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Sample records for global loss function

  1. Fragmentation: Loss of global coherence or breakdown of modularity in functional brain architecture?

    Daan evan den Berg

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Psychiatric illnesses characterised by disorganized cognition, such as schizophrenia, have been described in terms of fragmentation and hence understood as reduction in functional brain connectivity, particularly in prefrontal and parietal areas. However, as graph-theory shows, relatively small numbers of nonlocal connections are sufficient to ensure global coherence in the modular small world network structure of the brain. We reconsider fragmentation in this perspective. Computational studies have shown that for a given level of connectivity in a model of coupled nonlinear oscillators, modular small-world networks evolve from an initially random organization. Here we demonstrate that with decreasing connectivity, the probability of evolving into a modular small-world network breaks down at a critical point, which scales to the percolation function of random networks with a universal exponent of α=1.17. Thus, according to the model, local modularity systematically breaks down before there is loss of global coherence in network connectivity. We therefore propose that fragmentation may involve, at least in its initial stages, the inability of a dynamically evolving network to sustain a modular small-world structure. The result is in a shift in the balance in schizophrenia from local to global functional connectivity.

  2. Transient global amnesia and functional retrograde amnesia: contrasting examples of episodic memory loss.

    Kritchevsky, M; Zouzounis, J; Squire, L R

    1997-01-01

    We studied 11 patients with transient global amnesia (TGA) and ten patients with functional retrograde amnesia (FRA). Patients with TGA had a uniform clinical picture: a severe, relatively isolated amnesic syndrome that started suddenly, persisted for 4-12 h, and then gradually improved to essentially normal over the next 12-24 h. During the episode, the patients had severe anterograde amnesia for verbal and non-verbal material and retrograde amnesia that typically covered at least two decade...

  3. The global historical and future economic loss and cost of earthquakes during the production of adaptive worldwide economic fragility functions

    Daniell, James; Wenzel, Friedemann

    2014-05-01

    macroseismic intensity, capital stock estimate, GDP estimate, year and the combined seismic building index (a created combination of the global seismic code index, building practice factor, building age and infrastructure vulnerability). The analysis provided three key results: a) The production of economic fragility functions from the 1900-2008 events showed very good correlation to the economic loss and cost from earthquakes from 2009-2013, in real-time. This methodology has been extended to other natural disaster types (typhoon, flood, drought). b) The reanalysis of historical earthquake events in order to check associated historical loss and costs versus the expected exposure in terms of intensities. The 1939 Chillan, 1948 Turkmenistan, 1950 Iran, 1972 Managua, 1980 Western Nepal and 1992 Erzincan earthquake events were seen as huge outliers compared with the modelled capital stock and GDP and thus additional studies were undertaken to check the original loss results. c) A worldwide GIS layer database of capital stock (gross and net), GDP, infrastructure age and economic indices over the period 1900-2013 have been created in conjunction with the CATDAT database in order to define correct economic loss and costs.

  4. Obesity-metabolic derangement exacerbates cardiomyocyte loss distal to moderate coronary artery stenosis in pigs without affecting global cardiac function.

    Li, Zi-Lun; Ebrahimi, Behzad; Zhang, Xin; Eirin, Alfonso; Woollard, John R; Tang, Hui; Lerman, Amir; Wang, Shen-Ming; Lerman, Lilach O

    2014-04-01

    Obesity associated with metabolic derangements (ObM) worsens the prognosis of patients with coronary artery stenosis (CAS), but the underlying cardiac pathophysiologic mechanisms remain elusive. We tested the hypothesis that ObM exacerbates cardiomyocyte loss distal to moderate CAS. Obesity-prone pigs were randomized to four groups (n = 6 each): lean-sham, ObM-sham, lean-CAS, and ObM-CAS. Lean and ObM pigs were maintained on a 12-wk standard or atherogenic diet, respectively, and left circumflex CAS was then induced by placing local-irritant coils. Cardiac structure, function, and myocardial oxygenation were assessed 4 wk later by computed-tomography and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) MRI, the microcirculation with micro-computed-tomography, and injury mechanisms by immunoblotting and histology. ObM pigs showed obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. The degree of CAS (range, 50-70%) was similar in lean and ObM pigs, and resting myocardial perfusion and global cardiac function remained unchanged. Increased angiogenesis distal to the moderate CAS observed in lean was attenuated in ObM pigs, which also showed microvascular dysfunction and increased inflammation (M1-macrophages, TNF-α expression), oxidative stress (gp91), hypoxia (BOLD-MRI), and fibrosis (Sirius-red and trichrome). Furthermore, lean-CAS showed increased myocardial autophagy, which was blunted in ObM pigs (downregulated expression of unc-51-like kinase-1 and autophagy-related gene-12; P < 0.05 vs. lean CAS) and associated with marked apoptosis. The interaction diet xstenosis synergistically inhibited angiogenic, autophagic, and fibrogenic activities. ObM exacerbates structural and functional myocardial injury distal to moderate CAS with preserved myocardial perfusion, possibly due to impaired cardiomyocyte turnover.

  5. Global Drought Total Economic Loss Risk Deciles

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Global Drought Total Economic Loss Risk Deciles is a 2.5 minute grid of global drought total economic loss risks. A process of spatially allocating Gross Domestic...

  6. Global Landslide Total Economic Loss Risk Deciles

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Global Landslide Total Economic Loss Risk Deciles is a 2.5 minute grid of global landslide total economic loss risks. A process of spatially allocating Gross...

  7. Global Drought Proportional Economic Loss Risk Deciles

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Global Drought Proportional Economic Loss Risk Deciles is a 2.5 minute grid of drought hazard economic loss as proportions of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per...

  8. Robust loss functions for boosting.

    Kanamori, Takafumi; Takenouchi, Takashi; Eguchi, Shinto; Murata, Noboru

    2007-08-01

    Boosting is known as a gradient descent algorithm over loss functions. It is often pointed out that the typical boosting algorithm, Adaboost, is highly affected by outliers. In this letter, loss functions for robust boosting are studied. Based on the concept of robust statistics, we propose a transformation of loss functions that makes boosting algorithms robust against extreme outliers. Next, the truncation of loss functions is applied to contamination models that describe the occurrence of mislabels near decision boundaries. Numerical experiments illustrate that the proposed loss functions derived from the contamination models are useful for handling highly noisy data in comparison with other loss functions.

  9. Loss of Pcgf5 Affects Global H2A Monoubiquitination but Not the Function of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells.

    Sha Si

    Full Text Available Polycomb-group RING finger proteins (Pcgf1-Pcgf6 are components of Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1-related complexes that catalyze monoubiquitination of histone H2A at lysine 119 (H2AK119ub1, an epigenetic mark associated with repression of genes. Pcgf5 has been characterized as a component of PRC1.5, one of the non-canonical PRC1, consisting of Ring1a/b, Rybp/Yaf2 and Auts2. However, the biological functions of Pcgf5 have not yet been identified. Here we analyzed the impact of the deletion of Pcgf5 specifically in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs. Pcgf5 is expressed preferentially in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs and multipotent progenitors (MPPs compared with committed myeloid progenitors and differentiated cells. We transplanted bone marrow (BM cells from Rosa::Cre-ERT control and Cre-ERT;Pcgf5fl/fl mice into lethally irradiated recipient mice. At 4 weeks post-transplantation, we deleted Pcgf5 by injecting tamoxifen, however, no obvious changes in hematopoiesis were detected including the number of HSPCs during a long-term observation period following the deletion. Competitive BM repopulating assays revealed normal repopulating capacity of Pcgf5-deficient HSCs. Nevertheless, Pcgf5-deficient HSPCs showed a significant reduction in H2AK119ub1 levels compared with the control. ChIP-sequence analysis confirmed the reduction in H2AK119ub1 levels, but revealed no significant association of changes in H2AK119ub1 levels with gene expression levels. Our findings demonstrate that Pcgf5-containing PRC1 functions as a histone modifier in vivo, but its role in HSPCs is limited and can be compensated by other PRC1-related complexes in HSPCs.

  10. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss.

    Doherty, Tim S; Glen, Alistair S; Nimmo, Dale G; Ritchie, Euan G; Dickman, Chris R

    2016-10-04

    Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile species extinctions-58% of these groups' contemporary extinctions worldwide. These figures are likely underestimated because 23 critically endangered species that we assessed are classed as "possibly extinct." Invasive mammalian predators endanger a further 596 species at risk of extinction, with cats, rodents, dogs, and pigs threatening the most species overall. Species most at risk from predators have high evolutionary distinctiveness and inhabit insular environments. Invasive mammalian predators are therefore important drivers of irreversible loss of phylogenetic diversity worldwide. That most impacted species are insular indicates that management of invasive predators on islands should be a global conservation priority. Understanding and mitigating the impact of invasive mammalian predators is essential for reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss.

  11. Global loss diversification in the insurance sector

    Sheremet, O.; Lucas, A.

    2009-01-01

    We study the possibility for international diversification of catastrophe risk by the insurance sector. Adopting the argument that large insurance losses may be a 'globalizing factor' for the industry, we study the dependence of geographically distant insurance markets via equity returns. In

  12. Global warming: is weight loss a solution?

    Gryka, A; Broom, J; Rolland, C

    2012-03-01

    The current climate change has been most likely caused by the increased greenhouse gas emissions. We have looked at the major greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO(2)), and estimated the reduction in the CO(2) emissions that would occur with the theoretical global weight loss. The calculations were based on our previous weight loss study, investigating the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on body weight, body composition and resting metabolic rate of obese volunteers with type 2 diabetes. At 6 months, we observed decreases in weight, fat mass, fat free mass and CO(2) production. We estimated that a 10 kg weight loss of all obese and overweight people would result in a decrease of 49.560 Mt of CO(2) per year, which would equal to 0.2% of the CO(2) emitted globally in 2007. This reduction could help meet the CO(2) emission reduction targets and unquestionably would be of a great benefit to the global health.

  13. Global biodiversity loss: Exaggerated versus realistic estimates

    John C. Briggs

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available For the past 50 years, the public has been made to feel guilty about the tragedy of human-caused biodiversity loss due to the extinction of hundreds or thousands of species every year. Numerous articles and books from the scientific and popular press and publicity on the internet have contributed to a propaganda wave about our grievous loss and the beginning of a sixth mass extinction. However, within the past few years, questions have arisen about the validity of the data which led to the doom scenario. Here I show that, for the past 500 years, terrestrial animals (insects and vertebrates have been losing less than two species per year due to human causes. The majority of the extinctions have occurred on oceanic islands with little effect on continental ecology. In the marine environment, losses have also been very low. At the same time, speciation has continued to occur and biodiversity gain by this means may have equaled or even surpassed the losses. While species loss is not, so far, a global conservation problem, ongoing population declines within thousands of species that are at risk on land and in the sea constitute an extinction debt that will be paid unless those species can be rescued.

  14. Global assessment of human losses due to earthquakes

    Silva, Vitor; Jaiswal, Kishor; Weatherill, Graeme; Crowley, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Current studies have demonstrated a sharp increase in human losses due to earthquakes. These alarming levels of casualties suggest the need for large-scale investment in seismic risk mitigation, which, in turn, requires an adequate understanding of the extent of the losses, and location of the most affected regions. Recent developments in global and uniform datasets such as instrumental and historical earthquake catalogues, population spatial distribution and country-based vulnerability functions, have opened an unprecedented possibility for a reliable assessment of earthquake consequences at a global scale. In this study, a uniform probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) model was employed to derive a set of global seismic hazard curves, using the open-source software OpenQuake for seismic hazard and risk analysis. These results were combined with a collection of empirical fatality vulnerability functions and a population dataset to calculate average annual human losses at the country level. The results from this study highlight the regions/countries in the world with a higher seismic risk, and thus where risk reduction measures should be prioritized.

  15. The Global Burden of Potential Productivity Loss from Uncorrected Presbyopia.

    Frick, Kevin D; Joy, Susan M; Wilson, David A; Naidoo, Kovin S; Holden, Brien A

    2015-08-01

    The onset of presbyopia in middle adulthood results in potential losses in productivity among otherwise healthy adults if uncorrected or undercorrected. The economic burden could be significant in lower-income countries, where up to 94% of cases may be uncorrected or undercorrected. This study estimates the global burden of potential productivity lost because of uncorrected functional presbyopia. Population data from the US Census Bureau were combined with the estimated presbyopia prevalence, age of onset, employment rate, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in current US dollars, and near vision impairment disability weights from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study to estimate the global loss of productivity from uncorrected and undercorrected presbyopia in each country in 2011. To allow comparison with earlier work, we also calculated the loss with the conservative assumption that the contribution to productivity extends only up to 50 years of age. The economic modeling did not require the use of subjects. We estimated the number of cases of uncorrected or undercorrected presbyopia in each country among the working-age population. The number of working-age cases was multiplied by the labor force participation rate, the employment rate, a disability weight, and the GDP per capita to estimate the potential loss of GDP due to presbyopia. The outcome being measured is the lost productivity in 2011 US dollars resulting from uncorrected or undercorrected presbyopia. There were an estimated 1.272 billion cases of presbyopia worldwide in 2011. A total of 244 million cases, uncorrected or undercorrected among people aged productivity loss of US $11.023 billion (0.016% of global GDP). If all those people aged productive, the potential productivity loss would be US $25.367 billion or 0.037% of global GDP. Correcting presbyopia to the level achieved in Europe would reduce the burden to US $1.390 billion (0.002% of global GDP). Even with conservative assumptions

  16. Data Acquisition for Quality Loss Function Modelling

    Pedersen, Søren Nygaard; Howard, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    Quality loss functions can be a valuable tool when assessing the impact of variation on product quality. Typically, the input for the quality loss function would be a measure of the varying product performance and the output would be a measure of quality. While the unit of the input is given by t...... by the product function in focus, the quality output can be measured and quantified in a number of ways. In this article a structured approach for acquiring stakeholder satisfaction data for use in quality loss function modelling is introduced.......Quality loss functions can be a valuable tool when assessing the impact of variation on product quality. Typically, the input for the quality loss function would be a measure of the varying product performance and the output would be a measure of quality. While the unit of the input is given...

  17. Functional vision loss: a diagnosis of exclusion.

    Villegas, Rex B; Ilsen, Pauline F

    2007-10-01

    Most cases of visual acuity or visual field loss can be attributed to ocular pathology or ocular manifestations of systemic pathology. They can also occasionally be attributed to nonpathologic processes or malingering. Functional vision loss is any decrease in vision the origin of which cannot be attributed to a pathologic or structural abnormality. Two cases of functional vision loss are described. In the first, a 58-year-old man presented for a baseline eye examination for enrollment in a vision rehabilitation program. He reported bilateral blindness since a motor vehicle accident with head trauma 4 years prior. Entering visual acuity was "no light perception" in each eye. Ocular health examination was normal and the patient made frequent eye contact with the examiners. He was referred for neuroimaging and electrophysiologic testing. The second case was a 49-year-old man who presented with a long history of intermittent monocular diplopia. His medical history was significant for psycho-medical evaluations and a diagnosis of factitious disorder. Entering uncorrected visual acuities were 20/20 in each eye, but visual field testing found constriction. No abnormalities were found that could account for the monocular diplopia or visual field deficit. A diagnosis of functional vision loss secondary to factitious disorder was made. Functional vision loss is a diagnosis of exclusion. In the event of reduced vision in the context of a normal ocular health examination, all other pathology must be ruled out before making the diagnosis of functional vision loss. Evaluation must include auxiliary ophthalmologic testing, neuroimaging of the visual pathway, review of the medical history and lifestyle, and psychiatric evaluation. Comanagement with a psychiatrist is essential for patients with functional vision loss.

  18. QUALITY LOSS FUNCTION FOR MACHINING PROCESS ACCURACY

    Adrian Stere PARIS

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of the paper is to propose new quality loss models for machining process accuracy in the classical case “zero the best”, MMF and Harris type. In addition a numerical example illustrates that the choose regression functions are directly linked with the quality loss of manufacturing process. The proposed models can be adapted for the “maximal the best” and “nominal the best” cases.

  19. Global Analysis of the Fungal Microbiome in Cystic Fibrosis Patients Reveals Loss of Function of the Transcriptional Repressor Nrg1 as a Mechanism of Pathogen Adaptation.

    Kim, Sang Hu; Clark, Shawn T; Surendra, Anuradha; Copeland, Julia K; Wang, Pauline W; Ammar, Ron; Collins, Cathy; Tullis, D Elizabeth; Nislow, Corey; Hwang, David M; Guttman, David S; Cowen, Leah E

    2015-11-01

    The microbiome shapes diverse facets of human biology and disease, with the importance of fungi only beginning to be appreciated. Microbial communities infiltrate diverse anatomical sites as with the respiratory tract of healthy humans and those with diseases such as cystic fibrosis, where chronic colonization and infection lead to clinical decline. Although fungi are frequently recovered from cystic fibrosis patient sputum samples and have been associated with deterioration of lung function, understanding of species and population dynamics remains in its infancy. Here, we coupled high-throughput sequencing of the ribosomal RNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) with phenotypic and genotypic analyses of fungi from 89 sputum samples from 28 cystic fibrosis patients. Fungal communities defined by sequencing were concordant with those defined by culture-based analyses of 1,603 isolates from the same samples. Different patients harbored distinct fungal communities. There were detectable trends, however, including colonization with Candida and Aspergillus species, which was not perturbed by clinical exacerbation or treatment. We identified considerable inter- and intra-species phenotypic variation in traits important for host adaptation, including antifungal drug resistance and morphogenesis. While variation in drug resistance was largely between species, striking variation in morphogenesis emerged within Candida species. Filamentation was uncoupled from inducing cues in 28 Candida isolates recovered from six patients. The filamentous isolates were resistant to the filamentation-repressive effects of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, implicating inter-kingdom interactions as the selective force. Genome sequencing revealed that all but one of the filamentous isolates harbored mutations in the transcriptional repressor NRG1; such mutations were necessary and sufficient for the filamentous phenotype. Six independent nrg1 mutations arose in Candida isolates from different patients

  20. Global Analysis of the Fungal Microbiome in Cystic Fibrosis Patients Reveals Loss of Function of the Transcriptional Repressor Nrg1 as a Mechanism of Pathogen Adaptation.

    Sang Hu Kim

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The microbiome shapes diverse facets of human biology and disease, with the importance of fungi only beginning to be appreciated. Microbial communities infiltrate diverse anatomical sites as with the respiratory tract of healthy humans and those with diseases such as cystic fibrosis, where chronic colonization and infection lead to clinical decline. Although fungi are frequently recovered from cystic fibrosis patient sputum samples and have been associated with deterioration of lung function, understanding of species and population dynamics remains in its infancy. Here, we coupled high-throughput sequencing of the ribosomal RNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1 with phenotypic and genotypic analyses of fungi from 89 sputum samples from 28 cystic fibrosis patients. Fungal communities defined by sequencing were concordant with those defined by culture-based analyses of 1,603 isolates from the same samples. Different patients harbored distinct fungal communities. There were detectable trends, however, including colonization with Candida and Aspergillus species, which was not perturbed by clinical exacerbation or treatment. We identified considerable inter- and intra-species phenotypic variation in traits important for host adaptation, including antifungal drug resistance and morphogenesis. While variation in drug resistance was largely between species, striking variation in morphogenesis emerged within Candida species. Filamentation was uncoupled from inducing cues in 28 Candida isolates recovered from six patients. The filamentous isolates were resistant to the filamentation-repressive effects of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, implicating inter-kingdom interactions as the selective force. Genome sequencing revealed that all but one of the filamentous isolates harbored mutations in the transcriptional repressor NRG1; such mutations were necessary and sufficient for the filamentous phenotype. Six independent nrg1 mutations arose in Candida isolates from

  1. Losses, inefficiencies and waste in the global food system.

    Alexander, Peter; Brown, Calum; Arneth, Almut; Finnigan, John; Moran, Dominic; Rounsevell, Mark D A

    2017-05-01

    Losses at every stage in the food system influence the extent to which nutritional requirements of a growing global population can be sustainably met. Inefficiencies and losses in agricultural production and consumer behaviour all play a role. This paper aims to understand better the magnitude of different losses and to provide insights into how these influence overall food system efficiency. We take a systems view from primary production of agricultural biomass through to human food requirements and consumption. Quantities and losses over ten stages are calculated and compared in terms of dry mass, wet mass, protein and energy. The comparison reveals significant differences between these measurements, and the potential for wet mass figures used in previous studies to be misleading. The results suggest that due to cumulative losses, the proportion of global agricultural dry biomass consumed as food is just 6% (9.0% for energy and 7.6% for protein), and 24.8% of harvest biomass (31.9% for energy and 27.8% for protein). The highest rates of loss are associated with livestock production, although the largest absolute losses of biomass occur prior to harvest. Losses of harvested crops were also found to be substantial, with 44.0% of crop dry matter (36.9% of energy and 50.1% of protein) lost prior to human consumption. If human over-consumption, defined as food consumption in excess of nutritional requirements, is included as an additional inefficiency, 48.4% of harvested crops were found to be lost (53.2% of energy and 42.3% of protein). Over-eating was found to be at least as large a contributor to food system losses as consumer food waste. The findings suggest that influencing consumer behaviour, e.g. to eat less animal products, or to reduce per capita consumption closer to nutrient requirements, offer substantial potential to improve food security for the rising global population in a sustainable manner.

  2. Are Global Economic Losses from Natural Hazards Increasing?

    McMullan, Caroline; Simic, Milan; Tosco, Antonello; Latchman, Shane

    2016-04-01

    Global society has long been influenced by natural hazards, but it has been widely noted that the economic cost of natural hazards has been rising rapidly over recent decades. This upward trend highlights the increasing exposure of the global economy to natural hazards and the need for society to understand the driving factors to help improve the resilience of communities. However disaster risk is driven by a plethora of factors, including population, wealth, land-use, and demographics. Consider also the natural variability in the frequency and severity of events, climate change, and implementation of resilience policies, and it becomes clear that disaster-risk management is a challenging field. To investigate the apparent upward trend in reported annual economic losses from natural disasters, socioeconomic factors known to influence the magnitude of losses must first be accounted for. Adjustment for these factors, known as loss normalisation, aims to estimate the losses sustained if historical events were to impact present day society. We have undertaken a detailed assessment of global economic losses from natural disasters for the period 1995 through 2013. Although the studied time-period is relatively short, expanding the investigated period would not necessarily produce more reliable insights owing to the inherent difficulty in obtaining accurate economic loss estimates for earlier periods and the challenge of finding consistent and reliable sources of socioeconomic data for the normalisation process. The results of the study, presented at a global and regional level, appear to suggest that the main driver of perceived increase in economic losses over the last ~20 years was the development of nations' economies (i.e. increase in population and wealth/GDP) and not in the natural hazards themselves. As populations all over the world migrate into areas of higher natural hazards regions (e.g. coastal areas or floodplain zones) and global wealth continues to

  3. Loss functions for structural flood mitigation measures

    drinie

    2001-01-01

    Jan 1, 2001 ... for spillways, levees, tramlines, public roads, drains and bridges. Introduction. The aim of this paper is to discuss the ... In the third section the steps that were followed to determine loss functions for ... Wilson's Cannal-, 31/2-, Low Level- and Monzi Bridge, are also maintained by the co-operative. A tramline ...

  4. Structure and needs of global loss databases about natural disaster

    Steuer, Markus

    2010-05-01

    Global loss databases are used for trend analyses and statistics in scientific projects, studies for governmental and nongovernmental organizations and for the insurance and finance industry as well. At the moment three global data sets are established: EM-DAT (CRED), Sigma (Swiss Re) and NatCatSERVICE (Munich Re). Together with the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) started a collaborative initiative in 2007 with the aim to agreed on and implemented a common "Disaster Category Classification and Peril Terminology for Operational Databases". This common classification has been established through several technical meetings and working groups and represents a first and important step in the development of a standardized international classification of disasters and terminology of perils. This means concrete to set up a common hierarchy and terminology for all global and regional databases on natural disasters and establish a common and agreed definition of disaster groups, main types and sub-types of events. Also the theme of georeferencing, temporal aspects, methodology and sourcing were other issues that have been identified and will be discussed. The implementation of the new and defined structure for global loss databases is already set up for Munich Re NatCatSERVICE. In the following oral session we will show the structure of the global databases as defined and in addition to give more transparency of the data sets behind published statistics and analyses. The special focus will be on the catastrophe classification from a moderate loss event up to a great natural catastrophe, also to show the quality of sources and give inside information about the assessment of overall and insured losses. Keywords: disaster category classification, peril terminology, overall and insured losses, definition

  5. Radiation losses and global power balance of JT-60 plasmas

    Nishitani, T.; Itami, K.; Nagashima, K.; Tsuji, S.; Hosogane, N.; Yoshida, H.; Ando, T.; Kubo, H.; Takeuchi, H.

    1990-01-01

    The radiation losses and the global power balance for Ohmic and neutral beam heated plasmas have been investigated in different JT-60 configurations. Discharges with a TiC coated molybdenum wall and with a graphite wall, with limiter, outer and lower X-point configurations have been studied by bolometric measurements, thermocouples and an infrared TV camera. In neutral beam heated outer X-point discharges with a TiC coated molybdenum first wall, the radiation loss of the main plasma was very low (10% of the absorbed power). The radiation loss due to oxygen was dominant in this case. On the contrary, in discharges with TiC coated molybdenum limiters the radiation loss was very high (>60% of the absorbed power). In the discharges with a graphite wall the radiated power from the main plasma was 20-25% for both limiter and lower X-point configurations. In lower X-point discharges the main contributor to the radiation loss was oxygen, whereas in limiter discharges the loss due to carbon was equal to the loss due to oxygen. The radiation loss from the lower X-point divertor increased with increasing electron density of the main plasma. (author). 33 refs, 14 figs, 1 tab

  6. Recent reversal in loss of global terrestrial biomass

    Liu, Yi Y.; Van Dijk, Albert I J M; De Jeu, Richard A M; Canadell., Josep G.; McCabe, Matthew; Evans, Jason P.; Wang, Guojie

    2015-01-01

    Vegetation change plays a critical role in the Earth's carbon (C) budget and its associated radiative forcing in response to anthropogenic and natural climate change. Existing global estimates of aboveground biomass carbon (ABC) based on field survey data provide brief snapshots that are mainly limited to forest ecosystems. Here we use an entirely new remote sensing approach to derive global ABC estimates for both forest and non-forest biomes during the past two decades from satellite passive microwave observations. We estimate a global average ABC of 362 PgC over the period 1998-2002, of which 65% is in forests and 17% in savannahs. Over the period 1993-2012, an estimated '0.07 PgC yr '1 ABC was lost globally, mostly resulting from the loss of tropical forests ('0.26 PgC yr '1) and net gains in mixed forests over boreal and temperate regions (+0.13 PgC yr '1) and tropical savannahs and shrublands (+0.05 PgC yr '1). Interannual ABC patterns are greatly influenced by the strong response of water-limited ecosystems to rainfall variability, particularly savannahs. From 2003 onwards, forest in Russia and China expanded and tropical deforestation declined. Increased ABC associated with wetter conditions in the savannahs of northern Australia and southern Africa reversed global ABC loss, leading to an overall gain, consistent with trends in the global carbon sink reported in recent studies. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  7. Recent reversal in loss of global terrestrial biomass

    Liu, Yi Y.

    2015-03-30

    Vegetation change plays a critical role in the Earth\\'s carbon (C) budget and its associated radiative forcing in response to anthropogenic and natural climate change. Existing global estimates of aboveground biomass carbon (ABC) based on field survey data provide brief snapshots that are mainly limited to forest ecosystems. Here we use an entirely new remote sensing approach to derive global ABC estimates for both forest and non-forest biomes during the past two decades from satellite passive microwave observations. We estimate a global average ABC of 362 PgC over the period 1998-2002, of which 65% is in forests and 17% in savannahs. Over the period 1993-2012, an estimated \\'0.07 PgC yr \\'1 ABC was lost globally, mostly resulting from the loss of tropical forests (\\'0.26 PgC yr \\'1) and net gains in mixed forests over boreal and temperate regions (+0.13 PgC yr \\'1) and tropical savannahs and shrublands (+0.05 PgC yr \\'1). Interannual ABC patterns are greatly influenced by the strong response of water-limited ecosystems to rainfall variability, particularly savannahs. From 2003 onwards, forest in Russia and China expanded and tropical deforestation declined. Increased ABC associated with wetter conditions in the savannahs of northern Australia and southern Africa reversed global ABC loss, leading to an overall gain, consistent with trends in the global carbon sink reported in recent studies. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  8. Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses

    Atwood, Trisha B.; Connolly, Rod M.; Almahasheer, Hanan; Carnell, Paul E.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Ewers Lewis, Carolyn J.; Irigoien, Xabier; Kelleway, Jeffrey J.; Lavery, Paul S.; Macreadie, Peter I.; Serrano, Oscar; Sanders, Christian J.; Santos, Isaac; Steven, Andrew D. L.; Lovelock, Catherine E.

    2017-01-01

    . Global potential CO2 emissions from soils as a result of mangrove loss were estimated to be ~7.0 Tg CO2e yr−1. Countries with the highest potential CO2 emissions from soils are Indonesia (3,410 Gg CO2e yr−1) and Malaysia (1,288 Gg CO2e yr−1). The patterns

  9. Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming.

    Crowther, T W; Todd-Brown, K E O; Rowe, C W; Wieder, W R; Carey, J C; Machmuller, M B; Snoek, B L; Fang, S; Zhou, G; Allison, S D; Blair, J M; Bridgham, S D; Burton, A J; Carrillo, Y; Reich, P B; Clark, J S; Classen, A T; Dijkstra, F A; Elberling, B; Emmett, B A; Estiarte, M; Frey, S D; Guo, J; Harte, J; Jiang, L; Johnson, B R; Kröel-Dulay, G; Larsen, K S; Laudon, H; Lavallee, J M; Luo, Y; Lupascu, M; Ma, L N; Marhan, S; Michelsen, A; Mohan, J; Niu, S; Pendall, E; Peñuelas, J; Pfeifer-Meister, L; Poll, C; Reinsch, S; Reynolds, L L; Schmidt, I K; Sistla, S; Sokol, N W; Templer, P H; Treseder, K K; Welker, J M; Bradford, M A

    2016-11-30

    The majority of the Earth's terrestrial carbon is stored in the soil. If anthropogenic warming stimulates the loss of this carbon to the atmosphere, it could drive further planetary warming. Despite evidence that warming enhances carbon fluxes to and from the soil, the net global balance between these responses remains uncertain. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of warming-induced changes in soil carbon stocks by assembling data from 49 field experiments located across North America, Europe and Asia. We find that the effects of warming are contingent on the size of the initial soil carbon stock, with considerable losses occurring in high-latitude areas. By extrapolating this empirical relationship to the global scale, we provide estimates of soil carbon sensitivity to warming that may help to constrain Earth system model projections. Our empirical relationship suggests that global soil carbon stocks in the upper soil horizons will fall by 30 ± 30 petagrams of carbon to 203 ± 161 petagrams of carbon under one degree of warming, depending on the rate at which the effects of warming are realized. Under the conservative assumption that the response of soil carbon to warming occurs within a year, a business-as-usual climate scenario would drive the loss of 55 ± 50 petagrams of carbon from the upper soil horizons by 2050. This value is around 12-17 per cent of the expected anthropogenic emissions over this period. Despite the considerable uncertainty in our estimates, the direction of the global soil carbon response is consistent across all scenarios. This provides strong empirical support for the idea that rising temperatures will stimulate the net loss of soil carbon to the atmosphere, driving a positive land carbon-climate feedback that could accelerate climate change.

  10. Global forest loss disproportionately erodes biodiversity in intact landscapes.

    Betts, Matthew G; Wolf, Christopher; Ripple, William J; Phalan, Ben; Millers, Kimberley A; Duarte, Adam; Butchart, Stuart H M; Levi, Taal

    2017-07-27

    Global biodiversity loss is a critical environmental crisis, yet the lack of spatial data on biodiversity threats has hindered conservation strategies. Theory predicts that abrupt biodiversity declines are most likely to occur when habitat availability is reduced to very low levels in the landscape (10-30%). Alternatively, recent evidence indicates that biodiversity is best conserved by minimizing human intrusion into intact and relatively unfragmented landscapes. Here we use recently available forest loss data to test deforestation effects on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List categories of extinction risk for 19,432 vertebrate species worldwide. As expected, deforestation substantially increased the odds of a species being listed as threatened, undergoing recent upgrading to a higher threat category and exhibiting declining populations. More importantly, we show that these risks were disproportionately high in relatively intact landscapes; even minimal deforestation has had severe consequences for vertebrate biodiversity. We found little support for the alternative hypothesis that forest loss is most detrimental in already fragmented landscapes. Spatial analysis revealed high-risk hot spots in Borneo, the central Amazon and the Congo Basin. In these regions, our model predicts that 121-219 species will become threatened under current rates of forest loss over the next 30 years. Given that only 17.9% of these high-risk areas are formally protected and only 8.9% have strict protection, new large-scale conservation efforts to protect intact forests are necessary to slow deforestation rates and to avert a new wave of global extinctions.

  11. Global building inventory for earthquake loss estimation and risk management

    Jaiswal, Kishor; Wald, David; Porter, Keith

    2010-01-01

    We develop a global database of building inventories using taxonomy of global building types for use in near-real-time post-earthquake loss estimation and pre-earthquake risk analysis, for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) program. The database is available for public use, subject to peer review, scrutiny, and open enhancement. On a country-by-country level, it contains estimates of the distribution of building types categorized by material, lateral force resisting system, and occupancy type (residential or nonresidential, urban or rural). The database draws on and harmonizes numerous sources: (1) UN statistics, (2) UN Habitat’s demographic and health survey (DHS) database, (3) national housing censuses, (4) the World Housing Encyclopedia and (5) other literature.

  12. Alzheimer's disease due to loss of function

    Kepp, Kasper Planeta

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a highly complex disease involving a broad range of clinical, cellular, and biochemical manifestations that are currently not understood in combination. This has led to many views of AD, e.g. the amyloid, tau, presenilin, oxidative stress, and metal hypotheses....... The amyloid hypothesis has dominated the field with its assumption that buildup of pathogenic β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide causes disease. This paradigm has been criticized, yet most data suggest that Aβ plays a key role in the disease. Here, a new loss-of-function hypothesis is synthesized that accounts...

  13. Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses

    Atwood, Trisha B.

    2017-06-26

    Mangrove soils represent a large sink for otherwise rapidly recycled carbon (C). However, widespread deforestation threatens the preservation of this important C stock. It is therefore imperative that global patterns in mangrove soil C stocks and their susceptibility to remineralization are understood. Here, we present patterns in mangrove soil C stocks across hemispheres, latitudes, countries and mangrove community compositions, and estimate potential annual CO2 emissions for countries where mangroves occur. Global potential CO2 emissions from soils as a result of mangrove loss were estimated to be ~7.0 Tg CO2e yr−1. Countries with the highest potential CO2 emissions from soils are Indonesia (3,410 Gg CO2e yr−1) and Malaysia (1,288 Gg CO2e yr−1). The patterns described serve as a baseline by which countries can assess their mangrove soil C stocks and potential emissions from mangrove deforestation.

  14. Deformation of log-likelihood loss function for multiclass boosting.

    Kanamori, Takafumi

    2010-09-01

    The purpose of this paper is to study loss functions in multiclass classification. In classification problems, the decision function is estimated by minimizing an empirical loss function, and then, the output label is predicted by using the estimated decision function. We propose a class of loss functions which is obtained by a deformation of the log-likelihood loss function. There are four main reasons why we focus on the deformed log-likelihood loss function: (1) this is a class of loss functions which has not been deeply investigated so far, (2) in terms of computation, a boosting algorithm with a pseudo-loss is available to minimize the proposed loss function, (3) the proposed loss functions provide a clear correspondence between the decision functions and conditional probabilities of output labels, (4) the proposed loss functions satisfy the statistical consistency of the classification error rate which is a desirable property in classification problems. Based on (3), we show that the deformed log-likelihood loss provides a model of mislabeling which is useful as a statistical model of medical diagnostics. We also propose a robust loss function against outliers in multiclass classification based on our approach. The robust loss function is a natural extension of the existing robust loss function for binary classification. A model of mislabeling and a robust loss function are useful to cope with noisy data. Some numerical studies are presented to show the robustness of the proposed loss function. A mathematical characterization of the deformed log-likelihood loss function is also presented. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Reductions in global biodiversity loss predicted from conservation spending

    Waldron, Anthony; Miller, Daniel C.; Redding, Dave; Mooers, Arne; Kuhn, Tyler S.; Nibbelink, Nate; Roberts, J. Timmons; Tobias, Joseph A.; Gittleman, John L.

    2017-11-01

    Halting global biodiversity loss is central to the Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but success to date has been very limited. A critical determinant of success in achieving these goals is the financing that is committed to maintaining biodiversity; however, financing decisions are hindered by considerable uncertainty over the likely impact of any conservation investment. For greater effectiveness, we need an evidence-based model that shows how conservation spending quantitatively reduces the rate of biodiversity loss. Here we demonstrate such a model, and empirically quantify how conservation investment between 1996 and 2008 reduced biodiversity loss in 109 countries (signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Sustainable Development Goals), by a median average of 29% per country. We also show that biodiversity changes in signatory countries can be predicted with high accuracy, using a dual model that balances the effects of conservation investment against those of economic, agricultural and population growth (human development pressures). Decision-makers can use this model to forecast the improvement that any proposed biodiversity budget would achieve under various scenarios of human development pressure, and then compare these forecasts to any chosen policy target. We find that the impact of spending decreases as human development pressures grow, which implies that funding may need to increase over time. The model offers a flexible tool for balancing the Sustainable Development Goals of human development and maintaining biodiversity, by predicting the dynamic changes in conservation finance that will be needed as human development proceeds.

  16. Reductions in global biodiversity loss predicted from conservation spending.

    Waldron, Anthony; Miller, Daniel C; Redding, Dave; Mooers, Arne; Kuhn, Tyler S; Nibbelink, Nate; Roberts, J Timmons; Tobias, Joseph A; Gittleman, John L

    2017-11-16

    Halting global biodiversity loss is central to the Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but success to date has been very limited. A critical determinant of success in achieving these goals is the financing that is committed to maintaining biodiversity; however, financing decisions are hindered by considerable uncertainty over the likely impact of any conservation investment. For greater effectiveness, we need an evidence-based model that shows how conservation spending quantitatively reduces the rate of biodiversity loss. Here we demonstrate such a model, and empirically quantify how conservation investment reduced biodiversity loss in 109 countries (signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Sustainable Development Goals), by a median average of 29% per country between 1996 and 2008. We also show that biodiversity changes in signatory countries can be predicted with high accuracy, using a dual model that balances the effects of conservation investment against those of economic, agricultural and population growth (human development pressures). Decision-makers can use this model to forecast the improvement that any proposed biodiversity budget would achieve under various scenarios of human development pressure, and then compare these forecasts to any chosen policy target. We find that the impact of spending decreases as human development pressures grow, which implies that funding may need to increase over time. The model offers a flexible tool for balancing the Sustainable Development Goals of human development and maintaining biodiversity, by predicting the dynamic changes in conservation finance that will be needed as human development proceeds.

