such correlations can be mostly explained by country economic/demographic size and geographical distance; and (iii) pairs of countries that are more central in the international-migration network trade more. Our findings suggest that bilateral trade between any two countries is not only affected by the presence of migrants from either countries but also by their relative embeddedness in the complex web of corridors making up the network of international human migration.

  14. Maggot excretions affect the human complement system.

    PubMed

    Cazander, Gwendolyn; Schreurs, Marco W J; Renwarin, Lennaert; Dorresteijn, Corry; Hamann, Dörte; Jukema, Gerrolt N

    2012-01-01

    The complement system plays an important role in the activation of the inflammatory response to injury, although inappropriate complement activation (CA) can lead to severe tissue damage. Maggot therapy is successfully used to treat infected wounds. In this study, we hypothesized that maggot excretions/secretions influence CA in order to modulate the host's inflammatory response. Therefore, the effect of maggot excretions on CA was investigated in preoperatively and postoperatively obtained sera from patients. Our results show that maggot excretions reduce CA in healthy and postoperatively immune-activated human sera up to 99.9%, via all pathways. Maggot excretions do not specifically initiate or inhibit CA, but break down complement proteins C3 and C4 in a cation-independent manner and this effect proves to be temperature tolerant. This study indicates a CA-reducing substrate that is already successfully used in clinical practice and may explain part of the improved wound healing caused by maggot therapy. Furthermore, the complement activation-reducing substance present in maggot excretions could provide a novel treatment modality for several diseases, resulting from an (over)active complement system.

  15. Toward an Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the notion of Affective Pedagogy of Human Rights Education (APHRE) on a theoretical level and suggests a concept of curricular framework. APHRE highlights the significance of affectivity and body in the process of learning, factors usually neglected in the mainstream intellectualistic approach to learning, especially in areas…

  16. Infectious disease and worldwide declines of amphibian populations, with comments on emerging diseases in coral reef organisms and in humans.

    PubMed

    Carey, C

    2000-03-01

    Many populations of amphibians are declining on all six continents on which they occur. Some causes of amphibian declines, such as habitat destruction, direct application of xenobiotics, and introduction of predators or competitors, are clearly attributable to human activities. Infectious disease appears to be the direct cause of mass amphibian die-offs in relatively undisturbed areas of the world where anthropomorphic environmental disruption is minimal. In these cases, it is not yet clear whether these epizootics result from the natural evolution of new pathogens or from environmental changes that promote the emergence of pathogenic forms and/or that weaken the immune defenses of amphibians. Because some aspects of pathogen-related amphibian mass mortalities are similar to outbreaks of new diseases in humans and coral reef organisms, amphibian declines may be part of a much larger pattern than previously appreciated.

  17. The role of an independent and interdisciplinary assessment of research studies with human subjects in Europe and worldwide.

    PubMed

    Rittner, Christian

    2009-04-01

    The author reviews the history of human experimentation beginning as documented by holes in human sculls 6000 years before, addressing the first controlled experiments by James Lind and Edward Jenner in the 18th century and ending with the inhuman experiments in Nazi Camps and the Tuskegee case in Alabama in the 20th century. Resting on the Declaration of Helsinki, quite a number of declarations, scientific, national and international guidelines was issued since aiming at enhancing medical research as well as protecting the subjects from harm. Now a dense ethical, legal, scientific and social network exists for investigator initiated and commercial trials for a rich market of the Pharmaceutical Industry. However, pitfalls still occur (e.g., the cases of thalidomide, VIOXX and TGN 1412) as examples that can only be prevented by even more stringent rules and well informed, conscientious, compassionate and responsible performance of all parties involved. PMID:19269235

  18. Infectious disease and worldwide declines of amphibian populations, with comments on emerging diseases in coral reef organisms and in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Carey, C

    2000-01-01

    Many populations of amphibians are declining on all six continents on which they occur. Some causes of amphibian declines, such as habitat destruction, direct application of xenobiotics, and introduction of predators or competitors, are clearly attributable to human activities. Infectious disease appears to be the direct cause of mass amphibian die-offs in relatively undisturbed areas of the world where anthropomorphic environmental disruption is minimal. In these cases, it is not yet clear whether these epizootics result from the natural evolution of new pathogens or from environmental changes that promote the emergence of pathogenic forms and/or that weaken the immune defenses of amphibians. Because some aspects of pathogen-related amphibian mass mortalities are similar to outbreaks of new diseases in humans and coral reef organisms, amphibian declines may be part of a much larger pattern than previously appreciated. PMID:10698730

  19. Does Human Migration Affect International Trade? A Complex-Network Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Fagiolo, Giorgio; Mastrorillo, Marina

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the relationships between international human migration and merchandise trade using a complex-network approach. We firstly compare the topological structure of worldwide networks of human migration and bilateral trade over the period 1960–2000. Next, we ask whether pairs of countries that are more central in the migration network trade more. We show that: (i) the networks of international migration and trade are strongly correlated, and such correlation can be mostly explained by country economic/demographic size and geographical distance; (ii) centrality in the international-migration network boosts bilateral trade; (iii) intensive forms of country centrality are more trade enhancing than their extensive counterparts. Our findings suggest that bilateral trade between any two countries is not only affected by the presence of migrants from either countries, but also by their relative embeddedness in the complex web of corridors making up the network of international human migration. PMID:24828376

  20. Tobacco Causes Human Cancers--A Concept Founded on Epidemiology and an Insightful Experiment Now Requires Translation Worldwide.

    PubMed

    Loeb, Lawrence A

    2016-02-15

    The recognition that tobacco smoke is carcinogenic led to the most significant and successful effort at reducing cancer incidence in human history. A major milestone of this effort was the publication in Cancer Research by Wynder and colleagues, which demonstrated the ability of tobacco tars to produce tumors in mice. This study provided a powerful link between the epidemiology of cancer and mechanisms of carcinogenesis. This commentary asserts that we have a moral obligation to translate our success in reducing lung cancer in the United States to the 1.25 billion smokers throughout the rest of the world. See related article by Wynder et al., Cancer Res 1953;13:855-64.

  1. An historical perspective on "The world-wide distribution of allele frequencies at the human dopamine D4 receptor locus".

    PubMed

    Kidd, Kenneth K; Pakstis, Andrew J; Yun, Libing

    2014-04-01

    Human population genetics is a completely different science today compared to two decades ago, at least at the empiric level. Our paper [Chang (Hum Genet 98:91-101, 1996a)] demonstrated that three different alleles were common when one considered many populations although other low frequency alleles occurred. Because previous work had been largely done on European subjects, our findings involved 36 distinct populations and showed that East Asian populations had nearly lost the 7-repeat allele, and that Native American populations had the highest frequencies of that allele globally, was a significant early empiric demonstration of the potential magnitude of population variation at important genes. There are thousands of loci tested on many of the same populations and the gene frequency pattern seen for the DRD4 7-repeat allele is seen at other loci, arguing that this pattern commonly reflects the pattern of divergence of populations and accumulated random genetic drift.

  2. 1986 Worldwide Petrochemical Directory

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    The 1986 Worldwide Petrochemical Directory contains names, addresses, phone and telex numbers of the companies in the worldwide petrochemical community. Listed are more than 14,000 key operating personnel at nearly 2,000 plant sites in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Among the surveys included in this directory is the Worldwide Petrochemical Survey. This survey details petrochemical plant feedstocks, product and capacities.

  3. How Do Volcanoes Affect Human Life? Integrated Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dayton, Rebecca; Edwards, Carrie; Sisler, Michelle

    This packet contains a unit on teaching about volcanoes. The following question is addressed: How do volcanoes affect human life? The unit covers approximately three weeks of instruction and strives to present volcanoes in an holistic form. The five subject areas of art, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies are integrated into…

  4. Incorporating affective bias in models of human decision making

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nygren, Thomas E.

    1991-01-01

    Research on human decision making has traditionally focused on how people actually make decisions, how good their decisions are, and how their decisions can be improved. Recent research suggests that this model is inadequate. Affective as well as cognitive components drive the way information about relevant outcomes and events is perceived, integrated, and used in the decision making process. The affective components include how the individual frames outcomes as good or bad, whether the individual anticipates regret in a decision situation, the affective mood state of the individual, and the psychological stress level anticipated or experienced in the decision situation. A focus of the current work has been to propose empirical studies that will attempt to examine in more detail the relationships between the latter two critical affective influences (mood state and stress) on decision making behavior.

  5. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land

    PubMed Central

    Artelle, Kyle A.; Anderson, Sean C.; Reynolds, John D.; Cooper, Andrew B.; Paquet, Paul C.; Darimont, Chris T.

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960–2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km2 killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6–32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1st), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  6. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land.

    PubMed

    Artelle, Kyle A; Anderson, Sean C; Reynolds, John D; Cooper, Andrew B; Paquet, Paul C; Darimont, Chris T

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960-2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km(2) killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6-32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1(st)), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  7. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    PubMed Central

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2011-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson’s (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada’s (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N = 188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  8. Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing.

    PubMed

    Fredrickson, Barbara L; Losada, Marcial F

    2005-10-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to identify flourishing mental health and then provided daily reports of experienced positive and negative emotions over 28 days. Results showed that the mean ratio of positive to negative affect was above 2.9 for individuals classified as flourishing and below that threshold for those not flourishing. Together with other evidence, these findings suggest that a set of general mathematical principles may describe the relations between positive affect and human flourishing. PMID:16221001

  9. Worldwide cloud cover model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, O. E.; Sommerville, P. N.

    1979-01-01

    Classifying worldwide cloudiness into homogeneous regions, using a satellite data set containing day IR, night IR, incoming, and absorbed solar radiation measurements on a 2.5-degree latitude-longitude grid is considered. Methods of analysis are presented.

  10. The worldwide "wildfire" problem.

    PubMed

    Gill, A Malcolm; Stephens, Scott L; Cary, Geoffrey J

    2013-03-01

    The worldwide "wildfire" problem is headlined by the loss of human lives and homes, but it applies generally to any adverse effects of unplanned fires, as events or regimes, on a wide range of environmental, social, and economic assets. The problem is complex and contingent, requiring continual attention to the changing circumstances of stakeholders, landscapes, and ecosystems; it occurs at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Minimizing adverse outcomes involves controlling fires and fire regimes, increasing the resistance of assets to fires, locating or relocating assets away from the path of fires, and, as a probability of adverse impacts often remains, assisting recovery in the short-term while promoting the adaptation of societies in the long-term. There are short- and long-term aspects to each aspect of minimization. Controlling fires and fire regimes may involve fire suppression and fuel treatments such as prescribed burning or non-fire treatments but also addresses issues associated with unwanted fire starts like arson. Increasing the resistance of assets can mean addressing the design and construction materials of a house or the use of personal protective equipment. Locating or relocating assets can mean leaving an area about to be impacted by fire or choosing a suitable place to live; it can also mean the planning of land use. Assisting recovery and promoting adaptation can involve insuring assets and sharing responsibility for preparedness for an event. There is no single, simple, solution. Perverse outcomes can occur. The number of minimizing techniques used, and the breadth and depth of their application, depends on the geographic mix of asset types. Premises for policy consideration are presented. PMID:23634593

  11. 2010 Worldwide Gasification Database

    DOE Data Explorer

    The 2010 Worldwide Gasification Database describes the current world gasification industry and identifies near-term planned capacity additions. The database lists gasification projects and includes information (e.g., plant location, number and type of gasifiers, syngas capacity, feedstock, and products). The database reveals that the worldwide gasification capacity has continued to grow for the past several decades and is now at 70,817 megawatts thermal (MWth) of syngas output at 144 operating plants with a total of 412 gasifiers.

  12. Human likeness: cognitive and affective factors affecting adoption of robot-assisted learning systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Hosun; Kwon, Ohbyung; Lee, Namyeon

    2016-07-01

    With advances in robot technology, interest in robotic e-learning systems has increased. In some laboratories, experiments are being conducted with humanoid robots as artificial tutors because of their likeness to humans, the rich possibilities of using this type of media, and the multimodal interaction capabilities of these robots. The robot-assisted learning system, a special type of e-learning system, aims to increase the learner's concentration, pleasure, and learning performance dramatically. However, very few empirical studies have examined the effect on learning performance of incorporating humanoid robot technology into e-learning systems or people's willingness to accept or adopt robot-assisted learning systems. In particular, human likeness, the essential characteristic of humanoid robots as compared with conventional e-learning systems, has not been discussed in a theoretical context. Hence, the purpose of this study is to propose a theoretical model to explain the process of adoption of robot-assisted learning systems. In the proposed model, human likeness is conceptualized as a combination of media richness, multimodal interaction capabilities, and para-social relationships; these factors are considered as possible determinants of the degree to which human cognition and affection are related to the adoption of robot-assisted learning systems.

  13. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change

    PubMed Central

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D.; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future. PMID:24344275

  14. Global water resources affected by human interventions and climate change.

    PubMed

    Haddeland, Ingjerd; Heinke, Jens; Biemans, Hester; Eisner, Stephanie; Flörke, Martina; Hanasaki, Naota; Konzmann, Markus; Ludwig, Fulco; Masaki, Yoshimitsu; Schewe, Jacob; Stacke, Tobias; Tessler, Zachary D; Wada, Yoshihide; Wisser, Dominik

    2014-03-01

    Humans directly change the dynamics of the water cycle through dams constructed for water storage, and through water withdrawals for industrial, agricultural, or domestic purposes. Climate change is expected to additionally affect water supply and demand. Here, analyses of climate change and direct human impacts on the terrestrial water cycle are presented and compared using a multimodel approach. Seven global hydrological models have been forced with multiple climate projections, and with and without taking into account impacts of human interventions such as dams and water withdrawals on the hydrological cycle. Model results are analyzed for different levels of global warming, allowing for analyses in line with temperature targets for climate change mitigation. The results indicate that direct human impacts on the water cycle in some regions, e.g., parts of Asia and in the western United States, are of the same order of magnitude, or even exceed impacts to be expected for moderate levels of global warming (+2 K). Despite some spread in model projections, irrigation water consumption is generally projected to increase with higher global mean temperatures. Irrigation water scarcity is particularly large in parts of southern and eastern Asia, and is expected to become even larger in the future.

  15. Population Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling for the Human Lactational Transfer of PCB 153 with Consideration of Worldwide Human Biomonitoring Results

    SciTech Connect

    Redding, Laurel E.; Sohn, Michael D.; McKone, Thomas E.; Wang, Shu-Li; Hsieh, Dennis P. H.; Yang, Raymond S. H.

    2008-03-01

    We developed a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model of PCB 153 in women, and predict its transfer via lactation to infants. The model is the first human, population-scale lactational model for PCB 153. Data in the literature provided estimates for model development and for performance assessment. Physiological parameters were taken from a cohort in Taiwan and from reference values in the literature. We estimated partition coefficients based on chemical structure and the lipid content in various body tissues. Using exposure data in Japan, we predicted acquired body burden of PCB 153 at an average childbearing age of 25 years and compare predictions to measurements from studies in multiple countries. Forward-model predictions agree well with human biomonitoring measurements, as represented by summary statistics and uncertainty estimates. The model successfully describes the range of possible PCB 153 dispositions in maternal milk, suggesting a promising option for back estimating doses for various populations. One example of reverse dosimetry modeling was attempted using our PBPK model for possible exposure scenarios in Canadian Inuits who had the highest level of PCB 153 in their milk in the world.

  16. Nanotechnology in elevation of the worldwide impact of obesity and obesity-related diseases: potential roles in human health and disease.

    PubMed

    Eldaw, Abdellatif

    2011-07-01

    Current worldwide data show epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes with no real solutions apart from continuous calls to changing lifestyle and food habits. Despite health messages that are communicated by health authorities, the epidemic is growing. More people are affected with health consequences that are usually frightening as more resources are wasted, especially in areas where health care and resources are lacking. Nanotechnology applications in food industry present practical approaches that help produce more tasty food with little calories, functional foods, and nutritional supplements and alter the fats and sugar contents of our foods with potential for many more applications. Consequently, this opens more windows to better control of many nutritional deficiencies as well as obesity and type 2 diabetes, especially among children and young adults who are addicted to fast food. With such potential, food producers, policy makers, health authorities, food scientists, and governments need to collaborate and make all possible efforts to fund and support research in different areas of food produced using nanotechnology. So far, consumers are not prepared to accept food produced using nanotechnology, mainly because information on the safety of such products are not enough. This issue needs to be addressed and researched well using suitable risk assessment methodologies. Consumers need to be assured, and involved as well, to avoid the "refusal state" that still exists against many safe products such as genetically modified organisms and irradiated food. There is the possibility that consumers could perceive that they will bear the potential risks posed by nanotechnology applications while the benefits will accrue mainly to others, such as food processors or farmers.

  17. Children Worldwide, 1992.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lejeune, Genevieve, Ed.

    1992-01-01

    Each of the three journal issues comprising volume 19 (1992) of "Children Worldwide" focuses on a specific theme. Issue 1 contains six articles about refugee children, including essays about a community self-help approach in Pakistan, unaccompanied minors in Hong Kong, and refugee families raising children in a new culture; guidelines for working…

  18. Affective consciousness: Core emotional feelings in animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2005-03-01

    The position advanced in this paper is that the bedrock of emotional feelings is contained within the evolved emotional action apparatus of mammalian brains. This dual-aspect monism approach to brain-mind functions, which asserts that emotional feelings may reflect the neurodynamics of brain systems that generate instinctual emotional behaviors, saves us from various conceptual conundrums. In coarse form, primary process affective consciousness seems to be fundamentally an unconditional "gift of nature" rather than an acquired skill, even though those systems facilitate skill acquisition via various felt reinforcements. Affective consciousness, being a comparatively intrinsic function of the brain, shared homologously by all mammalian species, should be the easiest variant of consciousness to study in animals. This is not to deny that some secondary processes (e.g., awareness of feelings in the generation of behavioral choices) cannot be evaluated in animals with sufficiently clever behavioral learning procedures, as with place-preference procedures and the analysis of changes in learned behaviors after one has induced re-valuation of incentives. Rather, the claim is that a direct neuroscientific study of primary process emotional/affective states is best achieved through the study of the intrinsic ("instinctual"), albeit experientially refined, emotional action tendencies of other animals. In this view, core emotional feelings may reflect the neurodynamic attractor landscapes of a variety of extended trans-diencephalic, limbic emotional action systems-including SEEKING, FEAR, RAGE, LUST, CARE, PANIC, and PLAY. Through a study of these brain systems, the neural infrastructure of human and animal affective consciousness may be revealed. Emotional feelings are instantiated in large-scale neurodynamics that can be most effectively monitored via the ethological analysis of emotional action tendencies and the accompanying brain neurochemical/electrical changes. The

  19. 1988 worldwide petrochemical directory

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-01-01

    This directory makes available the names, addresses, phone and telex numbers of most of the world's companies which are involved in the petrochemical industry. The directory provides the names of over 14,000 key personnel at over 2,000 plant sites in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. A company index is provided for easy reference. The Oil and Gas Journal's Worldwide Petrochemical Survey appears in its entirety in this volume.

  20. Metformin selectively affects human glioblastoma tumor-initiating cell viability

    PubMed Central

    Würth, Roberto; Pattarozzi, Alessandra; Gatti, Monica; Bajetto, Adirana; Corsaro, Alessandro; Parodi, Alessia; Sirito, Rodolfo; Massollo, Michela; Marini, Cecilia; Zona, Gianluigi; Fenoglio, Daniela; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Filaci, Gilberto; Daga, Antonio; Barbieri, Federica; Florio, Tullio

    2013-01-01

    Cancer stem cell theory postulates that a small population of tumor-initiating cells is responsible for the development, progression and recurrence of several malignancies, including glioblastoma. In this perspective, tumor-initiating cells represent the most relevant target to obtain effective cancer treatment. Metformin, a first-line drug for type II diabetes, was reported to possess anticancer properties affecting the survival of cancer stem cells in breast cancer models. We report that metformin treatment reduced the proliferation rate of tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures isolated from four human glioblastomas. Metformin also impairs tumor-initiating cell spherogenesis, indicating a direct effect on self-renewal mechanisms. Interestingly, analyzing by FACS the antiproliferative effects of metformin on CD133-expressing subpopulation, a component of glioblastoma cancer stem cells, a higher reduction of proliferation was observed as compared with CD133-negative cells, suggesting a certain degree of cancer stem cell selectivity in its effects. In fact, glioblastoma cell differentiation strongly reduced sensitivity to metformin treatment. Metformin effects in tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures were associated with a powerful inhibition of Akt-dependent cell survival pathway, while this pathway was not affected in differentiated cells. The specificity of metformin antiproliferative effects toward glioblastoma tumor-initiating cells was confirmed by the lack of significant inhibition of normal human stem cells (umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells) in vitro proliferation after metformin exposure. Altogether, these data clearly suggest that metformin exerts antiproliferative activity on glioblastoma cells, showing a higher specificity toward tumor-initiating cells, and that the inhibition of Akt pathway may represent a possible intracellular target of this effect. PMID:23255107

  1. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation.

  2. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation. PMID:26990572

  3. Do ELF magnetic fields affect human reaction time?

    SciTech Connect

    Podd, J.V.; Whittington, C.J.; Barnes, G.R.G.; Page, W.H.; Rapley, B.I.

    1995-12-01

    Two double-blind studies were run in an attempt to confirm the finding that a 0.2 Hz magnetic field affects simple reaction time (RT) in humans, whereas a 0.1 Hz field does not. In the first experiment, 12 volunteer subjects were exposed to a continuous 0.2 Hz, 0.1 Hz, or sham field in a fully counter-balanced, within-subjects design. Subjects were run singly for one condition each day over 3 consecutive days with a field strength of 1.1 mT and a daily expose duration of 5 min. Neither magnetic field had any effect on RT at any time during the exposure. One condition of a second study, using a new group of 24 volunteer subjects, also failed to find any field effects at 0.2 Hz. Additionally, the second study failed to show any effects when the frequency, flux density, and field orientation were set according to parameter resonance theory. It is suggested that, although ELF magnetic field effects on human behavior may be elusive, future research can improve detection rates by paying greater attention to reducing error variance and increasing statistical power.

  4. AAVSO Solar Observers Worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, R.

    2013-06-01

    (Abstract only) For visual solar observers there has been no biological change in the "detector" (human eye) - at century scales (eye + visual cortex) does not change much over time. Our capacity to "integrate" seeing distortions is not just simple averaging! The visual cortex plays an essential role, and until recently only the SDO-HMI (Solar Dynamics Observatory, Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager) has had the capacity to detect the smallest sunspots, called pores. Prior to this the eye was superior to photography and CCD. Imaged data are not directly comparable or substitutable to counts by eye, as the effects of sensor/optical resolution and seeing will have a different influence on the resulting sunspot counts for images when compared to the human eye. Also contributing to the complex task of counting sunspots is differentiating between a sunspot (which is usually defined as having a darker center (umbra) and lighter outer ring (penumbra)) and a pore, made even more complex by the conflicting definitions of the word "pore" in the solar context: "pore" can mean a small spot without penumbra or "pore" can mean a random intergranular blemish that is not a true sunspot. The overall agreement is that the smallest spot size is near 2,000 km or ~3 arc sec, (Loughhead, R. E. and Bray, R. J. 1961, Australian J. Phys., 14, 347). Sunspot size is dictated by granulation dynamics rather than spot size (cancellation of convective motion), and by the lifetime of the pore, which averages from 10 to 30 minutes. There is no specific aperture required for AAVSO observers contributing sunspot observations. However, the detection of the smallest spots is influenced by the resolution of the telescope. Two factors to consider are the theoretical optical resolution (unobstructed aperture), Rayleigh criterion: theta = 138 / D(mm), and Dawes criterion: theta = 116 / D(mm) (http://www.telescope-optics.net/telescope_resolution.htm). However, seeing is variable with time; daytime range will

  5. Worldwide petrochemical directory, 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    This directory gives the information on the worldwide petrochemical industry in existence. It makes available the names, addresses, phone and telex numbers of most of the world's companies which are involved in the petrochemical industry. The directory provides the names of over 14,000 key personnel at over 2,000 plant sizes in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. A company index is provided for easy reference. It details current petrochemical plants' feedstocks, products and capacities. The newly updated petrochemical plant construction survey is also provided.

  6. Related fuels - worldwide construction

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-04-25

    This listing describes major construction projects in related fuels worldwide. Each listing, organized alphabetically within country groups, tells the name of the buyer(s) and project location, capacity, process method, and contractor(s). Countries having listings include the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, USSR, and Venezuela. Fuel processes included are coal gasification, tar sands upgrading, coal liquefaction, shale oil, synthetic natural gas, syncrude and syngas, methanol synthesis, and heavy oil upgrading.

  7. [Therapeutic plasmas available worldwide].

    PubMed

    Martinaud, C; Cauet, A; Sailliol, A

    2013-05-01

    Therapeutic plasma is a current product; French guidelines were reviewed in 2012. Connections between more or less closed countries are frequent, during relief disasters as well as in war settings. This is associated with the increasing use of plasma in the management of casualties. Additionally, The real possibility of lack of plasma supply in some countries provides a fundamental interest of the knowledge of foreign blood supply organizations. We present here the main divergences and mutual point between plasmas available worldwide. We present the main characteristics of each product.

  8. 1985 Worldwide Petrochemical Directory

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    This directory lists names, addresses, phone numbers, and telex listings. The directory includes more than 14,000 key operating personnel at over 1,900 plant locations in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Featured is a special survey prepared with the help of the Oil and Gas Journal that details the petrochemical plant feedstocks, product and capacities. This Worldwide-Petrochemical Survey appears only in its entirety in directory. Also included is an updated petrochemical plant construction survey.

  9. Worldwide regulations for mycotoxins.

    PubMed

    van Egmond, Hans P

    2002-01-01

    Since the discovery of the aflatoxins in the 1960s, regulations have been established in many countries to protect the consumer from the harmful effects of mycotoxins that may contaminate foodstuffs. Various factors play a role in the decision-making process of setting limits for mycotoxins. These include scientific factors such as the availability of toxicological data, survey data, knowledge about the distribution of mycotoxins in commodities, and analytical methodology. Economical and political factors such as commercial interests and sufficiency of food supply have their impact as well. International enquiry's on existing mycotoxin legislation in foodstuffs and animal feedstuffs have been carried out several times in the 1980s and 1990s and details about tolerances, legal basis, responsible authorities, official protocols of analysis and sampling have been published. Recently a comprehensive update on worldwide regulations was published as FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 64. It appeared that at least 77 countries now have specific regulations for mycotoxins, 13 countries are known to have no specific regulations, whereas no data are available for about 50 countries, many of them in Africa. Over the years, a large diversity in tolerance levels for mycotoxins has remained. Some free trade zones (EU, MERCOSUR) are in the process of harmonizing the limits and regulations for mycotoxins in their respective member states, but it is not likely that worldwide harmonized limits for mycotoxins will soon be within reach.

  10. Cross-Species Affective Neuroscience Decoding of the Primal Affective Experiences of Humans and Related Animals

    PubMed Central

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-01-01

    Background The issue of whether other animals have internally felt experiences has vexed animal behavioral science since its inception. Although most investigators remain agnostic on such contentious issues, there is now abundant experimental evidence indicating that all mammals have negatively and positively-valenced emotional networks concentrated in homologous brain regions that mediate affective experiences when animals are emotionally aroused. That is what the neuroscientific evidence indicates. Principal Findings The relevant lines of evidence are as follows: 1) It is easy to elicit powerful unconditioned emotional responses using localized electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB); these effects are concentrated in ancient subcortical brain regions. Seven types of emotional arousals have been described; using a special capitalized nomenclature for such primary process emotional systems, they are SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF and PLAY. 2) These brain circuits are situated in homologous subcortical brain regions in all vertebrates tested. Thus, if one activates FEAR arousal circuits in rats, cats or primates, all exhibit similar fear responses. 3) All primary-process emotional-instinctual urges, even ones as complex as social PLAY, remain intact after radical neo-decortication early in life; thus, the neocortex is not essential for the generation of primary-process emotionality. 4) Using diverse measures, one can demonstrate that animals like and dislike ESB of brain regions that evoke unconditioned instinctual emotional behaviors: Such ESBs can serve as ‘rewards’ and ‘punishments’ in diverse approach and escape/avoidance learning tasks. 5) Comparable ESB of human brains yield comparable affective experiences. Thus, robust evidence indicates that raw primary-process (i.e., instinctual, unconditioned) emotional behaviors and feelings emanate from homologous brain functions in all mammals (see Appendix S1), which are regulated by higher

  11. Affective Man-Machine Interface: Unveiling Human Emotions through Biosignals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Broek, Egon L.; Lisý, Viliam; Janssen, Joris H.; Westerink, Joyce H. D. M.; Schut, Marleen H.; Tuinenbreijer, Kees

    As is known for centuries, humans exhibit an electrical profile. This profile is altered through various psychological and physiological proce-sses, which can be measured through biosignals; e.g., electromyography (EMG) and electrodermal activity (EDA). These biosignals can reveal our emotions and, as such, can serve as an advanced man-machine interface (MMI) for empathic consumer products. However, such a MMI requires the correct classification of biosignals to emotion classes. This chapter starts with an introduction on biosignals for emotion detection. Next, a state-of-the-art review is presented on automatic emotion classification. Moreover, guidelines are presented for affective MMI. Subsequently, a research is presented that explores the use of EDA and three facial EMG signals to determine neutral, positive, negative, and mixed emotions, using recordings of 21 people. A range of techniques is tested, which resulted in a generic framework for automated emotion classification with up to 61.31% correct classification of the four emotion classes, without the need of personal profiles. Among various other directives for future research, the results emphasize the need for parallel processing of multiple biosignals.

  12. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Green, Barry G; Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-07-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5-41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5-12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2-T1R3 transduction cascade. PMID:25963040

  13. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Green, Barry G; Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-07-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5-41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5-12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2-T1R3 transduction cascade.

  14. Copper utilization in humans as affected by amino acid supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Kies, C.; Chuang, J.H.; Fox, H.M. )

    1989-02-09

    Earlier work suggests that absorption of copper as well as several other mineral nutrients may be promoted, inhibited or unaffected by the formation of mineral-amino acid complexes. The objective of the current project was to determine effects of low level supplements of selected amino acids on copper utilization. In a series of studies, healthy, human adult subjected received a basal diet with or without test supplements in separate 14-day periods which were arranged according to a randomized, cross-over design. Test amino acids and amounts given per subject per day were as follows; L-arginine, 1.2 g; L-lysine, 1.0 g; L-cystine, 1.0 g and L-methionine, 1.0 g. Subjects made complete collections of urine and stools. Fasting blood samples were drawn. Food, urine, feces and blood were analyzed for copper contents using a carbon rod attachment on a Varian atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Fecal copper losses were unaffected by used of lysine, tryptophan and methionine supplements but were reduced with use of the arginine and cystine supplements. Urine losses of copper were reduced with used of the lysine and tryptophan supplements, were increased with the methionine and cystine supplements and were unaffected when the arginine supplements were employed. Blood serum copper levels were not significantly affected by use of these supplement although some trends were noted.

  15. Temperature Affects Human Sweet Taste via At Least Two Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Nachtigal, Danielle

    2015-01-01

    The reported effects of temperature on sweet taste in humans have generally been small and inconsistent. Here, we describe 3 experiments that follow up a recent finding that cooling from 37 to 21 °C does not reduce the initial sweetness of sucrose but increases sweet taste adaptation. In experiment 1, subjects rated the sweetness of sucrose, glucose, and fructose solutions at 5–41 °C by dipping the tongue tip into the solutions after 0-, 3-, or 10-s pre-exposures to the same solutions or to H2O; experiment 2 compared the effects of temperature on the sweetness of 3 artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin); and experiment 3 employed a flow-controlled gustometer to rule out the possibility the effects of temperature in the preceding experiments were unique to dipping the tongue into a still taste solution. The results (i) confirmed that mild cooling does not attenuate sweetness but can increase sweet taste adaptation; (ii) demonstrated that cooling to 5–12 °C can directly reduce sweetness intensity; and (iii) showed that both effects vary across stimuli. These findings have implications for the TRPM5 hypothesis of thermal effects on sweet taste and raise the possibility that temperature also affects an earlier step in the T1R2–T1R3 transduction cascade. PMID:25963040

  16. Worldwide activity in IGCC

    SciTech Connect

    Lamarre, L.

    1994-07-01

    EPRI has pursued the development of integrated gasification-combined-cycle technology because it is the cleanest method available for making electricity from coal. Now, a decade after the establishment of the first IGCC demonstration plant, environmental regulations are encouraging the adoption of this technology in a number of countries. An unexpected innovation is the use of residual oil as an IGCC feedstock, a practice that evolved naturally as a result of market forces. Experts are hopeful that the current momentum in IGCC will trigger the introduction of the technology in developing countries, many of which rely heavily on coal and oil for power generation. Environmental regulations and a market glut of low-grade fossil fuels are spurring an unprecedented number of integrated gasification combined-cycle projects worldwide. These projects are described.

  17. How Malaria Has Affected the Human Genome and What Human Genetics Can Teach Us about Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.

    2005-01-01

    Malaria is a major killer of children worldwide and the strongest known force for evolutionary selection in the recent history of the human genome. The past decade has seen growing evidence of ethnic differences in susceptibility to malaria and of the diverse genetic adaptations to malaria that have arisen in different populations: epidemiological confirmation of the hypotheses that G6PD deficiency, α+ thalassemia, and hemoglobin C protect against malaria mortality; the application of novel haplotype-based techniques demonstrating that malaria-protective genes have been subject to recent positive selection; the first genetic linkage maps of resistance to malaria in experimental murine models; and a growing number of reported associations with resistance and susceptibility to human malaria, particularly in genes involved in immunity, inflammation, and cell adhesion. The challenge for the next decade is to build the global epidemiological infrastructure required for statistically robust genomewide association analysis, as a way of discovering novel mechanisms of protective immunity that can be used in the development of an effective malaria vaccine. PMID:16001361

  18. Do toxic heavy metals affect antioxidant defense mechanisms in humans?

    PubMed

    Wieloch, Monika; Kamiński, Piotr; Ossowska, Anna; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Stuczyński, Tomasz; Kuligowska-Prusińska, Magdalena; Dymek, Grażyna; Mańkowska, Aneta; Odrowąż-Sypniewska, Grażyna

    2012-04-01

    The aim of this study was to prove whether anthropogenic pollution affects antioxidant defense mechanisms such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity, ferritin (FRT) concentration and total antioxidant status (TAS) in human serum. The study area involves polluted and salted environment (Kujawy region; northern-middle Poland) and Tuchola Forestry (unpolluted control area). We investigated 79 blood samples of volunteers from polluted area and 82 from the control in 2008 and 2009. Lead, cadmium and iron concentrations were measured in whole blood by the ICP-MS method. SOD and CAT activities were measured in serum using SOD and CAT Assay Kits by the standardized colorimetric method. Serum TAS was measured spectrophotometrically by the modified Benzie and Strain (1996) method and FRT concentration-by the immunonefelometric method. Pb and Cd levels and SOD activity were higher in volunteers from polluted area as compared with those from the control (0.0236 mg l(-1) vs. 0.014 mg l(-1); 0.0008 mg l(-1) vs. 0.0005 mg l(-1); 0.137 Um l(-1) vs. 0.055 Um l(-1), respectively). Fe level, CAT activity and TAS were lower in serum of volunteers from polluted area (0.442 g l(-1) vs. 0.476 gl(-1); 3.336 nmol min(-1)ml(-1) vs. 6.017 nmol min(-1)ml(-1); 0.731 Trolox-equivalents vs. 0.936 Trolox-equivalents, respectively), whilst differences in FRT concentration were not significant (66.109 μg l(-1) vs. 37.667 μg l(-1), p=0.3972). Positive correlations between Pb (r=0.206), Cd (r=0.602) and SOD in the inhabitants of polluted area, and between Cd and SOD in the control (r=0.639) were shown. In volunteers from both studied environments TAS-FRT (polluted: r=0.625 vs. control: r=0.837) and Fe-FRT (polluted area: r=0.831 vs. control: r=0.407) correlations, and Pb-FRT (r=0.360) and Pb-TAS (r=0.283) in the control were stated. The higher lead and cadmium concentrations in blood cause an increase of SOD activity. It suggests that this is one of the defense mechanisms of an

  19. Chemicals for worldwide aquaculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schnick, R.A.

    1991-01-01

    Regulations and therapeutants or other safe chemicals that are approved or acceptable for use in the aquaculture industry in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan are presented, discussing also compounds that are unacceptable for aquaculture. Chemical use practices that could affect public health are considered and details given regarding efforts to increase the number of registered and acceptable chemicals.

  20. 75 FR 51273 - Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-19

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Expanded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Testing for Disproportionately Affected Populations AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and... funding available to make awards under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Funding...

  1. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions.

    PubMed

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant.

  2. Formaldehyde Crosses the Human Placenta and Affects Human Trophoblast Differentiation and Hormonal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Gerbaud, Pascale; Guibourdenche, Jean; Thérond, Patrice; Ferreira, Fatima; Simasotchi, Christelle; Evain-Brion, Danièle; Gil, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The chorionic villus of the human placenta is the source of specific endocrine functions and nutrient exchanges. These activities are ensured by the syncytiotrophobast (ST), which bathes in maternal blood. The ST arises and regenerates throughout pregnancy by fusion of underlying cytotrophoblasts (CT). Any anomaly of ST formation or regeneration can affect pregnancy outcome and fetal growth. Because of its direct interaction with maternal blood, the ST is sensitive to drugs, pollutants and xenohormones. Ex vivo assays of perfused cotyledon show that formaldehyde, a common pollutant present in furniture, paint and plastics, can accumulate in the human placenta and cross to the fetal compartment. By means of RT-qPCR, immunoblot and immunocytochemistry experiments, we demonstrate in vitro that formaldehyde exerts endocrine toxicity on human trophoblasts, including a decrease in the production of protein hormones of pregnancy. In addition, formaldehyde exposure triggered human trophoblast fusion by upregulating syncitin-1 receptor expression (ASC-type amino-acid transporter 2: ASCT2). Moreover, we show that formaldehyde-exposed trophoblasts present an altered redox status associated with oxidative stress, and an increase in ASCT2 expression intended to compensate for this stress. Finally, we demonstrate that the adverse effects of formaldehyde on trophoblast differentiation and fusion are reversed by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Nac), an antioxidant. PMID:26186596

  3. Timing of influenza A(H5N1) in poultry and humans and seasonal influenza activity worldwide, 2004-2013.

    PubMed

    Durand, Lizette O; Glew, Patrick; Gross, Diane; Kasper, Matthew; Trock, Susan; Kim, Inkyu K; Bresee, Joseph S; Donis, Ruben; Uyeki, Timothy M; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; Azziz-Baumgartner, Eduardo

    2015-02-01

    Co-circulation of influenza A(H5N1) and seasonal influenza viruses among humans and animals could lead to co-infections, reassortment, and emergence of novel viruses with pandemic potential. We assessed the timing of subtype H5N1 outbreaks among poultry, human H5N1 cases, and human seasonal influenza in 8 countries that reported 97% of all human H5N1 cases and 90% of all poultry H5N1 outbreaks. In these countries, most outbreaks among poultry (7,001/11,331, 62%) and half of human cases (313/625, 50%) occurred during January-March. Human H5N1 cases occurred in 167 (45%) of 372 months during which outbreaks among poultry occurred, compared with 59 (10%) of 574 months that had no outbreaks among poultry. Human H5N1 cases also occurred in 59 (22%) of 267 months during seasonal influenza periods. To reduce risk for co-infection, surveillance and control of H5N1 should be enhanced during January-March, when H5N1 outbreaks typically occur and overlap with seasonal influenza virus circulation.

  4. Timing of Influenza A(H5N1) in Poultry and Humans and Seasonal Influenza Activity Worldwide, 2004–2013

    PubMed Central

    Durand, Lizette O.; Glew, Patrick; Gross, Diane; Kasper, Matthew; Trock, Susan; Kim, Inkyu K.; Bresee, Joseph S.; Donis, Ruben; Uyeki, Timothy M.; Widdowson, Marc-Alain

    2015-01-01

    Co-circulation of influenza A(H5N1) and seasonal influenza viruses among humans and animals could lead to co-infections, reassortment, and emergence of novel viruses with pandemic potential. We assessed the timing of subtype H5N1 outbreaks among poultry, human H5N1 cases, and human seasonal influenza in 8 countries that reported 97% of all human H5N1 cases and 90% of all poultry H5N1 outbreaks. In these countries, most outbreaks among poultry (7,001/11,331, 62%) and half of human cases (313/625, 50%) occurred during January–March. Human H5N1 cases occurred in 167 (45%) of 372 months during which outbreaks among poultry occurred, compared with 59 (10%) of 574 months that had no outbreaks among poultry. Human H5N1 cases also occurred in 59 (22%) of 267 months during seasonal influenza periods. To reduce risk for co-infection, surveillance and control of H5N1 should be enhanced during January–March, when H5N1 outbreaks typically occur and overlap with seasonal influenza virus circulation. PMID:25625302

  5. ANALYSIS OF DISCRIMINATING FACTORS IN HUMAN ACTIVITIES THAT AFFECT EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurately modeling exposure to particulate matter (PM) and other pollutants ultimately involves the utilization of human location-activity databases to assist in understanding the potential variability of microenvironmental exposures. This paper critically considers and stati...

  6. Aversive pavlovian responses affect human instrumental motor performance.

    PubMed

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    IN NEUROSCIENCE AND PSYCHOLOGY, AN INFLUENTIAL PERSPECTIVE DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN TWO KINDS OF BEHAVIORAL CONTROL: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology.

  7. Aversive Pavlovian Responses Affect Human Instrumental Motor Performance

    PubMed Central

    Rigoli, Francesco; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    In neuroscience and psychology, an influential perspective distinguishes between two kinds of behavioral control: instrumental (habitual and goal-directed) and Pavlovian. Understanding the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction is fundamental for the comprehension of decision-making. Animal studies (as those using the negative auto-maintenance paradigm), have demonstrated that Pavlovian mechanisms can have maladaptive effects on instrumental performance. However, evidence for a similar effect in humans is scarce. In addition, the mechanisms modulating the impact of Pavlovian responses on instrumental performance are largely unknown, both in human and non-human animals. The present paper describes a behavioral experiment investigating the effects of Pavlovian conditioned responses on performance in humans, focusing on the aversive domain. Results showed that Pavlovian responses influenced human performance, and, similar to animal studies, could have maladaptive effects. In particular, Pavlovian responses either impaired or increased performance depending on modulator variables such as threat distance, task controllability, punishment history, amount of training, and explicit punishment expectancy. Overall, these findings help elucidating the computational mechanisms underlying the instrumental-Pavlovian interaction, which might be at the base of apparently irrational phenomena in economics, social behavior, and psychopathology. PMID:23060738

  8. Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fredrickson, Barbara L.; Losada, Marcial F.

    2005-01-01

    Extending B. L. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and M. Losada's (1999) nonlinear dynamics model of team performance, the authors predict that a ratio of positive to negative affect at or above 2.9 will characterize individuals in flourishing mental health. Participants (N=188) completed an initial survey to…

  9. Hemispheric Asymmetries in Children's Perception of Nonlinguistic Human Affective Sounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pollak, Seth D.; Holt, Lori L.; Fries, Alison B. Wismer

    2004-01-01

    In the present work, we developed a database of nonlinguistic sounds that mirror prosodic characteristics typical of language and thus carry affective information, but do not convey linguistic information. In a dichotic-listening task, we used these novel stimuli as a means of disambiguating the relative contributions of linguistic and affective…

  10. Bulletin Board Ideas: Worldwide Scientific Events

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schiffman, Maurice K.

    1977-01-01

    Describes a bulletin board activity that identifies scientific phenomena occurring worldwide during the school year. A map of the world is marked with colored pins as students find news information of places and kind of event (e.g.; volcanoes, floods, crop failures, human epidemics). (CS)

  11. Genetic Alterations Affecting Cholesterol Metabolism and Human Fertility1

    PubMed Central

    DeAngelis, Anthony M.; Roy-O'Reilly, Meaghan; Rodriguez, Annabelle

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) represent genetic variations among individuals in a population. In medicine, these small variations in the DNA sequence may significantly impact an individual's response to certain drugs or influence the risk of developing certain diseases. In the field of reproductive medicine, a significant amount of research has been devoted to identifying polymorphisms which may impact steroidogenesis and fertility. This review discusses current understanding of the effects of genetic variations in cholesterol metabolic pathways on human fertility that bridge novel linkages between cholesterol metabolism and reproductive health. For example, the role of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) in cellular metabolism and human reproduction has been well studied, whereas there is now an emerging body of research on the role of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) in human lipid metabolism and female reproduction. Identifying and understanding how polymorphisms in the SCARB1 gene or other genes related to lipid metabolism impact human physiology is essential and will play a major role in the development of personalized medicine for improved diagnosis and treatment of infertility. PMID:25122065

  12. Polymorphic Regions Affecting Human Height Also Control Stature in Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Pryce, Jennie E.; Hayes, Ben J.; Bolormaa, Sunduimijid; Goddard, Michael E.

    2011-01-01

    Orthologous positions of 55 genes associated with height in four human populations were located on the bovine genome. Single nucleotide polymorphisms close to eight of these genes were significantly associated with stature in cattle (Bos taurus and Bos indicus). This suggests that these genes may contribute to controlling stature across mammalian species. PMID:21212230

  13. Neural evidence that human emotions share core affective properties.

    PubMed

    Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine D; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Barsalou, Lawrence W

    2013-06-01

    Research on the "emotional brain" remains centered around the idea that emotions like fear, happiness, and sadness result from specialized and distinct neural circuitry. Accumulating behavioral and physiological evidence suggests, instead, that emotions are grounded in core affect--a person's fluctuating level of pleasant or unpleasant arousal. A neuroimaging study revealed that participants' subjective ratings of valence (i.e., pleasure/displeasure) and of arousal evoked by various fear, happiness, and sadness experiences correlated with neural activity in specific brain regions (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala, respectively). We observed these correlations across diverse instances within each emotion category, as well as across instances from all three categories. Consistent with a psychological construction approach to emotion, the results suggest that neural circuitry realizes more basic processes across discrete emotions. The implicated brain regions regulate the body to deal with the world, producing the affective changes at the core of emotions and many other psychological phenomena.

  14. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  15. Multiscale factors affecting human attitudes toward snow leopards and wolves.

    PubMed

    Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatia, Saloni; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Redpath, Stephen; Mishra, Charudutt

    2014-12-01

    The threat posed by large carnivores to livestock and humans makes peaceful coexistence between them difficult. Effective implementation of conservation laws and policies depends on the attitudes of local residents toward the target species. There are many known correlates of human attitudes toward carnivores, but they have only been assessed at the scale of the individual. Because human societies are organized hierarchically, attitudes are presumably influenced by different factors at different scales of social organization, but this scale dependence has not been examined. We used structured interview surveys to quantitatively assess the attitudes of a Buddhist pastoral community toward snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and wolves (Canis lupus). We interviewed 381 individuals from 24 villages within 6 study sites across the high-elevation Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We gathered information on key explanatory variables that together captured variation in individual and village-level socioeconomic factors. We used hierarchical linear models to examine how the effect of these factors on human attitudes changed with the scale of analysis from the individual to the community. Factors significant at the individual level were gender, education, and age of the respondent (for wolves and snow leopards), number of income sources in the family (wolves), agricultural production, and large-bodied livestock holdings (snow leopards). At the community level, the significant factors included the number of smaller-bodied herded livestock killed by wolves and mean agricultural production (wolves) and village size and large livestock holdings (snow leopards). Our results show that scaling up from the individual to higher levels of social organization can highlight important factors that influence attitudes of people toward wildlife and toward formal conservation efforts in general. Such scale-specific information can help managers apply conservation measures at

  16. Darwinian and demographic forces affecting human protein coding genes

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Rasmus; Hubisz, Melissa J.; Hellmann, Ines; Torgerson, Dara; Andrés, Aida M.; Albrechtsen, Anders; Gutenkunst, Ryan; Adams, Mark D.; Cargill, Michele; Boyko, Adam; Indap, Amit; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Clark, Andrew G.

    2009-01-01

    Past demographic changes can produce distortions in patterns of genetic variation that can mimic the appearance of natural selection unless the demographic effects are explicitly removed. Here we fit a detailed model of human demography that incorporates divergence, migration, admixture, and changes in population size to directly sequenced data from 13,400 protein coding genes from 20 European-American and 19 African-American individuals. Based on this demographic model, we use several new and established statistical methods for identifying genes with extreme patterns of polymorphism likely to be caused by Darwinian selection, providing the first genome-wide analysis of allele frequency distributions in humans based on directly sequenced data. The tests are based on observations of excesses of high frequency–derived alleles, excesses of low frequency–derived alleles, and excesses of differences in allele frequencies between populations. We detect numerous new genes with strong evidence of selection, including a number of genes related to psychiatric and other diseases. We also show that microRNA controlled genes evolve under extremely high constraints and are more likely to undergo negative selection than other genes. Furthermore, we show that genes involved in muscle development have been subject to positive selection during recent human history. In accordance with previous studies, we find evidence for negative selection against mutations in genes associated with Mendelian disease and positive selection acting on genes associated with several complex diseases. PMID:19279335

  17. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  18. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M.; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants and

  19. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  20. Primary Aluminum Plants Worldwide - 1998

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    1999-01-01

    The 1990 U.S. Bureau of Mines publication, Primary Aluminum Plants Worldwide, has been updated and is now available. The 1998 USGS edition of Primary Aluminum Plants Worldwide is published in two parts. Part I—Detail contains information on individual primary smelter capacity, location, ownership, sources of energy, and other miscellaneous information. Part II—Summary summarizes the capacity data by country

  1. How sensory properties of foods affect human feeding behavior.

    PubMed

    Rolls, B J; Rowe, E A; Rolls, E T

    1982-09-01

    The sensory properties of food which can lead to a decrease in the pleasantness of that food after it is eaten, and to enhanced food intake if that property of the food is changed by successive presentation of different foods, were investigated. After eating chocolates of one color the pleasantness of the taste of the eaten color declined more than of the non-eaten colors, although these chocolates differed only in appearance. The presentation of a variety of colors of chocolates, either simultaneously or successively, did not affect food intake compared with consumption of the subject's favorite color. Changes in the shape of food (which affects both appearance and mouth feel) were introduced by offering subjects three successive courses consisting of different shapes of pasta. Changes in shape led to a specific decrease in the pleasantness of the shape eaten and to a significant enhancement (14%) of food intake when three shapes were offered compared with intake of the subject's favorite shape. Changes in just the flavor of food (i.e., cream cheese sandwiches flavored with salt, or with the non-nutritive flavoring agents lemon and saccharin, or curry) led to a significant enhancement (15%) of food intake when all three flavors were presented successively compared with intake of the favorite. The experiments elucidate some of the properties of food which are involved in sensory specific satiety, and which determine the amount of food eaten. PMID:7178247

  2. Human erythrocytes are affected by the organochloride insecticide chlordane.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Rodríguez, C; Villena, F; Sotomayor, C P

    2005-05-01

    Chlordane is a widely used organochlorine insecticide. In order to evaluate its perturbing effect upon the morphology of human erythrocytes it was caused to interact with human red cells and molecular models of cell membranes. These consisted in bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) and of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), representative of phospholipid classes located in the inner and outer monolayers of the erythrocyte membrane, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations indicated that this pesticide induced a significant alteration in the shape of the erythrocytes as they changed their discoid shape to spherocytes. According to the bilayer couple hypothesis, the shape changes induced in erythrocytes by foreign molecules are due to differential expansion of their two monolayers. The fact that chlordane produced spherocytes would indicate that the pesticide was equally located in the outer and the inner moieties of the red cell membrane. This conclusion was supported by the results obtained from X-ray diffraction studies. These showed that the hydrophobic and polar head regions of DMPC bilayers were perturbed when the insecticide was in a 1:10 molar ratio with respect to the lipid. These results were confirmed by the fluorescence experiments performed in DMPC large unilamellar vesicles (LUV). Chlordane produced a sharp decrease in the anisotropy and general polarization parameters in the 0-0.1 mM range, implying an increase in the fluidity at the acyl chain and polar region of DMPC. On the other hand, the bilayer structure of DMPE was perturbed in a fashion similar to that observed by X-ray diffraction in DMPC, a fact that explains the morphological change induced by chlordane to the human erythrocytes. PMID:15778003

  3. Factors affecting speed in human-powered vehicles.

    PubMed

    White, A P

    1994-10-01

    It is shown how to derive the appropriate cubic equation relating power and the effects of friction, gradient and wind resistance on the speed of a human-powered vehicle (HPV). The effects of gradient and wind resistance are explored for parameters representing a typical racing cyclist. The principal conclusion may be summarized as follows: for optimum performance in a time trial, there should be no wind and the course should be level. Any deviation from these conditions will produce a decrement in performance.

  4. Disturbances of electrodynamic activity affect abortion in human

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jandová, A.; Nedbalová, M.; Kobilková, J.; Čoček, A.; Dohnalová, A.; Cifra, M.; Pokorný, J.

    2011-12-01

    Biochemical research of biological systems is highly developed, and it has disclosed a spectrum of chemical reactions, genetic processes, and the pathological development of various diseases. The fundamental hypothesis of physical processes in biological systems, in particular of coherent electrically polar vibrations and electromagnetic activity, was formulated by H. Fröhlich he assumed connection of cancer process with degradation of coherent electromagnetic activity. But the questions of cellular structures capable of the coherent electrical polar oscillation, mechanisms of energy supply, and the specific role of the endogenous electromagnetic fields in transport, organisation, interactions, and information transfer remained open. The nature of physical disturbances caused by some diseases (including the recurrent abortion in humans and the cancer) was unknown. We have studied the reasons of recurrent abortions in humans by means of the cell mediated immunity (using immunologic active RNA prepared from blood of inbred laboratory mice strain C3H/H2K, infected with the lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus-LD V) and the cytogenetic examination from karyotype pictures. The recurrent abortion group contained women with dg. spontaneous abortion (n = 24) and the control group was composed of 30 healthy pregnant women. Our hypothesis was related to quality of endometrium in relation to nidation of the blastocyst. The energetic insufficiency (ATP) inhibits normal development of fetus and placenta. We hope that these ideas might have impact on further research, which could provide background for effective interdisciplinary cooperation of malignant and non-malignant diseases.

  5. Human monocyte differentiation stage affects response to arachidonic acid.

    PubMed

    Escobar-Alvarez, Elizabeth; Pelaez, Carlos A; García, Luis F; Rojas, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    AA-induced cell death mechanisms acting on human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), U937 promonocytes and PMA-differentiated U937 cells were studied. Arachidonic acid induced apoptosis and necrosis in monocytes and U937 cells but only apoptosis in MDM and U937D cells. AA increased both types of death in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected cells and increased the percentage of TNFalpha+ cells and reduced IL-10+ cells. Experiments blocking these cytokines indicated that AA-mediated death was TNFalpha- and IL-10-independent. The differences in AA-mediated cell death could be explained by high ROS, calpain and sPLA-2 production and activity in monocytes. Blocking sPLA-2 in monocytes and treatment with antioxidants favored M. tuberculosis control whereas AA enhanced M. tuberculosis growth in MDM. Such evidence suggested that AA-modulated effector mechanisms depend on mononuclear phagocytes' differentiation stage.

  6. International study of factors affecting human chromosome translocations

    PubMed Central

    Sigurdson, Alice J.; Ha, Mina; Hauptmann, Michael; Bhatti, Parveen; Sram, Radim J.; Beskid, Olena; Tawn, E. Janet; Whitehouse, Caroline A.; Lindholm, Carita; Nakano, Mimako; Kodama, Yoshiaki; Nakamura, Nori; Vorobtsova, Irena; Oestreicher, Ursula; Stephan, Günther; Yong, Lee C.; Bauchinger, Manfred; Schmid, Ernst; Chung, Hai Won; Darroudi, Firouz; Roy, Laurence; Voisin, Phillipe; Barquinero, Joan F.; Livingston, Gordon; Blakey, David; Hayata, Isamu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Chunyan; Bennett, L. Michelle; Littlefield, L. Gayle; Edwards, Alan A.; Kleinerman, Ruth A.; Tucker, James D.

    2009-01-01

    Chromosome translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of normal, healthy humans increase with age, but the effects of gender, race, and cigarette smoking on background translocation yields have not been examined systematically. Further, the shape of the relationship between age and translocation frequency (TF) has not been definitively determined. We collected existing data from sixteen laboratories in North America, Europe, and Asia on TFs measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes by fluorescence in situ hybridization whole chromosome painting among 1933 individuals. In Poisson regression models, age, ranging from newborns (cord blood) to 85 years, was strongly associated with TF and this relationship showed significant upward curvature at older ages vs. a linear relationship (p <0.001). Ever smokers had significantly higher TFs than non-smokers (rate ratio (RR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–1.30) and smoking modified the effect of age on TFs with a steeper age-related increase among ever smokers compared to non-smokers (p<0.001). TFs did not differ by gender. Interpreting an independent effect of race was difficult owing to laboratory variation. Our study is three times larger than any pooled effort to date, confirming a suspected curvilinear relationship of TF with age. The significant effect of cigarette smoking has not been observed with previous pooled studies of TF in humans. Our data provide stable estimates of background TF by age, gender, race, and smoking status and suggest an acceleration of chromosome damage above age 60 and among those with a history of smoking cigarettes. PMID:18337160

  7. A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review on the Association between Human Papillomavirus (Types 16 and 18) Infection and Esophageal Cancer Worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Zhao, Lei; Yan, Han; Che, Juanjuan; Huihui, Li; Jun, Wu

    2016-01-01

    Background Esophageal cancer is a common and aggressive malignant tumor. This study aimed to investigate the association between human papillomavirus (HPV) Types 16 and 18 and esophageal carcinoma (EC) in the world population by conducting a meta-analysis. Materials and Methods Computerized bibliographic and manual searches were performed to identify all eligible literatures between 1982 and 2014. PUBMED (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/) and CNKI (http://www.cnki.net/) were the primary sources of case-control studies, and key words used include human papillomavirus, HPV, esophageal, esophagus, cancer, carcinoma, and tumor. All searches were performed by reviewing articles and abstracts cited in the published systematic reviews and case-control studies. Prospective studies that reported relative risk (RR) estimates with 95% CIs for the association between HPV and EC were included. Results Thirty-three randomized studies were identified, and the main features of these trials were included in this systematic review. HPV infection rate in the EC group was 46.5%, while HPV infection rate in the control group was 26.2% (OR = 1.62; 95% CI, 1.33–1.98). In China, the merger OR value was 1.62 (95% CI: 1.26–2.07); while in the Asian region, the merger OR value was 1.63 (95% CI: 1.29–2.04). There were statistical differences in HPV testing due to different detection methods such as PCR, IHC and ISH. In the PCR detection group, the merger OR value was 1.61 (95% CI: 1.33–1.95). Conclusions These results indicate that HPV infection and the incidence of EC are closely associated. PMID:27409078

  8. Pregnancy does not affect human olfactory detection thresholds.

    PubMed

    Cameron, E Leslie

    2014-02-01

    Hyperosmia is suspected in pregnancy; however, no empirical study using validated measures of olfactory function has clearly confirmed the anecdotal reports of this phenomenon. The goal of the current study is to compare the olfactory sensitivity of pregnant women to that of nonpregnant women and men. All participants rated their sense of smell and pregnant women listed the odors to which they were most sensitive. Detection thresholds were measured using a well-validated protocol. A group of pregnant and nonpregnant women was studied longitudinally using a signal detection procedure designed to detect small differences in sensitivity. Pregnant women, particularly in the 1st trimester, rated their sense of smell to be higher than nonpregnant women and men and indicated many (primarily unpleasant) odors to which they were more sensitive. Women rated their sense of smell higher than men. However, there was no sex difference in thresholds and neither thresholds nor signal detection measures of sensitivity were significantly affected by either sex or pregnancy status. The implications of the lack of relationship between self-report and measures of olfactory sensitivity, particularly in pregnancy, are discussed.