  17. Global-scale hydrological response to future glacier mass loss

    Huss, Matthias; Hock, Regine

    2018-01-01

    Worldwide glacier retreat and associated future runoff changes raise major concerns over the sustainability of global water resources1-4, but global-scale assessments of glacier decline and the resulting hydrological consequences are scarce5,6. Here we compute global glacier runoff changes for 56 large-scale glacierized drainage basins to 2100 and analyse the glacial impact on streamflow. In roughly half of the investigated basins, the modelled annual glacier runoff continues to rise until a maximum (`peak water') is reached, beyond which runoff steadily declines. In the remaining basins, this tipping point has already been passed. Peak water occurs later in basins with larger glaciers and higher ice-cover fractions. Typically, future glacier runoff increases in early summer but decreases in late summer. Although most of the 56 basins have less than 2% ice coverage, by 2100 one-third of them might experience runoff decreases greater than 10% due to glacier mass loss in at least one month of the melt season, with the largest reductions in central Asia and the Andes. We conclude that, even in large-scale basins with minimal ice-cover fraction, the downstream hydrological effects of continued glacier wastage can be substantial, but the magnitudes vary greatly among basins and throughout the melt season.

  18. [Multiple sclerosis, loss of functionality and gender].

    Bravo-González, Félix; Álvarez-Roldán, Arturo

    2017-12-01

    To identify the type of support and assistance that patients with multiple sclerosis need in order to cope with the loss of functionality, and to show how gender affects the perception of these needs. Interpretative-phenomenological qualitative study. Granada (Spain). Year: 2014. Intentional sample: 30 patients and 20 family caregivers. Data were gathered from 26 interviews and 4 focus groups. The data were coded and analysed with the NVivo programme. The multiple sclerosis patients and family caregivers had different perceptions of the loss of capacity to undertake activities of daily living. Being able to self care was considered the last vestige of autonomy. The women with multiple sclerosis tried to take on the responsibility of housework, but the male caregivers became gradually involved in these tasks. Gender roles were redefined with respect to housekeeping. The multiple sclerosis patients showed a need for emotional support. Some of the men had abandoned the stereotype of the strong male as a result of the decline in their health. Adaptations in the home took place without planning them in advance. The use of mobility devices started on an occasional basis. A fear of stigma was an obstacle for regular use of assistive technology. Health care for people with multiple sclerosis should include family caregivers. Gender influences the perception that caregivers and patients have of the assistance they require to maximise their quality of life. This flags up several intervention areas for the follow-up and long-term care of these patients by the healthcare system. Copyright © 2017 SESPAS. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  19. Globalization and loss of plant knowledge: challenging the paradigm.

    Vandebroek, Ina; Balick, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    The erosion of cultural knowledge and traditions as a result of globalization and migration is a commonly reported phenomenon. We compared one type of cultural knowledge about medicinal plants (number of plants reported to treat thirty common health conditions) among Dominican laypersons who self-medicate with plants and live in rural or urban areas of the Dominican Republic (DR), and those who have moved to New York City (NYC). Many plants used as medicines were popular Dominican food plants. These plants were reported significantly more often by Dominicans living in NYC as compared to the DR, and this knowledge was not age-dependent. These results contradict the popular paradigm about loss of cultural plant knowledge and is the first study to report a statistically measurable increase in this type of knowledge associated with migration.

  20. Globalization and Loss of Plant Knowledge: Challenging the Paradigm

    Vandebroek, Ina; Balick, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    The erosion of cultural knowledge and traditions as a result of globalization and migration is a commonly reported phenomenon. We compared one type of cultural knowledge about medicinal plants (number of plants reported to treat thirty common health conditions) among Dominican laypersons who self-medicate with plants and live in rural or urban areas of the Dominican Republic (DR), and those who have moved to New York City (NYC). Many plants used as medicines were popular Dominican food plants. These plants were reported significantly more often by Dominicans living in NYC as compared to the DR, and this knowledge was not age-dependent. These results contradict the popular paradigm about loss of cultural plant knowledge and is the first study to report a statistically measurable increase in this type of knowledge associated with migration. PMID:22662184

  1. Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional nuclear conflict

    Mills, Michael J.; Toon, Owen B.; Turco, Richard P.; Kinnison, Douglas E.; Garcia, Rolando R.

    2008-01-01

    We use a chemistry-climate model and new estimates of smoke produced by fires in contemporary cities to calculate the impact on stratospheric ozone of a regional nuclear war between developing nuclear states involving 100 Hiroshima-size bombs exploded in cities in the northern subtropics. We find column ozone losses in excess of 20% globally, 25–45% at midlatitudes, and 50–70% at northern high latitudes persisting for 5 years, with substantial losses continuing for 5 additional years. Column ozone amounts remain near or <220 Dobson units at all latitudes even after three years, constituting an extratropical “ozone hole.” The resulting increases in UV radiation could impact the biota significantly, including serious consequences for human health. The primary cause for the dramatic and persistent ozone depletion is heating of the stratosphere by smoke, which strongly absorbs solar radiation. The smoke-laden air rises to the upper stratosphere, where removal mechanisms are slow, so that much of the stratosphere is ultimately heated by the localized smoke injections. Higher stratospheric temperatures accelerate catalytic reaction cycles, particularly those of odd-nitrogen, which destroy ozone. In addition, the strong convection created by rising smoke plumes alters the stratospheric circulation, redistributing ozone and the sources of ozone-depleting gases, including N2O and chlorofluorocarbons. The ozone losses predicted here are significantly greater than previous “nuclear winter/UV spring” calculations, which did not adequately represent stratospheric plume rise. Our results point to previously unrecognized mechanisms for stratospheric ozone depletion. PMID:18391218

  2. Globalized mobility and the loss of the collective? Refugees and global palyers: An ethnopsychoanlaytical study

    Ernestine Wohlfart

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The essay sheds a light on mobile individuals, the motivation behind their movement, and their experience in foreign social contexts. It is based on group analytical and interdisciplinary discourses. The focus lies on possible changings of the collective in globalized worlds- approached by the view of individuals. What could imply the loss of the primary group and the perception of this loss for the individual. What are the mobile individuals (refugees and global players looking to find abroad, what are the promises, the demands and necessities. Material: I am offering for discussion texts from an ethnopsychoanalytical study focusing on two very different groups of mobile individuals. On one hand, interviews with so-called "global players" or "job nomads" and on the other hand interviews with African refugees. The analysis of the material leads to the first hypothesis: The option offered by a globalised world to find an individual place and freedom everywhere in the world is associated with a lack of intersubjective spaces, a lack of embodiment in a group, less sharing of common meanings, rules and taboos.Keywords: Intersubjective space; Mobility; Global players; Refugees

  3. Globalized mobility and the loss of the collective? Refugees and global palyers: An ethnopsychoanlaytical study

    Ernestine Wohlfart

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The essay sheds a light on mobile individuals, the motivation behind their movement, and their experience in foreign social contexts. It is based on group analytical and interdisciplinary discourses. The focus lies on possible changings of the collective in globalized worlds- approached by the view of individuals. What could imply the loss of the primary group and the perception of this loss for the individual. What are the mobile individuals (refugees and global players looking to find abroad, what are the promises, the demands and necessities. Material: I am offering for discussion texts from an ethnopsychoanalytical study focusing on two very different groups of mobile individuals. On one hand, interviews with so-called "global players" or "job nomads" and on the other hand interviews with African refugees. The analysis of the material leads to the first hypothesis: The option offered by a globalised world to find an individual place and freedom everywhere in the world is associated with a lack of intersubjective spaces, a lack of embodiment in a group, less sharing of common meanings, rules and taboos.Keywords: Intersubjective space; Mobility; Global players; Refugees

  4. Habitats at Risk. Global Warming and Species Loss in Globally Significant Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Malcolm, J.R.; Liu, Canran; Miller, L.B.; Allnutt, T.; Hansen, L.

    2002-02-01

    In this study, a suite of models of global climate and vegetation change is used to investigate three important global warming-induced threats to the terrestrial Global 200 ecoregions: (1) Invasions by new habitat types (and corresponding loss of original habitat types); (2) Local changes of habitat types; (3) High rates of required species migration. Seven climate models (general circulation models or GCMs) and two vegetation models (BIOME3 and MAPSS) were used to produce 14 impact scenarios under the climate associated with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which is expected to occur in less than 100 years. Previous analyses indicated that most of the variation among the impact scenarios was attributable to the particular vegetation model used, hence the authors provide results separately for the two models. The models do not provide information on biodiversity per se, but instead simulate current and future potential distributions of major vegetation types (biomes) such as tundra and broadleaf tropical rain forest

  5. Executive functions predict weight loss in a medically supervised weight loss programme

    Galioto, R.; Bond, D.; Gunstad, J.; Pera, V.; Rathier, L.; Tremont, G.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Methods Twenty?three adult patients (age 50.4???15.1, BMI 44.2???8.8, 68% female, 92% White)...

  6. Forest loss in protected areas and intact forest landscapes : A global analysis

    Heino, Matias; Kummu, Matti; Makkonen, Marika; Mulligan, Mark; Verburg, Peter H.; Jalava, Mika; Räsänen, Timo A.

    2015-01-01

    In spite of the high importance of forests, global forest loss has remained alarmingly high during the last decades. Forest loss at a global scale has been unveiled with increasingly finer spatial resolution, but the forest extent and loss in protected areas (PAs) and in large intact forest

  7. A new global particle swarm optimization for the economic emission dispatch with or without transmission losses

    Zou, Dexuan; Li, Steven; Li, Zongyan; Kong, Xiangyong

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • A new global particle swarm optimization (NGPSO) is proposed. • NGPSO has strong convergence and desirable accuracy. • NGPSO is used to handle the economic emission dispatch with or without transmission losses. • The equality constraint can be satisfied by solving a quadratic equation. • The inequality constraints can be satisfied by using penalty function method. - Abstract: A new global particle swarm optimization (NGPSO) algorithm is proposed to solve the economic emission dispatch (EED) problems in this paper. NGPSO is different from the traditional particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm in two aspects. First, NGPSO uses a new position updating equation which relies on the global best particle to guide the searching activities of all particles. Second, it uses the randomization based on the uniform distribution to slightly disturb the flight trajectories of particles during the late evolutionary process. The two steps enable NGPSO to effectively execute a number of global searches, and thus they increase the chance of exploring promising solution space, and reduce the probabilities of getting trapped into local optima for all particles. On the other hand, the two objective functions of EED are normalized separately according to all candidate solutions, and then they are incorporated into one single objective function. The transformation steps are very helpful in eliminating the difference caused by the different dimensions of the two functions, and thus they strike a balance between the fuel cost and emission. In addition, a simple and common penalty function method is employed to facilitate the satisfactions of EED’s constraints. Based on these improvements in PSO, objective functions and constraints handling, high-quality solutions can be obtained for EED problems. Five examples are chosen to testify the performance of three improved PSOs on solving EED problems with or without transmission losses. Experimental results show that

  8. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems.

    David Moreno-Mateos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Wetlands are among the most productive and economically valuable ecosystems in the world. However, because of human activities, over half of the wetland ecosystems existing in North America, Europe, Australia, and China in the early 20th century have been lost. Ecological restoration to recover critical ecosystem services has been widely attempted, but the degree of actual recovery of ecosystem functioning and structure from these efforts remains uncertain. Our results from a meta-analysis of 621 wetland sites from throughout the world show that even a century after restoration efforts, biological structure (driven mostly by plant assemblages, and biogeochemical functioning (driven primarily by the storage of carbon in wetland soils, remained on average 26% and 23% lower, respectively, than in reference sites. Either recovery has been very slow, or postdisturbance systems have moved towards alternative states that differ from reference conditions. We also found significant effects of environmental settings on the rate and degree of recovery. Large wetland areas (>100 ha and wetlands restored in warm (temperate and tropical climates recovered more rapidly than smaller wetlands and wetlands restored in cold climates. Also, wetlands experiencing more (riverine and tidal hydrologic exchange recovered more rapidly than depressional wetlands. Restoration performance is limited: current restoration practice fails to recover original levels of wetland ecosystem functions, even after many decades. If restoration as currently practiced is used to justify further degradation, global loss of wetland ecosystem function and structure will spread.

  9. The effect of loss functions on empirical Bayes reliability analysis

    Camara Vincent A. R.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to investigate the sensitivity of empirical Bayes estimates of the reliability function with respect to changing of the loss function. In addition to applying some of the basic analytical results on empirical Bayes reliability obtained with the use of the “popular” squared error loss function, we shall derive some expressions corresponding to empirical Bayes reliability estimates obtained with the Higgins–Tsokos, the Harris and our proposed logarithmic loss functions. The concept of efficiency, along with the notion of integrated mean square error, will be used as a criterion to numerically compare our results. It is shown that empirical Bayes reliability functions are in general sensitive to the choice of the loss function, and that the squared error loss does not always yield the best empirical Bayes reliability estimate.

  10. Arithmetic geometry over global function fields

    Longhi, Ignazio; Trihan, Fabien

    2014-01-01

    This volume collects the texts of five courses given in the Arithmetic Geometry Research Programme 2009–2010 at the CRM Barcelona. All of them deal with characteristic p global fields; the common theme around which they are centered is the arithmetic of L-functions (and other special functions), investigated in various aspects. Three courses examine some of the most important recent ideas in the positive characteristic theory discovered by Goss (a field in tumultuous development, which is seeing a number of spectacular advances): they cover respectively crystals over function fields (with a number of applications to L-functions of t-motives), gamma and zeta functions in characteristic p, and the binomial theorem. The other two are focused on topics closer to the classical theory of abelian varieties over number fields: they give respectively a thorough introduction to the arithmetic of Jacobians over function fields (including the current status of the BSD conjecture and its geometric analogues, and the con...

  11. Default Mode Dynamics for Global Functional Integration.

    Vatansever, Deniz; Menon, David K; Manktelow, Anne E; Sahakian, Barbara J; Stamatakis, Emmanuel A

    2015-11-18

    The default mode network (DMN) has been traditionally assumed to hinder behavioral performance in externally focused, goal-directed paradigms and to provide no active contribution to human cognition. However, recent evidence suggests greater DMN activity in an array of tasks, especially those that involve self-referential and memory-based processing. Although data that robustly demonstrate a comprehensive functional role for DMN remains relatively scarce, the global workspace framework, which implicates the DMN in global information integration for conscious processing, can potentially provide an explanation for the broad range of higher-order paradigms that report DMN involvement. We used graph theoretical measures to assess the contribution of the DMN to global functional connectivity dynamics in 22 healthy volunteers during an fMRI-based n-back working-memory paradigm with parametric increases in difficulty. Our predominant finding is that brain modularity decreases with greater task demands, thus adapting a more global workspace configuration, in direct relation to increases in reaction times to correct responses. Flexible default mode regions dynamically switch community memberships and display significant changes in their nodal participation coefficient and strength, which may reflect the observed whole-brain changes in functional connectivity architecture. These findings have important implications for our understanding of healthy brain function, as they suggest a central role for the DMN in higher cognitive processing. The default mode network (DMN) has been shown to increase its activity during the absence of external stimulation, and hence was historically assumed to disengage during goal-directed tasks. Recent evidence, however, implicates the DMN in self-referential and memory-based processing. We provide robust evidence for this network's active contribution to working memory by revealing dynamic reconfiguration in its interactions with other networks

  12. Kramers-Kronig transform for the surface energy loss function

    Tan, G.L.; DeNoyer, L.K.; French, R.H.; Guittet, M.J.; Gautier-Soyer, M.

    2005-01-01

    A new pair of Kramers-Kronig (KK) dispersion relationships for the transformation of surface energy loss function Im[-1/(ε + 1)] has been proposed. The validity of the new surface KK transform is confirmed, using both a Lorentz oscillator model and the surface energy loss functions determined from the experimental complex dielectric function of SrTiO 3 and tungsten metal. The interband transition strength spectra (J cv ) have been derived either directly from the original complex dielectric function or from the derived dielectric function obtained from the KK transform of the surface energy loss function. The original J cv trace and post-J cv trace overlapped together for the three modes, indicating that the new surface Kramers-Kronig dispersion relationship is valid for the surface energy loss function

  13. Loss of Mitochondrial Function Impairs Lysosomes.

    Demers-Lamarche, Julie; Guillebaud, Gérald; Tlili, Mouna; Todkar, Kiran; Bélanger, Noémie; Grondin, Martine; Nguyen, Angela P; Michel, Jennifer; Germain, Marc

    2016-05-06

    Alterations in mitochondrial function, as observed in neurodegenerative diseases, lead to disrupted energy metabolism and production of damaging reactive oxygen species. Here, we demonstrate that mitochondrial dysfunction also disrupts the structure and function of lysosomes, the main degradation and recycling organelle. Specifically, inhibition of mitochondrial function, following deletion of the mitochondrial protein AIF, OPA1, or PINK1, as well as chemical inhibition of the electron transport chain, impaired lysosomal activity and caused the appearance of large lysosomal vacuoles. Importantly, our results show that lysosomal impairment is dependent on reactive oxygen species. Given that alterations in both mitochondrial function and lysosomal activity are key features of neurodegenerative diseases, this work provides important insights into the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. The effect of loss functions on empirical Bayes reliability analysis

    Vincent A. R. Camara

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to investigate the sensitivity of empirical Bayes estimates of the reliability function with respect to changing of the loss function. In addition to applying some of the basic analytical results on empirical Bayes reliability obtained with the use of the “popular” squared error loss function, we shall derive some expressions corresponding to empirical Bayes reliability estimates obtained with the Higgins–Tsokos, the Harris and our proposed logarithmic loss functions. The concept of efficiency, along with the notion of integrated mean square error, will be used as a criterion to numerically compare our results.

  15. Corpus callosum tissue loss and development of motor and global cognitive impairment

    Frederiksen, Kristian S; Garde, Ellen; Skimminge, Arnold

    2011-01-01

    To examine the impact of corpus callosum (CC) tissue loss on the development of global cognitive and motor impairment in the elderly.......To examine the impact of corpus callosum (CC) tissue loss on the development of global cognitive and motor impairment in the elderly....

  16. Forest Loss in Protected Areas and Intact Forest Landscapes: A Global Analysis.

    Heino, Matias; Kummu, Matti; Makkonen, Marika; Mulligan, Mark; Verburg, Peter H; Jalava, Mika; Räsänen, Timo A

    2015-01-01

    In spite of the high importance of forests, global forest loss has remained alarmingly high during the last decades. Forest loss at a global scale has been unveiled with increasingly finer spatial resolution, but the forest extent and loss in protected areas (PAs) and in large intact forest landscapes (IFLs) have not so far been systematically assessed. Moreover, the impact of protection on preserving the IFLs is not well understood. In this study we conducted a consistent assessment of the global forest loss in PAs and IFLs over the period 2000-2012. We used recently published global remote sensing based spatial forest cover change data, being a uniform and consistent dataset over space and time, together with global datasets on PAs' and IFLs' locations. Our analyses revealed that on a global scale 3% of the protected forest, 2.5% of the intact forest, and 1.5% of the protected intact forest were lost during the study period. These forest loss rates are relatively high compared to global total forest loss of 5% for the same time period. The variation in forest losses and in protection effect was large among geographical regions and countries. In some regions the loss in protected forests exceeded 5% (e.g. in Australia and Oceania, and North America) and the relative forest loss was higher inside protected areas than outside those areas (e.g. in Mongolia and parts of Africa, Central Asia, and Europe). At the same time, protection was found to prevent forest loss in several countries (e.g. in South America and Southeast Asia). Globally, high area-weighted forest loss rates of protected and intact forests were associated with high gross domestic product and in the case of protected forests also with high proportions of agricultural land. Our findings reinforce the need for improved understanding of the reasons for the high forest losses in PAs and IFLs and strategies to prevent further losses.

  17. Assessment of left ventricular global function

    Breuel, H.-P.; Baehre, M.

    1985-01-01

    Radionuclide ventriculography (RNV), i.e. noninvasive evaluation of left venticular performance following the application of radionuclides has had a major impact on many aspects of cardiology and has proven its clinical value and reliability in the last few years. This article deals mainly with the changes in global left ventricular function. The clinical applications of RNV for coronary artery diseases and valvular heart diseases are described. (Auth.)

  18. Exponential Decline of Deep-Sea Ecosystem Functioning Linked to Benthic Biodiversity Loss

    Danovaro, Roberto; Gambi, Cristina; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Vanreusel, Ann; Vincx, Magda; Gooday, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    BackgroundRecent investigations suggest that biodiversity loss might impair the functioning and sustainability of ecosystems. Although deep-sea ecosystems are the most extensive on Earth, represent the largest reservoir of biomass, and host a large proportion of undiscovered biodiversity, the data needed to evaluate the consequences of biodiversity loss on the ocean floor are completely lacking.ResultsHere, we present a global-scale study based on 116 deep-sea sites that relates benthic biodi...

  19. Determination of global heart function parameters

    Adam, W.E.; Hoffmann, H.; Sigel, H.; Bitter, F.; Nechwatal, W.; Stauch, M.; Ulm Univ.; Freiburg Univ.

    1980-01-01

    1. ECG-triggered scintigraphy of the interior of the heart (radioactive ventriculography) is a reliable non-invasive technique for the acquisition of the global and regional function of the left ventricle. 2. The most important global parameter is the output function (OF) of the left ventricle. It can be measured exactly. The decrease of the OF under load is typical for coronary insufficience under load, but is not specifically. 3. A movement disturbance on the ground of a KHK is recognized with highest sensitivity at the decrease of the maximum relaxation velocity of the global left-ventricular time-activity characteristic (fast phase of filling). 4. Regional wall movement disturbances can be measured quantitatively by means of viewing the radioactive nucleid ventriculogramm at the display. 5. The quantitative measurement of the regional function needs an extensive analysis of the local time-activity characteristics of a representative coronary cycle. For this the amplitude and phase and the contraction and relaxation velocity of all time-activity characteristics is determined by Fourier analysis and their spatial distribution is drawn (parametric scan). 6. The parametric scans (distribution of amplitude, phase, contraction and relaxation velocities) describe the regional wall movement in detail, the reliability of its quantitative acquisition has to be approved by further investigations. (orig.) [de

  20. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; et al

    2015-01-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five mu...

  1. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    Allan Eric; Manning Pete; Alt Fabian; Binkenstein Julia; Blaser Stefan; Blüthgen Nico; Böhm Stefan; Grassein Fabrice; Hölzel Norbert; Klaus Valentin H.; Kleinebecker Till; Morrys Elisabeth Kathryn; Oelmann Yvonne; Prati Daniel; Renner Sven C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global change, especially land?use intensification, affects human well?being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real?world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land?use intensity. We also int...

  2. Global functioning and disability in dissociative disorders.

    Mueller-Pfeiffer, Christoph; Rufibach, Kaspar; Perron, Noelle; Wyss, Daniela; Kuenzler, Cornelia; Prezewowsky, Cornelia; Pitman, Roger K; Rufer, Michael

    2012-12-30

    Dissociative disorders are frequent comorbid conditions of other mental disorders. Yet, there is controversy about their clinical relevance, and little systematic research has been done on how they influence global functioning. Outpatients and day care patients (N=160) of several psychiatric units in Switzerland were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV Axis I Disorders, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders, Global Assessment of Functioning Scale, and World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule-II. The association between subjects with a dissociative disorder (N=30) and functional impairment after accounting for non-dissociative axis I disorders was evaluated by linear regression models. We found a proportion of 18.8% dissociative disorders (dissociative amnesia=0%, dissociative fugue=0.6%, depersonalization disorder=4.4%, dissociative identity disorder=7.5%, dissociative disorder-not-otherwise-specified=6.3%) across treatment settings. Adjusted for other axis I disorders, subjects with a comorbid dissociative identity disorder or dissociative disorder-not-otherwise-specified had a median global assessment of functioning score that was 0.86 and 0.88 times, respectively, the score of subjects without a comorbid dissociative disorder. These findings support the hypothesis that complex dissociative disorders, i.e., dissociative identity disorder and dissociative disorder-not-otherwise-specified, contribute to functional impairment above and beyond the impact of co-existing non-dissociative axis I disorders, and that they qualify as "serious mental illness". Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Childhood Parental Loss and Adult Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Function

    Tyrka, Audrey R.; Wier, Lauren; Price, Lawrence H.; Ross, Nicole; Anderson, George M.; Wilkinson, Charles W.; Carpenter, Linda L.

    2009-01-01

    Background Several decades of research link childhood parental loss with risk for major depression and other forms of psychopathology. A large body of preclinical work on maternal separation and some recent studies of humans with childhood parental loss have demonstrated alterations of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function which could predispose to the development of psychiatric disorders. Methods Eighty-eight healthy adults with no current Axis I psychiatric disorder participated in this study. Forty-four participants experienced parental loss during childhood, including 19 with a history of parental death and 25 with a history of prolonged parental separation. The loss group was compared to a matched group of individuals who reported no history of childhood parental separation or childhood maltreatment. Participants completed diagnostic interviews and questionnaires and the dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone (Dex/CRH) test. Repeated measures general linear models were used to test the effects of parental loss, a measure of parental care, sex, and age on the hormone responses to the Dex/CRH test. Results Parental loss was associated with increased cortisol responses to the test, particularly in males. The effect of loss was moderated by levels of parental care; participants with parental desertion and very low levels of care had attenuated cortisol responses. ACTH responses to the Dex/CRH test did not differ significantly as a function of parental loss. Conclusions These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that early parental loss induces enduring changes in neuroendocrine function. PMID:18339361

  4. Executive functions predict weight loss in a medically supervised weight loss programme

    Bond, D.; Gunstad, J.; Pera, V.; Rathier, L.; Tremont, G.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Methods Twenty‐three adult patients (age 50.4 ± 15.1, BMI 44.2 ± 8.8, 68% female, 92% White) enrolled in a medically supervised weight loss programme, involving prescription of a very low calorie diet and strategies to change eating and activity behaviours, underwent comprehensive computerized testing of executive functions at baseline. Weight was obtained at baseline and 8 weeks. Demographic and clinical information were obtained through medical chart review. Results Participants lost an average of 9.8 ± 3.4% of their initial body weight at 8 weeks. Fewer correct responses on a set‐shifting task and faster reaction time on a response inhibition task were associated with lower weight loss percentage at 8 weeks after adjusting for age, education and depressive symptoms. There were no associations between performance on tests of working memory or planning and weight loss. Conclusions This study shows that worse performance on a set‐shifting task (indicative of poorer cognitive flexibility) and faster reaction times on a response inhibition test (indicative of higher impulsivity) are associated with lower weight loss among participants in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Pre‐treatment assessment of executive functions may be useful in identifying individuals who may be at risk for suboptimal treatment outcomes. Future research is needed to replicate these findings in larger samples and identify underlying mechanisms. PMID:28090338

  5. Regulator Loss Functions and Hierarchical Modeling for Safety Decision Making.

    Hatfield, Laura A; Baugh, Christine M; Azzone, Vanessa; Normand, Sharon-Lise T

    2017-07-01

    Regulators must act to protect the public when evidence indicates safety problems with medical devices. This requires complex tradeoffs among risks and benefits, which conventional safety surveillance methods do not incorporate. To combine explicit regulator loss functions with statistical evidence on medical device safety signals to improve decision making. In the Hospital Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample, we select pediatric inpatient admissions and identify adverse medical device events (AMDEs). We fit hierarchical Bayesian models to the annual hospital-level AMDE rates, accounting for patient and hospital characteristics. These models produce expected AMDE rates (a safety target), against which we compare the observed rates in a test year to compute a safety signal. We specify a set of loss functions that quantify the costs and benefits of each action as a function of the safety signal. We integrate the loss functions over the posterior distribution of the safety signal to obtain the posterior (Bayes) risk; the preferred action has the smallest Bayes risk. Using simulation and an analysis of AMDE data, we compare our minimum-risk decisions to a conventional Z score approach for classifying safety signals. The 2 rules produced different actions for nearly half of hospitals (45%). In the simulation, decisions that minimize Bayes risk outperform Z score-based decisions, even when the loss functions or hierarchical models are misspecified. Our method is sensitive to the choice of loss functions; eliciting quantitative inputs to the loss functions from regulators is challenging. A decision-theoretic approach to acting on safety signals is potentially promising but requires careful specification of loss functions in consultation with subject matter experts.

  6. Preoperative thyroid function and weight loss after bariatric surgery.

    Neves, João Sérgio; Souteiro, Pedro; Oliveira, Sofia Castro; Pedro, Jorge; Magalhães, Daniela; Guerreiro, Vanessa; Costa, Maria Manuel; Bettencourt-Silva, Rita; Santos, Ana Cristina; Queirós, Joana; Varela, Ana; Freitas, Paula; Carvalho, Davide

    2018-05-16

    Thyroid function has an important role on body weight regulation. However, the impact of thyroid function on weight loss after bariatric surgery is still largely unknown. We evaluated the association between preoperative thyroid function and the excess weight loss 1 year after surgery, in 641 patients with morbid obesity who underwent bariatric surgery. Patients with a history of thyroid disease, treatment with thyroid hormone or antithyroid drugs and those with preoperative evaluation consistent with overt hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism were excluded. The preoperative levels of TSH and FT4 were not associated with weight loss after bariatric surgery. The variation of FT3 within the reference range was also not associated with weight loss. In contrast, the subgroup with FT3 above the reference range (12.3% of patients) had a significantly higher excess weight loss than patients with normal FT3. This difference remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, type of surgery, TSH and FT4. In conclusion, we observed an association between high FT3 and a greater weight loss after bariatric surgery, highlighting a group of patients with an increased benefit from this intervention. Our results also suggest a novel hypothesis: the pharmacological modulation of thyroid function may be a potential therapeutic target in patients undergoing bariatric surgery.

  7. Using Loss Functions for DIF Detection: An Empirical Bayes Approach.

    Zwick, Rebecca; Thayer, Dorothy; Lewis, Charles

    2000-01-01

    Studied a method for flagging differential item functioning (DIF) based on loss functions. Builds on earlier research that led to the development of an empirical Bayes enhancement to the Mantel-Haenszel DIF analysis. Tested the method through simulation and found its performance better than some commonly used DIF classification systems. (SLD)

  8. Weight loss improves biomarkers endothelial function and systemic ...

    Background: Although postmenopausal associated disorders are important public health problems worldwide, to date limited studies evaluated the endothelial function and systemic inflammation response to weight loss in obese postmenopausal women. Objective: This study was done to evaluate the endothelial function ...

  9. Stochastic Loss of an Occasionally-Essential Function

    Jerison, Elizabeth; Desai, Michael

    2013-03-01

    Many biological functions are useful only in specific circumstances. For example, hundreds of single-gene deletions in yeast increase growth rate in some laboratory conditions. During periods of disuse, these genes are vulnerable to disruption or loss via random mutation and genetic drift. Yet they are maintained in natural populations, suggesting that they must be useful at least occasionally. Here we quantify the risk of loss of such occasionally-important functions. We focus on predicting how the statistics of environmental change determine the mean time to loss of the function. Our results suggest a refinement to the Savageau 'use-it-or-lose-it' principle of regulation, and put theoretical lower bounds on how often these functions must be necessary to the organism, in order to be maintained.

  10. Global loss of bmal1 expression alters adipose tissue hormones, gene expression and glucose metabolism.

    David John Kennaway

    Full Text Available The close relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and poor metabolic status is becoming increasingly evident, but role of adipokines is poorly understood. Here we investigated adipocyte function and the metabolic status of mice with a global loss of the core clock gene Bmal1 fed either a normal or a high fat diet (22% by weight. Bmal1 null mice aged 2 months were killed across 24 hours and plasma adiponectin and leptin, and adipose tissue expression of Adipoq, Lep, Retn and Nampt mRNA measured. Glucose, insulin and pyruvate tolerance tests were conducted and the expression of liver glycolytic and gluconeogenic enzyme mRNA determined. Bmal1 null mice displayed a pattern of increased plasma adiponectin and plasma leptin concentrations on both control and high fat diets. Bmal1 null male and female mice displayed increased adiposity (1.8 fold and 2.3 fold respectively on the normal diet, but the high fat diet did not exaggerate these differences. Despite normal glucose and insulin tolerance, Bmal1 null mice had increased production of glucose from pyruvate, implying increased liver gluconeogenesis. The Bmal1 null mice had arrhythmic clock gene expression in epigonadal fat and liver, and loss of rhythmic transcription of a range of metabolic genes. Furthermore, the expression of epigonadal fat Adipoq, Retn, Nampt, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2 and liver Pfkfb3 mRNA were down-regulated. These results show for the first time that global loss of Bmal1, and the consequent arrhythmicity, results in compensatory changes in adipokines involved in the cellular control of glucose metabolism.

  11. Probabilistic analysis of the loss of the decay heat removal function for Creys-Malville reactor

    Lanore, J.M.; Villeroux-Lombard, C.; Bouscatie, F.; Pavret de la Rochefordiere, A.

    1982-01-01

    The classical fault tree/event tree methods do not take into account the dependence in time of the systems behaviour during the sequences, and that is quite unrealistic for the decay heat removal function. It was then necessary to use a new methodology based on functional states of the whole system and on transition laws between these states. Thus, the probabilistic analysis of the decay heat removal function for Creys-Malville plant is performed in a global way. The main accident sequences leading to the loss of the function are then determined a posteriori. The weak points are pointed out, in particular the importance of common mode failures

  12. GLOBALIZATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION: A WAY TO THE GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP OR LOSS OF NATIONAL IDENTITY

    T. L. Oskolova

    2014-01-01

    The paper considers the influence of globalization (both its positive and negative effects) on higher education systems worldwide including the USA and Russia. The research analyzes the potential of higher educational institutions for raising students’ capability of living and working in the global environment, which implies both raising the global competencies and preserving the traditional national and cultural values. Applying the comparative historical method, the author traces the US his...

  13. Redefining "Critical" Bone Loss in Shoulder Instability: Functional Outcomes Worsen With "Subcritical" Bone Loss.

    Shaha, James S; Cook, Jay B; Song, Daniel J; Rowles, Douglas J; Bottoni, Craig R; Shaha, Steven H; Tokish, John M

    2015-07-01

    Glenoid bone loss is a common finding in association with anterior shoulder instability. This loss has been identified as a predictor of failure after operative stabilization procedures. Historically, 20% to 25% has been accepted as the "critical" cutoff where glenoid bone loss should be addressed in a primary procedure. Few data are available, however, on lesser, "subcritical" amounts of bone loss (below the 20%-25% range) on functional outcomes and failure rates after primary arthroscopic stabilization for shoulder instability. To evaluate the effect of glenoid bone loss, especially in subcritical bone loss (below the 20%-25% range), on outcomes assessments and redislocation rates after an isolated arthroscopic Bankart repair for anterior shoulder instability. Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Subjects were 72 consecutive anterior instability patients (73 shoulders) who underwent isolated anterior arthroscopic labral repair at a single military institution by 1 of 3 sports medicine fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons. Data were collected on demographics, the Western Ontario Shoulder Instability (WOSI) score, Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (SANE) score, and failure rates. Failure was defined as recurrent dislocation. Glenoid bone loss was calculated via a standardized technique on preoperative imaging. The average bone loss across the group was calculated, and patients were divided into quartiles based on the percentage of glenoid bone loss. Outcomes were analyzed for the entire cohort, between the quartiles, and within each quartile. Outcomes were then further stratified between those sustaining a recurrence versus those who remained stable. The mean age at surgery was 26.3 years (range, 20-42 years), and the mean follow-up was 48.3 months (range, 23-58 months). The cohort was divided into quartiles based on bone loss. Quartile 1 (n = 18) had a mean bone loss of 2.8% (range, 0%-7.1%), quartile 2 (n = 19) had 10.4% (range, 7.3%-13.5%), quartile 3 (n

  14. Flood loss modelling with FLF-IT: a new flood loss function for Italian residential structures

    Hasanzadeh Nafari, Roozbeh; Amadio, Mattia; Ngo, Tuan; Mysiak, Jaroslav

    2017-07-01

    The damage triggered by different flood events costs the Italian economy millions of euros each year. This cost is likely to increase in the future due to climate variability and economic development. In order to avoid or reduce such significant financial losses, risk management requires tools which can provide a reliable estimate of potential flood impacts across the country. Flood loss functions are an internationally accepted method for estimating physical flood damage in urban areas. In this study, we derived a new flood loss function for Italian residential structures (FLF-IT), on the basis of empirical damage data collected from a recent flood event in the region of Emilia-Romagna. The function was developed based on a new Australian approach (FLFA), which represents the confidence limits that exist around the parameterized functional depth-damage relationship. After model calibration, the performance of the model was validated for the prediction of loss ratios and absolute damage values. It was also contrasted with an uncalibrated relative model with frequent usage in Europe. In this regard, a three-fold cross-validation procedure was carried out over the empirical sample to measure the range of uncertainty from the actual damage data. The predictive capability has also been studied for some sub-classes of water depth. The validation procedure shows that the newly derived function performs well (no bias and only 10 % mean absolute error), especially when the water depth is high. Results of these validation tests illustrate the importance of model calibration. The advantages of the FLF-IT model over other Italian models include calibration with empirical data, consideration of the epistemic uncertainty of data, and the ability to change parameters based on building practices across Italy.

  15. Flood loss modelling with FLF-IT: a new flood loss function for Italian residential structures

    R. Hasanzadeh Nafari

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The damage triggered by different flood events costs the Italian economy millions of euros each year. This cost is likely to increase in the future due to climate variability and economic development. In order to avoid or reduce such significant financial losses, risk management requires tools which can provide a reliable estimate of potential flood impacts across the country. Flood loss functions are an internationally accepted method for estimating physical flood damage in urban areas. In this study, we derived a new flood loss function for Italian residential structures (FLF-IT, on the basis of empirical damage data collected from a recent flood event in the region of Emilia-Romagna. The function was developed based on a new Australian approach (FLFA, which represents the confidence limits that exist around the parameterized functional depth–damage relationship. After model calibration, the performance of the model was validated for the prediction of loss ratios and absolute damage values. It was also contrasted with an uncalibrated relative model with frequent usage in Europe. In this regard, a three-fold cross-validation procedure was carried out over the empirical sample to measure the range of uncertainty from the actual damage data. The predictive capability has also been studied for some sub-classes of water depth. The validation procedure shows that the newly derived function performs well (no bias and only 10 % mean absolute error, especially when the water depth is high. Results of these validation tests illustrate the importance of model calibration. The advantages of the FLF-IT model over other Italian models include calibration with empirical data, consideration of the epistemic uncertainty of data, and the ability to change parameters based on building practices across Italy.