  9. MISR Satellite Observations of Aerosol Types Affecting Human Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalashnikova, O. V.; Franklin, M.; Garay, M. J.; Diner, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    Ground-based observations of pollutants and concentrations of particulate matter (PM), that includes small particles designated PM2.5 and dust-dominated PM10, are the gold standard in studies of environmental impacts on human health. However, because monitoring stations are costly, they typically provide only limited spatial coverage, especially in rural and remote areas. We will demonstrate how data from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument that has been flying on NASA's Terra Earth Observing System satellite since early 2000 can be used to provide estimates of surface PM types. The current MISR operational aerosol retrieval uses a combination of multi-spectral and multi-angle data to retrieve aerosol optical depth (AOD) and particle property information (including dust AOD) globally at 17.6 km spatial resolution. Using the same algorithm with data collected in all 36-channels at 275 m resolution (Local Mode), which is available over greater Los Angeles area, and also was activated during 2013 DISCOVER-AQ California field campaign, high-resolution 4.4 km aerosol retrievals were performed in addition to the standard 17.6 km retrievals. The 4.4 km spatial resolution of the PM information data is fine enough to be able to resolve local differences in PM loading that may be important for understanding regional health effects of pollution in the region. In particular, we demonstrate that MISR high-resolution AOD retrievals are in better agreement with ground-based aerosol observations and reveal more details about the aerosol spatial variability compared to the MISR standard 17.6 km product. Then we will discuss techniques and show examples of the application of high-resolution MISR data to provide estimates of surface PM for the greater Los Angeles area in 2008 and for California San Joaquin Valley during the 2013 DISCOVER-AQ field campaign. Finally, we will discuss future NASA instruments that will provide new information allowing for better

  10. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed Central

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-01-01

    Mimicry theory predicts that mimics in a Batesian mimicry complex evolve to resemble models closely, and that there is a limit on the numbers of mimics relative to models. For hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), supposed mimics of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, neither of these is true; many mimics are imperfect and in the UK and Europe they outnumber their models manifold. We hypothesized that the high abundance of mimics relative to models in the UK may be the result not just of mimic model dynamics, but of habitat changes caused by humans. Most of the larvae of poor mimics are aphidophagous, and changes from ancient forest to agricultural and/or urban habitats may have vastly augmented aphid numbers. Using new and literature data, we compared mimicry profiles of habitats differing in their degree of habitat disturbance. In both cases more highly disturbed habitats had proportionally more poor mimics and fewer high-fidelity mimics than less disturbed habitats. This supports the hypothesis that habitat change has an effect on model to mimic ratios. PMID:9881474

  11. Mimicry profiles are affected by human-induced habitat changes.

    PubMed

    Azmeh, S; Owen, J; Sørensen, K; Grewcock, D; Gilbert, F

    1998-12-01

    Mimicry theory predicts that mimics in a Batesian mimicry complex evolve to resemble models closely, and that there is a limit on the numbers of mimics relative to models. For hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), supposed mimics of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, neither of these is true; many mimics are imperfect and in the UK and Europe they outnumber their models manifold. We hypothesized that the high abundance of mimics relative to models in the UK may be the result not just of mimic model dynamics, but of habitat changes caused by humans. Most of the larvae of poor mimics are aphidophagous, and changes from ancient forest to agricultural and/or urban habitats may have vastly augmented aphid numbers. Using new and literature data, we compared mimicry profiles of habitats differing in their degree of habitat disturbance. In both cases more highly disturbed habitats had proportionally more poor mimics and fewer high-fidelity mimics than less disturbed habitats. This supports the hypothesis that habitat change has an effect on model to mimic ratios.

  12. Family Poverty Affects the Rate of Human Infant Brain Growth

    PubMed Central

    Hanson, Jamie L.; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G.; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H.; Wolfe, Barbara L.; Pollak, Seth D.

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems. PMID:24349025

  13. Family poverty affects the rate of human infant brain growth.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jamie L; Hair, Nicole; Shen, Dinggang G; Shi, Feng; Gilmore, John H; Wolfe, Barbara L; Pollak, Seth D

    2013-01-01

    Living in poverty places children at very high risk for problems across a variety of domains, including schooling, behavioral regulation, and health. Aspects of cognitive functioning, such as information processing, may underlie these kinds of problems. How might poverty affect the brain functions underlying these cognitive processes? Here, we address this question by observing and analyzing repeated measures of brain development of young children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds (n = 77). In doing so, we have the opportunity to observe changes in brain growth as children begin to experience the effects of poverty. These children underwent MRI scanning, with subjects completing between 1 and 7 scans longitudinally. Two hundred and three MRI scans were divided into different tissue types using a novel image processing algorithm specifically designed to analyze brain data from young infants. Total gray, white, and cerebral (summation of total gray and white matter) volumes were examined along with volumes of the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Infants from low-income families had lower volumes of gray matter, tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions. These differences were found for both the frontal and parietal lobes. No differences were detected in white matter, temporal lobe volumes, or occipital lobe volumes. In addition, differences in brain growth were found to vary with socioeconomic status (SES), with children from lower-income households having slower trajectories of growth during infancy and early childhood. Volumetric differences were associated with the emergence of disruptive behavioral problems.

  14. What experimental experience affects dogs' comprehension of human communicative actions?

    PubMed

    Hauser, Marc D; Comins, Jordan A; Pytka, Lisa M; Cahill, Donal P; Velez-Calderon, Sofia

    2011-01-01

    Studies of dogs report that individuals reliably respond to the goal-directed communicative actions (e.g., pointing) of human experimenters. All of these studies use some version of a multi-trial approach, thereby allowing for the possibility of rapid learning within an experimental session. The experiments reported here ask whether dogs can respond correctly to a communicative action based on only a single presentation, thereby eliminating the possibility of learning within the experimental context. We tested 173 dogs. For each dog reaching our test criteria, we used a single presentation of six different goal-directed actions within a session, asking whether they correctly follow to a target goal (container with concealed food) a (1) distal hand point, (2) step toward one container, (3) hand point to one container followed by step toward the other, (4) step toward one container and point to the other, (5) distal foot point with the experimenter's hands free, and (6) distal foot point with the experimenter's hands occupied. Given only a single presentation, dogs selected the correct container when the experimenter hand pointed, foot pointed with hands occupied, or stepped closer to the target container, but failed on the other actions, despite using the same method. The fact that dogs correctly followed foot pointing with hands occupied, but not hands free, suggests that they are sensitive to environmental constraints, and use this information to infer rational, goal-directed action. We discuss these results in light of the role of experience in recognizing communicative gestures, as well as the significance of coding criteria for studies of canine competence.

  15. Sociopsychological factors affecting the human response to noise exposure.

    PubMed

    Borsky, P N

    1979-08-01

    Community noise is reported to be the most often mentioned undesirable neighborhood condition in a recent U.S. Census survey. Understanding community response to noise involves the measurement of a number of complex acoustic and nonacoustic variables and establishing the chain of relationships between physical exposure, perception, annoyance, and acceptability responses and finally complaint behavior. The perceived loudness of a noise is the most important acoustic parameter influencing annoyance and complaints, and the simple dBA unit can be used to integrate spectral characteristics of complex sounds in community studies. Although energy averaging such as Leq or Ldn can be used to describe multiple noise exposures over time, the variable trade-off relationships between number and level of exposures are somewhat obscured by such summary measures. However, they are still the best available descriptors and, until more accurate ones are developed, can be used to measure community noise environments. Perception of an identical noise exposure can vary according to the physiological noise sensitivity of a person and the activity context in which the noise is heard. Although the acoustic quality of the noise itself usually explains about 10 to 25 per cent of the variability in annoyance responses, sociopsychological variables measured in field studies account for 35 to 50 per cent of the variations in human annoyance responses. Three of the most important nonacoustic factors are the connotative fear effects of the noise signal, the feeling that those responsible for the noise are misfeasant in not reducing the noise, and the feeling that harmful health effects are produced by the noise. When residents report great fear, a high misfeasance, and marked health effects, about 90 per cent report a high annoyance level whether their noise exposure level is above 90 Ldn or 65 to 70 Ldn. In contrast, if the feelings are a low fear level, a low degree of misfeasance, and minimal

  16. Pregnancy and Preeclampsia Affect Monocyte Subsets in Humans and Rats

    PubMed Central

    Borghuis, Theo; Klok, Pieter A.; Groen, Bart; Bolt, Annemarie; de Vos, Paul; van Pampus, Maria G.; Wong, Tsz Y.; van Goor, Harry; Bakker, Winston W.; Faas, Marijke M.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Both nonclassical and intermediate monocytes have been implicated in different inflammatory conditions. We hypothesized that these monocytes would increase during pregnancy, a condition associated with generalized activation of inflammatory responses and that they would increase even more during preeclampsia, in which inflammatory responses are further stimulated. In the present study we investigated changes in monocyte subsets during healthy pregnancy and preeclampsia in humans and rats. Methods Blood monocyte subsets of nonpregnant, preeclamptic and healthy pregnant women were identified with CD14 and CD16. In nonpregnant and pregnant rats, blood monocytes were identified with CD172a and CD43, as well as in rats infused with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a pro-inflammatory stimulus known to induce preeclampsia-like symptoms. Total and CD206-positive macrophages were quantified in placentas of these animals. Results Lower percentages of classical monocytes were found in pregnant women (91%–[83–98%]) compared to nonpregnant women (94%–[90–98%]) and even less in preeclamptic patients (90%–[61–92%]). In contrast, the percentage of combined nonclassical/intermediate monocytes was higher in pregnant women (8.5%–[2.3–16.6%] vs. 5.6%–[1.9–9.5%]) and even higher in preeclamptic patients (9.9%–[7.8–38.7%]), which was caused by a selective increase of intermediate monocytes. In rats, we also found lower percentages of classical monocytes and higher percentages of nonclassical monocytes in pregnant versus nonpregnant rats. ATP infusion increased the percentage of nonclassical monocytes in pregnant rats even further but not in nonpregnant rats. These nonclassical monocytes showed a more activated phenotype in pregnant ATP-infused rats only. Mesometrial triangles of ATP-infused rats had less CD206-positive macrophages as compared to those of saline-infused rats. Conclusion The higher percentage of nonclassical/intermediate monocytes found

  17. Forced expression of chimeric human fibroblast tropomyosin mutants affects cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Human fibroblasts generate at least eight tropomyosin (TM) isoforms (hTM1, hTM2, hTM3, hTM4, hTM5, hTM5a, hTM5b, and hTMsm alpha) from four distinct genes, and we have previously demonstrated that bacterially produced chimera hTM5/3 exhibits an unusually high affinity for actin filaments and a loss of the salt dependence typical for TM-actin binding (Novy, R.E., J. R. Sellers, L.-F. Liu, and J.J.-C. Lin, 1993. Cell Motil. & Cytoskeleton. 26: 248-261). To examine the functional consequences of expressing this mutant TM isoform in vivo, we have transfected CHO cells with the full-length cDNA for hTM5/3 and compared them to cells transfected with hTM3 and hTM5. Immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that stably transfected CHO cells incorporate force- expressed hTM3 and hTM5 into stress fibers with no significant effect on general cell morphology, microfilament organization or cytokinesis. In stable lines expressing hTM5/3, however, cell division is slow and sometimes incomplete. The doubling time and the incidence of multinucleate cells in the stable hTM5/3 lines roughly parallel expression levels. A closely related chimeric isoform hTM5/2, which differs only in the internal, alternatively spliced exon also produces defects in cytokinesis, suggesting that normal TM function may involve coordination between the amino and carboxy terminal regions. This coordination may be prevented in the chimeric mutants. As bacterially produced hTM5/3 and hTM5/2 can displace hTM3 and hTM5 from actin filaments in vitro, it is likely that CHO-expressed hTM5/3 and hTM5/2 can displace endogenous TMs to act dominantly in vivo. These results support a role for nonmuscle TM isoforms in the fine tuning of microfilament organization during cytokinesis. Additionally, we find that overexpression of TM does not stabilize endogenous microfilaments, rather, the hTM-expressing cells are actually more sensitive to cytochalasin B. This suggests that regulation of microfilament integrity in vivo

  18. Campaigning for women's health rights worldwide.

    PubMed

    Doyal, L

    In this paper, the author takes a look at the women's health movement worldwide and lists some of its many achievements. The information provided is set in the context of reproductive rights, the most common issue that affects women in both the developed and the developing world. The author discusses access to birth control and the role of the consumer movement in achieving rights for women in childbirth.

  19. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-03-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects’ affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain’s motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states.

  20. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-01-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects' affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain's motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states. PMID:26996254

  1. Higher-order Multivariable Polynomial Regression to Estimate Human Affective States

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Jie; Chen, Tong; Liu, Guangyuan; Yang, Jiemin

    2016-01-01

    From direct observations, facial, vocal, gestural, physiological, and central nervous signals, estimating human affective states through computational models such as multivariate linear-regression analysis, support vector regression, and artificial neural network, have been proposed in the past decade. In these models, linear models are generally lack of precision because of ignoring intrinsic nonlinearities of complex psychophysiological processes; and nonlinear models commonly adopt complicated algorithms. To improve accuracy and simplify model, we introduce a new computational modeling method named as higher-order multivariable polynomial regression to estimate human affective states. The study employs standardized pictures in the International Affective Picture System to induce thirty subjects’ affective states, and obtains pure affective patterns of skin conductance as input variables to the higher-order multivariable polynomial model for predicting affective valence and arousal. Experimental results show that our method is able to obtain efficient correlation coefficients of 0.98 and 0.96 for estimation of affective valence and arousal, respectively. Moreover, the method may provide certain indirect evidences that valence and arousal have their brain’s motivational circuit origins. Thus, the proposed method can serve as a novel one for efficiently estimating human affective states. PMID:26996254

  2. 76 FR 65734 - Guidance for Industry on Evaluating the Safety of Flood-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-24

    ...-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption; Availability AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION... entitled ``Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Flood-Affected Food Crops for Human Consumption... information on how to evaluate the safety of flood-affected food crops for human consumption. DATES:...

  3. The Identification of Factors Affecting the Development and Practice of School-Based Counseling in Different National Contexts: A Grounded Theory Study Using a Worldwide Sample of Descriptive Journal Articles and Book Chapters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Ian; Lauterbach, Alexandra; Carey, John

    2015-01-01

    A grounded theory methodology was used to analyze articles and book chapters describing the development and practice of school-based counseling in 25 different countries in order to identify the factors that affect development and practice. An 11-factor analytic framework was developed. Factors include: Cultural Factors, National Needs, Larger…

  4. Is it the real deal? Perception of virtual characters versus humans: an affective cognitive neuroscience perspective.

    PubMed

    de Borst, Aline W; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in neuroimaging research support the increased use of naturalistic stimulus material such as film, avatars, or androids. These stimuli allow for a better understanding of how the brain processes information in complex situations while maintaining experimental control. While avatars and androids are well suited to study human cognition, they should not be equated to human stimuli. For example, the uncanny valley hypothesis theorizes that artificial agents with high human-likeness may evoke feelings of eeriness in the human observer. Here we review if, when, and how the perception of human-like avatars and androids differs from the perception of humans and consider how this influences their utilization as stimulus material in social and affective neuroimaging studies. First, we discuss how the appearance of virtual characters affects perception. When stimuli are morphed across categories from non-human to human, the most ambiguous stimuli, rather than the most human-like stimuli, show prolonged classification times and increased eeriness. Human-like to human stimuli show a positive linear relationship with familiarity. Secondly, we show that expressions of emotions in human-like avatars can be perceived similarly to human emotions, with corresponding behavioral, physiological and neuronal activations, with exception of physical dissimilarities. Subsequently, we consider if and when one perceives differences in action representation by artificial agents versus humans. Motor resonance and predictive coding models may account for empirical findings, such as an interference effect on action for observed human-like, natural moving characters. However, the expansion of these models to explain more complex behavior, such as empathy, still needs to be investigated in more detail. Finally, we broaden our outlook to social interaction, where virtual reality stimuli can be utilized to imitate complex social situations. PMID:26029133

  5. Is it the real deal? Perception of virtual characters versus humans: an affective cognitive neuroscience perspective.

    PubMed

    de Borst, Aline W; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in neuroimaging research support the increased use of naturalistic stimulus material such as film, avatars, or androids. These stimuli allow for a better understanding of how the brain processes information in complex situations while maintaining experimental control. While avatars and androids are well suited to study human cognition, they should not be equated to human stimuli. For example, the uncanny valley hypothesis theorizes that artificial agents with high human-likeness may evoke feelings of eeriness in the human observer. Here we review if, when, and how the perception of human-like avatars and androids differs from the perception of humans and consider how this influences their utilization as stimulus material in social and affective neuroimaging studies. First, we discuss how the appearance of virtual characters affects perception. When stimuli are morphed across categories from non-human to human, the most ambiguous stimuli, rather than the most human-like stimuli, show prolonged classification times and increased eeriness. Human-like to human stimuli show a positive linear relationship with familiarity. Secondly, we show that expressions of emotions in human-like avatars can be perceived similarly to human emotions, with corresponding behavioral, physiological and neuronal activations, with exception of physical dissimilarities. Subsequently, we consider if and when one perceives differences in action representation by artificial agents versus humans. Motor resonance and predictive coding models may account for empirical findings, such as an interference effect on action for observed human-like, natural moving characters. However, the expansion of these models to explain more complex behavior, such as empathy, still needs to be investigated in more detail. Finally, we broaden our outlook to social interaction, where virtual reality stimuli can be utilized to imitate complex social situations.

  6. Is it the real deal? Perception of virtual characters versus humans: an affective cognitive neuroscience perspective

    PubMed Central

    de Borst, Aline W.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments in neuroimaging research support the increased use of naturalistic stimulus material such as film, avatars, or androids. These stimuli allow for a better understanding of how the brain processes information in complex situations while maintaining experimental control. While avatars and androids are well suited to study human cognition, they should not be equated to human stimuli. For example, the uncanny valley hypothesis theorizes that artificial agents with high human-likeness may evoke feelings of eeriness in the human observer. Here we review if, when, and how the perception of human-like avatars and androids differs from the perception of humans and consider how this influences their utilization as stimulus material in social and affective neuroimaging studies. First, we discuss how the appearance of virtual characters affects perception. When stimuli are morphed across categories from non-human to human, the most ambiguous stimuli, rather than the most human-like stimuli, show prolonged classification times and increased eeriness. Human-like to human stimuli show a positive linear relationship with familiarity. Secondly, we show that expressions of emotions in human-like avatars can be perceived similarly to human emotions, with corresponding behavioral, physiological and neuronal activations, with exception of physical dissimilarities. Subsequently, we consider if and when one perceives differences in action representation by artificial agents versus humans. Motor resonance and predictive coding models may account for empirical findings, such as an interference effect on action for observed human-like, natural moving characters. However, the expansion of these models to explain more complex behavior, such as empathy, still needs to be investigated in more detail. Finally, we broaden our outlook to social interaction, where virtual reality stimuli can be utilized to imitate complex social situations. PMID:26029133

  7. Mutagenesis within human FcepsilonRIalpha differentially affects human and murine IgE binding.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Graham A; Hulett, Mark D; Cook, Justin P D; Trist, Halina M; Henry, Alistair J; McDonnell, James M; Beavil, Andrew J; Beavil, Rebecca L; Sutton, Brian J; Hogarth, P Mark; Gould, Hannah J

    2002-02-15

    Soluble fragments of the alpha-chain of FcepsilonRI, the high-affinity receptor for IgE, compete with membrane-bound receptors for IgE and may thus provide a means to combat allergic responses. Mutagenesis within FcepsilonRIalpha is used in this study, in conjunction with the crystal structure of the FcepsilonRIalpha/IgE complex, to define the relative importance of specific residues within human FcepsilonRIalpha for IgE binding. We have also compared the effects of these mutants on binding to both human and mouse IgE, with a view to evaluating the mouse as an appropriate model for the analysis of future agents designed to mimic the human FcepsilonRIalpha and attenuate allergic disease. Three residues within the C-C' region of the FcepsilonRIalpha2 domain and two residues within the alpha2 proximal loops of the alpha1 domain were selected for mutagenesis and tested in binding assays with human and mouse IgE. All three alpha2 mutations (K117D, W130A, and Y131A) reduced the affinity of human IgE binding to different extents, but K117D had a far more pronounced effect on mouse IgE binding, and although Y131A had little effect, W130A modestly enhanced binding to mouse IgE. The mutations in alpha1 (R15A and F17A) diminished binding to both human and mouse IgE, with these effects most likely caused by disruption of the alpha1/alpha2 interface. Our results demonstrate that the effects of mutations in human FcepsilonRIalpha on mouse IgE binding, and hence the inhibitory properties of human receptor-based peptides assayed in rodent models of allergy, may not necessarily reflect their activity in a human IgE-based system.

  8. Worldwide satellite market demand forecast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowyer, J. M.; Frankfort, M.; Steinnagel, K. M.

    1981-01-01

    The forecast is for the years 1981 - 2000 with benchmark years at 1985, 1990 and 2000. Two typs of markets are considered for this study: Hardware (worldwide total) - satellites, earth stations and control facilities (includes replacements and spares); and non-hardware (addressable by U.S. industry) - planning, launch, turnkey systems and operations. These markets were examined for the INTELSAT System (international systems and domestic and regional systems using leased transponders) and domestic and regional systems. Forecasts were determined for six worldwide regions encompassing 185 countries using actual costs for existing equipment and engineering estimates of costs for advanced systems. Most likely (conservative growth rate estimates) and optimistic (mid range growth rate estimates) scenarios were employed for arriving at the forecasts which are presented in constant 1980 U.S. dollars. The worldwide satellite market demand forecast predicts that the market between 181 and 2000 will range from $35 to $50 billion. Approximately one-half of the world market, $16 to $20 billion, will be generated in the United States.

  9. The brain's emotional foundations of human personality and the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kenneth L; Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-10-01

    Six of the primary-process subcortical brain emotion systems - SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, CARE, GRIEF and PLAY - are presented as foundational for human personality development, and hence as a potentially novel template for personality assessment as in the Affective Neurosciences Personality Scales (ANPS), described here. The ANPS was conceptualized as a potential clinical research tool, which would help experimentalists and clinicians situate subjects and clients in primary-process affective space. These emotion systems are reviewed in the context of a multi-tiered framing of consciousness spanning from primary affect, which encodes biological valences, to higher level tertiary (thought mediated) processing. Supporting neuroscience research is presented along with comparisons to Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory and the Five Factor Model (FFM). Suggestions are made for grounding the internal structure of the FFM on the primal emotional systems recognized in affective neuroscience, which may promote substantive dialog between human and animal research traditions. Personality is viewed in the context of Darwinian "continuity" with the inherited subcortical brain emotion systems being foundational, providing major forces for personality development in both humans and animals, and providing an affective infrastructure for an expanded five factor descriptive model applying to normal and clinical human populations as well as mammals generally. Links with ontogenetic and epigenetic models of personality development are also presented. Potential novel clinical applications of the CARE maternal-nurturance system and the PLAY system are also discussed.

  10. Examining dog-human play: the characteristics, affect, and vocalizations of a unique interspecific interaction.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, Alexandra; Hecht, Julie

    2016-07-01

    Despite the growing interest in research on the interaction between humans and dogs, only a very few research projects focus on the routines between dogs and their owners. In this study, we investigated one such routine: dog-human play. Dyadic interspecific play is known to be a common interaction between owner and charge, but the details of what counts as play have not been thoroughly researched. Similarly, though people represent that "play" is pleasurable, no study has yet undertaken to determine whether different forms of play are associated with different affective states. Thus, we aimed to generate an inventory of the forms of dyadic play, the vocalizations within play, and to investigate the relationship of affect to elements of play. Via a global citizen science project, we solicited videotapes of dog-human play sessions from dog owners. We coded 187 play bouts via frame-by-frame video playback. We then assessed the relationship between various intra-bout variables and owner affect (positive or neutral) during play (dog affect was overwhelmingly positive). Amount of physical contact ("touch"), level of activity of owner ("movement"), and physical closeness of dog-owner dyad ("proximity") were highly correlated with positive affect. Owner vocalizations were found to contain different elements in positive- and neutral-affect play. One novel category of play, "tease", was found. We conclude that not all play is created equal: the experience of play to the owner participant is strongly related to a few identifiable characteristics of the interaction.

  11. [Theoretical analysis of factors affecting heat exchange stability of human body with environment].

    PubMed

    Wu, Q; Wang, X

    1998-06-01

    Life could not be normal without the heat produced by metabolism of human body being transmitted into environment. This paper discussed the ways of heat exchange of human body with the environment, and analyzed their effects on the stability of heat exchange theoretically. In addition, factors that affects the stability of heat exchange were studied. The results indicate that the environmental temperature is the most important factor.

  12. Human genetics. The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Estrada, Andrés; Gignoux, Christopher R; Fernández-López, Juan Carlos; Zakharia, Fouad; Sikora, Martin; Contreras, Alejandra V; Acuña-Alonzo, Victor; Sandoval, Karla; Eng, Celeste; Romero-Hidalgo, Sandra; Ortiz-Tello, Patricia; Robles, Victoria; Kenny, Eimear E; Nuño-Arana, Ismael; Barquera-Lozano, Rodrigo; Macín-Pérez, Gastón; Granados-Arriola, Julio; Huntsman, Scott; Galanter, Joshua M; Via, Marc; Ford, Jean G; Chapela, Rocío; Rodriguez-Cintron, William; Rodríguez-Santana, Jose R; Romieu, Isabelle; Sienra-Monge, Juan José; del Rio Navarro, Blanca; London, Stephanie J; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés; Garcia-Herrera, Rodrigo; Estrada, Karol; Hidalgo-Miranda, Alfredo; Jimenez-Sanchez, Gerardo; Carnevale, Alessandra; Soberón, Xavier; Canizales-Quinteros, Samuel; Rangel-Villalobos, Héctor; Silva-Zolezzi, Irma; Burchard, Esteban Gonzalez; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2014-06-13

    Mexico harbors great cultural and ethnic diversity, yet fine-scale patterns of human genome-wide variation from this region remain largely uncharacterized. We studied genomic variation within Mexico from over 1000 individuals representing 20 indigenous and 11 mestizo populations. We found striking genetic stratification among indigenous populations within Mexico at varying degrees of geographic isolation. Some groups were as differentiated as Europeans are from East Asians. Pre-Columbian genetic substructure is recapitulated in the indigenous ancestry of admixed mestizo individuals across the country. Furthermore, two independently phenotyped cohorts of Mexicans and Mexican Americans showed a significant association between subcontinental ancestry and lung function. Thus, accounting for fine-scale ancestry patterns is critical for medical and population genetic studies within Mexico, in Mexican-descent populations, and likely in many other populations worldwide.

  13. Affective Education: A Teacher's Manual to Promote Student Self-Actualization and Human Relations Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snyder, Thomas R.

    This teacher's manual presents affective education as a program to promote student self-actualization and human relations skills. Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Erik Erikson's life stages of psychosocial development form the conceptual base for this program. The goals and objectives of this manual are concerned with problem-solving…

  14. Definition and Measurement in the Affective Domain: Appreciation of Human Accomplishments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Paul B.; Beers, Joan S.

    The first three levels of the taxonomy in the affective domain guided the development of two inventories--the Pennsylvania Inventory of Cultural Appreciations (PICA) for 11th graders and Things People Do (TPD) for 5th graders--to measure appreciation of human accomplishments in seven areas: politics, sciences, sports, literature, visual arts,…

  15. Proteome Analysis of Human Sebaceous Follicle Infundibula Extracted from Healthy and Acne-Affected Skin

    PubMed Central

    Bek-Thomsen, Malene; Lomholt, Hans B.; Scavenius, Carsten; Enghild, Jan J.; Brüggemann, Holger

    2014-01-01

    Acne vulgaris is a very common disease of the pilosebaceous unit of the human skin. The pathological processes of acne are not fully understood. To gain further insight sebaceous follicular casts were extracted from 18 healthy and 20 acne-affected individuals by cyanoacrylate-gel biopsies and further processed for mass spectrometry analysis, aiming at a proteomic analysis of the sebaceous follicular casts. Human as well as bacterial proteins were identified. Human proteins enriched in acne and normal samples were detected, respectively. Normal follicular casts are enriched in proteins such as prohibitins and peroxiredoxins which are involved in the protection from various stresses, including reactive oxygen species. By contrast, follicular casts extracted from acne-affected skin contained proteins involved in inflammation, wound healing and tissue remodeling. Among the most distinguishing proteins were myeloperoxidase, lactotransferrin, neutrophil elastase inhibitor and surprisingly, vimentin. The most significant biological process among all acne-enriched proteins was ‘response to a bacterium’. Identified bacterial proteins were exclusively from Propionibacterium acnes. The most abundant P. acnes proteins were surface-exposed dermatan sulphate adhesins, CAMP factors, and a so far uncharacterized lipase in follicular casts extracted from normal as well as acne-affected skin. This is a first proteomic study that identified human proteins together with proteins of the skin microbiota in sebaceous follicular casts. PMID:25238151

  16. Human Infant Faces Provoke Implicit Positive Affective Responses in Parents and Non-Parents Alike

    PubMed Central

    Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; De Falco, Simona; Bornstein, Marc H.; Caria, Andrea; Buffolino, Simona; Venuti, Paola

    2013-01-01

    Human infants' complete dependence on adult caregiving suggests that mechanisms associated with adult responsiveness to infant cues might be deeply embedded in the brain. Behavioural and neuroimaging research has produced converging evidence for adults' positive disposition to infant cues, but these studies have not investigated directly the valence of adults' reactions, how they are moderated by biological and social factors, and if they relate to child caregiving. This study examines implicit affective responses of 90 adults toward faces of human and non-human (cats and dogs) infants and adults. Implicit reactions were assessed with Single Category Implicit Association Tests, and reports of childrearing behaviours were assessed by the Parental Style Questionnaire. The results showed that human infant faces represent highly biologically relevant stimuli that capture attention and are implicitly associated with positive emotions. This reaction holds independent of gender and parenthood status and is associated with ideal parenting behaviors. PMID:24282537

  17. Human infant faces provoke implicit positive affective responses in parents and non-parents alike.

    PubMed

    Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; De Falco, Simona; Bornstein, Marc H; Caria, Andrea; Buffolino, Simona; Venuti, Paola

    2013-01-01

    Human infants' complete dependence on adult caregiving suggests that mechanisms associated with adult responsiveness to infant cues might be deeply embedded in the brain. Behavioural and neuroimaging research has produced converging evidence for adults' positive disposition to infant cues, but these studies have not investigated directly the valence of adults' reactions, how they are moderated by biological and social factors, and if they relate to child caregiving. This study examines implicit affective responses of 90 adults toward faces of human and non-human (cats and dogs) infants and adults. Implicit reactions were assessed with Single Category Implicit Association Tests, and reports of childrearing behaviours were assessed by the Parental Style Questionnaire. The results showed that human infant faces represent highly biologically relevant stimuli that capture attention and are implicitly associated with positive emotions. This reaction holds independent of gender and parenthood status and is associated with ideal parenting behaviors.

  18. Space Research Fortifies Nutrition Worldwide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems program attempted to address basic needs of crews, meet stringent payload and power usage restrictions, and minimize space occupancy, by developing living, regenerative ecosystems that would take care of themselves and their inhabitants. An experiment from this program evolved into one of the most widespread NASA spinoffs of all time-a method for manufacturing an algae-based food supplement that provides the nutrients previously only available in breast milk. Martek Biosciences Corporation, in Columbia, Maryland, now manufactures this supplement, and it can be found in over 90 percent of the infant formulas sold in the United States, as well as those sold in over 65 other countries. With such widespread use, the company estimates that over 24 million babies worldwide have consumed its nutritional additives.

  19. Worldwide Research, Worldwide Participation: Web-Based Test Logger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, David A.

    1998-01-01

    Thanks to the World Wide Web, a new paradigm has been born. ESCORT (steady state data system) facilities can now be configured to use a Web-based test logger, enabling worldwide participation in tests. NASA Lewis Research Center's new Web-based test logger for ESCORT automatically writes selected test and facility parameters to a browser and allows researchers to insert comments. All data can be viewed in real time via Internet connections, so anyone with a Web browser and the correct URL (universal resource locator, or Web address) can interactively participate. As the test proceeds and ESCORT data are taken, Web browsers connected to the logger are updated automatically. The use of this logger has demonstrated several benefits. First, researchers are free from manual data entry and are able to focus more on the tests. Second, research logs can be printed in report format immediately after (or during) a test. And finally, all test information is readily available to an international public.

  20. A humanized version of Foxp2 does not affect ultrasonic vocalization in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, K; Schreiweis, C; Minge, C; Pääbo, S; Fischer, J; Enard, W

    2015-11-01

    The transcription factor FOXP2 has been linked to severe speech and language impairments in humans. An analysis of the evolution of the FOXP2 gene has identified two amino acid substitutions that became fixed after the split of the human and chimpanzee lineages. Studying the functional consequences of these two substitutions in the endogenous Foxp2 gene of mice showed alterations in dopamine levels, striatal synaptic plasticity, neuronal morphology and cortico-striatal-dependent learning. In addition, ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of pups had a significantly lower average pitch than control littermates. To which degree adult USVs would be affected in mice carrying the 'humanized' Foxp2 variant remained unclear. In this study, we analyzed USVs of 68 adult male mice uttered during repeated courtship encounters with different females. Mice carrying the Foxp2(hum/hum) allele did not differ significantly in the number of call elements, their element structure or in their element composition from control littermates. We conclude that neither the structure nor the usage of USVs in adult mice is affected by the two amino acid substitutions that occurred in FOXP2 during human evolution. The reported effect for pup vocalization thus appears to be transient. These results are in line with accumulating evidence that mouse USVs are hardly influenced by vocal learning. Hence, the function and evolution of genes that are necessary, but not sufficient for vocal learning in humans, must be either studied at a different phenotypic level in mice or in other organisms.

  1. Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Stricto ospC Alleles Associated with Human Lyme Borreliosis Worldwide in Non-Human-Biting Tick Ixodes affinis and Rodent Hosts in Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Golovchenko, Maryna; Hönig, Václav; Mallátová, Nadja; Krbková, Lenka; Mikulášek, Peter; Fedorova, Natalia; Belfiore, Natalia M.; Grubhoffer, Libor; Lane, Robert S.; Oliver, James H.

    2013-01-01

    Comparative analysis of ospC genes from 127 Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto strains collected in European and North American regions where Lyme disease is endemic and where it is not endemic revealed a close relatedness of geographically distinct populations. ospC alleles A, B, and L were detected on both continents in vectors and hosts, including humans. Six ospC alleles, A, B, L, Q, R, and V, were prevalent in Europe; 4 of them were detected in samples of human origin. Ten ospC alleles, A, B, D, E3, F, G, H, H3, I3, and M, were identified in the far-western United States. Four ospC alleles, B, G, H, and L, were abundant in the southeastern United States. Here we present the first expanded analysis of ospC alleles of B. burgdorferi strains from the southeastern United States with respect to their relatedness to strains from other North American and European localities. We demonstrate that ospC genotypes commonly associated with human Lyme disease in European and North American regions where the disease is endemic were detected in B. burgdorferi strains isolated from the non-human-biting tick Ixodes affinis and rodent hosts in the southeastern United States. We discovered that some ospC alleles previously known only from Europe are widely distributed in the southeastern United States, a finding that confirms the hypothesis of transoceanic migration of Borrelia species. PMID:23263953

  2. Effects of Virtual Human Appearance Fidelity on Emotion Contagion in Affective Inter-Personal Simulations.

    PubMed

    Volante, Matias; Babu, Sabarish V; Chaturvedi, Himanshu; Newsome, Nathan; Ebrahimi, Elham; Roy, Tania; Daily, Shaundra B; Fasolino, Tracy

    2016-04-01

    Realistic versus stylized depictions of virtual humans in simulated inter-personal situations and their ability to elicit emotional responses in users has been an open question for artists and researchers alike. We empirically evaluated the effects of near visually realistic vs. non-realistic stylized appearance of virtual humans on the emotional response of participants in a medical virtual reality system that was designed to educate users in recognizing the signs and symptoms of patient deterioration. In a between-subjects experiment protocol, participants interacted with one of three different appearances of a virtual patient, namely visually realistic, cartoon-shaded and charcoal-sketch like conditions in a mixed reality simulation. Emotional impact were measured via a combination of quantitative objective measures were gathered using skin Electrodermal Activity (EDA) sensors, and quantitative subjective measures such as the Differential Emotion Survey (DES IV), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and Social Presence questionnaire. The emotional states of the participants were analyzed across four distinct time steps during which the medical condition of the virtual patient deteriorated (an emotionally stressful interaction), and were contrasted to a baseline affective state. Objective EDA results showed that in all three conditions, male participants exhibited greater levels of arousal as compared to female participants. We found that negative affect levels were significantly lower in the visually realistic condition, as compared to the stylized appearance conditions. Furthermore, in emotional dimensions of interest-excitement, surprise, anger, fear and guilt participants in all conditions responded similarly. However, in social emotional constructs of shyness, presence, perceived personality, and enjoyment-joy, we found that participants responded differently in the visually realistic condition as compared to the cartoon and sketch conditions. Our

  3. Tuberculosis and HIV infection worldwide.

    PubMed

    Murray, J F

    1995-12-01

    The incidence of HIV-associated tuberculosis is increasing worldwide and will continue to increase during the foreseeable future, especially in developing countries. HIV infection appears to increase the opportunity for M. tuberculosis to succeed in causing infection after inhalation into the lungs. Moreover, there is persuasive evidence that in the presence of HIV infection, new-onset tuberculous infection will progress rapidly to clinically significant disease and the likelihood that latent tuberculous infection will reactivate is enormously increased. The accelerating and amplifying influence of HIV infection is contributing to the increasing incidence of disease caused by multidrug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis. Neither clinical or radiographic features reliably distinguish the majority of patients with HIV-associated tuberculosis from those who are non-HIV-infected. The remainder, however, may have atypical manifestations and be difficult to diagnose. Six months of chemotherapy with conventional antituberculosis drugs cures most patients, but many die during or after treatment of other AIDS-related complications.

  4. Worldwide Spacecraft Crew Hatch History

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Gary

    2009-01-01

    The JSC Flight Safety Office has developed this compilation of historical information on spacecraft crew hatches to assist the Safety Tech Authority in the evaluation and analysis of worldwide spacecraft crew hatch design and performance. The document is prepared by SAIC s Gary Johnson, former NASA JSC S&MA Associate Director for Technical. Mr. Johnson s previous experience brings expert knowledge to assess the relevancy of data presented. He has experience with six (6) of the NASA spacecraft programs that are covered in this document: Apollo; Skylab; Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), Space Shuttle, ISS and the Shuttle/Mir Program. Mr. Johnson is also intimately familiar with the JSC Design and Procedures Standard, JPR 8080.5, having been one of its original developers. The observations and findings are presented first by country and organized within each country section by program in chronological order of emergence. A host of reference sources used to augment the personal observations and comments of the author are named within the text and/or listed in the reference section of this document. Careful attention to the selection and inclusion of photos, drawings and diagrams is used to give visual association and clarity to the topic areas examined.

  5. Euthanasia and related practices worldwide.

    PubMed

    Kelleher, M J; Chambers, D; Corcoran, P; Keeley, H S; Williamson, E

    1998-01-01

    The present paper examines the occurrence of matters relating to the ending of life, including active euthanasia, which is, technically speaking, illegal worldwide. Interest in this most controversial area is drawn from many varied sources, from legal and medical practitioners to religious and moral ethicists. In some countries, public interest has been mobilized into organizations that attempt to influence legislation relating to euthanasia. Despite the obvious international importance of euthanasia, very little is known about the extent of its practice, whether passive or active, voluntary or involuntary. This examination is based on questionnaires completed by 49 national representatives of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), dealing with legal and religious aspects of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, as well as suicide. A dichotomy between the law and medical practices relating to the end of life was uncovered by the results of the survey. In 12 of the 49 countries active euthanasia is said to occur while a general acceptance of passive euthanasia was reported to be widespread. Clearly, definition is crucial in making the distinction between active and passive euthanasia; otherwise, the entire concept may become distorted, and legal acceptance may become more widespread with the effect of broadening the category of individuals to whom euthanasia becomes an available option. The "slippery slope" argument is briefly considered. PMID:9884456

  6. The worldwide ionospheric data base

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bilitza, Dieter

    1989-01-01

    The worldwide ionospheric data base is scattered over the entire globe. Different data sets are held at different institutions in the U.S., U.S.S.R., Australia, Europe, and Asia. The World Data Centers on the different continents archive and distribute part of the huge data base; the scope and cross section of the individual data holdings depend on the regional and special interest of the center. An attempt is made to pull together all the strings that point toward different ionospheric data holdings. Requesters are provided with the information about what is available and where to get it. An attempt is also made to evaluate the reliability and compatibility of the different data sets based on the consensus in the ionospheric research community. The status and accuracy of the standard ionospheric models are also discussed because they may facilitate first order assessment of ionospheric effects. This is a first step toward an ionospheric data directory within the framework of NSSDC's master directory.

  7. Status of worldwide Landsat archive

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Warriner, Howard W.

    1987-01-01

    In cooperation with the International Landsat community, and through the Landsat Technical Working Group (LTWG), NOAA is assembling information about the status of the Worldwide Landsat Archive. During LTWG 9, member nations agreed to participate in a survey of International Landsat data holding and of their archive experiences with Landsat data. The goal of the effort was two-fold; one, to document the Landsat archive to date, and, two, to ensure that specific nations' experience with long-term Landsat archival problems were available to others. The survey requested details such as amount of data held, the format of the archive holdings by Spacecraft/Sensor, and acquisition years; the estimated costs to accumulated process, and replace the data (if necessary); the storage space required, and any member nation's plans that would establish the insurance of continuing quality. As a group, the LTWG nations are concerned about the characteristics and reliability of long-term magnetic media storage. Each nation's experience with older data retrieval is solicited in the survey. This information will allow nations to anticipate and plan for required changes to their archival holdings. Also solicited were reports of any upgrades to a nation's archival system that are currently planned and all results of attempts to reduce archive holdings including methodology, current status, and the planned access rates and product support that are anticipated for responding to future archival usage.

  8. Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear

    PubMed Central

    Kugler, Kathrin; Wiegrebe, Lutz; Grothe, Benedikt; Kössl, Manfred; Gürkov, Robert; Krause, Eike; Drexl, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common auditory pathologies, resulting from overstimulation of the human cochlea, an exquisitely sensitive micromechanical device. At very low frequencies (less than 250 Hz), however, the sensitivity of human hearing, and therefore the perceived loudness is poor. The perceived loudness is mediated by the inner hair cells of the cochlea which are driven very inadequately at low frequencies. To assess the impact of low-frequency (LF) sound, we exploited a by-product of the active amplification of sound outer hair cells (OHCs) perform, so-called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. These are faint sounds produced by the inner ear that can be used to detect changes of cochlear physiology. We show that a short exposure to perceptually unobtrusive, LF sounds significantly affects OHCs: a 90 s, 80 dB(A) LF sound induced slow, concordant and positively correlated frequency and level oscillations of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions that lasted for about 2 min after LF sound offset. LF sounds, contrary to their unobtrusive perception, strongly stimulate the human cochlea and affect amplification processes in the most sensitive and important frequency range of human hearing. PMID:26064536

  9. Cell therapy worldwide: an incipient revolution.

    PubMed

    Rao, Mahendra; Mason, Chris; Solomon, Susan

    2015-01-01

    The regenerative medicine field is large, diverse and active worldwide. A variety of different organizational and product models have been successful, and pioneering entrepreneurs have shown both what can work and, critically, what does not. Evolving regulations, novel funding mechanisms combined with new technological breakthroughs are keeping the field in a state of flux. The field struggles to cope with the lack of infrastructure and investment, it nevertheless has evolved from its roots in human stem cell therapy and tissue and organ transplants to a field composed of a variety of products from multiple cell sources with approval for use in numerous countries. Currently, tens of thousands of patients have been treated with some kind of cell therapy. PMID:25835482

  10. Water content and apparent stiffness of non-caries versus caries-affected human dentin.

    PubMed

    Ito, Shuichi; Saito, Takashi; Tay, Franklin R; Carvalho, Ricardo M; Yoshiyama, Masahiro; Pashley, David H

    2005-01-15

    Caries-affected dentin contains less mineral and more water than surrounding normal dentin. Such dentin should be less stiff and should shrink more than normal dentin when dried. The purpose of this study was to test the relationships between the stiffness, shrinkage, and water content of caries-affected versus normal dentin. Extracted human carious third molars were stained with caries-detector dye and the occlusal surfaces ground down until only caries-affected dentin remained, surrounded by normal dentin. Dentin disks were prepared from these crowns placed in a aluminum well positioned under a modified thermal mechanical analyzer. Changes in specimen height and stiffness were measured following drying or static loading in both caries-affected and surrounding normal dentin. Core samples of these two types of dentin were used to gravimetrically measure water content. Two-way ANOVA and regression analysis was used to test the relationship between shrinkage versus water content, stiffness versus water content, and stiffness versus shrinkage. Caries-affected dentin was found to be less stiff and contained more water than normal dentin (p < 0.05). Regression analysis revealed highly significant inverse relationships between stiffness and water content, and stiffness and shrinkage (p < 0.0005).

  11. Worldwide Status of EUV Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Michael P.; Wood, K. S.; Barstow, M. A.

    2013-01-01

    The bulk of radiation from million-degree plasmas is emitted at EUV wavelengths, which include critical spectral features containing diagnostic information often not available at other wavelengths (e.g., He II Ly series 228-304 Å). Thus, EUV astrophysics (Barstow & Holberg 2003) presents opportunities for intriguing results obtainable with sensitive high-resolution spectroscopy and particularly applicable to hot plasmas in stellar coronae, white dwarfs and the interstellar medium. The US-built J-PEX spectrometer has flown twice on sounding rockets, observing and publishing results on two white dwarf targets (Cruddace et al. 2002, Barstow et al. 2005, Kowalski et al. 2011). Using multilayer-grating technology, J-PEX delivers both high effective area and the world's highest resolution in EUV, greater than Chandra at adjacent energies, but in a waveband Chandra cannot reach. However, the US program has been stalled by inability to obtain further NASA sounding rocket flights. A high level of technology readiness, plus important questions answerable solely with that technology, does not seem sufficient to win support. Nor is the substantial amount of resources invested into technology development over two decades, supported by NASA, DoD, and European partners. Proposals to turn the instrument or its technology into small satellite-based surveys have been made (results to be described) in the US and Europe, but the overall situation is precarious. The entire EUV astrophysics field is losing out on an opportunity, and is at risk of fading away, with forced discard of established assets. Only mobilization of the international EUV community -- unifying European, US, and perhaps others -- can reverse this situation. Our poster summarizes science quests within reach of proven technology, gives a current snapshot of that technology, and provides a summary of worldwide efforts to obtain necessary space access in NASA, ESA, and elsewhere. A process for building and maintaining

  12. 4-Quinolone drugs affect cell cycle progression and function of human lymphocytes in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Forsgren, A; Schlossman, S F; Tedder, T F

    1987-01-01

    Most antibacterial agents do not affect human lymphocyte function, but a few are inhibitory. In contrast, a pronounced increase in the incorporation of [3H]thymidine in the presence of 4-quinolones was observed in these studies. The uptake of [3H]thymidine into DNA (trichloroacetic acid precipitable) was significantly increased in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated human lymphocytes when they were exposed to eight new 4-quinolone derivatives, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, A-56619, A-56620, amifloxacin, enoxacin, and pefloxacin, at 1.6 to 6.25 micrograms/ml for 5 days. Four less antibacterially active 4-quinolones (nalidixic acid, cinoxacin, flumequine, and pipemidic acid) stimulated [3H]thymidine incorporation only at higher concentrations or not at all. Kinetic studies showed that incorporation of [3H]thymidine was not affected or slightly inhibited by ciprofloxacin 2 days after phytohemagglutinin stimulation but was increased on days 3 to 6. The total incorporation of [3H]thymidine from day 1 to day 6 after phytohemagglutinin stimulation was increased by 42 to 45% at 5 to 20 micrograms of ciprofloxacin per ml. Increased [3H]thymidine incorporation was also seen when human lymphocytes were stimulated with mitogens other than phytohemagglutinin. Ciprofloxacin added at the start of the culture had a more pronounced effect on [3H]thymidine incorporation than when added later. In spite of the apparent increase in DNA synthesis, lymphocyte growth was inhibited by 20 micrograms of ciprofloxacin per ml, and cell cycle analysis showed that ciprofloxacin inhibited progression through the cell cycle. In addition, immunoglobulin secretion by human lymphocytes stimulated by pokeweed mitogen for Epstein-Barr virus was inhibited by approximately 50% at 5 micrograms of ciprofloxacin per ml. These results suggest that the 4-quinolone drugs may also affect eucaryotic cell function in vitro, but additional studies are needed to establish an in vivo relevance. PMID:3606076

  13. The voice of emotion across species: how do human listeners recognize animals' affective states?

    PubMed

    Scheumann, Marina; Hasting, Anna S; Kotz, Sonja A; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition is the ability to understand the emotional state of another species based on its voice. In the past, induced affective states, experience-dependent higher cognitive processes or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms have been discussed to underlie this ability in humans. The present study sets out to distinguish the influence of familiarity and phylogeny on voice-induced cross-taxa emotional perception in humans. For the first time, two perspectives are taken into account: the self- (i.e. emotional valence induced in the listener) versus the others-perspective (i.e. correct recognition of the emotional valence of the recording context). Twenty-eight male participants listened to 192 vocalizations of four different species (human infant, dog, chimpanzee and tree shrew). Stimuli were recorded either in an agonistic (negative emotional valence) or affiliative (positive emotional valence) context. Participants rated the emotional valence of the stimuli adopting self- and others-perspective by using a 5-point version of the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM). Familiarity was assessed based on subjective rating, objective labelling of the respective stimuli and interaction time with the respective species. Participants reliably recognized the emotional valence of human voices, whereas the results for animal voices were mixed. The correct classification of animal voices depended on the listener's familiarity with the species and the call type/recording context, whereas there was less influence of induced emotional states and phylogeny. Our results provide first evidence that explicit voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition in humans is shaped more by experience-dependent cognitive mechanisms than by induced affective states or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms.

  14. The Voice of Emotion across Species: How Do Human Listeners Recognize Animals' Affective States?

    PubMed Central

    Scheumann, Marina; Hasting, Anna S.; Kotz, Sonja A.; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition is the ability to understand the emotional state of another species based on its voice. In the past, induced affective states, experience-dependent higher cognitive processes or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms have been discussed to underlie this ability in humans. The present study sets out to distinguish the influence of familiarity and phylogeny on voice-induced cross-taxa emotional perception in humans. For the first time, two perspectives are taken into account: the self- (i.e. emotional valence induced in the listener) versus the others-perspective (i.e. correct recognition of the emotional valence of the recording context). Twenty-eight male participants listened to 192 vocalizations of four different species (human infant, dog, chimpanzee and tree shrew). Stimuli were recorded either in an agonistic (negative emotional valence) or affiliative (positive emotional valence) context. Participants rated the emotional valence of the stimuli adopting self- and others-perspective by using a 5-point version of the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM). Familiarity was assessed based on subjective rating, objective labelling of the respective stimuli and interaction time with the respective species. Participants reliably recognized the emotional valence of human voices, whereas the results for animal voices were mixed. The correct classification of animal voices depended on the listener's familiarity with the species and the call type/recording context, whereas there was less influence of induced emotional states and phylogeny. Our results provide first evidence that explicit voice-induced cross-taxa emotional recognition in humans is shaped more by experience-dependent cognitive mechanisms than by induced affective states or cross-taxa universal acoustic coding and processing mechanisms. PMID:24621604

  15. Triclosan and bisphenol a affect decidualization of human endometrial stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Forte, Maurizio; Mita, Luigi; Cobellis, Luigi; Merafina, Verdiana; Specchio, Raffaella; Rossi, Sergio; Mita, Damiano Gustavo; Mosca, Lavinia; Castaldi, Maria Antonietta; De Falco, Maria; Laforgia, Vincenza; Crispi, Stefania

    2016-02-15

    In recent years, impaired fertility and endometrium related diseases are increased. Many evidences suggest that environmental pollution might be considered a risk factor for endometrial physiopathology. Among environmental pollutants, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) act on endocrine system, causing hormonal imbalance which, in turn, leads to female and male reproductive dysfunctions. In this work, we studied the effects of triclosan (TCL) and bisphenol A (BPA), two widespread EDCs, on human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), derived from endometrial biopsies from woman not affected by endometriosis. Cell proliferation, cell cycle, migration and decidualization mechanisms were investigated. Treatments have been performed with both the EDCs separately or in presence and in absence of progesterone used as decidualization stimulus. Both TCL and BPA did not affect cell proliferation, but they arrested ESCs at G2/M phase of cell cycle enhancing cell migration. TCL and BPA also increased gene expression and protein levels of some decidualization markers, such as insulin growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP1) and prolactin (PRL), amplifying the effect of progesterone alone. All together, our data strongly suggest that TCL and BPA might alter human endometrium physiology so affecting fertility and pregnancy outcome. PMID:26604029

  16. Do different degrees of human activity affect the diet of Brazilian silverside Atherinella brasiliensis?

    PubMed

    Alves, V E N; Patrício, J; Dolbeth, M; Pessanha, A; Palma, A R T; Dantas, E W; Vendel, A L

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the present study was to test whether different degrees of human activity affect the diet of the Brazilian silverside Atherinella brasiliensis in two tropical estuaries. Fish were collected along the salinity gradient of two Brazilian estuaries, the heavily impacted Paraiba Estuary and the less impacted Mamanguape Estuary, in the dry and wet seasons. The findings confirm that A. brasiliensis has generalist feeding habits and is able to change its diet under different environmental conditions. The results indicate clear spatial (i.e. along the estuarine gradient) changes in diet composition in both estuaries, but diet was also influenced by the degree of anthropogenic disturbance. During the wet season in the nutrient enriched Paraiba Estuary, when human activity was higher, the diet of A. brasiliensis was poorer and dominated by few dietary items, reflecting the potential impoverishment of prey items in this heavily disturbed system. The specimens collected in the most affected estuary also had a greater frequency of micro-plastics and parasites in their stomachs, reflecting the greater degree of human disturbance in the estuary. The present findings suggest that the diet of A. brasiliensis could be a useful indicator of changes in the ecological quality of these and other tropical estuaries of the western Atlantic Ocean. PMID:27328827

  17. Nonsense mutations in the human. beta. -globin gene affect mRNA metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Baserga, S.J.; Benz, E.J. Jr. )

    1988-04-01

    A number of premature translation termination mutations (nonsense mutations) have been described in the human {alpha}- and {beta}-globin genes. Studies on mRNA isolated from patients with {beta}{sup 0}-thalassemia have shown that for both the {beta}-17 and the {beta}-39 mutations less than normal levels of {beta}-globin mRNA accumulate in peripheral blood cells. (The codon at which the mutation occurs designates the name of the mutation; there are 146 codons in human {beta}-globin mRNA). In vitro studies using the cloned {beta}-39 gene have reproduced this effect in a heterologous transfection system and have suggested that the defect resides in intranuclear metabolism. The authors have asked if this phenomenon of decreased mRNA accumulation is a general property of nonsense mutations and if the effect depends on the location or the type of mutation. Toward this end, they have studied the effect of five nonsense mutations and two missense mutations on the expression of human {beta}-globin mRNA in a heterologous transfection system. In all cases studied, the presence of a translation termination codon correlates with a decrease in the steady-state level of mRNA. The data suggest that the metabolism of a mammalian mRNA is affected by the presence of a mutation that affects translation.

  18. Inference of human affective states from psychophysiological measurements extracted under ecologically valid conditions

    PubMed Central

    Betella, Alberto; Zucca, Riccardo; Cetnarski, Ryszard; Greco, Alberto; Lanatà, Antonio; Mazzei, Daniele; Tognetti, Alessandro; Arsiwalla, Xerxes D.; Omedas, Pedro; De Rossi, Danilo; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Compared to standard laboratory protocols, the measurement of psychophysiological signals in real world experiments poses technical and methodological challenges due to external factors that cannot be directly controlled. To address this problem, we propose a hybrid approach based on an immersive and human accessible space called the eXperience Induction Machine (XIM), that incorporates the advantages of a laboratory within a life-like setting. The XIM integrates unobtrusive wearable sensors for the acquisition of psychophysiological signals suitable for ambulatory emotion research. In this paper, we present results from two different studies conducted to validate the XIM as a general-purpose sensing infrastructure for the study of human affective states under ecologically valid conditions. In the first investigation, we recorded and classified signals from subjects exposed to pictorial stimuli corresponding to a range of arousal levels, while they were free to walk and gesticulate. In the second study, we designed an experiment that follows the classical conditioning paradigm, a well-known procedure in the behavioral sciences, with the additional feature that participants were free to move in the physical space, as opposed to similar studies measuring physiological signals in constrained laboratory settings. Our results indicate that, by using our sensing infrastructure, it is indeed possible to infer human event-elicited affective states through measurements of psychophysiological signals under ecological conditions. PMID:25309310

  19. Health in the hot zone - How could global warming affect humans?

    SciTech Connect

    Monastersky, R.

    1996-04-06

    A soon-to-be-released report from the World Health Organization examines the health effects of global warming, calling climate change one of the largest public health challenges for the upcoming century. The issue extends beyond tropical illness: deaths caused directly by heat, dwindling agricultural yields etc. could all affect human health. This article looks at the following health related effects and gives an overview of the scientific information available on each: temperature and mortality; tropical trouble, including vecorborne diseases and increase in susceptable populations; and waterborne problems such as cholera, harmful algal bloomes, food shortages.

  20. Does correlated color temperature affect the ability of humans to identify veins?

    PubMed

    Argyraki, Aikaterini; Clemmensen, Line Katrine Harder; Petersen, Paul Michael

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we provide empirical evidence and demonstrate statistically that white illumination settings can affect the human ability to identify veins in the inner hand vasculature. A special light-emitting diode lamp with high color rendering index (CRI 84-95) was developed and the effect of correlated color temperature was evaluated, in the range between 2600 and 5700 K at an illuminance of 40±9  lx on the ability of adult humans to identify veins. It is shown that the ability to identify veins can, on average, be increased up to 24% when white illumination settings that do not resemble incandescent light are applied. The illuminance reported together with the effect of white illumination settings on direct visual perception of biosamples are relevant for clinical investigations during the night. PMID:26831595

  1. Do human activities affect the picoplankton structure of the Ahe atoll lagoon (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia)?

    PubMed

    Bouvy, Marc; Dupuy, Christine; Pagano, Marc; Barani, Aude; Charpy, Loic

    2012-01-01

    The spatial variations of the picoplankton (photoautotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms) in the Ahe atoll lagoon were studied in May and October 2008 to assess whether they were affected by human activities along the atoll. Spatial patterns were studied using 10 sampling stations chosen according to the location of the anthropogenic activities (pearl farming, harbor). Experiments were also carried out to determine whether bacterial growth, with or without predators, was limited by inorganic (N and P) substrates. The results showed that heterotrophic bacterioplankton abundance was superior to the photoautotrophic organisms, especially in May. Significant increases in bacterial abundance were observed in May after 24 h incubation with +P and +N (but not in October). All samples complied with the quality levels for fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) defined by the European Union and there was no evidence that human sewage had any impact on picoplankton over the whole atoll. PMID:22306310

  2. Do human activities affect the picoplankton structure of the Ahe atoll lagoon (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia)?

    PubMed

    Bouvy, Marc; Dupuy, Christine; Pagano, Marc; Barani, Aude; Charpy, Loic

    2012-01-01

    The spatial variations of the picoplankton (photoautotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms) in the Ahe atoll lagoon were studied in May and October 2008 to assess whether they were affected by human activities along the atoll. Spatial patterns were studied using 10 sampling stations chosen according to the location of the anthropogenic activities (pearl farming, harbor). Experiments were also carried out to determine whether bacterial growth, with or without predators, was limited by inorganic (N and P) substrates. The results showed that heterotrophic bacterioplankton abundance was superior to the photoautotrophic organisms, especially in May. Significant increases in bacterial abundance were observed in May after 24 h incubation with +P and +N (but not in October). All samples complied with the quality levels for fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) defined by the European Union and there was no evidence that human sewage had any impact on picoplankton over the whole atoll.

  3. Dominant factors affecting temperature rise in simulations of human thermoregulation during RF exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laakso, Ilkka; Hirata, Akimasa

    2011-12-01

    Numerical models of the human thermoregulatory system can be used together with realistic voxel models of the human anatomy to simulate the body temperature increases caused by the power absorption from radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. In this paper, the Pennes bioheat equation with a thermoregulatory model is used for calculating local peak temperatures as well as the body-core-temperature elevation in a realistic human body model for grounded plane-wave exposures at frequencies 39, 800 and 2400 MHz. The electromagnetic power loss is solved by the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, and the discretized bioheat equation is solved by the geometric multigrid method. Human thermoregulatory models contain numerous thermophysiological and computational parameters—some of which may be subject to considerable uncertainty—that affect the simulated core and local temperature elevations. The goal of this paper is to find how greatly the computed temperature is influenced by changes in various modelling parameters, such as the skin blood flow rate, models for vasodilation and sweating, and clothing and air movement. The results show that the peak temperature rises are most strongly affected by the modelling of tissue blood flow and its temperature dependence, and mostly unaffected by the central control mechanism for vasodilation and sweating. Almost the opposite is true for the body-core-temperature rise, which is however typically greatly lower than the peak temperature rise. It also seems that ignoring the thermoregulation and the blood temperature increase is a good approximation when the local 10 g averaged specific absorption rate is smaller than 10 W kg-1.

  4. Season of Conception in Rural Gambia Affects DNA Methylation at Putative Human Metastable Epialleles

    PubMed Central

    Waterland, Robert A.; Kellermayer, Richard; Laritsky, Eleonora; Rayco-Solon, Pura; Harris, R. Alan; Travisano, Michael; Zhang, Wenjuan; Torskaya, Maria S.; Zhang, Jiexin; Shen, Lanlan; Manary, Mark J.; Prentice, Andrew M.

    2010-01-01

    Throughout most of the mammalian genome, genetically regulated developmental programming establishes diverse yet predictable epigenetic states across differentiated cells and tissues. At metastable epialleles (MEs), conversely, epigenotype is established stochastically in the early embryo then maintained in differentiated lineages, resulting in dramatic and systemic interindividual variation in epigenetic regulation. In the mouse, maternal nutrition affects this process, with permanent phenotypic consequences for the offspring. MEs have not previously been identified in humans. Here, using an innovative 2-tissue parallel epigenomic screen, we identified putative MEs in the human genome. In autopsy samples, we showed that DNA methylation at these loci is highly correlated across tissues representing all 3 embryonic germ layer lineages. Monozygotic twin pairs exhibited substantial discordance in DNA methylation at these loci, suggesting that their epigenetic state is established stochastically. We then tested for persistent epigenetic effects of periconceptional nutrition in rural Gambians, who experience dramatic seasonal fluctuations in nutritional status. DNA methylation at MEs was elevated in individuals conceived during the nutritionally challenged rainy season, providing the first evidence of a permanent, systemic effect of periconceptional environment on human epigenotype. At MEs, epigenetic regulation in internal organs and tissues varies among individuals and can be deduced from peripheral blood DNA. MEs should therefore facilitate an improved understanding of the role of interindividual epigenetic variation in human disease. PMID:21203497

  5. Factors affecting circulating levels of peptide YY in humans: a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Jamie A

    2014-06-01

    As obesity continues to be a global epidemic, research into the mechanisms of hunger and satiety and how those signals act to regulate energy homeostasis persists. Peptide YY (PYY) is an acute satiety signal released upon nutrient ingestion and has been shown to decrease food intake when administered exogenously. More recently, investigators have studied how different factors influence PYY release and circulating levels in humans. Some of these factors include exercise, macronutrient composition of the diet, body-weight status, adiposity levels, sex, race and ageing. The present article provides a succinct and comprehensive review of the recent literature published on the different factors that influence PYY release and circulating levels in humans. Where human data are insufficient, evidence in animal or cell models is summarised. Additionally, the present review explores the recent findings on PYY responses to different dietary fatty acids and how this new line of research will make an impact on future studies on PYY. Human demographics, such as sex and age, do not appear to influence PYY levels. Conversely, adiposity or BMI, race and acute exercise all influence circulating PYY levels. Both dietary fat and protein strongly stimulate PYY release. Furthermore, MUFA appear to result in a smaller PYY response compared with SFA and PUFA. PYY levels appear to be affected by acute exercise, macronutrient composition, adiposity, race and the composition of fatty acids from dietary fat.

  6. Worldwide Spread of Dengue Virus Type 1

    PubMed Central

    Villabona-Arenas, Christian Julián; Zanotto, Paolo Marinho de Andrade

    2013-01-01

    Background DENV-1 is one of the four viral serotypes that causes Dengue, the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans. The prevalence of these viruses has grown in recent decades and is now present in more than 100 countries. Limited studies document the spread of DENV-1 over the world despite its importance for human health. Methodology/Principal Findings We used representative DENV-1 envelope gene sequences to unravel the dynamics of viral diffusion under a Bayesian phylogeographic approach. Data included strains from 45 distinct geographic locations isolated from 1944 to 2009. The estimated mean rate of nucleotide substitution was 6.56×10−4 substitutions/site/year. The larger genotypes (I, IV and V) had a distinctive phylogenetic structure and since 1990 they experienced effective population size oscillations. Thailand and Indonesia represented the main sources of strains for neighboring countries. Besides, Asia broadcast lineages into the Americas and the Pacific region that diverged in isolation. Also, a transmission network analysis revealed the pivotal role of Indochina in the global diffusion of DENV-1 and of the Caribbean in the diffusion over the Americas. Conclusions/Significance The study summarizes the spatiotemporal DENV-1 worldwide spread that may help disease control. PMID:23675416

  7. Factors affecting platinum concentrations in human surgical tumour specimens after cisplatin.

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, D. J.; Molepo, J. M.; Green, R. M.; Montpetit, V. A.; Hugenholtz, H.; Lamothe, A.; Mikhael, N. Z.; Redmond, M. D.; Gadia, M.; Goel, R.

    1995-01-01

    We assessed factors which affect cisplatin concentrations in human surgical tumour specimens. Cisplatin 10 mg m-2 was given i.v. to 45 consenting patients undergoing surgical resection of neoplasms, and platinum was assayed in resected tumour and in deproteinated plasma by flameless atomic absorption spectrophotometry. By multiple stepwise regression analysis of normalised data, patient characteristics that emerged as being most closely associated (P < 0.05) with tumour platinum concentrations (after correcting for associations with other variables) were tumour 'source' [primary brain lymphomas, medulloblastomas and meningiomas ('type LMM') > 'others' > lung cancer > head/neck cancer > gliomas) or tumour 'type' (LMM > brain metastases > extracerebral tumours > gliomas), serum calcium and chloride (positive correlations) and bilirubin (negative). Tumour location (intracranial vs extracranial) did not correlate with platinum concentrations. If values for a single outlier were omitted, high-grade gliomas had significantly higher platinum concentrations (P < 0.003) than low-grade gliomas. For intracranial tumours, the computerised tomographic scan feature that correlated most closely with platinum concentrations in multivariate analysis was the darkness of peritumoral oedema. Tumour source or type is a much more important correlate of human tumour cisplatin concentrations than is intracranial vs extracranial location. Serum calcium, chloride and bilirubin levels may affect tumour cisplatin uptake or retention. CT scan characteristics may help predict cisplatin concentrations in intracranial tumours. PMID:7880744

  8. Transmission distortion affecting human noncrossover but not crossover recombination: a hidden source of meiotic drive.

    PubMed

    Odenthal-Hesse, Linda; Berg, Ingrid L; Veselis, Amelia; Jeffreys, Alec J; May, Celia A

    2014-02-01

    Meiotic recombination ensures the correct segregation of homologous chromosomes during gamete formation and contributes to DNA diversity through both large-scale reciprocal crossovers and very localised gene conversion events, also known as noncrossovers. Considerable progress has been made in understanding factors such as PRDM9 and SNP variants that influence the initiation of recombination at human hotspots but very little is known about factors acting downstream. To address this, we simultaneously analysed both types of recombinant molecule in sperm DNA at six highly active hotspots, and looked for disparity in the transmission of allelic variants indicative of any cis-acting influences. At two of the hotspots we identified a novel form of biased transmission that was exclusive to the noncrossover class of recombinant, and which presumably arises through differences between crossovers and noncrossovers in heteroduplex formation and biased mismatch repair. This form of biased gene conversion is not predicted to influence hotspot activity as previously noted for SNPs that affect recombination initiation, but does constitute a powerful and previously undetected source of recombination-driven meiotic drive that by extrapolation may affect thousands of recombination hotspots throughout the human genome. Intriguingly, at both of the hotspots described here, this drive favours strong (G/C) over weak (A/T) base pairs as might be predicted from the well-established correlations between high GC content and recombination activity in mammalian genomes. PMID:24516398

  9. Differential Muscle Involvement in Mice and Humans Affected by McArdle Disease.

    PubMed

    Krag, Thomas O; Pinós, Tomàs; Nielsen, Tue L; Brull, Astrid; Andreu, Antoni L; Vissing, John

    2016-05-01

    McArdle disease (muscle glycogenosis type V) is caused by myophosphorylase deficiency, which leads to impaired glycogen breakdown. We investigated how myophosphorylase deficiency affects muscle physiology, morphology, and glucose metabolism in 20-week-old McArdle mice and compared the findings to those in McArdle disease patients. Muscle contractions in the McArdle mice were affected by structural degeneration due to glycogen accumulation, and glycolytic muscles fatigued prematurely, as occurs in the muscles of McArdle disease patients. Homozygous McArdle mice showed muscle fiber disarray, variations in fiber size, vacuoles, and some internal nuclei associated with cytosolic glycogen accumulation and ongoing regeneration; structural damage was seen only in a minority of human patients. Neither liver nor brain isoforms of glycogen phosphorylase were upregulated in muscles, thus providing no substitution for the missing muscle isoform. In the mice, the tibialis anterior (TA) muscles were invariably more damaged than the quadriceps muscles. This may relate to a 7-fold higher level of myophosphorylase in TA compared to quadriceps in wild-type mice and suggests higher glucose turnover in the TA. Thus, despite differences, the mouse model of McArdle disease shares fundamental physiological and clinical features with the human disease and could be used for studies of pathogenesis and development of therapies. PMID:27030740

  10. Human erythrocytes and neuroblastoma cells are in vitro affected by sodium orthovanadate.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Fierro, P; Villena, F; Aguilar, L F; Sotomayor, C P; Jemiola-Rzeminska, M; Strzalka, K; Gul-Hinc, S; Ronowska, A; Szutowicz, A

    2012-09-01

    Research on biological influence of vanadium has gained major importance because it exerts potent toxic, mutagenic, and genotoxic effects on a wide variety of biological systems. However, hematological toxicity is one of the less studied effects. The lack of information on this issue prompted us to study the structural effects induced on the human erythrocyte membrane by vanadium (V). Sodium orthovanadate was incubated with intact erythrocytes, isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) and molecular models of the erythrocyte membrane. The latter consisted of bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), phospholipid classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, respectively. This report presents evidence in order that orthovanadate interacted with red cell membranes as follows: a) in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies it was observed that morphological changes on human erythrocytes were induced; b) fluorescence spectroscopy experiments in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) showed that an increase in the molecular dynamics and/or water content at the shallow depth of the lipids glycerol backbone at concentrations as low as 50μM was produced; c) X-ray diffraction studies showed that orthovanadate 0.25-1mM range induced increasing structural perturbation to DMPE; d) somewhat similar effects were observed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) with the exception of the fact that DMPC pretransition was shown to be affected; and e) fluorescence spectroscopy experiments performed in DMPC large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) showed that at very low concentrations induced changes in DPH fluorescence anisotropy at 18°C. Additional experiments were performed in mice cholinergic neuroblastoma SN56 cells; a statistically significant decrease of cell viability was observed on orthovanadate in low or moderate concentrations. PMID:22546530

  11. Transcriptomics and proteomics show that selenium affects inflammation, cytoskeleton, and cancer pathways in human rectal biopsies.

    PubMed

    Méplan, Catherine; Johnson, Ian T; Polley, Abigael C J; Cockell, Simon; Bradburn, David M; Commane, Daniel M; Arasaradnam, Ramesh P; Mulholland, Francis; Zupanic, Anze; Mathers, John C; Hesketh, John

    2016-08-01

    Epidemiologic studies highlight the potential role of dietary selenium (Se) in colorectal cancer prevention. Our goal was to elucidate whether expression of factors crucial for colorectal homoeostasis is affected by physiologic differences in Se status. Using transcriptomics and proteomics followed by pathway analysis, we identified pathways affected by Se status in rectal biopsies from 22 healthy adults, including 11 controls with optimal status (mean plasma Se = 1.43 μM) and 11 subjects with suboptimal status (mean plasma Se = 0.86 μM). We observed that 254 genes and 26 proteins implicated in cancer (80%), immune function and inflammatory response (40%), cell growth and proliferation (70%), cellular movement, and cell death (50%) were differentially expressed between the 2 groups. Expression of 69 genes, including selenoproteins W1 and K, which are genes involved in cytoskeleton remodelling and transcription factor NFκB signaling, correlated significantly with Se status. Integrating proteomics and transcriptomics datasets revealed reduced inflammatory and immune responses and cytoskeleton remodelling in the suboptimal Se status group. This is the first study combining omics technologies to describe the impact of differences in Se status on colorectal expression patterns, revealing that suboptimal Se status could alter inflammatory signaling and cytoskeleton in human rectal mucosa and so influence cancer risk.-Méplan, C., Johnson, I. T., Polley, A. C. J., Cockell, S., Bradburn, D. M., Commane, D. M., Arasaradnam, R. P., Mulholland, F., Zupanic, A., Mathers, J. C., Hesketh, J. Transcriptomics and proteomics show that selenium affects inflammation, cytoskeleton, and cancer pathways in human rectal biopsies. PMID:27103578

  12. Latent Variables Affecting Behavioral Response to the Human Intruder Test in Infant Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

    PubMed Central

    Gottlieb, Daniel H.; Capitanio, John P.

    2012-01-01

    The human intruder test is a testing paradigm designed to measure rhesus macaques’ behavioral responses to a stressful and threatening situation. In the test, an unfamiliar human positions him/herself in various threatening positions relative to a caged macaque. This paradigm has been utilized for over twenty years to measure a variety of behavioral constructs, including fear and anxiety, behavioral inhibition, emotionality, and aggression. To date there have been no attempts to evaluate comprehensively the structure of the behavioral responses to the test. Our first goal was to identify the underlying latent factors affecting the different responses among subjects, and our second goal was determine if rhesus reared in different environments respond differently in this testing paradigm. To accomplish this, we first performed exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on the behavioral responses of 3–4 month-old rhesus macaques, utilizing data from over 2,000 separate tests conducted between 2001–2007. Using the resulting model, we then tested to see whether early rearing experience affected responses in the test. Our first analyses suggested that most of the variation in infant behavioral responses to the human intruder test could be explained by four latent factors: “Activity,” “Emotionality,” “Aggression,” and “Displacement.” Our second analyses revealed a significant effect of rearing condition for each factor score (P < 0.001); most notable socially-reared animals had the lowest Activity score (P < 0.001), indoor mother-reared animals had the highest Displacement score (P < 0.001), and nursery-reared animals had the highest Emotionality (P < 0.001) and lowest Aggression scores (P < 0.001). These results demonstrate that this standardized testing paradigm reveals multiple patterns of response, which are influenced by an animal’s rearing history. PMID:23229557

  13. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece.

    PubMed

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010-2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979-2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979-2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010-2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides air

  14. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece.

    PubMed

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010-2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979-2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979-2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010-2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides air

  15. Identification of Climatic Factors Affecting the Epidemiology of Human West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Greece

    PubMed Central

    Stilianakis, Nikolaos I.; Syrris, Vasileios; Petroliagkis, Thomas; Pärt, Peeter; Gewehr, Sandra; Kalaitzopoulou, Stella; Mourelatos, Spiros; Baka, Agoritsa; Pervanidou, Danai; Vontas, John; Hadjichristodoulou, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Climate can affect the geographic and seasonal patterns of vector-borne disease incidence such as West Nile Virus (WNV) infections. We explore the association between climatic factors and the occurrence of West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile neuro-invasive disease (WNND) in humans in Northern Greece over the years 2010–2014. Time series over a period of 30 years (1979–2008) of climatic data of air temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, volumetric soil water content, wind speed, and precipitation representing average climate were obtained utilising the ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) system allowing for a homogeneous set of data in time and space. We analysed data of reported human cases of WNF/WNND and Culex mosquitoes in Northern Greece. Quantitative assessment resulted in identifying associations between the above climatic variables and reported human cases of WNF/WNND. A substantial fraction of the cases was linked to the upper percentiles of the distribution of air and soil temperature for the period 1979–2008 and the lower percentiles of relative humidity and soil water content. A statistically relevant relationship between the mean weekly value climatic anomalies of wind speed (negative association), relative humidity (negative association) and air temperature (positive association) over 30 years, and reported human cases of WNF/WNND during the period 2010–2014 could be shown. A negative association between the presence of WNV infected Culex mosquitoes and wind speed could be identified. The statistically significant associations could also be confirmed for the week the WNF/WNND human cases appear and when a time lag of up to three weeks was considered. Similar statistically significant associations were identified with the weekly anomalies of the maximum and minimum values of the above climatic factors. Utilising the ERA-Interim re-analysis methodology it could be shown that besides

  16. The impact of pre- and/or probiotics on human colonic metabolism: does it affect human health?

    PubMed

    De Preter, Vicky; Hamer, Henrike M; Windey, Karen; Verbeke, Kristin

    2011-01-01

    Since many years, the role of the colonic microbiota in maintaining the host's overall health and well-being has been recognized. Dietary modulation of the microbiota composition and activity has been achieved by the use of pre-, pro- and synbiotics. In this review, we will summarize the available evidence on the modification of bacterial metabolism by dietary intervention with pre-, pro- and synbiotics. Enhanced production of SCFA as a marker of increased saccharolytic fermentation is well documented in animal and in vitro studies. Decreased production of potentially toxic protein fermentation metabolites, such as sulfides, phenolic and indolic compounds, has been less frequently demonstrated. Besides, pre-, pro- and synbiotics also affect other metabolic pathways such as the deconjugation of secondary bile acids, bacterial enzyme activities and mineral absorption. Data from human studies are less conclusive. The emergence of new analytical techniques such as metabolite profiling has revealed new pathways affected by dietary intervention. However, an important challenge for current and future research is to relate changes in bacterial metabolism to concrete health benefits. Potential targets and expected benefits have been identified: reduced risk for the metabolic syndrome and prevention of colorectal cancer. PMID:21207512

  17. 4-Methylthiobutyl isothiocyanate (Erucin) from rocket plant dichotomously affects the activity of human immunocompetent cells.

    PubMed

    Gründemann, Carsten; Garcia-Käufer, Manuel; Lamy, Evelyn; Hanschen, Franziska S; Huber, Roman

    2015-03-15

    Isothiocyanates (ITC) from the Brassicaceae plant family are regarded as promising for prevention and treatment of cancer. However, experimental settings consider their therapeutic action without taking into account the risk of unwanted effects on healthy tissues. In the present study we investigated the effects of Eruca sativa seed extract containing MTBITC (Erucin) and pure Erucin from rocket plant on healthy cells of the human immune system in vitro. Hereby, high doses of the plant extract as well as of Erucin inhibited cell viability of human lymphocytes via induction of apoptosis to comparable amounts. Non-toxic low concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin altered the expression of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor but did not affect further T cell activation, proliferation and the release of the effector molecules interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-2 of T-lymphocytes. However, the activity of NK-cells was significantly reduced by non-toxic concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin. These results indicate that the plant extract and pure Erucin interfere with the function of human T lymphocytes and decreases the activity of NK-cells in comparable concentrations. Long-term clinical studies with ITC-enriched plant extracts from Brassicaceae should take this into account.

  18. Foetal bovine serum-derived exosomes affect yield and phenotype of human cardiac progenitor cell culture

    PubMed Central

    Angelini, Francesco; Ionta, Vittoria; Rossi, Fabrizio; Miraldi, Fabio; Messina, Elisa; Giacomello, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) represent a powerful tool in cardiac regenerative medicine. Pre-clinical studies suggest that most of the beneficial effects promoted by the injected cells are due to their paracrine activity exerted on endogenous cells and tissue. Exosomes are candidate mediators of this paracrine effects. According to their potential, many researchers have focused on characterizing exosomes derived from specific cell types, but, up until now, only few studies have analyzed the possible in vitro effects of bovine serum-derived exosomes on cell proliferation or differentiation. Methods: The aim of this study was to analyse, from a qualitative and quantitative point of view, the in vitro effects of bovine serum exosomes on human CPCs cultured either as cardiospheres or as monolayers of cardiosphere-forming cells. Results: Effects on proliferation, yield and molecular patterning were detected. We show, for the first time, that exogenous bovine exosomes support the proliferation and migration of human cardiosphere-forming cells, and that their depletion affects cardiospheres formation, in terms of size, yield and extra-cellular matrix production. Conclusion: These results stress the importance of considering differential biological effects of exogenous cell culture supplements on the final phenotype of primary human cell cultures. PMID:27340620

  19. Human cells and cell membrane molecular models are affected in vitro by chlorpromazine.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; Villena, Fernando; Sotomayor, Carlos P; Bolognin, Silvia; Zatta, Paolo

    2008-06-01

    This study presents evidence that chlorpromazine (CPZ) affects human cells and cell membrane molecular models. Human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells incubated with 0.1 mM CPZ suffered a decrease of cell viability. On the other hand, phase contrast microscopy observations of human erythrocytes indicated that they underwent a morphological alteration as 1 microM CPZ changed their discoid normal shape to stomatocytes, and to hemolysis with 1 mM CPZ. X-ray diffraction experiments performed on dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) bilayers, classes of the major phospholipids present in the outer and inner sides of the erythrocyte membrane, respectively showed that CPZ disordered the polar head and acyl chain regions of both DMPC and DMPE, where these interactions were stronger with DMPC bilayers. Fluorescence spectroscopy on DMPC LUV at 18 degrees C confirmed these results. In fact, the assays showed that CPZ induced a significant reduction of their generalized polarization (GP) and anisotropy (r) values, indicative of enhanced disorder at the polar head and acyl chain regions of the DMPC lipid bilayer. PMID:18372093

  20. Fya/Fyb antigen polymorphism in human erythrocyte Duffy antigen affects susceptibility to Plasmodium vivax malaria

    PubMed Central

    King, Christopher L.; Adams, John H.; Xianli, Jia; Grimberg, Brian T.; McHenry, Amy M.; Greenberg, Lior J.; Siddiqui, Asim; Howes, Rosalind E.; da Silva-Nunes, Monica; Ferreira, Marcelo U.; Zimmerman, Peter A.

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax (Pv) is a major cause of human malaria and is increasing in public health importance compared with falciparum malaria. Pv is unique among human malarias in that invasion of erythrocytes is almost solely dependent on the red cell's surface receptor, known as the Duffy blood-group antigen (Fy). Fy is an important minor blood-group antigen that has two immunologically distinct alleles, referred to as Fya or Fyb, resulting from a single-point mutation. This mutation occurs within the binding domain of the parasite's red cell invasion ligand. Whether this polymorphism affects susceptibility to clinical vivax malaria is unknown. Here we show that Fya, compared with Fyb, significantly diminishes binding of Pv Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) at the erythrocyte surface, and is associated with a reduced risk of clinical Pv in humans. Erythrocytes expressing Fya had 41–50% lower binding compared with Fyb cells and showed an increased ability of naturally occurring or artificially induced antibodies to block binding of PvDBP to their surface. Individuals with the Fya+b− phenotype demonstrated a 30–80% reduced risk of clinical vivax, but not falciparum malaria in a prospective cohort study in the Brazilian Amazon. The Fya+b− phenotype, predominant in Southeast Asian and many American populations, would confer a selective advantage against vivax malaria. Our results also suggest that efficacy of a PvDBP-based vaccine may differ among populations with different Fy phenotypes. PMID:22123959

  1. The cross-mammalian neurophenomenology of primal emotional affects: From animal feelings to human therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2016-06-01

    The neural correlates of human emotions are easy to harvest. In contrast, the neural constitution of emotional feelings in humans has resisted systematic scientific analysis. This review summarizes how preclinical affective neuroscience initiatives are making progress in decoding the neural nature of such feelings in animal brains. This has been achieved by studying the rewarding and punishing effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of subcortical emotional networks (labeled SEEING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC, and PLAY systems) that evoke distinct emotion action patterns, as well as rewarding and punishing effects in animals. The implications of this knowledge for development of new psychiatric interventions, especially depression, are discussed. Three new antidepressive therapeutics arising from this work are briefly noted: 1) DBS of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) in humans, 2) reduction of psychological pain that may arise from excessive PANIC arousal, and 3) facilitation of social joy through the study of social play in rats The overall argument is that we may more readily develop new psychiatric interventions through preclinical models if we take animal emotional feelings seriously, as opposed to just behavioral changes, as targets for development of new treatments. PMID:26876723

  2. Emotional processing and rTMS: does inhibitory theta burst stimulation affect the human startle reflex?

    PubMed

    Vennewald, Nadja; Winter, Bernward; Limburg, Karina; Diemer, Julia; Notzon, Swantje; Fohrbeck, Inga; Arolt, Volker; Domschke, Katharina; Pauli, Paul; Zwanzger, Peter

    2016-10-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) enables the local and non-invasive modulation of cortical activity and has proved to achieve antidepressant effects. To a lesser extent, rTMS is investigated as a treatment option for anxiety disorders. As the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala represent key components of human emotion regulation, we investigated how prefrontally applied rTMS affects the responsiveness of the subcortical amygdala during a fear-relevant study paradigm to examine potential cortico-limbic effects. Sham-controlled, randomised inhibitory rTMS (continuous theta burst stimulation, TBS) was applied to 102 healthy subjects (female = 54) over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Subsequently, the emotion-potentiated (unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant International Affective Picture System pictures) acoustic startle response was investigated. Subjective anxiety ratings (anxiety sensitivity, trait and state anxiety) were considered. Picture category affected the startle magnitude as expected for both TBS intervention groups (highest startle response for unpleasant, lowest for pleasant pictures). However, no modulatory effects of TBS on startle potentiation were discerned. No significant interaction effects of TBS intervention, subjective anxiety ratings, and gender were identified. Interestingly, startle habituation was influenced by TBS intervention on a trend-level, with verum TBS leading to an accelerated habituation. We found no evidence for the hypothesis that prefrontal inhibitory TBS affects the responsiveness of the amygdala during the presentation of emotionally relevant stimuli in healthy subjects. Instead, we found accelerated habituation under verum TBS on a statistical trend-level. Hence, some preliminary hints for modulatory effects of inhibitory TBS on basic learning mechanisms could be found.

  3. The Affective Slider: A Digital Self-Assessment Scale for the Measurement of Human Emotions.

    PubMed

    Betella, Alberto; Verschure, Paul F M J

    2016-01-01

    Self-assessment methods are broadly employed in emotion research for the collection of subjective affective ratings. The Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), a pictorial scale developed in the eighties for the measurement of pleasure, arousal, and dominance, is still among the most popular self-reporting tools, despite having been conceived upon design principles which are today obsolete. By leveraging on state-of-the-art user interfaces and metacommunicative pictorial representations, we developed the Affective Slider (AS), a digital self-reporting tool composed of two slider controls for the quick assessment of pleasure and arousal. To empirically validate the AS, we conducted a systematic comparison between AS and SAM in a task involving the emotional assessment of a series of images taken from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), a database composed of pictures representing a wide range of semantic categories often used as a benchmark in psychological studies. Our results show that the AS is equivalent to SAM in the self-assessment of pleasure and arousal, with two added advantages: the AS does not require written instructions and it can be easily reproduced in latest-generation digital devices, including smartphones and tablets. Moreover, we compared new and normative IAPS ratings and found a general drop in reported arousal of pictorial stimuli. Not only do our results demonstrate that legacy scales for the self-report of affect can be replaced with new measurement tools developed in accordance to modern design principles, but also that standardized sets of stimuli which are widely adopted in research on human emotion are not as effective as they were in the past due to a general desensitization towards highly arousing content. PMID:26849361

  4. The Affective Slider: A Digital Self-Assessment Scale for the Measurement of Human Emotions

    PubMed Central

    Betella, Alberto; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2016-01-01

    Self-assessment methods are broadly employed in emotion research for the collection of subjective affective ratings. The Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), a pictorial scale developed in the eighties for the measurement of pleasure, arousal, and dominance, is still among the most popular self-reporting tools, despite having been conceived upon design principles which are today obsolete. By leveraging on state-of-the-art user interfaces and metacommunicative pictorial representations, we developed the Affective Slider (AS), a digital self-reporting tool composed of two slider controls for the quick assessment of pleasure and arousal. To empirically validate the AS, we conducted a systematic comparison between AS and SAM in a task involving the emotional assessment of a series of images taken from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), a database composed of pictures representing a wide range of semantic categories often used as a benchmark in psychological studies. Our results show that the AS is equivalent to SAM in the self-assessment of pleasure and arousal, with two added advantages: the AS does not require written instructions and it can be easily reproduced in latest-generation digital devices, including smartphones and tablets. Moreover, we compared new and normative IAPS ratings and found a general drop in reported arousal of pictorial stimuli. Not only do our results demonstrate that legacy scales for the self-report of affect can be replaced with new measurement tools developed in accordance to modern design principles, but also that standardized sets of stimuli which are widely adopted in research on human emotion are not as effective as they were in the past due to a general desensitization towards highly arousing content. PMID:26849361

  5. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively neutral sites across the human genome.

    PubMed

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui; Kim, Su Yeon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Vinckenbosch, Nicolas; Tian, Geng; Huerta-Sanchez, Emilia; Feder, Alison F; Grarup, Niels; Jørgensen, Torben; Jiang, Tao; Witte, Daniel R; Sandbæk, Annelli; Hellmann, Ines; Lauritzen, Torsten; Hansen, Torben; Pedersen, Oluf; Wang, Jun; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2011-10-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries of genetic variation, like allele frequencies, are also correlated with recombination rate and whether these correlations can be explained solely by negative selection against deleterious mutations or whether positive selection acting on favorable alleles is also required. Here we attempt to address these questions by analyzing three different genome-wide resequencing datasets from European individuals. We document several significant correlations between different genomic features. In particular, we find that average minor allele frequency and diversity are reduced in regions of low recombination and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations. However, models with strong positive selection on nonsynonymous mutations and little negative selection predict a stronger negative correlation between neutral diversity and nonsynonymous divergence than observed in the actual data, supporting the importance of negative, rather than positive, selection throughout the genome. Further, we show that the widespread presence of weakly deleterious alleles, rather than a small number of strongly positively selected mutations, is responsible for the correlation between neutral genetic diversity and recombination rate. This work suggests that natural selection has affected multiple aspects of linked neutral variation throughout the human genome and that positive selection is not required to explain these observations.

  6. Exposure to Phthalates Affects Calcium Handling and Intercellular Connectivity of Human Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Posnack, Nikki Gillum; Idrees, Rabia; Ding, Hao; Jaimes III, Rafael; Stybayeva, Gulnaz; Karabekian, Zaruhi; Laflamme, Michael A.; Sarvazyan, Narine

    2015-01-01

    Background The pervasive nature of plastics has raised concerns about the impact of continuous exposure to plastic additives on human health. Of particular concern is the use of phthalates in the production of flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products. Di-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate (DEHP) is a commonly used phthalate ester plasticizer that imparts flexibility and elasticity to PVC products. Recent epidemiological studies have reported correlations between urinary phthalate concentrations and cardiovascular disease, including an increased risk of high blood pressure and coronary risk. Yet, there is little direct evidence linking phthalate exposure to adverse effects in human cells, including cardiomyocytes. Methods and Results The effect of DEHP on calcium handling was examined using monolayers of gCAMP3 human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, which contain an endogenous calcium sensor. Cardiomyocytes were exposed to DEHP (5 – 50 μg/mL), and calcium transients were recorded using a Zeiss confocal imaging system. DEHP exposure (24 – 72 hr) had a negative chronotropic and inotropic effect on cardiomyocytes, increased the minimum threshold voltage required for external pacing, and modified connexin-43 expression. Application of Wy-14,643 (100 μM), an agonist for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, did not replicate DEHP’s effects on calcium transient morphology or spontaneous beating rate. Conclusions Phthalates can affect the normal physiology of human cardiomyocytes, including DEHP elicited perturbations in cardiac calcium handling and intercellular connectivity. Our findings call for additional studies to clarify the extent by which phthalate exposure can alter cardiac function, particularly in vulnerable patient populations who are at risk for high phthalate exposure. PMID:25799571

  7. Copper, lead and zinc concentrations of human breast milk as affected by maternal dietary practices

    SciTech Connect

    Umoren, J.; Kies, C.

    1986-03-01

    Maternal dietary practices have been found to affect the concentrations of some nutrients in human breast milk. Lead toxicity is a concern in young children. Lead, copper and zinc are thought to compete for intestinal absorption sites. The objective of the current project was to compare copper, lead and zinc contents of breast milk from practicing lacto-vegetarian and omnivore, lactating women at approximately four months post-partum. Analyses were done by atomic absorption spectrophotometry using a carbon rod attachment. Copper concentrations were higher in milk samples from lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Milk samples from the omnivores had the highest lead and zinc concentrations. Lead and copper concentrations in milk were negatively correlated. The higher zinc concentrations in the milk of the omnivore women may have been related to better utilization of zinc from meat than from plant food sources.

  8. Factors Affecting the Absorption, Metabolism, and Excretion of Cocoa Flavanols in Humans.

    PubMed

    Cifuentes-Gomez, Tania; Rodriguez-Mateos, Ana; Gonzalez-Salvador, Isidro; Alañon, María Elena; Spencer, Jeremy P E

    2015-09-01

    Cocoa is rich in a subclass of flavonoids known as flavanols, the cardiovascular health benefits of which have been extensively reported. The appearance of flavanol metabolites in the systemic circulation after flavanol-rich food consumption is likely to mediate the physiological effects on the vascular system, and these levels are influenced by numerous factors, including food matrix, processing, intake, age, gender, or genetic polymorphisms, among others. This review will focus on our current understanding of factors affecting the absorption, metabolism, and excretion of cocoa flavanols in humans. Second, it will identify gaps in these contributing factors that need to be addressed to conclusively translate our collective knowledge into the context of public health, dietary guidelines, and evidence-based dietary recommendations.

  9. Worldwide Genetic Analysis of the CFTR Region

    PubMed Central

    Mateu, Eva; Calafell, Francesc; Lao, Oscar; Bonné-Tamir, Batsheva; Kidd, Judith R.; Pakstis, Andrew; Kidd, Kenneth K.; Bertranpetit, Jaume

    2001-01-01

    Mutations at the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene (CFTR) cause cystic fibrosis, the most prevalent severe genetic disorder in individuals of European descent. We have analyzed normal allele and haplotype variation at four short tandem repeat polymorphisms (STRPs) and two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CFTR in 18 worldwide population samples, comprising a total of 1,944 chromosomes. The rooted phylogeny of the SNP haplotypes was established by typing ape samples. STRP variation within SNP haplotype backgrounds was highest in most ancestral haplotypes—although, when STRP allele sizes were taken into account, differences among haplotypes became smaller. Haplotype background determines STRP diversity to a greater extent than populations do, which indicates that haplotype backgrounds are older than populations. Heterogeneity among STRPs can be understood as the outcome of differences in mutation rate and pattern. STRP sites had higher heterozygosities in Africans, although, when whole haplotypes were considered, no significant differences remained. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) shows a complex pattern not easily related to physical distance. The analysis of the fraction of possible different haplotypes not found may circumvent some of the methodological difficulties of LD measure. LD analysis showed a positive correlation with locus polymorphism, which could partly explain the unusual pattern of similar LD between Africans and non-Africans. The low values found in non-Africans may imply that the size of the modern human population that emerged “Out of Africa” may be larger than what previous LD studies suggested. PMID:11104661

  10. The worldwide costs of marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Balmford, Andrew; Gravestock, Pippa; Hockley, Neal; McClean, Colin J; Roberts, Callum M

    2004-06-29

    Declines in marine harvests, wildlife, and habitats have prompted calls at both the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the 2003 World Parks Congress for the establishment of a global system of marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs that restrict fishing and other human activities conserve habitats and populations and, by exporting biomass, may sustain or increase yields of nearby fisheries. Here we provide an estimate of the costs of a global MPA network, based on a survey of the running costs of 83 MPAs worldwide. Annual running costs per unit area spanned six orders of magnitude, and were higher in MPAs that were smaller, closer to coasts, and in high-cost, developed countries. Models extrapolating these findings suggest that a global MPA network meeting the World Parks Congress target of conserving 20-30% of the world's seas might cost between 5 billion and 19 billion US dollars annually to run and would probably create around one million jobs. Although substantial, gross network costs are less than current government expenditures on harmful subsidies to industrial fisheries. They also ignore potential private gains from improved fisheries and tourism and are dwarfed by likely social gains from increasing the sustainability of fisheries and securing vital ecosystem services.

  11. Innovation in Science Education - World-Wide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baez, Albert V.

    The purpose of this book is to promote improvements in science education, world-wide, but particularly in developing countries. It is addressed to those in positions to make effective contributions to the improvement of science education. The world-wide role of science education, the goals of innovative activities, past experience in efforts to…

  12. Rewards, aversions and affect in adolescence: Emerging convergences across laboratory animal and human data

    PubMed Central

    Spear, Linda Patia

    2011-01-01

    The adolescent transition is associated with increases in reward- and sensation-seeking, peer-directed social interactions, and risk-taking, with exploratory use of alcohol and other drugs often beginning at this time. These age-related behaviors may have biological roots embedded in the evolutionary past, with similar adolescent-typical characteristics evident across a variety of mammalian species. Drawing across human behavioral and fMRI data and studies conducting in laboratory animals, this review examines processing of rewards, aversions, and affect in adolescence. Evidence for both hyper- and hypo-reactivity during adolescence in the processing of rewards is reviewed, along with possible contributors to these differences. Indications of sometimes heightened reward reactivity during adolescence are contrasted with frequent attenuations in adolescent sensitivity to aversive stimuli. At the same time, adolescents appear particularly prone to becoming emotionally aroused, especially in social contexts. Emerging evidence hints that exaggerated adolescent reactivity in reward and affective systems may be promoted in part by unusual strong cross-reactivity between these systems during adolescence. Such age-related propensities may promote adolescent risk taking, especially in social and exciting contexts, and contribute to adolescent-typical propensities to attach greater benefit and less cost to risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug use than individuals at other ages. PMID:21918675

  13. Does cannabis affect dopaminergic signaling in the human brain? A systematic review of evidence to date.

    PubMed

    Sami, Musa Basser; Rabiner, Eugenii A; Bhattacharyya, Sagnik

    2015-08-01

    A significant body of epidemiological evidence has linked psychotic symptoms with both acute and chronic use of cannabis. Precisely how these effects of THC are mediated at the neurochemical level is unclear. While abnormalities in multiple pathways may lead to schizophrenia, an abnormality in dopamine neurotransmission is considered to be the final common abnormality. One would thus expect cannabis use to be associated with dopamine signaling alterations. This is the first systematic review of all studies, both observational as well as experimental, examining the acute as well as chronic effect of cannabis or its main psychoactive ingredient, THC, on the dopamine system in man. We aimed to review all studies conducted in man, with any reported neurochemical outcomes related to the dopamine system after cannabis, cannabinoid or endocannabinoid administration or use. We identified 25 studies reporting outcomes on over 568 participants, of which 244 participants belonged to the cannabis/cannabinoid exposure group. In man, there is as yet little direct evidence to suggest that cannabis use affects acute striatal dopamine release or affects chronic dopamine receptor status in healthy human volunteers. However some work has suggested that acute cannabis exposure increases dopamine release in striatal and pre-frontal areas in those genetically predisposed for, or at clinical high risk of psychosis. Furthermore, recent studies are suggesting that chronic cannabis use blunts dopamine synthesis and dopamine release capacity. Further well-designed studies are required to definitively delineate the effects of cannabis use on the dopaminergic system in man.

  14. Human resources management and firm performance: The differential role of managerial affective and continuance commitment.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yaping; Law, Kenneth S; Chang, Song; Xin, Katherine R

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the authors developed a dual-concern (i.e., maintenance and performance) model of human resources (HR) management. The authors identified commonly examined HR practices that apply to the middle manager level and classified them into the maintenance- and performance-oriented HR subsystems. The authors found support for the 2-factor model on the basis of responses from 2,148 managers from 463 firms operating in China. Regression results indicate that the performance-oriented HR subsystems had a positive relationship with firm performance and that the relationship was mediated by middle managers' affective commitment to the firm. The maintenance-oriented HR subsystems had a positive relationship with middle managers' continuance commitment but not with their affective commitment and firm performance. This study contributes to the understanding of how HR practices relate to firm performance and offers an improved test of the argument that valuable and firm-specific HR provide a source of competitive advantage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Quiescence does not affect p53 and stress response by irradiation in human lung fibroblasts

    SciTech Connect

    Dai, Jiawen; Itahana, Koji; Baskar, Rajamanickam

    2015-02-27

    Cells in many organs exist in both proliferating and quiescent states. Proliferating cells are more radio-sensitive, DNA damage pathways including p53 pathway are activated to undergo either G{sub 1}/S or G{sub 2}/M arrest to avoid entering S and M phase with DNA damage. On the other hand, quiescent cells are already arrested in G{sub 0}, therefore there may be fundamental difference of irradiation response between proliferating and quiescent cells, and this difference may affect their radiosensitivity. To understand these differences, proliferating and quiescent human normal lung fibroblasts were exposed to 0.10–1 Gy of γ-radiation. The response of key proteins involved in the cell cycle, cell death, and metabolism as well as histone H2AX phosphorylation were examined. Interestingly, p53 and p53 phosphorylation (Ser-15), as well as the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27, were induced similarly in both proliferating and quiescent cells after irradiation. Furthermore, the p53 protein half-life, and expression of cyclin A, cyclin E, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), Bax, or cytochrome c expression as well as histone H2AX phosphorylation were comparable after irradiation in both phases of cells. The effect of radioprotection by a glycogen synthase kinase 3β inhibitor on p53 pathway was also similar between proliferating and quiescent cells. Our results showed that quiescence does not affect irradiation response of key proteins involved in stress and DNA damage at least in normal fibroblasts, providing a better understanding of the radiation response in quiescent cells, which is crucial for tissue repair and regeneration. - Highlights: • p53 response by irradiation was similar between proliferating and quiescent cells. • Quiescent cells showed similar profiles of cell cycle proteins after irradiation. • Radioprotection of GSK-3β inhibitor caused similar effects between these cells. • Quiescence did not affect p53 response despite its

  16. Human behavior state profile mapping based on recalibrated speech affective space model.

    PubMed

    Kamaruddin, N; Wahab, A

    2012-01-01

    People typically associate health with only physical health. However, health is also interconnected to mental and emotional health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their behaviors and experience better quality of life. Hence, understanding human behavior is very important in ensuring the complete understanding of one's holistic health. In this paper, we attempt to map human behavior state (HBS) profiles onto recalibrated speech affective space model (rSASM). Such an approach is derived from hypotheses that: 1) Behavior is influenced by emotion, 2) Emotion can be quantified through speech, 3) Emotion is dynamic and changes over time and 4) the emotion conveyance is conditioned by culture. Empirical results illustrated that the proposed approach can complement other types of behavior analysis in such a way that it offers more explanatory components from the perspective of emotion primitives (valence and arousal). Four different driving HBS; namely: distracted, laughing, sleepy and normal are profiled onto the rSASM to visualize the correlation between HBS and emotion. This approach can be incorporated in the future behavior analysis to envisage better performance.

  17. Lead and cadmium at very low doses affect in vitro immune response of human lymphocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Borella, P.; Giardino, A. )

    1991-08-01

    The effect of lead chloride and cadmium chloride on in vitro immunoglobulin (Ig) production by human lymphocytes was investigated. After 7 days in culture, lead added in the range of human exposure (207-1035 {mu}g/liter) significantly enhanced Ig production either when cells were activated by pokeweed mitogen (PWM) or not. The effect was dose-dependent and was related to the Pb were measured in the extracellular medium and in the cells. Independently of the mitogen addition, about 2% of the Pb added was accumulated in the cells, most being associated with the nuclear fraction. Those findings suggest that the Pb effects could depend on its uptake and distribution in the cells. Cadmium added in the 50-500 nM range exhibited a dose-independent mitogenic activity in unstimulated cells, whereas the Ig secretion was not significantly affected by Cd when cells were PWM-activated. A considerable intraindividual variability, however, was observed when blood donors were separately examined, with both an increase, a decrease, or no variation on Ig production. Furthermore, higher percentages of Cd were accumulated in the nuclear fraction, and lower in the cytosol and precipitate, in PWM-activated compared to resting lymphocytes. Genetic factors could be of importance for the observed variability of the immune response to cadmium, and the authors support the hypothesis that differences in the metallothionein (MT) inducibility could play a role.

  18. 50 Hz sinusoidal magnetic fields do not affect human lymphocyte activation and proliferation in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capri, Miriam; Mesirca, Pietro; Remondini, Daniel; Carosella, Simona; Pasi, Sara; Castellani, Gastone; Franceschi, Claudio; Bersani, Ferdinando

    2004-12-01

    In the last 30 years, an increasing public concern about the possible harmful effects of electromagnetic fields generated by power lines and domestic appliances has pushed the scientific community to search for a correct and comprehensive answer to this problem. In this work the effects of exposure to 50 Hz sinusoidal magnetic fields, with a magnetic flux density of 0.05 mT and 2.5 mT (peak values), were studied on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from healthy young and elderly donors. Cell activation and proliferation were investigated by using flow cytometry techniques and 3H-TdR incorporation assays, respectively. The results obtained indicated that exposure to the fields altered neither DNA synthesis nor the capacity of lymphocytes to enter the activation phase and progress into the cell cycle. Thus, the conclusions are that two important functional phases of human lymphocytes, such as activation and proliferation, are not affected by exposures to 50 Hz magnetic fields similar to those found under power lines.

  19. The absence of numbers to express the amount may affect delay discounting with humans.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Huerta, Hugo E; Dos Santos, Cristiano V

    2016-09-01

    Human delay discounting is usually studied with experimental protocols that use symbols to express delay and amount. In order to further understand discounting, we evaluated whether the absence of numbers to represent reward amounts affects discount rate in general, and whether the magnitude effect is generalized to nonsymbolic situations in particular. In Experiment 1, human participants were exposed to a delay-discounting task in which rewards were presented using dots to represent monetary rewards (nonsymbolic); under this condition the magnitude effect did not occur. Nevertheless, the magnitude effect was observed when equivalent reward amounts were presented using numbers (symbolic). Moreover, in estimation tasks, magnitude increments produced underestimation of large amounts. In Experiment 2, participants were exposed only to the nonsymbolic discounting task and were required to estimate reward amounts in each trial. Consistent with Experiment 1, the absence of numbers representing reward amounts produced similar discount rates of small and large rewards. These results suggest that value of nonsymbolic rewards is a nonlinear function of amount and that value attribution depends on perceived difference between the immediate and the delayed nonsymbolic rewards.

  20. Larval food quantity affects the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit human malaria

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Lillian L. M.; Murdock, Courtney C.; Jacobs, Gregory R.; Thomas, Rachel J.; Thomas, Matthew B.

    2016-01-01

    Adult traits of holometabolous insects are shaped by conditions experienced during larval development, which might impact interactions between adult insect hosts and parasites. However, the ecology of larval insects that vector disease remains poorly understood. Here, we used Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes and the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, to investigate whether larval conditions affect the capacity of adult mosquitoes to transmit malaria. We reared larvae in two groups; one group received a standard laboratory rearing diet, whereas the other received a reduced diet. Emerging adult females were then provided an infectious blood meal. We assessed mosquito longevity, parasite development rate and prevalence of infectious mosquitoes over time. Reduced larval food led to increased adult mortality and caused a delay in parasite development and a slowing in the rate at which parasites invaded the mosquito salivary glands, extending the time it took for mosquitoes to become infectious. Together, these effects increased transmission potential of mosquitoes in the high food regime by 260–330%. Such effects have not, to our knowledge, been shown previously for human malaria and highlight the importance of improving knowledge of larval ecology to better understand vector-borne disease transmission dynamics. PMID:27412284

  1. A recent evolutionary change affects a regulatory element in the human FOXP2 gene.

    PubMed

    Maricic, Tomislav; Günther, Viola; Georgiev, Oleg; Gehre, Sabine; Curlin, Marija; Schreiweis, Christiane; Naumann, Ronald; Burbano, Hernán A; Meyer, Matthias; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Gajovic, Srecko; Kelso, Janet; Enard, Wolfgang; Schaffner, Walter; Pääbo, Svante

    2013-04-01

    The FOXP2 gene is required for normal development of speech and language. By isolating and sequencing FOXP2 genomic DNA fragments from a 49,000-year-old Iberian Neandertal and 50 present-day humans, we have identified substitutions in the gene shared by all or nearly all present-day humans but absent or polymorphic in Neandertals. One such substitution is localized in intron 8 and affects a binding site for the transcription factor POU3F2, which is highly conserved among vertebrates. We find that the derived allele of this site is less efficient than the ancestral allele in activating transcription from a reporter construct. The derived allele also binds less POU3F2 dimers than POU3F2 monomers compared with the ancestral allele. Because the substitution in the POU3F2 binding site is likely to alter the regulation of FOXP2 expression, and because it is localized in a region of the gene associated with a previously described signal of positive selection, it is a plausible candidate for having caused a recent selective sweep in the FOXP2 gene.

  2. Ceramide metabolism is affected by obesity and diabetes in human adipose tissue.

    PubMed

    Błachnio-Zabielska, A U; Pułka, M; Baranowski, M; Nikołajuk, A; Zabielski, P; Górska, M; Górski, J

    2012-02-01

    Ceramide is involved in development of insulin resistance. However, there are no data on ceramide metabolism in human adipose tissue. The aim of our study was to examine sphingolipid metabolism in fat tissue from obese nondiabetic (n = 11), obese diabetic (n = 11), and lean nondiabetic (n = 8) subjects. The content of ceramide (Cer), dihydroceramide (dhCer), sphingosine (SPH), sphinganine (SPA), sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P; pmol/mg of protein), the expression (mRNA) and activity of key enzymes responsible for Cer metabolism: serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT), neutral and acidic sphingomyelinase (nSMase and aSMase, respectively), and neutral and acidic ceramidase (nCDase and aCDase, respectively) were examined in human adipose tissue. The contents of SPA and Cer were significantly lower whereas the content of dhCer was higher in both obese groups than the respective values in the lean subjects. The expression of examined enzymes was elevated in both obese groups. The SPT and CDases activity increased whereas aSMase activity deceased in both obese groups. We have found correlation between adipose tissue Cer content and plasma adiponectin concentration (r = 0.69, P < 0.001) and negative correlation between total Cer content and HOMA-IR index (homeostasis model of insulin resistance) (r = -0.67, P < 0.001). We have found that both obesity and diabetes affected pathways of sphingolipid metabolism in the adipose tissue.

  3. Interacting Physical and Biological Processes Affecting Nutrient Transport Through Human Dominated Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlay, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Human activities increasingly dominate biogeochemical cycles of limiting nutrients on Earth. Urban and agricultural landscapes represent the largest sources of excess nutrients that drive water quality degradation. The physical structure of both urban and agricultural watersheds has been extensively modified, and these changes have large impacts on water and nutrient transport. Despite strong physical controls over nutrient transport in human dominated landscapes, biological processes play important roles in determining the fates of both nitrogen and phosphorus. This talk uses examples from research in urban and agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern USA to illustrate interactions of physical and biological controls over nutrient cycles that have shifted nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) sources and cycling in unexpected ways in response to management changes. In urban watersheds, efforts to improve water quality have been hindered by legacy sources of phosphorus added to storm water through transport to drainage systems by vegetation. Similarly, reductions in field erosion in agricultural watersheds have not led to major reductions in phosphorus transport, because of continued release of biological sources of P. Where management of phosphorus has been most effective in reducing eutrophication of lakes, decreases in N removal processes have led to long term increases in N concentration and transport. Together, these examples show important roles for biological processes affecting nutrient movement in highly modified landscapes. Consideration of the downstream physical and biological responses of management changes are thus critical toward identification of actions that will most effectively reduce excess nutrients watersheds and coastal zones.

  4. Surface chemical functionalities affect the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xujie; Feng, Qingling; Bachhuka, Akash; Vasilev, Krasimir

    2013-04-01

    This study examines the effect of surface chemical functionalities on the behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) in vitro. Plasma polymerized films rich in amine (sbnd NH2), carboxyl (sbnd COOH) and methyl (sbnd CH3), were generated on hydroxyapatite (HAp) substrates. The surface chemical functionalities were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The ability of different substrates to absorb proteins was evaluated. The results showed that substrates modified with hydrophilic functional group (sbnd COOH and sbnd NH2) can absorb more proteins than these modified with more hydrophobic functional group (sbnd CH3). The behavior of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) cultured on different substrates was investigated in vitro: cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) analysis was used to characterize cell proliferation, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) analysis was used to characterize cell morphology and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity analysis was used to account for differentiation. The results of this study demonstrated that the sbnd NH2 modified surfaces encourage osteogenic differentiation; the sbnd COOH modified surfaces promote cell adhesion and spreading and the sbnd CH3 modified surfaces have the lowest ability to induce osteogenic differentiation. These findings confirmed that the surface chemical states of biomaterials can affect the behavior of hASCs in vitro.

  5. Anthocyanidins modulate the activity of human DNA topoisomerases I and II and affect cellular DNA integrity.

    PubMed

    Habermeyer, Michael; Fritz, Jessica; Barthelmes, Hans U; Christensen, Morten O; Larsen, Morten K; Boege, Fritz; Marko, Doris

    2005-09-01

    In the present study, we investigated the effect of anthocyanidins on human topoisomerases I and II and its relevance for DNA integrity within human cells. Anthocyanidins bearing vicinal hydroxy groups at the B-ring (delphinidin, DEL; cyanidin, CY) were found to potently inhibit the catalytic activity of human topoisomerases I and II, without discriminating between the IIalpha and the IIbeta isoforms. However, in contrast to topoisomerase poisons, DEL and CY did not stabilize the covalent DNA-topoisomerase intermediates (cleavable complex) of topoisomerase I or II. Using recombinant topoisomerase I, the presence of CY or DEL (> or = 1 microM) effectively prohibited the stabilization of the cleavable complex by the topoisomerase I poison camptothecin. We furthermore investigated whether the potential protective effect vs topoisomerase I poisons is reflected also on the cellular level, affecting the DNA damaging properties of camptothecin. Indeed, in HT29 cells, low micromolar concentrations of DEL (1-10 microM) significantly diminished the DNA strand breaking effect of camptothecin (100 microM). However, at concentrations > or = 50 microM, all anthocyanidins tested (delphinidin, cyanidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, and paeonidin), including those not interfering with topoisomerases, were found to induce DNA strand breaks in the comet assay. All of these analogues were able to compete with ethidium bromide for the intercalation into calf thymus DNA and to replace the minor groove binder Hoechst 33258. These data indicate substantial affinity to double-stranded DNA, which might contribute at least to the DNA strand breaking effect of anthocyanidins at higher concentrations (> or = 50 microM).

  6. Factors affecting disease-free survival in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer who receive adjuvant trastuzumab

    PubMed Central

    GÜNDÜZ, SEYDA; GÖKSU, SEMA SEZGIN; ARSLAN, DENIZ; TATLI, ALI MURAT; UYSAL, MÜKREMIN; GÜNDÜZ, UMUT RIZA; SEVINÇ, MERT MAHSUNI; COŞKUN, HASAN SENOL; BOZCUK, HAKAN; MUTLU, HASAN; SAVAS, BURHAN

    2015-01-01

    Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women worldwide and the second cause of cancer-related mortality. A total of 20–30% of patients with early-stage breast cancer develop recurrence within the first 5 years following diagnosis. Trastuzumab significantly improves overall survival and disease-free survival (DFS) in women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive early and locally advanced breast cancer. This study aimed to determine the factors that affect DFS following adjuvant transtuzumab therapy. A total of 62 patients treated with trastuzumab for early and locally advanced breast cancer were included in our study. Data, including pathology, treatment and treatment outcome, rate of recurrence and laboratory tests, were retrospectively collected. There was no significant association between DFS and age, menopausal status, disease stage and hormone receptor status. The median follow-up was 48.4 months. The median DFS of patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab was 64.1 months. In addition, the median DFS was 44.3 vs. 66.8 months in patients with platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) ≤200 vs. >200, respectively (log-rank test; P=0.001), and 70 vs. 45 months in patients with eosinophil count ≤70 vs. >70×103/mm3 (log-rank test; P=0.001). Our data revealed the prognostic relevance of a decrease in the peripheral blood eosinophil count and PLR value following trastuzumab therapy in breast cancer. PLR and eosinophil count measurements are cost-effective, readily available worldwide, non-invasive and safe. Combined with other markers, such as patient age, tumor stage and tumor histology, may be effectively used for patients with breast cancer. PMID:26623060

  7. Pyoverdine and Proteases Affect the Response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to Gallium in Human Serum

    PubMed Central

    Bonchi, Carlo; Frangipani, Emanuela; Imperi, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Gallium is an iron mimetic which has recently been repurposed as an antibacterial agent due to its capability to disrupt bacterial iron metabolism. In this study, the antibacterial activity of gallium nitrate [Ga(NO3)3] was investigated in complement-free human serum (HS) on 55 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis patients. The susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS was dependent on the bacterial ability to acquire iron from serum binding proteins (i.e., transferrin). The extent of serum protein degradation correlated well with P. aeruginosa growth in HS, while pyoverdine production did not. However, pyoverdine-deficient P. aeruginosa strains were unable to grow in HS and overcome iron restriction, albeit capable of releasing proteases. Predigestion of HS with proteinase K promoted the growth of all strains, irrespective of their ability to produce proteases and/or pyoverdine. The MICs of Ga(NO3)3 were higher in HS than in an iron-poor Casamino Acids medium, where proteolysis does not affect iron availability. Coherently, strains displaying high proteolytic activity were less susceptible to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. Our data support a model in which both pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. The relatively high Ga(NO3)3 concentration required to inhibit the growth of highly proteolytic P. aeruginosa isolates in HS poses a limitation to the potential of Ga(NO3)3 in the treatment of P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections. PMID:26149986

  8. Pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to gallium in human serum.

    PubMed

    Bonchi, Carlo; Frangipani, Emanuela; Imperi, Francesco; Visca, Paolo

    2015-09-01

    Gallium is an iron mimetic which has recently been repurposed as an antibacterial agent due to its capability to disrupt bacterial iron metabolism. In this study, the antibacterial activity of gallium nitrate [Ga(NO3)3] was investigated in complement-free human serum (HS) on 55 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis patients. The susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS was dependent on the bacterial ability to acquire iron from serum binding proteins (i.e., transferrin). The extent of serum protein degradation correlated well with P. aeruginosa growth in HS, while pyoverdine production did not. However, pyoverdine-deficient P. aeruginosa strains were unable to grow in HS and overcome iron restriction, albeit capable of releasing proteases. Predigestion of HS with proteinase K promoted the growth of all strains, irrespective of their ability to produce proteases and/or pyoverdine. The MICs of Ga(NO3)3 were higher in HS than in an iron-poor Casamino Acids medium, where proteolysis does not affect iron availability. Coherently, strains displaying high proteolytic activity were less susceptible to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. Our data support a model in which both pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. The relatively high Ga(NO3)3 concentration required to inhibit the growth of highly proteolytic P. aeruginosa isolates in HS poses a limitation to the potential of Ga(NO3)3 in the treatment of P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections.

  9. Pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to gallium in human serum.

    PubMed

    Bonchi, Carlo; Frangipani, Emanuela; Imperi, Francesco; Visca, Paolo

    2015-09-01

    Gallium is an iron mimetic which has recently been repurposed as an antibacterial agent due to its capability to disrupt bacterial iron metabolism. In this study, the antibacterial activity of gallium nitrate [Ga(NO3)3] was investigated in complement-free human serum (HS) on 55 Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis patients. The susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS was dependent on the bacterial ability to acquire iron from serum binding proteins (i.e., transferrin). The extent of serum protein degradation correlated well with P. aeruginosa growth in HS, while pyoverdine production did not. However, pyoverdine-deficient P. aeruginosa strains were unable to grow in HS and overcome iron restriction, albeit capable of releasing proteases. Predigestion of HS with proteinase K promoted the growth of all strains, irrespective of their ability to produce proteases and/or pyoverdine. The MICs of Ga(NO3)3 were higher in HS than in an iron-poor Casamino Acids medium, where proteolysis does not affect iron availability. Coherently, strains displaying high proteolytic activity were less susceptible to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. Our data support a model in which both pyoverdine and proteases affect the response of P. aeruginosa to Ga(NO3)3 in HS. The relatively high Ga(NO3)3 concentration required to inhibit the growth of highly proteolytic P. aeruginosa isolates in HS poses a limitation to the potential of Ga(NO3)3 in the treatment of P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections. PMID:26149986

  10. GAD2 Alternative Transcripts in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, and in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kasey N; Tao, Ran; Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C; Lipska, Barbara K; Shin, Joo Heon; Xie, Bin; Ye, Tianzhang; Weinberger, Daniel R; Kleinman, Joel E; Hyde, Thomas M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517) in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders. PMID:26848839

  11. Artificial Box C/D RNAs Affect Pre-mRNA Maturation in Human Cells

    PubMed Central

    Stepanov, Grigoriy A.; Semenov, Dmitry V.; Savelyeva, Anna V.; Kuligina, Elena V.; Koval, Olga A.; Rabinov, Igor V.; Richter, Vladimir A.

    2013-01-01

    Box C/D small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are known to guide the 2′-O-ribose methylation of nucleotides in eukaryotic ribosomal RNAs and small nuclear RNAs. Recently snoRNAs are predicted to regulate posttranscriptional modifications of pre-mRNA. To expand understanding of the role of snoRNAs in control of gene expression, in this study we tested the ability of artificial box C/D RNAs to affect the maturation of target pre-mRNA. We found that transfection of artificial box C/D snoRNA analogues directed to HSPA8 pre-mRNAs into human cells induced suppression of the target mRNA expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The artificial box C/D RNA directed to the branch point adenosine of the second intron, as well as the analogue directed to the last nucleotide of the second exon of the HSPA8 pre-mRNA caused the most prominent influence on the level of HSPA8 mRNAs. Neither box D nor the ability to direct 2′-O-methylation of nucleotides in target RNA was essential for the knockdown activity of artificial snoRNAs. Inasmuch as artificial box C/D RNAs decreased viability of transfected human cells, we propose that natural snoRNAs as well as their artificial analogues can influence the maturation of complementary pre-mRNA and can be effective regulators of vital cellular processes. PMID:23607094

  12. Gene expression signatures affected by alcohol-induced DNA methylomic deregulation in human embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun-Sung; Hoang, Michael; Tu, Thanh G.; Elie, Omid; Lee, Connie; Vu, Catherine; Horvath, Steve; Spigelman, Igor; Kim, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Stem cells, especially human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), are useful models to study molecular mechanisms of human disorders that originate during gestation. Alcohol (ethanol, EtOH) consumption during pregnancy causes a variety of prenatal and postnatal disorders collectively referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). To better understand the molecular events leading to FASDs, we performed a genome-wide analysis of EtOH's effects on the maintenance and differentiation of hESCs in culture. Gene Co-expression Network Analysis showed significant alterations in gene profiles of EtOH-treated differentiated or undifferentiated hESCs, particularly those associated with molecular pathways for metabolic processes, oxidative stress, and neuronal properties of stem cells. A genome-wide DNA methylome analysis revealed widespread EtOH-induced alterations with significant hypermethylation of many regions of chromosomes. Undifferentiated hESCs were more vulnerable to EtOH's effect than their differentiated counterparts, with methylation on the promoter regions of chromosomes 2, 16 and 18 in undifferentiated hESCs most affected by EtOH exposure. Combined transcriptomic and DNA methylomic analysis produced a list of differentiation-related genes dysregulated by EtOH-induced DNA methylation changes, which likely play a role in EtOH-induced decreases in hESC pluripotency. DNA sequence motif analysis of genes epigenetically altered by EtOH identified major motifs representing potential binding sites for transcription factors. These findings should help in deciphering the precise mechanisms of alcohol-induced teratogenesis. PMID:24751885

  13. GAD2 Alternative Transcripts in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, and in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kasey N; Tao, Ran; Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C; Lipska, Barbara K; Shin, Joo Heon; Xie, Bin; Ye, Tianzhang; Weinberger, Daniel R; Kleinman, Joel E; Hyde, Thomas M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517) in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders.