  16. Diagnosis of functional loss using with PET or SPECT

    Maeda, Tetsuya; Nagata, Ken

    2009-01-01

    Described are outlines of positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging, and their application to diagnosis of brain diseases accompanying functional loss. PET imaging by annihilation photons is useful to see the brain metabolic activity with use of compounds labeled by positron emitters like 11 C, 15 O, 13 N and 18 F. Cerebral blood flow (CBF), CB volume and oxygen extraction fraction correlate well with the cerebral activity and can be measured by PET with C 15 O 2 , H 2 15 O or 15 O 2 . 18 F-glucose is usable to measure the cerebral metabolic rate of glucose. SPECT imaging by γ-rays of 133 Xe, 123 I-iofetamine (IMP), 99m Tc-hexamethyl propylene amine oxime (HMPAO) and 99m Tc-ethyl cysteinate dimer (ECD) is useful also to measure CBF in different mechanisms from agent to agent, which often reflect the pathophysiology of the lesion in problem. These imaging techniques are applied to the diagnosis of regional functional loss in ischemic brain diseases like infarction, dementia (Alzheimer and multiple vascular) and Parkinsonism, of which characters and details of actual images are presented herein. Authors say that although the imaging diagnosis for brain functional loss has progressed, the integration of neurological finding, clinical process and simple morphological brain image as well is still important in the routine examination. (K.T.)

  17. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-12-08

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.

  18. GLOBALIZATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION: A WAY TO THE GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP OR LOSS OF NATIONAL IDENTITY

    T. L. Oskolova

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers the influence of globalization (both its positive and negative effects on higher education systems worldwide including the USA and Russia. The research analyzes the potential of higher educational institutions for raising students’ capability of living and working in the global environment, which implies both raising the global competencies and preserving the traditional national and cultural values. Applying the comparative historical method, the author traces the US history that combines the “macdonaldization” period and long records of poly-cultural social interactions and cross-cultural adaptations. As an alternative to the existing pragmatic approach, the author puts forward the multicultural educational paradigm which is a culture relevant, valuebased system of moral and civil education focused on preservation of unique national features and simultaneous development of universal human values. The research objectives include critical evaluation of the USA experience, regarding the advantages and disadvantages of commercialized education; and identification of the pragmatic approach consequences in Russia, such as unification and simplification of education, and negative impact on the cultural and national identity formation. The research findings could be used for developing the higher education strategy as well as the curriculum on globalistics, multicultural education, and cross-cultural communications.

  19. Quantitation of global and regional left ventricular function by MRI

    van der Geest, RJ; Reiber, JHC; Reiber, JHC; VanDerWall, EE

    1998-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides several imaging strategies for assessing left ventricular function. As a three-dimensional imaging technique, all measurements can be performed without relying on geometrical assumptions. Global and regional function parameters can be derived from

  20. Global earthquake casualties due to secondary effects: A quantitative analysis for improving rapid loss analyses

    Marano, K.D.; Wald, D.J.; Allen, T.I.

    2010-01-01

    This study presents a quantitative and geospatial description of global losses due to earthquake-induced secondary effects, including landslide, liquefaction, tsunami, and fire for events during the past 40 years. These processes are of great importance to the US Geological Survey's (USGS) Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) system, which is currently being developed to deliver rapid earthquake impact and loss assessments following large/significant global earthquakes. An important question is how dominant are losses due to secondary effects (and under what conditions, and in which regions)? Thus, which of these effects should receive higher priority research efforts in order to enhance PAGER's overall assessment of earthquakes losses and alerting for the likelihood of secondary impacts? We find that while 21.5% of fatal earthquakes have deaths due to secondary (non-shaking) causes, only rarely are secondary effects the main cause of fatalities. The recent 2004 Great Sumatra-Andaman Islands earthquake is a notable exception, with extraordinary losses due to tsunami. The potential for secondary hazards varies greatly, and systematically, due to regional geologic and geomorphic conditions. Based on our findings, we have built country-specific disclaimers for PAGER that address potential for each hazard (Earle et al., Proceedings of the 14th World Conference of the Earthquake Engineering, Beijing, China, 2008). We will now focus on ways to model casualties from secondary effects based on their relative importance as well as their general predictability. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  1. [Weight loss in overweight or obese patients and family functioning].

    Jaramillo-Sánchez, Rosalba; Espinosa-de Santillana, Irene; Espíndola-Jaramillo, Ilia Angélica

    2012-01-01

    to determine the association between weight loss and family functioning. a cohort of 168 persons with overweight or obesity from 20-49 years, either sex, with no comorbidity was studied at the nutrition department. A sociodemographic data was obtained and FACES III instrument to measure family functioning was applied. At the third month a new assessment of the body mass index was measured. Descriptive statistical analysis and relative risk were done. obesity presented in 50.6 %, 59.53 % of them did not lose weight. Family dysfunction was present in 56.6 % of which 50 % did not lose weight. From 43.4 % of functional families, 9.52 % did not lose weight (p = 0.001). The probability or risk of not losing weight was to belong to a dysfunctional family is 4.03 % (CI = 2.60-6.25). A significant association was found between the variables: weight loss and family functioning. Belonging to a dysfunctional family may be a risk factor for not losing weight.

  2. Threats from urban expansion, agricultural transformation and forest loss on global conservation priority areas

    Moilanen, Atte; Di Minin, Enrico

    2017-01-01

    Including threats in spatial conservation prioritization helps identify areas for conservation actions where biodiversity is at imminent risk of extinction. At the global level, an important limitation when identifying spatial priorities for conservation actions is the lack of information on the spatial distribution of threats. Here, we identify spatial conservation priorities under three prominent threats to biodiversity (residential and commercial development, agricultural expansion, and forest loss), which are primary drivers of habitat loss and threaten the persistence of the highest number of species in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and for which spatial data is available. We first explore how global priority areas for the conservation of vertebrate (mammals, birds, and amphibians) species coded in the Red List as vulnerable to each threat differ spatially. We then identify spatial conservation priorities for all species vulnerable to all threats. Finally, we identify the potentially most threatened areas by overlapping the identified priority areas for conservation with maps for each threat. We repeat the same with four other well-known global conservation priority area schemes, namely Key Biodiversity Areas, Biodiversity Hotspots, the global Protected Area Network, and Wilderness Areas. We find that residential and commercial development directly threatens only about 4% of the global top 17% priority areas for species vulnerable under this threat. However, 50% of the high priority areas for species vulnerable to forest loss overlap with areas that have already experienced some forest loss. Agricultural expansion overlapped with ~20% of high priority areas. Biodiversity Hotspots had the greatest proportion of their total area under direct threat from all threats, while expansion of low intensity agriculture was found to pose an imminent threat to Wilderness Areas under future agricultural expansion. Our results

  3. Global and regional annual brain volume loss rates in physiological aging.

    Schippling, Sven; Ostwaldt, Ann-Christin; Suppa, Per; Spies, Lothar; Manogaran, Praveena; Gocke, Carola; Huppertz, Hans-Jürgen; Opfer, Roland

    2017-03-01

    The objective is to estimate average global and regional percentage brain volume loss per year (BVL/year) of the physiologically ageing brain. Two independent, cross-sectional single scanner cohorts of healthy subjects were included. The first cohort (n = 248) was acquired at the Medical Prevention Center (MPCH) in Hamburg, Germany. The second cohort (n = 316) was taken from the Open Access Series of Imaging Studies (OASIS). Brain parenchyma (BP), grey matter (GM), white matter (WM), corpus callosum (CC), and thalamus volumes were calculated. A non-parametric technique was applied to fit the resulting age-volume data. For each age, the BVL/year was derived from the age-volume curves. The resulting BVL/year curves were compared between the two cohorts. For the MPCH cohort, the BVL/year curve of the BP was an increasing function starting from 0.20% at the age of 35 years increasing to 0.52% at 70 years (corresponding values for GM ranged from 0.32 to 0.55%, WM from 0.02 to 0.47%, CC from 0.07 to 0.48%, and thalamus from 0.25 to 0.54%). Mean absolute difference between BVL/year trajectories across the age range of 35-70 years was 0.02% for BP, 0.04% for GM, 0.04% for WM, 0.11% for CC, and 0.02% for the thalamus. Physiological BVL/year rates were remarkably consistent between the two cohorts and independent from the scanner applied. Average BVL/year was clearly age and compartment dependent. These results need to be taken into account when defining cut-off values for pathological annual brain volume loss in disease models, such as multiple sclerosis.

  4. Global loss of acetylcholinesterase activity with mitochondrial complexes inhibition and inflammation in brain of hypercholesterolemic mice.

    Paul, Rajib; Borah, Anupom

    2017-12-20

    There exists an intricate relationship between hypercholesterolemia (elevated plasma cholesterol) and brain functions. The present study aims to understand the impact of hypercholesterolemia on pathological consequences in mouse brain. A chronic mouse model of hypercholesterolemia was induced by giving high-cholesterol diet for 12 weeks. The hypercholesterolemic mice developed cognitive impairment as evident from object recognition memory test. Cholesterol accumulation was observed in four discrete brain regions, such as cortex, striatum, hippocampus and substantia nigra along with significantly damaged blood-brain barrier by hypercholesterolemia. The crucial finding is the loss of acetylcholinesterase activity with mitochondrial dysfunction globally in the brain of hypercholesterolemic mice, which is related to the levels of cholesterol. Moreover, the levels of hydroxyl radical were elevated in the regions of brain where the activity of mitochondrial complexes was found to be reduced. Intriguingly, elevations of inflammatory stress markers in the cholesterol-rich brain regions were observed. As cognitive impairment, diminished brain acetylcholinesterase activity, mitochondrial dysfunctions, and inflammation are the prima facie pathologies of neurodegenerative diseases, the findings impose hypercholesterolemia as potential risk factor towards brain dysfunction.

  5. Executive function in weight loss and weight loss maintenance: a conceptual review and novel neuropsychological model of weight control.

    Gettens, Katelyn M; Gorin, Amy A

    2017-10-01

    Weight loss maintenance is a complex, multifaceted process that presents a significant challenge for most individuals who lose weight. A growing body of literature indicates a strong relationship between cognitive dysfunction and excessive body weight, and suggests that a subset of high-order cognitive processes known as executive functions (EF) likely play an important role in weight management. Recent reviews cover neuropsychological correlates of weight status yet fail to address the role of executive function in the central dilemma of successful weight loss maintenance. In this paper, we provide an overview of the existing literature examining executive functions as they relate to weight status and initial weight loss. Further, we propose a novel conceptual model of the relationships between EF, initial weight loss, and weight loss maintenance, mapping specific executive functions onto strategies known to be associated with both phases of the weight control process. Implications for the development of more efficacious weight loss maintenance interventions are discussed.

  6. Filaggrin loss-of-function mutations and incident cancer

    Skaaby, T; Husemoen, L L N; Thyssen, J P

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Loss-of-function mutations in the filaggrin gene (FLG) could have opposing effects on cancer risk, as mutations are associated with both 10% higher serum vitamin D levels, which may protect against cancer, and with impaired skin barrier function, which may lead to higher cancer...... (HR 1·09, 95% CI 0·61-1·94), urinary cancer (HR 1·30, 95% CI 0·51-3·29), malignant melanoma (HR 1·03, 95% CI 0·41-2·58) and NMSC (HR 0·70, 95% CI 0·47-1·05). Among participants aged over 60 years at baseline, we found statistically significant lower risks of all cancers and NMSC among FLG mutation...

  7. Adult onset global loss of the fto gene alters body composition and metabolism in the mouse.

    Fiona McMurray

    Full Text Available The strongest BMI-associated GWAS locus in humans is the FTO gene. Rodent studies demonstrate a role for FTO in energy homeostasis and body composition. The phenotypes observed in loss of expression studies are complex with perinatal lethality, stunted growth from weaning, and significant alterations in body composition. Thus understanding how and where Fto regulates food intake, energy expenditure, and body composition is a challenge. To address this we generated a series of mice with distinct temporal and spatial loss of Fto expression. Global germline loss of Fto resulted in high perinatal lethality and a reduction in body length, fat mass, and lean mass. When ratio corrected for lean mass, mice had a significant increase in energy expenditure, but more appropriate multiple linear regression normalisation showed no difference in energy expenditure. Global deletion of Fto after the in utero and perinatal period, at 6 weeks of age, removed the high lethality of germline loss. However, there was a reduction in weight by 9 weeks, primarily as loss of lean mass. Over the subsequent 10 weeks, weight converged, driven by an increase in fat mass. There was a switch to a lower RER with no overall change in food intake or energy expenditure. To test if the phenotype can be explained by loss of Fto in the mediobasal hypothalamus, we sterotactically injected adeno-associated viral vectors encoding Cre recombinase to cause regional deletion. We observed a small reduction in food intake and weight gain with no effect on energy expenditure or body composition. Thus, although hypothalamic Fto can impact feeding, the effect of loss of Fto on body composition is brought about by its actions at sites elsewhere. Our data suggest that Fto may have a critical role in the control of lean mass, independent of its effect on food intake.

  8. Plant-pollinator interactions over 120 years: loss of species, co-occurrence, and function.

    Burkle, Laura A; Marlin, John C; Knight, Tiffany M

    2013-03-29

    Using historic data sets, we quantified the degree to which global change over 120 years disrupted plant-pollinator interactions in a temperate forest understory community in Illinois, USA. We found degradation of interaction network structure and function and extirpation of 50% of bee species. Network changes can be attributed to shifts in forb and bee phenologies resulting in temporal mismatches, nonrandom species extinctions, and loss of spatial co-occurrences between extant species in modified landscapes. Quantity and quality of pollination services have declined through time. The historic network showed flexibility in response to disturbance; however, our data suggest that networks will be less resilient to future changes.

  9. Functional over-redundancy and high functional vulnerability in global fish faunas on tropical reefs.

    Mouillot, David; Villéger, Sébastien; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Arias-González, Jesus Ernesto; Bender, Mariana; Chabanet, Pascale; Floeter, Sergio R; Friedlander, Alan; Vigliola, Laurent; Bellwood, David R

    2014-09-23

    When tropical systems lose species, they are often assumed to be buffered against declines in functional diversity by the ability of the species-rich biota to display high functional redundancy: i.e., a high number of species performing similar functions. We tested this hypothesis using a ninefold richness gradient in global fish faunas on tropical reefs encompassing 6,316 species distributed among 646 functional entities (FEs): i.e., unique combinations of functional traits. We found that the highest functional redundancy is located in the Central Indo-Pacific with a mean of 7.9 species per FE. However, this overall level of redundancy is disproportionately packed into few FEs, a pattern termed functional over-redundancy (FOR). For instance, the most speciose FE in the Central Indo-Pacific contains 222 species (out of 3,689) whereas 38% of FEs (180 out of 468) have no functional insurance with only one species. Surprisingly, the level of FOR is consistent across the six fish faunas, meaning that, whatever the richness, over a third of the species may still be in overrepresented FEs whereas more than one third of the FEs are left without insurance, these levels all being significantly higher than expected by chance. Thus, our study shows that, even in high-diversity systems, such as tropical reefs, functional diversity remains highly vulnerable to species loss. Although further investigations are needed to specifically address the influence of redundant vs. vulnerable FEs on ecosystem functioning, our results suggest that the promised benefits from tropical biodiversity may not be as strong as previously thought.

  10. Accountability for Early Childhood Education (Assessing Global Functioning).

    Cassel, Russell N.

    1995-01-01

    Discusses the pacing of learning activity, knowledge of progress in student learning, teacher role, accountability in learning, feedback on knowledge of success, the global functioning assessment concept, and the mother surrogate. (RS)

  11. Functional diversity of fish in estuaries at a global extent

    Rita P Vasconcelos; Sébastien Villéger; François Guilhaumon

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity is currently viewed as a framework encompassing multiple facets of the variety of life, including taxonomic and functional aspects. Species richness and composition of fish assemblages in estuaries is defined by global to local processes acting on community colonization. The present study further investigates how biodiversity of fish assemblages varies among estuaries globally, by simultaneously analysing taxonomic and functional richness and diversity of assemblages. A comprehen...

  12. A global building inventory for earthquake loss estimation and risk management

    Jaiswal, K.; Wald, D.; Porter, K.

    2010-01-01

    We develop a global database of building inventories using taxonomy of global building types for use in near-real-time post-earthquake loss estimation and pre-earthquake risk analysis, for the U.S. Geological Survey's Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) program. The database is available for public use, subject to peer review, scrutiny, and open enhancement. On a country-by-country level, it contains estimates of the distribution of building types categorized by material, lateral force resisting system, and occupancy type (residential or nonresidential, urban or rural). The database draws on and harmonizes numerous sources: (1) UN statistics, (2) UN Habitat's demographic and health survey (DHS) database, (3) national housing censuses, (4) the World Housing Encyclopedia and (5) other literature. ?? 2010, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

  13. Loss of CDKL5 disrupts respiratory function in mice.

    Lee, Kun-Ze; Liao, Wenlin

    2018-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) is an X-linked gene encoding a serine-threonine kinase that is highly expressed in the central nervous system. Mutations in CDKL5 cause neurological and psychiatric symptoms, including early-onset seizures, motor dysfunction, autistic features and sleep breathing abnormalities in patients. It remains to be addressed whether loss of CDKL5 causes respiratory dysfunction in mice. Here, we examined the respiratory pattern of male Cdkl5 -/y mice at 1-3 months of age during resting breathing and respiratory challenge (i.e., hypoxia and hypercapnia) via whole body plethysmography. The results demonstrated that the resting respiratory frequency and tidal volume of Cdkl5 -/y mice was unaltered compared to that of WT mice at 1 month of age. However, these mutant mice exhibit transient reduction in tidal volume during respiratory challenge even the reduction was restored at 2 months of age. Notably, the sigh-breathing pattern was changed in Cdkl5 -/y mice, showing a transient reduction in sigh volume at 1-2 month of age and long-term attenuation of peak expiratory airflow from 1 to 3 month of age. Therefore, loss of CDKL5 causes breathing deficiency, supporting a CDKL5-mediated regulation of respiratory function in mice. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Otolithic organ function in patients with profound sensorineural hearing loss

    Yujuan Zhou

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Profound sensorineural hearing loss (PSHL is not uncommonly encountered in otology. In clinics, there is a high incidence of otolithic damage in patients with PSHL, but relevant reports are few. Sharing a continuous membranous structure and similar receptor cell ultrastructures, the cochlea and vestibule may be susceptible to the same harmful factors. Disorders of the inner ear may result in a variety of manifestations, including vertigo, spatial disorientation, blurred vision, impaired articulation, and hearing impairment. Considering the diversity of clinical symptoms associated with PSHL with otolithic dysfunction, it may be frequently misdiagnosed, and objective means of testing the function of otolithic organs should be recommended for hearing-impaired patients. Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs via air-conducted sound are of great importance for the diagnosis of otolithic function. Hearing devices such as cochlear implants are commonly accepted treatments for PSHL, and early identification and treatment of vestibular disorders may increase the success rate of cochlear implantation. Therefore, it is necessary to increase awareness of otolithic functional states in patients with PSHL.

  15. Multi-Decadal Global Cooling and Unprecedented Ozone Loss Following a Regional Nuclear Conflict

    Mills, M. J.; Toon, O. B.; Lee-Taylor, J. M.; Robock, A.

    2014-12-01

    We present the first study of the global impacts of a regional nuclear war with an Earth system model including atmospheric chemistry, ocean dynamics, and interactive sea-ice and land models (Mills et al., 2014). A limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which each side detonates 50 15-kt weapons could produce about 5 Tg of black carbon. This would self-loft to the stratosphere, where it would spread globally, producing a sudden drop in surface temperatures and intense heating of the stratosphere. Using the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (CESM1(WACCM)), we calculate an e-folding time of 8.7 years for stratospheric black carbon, compared to 4-6.5 years for previous studies (figure panel a). Our calculations show that global ozone losses of 20-50% over populated areas, levels unprecedented in human history, would accompany the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years (figure panel c). We calculate summer enhancements in UV indices of 30-80% over Mid-Latitudes, suggesting widespread damage to human health, agriculture, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Killing frosts would reduce growing seasons by 10-40 days per year for 5 years. Surface temperatures would be reduced for more than 25 years, due to thermal inertia and albedo effects in the ocean and expanded sea ice. The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine. Knowledge of the impacts of 100 small nuclear weapons should motivate the elimination of the more than 17,000 nuclear weapons that exist today. Mills, M. J., O. B. Toon, J. Lee-Taylor, and A. Robock (2014), Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict, Earth's Future, 2(4), 161-176, doi:10.1002/2013EF000205.

  16. ESTIMATION OF PARAMETERS AND RELIABILITY FUNCTION OF EXPONENTIATED EXPONENTIAL DISTRIBUTION: BAYESIAN APPROACH UNDER GENERAL ENTROPY LOSS FUNCTION

    Sanjay Kumar Singh

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available In this Paper we propose Bayes estimators of the parameters of Exponentiated Exponential distribution and Reliability functions under General Entropy loss function for Type II censored sample. The proposed estimators have been compared with the corresponding Bayes estimators obtained under Squared Error loss function and maximum likelihood estimators for their simulated risks (average loss over sample space.

  17. Dynamic change of global and local information processing in propofol-induced loss and recovery of consciousness.

    Martin M Monti

    Full Text Available Whether unique to humans or not, consciousness is a central aspect of our experience of the world. The neural fingerprint of this experience, however, remains one of the least understood aspects of the human brain. In this paper we employ graph-theoretic measures and support vector machine classification to assess, in 12 healthy volunteers, the dynamic reconfiguration of functional connectivity during wakefulness, propofol-induced sedation and loss of consciousness, and the recovery of wakefulness. Our main findings, based on resting-state fMRI, are three-fold. First, we find that propofol-induced anesthesia does not bear differently on long-range versus short-range connections. Second, our multi-stage design dissociated an initial phase of thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical hyperconnectivity, present during sedation, from a phase of cortico-cortical hypoconnectivity, apparent during loss of consciousness. Finally, we show that while clustering is increased during loss of consciousness, as recently suggested, it also remains significantly elevated during wakefulness recovery. Conversely, the characteristic path length of brain networks (i.e., the average functional distance between any two regions of the brain appears significantly increased only during loss of consciousness, marking a decrease of global information-processing efficiency uniquely associated with unconsciousness. These findings suggest that propofol-induced loss of consciousness is mainly tied to cortico-cortical and not thalamo-cortical mechanisms, and that decreased efficiency of information flow is the main feature differentiating the conscious from the unconscious brain.

  18. The relationship between nonverbal cognitive functions and hearing loss

    Zekveld, A.A.; Deijen, J.B.; Goverts, S.T.; Kramer, S.E.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between hearing loss and memory and attention when nonverbal, visually presented cognitive tests are used. Method: Hearing loss (pure-tone audiometry) and IQ were measured in 30 participants with mild to severe hearing loss. Participants performed

  19. TDP-43 loss of function increases TFEB activity and blocks autophagosome-lysosome fusion.

    Xia, Qin; Wang, Hongfeng; Hao, Zongbing; Fu, Cheng; Hu, Qingsong; Gao, Feng; Ren, Haigang; Chen, Dong; Han, Junhai; Ying, Zheng; Wang, Guanghui

    2016-01-18

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by selective loss of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord. TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) was identified as a major component of disease pathogenesis in ALS, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and other neurodegenerative disease. Despite the fact that TDP-43 is a multi-functional protein involved in RNA processing and a large number of TDP-43 RNA targets have been discovered, the initial toxic effect and the pathogenic mechanism underlying TDP-43-linked neurodegeneration remain elusive. In this study, we found that loss of TDP-43 strongly induced a nuclear translocation of TFEB, the master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy, through targeting the mTORC1 key component raptor. This regulation in turn enhanced global gene expressions in the autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP) and increased autophagosomal and lysosomal biogenesis. However, loss of TDP-43 also impaired the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes through dynactin 1 downregulation, leading to accumulation of immature autophagic vesicles and overwhelmed ALP function. Importantly, inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin treatment aggravated the neurodegenerative phenotype in a TDP-43-depleted Drosophila model, whereas activation of mTORC1 signaling by PA treatment ameliorated the neurodegenerative phenotype. Taken together, our data indicate that impaired mTORC1 signaling and influenced ALP may contribute to TDP-43-mediated neurodegeneration. © 2015 The Authors.

  20. about imagery and function of a promised global catastrophe

    Rainer, Bettina

    2010-01-01

    The present discourse on overpopulation is functional for the defence and stabilization of the economical and political position of power of the West. It applies accordingly to the realistic social conditions / relations, which means for today the reality of a global / globalized world economy. Over and above that the discourse on overpopulation can, however, be understood as an expression of the specifically modern endeavour to acquire control over life and death and if possible to produce i...

  1. Local and Global Function Model of the Liver

    Wang, Hesheng, E-mail: hesheng@umich.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Feng, Mary [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Jackson, Andrew [Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York (United States); Ten Haken, Randall K.; Lawrence, Theodore S. [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Cao, Yue [Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Department of Radiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States); Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: To develop a local and global function model in the liver based on regional and organ function measurements to support individualized adaptive radiation therapy (RT). Methods and Materials: A local and global model for liver function was developed to include both functional volume and the effect of functional variation of subunits. Adopting the assumption of parallel architecture in the liver, the global function was composed of a sum of local function probabilities of subunits, varying between 0 and 1. The model was fit to 59 datasets of liver regional and organ function measures from 23 patients obtained before, during, and 1 month after RT. The local function probabilities of subunits were modeled by a sigmoid function in relating to MRI-derived portal venous perfusion values. The global function was fitted to a logarithm of an indocyanine green retention rate at 15 minutes (an overall liver function measure). Cross-validation was performed by leave-m-out tests. The model was further evaluated by fitting to the data divided according to whether the patients had hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or not. Results: The liver function model showed that (1) a perfusion value of 68.6 mL/(100 g · min) yielded a local function probability of 0.5; (2) the probability reached 0.9 at a perfusion value of 98 mL/(100 g · min); and (3) at a probability of 0.03 [corresponding perfusion of 38 mL/(100 g · min)] or lower, the contribution to global function was lost. Cross-validations showed that the model parameters were stable. The model fitted to the data from the patients with HCC indicated that the same amount of portal venous perfusion was translated into less local function probability than in the patients with non-HCC tumors. Conclusions: The developed liver function model could provide a means to better assess individual and regional dose-responses of hepatic functions, and provide guidance for individualized treatment planning of RT.

  2. Antarctic Mass Loss from GRACE from Space- and Time-Resolved Modeling with Slepian Functions

    Simons, F. J.; Harig, C.

    2013-12-01

    The melting of polar ice sheets is a major contributor to global sea-level rise. Antarctica is of particular interest since most of the mass loss has occurred in West Antarctica, however updated glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) models and recent mass gains in East Antarctica have reduced the continent-wide integrated decadal trend of mass loss. Here we present a spatially and temporally resolved estimation of the Antarctic ice mass change using Slepian localization functions. With a Slepian basis specifically for Antarctica, the basis functions maximize their energy on the continent and we can project the geopotential fields into a sparse set of orthogonal coefficients. By fitting polynomial functions to the limited basis coefficients we maximize signal-to-noise levels and need not perform smoothing or destriping filters common to other approaches. In addition we determine an empirical noise covariance matrix from the GRACE data to estimate the uncertainty of mass estimation. When applied to large ice sheets, as in our own recent Greenland work, this technique is able to resolve both the overall continental integrated mass trend, as well as the spatial distribution of the mass changes over time. Using CSR-RL05 GRACE data between Jan. 2003 and Jan 2013, we estimate the regional accelerations in mass change for several sub-regions and examine how the spatial pattern of mass has changed. The Amundsen Sea coast of West Antarctica has experienced a large acceleration in mass loss (-26 Gt/yr^2). While mass loss is concentrated near Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, it has also increased along the coast further towards the Ross ice shelf.

  3. Functional diversity of fish in estuaries at a global extent

    Rita P Vasconcelos

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is currently viewed as a framework encompassing multiple facets of the variety of life, including taxonomic and functional aspects. Species richness and composition of fish assemblages in estuaries is defined by global to local processes acting on community colonization. The present study further investigates how biodiversity of fish assemblages varies among estuaries globally, by simultaneously analysing taxonomic and functional richness and diversity of assemblages. A comprehensive worldwide database was compiled on the fish assemblage composition and environmental characteristics of estuaries. In addition, functional attributes of the fish species were characterized such as body size, habitat use and trophic ecology. We investigated the relationship between taxonomic and functional aspects of biodiversity, i.e. the match or mismatch between the two. We also explored how functional diversity of fish assemblages varied among estuaries globally and related to environmental features of estuaries, i.e. historic and contemporary, global and local constraints. The results are explored in the context of ecosystem functioning and resilience, and outcomes relevant to assist in prioritizing conservation efforts are highlighted.

  4. Effects of Plant Functional Group Loss on Soil Microbial Community and Litter Decomposition in a Steppe Vegetation.

    Xiao, Chunwang; Zhou, Yong; Su, Jiaqi; Yang, Fan

    2017-01-01

    Globally, many terrestrial ecosystems are experiencing a rapid loss of biodiversity. Continued improvements in our understanding of interrelationships between plant diversity and soil microbes are critical to address the concern over the consequences of the decline in biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and services. By removing forbs, or grasses, or, to an extreme scenario, both forbs and grasses in a steppe vegetation in Inner Mongolia, we studied how plant functional group (PFG) loss affects soil microbial community composition using phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) and litter decomposition using a litter-bag method. PFG loss significantly decreased above- and below-ground plant biomass, soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and nitrogen (SMBN), but had no effect on the ratio of SMBC to SMBN. Although the ratio of fungal to bacterial PLFAs remained unaffected, PFG loss significantly reduced the amount of bacterial, fungal, and total PLFAs. PFG loss decreased litter monthly mass loss and decay constant, and such decrease was significant when both forbs and grasses were removed. Our results provide robust evidence that PFG loss in grassland ecosystem can lead to a rapid response of soil microbial activity which may affect litter decomposition and soil nutrient cycling, suggesting that the assessment of plant-microbe interactions in soils is an integral component of ecosystem response to biodiversity loss.

  5. Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict

    Mills, Michael J.; Toon, Owen B.; Lee-Taylor, Julia; Robock, Alan

    2014-04-01

    We present the first study of the global impacts of a regional nuclear war with an Earth system model including atmospheric chemistry, ocean dynamics, and interactive sea ice and land components. A limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which each side detonates 50 15 kt weapons could produce about 5 Tg of black carbon (BC). This would self-loft to the stratosphere, where it would spread globally, producing a sudden drop in surface temperatures and intense heating of the stratosphere. Using the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, we calculate an e-folding time of 8.7 years for stratospheric BC compared to 4-6.5 years for previous studies. Our calculations show that global ozone losses of 20%-50% over populated areas, levels unprecedented in human history, would accompany the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years. We calculate summer enhancements in UV indices of 30%-80% over midlatitudes, suggesting widespread damage to human health, agriculture, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Killing frosts would reduce growing seasons by 10-40 days per year for 5 years. Surface temperatures would be reduced for more than 25 years due to thermal inertia and albedo effects in the ocean and expanded sea ice. The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine. Knowledge of the impacts of 100 small nuclear weapons should motivate the elimination of more than 17,000 nuclear weapons that exist today.

  6. Stratospheric cooling and polar ozone loss due to H2 emissions of a global hydrogen economy

    Feck, T.; Grooß, J.-U.; Riese, M.; Vogel, B.

    2009-04-01

    "Green" hydrogen is seen as a major element of the future energy supply to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially. However, due to the possible interactions of hydrogen (H2) with other atmospheric constituents there is a need to analyse the implications of additional atmospheric H2 that could result from hydrogen leakage of a global hydrogen infrastructure. Emissions of molecular H2 can occur along the whole hydrogen process chain which increase the tropospheric H2 burden. Across the tropical tropopause H2 reaches the stratosphere where it is oxidised and forms water vapour (H2O). This causes increased IR-emissions into space and hence a cooling of the stratosphere. Both effects, the increase of stratospheric H2O and the cooling, enhances the potential of chlorine activation on liquid sulfate aerosol and polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), which increase polar ozone destruction. Hence a global hydrogen economy could provoke polar ozone loss and could lead to a substantial delay of the current projected recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer. Our investigations show that even if 90% of the current global fossil primary energy input could be replaced by hydrogen and approximately 9.5% of the product gas would leak to the atmosphere, the ozone loss would be increased between 15 to 26 Dobson Units (DU) if the stratospheric CFC loading would retain unchanged. A consistency check of the used approximation methods with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS) shows that this additional ozone loss can probably be treated as an upper limit. Towards more realistic future H2 leakage rate assumptions (< 3%) the additional ozone loss would be rather small (? 10 DU). However, in all cases the full damage would only occur if stratospheric CFC-levels would retain unchanged. Due to the CFC-prohibition as a result of the Montreal Protocol the forecasts suggest a decline of the stratospheric CFC loading about 50% until 2050. In this case our calculations

  7. Inverse modelling estimates of N2O surface emissions and stratospheric losses using a global dataset

    Thompson, R. L.; Bousquet, P.; Chevallier, F.; Dlugokencky, E. J.; Vermeulen, A. T.; Aalto, T.; Haszpra, L.; Meinhardt, F.; O'Doherty, S.; Moncrieff, J. B.; Popa, M.; Steinbacher, M.; Jordan, A.; Schuck, T. J.; Brenninkmeijer, C. A.; Wofsy, S. C.; Kort, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) levels have been steadily increasing in the atmosphere over the past few decades at a rate of approximately 0.3% per year. This trend is of major concern as N2O is both a long-lived Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and an Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS), as it is a precursor of NO and NO2, which catalytically destroy ozone in the stratosphere. Recently, N2O emissions have been recognised as the most important ODS emissions and are now of greater importance than emissions of CFC's. The growth in atmospheric N2O is predominantly due to the enhancement of surface emissions by human activities. Most notably, the intensification and proliferation of agriculture since the mid-19th century, which has been accompanied by the increased input of reactive nitrogen to soils and has resulted in significant perturbations to the natural N-cycle and emissions of N2O. There exist two approaches for estimating N2O emissions, the so-called 'bottom-up' and 'top-down' approaches. Top-down approaches, based on the inversion of atmospheric measurements, require an estimate of the loss of N2O via photolysis and oxidation in the stratosphere. Uncertainties in the loss magnitude contribute uncertainties of 15 to 20% to the global annual surface emissions, complicating direct comparisons between bottom-up and top-down estimates. In this study, we present a novel inversion framework for the simultaneous optimization of N2O surface emissions and the magnitude of the loss, which avoids errors in the emissions due to incorrect assumptions about the lifetime of N2O. We use a Bayesian inversion with a variational formulation (based on 4D-Var) in order to handle very large datasets. N2O fluxes are retrieved at 4-weekly resolution over a global domain with a spatial resolution of 3.75° x 2.5° longitude by latitude. The efficacy of the simultaneous optimization of emissions and losses is tested using a global synthetic dataset, which mimics the available atmospheric data. Lastly, using real

  8. Global spacetime symmetries in the functional Schroedinger picture

    Halliwell, J.J.

    1991-01-01

    In the conventional functional Schroedinger quantization of field theory, the background spacetime manifold is foliated into a set of three-surfaces and the quantum state of the field is represented by a wave functional of the field configurations on each three-surface. Although this procedure may be covariantly described, the wave functionals generally fail to carry a representation of the complete spacetime symmetry group of the background, such as the Poincare group in Minkowski spacetime, because spacetime symmetries generally involve distortions or motions of the three-surfaces themselves within that spacetime. In this paper, we show that global spacetime symmetries in the functional Schroedinger picture may be represented by parametrizing the field theory---raising to the status of dynamical variables the embedding variables describing the spacetime location of each three-surface. In particular, we show that the embedding variables provide a connection between the purely geometrical operation of an isometry group on the spacetime and the operation of the usual global symmetry generators (constructed from the energy-momentum tensor) on the wave functionals of the theory. We study the path-integral representation of the wave functionals of the parametrized field theory. We show how to construct, from the path integral, wave functionals that are annihilated by the global symmetry generators, i.e., that are invariant under global spacetime symmetry groups. The invariance of the class of histories summed over in the path integral is identified as the source of the invariance of the wave functionals. We apply this understanding to a study of vacuum states in the de Sitter spacetime. We make mathematically precise a previously given heuristic argument for the de Sitter invariance of the matter wave functionals defined by the no-boundary proposal of Hartle and Hawking

  9. The loss of species: mangrove extinction risk and geographic areas of global concern.

    Beth A Polidoro

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove species are uniquely adapted to tropical and subtropical coasts, and although relatively low in number of species, mangrove forests provide at least US $1.6 billion each year in ecosystem services and support coastal livelihoods worldwide. Globally, mangrove areas are declining rapidly as they are cleared for coastal development and aquaculture and logged for timber and fuel production. Little is known about the effects of mangrove area loss on individual mangrove species and local or regional populations. To address this gap, species-specific information on global distribution, population status, life history traits, and major threats were compiled for each of the 70 known species of mangroves. Each species' probability of extinction was assessed under the Categories and Criteria of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Eleven of the 70 mangrove species (16% are at elevated threat of extinction. Particular areas of geographical concern include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America, where as many as 40% of mangroves species present are threatened with extinction. Across the globe, mangrove species found primarily in the high intertidal and upstream estuarine zones, which often have specific freshwater requirements and patchy distributions, are the most threatened because they are often the first cleared for development of aquaculture and agriculture. The loss of mangrove species will have devastating economic and environmental consequences for coastal communities, especially in those areas with low mangrove diversity and high mangrove area or species loss. Several species at high risk of extinction may disappear well before the next decade if existing protective measures are not enforced.

  10. The loss of species: mangrove extinction risk and geographic areas of global concern.

    Polidoro, Beth A; Carpenter, Kent E; Collins, Lorna; Duke, Norman C; Ellison, Aaron M; Ellison, Joanna C; Farnsworth, Elizabeth J; Fernando, Edwino S; Kathiresan, Kandasamy; Koedam, Nico E; Livingstone, Suzanne R; Miyagi, Toyohiko; Moore, Gregg E; Ngoc Nam, Vien; Ong, Jin Eong; Primavera, Jurgenne H; Salmo, Severino G; Sanciangco, Jonnell C; Sukardjo, Sukristijono; Wang, Yamin; Yong, Jean Wan Hong

    2010-04-08

    Mangrove species are uniquely adapted to tropical and subtropical coasts, and although relatively low in number of species, mangrove forests provide at least US $1.6 billion each year in ecosystem services and support coastal livelihoods worldwide. Globally, mangrove areas are declining rapidly as they are cleared for coastal development and aquaculture and logged for timber and fuel production. Little is known about the effects of mangrove area loss on individual mangrove species and local or regional populations. To address this gap, species-specific information on global distribution, population status, life history traits, and major threats were compiled for each of the 70 known species of mangroves. Each species' probability of extinction was assessed under the Categories and Criteria of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Eleven of the 70 mangrove species (16%) are at elevated threat of extinction. Particular areas of geographical concern include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America, where as many as 40% of mangroves species present are threatened with extinction. Across the globe, mangrove species found primarily in the high intertidal and upstream estuarine zones, which often have specific freshwater requirements and patchy distributions, are the most threatened because they are often the first cleared for development of aquaculture and agriculture. The loss of mangrove species will have devastating economic and environmental consequences for coastal communities, especially in those areas with low mangrove diversity and high mangrove area or species loss. Several species at high risk of extinction may disappear well before the next decade if existing protective measures are not enforced.

  11. Radiation losses and global energy balance for Ohmically heated discharges in ASDEX

    Mueller, E.R.; Behringer, K.; Niedermeyer, H.