  14. Bisphosphonates modulate vital functions of human osteoblasts and affect their interactions with breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Tatjana; Teufel, Ingrid; Geiger, Konstanze; Vater, Yvonne; Aicher, Wilhelm K; Klein, Gerd; Fehm, Tanja

    2013-07-01

    Bisphosphonates (BPs) are in clinical use for the treatment of breast cancer patients with bone metastases. Their anti-resorptive effect is mainly explained by inhibition of osteoclast activity, but recent evidence also points to a direct action of BPs on bone-forming osteoblasts. However, the mechanisms how BPs influence osteoblasts and their interactions with breast cancer cells are still poorly characterized. Human osteoblasts isolated from bone specimens were characterized in depth by their expression of osteogenic marker genes. The influence of the nitrogen-containing BPs zoledronate (Zol), ibandronate (Iban), and pamidronate (Pam) on molecular and cellular functions of osteoblasts was assessed focusing on cell proliferation and viability, apoptosis, cytokine secretion, and osteogenic-associated genes. Furthermore, effects of BPs on osteoblast-breast tumor cell interactions were examined in an established in vitro model system. The BPs Zol and Pam inhibited cell viability of osteoblasts. This effect was mediated by an induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis in osteoblasts. By interfering with the mevalonate pathway, Zol also reduces the proliferation of osteoblasts. The expression of phenotypic markers of osteogenic differentiation was altered by Zol and Pam. In addition, both BPs strongly influenced the secretion of the chemokine CCL2 by osteoblasts. Breast cancer cells also responded to Zol and Pam with a reduced cell adhesion to osteoblast-derived extracellular matrix molecules and with a decreased migration in response to osteoblast-secreted factors. BPs revealed prominent effects on human osteoblasts. Zol and Pam as the most potent BPs affected not only the expression of osteogenic markers, osteoblast viability, and proliferation but also important osteoblast-tumor cell interactions. Changing the osteoblast metabolism by BPs modulates migration and adhesion of breast cancer cells as well. PMID:23807419

  15. Oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL) affects hyaluronan synthesis in human aortic smooth muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Viola, Manuela; Bartolini, Barbara; Vigetti, Davide; Karousou, Evgenia; Moretto, Paola; Deleonibus, Sara; Sawamura, Tatsuya; Wight, Thomas N; Hascall, Vincent C; De Luca, Giancarlo; Passi, Alberto

    2013-10-11

    Thickening of the vessel in response to high low density lipoprotein(s) (LDL) levels is a hallmark of atherosclerosis, characterized by increased hyaluronan (HA) deposition in the neointima. Human native LDL trapped within the arterial wall undergoes modifications such as oxidation (oxLDL). The aim of our study is to elucidate the link between internalization of oxLDL and HA production in vitro, using human aortic smooth muscle cells. LDL were used at an effective protein concentration of 20-50 μg/ml, which allowed 80% cell viability. HA content in the medium of untreated cells was 28.9 ± 3.7 nmol HA-disaccharide/cell and increased after oxLDL treatment to 53.9 ± 5.6. OxLDL treatments doubled the transcripts of HA synthase HAS2 and HAS3. Accumulated HA stimulated migration of aortic smooth muscle cells and monocyte adhesiveness to extracellular matrix. The effects induced by oxLDL were inhibited by blocking LOX-1 scavenger receptor with a specific antibody (10 μg/ml). The cholesterol moiety of LDL has an important role in HA accumulation because cholesterol-free oxLDL failed to induce HA synthesis. Nevertheless, cholesterol-free oxLDL and unmodified cholesterol (20 μg/ml) induce only HAS3 transcription, whereas 22,oxysterol affects both HAS2 and HAS3. Moreover, HA deposition was associated with higher expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress markers (CHOP and GRP78). Our data suggest that HA synthesis can be induced in response to specific oxidized sterol-related species delivered through oxLDL.

  16. Bioaerosols from a Food Waste Composting Plant Affect Human Airway Epithelial Cell Remodeling Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Wei; Lee, Chung-Ru; Hung, Hsueh-Fen; Teng, Kuo-Sheng; Huang, Hsin; Chuang, Chun-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The composting procedure in food waste plants generates airborne bioaerosols that have the potential to damage human airway epithelial cells. Persistent inflammation and repair responses induce airway remodeling and damage to the respiratory system. This study elucidated the expression changes of airway remodeling genes in human lung mucoepidermoid NCI-H292 cells exposed to bioaerosols from a composting plant. Different types of microorganisms were detectable in the composting plant, using the agar culture method. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the level of Aspergillus fumigatus and the profile of remodeling genes. The real-time PCR results indicated that the amount of A. fumigatus in the composting hall was less than 102 conidia. The endotoxins in the field bioaerosols were determined using a limulus amebocyte lysate test. The endotoxin levels depended on the type of particulate matter (PM), with coarse particles (2.5–10 μm) having higher endotoxin levels than did fine particles (0.5–2.5 μm). After exposure to the conditioned medium of field bioaerosol samples, NCI-H292 cells showed increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 release and activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21WAF1/CIP1) gene expression, but not of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9. Airborne endotoxin levels were higher inside the composting hall than they were in other areas, and they were associated with PM. This suggested that airborne bioaerosols in the composting plant contained endotoxins and microorganisms besides A. fumigatus that cause the inflammatory cytokine secretion and augment the expression of remodeling genes in NCI-H292 cells. It is thus necessary to monitor potentially hazardous materials from bioaerosols in food composting plants, which could affect the health of workers. PMID:24368426

  17. GAD2 Alternative Transcripts in the Human Prefrontal Cortex, and in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C.; Lipska, Barbara K.; Shin, Joo Heon; Xie, Bin; Ye, Tianzhang; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Kleinman, Joel E.; Hyde, Thomas M.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517) in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders. PMID:26848839

  18. CD82 expression alters with human endometrial cycles and affects the uterine endometrial receptivity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xiaowei; Liu, Shuai; Wang, Xiaoqi; Yan, Qiu

    2012-03-01

    Embryo implantation is a process that requires both temporal and spatial synchronization of the uterine endometrium and the embryo, and the endometrium becomes receptive to the embryo during the window of implantation. Although the expression patterns of many implantation-related molecules change dynamically during this process, the impact of CD82 on endometrial receptivity has not been elucidated. By immunohistochemical staining, we found that CD82 levels rose from the proliferative phase to the secretory phase in human endometrium. Specifically, the highest level appeared in mid- and late-secretory phases. Consistently, RL95-2 cells, representative of high-receptive endometrial epithelium, expressed higher levels of CD82 than did HEC-1A cells, which are representative of low-receptive endometrial epithelium, as detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and immunofluorescence. Furthermore, progesterone up-regulated the expression of CD82 in both epithelial cell lines. Down-regulation of CD82 in RL95-2 cells by either CD82 siRNA transfection or treatment with a CD82 antibody significantly decreased the adhesion of human embryonic JAR cells to RL95-2 cell monolayers (P < 0.01) and inhibited the phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). In contrast, up-regulation of CD82 in HEC-1A cells by CD82 cDNA transfection promoted embryonic JAR cell adhesion to HEC-1A monolayers (P < 0.05) and activated the phosphorylation of FAK. In conclusion, the expression of CD82 increases in endometrial tissues during the window of embryo implantation, CD82 expression affects endometrial receptivity of the uterine epithelial cells in vitro, and the FAK signaling pathway may be involved in this phenomenon. The correlation between CD82 and endometrial receptivity suggests that CD82 may serve as a potential marker of endometrial function. PMID:22393164

  19. Oxidized Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Affects Hyaluronan Synthesis in Human Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Viola, Manuela; Bartolini, Barbara; Vigetti, Davide; Karousou, Evgenia; Moretto, Paola; Deleonibus, Sara; Sawamura, Tatsuya; Wight, Thomas N.; Hascall, Vincent C.; De Luca, Giancarlo; Passi, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Thickening of the vessel in response to high low density lipoprotein(s) (LDL) levels is a hallmark of atherosclerosis, characterized by increased hyaluronan (HA) deposition in the neointima. Human native LDL trapped within the arterial wall undergoes modifications such as oxidation (oxLDL). The aim of our study is to elucidate the link between internalization of oxLDL and HA production in vitro, using human aortic smooth muscle cells. LDL were used at an effective protein concentration of 20–50 μg/ml, which allowed 80% cell viability. HA content in the medium of untreated cells was 28.9 ± 3.7 nmol HA-disaccharide/cell and increased after oxLDL treatment to 53.9 ± 5.6. OxLDL treatments doubled the transcripts of HA synthase HAS2 and HAS3. Accumulated HA stimulated migration of aortic smooth muscle cells and monocyte adhesiveness to extracellular matrix. The effects induced by oxLDL were inhibited by blocking LOX-1 scavenger receptor with a specific antibody (10 μg/ml). The cholesterol moiety of LDL has an important role in HA accumulation because cholesterol-free oxLDL failed to induce HA synthesis. Nevertheless, cholesterol-free oxLDL and unmodified cholesterol (20 μg/ml) induce only HAS3 transcription, whereas 22,oxysterol affects both HAS2 and HAS3. Moreover, HA deposition was associated with higher expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress markers (CHOP and GRP78). Our data suggest that HA synthesis can be induced in response to specific oxidized sterol-related species delivered through oxLDL. PMID:23979132

  20. Transcriptional modulator ZBED6 affects cell cycle and growth of human colorectal cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Akhtar Ali, Muhammad; Younis, Shady; Wallerman, Ola; Gupta, Rajesh; Andersson, Leif; Sjöblom, Tobias

    2015-06-23

    The transcription factor ZBED6 (zinc finger, BED-type containing 6) is a repressor of IGF2 whose action impacts development, cell proliferation, and growth in placental mammals. In human colorectal cancers, IGF2 overexpression is mutually exclusive with somatic mutations in PI3K signaling components, providing genetic evidence for a role in the PI3K pathway. To understand the role of ZBED6 in tumorigenesis, we engineered and validated somatic cell ZBED6 knock-outs in the human colorectal cancer cell lines RKO and HCT116. Ablation of ZBED6 affected the cell cycle and led to increased growth rate in RKO cells but reduced growth in HCT116 cells. This striking difference was reflected in the transcriptome analyses, which revealed enrichment of cell-cycle-related processes among differentially expressed genes in both cell lines, but the direction of change often differed between the cell lines. ChIP sequencing analyses displayed enrichment of ZBED6 binding at genes up-regulated in ZBED6-knockout clones, consistent with the view that ZBED6 modulates gene expression primarily by repressing transcription. Ten differentially expressed genes were identified as putative direct gene targets, and their down-regulation by ZBED6 was validated experimentally. Eight of these genes were linked to the Wnt, Hippo, TGF-β, EGF receptor, or PI3K pathways, all involved in colorectal cancer development. The results of this study show that the effect of ZBED6 on tumor development depends on the genetic background and the transcriptional state of its target genes.

  1. Accumulation of distinct prelamin A variants in human diploid fibroblasts differentially affects cell homeostasis

    SciTech Connect

    Candelario, Jose; Borrego, Stacey; Reddy, Sita; Comai, Lucio

    2011-02-01

    Lamin A is a component of the nuclear lamina that plays a major role in the structural organization and function of the nucleus. Lamin A is synthesized as a prelamin A precursor which undergoes four sequential post-translational modifications to generate mature lamin A. Significantly, a large number of point mutations in the LMNA gene cause a range of distinct human disorders collectively known as laminopathies. The mechanisms by which mutations in lamin A affect cell function and cause disease are unclear. Interestingly, recent studies have suggested that alterations in the normal lamin A pathway can contribute to cellular dysfunction. Specifically, we and others have shown, at the cellular level, that in the absence of mutations or altered splicing events, increased expression of wild-type prelamin A results in a growth defective phenotype that resembles that of cells expressing the mutant form of lamin A, termed progerin, associated with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome (HGPS). Remarkably, the phenotypes of cells expressing elevated levels of wild-type prelamin A can be reversed by either treatment with farnesyltransferase inhibitors or overexpression of ZMPSTE24, a critical prelamin A processing enzyme, suggesting that minor increases in the steady-state levels of one or more prelamin A intermediates is sufficient to induce cellular toxicity. Here, to investigate the molecular basis of the lamin A pathway toxicity, we characterized the phenotypic changes occurring in cells expressing distinct prelamin A variants mimicking specific prelamin A processing intermediates. This analysis demonstrates that distinct prelamin A variants differentially affect cell growth, nuclear membrane morphology, nuclear distribution of lamin A and the fundamental process of transcription. Expression of prelamin A variants that are constitutively farnesylated induced the formation of lamin A aggregates and dramatic changes in nuclear membrane morphology, which led to reduced

  2. Immunosuppressive drugs affect high-mannose/hybrid N-glycans on human allostimulated leukocytes.

    PubMed

    Pocheć, Ewa; Bocian, Katarzyna; Ząbczyńska, Marta; Korczak-Kowalska, Grażyna; Lityńska, Anna

    2015-01-01

    N-glycosylation plays an important role in the majority of physiological and pathological processes occurring in the immune system. Alteration of the type and abundance of glycans is an element of lymphocyte differentiation; it is also common in the development of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. The N-glycosylation process is very sensitive to different environmental agents, among them the pharmacological environment of immunosuppressive drugs. Some results show that high-mannose oligosaccharides have the ability to suppress different stages of the immune response. We evaluated the effects of cyclosporin A (CsA) and rapamycin (Rapa) on high-mannose/hybrid-type glycosylation in human leukocytes activated in a two-way mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR). CsA significantly reduced the number of leukocytes covered by high-mannose/hybrid N-glycans, and the synergistic action of CsA and Rapa led to an increase of these structures on the remaining leukocytes. This is the first study indicating that β1 and β3 integrins bearing high-mannose/hybrid structures are affected by Rapa and CsA. Rapa taken separately and together with CsA changed the expression of β1 and β3 integrins and, by regulating the protein amount, increased the oligomannose/hybrid-type N-glycosylation on the leukocyte surface. We suggest that the changes in the glycosylation profile of leukocytes may promote the development of tolerance in transplantation.

  3. PMCA activity and membrane tubulin affect deformability of erythrocytes from normal and hypertensive human subjects.

    PubMed

    Monesterolo, Noelia E; Nigra, Ayelen D; Campetelli, Alexis N; Santander, Verónica S; Rivelli, Juan F; Arce, Carlos A; Casale, Cesar H

    2015-11-01

    Our previous studies demonstrated formation of a complex between acetylated tubulin and brain plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA), and the effect of the lipid environment on structure of this complex and on PMCA activity. Deformability of erythrocytes from hypertensive human subjects was reduced by an increase in membrane tubulin content. In the present study, we examined the regulation of PMCA activity by tubulin in normotensive and hypertensive erythrocytes, and the effect of exogenously added diacylglycerol (DAG) and phosphatidic acid (PA) on erythrocyte deformability. Some of the key findings were that: (i) PMCA was associated with tubulin in normotensive and hypertensive erythrocytes, (ii) PMCA enzyme activity was directly correlated with erythrocyte deformability, and (iii) when tubulin was present in the erythrocyte membrane, treatment with DAG or PA led to increased deformability and associated PMCA activity. Taken together, our findings indicate that PMCA activity is involved in deformability of both normotensive and hypertensive erythrocytes. This rheological property of erythrocytes is affected by acetylated tubulin and its lipid environment because both regulate PMCA activity.

  4. African dust carries microbes across the ocean: are they affecting human and ecosystem health?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Griffin, Dale W.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric transport of dust from northwest Africa to the western Atlantic Ocean region may be responsible for a number of environmental hazards, including the demise of Caribbean corals; red tides; amphibian diseases; increased occurrence of asthma in humans; and oxygen depletion (eutrophication) in estuaries. Studies of satellite images suggest that hundreds of millions of tons of dust are trans-ported annually at relatively low altitudes across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and southeastern United States. The dust emanates from the expanding Sahara/Sahel desert region in Africa and carries a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. The U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the NASA/Goddard Spaceflight Center, is conducting a study to identify microbes--bacteria, fungi, viruses--transported across the Atlantic in African soil dust. Each year, millions of tons of desert dust blow off the west African coast and ride the trade winds across the ocean, affecting the entire Caribbean basin, as well as the southeastern United States. Of the dust reaching the U.S., Florida receives about 50 percent, while the rest may range as far north as Maine or as far west as Colorado. The dust storms can be tracked by satellite and take about one week to cross the Atlantic.

  5. Molecular basis of human transcobalamin II deficiency in an affected family

    SciTech Connect

    Li, N.; Seetharam, S.; Seetharam, B.

    1994-09-01

    Transcobalamin II (TC II) deficiency is an autosomal recessive disease leading to cobalamin (Cbl, Vitamin B{sub 12}) deficiency. Patients with this disorder fail to absorb and transport Cbl across cellular membranes and develop Cbl deficiency, symptoms of which include failure to thrive, megaloblastic anemia, impaired immunodefence and neurological disorders. The molecular basis for this disease is not known. By means of Southern blotting and sequence analysis of TC II, cDNA amplified from fibroblasts of an affected child and his parents, we have identified two mutant TC II alleles. The maternally derived allele had a gross deletion, while the paternally derived allele had a 4-nucleotide ({sup 1023}TCTG) deletion which caused a reading frame shift and generation of a premature termination codon, 146 nucleotides downstream from the deletion. Both these deletions caused markedly reduced levels of TC II mRNA and protein. In addition, these two deletions were unique to this family and were not detected in four other unrelated TC II deficient patients who also exhibited the same (TC II protein/mRNA deficiency) phenotypes. Based on this study we suggest, (1) that the molecular defect in the most common form of human TC II deficiency (lack of immunoprecipitable plasma TC II) is heterogeneous and (2) these mutations cause TC II mRNA and protein deficiency leading to defective plasma transport of Cbl and the development of Cbl deficiency.

  6. Gut Microbiota Profiling: Metabolomics Based Approach to Unravel Compounds Affecting Human Health.

    PubMed

    Vernocchi, Pamela; Del Chierico, Federica; Putignani, Lorenza

    2016-01-01

    The gut microbiota is composed of a huge number of different bacteria, that produce a large amount of compounds playing a key role in microbe selection and in the construction of a metabolic signaling network. The microbial activities are affected by environmental stimuli leading to the generation of a wide number of compounds, that influence the host metabolome and human health. Indeed, metabolite profiles related to the gut microbiota can offer deep insights on the impact of lifestyle and dietary factors on chronic and acute diseases. Metagenomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics are some of the meta-omics approaches to study the modulation of the gut microbiota. Metabolomic research applied to biofluids allows to: define the metabolic profile; identify and quantify classes and compounds of interest; characterize small molecules produced by intestinal microbes; and define the biochemical pathways of metabolites. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy are the principal technologies applied to metabolomics in terms of coverage, sensitivity and quantification. Moreover, the use of biostatistics and mathematical approaches coupled with metabolomics play a key role in the extraction of biologically meaningful information from wide datasets. Metabolomic studies in gut microbiota-related research have increased, focusing on the generation of novel biomarkers, which could lead to the development of mechanistic hypotheses potentially applicable to the development of nutritional and personalized therapies. PMID:27507964

  7. A dynamic evolution model of human opinion as affected by advertising

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Gui-Xun; Liu, Yun; Zeng, Qing-An; Diao, Su-Meng; Xiong, Fei

    2014-11-01

    We propose a new model to investigate the dynamics of human opinion as affected by advertising, based on the main idea of the CODA model and taking into account two practical factors: one is that the marginal influence of an additional friend will decrease with an increasing number of friends; the other is the decline of memory over time. Simulations show several significant conclusions for both advertising agencies and the general public. A small difference of advertising’s influence on individuals or advertising coverage will result in significantly different advertising effectiveness within a certain interval of value. Compared to the value of advertising’s influence on individuals, the advertising coverage plays a more important role due to the exponential decay of memory. Meanwhile, some of the obtained results are in accordance with people’s daily cognition about advertising. The real key factor in determining the success of advertising is the intensity of exchanging opinions, and people’s external actions always follow their internal opinions. Negative opinions also play an important role.

  8. Characterization of human arterial tissue affected by atherosclerosis using multimodal nonlinear optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baria, Enrico; Cicchi, Riccardo; Rotellini, Matteo; Nesi, Gabriella; Massi, Daniela; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2016-03-01

    Atherosclerosis is a widespread cardiovascular disease caused by the deposition of lipids (such as cholesterol and triglycerides) on the inner arterial wall. The rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque, resulting in a thrombus, is one of the leading causes of death in the Western World. Preventive assessment of plaque vulnerability is therefore extremely important and can be performed by studying collagen organization and lipid composition in atherosclerotic arterial tissues. Routinely used diagnostic methods, such as histopathological examination, are limited to morphological analysis of the examined tissues, whereas an exhaustive characterization requires immune-histochemical examination and a morpho-functional approach. Instead, a label-free and non-invasive alternative is provided by nonlinear microscopy. In this study, we combined SHG and FLIM microscopy in order to characterize collagen organization and lipids in human carotid ex vivo tissues affected by atherosclerosis. SHG and TPF images, acquired from different regions within atherosclerotic plaques, were processed through image pattern analysis methods (FFT, GLCM). The resulting information on collagen and cholesterol distribution and anisotropy, combined with collagen and lipids fluorescence lifetime measured from FLIM images, allowed characterization of carotid samples and discrimination of different tissue regions. The presented method can be applied for automated classification of atherosclerotic lesions and plaque vulnerability. Moreover, it lays the foundation for a potential in vivo diagnostic tool to be used in clinical setting.

  9. Trace metals in sediments of a Mediterranean estuary affected by human activities (Acheloos river estuary, Greece).

    PubMed

    Dassenakis, M; Degaita, A; Scoullos, M

    1995-05-19

    Trace metals were studied in the sediments of the ecologically, economically and scientifically important estuary of the Acheloos river, in western Greece. Human activities (dams, agriculture, traffic, etc.) influence the estuarine system of Acheloos and in combination with the hydrological, mineralogical and morphological characteristics of the estuary affect the chemical behaviour and the distribution patterns of trace metals in its sediments. The large scale disturbance of the system is imminent in the near future as it is planned to divert approximately 50% of the river water. A study of the distribution patterns of trace metals revealed that in the estuary there are zones with different metal levels. The concentrations of most metals (Al, Fe, Cu, Ni, Zn) are elevated in three of these zones (upstream, sill, seawards). A different behaviour was observed for Mn due to its association with carbonates that were observed in significant concentrations throughout the estuarine zone. A sequential extraction procedure, applied to the sediments, indicated low percentages of easily exchangeable metals, increased mobility of Cu and Zn and increased association of Ni, Cr and Fe with the aluminosilicate lattice. Although the river is not considered to be heavily polluted, some metals have shown an enrichment in the surface sediments as a result of general anthropogenic activities not derived from point sources.

  10. Cell culture density affects the proliferation activity of human adipose tissue stem cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dae Seong; Lee, Myoung Woo; Ko, Young Jong; Chun, Yong Hoon; Kim, Hyung Joon; Sung, Ki Woong; Koo, Hong Hoe; Yoo, Keon Hee

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the effect of cell density on the proliferation activity of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from adipose tissue (AT-MSCs) over time in culture. Passage #4 (P4) and #12 (P12) AT-MSCs from two donors were plated at a density of 200 (culture condition 1, CC1) or 5000 (culture condition 2, CC2) cells cm(-2) . After 7 days of incubation, P4 and P12 AT-MSCs cultured in CC1 were thin and spindle-shaped, whereas those cultured in CC2 had extensive cell-to-cell contacts and an expanded cell volume. In addition, P4 and P12 AT-MSCs in CC1 divided more than three times, while those in CC2 divided less than once on average. Flow cytometric analysis using 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate N-succinimidyl ester dye showed that the fluorescence intensity of AT-MSCs was lower in CC1 than in CC2. Furthermore, expression of proliferation-associated genes, such as CDC45L, CDC20A and KIF20A, in P4 AT-MSCs was higher in CC1 than in CC2, and this difference was also observed in P12 AT-MSCs. These data demonstrated that cell culture density affects the proliferation activity of MSCs, suggesting that it is feasible to design a strategy to prepare suitable MSCs using specific culture conditions.

  11. Immunosuppressive Drugs Affect High-Mannose/Hybrid N-Glycans on Human Allostimulated Leukocytes

    PubMed Central

    Pocheć, Ewa; Bocian, Katarzyna; Ząbczyńska, Marta; Korczak-Kowalska, Grażyna; Lityńska, Anna

    2015-01-01

    N-glycosylation plays an important role in the majority of physiological and pathological processes occurring in the immune system. Alteration of the type and abundance of glycans is an element of lymphocyte differentiation; it is also common in the development of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. The N-glycosylation process is very sensitive to different environmental agents, among them the pharmacological environment of immunosuppressive drugs. Some results show that high-mannose oligosaccharides have the ability to suppress different stages of the immune response. We evaluated the effects of cyclosporin A (CsA) and rapamycin (Rapa) on high-mannose/hybrid-type glycosylation in human leukocytes activated in a two-way mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR). CsA significantly reduced the number of leukocytes covered by high-mannose/hybrid N-glycans, and the synergistic action of CsA and Rapa led to an increase of these structures on the remaining leukocytes. This is the first study indicating that β1 and β3 integrins bearing high-mannose/hybrid structures are affected by Rapa and CsA. Rapa taken separately and together with CsA changed the expression of β1 and β3 integrins and, by regulating the protein amount, increased the oligomannose/hybrid-type N-glycosylation on the leukocyte surface. We suggest that the changes in the glycosylation profile of leukocytes may promote the development of tolerance in transplantation. PMID:26339568

  12. Calcium signalling in human neutrophil cell lines is not affected by low-frequency electromagnetic fields.

    PubMed

    Golbach, Lieke A; Philippi, John G M; Cuppen, Jan J M; Savelkoul, Huub F J; Verburg-van Kemenade, B M Lidy

    2015-09-01

    We are increasingly exposed to low-frequency electromagnetic fields (LF EMFs) by electrical devices and power lines, but if and how these fields interact with living cells remains a matter of debate. This study aimed to investigate the potential effect of LF EMF exposure on calcium signalling in neutrophils. In neutrophilic granulocytes, activation of G-protein coupled receptors leads to efflux of calcium from calcium stores and influx of extracellular calcium via specialised calcium channels. The cytoplasmic rise of calcium induces cytoskeleton rearrangements, modified gene expression patterns, and cell migration. If LF EMF modulates intracellular calcium signalling, this will influence cellular behaviour and may eventually lead to health problems. We found that calcium mobilisation upon chemotactic stimulation was not altered after a short 30 min or long-term LF EMF exposure in human neutrophil-like cell lines HL-60 or PLB-985. Neither of the two investigated wave forms (Immunent and 50 Hz sine wave) at three magnetic flux densities (5 μT, 300 μT, and 500 μT) altered calcium signalling in vitro. Gene-expression patterns of calcium-signalling related genes also did not show any significant changes after exposure. Furthermore, analysis of the phenotypical appearance of microvilli by scanning electron microscopy revealed no alterations induced by LF EMF exposure. The findings above indicate that exposure to 50 Hz sinusoidal or Immunent LF EMF will not affect calcium signalling in neutrophils in vitro.

  13. Acute Systemic Inflammation is Unlikely to Affect Adiponectin and Leptin Synthesis in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Ekström, Mattias; Söderberg, Stefan; Tornvall, Per

    2015-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT), classically thought to be merely an energy store, has been shown to produce inflammatory and metabolically active cytokines. Recently, adiponectin and leptin, adipokines primarily synthesized by adipocytes, have attracted considerable attention because inflammation has been suggested to modulate adipokine levels. However, the regulation of adiponectin and leptin is complex and the knowledge about their synthesis within the early onset of inflammation is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate if the synthesis of adiponectin and leptin is affected during the early phase of an acute systemic inflammation. Eighteen healthy subjects were allocated to vaccination against Salmonella typhi or to a control group, and adiponectin and leptin concentrations measured in plasma during 24 h. Nine patients, without markers of inflammation, undergoing open heart surgery were investigated before and after the operation by analysis of plasma levels and AT gene expression of adiponectin and leptin. Plasma interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations were measured in both cohorts. Plasma levels of IL-6 were doubled after vaccination and increased 30-fold after open heart surgery. Plasma levels of adiponectin and leptin were unchanged after vaccination whereas adiponectin and leptin tended to decrease after surgery. The gene expression of adiponectin and leptin was unaltered in omental and subcutaneous AT after surgery. Despite the use of two models of stimulated in vivo systemic inflammation, we found no evidence of an early regulation of adiponectin and leptin synthesis, indicating that these two adipokines are not key elements in an acute systemic inflammation in humans. PMID:26664879

  14. Gut Microbiota Profiling: Metabolomics Based Approach to Unravel Compounds Affecting Human Health

    PubMed Central

    Vernocchi, Pamela; Del Chierico, Federica; Putignani, Lorenza

    2016-01-01

    The gut microbiota is composed of a huge number of different bacteria, that produce a large amount of compounds playing a key role in microbe selection and in the construction of a metabolic signaling network. The microbial activities are affected by environmental stimuli leading to the generation of a wide number of compounds, that influence the host metabolome and human health. Indeed, metabolite profiles related to the gut microbiota can offer deep insights on the impact of lifestyle and dietary factors on chronic and acute diseases. Metagenomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics are some of the meta-omics approaches to study the modulation of the gut microbiota. Metabolomic research applied to biofluids allows to: define the metabolic profile; identify and quantify classes and compounds of interest; characterize small molecules produced by intestinal microbes; and define the biochemical pathways of metabolites. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy are the principal technologies applied to metabolomics in terms of coverage, sensitivity and quantification. Moreover, the use of biostatistics and mathematical approaches coupled with metabolomics play a key role in the extraction of biologically meaningful information from wide datasets. Metabolomic studies in gut microbiota-related research have increased, focusing on the generation of novel biomarkers, which could lead to the development of mechanistic hypotheses potentially applicable to the development of nutritional and personalized therapies. PMID:27507964

  15. Coriandrum sativum L. (Coriander) essential oil: antifungal activity and mode of action on Candida spp., and molecular targets affected in human whole-genome expression.

    PubMed

    Freires, Irlan de Almeida; Murata, Ramiro Mendonça; Furletti, Vivian Fernandes; Sartoratto, Adilson; Alencar, Severino Matias de; Figueira, Glyn Mara; de Oliveira Rodrigues, Janaina Aparecida; Duarte, Marta Cristina Teixeira; Rosalen, Pedro Luiz

    2014-01-01

    Oral candidiasis is an opportunistic fungal infection of the oral cavity with increasingly worldwide prevalence and incidence rates. Novel specifically-targeted strategies to manage this ailment have been proposed using essential oils (EO) known to have antifungal properties. In this study, we aim to investigate the antifungal activity and mode of action of the EO from Coriandrum sativum L. (coriander) leaves on Candida spp. In addition, we detected the molecular targets affected in whole-genome expression in human cells. The EO phytochemical profile indicates monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes as major components, which are likely to negatively impact the viability of yeast cells. There seems to be a synergistic activity of the EO chemical compounds as their isolation into fractions led to a decreased antimicrobial effect. C. sativum EO may bind to membrane ergosterol, increasing ionic permeability and causing membrane damage leading to cell death, but it does not act on cell wall biosynthesis-related pathways. This mode of action is illustrated by photomicrographs showing disruption in biofilm integrity caused by the EO at varied concentrations. The EO also inhibited Candida biofilm adherence to a polystyrene substrate at low concentrations, and decreased the proteolytic activity of Candida albicans at minimum inhibitory concentration. Finally, the EO and its selected active fraction had low cytotoxicity on human cells, with putative mechanisms affecting gene expression in pathways involving chemokines and MAP-kinase (proliferation/apoptosis), as well as adhesion proteins. These findings highlight the potential antifungal activity of the EO from C. sativum leaves and suggest avenues for future translational toxicological research.

  16. Epidemiology of foodborne diseases: a worldwide review.

    PubMed

    Todd, E C

    1997-01-01

    the world do show some common elements. Salmonella is still the most important agent causing acute foodborne disease, with Salmonella enteritidis and S. typhimurium being of most concern. Foods of animal origin, particularly, meat and eggs, were most often implicated. Desserts, ice cream and confectionery items were products also mentioned, but some of these would have egg as a raw or incompletely cooked ingredient. Incidents most frequently occurred in homes or restaurants, and the main factors contributing to outbreaks were poor temperature control in preparing, cooking and storing food. Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella and VTEC are more frequently documented in industrialized than in developing countries. ETEC, EPEC, Shigella, Vibrio cholerae and parasites are the main scourges in developing countries, but it is uncertain how many cases are attributed to food, to water or to person-to-person transmission. The apparent decrease of S. aureus and C. perfringens outbreaks in industrialized countries may be related to improved temperature control in the kitchen. An increasing number of illnesses are international in scope, with contamination in a commercial product occurring in one country and affecting persons in several other countries, or tourists being infected abroad and possibly transmitting the pathogen to others at home. For Salmonella, a rapid alert and response coordination is being encouraged through Salm-Net and other international programs. However, unless such a network is worldwide, tracking clusters of illnesses is going to fall on the countries where the first cases occur, and some of these have very limited resources for investigation and control. It was heartening to see funds recently being allocated to foodborne disease surveillance and control in several industrialized countries, but the same commitment is required by the World Health Organization for the international community.

  17. Modulators affecting the immune dialogue between human immune and colon cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Djaldetti, Meir; Bessler, Hanna

    2014-01-01

    The link between chronic inflammation and colorectal cancer has been well established. The events proceeding along tumorigenesis are complicated and involve cells activated at the cancer microenvironment, tumor infiltrating polymorphonuclears, immune cells including lymphocyte subtypes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), as well as tumor-associated macrophages. The immune cells generate inflammatory cytokines, several of them playing a crucial role in tumorigenesis. Additional factors, such as gene expression regulated by cytokines, assembling of tumor growth- and transforming factors, accelerated angiogenesis, delayed apoptosis, contribute all to initiation, development and migration of tumor cells. Oxygen radical species originating from the inflammatory area promote cell mutation and cancer proliferation. Tumor cells may over-express pro-inflammatory mediators that in turn activate immune cells for inflammatory cytokines production. Consequently, an immune dialogue emerges between immune and cancer cells orchestrated through a number of activated molecular pathways. Cytokines, encompassing migration inhibitory factor, transforming growth factor beta 1, tumor necrosis factor-α, Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, IL-23 have been reported to be involved in human cancer development. Some cytokines, namely IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-22 and growth factors promote tumor development and metastasis, and inhibit apoptosis via activation of signal transducer activator transcription-3 transcription factor. Colon cancer environment comprises mesenchymal, endothelial and immune cells. Assessment of the interaction between components in the tumor environment and malignant cells requires a reconsideration of a few topics elucidating the role of chronic inflammation in carcinogenesis, the function of the immune cells expressed by inflammatory cytokine production, the immunomodulation of cancer cells and the existence of a cross-talk between immune and malignant

  18. Foreshock occurrence rates before large earthquakes worldwide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reasenberg, P.A.

    1999-01-01

    Global rates of foreshock occurrence involving shallow M ??? 6 and M ??? 7 mainshocks and M ??? 5 foreshocks were measured, using earthquakes listed in the Harvard CMT catalog for the period 1978-1996. These rates are similar to rates ones measured in previous worldwide and regional studies when they are normalized for the ranges of magnitude difference they each span. The observed worldwide rates were compared to a generic model of earthquake clustering, which is based on patterns of small and moderate aftershocks in California, and were found to exceed the California model by a factor of approximately 2. Significant differences in foreshock rate were found among subsets of earthquakes defined by their focal mechanism and tectonic region, with the rate before thrust events higher and the rate before strike-slip events lower than the worldwide average. Among the thrust events a large majority, composed of events located in shallow subduction zones, registered a high foreshock rate, while a minority, located in continental thrust belts, measured a low rate. These differences may explain why previous surveys have revealed low foreshock rates among thrust events in California (especially southern California), while the worldwide observations suggest the opposite: California, lacking an active subduction zone in most of its territory, and including a region of mountain-building thrusts in the south, reflects the low rate apparently typical for continental thrusts, while the worldwide observations, dominated by shallow subduction zone events, are foreshock-rich.

  19. Genetic factors affecting gene transcription and catalytic activity of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in human liver.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wanqing; Ramírez, Jacqueline; Gamazon, Eric R; Mirkov, Snezana; Chen, Peixian; Wu, Kehua; Sun, Chang; Cox, Nancy J; Cook, Edwin; Das, Soma; Ratain, Mark J

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this study was to discover cis- and trans-acting factors significantly affecting mRNA expression and catalytic activity of human hepatic UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). Transcription levels of five major hepatic UGT1A (UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A4, UGT1A6 and UGT1A9) and five UGT2B (UGT2B4, UGT2B7, UGT2B10, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17) genes were quantified in human liver tissue samples (n = 125) using real-time PCR. Glucuronidation activities of 14 substrates were measured in 47 livers. We genotyped 167 tagSNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in UGT1A (n = 43) and UGT2B (n = 124), as well as the known functional UGT1A1*28 and UGT2B17 CNV (copy number variation) polymorphisms. Transcription levels of 15 transcription factors (TFs) known to regulate these UGTs were quantified. We found that UGT expression and activity were highly variable among the livers (median and range of coefficient of variations: 135%, 74-217% and 52%, 39-105%, respectively). CAR, PXR and ESR1 were found to be the most important trans-regulators of UGT transcription (median and range of correlation coefficients: 46%, 6-58%; 47%, 9-58%; and 52%, 24-75%, respectively). Hepatic UGT activities were mainly determined by UGT gene transcription levels. Twenty-one polymorphisms were significantly (FDR-adjusted P < 0.05) associated with mRNA expression and/or activities of UGT1A1, UGT1A3 and UGT2B17. We found novel SNPs in the UGT2B17 CNV region accounting for variability in UGT2B17 gene transcription and testosterone glucuronidation rate, in addition to that attributable to the UGT2B17 CNV. Our study discovered novel pharmacogenetic markers and provided detailed insight into the genetic network regulating hepatic UGTs.

  20. Replacement of Val3 in Human Thymidylate Synthase Affects Its Kinetic Properties and Intracellular Stability

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Xiao; Gibson, Lydia M.; Bell, Brittnaie J.; Lovelace, Leslie L.; Pea, Maria Marjorette O.; Berger, Franklin G.; Berger, Sondra H.; Lebioda, Lukasz

    2010-11-03

    Human and other mammalian thymidylate synthase (TS) enzymes have an N-terminal extension of {approx}27 amino acids that is not present in bacterial TSs. The extension, which is disordered in all reported crystal structures of TSs, has been considered to play a primary role in protein turnover but not in catalytic activity. In mammalian cells, the variant V3A has a half-life similar to that of wild-type human TS (wt hTS) while V3T is much more stable; V3L, V3F, and V3Y have half-lives approximately half of that for wt hTS. Catalytic turnover rates for most Val3 mutants are only slightly diminished, as expected. However, two mutants, V3L and V3F, have strongly compromised dUMP binding, with K{sub m,app} values increased by factors of 47 and 58, respectively. For V3L, this observation can be explained by stabilization of the inactive conformation of the loop of residues 181-197, which prevents substrate binding. In the crystal structure of V3L, electron density corresponding to a leucine residue is present in a position that stabilizes the loop of residues 181-197 in the inactive conformation. Since this density is not observed in other mutants and all other leucine residues are ordered in this structure, it is likely that this density represents Leu3. In the crystal structure of a V3F {center_dot} FdUMP binary complex, the nucleotide is bound in an alternative mode to that proposed for the catalytic complex, indicating that the high K{sub m,app} value is caused not by stabilization of the inactive conformer but by substrate binding in a nonproductive, inhibitory site. These observations show that the N-terminal extension affects the conformational state of the hTS catalytic region. Each of the mechanisms leading to the high K{sub m,app} values can be exploited to facilitate design of compounds acting as allosteric inhibitors of hTS.

  1. Mir-373 affects human lung cancer cells' growth and its E-cadherin expression.

    PubMed

    Wu, Weihua; He, Xiaoyan; Kong, Jing; Ye, Bin

    2012-01-01

    The aims of this study was to elucidate whether the expression of E-cadherin can be affected by the recombinant has-mir-373 eukaryotic expression plasmid vector through tests in vitro, and to analyze the relationship between the expression of E-cadherin and tumor growth. According to the has-mir-373 sequence in miRBase database, two template DNA sequences were designed. The has-mir-373 sequence and a control sequence were synthesized and cloned into pGenesil-1 eukaryotic expression plasmid vector. The recombinant plasmids were transfected into human lung cancer A549 cells by liposome-mediated method. The mir-373 expression in A549 cells was detected by using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR). MTT (methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium) was used to analyze the growth of cancer cell cycle. RT-PCR and Western blotting were used to evaluate the levels of E-cadherin mRNA and protein expression, respectively. The expression of E-cadherin in cells was determined by immunocytochemistry. The mobility capability of transfected cells were evaluated by using wound healing assay in vitro. The fluorescent light was observed under fluorescent microscope. RT-PCR indicated that the mRNA of E-cadherin increased, and the Western blotting results also displayed that mir-373 promoted the expression of the E-cadherin protein. Compared with the control groups, MTT method and wound healing assay demonstrated that both the growth rate and migration of A549 cells transfected with the recombinant has-mir-373 eukaryotic expression plasmid was also decreased significantly (p < 0.001). The differences between the other two control groups were not significant (p > 0.05). The immunocytochemistry demonstrated a significant increase of E-cadherin protein levels in the cells transfected with mir-373, but not in the cells of the control group. Mir-373 could increase the expression levels of the E-cadherin and decrease the migration ability of human lung cancer A549 cells in

  2. Genetic factors affecting gene transcription and catalytic activity of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in human liver.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wanqing; Ramírez, Jacqueline; Gamazon, Eric R; Mirkov, Snezana; Chen, Peixian; Wu, Kehua; Sun, Chang; Cox, Nancy J; Cook, Edwin; Das, Soma; Ratain, Mark J

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this study was to discover cis- and trans-acting factors significantly affecting mRNA expression and catalytic activity of human hepatic UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs). Transcription levels of five major hepatic UGT1A (UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A4, UGT1A6 and UGT1A9) and five UGT2B (UGT2B4, UGT2B7, UGT2B10, UGT2B15 and UGT2B17) genes were quantified in human liver tissue samples (n = 125) using real-time PCR. Glucuronidation activities of 14 substrates were measured in 47 livers. We genotyped 167 tagSNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in UGT1A (n = 43) and UGT2B (n = 124), as well as the known functional UGT1A1*28 and UGT2B17 CNV (copy number variation) polymorphisms. Transcription levels of 15 transcription factors (TFs) known to regulate these UGTs were quantified. We found that UGT expression and activity were highly variable among the livers (median and range of coefficient of variations: 135%, 74-217% and 52%, 39-105%, respectively). CAR, PXR and ESR1 were found to be the most important trans-regulators of UGT transcription (median and range of correlation coefficients: 46%, 6-58%; 47%, 9-58%; and 52%, 24-75%, respectively). Hepatic UGT activities were mainly determined by UGT gene transcription levels. Twenty-one polymorphisms were significantly (FDR-adjusted P < 0.05) associated with mRNA expression and/or activities of UGT1A1, UGT1A3 and UGT2B17. We found novel SNPs in the UGT2B17 CNV region accounting for variability in UGT2B17 gene transcription and testosterone glucuronidation rate, in addition to that attributable to the UGT2B17 CNV. Our study discovered novel pharmacogenetic markers and provided detailed insight into the genetic network regulating hepatic UGTs. PMID:24879639

  3. Replacement of Val3 in human thymidylate synthase affects its kinetic properties and intracellular stability .

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiao; Gibson, Lydia M; Bell, Brittnaie J; Lovelace, Leslie L; Peña, Maria Marjorette O; Berger, Franklin G; Berger, Sondra H; Lebioda, Lukasz

    2010-03-23

    Human and other mammalian thymidylate synthase (TS) enzymes have an N-terminal extension of approximately 27 amino acids that is not present in bacterial TSs. The extension, which is disordered in all reported crystal structures of TSs, has been considered to play a primary role in protein turnover but not in catalytic activity. In mammalian cells, the variant V3A has a half-life similar to that of wild-type human TS (wt hTS) while V3T is much more stable; V3L, V3F, and V3Y have half-lives approximately half of that for wt hTS. Catalytic turnover rates for most Val3 mutants are only slightly diminished, as expected. However, two mutants, V3L and V3F, have strongly compromised dUMP binding, with K(m,app) values increased by factors of 47 and 58, respectively. For V3L, this observation can be explained by stabilization of the inactive conformation of the loop of residues 181-197, which prevents substrate binding. In the crystal structure of V3L, electron density corresponding to a leucine residue is present in a position that stabilizes the loop of residues 181-197 in the inactive conformation. Since this density is not observed in other mutants and all other leucine residues are ordered in this structure, it is likely that this density represents Leu3. In the crystal structure of a V3F.FdUMP binary complex, the nucleotide is bound in an alternative mode to that proposed for the catalytic complex, indicating that the high K(m,app) value is caused not by stabilization of the inactive conformer but by substrate binding in a nonproductive, inhibitory site. These observations show that the N-terminal extension affects the conformational state of the hTS catalytic region. Each of the mechanisms leading to the high K(m,app) values can be exploited to facilitate design of compounds acting as allosteric inhibitors of hTS.

  4. C282Y-HFE Gene Variant Affects Cholesterol Metabolism in Human Neuroblastoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ali-Rahmani, Fatima; Huang, Michael A.; Schengrund, C.-L.; Connor, James R.; Lee, Sang Y.

    2014-01-01

    Although disruptions in the maintenance of iron and cholesterol metabolism have been implicated in several cancers, the association between variants in the HFE gene that is associated with cellular iron uptake and cholesterol metabolism has not been studied. The C282Y-HFE variant is a risk factor for different cancers, is known to affect sphingolipid metabolism, and to result in increased cellular iron uptake. The effect of this variant on cholesterol metabolism and its possible relevance to cancer phenotype was investigated using wild type (WT) and C282Y-HFE transfected human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Expression of C282Y-HFE in SH-SY5Y cells resulted in a significant increase in total cholesterol as well as increased transcription of a number of genes involved in its metabolism compared to cells expressing WT-HFE. The marked increase in expression of NPC1L1 relative to that of most other genes, was accompanied by a significant increase in expression of NPC1, a protein that functions in cholesterol uptake by cells. Because inhibitors of cholesterol metabolism have been proposed to be beneficial for treating certain cancers, their effect on the viability of C282Y-HFE neuroblastoma cells was ascertained. C282Y-HFE cells were significantly more sensitive than WT-HFE cells to U18666A, an inhibitor of desmosterol Δ24-reductase the enzyme catalyzing the last step in cholesterol biosynthesis. This was not seen for simvastatin, ezetimibe, or a sphingosine kinase inhibitor. These studies indicate that cancers presenting in carriers of the C282Y-HFE allele might be responsive to treatment designed to selectively reduce cholesterol content in their tumor cells. PMID:24533143

  5. Stress during pregnancy affects general intellectual and language functioning in human toddlers.

    PubMed

    Laplante, David P; Barr, Ronald G; Brunet, Alain; Galbaud du Fort, Guillaume; Meaney, Michael L; Saucier, Jean-Francois; Zelazo, Philip R; King, Suzanne

    2004-09-01

    Prenatal maternal stress has been shown to impair functioning in nonhuman primate offspring. Little is known about the effects of prenatal stress on intellectual and language development in humans because it is difficult to identify sufficiently large samples of pregnant women who have been exposed to an independent stressor. We took advantage of a natural disaster (January 1998 ice storm in Québec, Canada) to determine the effect of the objective severity of pregnant women's stress exposure on general intellectual and language development of their children. Bayley Mental Development Index (MDI) scores and parent-reported language abilities of 58 toddlers of mothers who were exposed to varying levels of prenatal stress were obtained at 2 y of age. The hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that the toddlers' birth weight and age at testing accounted for 12.0% and 14.8% of the variance in the Bayley MDI scores and in productive language abilities, respectively. More importantly, the level of prenatal stress exposure accounted for an additional 11.4% and 12.1% of the variance in the toddlers' Bayley MDI and productive language abilities and uniquely accounted for 17.3% of the variance of their receptive language abilities. The more severe the level of prenatal stress exposure, the poorer the toddlers' abilities. The level of prenatal stress exposure accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in the three dependent variables above and beyond that already accounted for by non-ice storm-related factors. We suspect that high levels of prenatal stress exposure, particularly early in the pregnancy, may negatively affect the brain development of the fetus, reflected in the lower general intellectual and language abilities in the toddlers.

  6. How Has Human-induced Climate Change Affected California Drought Risk?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, L.; Hoerling, M. P.; Aghakouchak, A.; Livneh, B.; Quan, X. W.; Eischeid, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    The current California drought has cast a heavy burden on statewide agriculture and water resources, further exacerbated by concurrent extreme high temperatures. Furthermore, industrial-era global radiative forcing brings into question the role of long-term climate change on CA drought. How has human-induced climate change affected California drought risk? Here, observations and model experimentation are applied to characterize this drought employing metrics that synthesize drought duration, cumulative precipitation deficit, and soil moisture depletion. The model simulations show that increases in radiative forcing since the late 19th Century induces both increased annual precipitation and increased surface temperature over California, consistent with prior model studies and with observed long-term change. As a result, there is no material difference in the frequency of droughts defined using bivariate indicators of precipitation and near-surface (10-cm) soil moisture, because shallow soil moisture responds most sensitively to increased evaporation driven by warming, which compensates the increase in the precipitation. However, when using soil moisture within a deep root zone layer (1-m) as co-variate, droughts become less frequent because deep soil moisture responds most sensitively to increased precipitation. The results illustrate the different land surface responses to anthropogenic forcing that are relevant for near-surface moisture exchange and for root zone moisture availability. The latter is especially relevant for agricultural impacts as the deep layer dictates moisture availability for plants, trees, and many crops. The results thus indicate the net effect of climate change has made agricultural drought less likely, and that the current severe impacts of drought on California's agriculture has not been substantially caused by long-term climate changes.

  7. Heparin affects human bone marrow stromal cell fate: Promoting osteogenic and reducing adipogenic differentiation and conversion.

    PubMed

    Simann, Meike; Schneider, Verena; Le Blanc, Solange; Dotterweich, Julia; Zehe, Viola; Krug, Melanie; Jakob, Franz; Schilling, Tatjana; Schütze, Norbert

    2015-09-01

    Heparins are broadly used for the prevention and treatment of thrombosis and embolism. Yet, osteoporosis is considered to be a severe side effect in up to one third of all patients on long-term treatment. However, the mechanisms underlying this clinical problem are only partially understood. To investigate if heparin affects differentiation of skeletal precursors, we examined the effects of heparin on the osteogenic and adipogenic lineage commitment and differentiation of primary human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs). Due to the known inverse relationship between adipogenesis and osteogenesis and the capacity of pre-differentiated cells to convert into the respective other lineage, we also determined heparin effects on osteogenic conversion and adipogenic differentiation/conversion. Interestingly, heparin did not only significantly increase mRNA expression and enzyme activity of the osteogenic marker alkaline phosphatase (ALP), but it also promoted mineralization during osteogenic differentiation and conversion. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of the osteogenic marker bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4) was enhanced. In addition, heparin administration partly prevented adipogenic differentiation and conversion demonstrated by reduced lipid droplet formation along with a decreased expression of adipogenic markers. Moreover, luciferase reporter assays, inhibitor experiments and gene expression analyses revealed that heparin had putative permissive effects on osteogenic signaling via the BMP pathway and reduced the mRNA expression of the Wnt pathway inhibitors dickkopf 1 (DKK1) and sclerostin (SOST). Taken together, our data show a rather supportive than inhibitory effect of heparin on osteogenic hBMSC differentiation and conversion in vitro. Further studies will have to investigate the net effects of heparin administration on bone formation versus bone resorption in vivo to unravel the molecular mechanisms of heparin-associated osteoporosis and reconcile

  8. 1991 worldwide refining and gas processing directory

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    This book ia an authority for immediate information on the industry. You can use it to find new business, analyze market trends, and to stay in touch with existing contacts while making new ones. The possibilities for business applications are numerous. Arranged by country, all listings in the directory include address, phone, fax and telex numbers, a description of the company's activities, names of key personnel and their titles, corporate headquarters, branch offices and plant sites. This newly revised edition lists more than 2000 companies and nearly 3000 branch offices and plant locations. This east-to-use reference also includes several of the most vital and informative surveys of the industry, including the U.S. Refining Survey, the Worldwide Construction Survey in Refining, Sulfur, Gas Processing and Related Fuels, the Worldwide Refining and Gas Processing Survey, the Worldwide Catalyst Report, and the U.S. and Canadian Lube and Wax Capacities Report from the National Petroleum Refiner's Association.

  9. Trends Affecting Ohio State University Extension in the 21st Century and the Implications for Human Capital

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cochran, Graham R.; Ferrari, Theresa M.; Chen, Claire Yueh-Ti

    2012-01-01

    Research with a diverse array of organizations in the public and private sectors has documented a common set of trends affecting organizations and their human capital in the 21st century. Similar trends have been identified as important for Extension organizations and the Cooperative Extension System. It is important to determine if such trends…

  10. Genome scan identifies a locus affecting gamma-globin expression in human beta-cluster YAC transgenic mice

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, S.D.; Cooper, P.; Fung, J.; Weier, H.U.G.; Rubin, E.M.

    2000-03-01

    Genetic factors affecting post-natal g-globin expression - a major modifier of the severity of both b-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, have been difficult to study. This is especially so in mice, an organism lacking a globin gene with an expression pattern equivalent to that of human g-globin. To model the human b-cluster in mice, with the goal of screening for loci affecting human g-globin expression in vivo, we introduced a human b-globin cluster YAC transgene into the genome of FVB mice . The b-cluster contained a Greek hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) g allele resulting in postnatal expression of human g-globin in transgenic mice. The level of human g-globin for various F1 hybrids derived from crosses between the FVB transgenics and other inbred mouse strains was assessed. The g-globin level of the C3HeB/FVB transgenic mice was noted to be significantly elevated. To map genes affecting postnatal g-globin expression, a 20 centiMorgan (cM) genome scan of a C3HeB/F VB transgenics [prime] FVB backcross was performed, followed by high-resolution marker analysis of promising loci. From this analysis we mapped a locus within a 2.2 cM interval of mouse chromosome 1 at a LOD score of 4.2 that contributes 10.4% of variation in g-globin expression level. Combining transgenic modeling of the human b-globin gene cluster with quantitative trait analysis, we have identified and mapped a murine locus that impacts on human g-globin expression in vivo.

  11. World-Wide Web: The Information Universe.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berners-Lee, Tim; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Describes the World-Wide Web (W3) project, which is designed to create a global information universe using techniques of hypertext, information retrieval, and wide area networking. Discussion covers the W3 data model, W3 architecture, the document naming scheme, protocols, document formats, comparison with other systems, experience with the W3…

  12. WorldWide Web: Hypertext from CERN.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nickerson, Gord

    1992-01-01

    Discussion of software tools for accessing information on the Internet focuses on the WorldWideWeb (WWW) system, which was developed at the European Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN) in Switzerland to build a worldwide network of hypertext links using available networking technology. Its potential for use with multimedia documents is also…

  13. 1979 Worldwide Adventure TravelGuide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1979

    Guidebook descriptions of the 3000 worldwide adventure trips open to public participation include highlights, itinerary, level of experience necessary, requirements, location, duration, dates, cost, and addresses and telephone numbers of the operating organizations. The guidebook is organized in four major sections and, within each section, into…

  14. Equipment and services for worldwide applications

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    The report presents a digest of geothermal energy technology. The worldwide distribution of geothermal resources is described, and the degree to which various countries are exploiting their resources estimated. Detailed information about US technologies is presented, from exploration through applications to cost factors. (ACR)

  15. World-wide distribution automation systems

    SciTech Connect

    Devaney, T.M.

    1994-12-31

    A worldwide power distribution automation system is outlined. Distribution automation is defined and the status of utility automation is discussed. Other topics discussed include a distribution management system, substation feeder, and customer functions, potential benefits, automation costs, planning and engineering considerations, automation trends, databases, system operation, computer modeling of system, and distribution management systems.

  16. Expanding Worldwide Awareness of Creative Potential.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jellen, Hans G.; Urban, Klaus K.

    1989-01-01

    The article proposes the Test for Creative Thinking-Drawing Production as an appropriate culture-fair assessment to identifying creative potential worldwide. Fifteen sample drawings of children from around the world, all based on the same original stimuli, are provided. (DB)

  17. Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop genetic diversity is concentrated within specific geographic regions worldwide. While access to this diversity is critical to continued increases in agricultural productivity, the geopolitical significance of the geography of crop diversity has not been quantified. We assess the degree to which...

  18. Woodland Patch Dynamics Affected by Oak Growth: Fire, Climate, and Human Influences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, D. B.; White, J. D.

    2010-12-01

    Woodland fragmentation and aggregation occur due to impacts of fire, climate, and human factors. In our study we investigate the growth response of a deciduous oak species, Quercus buckleyii (Texas Red Oak) within a juniper-dominated woodland. This species may be a sentinel species for woodland patch developmental processes that could be used as a proxy for woodland patch contraction and expansion events. In this study, we used tree rings, fire scar, and multi-temporal aerial photographic data to assess response of oaks to disturbance type and resultant impact on woodland patches. Three hundred and seventy tree slabs from downed and dead red oaks were collected in the Balcones National Wildlife Refuge outside Austin, Texas. We analyzed tree rings from these slabs to determine recruitment date, annual ring width, and where evident, time of fire. Changes in tree ring widths associated with canopy openings were derived from neighborhood analysis of digital aerial photos from 1939, 1951, 1964, 1980, 1995, and 2004. Results indicated that red oaks increased radial growth following fire. Analysis of canopy openings associated with the aerial photographs showed that the oak species did not respond to canopy openings with increased radial growth as predicted by gap-phase dynamics. Climate impacted average radial ring growth as demonstrated by comparison with the Palmer Drought Severity and Nino 3 Index values (p = .56). Given that radial growth is influenced by both fire and climate, we explored the possibility that dramatic climate and related disturbance events (drought and high occurrence of fire) of the 1950’s created a possible ecological regime shift. Changes in both index value variance and disturbance frequency were noted during the 1950’s. These results were confirmed by landscape analysis of disturbance patches identified from the historical photographs which show cutting and burning occurred with the highest frequency between 1951 and 1964 with 70% of the

  19. Safe Thinking and Affect Regulation (STAR): Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevention in Alternative/Therapeutic Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Larry K.; Nugent, Nicole R.; Houck, Christopher D.; Lescano, Celia M.; Whiteley, Laura B.; Barker, David; Viau, Lisa; Zlotnick, Caron

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of Safe Thinking and Affect Regulation (STAR), a 14-session HIV-prevention program for adolescents at alternative/therapeutic schools. Because these youth frequently have difficulties with emotions and cognitions, it was designed to improve sexuality-specific affect management and cognitive monitoring, as…

  20. Connecting art and science: An interdisciplinary strategy and its impact on the affective domain of community college human anatomy students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petti, Kevin

    Educational objectives are often described within the framework of a three-domain taxonomy: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. While most of the research on educational objectives has focused on the cognitive domain, the research that has been conducted on the affective domain, which speaks to emotions, attitudes, and values, has identified a number of positive outcomes. One approach to enhancing the affective domain is that of interdisciplinary education. Science education research in the realm of interdisciplinary education and affective outcomes is limited; especially research conducted on community college students of human anatomy. This project investigated the relationship between an interdisciplinary teaching strategy and the affective domain in science education by utilizing an interdisciplinary lecture in a human anatomy class. Subjects were anatomy students in a California community college who listened to a one-hour lecture describing the cultural, historical and scientific significance of selected pieces of art depicting human dissection in European medieval and Renaissance universities. The focus was on how these renderings represent the state of anatomy education during their respective eras. After listening to the lecture, subjects were administered a 35-question survey that was composed of 14 demographic questions and 21 Likert-style statements that asked respondents to rate the extent to which the intervention influenced their affective domain. Descriptive statistics were then used to determine which component of the affective domain was most influenced, and multiple regression analysis was used to examine the extent to which individual differences along the affective continuum were explained by select demographic measures such as gender, race/ethnicity, education level, and previous exposure to science courses. Results indicate that the interdisciplinary intervention had a positive impact on every component of the affective domain hierarchy

  1. How does enhancing cognition affect human values? How does this translate into social responsibility?

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Laura Y

    2015-01-01

    The past decade has seen a rise in the use of different technologies aimed at enhancing cognition of normal healthy individuals. While values have been acknowledged to be an important aspect of cognitive enhancement practices, the discussion has predominantly focused on just a few values, such as safety, peer pressure, and authenticity. How are values, in a broader sense, affected by enhancing cognitive abilities? Is this dependent on the type of technology or intervention used to attain the enhancement, or does the cognitive domain targeted play a bigger role in how values are affected? Values are not only likely to be affected by cognitive enhancement practices; they also play a crucial role in defining the type of interventions that are likely to be undertaken. This paper explores the way values affect and are affected by enhancing cognitive abilities. Furthermore, it argues that knowledge of the interplay between values and cognitive enhancement makes a strong case for social responsibility around cognitive enhancement practices.