    1982-01-01

    Global energy balance, radiation profiles and dominant impurity radiation sources are compared for Ohmically heated limiter and divertor discharges in the ASDEX tokamak. In discharges with a poloidal stainless-steel limiter, total radiation from the plasma is the dominant energy loss channel. The axisymmetric divertor reduces this volume-integrated radiation to 30-35% of the heating power and additional Ti-gettering halves it again to 10-15%. Local radiation losses in the plasma centre, which are mainly due to the presence of iron impurity ions, are reduced by about one order of magnitude. In high-current (Isub(p) = 400 kA) and high-density (nsub(e)-bar = 6 x 10 13 cm -3 ) ungettered divertor discharges, up to 55% of the heating power is dumped into a cold-gas target inside the divertor chambers. The bolometrically detected volume power losses in the chambers can mainly be attributed to neutral hydrogen atoms with kinetic energies of a few eV. In this parameter range, the divertor plasma is dominated by inelastic molecular and atomic processes, the main process being Franck-Condon dissociation of H 2 molecules. (author)

  12. About the complete loss of functions assumed by redundant systems

    Boaretto, Y.; Cayol, A.; Fourest, M.; Guimbail, H.

    1980-04-01

    Are to be taken into account situations resulting from loss of redundant safety systems. Two ways of approach were to be probed: evaluation of the failure probability and analysis of the consequences of those situations. The first way leads to improve reliability of concerned systems, the second way to set up mitigating means. Before TMI-2 occured, safety advices had already been issued about three kinds of situations: anticipated transients without scram, loss of ultimate heat sink, simultaneous loss of out-and inside power supplies. That, in some cases, something had to be done to improve safety showed the rightness of the concern. Next step is the study of the loss of both normal and emergency feedwater: The regulatory request has been issued on September 1979

  13. Mixed kernel function support vector regression for global sensitivity analysis

    Cheng, Kai; Lu, Zhenzhou; Wei, Yuhao; Shi, Yan; Zhou, Yicheng

    2017-11-01

    Global sensitivity analysis (GSA) plays an important role in exploring the respective effects of input variables on an assigned output response. Amongst the wide sensitivity analyses in literature, the Sobol indices have attracted much attention since they can provide accurate information for most models. In this paper, a mixed kernel function (MKF) based support vector regression (SVR) model is employed to evaluate the Sobol indices at low computational cost. By the proposed derivation, the estimation of the Sobol indices can be obtained by post-processing the coefficients of the SVR meta-model. The MKF is constituted by the orthogonal polynomials kernel function and Gaussian radial basis kernel function, thus the MKF possesses both the global characteristic advantage of the polynomials kernel function and the local characteristic advantage of the Gaussian radial basis kernel function. The proposed approach is suitable for high-dimensional and non-linear problems. Performance of the proposed approach is validated by various analytical functions and compared with the popular polynomial chaos expansion (PCE). Results demonstrate that the proposed approach is an efficient method for global sensitivity analysis.

  14. Creating a Global Building Inventory for Earthquake Loss Assessment and Risk Management

    Jaiswal, Kishor; Wald, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Earthquakes have claimed approximately 8 million lives over the last 2,000 years (Dunbar, Lockridge and others, 1992) and fatality rates are likely to continue to rise with increased population and urbanizations of global settlements especially in developing countries. More than 75% of earthquake-related human casualties are caused by the collapse of buildings or structures (Coburn and Spence, 2002). It is disheartening to note that large fractions of the world's population still reside in informal, poorly-constructed & non-engineered dwellings which have high susceptibility to collapse during earthquakes. Moreover, with increasing urbanization half of world's population now lives in urban areas (United Nations, 2001), and half of these urban centers are located in earthquake-prone regions (Bilham, 2004). The poor performance of most building stocks during earthquakes remains a primary societal concern. However, despite this dark history and bleaker future trends, there are no comprehensive global building inventories of sufficient quality and coverage to adequately address and characterize future earthquake losses. Such an inventory is vital both for earthquake loss mitigation and for earthquake disaster response purposes. While the latter purpose is the motivation of this work, we hope that the global building inventory database described herein will find widespread use for other mitigation efforts as well. For a real-time earthquake impact alert system, such as U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER), (Wald, Earle and others, 2006), we seek to rapidly evaluate potential casualties associated with earthquake ground shaking for any region of the world. The casualty estimation is based primarily on (1) rapid estimation of the ground shaking hazard, (2) aggregating the population exposure within different building types, and (3) estimating the casualties from the collapse of vulnerable buildings. Thus, the

  15. The Functional Classification of Brain Damage-Related Vision Loss

    Colenbrander, August

    2009-01-01

    This article provides a terminological framework to show the relationships among different types of visual deficits. It distinguishes between visual functions, which describe how the eye and the lower visual system function, and functional vision, which describes how a person functions. When visual functions are disturbed, the term "visual…

  16. Lost food, wasted resources: global food supply chain losses and their impacts on freshwater, cropland, and fertiliser use.

    Kummu, M; de Moel, H; Porkka, M; Siebert, S; Varis, O; Ward, P J

    2012-11-01

    Reducing food losses and waste is considered to be one of the most promising measures to improve food security in the coming decades. Food losses also affect our use of resources, such as freshwater, cropland, and fertilisers. In this paper we estimate the global food supply losses due to lost and wasted food crops, and the resources used to produce them. We also quantify the potential food supply and resource savings that could be made by reducing food losses and waste. We used publically available global databases to conduct the study at the country level. We found that around one quarter of the produced food supply (614 kcal/cap/day) is lost within the food supply chain (FSC). The production of these lost and wasted food crops accounts for 24% of total freshwater resources used in food crop production (27 m(3)/cap/yr), 23% of total global cropland area (31 × 10(-3)ha/cap/yr), and 23% of total global fertiliser use (4.3 kg/cap/yr). The per capita use of resources for food losses is largest in North Africa & West-Central Asia (freshwater and cropland) and North America & Oceania (fertilisers). The smallest per capita use of resources for food losses is found in Sub-Saharan Africa (freshwater and fertilisers) and in Industrialised Asia (cropland). Relative to total food production, the smallest food supply and resource losses occur in South & Southeast Asia. If the lowest loss and waste percentages achieved in any region in each step of the FSC could be reached globally, food supply losses could be halved. By doing this, there would be enough food for approximately one billion extra people. Reducing the food losses and waste would thus be an important step towards increased food security, and would also increase the efficiency of resource use in food production. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. BAYESIAN ESTIMATION OF THE SHAPE PARAMETER OF THE GENERALISED EXPONENTIAL DISTRIBUTION UNDER DIFFERENT LOSS FUNCTIONS

    SANKU DEY

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The generalized exponential (GE distribution proposed by Gupta and Kundu (1999 is an important lifetime distribution in survival analysis. In this article, we propose to obtain Bayes estimators and its associated risk based on a class of  non-informative prior under the assumption of three loss functions, namely, quadratic loss function (QLF, squared log-error loss function (SLELF and general entropy loss function (GELF. The motivation is to explore the most appropriate loss function among these three loss functions. The performances of the estimators are, therefore, compared on the basis of their risks obtained under QLF, SLELF and GELF separately. The relative efficiency of the estimators is also obtained. Finally, Monte Carlo simulations are performed to compare the performances of the Bayes estimates under different situations.

  18. A human genome-wide loss-of-function screen identifies effective chikungunya antiviral drugs.

    Karlas, Alexander; Berre, Stefano; Couderc, Thérèse; Varjak, Margus; Braun, Peter; Meyer, Michael; Gangneux, Nicolas; Karo-Astover, Liis; Weege, Friderike; Raftery, Martin; Schönrich, Günther; Klemm, Uwe; Wurzlbauer, Anne; Bracher, Franz; Merits, Andres; Meyer, Thomas F; Lecuit, Marc

    2016-05-12

    Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a globally spreading alphavirus against which there is no commercially available vaccine or therapy. Here we use a genome-wide siRNA screen to identify 156 proviral and 41 antiviral host factors affecting CHIKV replication. We analyse the cellular pathways in which human proviral genes are involved and identify druggable targets. Twenty-one small-molecule inhibitors, some of which are FDA approved, targeting six proviral factors or pathways, have high antiviral activity in vitro, with low toxicity. Three identified inhibitors have prophylactic antiviral effects in mouse models of chikungunya infection. Two of them, the calmodulin inhibitor pimozide and the fatty acid synthesis inhibitor TOFA, have a therapeutic effect in vivo when combined. These results demonstrate the value of loss-of-function screening and pathway analysis for the rational identification of small molecules with therapeutic potential and pave the way for the development of new, host-directed, antiviral agents.

  19. Developing empirical collapse fragility functions for global building types

    Jaiswal, K.; Wald, D.; D'Ayala, D.

    2011-01-01

    Building collapse is the dominant cause of casualties during earthquakes. In order to better predict human fatalities, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) program requires collapse fragility functions for global building types. The collapse fragility is expressed as the probability of collapse at discrete levels of the input hazard defined in terms of macroseismic intensity. This article provides a simple procedure for quantifying collapse fragility using vulnerability criteria based on the European Macroseismic Scale (1998) for selected European building types. In addition, the collapse fragility functions are developed for global building types by fitting the beta distribution to the multiple experts’ estimates for the same building type (obtained from EERI’s World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE)-PAGER survey). Finally, using the collapse probability distributions at each shaking intensity level as a prior and field-based collapse-rate observations as likelihood, it is possible to update the collapse fragility functions for global building types using the Bayesian procedure.

  20. Author Correction: Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses

    Atwood, Trisha B.; Connolly, Rod M.; Almahasheer, Hanan; Carnell, Paul E.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Lewis, Carolyn J. Ewers; Irigoien, Xabier; Kelleway, Jeffrey J.; Lavery, Paul S.; Macreadie, Peter I.; Serrano, Oscar; Sanders, Christian J.; Santos, Isaac; Steven, Andrew D. L.; Lovelock, Catherine E.

    2018-03-01

    In the version of this Article originally published, the potential carbon loss from soils as a result of mangrove deforestation was incorrectly given as `2.0-75 Tg C yr-1'; this should have read `2-8 Tg C yr-1'. The corresponding emissions were incorrectly given as ` 7.3-275 Tg of CO2e'; this should have read ` 7-29 Tg of CO2e'. The corresponding percentage equivalent of these emissions compared with those from global terrestrial deforestation was incorrectly given as `0.2-6%'; this should have read `0.6-2.4%'. These errors have now been corrected in all versions of the Article.

  1. Globalization

    Andru?cã Maria Carmen

    2013-01-01

    The field of globalization has highlighted an interdependence implied by a more harmonious understanding determined by the daily interaction between nations through the inducement of peace and the management of streamlining and the effectiveness of the global economy. For the functioning of the globalization, the developing countries that can be helped by the developed ones must be involved. The international community can contribute to the institution of the development environment of the gl...

  2. Assessment of Global Functioning in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Utility of the Developmental Disability-Child Global Assessment Scale

    White, Susan W.; Smith, Laura A.; Schry, Amie R.

    2014-01-01

    Assessment of global functioning is an important consideration in treatment outcome research; yet, there is little guidance on its evidence-based assessment for children with autism spectrum disorders. This study investigated the utility and validity of clinician-rated global functioning using the Developmental Disability-Child Global Assessment…

  3. From global circulation to flood loss: Coupling models across the scales

    Felder, Guido; Gomez-Navarro, Juan Jose; Bozhinova, Denica; Zischg, Andreas; Raible, Christoph C.; Ole, Roessler; Martius, Olivia; Weingartner, Rolf

    2017-04-01

    The prediction and the prevention of flood losses requires an extensive understanding of underlying meteorological, hydrological, hydraulic and damage processes. Coupled models help to improve the understanding of such underlying processes and therefore contribute the understanding of flood risk. Using such a modelling approach to determine potentially flood-affected areas and damages requires a complex coupling between several models operating at different spatial and temporal scales. Although the isolated parts of the single modelling components are well established and commonly used in the literature, a full coupling including a mesoscale meteorological model driven by a global circulation one, a hydrologic model, a hydrodynamic model and a flood impact and loss model has not been reported so far. In the present study, we tackle the application of such a coupled model chain in terms of computational resources, scale effects, and model performance. From a technical point of view, results show the general applicability of such a coupled model, as well as good model performance. From a practical point of view, such an approach enables the prediction of flood-induced damages, although some future challenges have been identified.

  4. A Global Trend towards the Loss of Evolutionarily Unique Species in Mangrove Ecosystems.

    Barnabas H Daru

    Full Text Available The mangrove biome stands out as a distinct forest type at the interface between terrestrial, estuarine, and near-shore marine ecosystems. However, mangrove species are increasingly threatened and experiencing range contraction across the globe that requires urgent conservation action. Here, we assess the spatial distribution of mangrove species richness and evolutionary diversity, and evaluate potential predictors of global declines and risk of extinction. We found that human pressure, measured as the number of different uses associated with mangroves, correlated strongly, but negatively, with extinction probability, whereas species ages were the best predictor of global decline, explaining 15% of variation in extinction risk. Although the majority of mangrove species are categorised by the IUCN as Least Concern, our finding that the more threatened species also tend to be those that are more evolutionarily unique is of concern because their extinction would result in a greater loss of phylogenetic diversity. Finally, we identified biogeographic regions that are relatively species-poor but rich in evolutionary history, and suggest these regions deserve greater conservation priority. Our study provides phylogenetic information that is important for developing a unified management plan for mangrove ecosystems worldwide.

  5. A Global Trend towards the Loss of Evolutionarily Unique Species in Mangrove Ecosystems.

    Daru, Barnabas H; Yessoufou, Kowiyou; Mankga, Ledile T; Davies, T Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    The mangrove biome stands out as a distinct forest type at the interface between terrestrial, estuarine, and near-shore marine ecosystems. However, mangrove species are increasingly threatened and experiencing range contraction across the globe that requires urgent conservation action. Here, we assess the spatial distribution of mangrove species richness and evolutionary diversity, and evaluate potential predictors of global declines and risk of extinction. We found that human pressure, measured as the number of different uses associated with mangroves, correlated strongly, but negatively, with extinction probability, whereas species ages were the best predictor of global decline, explaining 15% of variation in extinction risk. Although the majority of mangrove species are categorised by the IUCN as Least Concern, our finding that the more threatened species also tend to be those that are more evolutionarily unique is of concern because their extinction would result in a greater loss of phylogenetic diversity. Finally, we identified biogeographic regions that are relatively species-poor but rich in evolutionary history, and suggest these regions deserve greater conservation priority. Our study provides phylogenetic information that is important for developing a unified management plan for mangrove ecosystems worldwide.

  6. Global optimization applied to GPS positioning by ambiguity functions

    Baselga, Sergio

    2010-01-01

    Differential GPS positioning with carrier-phase observables is commonly done in a process that involves determination of the unknown integer ambiguity values. An alternative approach, named the ambiguity function method, was already proposed in the early days of GPS positioning. By making use of a trigonometric function ambiguity unknowns are eliminated from the functional model before the estimation process. This approach has significant advantages, such as ease of use and insensitivity to cycle slips, but requires such high accuracy in the initial approximate coordinates that its use has been practically dismissed from consideration. In this paper a novel strategy is proposed so that the need for highly accurate initial coordinates disappears: the application of a global optimization method to the ambiguity functions model. The use of this strategy enables the ambiguity function method to compete with the present prevailing approach of ambiguity resolution

  7. Going global: the functions of autobiographical memory in cultural context.

    Alea, Nicole; Wang, Qi

    2015-01-01

    This special issue of Memory brings together research from around the globe, from Japanese, Chinese and East Indian cultures, to American and European societies, to the Caribbean, to Turkey and to Australia and New Zealand, which examines how and why people, from childhood to old age, remember the personal past in daily life. This journey highlights the important role of the cultural context in shaping the functional usages of autobiographical memory. We illuminate six major contributions of cross-cultural research to a broader and deeper understanding of the functions of autobiographical memory, and call attention to the filed that memory research must "go global."

  8. Oracle Inequalities for Convex Loss Functions with Non-Linear Targets

    Caner, Mehmet; Kock, Anders Bredahl

    This paper consider penalized empirical loss minimization of convex loss functions with unknown non-linear target functions. Using the elastic net penalty we establish a finite sample oracle inequality which bounds the loss of our estimator from above with high probability. If the unknown target...... of the same order as that of the oracle. If the target is linear we give sufficient conditions for consistency of the estimated parameter vector. Next, we briefly discuss how a thresholded version of our estimator can be used to perform consistent variable selection. We give two examples of loss functions...

  9. Piecewise linearisation of the first order loss function for families of arbitrarily distributed random variables

    Rossi, R.; Hendrix, E.M.T.

    2014-01-01

    We discuss the problem of computing optimal linearisation parameters for the first order loss function of a family of arbitrarily distributed random variable. We demonstrate that, in contrast to the problem in which parameters must be determined for the loss function of a single random variable,

  10. Neurofibromin Loss of Function Drives Excessive Grooming in Drosophila

    Lanikea B. King

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Neurofibromatosis I is a common genetic disorder that results in tumor formation, and predisposes individuals to a range of cognitive/behavioral symptoms, including deficits in attention, visuospatial skills, learning, language development, and sleep, and autism spectrum disorder-like traits. The nf1-encoded neurofibromin protein (Nf1 exhibits high conservation, from the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to humans. Drosophila provides a powerful platform to investigate the signaling cascades upstream and downstream of Nf1, and the fly model exhibits similar behavioral phenotypes to mammalian models. In order to understand how loss of Nf1 affects motor behavior in flies, we combined traditional activity monitoring with video analysis of grooming behavior. In nf1 mutants, spontaneous grooming was increased up to 7x. This increase in activity was distinct from previously described dopamine-dependent hyperactivity, as dopamine transporter mutants exhibited slightly decreased grooming. Finally, we found that relative grooming frequencies can be compared in standard activity monitors that measure infrared beam breaks, enabling the use of activity monitors as an automated method to screen for grooming phenotypes. Overall, these data suggest that loss of nf1 produces excessive activity that is manifested as increased grooming, providing a platform to dissect the molecular genetics of neurofibromin signaling across neuronal circuits.

  11. Effect of conductive hearing loss on central auditory function.

    Bayat, Arash; Farhadi, Mohammad; Emamdjomeh, Hesam; Saki, Nader; Mirmomeni, Golshan; Rahim, Fakher

    It has been demonstrated that long-term Conductive Hearing Loss (CHL) may influence the precise detection of the temporal features of acoustic signals or Auditory Temporal Processing (ATP). It can be argued that ATP may be the underlying component of many central auditory processing capabilities such as speech comprehension or sound localization. Little is known about the consequences of CHL on temporal aspects of central auditory processing. This study was designed to assess auditory temporal processing ability in individuals with chronic CHL. During this analytical cross-sectional study, 52 patients with mild to moderate chronic CHL and 52 normal-hearing listeners (control), aged between 18 and 45 year-old, were recruited. In order to evaluate auditory temporal processing, the Gaps-in-Noise (GIN) test was used. The results obtained for each ear were analyzed based on the gap perception threshold and the percentage of correct responses. The average of GIN thresholds was significantly smaller for the control group than for the CHL group for both ears (right: p=0.004; left: phearing for both sides (phearing loss in either group (p>0.05). The results suggest reduced auditory temporal processing ability in adults with CHL compared to normal hearing subjects. Therefore, developing a clinical protocol to evaluate auditory temporal processing in this population is recommended. Copyright © 2017 Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  12. Neurofibromin Loss of Function Drives Excessive Grooming in Drosophila.

    King, Lanikea B; Koch, Marta; Murphy, Keith R; Velazquez, Yoheilly; Ja, William W; Tomchik, Seth M

    2016-04-07

    Neurofibromatosis I is a common genetic disorder that results in tumor formation, and predisposes individuals to a range of cognitive/behavioral symptoms, including deficits in attention, visuospatial skills, learning, language development, and sleep, and autism spectrum disorder-like traits. The nf1-encoded neurofibromin protein (Nf1) exhibits high conservation, from the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to humans. Drosophila provides a powerful platform to investigate the signaling cascades upstream and downstream of Nf1, and the fly model exhibits similar behavioral phenotypes to mammalian models. In order to understand how loss of Nf1 affects motor behavior in flies, we combined traditional activity monitoring with video analysis of grooming behavior. In nf1 mutants, spontaneous grooming was increased up to 7x. This increase in activity was distinct from previously described dopamine-dependent hyperactivity, as dopamine transporter mutants exhibited slightly decreased grooming. Finally, we found that relative grooming frequencies can be compared in standard activity monitors that measure infrared beam breaks, enabling the use of activity monitors as an automated method to screen for grooming phenotypes. Overall, these data suggest that loss of nf1 produces excessive activity that is manifested as increased grooming, providing a platform to dissect the molecular genetics of neurofibromin signaling across neuronal circuits. Copyright © 2016 King et al.

  13. Global change in the trophic functioning of marine food webs.

    Aurore Maureaud

    Full Text Available The development of fisheries in the oceans, and other human drivers such as climate warming, have led to changes in species abundance, assemblages, trophic interactions, and ultimately in the functioning of marine food webs. Here, using a trophodynamic approach and global databases of catches and life history traits of marine species, we tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic ecological impacts may have led to changes in the global parameters defining the transfers of biomass within the food web. First, we developed two indicators to assess such changes: the Time Cumulated Indicator (TCI measuring the residence time of biomass within the food web, and the Efficiency Cumulated Indicator (ECI quantifying the fraction of secondary production reaching the top of the trophic chain. Then, we assessed, at the large marine ecosystem scale, the worldwide change of these two indicators over the 1950-2010 time-periods. Global trends were identified and cluster analyses were used to characterize the variability of trends between ecosystems. Results showed that the most common pattern over the study period is a global decrease in TCI, while the ECI indicator tends to increase. Thus, changes in species assemblages would induce faster and apparently more efficient biomass transfers in marine food webs. Results also suggested that the main driver of change over that period had been the large increase in fishing pressure. The largest changes occurred in ecosystems where 'fishing down the marine food web' are most intensive.

  14. Social Resources That Preserve Functional Independence After Memory Loss

    2016-07-01

    Toward a common language for function, disability, and health. Physical therapy 86, 726 (May, 2006). 4. R. D. Tucker-Seeley, S. V. Subramanian, Y...20. Boyle PA, Buchman AS, Wilson RS, et al: Physical activity is asso- ciated with incident disability in community-based older persons. J Am Geriatr ...effects of physical activity on physical functioning, quality of life and depression in older people with dementia. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011

  15. Global genetic analyses reveal strong inter-ethnic variability in the loss of activity of the organic cation transporter OCT1.

    Seitz, Tina; Stalmann, Robert; Dalila, Nawar; Chen, Jiayin; Pojar, Sherin; Dos Santos Pereira, Joao N; Krätzner, Ralph; Brockmöller, Jürgen; Tzvetkov, Mladen V

    2015-01-01

    The organic cation transporter OCT1 (SLC22A1) mediates the uptake of vitamin B1, cationic drugs, and xenobiotics into hepatocytes. Nine percent of Caucasians lack or have very low OCT1 activity due to loss-of-function polymorphisms in OCT1 gene. Here we analyzed the global genetic variability in OCT1 to estimate the therapeutic relevance of OCT1 polymorphisms in populations beyond Caucasians and to identify evolutionary patterns of the common loss of OCT1 activity in humans. We applied massively parallel sequencing to screen for coding polymorphisms in 1,079 unrelated individuals from 53 populations worldwide. The obtained data was combined with the existing 1000 Genomes data comprising an additional 1,092 individuals from 14 populations. The identified OCT1 variants were characterized in vitro regarding their cellular localization and their ability to transport 10 known OCT1 substrates. Both the population genetics data and transport data were used in tandem to generate a world map of loss of OCT1 activity. We identified 16 amino acid substitutions potentially causing loss of OCT1 function and analyzed them together with five amino acid substitutions that were not expected to affect OCT1 function. The variants constituted 16 major alleles and 14 sub-alleles. Six major alleles showed improper subcellular localization leading to substrate-wide loss in activity. Five major alleles showed correct subcellular localization, but substrate-specific loss of activity. Striking differences were observed in the frequency of loss of OCT1 activity worldwide. While most East Asian and Oceanian individuals had completely functional OCT1, 80 % of native South American Indians lacked functional OCT1 alleles. In East Asia and Oceania the average nucleotide diversity of the loss-of-function variants was much lower than that of the variants that do not affect OCT1 function (ratio of 0.03) and was significantly lower than the theoretically expected heterozygosity (Tajima's D = -1

  16. Global change in the trophic functioning of marine food webs

    Maureaud, Aurore; Gascuel, Didier; Colléter, Mathieu

    2017-01-01

    and life history traits of marine species, we tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic ecological impacts may have led to changes in the global parameters defining the transfers of biomass within the food web. First, we developed two indicators to assess such changes: the Time Cumulated Indicator (TCI......The development of fisheries in the oceans, and other human drivers such as climate warming, have led to changes in species abundance, assemblages, trophic interactions, and ultimately in the functioning of marine food webs. Here, using a trophodynamic approach and global databases of catches......) measuring the residence time of biomass within the food web, and the Efficiency Cumulated Indicator (ECI) quantifying the fraction of secondary production reaching the top of the trophic chain. Then, we assessed, at the large marine ecosystem scale, the worldwide change of these two indicators over the 1950...

  17. Volumetric Muscle Loss: Persistent Functional Deficits Beyond Frank Loss of Tissue

    2014-09-18

    and fascia covering the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle were bluntly separated from the musculature. The tissue covering all aspects of the middle...testing system.5 Peak TA muscle isometric torque was determined with the ankle at a right angle 0˚ and 20˚ of dorsi- or plantar flexion, assuming a moment...of plantar and dorsiflexion). At all joint angles, VML resulted in a significant functional deficit, although a greater torque deficit was observed

  18. Beyond the global assessment of functioning: learning from Virginia Apgar.

    Dimsdale, Joel E; Jeste, Dilip V; Patterson, Thomas L

    2010-01-01

    The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale is widely used in psychiatry, yet it has certain drawbacks. The authors seek to generate further discussion and research around developing an improved successor to the GAF. The authors used the Apgar scale as a template for constructing a possible successor to the GAF. Consulting with 16 colleagues, they selected 5 domains that were felt to be central to functioning in psychiatric patients. Psychiatrists in diverse clinical settings then completed both a GAF and a Psychiatric Apgar scale on 40 patients. The two scales were found to agree significantly. Use of the Psychiatric Apgar, however, provides clearer guidance about assessing functioning. The GAF was a brilliant addition to psychiatric practice. As we develop the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, it is pertinent to ask whether the GAF approach could be optimized even further by applying the lessons of Virginia Apgar.

  19. The 2008 Global Financial Crisis: The Case of a Market with Consistent Losses Ever Since

    Hadeel Yaseen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Following the 2008 global financial crisis, and in common with many stock markets around the world, the Amman Securities Exchange (ASE experienced some heavy losses. However, what makes the Jordanian market probably different is its inability to recover. The weighted price index fell from 7519.3 points in 2007 to 5520.1 points in 2009, to 4593.9 points in 2012, and to 4336.7 points by the end of 2013 respectively. With a statutory minimum tick which is equal to one pence, this observation has some serious implications to the liquidity cost that prevails in the Jordanian capital market, and the cost of financing listed firms. The primary aim of this research paper is to examine the impact of the stock market crash in Jordan on liquidity cost. Based on a total number of 108 listed stocks and daily data during the years 2007 and 2009, the empirical results indicate that liquidity cost on the Jordanian capital market is high. In addition, the results show that the 2009 stock market crash has led to a substantial increase in liquidity cost. In other words, the market must consider a number of remedial measures to improve its’ operational efficiency.

  20. Neonatal loss of motor function in human spina bifida aperta

    Sival, Deborah A; van Weerden, Tiemen W; Vles, Johan S H; Timmer, Albertus; den Dunnen, Wilfred F A; Staal-Schreinemachers, A L; Hoving, Eelco W.; Sollie, Krystyne M; Kranen-Mastenbroek, Vivianne J M; Sauer, Pieter J J; Brouwer, Oebele F

    OBJECTIVE: In neonates with spina bifida aperta (SBA), leg movements innervated by spinal segments located caudal to the meningomyelocele are transiently present. This study in neonates with SBA aimed to determine whether the presence of leg movements indicates functional integrity of neuronal

  1. The Optimal Strategy to Research Pension Funds in China Based on the Loss Function

    Jian-wei Gao

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Based on the theory of actuarial present value, a pension fund investment goal can be formulated as an objective function. The mean-variance model is extended by defining the objective loss function. Furthermore, using the theory of stochastic optimal control, an optimal investment model is established under the minimum expectation of loss function. In the light of the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB equation, the analytic solution of the optimal investment strategy problem is derived.

  2. The Optimal Strategy to Research Pension Funds in China Based on the Loss Function

    Gao, Jian-wei; Guo, Hong-zhen; Ye, Yan-cheng

    2007-01-01

    Based on the theory of actuarial present value, a pension fund investment goal can be formulated as an objective function. The mean-variance model is extended by defining the objective loss function. Furthermore, using the theory of stochastic optimal control, an optimal investment model is established under the minimum expectation of loss function. In the light of the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equation, the analytic solution of the optimal investment strategy problem is derived.

  3. Diet change and food loss reduction: What is their combined impact on global water use and scarcity?

    Jalava, Mika; Guillaume, Joseph H. A.; Kummu, Matti; Porkka, Miina; Siebert, Stefan; Varis, Olli

    2016-03-01

    There is a pressing need to improve food security and reduce environmental impacts of agricultural production globally. Two of the proposed measures are diet change from animal-based to plant-based foodstuffs and reduction of food losses and waste. These two measures are linked, as diet change affects production and consumption of foodstuffs and consequently loss processes through their different water footprints and loss percentages. This paper takes this link into account for the first time and provides an assessment of the combined potential contribution of diet change and food loss reduction for reducing water footprints and water scarcity. We apply scenarios in which we change diets to follow basic dietary recommendations, limit animal-based protein intake to 25% of total protein intake, and halve food losses to study single and combined effects of diet change and loss reduction. Dietary recommendations alone would achieve 6% and 7% reductions of blue and green water consumption, respectively, while changing diets to contain less animal products would result in savings of 11% and 18%, respectively. Halving food loss would alone achieve 12% reductions for both blue and green water. Combining the measures would reduce water consumption by 23% and 28%, respectively, lowering water scarcity in areas with a population of over 600 million. At a global scale, effects of diet change and loss reduction were synergistic with loss reductions being more effective under changed diet. This demonstrates the importance of considering the link between diet change and loss reduction in assessments of food security and resource use.

  4. Global study of nuclear modifications on parton distribution functions

    Rong Wang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A global analysis of nuclear medium modifications of parton distributions is presented using deeply inelastic scattering data of various nuclear targets. Two obtained data sets are provided for quark and gluon nuclear modification factors, referred as nIMParton16. One is from the global fit only to the experimental data of isospin-scalar nuclei (Set A, and the other is from the fit to all the measured nuclear data (Set B. The scale-dependence is described by DGLAP equations with nonlinear corrections in this work. The Fermi motion and off-shell effect, nucleon swelling, and parton–parton recombination are taken into account together for modeling the complicated x-dependence of nuclear modification. The nuclear gluon shadowing in this paper is dynamically generated by the QCD evolution of parton splitting and recombination processes with zero gluon density at the input scale. Sophisticated nuclear dependence of nuclear medium effects is studied with only two free parameters. With the obtained free parameters from the global analysis, the nuclear modifications of parton distribution functions of unmeasured nuclei can be predicted in our model. Nuclear modification of deuteron is also predicted and shown with recent measurement at JLab.

  5. Increase in Fracture Risk Following Unintentional Weight Loss in Postmenopausal Women: The Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women†

    Compston, Juliet E.; Wyman, A; FitzGerald, Gordon; Adachi, Jonathan D.; Chapurlat, Roland D.; Cooper, Cyrus; Díez-Pérez, Adolfo; Gehlbach, Stephen H; Greenspan, Susan L.; Hooven, Frederick H.; LaCroix, Andrea Z.; March, Lyn; Coen Netelenbos, J.; Nieves, Jeri W.; Pfeilschifter, Johannes; Rossini, Maurizio; Roux, Christian; Saag, Kenneth G.; Siris, Ethel S.; Silverman, Stuart; Watts, Nelson B.; Anderson, Frederick A.

    2016-01-01

    Increased fracture risk has been associated with weight loss in postmenopausal women but the time course over which this occurs has not been established. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of unintentional weight loss of ≥10 lb (4.5 kg) in postmenopausal women on fracture risk at multiple sites up to 5 years following weight loss. Using data from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) we analyzed the relationships between self-reported unintentional weight loss of ≥10 lb at baseline, year 2, or year 3 and incident clinical fracture in the years following weight loss. Complete data were available in 40,179 women (mean age ± SD 68 ± 8.3 years). Five-year cumulative fracture rate was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and adjusted hazard ratios for weight loss as a time-varying covariate were calculated from Cox multiple regression models. Unintentional weight loss at baseline was associated with a significantly increased risk of fracture of the clavicle, wrist, spine, rib, hip, and pelvis for up to 5 years following weight loss. Adjusted hazard ratios showed a significant association between unintentional weight loss and fracture of the hip, spine, and clavicle within 1 year of weight loss, and these associations were still present at 5 years. These findings demonstrate increased fracture risk at several sites after unintentional weight loss in postmenopausal women. This increase is seen as early as 1 year following weight loss, emphasizing the need for prompt fracture risk assessment and appropriate management to reduce fracture risk in this population. PMID:26861139

  6. Ethylbenzene-induced hearing loss, neurobehavioral function, and neurotransmitter alterations in petrochemical workers.

    Zhang, Ming; Wang, Yanrang; Wang, Qian; Yang, Deyi; Zhang, Jingshu; Wang, Fengshan; Gu, Qing

    2013-09-01

    To estimate hearing loss, neurobehavioral function, and neurotransmitter alteration induced by ethylbenzene in petrochemical workers. From two petrochemical plants, 246 and 307 workers exposed to both ethylbenzene and noise were recruited-290 workers exposed to noise only from a power station plant and 327 office personnel as control group, respectively. Hearing and neurobehavioral functions were evaluated. Serum neurotransmitters were also determined. The prevalence of hearing loss was much higher in petrochemical groups than that in power station and control groups (P workers (P hearing loss, neurobehavioral function impairment, and imbalance of neurotransmitters.

  7. Globally conformal invariant gauge field theory with rational correlation functions

    Nikolov, N M; Todorov, I T; CERN. Geneva; Todorov, Ivan T.

    2003-01-01

    Operator product expansions (OPE) for the product of a scalar field with its conjugate are presented as infinite sums of bilocal fields $V_{\\kappa} (x_1, x_2)$ of dimension $(\\kappa, \\kappa)$. For a {\\it globally conformal invariant} (GCI) theory we write down the OPE of $V_{\\kappa}$ into a series of {\\it twist} (dimension minus rank) $2\\kappa$ symmetric traceless tensor fields with coefficients computed from the (rational) 4-point function of the scalar field. We argue that the theory of a GCI hermitian scalar field ${\\cal L} (x)$ of dimension 4 in $D = 4$ Minkowski space such that the 3-point functions of a pair of ${\\cal L}$'s and a scalar field of dimension 2 or 4 vanish can be interpreted as the theory of local observables of a conformally invariant fixed point in a gauge theory with Lagrangian density ${\\cal L} (x)$.

  8. Ocean plankton. Structure and function of the global ocean microbiome.

    Sunagawa, Shinichi; Coelho, Luis Pedro; Chaffron, Samuel; Kultima, Jens Roat; Labadie, Karine; Salazar, Guillem; Djahanschiri, Bardya; Zeller, Georg; Mende, Daniel R; Alberti, Adriana; Cornejo-Castillo, Francisco M; Costea, Paul I; Cruaud, Corinne; d'Ovidio, Francesco; Engelen, Stefan; Ferrera, Isabel; Gasol, Josep M; Guidi, Lionel; Hildebrand, Falk; Kokoszka, Florian; Lepoivre, Cyrille; Lima-Mendez, Gipsi; Poulain, Julie; Poulos, Bonnie T; Royo-Llonch, Marta; Sarmento, Hugo; Vieira-Silva, Sara; Dimier, Céline; Picheral, Marc; Searson, Sarah; Kandels-Lewis, Stefanie; Bowler, Chris; de Vargas, Colomban; Gorsky, Gabriel; Grimsley, Nigel; Hingamp, Pascal; Iudicone, Daniele; Jaillon, Olivier; Not, Fabrice; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Pesant, Stephane; Speich, Sabrina; Stemmann, Lars; Sullivan, Matthew B; Weissenbach, Jean; Wincker, Patrick; Karsenti, Eric; Raes, Jeroen; Acinas, Silvia G; Bork, Peer

    2015-05-22

    Microbes are dominant drivers of biogeochemical processes, yet drawing a global picture of functional diversity, microbial community structure, and their ecological determinants remains a grand challenge. We analyzed 7.2 terabases of metagenomic data from 243 Tara Oceans samples from 68 locations in epipelagic and mesopelagic waters across the globe to generate an ocean microbial reference gene catalog with >40 million nonredundant, mostly novel sequences from viruses, prokaryotes, and picoeukaryotes. Using 139 prokaryote-enriched samples, containing >35,000 species, we show vertical stratification with epipelagic community composition mostly driven by temperature rather than other environmental factors or geography. We identify ocean microbial core functionality and reveal that >73% of its abundance is shared with the human gut microbiome despite the physicochemical differences between these two ecosystems. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Cascade-probabilistic function with taking unto account energy losses of ions. Chapter 3

    1998-01-01

    Mathematical simulation of cascade-probabilistic functions (CPF) for ions with taking into account of energy losses is carried out. Recommendations for CPF calculation on computer are given. Influence of both the interaction number on CPF domain and the interaction depth on CPF domain are determined. Contribution of energy losses into simplest CPF is estimated. Algorithm of radiation defects concentration calculation under ion irradiation with taking into consideration energy losses is cited

  10. Global and local curvature in density functional theory.

    Zhao, Qing; Ioannidis, Efthymios I; Kulik, Heather J

    2016-08-07

    Piecewise linearity of the energy with respect to fractional electron removal or addition is a requirement of an electronic structure method that necessitates the presence of a derivative discontinuity at integer electron occupation. Semi-local exchange-correlation (xc) approximations within density functional theory (DFT) fail to reproduce this behavior, giving rise to deviations from linearity with a convex global curvature that is evidence of many-electron, self-interaction error and electron delocalization. Popular functional tuning strategies focus on reproducing piecewise linearity, especially to improve predictions of optical properties. In a divergent approach, Hubbard U-augmented DFT (i.e., DFT+U) treats self-interaction errors by reducing the local curvature of the energy with respect to electron removal or addition from one localized subshell to the surrounding system. Although it has been suggested that DFT+U should simultaneously alleviate global and local curvature in the atomic limit, no detailed study on real systems has been carried out to probe the validity of this statement. In this work, we show when DFT+U should minimize deviations from linearity and demonstrate that a "+U" correction will never worsen the deviation from linearity of the underlying xc approximation. However, we explain varying degrees of efficiency of the approach over 27 octahedral transition metal complexes with respect to transition metal (Sc-Cu) and ligand strength (CO, NH3, and H2O) and investigate select pathological cases where the delocalization error is invisible to DFT+U within an atomic projection framework. Finally, we demonstrate that the global and local curvatures represent different quantities that show opposing behavior with increasing ligand field strength, and we identify where these two may still coincide.

  11. Premature loss of muscle mass and function in type 2 diabetes.

    Guerrero, N; Bunout, D; Hirsch, S; Barrera, G; Leiva, L; Henríquez, S; De la Maza, M P

    2016-07-01

    Muscle mass and function are among the most relevant factors that contribute to an optimal quality of life, and are strong predictors of mortality in the elderly. Loss of lean tissues and deterioration of muscle function have been described as one of the many complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2), but most studies do not isolate age as an intervening factor. To study whether adult DM2 patients up to 60years of age have decreased muscle mass and function compared with healthy non-diabetic (ND) subjects of similar age. Appendicular fat-free mass (ApFFM) by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), handgrip strength (HS), quadriceps strength (QS), 12 min walking capacity (12MW) and the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) were measured in 100 DM2 patients and 39 ND controls. Muscle quality, or the ratio between lean mass and muscle strength of upper and lower limbs, and the functional limitations associated with pain and stiffness assessed according to the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthrosis Index (WOMAC) were also recorded. Specific tests were performed to rule out microvascular diabetic complications (retinal and peripheral nerves), metabolic control, kidney function and vitamin D status and examine their association with ApFFM and function. ApFFM was significantly higher among DM2 female patients and lower among diabetic men. However opposite results were obtained when individual values were corrected for body mass index (BMI), specifically among women, who were more likely to be obese. As for muscle strength and global functionality tests, significantly better performances in TUG, 12MW, QS and HS were observed among ND subjects of both sexes. These differences prevailed even after excluding diabetic patients with microvascular complications as well as those with more than 10years of diabetes. Muscle quality was also significantly better among ND women. Higher scores of pain and stiffness in the WOMAC scale correlated with 12MW and TUG in both groups but

  12. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

    Marzal, Alfonso; Ricklefs, Robert E; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Albayrak, Tamer; Arriero, Elena; Bonneaud, Camille; Czirják, Gábor A; Ewen, John; Hellgren, Olof; Hořáková, Dita; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Jensen, Henrik; Križanauskienė, Asta; Lima, Marcos R; de Lope, Florentino; Magnussen, Eyðfinn; Martin, Lynn B; Møller, Anders P; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Pap, Péter L; Pérez-Tris, Javier; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Soler, Manuel; Szöllosi, Eszter; Westerdahl, Helena; Zetindjiev, Pavel; Bensch, Staffan

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820) from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  13. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

    Alfonso Marzal

    Full Text Available Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820 from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  14. The functional and structural neural basis of individual differences in loss aversion.

    Canessa, Nicola; Crespi, Chiara; Motterlini, Matteo; Baud-Bovy, Gabriel; Chierchia, Gabriele; Pantaleo, Giuseppe; Tettamanti, Marco; Cappa, Stefano F

    2013-09-04

    Decision making under risk entails the anticipation of prospective outcomes, typically leading to the greater sensitivity to losses than gains known as loss aversion. Previous studies on the neural bases of choice-outcome anticipation and loss aversion provided inconsistent results, showing either bidirectional mesolimbic responses of activation for gains and deactivation for losses, or a specific amygdala involvement in processing losses. Here we focused on loss aversion with the aim to address interindividual differences in the neural bases of choice-outcome anticipation. Fifty-six healthy human participants accepted or rejected 104 mixed gambles offering equal (50%) chances of gaining or losing different amounts of money while their brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We report both bidirectional and gain/loss-specific responses while evaluating risky gambles, with amygdala and posterior insula specifically tracking the magnitude of potential losses. At the individual level, loss aversion was reflected both in limbic fMRI responses and in gray matter volume in a structural amygdala-thalamus-striatum network, in which the volume of the "output" centromedial amygdala nuclei mediating avoidance behavior was negatively correlated with monetary performance. We conclude that outcome anticipation and ensuing loss aversion involve multiple neural systems, showing functional and structural individual variability directly related to the actual financial outcomes of choices. By supporting the simultaneous involvement of both appetitive and aversive processing in economic decision making, these results contribute to the interpretation of existing inconsistencies on the neural bases of anticipating choice outcomes.

  15. An Evaluation of the Sniffer Global Optimization Algorithm Using Standard Test Functions

    Butler, Roger A. R.; Slaminka, Edward E.

    1992-03-01

    The performance of Sniffer—a new global optimization algorithm—is compared with that of Simulated Annealing. Using the number of function evaluations as a measure of efficiency, the new algorithm is shown to be significantly better at finding the global minimum of seven standard test functions. Several of the test functions used have many local minima and very steep walls surrounding the global minimum. Such functions are intended to thwart global minimization algorithms.

  16. On the loss function of the Bank of Canada: A note

    Stadtmann, Georg; Pierdzioch; Ruelke

    2012-01-01

    Based on the approach advanced by Elliott et al. [Elliott, G., Komunjer, I., Timmermann, A., 2005. Estimation and testing of forecast rationality under flexible loss. Review of Economic Studies 72, 1107–1125], we studied whether the inflation and output growth projections published by the Bank...... of Canada are consistent with an asymmetric loss function. Current-year projections provide no signs of asymmetry, but next-year projections do. The hypothesis of rationality of the projections can be rejected under symmetric loss, but not under asymmetric loss....

  17. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  18. Aortic stiffness and hypotension episodes are associated with impaired cognitive function in older subjects with subjective complaints of memory loss.

    Scuteri, Angelo; Tesauro, Manfredi; Guglini, Letizia; Lauro, Davide; Fini, Massimo; Di Daniele, Nicola

    2013-11-20

    Though CV risk factors and markers of arterial aging are recognized risky for cognition, no study has simultaneously investigated the impact of multiple cardiac, arterial (large and small vessels), and hemodynamic parameters on cognitive function in older subjects. Two hundred eighty older subjects with subjective complaints of memory loss and no previous stroke (mean age 78.3 ± 6.3 years) were studied. Global cognitive function was evaluated with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Cognitive impairment was defined as a MMSE cognitive function-controlling for age, sex, education, depression, traditional CV risk factors, and medications. LV mass was no longer associated with cognition in multiple regression. Older subjects with stiffer arteries or episodes of hypotension presented a 4-fold and an 11-fold, respectively, greater odds for progression from normal cognitive function to cognitive impairment. A synergistic effect between PWV, WML, and hypotension was observed: the occurrence of any two of PWV, WML, or hypotension was accompanied by lower MMSE; in the presence of all three factors, a further significant decline in cognitive function was observed. Systemic hemodynamic parameters (higher PWV and hypotension) together with cerebral microvascular damage (WML) are significantly associated with poorer cognitive function and may identify older subjects with subjective complaints of memory loss at higher risk of cognitive decline. © 2013.

  19. The Risk Management Functions in the Conditions of Globalization: Case Study of the Republic of Serbia

    Zlatija Jelenković

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Globalization, which represents an important transmission mechanism of the crisis, has led to the necessity for controlling various risks of business, setting a new line of management in companies, regardless of the main business activity they are engaged in. The economic crisis in general, and especially the global financial crises (2007 and the present one led to bankruptcy, and thus to loss of funds of many businesses and individuals. Therefore, it was necessary, on the one hand, to ensure confidence in the financial system and to maintain its stability. On the other hand, the development of corporate governance and separation of functions of ownership and management insisted on the creation of functions that directly report to the owners of capital, such as risk management and internal audit. The value of this paper is in emphasizing the new management function and raising awareness of the scientific public and businesses about the need for introduction of risk management functions in order to facilitate effective management of enterprises, although the survey (2012-2015 has shown that the existence of legal obligations, in this regard penal policy, is the only thing that effectively establishes and promotes this area.

  20. Construction of energy loss function for low-energy electrons in helium

    Dayashankar, [Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay (India). Div. of Radiation Protection

    1976-02-01

    The energy loss function for electrons in the energy range from 50 eV to 1 keV in helium gas has been constructed by considering separately the energy loss in overcoming the ionization threshold, the loss manifested as kinetic energy of secondary electrons and the loss in the discrete state excitations. This has been done by utilizing recent measurements of Opal et al. on the energy spectrum of secondary electrons and incorporating the experimental data on cross sections for twenty-four excited states. The present results of the energy loss function are in good agreement with the Bethe formula for energies above 500 eV. For lower energies, where the Bethe formula is not applicable, the present results should be particularly useful.

  1. Using machine-learning methods to analyze economic loss function of quality management processes

    Dzedik, V. A.; Lontsikh, P. A.

    2018-05-01

    During analysis of quality management systems, their economic component is often analyzed insufficiently. To overcome this issue, it is necessary to withdraw the concept of economic loss functions from tolerance thinking and address it. Input data about economic losses in processes have a complex form, thus, using standard tools to solve this problem is complicated. Use of machine learning techniques allows one to obtain precise models of the economic loss function based on even the most complex input data. Results of such analysis contain data about the true efficiency of a process and can be used to make investment decisions.

  2. The essentials of a global index for cognitive function

    Antony Joseph Mathew

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Cognition is comprised of the faculties: perception, creativity, intuition, and ratiocination. Optimal levels of cognition are needed for independent functioning and balanced living. With an aging population that continues to grow, dietary supplements that tilt the balance towards maintenance of cognition are being marketed for vulnerable populations facing these challenges. Randomized clinical trials provide the causal inference necessary to define the efficacy of emerging nutraceuticals. Cognition testing, in particular, requires a battery of tests that encompass all brain regions involved in cognition so as to provide endpoints necessary for product validation. The lack of well controlled studies for comparison analyses, limited sample sizes, ambiguous dosages, and poor cognitive measures result in data that cannot be compared across studies to determine the efficacy of supplements claiming to enhance cognition. Clinical trials for the nutraceutical industry should consider the multifaceted nature of supplements, where clinical endpoints must be comprehensive while remaining feasible. Combining endpoints of cognition with physiological biomarkers of immunity and metabolism to arrive at a global index for cognitive health may be necessary for claim substantiation in order to fully justify and scientifically validate improvements in cognitive health. The issues and needs of a global index will be discussed here.

  3. Role of vision loss, functional limitations and the supporting network in depression in a general population.

    van Nispen, Ruth M A; Vreeken, Hilde L; Comijs, Hannie C; Deeg, Dorly J H; van Rens, Ger H M B

    2016-02-01

    Although the prevalence of depression in visually impaired older persons is high, the association between vision loss and depression seems to be influenced by factors other than visual impairment. In this study, the role of vision loss, functional limitations and social network characteristics in relation to depressive symptoms was investigated. Cross-sectional data (N = 1237) from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used to investigate the prevalence of depression (Center of Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale) within subgroups with increasing vision loss. In linear regression models, functional limitations and social network characteristics were examined as possible mediators in the association between vision loss and depression. Having a partner was considered to be a potential moderator. Although a significant linear trend was found in the presence of depressive symptoms with 14% in normally sighted, 23% in mild and 37% in severe vision loss (χ(2)(1) = 14.9; p depression. Mediators were functional limitations (p depression, a trend was found with increasing severity of vision loss, indicating the need for more attention in (mental) health care and low-vision rehabilitation. In the general older population, vision loss was not an independent determinant of depression but was mediated by functional limitations and social network size. Rather than receiving actual social support, the idea of having a social network to rely on when needed seemed to be associated with lower levels of depression. © 2015 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Global sensitivity analysis of computer models with functional inputs

    Iooss, Bertrand; Ribatet, Mathieu

    2009-01-01

    Global sensitivity analysis is used to quantify the influence of uncertain model inputs on the response variability of a numerical model. The common quantitative methods are appropriate with computer codes having scalar model inputs. This paper aims at illustrating different variance-based sensitivity analysis techniques, based on the so-called Sobol's indices, when some model inputs are functional, such as stochastic processes or random spatial fields. In this work, we focus on large cpu time computer codes which need a preliminary metamodeling step before performing the sensitivity analysis. We propose the use of the joint modeling approach, i.e., modeling simultaneously the mean and the dispersion of the code outputs using two interlinked generalized linear models (GLMs) or generalized additive models (GAMs). The 'mean model' allows to estimate the sensitivity indices of each scalar model inputs, while the 'dispersion model' allows to derive the total sensitivity index of the functional model inputs. The proposed approach is compared to some classical sensitivity analysis methodologies on an analytical function. Lastly, the new methodology is applied to an industrial computer code that simulates the nuclear fuel irradiation.

  5. Critical Quality Source Diagnosis for Dam Concrete Construction Based on Quality Gain-loss Function

    Bo Wang

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In dam concrete construction process, it not only has quality loss arising from quality fluctuation, but also gains quality compensation effect due to the mutual cooperation and adaptation coupling between working procedures (WPs. The calculation and transmission complexity of the quality loss and quality compensation affect the quality management of dam concrete construction. As the quality compensation effect existing in the production practice cannot be described by Taguchi quality loss function, the concept of quality gain-loss function was presented in this paper, which was based on endowing the constant term in the expansion of Taylor series with physical meaning—quality compensation. Based on quality gain-loss function theory, a new quality gain-loss transmission model of dam concrete construction based on GERT network was constructed and its effective algorithm was designed. WP quality gain-loss and its impact on the final product were reasonably measured, and the critical quality routes and critical quality WPs were detected and diagnosed in dam concrete construction network. Summer temperature-controlled concrete construction in the third phase of Three Gorges Project (TGP was taken as an example to carry out the study, and the calculation results showed the validity and practicability of the presented model and algorithm.

  6. Child behavior check list and Korean personality inventory for children with functional visual loss.

    Kyung, Sung Eun; Lee, Sang Mi; Lim, Myung Ho

    2014-08-01

    To investigate the clinical psychiatric characteristics of children with the main complaint of functional visual loss, their behavior and personality were evaluated by the means of the Korean child behavior check list (K-CBCL), and the Korean personality inventory for children (KPI-C). The evaluation was carried out by the K-CBCL and the KPI-C, the domestically standardized tools, with 20 child subjects suspected of functional visual loss, among the patients who visited our hospital, between August, 2005 and December, 2012. The control group included 160 children in general schools of the same region. The 20 patients whose main complaint was functional visual loss were diagnosed as having a functional visual disorder. The child patient group showed a higher score for the K-CBCL and KPI-C sub-scales of somatic complaints, social problems, aggressive behavior, internalizing problems, externalizing problems, total behavioral problems, somatization and hyperactivity, than that of the control group. The results of the K-CBCL and KPI-C tests among children with functional visual loss, were significantly different from those of the normal control group. This result suggested that psychological factors may influence children with a main complaint of functional visual loss.

  7. Global alteration in gene expression profiles of deciduas from women with idiopathic recurrent pregnancy loss.

    Krieg, S A; Fan, X; Hong, Y; Sang, Q-X; Giaccia, A; Westphal, L M; Lathi, R B; Krieg, A J; Nayak, N R

    2012-09-01

    Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) occurs in ∼5% of women. However, the etiology is still poorly understood. Defects in decidualization of the endometrium during early pregnancy contribute to several pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and are believed to be important in the pathogenesis of idiopathic RPL. We performed microarray analysis to identify gene expression alterations in the deciduas of idiopathic RPL patients. Control patients had one antecedent term delivery, but were undergoing dilation and curettage for current aneuploid miscarriage. Gene expression differences were evaluated using both pathway and gene ontology (GO) analysis. Selected genes were validated using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). A total of 155 genes were found to be significantly dysregulated in the deciduas of RPL patients (>2-fold change, P genes up-regulated and 133 genes down-regulated. GO analysis linked a large percentage of genes to discrete biological functions, including immune response (23%), cell signaling (18%) and cell invasion (17.1%), and pathway analysis revealed consistent changes in both the interleukin 1 (IL-1) and IL-8 pathways. All genes in the IL-8 pathway were up-regulated while genes in the IL-1 pathway were down-regulated. Although both pathways can promote inflammation, IL-1 pathway activity is important for normal implantation. Additionally, genes known to be critical for degradation of the extracellular matrix, including matrix metalloproteinase 26 and serine peptidase inhibitor Kazal-type 1, were also highly up-regulated. In this first microarray approach to decidual gene expression in RPL patients, our data suggest that dysregulation of genes associated with cell invasion and immunity may contribute significantly to idiopathic recurrent miscarriage.

  8. Plant litter functional diversity effects on litter mass loss depend on the macro-detritivore community.

    Patoine, Guillaume; Thakur, Madhav P; Friese, Julia; Nock, Charles; Hönig, Lydia; Haase, Josephine; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-11-01

    A better understanding of the mechanisms driving litter diversity effects on decomposition is needed to predict how biodiversity losses affect this crucial ecosystem process. In a microcosm study, we investigated the effects of litter functional diversity and two major groups of soil macro-detritivores on the mass loss of tree leaf litter mixtures. Furthermore, we tested the effects of litter trait community means and dissimilarity on litter mass loss for seven traits relevant to decomposition. We expected macro-detritivore effects on litter mass loss to be most pronounced in litter mixtures of high functional diversity. We used 24 leaf mixtures differing in functional diversity, which were composed of litter from four species from a pool of 16 common European tree species. Earthworms, isopods, or a combination of both were added to each litter combination for two months. Litter mass loss was significantly higher in the presence of earthworms than in that of isopods, whereas no synergistic effects of macro-detritivore mixtures were found. The effect of functional diversity of the litter material was highest in the presence of both macro-detritivore groups, supporting the notion that litter diversity effects are most pronounced in the presence of different detritivore species. Species-specific litter mass loss was explained by nutrient content, secondary compound concentration, and structural components. Moreover, dissimilarity in N concentrations increased litter mass loss, probably because detritivores having access to nutritionally diverse food sources. Furthermore, strong competition between the two macro-detritivores for soil surface litter resulted in a decrease of survival of both macro-detritivores. These results show that the effects of litter functional diversity on decomposition are contingent upon the macro-detritivore community and composition. We conclude that the temporal dynamics of litter trait diversity effects and their interaction with

  9. The relationships between cognitive function and hearing loss among the elderly.

    Huh, MyungJin

    2018-01-01

    [Purpose] Research related to dementia has gained momentum in South Korea and studies have found that the auditory sense affects dementia. This study aims to examine the relationship between the decline in hearing function and the overall cognitive function among the elderly. [Subjects and Methods] Eighty-two older adults aged 65-90 years (mean age: 79.3, SD: 5.2) participated. The Korean Mini-Mental State Examination was used to assess cognitive function. Further, to assess the hearing function, pure-tone audiometry was performed prior to the cognitive function test. We used a paired t-test and Pearson's correlation test for the analysis. [Results] Generally, the higher the frequency band, the more hearing loss was identified among the elderly. In addition, the difference in hearing between both ears was significant; particularly, hearing loss in the right ear was significantly higher than that in the left. Cognitive function was not related to age, however, the correlation between cognitive function and hearing loss in the right ear was statistically significant. [Conclusion] Hearing loss influences cognitive function among the elderly.

  10. From the Left to the Right: How the Brain Compensates Progressive Loss of Language Function

    Thiel, Alexander; Habedank, Birgit; Herholz, Karl; Kessler, Josef; Winhuisen, Lutz; Haupt, Walter F.; Heiss, Wolf-Dieter

    2006-01-01

    In normal right-handed subjects language production usually is a function of the left brain hemisphere. Patients with aphasia following brain damage to the left hemisphere have a considerable potential to compensate for the loss of this function. Sometimes, but not always, areas of the right hemisphere which are homologous to language areas of the…

  11. Tracking occupational hearing loss across global industries: A comparative analysis of metrics

    Peter M Rabinowitz

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Occupational hearing loss is one of the most prevalent occupational conditions; yet, there is no acknowledged international metric to allow comparisons of risk between different industries and regions. In order to make recommendations for an international standard of occupational hearing loss, members of an international industry group (the International Aluminium Association submitted details of different hearing loss metrics currently in use by members. We compared the performance of these metrics using an audiometric data set for over 6000 individuals working in 10 locations of one member company. We calculated rates for each metric at each location from 2002 to 2006. For comparison, we calculated the difference of observed-expected (for age binaural high-frequency hearing loss (in dB/year for each location over the same time period. We performed linear regression to determine the correlation between each metric and the observed-expected rate of hearing loss. The different metrics produced discrepant results, with annual rates ranging from 0.0% for a less-sensitive metric to more than 10% for a highly sensitive metric. At least two metrics, a 10dB age-corrected threshold shift from baseline and a 15dB nonage-corrected shift metric, correlated well with the difference of observed-expected high-frequency hearing loss. This study suggests that it is feasible to develop an international standard for tracking occupational hearing loss in industrial working populations.

  12. Tracking occupational hearing loss across global industries: a comparative analysis of metrics.

    Rabinowitz, Peter M; Galusha, Deron; McTague, Michael F; Slade, Martin D; Wesdock, James C; Dixon-Ernst, Christine

    2012-01-01

    Occupational hearing loss is one of the most prevalent occupational conditions; yet, there is no acknowledged international metric to allow comparisons of risk between different industries and regions. In order to make recommendations for an international standard of occupational hearing loss, members of an international industry group (the International Aluminium Association) submitted details of different hearing loss metrics currently in use by members. We compared the performance of these metrics using an audiometric data set for over 6000 individuals working in 10 locations of one member company. We calculated rates for each metric at each location from 2002 to 2006. For comparison, we calculated the difference of observed-expected (for age) binaural high-frequency hearing loss (in dB/year) for each location over the same time period. We performed linear regression to determine the correlation between each metric and the observed-expected rate of hearing loss. The different metrics produced discrepant results, with annual rates ranging from 0.0% for a less-sensitive metric to more than 10% for a highly sensitive metric. At least two metrics, a 10dB age-corrected threshold shift from baseline and a 15dB nonage-corrected shift metric, correlated well with the difference of observed-expected high-frequency hearing loss. This study suggests that it is feasible to develop an international standard for tracking occupational hearing loss in industrial working populations.

  13. Global marine plankton functional type biomass distributions : Phaeocystis spp

    Vogt, M.; O'Brien, C.; Peloquin, J.; Schoemann, V.; Breton, E.; Estrada, M.; Gibson, J.; Karentz, D.; van Leeuwe, M. A.; Stefels, J.; Widdicombe, C.; Peperzak, L.

    2012-01-01

    The planktonic haptophyte Phaeocystis has been suggested to play a fundamental role in the global biogeochemical cycling of carbon and sulphur, but little is known about its global biomass distribution. We have collected global microscopy data of the genus Phaeocystis and converted abundance data to

  14. Development and validation of a prediction model for loss of physical function in elderly hemodialysis patients.

    Fukuma, Shingo; Shimizu, Sayaka; Shintani, Ayumi; Kamitani, Tsukasa; Akizawa, Tadao; Fukuhara, Shunichi

    2017-09-05

    Among aging hemodialysis patients, loss of physical function has become a major issue. We developed and validated a model of predicting loss of physical function among elderly hemodialysis patients. We conducted a cohort study involving maintenance hemodialysis patients  ≥65 years of age from the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Pattern Study in Japan. The derivation cohort included 593 early phase (1996-2004) patients and the temporal validation cohort included 447 late-phase (2005-12) patients. The main outcome was the incidence of loss of physical function, defined as the 12-item Short Form Health Survey physical function score decreasing to 0 within a year. Using backward stepwise logistic regression by Akaike's Information Criteria, six predictors (age, gender, dementia, mental health, moderate activity and ascending stairs) were selected for the final model. Points were assigned based on the regression coefficients and the total score was calculated by summing the points for each predictor. In total, 65 (11.0%) and 53 (11.9%) hemodialysis patients lost their physical function within 1 year in the derivation and validation cohorts, respectively. This model has good predictive performance quantified by both discrimination and calibration. The proportion of the loss of physical function increased sequentially through low-, middle-, and high-score categories based on the model (2.5%, 11.7% and 22.3% in the validation cohort, respectively). The loss of physical function was strongly associated with 1-year mortality [adjusted odds ratio 2.48 (95% confidence interval 1.26-4.91)]. We developed and validated a risk prediction model with good predictive performance for loss of physical function in elderly hemodialysis patients. Our simple prediction model may help physicians and patients make more informed decisions for healthy longevity. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA.

  15. Evaporation Loss of Light Elements as a Function of Cooling Rate: Logarithmic Law

    Xiong, Yong-Liang; Hewins, Roger H.

    2003-01-01

    Knowledge about the evaporation loss of light elements is important to our understanding of chondrule formation processes. The evaporative loss of light elements (such as B and Li) as a function of cooling rate is of special interest because recent investigations of the distribution of Li, Be and B in meteoritic chondrules have revealed that Li varies by 25 times, and B and Be varies by about 10 times. Therefore, if we can extrapolate and interpolate with confidence the evaporation loss of B and Li (and other light elements such as K, Na) at a wide range of cooling rates of interest based upon limited experimental data, we would be able to assess the full range of scenarios relating to chondrule formation processes. Here, we propose that evaporation loss of light elements as a function of cooling rate should obey the logarithmic law.

  16. Multiple parton scattering in nuclei: heavy quark energy loss and modified fragmentation functions

    Zhang Benwei; Wang, Enke; Wang Xinnian

    2005-01-01

    Multiple scattering, induced radiative energy loss and modified fragmentation functions of a heavy quark in nuclear matter are studied within the framework of generalized factorization in perturbative QCD. Modified heavy quark fragmentation functions and energy loss are derived in detail with illustration of the mass dependencies of the Landau-Pomeranchuk-Migdal interference effects and heavy quark energy loss. Due to the quark mass dependence of the gluon formation time, the nuclear size dependencies of nuclear modification of the heavy quark fragmentation function and heavy quark energy loss are found to change from a linear to a quadratic form when the initial energy and momentum scale are increased relative to the quark mass. The radiative energy loss of the heavy quark is also significantly suppressed due to limited cone of gluon radiation imposed by the mass. Medium modification of the heavy quark fragmentation functions is found to be limited to the large z region due to the form of heavy quark fragmentation functions in vacuum

  17. Treatments to Prevent Bone Loss in Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Altayar, Osama; Al Nofal, Alaa; Carranza Leon, B. Gisella; Prokop, Larry J.; Wang, Zhen; Murad, M. Hassan

    2017-01-01

    Objective: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that evaluated the effect of hormonal therapy [estrogen therapy including oral contraceptive pills (OCP)] and bisphosphonates in preventing bone loss in patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA). Methods: We searched several electronic databases for controlled and noncontrolled studies that enrolled females of any age presenting with FHA (including athletic, weight loss, and stress-associated amenorrhea/olig...

  18. The cascade probabilistic functions with taking into account energy losses for ions. Chapter 3

    2003-01-01

    In the Chapter 3 the cascade probabilistic functions mathematical simulation with taking into account energy losses for ions are considered. The calculation of the CPF on the computer is carried out. The influence of both the interaction number and the penetration depth on the CPF determination field for ions are revealed. The estimation of energy losses contribution in the simplest CPF is made. Calculation algorithm for radiation defects concentration at ion irradiation with use of the CPF with taking into account of energy losses is given

  19. Investigating the contribution of VAPB/ALS8 loss of function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Kabashi, Edor; El Oussini, Hajer; Bercier, Valérie; Gros-Louis, François; Valdmanis, Paul N; McDearmid, Jonathan; Mejier, Inge A; Dion, Patrick A; Dupre, Nicolas; Hollinger, David; Sinniger, Jérome; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; Camu, William; Meininger, Vincent; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; René, Frédérique; Drapeau, Pierre; Rouleau, Guy A; Dupuis, Luc

    2013-06-15

    The mutations P56S and T46I in the gene encoding vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein B/C (VAPB) cause ALS8, a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Overexpression of mutant forms of VAPB leads to cytosolic aggregates, suggesting a gain of function of the mutant protein. However, recent work suggested that the loss of VAPB function could be the major mechanism leading to ALS8. Here, we used multiple genetic and experimental approaches to study whether VAPB loss of function might be sufficient to trigger motor neuron degeneration. In order to identify additional ALS-associated VAPB mutations, we screened the entire VAPB gene in a cohort of ALS patients and detected two mutations (A145V and S160Δ). To directly address the contribution of VAPB loss of function in ALS, we generated zebrafish and mouse models with either a decreased or a complete loss of Vapb expression. Vapb knockdown in zebrafish led to swimming deficits. Mice knocked-out for Vapb showed mild motor deficits after 18 months of age yet had innervated neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Importantly, overexpression of VAPB mutations were unable to rescue the motor deficit caused by Vapb knockdown in zebrafish and failed to cause a toxic gain-of-function defect on their own. Thus, Vapb loss of function weakens the motor system of vertebrate animal models but is on its own unable to lead to a complete ALS phenotype. Our findings are consistent with the notion that VAPB mutations constitute a risk factor for motor neuron disease through a loss of VAPB function.

  20. Effect of weight loss in obese dogs on indicators of renal function or disease.

    Tvarijonaviciute, A; Ceron, J J; Holden, S L; Biourge, V; Morris, P J; German, A J

    2013-01-01

    Obesity is a common medical disorder in dogs, and can predispose to a number of diseases. Human obesity is a risk factor for the development and progression of chronic kidney disease. To investigate the possible association of weight loss on plasma and renal biomarkers of kidney health. Thirty-seven obese dogs that lost weight were included in the study. Prospective observational study. Three novel biomarkers of renal functional impairment, disease, or both (homocysteine, cystatin C, and clusterin), in addition to traditional markers of chronic renal failure (serum urea and creatinine, urine specific gravity [USG], urine protein-creatinine ratio [UPCR], and urine albumin corrected by creatinine [UAC]) before and after weight loss in dogs with naturally occurring obesity were investigated. Urea (P = .043) and USG (P = .012) were both greater after weight loss than before loss, whilst UPCR, UAC, and creatinine were less after weight loss (P = .032, P = .006, and P = .026, respectively). Homocysteine (P canine obesity, which improve with weight loss. Further work is required to determine the nature of these alterations and, most notably, the reason for the association between before loss plasma clusterin and subsequent lean tissue loss during weight management. Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

  1. The cost of misremembering: Inferring the loss function in visual working memory.

    Sims, Chris R

    2015-03-04

    Visual working memory (VWM) is a highly limited storage system. A basic consequence of this fact is that visual memories cannot perfectly encode or represent the veridical structure of the world. However, in natural tasks, some memory errors might be more costly than others. This raises the intriguing possibility that the nature of memory error reflects the costs of committing different kinds of errors. Many existing theories assume that visual memories are noise-corrupted versions of afferent perceptual signals. However, this additive noise assumption oversimplifies the problem. Implicit in the behavioral phenomena of visual working memory is the concept of a loss function: a mathematical entity that describes the relative cost to the organism of making different types of memory errors. An optimally efficient memory system is one that minimizes the expected loss according to a particular loss function, while subject to a constraint on memory capacity. This paper describes a novel theoretical framework for characterizing visual working memory in terms of its implicit loss function. Using inverse decision theory, the empirical loss function is estimated from the results of a standard delayed recall visual memory experiment. These results are compared to the predicted behavior of a visual working memory system that is optimally efficient for a previously identified natural task, gaze correction following saccadic error. Finally, the approach is compared to alternative models of visual working memory, and shown to offer a superior account of the empirical data across a range of experimental datasets. © 2015 ARVO.

  2. The evolution of pepsinogen C genes in vertebrates: duplication, loss and functional diversification.

    Luís Filipe Costa Castro

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Aspartic proteases comprise a large group of enzymes involved in peptide proteolysis. This collection includes prominent enzymes globally categorized as pepsins, which are derived from pepsinogen precursors. Pepsins are involved in gastric digestion, a hallmark of vertebrate physiology. An important member among the pepsinogens is pepsinogen C (Pgc. A particular aspect of Pgc is its apparent single copy status, which contrasts with the numerous gene copies found for example in pepsinogen A (Pga. Although gene sequences with similarity to Pgc have been described in some vertebrate groups, no exhaustive evolutionary framework has been considered so far. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By combining phylogenetics and genomic analysis, we find an unexpected Pgc diversity in the vertebrate sub-phylum. We were able to reconstruct gene duplication timings relative to the divergence of major vertebrate clades. Before tetrapod divergence, a single Pgc gene tandemly expanded to produce two gene lineages (Pgbc and Pgc2. These have been differentially retained in various classes. Accordingly, we find Pgc2 in sauropsids, amphibians and marsupials, but not in eutherian mammals. Pgbc was retained in amphibians, but duplicated in the ancestor of amniotes giving rise to Pgb and Pgc1. The latter was retained in mammals and probably in reptiles and marsupials but not in birds. Pgb was kept in all of the amniote clade with independent episodes of loss in some mammalian species. Lineage specific expansions of Pgc2 and Pgbc have also occurred in marsupials and amphibians respectively. We find that teleost and tetrapod Pgc genes reside in distinct genomic regions hinting at a possible translocation. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the repertoire of Pgc genes is larger than previously reported, and that tandem duplications have modelled the history of Pgc genes. We hypothesize that gene expansion lead to functional divergence in tetrapods, coincident with the

  3. Neural loss aversion differences between depression patients and healthy individuals: A functional MRI investigation.

    Chandrasekhar Pammi, V S; Pillai Geethabhavan Rajesh, Purushothaman; Kesavadas, Chandrasekharan; Rappai Mary, Paramban; Seema, Satish; Radhakrishnan, Ashalatha; Sitaram, Ranganatha

    2015-04-01

    Neuroeconomics employs neuroscience techniques to explain decision-making behaviours. Prospect theory, a prominent model of decision-making, features a value function with parameters for risk and loss aversion. Recent work with normal participants identified activation related to loss aversion in brain regions including the amygdala, ventral striatum, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. However, the brain network for loss aversion in pathologies such as depression has yet to be identified. The aim of the current study is to employ the value function from prospect theory to examine behavioural and neural manifestations of loss aversion in depressed and healthy individuals to identify the neurobiological markers of loss aversion in economic behaviour. We acquired behavioural data and fMRI scans while healthy controls and patients with depression performed an economic decision-making task. Behavioural loss aversion was higher in patients with depression than in healthy controls. fMRI results revealed that the two groups shared a brain network for value function including right ventral striatum, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and right amygdala. However, the neural loss aversion results revealed greater activations in the right dorsal striatum and the right anterior insula for controls compared with patients with depression, and higher activations in the midbrain region ventral tegmental area for patients with depression compared with controls. These results suggest that while the brain network for loss aversion is shared between depressed and healthy individuals, some differences exist with respect to differential activation of additional areas. Our findings are relevant to identifying neurobiological markers for altered decision-making in the depressed. © The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

  4. IKs Gain- and Loss-of-Function In Early-Onset Lone Atrial Fibrillation

    Steffensen, Annette Buur; Refsgaard, Lena; Andersen, Martin Nybo

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequent cardiac arrhythmia. The potassium current IKs is essential for cardiac repolarization. Gain-of-function mutation in KCNQ1, the gene encoding the pore-forming α-subunit of the IKs channel (KV 7.1), was the first ion channel dysfunction...... to be associated with familial AF. We hypothesized that early-onset lone AF is associated with a high prevalence of mutations in KCNQ1. METHODS AND RESULTS: We bidirectionally sequenced the entire coding sequence of KCNQ1 in 209 unrelated patients with early-onset lone AF (...-of-function phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in the IKs channel leading to gain-of-function have previously been described in familial AF, yet this is the first time a loss-of-function mutation in KCNQ1 is associated with early-onset lone AF. These findings suggest that both gain-of function and loss...

  5. Physical activity as intervention for age-related loss of muscle mass and function

    Eriksen, Christian Skou; Garde, Ellen; Reislev, Nina Linde

    2016-01-01

    insights into training-induced promotion of functional ability and independency after retirement and will help to formulate national recommendations regarding physical activity schemes for the growing population of older individuals in western societies. Results will be published in scientific peer......INTRODUCTION: Physical and cognitive function decline with age, accelerating during the 6th decade. Loss of muscle power (force×velocity product) is a dominant physical determinant for loss of functional ability, especially if the lower extremities are affected. Muscle strength training is known...... to maintain or even improve muscle power as well as physical function in older adults, but the optimal type of training for beneficial long-term training effects over several years is unknown. Moreover, the impact of muscle strength training on cognitive function and brain structure remains speculative...

  6. [Aberrant topological properties of whole-brain functional network in chronic right-sided sensorineural hearing loss: a resting-state functional MRI study].

    Zhang, Lingling; Liu, Bin; Xu, Yangwen; Yang, Ming; Feng, Yuan; Huang, Yaqing; Huan, Zhichun; Hou, Zhaorui

    2015-02-03

    To investigate the topological properties of the functional brain network in unilateral sensorineural hearing loss patients. In this study, we acquired resting-state BOLD- fMRI data from 19 right-sided SNHL patients and 31 healthy controls with normal hearing and constructed their whole brain functional networks. Two-sample two-tailed t-tests were performed to investigate group differences in topological parameters between the USNHL patients and the controls. Partial correlation analysis was conducted to determine the relationships between the network metrics and USNHL-related variables. Both USNHL patients and controls exhibited small-word architecture in their brain functional networks within the range 0. 1 - 0. 2 of sparsity. Compared to the controls, USNHL patients showed significant increase in characteristic path length and normalized characteristic path length, but significant decrease in global efficiency. Clustering coefficient, local efficiency and normalized clustering coefficient demonstrated no significant difference. Furthermore, USNHL patients exhibited no significant association between the altered network metrics and the duration of USNHL or the severity of hearing loss. Our results indicated the altered topological properties of whole brain functional networks in USNHL patients, which may help us to understand pathophysiologic mechanism of USNHL patients.