  2. Haloperidol, but not olanzapine, may affect expression of PER1 and CRY1 genes in human glioblastoma cell line

    PubMed Central

    Mokros, Łukasz; Karbownik, Michał Seweryn; Nowakowska-Domagała, Katarzyna; Szemraj, Janusz; Wieteska, Łukasz; Woźniak, Karol; Witusik, Andrzej; Antczak, Adam; Pietras, Tadeusz

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background: There is barely any evidence of antipsychotic drugs affecting the molecular clockwork in human, yet it is suggested that clock genes are associated with dopaminergic transmission, i.e. the main target of this therapeutics. We decided to verify if haloperidol and olanzapine affect expression of CLOCK, BMAL1, PER1 and CRY1 in a human central nervous system cell line model. Methods: U-87MG human glioblastoma cell line was used as an experimental model. The cells were incubated with or without haloperidol and olanzapine in the concentration of 5 and 20 μM for 24 h. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction with the ΔC T analysis was used to examine the effect of haloperidol and olanzapine on the mRNA expression of the genes. Results: At 5 μM, haloperidol decreased expression of CRY1 almost 20-fold. There was nearly a 1.5-fold increase in expression of PER1. Considering the 20 μM haloperidol concentration and both olanzapine concentrations, no other statistically significant effect was observed. Conclusions: At certain concentration, haloperidol seems to affect expression of particular clock genes in a human central nervous system cell line model, yet mechanism underlying this phenomenon remains elusive.

  3. Human factors with nonhumans - Factors that affect computer-task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.

    1992-01-01

    There are two general strategies that may be employed for 'doing human factors research with nonhuman animals'. First, one may use the methods of traditional human factors investigations to examine the nonhuman animal-to-machine interface. Alternatively, one might use performance by nonhuman animals as a surrogate for or model of performance by a human operator. Each of these approaches is illustrated with data in the present review. Chronic ambient noise was found to have a significant but inconsequential effect on computer-task performance by rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Additional data supported the generality of findings such as these to humans, showing that rhesus monkeys are appropriate models of human psychomotor performance. It is argued that ultimately the interface between comparative psychology and technology will depend on the coordinated use of both strategies of investigation.

  4. Arylamine N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) genetic diversity and traditional subsistence: a worldwide population survey.

    PubMed

    Sabbagh, Audrey; Darlu, Pierre; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Poloni, Estella S

    2011-01-01

    Arylamine N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) is involved in human physiological responses to a variety of xenobiotic compounds, including common therapeutic drugs and exogenous chemicals present in the diet and the environment. Many questions remain about the evolutionary mechanisms that have led to the high prevalence of slow acetylators in the human species. Evidence from recent surveys of NAT2 gene variation suggests that NAT2 slow-causing variants might have become targets of positive selection as a consequence of the shift in modes of subsistence and lifestyle in human populations in the last 10,000 years. We aimed to test more extensively the hypothesis that slow acetylation prevalence in humans is related to the subsistence strategy adopted by the past populations. To this end, published frequency data on the most relevant genetic variants of NAT2 were collected from 128 population samples (14,679 individuals) representing different subsistence modes and dietary habits, allowing a thorough analysis at both a worldwide and continent scale. A significantly higher prevalence of the slow acetylation phenotype was observed in populations practicing farming (45.4%) and herding (48.2%) as compared to populations mostly relying on hunting and gathering (22.4%) (P = 0.0007). This was closely mirrored by the frequency of the slow 590A variant that was found to occur at a three-fold higher frequency in food producers (25%) as compared to hunter-gatherers (8%). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the Neolithic transition to subsistence economies based on agricultural and pastoral resources modified the selective regime affecting the NAT2 acetylation pathway. Furthermore, the vast amount of data collected enabled us to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date description of NAT2 worldwide genetic diversity, thus building up a useful resource of frequency data for further studies interested in epidemiological or anthropological research questions involving

  5. Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) Genetic Diversity and Traditional Subsistence: A Worldwide Population Survey

    PubMed Central

    Sabbagh, Audrey; Darlu, Pierre; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Poloni, Estella S.

    2011-01-01

    Arylamine N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) is involved in human physiological responses to a variety of xenobiotic compounds, including common therapeutic drugs and exogenous chemicals present in the diet and the environment. Many questions remain about the evolutionary mechanisms that have led to the high prevalence of slow acetylators in the human species. Evidence from recent surveys of NAT2 gene variation suggests that NAT2 slow-causing variants might have become targets of positive selection as a consequence of the shift in modes of subsistence and lifestyle in human populations in the last 10,000 years. We aimed to test more extensively the hypothesis that slow acetylation prevalence in humans is related to the subsistence strategy adopted by the past populations. To this end, published frequency data on the most relevant genetic variants of NAT2 were collected from 128 population samples (14,679 individuals) representing different subsistence modes and dietary habits, allowing a thorough analysis at both a worldwide and continent scale. A significantly higher prevalence of the slow acetylation phenotype was observed in populations practicing farming (45.4%) and herding (48.2%) as compared to populations mostly relying on hunting and gathering (22.4%) (P = 0.0007). This was closely mirrored by the frequency of the slow 590A variant that was found to occur at a three-fold higher frequency in food producers (25%) as compared to hunter-gatherers (8%). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the Neolithic transition to subsistence economies based on agricultural and pastoral resources modified the selective regime affecting the NAT2 acetylation pathway. Furthermore, the vast amount of data collected enabled us to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date description of NAT2 worldwide genetic diversity, thus building up a useful resource of frequency data for further studies interested in epidemiological or anthropological research questions involving

  6. Cross-species affective functions of the medial forebrain bundle-implications for the treatment of affective pain and depression in humans.

    PubMed

    Coenen, Volker A; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Maedler, Burkhard; Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-10-01

    Major depression (MD) might be conceptualized as pathological under-arousal of positive affective systems as parts of a network of brain regions assessing, reconciling and storing emotional stimuli versus an over-arousal of parts of the same network promoting separation-distress/GRIEF. In this context depression can be explained as an emotional pain state that is the result of a disregulation of several sub-systems that under physiological conditions are concerned with bodily or emotional homeostasis of the human organism in a social context. Physiologically, homeostasis is maintained by influences of the SEEKING system represented - amongst others - by the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). Neuroimaging studies show that the MFB has a proven access to the GRIEF/Sadness system. A functional decoupling of these systems with a dysfunctional GRIEF pathway might result in MD. Therewith GRIEF and SEEKING/PLEASURE systems play important roles as opponents in maintenance of emotional homeostasis. Chronic electrical modulation of the reward SEEKING pathways with deep brain stimulation might show anti-depressive effects in humans suffering from MD by re-initiating an emotional equilibrium (of higher or lower activity) between these opposing systems. PMID:21184778

  7. Exploring the Universe with the Worldwide Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fay, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    Microsoft Research WorldWide Telescope is a software platform for exploring the universe. Whether you are a researcher, student or just a casual explorer WorldWide Telescope uses cutting edge technology to take you anywhere in the universe and visualize data collected by science programs from across the globe, including NASA great observatories and planetary probes. WWT leverages technologies such as Virtual reality headsets, multi-channel full dome projection and HTML5/WebGL to bring the WWT experience to any device and any scale. We will discuss how to use WWT to browse previously curated data, as well as how to process and visualize your own data, using examples from NASA Mars missions.

  8. Worldwide electricity consumption of communication networks.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Sofie; Van Heddeghem, Ward; Vereecken, Willem; Lannoo, Bart; Colle, Didier; Pickavet, Mario

    2012-12-10

    There is a growing research interest in improving the energy efficiency of communication networks. In order to assess the impact of introducing new energy efficient technologies, an up-to-date estimate for the global electricity consumption in communication networks is needed. In this paper we consider the use phase electricity consumption of telecom operator networks, office networks and customer premises equipment. Our results show that the network electricity consumption is growing fast, at a rate of 10 % per year, and its relative contribution to the total worldwide electricity consumption has increased from 1.3% in 2007 to 1.8% in 2012. We estimate the worldwide electricity consumption of communication networks will exceed 350 TWh in 2012.

  9. Data reprocessing on worldwide distributed systems

    SciTech Connect

    Diesburg, Mike; Wicke, Daniel; /Fermilab

    2004-12-01

    The D0 experiment faces many challenges enabling access to large datasets for physicists on 4 continents. The strategy followed is to make use of worldwide distributed computing clusters. Since the begin of Tevatron Run-II (March 2001) all Monte-Carlo simulations are produced outside of Fermilab on remote systems. For analyses a system of regional analysis centres (RACs) was established which supply the associated institutes with the data. This structure which is similar to the Tier structure foreseen for LHC was used in autumn 2003 to reprocess all D0-data with the up-to-date and much improved reconstruction software. With these achievements D0 is the first high energy physics experiment to have implemented and operated all essential computing tasks on non-dedicated, worldwide distributed systems. The experiences gained in D0 can be applied to evaluate the LHC computing model.

  10. Data reprocessing on worldwide distributed systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wicke, Daniel; /Fermilab

    2004-12-01

    The D0 experiment faces many challenges in terms of enabling access to large datasets for physicists on four continents. The strategy for solving these problems on worldwide distributed computing clusters is presented. Since the beginning of Run II of the Tevatron (March 2001) all Monte-Carlo simulations for the experiment have been produced at remote systems. For data analysis, a system of regional analysis centers (RACs) was established which supply the associated institutes with the data. This structure, which is similar to the tiered structure foreseen for the LHC was used in Fall 2003 to reprocess all D0 data with a much improved version of the reconstruction software. This makes D0 the first running experiment that has implemented and operated all important computing tasks of a high energy physics experiment on systems distributed worldwide.

  11. Integrating WorldWide Telescope with Wordpress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sands, Mark; Luebbert, J.; Fay, J.; Gay, P. L.

    2010-01-01

    In this project we unite three major components of astronomy and new media: World Wide Telescope, Wordpress, and user supplied audio. Through an easy to use Wordpress plug-in users can create WorldWide Telescope sky tours that allow: a) astronomers and educators to spread the facts and awareness of astronomy, potentially bringing new and interested individuals into the astronomy community; b) bloggers/podcasters to create dynamic, virtual tours of the universe that are nearly boundless; and, c) readers to benefit from the alluring WorldWide Telescope tours by gaining a new and dramatic outlook on our universe. This software has the potential to augment, and in some cases replace, traditional methods of astronomy centered online lectures. With this plugin, it is possible to combine Wordpress-based website content with audio, and a sky tour that can be paused at any object. This ability to pause a sky tour allows the user to further explore the wealth of data provided within WWT. This fully customizable solution includes all of the necessary features required to reproduce a lecture in a more creative and appealing format then some of the standard, typically non-interactive, movies and podcasts currently found online. Through the creation of effective WorldWide Telescope tours, astronomers and educators can better extend astronomy content to astronomy-interested, but not yet engaged, members of the new media community. These tours will provide a better understanding and appreciation for what our universe has to offer. Through this new media approach of integrating WorldWide Telescope with blogs and podcasts, users can now extend their interest in astronomy by exploring the universe themselves, moving beyond provided content to gain a better understanding all on their own.

  12. World-wide fallout from nuclear weapons

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-01-01

    This video explains what is known and what is not known by today's science about the long term consequences of world-wide fallout. In the interest of accuracy, this report is confined to the fallout on which a substantial amount of information is now available. Much has been written and said about this subject both officially and unofficially. The purpose of this film is to correct any factually unsupported statements which have been and continue to be issued from time to time.

  13. Worldwide electricity used in data centers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koomey, Jonathan G.

    2008-07-01

    The direct electricity used by data centers has become an important issue in recent years as demands for new Internet services (such as search, music downloads, video-on-demand, social networking, and telephony) have become more widespread. This study estimates historical electricity used by data centers worldwide and regionally on the basis of more detailed data than were available for previous assessments, including electricity used by servers, data center communications, and storage equipment. Aggregate electricity use for data centers doubled worldwide from 2000 to 2005. Three quarters of this growth was the result of growth in the number of the least expensive (volume) servers. Data center communications and storage equipment each contributed about 10% of the growth. Total electricity use grew at an average annual rate of 16.7% per year, with the Asia Pacific region (without Japan) being the only major world region with growth significantly exceeding that average. Direct electricity used by information technology equipment in data centers represented about 0.5% of total world electricity consumption in 2005. When electricity for cooling and power distribution is included, that figure is about 1%. Worldwide data center power demand in 2005 was equivalent (in capacity terms) to about seventeen 1000 MW power plants.

  14. Human Impacts Affect Tree Community Features of 20 Forest Fragments of a Vanishing Neotropical Hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, José Aldo Alves; de Oliveira-Filho, Ary Teixeira; Eisenlohr, Pedro V.; Miranda, Pedro L. S.; de Lemos Filho, José Pires

    2015-02-01

    The loss in forest area due to human occupancy is not the only threat to the remaining biodiversity: forest fragments are susceptible to additional human impact. Our aim was to investigate the effect of human impact on tree community features (species composition and abundance, and structural descriptors) and check if there was a decrease in the number of slender trees, an increase in the amount of large trees, and also a reduction in the number of tree species that occur in 20 fragments of Atlantic montane semideciduous forest in southeastern Brazil. We produced digital maps of each forest fragment using Landsat 7 satellite images and processed the maps to obtain morphometric variables. We used investigative questionnaires and field observations to survey the history of human impact. We then converted the information into scores given to the extent, severity, and duration of each impact, including proportional border area, fire, trails, coppicing, logging, and cattle, and converted these scores into categorical levels. We used linear models to assess the effect of impacts on tree species abundance distribution and stand structural descriptors. Part of the variation in floristic patterns was significantly correlated to the impacts of fire, logging, and proportional border area. Structural descriptors were influenced by cattle and outer roads. Our results provided, for the first time, strong evidence that tree species occurrence and abundance, and forest structure of Atlantic seasonal forest fragments respond differently to various modes of disturbance by humans.

  15. Human impacts affect tree community features of 20 forest fragments of a vanishing neotropical hotspot.

    PubMed

    Pereira, José Aldo Alves; de Oliveira-Filho, Ary Teixeira; Eisenlohr, Pedro V; Miranda, Pedro L S; de Lemos Filho, José Pires

    2015-02-01

    The loss in forest area due to human occupancy is not the only threat to the remaining biodiversity: forest fragments are susceptible to additional human impact. Our aim was to investigate the effect of human impact on tree community features (species composition and abundance, and structural descriptors) and check if there was a decrease in the number of slender trees, an increase in the amount of large trees, and also a reduction in the number of tree species that occur in 20 fragments of Atlantic montane semideciduous forest in southeastern Brazil. We produced digital maps of each forest fragment using Landsat 7 satellite images and processed the maps to obtain morphometric variables. We used investigative questionnaires and field observations to survey the history of human impact. We then converted the information into scores given to the extent, severity, and duration of each impact, including proportional border area, fire, trails, coppicing, logging, and cattle, and converted these scores into categorical levels. We used linear models to assess the effect of impacts on tree species abundance distribution and stand structural descriptors. Part of the variation in floristic patterns was significantly correlated to the impacts of fire, logging, and proportional border area. Structural descriptors were influenced by cattle and outer roads. Our results provided, for the first time, strong evidence that tree species occurrence and abundance, and forest structure of Atlantic seasonal forest fragments respond differently to various modes of disturbance by humans.

  16. Human impacts affect tree community features of 20 forest fragments of a vanishing neotropical hotspot.

    PubMed

    Pereira, José Aldo Alves; de Oliveira-Filho, Ary Teixeira; Eisenlohr, Pedro V; Miranda, Pedro L S; de Lemos Filho, José Pires

    2015-02-01

    The loss in forest area due to human occupancy is not the only threat to the remaining biodiversity: forest fragments are susceptible to additional human impact. Our aim was to investigate the effect of human impact on tree community features (species composition and abundance, and structural descriptors) and check if there was a decrease in the number of slender trees, an increase in the amount of large trees, and also a reduction in the number of tree species that occur in 20 fragments of Atlantic montane semideciduous forest in southeastern Brazil. We produced digital maps of each forest fragment using Landsat 7 satellite images and processed the maps to obtain morphometric variables. We used investigative questionnaires and field observations to survey the history of human impact. We then converted the information into scores given to the extent, severity, and duration of each impact, including proportional border area, fire, trails, coppicing, logging, and cattle, and converted these scores into categorical levels. We used linear models to assess the effect of impacts on tree species abundance distribution and stand structural descriptors. Part of the variation in floristic patterns was significantly correlated to the impacts of fire, logging, and proportional border area. Structural descriptors were influenced by cattle and outer roads. Our results provided, for the first time, strong evidence that tree species occurrence and abundance, and forest structure of Atlantic seasonal forest fragments respond differently to various modes of disturbance by humans. PMID:25344658

  17. Human erythrocytes are affected in vitro by flavonoids of Aristotelia chilensis (Maqui) leaves.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; Vargas, Pedro; Avello, Marcia; Villena, Fernando; Sotomayor, Carlos P

    2008-11-01

    Aristotelia chilensis (Mol.) Stuntz (A. chilensis), also known as maqui, is a plant of the Elaeocarpaceae family that grows in central and southern Chile as well as southwestern Argentina. Infusions of its leaves have long been used in the traditional native herbal medicine to treat different ailments. Phytochemical studies of the plant's chemical composition of the plant indicate the presence of indolic alkaloids, flavonoids, cianidine glucosides, delfidine, malvidine, petunidine, cumarines and triterpenes. These compounds, particularly the flavonoids, have antioxidant properties. In order to evaluate the mechanisms of its toxicity and their antioxidant properties, the leaves' aqueous extracts were induced to interact with human red cells, their isolated unsealed membranes (IUM), and molecular models of the human erythrocyte membrane. These consisted of multibilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), representative of phospholipids classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, and large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) of DMPC. The capacity of A. chilensis aqueous extracts to perturb the bilayer structure of DMPC and DMPE was evaluated by X-ray diffraction, DMPC LUV and IUM were studied by fluorescence spectroscopy, and intact human erythrocytes were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results of the present study indicate that aqueous extracts of A. chilensis induced an alteration of human erythrocyte morphology from the normal discoid shape to an echinocytic form, changes that are explained in terms of the extract interaction with the membrane's outer phospholipid monolayer. PMID:18687390

  18. Foods and food constituents that affect the brain and human behavior

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lieberman, Harris R.; Wurtman, Richard J.

    1986-01-01

    Until recently, it was generally believed that brain function was usually independent of day-to-day metabolic changes associated with consumption of food. Although it was acknowledged that peripheral metabolic changes associated with hunger or satiety might affect brain function, other effects of foods on the brain were considered unlikely. However, in 1971, Fernstrom and Wurtman discovered that under certain conditions, the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio of a meal could affect the concentration of a particular brain neurotransmitter. That neurotransmitter, serotonin, participates in the regulation of a variety of central nervous system (CNS) functions including sleep, pain sensitivity, aggression, and patterns of nutrient selection. The activity of other neurotransmitter systems has also been shown to be, under certain conditions, affected by dietary constituents which are given either as ordinary foods or in purified form. For example, the CNS turnover of two catecholamine neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, can be altered by ingestion of their amino acid precursor, tyrosine, when neurons that release these monoamines are firing frequently. Similarly, lecithin, a dietary source of choline, and choline itself have been shown to increase the synthesis of acetylcholine when cholinergic neurons are very active. It is possible that other neurotransmitters could also be affected by precursor availability or other, as yet undiscovered peripheral factors governed by food consumption. The effects of food on neurotransmitters and behavior are discussed.

  19. Did warfare among ancestral hunter-gatherers affect the evolution of human social behaviors?

    PubMed

    Bowles, Samuel

    2009-06-01

    Since Darwin, intergroup hostilities have figured prominently in explanations of the evolution of human social behavior. Yet whether ancestral humans were largely "peaceful" or "warlike" remains controversial. I ask a more precise question: If more cooperative groups were more likely to prevail in conflicts with other groups, was the level of intergroup violence sufficient to influence the evolution of human social behavior? Using a model of the evolutionary impact of between-group competition and a new data set that combines archaeological evidence on causes of death during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene with ethnographic and historical reports on hunter-gatherer populations, I find that the estimated level of mortality in intergroup conflicts would have had substantial effects, allowing the proliferation of group-beneficial behaviors that were quite costly to the individual altruist.

  20. Did warfare among ancestral hunter-gatherers affect the evolution of human social behaviors?

    PubMed

    Bowles, Samuel

    2009-06-01

    Since Darwin, intergroup hostilities have figured prominently in explanations of the evolution of human social behavior. Yet whether ancestral humans were largely "peaceful" or "warlike" remains controversial. I ask a more precise question: If more cooperative groups were more likely to prevail in conflicts with other groups, was the level of intergroup violence sufficient to influence the evolution of human social behavior? Using a model of the evolutionary impact of between-group competition and a new data set that combines archaeological evidence on causes of death during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene with ethnographic and historical reports on hunter-gatherer populations, I find that the estimated level of mortality in intergroup conflicts would have had substantial effects, allowing the proliferation of group-beneficial behaviors that were quite costly to the individual altruist. PMID:19498163

  1. Human erythrocytes and neuroblastoma cells are affected in vitro by Au(III) ions.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; González, Raquel; Villena, Fernando; Aguilar, Luis F; Sotomayor, Carlos P; Bolognin, Silvia; Zatta, Paolo

    2010-06-25

    Gold compounds are well known for their neurological and nephrotoxic implications. However, haematological toxicity is one of the most serious toxic and less studied effects. The lack of information on these aspects of Au(III) prompted us to study the structural effects induced on cell membranes, particularly that of human erythrocytes. AuCl(3) was incubated with intact erythrocytes, isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) and molecular models of the erythrocyte membrane. The latter consisted of multibilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine, phospholipids classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, respectively. This report presents evidence that Au(III) interacts with red cell membranes as follows: (a) in scanning electron microscopy studies on human erythrocytes it was observed that Au(III) induced shape changes at a concentration as low as 0.01 microM; (b) in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes Au(III) induced a decrease in the molecular dynamics and/or water content at the glycerol backbone level of the lipid bilayer polar groups in a 5-50 microM concentration range, and (c) X-ray diffraction studies showed that Au(III) in the 10 microm-1mM range induced increasing structural perturbation only to dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayers. Additional experiments were performed in human neuroblastoma cells SH-SY5Y. A statistically significant decrease of cell viability was observed with Au(III) ranging from 0.1 microM to 100 microM. PMID:20580689

  2. Human erythrocytes and neuroblastoma cells are affected in vitro by Au(III) ions

    SciTech Connect

    Suwalsky, Mario; Gonzalez, Raquel; Villena, Fernando; Aguilar, Luis F.; Sotomayor, Carlos P.; Bolognin, Silvia; Zatta, Paolo

    2010-06-25

    Gold compounds are well known for their neurological and nephrotoxic implications. However, haematological toxicity is one of the most serious toxic and less studied effects. The lack of information on these aspects of Au(III) prompted us to study the structural effects induced on cell membranes, particularly that of human erythrocytes. AuCl{sub 3} was incubated with intact erythrocytes, isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) and molecular models of the erythrocyte membrane. The latter consisted of multibilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine, phospholipids classes located in the outer and inner monolayers of the human erythrocyte membrane, respectively. This report presents evidence that Au(III) interacts with red cell membranes as follows: (a) in scanning electron microscopy studies on human erythrocytes it was observed that Au(III) induced shape changes at a concentration as low as 0.01 {mu}M; (b) in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes Au(III) induced a decrease in the molecular dynamics and/or water content at the glycerol backbone level of the lipid bilayer polar groups in a 5-50 {mu}M concentration range, and (c) X-ray diffraction studies showed that Au(III) in the 10 {mu}m-1 mM range induced increasing structural perturbation only to dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayers. Additional experiments were performed in human neuroblastoma cells SH-SY5Y. A statistically significant decrease of cell viability was observed with Au(III) ranging from 0.1 {mu}M to 100 {mu}M.

  3. Derivation of Trisomy 21 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea021.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Bosman, Alexis; McKernan, Robert; Main, Heather; Schmidt, Uli; Peura, Teija

    2016-03-01

    The Genea021 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Trisomy 21, indicative of Down Syndrome. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, CGH and STR analyses demonstrated a 47, XY, +21 karyotype and male allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 71% of cells expressed Nanog, 84% Oct4, 23% Tra1-60 and 95% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 21.85, Novelty of 1.42, demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346003

  4. Derivation of Trisomy 21 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea053.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea053 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Trisomy 21, indicative of Down Syndrome. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a 47, XY, +21 karyotype and male allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology and expressed pluripotent cell markers including 83% Nanog positive, 87% Oct4, 88% Tra1-60 and 98% SSEA4. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346024

  5. How Do ICT Uses and New Human Resources Practices Affect SMEs' Efficiency?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo-Merino, David; Serradell-Lopez, Enric; González-González, Inés

    In this paper we have analyzed both the main traits of efficient firms and the main sources of firms' efficiency, through a representative sample of 2.029 small and medium size Catalan firms. Our results demonstrate the importance for entrepreneurs of realizing that firms' efficiency shows a significant improvement when advanced ICT uses are combined with human resources practices focused on the promotion of workers autonomy, flexibility and decentralization of firm's decision making process, and with the adoption of employees assessment systems based on human values.

  6. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea091 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Schaft, Julia; McKernan, Robert; Hu, Jesselyn; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea091 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 40 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 92% of cells expressed Nanog, 97% Oct4, 79% Tra1-60 and 98% SSEA4 and gave a Pluritest pluripotency score of 38.36, Novelty of 1.35. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346013

  7. Derivation of DM1 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea067.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Main, Heather; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea067 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying expansion of CTG repeats in the DMPK gene, indicative of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1). Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XY and STR analysis demonstrated a male Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 85% of cells expressed Nanog, 97% Oct4, 73% Tra1-60 and 98% SSEA4 and gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 25.75, Novelty of 1.46. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346009

  8. Derivation of DM2 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea066.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Schaft, Julia; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea066 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying expansion of CCTG repeats in exon 1 of the ZNF9 gene, indicative of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2 (DM2). Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XY and STR analysis demonstrated a male Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 88% of cells expressed Nanog, 97% Oct4, 80% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4 and gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 31.3, Novelty of 1.22. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346023

  9. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea046 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Chami, Omar; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea046 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying HTT gene CAG expansion of 45 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 85% of cells expressed Nanog, 92% Oct4, 75% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4 and demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346012

  10. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea089 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; McKernan, Robert; Hu, Jesselyn; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea089 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 41 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 91% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 90% Tra1-60 and 100% SSEA4 and gave a PluriTest Pluripotency score of 39.28, Novelty of 1.2. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346008

  11. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea090 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Schaft, Julia; McKernan, Robert; Hu, Jesselyn; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea090 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 45 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 91% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 90% Tra1-60 and 100% SSEA4 and gave a pluritest pluripotency score of 30.91, novelty of 1.23. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346026

  12. Derivation of Huntington disease affected Genea020 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Peura, Teija; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea020 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 48 repeats, indicative of Huntington disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 89% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 29% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest pluripotency score of 27.51, novelty of 1.43 and demonstrated alkaline phosphatase activity. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346007

  13. Immunogenetic factors affecting susceptibility of humans and rodents to hantaviruses and the clinical course of hantaviral disease in humans.

    PubMed

    Charbonnel, Nathalie; Pagès, Marie; Sironen, Tarja; Henttonen, Heikki; Vapalahti, Olli; Mustonen, Jukka; Vaheri, Antti

    2014-05-26

    We reviewed the associations of immunity-related genes with susceptibility of humans and rodents to hantaviruses, and with severity of hantaviral diseases in humans. Several class I and class II HLA haplotypes were linked with severe or benign hantavirus infections, and these haplotypes varied among localities and hantaviruses. The polymorphism of other immunity-related genes including the C4A gene and a high-producing genotype of TNF gene associated with severe PUUV infection. Additional genes that may contribute to disease or to PUUV infection severity include non-carriage of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) allele 2 and IL-1β (-511) allele 2, polymorphisms of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and platelet GP1a. In addition, immunogenetic studies have been conducted to identify mechanisms that could be linked with the persistence/clearance of hantaviruses in reservoirs. Persistence was associated during experimental infections with an upregulation of anti-inflammatory responses. Using natural rodent population samples, polymorphisms and/or expression levels of several genes have been analyzed. These genes were selected based on the literature of rodent or human/hantavirus interactions (some Mhc class II genes, Tnf promoter, and genes encoding the proteins TLR4, TLR7, Mx2 and β3 integrin). The comparison of genetic differentiation estimated between bank vole populations sampled over Europe, at neutral and candidate genes, has allowed to evidence signatures of selection for Tnf, Mx2 and the Drb Mhc class II genes. Altogether, these results corroborated the hypothesis of an evolution of tolerance strategies in rodents. We finally discuss the importance of these results from the medical and epidemiological perspectives.

  14. Growth Factor Content in Human Sera Affects the Isolation of Mesangiogenic Progenitor Cells (MPCs) from Human Bone Marrow

    PubMed Central

    Montali, Marina; Barachini, Serena; Panvini, Francesca M.; Carnicelli, Vittoria; Fulceri, Franca; Petrini, Iacopo; Pacini, Simone

    2016-01-01

    Mesangiogenic Progenitor Cells (MPCs) are human bone marrow-derived multipotent cells, isolated in vitro under selective culture conditions and shown to retain both mesengenic and angiogenic potential. MPCs also co-isolated with multipotent stromal cells (MSCs) when bone marrow primary cultures were set up for clinical applications, using human serum (HS) in place of fetal bovine serum (FBS). MPC culture purity (over 95%) is strictly dependent on HS supplementation with significant batch-to-batch variability. In the present paper we screened different sources of commercially available pooled human AB type serum (PhABS) for their ability to promote MPC production under selective culture conditions. As the majority of “contaminating” cells in MPC cultures were represented by MSC-like cells, we hypothesized a role by differentiating agents present in the sera. Therefore, we tested a number of growth factors (hGF) and found that higher concentrations of FGF-2, EGF, PDGF-AB, and VEGF-A as well as lower concentration of IGF-1 give sub-optimal MPC recovery. Gene expression analysis of hGF receptors was also carried out both in MSCs and MPCs, suggesting that FGF-2, EGF, and PDGF-AB could act promoting MSC proliferation, while VEGF-A contribute to MSC-like cell contamination, triggering MPC differentiation. Here we demonstrated that managing hGF contents, together with applying specific receptors inhibitors (Erlotinib-HCl and Nintedanib), could significantly mitigate the batch-to-batch variability related to serum supplementation. These data represent a fundamental milestone in view of manufacturing MPC-based medicinal products. PMID:27800477

  15. Immunogenetic Factors Affecting Susceptibility of Humans and Rodents to Hantaviruses and the Clinical Course of Hantaviral Disease in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Charbonnel, Nathalie; Pagès, Marie; Sironen, Tarja; Henttonen, Heikki; Vapalahti, Olli; Mustonen, Jukka; Vaheri, Antti

    2014-01-01

    We reviewed the associations of immunity-related genes with susceptibility of humans and rodents to hantaviruses, and with severity of hantaviral diseases in humans. Several class I and class II HLA haplotypes were linked with severe or benign hantavirus infections, and these haplotypes varied among localities and hantaviruses. The polymorphism of other immunity-related genes including the C4A gene and a high-producing genotype of TNF gene associated with severe PUUV infection. Additional genes that may contribute to disease or to PUUV infection severity include non-carriage of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) allele 2 and IL-1β (-511) allele 2, polymorphisms of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and platelet GP1a. In addition, immunogenetic studies have been conducted to identify mechanisms that could be linked with the persistence/clearance of hantaviruses in reservoirs. Persistence was associated during experimental infections with an upregulation of anti-inflammatory responses. Using natural rodent population samples, polymorphisms and/or expression levels of several genes have been analyzed. These genes were selected based on the literature of rodent or human/hantavirus interactions (some Mhc class II genes, Tnf promoter, and genes encoding the proteins TLR4, TLR7, Mx2 and β3 integrin). The comparison of genetic differentiation estimated between bank vole populations sampled over Europe, at neutral and candidate genes, has allowed to evidence signatures of selection for Tnf, Mx2 and the Drb Mhc class II genes. Altogether, these results corroborated the hypothesis of an evolution of tolerance strategies in rodents. We finally discuss the importance of these results from the medical and epidemiological perspectives. PMID:24859344

  16. World-wide fallout from nuclear weapons

    SciTech Connect

    1994-12-31

    This video explains what is known and what is not known by today`s science about the long term consequences of world-wide fallout. In the interest of accuracy, this report is confined to the fallout on which a substantial amount of information is now available. Much has been written and said about this subject both officially and unofficially. The purpose of this film is to correct any factually unsupported statements which have been and continue to be issued from time to time.

  17. N-Methyl D-Aspartate Receptor Antagonist Kynurenic Acid Affects Human Cortical Development

    PubMed Central

    Bagasrawala, Inseyah; Zecevic, Nada; Radonjić, Nevena V.

    2016-01-01

    Kynurenic acid (KYNA), a neuroactive metabolite of tryptophan degradation, acts as an endogenous N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist. Elevated levels of KYNA have been observed in pregnant women after viral infections and are considered to play a role in neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the consequences of KYNA-induced NMDAR blockade in human cortical development still remain elusive. To study the potential impact of KYNA on human neurodevelopment, we used an in vitro system of multipotent cortical progenitors, i.e., radial glia cells (RGCs), enriched from human cerebral cortex at mid-gestation (16–19 gestational weeks). KYNA treatment significantly decreased RGCs proliferation and survival by antagonizing NMDAR. This alteration resulted in a reduced number of cortical progenitors and neurons while number and activation of astrocytes increased. KYNA treatment reduced differentiation of RGCs into GABAergic neurons, while differentiation into glutamatergic neurons was relatively spared. Furthermore, in mixed cortical cultures KYNA triggered an inflammatory response as evidenced by increased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6. In conclusion, elevated levels of KYNA play a significant role in human RGC fate determination by antagonizing NMDARs and by activating an inflammatory response. The altered cell composition observed in cell culture following exposure to elevated KYNA levels suggests a mechanism for impairment of cortical circuitry formation in the fetal brain after viral infection, as seen in neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. PMID:27746712

  18. CULTURE CONDITIONS AFFECT HUMAN AIRWAY EPITHELIAL CELL RESPONSE TO DIESEL PARTICLE EXPOSURE IN VITRO

    EPA Science Inventory

    Diesel exhaust particles (DEP) are a ubiquitous ambient air contaminant that may contribute to the health effects of particulate matter inhalation. In vitro studies have shown that DEP exposure induces pro-inflammatory proteins in human airway epithelial cells (HAEC) with varying...

  19. [Affective behavioural responses by dogs to tactile human-dog interactions].

    PubMed

    Kuhne, Franziska; Hössler, Johanna C; Struwe, Rainer

    2012-01-01

    The communication of dogs is based on complex, subtle body postures and facial expressions. Some social interaction between dogs includes physical contact. Humans generally use both verbal and tactile signals to communicate with dogs. Hence, interaction between humans and dogs might lead to conflicts because the behavioural responses of dogs to human-dog interaction may be misinterpreted and wrongly assessed. The behavioural responses of dogs to tactile human-dog interactions and human gestures are the focus of this study. The participating dogs (n = 47) were privately owned pets.They were of varying breed and gender.The test consisted of nine randomised test sequences (e. g. petting the dog's head or chest). A test sequence was performed for a period of 30 seconds. The inter-trial interval was set at 60 seconds and the test-retest interval was set at 10 minutes. The frequency and duration of the dogs'behavioural responses were recorded using INTERACT. To examine the behavioural responses of the dogs, a two-way analysis of variance within the linear mixed models procedure of IBM SPSS Statistics 19 was conducted. A significant influence of the test-sequenc order on the dogs' behaviour could be analysed for appeasement gestures (F8,137 = 2.42; p = 0.018), redirected behaviour (F8,161 = 6.31; p = 0.012) and socio-positive behaviour (F8,148 = 6.28; p = 0.012). The behavioural responses of the dogs, which were considered as displacement activities (F8,109 = 2.5; p = 0.014) differed significantly among the test sequences. The response of the dogs, measured as gestures of appeasement, redirected behaviours, and displacement activities, was most obvious during petting around the head and near the paws.The results of this study conspicuously indicate that dogs respond to tactile human-dog interactions with gestures of appeasement and displacement activities. Redirected behaviours, socio-positive behaviours as well displacement activities are behavioural responses which dogs

  20. Muecas: a multi-sensor robotic head for affective human robot interaction and imitation.

    PubMed

    Cid, Felipe; Moreno, Jose; Bustos, Pablo; Núñez, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a multi-sensor humanoid robotic head for human robot interaction. The design of the robotic head, Muecas, is based on ongoing research on the mechanisms of perception and imitation of human expressions and emotions. These mechanisms allow direct interaction between the robot and its human companion through the different natural language modalities: speech, body language and facial expressions. The robotic head has 12 degrees of freedom, in a human-like configuration, including eyes, eyebrows, mouth and neck, and has been designed and built entirely by IADeX (Engineering, Automation and Design of Extremadura) and RoboLab. A detailed description of its kinematics is provided along with the design of the most complex controllers. Muecas can be directly controlled by FACS (Facial Action Coding System), the de facto standard for facial expression recognition and synthesis. This feature facilitates its use by third party platforms and encourages the development of imitation and of goal-based systems. Imitation systems learn from the user, while goal-based ones use planning techniques to drive the user towards a final desired state. To show the flexibility and reliability of the robotic head, the paper presents a software architecture that is able to detect, recognize, classify and generate facial expressions in real time using FACS. This system has been implemented using the robotics framework, RoboComp, which provides hardware-independent access to the sensors in the head. Finally, the paper presents experimental results showing the real-time functioning of the whole system, including recognition and imitation of human facial expressions. PMID:24787636

  1. Muecas: a multi-sensor robotic head for affective human robot interaction and imitation.

    PubMed

    Cid, Felipe; Moreno, Jose; Bustos, Pablo; Núñez, Pedro

    2014-04-28

    This paper presents a multi-sensor humanoid robotic head for human robot interaction. The design of the robotic head, Muecas, is based on ongoing research on the mechanisms of perception and imitation of human expressions and emotions. These mechanisms allow direct interaction between the robot and its human companion through the different natural language modalities: speech, body language and facial expressions. The robotic head has 12 degrees of freedom, in a human-like configuration, including eyes, eyebrows, mouth and neck, and has been designed and built entirely by IADeX (Engineering, Automation and Design of Extremadura) and RoboLab. A detailed description of its kinematics is provided along with the design of the most complex controllers. Muecas can be directly controlled by FACS (Facial Action Coding System), the de facto standard for facial expression recognition and synthesis. This feature facilitates its use by third party platforms and encourages the development of imitation and of goal-based systems. Imitation systems learn from the user, while goal-based ones use planning techniques to drive the user towards a final desired state. To show the flexibility and reliability of the robotic head, the paper presents a software architecture that is able to detect, recognize, classify and generate facial expressions in real time using FACS. This system has been implemented using the robotics framework, RoboComp, which provides hardware-independent access to the sensors in the head. Finally, the paper presents experimental results showing the real-time functioning of the whole system, including recognition and imitation of human facial expressions.

  2. Muecas: A Multi-Sensor Robotic Head for Affective Human Robot Interaction and Imitation

    PubMed Central

    Cid, Felipe; Moreno, Jose; Bustos, Pablo; Núñez, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a multi-sensor humanoid robotic head for human robot interaction. The design of the robotic head, Muecas, is based on ongoing research on the mechanisms of perception and imitation of human expressions and emotions. These mechanisms allow direct interaction between the robot and its human companion through the different natural language modalities: speech, body language and facial expressions. The robotic head has 12 degrees of freedom, in a human-like configuration, including eyes, eyebrows, mouth and neck, and has been designed and built entirely by IADeX (Engineering, Automation and Design of Extremadura) and RoboLab. A detailed description of its kinematics is provided along with the design of the most complex controllers. Muecas can be directly controlled by FACS (Facial Action Coding System), the de facto standard for facial expression recognition and synthesis. This feature facilitates its use by third party platforms and encourages the development of imitation and of goal-based systems. Imitation systems learn from the user, while goal-based ones use planning techniques to drive the user towards a final desired state. To show the flexibility and reliability of the robotic head, the paper presents a software architecture that is able to detect, recognize, classify and generate facial expressions in real time using FACS. This system has been implemented using the robotics framework, RoboComp, which provides hardware-independent access to the sensors in the head. Finally, the paper presents experimental results showing the real-time functioning of the whole system, including recognition and imitation of human facial expressions. PMID:24787636

  3. Fate of ingested fluids: factors affecting gastric emptying and intestinal absorption of beverages in humans.

    PubMed

    Leiper, John B

    2015-09-01

    The volume of fluid ingested for rehydration is essential in determining the restoration of euhydration because it must be in excess of the water lost since the individual was last euhydrated. The formulation of any ingested beverage is also important as this affects the rate at which the fluid is emptied from the stomach, absorbed in the small intestine, and hence assimilated into the body water pool. This review highlights the essential role of the gastrointestinal tract in the maintenance of hydration status.

  4. Cdx2 Polymorphism Affects the Activities of Vitamin D Receptor in Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines and Human Breast Carcinomas

    PubMed Central

    Di Benedetto, Anna; Korita, Etleva; Goeman, Frauke; Sacconi, Andrea; Biagioni, Francesca; Blandino, Giovanni; Strano, Sabrina; Muti, Paola; Mottolese, Marcella; Falvo, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin D plays a role in cancer development and acts through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). It regulates the action of hormone responsive genes and is involved in cell cycle regulation, differentiation and apoptosis. VDR is a critical component of the vitamin D pathway and different common single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism can play an important role in breast cancer, modulating the activity of VDR. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between the Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and the activities of VDR in human breast cancer cell lines and carcinomas breast patients. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and antiproliferative effects of vitamin D treatment were investigated in a panel of estrogen receptor-positive (MCF7 and T-47D) and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231, SUM 159PT, SK-BR-3, BT549, MDA-MB-468, HCC1143, BT20 and HCC1954) human breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the potential relationship among Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and a number of biomarkers used in clinical management of breast cancer was assessed in an ad hoc set of breast cancer cases. Vitamin D treatment efficacy was found to be strongly dependent on the Cdx2 VDR status in ER-negative breast cancer cell lines tested. In our series of breast cancer cases, the results indicated that patients with variant homozygote AA were associated with bio-pathological characteristics typical of more aggressive tumours, such as ER negative, HER2 positive and G3. Our results may suggest a potential effect of Cdx2 VDR polymorphism on the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in aggressive breast cancer cells (estrogen receptor negative). These results suggest that Cdx2 polymorphism may be a potential biomarker for vitamin D treatment in breast cancer, independently of the VDR receptor expression. PMID:25849303

  5. Cdx2 polymorphism affects the activities of vitamin D receptor in human breast cancer cell lines and human breast carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Pulito, Claudio; Terrenato, Irene; Di Benedetto, Anna; Korita, Etleva; Goeman, Frauke; Sacconi, Andrea; Biagioni, Francesca; Blandino, Giovanni; Strano, Sabrina; Muti, Paola; Mottolese, Marcella; Falvo, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin D plays a role in cancer development and acts through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). It regulates the action of hormone responsive genes and is involved in cell cycle regulation, differentiation and apoptosis. VDR is a critical component of the vitamin D pathway and different common single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism can play an important role in breast cancer, modulating the activity of VDR. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between the Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and the activities of VDR in human breast cancer cell lines and carcinomas breast patients. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and antiproliferative effects of vitamin D treatment were investigated in a panel of estrogen receptor-positive (MCF7 and T-47D) and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231, SUM 159PT, SK-BR-3, BT549, MDA-MB-468, HCC1143, BT20 and HCC1954) human breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the potential relationship among Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and a number of biomarkers used in clinical management of breast cancer was assessed in an ad hoc set of breast cancer cases. Vitamin D treatment efficacy was found to be strongly dependent on the Cdx2 VDR status in ER-negative breast cancer cell lines tested. In our series of breast cancer cases, the results indicated that patients with variant homozygote AA were associated with bio-pathological characteristics typical of more aggressive tumours, such as ER negative, HER2 positive and G3. Our results may suggest a potential effect of Cdx2 VDR polymorphism on the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in aggressive breast cancer cells (estrogen receptor negative). These results suggest that Cdx2 polymorphism may be a potential biomarker for vitamin D treatment in breast cancer, independently of the VDR receptor expression. PMID:25849303

  6. Cdx2 polymorphism affects the activities of vitamin D receptor in human breast cancer cell lines and human breast carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Pulito, Claudio; Terrenato, Irene; Di Benedetto, Anna; Korita, Etleva; Goeman, Frauke; Sacconi, Andrea; Biagioni, Francesca; Blandino, Giovanni; Strano, Sabrina; Muti, Paola; Mottolese, Marcella; Falvo, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin D plays a role in cancer development and acts through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). It regulates the action of hormone responsive genes and is involved in cell cycle regulation, differentiation and apoptosis. VDR is a critical component of the vitamin D pathway and different common single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism can play an important role in breast cancer, modulating the activity of VDR. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between the Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and the activities of VDR in human breast cancer cell lines and carcinomas breast patients. Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and antiproliferative effects of vitamin D treatment were investigated in a panel of estrogen receptor-positive (MCF7 and T-47D) and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231, SUM 159PT, SK-BR-3, BT549, MDA-MB-468, HCC1143, BT20 and HCC1954) human breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the potential relationship among Cdx2 VDR polymorphism and a number of biomarkers used in clinical management of breast cancer was assessed in an ad hoc set of breast cancer cases. Vitamin D treatment efficacy was found to be strongly dependent on the Cdx2 VDR status in ER-negative breast cancer cell lines tested. In our series of breast cancer cases, the results indicated that patients with variant homozygote AA were associated with bio-pathological characteristics typical of more aggressive tumours, such as ER negative, HER2 positive and G3. Our results may suggest a potential effect of Cdx2 VDR polymorphism on the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in aggressive breast cancer cells (estrogen receptor negative). These results suggest that Cdx2 polymorphism may be a potential biomarker for vitamin D treatment in breast cancer, independently of the VDR receptor expression.

  7. Stationary power fuel cell commercialization status worldwide

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, M.C.

    1996-12-31

    Fuel cell technologies for stationary power are set to play a role in power generation applications worldwide. The worldwide fuel cell vision is to provide powerplants for the emerging distributed generation and on-site markets. Progress towards commercialization has occurred in all fuel cell development areas. Around 100 ONSI phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) units have been sold, with significant foreign sales in Europe and Japan. Fuji has apparently overcome its PAFC decay problems. Industry-driven molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) programs in Japan and the U.S. are conducting megawatt (MW)-class demonstrations, which are bringing the MCFC to the verge of commercialization. Westinghouse Electric, the acknowledged world leader in tubular solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, continues to set performance records and has completed construction of a 4-MW/year manufacturing facility in the U.S. Fuel cells have also taken a major step forward with the conceptual development of ultra-high efficiency fuel cell/gas turbine plants. Many SOFC developers in Japan, Europe, and North America continue to make significant advances.

  8. Worldwide practice in gastric cancer surgery

    PubMed Central

    Brenkman, Hylke JF; Haverkamp, Leonie; Ruurda, Jelle P; van Hillegersberg, Richard

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the current status of gastric cancer surgery worldwide. METHODS: An international cross-sectional survey on gastric cancer surgery was performed amongst international upper gastro-intestinal surgeons. All surgical members of the International Gastric Cancer Association were invited by e-mail to participate. An English web-based survey had to be filled in with regard to their surgical preferences. Questions asked included hospital volume, the use of neoadjuvant treatment, preferred surgical approach, extent of the lymphadenectomy and preferred anastomotic technique. The invitations were sent in September 2013 and the survey was closed in January 2014. RESULTS: The corresponding specific response rate was 227/615 (37%). The majority of respondents: originated from Asia (54%), performed > 21 gastrectomies per year (79%) and used neoadjuvant chemotherapy (73%). An open surgical procedure was performed by the majority of surgeons for distal gastrectomy for advanced cancer (91%) and total gastrectomy for both early and advanced cancer (52% and 94%). A minimally invasive procedure was preferred for distal gastrectomy for early cancer (65%). In Asia surgeons preferred a minimally invasive procedure for total gastrectomy for early cancer also (63%). A D1+ lymphadenectomy was preferred in early gastric cancer (52% for distal, 54% for total gastrectomy) and a D2 lymphadenectomy was preferred in advanced gastric cancer (93% for distal, 92% for total gastrectomy) CONCLUSION: Surgical preferences for gastric cancer surgery vary between surgeons worldwide. Although the majority of surgeons use neoadjuvant chemotherapy, minimally invasive techniques are still not widely adapted. PMID:27099448

  9. Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Achicanoy, Harold A.; Bjorkman, Anne D.; Navarro-Racines, Carlos; Guarino, Luigi; Flores-Palacios, Ximena; Engels, Johannes M. M.; Wiersema, John H.; Dempewolf, Hannes; Sotelo, Steven; Ramírez-Villegas, Julian; Castañeda-Álvarez, Nora P.; Fowler, Cary; Jarvis, Andy; Rieseberg, Loren H.; Struik, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Research into the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. Here we determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries worldwide. We estimate the degree to which countries use crops from regions of diversity other than their own (‘foreign crops’), and quantify changes in this usage over the past 50 years. Countries are highly interconnected with regard to primary regions of diversity of the crops they cultivate and/or consume. Foreign crops are extensively used in food supplies (68.7% of national food supplies as a global mean are derived from foreign crops) and production systems (69.3% of crops grown are foreign). Foreign crop usage has increased significantly over the past 50 years, including in countries with high indigenous crop diversity. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange.

  10. Worldwide variability in deceased organ donation registries

    PubMed Central

    Rosenblum, Amanda M; Li, Alvin Ho-Ting; Roels, Leo; Stewart, Bryan; Prakash, Versha; Beitel, Janice; Young, Kimberly; Shemie, Sam; Nickerson, Peter; Garg, Amit X

    2012-01-01

    The variability in deceased organ donation registries worldwide has received little attention. We considered all operating registries, where individual wishes about organ donation were recorded in a computerized database. We included registries which recorded an individual's decision to be a donor (donor registry), and registries which only recorded an individual's objection (non-donor registry). We collected information on 15 characteristics including history, design, use and number of registrants for 27 registries (68%). Most registries are nationally operated and government-owned. Registrations in five nations expire and require renewal. Some registries provide the option to make specific organ selections in the donation decision. Just over half of donor registries provide legally binding authorization to donation. In all national donor registries, except one, the proportion of adults (15+) registered is modest (<40%). These proportions can be even lower when only affirmative decisions are considered. One nation provides priority status on the transplant waiting list as an incentive to affirmative registration, while another nation makes registering a donation decision mandatory to obtain a driver's license. Registered objections in non-donor registries are rare (<0.5%). The variation in organ donor registries worldwide necessitates public discourse and quality improvement initiatives, to identify and support leading practices in registry use. PMID:22507140

  11. Worldwide status of burbot and conservation measures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Paragamian, Vaughn L.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Jackson, James R.; Lappalainen, Jyrki; Evenson, Matthew J.; Neufeld, Matthew D.

    2010-01-01

    Although burbot (Lota lota Gadidae) are widespread and abundant throughout much of their natural range, there are many populations that have been extirpated, endangered or are in serious decline. Due in part to the species’ lack of popularity as a game and commercial fish, few regions consider burbot in management plans. We review the worldwide population status of burbot and synthesize reasons why some burbot populations are endangered or declining, some burbot populations have recovered and some burbot populations do not recover despite management measures. Burbot have been extirpated in much of Western Europe and the United Kingdom and are threatened or endangered in much of North America and Eurasia. Pollution and habitat change, particularly the effects of dams, appear to be the main causes for declines in riverine burbot populations. Pollution and the adverse effects of invasive species appear to be the main reasons for declines in lacustrine populations. Warmer water temperatures, due either to discharge from dams or climate change, have been noted in declining burbot populations at the southern extent of their range. Currently, fishing pressure does not appear to be limiting burbot populations world-wide. We suggest mitigation measures for burbot population recovery, particularly those impacted by dams and invasive species.

  12. Estimating the worldwide extent of illegal fishing.

    PubMed

    Agnew, David J; Pearce, John; Pramod, Ganapathiraju; Peatman, Tom; Watson, Reg; Beddington, John R; Pitcher, Tony J

    2009-01-01

    Illegal and unreported fishing contributes to overexploitation of fish stocks and is a hindrance to the recovery of fish populations and ecosystems. This study is the first to undertake a world-wide analysis of illegal and unreported fishing. Reviewing the situation in 54 countries and on the high seas, we estimate that lower and upper estimates of the total value of current illegal and unreported fishing losses worldwide are between $10 bn and $23.5 bn annually, representing between 11 and 26 million tonnes. Our data are of sufficient resolution to detect regional differences in the level and trend of illegal fishing over the last 20 years, and we can report a significant correlation between governance and the level of illegal fishing. Developing countries are most at risk from illegal fishing, with total estimated catches in West Africa being 40% higher than reported catches. Such levels of exploitation severely hamper the sustainable management of marine ecosystems. Although there have been some successes in reducing the level of illegal fishing in some areas, these developments are relatively recent and follow growing international focus on the problem. This paper provides the baseline against which successful action to curb illegal fishing can be judged.

  13. Factors affecting the human-feeding behavior of anopheline mosquitoes in Egyptian oases.

    PubMed

    Kenawy, M A; Beier, J C; Asiago, C M; el Said, S

    1990-09-01

    Blood meals were tested by a direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for 424 Anopheles sergentii and for 63 An. multicolor collected in Siwa, Farafra and Bahariya oases in the Western Desert of Egypt. Both species were highly zoophilic. Human blood-feeding by An. sergentii was less common in Bahariya (2.3%) and Farafra (1.3%) than in Siwa (15.3%). A likely explanation is that large domestic animals are held at night inside houses in Bahariya and in Farafra whereas in Siwa, animals are usually housed outdoors in sheds. These patterns of An. sergentii human-feeding behavior may contribute to the persistence of low-level Plasmodium vivax transmission in Siwa in contrast to negligible or no transmission in Bahariya and Farafra.

  14. TGF-β affects development and differentiation of human natural killer cell subsets

    PubMed Central

    Allan, David S.J.; Rybalov, Basya; Awong, Génève; Zúñiga-Pflücker, Juan Carlos; Kopcow, Hernan D.; Carlyle, James R.; Strominger, Jack L.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Human peripheral blood NK cells may be divided into two main subsets: CD56brightCD16− and CD56dimCD16+. Since TGF-β is known to influence the development of many leukocyte lineages, its effects on NK cell differentiation either from human CD34+Lin− hematopoietic progenitor/stem cells in vitro or from peripheral blood NK cells were investigated. TGF-β represses development of NK cells from CD34+ progenitors and inhibits differentiation of CD16+ NK cells. Moreover, TGF-β also results in conversion of a minor fraction of CD56brightCD16+ cells found in peripheral blood into CD56brightCD16− cells, highlighting a possible role of the former as a developmental intermediate and of TGF-β in influencing the genesis of NK subsets found in blood. PMID:20540115

  15. Visual short-term memory load affects sensory processing of irrelevant sounds in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Valtonen, Jussi; May, Patrick; Mäkinen, Ville; Tiitinen, Hannu

    2003-07-01

    We used whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neural activity in human auditory cortex elicited by irrelevant tones while the subjects were engaged in a short-term memory task presented in the visual modality. As compared to a no-memory-task condition, memory load enhanced the amplitude of the auditory N1m response. In addition, the N1m amplitude depended on the phase of the memory task, with larger response amplitudes observed during encoding than retention. Further, these amplitude modulations were accompanied by anterior-posterior shifts in N1m source locations. The results show that a memory task for visually presented stimuli alters sensory processing in human auditory cortex, even when subjects are explicitly instructed to ignore any auditory stimuli. Thus, it appears that task demands requiring attentional allocation and short-term memory result in interaction across visual and auditory brain areas carrying out the processing of stimulus features.

  16. Derivation of NEM2 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea079.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea079 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying compound heterozygous mutations in the NEB gene, exon 55 deletion & c.15110dupA, indicative of Nemaline Myopathy Type 2 (NEM2). Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XY and STR analysis demonstrated a male Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 86% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 54% Tra1-60 and 98% SSEA4 and gave a PluriTest Pluripotency score of 30.25, Novelty of 1.21. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346010

  17. Derivation of NEM2 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea080.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea080 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying compound heterozygous mutations in the NEB gene, exon 55 deletion & c.15110dupA, indicative of Nemaline Myopathy Type 2 (NEM2). Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XY and STR analysis demonstrated a male allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 90% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 54% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4 and gave a PluriTest Pluripotency score of 32.08, Novelty of 1.3. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346011

  18. Derivation of NEM2 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea078.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Main, Heather; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea078 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying compound heterozygous mutations in the NEB gene, exon 55 deletion & c.15110dupA, indicative of Nemaline Myopathy Type 2 (NEM2). Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 76% of cells expressed Nanog, 93% Oct4, 67% Tra1-60 and 97% SSEA4 and gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 42.18, Novelty of 1.37. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346006

  19. Derivation of FSHD1 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea049.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Chami, Omar; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea049 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying a deletion in 4q35 with only 5 D4Z4 repeats by PGD linkage analysis, indicative of FSHD1. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 90% of cells expressed Nanog, 96% Oct4, 80% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 23.16, Novelty of 1.43 and demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346016

  20. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea017 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli; Peura, Teija

    2016-03-01

    The Genea017 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 40 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, genetic analysis confirmed a 46, XY karyotype and male allele pattern through CGH and STR analysis. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 87% of cells expressed Nanog, 95% Oct4, 88% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a PluriTest pluripotency score of 34.74, novelty of 1.27, demonstrated alkaline phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346022

  1. Derivation of FSHD1 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea050.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Chami, Omar; Main, Heather; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea050 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying a deletion in 4q35 with only 5 D4Z4 repeats by PGD linkage analysis, indicative of FSHD1. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XY and STR analysis demonstrated a male Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 92% of cells expressed Nanog, 97% Oct4, 79% Tra1-60 and 99% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 25.45, Novelty of 1.45 demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346025

  2. Derivation of FSHD1 affected human embryonic stem cell line Genea096.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Schaft, Julia; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli

    2016-03-01

    The Genea096 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying a deletion in 4q35 with only 6 D4Z4 repeats by PGD linkage analysis, indicative of FSHD1. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 64% of cells expressed Nanog, 93% Oct4, 58% Tra1-60 and 93% SSEA4 and a Pluritest Pluripotency score of 39.41, Novelty of 1.25. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346027

  3. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea018 human embryonic stem cell line.

    PubMed

    Dumevska, Biljana; Main, Heather; McKernan, Robert; Goel, Divya; Schmidt, Uli; Peura, Teija

    2016-03-01

    The Genea018 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying Htt gene CAG expansion of 46 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 75% of cells expressed Nanog, 91% Oct4, 73% Tra1-60 and 96% SSEA4, gave a Pluritest pluripotency score of 31.12, Novelty of 1.45, demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity and tri-lineage teratoma formation. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination. PMID:27346005

  4. What affects facing direction in human facial profile drawing? A meta-analytic inquiry.

    PubMed

    Tosun, Sümeyra; Vaid, Jyotsna

    2014-01-01

    Two meta-analyses were conducted to examine two potential sources of spatial orientation biases in human profile drawings by brain-intact individuals. The first examined profile facing direction as function of hand used to draw. The second examined profile facing direction in relation to directional scanning biases related to reading/writing habits. Results of the first meta-analysis, based on 27 study samples with 4171 participants, showed that leftward facing of profiles (from the viewer's perspective) was significantly associated with using the right hand to draw. The reading/writing direction meta-analysis, based on 10 study samples with 1552 participants, suggested a modest relationship between leftward profile facing and primary use of a left-to-right reading/writing direction. These findings suggest that biomechanical and cultural factors jointly influence hand movement preferences and in turn the direction of facing of human profile drawings.

  5. Resveratrol affects DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation in human lymphocytes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Basso, Emiliano; Regazzo, Giulia; Fiore, Mario; Palma, Valentina; Traversi, Gianandrea; Testa, Antonella; Degrassi, Francesca; Cozzi, Renata

    2016-08-01

    Resveratrol (3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene; RSV) acts on cancer cells in several ways, inducing cell cycle delay and apoptotic death, and enhancing ionizing radiation (IR)-mediated responses. However, fewer studies have examined RSV effects on normal cells. We have treated human lymphocytes in vitro with RSV, either alone or combined with IR, to evaluate its potential use as a radioprotector. We measured the effects of RSV on induction of DNA damage, repair kinetics, and modulation of histone deacetylase activity. PMID:27476334

  6. Regional paleofire regimes affected by non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers.

    PubMed

    Blarquez, Olivier; Ali, Adam A; Girardin, Martin P; Grondin, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Bergeron, Yves; Hély, Christelle

    2015-09-02

    Climate, vegetation and humans act on biomass burning at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we used a dense network of sedimentary charcoal records from eastern Canada to reconstruct regional biomass burning history over the last 7000 years at the scale of four potential vegetation types: open coniferous forest/tundra, boreal coniferous forest, boreal mixedwood forest and temperate forest. The biomass burning trajectories were compared with regional climate trends reconstructed from general circulation models, tree biomass reconstructed from pollen series, and human population densities. We found that non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers acted on regional biomass burning history. In the open coniferous forest/tundra and dense coniferous forest, the regional biomass burning was primarily shaped by gradual establishment of less climate-conducive burning conditions over 5000 years. In the mixed boreal forest an increasing relative proportion of flammable conifers in landscapes since 2000 BP contributed to maintaining biomass burning constant despite climatic conditions less favourable to fires. In the temperate forest, biomass burning was uncoupled with climatic conditions and the main driver was seemingly vegetation until European colonization, i.e. 300 BP. Tree biomass and thus fuel accumulation modulated fire activity, an indication that biomass burning is fuel-dependent and notably upon long-term co-dominance shifts between conifers and broadleaf trees.

  7. Reducing the likelihood of future human activities that could affect geologic high-level waste repositories

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-05-01

    The disposal of radioactive wastes in deep geologic formations provides a means of isolating the waste from people until the radioactivity has decayed to safe levels. However, isolating people from the wastes is a different problem, since we do not know what the future condition of society will be. The Human Interference Task Force was convened by the US Department of Energy to determine whether reasonable means exist (or could be developed) to reduce the likelihood of future human unintentionally intruding on radioactive waste isolation systems. The task force concluded that significant reductions in the likelihood of human interference could be achieved, for perhaps thousands of years into the future, if appropriate steps are taken to communicate the existence of the repository. Consequently, for two years the task force directed most of its study toward the area of long-term communication. Methods are discussed for achieving long-term communication by using permanent markers and widely disseminated records, with various steps taken to provide multiple levels of protection against loss, destruction, and major language/societal changes. Also developed is the concept of a universal symbol to denote Caution - Biohazardous Waste Buried Here. If used for the thousands of non-radioactive biohazardous waste sites in this country alone, a symbol could transcend generations and language changes, thereby vastly improving the likelihood of successful isolation of all buried biohazardous wastes.

  8. Human TREX component Thoc5 affects alternative polyadenylation site choice by recruiting mammalian cleavage factor I

    PubMed Central

    Katahira, Jun; Okuzaki, Daisuke; Inoue, Hitomi; Yoneda, Yoshihiro; Maehara, Kazumitsu; Ohkawa, Yasuyuki

    2013-01-01

    The transcription-export complex (TREX) couples mRNA transcription, processing and nuclear export. We found that CFIm68, a large subunit of a heterotetrameric protein complex mammalian cleavage factor I (CFIm), which is implicated in alternative polyadenylation site choice, co-purified with Thoc5, a component of human TREX. Immunoprecipitation using antibodies against different components of TREX indicated that most likely both complexes interact via an interaction between Thoc5 and CFIm68. Microarray analysis using human HeLa cells revealed that a subset of genes was differentially expressed on Thoc5 knockdown. Notably, the depletion of Thoc5 selectively attenuated the expression of mRNAs polyadenylated at distal, but not proximal, polyadenylation sites, which phenocopied the depletion of CFIm68. Chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) indicated that CFIm68 preferentially associated with the 5′ regions of genes; strikingly, the 5′ peak of CFIm68 was significantly and globally reduced on Thoc5 knockdown. We suggest a model in which human Thoc5 controls polyadenylation site choice through the co-transcriptional loading of CFIm68 onto target genes. PMID:23685434

  9. Regional paleofire regimes affected by non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers

    PubMed Central

    Blarquez, Olivier; Ali, Adam A.; Girardin, Martin P.; Grondin, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Bergeron, Yves; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Climate, vegetation and humans act on biomass burning at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we used a dense network of sedimentary charcoal records from eastern Canada to reconstruct regional biomass burning history over the last 7000 years at the scale of four potential vegetation types: open coniferous forest/tundra, boreal coniferous forest, boreal mixedwood forest and temperate forest. The biomass burning trajectories were compared with regional climate trends reconstructed from general circulation models, tree biomass reconstructed from pollen series, and human population densities. We found that non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers acted on regional biomass burning history. In the open coniferous forest/tundra and dense coniferous forest, the regional biomass burning was primarily shaped by gradual establishment of less climate-conducive burning conditions over 5000 years. In the mixed boreal forest an increasing relative proportion of flammable conifers in landscapes since 2000 BP contributed to maintaining biomass burning constant despite climatic conditions less favourable to fires. In the temperate forest, biomass burning was uncoupled with climatic conditions and the main driver was seemingly vegetation until European colonization, i.e. 300 BP. Tree biomass and thus fuel accumulation modulated fire activity, an indication that biomass burning is fuel-dependent and notably upon long-term co-dominance shifts between conifers and broadleaf trees. PMID:26330162

  10. The antiepileptic drug diphenylhydantoin affects the structure of the human erythrocyte membrane.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, Mario; Mennickent, Sigrid; Norris, Beryl; Villena, Fernando; Cuevas, Francisco; Sotomayor, Carlos P

    2004-01-01

    Phenytoin (diphenylhydantoin) is an antiepileptic agent effective against all types of partial and tonic-clonic seizures. Phenytoin limits the repetitive firing of action potentials evoked by a sustained depolarization of mouse spinal cord neurons maintained in vitro. This effect is mediated by a slowing of the rate of recovery of voltage activated Na+ channels from inactivation. For this reasons it was thought of interest to study the binding affinities of phenytoin with cell membranes and their perturbing effects upon membrane structures. The effects of phenytoin on the human erythrocyte membrane and molecular models have been investigated in the present work. This report presents the following evidence that phenytoin interacts with cell membranes: a) X-ray diffraction and fluorescence spectroscopy of phospholipid bilayers showed that phenytoin perturbed a class of lipids found in the outer moiety of cell membranes; b) in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) the drug induced a disordering effect on the polar head groups and acyl chains of the erythrocyte membrane lipid bilayer; c) in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies on human erythrocytes the formation of echinocytes was observed, due to the insertion of phenytoin in the outer monolayer of the red cell membrane. This is the first time that an effect of phenytoin on the red cell shape is described. However, the effects of the drug were observed at concentrations higher than those currently found in plasma when phenytoin is therapeutically administered. PMID:18998414

  11. Atrazine Affects Phosphoprotein and Protein Expression in MCF-10A Human Breast Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Peixin; Yang, John; Song, Qisheng; Sheehan, David

    2014-01-01

    Atrazine, a member of the 2-chloro-s-triazine family of herbicides, is the most widely used pesticide in the world and often detected in agriculture watersheds. Although it was generally considered as an endocrine disruptor, posing a potential threat to human health, the molecular mechanisms of atrazine effects remain unclear. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, we identified a panel of differentially expressed phosphoproteins and total proteins in human breast epithelial MCF-10A cells after being exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine. Atrazine treatments for 6 h resulted in differential expression of 4 phosphoproteins and 8 total-proteins as compared to the control cells (>1.5-fold, p < 0.05). MALDI-TOF MS/MS analysis revealed that the differentially expressed proteins belong to various cellular compartments (nucleus, cytosol, membrane) and varied in function, including those regulating the stress response such as peroxiredoxin I, HSP70 and HSP27; structural proteins such as tropomyosin and profilin 1; and oncogenesis proteins such as ANP32A. Six of the 12 identified proteins were verified by quantitative PCR for their transcript levels. The most up-regulated phosphoprotein by atrazine treatment, ANP32A, was further analyzed for its expression, distribution and cellular localization using Western blot and immunocytochemical approaches. The results revealed that ANP32 expression after atrazine treatment increased dose and time dependently and was primarily located in the nucleus. This study may provide new evidence on the potential toxicity of atrazine in human cells. PMID:25275270

  12. Atrazine affects phosphoprotein and protein expression in MCF-10A human breast epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Huang, Peixin; Yang, John; Song, Qisheng

    2014-10-01

    Atrazine, a member of the 2-chloro-s-triazine family of herbicides, is the most widely used pesticide in the world and often detected in agriculture watersheds. Although it was generally considered as an endocrine disruptor, posing a potential threat to human health, the molecular mechanisms of atrazine effects remain unclear. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, we identified a panel of differentially expressed phosphoproteins and total proteins in human breast epithelial MCF-10A cells after being exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine. Atrazine treatments for 6 h resulted in differential expression of 4 phosphoproteins and 8 total-proteins as compared to the control cells (>1.5-fold, p<0.05). MALDI-TOF MS/MS analysis revealed that the differentially expressed proteins belong to various cellular compartments (nucleus, cytosol, membrane) and varied in function, including those regulating the stress response such as peroxiredoxin I, HSP70 and HSP27; structural proteins such as tropomyosin and profilin 1; and oncogenesis proteins such as ANP32A. Six of the 12 identified proteins were verified by quantitative PCR for their transcript levels. The most up-regulated phosphoprotein by atrazine treatment, ANP32A, was further analyzed for its expression, distribution and cellular localization using Western blot and immunocytochemical approaches. The results revealed that ANP32 expression after atrazine treatment increased dose and time dependently and was primarily located in the nucleus. This study may provide new evidence on the potential toxicity of atrazine in human cells.

  13. Systematic assessment of BDNF and its receptor levels in human cortices affected by Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Zuccato, Chiara; Marullo, Manuela; Conforti, Paola; MacDonald, Marcy E; Tartari, Marzia; Cattaneo, Elena

    2008-04-01

    One cardinal feature of Huntington's disease (HD) is the degeneration of striatal neurons, whose survival greatly depends on the binding of cortical brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) with high-affinity (TrkB) and low-affinity neurotrophin receptors [p75 pan-neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR))]. With a few exceptions, results obtained in HD mouse models demonstrate a reduction in cortical BDNF mRNA and protein, although autopsy data from a limited number of human HD cortices are conflicting. These studies indicate the presence of defects in cortical BDNF gene transcription and transport to striatum. We provide new evidence indicating a significant reduction in BDNF mRNA and protein in the cortex of 20 HD subjects in comparison with 17 controls, which supports the hypothesis of impaired BDNF production in human HD cortex. Analyses of the BDNF isoforms show that transcription from BDNF promoter II and IV is down-regulated in human HD cortex from an early symptomatic stage. We also found that TrkB mRNA levels are reduced in caudate tissue but not in the cortex, whereas the mRNA levels of T-Shc (a truncated TrkB isoform) and p75(NTR) are increased in the caudate. This indicates that, in addition to the reduction in BDNF mRNA, there is also unbalanced neurotrophic receptor signaling in HD. PMID:18093249

  14. Placental CLIC3 is increased in fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia affected human pregnancies.

    PubMed

    Murthi, P; Stevenson, J L; Money, T T; Borg, A J; Brennecke, S P; Gude, N M

    2012-09-01

    Chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) proteins constitute a subgroup of the glutathione-S-transferase (GSTs) superfamily. In humans, the CLIC family of proteins consists of six members, designated CLIC 1-6, which have a conserved C-terminal 240 residue module and one major transmembrane domain. CLIC proteins regulate fundamental cellular processes including regulation of chloride ion concentration, stabilization of cell membrane potential, trans-epithelial transport, regulation of cell volume and stimulation of apoptotic processes in response to cellular stress. Previously, we described the expression profile of a member of the CLIC family of proteins, CLIC3, in human placentae and fetal membranes. In the current study, we determined CLIC3 expression in placentae from pregnancies complicated with either fetal growth restriction (FGR, n=19), pre-eclampsia (PE, n=16) or both FGR and PE combined (n=12) compared to gestation-matched controls (n=13) using real-time PCR and a CLIC3 specific immunoassay. Significantly increased CLIC3 mRNA and protein were detected in placental extracts from pregnancies with FGR, PE and PE with FGR compared to controls. Our results suggest that increased expression of CLIC3 may play a role in abnormal placental function associated with the human pregnancy disorders FGR and PE. PMID:22795578

  15. Regional paleofire regimes affected by non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers.

    PubMed

    Blarquez, Olivier; Ali, Adam A; Girardin, Martin P; Grondin, Pierre; Fréchette, Bianca; Bergeron, Yves; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Climate, vegetation and humans act on biomass burning at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we used a dense network of sedimentary charcoal records from eastern Canada to reconstruct regional biomass burning history over the last 7000 years at the scale of four potential vegetation types: open coniferous forest/tundra, boreal coniferous forest, boreal mixedwood forest and temperate forest. The biomass burning trajectories were compared with regional climate trends reconstructed from general circulation models, tree biomass reconstructed from pollen series, and human population densities. We found that non-uniform climate, vegetation and human drivers acted on regional biomass burning history. In the open coniferous forest/tundra and dense coniferous forest, the regional biomass burning was primarily shaped by gradual establishment of less climate-conducive burning conditions over 5000 years. In the mixed boreal forest an increasing relative proportion of flammable conifers in landscapes since 2000 BP contributed to maintaining biomass burning constant despite climatic conditions less favourable to fires. In the temperate forest, biomass burning was uncoupled with climatic conditions and the main driver was seemingly vegetation until European colonization, i.e. 300 BP. Tree biomass and thus fuel accumulation modulated fire activity, an indication that biomass burning is fuel-dependent and notably upon long-term co-dominance shifts between conifers and broadleaf trees. PMID:26330162

  16. Curcumin causes DNA damage and affects associated protein expression in HeLa human cervical cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Shang, Hung-Sheng; Chang, Chuan-Hsun; Chou, Yu-Ru; Yeh, Ming-Yang; Au, Man-Kuan; Lu, Hsu-Feng; Chu, Yung-Lin; Chou, Hsiao-Min; Chou, Hsiu-Chen; Shih, Yung-Luen; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2016-10-01

    Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide and it is a prominent cause of cancer mortality. Curcumin is one of the major compounds from Turmeric and has been shown to induce cytotoxic cell death in human cervical cancer cells. However, there is no study to show curcumin induced DNA damage action via the effect on the DNA damage and repair protein in cervical cancer cells in detail. In this study, we investigated whether or not curcumin induced cell death via DNA damage, chromatin condensation in human cervical cancer HeLa cells by using comet assay and DAPI staining, respectively, we found that curcumin induced cell death through the induction of DNA damage, and chromatin condensation. Western blotting and confocal laser microscopy examination were used to examine the effects of curcumin on protein expression associated with DNA damage, repair and translocation of proteins. We found that curcumin at 13 µM increased the protein levels associated with DNA damage and repair, such as O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, early-onset breast cancer 1 (BRCA1), mediator of DNA damage checkpoint 1, p-p53 and p-H2A.XSer140 in HeLa cells. Results from confocal laser systems microscopy indicated that curcumin increased the translocation of p-p53 and p-H2A.XSer140 from cytosol to nuclei in HeLa cells. In conclusion, curcumin induced cell death in HeLa cells via induction of DNA damage, and chromatin condensation in vitro. PMID:27499229

  17. Curcumin causes DNA damage and affects associated protein expression in HeLa human cervical cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Shang, Hung-Sheng; Chang, Chuan-Hsun; Chou, Yu-Ru; Yeh, Ming-Yang; Au, Man-Kuan; Lu, Hsu-Feng; Chu, Yung-Lin; Chou, Hsiao-Min; Chou, Hsiu-Chen; Shih, Yung-Luen; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2016-10-01

    Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide and it is a prominent cause of cancer mortality. Curcumin is one of the major compounds from Turmeric and has been shown to induce cytotoxic cell death in human cervical cancer cells. However, there is no study to show curcumin induced DNA damage action via the effect on the DNA damage and repair protein in cervical cancer cells in detail. In this study, we investigated whether or not curcumin induced cell death via DNA damage, chromatin condensation in human cervical cancer HeLa cells by using comet assay and DAPI staining, respectively, we found that curcumin induced cell death through the induction of DNA damage, and chromatin condensation. Western blotting and confocal laser microscopy examination were used to examine the effects of curcumin on protein expression associated with DNA damage, repair and translocation of proteins. We found that curcumin at 13 µM increased the protein levels associated with DNA damage and repair, such as O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, early-onset breast cancer 1 (BRCA1), mediator of DNA damage checkpoint 1, p-p53 and p-H2A.XSer140 in HeLa cells. Results from confocal laser systems microscopy indicated that curcumin increased the translocation of p-p53 and p-H2A.XSer140 from cytosol to nuclei in HeLa cells. In conclusion, curcumin induced cell death in HeLa cells via induction of DNA damage, and chromatin condensation in vitro.

  18. Human brain EEG indices of emotions: delineating responses to affective vocalizations by measuring frontal theta event-related synchronization.

    PubMed

    Bekkedal, Marni Y V; Rossi, John; Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-10-01

    At present there is no direct brain measure of basic emotional dynamics from the human brain. EEG provides non-invasive approaches for monitoring brain electrical activity to emotional stimuli. Event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) analysis, based on power shifts in specific frequency bands, has some potential as a method for differentiating responses to basic emotions as measured during brief presentations of affective stimuli. Although there appears to be fairly consistent theta ERS in frontal regions of the brain during the earliest phases of processing affective auditory stimuli, the patterns do not readily distinguish between specific emotions. To date it has not been possible to consistently differentiate brain responses to emotion-specific affective states or stimuli, and some evidence to suggests the theta ERS more likely measures general arousal processes rather than yielding veridical indices of specific emotional states. Perhaps cortical EEG patterns will never be able to be used to distinguish discrete emotional states from the surface of the brain. The implications and limitations of such approaches for understanding human emotions are discussed. PMID:21596060

  19. Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Function and Dendritic Cell Differentiation Are Affected by Bisphenol-A Exposure.

    PubMed

    Camarca, Alessandra; Gianfrani, Carmen; Ariemma, Fabiana; Cimmino, Ilaria; Bruzzese, Dario; Scerbo, Roberta; Picascia, Stefania; D'Esposito, Vittoria; Beguinot, Francesco; Formisano, Pietro; Valentino, Rossella

    2016-01-01

    Environmental pollutants, including endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), interfere on human health, leading to hormonal, immune and metabolic perturbations. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a main component of polycarbonate plastics, has been receiving increased attention due to its worldwide distribution with a large exposure. In humans, BPA, for its estrogenic activity, may have a role in autoimmunity, inflammatory and allergic diseases. To this aim, we assessed the effect of low BPA doses on functionality of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and on in vitro differentiation of dendritic cells from monocytes (mDCs). Fresh peripheral blood samples were obtained from 12 healthy adult volunteers. PBMCs were left unstimulated or were activated with the mitogen phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or the anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies and incubated in presence or absence of BPA at 0.1 and 1nM concentrations. The immune-modulatory effect of BPA was assessed by evaluating the cell proliferation and the levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) secreted by PBMCs. mDCs were differentiated with IL-4 and GC-CSF with or without BPA and the expression of differentiation/maturation markers (CD11c, CD1a, CD86, HLA-DR) was evaluated by flow cytometry; furthermore, a panel of 27 different cytokines, growth factors and chemokines were assayed in the mDC culture supernatants. PBMCs proliferation significantly increased upon BPA exposure compared to BPA untreated cells. In addition, a significant decrease in IL-10 secretion was observed in PBMCs incubated with BPA, either in unstimulated or mitogen-stimulated cells, and at both 0.1 and 1nM BPA concentrations. Similarly, IL-13 was reduced, mainly in cells activated by antiCD3/CD28. By contrast, no significant changes in IFN-γ and IL-4 production were found in any condition assayed. Finally, BPA at 1nM increased the density of dendritic cells expressing CD1a and concomitantly

  20. Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Function and Dendritic Cell Differentiation Are Affected by Bisphenol-A Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Ariemma, Fabiana; Cimmino, Ilaria; Bruzzese, Dario; Scerbo, Roberta; Picascia, Stefania; D’Esposito, Vittoria; Beguinot, Francesco; Formisano, Pietro

    2016-01-01

    Environmental pollutants, including endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), interfere on human health, leading to hormonal, immune and metabolic perturbations. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a main component of polycarbonate plastics, has been receiving increased attention due to its worldwide distribution with a large exposure. In humans, BPA, for its estrogenic activity, may have a role in autoimmunity, inflammatory and allergic diseases. To this aim, we assessed the effect of low BPA doses on functionality of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and on in vitro differentiation of dendritic cells from monocytes (mDCs). Fresh peripheral blood samples were obtained from 12 healthy adult volunteers. PBMCs were left unstimulated or were activated with the mitogen phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or the anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies and incubated in presence or absence of BPA at 0.1 and 1nM concentrations. The immune-modulatory effect of BPA was assessed by evaluating the cell proliferation and the levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-4 (IL-4), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) secreted by PBMCs. mDCs were differentiated with IL-4 and GC-CSF with or without BPA and the expression of differentiation/maturation markers (CD11c, CD1a, CD86, HLA-DR) was evaluated by flow cytometry; furthermore, a panel of 27 different cytokines, growth factors and chemokines were assayed in the mDC culture supernatants. PBMCs proliferation significantly increased upon BPA exposure compared to BPA untreated cells. In addition, a significant decrease in IL-10 secretion was observed in PBMCs incubated with BPA, either in unstimulated or mitogen-stimulated cells, and at both 0.1 and 1nM BPA concentrations. Similarly, IL-13 was reduced, mainly in cells activated by antiCD3/CD28. By contrast, no significant changes in IFN-γ and IL-4 production were found in any condition assayed. Finally, BPA at 1nM increased the density of dendritic cells expressing CD1a and concomitantly

  1. Crucial Dimensions of Human Altruism. Affective vs. Conceptual Factors Leading to Helping or Reinforcing Others.

    PubMed

    Szuster, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this article is to identify factors leading to favorable attitudes toward other people from different social categories. The parts of article reflect diverse levels of altruism regulation from primary affective responses to the environment, through social norms, to abstract moral concepts related to good and evil. The latter allow understanding of the perspective of other people (including those belonging to out-groups), acceptance of their values and engagement not only in helping behavior but also in supporting the development of others. PMID:27148127

  2. Crucial Dimensions of Human Altruism. Affective vs. Conceptual Factors Leading to Helping or Reinforcing Others

    PubMed Central

    Szuster, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this article is to identify factors leading to favorable attitudes toward other people from different social categories. The parts of article reflect diverse levels of altruism regulation from primary affective responses to the environment, through social norms, to abstract moral concepts related to good and evil. The latter allow understanding of the perspective of other people (including those belonging to out-groups), acceptance of their values and engagement not only in helping behavior but also in supporting the development of others. PMID:27148127

  3. Does testosterone affect lateralization of brain and behaviour? A meta-analysis in humans and other animal species.

    PubMed

    Pfannkuche, Kristina A; Bouma, Anke; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2009-04-12

    Lateralization of brain and behaviour has been the topic of research for many years in neuropsychology, but the factors guiding its development remain elusive. Based on sex differences in human lateralization, four hypotheses have been postulated that suggest a role for androgens, specifically testosterone. With the discovery that lateralization is a fundamental principle in the organization of brain and behaviour among vertebrates, it has now become possible to experimentally test such hypotheses in animal models. The use of different taxa, humans, other mammalian species and birds (with oestradiol and not testosterone involved in sexual differentiation in birds) facilitates to differentiate between the hypotheses. We used meta-analyses for analysing papers that provided sufficient information, and a semi-quantitative approach based on all relevant studies that we extracted from the literature. We tested the predictions of these hypotheses regarding strength and direction of lateralization for motor output, language and visuospatial cognition in these three taxa. We tested for sex differences and early organizational effects of testosterone (both correlative and experimental studies). We found sex differences in the direction of lateralization for non-human mammals (motor biases similar to humans) and in direction and strength in birds (visual cognitive tasks). However, the prediction that prenatal testosterone exposure affects the direction of lateralization was not supported for humans. In birds and non-human mammals, opposite trends were found, with the effect in non-human mammals being opposite to the expectation based on sex differences. None of the four hypotheses was sufficiently supported and more studies, testing a wider array of functions in different taxa while reporting the data more completely are needed. PMID:19064349

  4. Human resources in nursing education: a worldwide crisis.

    PubMed

    Potempa, Kathleen M; Redman, Richard W; Landstrom, Gay

    2009-01-01

    The global shortage of nurses is escalating. A key contributing factor to the production of new nurses is the growing shortage of qualified faculty. This paper explores the forces influencing the global faculty shortage, including those that increase demand and those that limit the supply of nursing faculty. The authors discuss potential solutions to the shortage, placing particular emphasis on leveraging the strengths of the profession to accelerate the progression of nurses to graduate school, the enhancement of funding for graduate education, changing the paradigm of clinical education, and the expansion of the science base for practice. PMID:19388423

  5. Prevalence and species of Cryptosporidium in human populations worldwide

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A high prevalence of cryptosporidiosis has been reported in children under 5 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa, especially, but not exclusively, the malnourished and those positive for HIV infection. Infection rates are highest during the rainy season. Cryptosporidium hominis, which is transmitted ...

  6. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A R; Harkness, John H; Neve, Kim A; Williams, Robert W; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K; Eshleman, Amy J; Phillips, Tamara J; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30-40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options. PMID:27031617

  7. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A. R.; Harkness, John H.; Neve, Kim A.; Williams, Robert W.; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K.; Eshleman, Amy J.; Phillips, Tamara J.; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30–40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options. PMID:27031617

  8. Genetic variation of the RASGRF1 regulatory region affects human hippocampus-dependent memory.

    PubMed

    Barman, Adriana; Assmann, Anne; Richter, Sylvia; Soch, Joram; Schütze, Hartmut; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Deibele, Anna; Klein, Marieke; Richter, Anni; Behnisch, Gusalija; Düzel, Emrah; Zenker, Martin; Seidenbecher, Constanze I; Schott, Björn H

    2014-01-01

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor RASGRF1 is an important regulator of intracellular signaling and neural plasticity in the brain. RASGRF1-deficient mice exhibit a complex phenotype with learning deficits and ocular abnormalities. Also in humans, a genome-wide association study has identified the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs8027411 in the putative transcription regulatory region of RASGRF1 as a risk variant of myopia. Here we aimed to assess whether, in line with the RASGRF1 knockout mouse phenotype, rs8027411 might also be associated with human memory function. We performed computer-based neuropsychological learning experiments in two independent cohorts of young, healthy participants. Tests included the Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) and the logical memory section of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS). Two sub-cohorts additionally participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of hippocampus function. 119 participants performed a novelty encoding task that had previously been shown to engage the hippocampus, and 63 subjects participated in a reward-related memory encoding study. RASGRF1 rs8027411 genotype was indeed associated with memory performance in an allele dosage-dependent manner, with carriers of the T allele (i.e., the myopia risk allele) showing better memory performance in the early encoding phase of the VLMT and in the recall phase of the WMS logical memory section. In fMRI, T allele carriers exhibited increased hippocampal activation during presentation of novel images and during encoding of pictures associated with monetary reward. Taken together, our results provide evidence for a role of the RASGRF1 gene locus in hippocampus-dependent memory and, along with the previous association with myopia, point toward pleitropic effects of RASGRF1 genetic variations on complex neural function in humans. PMID:24808846

  9. Genetic variation of the RASGRF1 regulatory region affects human hippocampus-dependent memory

    PubMed Central

    Barman, Adriana; Assmann, Anne; Richter, Sylvia; Soch, Joram; Schütze, Hartmut; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Deibele, Anna; Klein, Marieke; Richter, Anni; Behnisch, Gusalija; Düzel, Emrah; Zenker, Martin; Seidenbecher, Constanze I.; Schott, Björn H.

    2014-01-01

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor RASGRF1 is an important regulator of intracellular signaling and neural plasticity in the brain. RASGRF1-deficient mice exhibit a complex phenotype with learning deficits and ocular abnormalities. Also in humans, a genome-wide association study has identified the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs8027411 in the putative transcription regulatory region of RASGRF1 as a risk variant of myopia. Here we aimed to assess whether, in line with the RASGRF1 knockout mouse phenotype, rs8027411 might also be associated with human memory function. We performed computer-based neuropsychological learning experiments in two independent cohorts of young, healthy participants. Tests included the Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) and the logical memory section of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS). Two sub-cohorts additionally participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of hippocampus function. 119 participants performed a novelty encoding task that had previously been shown to engage the hippocampus, and 63 subjects participated in a reward-related memory encoding study. RASGRF1 rs8027411 genotype was indeed associated with memory performance in an allele dosage-dependent manner, with carriers of the T allele (i.e., the myopia risk allele) showing better memory performance in the early encoding phase of the VLMT and in the recall phase of the WMS logical memory section. In fMRI, T allele carriers exhibited increased hippocampal activation during presentation of novel images and during encoding of pictures associated with monetary reward. Taken together, our results provide evidence for a role of the RASGRF1 gene locus in hippocampus-dependent memory and, along with the previous association with myopia, point toward pleitropic effects of RASGRF1 genetic variations on complex neural function in humans. PMID:24808846

  10. Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Mouse and Human Trace Amine-Associated Receptor 1 Function.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiao; Walter, Nicole A R; Harkness, John H; Neve, Kim A; Williams, Robert W; Lu, Lu; Belknap, John K; Eshleman, Amy J; Phillips, Tamara J; Janowsky, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) and neurotransmitter precursors and metabolites such as tyramine, octopamine, and β-phenethylamine stimulate the G protein-coupled trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). TAAR1 has been implicated in human conditions including obesity, schizophrenia, depression, fibromyalgia, migraine, and addiction. Additionally TAAR1 is expressed on lymphocytes and astrocytes involved in inflammation and response to infection. In brain, TAAR1 stimulation reduces synaptic dopamine availability and alters glutamatergic function. TAAR1 is also expressed at low levels in heart, and may regulate cardiovascular tone. Taar1 knockout mice orally self-administer more MA than wild type and are insensitive to its aversive effects. DBA/2J (D2) mice express a non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in Taar1 that does not respond to MA, and D2 mice are predisposed to high MA intake, compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Here we demonstrate that endogenous agonists stimulate the recombinant B6 mouse TAAR1, but do not activate the D2 mouse receptor. Progeny of the B6XD2 (BxD) family of recombinant inbred (RI) strains have been used to characterize the genetic etiology of diseases, but contrary to expectations, BXDs derived 30-40 years ago express only the functional B6 Taar1 allele whereas some more recently derived BXD RI strains express the D2 allele. Data indicate that the D2 mutation arose subsequent to derivation of the original RIs. Finally, we demonstrate that SNPs in human TAAR1 alter its function, resulting in expressed, but functional, sub-functional and non-functional receptors. Our findings are important for identifying a predisposition to human diseases, as well as for developing personalized treatment options.

  11. Age and skeletal sites affect BMP-2 responsiveness of human bone marrow stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Osyczka, Anna Maria; Damek-Poprawa, Monika; Wojtowicz, Aleksandra; Akintoye, Sunday O

    2009-01-01

    Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) contain osteoprogenitors responsive to stimulation by osteogenic growth factors like bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). When used as grafts, BMSCs can be harvested from different skeletal sites such as axial, appendicular, and orofacial bones, but the lower therapeutic efficacy of BMPs on BMSCs-responsiveness in humans compared to animal models may be due partly to effects of skeletal site and age of donor. We previously reported superior differentiation capacity and osteogenic properties of orofacial BMSCs relative to iliac crest BMSCs in same individuals. This study tested the hypothesis that recombinant human BMP-2 (rhBMP-2) stimulates human BMSCs differently based on age and skeletal site of harvest. Adult maxilla, mandible, and iliac crest BMSCs from same individuals and pediatric iliac crest BMSCs were comparatively assessed for BMP-2 responsiveness under serum-containing and serum-free insulin-supplemented culture conditions. Adult orofacial BMSCs were more BMP-2-responsive than iliac crest BMSCs based on higher gene transcripts of alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin, and osteogenic transcription factors MSX-2 and Osterix in serum-free insulin-containing medium. Pediatric iliac crest BMSCs were more responsive to rhBMP-2 than adult iliac crest BMSCs based on higher expression of alkaline phosphatase and osteopontin in serum-containing medium. Unlike orofacial BMSCs, MSX-2 and Osterix transcripts were similarly expressed by adult and pediatric iliac crest BMSCs in response to rhBMP-2. These data demonstrate that age and skeletal site-specific differences exist in BMSC osteogenic responsiveness to BMP-2 stimulation and suggest that MSX-2 and Osterix may be potential regulatory transcription factors in BMP-mediated osteogenesis of adult orofacial cells.

  12. Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Malcolm; Beard, Jennifer

    2016-02-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, 15.1 million children have been orphaned because of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). They face significant vulnerabilities, including stigma and discrimination, trauma and stress, illness, food insecurity, poverty, and difficulty accessing education. Millions of additional children who have living parents are vulnerable because their parents or other relatives are infected. This article reviews the current situation of orphans and vulnerable children, explores the underlying determinants of vulnerability and resilience, describes the response by the global community, and highlights the challenges as the HIV pandemic progresses through its fourth decade.

  13. Perturbation of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport affects size of nucleus and nucleolus in human cells.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Abira; Bhattacharjee, Chumki; Bhave, Madhura; Kailaje, Vaishali; Jain, Bhawik K; Sengupta, Isha; Rangarajan, Annapoorni; Bhattacharyya, Dibyendu

    2016-03-01

    Size regulation of human cell nucleus and nucleolus are poorly understood subjects. 3D reconstruction of live image shows that the karyoplasmic ratio (KR) increases by 30-80% in transformed cell lines compared to their immortalized counterpart. The attenuation of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport causes the KR value to increase by 30-50% in immortalized cell lines. Nucleolus volumes are significantly increased in transformed cell lines and the attenuation of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport causes a significant increase in the nucleolus volume of immortalized cell lines. A cytosol and nuclear fraction swapping experiment emphasizes the potential role of unknown cytosolic factors in nuclear and nucleolar size regulation.

  14. How Human and Natural Disturbance Affects the U.S. Carbon Sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felzer, B. S.

    2015-12-01

    Gridded datasets of Net Ecosystem Exchange derived from eddy covariance and remote sensing measurements (EC-MOD and FLUXNET-MTE) provide a means of validating Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP, opposite of NEE) from terrestrial ecosystem models. While most forested regions in the U.S. are observed to be moderate to strong carbon sinks, models not including human or natural disturbances will tend to be more carbon neutral, which is expected of mature ecosystems. I have developed the Terrestrial Ecosystems Model Hydro version (TEM-Hydro) to include both human and natural disturbances to compare against gridded NEP datasets. Human disturbances are based on the Hurtt et al. land use transition dataset and include transient agricultural (crops and pasture) conversion and abandonment and timber harvest. Natural disturbances include tropical storms and hurricane and fires based on stochastic return intervals. Model results indicate that forests are the largest carbon sink, seconded by croplands and pastures, if not accounting for decomposition of agricultural products and animal respiration. Grasslands and shrublands are both small sinks or carbon neutral. The NEP of forests in EC-MOD from 2001-2006 is 240 gCm2yr-1 and for FLUXNET-MTE from 1982-2007 is 375 gCm-2yr-1. With potential vegetation, the respective forest sinks for those two time periods are 54 and 62 gCm-2yr-1, respectively. Including the effects of human disturbance increases the sinks to 154 and 147 gCm-2yr-1. The effect of stochastic fire and storms is to reduce the NEP to 114 and 108 gCm-2yr-1. While the positive carbon sink today is the result of past land use disturbance, net carbon sequestration, including product decomposition, conversion fluxes, and animal respiration, has not yet returned to predisturbance levels as seen in the potential vegetation. Differences in response to disturbance have to do with the type, frequency, and intensity of disturbance. Fire, in particular, is seen to have a net

  15. Orphans and Vulnerable Children Affected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Malcolm; Beard, Jennifer

    2016-02-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, 15.1 million children have been orphaned because of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). They face significant vulnerabilities, including stigma and discrimination, trauma and stress, illness, food insecurity, poverty, and difficulty accessing education. Millions of additional children who have living parents are vulnerable because their parents or other relatives are infected. This article reviews the current situation of orphans and vulnerable children, explores the underlying determinants of vulnerability and resilience, describes the response by the global community, and highlights the challenges as the HIV pandemic progresses through its fourth decade. PMID:26613693

  16. Nutrient transport in human annulus fibrosus is affected by compressive strain and anisotropy.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Alicia R; Yuan, Tai-Yi; Huang, Chun-Yuh; Brown, Mark D; Gu, Wei Yong

    2012-12-01

    The avascular intervertebral disc (IVD) receives nutrition via transport from surrounding vasculature; poor nutrition is believed to be a main cause of disc degeneration. In this study, we investigated the effects of mechanical deformation and anisotropy on the transport of two important nutrients--oxygen and glucose--in human annulus fibrosus (AF). The diffusivities of oxygen and glucose were measured under three levels of uniaxial confined compression--0, 10, and 20%--and in three directions--axial, circumferential, and radial. The glucose partition coefficient was also measured at three compression levels. Results for glucose and oxygen diffusivity in AF ranged from 4.46 × 10(-7) to 9.77 × 10(-6) cm(2)/s and were comparable to previous studies; the glucose partition coefficient ranged from 0.71 to 0.82 and was also similar to previous results. Transport properties were found to decrease with increasing deformation, likely caused by fluid exudation during tissue compression and reduction in pore size. Furthermore, diffusivity in the radial direction was lower than in the axial or circumferential directions, indicating that nutrient transport in human AF is anisotropic. This behavior is likely a consequence of the layered structure and unique collagen architecture of AF tissue. These findings are important for better understanding nutritional supply in IVD and related disc degeneration.

  17. Aging and cytomegalovirus infection differentially and jointly affect distinct circulating T cell subsets in humans.

    PubMed

    Wertheimer, Anne M; Bennett, Michael S; Park, Byung; Uhrlaub, Jennifer L; Martinez, Carmine; Pulko, Vesna; Currier, Noreen L; Nikolich-Žugich, Dragana; Kaye, Jeffrey; Nikolich-Žugich, Janko

    2014-03-01

    The impact of intrinsic aging upon human peripheral blood T cell subsets remains incompletely quantified and understood. This impact must be distinguished from the influence of latent persistent microorganisms, particularly CMV, which has been associated with age-related changes in the T cell pool. In a cross-sectional cohort of 152 CMV-negative individuals, aged 21-101 y, we found that aging correlated strictly to an absolute loss of naive CD8, but not CD4, T cells but, contrary to many reports, did not lead to an increase in memory T cell numbers. The loss of naive CD8 T cells was not altered by CMV in 239 subjects (range 21-96 y), but the decline in CD4(+) naive cells showed significance in CMV(+) individuals. These individuals also exhibited an absolute increase in the effector/effector memory CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells with age. That increase was seen mainly, if not exclusively, in older subjects with elevated anti-CMV Ab titers, suggesting that efficacy of viral control over time may determine the magnitude of CMV impact upon T cell memory, and perhaps upon immune defense. These findings provide important new insights into the age-related changes in the peripheral blood pool of older adults, demonstrating that aging and CMV exert both distinct and joint influence upon blood T cell homeostasis in humans. PMID:24501199

  18. Nedd4, a human ubiquitin ligase, affects actin cytoskeleton in yeast cells.

    PubMed

    Stawiecka-Mirota, Marta; Kamińska, Joanna; Urban-Grimal, Daniele; Haines, Dale S; Zoładek, Teresa

    2008-11-01

    Human Nedd4 ubiquitin ligase is involved in protein trafficking, signal transduction and oncogenesis. Nedd4 with an inactive WW4 domain is toxic to yeast cells. We report here that actin cytoskeleton is abnormal in yeast cells expressing the NEDD4 or NEDD4w4 gene and these cells are more sensitive to Latrunculin A, an actin-depolymerizing drug. These phenotypes are less pronounced when a mutation inactivating the catalytic domain of the ligase has been introduced. In contrast, overexpression of the LAS17 gene, encoding an activator of the Arp2/3 actin nucleating complex, is detrimental to NEDD4w4-expressing cells. The level of Las17p is increased in cells overproducing Nedd4w4 and this depends partially on its catalytic domain. Expression of genes encoding Nedd4 variants, like overexpression of LAS17, suppresses the growth defect of the arp2-1 strain. Our results suggest that human Nedd4 ligase inhibits yeast cell growth by disturbing the actin cytoskeleton, in part by increasing Las17p level, and that Nedd4 ubiquitination targets may include actin cytoskeleton-associated proteins conserved in evolution. PMID:18804462

  19. Climate Change Impacts on Worldwide Coffee Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foreman, T.; Rising, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Coffee (Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora) plays a vital role in many countries' economies, providing necessary income to 25 million members of tropical countries, and supporting a $81 billion industry, making it one of the most valuable commodities in the world. At the same time, coffee is at the center of many issues of sustainability. It is vulnerable to climate change, with disease outbreaks becoming more common and suitable regions beginning to shift. We develop a statistical production model for coffee which incorporates temperature, precipitation, frost, and humidity effects using a new database of worldwide coffee production. We then use this model to project coffee yields and production into the future based on a variety of climate forecasts. This model can then be used together with a market model to forecast the locations of future coffee production as well as future prices, supply, and demand.

  20. Selection Signatures in Worldwide Sheep Populations

    PubMed Central

    Fariello, Maria-Ines; Servin, Bertrand; Tosser-Klopp, Gwenola; Rupp, Rachel; Moreno, Carole; Cristobal, Magali San; Boitard, Simon

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of populations in domestic species offers great opportunities to study genome response to selection. The recently published Sheep HapMap dataset is a great example of characterization of the world wide genetic diversity in sheep. In this study, we re-analyzed the Sheep HapMap dataset to identify selection signatures in worldwide sheep populations. Compared to previous analyses, we made use of statistical methods that (i) take account of the hierarchical structure of sheep populations, (ii) make use of linkage disequilibrium information and (iii) focus specifically on either recent or older selection signatures. We show that this allows pinpointing several new selection signatures in the sheep genome and distinguishing those related to modern breeding objectives and to earlier post-domestication constraints. The newly identified regions, together with the ones previously identified, reveal the extensive genome response to selection on morphology, color and adaptation to new environments. PMID:25126940

  1. Worldwide patterns of bird colouration on islands.

    PubMed

    Doutrelant, Claire; Paquet, Matthieu; Renoult, Julien P; Grégoire, Arnaud; Crochet, Pierre-André; Covas, Rita

    2016-05-01

    Island environments share distinctive characteristics that offer unique opportunities to investigate parallel evolution. Previous research has produced evidence of an island syndrome for morphological traits, life-history strategies and ecological niches, but little is known about the response to insularity of other important traits such as animal signals. Here, we tested whether birds' plumage colouration is part of the island syndrome. We analysed with spectrophotometry the colouration of 116 species endemic to islands and their 116 closest mainland relatives. We found a pattern of reduced brightness and colour intensity for both sexes on islands. In addition, we found a decrease in the number of colour patches on islands that, in males, was associated with a decrease in the number of same-family sympatric species. These results demonstrate a worldwide pattern of parallel colour changes on islands and suggest that a relaxation of selection on species recognition may be one of the mechanisms involved.

  2. Visually Exploring Worldwide Incidents Tracking System Data

    SciTech Connect

    Chhatwal, Shree D.; Rose, Stuart J.

    2008-01-27

    This paper presents refinements of an existing analytic tool, Juxter, which was developed for the visualization of multi-dimensional categorical data, and explores its application to support exploration and interaction with open source Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS) data. The volume and complexity of data available on terrorism makes it hard to analyze. Information systems that can efficiently and effectively collect, access, analyze, and report terrorist incidents can help in further studies focused on preventing, detecting, and responding to terrorist attacks. Existing interfaces to the WITS data support advanced search capabilities, and geolocation but lack functionality for identifying patterns and trends. To better support efficient browsing we have refined Juxter’s existing capabilities for filtering, selecting, and sorting elements and categories within the visualization.

  3. World-wide aeronautical satellite communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Peter; Smith, Keith

    1988-01-01

    INMARSAT decided to expand the spectrum covered by its new generation of satellites, INMARSAT-2, to include 1 MHz (subsequently increased to 3 MHz) of the spectrum designed for aeronautical use. It began a design study that led to the specifications for the system that is now being implemented. Subsequently, INMARSAT awarded contracts for the design of avionics and high gain antennas to a number of manufactures, while several of the signatories that provide ground equipment for communicating with the INMARSAT satellites are modifying their earth stations to work with the avionic equipment. As a resullt of these activities, a world-wide aeronautical satellite system supporting both voice and data will become operational in 1989.

  4. The worldwide epidemic of female obesity.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Sheona; Shaw, Dorothy

    2015-04-01

    The rapidly rising number of individuals who are overweight and obese has been called a worldwide epidemic of obesity with >35% of adults today considered to be overweight or obese. Women are more likely to be overweight and obese than their male counterparts, which has far-reaching effects on reproductive health and specifically pregnancy, with obese women facing an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, operative delivery, fetal macrosomia, and neonatal morbidity. The etiology of obesity is highly complex encompassing genetic, environmental, physiologic, cultural, political, and socioeconomic factors, making it challenging to develop effective interventions on both a local and global scale. This article describes the extent and the cost of the obesity epidemic, which, although historically seen as a disease of high-income countries, is now clearly a global epidemic that impacts low- and middle-income countries and indigenous groups who bear an ever-increasing burden of this disease.

  5. CMS Centres Worldwide - a New Collaborative Infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Lucas

    2011-12-01

    The CMS Experiment at the LHC has established a network of more than fifty inter-connected "CMS Centres" at CERN and in institutes in the Americas, Asia, Australasia, and Europe. These facilities are used by people doing CMS detector and computing grid operations, remote shifts, data quality monitoring and analysis, as well as education and outreach. We present the computing, software, and collaborative tools and videoconferencing systems. These include permanently running "telepresence" video links (hardware-based H.323, EVO and Vidyo), Webcasts, and generic Web tools such as CMS-TV for broadcasting live monitoring and outreach information. Being Web-based and experiment-independent, these systems could easily be extended to other organizations. We describe the experiences of using CMS Centres Worldwide in the CMS data-taking operations as well as for major media events with several hundred TV channels, radio stations, and many more press journalists simultaneously around the world.

  6. Worldwide clustering of the corruption perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulus, Michal; Kristoufek, Ladislav

    2015-06-01

    We inspect a possible clustering structure of the corruption perception among 134 countries. Using the average linkage clustering, we uncover a well-defined hierarchy in the relationships among countries. Four main clusters are identified and they suggest that countries worldwide can be quite well separated according to their perception of corruption. Moreover, we find a strong connection between corruption levels and a stage of development inside the clusters. The ranking of countries according to their corruption perfectly copies the ranking according to the economic performance measured by the gross domestic product per capita of the member states. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first one to present an application of hierarchical and clustering methods to the specific case of corruption.

  7. A long-term forecast analysis on worldwide land uses.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenjun; Qi, Yanhong; Zhang, Zhiguo

    2006-08-01

    More and more lands worldwide are being cultivated for food production while forests are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. This paper aims to make a long-term forecast on land uses worldwide and provide the public, researchers, and government officials with a clear profile for land uses in the future. Data of land uses since 1961 were used to fit historical trajectories and make the forecast. The results show that trajectories of land areas can be well fitted with univariate linear regressions. The forecasts of land uses during the coming 25 years were given in detail. Areas of agricultural land, arable land, and permanent pasture land worldwide would increase by 6.6%, 7.2%, and 6.3% respectively in the year 2030 as compared to the current areas. Permanent crops land area all over the world is forecasted to increase 0.64% by 2030. By the year 2030 the areas of forests and woodland, nonarable and nonpermanent land worldwide would decrease by 2.4% and 0.9% against the current areas. All other land area in the world would dramatically decline by 6.4% by the year 2030. Overall the land area related to agriculture would tend to decrease in developed countries, industrialized countries, Europe, and North and Central America. The agriculture related land area would considerably increase in developing countries, least developed countries, low-income countries, Asia, Africa, South America, etc. Developing countries hold larger total land area than developed countries. Dramatic and continuous growth in agricultural land area of developing countries would largely contribute to the expected growth of world agricultural land area in the coming years. Population explosion, food shortage and poverty in the world, especially in developing countries, together caused the excessive cultivation of land for agricultural uses in the past years. Increasing agricultural land area exacerbates the climate changes and degradation of environment. How to limit the growth of human

  8. Landfill aeration worldwide: Concepts, indications and findings

    SciTech Connect

    Ritzkowski, M.; Stegmann, R.

    2012-07-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Different landfill aeration concepts and accordant application areas are described. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Examples of full scale projects are provided for Europe, North-America and Asia. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Major project findings are summarised, including prospects and limitations. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Inconsistencies between laboratory and full scale results have been elaborated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer An explanatory approach in connection with the inconsistencies is provided. - Abstract: The creation of sustainable landfills is a fundamental goal in waste management worldwide. In this connection landfill aeration contributes towards an accelerated, controlled and sustainable conversion of conventional anaerobic landfills into a biological stabilized state associated with a minimised emission potential. The technology has been successfully applied to landfills in Europe, North America and Asia, following different strategies depending on the geographical region, the specific legislation and the available financial resources. Furthermore, methodologies for the incorporation of landfill aeration into the carbon trade mechanisms have been developed in recent years. This manuscript gives an overview on existing concepts for landfill aeration; their application ranges and specifications. For all of the described concepts examples from different countries worldwide are provided, including details regarding their potentials and limitations. Some of the most important findings from these aeration projects are summarised and future research needs have been identified. It becomes apparent that there is a great demand for a systematisation of the available results and implications in order to further develop and optimise this very promising technology. The IWWG (International Waste Working Group) Task Group 'Landfill Aeration' contributes towards the achievement of this goal.

  9. The Maillard reaction in the human body. The main discoveries and factors that affect glycation.

    PubMed

    Tessier, F J

    2010-06-01

    Ever since the discovery of the Maillard reaction in 1912 and the discovery of the interaction between advanced glycation end-products and cellular receptors, impressive progress has been made in the knowledge of nonenzymatic browning of proteins in vivo. This reaction which leads to the accumulation of random damage in extracellular proteins is known to have deleterious effects on biological function, and is associated with aging and complication in chronic diseases. Despite a controlled membrane permeability and a protective regulation of the cells, intracellular proteins are also altered by the Maillard reaction. Two main factors, protein turnover and the concentration of carbonyls, are involved in the rate of formation of the Maillard products. This paper reviews the key milestones of the discovery of the Maillard reaction in vivo, better known as glycation, and the factors which are likely to affect it.

  10. Keeping Pace with Your Eating: Visual Feedback Affects Eating Rate in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Bosworth, Matthew L.; Godinot, Nicolas; Martin, Nathalie; Rogers, Peter J.; Brunstrom, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Deliberately eating at a slower pace promotes satiation and eating quickly has been associated with a higher body mass index. Therefore, understanding factors that affect eating rate should be given high priority. Eating rate is affected by the physical/textural properties of a food, by motivational state, and by portion size and palatability. This study explored the prospect that eating rate is also influenced by a hitherto unexplored cognitive process that uses ongoing perceptual estimates of the volume of food remaining in a container to adjust intake during a meal. A 2 (amount seen; 300ml or 500ml) x 2 (amount eaten; 300ml or 500ml) between-subjects design was employed (10 participants in each condition). In two ‘congruent’ conditions, the same amount was seen at the outset and then subsequently consumed (300ml or 500ml). To dissociate visual feedback of portion size and actual amount consumed, food was covertly added or removed from a bowl using a peristaltic pump. This created two additional ‘incongruent’ conditions, in which 300ml was seen but 500ml was eaten or vice versa. We repeated these conditions using a savoury soup and a sweet dessert. Eating rate (ml per second) was assessed during lunch. After lunch we assessed fullness over a 60-minute period. In the congruent conditions, eating rate was unaffected by the actual volume of food that was consumed (300ml or 500ml). By contrast, we observed a marked difference across the incongruent conditions. Specifically, participants who saw 300ml but actually consumed 500ml ate at a faster rate than participants who saw 500ml but actually consumed 300ml. Participants were unaware that their portion size had been manipulated. Nevertheless, when it disappeared faster or slower than anticipated they adjusted their rate of eating accordingly. This suggests that the control of eating rate involves visual feedback and is not a simple reflexive response to orosensory stimulation. PMID:26828922

  11. Reciprocity in computer-human interaction: source-based, norm-based, and affect-based explanations.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seungcheol Austin; Liang, Yuhua Jake

    2015-04-01

    Individuals often apply social rules when they interact with computers, and this is known as the Computers Are Social Actors (CASA) effect. Following previous work, one approach to understand the mechanism responsible for CASA is to utilize computer agents and have the agents attempt to gain human compliance (e.g., completing a pattern recognition task). The current study focuses on three key factors frequently cited to influence traditional notions of compliance: evaluations toward the source (competence and warmth), normative influence (reciprocity), and affective influence (mood). Structural equation modeling assessed the effects of these factors on human compliance with computer request. The final model shows that norm-based influence (reciprocity) increased the likelihood of compliance, while evaluations toward the computer agent did not significantly influence compliance. PMID:25803145

  12. Reciprocity in computer-human interaction: source-based, norm-based, and affect-based explanations.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seungcheol Austin; Liang, Yuhua Jake

    2015-04-01

    Individuals often apply social rules when they interact with computers, and this is known as the Computers Are Social Actors (CASA) effect. Following previous work, one approach to understand the mechanism responsible for CASA is to utilize computer agents and have the agents attempt to gain human compliance (e.g., completing a pattern recognition task). The current study focuses on three key factors frequently cited to influence traditional notions of compliance: evaluations toward the source (competence and warmth), normative influence (reciprocity), and affective influence (mood). Structural equation modeling assessed the effects of these factors on human compliance with computer request. The final model shows that norm-based influence (reciprocity) increased the likelihood of compliance, while evaluations toward the computer agent did not significantly influence compliance.

  13. Factors affecting sperm motility. III. Influence of visible light and other electromagnetic radiations on human sperm velocity and survival.

    PubMed

    Makler, A; Tatcher, M; Vilensky, A; Brandes, J M

    1980-04-01

    Specimens of semen from fertile and infertile patients were exposed to different electromagnetic radiations, including visible light, ultraviolet (UV) light, x-rays, and high-frequency radio waves. Sperm motility was analyzed before, during, and after irradiation by the multiple exposure photography (MEP) method. No significant difference was found between controls and specimens exposed to various doses of visible and UV light and x-rays either immediately or several hours after exposure. In contrast to spermatozoa of other species that were reported to be adversely affected by visible and UV light and x-rays, human spermatozoa seem to be highly resistant to similar doses of these radiations. A deleterious influence was observed when high-frequency radio waves were applied to human spermatozoa. This may be attributed to an intracellular diathermic effect. The informative value of this study in relation to routine semen analyses and experimental studies in the physiology and comparative anatomy of spermatozoa is discussed.

  14. A preliminary analysis of human factors affecting the recognition accuracy of a discrete word recognizer for C3 systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yellen, H. W.

    1983-03-01

    Literature pertaining to Voice Recognition abounds with information relevant to the assessment of transitory speech recognition devices. In the past, engineering requirements have dictated the path this technology followed. But, other factors do exist that influence recognition accuracy. This thesis explores the impact of Human Factors on the successful recognition of speech, principally addressing the differences or variability among users. A Threshold Technology T-600 was used for a 100 utterance vocubalary to test 44 subjects. A statistical analysis was conducted on 5 generic categories of Human Factors: Occupational, Operational, Psychological, Physiological and Personal. How the equipment is trained and the experience level of the speaker were found to be key characteristics influencing recognition accuracy. To a lesser extent computer experience, time or week, accent, vital capacity and rate of air flow, speaker cooperativeness and anxiety were found to affect overall error rates.

  15. CYCLOSPORIN A AFFECTS THE PROLIFERATION PROCESS IN NORMAL HUMAN DERMAL FIBROBLASTS.

    PubMed

    Janikowska, Grazyna; Janikowsk, Tomasz; Pyka, Alina; Wilczok, Adam; Mazurek, Urszula

    2016-01-01

    Cyclosporin A is an immunosuppressant drug that is used not only in solid transplant rejection, but also in moderate and severe forms of psoriasis, pyoderma, lupus or arthritis. Serious side effects of the drug such as skin cancer or gingival hyperplasia probably start with the latent proliferation process. Little is known about the influence of cyclosporin A on molecular signaling in epidermal tissue. Thus, the aim of this study was to estimate the influence of cyclosporin A on the process of proliferation in normal human dermal fibroblasts. Fibroblasts were cultured in a liquid growth medium in standard conditions. Cyclosporin A was added to the culture after the confluence state. Survival and proliferation tests on human dermal fibroblast cells were performed. Total RNA was extracted from fibroblasts, based on which cDNA and cRNA were synthesized. The obtained cRNA was hybridized with the expression microarray HGU-133A_2.0. Statistical analysis of 2734 mRNAs was performed by the use of GeneSpring 13.0 software and only results with p < 0.05 were accepted. Analysis of variance with Tukey post hoc test with Benjamini-Hochberg correction for all three (8, 24, 48 h) culture stages (with and without cyclosporin A) was performed to lower the number of statistically significant results from 679 to 66, and less. Between statistically and biologically significant mRNAs down-regulated were EGRJ, BUBIB, MKI67, CDK1, TTK, E2F8, TPX2, however, the INSIG1, FOSL1, HMOX1 were up-regulated. The experiment data revealed that cyclosporin A up-regulated FOSL1 in the first 24 h, afterwards down-regulating its expression. The HMOX1 gene was up-regulated in the first stage of the experiment (CsA 8 h), however, after the next 16 h of culture time its expression was down-regulated (CsA 24 h), to finally increased in the later time period. The results indicate that cyclosporin A had a significant effect on proliferation in normal human dermal fibroblasts through the changes in the

  16. A ubiquitous splice variant and a common polymorphism affect heterologous expression of recombinant human SCN5A heart sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Makielski, Jonathan C; Ye, Bin; Valdivia, Carmen R; Pagel, Matthew D; Pu, Jielin; Tester, David J; Ackerman, Michael J

    2003-10-31

    Amino acid sequence variations in SCN5A are known to affect function of wild-type channels and also those with coexisting mutations; therefore, it is important to know the exact sequence and function of channels most commonly present in human myocardium. SCN5A was analyzed in control panels of human alleles, demonstrating that the existing clones (hH1, hH1a, hH1b) each contained a rare variant and thus none represented the common sequence. Confirming prior work, the H558R polymorphism was present in approximately 30% of subjects. Quantitative mRNA analysis from human hearts showed that a shorter 2015 amino acid splice variant lacking glutamine at position 1077 (Q1077del) made up 65% of the transcript in every heart examined. Age, sex, race, or structural heart disease did not affect this proportion of Q1077del. Estimated population frequencies for the four common variants were 25% SCN5A, 10% [H558R], 45% [Q1077del], and 20% [H558R;Q1077del], where the reference sequence SCN5A is GenBank AC137587. When expressed in HEK-293 cells, these common variants had a more positive mid-point of the voltage dependence of inactivation than the standard clone hH1. Also, channels containing Q1077 expressed smaller currents. When H558R was present with Q1077 ([H558R]), current expression was profoundly reduced despite normal trafficking to the cell surface. Thus, four variant sequences for SCN5A are commonly present in human myocardium and they exhibit functional differences among themselves and with the previous standard clone. These results have implications for the choice of background sequence for experiments with heterologous expression systems, and possibly implications for electrophysiological function in vivo. PMID:14500339

  17. Gravitaional/Mechanical Factors Affect Gene Expression Profile and Phenotypic Specification of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monici, Monica; Romano, Giovanni; Cialdai, Francesca; Fusi, Fanco; Marziliano, Nicola; Benvenuti, Susana; Cellai, Ilaria; Egli, Marcel; Cogoli, Augusto

    2008-06-01

    Stem cell implantation is a promising approach for tissue repair. Unfortunately this possibility is strictly limited because these cells early withdraw from the cell cycler and seem to form passive, rather than active grafts. Therefore, the development of strategies capable of increasing the yield of phenotypic specification would be a primary aim in biomedical research. It is known that both biochemical and physical factors are needed for tissue homeostasis and their combination in a dose- and time-dependent manner is probably the key to in vitro and in vivo tissue regeneration. In this study, the effects of gravitational factors on human mesenchymal stem cell differentiation were investigated and compared with the ones caused by mechanical stress. The results showed that gene expression profile and phenotypic specification change according with the gravitational/ mechanical stress to which the hMSCs were exposed. Loading by hyperfuge and photomechanical stress by pulsed Nd:YAG laser induced osteoblastogenesis and chondrogenesis while microgravity favoured adipogenesis.

  18. Human-animal bonds in the laboratory: how animal behavior affects the perspectives of caregivers.

    PubMed

    Chang, Fon T; Hart, Lynnette H

    2002-01-01

    Experiencing the human-animal bond in the laboratory context can potentially improve the quality of life of animals as well as increase job satisfaction for animal caregivers. With today s centralized facilities, caregivers generally focus entirely on providing routine care for animals without involvement in experimental procedures. Results of responses to a detailed and open-ended survey of 16 caregivers and five campus veterinarians at seven University of California campuses are presented, in addition to six interviews of additional caregivers and veterinarians. The survey revealed that these individuals became caregivers because of their attraction to the animals. Positive interactions with the animals were highly rewarding. Approximately half of the caregivers reported feeling less attracted to mice than other species. Job satisfaction could perhaps be increased by offering seminars for the research team that would include the caregivers and providing support related to animal deaths and euthanasia. PMID:11752726

  19. Cortisol variation in humans affects memory for emotionally laden and neutral information.

    PubMed

    Abercrombie, Heather C; Kalin, Ned H; Thurow, Marchell E; Rosenkranz, Melissa A; Davidson, Richard J

    2003-06-01

    In a test of the effects of cortisol on emotional memory, 90 men were orally administered placebo or 20 or 40 mg cortisol and presented with emotionally arousing and neutral stimuli. On memory tests administered within 1 hr of stimulus presentation, cortisol elevations caused a reduction in the number of errors committed on free-recall tasks. Two evenings later, when cortisol levels were no longer manipulated, inverted-U quadratic trends were found for recognition memory tasks, reflecting memory facilitation in the 20-mg group for both negative and neutral information. Results suggest that the effects of cortisol on memory do not differ substantially for emotional and neutral information. The study provides evidence of beneficial effects of acute cortisol elevations on explicit memory in humans.

  20. Viral affects on metabolism: changes in glucose and glutamine utilization during human cytomegalovirus infection

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yongjun; Clippinger, Amy J.; Alwine, James C.