  7. Radiation loss and global energy balance of ohmically heated divertor discharge in JT-60 tokamak

    Koide, Yoshihiko; Yamada, Kimio; Yoshida, Hidetoshi; Nakamura, Hiroo; Niikura, Setsuo; Tsuji, Shunji

    1986-03-01

    Divertor experiment in JT-60 with a small divertor chamber has been successfully performed up to 1.6 MA discharge. Several divertor effects were experimentally confirmed as follows. Radiation loss in main plasma saturates with the increase of plasma current and its ratio to the input power is about 20 % at 1.5 MA. The rest of input power is exhausted into the divertor chamber and a half of it is dissipated as the radiation loss. Impurity accumulation is not observed during a few sec without internal MHD activity and gross impurity confinement time is several hundred msec. (author)

  8. Prevalence of skeletal muscle mass loss and its association with swallowing function after cardiovascular surgery.

    Wakabayashi, Hidetaka; Takahashi, Rimiko; Watanabe, Naoko; Oritsu, Hideyuki; Shimizu, Yoshitaka

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of skeletal muscle mass loss and its association with swallowing function in patients with dysphagia after cardiovascular surgery. A retrospective cohort study was performed in 65 consecutive patients with dysphagia after cardiovascular surgery who were prescribed speech therapy. Skeletal muscle index (SMI) was calculated as total psoas muscle area assessed via abdominal computed tomography divided by height squared. Cutoff values were 6.36 cm 2 /m 2 for men and 3.92 cm 2 /m 2 for women. The Food Intake Level Scale (FILS) was used to assess the swallowing function. Univariate and ordered logistic regression analyses were applied to examine the associations between skeletal muscle mass loss and dysphagia. The study included 50 men and 15 women (mean age 73 ± 8 y). The mean SMI was 4.72 ± 1.37 cm 2 /m 2 in men and 3.33 ± 1.42 cm 2 /m 2 in women. Skeletal muscle mass loss was found in 53 (82%) patients. Twelve had tracheostomy cannula. Thirteen were non-oral feeding (FILS levels 1-3), 5 were oral food intake and alternative nutrition (levels 4-6), and 47 were oral food intake alone (levels 7-9) at discharge. The FILS at discharge was significantly lower in patients with skeletal muscle mass loss. Ordered logistic regression analysis of swallowing function showed that skeletal muscle mass loss and tracheostomy cannula were associated independently with the FILS at discharge. The prevalence of skeletal muscle mass loss is very high, and skeletal muscle mass loss is associated with swallowing function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Left Atrial Mechanical Function and Global Strain in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

    Kyung-Jin Kim

    Full Text Available Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia and is associated with adverse outcomes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM. Although left atrial (LA remodeling and dysfunction are known to associate with the development of atrial fibrillation in HCM, the changes of the LA in HCM patients remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the changes in LA size and mechanical function in HCM patients compared to control subjects and to determine the characteristics of HCM associated with LA remodeling and dysfunction.Seventy-nine HCM patients (mean age, 54 ± 11 years; 76% were men were compared to 79 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age, 54 ± 11 years; 76% were men and 20 young healthy controls (mean age, 33 ± 5 years; 45% were men. The LA diameter, volume, and mechanical function, including global strain (ε, were evaluated by 2D-speckle tracking echocardiography. The phenotype of HCM, maximal left ventricular (LV wall thickness, LV mass, and presence and extent of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE were evaluated with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.HCM patients showed increased LA volume index, impaired reservoir function, and decreased LA ε compared to the control subjects. When we divided the HCM group according to a maximal LA volume index (LAVImax of 38.7 ml/m2 or LA ε of 21%, no significant differences in the HCM phenotype and maximal LV wall thickness were observed for patients with LAVImax >38.7 ml/m2 or LA ε ≤21%. Conversely, the LV mass index was significantly higher both in patients with maximal LA volume index >38.7 ml/m2 and with LA ε ≤21% and was independently associated with LAVImax and LA ε. Although the LGE extent was increased in patients with LA ε ≤21%, it was not independently associated with either LAVImax or LA ε.HCM patients showed progressed LA remodeling and dysfunction; the determinant of LA remodeling and dysfunction was LV mass index rather than LV myocardial fibrosis by LGE-magnetic resonance

  10. Claudin Loss-of-Function Disrupts Tight Junctions and Impairs Amelogenesis.

    Bardet, Claire; Ribes, Sandy; Wu, Yong; Diallo, Mamadou Tidiane; Salmon, Benjamin; Breiderhoff, Tilman; Houillier, Pascal; Müller, Dominik; Chaussain, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Claudins are a family of proteins that forms paracellular barriers and pores determining tight junctions (TJ) permeability. Claudin-16 and -19 are pore forming TJ proteins allowing calcium and magnesium reabsorption in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop (TAL). Loss-of-function mutations in the encoding genes, initially identified to cause Familial Hypomagnesemia with Hypercalciuria and Nephrocalcinosis (FHHNC), were recently shown to be also involved in Amelogenesis Imperfecta (AI). In addition, both claudins were expressed in the murine tooth germ and Claudin-16 knockout (KO) mice displayed abnormal enamel formation. Claudin-3, an ubiquitous claudin expressed in epithelia including kidney, acts as a barrier-forming tight junction protein. We determined that, similarly to claudin-16 and claudin-19, claudin-3 was expressed in the tooth germ, more precisely in the TJ located at the apical end of secretory ameloblasts. The observation of Claudin-3 KO teeth revealed enamel defects associated to impaired TJ structure at the secretory ends of ameloblasts and accumulation of matrix proteins in the forming enamel. Thus, claudin-3 protein loss-of-function disturbs amelogenesis similarly to claudin-16 loss-of-function, highlighting the importance of claudin proteins for the TJ structure. These findings unravel that loss-of-function of either pore or barrier-forming TJ proteins leads to enamel defects. Hence, the major structural function of claudin proteins appears essential for amelogenesis.

  11. Claudin Loss-of-Function Disrupts Tight Junctions and Impairs Amelogenesis

    Claire Bardet

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Claudins are a family of proteins that forms paracellular barriers and pores determining tight junctions (TJ permeability. Claudin-16 and -19 are pore forming TJ proteins allowing calcium and magnesium reabsorption in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop (TAL. Loss-of-function mutations in the encoding genes, initially identified to cause Familial Hypomagnesemia with Hypercalciuria and Nephrocalcinosis (FHHNC, were recently shown to be also involved in Amelogenesis Imperfecta (AI. In addition, both claudins were expressed in the murine tooth germ and Claudin-16 knockout (KO mice displayed abnormal enamel formation. Claudin-3, an ubiquitous claudin expressed in epithelia including kidney, acts as a barrier-forming tight junction protein. We determined that, similarly to claudin-16 and claudin-19, claudin-3 was expressed in the tooth germ, more precisely in the TJ located at the apical end of secretory ameloblasts. The observation of Claudin-3 KO teeth revealed enamel defects associated to impaired TJ structure at the secretory ends of ameloblasts and accumulation of matrix proteins in the forming enamel. Thus, claudin-3 protein loss-of-function disturbs amelogenesis similarly to claudin-16 loss-of-function, highlighting the importance of claudin proteins for the TJ structure. These findings unravel that loss-of-function of either pore or barrier-forming TJ proteins leads to enamel defects. Hence, the major structural function of claudin proteins appears essential for amelogenesis.

  12. Global Integration of the Hot-State Brain Network of Appetite Predicts Short Term Weight Loss in Older Adult

    Brielle M Paolini

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Obesity is a public health crisis in North America. While lifestyle interventions for weight loss (WL remain popular, the rate of success is highly variable. Clearly, self-regulation of eating behavior is a challenge and patterns of activity across the brain may be an important determinant of success. The current study prospectively examined whether integration across the Hot-State Brain Network of Appetite (HBN-A predicts WL after 6-months of treatment in older adults. Our metric for network integration was global efficiency (GE. The present work is a sub-study (n = 56 of an ongoing randomized clinical trial involving WL. Imaging involved a baseline food-cue visualization functional MRI (fMRI scan following an overnight fast. Using graph theory to build functional brain networks, we demonstrated that regions of the HBN-A (insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, superior temporal pole, amygdala and the parahippocampal gyrus were highly integrated as evidenced by the results of a principal component analysis. After accounting for known correlates of WL (baseline weight, age, sex, and self-regulatory efficacy and treatment condition, which together contributed 36.9% of the variance in WL, greater GE in the HBN-A was associated with an additional 19% of the variance. The ACC of the HBN-A was the primary driver of this effect, accounting for 14.5% of the variance in WL when entered in a stepwise regression following the covariates, p = 0.0001. The HBN-A is comprised of limbic regions important in the processing of emotions and visceral sensations and the ACC is key for translating such processing into behavioral consequences. The improved integration of these regions may enhance awareness of body and emotional states leading to more successful self-regulation and to greater WL. This is the first study among older adults to prospectively demonstrate that, following an overnight fast, GE of the HBN-A during a food visualization task is predictive of

  13. Work, social support and leisure protect the elderly from functional loss: EPIDOSO study.

    d'Orsi, Eleonora; Xavier, André Junqueira; Ramos, Luiz Roberto

    2011-08-01

    To identify risk factors for functional capacity loss in elderly people. Epidoso (Epidemiology of the Elderly) cohort study with elderly people living in São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil). A total of 326 participants in the first interview (1991-1992) who were independent or had mild dependence (one or two activities of daily living) were selected. Those who presented functional loss in the second (1994-1995) or third interviews (1998-1999) were compared to those who did not present it. The incidence of functional loss was calculated according to sociodemographic variables, life habits, cognitive status, morbidity, hospitalization, self-rated health, tooth loss, social support and leisure activities. Crude and adjusted relative risks with 95% confidence intervals were estimated through bivariate and multiple analyses with Poisson regression. The criterion for the inclusion of the variables in the model was p 0.10. The incidence of functional loss was 17.8% (13.6; 21.9). The risk factors in the final model were: age group 70-74 years RR=1.9 (0.9;3.9); age group 75-79 years RR=2.8 (1.4;5.5); age group 80 years or older RR=5.4 (3.0;9.6); score in the mini-mental state examination work RR=0.3 (0.1;1.0); monthly relationship with friends RR=0.5 (0.3;0.8); watching TV RR=0.5 (0.3;0.9); and handcrafting RR=0.7 (0.4;1.0). The prevention of functional loss should include adequate control of chronic diseases, like hypertension, asthma and diabetes, as well as cognitive stimulation. Work, leisure and relationships with friends should be valued due to their protective effect.

  14. Projected loss of a salamander diversity hotspot as a consequence of projected global climate change

    Joseph R. Milanovich; William E. Peterman; Nathan P. Nibbelink; John C. Maerz

    2010-01-01

    Background: Significant shifts in climate are considered a threat to plants and animals with significant physiological limitations and limited dispersal abilities. The southern Appalachian Mountains are a global hotspot for plethodontid salamander diversity. Plethodontids are lungless ectotherms, so their ecology is strongly governed by temperature and precipitation....

  15. Guidelines for rating Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF

    Aas IH Monrad

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF is a scoring system for the severity of illness in psychiatry. It is used clinically in many countries, as well as in research, but studies have shown several problems with GAF, for example concerning its validity and reliability. Guidelines for rating are important. The present study aimed to identify the current status of guidelines for rating GAF, and relevant factors and gaps in knowledge for the development of improved guidelines. Methods A thorough literature search was conducted. Results Few studies of existing guidelines have been conducted; existing guidelines are short; and rating has a subjective element. Seven main categories were identified as being important in relation to further development of guidelines: (1 general points about guidelines for rating GAF; (2 introduction to guidelines, with ground rules; (3 starting scoring at the top, middle or bottom level of the scale; (4 scoring for different time periods and of different values (highest, lowest or average; (5 the finer grading of the scale; (6 different guidelines for different conditions; and (7 different languages and cultures. Little information is available about how rules for rating are understood by different raters: the final score may be affected by whether the rater starts at the top, middle or bottom of the scale; there is little data on which value/combination of GAF values to record; guidelines for scoring within 10-point intervals are limited; there is little empirical information concerning the suitability of existing guidelines for different conditions and patient characteristics; and little is known about the effects of translation into different languages or of different cultural understanding. Conclusions Few studies have dealt specifically with guidelines for rating GAF. Current guidelines for rating GAF are not comprehensive, and relevant points for new guidelines are presented. Theoretical and

  16. Integrasi Taguchi Loss Function dengan Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process dalam Pemilih Pemasok

    Ahmad S. Indrapriyatna

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available One important issue in the line production is the selection of the company's best supplier. Various criteria should be considered for determining the best supplier. Answering to that challenge, we apply Taguchi loss function- Analytical Hierarchy Process Fuzzy-Linear Programming (Taguchi loss function-Fuzzy AHP to find out the best supplier. Moreover, we also consider multiple criteria, i.e., goods’ completeness, quality, delivery, and quality loss in that analysis. By maximizing the suppliers’ performances based on each criterion and aggregated the suppliers’ performances based on the overall criteria, we selected the best one. Applying this method for selecting the best pressure gauge’s supplier in PT. Coca Cola Bottling Indonesia Central Sumatera (PT. CCBICS, we found out that among three suppliers, the second supplier is the best one.

  17. Supplier Selection for Food Industry: A Combination of Taguchi Loss Function and Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process

    Renna Magdalena

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Supplier selection is an important part of supply chain management process by which firms identify, evaluate, and establish contracts with suppliers. Deciding the right supplier can be a complex task. As such, various criteria must be taken into account to choose the best supplier. This study focused on the supply in the packaging division of a food industry in Denpasar-Bali. A combination of Taguchi Loss Function and fuzzy-AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process Fuzzy Linear Programming was used to determine the best supplier. In this analysis, several suppliers’ criteria were considered, namely quality, delivery, completeness, quality loss and environmental management. By maximizing the suppliers’ performances based on each criterion and aggregating the suppliers’ performances based on the overall criteria, the best supplier was determined. Keywords: supplier selection, taguchi loss function, AHP, fuzzy linear programming,environment

  18. Membrane protein damage and repair: selective loss of a quinone-protein function in chloroplast membranes

    Kyle, D.J.; Ohad, I.; Arntzen, C.J.

    1984-01-01

    A loss of electron transport capacity in chloroplast membranes was induced by high-light intensities (photoinhibition). The primary site of inhibition was at the reducing side of photosystem II (PSII) with little damage to the oxidizing side or to the reaction center core of PSII. Addition of herbicides (atrazine or diuron) partially protected the membrane from photoinhibition; these compounds displace the bound plastoquinone (designated as Q/sub B/), which functions as the secondary electron acceptor on the reducing side of PSII. Loss of function of the 32-kilodalton Q/sub B/ apoprotein was demonstrated by a loss of binding sites for [ 14 C]atraazine. We suggest that quinone anions, which may interact with molecular oxygen to produce an oxygen radical, selectively damage the apoprotein of the secondary acceptor of PSII, thus rendering it inactive and thereby blocking photosynthetic electron flow under conditions of high photon flux densities. 21 references, 4 figures, 2 tables

  19. Functional loss of two ceramide synthases elicits autophagy-dependent lifespan extension in C. elegans

    Mosbech, Mai-Britt; Kruse, Rikke; Harvald, Eva Bang

    2013-01-01

    Ceramide and its metabolites constitute a diverse group of lipids, which play important roles as structural entities of biological membranes as well as regulators of cellular growth, differentiation, and development. The C. elegans genome comprises three ceramide synthase genes; hyl-1, hyl-2...... that hyl-1;lagr-1 animals display reduced feeding, increased resistance to heat, and reduced reproduction. Collectively, our data suggest that specific sphingolipids produced by different ceramide synthases have opposing roles in determination of C. elegans lifespan. We propose that loss of HYL-1 and LAGR......, and lagr-1. HYL-1 function is required for synthesis of ceramides and sphingolipids containing very long acyl-chains (≥C24), while HYL-2 is required for synthesis of ceramides and sphingolipids containing shorter acyl-chains (≤C22). Here we show that functional loss of HYL-2 decreases lifespan, while loss...

  20. Global and Local Loss Suppression in the UA9 Crystal Collimation Experiment

    Montesano, S

    2012-01-01

    UA9 was operated in the CERN-SPS for some years in view of investigating the feasibility of the halo collimation assisted by bent crystals. Silicon crystals 2 mm long with bending angles of about 150 μrad are used as primary collimators. The crystal collimation process is obtained consistently through channeling with high efficiency. The loss profiles in the area of the crystal collimator setup and in the downstream dispersion suppressor area show a steady reduction of slightly less than one order of magnitude at the onset of the channeling process. This result holds both for protons and for lead ions. The corresponding loss map in the accelerator ring is accordingly reduced. These observations strongly support our expectation that the coherent deflection of the beam halo by a bent crystal should enhance the collimation efficiency in hadron colliders, such as LHC.

  1. Loss-of-Function Sodium Channel Mutations in Infancy A Pattern Unfolds

    Chockalingam, Priya; Wilde, Arthur A. M.

    2012-01-01

    The role of channelopathies in the pathogenesis of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in patients with structurally normal hearts is a rapidly evolving story.(1) Many ion channels are involved, including loss-of-function sodium channelopathies of which the phenotypic spectrum ranges from lethal arrhythmias

  2. The diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of loss-of-function cardiac sodium channelopathies in children

    Chockalingam, Priya; Clur, Sally-Ann B.; Breur, Johannes M. P. J.; Kriebel, Thomas; Paul, Thomas; Rammeloo, Lukas A.; Wilde, Arthur A. M.; Blom, Nico A.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Loss-of-function sodium channelopathies manifest as a spectrum of diseases including Brugada syndrome (BrS) and cardiac conduction disease. OBJECTIVE To analyze the diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of these disorders in children. METHODS Patients aged <= 16 years with genetically

  3. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    Pratchett, M.S.; Hoey, A.S.; Wilson, S.K.; Messmer, V.; Graham, N.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  4. Simulation of electron energy loss spectra of nanomaterials with linear-scaling density functional theory

    Tait, E W; Payne, M C; Ratcliff, L E; Haynes, P D; Hine, N D M

    2016-01-01

    Experimental techniques for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) combine high energy resolution with high spatial resolution. They are therefore powerful tools for investigating the local electronic structure of complex systems such as nanostructures, interfaces and even individual defects. Interpretation of experimental electron energy loss spectra is often challenging and can require theoretical modelling of candidate structures, which themselves may be large and complex, beyond the capabilities of traditional cubic-scaling density functional theory. In this work, we present functionality to compute electron energy loss spectra within the onetep linear-scaling density functional theory code. We first demonstrate that simulated spectra agree with those computed using conventional plane wave pseudopotential methods to a high degree of precision. The ability of onetep to tackle large problems is then exploited to investigate convergence of spectra with respect to supercell size. Finally, we apply the novel functionality to a study of the electron energy loss spectra of defects on the (1 0 1) surface of an anatase slab and determine concentrations of defects which might be experimentally detectable. (paper)

  5. Genotype-phenotype associations in filaggrin loss-of-function mutation carriers

    Landeck, Lilla; Visser, Maaike; Kezic, Sanja; John, Swen M.

    2013-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations in the filaggrin gene (FLG) have been reported to be associated with specific phenotypic characteristics such as hyperlinearity and keratosis pilaris. To study phenotypic features in patients with occupational irritant contact eczema of the hands in relation to FLG

  6. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  7. Filaggrin loss-of-function mutations, atopic dermatitis and risk of actinic keratosis

    Andersen, Y M F; Egeberg, A; Balslev, E

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Common loss-of-function mutations in filaggrin gene (FLG) represent a strong genetic risk factor for atopic dermatitis (AD). Homozygous mutation carriers typically display ichthyosis vulgaris (IV) and many have concomitant AD. Previously, homozygous, but not heterozygous, filaggrin ge...

  8. Constraining the Stellar Mass Function in the Galactic Center via Mass Loss from Stellar Collisions

    Douglas Rubin

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The dense concentration of stars and high-velocity dispersions in the Galactic center imply that stellar collisions frequently occur. Stellar collisions could therefore result in significant mass loss rates. We calculate the amount of stellar mass lost due to indirect and direct stellar collisions and find its dependence on the present-day mass function of stars. We find that the total mass loss rate in the Galactic center due to stellar collisions is sensitive to the present-day mass function adopted. We use the observed diffuse X-ray luminosity in the Galactic center to preclude any present-day mass functions that result in mass loss rates >10-5M⨀yr−1 in the vicinity of ~1″. For present-day mass functions of the form, dN/dM∝M-α, we constrain the present-day mass function to have a minimum stellar mass ≲7M⨀ and a power-law slope ≳1.25. We also use this result to constrain the initial mass function in the Galactic center by considering different star formation scenarios.

  9. Loss of otolith function with age is associated with increased postural sway measures.

    Serrador, Jorge M; Lipsitz, Lewis A; Gopalakrishnan, Gosala S; Black, F Owen; Wood, Scott J

    2009-11-06

    Loss of balance and increased fall risk is a common problem associated with aging. Changes in vestibular function occur with aging but the contribution of reduced vestibular otolith function to fall risk remains unknown. We examined a population of 151 healthy individuals (aged 21-93) for both balance (sway measures) and ocular counter-rolling (OCR) function. We assessed balance function with eyes open and closed on a firm surface, eyes open and closed on a foam surface and OCR during +/-20 degree roll tilt at 0.005 Hz. Subjects demonstrated a significant age-related reduction in OCR and increase in postural sway. The effect of age on OCR was greater in females than males. The reduction in OCR was strongly correlated with the mediolateral measures of sway with eyes closed. This correlation was also present in the elderly group alone, suggesting that aging alone does not account for this effect. OCR decreased linearly with age and at a greater rate in females than males. This loss of vestibular otolith-ocular function is associated with increased mediolateral measures of sway which have been shown to be related to increased risk of falls. These data suggest a role for loss of otolith function in contributing to fall risk in the elderly. Further prospective, longitudinal studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

  10. The Role of Functional Interdependencies in Global Operations Networks

    Slepniov, Dmitrij; Wæhrens, Brian Vejrum

    2011-01-01

    The existing studies do not adequately address the complex interplay between co-evolving production, innovation and service networks. The widening geographical and cognitive gap between these networks means that managing their interfaces in global operations context is becoming strategically...

  11. Modulation of working memory function by motivation through loss-aversion.

    Krawczyk, Daniel C; D'Esposito, Mark

    2013-04-01

    Cognitive performance is affected by motivation. Few studies, however, have investigated the neural mechanisms of the influence of motivation through potential monetary punishment on working memory. We employed functional MRI during a delayed recognition task that manipulated top-down control demands with added monetary incentives to some trials in the form of potential losses of bonus money. Behavioral performance on the task was influenced by loss-threatening incentives in the form of faster and more accurate performance. As shown previously, we found enhancement of activity for relevant stimuli occurs throughout all task periods (e.g., stimulus encoding, maintenance, and response) in both prefrontal and visual association cortex. Further, these activation patterns were enhanced for trials with possible monetary loss relative to nonincentive trials. During the incentive cue, the amygdala and striatum showed significantly greater activation when money was at a possible loss on the trial. We also evaluated patterns of functional connectivity between regions responsive to monetary consequences and prefrontal areas responsive to the task. This analysis revealed greater delay period connectivity between and the left insula and prefrontal cortex with possible monetary loss relative to nonincentive trials. Overall, these results reveal that incentive motivation can modulate performance on working memory tasks through top-down signals via amplification of activity within prefrontal and visual association regions selective to processing the perceptual inputs of the stimuli to be remembered. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Pancreatic cancerrelated cachexia: influence on metabolism and correlation to weight loss and pulmonary function

    Bachmann, Jeannine; Ketterer, Knut; Marsch, Christiane; Fechtner, Kerstin; Krakowski-Roosen, Holger; Büchler, Markus W; Friess, Helmut; Martignoni, Marc E

    2009-01-01

    Dramatic weight loss is an often underestimated symptom in pancreatic cancer patients. Cachexia- defined as an unintended loss of stable weight exceeding 10% – is present in up to 80% of patients with cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and has a significant influence on survival. The aim of the study was to show the multiple systemic effects of cachexia in pancreatic cancer patients, in terms of resection rate, effects on pulmonary function, amount of fat and muscle tissue, as well as changes in laboratory parameters. In patients with pancreatic cancer, clinical appearance was documented, including the amount of weight loss. Laboratory parameters and lung-function tests were evaluated, and the thickness of muscle and fat tissue was measured with computed tomography scans. Statistical analysis, including multivariate analysis, was performed using SPSS software. Survival curves were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test. To test for significant differences between the examined groups we used Student's t-test and the Mann-Whitney U test. Significance was defined as p < 0.05. Of 198 patients with a ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, 70% were suffering from weight loss when they presented for operation, and in 40% weight loss exceeded 10% of the stable weight. In patients with cachexia, metastases were diagnosed significantly more often (47% vs. 24%, P < 0.001), leading to a significantly reduced resection rate in these patients. Patients with cachexia had significantly reduced fat tissue amounts. Hence, dramatic weight loss in a patient with pancreatic cancer may be a hint of a more progressed or more aggressive tumour. Pancreatic cancer patients with cachexia had a higher rate of more progressed tumour stages and a worse nutritional status. Furthermore, patients with cachexia had an impaired lung function and a reduction in fat tissue. Patients with pancreatic cancer and cachexia had significantly reduced survival. If weight

  13. Pancreatic cancerrelated cachexia: influence on metabolism and correlation to weight loss and pulmonary function

    Bachmann, Jeannine; Ketterer, Knut [Department of Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich (Germany); Marsch, Christiane [Department of General Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Fechtner, Kerstin [Department of Radiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Krakowski-Roosen, Holger [German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany); Büchler, Markus W [Department of General Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany); Friess, Helmut; Martignoni, Marc E [Department of Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich (Germany)

    2009-07-28

    Dramatic weight loss is an often underestimated symptom in pancreatic cancer patients. Cachexia- defined as an unintended loss of stable weight exceeding 10% – is present in up to 80% of patients with cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and has a significant influence on survival. The aim of the study was to show the multiple systemic effects of cachexia in pancreatic cancer patients, in terms of resection rate, effects on pulmonary function, amount of fat and muscle tissue, as well as changes in laboratory parameters. In patients with pancreatic cancer, clinical appearance was documented, including the amount of weight loss. Laboratory parameters and lung-function tests were evaluated, and the thickness of muscle and fat tissue was measured with computed tomography scans. Statistical analysis, including multivariate analysis, was performed using SPSS software. Survival curves were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test. To test for significant differences between the examined groups we used Student's t-test and the Mann-Whitney U test. Significance was defined as p < 0.05. Of 198 patients with a ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, 70% were suffering from weight loss when they presented for operation, and in 40% weight loss exceeded 10% of the stable weight. In patients with cachexia, metastases were diagnosed significantly more often (47% vs. 24%, P < 0.001), leading to a significantly reduced resection rate in these patients. Patients with cachexia had significantly reduced fat tissue amounts. Hence, dramatic weight loss in a patient with pancreatic cancer may be a hint of a more progressed or more aggressive tumour. Pancreatic cancer patients with cachexia had a higher rate of more progressed tumour stages and a worse nutritional status. Furthermore, patients with cachexia had an impaired lung function and a reduction in fat tissue. Patients with pancreatic cancer and cachexia had significantly reduced survival. If weight loss

  14. De novo loss- or gain-of-function mutations in KCNA2 cause epileptic encephalopathy

    Syrbe, Steffen; Hedrich, Ulrike B S; Riesch, Erik

    2015-01-01

    disability, delayed speech development and sometimes ataxia. Functional studies of the two mutations associated with this phenotype showed almost complete loss of function with a dominant-negative effect. Two further individuals presented with a different and more severe epileptic encephalopathy phenotype....... They carried mutations inducing a drastic gain-of-function effect leading to permanently open channels. These results establish KCNA2 as a new gene involved in human neurodevelopmental disorders through two different mechanisms, predicting either hyperexcitability or electrical silencing of KV1.2-expressing...

  15. Exploring the sensitivity of global ocean circulation to future ice loss from Antarctica

    Condron, Alan [Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States); Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole, MA (United States)

    2017-09-30

    The sensitivity of the global ocean circulation and climate to large increases in iceberg calving and meltwater discharges from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) are rarely studied and poorly understood. The requirement to investigate this topic is heightened by growing evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is vulnerable to rapid retreat and collapse on multidecadal-to-centennial timescales. Observations collected over the last 30 years indicate that the WAIS is now losing mass at an accelerated and that a collapse may have already begun in the Amundsen Sea sector. In addition, some recent future model simulations of the AIS show the potential for rapid ice sheet retreat in the next 50 – 300 years. Such a collapse would be associated with the discharge of enormous volumes of ice and meltwater to the Southern Ocean. This project funds PI Condron to begin assessing the sensitivity of the global ocean circulation to projected increases in meltwater discharge and iceberg calving from the AIS for the next 50 – 100 years. A series of climate model simulations will determine changes in ocean circulation and temperature at the ice sheet grounding line, the role of mesoscale ocean eddies in mixing and transporting freshwater away from the continent to deep water formation regions, and the likely impact on the northward transport of heat to Europe and North America.

  16. Postglacial Rebound and Current Ice Loss Estimates from Space Geodesy: The New ICE-6G (VM5a) Global Model

    Peltier, W. R.; Argus, D.; Drummond, R.; Moore, A. W.

    2012-12-01

    We compare, on a global basis, estimates of site velocity against predictions of the newly constructed postglacial rebound model ICE-6G (VM5a). This model is fit to observations of North American postglacial rebound thereby demonstrating that the ice sheet at last glacial maximum must have been, relative to ICE-5G,thinner in southern Manitoba, thinner near Yellowknife (northwest Territories), thicker in eastern and southern Quebec, and thicker along the British Columbia-Alberta border. The GPS based estimates of site velocity that we employ are more accurate than were previously available because they are based on GPS estimates of position as a function of time determined by incorporating satellite phase center variations [Desai et al. 2011]. These GPS estimates are constraining postglacial rebound in North America and Europe more tightly than ever before. In particular, given the high density of GPS sites in North America, and the fact that the velocity of the mass center (CM) of Earth is also more tightly constrained, the new model much more strongly constrains both the lateral extent of the proglacial forebulge and the rate at which this peripheral bulge (that was emplaced peripheral to the late Pleistocence Laurentia ice sheet) is presently collapsing. This fact proves to be important to the more accurate inference of the current rate of ice loss from both Greenland and Alaska based upon the time dependent gravity observations being provided by the GRACE satellite system. In West Antarctica we have also been able to significantly revise the previously prevalent ICE-5G deglaciation history so as to enable its predictions to be optimally consistent with GPS site velocities determined by connecting campaign WAGN measurements to those provided by observations from the permanent ANET sites. Ellsworth Land (south of the Antarctic peninsula), is observed to be rising at 6 ±3 mm/yr according to our latest analyses; the Ellsworth mountains themselves are observed to be

  17. Q FUNCTION AWARE OPTICAL PACKET SWITCH WITH LOW PACKET LOSS RATE

    OMPAL SINGH

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Optical packet switching (OPS is a very promising technology for the next generation data transfer due to the very large bandwidth of the optical fiber. The success of the OPS relies heavily on design of the node architecture which supports comparatively larger buffering capacity without detiorating signal quality too much and it should provide very low packet loss probability with reasonably low average delay. In this paper, a design analysis of low complexity OPS node architecture is discussed along-with its advantages. The presented architecture support both fixed and variable length packets. The packets are stored in a single piece of fiber using the WDM technology. Physical layer analysis presented in this paper is to obtain the Q function (Bit Error Rate. Finally, the Monte Carlo simulation is done to obtain the packet loss. The average delay performance of the switch and effect of Q values on packet loss rates are discussed.

  18. Global climate change increases risk of crop yield losses and food insecurity in the tropical Andes.

    Tito, Richard; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Feeley, Kenneth J

    2018-02-01

    One of the greatest current challenges to human society is ensuring adequate food production and security for a rapidly growing population under changing climatic conditions. Climate change, and specifically rising temperatures, will alter the suitability of areas for specific crops and cultivation systems. In order to maintain yields, farmers may be forced to change cultivation practices, the timing of cultivation, or even the type of crops grown. Alternatively, farmers can change the location where crops are cultivated (e.g., to higher elevations) to track suitable climates (in which case the plants will have to grow in different soils), as cultivated plants will otherwise have to tolerate warmer temperatures and possibly face novel enemies. We simulated these two last possible scenarios (for temperature increases of 1.3°C and 2.6°C) in the Peruvian Andes through a field experiment in which several traditionally grown varieties of potato and maize were planted at different elevations (and thus temperatures) using either the local soil or soil translocated from higher elevations. Maize production declined by 21%-29% in response to new soil conditions. The production of maize and potatoes declined by >87% when plants were grown under warmer temperatures, mainly as a result of the greater incidence of novel pests. Crop quality and value also declined under simulated migration and warming scenarios. We estimated that local farmers may experience severe economic losses of up to 2,300 US$ ha -1  yr -1 . These findings reveal that climate change is a real and imminent threat to agriculture and that there is a pressing need to develop effective management strategies to reduce yield losses and prevent food insecurity. Importantly, such strategies should take into account the influences of non-climatic and/or biotic factors (e.g., novel pests) on plant development. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Global Biodiversity Loss by Freshwater Consumption and Eutrophication from Swiss Food Consumption.

    Scherer, Laura; Pfister, Stephan

    2016-07-05

    We investigated water-related resource use, emissions and ecosystem impacts of food consumed in Switzerland. To do so, we coupled LCA methodologies on freshwater consumption, freshwater eutrophication and the consequent local and global biodiversity impacts with Swiss customs data and multiregional input-output analysis. Most of the resource use, emissions and impacts occur outside the national boundaries which illustrates the extent of environmental outsourcing facilitated by international trade. Countries that are severely affected by Swiss food consumption include Spain, the United States and Ecuador. Cocoa, coffee, and almonds stood out as products with high impacts. By identifying spatial hotspots and impactful products, awareness of policy-makers as well as individual consumers can be raised and efforts of detailed assessments can be streamlined. However, political and economic constraints and the resistance by individual consumers limit the high potential of changes in diets and trade relations to decrease the environmental impacts of food.

  20. Species loss, delayed numerical responses, and functional compensation in an antbird guild.

    Touchton, Janeene M; Smith, James N M

    2011-05-01

    When a community loses species through fragmentation, its total food consumption may drop. Compensatory responses of remaining species, whereby survivors assume roles of extinct competitors, may reduce the impact of species loss through numerical or functional responses. We measured compensatory responses in two remaining antbird species on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, four decades after the loss of their dominant competitor, the Ocellated Antbird, Phaenostictus mcleannani. We compared current abundances and behavior of these two species on Barro Colorado to those reported before the island lost Ocellated Antbirds, and to those in a nearby mainland population where all three species still exist as a space-for-time substitution. The smaller, more subordinate Spotted Antbird, Hylophylax naevioides, responded far more strongly than the larger Bicolored Antbird, Gymnopithys leucaspis, which is functionally more like the Ocellated Antbird. Islandwide density of Spotted Antbirds has more than doubled since the loss of Ocellated Antbirds. Moreover, Spotted Antbirds now spend so much more of their time following ant swarms that their metabolic biomass at these swarms has more than tripled since Ocellated Antbirds disappeared. These responses in Spotted Antbirds were apparently delayed by >20 years. Bicolored Antbirds have not increased substantially in islandwide density or metabolic biomass at ant swarms. We hypothesize that behavioral flexibility, as shown by Spotted Antbirds on Barro Colorado Island, is a major factor governing the extent to which fragmented ecosystems can buffer the impacts of species loss.

  1. Functional consequences of climate change-induced plant species loss in a tallgrass prairie.

    Craine, Joseph M; Nippert, Jesse B; Towne, E Gene; Tucker, Sally; Kembel, Steven W; Skibbe, Adam; McLauchlan, Kendra K

    2011-04-01

    Future climate change is likely to reduce the floristic diversity of grasslands. Yet the potential consequences of climate-induced plant species losses for the functioning of these ecosystems are poorly understood. We investigated how climate change might alter the functional composition of grasslands for Konza Prairie, a diverse tallgrass prairie in central North America. With species-specific climate envelopes, we show that a reduction in mean annual precipitation would preferentially remove species that are more abundant in the more productive lowland positions at Konza. As such, decreases in precipitation could reduce productivity not only by reducing water availability but by also removing species that inhabit the most productive areas and respond the most to climate variability. In support of this prediction, data on species abundance at Konza over 16 years show that species that are more abundant in lowlands than uplands are preferentially reduced in years with low precipitation. Climate change is likely to also preferentially remove species from particular functional groups and clades. For example, warming is forecast to preferentially remove perennials over annuals as well as Cyperaceae species. Despite these predictions, climate change is unlikely to unilaterally alter the functional composition of the tallgrass prairie flora, as many functional traits such as physiological drought tolerance and maximum photosynthetic rates showed little relationship with climate envelope parameters. In all, although climatic drying would indirectly alter grassland productivity through species loss patterns, the insurance afforded by biodiversity to ecosystem function is likely to be sustained in the face of climate change.

  2. Optimizing Policymakers' Loss Functions in Crisis Prediction: Before, Within or After?

    Sarlin, Peter; von Schweinitz, Gregor

    2015-01-01

    Early-warning models most commonly optimize signaling thresholds on crisis probabilities. The expost threshold optimization is based upon a loss function accounting for preferences between forecast errors, but comes with two crucial drawbacks: unstable thresholds in recursive estimations and an in-sample overfit at the expense of out-of-sample performance. We propose two alternatives for threshold setting: (i) including preferences in the estimation itself and (ii) setting thresholds ex-ante ...

  3. Supplier Selection for Food Industry: A Combination of Taguchi Loss Function and Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process

    Renna Magdalena

    2012-01-01

    Supplier selection is an important part of supply chain management process by which firms identify, evaluate, and establish contracts with suppliers. Deciding the right supplier can be a complex task. As such, various criteria must be taken into account to choose the best supplier. This study focused on the supply in the packaging division of a food industry in Denpasar-Bali. A combination of Taguchi Loss Function and fuzzy-AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process Fuzzy Linear Programming) was used ...

  4. Biallelic Loss of Function of SORL1 in an Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease Patient.

    Le Guennec, Kilan; Tubeuf, Hélène; Hannequin, Didier; Wallon, David; Quenez, Olivier; Rousseau, Stéphane; Richard, Anne-Claire; Deleuze, Jean-François; Boland, Anne; Frebourg, Thierry; Gaildrat, Pascaline; Campion, Dominique; Martins, Alexandra; Nicolas, Gaël

    2018-01-01

    Heterozygous SORL1 protein truncating variants (PTV) are a strong risk factor for early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD). In case control studies performed at the genome-wide level, PTV definition is usually straightforward. Regarding splice site variants, only those affecting canonical sites are typically included. Some other variants, not annotated as PTV, could, however, affect splicing and hence result in a loss of SORL1 function. We took advantage of the whole exome sequencing data from the 9/484 patients with a previously reported SORL1 PTV in the French EOAD series and searched for a second variant which may affect splicing and eventually result in more than 50% loss of function overall. We found that one patient, known to carry a variant predicted to disrupt the canonical 5' splice site of exon 8, also carried a second novel intronic variant predicted to affect SORL1 splicing of exon 29. Segregation analysis showed that the second variant was located in trans from the known PTV. We performed ex vivo minigene splicing assays and showed that both variants led to the generation of transcripts containing a premature stop codon. This is therefore the first evidence of a human carrying biallelic SORL1 PTV. This patient had a family history of dementia in both maternal and paternal lineages with later ages of onset than the proband himself. However, his 55 years age at onset was in the same ranges as previously published SORL1 heterozygous PTV carriers. This suggests that biallelic loss of SORL1 function is an extremely rare event that was not associated with a dramatically earlier age at onset than heterozygous SORL1 loss-of-function variant carriers, in this single patient.

  5. Loss of renal function causes premature aging of the immune system.

    Betjes, Michiel G H; Meijers, Ruud W J; Litjens, Nicolle H R

    2013-01-01

    Uremia-associated immune deficiency is a well-known complication of loss of renal function and contributes significantly to the overall mortality and morbidity of patients with end-stage renal disease. Chronic inflammation and increased oxidative stress are underlying the uremia-associated immune deficiency. In this review, the differential impact of uremia on the cellular immune system is summarized. Virtually all immune cells studied show a combination of an activated status and loss of function. However, uremia preferentially decreases the number and function of lymphoid cells while myeloid cells show normal and/or elevated cell numbers with increased production of inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species. These particular changes are compatible with immunological aging, which is characterized by loss of thymic function, attrition of telomeres and an expanded memory T cell population. Similar to aging in healthy individuals, the proinflammatory and potential cardiotoxic subsets of CD28(null) T cells and CD16(+) monocytes are increased. Epigenetically changed hematopoietic stem cells may be involved in immunological aging as specific DNA regions become hypermethylated. Proinflammatory T cells and monocytes persist after kidney transplantation, which constitutes a persistent cardiovascular risk factor. Possible therapeutic options to reverse or halt uremia-associated immunological aging are discussed. Premature aging of the immune system is a dominant feature in patients with end-stage renal failure, which corresponds to immunological aging in elderly healthy individuals, which is characterized by preferential loss of cells belonging to the lymphoid cell lineage, inflammation and expansion of proinflammatory immune cells. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Mapping brain structure and function: cellular resolution, global perspective.