    2011-01-01

    Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection causes dramatic alterations of intermediary metabolism, similar to those found in tumor cells. In infected cells, glucose carbon is not completely broken down by the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle for energy; instead it is used biosynthetically. This process requires increased glucose uptake, increased glycolysis and the diversion of glucose carbon, in the form of citrate, from the TCA cycle for use in HCMV-induced fatty acid biosynthesis. The diversion of citrate from the TCA cycle (cataplerosis) requires induction of enzymes to promote glutaminolysis, the conversion of glutamine to -ketoglutarate in order to maintain the TCA cycle (anaplerosis) and ATP production. Such changes could result in heretofore uncharacterized pathogenesis, potentially implicating HCMV as a subtle co-factor in many maladies, including oncogenesis. Recognition of the effects of HCMV, and other viruses, on host cell metabolism will provide new understanding of viral pathogenesis and novel avenues for antiviral therapy. PMID:21570293

  1. I saw where you have been--The topography of human demonstration affects dogs' search patterns and perseverative errors.

    PubMed

    Péter, András; Topál, József; Miklósi, Ádám; Pongrácz, Péter

    2016-04-01

    Performance in object search tasks is not only influenced by the subjects' object permanence ability. For example, ostensive cues of the human manipulating the target markedly affect dogs' choices. However, the interference between the target's location and the spatial cues of the human hiding the object is still unknown. In a five-location visible displacement task, the experimental groups differed in the hiding route of the experimenter. In the 'direct' condition he moved straight towards the actual location, hid the object and returned to the dog. In the 'indirect' conditions, he additionally walked behind each screen before returning. The two 'indirect' conditions differed from each other in that the human either visited the previously baited locations before (proactive interference) or after (retroactive interference) hiding the object. In the 'indirect' groups, dogs' performance was significantly lower than in the 'direct' group, demonstrating that for dogs, in an ostensive context, spatial cues of the hider are as important as the observed location of the target. Based on their incorrect choices, dogs were most attracted to the previously baited locations that the human visited after hiding the object in the actual trial. This underlines the importance of retroactive interference in multiple choice tasks.

  2. Muscle Fatigue Affects the Interpolated Twitch Technique When Assessed Using Electrically-Induced Contractions in Human and Rat Muscles.

    PubMed

    Neyroud, Daria; Cheng, Arthur J; Bourdillon, Nicolas; Kayser, Bengt; Place, Nicolas; Westerblad, Håkan

    2016-01-01

    The interpolated twitch technique (ITT) is the gold standard to assess voluntary activation and central fatigue. Yet, its validity has been questioned. Here we studied how peripheral fatigue can affect the ITT. Repeated contractions at submaximal frequencies were produced by supramaximal electrical stimulations of the human adductor pollicis muscle in vivo and of isolated rat soleus fiber bundles; an extra stimulation pulse was given during contractions to induce a superimposed twitch. Human muscles fatigued by repeated 30-Hz stimulation trains (3 s on-1 s off) showed an ~80% reduction in the superimposed twitch force accompanied by a severely reduced EMG response (M-wave amplitude), which implies action potential failure. Subsequent experiments combined a less intense stimulation protocol (1.5 s on-3 s off) with ischemia to cause muscle fatigue, but which preserved M-wave amplitude. However, the superimposed twitch force still decreased markedly more than the potentiated twitch force; with ITT this would reflect increased "voluntary activation." In contrast, the superimposed twitch force was relatively spared when a similar protocol was performed in rat soleus bundles. Force relaxation was slowed by >150% in fatigued human muscles, whereas it was unchanged in rat soleus bundles. Accordingly, results similar to those in the human muscle were obtained when relaxation was slowed by cooling the rat soleus muscles. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that muscle fatigue can confound the quantification of central fatigue using the ITT.

  3. Muscle Fatigue Affects the Interpolated Twitch Technique When Assessed Using Electrically-Induced Contractions in Human and Rat Muscles

    PubMed Central

    Neyroud, Daria; Cheng, Arthur J.; Bourdillon, Nicolas; Kayser, Bengt; Place, Nicolas; Westerblad, Håkan

    2016-01-01

    The interpolated twitch technique (ITT) is the gold standard to assess voluntary activation and central fatigue. Yet, its validity has been questioned. Here we studied how peripheral fatigue can affect the ITT. Repeated contractions at submaximal frequencies were produced by supramaximal electrical stimulations of the human adductor pollicis muscle in vivo and of isolated rat soleus fiber bundles; an extra stimulation pulse was given during contractions to induce a superimposed twitch. Human muscles fatigued by repeated 30-Hz stimulation trains (3 s on–1 s off) showed an ~80% reduction in the superimposed twitch force accompanied by a severely reduced EMG response (M-wave amplitude), which implies action potential failure. Subsequent experiments combined a less intense stimulation protocol (1.5 s on–3 s off) with ischemia to cause muscle fatigue, but which preserved M-wave amplitude. However, the superimposed twitch force still decreased markedly more than the potentiated twitch force; with ITT this would reflect increased “voluntary activation.” In contrast, the superimposed twitch force was relatively spared when a similar protocol was performed in rat soleus bundles. Force relaxation was slowed by >150% in fatigued human muscles, whereas it was unchanged in rat soleus bundles. Accordingly, results similar to those in the human muscle were obtained when relaxation was slowed by cooling the rat soleus muscles. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that muscle fatigue can confound the quantification of central fatigue using the ITT. PMID:27445844

  4. Age and Gender Affect the Composition of Fungal Population of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract.

    PubMed

    Strati, Francesco; Di Paola, Monica; Stefanini, Irene; Albanese, Davide; Rizzetto, Lisa; Lionetti, Paolo; Calabrò, Antonio; Jousson, Olivier; Donati, Claudio; Cavalieri, Duccio; De Filippo, Carlotta

    2016-01-01

    The fungal component of the human gut microbiota has been neglected for long time due to the low relative abundance of fungi with respect to bacteria, and only recently few reports have explored its composition and dynamics in health or disease. The application of metagenomics methods to the full understanding of fungal communities is currently limited by the under representation of fungal DNA with respect to the bacterial one, as well as by the limited ability to discriminate passengers from colonizers. Here, we investigated the gut mycobiota of a cohort of healthy subjects in order to reduce the gap of knowledge concerning fungal intestinal communities in the healthy status further screening for phenotypical traits that could reflect fungi adaptation to the host. We studied the fecal fungal populations of 111 healthy subjects by means of cultivation on fungal selective media and by amplicon-based ITS1 metagenomics analysis on a subset of 57 individuals. We then characterized the isolated fungi for their tolerance to gastrointestinal (GI) tract-like challenges and their susceptibility to antifungals. A total of 34 different fungal species were isolated showing several phenotypic characteristics associated with intestinal environment such as tolerance to body temperature (37°C), to acidic and oxidative stress, and to bile salts exposure. We found a high frequency of azoles resistance in fungal isolates, with potential and significant clinical impact. Analyses of fungal communities revealed that the human gut mycobiota differs in function of individuals' life stage in a gender-related fashion. The combination of metagenomics and fungal cultivation allowed an in-depth understanding of the fungal intestinal community structure associated to the healthy status and the commensalism-related traits of isolated fungi. We further discussed comparatively the results of sequencing and cultivation to critically evaluate the application of metagenomics-based approaches to

  5. Does tropicamide affect choroidal blood flow in humans? a laser Doppler flowmetry study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palanisamy, Nithiyanantham; Riva, Charles E.; Rovati, Luigi; Cellini, Mauro; Gizzi, Corrado; Strobbe, Ernesto; Campos, Emilio C.

    2012-03-01

    The measurement of blood flow in the ocular fundus is of scientific and clinical interest. Investigating ocular blood flow in the choroid may be important to understand the pathogenesis of numerous ocular diseases, such as glaucoma or agerelated macular degeneration (AMD). Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) was applied to measure relative velocity, volume and flux of red blood cells in the tissues of human eye. Its main application lies in the possibility of assessing alterations in blood flow early in the course of diseases. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of pupil dilatation with one drop of 1% tropicamide on blood flow in the foveal region of the choroid of the human fundus. The blood flow parameters were measured in 24 eyes during 30 minutes (one measurement in every 3 minutes) after the application of the drop. Since the Doppler parameters depend on the scattering geometry, which may change as the pupil dilates; an artificial pupil of 4mm in diameter was placed directly in front the eye. Following the administration of tropicamide the mean pupil diameter was increased from 3.29 mm to 8.25 mm (P<0.0001, Paired student t-test). In comparison to the baseline values, the data shows no significant increases were observed in velocity, volume, and flow with 4 mm artificial pupil (0.2%, 1.3%, 0.8% respectively) and a statistically significant increases were observed without artificial pupil (10.7%, 13.9%, 12.8% respectively) following the application of tropicamide.

  6. Variables affecting production of monocyte chemotactic factor 1 from human leukocytes stimulated with Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed Central

    Levitz, S M; North, E A; Jiang, Y; Nong, S H; Kornfeld, H; Harrison, T S

    1997-01-01

    The chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) is produced predominantly by mononuclear phagocytes and stimulates recruitment into infected tissues of blood monocytes and T cells. These cell types are thought to be critical to host defenses against infections due to Cryptococcus neoformans, a major cause of disease in persons with AIDS and other disorders of cell-mediated immunity. Accordingly, in the present study, we examined the conditions under which human monocytes and bronchoalveolar macrophages (BAM) are stimulated by C. neoformans to produce MCP-1. C. neoformans was a potent inducer of MCP-1 release from monocytes, with levels of chemokine secreted similar to that seen following stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). BAM, in contrast, were stimulated by LPS, but not by C. neoformans, to secrete MCP-1. A peak in MCP-1 mRNA was seen 8 h following cryptococcal stimulation of monocytes. Nine strains of C. neoformans stimulated monocytes to release MCP-1, and there was only modest variation between strains. However, when an individual strain was used, the capacity of C. neoformans to stimulate monocyte MCP-1 release did vary, depending upon the conditions used to grow the fungal stimuli. Finally, C. neoformans stimulated comparable quantities of MCP-1 release in monocytes from donors with and without human immunodeficiency virus infection. These data establish C. neoformans as a potent stimulator of MCP-1 in monocytes, but not in BAM. The failure of C. neoformans to stimulate MCP-1 in BAM, if occurring in vivo, could result in a diminished cell-mediated inflammatory response following inhalation of airborne fungi. PMID:9038295

  7. Age and Gender Affect the Composition of Fungal Population of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract

    PubMed Central

    Strati, Francesco; Di Paola, Monica; Stefanini, Irene; Albanese, Davide; Rizzetto, Lisa; Lionetti, Paolo; Calabrò, Antonio; Jousson, Olivier; Donati, Claudio; Cavalieri, Duccio; De Filippo, Carlotta

    2016-01-01

    The fungal component of the human gut microbiota has been neglected for long time due to the low relative abundance of fungi with respect to bacteria, and only recently few reports have explored its composition and dynamics in health or disease. The application of metagenomics methods to the full understanding of fungal communities is currently limited by the under representation of fungal DNA with respect to the bacterial one, as well as by the limited ability to discriminate passengers from colonizers. Here, we investigated the gut mycobiota of a cohort of healthy subjects in order to reduce the gap of knowledge concerning fungal intestinal communities in the healthy status further screening for phenotypical traits that could reflect fungi adaptation to the host. We studied the fecal fungal populations of 111 healthy subjects by means of cultivation on fungal selective media and by amplicon-based ITS1 metagenomics analysis on a subset of 57 individuals. We then characterized the isolated fungi for their tolerance to gastrointestinal (GI) tract-like challenges and their susceptibility to antifungals. A total of 34 different fungal species were isolated showing several phenotypic characteristics associated with intestinal environment such as tolerance to body temperature (37°C), to acidic and oxidative stress, and to bile salts exposure. We found a high frequency of azoles resistance in fungal isolates, with potential and significant clinical impact. Analyses of fungal communities revealed that the human gut mycobiota differs in function of individuals' life stage in a gender-related fashion. The combination of metagenomics and fungal cultivation allowed an in-depth understanding of the fungal intestinal community structure associated to the healthy status and the commensalism-related traits of isolated fungi. We further discussed comparatively the results of sequencing and cultivation to critically evaluate the application of metagenomics-based approaches to

  8. Glucocorticoids Affect 24 h Clock Genes Expression in Human Adipose Tissue Explant Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Abellán, Purificación; Díez-Noguera, Antoni; Madrid, Juan A.; Luján, Juan A.; Ordovás, José M.; Garaulet, Marta

    2012-01-01

    Aims to examine firstly whether CLOCK exhibits a circadian expression in human visceral (V) and subcutaneous (S) adipose tissue (AT) in vitro as compared with BMAL1 and PER2, and secondly to investigate the possible effect of the glucocorticoid analogue dexamethasone (DEX) on positive and negative clock genes expression. Subjects and Methods VAT and SAT biopsies were obtained from morbid obese women (body mass index≥40 kg/m2) (n = 6). In order to investigate rhythmic expression pattern of clock genes and the effect of DEX on CLOCK, PER2 and BMAL1 expression, control AT (without DEX) and AT explants treated with DEX (2 hours) were cultured during 24 h and gene expression was analyzed at the following times: 10:00 h, 14:00 h, 18:00 h, 22:00 h, 02:00 h and 06:00 h, using qRT-PCR. Results CLOCK, BMAL1 and PER2 expression exhibited circadian patterns in both VAT and SAT explants that were adjusted to a typical 24 h sinusoidal curve. PER2 expression (negative element) was in antiphase with respect to CLOCK and in phase with BMAL1 expression (both positive elements) in the SAT (situation not present in VAT). A marked effect of DEX exposure on both positive and negative clock genes expression patterns was observed. Indeed, DEX treatment modified the rhythmicity pattern towards altered patterns with a period lower than 24 hours in all genes and in both tissues. Conclusions 24 h patterns in CLOCK and BMAL1 (positive clock elements) and PER2 (negative element) mRNA levels were observed in human adipose explants. These patterns were altered by dexamethasone exposure. PMID:23251369

  9. Multiple human papillomavirus genes affect the adeno-associated virus life cycle.

    PubMed

    You, Hong; Liu, Yong; Prasad, C Krishna; Agrawal, Nalini; Zhang, Dazhi; Bandyopadhyay, Sarmistha; Liu, Hongmei; Kay, Helen H; Mehta, Jawahar L; Hermonat, Paul L

    2006-01-20

    The risk of cervical cancer, one of the most prevalent cancers in the world, is determined by two viruses. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor for developing cervical cancer. However, although little known, it is well substantiated that the human Parvovirus adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV), and its encoded Rep78 protein, interacts with HPV and lowers the risk of cervical cancer. HPV also contributes to AAV inhibition by serving as a helper virus for AAV and stimulating higher AAV replication levels. Here we surveyed four HPV-16 early genes, E1, E2, E6 and E7, for their ability to increase/decrease the basal level of AAV replication in stratifying squamous epithelium (the epithelial raft culture system). It was found that the HPV-16 E1, E2 and E6 genes were able to help/enhance AAV-2 replication in epithelial raft cultures. Under these conditions, with all the HPV genes being expressed from the AAV p5 promoter, E1 appeared to have the strongest enhancing effect on AAV DNA replication (Southern blot), RNA expression (RT-PCR), protein expression (Western blot) and AAV virion production (2 plate-Southern blot). Further study of E1 mutants showed that the carboxy-half of E1, the putative helicase/ATPase domain, was the main contributor of helper activity. These data are important for understanding the HPV-AAV interaction and its effect on modifying cervical cancer risk. These data also suggest the possibility that the identified HPV helper genes may be useful in the generation of recombinant (r)AAV virions for gene therapy, as rAAV is increasing in popularity for such purposes.

  10. Phenotype, donor age and gender affect function of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are attractive for cell-based therapies ranging from regenerative medicine and tissue engineering to immunomodulation. However, clinical efficacy is variable and it is unclear how the phenotypes defining bone marrow (BM)-derived MSCs as well as donor characteristics affect their functional properties. Methods BM-MSCs were isolated from 53 (25 female, 28 male; age: 13 to 80 years) donors and analyzed by: (1) phenotype using flow cytometry and cell size measurement; (2) in vitro growth kinetics using population doubling time; (3) colony formation capacity and telomerase activity; and (4) function by in vitro differentiation capacity, suppression of T cell proliferation, cytokines and trophic factors secretion, and hormone and growth factor receptor expression. Additionally, expression of Oct4, Nanog, Prdm14 and SOX2 mRNA was compared to pluripotent stem cells. Results BM-MSCs from younger donors showed increased expression of MCAM, VCAM-1, ALCAM, PDGFRβ, PDL-1, Thy1 and CD71, and led to lower IL-6 production when co-cultured with activated T cells. Female BM-MSCs showed increased expression of IFN-γR1 and IL-6β, and were more potent in T cell proliferation suppression. High-clonogenic BM-MSCs were smaller, divided more rapidly and were more frequent in BM-MSC preparations from younger female donors. CD10, β1integrin, HCAM, CD71, VCAM-1, IFN-γR1, MCAM, ALCAM, LNGFR and HLA ABC were correlated to BM-MSC preparations with high clonogenic potential and expression of IFN-γR1, MCAM and HLA ABC was associated with rapid growth of BM-MSCs. The mesodermal differentiation capacity of BM-MSCs was unaffected by donor age or gender but was affected by phenotype (CD10, IFN-γR1, GD2). BM-MSCs from female and male donors expressed androgen receptor and FGFR3, and secreted VEGF-A, HGF, LIF, Angiopoietin-1, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and NGFB. HGF secretion correlated negatively to the expression of CD71, CD140b and

  11. Xenobiotics that affect oxidative phosphorylation alter differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells at concentrations that are found in human blood

    PubMed Central

    Llobet, Laura; Toivonen, Janne M.; Montoya, Julio; Ruiz-Pesini, Eduardo; López-Gallardo, Ester

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Adipogenesis is accompanied by differentiation of adipose tissue-derived stem cells to adipocytes. As part of this differentiation, biogenesis of the oxidative phosphorylation system occurs. Many chemical compounds used in medicine, agriculture or other human activities affect oxidative phosphorylation function. Therefore, these xenobiotics could alter adipogenesis. We have analyzed the effects on adipocyte differentiation of some xenobiotics that act on the oxidative phosphorylation system. The tested concentrations have been previously reported in human blood. Our results show that pharmaceutical drugs that decrease mitochondrial DNA replication, such as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, or inhibitors of mitochondrial protein synthesis, such as ribosomal antibiotics, diminish adipocyte differentiation and leptin secretion. By contrast, the environmental chemical pollutant tributyltin chloride, which inhibits the ATP synthase of the oxidative phosphorylation system, can promote adipocyte differentiation and leptin secretion, leading to obesity and metabolic syndrome as postulated by the obesogen hypothesis. PMID:26398948

  12. Factors affecting the aluminium content of human femoral head and neck.

    PubMed

    Zioła-Frankowska, Anetta; Dąbrowski, Mikołaj; Kubaszewski, Łukasz; Rogala, Piotr; Frankowski, Marcin

    2015-11-01

    Tissues for the study were obtained intraoperatively during hip replacement procedures from 96 patients. In all the cases, the indication for this treatment was primary or secondary degenerative changes in the hip joint. The subject of the study was the head and neck of the femur, resected in situ. Aluminium concentrations measured in femoral head and neck samples from patients aged between 25 and 91 were varied. Statistical methods were applied to determine the variations in relation to the parameters from the background survey. Significant differences in the aluminium content of femoral head samples were observed between patients under and over 60 years of age. Based on the results, it was confirmed that the aluminium accumulates in bones over a lifetime. The study showed that the content of aluminium in the head and neck of the femur depends on the factors such as: type of medicines taken, contact with chemicals at work, differences in body anatomy and sex. The study on the levels of aluminium in bones and the factors affecting its concentration is a valuable source of information for further research on the role of aluminium in bone diseases. Based on the investigations, it was found that the GF-AAS technique is the best analytical tool for routine analysis of aluminium in complex matrix samples. The use of femoral heads in the investigations was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the University of Medical Sciences in Poznań (Poland).

  13. Opioid and nicotine receptors affect growth regulation of human lung cancer cell lines

    SciTech Connect

    Maneckjee, R.; Minna, J.D. Uniformed Services Univ. of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD )

    1990-05-01

    Using specific radioactively-labeled ligands, the authors find that lung cancer cell lines of diverse histologic types express multiple, high-affinity membrane receptors for {mu}, {delta}, and {kappa} opioid agonists and for nicotine and {alpha}-bungarotoxin. These receptors are biologically active because cAMP levels decreased in lung cancer cells after opioid and nicotine application. Nicotine at concentrations found in the blood of smokers had no effect on in vitro lung cancer cell growth, whereas {mu}, {delta}, and {kappa} opioid agonists at low concentrations inhibited lung cancer growth in vitro. They also found that lung cancer cells expressed various combinations of immunoreactive opioid peptides ({beta}-endorphin, enkephalin, or dynorphin), suggesting the participation of opioids in a negative autocrine loop or tumor-suppressing system. Due to the almost universal exposure of patients with lung cancer to nicotine, they tested whether nicotine affected the response of lung cancer cell growth to opioids and found that nicotine at concentrations of 100-200 nM partially or totally reversed opioid-induced growth inhibition in 9/14 lung cancer cell lines. These in vitro results for lung cancer cells suggest that opioids could function as part of a tumor suppressor system and that nicotine can function to circumvent this system in the pathogenesis of lung cancer.

  14. Human CalDAG-GEFI gene (RASGRP2) mutation affects platelet function and causes severe bleeding

    PubMed Central

    Canault, Matthias; Ghalloussi, Dorsaf; Grosdidier, Charlotte; Guinier, Marie; Perret, Claire; Chelghoum, Nadjim; Germain, Marine; Raslova, Hana; Peiretti, Franck; Morange, Pierre E.; Saut, Noemie; Pillois, Xavier; Nurden, Alan T.; Cambien, François; Pierres, Anne; van den Berg, Timo K.; Kuijpers, Taco W.; Tregouet, David-Alexandre

    2014-01-01

    The nature of an inherited platelet disorder was investigated in three siblings affected by severe bleeding. Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified the culprit mutation (cG742T) in the RAS guanyl-releasing protein-2 (RASGRP2) gene coding for calcium- and DAG-regulated guanine exchange factor-1 (CalDAG-GEFI). Platelets from individuals carrying the mutation present a reduced ability to activate Rap1 and to perform proper αIIbβ3 integrin inside-out signaling. Expression of CalDAG-GEFI mutant in HEK293T cells abolished Rap1 activation upon stimulation. Nevertheless, the PKC- and ADP-dependent pathways allow residual platelet activation in the absence of functional CalDAG-GEFI. The mutation impairs the platelet’s ability to form thrombi under flow and spread normally as a consequence of reduced Rac1 GTP-binding. Functional deficiencies were confined to platelets and megakaryocytes with no leukocyte alteration. This contrasts with the phenotype seen in type III leukocyte adhesion deficiency caused by the absence of kindlin-3. Heterozygous did not suffer from bleeding and have normal platelet aggregation; however, their platelets mimicked homozygous ones by failing to undergo normal adhesion under flow and spreading. Rescue experiments on cultured patient megakaryocytes corrected the functional deficiency after transfection with wild-type RASGRP2. Remarkably, the presence of a single normal allele is sufficient to prevent bleeding, making CalDAG-GEFI a novel and potentially safe therapeutic target to prevent thrombosis. PMID:24958846

  15. H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress Affects SO4= Transport in Human Erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Morabito, Rossana; Romano, Orazio; La Spada, Giuseppa; Marino, Angela

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present investigation was to verify the effect of H2O2-induced oxidative stress on SO4= uptake through Band 3 protein, responsible for Cl-/HCO3- as well as for cell membrane deformability, due to its cross link with cytoskeletal proteins. The role of cytoplasmic proteins binding to Band 3 protein has been also considered by assaying H2O2 effects on hemoglobin-free resealed ghosts of erythrocytes. Oxidative conditions were induced by 30 min exposure of human erythrocytes to different H2O2 concentrations (10 to 300 μM), with or without GSH (glutathione, 2 mM) or curcumin (10 μM), compounds with proved antioxidant properties. Since SO4= influx through Band 3 protein is slower and better controllable than Cl- or HCO3- exchange, the rate constant for SO4= uptake was measured to prove anion transport efficiency, while MDA (malondialdehyde) levels and -SH groups were estimated to quantify the effect of oxidative stress. H2O2 induced a significant decrease in rate constant for SO4= uptake at both 100 and 300 μM H2O2. This reduction, observed in erythrocytes but not in resealed ghosts and associated to increase in neither MDA levels nor in -SH groups, was impaired by both curcumin and GSH, whereas only curcumin effectively restored H2O2-induced changes in erythrocytes shape. Our results show that: i) 30 min exposure to 300 μM H2O2 reduced SO4= uptake in human erythrocytes; ii) oxidative damage was revealed by the reduction in rate constant for SO4= uptake, but not by MDA or -SH groups levels; iii) the damage was produced via cytoplasmic components which cross link with Band 3 protein; iv) the natural antioxidant curcumin may be useful in protecting erythrocytes from oxidative injury; v) SO4= uptake through Band 3 protein may be reasonably suggested as a tool to monitor erythrocytes function under oxidative conditions possibly deriving from alcohol consumption, use of drugs, radiographic contrast media administration, hyperglicemia or neurodegenerative

  16. H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress Affects SO4= Transport in Human Erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    Morabito, Rossana; Romano, Orazio; La Spada, Giuseppa; Marino, Angela

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present investigation was to verify the effect of H2O2-induced oxidative stress on SO4= uptake through Band 3 protein, responsible for Cl-/HCO3- as well as for cell membrane deformability, due to its cross link with cytoskeletal proteins. The role of cytoplasmic proteins binding to Band 3 protein has been also considered by assaying H2O2 effects on hemoglobin-free resealed ghosts of erythrocytes. Oxidative conditions were induced by 30 min exposure of human erythrocytes to different H2O2 concentrations (10 to 300 μM), with or without GSH (glutathione, 2 mM) or curcumin (10 μM), compounds with proved antioxidant properties. Since SO4= influx through Band 3 protein is slower and better controllable than Cl- or HCO3- exchange, the rate constant for SO4= uptake was measured to prove anion transport efficiency, while MDA (malondialdehyde) levels and –SH groups were estimated to quantify the effect of oxidative stress. H2O2 induced a significant decrease in rate constant for SO4= uptake at both 100 and 300 μM H2O2. This reduction, observed in erythrocytes but not in resealed ghosts and associated to increase in neither MDA levels nor in –SH groups, was impaired by both curcumin and GSH, whereas only curcumin effectively restored H2O2-induced changes in erythrocytes shape. Our results show that: i) 30 min exposure to 300 μM H2O2 reduced SO4= uptake in human erythrocytes; ii) oxidative damage was revealed by the reduction in rate constant for SO4= uptake, but not by MDA or –SH groups levels; iii) the damage was produced via cytoplasmic components which cross link with Band 3 protein; iv) the natural antioxidant curcumin may be useful in protecting erythrocytes from oxidative injury; v) SO4= uptake through Band 3 protein may be reasonably suggested as a tool to monitor erythrocytes function under oxidative conditions possibly deriving from alcohol consumption, use of drugs, radiographic contrast media administration, hyperglicemia or

  17. H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress Affects SO4= Transport in Human Erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Morabito, Rossana; Romano, Orazio; La Spada, Giuseppa; Marino, Angela

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present investigation was to verify the effect of H2O2-induced oxidative stress on SO4= uptake through Band 3 protein, responsible for Cl-/HCO3- as well as for cell membrane deformability, due to its cross link with cytoskeletal proteins. The role of cytoplasmic proteins binding to Band 3 protein has been also considered by assaying H2O2 effects on hemoglobin-free resealed ghosts of erythrocytes. Oxidative conditions were induced by 30 min exposure of human erythrocytes to different H2O2 concentrations (10 to 300 μM), with or without GSH (glutathione, 2 mM) or curcumin (10 μM), compounds with proved antioxidant properties. Since SO4= influx through Band 3 protein is slower and better controllable than Cl- or HCO3- exchange, the rate constant for SO4= uptake was measured to prove anion transport efficiency, while MDA (malondialdehyde) levels and -SH groups were estimated to quantify the effect of oxidative stress. H2O2 induced a significant decrease in rate constant for SO4= uptake at both 100 and 300 μM H2O2. This reduction, observed in erythrocytes but not in resealed ghosts and associated to increase in neither MDA levels nor in -SH groups, was impaired by both curcumin and GSH, whereas only curcumin effectively restored H2O2-induced changes in erythrocytes shape. Our results show that: i) 30 min exposure to 300 μM H2O2 reduced SO4= uptake in human erythrocytes; ii) oxidative damage was revealed by the reduction in rate constant for SO4= uptake, but not by MDA or -SH groups levels; iii) the damage was produced via cytoplasmic components which cross link with Band 3 protein; iv) the natural antioxidant curcumin may be useful in protecting erythrocytes from oxidative injury; v) SO4= uptake through Band 3 protein may be reasonably suggested as a tool to monitor erythrocytes function under oxidative conditions possibly deriving from alcohol consumption, use of drugs, radiographic contrast media administration, hyperglicemia or neurodegenerative

  18. Irradiation affects cellular properties and Eph receptor expression in human melanoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Mosch, Birgit; Pietzsch, Doreen; Pietzsch, Jens

    2012-01-01

    X-ray irradiation influences metastatic properties of tumor cells and, moreover, metastasis and cellular motility can be modified by members of the Eph receptor/ephrin family of receptor tyrosine kinases. We hypothesized that irradiation-induced changes in cellular properties relevant for metastasis in melanoma cells could be mediated by Eph receptor/ephrin signaling. In this pilot study, we analyzed one pre-metastatic (Mel-Juso) and three metastatic human melanoma (Mel-Juso-L3, A375, and A2058) cells lines and predominantly found anti-metastatic effects of X-ray irradiation with impaired cell growth, clonal growth and motility. Additionally, we observed an irradiation-induced increase in adhesion paralleled by a decrease in migration in Mel-Juso and Mel-Juso-L3 cells and, in part, also in A375 cells. We further demonstrate a decrease of EphA2 both in expression and activity at 7 d after irradiation paralleled by an upregulation of EphA3. Analyzing downstream signaling after irradiation, we detected decreased Src kinase phosphorylation, but unchanged focal adhesion kinase (FAK) phosphorylation, indicating, in part, irradiation-induced downregulation of signaling via the EphA2-Src-FAK axis in melanoma cells. However, to which extent this finding contributes to the modification of metastasis-relevant cellular properties remains to be elucidated. PMID:22568947

  19. No fear no risk! Human risk behavior is affected by chemosensory anxiety signals.

    PubMed

    Haegler, Katrin; Zernecke, Rebekka; Kleemann, Anna Maria; Albrecht, Jessica; Pollatos, Olga; Brückmann, Hartmut; Wiesmann, Martin

    2010-11-01

    An important aspect of cognitive functioning is decision-making, which depends on the correct interpretation of emotional processes. High trait anxiety has been associated with increased risk taking behavior in decision-making tasks. An interesting fact is that anxiety and anxiety-related chemosignals as well as decision-making share similar regions of neuronal activation. In order to ascertain if chemosensory anxiety signals have similar effects on risk taking behavior of healthy participants as high trait anxiety we used a novel computerized decision-making task, called Haegler's Risk Game (HRG). This task measures risk taking behavior based on contingencies and can be played repeatedly without a learning effect. To obtain chemosensory signals the sweat of 21 male donors was collected in a high rope course (anxiety condition). For the chemosensory control condition sweat was collected during an ergometer workout (exercise condition). In a double-blind study, 30 healthy recipients (16 females) had to play HRG while being exposed to sweat samples or empty control samples (control condition) in three sessions of randomized order. Comparison of the risk taking behavior of the three conditions showed significantly higher risk taking behavior in participants for the most risky choices during the anxiety condition compared to the control conditions. Additionally, recipients showed significantly higher latency before making their decision in the most risky choices during the anxiety condition. This experiment gives evidence that chemosensory anxiety signals are communicated between humans thereby increasing participants' risk taking behavior. PMID:20875438

  20. The second-shell metal ligands of human arginase affect coordination of the nucleophile and substrate.

    PubMed

    Stone, Everett M; Chantranupong, Lynne; Georgiou, George

    2010-12-14

    The active sites of eukaryotic arginase enzymes are strictly conserved, especially the first- and second-shell ligands that coordinate the two divalent metal cations that generate a hydroxide molecule for nucleophilic attack on the guanidinium carbon of l-arginine and the subsequent production of urea and l-ornithine. Here by using comprehensive pairwise saturation mutagenesis of the first- and second-shell metal ligands in human arginase I, we demonstrate that several metal binding ligands are actually quite tolerant to amino acid substitutions. Of >2800 double mutants of first- and second-shell residues analyzed, we found more than 80 unique amino acid substitutions, of which four were in first-shell residues. Remarkably, certain second-shell mutations could modulate the binding of both the nucleophilic water/hydroxide molecule and substrate or product ligands, resulting in activity greater than that of the wild-type enzyme. The data presented here constitute the first comprehensive saturation mutagenesis analysis of a metallohydrolase active site and reveal that the strict conservation of the second-shell metal binding residues in eukaryotic arginases does not reflect kinetic optimization of the enzyme during the course of evolution. PMID:21053939

  1. Varied but not necessarily random: human performance under variability contingencies is affected by instructions.

    PubMed

    Souza, Alessandra S; Pontes, Thaissa Neves R; Abreu-Rodrigues, Josele

    2012-12-01

    The goal of the present study was to evaluate the role of verbal stimuli in the production of response variability in humans. College students were distributed into three groups and asked to type three-digit sequences. Participants in the systematic group were instructed to produce sequences according to a rule of their choice; those in the random group were instructed to produce sequences according to chance; and those in the control group were not instructed about how to produce sequences. The experiment employed an ABA design. During the A phases, low-frequent sequences were reinforced (variability contingency), whereas during the B phase, reinforcement was withdrawn (extinction). The results indicated the following: (1) The instructions were efficient at producing systematic and random-like patterns for the systematic and random groups, respectively; in the absence of instructions, a mix of both patterns was observed. (2) Behavior was sensitive to extinction independently of the instructions provided. (3) Systematic patterns favored a more equiprobable distribution of sequences across trials. (4) Reaction times were longer for responding in a systematic than in a random-like fashion. The present findings suggest that individual differences in meeting variability contingencies may be due, at least partially, to instructional control. PMID:22215413

  2. Lip colour affects perceived sex typicality and attractiveness of human faces.

    PubMed

    Stephen, Ian D; McKeegan, Angela M

    2010-01-01

    The luminance contrast between facial features and facial skin is greater in women than in men, and women's use of make-up enhances this contrast. In black-and-white photographs, increased luminance contrast enhances femininity and attractiveness in women's faces, but reduces masculinity and attractiveness in men's faces. In Caucasians, much of the contrast between the lips and facial skin is in redness. Red lips have been considered attractive in women in geographically and temporally diverse cultures, possibly because they mimic vasodilation associated with sexual arousal. Here, we investigate the effects of lip luminance and colour contrast on the attractiveness and sex typicality (masculinity/femininity) of human faces. In a Caucasian sample, we allowed participants to manipulate the colour of the lips in colour-calibrated face photographs along CIELab L* (light--dark), a* (red--green), and b* (yellow--blue) axes to enhance apparent attractiveness and sex typicality. Participants increased redness contrast to enhance femininity and attractiveness of female faces, but reduced redness contrast to enhance masculinity of men's faces. Lip blueness was reduced more in female than male faces. Increased lightness contrast enhanced the attractiveness of both sexes, and had little effect on perceptions of sex typicality. The association between lip colour contrast and attractiveness in women's faces may be attributable to its association with oxygenated blood perfusion indicating oestrogen levels, sexual arousal, and cardiac and respiratory health.

  3. Ethanol affects hepatitis C pathogenesis: humanized SCID Alb-uPA mouse model.

    PubMed

    Osna, Natalia A; Kharbanda, Kusum K; Sun, Yimin; Simpson, Ronda L; Poluektova, Larisa E; Ganesan, Murali; Wisecarver, James L; Mercer, David F

    2014-07-18

    Alcohol consumption exacerbates the course of hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection, worsens outcomes and contributes to the development of chronic infection that exhibits low anti-viral treatment efficiency. The lack of suitable in vivo models makes HCV-ethanol studies very difficult. Here, we examine whether chimeric SCID Alb-uPA mice transplanted with human hepatocytes and infected with HCV develop worsening pathology when fed ethanol. After 5 weeks of feeding, such mice fed chow+water (control) or chow+20% ethanol in water (EtOH) diets mice developed oxidative stress, decreased proteasome activity and increased steatosis. Importantly, HCV(+) mice in the control group cleared HCV RNA after 5 weeks, while the infection persisted in EtOH-fed mice at the same or even higher levels compared with pre-feeding HCV RNA. We conclude that in chimeric SCID Alb-uPA mice, EtOH exposure causes the complex biochemical and histological changes typical for alcoholic liver injury. In addition, ethanol feeding delays the clearance of HCV RNA thereby generating persistent infection and promoting liver injury. Overall, this model is appropriate for conducting HCV-ethanol studies.

  4. Human erythrocytes are affected in vitro by extracts of Ugni molinae leaves.

    PubMed

    Suwalsky, M; Orellana, P; Avello, M; Villena, F; Sotomayor, C P

    2006-08-01

    Ugni molinae Turcz, also known as "Murtilla", is a plant that grows in the south of Chile. Infusions of their leaves have long been used in traditional native herbal medicine. The chemical composition of the leaves indicates the presence of polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. In order to evaluate the mechanisms of their antioxidant properties and the toxicity of the aqueous extracts of leaves, the extracts were induced to interact with human red cells, their isolated unsealed membranes (IUM) and large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) of dimyristoylphosphatidyltidylcholine (DMPC), representative of phospholipid classes located in the outer monolayer of the erythrocyte membrane. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations indicated that the extracts achieved a significant alteration in the shape of the erythrocytes as they changed their discoid shape to echinocytes. According to the bilayer couple hypothesis, the shape change indicates that the polyphenols were located in the outer moiety of the red cell membrane. This conclusion was confirmed by the fluorescence experiments performed in IUM and DMPC LUV. In fact, the extracts produced slight initial increases followed by sharp decreases at higher concentrations in the anisotropy and general polarization parameters. These results imply that the extracts induced structural perturbations in the acyl chain and polar group packing arrangements of the erythrocyte IUM and DMPC LUV lipid bilayers: first ordering and afterwards disordering them as the extract concentration increased. PMID:16716480

  5. Human chorionic gonadotropin β subunit affects the expression of apoptosis-regulating factors in ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Szczerba, Anna; Śliwa, Aleksandra; Kubiczak, Marta; Nowak-Markwitz, Ewa; Jankowska, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Expression of human chorionic gonadotropin, especially its free β subunit (hCGβ) were shown to play an important role in cancer growth, invasion and metastasis. It is postulated that hCGβ is one of the factors determining cancer cell survival. To test this hypothesis, we applied two models: an in vitro model of ovarian cancer using OVCAR-3 and SKOV-3 cell lines transfected with the CGB5 gene and an in vivo model of ovarian cancer tissues. The material was tested against changes in expression level of genes encoding factors involved in apoptosis: BCL2, BAX and BIRC5. Overexpression of hCGβ was found to cause a decrease in expression of the analyzed genes in the transfected cells compared with the control cells. In ovarian cancer tissues, high expression of CGB was related to significantly lower BCL2 but higher BAX and BIRC5 transcript levels. Moreover, a low BCL2/BAX ratio, characteristic of advanced stages of ovarian cancer, was revealed. Since tumors were discriminated by a significantly lower LHCGR level than the level noted in healthy fallopian tubes and ovaries, it may be stated that the effect of hCGβ on changes in the expression of apoptosis-regulating agents observed in ovarian cancer is LHCGR-independent. The results of the study suggest that the biological effects evoked by hCGβ are related to apoptosis suppression.

  6. Scanning electron microscopic study of human neuroblastoma cells affected with Naegleria fowleri Thai strains.

    PubMed

    Tiewcharoen, Supathra; Rabablert, Jundee; Chetanachan, Pruksawan; Junnu, Virach; Worawirounwong, Dusit; Malainual, Nat

    2008-10-01

    In order to understand the pathogenesis of Naegleria fowleri in primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, the human neuroblastoma (SK-N-MC) and African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells were studied in vitro. Amoeba suspension in cell-culture medium was added to the confluent monolayer of SK-N-MC and Vero cells. The cytopathic activity of N. fowleri trophozoites in co-culture system was elucidated by scanning electron microscope at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 24 h. Two strains of N. fowleri displayed well-organized vigorous pseudopods in Nelson's medium at 37 degrees C. In co-culture, the target monolayer cells were damaged by two mechanisms, phagocytosis by vigorous pseudopods and engulfment by sucker-like apparatus. N. fowleri trophozoites produced amoebostomes only in co-culture with SK-N-MC cells. In contrast, we could not find such apparatus in the co-culture with Vero cells. The complete destruction time (100%) at 1:1 amoeba/cells ratio of SK-N-MC cells (1 day) was shorter than the Vero cells (12 days). In conclusion, SK-N-MC cells were confirmed to be a target model for studying neuropathogenesis of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.

  7. Dichloroacetate affects proliferation but not survival of human colorectal cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Delaney, L M; Ho, N; Morrison, J; Farias, N R; Mosser, D D; Coomber, B L

    2015-01-01

    Dichloroacetate (DCA) is a metabolic reprogramming agent that reverses the Warburg effect, causing cancer cells to couple glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation. This has been shown to induce apoptosis and reduce the growth of various types of cancer but not normal cells. Colorectal cancer cells HCT116, HCT116 p53(-/-), and HCT116 Bax(-/-), were treated with DCA in vitro. Response to treatment was determined by measuring PDH phosphorylation, apoptosis, proliferation, and cell cycle. Molecular changes associated with these responses were determined using western immunoblotting and quantitative PCR. Treatment with 20 mM DCA did not increase apoptosis, despite decreasing levels of anti-apoptotic protein Mcl-1 after 6 h, in any of the cell lines observed. Mcl-1 expression was stabilized with MG-132, an inhibitor of proteasomal degradation. A decrease in Mcl-1 correlated with a decrease in proliferation, both of which showed dose-dependence in DCA treated cells. Cells showed nuclear localization of Mcl-1, however cell cycle was unaffected by DCA treatment. These data suggest that a reduction in the prosurvival Bcl-2 family member Mcl-1 due to increased proteasomal degradation is correlated with the ability of DCA to reduce proliferation of HCT116 human colorectal cancer cells without causing apoptosis.

  8. Phenotypic differentiation does not affect tumorigenicity of primary human colon cancer initiating cells.

    PubMed

    Dubash, Taronish D; Hoffmann, Christopher M; Oppel, Felix; Giessler, Klara M; Weber, Sarah; Dieter, Sebastian M; Hüllein, Jennifer; Zenz, Thorsten; Herbst, Friederike; Scholl, Claudia; Weichert, Wilko; Werft, Wiebke; Benner, Axel; Schmidt, Manfred; Schneider, Martin; Glimm, Hanno; Ball, Claudia R

    2016-02-28

    Within primary colorectal cancer (CRC) a subfraction of all tumor-initiating cells (TIC) drives long-term progression in serial xenotransplantation. It has been postulated that efficient maintenance of TIC activity in vitro requires serum-free spheroid culture conditions that support a stem-like state of CRC cells. To address whether tumorigenicity is indeed tightly linked to such a stem-like state in spheroids, we transferred TIC-enriched spheroid cultures to serum-containing adherent conditions that should favor their differentiation. Under these conditions, primary CRC cells did no longer grow as spheroids but formed an adherent cell layer, up-regulated colon epithelial differentiation markers, and down-regulated TIC-associated markers. Strikingly, upon xenotransplantation cells cultured under either condition equally efficient formed serially transplantable tumors. Clonal analyses of individual lentivirally marked TIC clones cultured under either culture condition revealed no systematic differences in contributing clone numbers, indicating that phenotypic differentiation does not select for few individual clones adapted to unfavorable culture conditions. Our results reveal that CRC TIC can be propagated under conditions previously thought to induce their elimination. This phenotypic plasticity allows addressing primary human CRC TIC properties in experimental settings based on adherent cell growth.

  9. Additive effects of affective arousal and top-down attention on the event-related brain responses to human bodies.

    PubMed

    Hietanen, Jari K; Kirjavainen, Ilkka; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2014-12-01

    The early visual event-related 'N170 response' is sensitive to human body configuration and it is enhanced to nude versus clothed bodies. We tested whether the N170 response as well as later EPN and P3/LPP responses to nude bodies reflect the effect of increased arousal elicited by these stimuli, or top-down allocation of object-based attention to the nude bodies. Participants saw pictures of clothed and nude bodies and faces. In each block, participants were asked to direct their attention towards stimuli from a specified target category while ignoring others. Object-based attention did not modulate the N170 amplitudes towards attended stimuli; instead N170 response was larger to nude bodies compared to stimuli from other categories. Top-down attention and affective arousal had additive effects on the EPN and P3/LPP responses reflecting later processing stages. We conclude that nude human bodies have a privileged status in the visual processing system due to the affective arousal they trigger. PMID:25224182

  10. Bottom-up and top-down human impacts interact to affect a protected coastal Chilean marsh.

    PubMed

    Fariña, José M; He, Qiang; Silliman, Brian R; Bertness, Mark D

    2016-03-01

    Many ecosystems, even in protected areas, experience multiple anthropogenic impacts. While anthropogenic modification of bottom-up (e.g., eutrophication) and top-down (e.g., livestock grazing) forcing often co-occurs, whether these factors counteract or have additive or synergistic effects on ecosystems is poorly understood. In a Chilean bio-reserve, we examined the interactive impacts of eutrophication and illegal livestock grazing on plant growth with a 4-yr fertilization by cattle exclusion experiment. Cattle grazing generally decreased plant biomass, but had synergistic, additive, and antagonistic interactions with fertilization in the low, middle, and high marsh zones, respectively. In the low marsh, fertilization increased plant biomass by 112%, cattle grazing decreased it by 96%, and together they decreased plant biomass by 77%. In the middle marsh, fertilization increased plant biomass by 47%, cattle grazing decreased it by 37%, and together they did not affect plant biomass. In the high marsh, fertilization and cattle grazing decreased plant biomass by 81% and 92%, respectively, but together they increased plant biomass by 42%. These interactions were also found to be species specific. Different responses of plants to fertilization and cattle grazing were likely responsible for these variable interactions. Thus, common bottom-up and top-down human impacts can interact in different ways to affect communities even within a single ecosystem. Incorporating this knowledge into conservation actions will improve ecosystem management in a time when ecosystems are increasingly challenged by multiple interacting human impacts. PMID:27197391

  11. Affective and cognitive prefrontal cortex projections to the lateral habenula in humans.

    PubMed

    Vadovičová, Karin

    2014-01-01

    Anterior insula (AI) and dorsal ACC (dACC) are known to process information about pain, loss, adversities, bad, harmful or suboptimal choices and consequences that threaten survival or well-being. Also pregenual ACC (pgACC) is linked to loss and pain, being activated by sad thoughts and regrets. Lateral habenula (LHb) is stimulated by predicted and received pain, discomfort, aversive outcome, loss. Its chronic stimulation makes us feel worse/low and gradually stops us choosing and moving for the suboptimal or punished choices, by direct and indirect (via rostromedial tegmental nucleus, RMTg) inhibition of dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and VTA/SNc. The response selectivity of LHb neurons suggests their cortical input from affective and cognitive evaluative regions that make expectations about bad, unpleasant or suboptimal outcomes. Based on these facts I predicted direct dACC, pgACC and AI projections to LHb, which form part of an adversity processing circuit that learns to avoid bad outcomes by suppressing dopamine and serotonin signal. To test this connectivity I used Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). I found dACC, pgACC, AI and caudolateral OFC (clOFC) projections to LHb. I predicted no corticohabenular projections from the reward processing regions: medial OFC (mOFC) and ventral ACC (vACC) because both respond most strongly to good, high valued stimuli and outcomes, inducing dopamine and serotonin release. This lack of LHb projections was confirmed for vACC and likely for mOFC. The surprising findings were the corticohabenular projections from the cognitive prefrontal cortex regions, known for flexible reasoning, planning and combining whatever information are relevant for reaching current goals. I propose that the prefrontohabenular projections provide a teaching signal for value-based choice behavior, to learn to deselect, avoid or inhibit the potentially harmful, low valued or wrong choices, goals, strategies, predictions and ways of doing things, to prevent bad

  12. Affective and cognitive prefrontal cortex projections to the lateral habenula in humans

    PubMed Central

    Vadovičová, Karin

    2014-01-01

    Anterior insula (AI) and dorsal ACC (dACC) are known to process information about pain, loss, adversities, bad, harmful or suboptimal choices and consequences that threaten survival or well-being. Also pregenual ACC (pgACC) is linked to loss and pain, being activated by sad thoughts and regrets. Lateral habenula (LHb) is stimulated by predicted and received pain, discomfort, aversive outcome, loss. Its chronic stimulation makes us feel worse/low and gradually stops us choosing and moving for the suboptimal or punished choices, by direct and indirect (via rostromedial tegmental nucleus, RMTg) inhibition of dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and VTA/SNc. The response selectivity of LHb neurons suggests their cortical input from affective and cognitive evaluative regions that make expectations about bad, unpleasant or suboptimal outcomes. Based on these facts I predicted direct dACC, pgACC and AI projections to LHb, which form part of an adversity processing circuit that learns to avoid bad outcomes by suppressing dopamine and serotonin signal. To test this connectivity I used Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). I found dACC, pgACC, AI and caudolateral OFC (clOFC) projections to LHb. I predicted no corticohabenular projections from the reward processing regions: medial OFC (mOFC) and ventral ACC (vACC) because both respond most strongly to good, high valued stimuli and outcomes, inducing dopamine and serotonin release. This lack of LHb projections was confirmed for vACC and likely for mOFC. The surprising findings were the corticohabenular projections from the cognitive prefrontal cortex regions, known for flexible reasoning, planning and combining whatever information are relevant for reaching current goals. I propose that the prefrontohabenular projections provide a teaching signal for value-based choice behavior, to learn to deselect, avoid or inhibit the potentially harmful, low valued or wrong choices, goals, strategies, predictions and ways of doing things, to prevent bad

  13. Analysis of mobile phone design features affecting radiofrequency power absorbed in a human head phantom.

    PubMed

    Kuehn, Sven; Kelsh, Michael A; Kuster, Niels; Sheppard, Asher R; Shum, Mona

    2013-09-01

    The US FCC mandates the testing of all mobile phones to demonstrate compliance with the rule requiring that the peak spatial SAR does not exceed the limit of 1.6 W/kg averaged over any 1 g of tissue. These test data, measured in phantoms with mobile phones operating at maximum antenna input power, permitted us to evaluate the variation in SARs across mobile phone design factors such as shape and antenna design, communication technology, and test date (over a 7-year period). Descriptive statistical summaries calculated for 850 MHz and 1900 MHz phones and ANOVA were used to evaluate the influence of the foregoing factors on SARs. Service technology accounted for the greatest variability in compliance test SARs that ranged from AMPS (highest) to CDMA, iDEN, TDMA, and GSM (lowest). However, the dominant factor for SARs during use is the time-averaged antenna input power, which may be much less than the maximum power used in testing. This factor is largely defined by the communication system; e.g., the GSM phone average output can be higher than CDMA by a factor of 100. Phone shape, antenna type, and orientation of a phone were found to be significant but only on the order of up to a factor of 2 (3 dB). The SAR in the tilt position was significantly smaller than for touch. The side of the head did not affect SAR levels significantly. Among the remaining factors, external antennae produced greater SARs than internal ones, and brick and clamshell phones produced greater SARs than slide phones. Assuming phone design and usage patterns do not change significantly over time, we have developed a normalization procedure and formula that permits reliable prediction of the relative SAR between various communication systems. This approach can be applied to improve exposure assessment in epidemiological research.

  14. Mutations in the human adenosine deaminase gene that affect protein structure and RNA splicing

    SciTech Connect

    Akeson, A.L.; Wiginton, D.A.; States, C.J.; Perme, C.M.; Dusing, M.R.; Hutton, J.J.

    1987-08-01

    Adenosine deaminase deficiency is one cause of the genetic disease severe combined immunodeficiency. To identify mutations responsible for ADA deficiency, the authors synthesized cDNAs to ADA mRNAs from two cell lines, GM2756 and GM2825A, derived from ADA-deficient immunodeficient patients. Sequence analysis of GM2756 cDNA clones revealed a different point mutation in each allele that causes amino acid changes of alanine to valine and arginine to histidine. One allele of GM2825A also has a point mutation that causes an alanine to valine substitution. The other allele of GM2825A was found to produce an mRNA in which exon 4 had been spliced out but had no other detrimental mutations. S1 nuclease mapping of GM2825A mRNA showed equal abundance of the full-length ADA mRNA and the ADA mRNA that was missing exon 4. Several of the ADA cDNA clones extended 5' of the major initiation start site, indicating multiple start sites for ADA transcription. The point mutations in GM2756 and GM2825A and the absence of exon 4 in GM2825A appear to be directly responsible for the ADA deficiency. Comparison of a number of normal and mutant ADA cDNA sequences showed a number of changes in the third base of codons. These change do not affect the amino acid sequence. Analyses of ADA cDNAs from different cell lines detected aberrant RNA species that either included intron 7 or excluded exon 7. Their presence is a result of aberrant splicing of pre-mRNAs and is not related to mutations that cause ADA deficiency.

  15. Topical anaesthesia does not affect cutaneous vasomotor or sudomotor responses in human skin.

    PubMed

    Metzler-Wilson, K; Wilson, T E

    2013-10-01

    (1) The effects of local sensory blockade (topical anaesthesia) on eccrine sweat glands and cutaneous circulation are not well understood. This study aimed to determine whether topical lidocaine/prilocaine alters eccrine sweat gland and cutaneous blood vessel responses. (2) Sweating (capacitance hygrometry) was induced via forearm intradermal microdialysis of five acetylcholine (ACh) doses (1 × 10(-4) to 1 × 10(0) m, 10-fold increments) in control and treated forearm sites in six healthy subjects. Nitric oxide-mediated vasodilatory (sodium nitroprusside) and adrenergic vasoconstrictor (noradrenaline) agonists were iontophoresed in lidocaine/prilocaine-treated and control forearm skin in nine healthy subjects during blood flow assessment (laser Doppler flowmetry, expressed as% from baseline cutaneous vascular conductance; CVC; flux/mean arterial pressure). (3) Non-linear regression curve fitting identified no change in the ED50 of ACh-induced sweating after sensory blockade (-1.42 ± 0.23 logM) compared to control (-1.27 ± 0.23 logM; P > .05) or in Emax (0.43 ± 0.08 with, 0.53 ± 0.16 mg cm(-2) min(-1) without lidocaine/prilocaine; P > .05). Sensory blockade did not alter the vasodilator response to sodium nitroprusside (1280 ± 548% change from baseline CVC with, 1204 ± 247% without lidocaine/prilocaine) or vasoconstrictor response to noradrenaline (-14 ± 4% change from baseline CVC with, -22 ± 14% without lidocaine/prilocaine; P > 0.05). (4) Cutaneous sensory blockade does not appear to alter nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation, adrenergic vasoconstriction, or cholinergic eccrine sweating dose-response sensitivity or responsiveness to maximal dose. Thus, lidocaine/prilocaine treatment should not affect sweat gland function or have blood flow implications for subsequent research protocols or clinical procedures.

  16. Human, donkey and cow milk differently affects energy efficiency and inflammatory state by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Trinchese, Giovanna; Cavaliere, Gina; Canani, Roberto Berni; Matamoros, Sebastien; Bergamo, Paolo; De Filippo, Chiara; Aceto, Serena; Gaita, Marcello; Cerino, Pellegrino; Negri, Rossella; Greco, Luigi; Cani, Patrice D; Mollica, Maria Pina

    2015-11-01

    Different nutritional components are able, by modulating mitochondrial function and gut microbiota composition, to influence body composition, metabolic homeostasis and inflammatory state. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects produced by the supplementation of different milks on energy balance, inflammatory state, oxidative stress and antioxidant/detoxifying enzyme activities and to investigate the role of the mitochondrial efficiency and the gut microbiota in the regulation of metabolic functions in an animal model. We compared the intake of human milk, gold standard for infant nutrition, with equicaloric supplementation of donkey milk, the best substitute for newborns due to its nutritional properties, and cow milk, the primary marketed product. The results showed a hypolipidemic effect produced by donkey and human milk intake in parallel with enhanced mitochondrial activity/proton leakage. Reduced mitochondrial energy efficiency and proinflammatory signals (tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1 and lipopolysaccharide levels) were associated with a significant increase of antioxidants (total thiols) and detoxifying enzyme activities (glutathione-S-transferase, NADH quinone oxidoreductase) in donkey- and human milk-treated animals. The beneficial effects were attributable, at least in part, to the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 pathway. Moreover, the metabolic benefits induced by human and donkey milk may be related to the modulation of gut microbiota. In fact, milk treatments uniquely affected the proportions of bacterial phyla and genera, and we hypothesized that the increased concentration of fecal butyrate in human and donkey milk-treated rats was related to the improved lipid and glucose metabolism and detoxifying activities.

  17. Fetal sex affects expression of renin-angiotensin system components in term human decidua.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Pringle, Kirsty G; Sykes, Shane D; Marques, Francine Z; Morris, Brian J; Zakar, Tamas; Lumbers, Eugenie R

    2012-01-01

    The maternal decidua expresses the genes of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Human decidua was collected at term either before labor (i.e. cesarean delivery) or after spontaneous labor. The mRNA for prorenin (REN), prorenin receptor (ATP6AP2), angiotensinogen (AGT), angiotensin-converting enzymes 1 and 2 (ACE1 and ACE2), angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AGTR1), and angiotensin 1-7 receptor (MAS1) were measured by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Decidual explants were cultured in duplicate for 24 and 48 h, and all RAS mRNA, and the secretion of prorenin, angiotensin II, and angiotensin 1-7 was measured using quantitative real-time RT-PCR, ELISA, and radioimmunoassay, respectively. In the decidua collected before labor, REN mRNA levels were higher if the fetus was female. In addition, REN, ATP6AP2, AGT, and MAS1 mRNA abundance was greater in decidual explants collected from women carrying a female fetus, as was prorenin protein. After 24 h, ACE1 mRNA was higher in the decidual explants from women with a male fetus, whereas after 48 h, both ACE1 and ACE2 mRNA was higher in decidual explants from women with a female fetus. Angiotensin II was present in all explants, but angiotensin 1-7 levels often registered below the lower limits of sensitivity for the assay. After labor, decidua, when compared with nonlaboring decidua, demonstrated lower REN expression when the fetus was female. Therefore, the maternal decidual RAS is regulated in a sex-specific manner, suggesting that it may function differently when the fetus is male than when it is female. PMID:22045662

  18. Bifidobacteria isolated from infants and cultured on human milk oligosaccharides affect intestinal epithelial function

    PubMed Central

    Chichlowski, Maciej; De Lartigue, Guillaume; German, J. Bruce; Raybould, Helen E.; Mills, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) are the third most abundant component of breast milk. Our laboratory has previously revealed gene clusters specifically linked to HMO metabolism in select bifidobacteria isolated from fecal samples of infants. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that growth of select bifidobacteria on HMO stimulates the intestinal epithelium. Methods Caco-2 and HT-29 cells were incubated with lactose (LAC) or HMO-grown Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) or B. bifidum. Bacterial adhesion and translocation was measured by real-time quantitative PCR. Expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and tight junction proteins was analyzed by real time reverse transcriptase. Distribution of tight junction proteins was measured using immunofluorescent microscopy. Results We showed that HMO-grown B. infantis had significantly higher rate of adhesion to HT-29 cells compared to B. bifidum. B. infantis also induced expression of a cell membrane glycoprotein, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand -1. Both B. infantis and B. bifidum grown on HMO caused less occludin relocalization and higher expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-10 compared to LAC-grown bacteria in Caco-2 cells. B. bifidum grown on HMO showed higher expression of junctional adhesion molecule and occludin in Caco-2 cell and HT-29 cells. There were no significant differences between LAC or HMO treatments in bacterial translocation. Conclusions This study provides evidence for the specific relationship between HMO-grown bifidobacteria and intestinal epithelial cells. To our knowledge, this is the first study describing HMO-induced changes in the bifidobacteria-intestinal cells interaction. PMID:22383026

  19. Factors affecting ultraviolet-A photon emission from β-irradiated human keratinocyte cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le, M.; Mothersill, C. E.; Seymour, C. B.; Ahmad, S. B.; Armstrong, A.; Rainbow, A. J.; McNeill, F. E.

    2015-08-01

    The luminescence intensity of 340+/- 5 nm photons emitted from HaCaT (human keratinocyte) cells was investigated using a single-photon-counting system during cellular exposure to 90Y β-particles. Multiple factors were assessed to determine their influence upon the quantity and pattern of photon emission from β-irradiated cells. Exposure of 1× {{10}4} cells/5 mL to 703 μCi resulted in maximum UVA photoemission at 44.8× {{10}3}+/- 2.5× {{10}3} counts per second (cps) from live HaCaT cells (background: 1-5 cps); a 16-fold increase above cell-free controls. Significant biophoton emission was achieved only upon stimulation and was also dependent upon presence of cells. UVA luminescence was measured for 90Y activities 14 to 703 μCi where a positive relationship between photoemission and 90Y activity was observed. Irradiation of live HaCaT cells plated at various densities produced a distinct pattern of emission whereby luminescence increased up to a maximum at 1× {{10}4} cells/5 mL and thereafter decreased. However, this result was not observed in the dead cell population. Both live and dead HaCaT cells were irradiated and were found to demonstrate different rates of photon emission at low β activities (⩽400 μCi). Dead cells exhibited greater photon emission rates than live cells which may be attributable to metabolic processes taking place to modulate the photoemissive effect. The results indicate that photon emission from HaCaT cells is perturbed by external stimulation, is dependent upon the activity of radiation delivered, the density of irradiated cells, and cell viability. It is postulated that biophoton emission may be modulated by a biological or metabolic process.