    Zupanc, Günther K H

    2017-04-01

    A comprehensive understanding of the brain requires analysis, although from a global perspective, with cellular, and even subcellular, resolution. An important step towards this goal involves the establishment of three-dimensional high-resolution brain maps, incorporating brain-wide information about the cells and their connections, as well as the chemical architecture. The progress made in such anatomical brain mapping in recent years has been paralleled by the development of physiological techniques that enable investigators to generate global neural activity maps, also with cellular resolution, while simultaneously recording the organism's behavioral activity. Combination of the high-resolution anatomical and physiological maps, followed by theoretical systems analysis of the deduced network, will offer unprecedented opportunities for a better understanding of how the brain, as a whole, processes sensory information and generates behavior.

  7. Mouse Models for Pendrin-Associated Loss of Cochlear and Vestibular Function

    Philine Wangemann

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The human gene SLC26A4 and the mouse ortholog Slc26a4 code for the protein pendrin, which is an anion exchanger expressed in apical membranes of selected epithelia. In the inner ear, pendrin is expressed in the cochlea, the vestibular labyrinth and the endolymphatic sac. Loss-of-function and hypo-functional mutations cause an enlargement of the vestibular aqueduct (EVA and sensorineural hearing loss. The relatively high prevalence of SLC26A4 mutations provides a strong imperative to develop rational interventions that delay, ameliorate or prevent pendrin-associated loss of cochlear and vestibular function. This review summarizes recent studies in mouse models that have been developed to delineate the role of pendrin in the physiology of hearing and balance and that have brought forward the concept that a temporally and spatially limited therapy may be sufficient to secure a life-time of normal hearing in children bearing mutations of SLC26A4.

  8. Bayesian Estimation of the Scale Parameter of Inverse Weibull Distribution under the Asymmetric Loss Functions

    Farhad Yahgmaei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes different methods of estimating the scale parameter in the inverse Weibull distribution (IWD. Specifically, the maximum likelihood estimator of the scale parameter in IWD is introduced. We then derived the Bayes estimators for the scale parameter in IWD by considering quasi, gamma, and uniform priors distributions under the square error, entropy, and precautionary loss functions. Finally, the different proposed estimators have been compared by the extensive simulation studies in corresponding the mean square errors and the evolution of risk functions.

  9. Survival Bayesian Estimation of Exponential-Gamma Under Linex Loss Function

    Rizki, S. W.; Mara, M. N.; Sulistianingsih, E.

    2017-06-01

    This paper elaborates a research of the cancer patients after receiving a treatment in cencored data using Bayesian estimation under Linex Loss function for Survival Model which is assumed as an exponential distribution. By giving Gamma distribution as prior and likelihood function produces a gamma distribution as posterior distribution. The posterior distribution is used to find estimatior {\\hat{λ }}BL by using Linex approximation. After getting {\\hat{λ }}BL, the estimators of hazard function {\\hat{h}}BL and survival function {\\hat{S}}BL can be found. Finally, we compare the result of Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) and Linex approximation to find the best method for this observation by finding smaller MSE. The result shows that MSE of hazard and survival under MLE are 2.91728E-07 and 0.000309004 and by using Bayesian Linex worths 2.8727E-07 and 0.000304131, respectively. It concludes that the Bayesian Linex is better than MLE.

  10. Global Assessment of Functioning Among The Mentally-ill Out ...

    Background: Success in the treatment of the mentally-ill is suggested by patient's level of functioning. This study is to determine the highest overall level of functioning among the mentally-ill patients on follow-up at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. Methods: Patients were picked consecutively as they presented at ...

  11. The green's functions of superconductivity- A review | Imo | Global ...

    We present some basic Green's functions of superconductivity, making emphasis on their geneology and analytic properties. From calculations, we note that the temperature dependence of the Green's functions for fermionic (and bosonic) systems limits and defines the extent of their applications and results. Furthermore ...

  12. Cognitive function predicts 24-month weight loss success after bariatric surgery.

    Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Alosco, Michael; Strain, Gladys; Devlin, Michael; Cohen, Ronald; Paul, Robert; Crosby, Ross D; Mitchell, James E; Gunstad, John

    2013-01-01

    Clinically significant cognitive impairment, particularly in attention/executive and memory function, is found in many patients undergoing bariatric surgery. These difficulties have previously been linked to decreased weight loss 12 months after surgery, but more protracted examination of this relationship has not yet been conducted. The present study prospectively examined the independent contribution of cognitive function to weight loss 24 months after bariatric surgery. Given the rapid rate of cognitive improvement observed after surgery, postoperative cognitive function (i.e., cognition 12 weeks after surgery, controlling for baseline cognition) was expected to predict lower body mass index (BMI) and higher percent total weight loss (%WL) at 24-month follow-up. Data were collected by 3 sites of the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) parent project. Fifty-seven individuals enrolled in the LABS project who were undergoing bariatric surgery completed cognitive evaluation at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 months. BMI and %WL were calculated for 24-month postoperative follow-up. Better cognitive function 12 weeks after surgery predicted higher %WL and lower BMI at 24 months, and specific domains of attention/executive and memory function were robustly related to decreased BMI and greater %WL at 24 months. Results show that cognitive performance shortly after bariatric surgery predicts greater long-term %WL and lower BMI 24 months after bariatric surgery. Further work is needed to clarify the degree to which this relationship is mediated by adherence to postoperative guidelines. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Comparing the loss of functional independence of older adults in the U.S. and China.

    Fong, Joelle H; Feng, Jun

    2018-01-01

    Functional loss among older adults is known to follow a hierarchical sequence, but little is known about whether such sequences differ across socio-cultural contexts. The aim of this study is to construct activities of daily livings (ADL) scales for oldest-old adults in the United States and China so as to compare their functional loss sequences. We use data from the Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (n=1607) and Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (n=5570) for years 1998-2008. ADL items are calibrated within a scale using the Rasch measurement model. Rasch scores are averaged across survey waves to identify the ADL loss sequence for each study population. We also assess scale stability over measurement periods. Factor analyses confirm that the ADL items in each study population can be combined meaningfully to form a hierarchical sequence. Internal consistency assessed by Cronbach's alpha is high (0.81 to 0.95). We find that bathing is the first activity that both older Americans and Chinese have difficulty with, while eating is the last activity. There are, however, differences in the rank order for toileting (ranked more challenging in the Chinese sample) and dressing (ranked more challenging in the U.S. sample). Item orderings are stable over time. The results highlight the relative importance of bathing in the functional loss sequence for older adults, regardless of socio-cultural context. Health interventions are needed to address deficits in the bathroom environment, especially in developing countries like China. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Functional loss of two ceramide synthases elicits autophagy-dependent lifespan extension in C. elegans.

    Mai-Britt Mosbech

    Full Text Available Ceramide and its metabolites constitute a diverse group of lipids, which play important roles as structural entities of biological membranes as well as regulators of cellular growth, differentiation, and development. The C. elegans genome comprises three ceramide synthase genes; hyl-1, hyl-2, and lagr-1. HYL-1 function is required for synthesis of ceramides and sphingolipids containing very long acyl-chains (≥C24, while HYL-2 is required for synthesis of ceramides and sphingolipids containing shorter acyl-chains (≤C22. Here we show that functional loss of HYL-2 decreases lifespan, while loss of HYL-1 or LAGR-1 does not affect lifespan. We show that loss of HYL-1 and LAGR-1 functions extend lifespan in an autophagy-dependent manner, as knock down of the autophagy-associated gene ATG-12 abolishes hyl-1;lagr-1 longevity. The transcription factors PHA-4/FOXA, DAF-16/FOXO, and SKN-1 are also required for the observed lifespan extension, as well as the increased number of autophagosomes in hyl-1;lagr-1 animals. Both autophagic events and the transcription factors PHA-4/FOXA, DAF-16, and SKN-1 have previously been associated with dietary restriction-induced longevity. Accordingly, we find that hyl-1;lagr-1 animals display reduced feeding, increased resistance to heat, and reduced reproduction. Collectively, our data suggest that specific sphingolipids produced by different ceramide synthases have opposing roles in determination of C. elegans lifespan. We propose that loss of HYL-1 and LAGR-1 result in dietary restriction-induced autophagy and consequently prolonged longevity.

  15. Preserved microvascular endothelial function in young, obese adults with functional loss of nitric oxide signaling

    John eHarrell

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Data indicate endothelium-dependent dilation (EDD may be preserved in the skeletal muscle microcirculation of young, obese adults. Preserved EDD might be mediated by compensatory mechanisms, impeding insight into preclinical vascular dysfunction. We aimed to determine the functional roles of nitric oxide synthase (NOS and cyclooxygenase (COX toward EDD in younger obese adults. We first hypothesized EDD would be preserved in young, obese adults. Further, we hypothesized a reduced contribution of NOS in young, obese adults would be replaced by increased COX signaling. Microvascular EDD was assessed with Doppler ultrasound and brachial artery infusion of acetylcholine (ACh in younger (27±1 yr obese (n=29 and lean (n=46 humans. Individual and combined contributions of NOS and COX were examined with intra-arterial infusions of L-NMMA and ketorolac, respectively. Vasodilation was quantified as an increase in forearm vascular conductance (ΔFVC. Arterial endothelial cell biopsies were analyzed for protein expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS. ΔFVC to ACh was similar between groups. After L-NMMA, ΔFVC to ACh was greater in obese adults (p<0.05. There were no group differences in ΔFVC to ACh with ketorolac. With combined NOS-COX inhibition, ΔFVC was greater in obese adults at the intermediate dose of ACh. Surprisingly, arterial endothelial cell eNOS and phosphorylated eNOS were similar between groups. Younger obese adults exhibit preserved EDD and eNOS expression despite functional dissociation of NOS-mediated vasodilation and similar COX signaling. Compensatory NOS- and COX-independent vasodilatory mechanisms conceal reduced NOS contributions in otherwise healthy obese adults early in life, which may contribute to vascular dysfunction.

  16. 49 CFR 1242.78 - Employees performing clerical and accounting functions, and loss and damage claims processing...

    2010-10-01

    ... Employees performing clerical and accounting functions, and loss and damage claims processing (accounts XX... 49 Transportation 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Employees performing clerical and accounting functions, and loss and damage claims processing (accounts XX-55-76 and XX-55-78). 1242.78 Section 1242.78...

  17. Dual Sensory Loss and Depressive Symptoms: The Importance of Hearing, Daily Functioning and Activity Engagement

    Kim Matthew Kiely

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: The association between dual sensory loss (DSL and mental health has been well established. However, most studies have relied on self-report data and lacked measures that would enable researchers to examine causal pathways between DSL and depression. This study seeks to extend this research by examining the effects of DSL on mental health, and identify factors that explain the longitudinal associations between sensory loss and depressive symptoms. Methods: Piecewise linear-mixed models were used to analyse 16-years of longitudinal data collected on up to five occasions from 1611 adults (51% men aged between 65 and 103 years. Depressive symptoms were assessed by the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D. Vision loss (VL was defined by corrected visual acuity greater than 0.3 logMAR in the better eye, blindness or glaucoma. Hearing loss (HL was defined by pure tone average (PTA greater than 25 dB in the better hearing ear. Analyses were adjusted for socio-demographics, medical conditions, lifestyle behaviours, Activities of Daily Living (ADLs, cognitive function, and social engagement. Results: Unadjusted models indicated that higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with HL (B=1.16, SE=0.33 and DSL (B=2.15, SE=0.39 but not VL. Greater rates of change in depressive symptoms were also evident after the onset of HL (B=0.16, SE=0.06, p

  18. Generation of mice harbouring a conditional loss-of-function allele of Gata6

    Duncan Stephen A

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The zinc finger transcription factor GATA6 is believed to have important roles in the development of several organs including the liver, gastrointestinal tract and heart. However, analyses of the contribution of GATA6 toward organogenesis have been hampered because Gata6-/- mice fail to develop beyond gastrulation due to defects in extraembryonic endoderm function. We have therefore generated a mouse line harbouring a conditional loss-of-function allele of Gata6 using Cre/loxP technology. LoxP elements were introduced into introns flanking exon 2 of the Gata6 gene by homologous recombination in ES cells. Mice containing this altered allele were bred to homozygosity and were found to be viable and fertile. To assess the functional integrity of the loxP sites and to confirm that we had generated a Gata6 loss-of-function allele, we bred Gata6 'floxed' mice to EIIa-Cre mice in which Cre is ubiquitously expressed, and to Villin-Cre mice that express Cre in the epithelial cells of the intestine. We conclude that we have generated a line of mice in which GATA6 activity can be ablated in a cell type specific manner by expression of Cre recombinase. This line of mice can be used to establish the role of GATA6 in regulating embryonic development and various aspects of mammalian physiology.

  19. Impaired physical function, loss of muscle mass and assessment of biomechanical properties in critical ill patients

    Poulsen, Jesper Brøndum

    2012-01-01

    Intensive care unit (ICU) admission is associated with muscle weakness and ICU survivors report sustained limitation of physical capacity for years after discharge. Limited information is available on the underlying biomechanical properties responsible for this muscle function impairment. A plaus......Intensive care unit (ICU) admission is associated with muscle weakness and ICU survivors report sustained limitation of physical capacity for years after discharge. Limited information is available on the underlying biomechanical properties responsible for this muscle function impairment....... A plausible contributor to the accentuated catabolic drive in ICU patients is a synergistic response to inflammation and inactivity leading to loss of muscle mass. As these entities are predominantly present in the early phase of ICU stay, interventions employed during this time frame may exhibit the greatest...... potential to counteract loss of muscle mass. Despite the obvious clinical significance of muscle atrophy for the functional impairment observed in ICU survivors, no preventive therapies have been identified as yet. The overall aim of the present dissertation is to characterize aspects of physical function...

  20. Globalization

    Tulio Rosembuj

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available There is no singular globalization, nor is the result of an individual agent. We could start by saying that global action has different angles and subjects who perform it are different, as well as its objectives. The global is an invisible invasion of materials and immediate effects.

  1. Globalization

    Tulio Rosembuj

    2006-01-01

    There is no singular globalization, nor is the result of an individual agent. We could start by saying that global action has different angles and subjects who perform it are different, as well as its objectives. The global is an invisible invasion of materials and immediate effects.

  2. Global marine plankton functional type biomass distributions: Phaeocystis spp.

    C. Widdicombe

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The planktonic haptophyte Phaeocystis has been suggested to play a fundamental role in the global biogeochemical cycling of carbon and sulphur, but little is known about its global biomass distribution. We have collected global microscopy data of the genus Phaeocystis and converted abundance data to carbon biomass using species-specific carbon conversion factors. Microscopic counts of single-celled and colonial Phaeocystis were obtained both through the mining of online databases and by accepting direct submissions (both published and unpublished from Phaeocystis specialists. We recorded abundance data from a total of 1595 depth-resolved stations sampled between 1955–2009. The quality-controlled dataset includes 5057 counts of individual Phaeocystis cells resolved to species level and information regarding life-stages from 3526 samples. 83% of stations were located in the Northern Hemisphere while 17% were located in the Southern Hemisphere. Most data were located in the latitude range of 50–70° N. While the seasonal distribution of Northern Hemisphere data was well-balanced, Southern Hemisphere data was biased towards summer months. Mean species- and form-specific cell diameters were determined from previously published studies. Cell diameters were used to calculate the cellular biovolume of Phaeocystis cells, assuming spherical geometry. Cell biomass was calculated using a carbon conversion factor for prymnesiophytes. For colonies, the number of cells per colony was derived from the colony volume. Cell numbers were then converted to carbon concentrations. An estimation of colonial mucus carbon was included a posteriori, assuming a mean colony size for each species. Carbon content per cell ranged from 9 pg C cell−1 (single-celled Phaeocystis antarctica to 29 pg C cell−1 (colonial Phaeocystis globosa. Non-zero Phaeocystis cell biomasses (without mucus carbon range from 2.9 × 10−5 to 5.4 × 103 μg C l−1, with a mean of 45.7 μg C

  3. Loss of P53 Function in Colon Cancer Cells Results in Increased Phosphocholine and Total Choline

    Noriko Mori

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the p53 gene are the most frequently observed genetic lesions in human cancers. Human cancers that contain a p53 mutation are more aggressive, more apt to metastasize, and more often fatal. p53 controls numerous downstream targets that can influence various outcomes such as apoptosis, growth arrest, and DNA repair. Based on previous observations using 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS, we have identified choline phospholipid metabolite intensities typical of increased malignancy. Here we have used 1H MRS to characterize the choline phospholipid metabolite levels of p53+/+ and p53−/– cells, and demonstrated that loss of p53 function results in increased phosphocholine and total choline. These data suggest that the increased malignancy of cancer cells resulting from loss of p53 may be mediated, in part, through the choline phospholipid pathway.

  4. Loss of melanocortin-4 receptor function attenuates HPA responses to psychological stress

    Ryan, Karen K; Mul, Joram D; Clemmensen, Christoffer

    2014-01-01

    function. These results support the hypothesis that endogenous MC4R signaling contributes to the HPA axis response to stress. Because MC4R plays a critical role in the regulation of energy balance, the present work suggests that it may also serve as an important communication link between brain metabolic...... in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (HPA) regulation. The present work investigated the role of chronic Mc4r function to modulate basal HPA axis tone and to facilitate acute HPA responses to psychological stress, using a novel rat model with Mc4r loss-of-function. In this study, adult male rats were......The melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), well-known for its role in the regulation of energy balance, is widely expressed in stress-regulatory brain regions, including the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH) and the medial amygdala (MeA). In agreement with this, MC4R has been implicated...

  5. Simultaneous loss of soil biodiversity and functions along a copper contamination gradient

    Naveed, Muhammad; Moldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    and associated soil functions is limited. Here, we quantified an array of soil biological constituents (plants, earthworms, nematodes, bacteria, and fungi) to explore their interactions and to characterize their influence on various soil functions (habitat for soil organisms, air and water regulation......The impact of biodiversity loss on soil functions is well established via laboratory experiments that generally consider soil biota groups in isolation from each other, a condition rarely present in field soils. As a result, our knowledge about anthropogenic induced changes in biodiversity......, and recycling of nutrients and organic waste) along a legacy copper (Cu) pollution gradient. Increasing Cu concentrations had detrimental impact on both plant growth and species richness. Belowground soil biota showed similar response with their sensitivity to elevated Cu concentrations decreasing...

  6. Reward loss and the basolateral amygdala: A function in reward comparisons.

    Kawasaki, Katsuyoshi; Annicchiarico, Iván; Glueck, Amanda C; Morón, Ignacio; Papini, Mauricio R

    2017-07-28

    The neural circuitry underlying behavior in reward loss situations is poorly understood. We considered two such situations: reward devaluation (from large to small rewards) and reward omission (from large rewards to no rewards). There is evidence that the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays a role in the negative emotion accompanying reward loss. However, little is known about the function of the basolateral nucleus (BLA) in reward loss. Two hypotheses of BLA function in reward loss, negative emotion and reward comparisons, were tested in an experiment involving pretraining excitotoxic BLA lesions followed by training in four tasks: consummatory successive negative contrast (cSNC), autoshaping (AS) acquisition and extinction, anticipatory negative contrast (ANC), and open field testing (OF). Cell counts in the BLA (but not in the CeA) were significantly lower in animals with lesions vs. shams. BLA lesions eliminated cSNC and ANC, and accelerated extinction of lever pressing in AS. BLA lesions had no effect on OF testing: higher activity in the periphery than in the central area. This pattern of results provides support for the hypothesis that BLA neurons are important for reward comparison. The three affected tasks (cSNC, ANC, and AS extinction) involve reward comparisons. However, ANC does not seem to involve negative emotions and it was affected, whereas OF activity is known to involve negative emotion, but it was not affected. It is hypothesized that a circuit involving the thalamus, insular cortex, and BLA is critically involved in the mechanism comparing current and expected rewards. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Lyapunov functions and global stability for SIR and SEIR models with age-dependent susceptibility

    Korobeinikov, Andrei; Melnik, Andrey V.

    2013-01-01

    We consider global asymptotic properties for the SIR and SEIR age structured models for infectious diseases where the susceptibility depends on the age. Using the direct Lyapunov method with Volterra type Lyapunov functions, we establish conditions for the global stability of a unique endemic steady state and the infection-free steady state.

  8. Global existence for Volterra-Fredholm type neutral impulsive functional integrodifferential equations

    V. Vijayakumar

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available n this paper, we study the global existence of solutions for the initial value problems for Volterra-Fredholm type neutral impulsive functional integrodifferential equations. Using the Leray-Schauder's Alternative theorem, we derive conditions under which a solution exists globally. An application is provided to illustrate the theory.

  9. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Pedro Cardoso

    Full Text Available The objectives of this work are: (1 to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2 test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3 compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4 compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5 relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1 sensing, (2 sheet, (3 space, and (4 orb web weavers; (5 specialists; (6 ambush, (7 ground, and (8 other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also

  10. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Jason P. Chan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P, mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase (hyl-1, which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1. Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

  11. Brandt matrices and theta series over global function fields

    Chuang, Chih-Yun; Wei, Fu-Tsun; Yu, Jing

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this article is to give a complete account of the Eichler-Brandt theory over function fields and the basis problem for Drinfeld type automorphic forms. Given arbitrary function field k together with a fixed place \\infty, the authors construct a family of theta series from the norm forms of "definite" quaternion algebras, and establish an explicit Hecke-module homomorphism from the Picard group of an associated definite Shimura curve to a space of Drinfeld type automorphic forms. The "compatibility" of these homomorphisms with different square-free levels is also examined. These Heck

  12. Global convergence of periodic solution of neural networks with discontinuous activation functions

    Huang Lihong; Guo Zhenyuan

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, without assuming boundedness and monotonicity of the activation functions, we establish some sufficient conditions ensuring the existence and global asymptotic stability of periodic solution of neural networks with discontinuous activation functions by using the Yoshizawa-like theorem and constructing proper Lyapunov function. The obtained results improve and extend previous works.

  13. Global functional atlas of Escherichia coli encompassing previously uncharacterized proteins.

    Pingzhao Hu

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available One-third of the 4,225 protein-coding genes of Escherichia coli K-12 remain functionally unannotated (orphans. Many map to distant clades such as Archaea, suggesting involvement in basic prokaryotic traits, whereas others appear restricted to E. coli, including pathogenic strains. To elucidate the orphans' biological roles, we performed an extensive proteomic survey using affinity-tagged E. coli strains and generated comprehensive genomic context inferences to derive a high-confidence compendium for virtually the entire proteome consisting of 5,993 putative physical interactions and 74,776 putative functional associations, most of which are novel. Clustering of the respective probabilistic networks revealed putative orphan membership in discrete multiprotein complexes and functional modules together with annotated gene products, whereas a machine-learning strategy based on network integration implicated the orphans in specific biological processes. We provide additional experimental evidence supporting orphan participation in protein synthesis, amino acid metabolism, biofilm formation, motility, and assembly of the bacterial cell envelope. This resource provides a "systems-wide" functional blueprint of a model microbe, with insights into the biological and evolutionary significance of previously uncharacterized proteins.

  14. Global functional atlas of Escherichia coli encompassing previously uncharacterized proteins.

    Hu, Pingzhao; Janga, Sarath Chandra; Babu, Mohan; Díaz-Mejía, J Javier; Butland, Gareth; Yang, Wenhong; Pogoutse, Oxana; Guo, Xinghua; Phanse, Sadhna; Wong, Peter; Chandran, Shamanta; Christopoulos, Constantine; Nazarians-Armavil, Anaies; Nasseri, Negin Karimi; Musso, Gabriel; Ali, Mehrab; Nazemof, Nazila; Eroukova, Veronika; Golshani, Ashkan; Paccanaro, Alberto; Greenblatt, Jack F; Moreno-Hagelsieb, Gabriel; Emili, Andrew

    2009-04-28

    One-third of the 4,225 protein-coding genes of Escherichia coli K-12 remain functionally unannotated (orphans). Many map to distant clades such as Archaea, suggesting involvement in basic prokaryotic traits, whereas others appear restricted to E. coli, including pathogenic strains. To elucidate the orphans' biological roles, we performed an extensive proteomic survey using affinity-tagged E. coli strains and generated comprehensive genomic context inferences to derive a high-confidence compendium for virtually the entire proteome consisting of 5,993 putative physical interactions and 74,776 putative functional associations, most of which are novel. Clustering of the respective probabilistic networks revealed putative orphan membership in discrete multiprotein complexes and functional modules together with annotated gene products, whereas a machine-learning strategy based on network integration implicated the orphans in specific biological processes. We provide additional experimental evidence supporting orphan participation in protein synthesis, amino acid metabolism, biofilm formation, motility, and assembly of the bacterial cell envelope. This resource provides a "systems-wide" functional blueprint of a model microbe, with insights into the biological and evolutionary significance of previously uncharacterized proteins.

  15. A branch and bound algorithm for the global optimization of Hessian Lipschitz continuous functions

    Fowkes, Jaroslav M.; Gould, Nicholas I. M.; Farmer, Chris L.

    2012-01-01

    We present a branch and bound algorithm for the global optimization of a twice differentiable nonconvex objective function with a Lipschitz continuous Hessian over a compact, convex set. The algorithm is based on applying cubic regularisation

  16. Implications of Functional Capacity Loss and Fatality for Vehicle Safety Prioritization.

    McMurry, Timothy L; Sherwood, Chris; Poplin, Gerald S; Seguí-Gómez, María; Crandall, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the use of the Functional Capacity Index (FCI) as a tool for establishing vehicle safety priorities by comparing the life year burden of injuries to the burden of fatality in frontal and side automotive crashes. We demonstrate FCI's utility by investigating in detail the resulting disabling injuries and their life year costs. We selected occupants in the 2000-2013 NASS-CDS database involved in frontal and side crashes, merged their injuries with FCI, and then used the merged data to estimate each occupant's overall functional loss. Lifetime functional loss was assessed by combining this measure of impairment with the occupants' expected future life spans, estimated from the Social Security Administration's Actuarial Life Table. Frontal crashes produce a large number of disabling injuries, particularly to the lower extremities. In our population, these crashes are estimated to account for approximately 400,000 life years lost to disability in comparison with 500,000 life years lost to fatality. Victims of side crashes experienced a higher rate of fatality but a significantly lower rate of disabling injury (0.3 vs. 1.0%), resulting in approximately 370,000 life years lost to fatality versus 50,000 life years lost to disability. The burden of disabling injuries to car crash survivors should be considered when setting vehicle safety design priorities. In frontal crashes this burden in life years is similar to the burden attributable to fatality.

  17. Carboxylic acid functional group analysis using constant neutral loss scanning-mass spectrometry

    Dron, Julien [Laboratoire de Chimie et Environnement, Marseille Universites (case 29), 3 place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille Cedex 3 (France)], E-mail: julien.dron@up.univ-mrs.fr; Eyglunent, Gregory; Temime-Roussel, Brice; Marchand, Nicolas; Wortham, Henri [Laboratoire de Chimie et Environnement, Marseille Universites (case 29), 3 place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille Cedex 3 (France)

    2007-12-12

    The present study describes the development of a new analytical technique for the functional group determination of the carboxylic moiety using atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (APCI-MS/MS) operated in the constant neutral loss scanning (CNLS) mode. Carboxylic groups were first derivatized into their corresponding methyl esters by reacting with BF{sub 3}/methanol mix and the reaction mixture was then directly injected into the APCI chamber. The loss of methanol (m/z = 32 amu) resulting from the fragmentation of the protonated methyl esters was then monitored. Applying this method together with a statistical approach to reference mixtures containing 31 different carboxylic acids at randomly calculated concentrations demonstrated its suitability for quantitative functional group measurements with relative standard deviations below 15% and a detection limit of 0.005 mmol L{sup -1}. Its applicability to environmental matrices was also shown through the determination of carboxylic acid concentrations inside atmospheric aerosol samples. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that the tandem mass spectrometry was successfully applied to functional group analysis, offering great perspectives in the characterization of complex mixtures which are prevailing in the field of environmental analysis as well as in the understanding of the chemical processes occurring in these matrices.

  18. Loss-of-function mutations in SLC30A8 protect against type 2 diabetes.

    Flannick, Jason; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Beer, Nicola L; Jacobs, Suzanne B R; Grarup, Niels; Burtt, Noël P; Mahajan, Anubha; Fuchsberger, Christian; Atzmon, Gil; Benediktsson, Rafn; Blangero, John; Bowden, Don W; Brandslund, Ivan; Brosnan, Julia; Burslem, Frank; Chambers, John; Cho, Yoon Shin; Christensen, Cramer; Douglas, Desirée A; Duggirala, Ravindranath; Dymek, Zachary; Farjoun, Yossi; Fennell, Timothy; Fontanillas, Pierre; Forsén, Tom; Gabriel, Stacey; Glaser, Benjamin; Gudbjartsson, Daniel F; Hanis, Craig; Hansen, Torben; Hreidarsson, Astradur B; Hveem, Kristian; Ingelsson, Erik; Isomaa, Bo; Johansson, Stefan; Jørgensen, Torben; Jørgensen, Marit Eika; Kathiresan, Sekar; Kong, Augustine; Kooner, Jaspal; Kravic, Jasmina; Laakso, Markku; Lee, Jong-Young; Lind, Lars; Lindgren, Cecilia M; Linneberg, Allan; Masson, Gisli; Meitinger, Thomas; Mohlke, Karen L; Molven, Anders; Morris, Andrew P; Potluri, Shobha; Rauramaa, Rainer; Ribel-Madsen, Rasmus; Richard, Ann-Marie; Rolph, Tim; Salomaa, Veikko; Segrè, Ayellet V; Skärstrand, Hanna; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Stringham, Heather M; Sulem, Patrick; Tai, E Shyong; Teo, Yik Ying; Teslovich, Tanya; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Trimmer, Jeff K; Tuomi, Tiinamaija; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Vaziri-Sani, Fariba; Voight, Benjamin F; Wilson, James G; Boehnke, Michael; McCarthy, Mark I; Njølstad, Pål R; Pedersen, Oluf; Groop, Leif; Cox, David R; Stefansson, Kari; Altshuler, David

    2014-04-01

    Loss-of-function mutations protective against human disease provide in vivo validation of therapeutic targets, but none have yet been described for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Through sequencing or genotyping of ~150,000 individuals across 5 ancestry groups, we identified 12 rare protein-truncating variants in SLC30A8, which encodes an islet zinc transporter (ZnT8) and harbors a common variant (p.Trp325Arg) associated with T2D risk and glucose and proinsulin levels. Collectively, carriers of protein-truncating variants had 65% reduced T2D risk (P = 1.7 × 10(-6)), and non-diabetic Icelandic carriers of a frameshift variant (p.Lys34Serfs*50) demonstrated reduced glucose levels (-0.17 s.d., P = 4.6 × 10(-4)). The two most common protein-truncating variants (p.Arg138* and p.Lys34Serfs*50) individually associate with T2D protection and encode unstable ZnT8 proteins. Previous functional study of SLC30A8 suggested that reduced zinc transport increases T2D risk, and phenotypic heterogeneity was observed in mouse Slc30a8 knockouts. In contrast, loss-of-function mutations in humans provide strong evidence that SLC30A8 haploinsufficiency protects against T2D, suggesting ZnT8 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in T2D prevention.

  19. Carboxylic acid functional group analysis using constant neutral loss scanning-mass spectrometry

    Dron, Julien; Eyglunent, Gregory; Temime-Roussel, Brice; Marchand, Nicolas; Wortham, Henri

    2007-01-01

    The present study describes the development of a new analytical technique for the functional group determination of the carboxylic moiety using atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (APCI-MS/MS) operated in the constant neutral loss scanning (CNLS) mode. Carboxylic groups were first derivatized into their corresponding methyl esters by reacting with BF 3 /methanol mix and the reaction mixture was then directly injected into the APCI chamber. The loss of methanol (m/z = 32 amu) resulting from the fragmentation of the protonated methyl esters was then monitored. Applying this method together with a statistical approach to reference mixtures containing 31 different carboxylic acids at randomly calculated concentrations demonstrated its suitability for quantitative functional group measurements with relative standard deviations below 15% and a detection limit of 0.005 mmol L -1 . Its applicability to environmental matrices was also shown through the determination of carboxylic acid concentrations inside atmospheric aerosol samples. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that the tandem mass spectrometry was successfully applied to functional group analysis, offering great perspectives in the characterization of complex mixtures which are prevailing in the field of environmental analysis as well as in the understanding of the chemical processes occurring in these matrices

  20. Loss of hfe function reverses impaired recognition memory caused by olfactory manganese exposure in mice.

    Ye, Qi; Kim, Jonghan

    2015-03-01

    Excessive manganese (Mn) in the brain promotes a variety of abnormal behaviors, including memory deficits, decreased motor skills and psychotic behavior resembling Parkinson's disease. Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a prevalent genetic iron overload disorder worldwide. Dysfunction in HFE gene is the major cause of HH. Our previous study has demonstrated that olfactory Mn uptake is altered by HFE deficiency, suggesting that loss of HFE function could alter manganese-associated neurotoxicity. To test this hypothesis, Hfe-knockout (Hfe (-/-)) and wild-type (Hfe (+/+)) mice mice were intranasally-instilled with manganese chloride (MnCl2 5 mg/kg) or water daily for 3 weeks and examined for memory function. Olfactory Mn diminished both short-term recognition and spatial memory in Hfe (+/+) mice, as examined by novel object recognition task and Barnes maze test, respectively. Interestingly, Hfe (-/-) mice did not show impaired recognition memory caused by Mn exposure, suggesting a potential protective effect of Hfe deficiency against Mn-induced memory deficits. Since many of the neurotoxic effects of manganese are thought to result from increased oxidative stress, we quantified activities of anti-oxidant enzymes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Mn instillation decreased superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) activity in Hfe (+/+) mice, but not in Hfe (-/-) mice. In addition, Hfe deficiency up-regulated SOD1 and glutathione peroxidase activities. These results suggest a beneficial role of Hfe deficiency in attenuating Mn-induced oxidative stress in the PFC. Furthermore, Mn exposure reduced nicotinic acetylcholine receptor levels in the PFC, indicating that blunted acetylcholine signaling could contribute to impaired memory associated with intranasal manganese. Together, our model suggests that disrupted cholinergic system in the brain is involved in airborne Mn-induced memory deficits and loss of HFE function could in part prevent memory loss via a potential up-regulation of

  1. Time-dependent density functional calculation of the energy loss of antiprotons colliding with metallic nanoshells

    Quijada, M.; Borisov, A.G.; Muino, R.D.

    2008-01-01

    Time-dependent density functional theory is used to study the interaction between antiprotons and metallic nanoshells. The ground state electronic properties of the nanoshell are obtained in the jellium approximation. The energy lost by the antiproton during the collision is calculated and compared to that suffered by antiprotons traveling in metal clusters. The resulting energy loss per unit path length of material in thin nanoshells is larger than the corresponding quantity for clusters. It is shown that the collision process can be interpreted as the antiproton crossing of two nearly bi-dimensional independent metallic systems. (copyright 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim) (orig.)

  2. Vestibular (dys)function in children with sensorineural hearing loss: a systematic review.

    Verbecque, Evi; Marijnissen, Tessa; De Belder, Niels; Van Rompaey, Vincent; Boudewyns, An; Van de Heyning, Paul; Vereeck, Luc; Hallemans, Ann

    2017-06-01

    The objective of this study is to provide an overview of the prevalence of vestibular dysfunction in children with SNHL classified according to the applied test and its corresponding sensitivity and specificity. Data were gathered using a systematic search query including reference screening. Pubmed, Web of Science and Embase were searched. Strategy and reporting of this review was based on the Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) guidelines. Methodological quality was assessed with the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist. All studies, regardless the applied vestibular test, showed that vestibular function differs significantly between children with hearing loss and normal hearing (p 30).

  3. The role of plant functional trade-offs for biodiversity changes and biome shifts under scenarios of global climatic change

    B. Reu

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The global geographic distribution of biodiversity and biomes is determined by species-specific physiological tolerances to climatic constraints. Current vegetation models employ empirical bioclimatic relationships to predict present-day vegetation patterns and to forecast biodiversity changes and biome shifts under climatic change. In this paper, we consider trade-offs in plant functioning and their responses under climatic changes to forecast and explain changes in plant functional richness and shifts in biome geographic distributions.

    The Jena Diversity model (JeDi simulates plant survival according to essential plant functional trade-offs, including ecophysiological processes such as water uptake, photosynthesis, allocation, reproduction and phenology. We use JeDi to quantify changes in plant functional richness and biome shifts between present-day and a range of possible future climates from two SRES emission scenarios (A2 and B1 and seven global climate models using metrics of plant functional richness and functional identity.

    Our results show (i a significant loss of plant functional richness in the tropics, (ii an increase in plant functional richness at mid and high latitudes, and (iii a pole-ward shift of biomes. While these results are consistent with the findings of empirical approaches, we are able to explain them in terms of the plant functional trade-offs involved in the allocation, metabolic and reproduction strategies of plants. We conclude that general aspects of plant physiological tolerances can be derived from functional trade-offs, which may provide a useful process- and trait-based alternative to bioclimatic relationships. Such a mechanistic approach may be particularly relevant when addressing vegetation responses to climatic changes that encounter novel combinations of climate parameters that do not exist under contemporary climate.

  4. The Functions of Sourcing Intermediaries in Global Supply Risk Management

    Vedel, Mette; Ellegaard, Chris

    The aim of this work-in-progress paper is to uncover the supply risk management functions performed by sourcing intermediaries. The purchasing and supply chain management literature, including the part of it concerned with supply risk, pays little attention to sourcing intermediaries....... But the fields of marketing and international business have investigated the intermediary including its high supply risk reducing potentials, suggesting that this supply chain entity may be highly relevant to supply risk management. In order to get a better understanding of the supply risk reducing properties...... of sourcing intermediaries, we perform a study of the Danish clothing industry. The study incorporate interviews across a range of functions and companies in this industry including retailers, producers, suppliers, and various types of intermediaries. We contribute by coupling the supply risk management...

  5. Heuristic method for searching global maximum of multimodal unknown function

    Kamei, K; Araki, Y; Inoue, K

    1983-06-01

    The method is composed of three kinds of searches. They are called g (grasping)-mode search, f (finding)-mode search and c (confirming)-mode search. In the g-mode search and the c-mode search, a heuristic method is used which was extracted from search behaviors of human subjects. In f-mode search, the simplex method is used which is well known as a search method for unimodal unknown function. Each mode search and its transitions are shown in the form of flowchart. The numerical results for one-dimensional through six-dimensional multimodal functions prove the proposed search method to be an effective one. 11 references.