  20. Factors affecting ultraviolet-A photon emission from β-irradiated human keratinocyte cells.

    PubMed

    Le, M; Mothersill, C E; Seymour, C B; Ahmad, S B; Armstrong, A; Rainbow, A J; McNeill, F E

    2015-08-21

    The luminescence intensity of 340±5 nm photons emitted from HaCaT (human keratinocyte) cells was investigated using a single-photon-counting system during cellular exposure to (90)Y β-particles. Multiple factors were assessed to determine their influence upon the quantity and pattern of photon emission from β-irradiated cells. Exposure of 1 x 10(4) cells/5 mL to 703 μCi resulted in maximum UVA photoemission at 44.8 x 10(3)±2.5 x 10(3) counts per second (cps) from live HaCaT cells (background: 1-5 cps); a 16-fold increase above cell-free controls. Significant biophoton emission was achieved only upon stimulation and was also dependent upon presence of cells. UVA luminescence was measured for (90)Y activities 14 to 703 μCi where a positive relationship between photoemission and (90)Y activity was observed. Irradiation of live HaCaT cells plated at various densities produced a distinct pattern of emission whereby luminescence increased up to a maximum at 1 x 10(4) cells/5 mL and thereafter decreased. However, this result was not observed in the dead cell population. Both live and dead HaCaT cells were irradiated and were found to demonstrate different rates of photon emission at low β activities (⩽400 μCi). Dead cells exhibited greater photon emission rates than live cells which may be attributable to metabolic processes taking place to modulate the photoemissive effect. The results indicate that photon emission from HaCaT cells is perturbed by external stimulation, is dependent upon the activity of radiation delivered, the density of irradiated cells, and cell viability. It is postulated that biophoton emission may be modulated by a biological or metabolic process.

  1. Butyrate affects differentiation, maturation and function of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells and macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Millard, A L; Mertes, P M; Ittelet, D; Villard, F; Jeannesson, P; Bernard, J

    2002-01-01

    We studied the in vitro effects of butyric acid on differentiation, maturation and function of dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages (MΦ) generated from human monocytes. A non-toxic dose of butyrate was shown to alter the phenotypic differentiation process of DC as assessed by a persistence of CD14, and a decreased CD54, CD86 and HLA class II expression. The more immature differentiation stage of treated cells was confirmed further by their increased phagocytic capability, their altered capacity to produce IL-10 and IL-12, and their weak allostimulatory abilities. Butyrate also altered DC terminal maturation, regardless of the maturation inducer, as demonstrated by a strong down-regulation of CD83, a decreased expression of CD40, CD86 and HLA class II. Similarly, butyrate altered MΦ differentiation, down-regulating the expression of the restricted membrane antigens and reducing the phagocytic capacity of treated cells. To investigate further the mechanism by which butyrate hampers the monocyte dual differentiation pathway, we studied the effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 alone or in combination with butyrate on the phenotypic features of DC. Unlike 1,25(OH)2D3, butyrate inhibited DC differentiation without redirecting it towards MΦ. Combined treatment gave rise to a new cell subset (CD14high, CD86 and HLA-DRlow) phenotypically distinct from monocytes. These results reveal an alternative mechanism of inhibition of DC and MΦ differentiation. Altogether, our data demonstrate a novel immune suppression property of butyrate that may modulate both inflammatory and immune responses and support further the interest for butyrate and its derivatives as new immunotherapeutic agents. PMID:12390312

  2. Flotillin depletion affects ErbB protein levels in different human breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Asp, Nagham; Pust, Sascha; Sandvig, Kirsten

    2014-09-01

    The ErbB3 receptor is an important regulator of cell growth and carcinogenesis. Among breast cancer patients, up to 50-70% have ErbB3 overexpression and 20-30% show overexpressed or amplified ErbB2. ErbB3 has also been implicated in the development of resistance to several drugs used against cancers driven by ErbB1 or ErbB2. One of the main challenges in ErbB-targeting therapy is to inactivate signaling mediated by ErbB2-ErbB3 oncogenic receptor complexes. We analyzed the regulatory role of flotillins on ErbB3 levels and ErbB2-ErbB3 complexes in SKBR3, MCF7 and MDA-MB-134-VI human breast cancer cells. Recently, we described a mechanism for interfering with ErbB2 signaling in breast cancer and demonstrated a molecular complex of flotillin scaffolding proteins with ErbB2 and Hsp90. In the present study, flotillins were found to be in a molecular complex with ErbB3, even in cells without the presence of ErbB2 or other ErbB receptors. Depletion of either flotillin-1 or flotillin-2 resulted in downregulation of ErbB3 and a selective reduction of ErbB2-ErbB3 receptor complexes. Moreover, flotillin-2 depletion resulted in reduced activation of Akt and MAPK signaling cascades, and as a functional consequence of flotillin depletion, breast cancer cells showed an impaired cell migration. Altogether, we provide data demonstrating a novel and functional role of flotillins in the regulation of ErbB protein levels and stabilization of ErbB2-ErbB3 receptor complexes. Thus, flotillins are crucial regulators for oncogenic ErbB function and potential targets for cancer treatment.

  3. Human Lung Cancer Cell Line A-549 ATCC Is Differentially Affected by Supranutritional Organic and Inorganic Selenium

    PubMed Central

    Flores Villavicencio, Lérida Liss; Cruz-Jiménez, Gustavo; Barbosa-Sabanero, Gloria; Kornhauser-Araujo, Carlos; Mendoza-Garrido, M. Eugenia; de la Rosa, Guadalupe; Sabanero-López, Myrna

    2014-01-01

    The effects of organic and inorganic forms of selenium (Se) on human cells have been extensively studied for nutritional concentrations; however, to date, little is known about the potential toxicity at supranutritional levels. In the present study we determined the effects of sodium selenite (SSe) and selenomethionine (SeMet) on cell growth and intracellular structures in lung cancer cells exposed at Se concentrations between 0 and 3 mM. Our results showed that SSe affected cell growth more rapidly than SeMet (24 h and 48 h, resp.). After 24 h of cells exposure to 0.5, 1.5, and 3 mM SSe, cell growth was reduced by 10, 50, and 60%, as compared to controls. After 48 h, nuclear fragmentation was evident in cells exposed to SSe, suggesting an induction to cell death. In contrast, SeMet did not affect cell proliferation, and the cells were phenotypically similar to controls. Microtubules and microfilaments structures were also affected by both Se compounds, again SSe being more toxic than SeMet. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the differential effects of organic and inorganic Se in supranutritional levels in lung cancer cells. PMID:25477771

  4. Outlook on a Worldwide Forest Transition

    PubMed Central

    Pagnutti, Chris; Bauch, Chris T.; Anand, Madhur

    2013-01-01

    It is not clear whether a worldwide “forest transition” to net reforestation will ever occur, and the need to address the main driver–agriculture–is compelling. We present a mathematical model of land use dynamics based on the world food equation that explains historical trends in global land use on the millennial scale. The model predicts that a global forest transition only occurs under a small and very specific range of parameter values (and hence seems unlikely) but if it does occur, it would have to occur within the next 70 years. In our baseline scenario, global forest cover continues to decline until it stabilizes within the next two centuries at 22% of global land cover, and wild pasture at 1.4%. Under other scenarios the model predicts unanticipated dynamics wherein a forest transition may relapse, heralding a second era of deforestation; this brings into question national-level forest transitions observed in recent decades, and suggests we need to expand our lexicon of possibilities beyond the simple “forest transition/no forest transition” dichotomy. This research also underscores that the challenge of feeding a growing population while conserving natural habitat will likely continue for decades to come. PMID:24130750

  5. CMS centres worldwide: A new collaborative infrastructure

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, Lucas; Gottschalk, Erik; /Fermilab

    2010-01-01

    The CMS Experiment at the LHC is establishing a global network of inter-connected 'CMS Centres' for controls, operations and monitoring. These support: (1) CMS data quality monitoring, detector calibrations, and analysis; and (2) computing operations for the processing, storage and distribution of CMS data. We describe the infrastructure, computing, software, and communications systems required to create an effective and affordable CMS Centre. We present our highly successful operations experiences with the major CMS Centres at CERN, Fermilab, and DESY during the LHC first beam data-taking and cosmic ray commissioning work. The status of the various centres already operating or under construction in Asia, Europe, Russia, South America, and the USA is also described. We emphasise the collaborative communications aspects. For example, virtual co-location of experts in CMS Centres Worldwide is achieved using high-quality permanently-running 'telepresence' video links. Generic Web-based tools have been developed and deployed for monitoring, control, display management and outreach.

  6. Worldwide phylogenetic relationship of avian poxviruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gyuranecz, Miklós; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Dán, Ádám; Ip, Hon S.; Egstad, Kristina F.; Parker, Patricia G.; Higashiguchi, Jenni M.; Skinner, Michael A.; Höfle, Ursula; Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Solt, Szabolcs; Sós, Endre; Kim, Young Jun; Uhart, Marcela; Pereda, Ariel; González-Hein, Gisela; Hidalgo, Hector; Blanco, Juan-Manuel; Erdélyi, Károly

    2013-01-01

    Poxvirus infections have been found in 230 species of wild and domestic birds worldwide in both terrestrial and marine environments. This ubiquity raises the question of how infection has been transmitted and globally dispersed. We present a comprehensive global phylogeny of 111 novel poxvirus isolates in addition to all available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of Avipoxvirus genus has traditionally relied on one gene region (4b core protein). In this study we have expanded the analyses to include a second locus (DNA polymerase gene), allowing for a more robust phylogenetic framework, finer genetic resolution within specific groups and the detection of potential recombination. Our phylogenetic results reveal several major features of avipoxvirus evolution and ecology and propose an updated avipoxvirus taxonomy, including three novel subclades. The characterization of poxviruses from 57 species of birds in this study extends the current knowledge of their host range and provides the first evidence of the phylogenetic effect of genetic recombination of avipoxviruses. The repeated occurrence of avian family or order-specific grouping within certain clades (e.g. starling poxvirus, falcon poxvirus, raptor poxvirus, etc.) indicates a marked role of host adaptation, while the sharing of poxvirus species within prey-predator systems emphasizes the capacity for cross-species infection and limited host adaptation. Our study provides a broad and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus, an ecologically and environmentally important viral group, to formulate a genome sequencing strategy that will clarify avipoxvirus taxonomy.

  7. Small world picture of worldwide seismic events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Douglas S. R.; Papa, Andrés R. R.; Menezes, Ronaldo

    2014-08-01

    The understanding of long-distance relations between seismic activities has for long been of interest to seismologists and geologists. In this paper we have used data from the worldwide earthquake catalog for the period between 1972 and 2011 to generate a network of sites around the world for earthquakes with magnitude m≥4.5 in the Richter scale. After the network construction, we have analyzed the results under two viewpoints. First, in contrast to previous works, which have considered just small areas, we showed that the best fitting for networks of seismic events is not a pure power law, but a power law with exponential cutoff; we also have found that the global network presents small-world properties. Second, we have found that the time intervals between successive earthquakes have a cumulative probability distribution well fitted by nontraditional functional forms. The implications of our results are significant because they seem to indicate that seisms around the world are not independent. In this paper we provide evidence to support this argument.

  8. Reference worldwide model for antineutrinos from reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldoncini, Marica; Callegari, Ivan; Fiorentini, Giovanni; Mantovani, Fabio; Ricci, Barbara; Strati, Virginia; Xhixha, Gerti

    2015-03-01

    Antineutrinos produced at nuclear reactors constitute a severe source of background for the detection of geoneutrinos, which bring to the Earth's surface information about natural radioactivity in the whole planet. In this framework, we provide a reference worldwide model for antineutrinos from reactors, in view of reactors operational records yearly published by the International Atomic Energy Agency. We evaluate the expected signal from commercial reactors for ongoing (KamLAND and Borexino), planned (SNO +), and proposed (Juno, RENO-50, LENA, and Hanohano) experimental sites. Uncertainties related to reactor antineutrino production, propagation, and detection processes are estimated using a Monte Carlo-based approach, which provides an overall site-dependent uncertainty on the signal in the geoneutrino energy window on the order of 3%. We also implement the off-equilibrium correction to the reference reactor spectra associated with the long-lived isotopes, and we estimate a 2.4% increase of the unoscillated event rate in the geoneutrino energy window due to the storage of spent nuclear fuels in the cooling pools. We predict that the research reactors contribute to less than 0.2% to the commercial reactor signal in the investigated 14 sites. We perform a multitemporal analysis of the expected reactor signal over a time lapse of ten years using reactor operational records collected in a comprehensive database published at www.fe.infn.it/antineutrino.

  9. Registries in systemic sclerosis: a worldwide experience.

    PubMed

    Galluccio, Felice; Walker, Ulrich A; Nihtyanova, Svetlana; Moinzadeh, Pia; Hunzelmann, Nicholas; Krieg, Thomas; Steen, Virginia; Baron, Murray; Sampaio-Barros, Percival; Kayser, Cristiane; Nash, Peter; Denton, Chris P; Tyndall, Alan; Müller-Ladner, Ulf; Matucci-Cerinic, Marco

    2011-01-01

    SSc is a multisystem disease characterized by an unpredictable course, high mortality and resistance to therapy. The complexity and severity of SSc is a growing burden on the health-care systems. As a result, researchers are seeking new therapeutic strategies for effectively managing these patients. Disease registries are used to support care management efforts for groups of patients with chronic diseases and are meaningful to capture and track key patient information to assist the physicians in managing patients. For these reasons, SSc surveys, research associations and consortiums are pivotal to conduct ongoing research and data collection to enhance disease knowledge and support research projects. Currently, there are several national SSc registries in the UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Brazil and Australia. There is also an international registry established by the European League Against Rheumatism scleroderma trial and research (EUSTAR) called minimal essential data set (MEDS) Online, which collects data from over 8000 patients from 92 centres worldwide, including 21 European centres and 9 centres outside Europe. By collecting, analysing and disseminating data on disease progression and patient responses to long-term disease management strategies, registries help to improve understanding of the disease and keep medical professionals up to date on the latest advances. PMID:21148153

  10. Outlook on a worldwide forest transition.

    PubMed

    Pagnutti, Chris; Bauch, Chris T; Anand, Madhur

    2013-01-01

    It is not clear whether a worldwide "forest transition" to net reforestation will ever occur, and the need to address the main driver--agriculture--is compelling. We present a mathematical model of land use dynamics based on the world food equation that explains historical trends in global land use on the millennial scale. The model predicts that a global forest transition only occurs under a small and very specific range of parameter values (and hence seems unlikely) but if it does occur, it would have to occur within the next 70 years. In our baseline scenario, global forest cover continues to decline until it stabilizes within the next two centuries at 22% of global land cover, and wild pasture at 1.4%. Under other scenarios the model predicts unanticipated dynamics wherein a forest transition may relapse, heralding a second era of deforestation; this brings into question national-level forest transitions observed in recent decades, and suggests we need to expand our lexicon of possibilities beyond the simple "forest transition/no forest transition" dichotomy. This research also underscores that the challenge of feeding a growing population while conserving natural habitat will likely continue for decades to come. PMID:24130750

  11. Worldwide Phylogenetic Relationship of Avian Poxviruses

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Jeffrey T.; Dán, Ádám; Ip, Hon S.; Egstad, Kristina F.; Parker, Patricia G.; Higashiguchi, Jenni M.; Skinner, Michael A.; Höfle, Ursula; Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Dorrestein, Gerry M.; Solt, Szabolcs; Sós, Endre; Kim, Young Jun; Uhart, Marcela; Pereda, Ariel; González-Hein, Gisela; Hidalgo, Hector; Blanco, Juan-Manuel; Erdélyi, Károly

    2013-01-01

    Poxvirus infections have been found in 230 species of wild and domestic birds worldwide in both terrestrial and marine environments. This ubiquity raises the question of how infection has been transmitted and globally dispersed. We present a comprehensive global phylogeny of 111 novel poxvirus isolates in addition to all available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus has traditionally relied on one gene region (4b core protein). In this study we expanded the analyses to include a second locus (DNA polymerase gene), allowing for a more robust phylogenetic framework, finer genetic resolution within specific groups, and the detection of potential recombination. Our phylogenetic results reveal several major features of avipoxvirus evolution and ecology and propose an updated avipoxvirus taxonomy, including three novel subclades. The characterization of poxviruses from 57 species of birds in this study extends the current knowledge of their host range and provides the first evidence of the phylogenetic effect of genetic recombination of avipoxviruses. The repeated occurrence of avian family or order-specific grouping within certain clades (e.g., starling poxvirus, falcon poxvirus, raptor poxvirus, etc.) indicates a marked role of host adaptation, while the sharing of poxvirus species within prey-predator systems emphasizes the capacity for cross-species infection and limited host adaptation. Our study provides a broad and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the Avipoxvirus genus, an ecologically and environmentally important viral group, to formulate a genome sequencing strategy that will clarify avipoxvirus taxonomy. PMID:23408635

  12. Worldwide Geomagnetic Data Collection and Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandea, Mioara; Papitashvili, Vladimir

    2009-11-01

    Geomagnetic data provided by different platforms piece together a global picture of Earth's magnetic field and its interaction with geospace. Furthermore, a great diversity of the geomagnetic field changes, from secular (over decades to centuries) to short time variations (down to minutes and seconds), can be detected only through continued observations. An international effort to watch and record geomagnetic changes first began in the 1830s with a network of scientific observers organized by Karl Friedrich Gauss in Germany, and this effort has continued since then. One of the most remarkable achievements in understanding the geomagnetic field morphology and time behavior was made possible by the International Geophysical Year (IGY), an exploration and research effort that lasted for 18 months, starting on 1 July 1957. The IGY encompassed 11 geoscience disciplines, including geomagnetism. The IGY has represented a giant step forward in the quality and quantity of worldwide geomagnetic measurements, as well as in the widespread interest in magnetic measurements. A half century of probing the geomagnetic field spatial and temporal variations has produced a number of outstanding results, and the interested reader can find recent reviews on various geomagnetic field topics (from measurements to modeling) in Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism [Gubbins and Herrero-Bervera, 2007] or Treatise on Geophysics: Geomagnetism [Kono, 2007].

  13. Worldwide supercritical power plants: Status and future

    SciTech Connect

    Gorokhov, V.A.; Ramezan, M.; Ruth, L.A.; Kim, S.S.

    1999-07-01

    During the last decade leading industrial countries initiated a new wave of research and development on supercritical (SC) steam power plants. This new interest is accompanied by the jump from SC steam parameters to ultra-supercritical (USC) parameters and was initiated mostly due to the increase in cost of fuel on the world market, and by increased environmental regulations including reduction of greenhouse gases. As a result, a significant number of new pulverized coal (PC) power units with increased efficiency and reduced emissions were installed in the last two decades, and a few more are planned to be installed in the near future. Different driving forces are responsible for development and implementation of highly efficient advanced PC-fired systems: need for new capacity, quality and cost of fuel, level of technology development, environmental requirements, and internal situation with regard to power supply (deregulation). For example, in Europe, Germany in particular, controlling CO{sub 2} is a major issue in any new installation, while in Japan economics is the major issue as the costs of imported fuels are high, and there are greater economic incentives for efficiency improvement. This paper discusses the status of existing and planned SC and USC power plants worldwide and their technical and environmental performance.

  14. Calcitriol affects hCG gene transcription in cultured human syncytiotrophoblasts

    PubMed Central

    Barrera, David; Avila, Euclides; Hernández, Guillermo; Méndez, Isabel; González, Leticia; Halhali, Ali; Larrea, Fernando; Morales, Angélica; Díaz, Lorenza

    2008-01-01

    Background In pregnancy, maternal serum concentrations of calcitriol significantly rise as a result of increased renal and placental contribution in order to assure calcium supply for the developing fetus. Considering that placenta is a site for vitamin D activation, and the versatility and potency of calcitriol, it is feasible that this hormone participates in fetal/placental development and physiology. In the present work we studied calcitriol actions upon human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) secretion and expression in cultured trophoblasts, as well as vitamin D receptor (VDR) and CYP27B1 immunolocalization in placental villi. Methods Quantification of hCG in culture media was performed by immunoassay. Expression studies were carried out by real time PCR. Analysis of CYP27B1 and VDR localization in placental slides were performed by immunohistochemistry. Statistical significance was established by one way ANOVA using Tukey test for comparisons. Results Calcitriol regulated hCG in a time-dependent manner: at 6 h the secosteroid stimulated hCG, whereas longer incubations (24 h) showed opposite effects. Interestingly, calcitriol stimulatory effects on hCG were accompanied by an increase in intracellular cAMP content and were abolished by pre-incubation of the cells with a selective protein kinase A inhibitor. Immunohistochemical techniques showed differential VDR localization in the syncytiotrophoblast layer or in the vascular smooth muscle cells depending on the epitope to which the antibodies were raised (specific for the carboxy- or amino-terminal regions, respectively). CYP27B1 was immunolocalized in the syncytiotrophoblast layer of placental villi. Conclusion The presence and location of the vitamin D activating enzyme CYP27B1 as well as the specific receptor for vitamin D were shown in placental sections. The latter, together with findings demonstrating specific effects of calcitriol acting through the VDR and the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway upon hCG expression

  15. Molecular epidemiology and genetic diversity of human rhinovirus affecting hospitalized children in Rome.

    PubMed

    Pierangeli, Alessandra; Ciccozzi, Massimo; Chiavelli, Stefano; Concato, Carlo; Giovanetti, Marta; Cella, Eleonora; Spano, Lucia; Scagnolari, Carolina; Moretti, Corrado; Papoff, Paola; Muraca, Maurizio; Midulla, Fabio; Antonelli, Guido

    2013-08-01

    Human rhinoviruses (HRV) have been re-classified into three species (A-C), but the recently discovered HRV-C strains are not fully characterized yet. This study aimed to undertake a molecular and epidemiological characterization of HRV strains infecting children hospitalized over one year in two large research hospitals in Rome. Nasal washings from single HRV infections were retrospectively subjected to phylogenetic analysis on two genomic regions: the central part of the 5'Untranslated Region (5'UTR) and the Viral Protein (VP) 4 gene with the 5' portion of the VP2 gene (VP4/2). Forty-five different strains were identified in 73 HRV-positive children: 55 % of the cases were HRV-A, 38 % HRV-C and only 7 % HRV-B. HRV-C cases were less frequent than HRV-A during summer months and more frequent in cases presenting wheezing with respect to HRV-A. Species distribution was similar with respect to patient age, and seasonality differed during summer months with fewer HRV-C than HRV-A cases. On admission, a significantly higher number of HRV-C cases presented with wheezing with respect to HRV-A. The inter- and intra-genotype variability in VP4/2 was higher than in 5'UTR; in particular, HRV-A patient VP4/2 sequences were highly divergent (8-14 %) at the nucleotide level from those of their reference strains, but VP4 amino acid sequence was highly conserved. In HRV-C isolates, the region preceding the initiator AUG, the amino acids involved in VP4 myristoylation, the VP4-VP2 cleavage site and the cis-acting replication element were highly conserved. Differently, VP4 amino acid conservation was significantly lower in HRV-C than in HRV-A strains, especially in the transiently exposed VP4 N-terminus. This study confirmed the high number of different HRV genotypes infecting hospitalized children over one year and reveals a greater than expected variability in HRV-C VP4 protein, potentially suggestive of differences in replication.

  16. Are emotionally attached companion animal caregivers conscientious and neurotic? Factors that affect the human-companion animal relationship.

    PubMed

    Reevy, Gretchen M; Delgado, Mikel M

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have examined how personality traits may be related to the amounts and types of attachments humans have toward companion animals (pets). In this study, 1,098 companion animal guardians (owners) completed a survey that included the Big Five Inventory, the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale, and the Pet Attachment Questionnaire. Each participant chose whether he or she identified as a Cat Person, Dog Person, Both, or Neither. Results indicated that neuroticism, conscientiousness, choosing a dog as a favorite pet, and identifying as a Cat Person, Dog Person, or Both predicted affection for a pet. Conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness decreased avoidant attachment to pets, and neuroticism increased anxious attachment to pets. Both dogs and cats could benefit from pet owners who are conscientious, and there may be some benefits of neuroticism in pet owners. The findings of this study will advance understanding of the human-animal bond. As this understanding increases, measurements of human attachment and personality may be useful for the development of tools that could assist shelter employees and veterinarians in counseling people about pet ownership.

  17. OB gene not linked to human obesity in Mexican American affected sib pairs from Starr County, Texas.

    PubMed

    Bray, M S; Boerwinkle, E; Hanis, C L

    1996-11-01

    Obesity is a highly prevalent disease, which is associated with a number of chronic conditions and, as such, represents a major public health burden. Numerous studies indicate that there is a genetic component contributing to interindividual variability in obesity. The discovery of the ob gene in mice, mutations in which produce extreme obesity and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), provides a prime candidate gene for human obesity. We investigated linkage between the human OB gene and obesity in a sample of Mexican Americans from Starr County, Texas. Markers D7S635 and D7S1875, estimated to lie within a region approximately 290 to 400 kb proximal to the OB gene, were used to genotype 177 obese individuals distributed in 64 sibships. Obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) above 30 kg/m2. Linkage analyses for affected sibling pairs provided no evidence for linkage in this sample. In addition, differences between siblings for weight, BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood lipid measures were not significantly related to number of alleles shared identical by state (IBS) for either of the two markers. While the OB gene may be involved in the metabolic sequences leading to obesity, the present linkage results do not support the existence of common genetic variation at or near the OB locus that increases risk for human obesity. PMID:8882881

  18. Affirmative Action Implications for Worldwide Family Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liss, Lora

    This paper views the interrelatedness of political, economic, and family systems as they are being affected by the growing awareness of sex discrimination. The reduction in sex inequalities throughout the world, regardless of political or economic orientation, will necessitate a new perception of the woman's role in the family unit. The hypothesis…

  19. Mixed Progress in Worldwide Fight Against HIV/AIDS

    MedlinePlus

    ... html Mixed Progress in Worldwide Fight Against HIV/AIDS Deaths continue 10-year decline, but new infections ... 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The number of HIV/AIDS deaths worldwide each year has fallen since peaking ...

  20. Conservation Kickstart- Catalyzing Conservation Initiatives Worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treinish, G.

    2014-12-01

    Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) is a nonprofit organization that collects environmental data to catalyze conservation initiatives worldwide. Adventure athletes have the skills and motivation to reach the most remote corners of the world. ASC utilizes those skills to provide the scientific community with data while providing the outdoor community with purpose beyond the personal high of reaching a summit or rowing across an ocean. We carefully select projects, choosing partnerships that will maximize the impact of ASC volunteers. Each project must have a clear path to a tangible conservation outcome and demonstrate a clear need for our brand of volunteers. We partner with government agencies, universities, and independant reseachers to kickstart data collection efforts around the world. Last year, through a partnership with the Olympic National Forest, 20 volunteers from the Seattle area set up and monitored camera traps in an effort to survey for costal Pacific marten. Our work led to the species' listing as "critically imperiled" with NatureServe. A partnership with the inaugural Great Pacific Race, engaging trans-Pacific rowing teams, searched for microplastics in the Pacific Ocean as part of our ongoing microplastics campaign. In a multi-year partnership with the American Prairie Reserve (APR), ASC volunteer crews live and work on the Reserve collecting wildlife data year round. The data we obtain directly informs the Reserve's wildlife management decisions. On this project, our crews have safely and effectively navigated temperature extremes from -30 degrees to 100+ degrees while traveling in a remote location. We are currently scouting projects in the Okavango Delta of Botswana and the rainforest of Suriname where we will be able to cover large amounts of area in a short periord of time. ASC is at the crossroads of the adventure and coservation science communities. Our approach of answering specific questions by using highly skilled and

  1. Dropping dead: causes and consequences of vulture population declines worldwide.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z

    2012-02-01

    Vultures are nature's most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures' unique adaptations include soaring flight, keen eyesight, and extremely low pH levels in their stomachs. Presently, 14 of 23 (61%) vulture species worldwide are threatened with extinction, and the most rapid declines have occurred in the vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures has occurred for centuries, and shooting and deliberate poisoning are the most widely practiced activities. Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little

  2. Worldwide epidemiology of liver hydatidosis including the Mediterranean area

    PubMed Central

    Grosso, Giuseppe; Gruttadauria, Salvatore; Biondi, Antonio; Marventano, Stefano; Mistretta, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    The worldwide incidence and prevalence of cystic echinococcosis have fallen dramatically over the past several decades. Nonetheless, infection with Echinococcus granulosus (E. granulosus) remains a major public health issue in several countries and regions, even in places where it was previously at low levels, as a result of a reduction of control programmes due to economic problems and lack of resources. Geographic distribution differs by country and region depending on the presence in that country of large numbers of nomadic or semi-nomadic sheep and goat flocks that represent the intermediate host of the parasite, and their close contact with the final host, the dog, which mostly provides the transmission of infection to humans. The greatest prevalence of cystic echinococcosis in human and animal hosts is found in countries of the temperate zones, including several parts of Eurasia (the Mediterranean regions, southern and central parts of Russia, central Asia, China), Australia, some parts of America (especially South America) and north and east Africa. Echinococcosis is currently considered an endemic zoonotic disease in the Mediterranean region. The most frequent strain associated with human cystic echinococcosis appears to be the common sheep strain (G1). This strain appears to be widely distributed in all continents. The purpose of this review is to examine the distribution of E. granulosus and the epidemiology of a re-emerging disease such as cystic echinococcosis. PMID:22509074

  3. Defining the mechanisms by which the reactive oxygen species by-product, 4-hydroxynonenal, affects human sperm cell function.

    PubMed

    Baker, Mark A; Weinberg, Anita; Hetherington, Louise; Villaverde, Ana-Izabel; Velkov, Tony; Baell, Jonathan; Gordon, Christopher P

    2015-04-01

    Lipid peroxidation products such as the naturally occurring aldehyde 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) are known to be cytotoxic toward different cell types, including spermatozoa. In order to understand this at the molecular level, we have employed a proteomic approach to characterize direct 4-HNE adducts on human spermatozoa. Several proteins were identified to be of particular interest, including aldehyde labeling of histone methyltransferase and dynein heavy chain. In addition, we found that 4-HNE bound to part of the activation segment, cysteine residue 199, of protein kinase A (PKA). Interestingly, at low levels, addition of 4-HNE had a stimulatory effect on PKA. However, this did not correlate to increased phosphotyrosine levels during capacitation. This data explains the link between reactive oxygen species and sperm toxicity. Given that epigenetic regulation is likely affected in oxidative-stressed spermatozoa, this data show that spermatozoa appear to shut down under these conditions before reaching the egg.

  4. A Mixture Reflecting Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Profiles Detected in Human Follicular Fluid Significantly Affects Steroidogenesis and Induces Oxidative Stress in a Female Human Granulosa Cell Line.

    PubMed

    Lefevre, Pavine L C; Wade, Mike; Goodyer, Cindy; Hales, Barbara F; Robaire, Bernard

    2016-07-01

    Brominated flame retardants are incorporated into consumer products to prevent flame propagation. These compounds leach into the domestic environment, resulting in chronic exposure. Pregnancy failure is associated with high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a major class of brominated flame retardants, in human follicular fluid, raising serious questions regarding their impact on female fertility. Our goal was to elucidate the effects of a mixture of PBDEs, similar to the profile found in human follicular fluid, on an immortalized human granulosa cell line, the KGN cell line. We showed that cell viability was altered and oxidative stress was induced as reflected by increased reactive oxygen species formation at 100 μM of the PBDE mixture. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that PBDE treatments of 1, 5, and 20 μM altered the expression of several genes involved in the reactive oxygen species signaling pathway. Significant dose-dependent reductions in progesterone and estradiol levels in the culture medium were measured after PBDE treatment; in parallel, the expression of genes involved in estradiol metabolism, namely CYP1A1, was up-regulated by 5 and 20 μM of the PBDE mixture. Treatment with 20 μM PBDE also increased the expression and secretion of the proinflammatory factor, IL-6, into the KGN cell culture medium. Our results demonstrate that PBDEs can alter human granulosa cell functions by inducing oxidative stress and disrupting steroidogenesis. These results indicate that PBDEs may be detrimental to ovarian functions and thus may adversely affect female reproductive health after chronic exposure. PMID:27219277

  5. Metformin selectively affects human glioblastoma tumor-initiating cell viability: A role for metformin-induced inhibition of Akt.

    PubMed

    Würth, Roberto; Pattarozzi, Alessandra; Gatti, Monica; Bajetto, Adirano; Corsaro, Alessandro; Parodi, Alessia; Sirito, Rodolfo; Massollo, Michela; Marini, Cecilia; Zona, Gianluigi; Fenoglio, Daniela; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Filaci, Gilberto; Daga, Antonio; Barbieri, Federica; Florio, Tullio

    2013-01-01

    Cancer stem cell theory postulates that a small population of tumor-initiating cells is responsible for the development, progression and recurrence of several malignancies, including glioblastoma. In this perspective, tumor-initiating cells represent the most relevant target to obtain effective cancer treatment. Metformin, a first-line drug for type II diabetes, was reported to possess anticancer properties affecting the survival of cancer stem cells in breast cancer models. We report that metformin treatment reduced the proliferation rate of tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures isolated from four human glioblastomas. Metformin also impairs tumor-initiating cell spherogenesis, indicating a direct effect on self-renewal mechanisms. Interestingly, analyzing by FACS the antiproliferative effects of metformin on CD133-expressing subpopulation, a component of glioblastoma cancer stem cells, a higher reduction of proliferation was observed as compared with CD133-negative cells, suggesting a certain degree of cancer stem cell selectivity in its effects. In fact, glioblastoma cell differentiation strongly reduced sensitivity to metformin treatment. Metformin effects in tumor-initiating cell-enriched cultures were associated with a powerful inhibition of Akt-dependent cell survival pathway, while this pathway was not affected in differentiated cells. The specificity of metformin antiproliferative effects toward glioblastoma tumor-initiating cells was confirmed by the lack of significant inhibition of normal human stem cells (umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells) in vitro proliferation after metformin exposure. Altogether, these data clearly suggest that metformin exerts antiproliferative activity on glioblastoma cells, showing a higher specificity toward tumor-initiating cells, and that the inhibition of Akt pathway may represent a possible intracellular target of this effect.

  6. A new look at some old mechanisms in human newborns: taste and tactile determinants of state, affect, and action.

    PubMed

    Blass, E M; Ciaramitaro, V

    1994-01-01

    Three studies of normal human newborns and of newborns of methadone-maintained mothers evaluated how orotactile (pacifier) and orogustatory (sucrose) stimulation, alone and in combination, affected crying behavior, heart rate, gross motor activity, eye opening, and hand-mouth coordination. For each measure of infant state, pacifier and sucrose stimulation each caused significant changes that followed very different time courses. Orotactile (pacifier) stimulation precipitated immediate changes in all behaviors, and, when the pacifier was removed, all behaviors soon reverted to baseline levels. The changes precipitated by orogustatory (sucrose) stimulation were more gradual but extended well beyond the end of sucrose administration. Although both pacifier and sucrose influences are mediated orally as opposed to in the stomach or intestine, the effects involve different brain pathways. The fact that infants born to methadone-maintained mothers did not change their behaviors during or after sucrose administration but that their reactions to pacifier stimulation could not be distinguished from those of normal infants suggests that reactions to sucrose are mediated centrally by endogenous opioids while those to the pacifier work through other central mechanisms. These findings with human newborns are consonant with those of many animal studies that have also shown rapid onset and rapid offset for contact- and suckling-induced behavioral changes, slower onset and slower offset for changes induced by taste, and opioid mediation of changes induced by the taste of sucrose. Orogustatory and orotactile influences on affect, action, and cardiovascular function are discussed from the perspectives of energetics and growth, central determinants of state, motivation, and learning during the newborn period.

  7. Worldwide risks of animal diseases: introduction.

    PubMed

    Pearson, J E

    2006-01-01

    Animal diseases impact food supplies, trade and commerce, and human health and well-being in every part of the world. Outbreaks draw the attention of those in agriculture, regulatory agencies, and government, as well as the general public. This was demonstrated by the 2000-2001 foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks that occurred in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa and by the recent increased occurrence of emerging diseases transmitted from animals to humans. Examples of these emerging zoonotic diseases are highly pathogenic avian influenza, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, West Nile virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome. There is also the risk of well-known and preventable zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, brucellosis, leishmaniasis, and echinococcosis/hydatidosis, in certain countries; these diseases have a high morbidity with the potential for a very high mortality. Animal agriculturalists should have a global disease awareness of disease risks and develop plans of action to deal with them; in order to better respond to these diseases, they should develop the skills and competencies in politics, media interactions, and community engagement. This issue of Veterinaria Italiana presents information on the risk of animal diseases; their impact on animals and humans at the international, national, industry, and societal levels; and the responses to them. In addition, specific information is provided on national and international disease monitoring, surveillance and reporting, the risk of spread of disease by bioterrorism and on import risk analysis.

  8. Daidzein-sulfate metabolites affect transcriptional and antiproliferative activities of estrogen receptor-beta in cultured human cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Totta, Pierangela; Acconcia, Filippo; Virgili, Fabio; Cassidy, Aedin; Weinberg, Peter D; Rimbach, Gerald; Marino, Maria

    2005-11-01

    Daidzein (D), a soy isoflavone, is almost completely metabolized in the gut and liver. This biotransformation converts D to more water-soluble products and may affect its biological activity. The ability of daidzein metabolites to modulate 17beta-estradiol (E2)-sensitive gene transcription, cell growth, and a proapoptotic cascade was determined in human cancer cells devoid of any estrogen receptor (ER) and rendered E2 sensitive after transfection with ERbeta. The data show that D and some but not all of its metabolites 1) induce promoter activity, 2) reduce proliferation, 3) promote p38/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation, and 4) activate a proapoptotic cascade involving the cleavage of caspase-3 and its substrate poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) in human cancer cells in an ERbeta-dependent manner. Pretreatment of cells with ICI 182,780, a pure antiestrogen, completely prevented the actions of D and its metabolites. These findings highlight the important and complex influence of metabolic transformation on key physiological effects of isoflavones and demonstrate the need to take biotransformation into account when assessing the potential health benefits of consuming soy isoflavones. PMID:16251631

  9. Oral administration of γ-aminobutyric acid affects heat production in a hot environment in resting humans

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Central administration of γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) induces lower body temperature in animals in hot ambient air. However, it is still unknown whether oral GABA administration affects temperature regulation at rest in a hot environment in humans. Therefore, in the present study, we specifically hypothesized that systemic administration of GABA in humans would induce hypothermia in a hot environment and that this response would be observed in association with decreased heat production. Methods Eight male participants drank a 200-ml sports drink with 1 g of GABA (trial G) or without GABA (trial C), then rested for 30 minutes in a sitting position in a hot environment (ambient air temperature 33°C, relative humidity 50%). Results We found that changes in esophageal temperature from before drinking the sports drink were lower in trial G than in trial C (-0.046 ± 0.079°C vs 0.001 ± 0.063°C; P < 0.05), with lower heat production calculated by oxygen consumption (41 ± 5 W/m2 vs 47 ± 8 W/m2; P < 0.05). Conclusions In this study, we have demonstrated that a single oral administration of GABA induced a larger decrease in body core temperature compared to a control condition during rest in a hot environment and that this response was concomitant with a decrease in total heat production. PMID:22738209

  10. Do positive affectivity and boundary preferences matter for work-family enrichment? A study of human service workers.

    PubMed

    McNall, Laurel A; Scott, Lindsay D; Nicklin, Jessica M

    2015-01-01

    More individuals than ever are managing work and family roles, but relatively little research has been done exploring whether boundary preferences help individuals benefit from multiple role memberships. Drawing on Greenhaus and Powell's (2006) work-family enrichment theory, along with Boundary Theory (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000) and Conservation of Resources Theory (Hobfoll, 2002), we explore the impact of personal characteristics as enablers of work-family enrichment, and in turn, work outcomes relevant to human service workers: turnover intentions and emotional exhaustion. In a 2-wave study of 161 human service employees, we found that individuals high in positive affectivity were more likely to experience both work-to-family and family to-work enrichment, whereas those with preferences toward integration were more likely to experience work-to-family enrichment (but not family to-work enrichment). In turn, work-to-family enrichment (but not family to-work enrichment) was related to lower turnover intentions and emotional exhaustion. Enrichment served as a mediating mechanism for only some of the hypothesized relationships. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

  11. Chemical form of selenium affects its uptake, transport, and glutathione peroxidase activity in the human intestinal Caco-2 cell model.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Huawei; Jackson, Matthew I; Cheng, Wen-Hsing; Combs, Gerald F

    2011-11-01

    Determining the effect of selenium (Se) chemical form on uptake, transport, and glutathione peroxidase activity in human intestinal cells is critical to assess Se bioavailability at nutritional doses. In this study, we found that two sources of L-selenomethionine (SeMet) and Se-enriched yeast each increased intracellular Se content more effectively than selenite or methylselenocysteine (SeMSC) in the human intestinal Caco-2 cell model. Interestingly, SeMSC, SeMet, and digested Se-enriched yeast were transported at comparable efficacy from the apical to basolateral sides, each being about 3-fold that of selenite. In addition, these forms of Se, whether before or after traversing from apical side to basolateral side, did not change the potential to support glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. Although selenoprotein P has been postulated to be a key Se transport protein, its intracellular expression did not differ when selenite, SeMSC, SeMet, or digested Se-enriched yeast was added to serum-contained media. Taken together, our data show, for the first time, that the chemical form of Se at nutritional doses can affect the absorptive (apical to basolateral side) efficacy and retention of Se by intestinal cells; but that, these effects are not directly correlated to the potential to support GPx activity.

  12. An infection of human adenovirus 31 affects the differentiation of preadipocytes into fat cells, its metabolic profile and fat accumulation.

    PubMed

    Bil-Lula, Iwona; Krzywonos-Zawadzka, Anna; Sawicki, Grzegorz; Woźniak, Mieczysław

    2016-03-01

    The primary issue undertaken in this study was to test the hypothesis that preadipocytes would have intrinsically elevated propensity to differentiate into mature adipocytes due to HAdV31 infection. To prove that, the metabolic and molecular mechanisms responsible for HAdV31-induced adipogenesis were examined. 3T3L1 cells (mouse embryonic fibroblast, adipose like cell line) were used as a surrogate model to analyze an increased proliferation, differentiation, and maturation of preadipocytes infected with human adenovirus. An expression of E4orf1, C/EBP-β, PPAR-γ, GAPDH, aP2, LEP, and fatty acid synthase genes, intracellular lipid accumulation as well as cytokine release from the fat cells were assessed. Data showed that HAdV31 increased an expression of C/EBP-β and PPAR-γ genes leading to an enhanced differentiation of preadipocytes into fat cells. Besides, overexpression of GAPDH and fatty acid synthase, and decreased expression of leptin caused an increased accumulation of intracellular lipids. Secretion of TNF-α and IL-6 from HAdV31-infected cells was strongly decreased, leading to unlimited virus replication. The results obtained from this study provided the evidences that HAdV31, likewise previously documented HAdV36, is a subsequent human adenovirus affecting the differentiation and lipid accumulation of 3T3L1 cells.

  13. Wolf population dynamics in the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains are affected by recruitment and human-caused mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gude, J.A.; Mitchell, M.S.; Russell, R.E.; Sime, C.A.; Bangs, E.E.; Mech, L.D.; Ream, R.R.

    2012-01-01

    Reliable analyses can help wildlife managers make good decisions, which are particularly critical for controversial decisions such as wolf (Canis lupus) harvest. Creel and Rotella (2010) recently predicted substantial population declines in Montana wolf populations due to harvest, in contrast to predictions made by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP). We replicated their analyses considering only those years in which field monitoring was consistent, and we considered the effect of annual variation in recruitment on wolf population growth. Rather than assuming constant rates, we used model selection methods to evaluate and incorporate models of factors driving recruitment and human-caused mortality rates in wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Using data from 27 area-years of intensive wolf monitoring, we show that variation in both recruitment and human-caused mortality affect annual wolf population growth rates and that human-caused mortality rates have increased with the sizes of wolf populations. We document that recruitment rates have decreased over time, and we speculate that rates have decreased with increasing population sizes and/or that the ability of current field resources to document recruitment rates has recently become less successful as the number of wolves in the region has increased. Estimates of positive wolf population growth in Montana from our top models are consistent with field observations and estimates previously made by MFWP for 2008-2010, whereas the predictions for declining wolf populations of Creel and Rotella (2010) are not. Familiarity with limitations of raw data, obtained first-hand or through consultation with scientists who collected the data, helps generate more reliable inferences and conclusions in analyses of publicly available datasets. Additionally, development of efficient monitoring methods for wolves is a pressing need, so that analyses such as ours will be possible in future years when fewer resources

  14. Fy(a)/Fy(b) antigen polymorphism in human erythrocyte Duffy antigen affects susceptibility to Plasmodium vivax malaria.

    PubMed

    King, Christopher L; Adams, John H; Xianli, Jia; Grimberg, Brian T; McHenry, Amy M; Greenberg, Lior J; Siddiqui, Asim; Howes, Rosalind E; da Silva-Nunes, Monica; Ferreira, Marcelo U; Zimmerman, Peter A

    2011-12-13

    Plasmodium vivax (Pv) is a major cause of human malaria and is increasing in public health importance compared with falciparum malaria. Pv is unique among human malarias in that invasion of erythrocytes is almost solely dependent on the red cell's surface receptor, known as the Duffy blood-group antigen (Fy). Fy is an important minor blood-group antigen that has two immunologically distinct alleles, referred to as Fy(a) or Fy(b), resulting from a single-point mutation. This mutation occurs within the binding domain of the parasite's red cell invasion ligand. Whether this polymorphism affects susceptibility to clinical vivax malaria is unknown. Here we show that Fy(a), compared with Fy(b), significantly diminishes binding of Pv Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) at the erythrocyte surface, and is associated with a reduced risk of clinical Pv in humans. Erythrocytes expressing Fy(a) had 41-50% lower binding compared with Fy(b) cells and showed an increased ability of naturally occurring or artificially induced antibodies to block binding of PvDBP to their surface. Individuals with the Fy(a+b-) phenotype demonstrated a 30-80% reduced risk of clinical vivax, but not falciparum malaria in a prospective cohort study in the Brazilian Amazon. The Fy(a+b-) phenotype, predominant in Southeast Asian and many American populations, would confer a selective advantage against vivax malaria. Our results also suggest that efficacy of a PvDBP-based vaccine may differ among populations with different Fy phenotypes.

  15. Making environmental assessments of biomass production systems comparable worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Markus A.; Seppelt, Ralf; Witing, Felix; Priess, Joerg A.

    2016-03-01

    Global demand for agricultural and forestry products fundamentally affects regional land-use change associated with environmental impacts (EIs) such as erosion. In contrast to aggregated global metrics such as greenhouse gas (GHG) balances, local/regional EIs of different agricultural and forestry production regions need methods which enable worldwide EI comparisons. The key aspect is to control environmental heterogeneity to reveal man-made differences of EIs between production regions. Environmental heterogeneity is the variation in biotic and abiotic environmental conditions. In the present study, we used three approaches to control environmental heterogeneity: (i) environmental stratification, (ii) potential natural vegetation (PNV), and (iii) regional environmental thresholds to compare EIs of solid biomass production. We compared production regions of managed forests and plantation forests in subtropical (Satilla watershed, Southeastern US), tropical (Rufiji basin, Tanzania), and temperate (Mulde watershed, Central Germany) climates. All approaches supported the comparison of the EIs of different land-use classes between and within production regions. They also standardized the different EIs for a comparison between the EI categories. The EIs for different land-use classes within a production region decreased with increasing degree of naturalness (forest, plantation forestry, and cropland). PNV was the most reliable approach, but lacked feasibility and relevance. The PNV approach explicitly included most of the factors that drive environmental heterogeneity in contrast to the stratification and threshold approaches. The stratification approach allows consistent global application due to available data. Regional environmental thresholds only included arbitrarily selected aspects of environmental heterogeneity; they are only available for few EIs. Especially, the PNV and stratification approaches are options to compare regional EIs of biomass or crop production

  16. Progress toward polio eradication--Worldwide, 2013-2014.

    PubMed

    Moturi, Edna K; Porter, Kimberly A; Wassilak, Steven G F; Tangermann, Rudolf H; Diop, Ousmane M; Burns, Cara C; Jafari, Hamid

    2014-05-30

    In 1988, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) resolved to interrupt wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission worldwide, and in 2012, the World Health Assembly declared the completion of global polio eradication a programmatic emergency for public health. By 2013, the annual number of WPV cases had decreased by >99% since 1988, and only three countries remained that had never interrupted WPV transmission: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. This report summarizes global progress toward polio eradication during 2013-2014 and updates previous reports. In 2013, a total of 416 WPV cases were reported globally from eight countries, an 86% increase from the 223 WPV cases reported from five countries in 2012. This upsurge in 2013 was caused by a 60% increase in WPV cases detected in Pakistan, and by outbreaks in five previously polio-free countries resulting from international spread of WPV. In 2014, as of May 20, a total of 82 WPV cases had been reported worldwide, compared with 34 cases during the same period in 2013. Polio cases caused by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) were detected in eight countries in 2013 and in two countries so far in 2014. To achieve polio eradication in the near future, further efforts are needed to 1) address health worker safety concerns in areas of armed conflict in priority countries, 2) to prevent further spread of WPV and new outbreaks after importation into polio-free countries, and 3) to strengthen surveillance globally. Based on the international spread of WPV to date in 2014, the WHO Director General has issued temporary recommendations to reduce further international exportation of WPV through vaccination of persons traveling from currently polio-affected countries.

  17. Measurement of Affect and the Humanizing of Education. Part I, Background and Overview of the Project. Final Report of the Interstate Educational Resource Service Center Affective Education Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Interstate Educational Resource Service Center, Salt Lake City, UT.

    The document presents an overview of a project to help elementary and secondary school educators evaluate affective aspects of educational programs. The document is presented in ten sections. Section I describes formation of the project by states in the Rocky Mountain area in 1970. Section II identifies project objectives. The major objective was…

  18. Sharka epidemiology and worldwide management strategies: learning lessons to optimize disease control in perennial plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many plant epidemics that cause major economic losses cannot be controlled with pesticides. Among them, sharka epidemics severely affect prunus trees worldwide. Its causal agent, Plum pox virus (PPV;, genus Potyvirus), has been classified as a quarantine pathogen in numerous countries. As a result, ...

  19. Access to effective antimicrobials: a worldwide challenge.

    PubMed

    Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Matsoso, Precious; Pant, Suraj; Brower, Charles; Røttingen, John-Arne; Klugman, Keith; Davies, Sally

    2016-01-01

    Recent years have seen substantial improvements in life expectancy and access to antimicrobials, especially in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, but increasing pathogen resistance to antimicrobials threatens to roll back this progress. Resistant organisms in health-care and community settings pose a threat to survival rates from serious infections, including neonatal sepsis and health-care-associated infections, and limit the potential health benefits from surgeries, transplants, and cancer treatment. The challenge of simultaneously expanding appropriate access to antimicrobials, while restricting inappropriate access, particularly to expensive, newer generation antimicrobials, is unique in global health and requires new approaches to financing and delivering health care and a one-health perspective on the connections between pathogen transmission in animals and humans. Here, we describe the importance of effective antimicrobials. We assess the disease burden caused by limited access to antimicrobials, attributable to resistance to antimicrobials, and the potential effect of vaccines in restricting the need for antibiotics.

  20. Access to effective antimicrobials: a worldwide challenge.

    PubMed

    Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Matsoso, Precious; Pant, Suraj; Brower, Charles; Røttingen, John-Arne; Klugman, Keith; Davies, Sally

    2016-01-01

    Recent years have seen substantial improvements in life expectancy and access to antimicrobials, especially in low-income and lower-middle-income countries, but increasing pathogen resistance to antimicrobials threatens to roll back this progress. Resistant organisms in health-care and community settings pose a threat to survival rates from serious infections, including neonatal sepsis and health-care-associated infections, and limit the potential health benefits from surgeries, transplants, and cancer treatment. The challenge of simultaneously expanding appropriate access to antimicrobials, while restricting inappropriate access, particularly to expensive, newer generation antimicrobials, is unique in global health and requires new approaches to financing and delivering health care and a one-health perspective on the connections between pathogen transmission in animals and humans. Here, we describe the importance of effective antimicrobials. We assess the disease burden caused by limited access to antimicrobials, attributable to resistance to antimicrobials, and the potential effect of vaccines in restricting the need for antibiotics. PMID:26603918

  1. Review of epidemic aminoglycoside resistance worldwide.

    PubMed

    Mayer, K H

    1986-06-30

    Epidemic aminoglycoside resistance may be caused by the spread of a species with distinctive chromosomal genes (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa), or it may be due to the dissemination of plasmids or transposons between genera. Although strains of P. aeruginosa resistant to aminoglycosides because of impermeability may cause nosocomial outbreaks, most of the acute increases in aminoglycoside resistance are due to the spread of inactivating enzymes by plasmids. The index species for intergeneric outbreaks is usually Klebsiella pneumoniae carrying the ANT(2") or AAC(3) gene; however, the distribution of resistance varies greatly by location and species. The AAC(6')-I gene is most common in Serratia marcescens and in East Asian isolates of other species, whereas the AAC(3) gene is common in Chile. In the United States, the ANT(2") and AAC(3) genes are particularly common among Enterobacteriaceae, except for Proteus and Providencia, which often carry the AAC(2') gene. The most common patterns of epidemic resistance lead to the inactivation of gentamicin and, less frequently, tobramycin, but only rarely affect amikacin.

  2. Endocrine disrupters and human health: could oestrogenic chemicals in body care cosmetics adversely affect breast cancer incidence in women?

    PubMed

    Harvey, Philip W; Darbre, Philippa

    2004-01-01

    In the decade that has elapsed since the suggestion that exposure of the foetal/developing male to environmental oestrogens could be the cause of subsequent reproductive and developmental effects in men, there has been little definitive research to provide conclusions to the hypothesis. Issues of exposure and low potency of environmental oestrogens may have reduced concerns. However, the hypothesis that chemicals applied in body care cosmetics (including moisturizers, creams, sprays or lotions applied to axilla or chest or breast areas) may be affecting breast cancer incidence in women presents a different case scenario, not least in the consideration of the exposure issues. The specific cosmetic type is not relevant but the chemical ingredients in the formulations and the application to the skin is important. The most common group of body care cosmetic formulation excipients, namely p-hydroxybenzoic acid esters or parabens, have been shown recently to be oestrogenic in vitro and in vivo and now have been detected in human breast tumour tissue, indicating absorption (route and causal associations have yet to be confirmed). The hypothesis for a link between oestrogenic ingredients in underarm and body care cosmetics and breast cancer is forwarded and reviewed here in terms of: data on exposure to body care cosmetics and parabens, including dermal absorption; paraben oestrogenicity; the role of oestrogen in breast cancer; detection of parabens in breast tumours; recent epidemiology studies of underarm cosmetics use and breast cancer; the toxicology database; the current regulatory status of parabens and regulatory toxicology data uncertainties. Notwithstanding the major public health issue of the causes of the rising incidence of breast cancer in women, this call for further research may provide the first evidence that environmental factors may be adversely affecting human health by endocrine disruption, because exposure to oestrogenic chemicals through application

  3. Strawberry processing does not affect the production and urinary excretion of urolithins, ellagic acid metabolites, in humans.

    PubMed

    Truchado, Pilar; Larrosa, Mar; García-Conesa, María Teresa; Cerdá, Begoña; Vidal-Guevara, María Luisa; Tomás-Barberán, Francisco A; Espín, Juan Carlos

    2012-06-13

    The study of fruit and vegetable processing and its effects on the levels of health-promoting constituents and their bioavailability and metabolism is very relevant to understanding the role of these constituents in human health. Strawberry polyphenols, and particularly ellagitannins and ellagic acid, have been associated with the health benefits of this berry for humans. These compounds are transformed into urolithins by the gut microbiota, and these metabolites exert several biological activities that could be responsible for the health effects of strawberries. Processing potentially increases the extraction of ellagitannins from the strawberry achenes and the release of ellagic acid from ellagitannins. It is of interest to evaluate the effect of processing on strawberry ellagitannin microbial metabolism compared with fresh strawberries. This study shows that no significant differences in the production and excretion of urolithins were found between the intake of fresh strawberries and that of a thermally processed strawberry puree containing the same amount of strawberries. Processing increases the amount of free ellagic acid 2.5-fold, but this had no effect on the transformation in urolithins by the gut microbiota or in the excretion of urolithin metabolites (urolithin glucuronides) in urine, showing that the release of ellagic acid from ellagitannins is not a relevant factor affecting the microbial metabolism. All of the volunteers produced urolithin A, but only 3 of 20 volunteers produced and excreted urolithin B. It is confirmed that some volunteers were efficient producers of urolithins, whereas other produced much lower amounts. These results show that processing does not modify the potential health effects of strawberry polyphenols.

  4. Can the usage of human growth hormones affect facial appearance and the accuracy of face recognition systems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Jake; Martin, Michael; Bourlai, Thirimachos

    2014-06-01

    In law enforcement and security applications, the acquisition of face images is critical in producing key trace evidence for the successful identification of potential threats. The goal of the study is to demonstrate that steroid usage significantly affects human facial appearance and hence, the performance of commercial and academic face recognition (FR) algorithms. In this work, we evaluate the performance of state-of-the-art FR algorithms on two unique face image datasets of subjects before (gallery set) and after (probe set) steroid (or human growth hormone) usage. For the purpose of this study, datasets of 73 subjects were created from multiple sources found on the Internet, containing images of men and women before and after steroid usage. Next, we geometrically pre-processed all images of both face datasets. Then, we applied image restoration techniques on the same face datasets, and finally, we applied FR algorithms in order to match the pre-processed face images of our probe datasets against the face images of the gallery set. Experimental results demonstrate that only a specific set of FR algorithms obtain the most accurate results (in terms of the rank-1 identification rate). This is because there are several factors that influence the efficiency of face matchers including (i) the time lapse between the before and after image pre-processing and restoration face photos, (ii) the usage of different drugs (e.g. Dianabol, Winstrol, and Decabolan), (iii) the usage of different cameras to capture face images, and finally, (iv) the variability of standoff distance, illumination and other noise factors (e.g. motion noise). All of the previously mentioned complicated scenarios make clear that cross-scenario matching is a very challenging problem and, thus, further investigation is required.

  5. Common polymorphism in a highly variable region upstream of the human lactase gene affects DNA-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Hollox, E J; Poulter, M; Wang, Y; Krause, A; Swallow, D M

    1999-01-01

    In most mammals lactase activity declines after weaning when lactose is no longer part of the diet, but in many humans lactase activity persists into adult life. The difference responsible for this phenotypic polymorphism has been shown to be cis-acting to the lactase gene. The causal sequence difference has not been found so far, but a number of polymorphic sites have been found within and near to the lactase gene. We have shown previously that in Europeans there are two polymorphic sites in a small region between 974 bp and 852 bp upstream from the start of transcription, which are detectable by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). In this study, analysis of individuals from five other population groups by the same DGGE method reveals four new alleles resulting from three additional nucleotide changes within this very small region. Analysis of sequence in four primate species and comparison with the published pig sequence shows that the overall sequence of this highly variable human region is conserved in pigs as well as primates, and that it lies within a 1kb region which has been shown to control lactase downregulation in pigs. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) studies were carried out to determine whether common variation affected protein-DNA binding and several binding activities were found using this technique. A novel two base-pair deletion that is common in most populations tested, but is not present in Europeans, caused no change in binding activity. However, a previously published C to T transition at -958bp dramatically reduced binding activity, although the functional significance of this is not clear.

  6. Dropping dead: causes and consequences of vulture population declines worldwide.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z

    2012-02-01

    Vultures are nature's most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures' unique adaptations include soaring flight, keen eyesight, and extremely low pH levels in their stomachs. Presently, 14 of 23 (61%) vulture species worldwide are threatened with extinction, and the most rapid declines have occurred in the vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures has occurred for centuries, and shooting and deliberate poisoning are the most widely practiced activities. Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little

  7. Factors affecting the appreciation generated through applying human factors/ergonomics (HFE) principles to systems of work.

    PubMed

    So, R H Y; Lam, S T

    2014-01-01

    This retrospective study examined the levels of appreciation (applause) given by clients to Human Factors/Ergonomic (HFE) specialists after they have modified the systems of work. Thirteen non-academic projects were chosen because the HFE interventions involved changed the way workers work at their workplaces. Companies involved range from multi-national corporations and military organizations with thousands of employees to small trading companies with less than 10 employees. In 5 cases the HFE recommendations were fully adopted and well appreciated. In 4 they were largely ignored and not appreciated, with partial adoption and some appreciation in the other 4 cases. Three factors that predict appreciation were identified: (i) alignment between the benefits HFE can provide and the project's key performance indices; (ii) awareness of HFE among the client's senior management; and (iii) a team organization appropriate for applying HFE recommendations. Having an HFE specialist on the client's side can greatly increase levels of appreciation, but lack of such a specialist will not affect levels of appreciation. A clear contractual requirement for HFE intervention does not promote appreciation significantly, but its absence can greatly reduce levels of appreciation. These relationships are discussed using the Kano's model of quality. Means to generate greater appreciation of the benefits of HFE are discussed.

  8. Cognitive and affective components of mental workload: Understanding the effects of each on human decision making behavior

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nygren, Thomas E.

    1992-01-01