  6. The Impact of Acute Loss of Weight on Eustachian Tube Function

    Pascoto, Gabriela

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction The eustachian tube is one of the key structures responsible for the functional balance of the middle ear. Some clinical conditions associated with tubal malfunction can cause extremely unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms could be triggered by acute loss of weight, for example, after bariatric surgery. Objective To evaluate the frequency and intensity of auditory tube dysfunction symptoms in obese patients after bariatric surgery. Methods Nineteen patients with accepted formal indications for bariatric surgery underwent a hearing evaluation (otoscopy, tonal and vocal audiometry, and impedanceometry and a hearing questionnaire before, at the time of, 3 months after surgery (first postoperative evaluation, and 6 months (second postoperative evaluation after surgery. Patients with a history of ear disease or ear surgery were excluded. Results None of the patients reported tubal dysfunction symptoms before surgery. Postsurgical results showed that 5 (26.3% patients presented symptoms related to dysfunction of the eustachian tube at the first postoperative evaluation. After the 6-month follow-up, 9 (47.3% patients reported symptoms of tubal dysfunction. Conclusion This study suggests that bariatric surgery can cause symptoms of eustachian tube dysfunction, probably due to rapid weight loss and the consequent loss of peritubal fat.

  7. A branch and bound algorithm for the global optimization of Hessian Lipschitz continuous functions

    Fowkes, Jaroslav M.

    2012-06-21

    We present a branch and bound algorithm for the global optimization of a twice differentiable nonconvex objective function with a Lipschitz continuous Hessian over a compact, convex set. The algorithm is based on applying cubic regularisation techniques to the objective function within an overlapping branch and bound algorithm for convex constrained global optimization. Unlike other branch and bound algorithms, lower bounds are obtained via nonconvex underestimators of the function. For a numerical example, we apply the proposed branch and bound algorithm to radial basis function approximations. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  8. The Physiological Bases of Hidden Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Protocol for a Functional Neuroimaging Study.

    Dewey, Rebecca Susan; Hall, Deborah A; Guest, Hannah; Prendergast, Garreth; Plack, Christopher J; Francis, Susan T

    2018-03-09

    Rodent studies indicate that noise exposure can cause permanent damage to synapses between inner hair cells and high-threshold auditory nerve fibers, without permanently altering threshold sensitivity. These demonstrations of what is commonly known as hidden hearing loss have been confirmed in several rodent species, but the implications for human hearing are unclear. Our Medical Research Council-funded program aims to address this unanswered question, by investigating functional consequences of the damage to the human peripheral and central auditory nervous system that results from cumulative lifetime noise exposure. Behavioral and neuroimaging techniques are being used in a series of parallel studies aimed at detecting hidden hearing loss in humans. The planned neuroimaging study aims to (1) identify central auditory biomarkers associated with hidden hearing loss; (2) investigate whether there are any additive contributions from tinnitus or diminished sound tolerance, which are often comorbid with hearing problems; and (3) explore the relation between subcortical functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures and the auditory brainstem response (ABR). Individuals aged 25 to 40 years with pure tone hearing thresholds ≤20 dB hearing level over the range 500 Hz to 8 kHz and no contraindications for MRI or signs of ear disease will be recruited into the study. Lifetime noise exposure will be estimated using an in-depth structured interview. Auditory responses throughout the central auditory system will be recorded using ABR and fMRI. Analyses will focus predominantly on correlations between lifetime noise exposure and auditory response characteristics. This paper reports the study protocol. The funding was awarded in July 2013. Enrollment for the study described in this protocol commenced in February 2017 and was completed in December 2017. Results are expected in 2018. This challenging and comprehensive study will have the potential to impact diagnostic

  9. Do hearing loss and cognitive function modulate benefit from different binaural noise-reduction settings?

    Neher, Tobias; Grimm, Giso; Hohmann, Volker; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-01-01

    Although previous research indicates that cognitive skills influence benefit from different types of hearing aid algorithms, comparatively little is known about the role of, and potential interaction with, hearing loss. This holds true especially for noise reduction (NR) processing. The purpose of the present study was thus to explore whether degree of hearing loss and cognitive function modulate benefit from different binaural NR settings based on measures of speech intelligibility, listening effort, and overall preference. Forty elderly listeners with symmetrical sensorineural hearing losses in the mild to severe range participated. They were stratified into four age-matched groups (with n = 10 per group) based on their pure-tone average hearing losses and their performance on a visual measure of working memory (WM) capacity. The algorithm under consideration was a binaural coherence-based NR scheme that suppressed reverberant signal components as well as diffuse background noise at mid to high frequencies. The strength of the applied processing was varied from inactive to strong, and testing was carried out across a range of fixed signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Potential benefit was assessed using a dual-task paradigm combining speech recognition with a visual reaction time (VRT) task indexing listening effort. Pairwise preference judgments were also collected. All measurements were made using headphone simulations of a frontal speech target in a busy cafeteria. Test-retest data were gathered for all outcome measures. Analysis of the test-retest data showed all data sets to be reliable. Analysis of the speech scores showed that, for all groups, speech recognition was unaffected by moderate NR processing, whereas strong NR processing reduced intelligibility by about 5%. Analysis of the VRT scores revealed a similar data pattern. That is, while moderate NR did not affect VRT performance, strong NR impaired the performance of all groups slightly. Analysis of the

  10. Optimized VBM in patients with Alzheimer's disease: gray matter loss and its correlation with cognitive function

    Choi, Seon Hyeong; Moon, Won Jin; Chung, Eun Chul; Lee, Min Hee; Roh, Hong Gee; Park, Kwang Bo; Na, Duck Ryul

    2005-01-01

    To investigate the regional changes in gray matter volume by using optimized voxel based morphometry in the whole brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to determine its correlation with cognitive function. Nineteen patients with AD (mean mini mental state examination (MMSE) score = 20.4) and 19 age-matched control subjects (mean MMSE score 29) participated in this prospective study. T1-weighted 3D-SPGR scans were obtained for each subject. These T1-weighted images were spatially normalized into study-specific T1 template and segmented into gray matter, white matter and CSF. After the images were modulated and smoothed, all of the gray matter images were compared with control images by using voxel-wise statistical parametric test (two-sample-test). In patients with AD, total gray matter volume was significantly smaller than normal control (552 ± 39 mL vs. 632 ± 51 mL, ρ 0.001). Significant gray matter loss was seen in both the hippocampus and amygdala complexs, and the parahippocampi and frontoparietal cortices (ρ < 0.01, family wise error corrected). Left cerebral atrophy was more prominent than the right. Loss of gray matter volume in both the superior frontal gyri and left inferior temporal gyrus had a strong correlation with lower MMSE score. Optimized VBM was able to visualize pathologic changes of AD in vivo. In AD there was widespread gray matter volume loss in the frontoparietal lobes as well as the medial temporal lobes and had a strong correlation between volume loss of specific cortical areas and MMSE score

  11. Global sensitivity analysis using a Gaussian Radial Basis Function metamodel

    Wu, Zeping; Wang, Donghui; Okolo N, Patrick; Hu, Fan; Zhang, Weihua

    2016-01-01

    Sensitivity analysis plays an important role in exploring the actual impact of adjustable parameters on response variables. Amongst the wide range of documented studies on sensitivity measures and analysis, Sobol' indices have received greater portion of attention due to the fact that they can provide accurate information for most models. In this paper, a novel analytical expression to compute the Sobol' indices is derived by introducing a method which uses the Gaussian Radial Basis Function to build metamodels of computationally expensive computer codes. Performance of the proposed method is validated against various analytical functions and also a structural simulation scenario. Results demonstrate that the proposed method is an efficient approach, requiring a computational cost of one to two orders of magnitude less when compared to the traditional Quasi Monte Carlo-based evaluation of Sobol' indices. - Highlights: • RBF based sensitivity analysis method is proposed. • Sobol' decomposition of Gaussian RBF metamodel is obtained. • Sobol' indices of Gaussian RBF metamodel are derived based on the decomposition. • The efficiency of proposed method is validated by some numerical examples.

  12. A three-dimensional model of mammalian tyrosinase active site accounting for loss of function mutations.

    Schweikardt, Thorsten; Olivares, Concepción; Solano, Francisco; Jaenicke, Elmar; García-Borrón, José Carlos; Decker, Heinz

    2007-10-01

    Tyrosinases are the first and rate-limiting enzymes in the synthesis of melanin pigments responsible for colouring hair, skin and eyes. Mutation of tyrosinases often decreases melanin production resulting in albinism, but the effects are not always understood at the molecular level. Homology modelling of mouse tyrosinase based on recently published crystal structures of non-mammalian tyrosinases provides an active site model accounting for loss-of-function mutations. According to the model, the copper-binding histidines are located in a helix bundle comprising four densely packed helices. A loop containing residues M374, S375 and V377 connects the CuA and CuB centres, with the peptide oxygens of M374 and V377 serving as hydrogen acceptors for the NH-groups of the imidazole rings of the copper-binding His367 and His180. Therefore, this loop is essential for the stability of the active site architecture. A double substitution (374)MS(375) --> (374)GG(375) or a single M374G mutation lead to a local perturbation of the protein matrix at the active site affecting the orientation of the H367 side chain, that may be unable to bind CuB reliably, resulting in loss of activity. The model also accounts for loss of function in two naturally occurring albino mutations, S380P and V393F. The hydroxyl group in S380 contributes to the correct orientation of M374, and the substitution of V393 for a bulkier phenylalanine sterically impedes correct side chain packing at the active site. Therefore, our model explains the mechanistic necessity for conservation of not only active site histidines but also adjacent amino acids in tyrosinase.

  13. Incidence of loss of ability to walk 400 meters in a functionally limited older population.

    Chang, Milan; Cohen-Mansfield, Jiska; Ferrucci, Luigi; Leveille, Suzanne; Volpato, Stefano; de Rekeneire, Nathalie; Guralnik, Jack M

    2004-12-01

    To assess the incidence of and factors related to nondisabled but functionally limited older adults aged 75 to 85 years losing the ability to walk 400 m. Observational study with average follow-up of 21 months. Community. At baseline, 101 persons with objective signs of functional limitations and intact cognitive function agreed to participate in the study. Of these, 81 were able to walk 400 m at baseline, and 62 participated in the follow-up examination. Mobility disability was defined as an inability to complete a 400-m walk test. At baseline, eligible participants (n=81) had the ability to walk 400 m, scored between 4 and 9 on the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB; range 0-12), and scored 18 or more on the Mini-Mental State Examination. Demographics, difficulty in daily activities, disease status, behavioral risk factors, and muscle strength were assessed at baseline and follow-up. Of 62 persons at follow-up, 21 (33.9%) developed incident mobility disability. The strongest predictors of loss of mobility were the time to complete the 400-m walk at baseline (odds ratio (OR)=1.6 per 1-minute difference, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04-2.45), and decline in SPPB score over the follow-up (OR=1.4 per 1-point difference, 95% CI=1.01-1.92). Older persons with functional limitations have a high rate of loss of ability to walk 400 m. The 400-m walk test is a highly relevant, discrete outcome that is an ideal target for testing preventive interventions in vulnerable older populations.

  14. Effect of weight loss on menstrual function in adolescents with polycystic ovary syndrome.

    Ornstein, Rollyn M; Copperman, Nancy M; Jacobson, Marc S

    2011-06-01

    To compare the effects of a hypocaloric low-fat diet with those of a very low carbohydrate diet on body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and menstrual function in overweight adolescent females with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Randomized pilot trial of two diets in a prospective, 12-week study. A hospital-based, academic adolescent medicine division. 24 females, age 12-22 years (mean 15.8 ± 2.2), with PCOS and a BMI above the 85(th) percentile for age (mean 35.7 ± 6.0 kg/m(2)). Nutrition counseling was given biweekly, and dietary compliance, menstrual history, and weight were recorded. WC was measured at the beginning and end of the study. Changes in weight, BMI, WC, and improvement in menstrual function over the course of the study period. 16 participants completed the study. 12 completers menstruated during the study period, 8 with regularity. The number of periods over 3 months increased from 0.6 ± 0.6 pre-treatment to 1.6 ± 1.3 post-treatment (P = 0.003). Overall, weight loss averaged 6.5% (P weight were 3.4 times more likely to have improved menstrual function (P = 0.001). There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. Weight loss is feasible in adolescents with PCOS and results in significant improvements in BMI, WC, and menstrual function. Weight management may be preferable as first-line treatment in adolescents, because it targets both the menstrual dysfunction and risk factors for long-term morbidity associated with PCOS. Copyright © 2011 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Brazilian Coffee Production as Function of Global Warming.

    Avila, A. M. H. D.; Pinto, H. S.; Alfonsi, E. L., Sr.; Alfonsi, W. M. V.; Pereira, V. R.

    2016-12-01

    According to the Brazilian Government the actual area of coffee production in the country is close to 2.25 million hectares. The sector involves 290.000 of farmers with a production of 44 million of 60 Kg bags in 2015. The Arabica Coffee specie is cultivated in the country where the climate condition are characterized by a year mean temperatures between 18°C and 22°C. Temperatures higher than 33°C can cause abortion of flowers during the spring season and reduce the production while lower than 18°C can be affected by frost during winter when the minimum temperature can be lower than 2°C in the shelter. For a better quality of the final product the winter, between July and August, must be dry with rainfall lower than 50 mm/month. The Ministry of Agriculture defines those conditions for the Official Coffee Climatic Risk Zoning. In 2002, a partnership with the British Embassy and 2 Brazilian institutions, i. e. the State University of Campinas - UNICAMP and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - Embrapa, published the study "Global Warming and the New Geography of Agricultural Production in Brazil" (Pinto and Assad, 2002). This study was based on the PRECIS/Hadley Centre Regional Climate Model future projections. The crop simulations indicated a decrease in the grain production due to temperature rise. Later in 2012, a new study was developed in cooperation with the World Bank to evaluate the future of nine main commodities in Brazil under climate change, including the Arabica coffee. The worst scenario considering any mitigation and adaptation action indicated that the two most affected crops would be the soybean and coffee, with a reduction of 22% and 6.7 % in the yield respectively. Field surveys to evaluate the historical spatial dynamic and migration of Arabica coffee cultivated areas confirmed the results of the previous studies and indicated a recent increase in the search for cooler altitude areas to plant coffee. Also the field observations

  16. Interactive effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning.

    Pires, Aliny P F; Srivastava, Diane S; Marino, Nicholas A C; MacDonald, A Andrew M; Figueiredo-Barros, Marcos Paulo; Farjalla, Vinicius F

    2018-05-01

    Climate change and biodiversity loss are expected to simultaneously affect ecosystems, however research on how each driver mediates the effect of the other has been limited in scope. The multiple stressor framework emphasizes non-additive effects, but biodiversity may also buffer the effects of climate change, and climate change may alter which mechanisms underlie biodiversity-function relationships. Here, we performed an experiment using tank bromeliad ecosystems to test the various ways that rainfall changes and litter diversity may jointly determine ecological processes. Litter diversity and rainfall changes interactively affected multiple functions, but how depends on the process measured. High litter diversity buffered the effects of altered rainfall on detritivore communities, evidence of insurance against impacts of climate change. Altered rainfall affected the mechanisms by which litter diversity influenced decomposition, reducing the importance of complementary attributes of species (complementarity effects), and resulting in an increasing dependence on the maintenance of specific species (dominance effects). Finally, altered rainfall conditions prevented litter diversity from fueling methanogenesis, because such changes in rainfall reduced microbial activity by 58%. Together, these results demonstrate that the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystems cannot be understood in isolation and interactions between these stressors can be multifaceted. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  17. Loss-of-function mutation in ABCA1 and risk of Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease

    Nordestgaard, Liv Tybjærg; Tybjærg-Hansen, Anne; Nordestgaard, Børge G

    2015-01-01

    .2%) versus AA (99.8%) was associated with a 13% lower plasma level of apoE (P = 1 × 10(-11)). Multifactorially adjusted hazard ratios for N1800H AC versus AA were 4.13 (95% confidence interval, 1.32-12.9) for AD, 2.46 (1.10-5.50) for cerebrovascular disease, and 8.28 (2.03-33.7) for the hemorrhagic stroke......-brain barrier via apoE-mediated pathways. METHODS: We tested whether a loss-of-function mutation in ABCA1, N1800H, is associated with plasma levels of apoE and with risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in 92,726 individuals and with risk of cerebrovascular disease in 64,181 individuals. RESULTS: N1800H AC (0...... subtype. DISCUSSION: A loss-of-function mutation in ABCA1, present in 1:500 individuals, was associated with low plasma levels of apoE and with high risk of AD and cerebrovascular disease in the general population....

  18. Changing Patterns of Emerging Zoonotic Diseases in Wildlife, Domestic Animals, and Humans Linked to Biodiversity Loss and Globalization.

    Aguirre, A Alonso

    2017-12-15

    The fundamental human threats to biodiversity including habitat destruction, globalization, and species loss have led to ecosystem disruptions altering infectious disease transmission patterns, the accumulation of toxic pollutants, and the invasion of alien species and pathogens. To top it all, the profound role of climate change on many ecological processes has affected the inability of many species to adapt to these relatively rapid changes. This special issue, "Zoonotic Disease Ecology: Effects on Humans, Domestic Animals and Wildlife," explores the complex interactions of emerging infectious diseases across taxa linked to many of these anthropogenic and environmental drivers. Selected emerging zoonoses including RNA viruses, Rift Valley fever, trypanosomiasis, Hanta virus infection, and other vector-borne diseases are discussed in detail. Also, coprophagous beetles are proposed as important vectors in the transmission and maintenance of infectious pathogens. An overview of the impacts of climate change in emerging disease ecology within the context of Brazil as a case study is provided. Animal Care and Use Committee requirements were investigated, concluding that ecology journals have low rates of explicit statements regarding the welfare and wellbing of wildlife during experimental studies. Most of the solutions to protect biodiversity and predicting and preventing the next epidemic in humans originating from wildlife are oriented towards the developed world and are less useful for biodiverse, low-income economies. We need the development of regional policies to address these issues at the local level.

  19. Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Trigger Loss of Function and Perturbation of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Primary Hepatocytes.

    Vaishaali Natarajan

    Full Text Available Titanium dioxide (TiO2 nanoparticles are one of the most highly manufactured and employed nanomaterials in the world with applications in copious industrial and consumer products. The liver is a major accumulation site for many nanoparticles, including TiO2, directly through intentional exposure or indirectly through unintentional ingestion via water, food or animals and increased environmental contamination. Growing concerns over the current usage of TiO2 coupled with the lack of mechanistic understanding of its potential health risk is the motivation for this study. Here we determined the toxic effect of three different TiO2 nanoparticles (commercially available rutile, anatase and P25 on primary rat hepatocytes. Specifically, we evaluated events related to hepatocyte functions and mitochondrial dynamics: (1 urea and albumin synthesis using colorimetric and ELISA assays, respectively; (2 redox signaling mechanisms by measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS production, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD activity and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP; (3 OPA1 and Mfn-1 expression that mediates the mitochondrial dynamics by PCR; and (4 mitochondrial morphology by MitoTracker Green FM staining. All three TiO2 nanoparticles induced a significant loss (p < 0.05 in hepatocyte functions even at concentrations as low as 50 ppm with commercially used P25 causing maximum damage. TiO2 nanoparticles induced a strong oxidative stress in primary hepatocytes. TiO2 nanoparticles exposure also resulted in morphological changes in mitochondria and substantial loss in the fusion process, thus impairing the mitochondrial dynamics. Although this study demonstrated that TiO2 nanoparticles exposure resulted in substantial damage to primary hepatocytes, more in vitro and in vivo studies are required to determine the complete toxicological mechanism in primary hepatocytes and subsequently liver function.

  20. Existence of global solutions to reaction-diffusion systems via a Lyapunov functional

    Said Kouachi

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to construct polynomial functionals (according to solutions of the coupled reaction-diffusion equations which give $L^{p}$-bounds for solutions. When the reaction terms are sufficiently regular, using the well known regularizing effect, we deduce the existence of global solutions. These functionals are obtained independently of work done by Malham and Xin [11].

  1. Increased Global Interaction Across Functional Brain Modules During Cognitive Emotion Regulation.

    Brandl, Felix; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Riedl, Valentin; Meng, Chun; Sorg, Christian

    2017-07-13

    Cognitive emotion regulation (CER) enables humans to flexibly modulate their emotions. While local theories of CER neurobiology suggest interactions between specialized local brain circuits underlying CER, e.g., in subparts of amygdala and medial prefrontal cortices (mPFC), global theories hypothesize global interaction increases among larger functional brain modules comprising local circuits. We tested the global CER hypothesis using graph-based whole-brain network analysis of functional MRI data during aversive emotional processing with and without CER. During CER, global between-module interaction across stable functional network modules increased. Global interaction increase was particularly driven by subregions of amygdala and cuneus-nodes of highest nodal participation-that overlapped with CER-specific local activations, and by mPFC and posterior cingulate as relevant connector hubs. Results provide evidence for the global nature of human CER, complementing functional specialization of embedded local brain circuits during successful CER. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Association between loss-of-function mutations in the filaggrin gene and self-reported food allergy and alcohol sensitivity

    Linneberg, Allan René; Fenger, Runa V; Husemoen, Lise Lotte Nystrup

    2013-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations of the filaggrin (FLG) gene cause an impaired skin barrier and increase the risk of atopic dermatitis. Interestingly, FLG mutations have also been found to be associated with a high risk of peanut allergy.......Loss-of-function mutations of the filaggrin (FLG) gene cause an impaired skin barrier and increase the risk of atopic dermatitis. Interestingly, FLG mutations have also been found to be associated with a high risk of peanut allergy....

  3. Vergence and Standing Balance in Subjects with Idiopathic Bilateral Loss of Vestibular Function.

    Zoï Kapoula

    Full Text Available There is a natural symbiosis between vergence and vestibular responses. Deficits in vergence can lead to vertigo, disequilibrium, and postural instability. This study examines both vergence eye movements in patients with idiopathic bilateral vestibular loss, and their standing balance in relation to vergence. Eleven patients participated in the study and 16 controls. Bilateral loss of vestibular function was objectified with many tests; only patients without significant response to caloric tests, to video head impulse tests and without vestibular evoked myogenic potentials were included in the study.A LED display with targets at 20, 40, and 100 cm along the median plane was used to elicit vergence eye movements, recorded with the IRIS device.Four conditions were run, each lasting 1 min: fixation of a LED at 40 cm (convergence of 9°, at 150 cm (convergence of 2.3°; this last condition was repeated with eyes closed. Comparison of the eyes closed-eyes open conditions at 150 cm allowed evaluation of the Romberg Quotient. In the forth condition, two LEDS, at 20 and at 100 cm, were light on, one after the other for 1 sec, causing the eyes to converge then diverge. Standing balance was recorded with an accelerometer placed at the back near the center of mass (McRoberts, Dynaport.Relative to controls, convergence eye movements in patients showed significantly lower accuracy, lower mean velocity, and saccade intrusions of significantly higher amplitude.The normalized 90% area of body sway was significantly higher for patients than for controls for all conditions. Yet, similarly to controls, postural stability was better while fixating at near (sustained convergence than at far, or while making active vergence movements. We argue that vestibular loss deteriorates convergence, but even deficient, convergence can be helpful for postural control.

  4. Acoustic reflex measurements and the loudness function in sensorineural hearing loss

    Sheila Uliel

    1980-11-01

    Full Text Available The suprathreshold acoustic reflex responses of forty two ears affected by sensorineural hearing loss of cochlear origin and fifty-eight ears demonstrating normal hearing, were recorded by means of an electro-acoustic impedance meter and attached X-Y recorder. The recordings were done in ascending and descending fashion,  at successively increasing and decreasing 5dB intensity levels from 90-120-90 dB HL respectively, for the individual pure-tone frequencies of 500, 1 000, 2 000 and 4 000 Hz. The contralateral mode of measurement was employed. Analysis of  these recordings indicated that the acoustic reflex  responses could be differentiated into five  characteristic patterns of  growth, which could be depicted upon a continuum of peaked, peaked-rounded, rounded, rounded-flat,  and flat  shapes. The peaked and peaked-rounded patterns were found  to predominate at all four pure-tone frequencies  in the normal ears, while the rounded-fiat  and flat  patterns were found  to predominate only at the higher pure-tone frequencies of 2 000 and 4 000 Hz in the ears affected  by sensorineural hearing loss. This latter relationship was also able to be applied to two disorders of  the loudness functio— loudness recruitment and hyperacusis. It was concluded that the flattened  acoustic reflex  patterns at the higher pure-tone frequencies  constituted a potential diagnostic cue related to the differential  diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss, and to disorders of  the loudness function.

  5. Autistic and schizotypal traits and global functioning in bipolar I disorder.

    Abu-Akel, Ahmad; Clark, Jennifer; Perry, Amy; Wood, Stephen J; Forty, Liz; Craddock, Nick; Jones, Ian; Gordon-Smith, Katherine; Jones, Lisa

    2017-01-01

    To determine the expression of autistic and positive schizotypal traits in a large sample of adults with bipolar I disorder (BD I), and the effect of co-occurring autistic and positive schizotypal traits on global functioning in BD I. Autistic and positive schizotypal traits were self-assessed in 797 individuals with BD-I recruited by the Bipolar Disorder Research Network. Differences in global functioning (rated using the Global Assessment Scale) during lifetime worst depressive and manic episodes (GASD and GASM respectively) were calculated in groups with high/low autistic and positive schizotypal traits. Regression analyses assessed the interactive effect of autistic and positive schizotypal traits on global functioning. 47.2% (CI=43.7-50.7%) showed clinically significant levels of autistic traits, and 23.22% (95% CI=20.29-26.14) showed clinically significant levels of positive schizotypal traits. In the worst episode of mania, the high autistic, high positive schizotypal group had better global functioning compared to the other groups. Individual differences analyses showed that high levels of both traits were associated with better global functioning in both mood states. Autistic and schizotypal traits were assessed using self-rated questionnaires. Expression of autistic and schizotypal traits in adults with BD I is prevalent, and may be important to predict illness aetiology, prognosis, and diagnostic practices in this population. Future work should focus on replicating these findings in independent samples, and on the biological and/or psychosocial mechanisms underlying better global functioning in those who have high levels of both autistic and positive schizotypal traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Global motion perception is associated with motor function in 2-year-old children.

    Thompson, Benjamin; McKinlay, Christopher J D; Chakraborty, Arijit; Anstice, Nicola S; Jacobs, Robert J; Paudel, Nabin; Yu, Tzu-Ying; Ansell, Judith M; Wouldes, Trecia A; Harding, Jane E

    2017-09-29

    The dorsal visual processing stream that includes V1, motion sensitive area V5 and the posterior parietal lobe, supports visually guided motor function. Two recent studies have reported associations between global motion perception, a behavioural measure of processing in V5, and motor function in pre-school and school aged children. This indicates a relationship between visual and motor development and also supports the use of global motion perception to assess overall dorsal stream function in studies of human neurodevelopment. We investigated whether associations between vision and motor function were present at 2 years of age, a substantially earlier stage of development. The Bayley III test of Infant and Toddler Development and measures of vision including visual acuity (Cardiff Acuity Cards), stereopsis (Lang stereotest) and global motion perception were attempted in 404 2-year-old children (±4 weeks). Global motion perception (quantified as a motion coherence threshold) was assessed by observing optokinetic nystagmus in response to random dot kinematograms of varying coherence. Linear regression revealed that global motion perception was modestly, but statistically significantly associated with Bayley III composite motor (r 2 =0.06, Pmotor scores (r 2 =0.06, pmotor and fine motor scores, but unaided visual acuity was not statistically significantly associated with any of the motor scores. These results demonstrate that global motion perception and binocular vision are associated with motor function at an early stage of development. Global motion perception can be used as a partial measure of dorsal stream function from early childhood. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Conditional Loss of Hoxa5 Function Early after Birth Impacts on Expression of Genes with Synaptic Function

    Lizen, Benoit; Moens, Charlotte; Mouheiche, Jinane; Sacré, Thomas; Ahn, Marie-Thérèse; Jeannotte, Lucie; Salti, Ahmad; Gofflot, Françoise

    2017-01-01

    Hoxa5 is a member of the Hox gene family that plays critical roles in successive steps of the central nervous system formation during embryonic and fetal development. In the mouse, Hoxa5 was recently shown to be expressed in the medulla oblongata and the pons from fetal stages to adulthood. In these territories, Hoxa5 transcripts are enriched in many precerebellar neurons and several nuclei involved in autonomic functions, while the HOXA5 protein is detected mainly in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. However, whether HOXA5 is functionally required in these neurons after birth remains unknown. As a first approach to tackle this question, we aimed at determining the molecular programs downstream of the HOXA5 transcription factor in the context of the postnatal brainstem. A comparative transcriptomic analysis was performed in combination with gene expression localization, using a conditional postnatal Hoxa5 loss-of-function mouse model. After inactivation of Hoxa5 at postnatal days (P)1–P4, we established the transcriptome of the brainstem from P21 Hoxa5 conditional mutants using RNA-Seq analysis. One major finding was the downregulation of several genes associated with synaptic function in Hoxa5 mutant specimens including different actors involved in glutamatergic synapse, calcium signaling pathway, and GABAergic synapse. Data were confirmed and extended by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis, and the expression of several HOXA5 candidate targets was shown to co-localize with Hoxa5 transcripts in precerebellar nuclei. Together, these new results revealed that HOXA5, through the regulation of key actors of the glutamatergic/GABAergic synapses and calcium signaling, might be involved in synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity of the cortico-ponto-cerebellar circuitry in the postnatal brainstem. PMID:29187810

  8. Conditional Loss of Hoxa5 Function Early after Birth Impacts on Expression of Genes with Synaptic Function

    Benoit Lizen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Hoxa5 is a member of the Hox gene family that plays critical roles in successive steps of the central nervous system formation during embryonic and fetal development. In the mouse, Hoxa5 was recently shown to be expressed in the medulla oblongata and the pons from fetal stages to adulthood. In these territories, Hoxa5 transcripts are enriched in many precerebellar neurons and several nuclei involved in autonomic functions, while the HOXA5 protein is detected mainly in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. However, whether HOXA5 is functionally required in these neurons after birth remains unknown. As a first approach to tackle this question, we aimed at determining the molecular programs downstream of the HOXA5 transcription factor in the context of the postnatal brainstem. A comparative transcriptomic analysis was performed in combination with gene expression localization, using a conditional postnatal Hoxa5 loss-of-function mouse model. After inactivation of Hoxa5 at postnatal days (P1–P4, we established the transcriptome of the brainstem from P21 Hoxa5 conditional mutants using RNA-Seq analysis. One major finding was the downregulation of several genes associated with synaptic function in Hoxa5 mutant specimens including different actors involved in glutamatergic synapse, calcium signaling pathway, and GABAergic synapse. Data were confirmed and extended by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis, and the expression of several HOXA5 candidate targets was shown to co-localize with Hoxa5 transcripts in precerebellar nuclei. Together, these new results revealed that HOXA5, through the regulation of key actors of the glutamatergic/GABAergic synapses and calcium signaling, might be involved in synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity of the cortico-ponto-cerebellar circuitry in the postnatal brainstem.

  9. Target genes of myostatin loss-of-function in muscles of late bovine fetuses

    Hocquette Jean-François

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Myostatin, a muscle-specific member of the Transforming Growth Factor beta family, negatively regulates muscle development. Double-muscled (DM cattle have a loss-of-function mutation in their myostatin gene responsible for the hypermuscular phenotype. Thus, these animals are a good model for understanding the mechanisms underpinning muscular hypertrophy. In order to identify individual genes or networks that may be myostatin targets, we looked for genes that were differentially expressed between DM and normal (NM animals (n = 3 per group in the semitendinosus muscle (hypertrophied in DM animals at 260 days of fetal development (when the biochemical differentiation of muscle is intensive. A heterologous microarray (human and murine oligonucleotide sequences of around 6,000 genes expressed in muscle was used. Results Many genes were found to be differentially expressed according to genetic type (some with a more than 5-fold change, and according to the presence of one or two functional myostatin allele(s. They belonged to various functional categories. The genes down-regulated in DM fetuses were mainly those encoding extracellular matrix proteins, slow contractile proteins and ribosomal proteins. The genes up-regulated in DM fetuses were mainly involved in the regulation of transcription, cell cycle/apoptosis, translation or DNA metabolism. These data highlight features indicating that DM muscle is shifted towards a more glycolytic metabolism, and has an altered extracellular matrix composition (e.g. down-regulation of COL1A1 and COL1A2, and up-regulation of COL4A2 and decreased adipocyte differentiation (down-regulation of C1QTNF3. The altered gene expression in the three major muscle compartments (fibers, connective tissue and intramuscular adipose tissue is consistent with the well-known characteristics of DM cattle. In addition, novel potential targets of the myostatin gene were identified (MB, PLN, troponins, ZFHX1B

  10. Loss of Drp1 function alters OPA1 processing and changes mitochondrial membrane organization

    Moepert, Kristin [Silence Therapeutics AG, 13125 Berlin (Germany); Hajek, Petr [Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Frank, Stephan [Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Basel, CH-4031 Basel (Switzerland); Chen, Christiane [Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, University Children' s Hospital Muenster, 48149 Muenster (Germany); Kaufmann, Joerg [Silence Therapeutics AG, 13125 Berlin (Germany); Santel, Ansgar, E-mail: a.santel@silence-therapeutics.com [Silence Therapeutics AG, 13125 Berlin (Germany)

    2009-08-01

    RNAi mediated loss of Drp1 function changes mitochondrial morphology in cultured HeLa and HUVEC cells by shifting the balance of mitochondrial fission and fusion towards unopposed fusion. Over time, inhibition of Drp1 expression results in the formation of a highly branched mitochondrial network along with 'bulge'-like structures. These changes in mitochondrial morphology are accompanied by a reduction in levels of Mitofusin 1 (Mfn1) and 2 (Mfn2) and a modified proteolytic processing of OPA1 isoforms, resulting in the inhibition of cell proliferation. In addition, our data imply that bulge formation is driven by Mfn1 action along with particular proteolytic short-OPA1 (s-OPA1) variants: Loss of Mfn2 in the absence of Drp1 results in an increase of Mfn1 levels along with processed s-OPA1-isoforms, thereby enhancing continuous 'fusion' and bulge formation. Moreover, bulge formation might reflect s-OPA1 mitochondrial membrane remodeling activity, resulting in the compartmentalization of cytochrome c deposits. The proteins Yme1L and PHB2 appeared not associated with the observed enhanced OPA1 proteolysis upon RNAi of Drp1, suggesting the existence of other OPA1 processing controlling proteins. Taken together, Drp1 appears to affect the activity of the mitochondrial fusion machinery by unbalancing the protein levels of mitofusins and OPA1.

  11. Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances.

    Carnicer, Jofre; Sardans, Jordi; Stefanescu, Constantí; Ubach, Andreu; Bartrons, Mireia; Asensio, Dolores; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  12. A Multivariate Quality Loss Function Approach for Optimization of Spinning Processes

    Chakraborty, Shankar; Mitra, Ankan

    2018-05-01

    Recent advancements in textile industry have given rise to several spinning techniques, such as ring spinning, rotor spinning etc., which can be used to produce a wide variety of textile apparels so as to fulfil the end requirements of the customers. To achieve the best out of these processes, they should be utilized at their optimal parametric settings. However, in presence of multiple yarn characteristics which are often conflicting in nature, it becomes a challenging task for the spinning industry personnel to identify the best parametric mix which would simultaneously optimize all the responses. Hence, in this paper, the applicability of a new systematic approach in the form of multivariate quality loss function technique is explored for optimizing multiple quality characteristics of yarns while identifying the ideal settings of two spinning processes. It is observed that this approach performs well against the other multi-objective optimization techniques, such as desirability function, distance function and mean squared error methods. With slight modifications in the upper and lower specification limits of the considered quality characteristics, and constraints of the non-linear optimization problem, it can be successfully applied to other processes in textile industry to determine their optimal parametric settings.

  13. Loss of the SIN3 transcriptional corepressor results in aberrant mitochondrial function

    Hüttemann Maik

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SIN3 is a transcriptional repressor protein known to regulate many genes, including a number of those that encode mitochondrial components. Results By monitoring RNA levels, we find that loss of SIN3 in Drosophila cultured cells results in up-regulation of not only nuclear encoded mitochondrial genes, but also those encoded by the mitochondrial genome. The up-regulation of gene expression is accompanied by a perturbation in ATP levels in SIN3-deficient cells, suggesting that the changes in mitochondrial gene expression result in altered mitochondrial activity. In support of the hypothesis that SIN3 is necessary for normal mitochondrial function, yeast sin3 null mutants exhibit very poor growth on non-fermentable carbon sources and show lower levels of ATP and reduced respiration rates. Conclusions The findings that both yeast and Drosophila SIN3 affect mitochondrial activity suggest an evolutionarily conserved role for SIN3 in the control of cellular energy production.

  14. Bayesian Estimation Of Shift Point In Poisson Model Under Asymmetric Loss Functions

    uma srivastava

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper deals with estimating  shift point which occurs in any sequence of independent observations  of Poisson model in statistical process control. This shift point occurs in the sequence when  i.e. m  life data are observed. The Bayes estimator on shift point 'm' and before and after shift process means are derived for symmetric and asymmetric loss functions under informative and non informative priors. The sensitivity analysis of Bayes estimators are carried out by simulation and numerical comparisons with  R-programming. The results shows the effectiveness of shift in sequence of Poisson disribution .

  15. Functional results after Bonebridge implantation in adults and children with conductive and mixed hearing loss.

    Rahne, Torsten; Seiwerth, Ingmar; Götze, Gerrit; Heider, Cornelia; Radetzki, Florian; Herzog, Michael; Plontke, Stefan K

    2015-11-01

    In patients with conductive hearing loss caused by middle ear disorders or atresia of the ear canal, a Bonebridge implantation can improve hearing by providing vibratory input to the temporal bone. The expected results are improved puretone thresholds and speech recognition. In the European Union, approval of the Bonebridge implantation was recently extended to children. We evaluated the functional outcome of a Bonebridge implantation for eight adults and three children. We found significant improvement in the puretone thresholds, with improvement in the air-bone gap. Speech recognition after surgery was significantly higher than in the best-aided situation before surgery. The Bonebridge significantly improved speech recognition in noisy environments and sound localization. In situations relevant to daily life, hearing deficits were nearly completely restored with the Bonebridge implantation in both adults and children.

  16. Loss-of-function and gain-of-function phenotypes of stomatocytosis mutant RhAG F65S

    Stewart, Andrew K.; Shmukler, Boris E.; Vandorpe, David H.; Rivera, Alicia; Heneghan, John F.; Li, Xiaojin; Hsu, Ann; Karpatkin, Margaret; O'Neill, Allison F.; Bauer, Daniel E.; Heeney, Matthew M.; John, Kathryn; Kuypers, Frans A.; Gallagher, Patrick G.; Lux, Samuel E.; Brugnara, Carlo; Westhoff, Connie M.

    2011-01-01

    Four patients with overhydrated cation leak stomatocytosis (OHSt) exhibited the heterozygous RhAG missense mutation F65S. OHSt erythrocytes were osmotically fragile, with elevated Na and decreased K contents and increased cation channel-like activity. Xenopus oocytes expressing wild-type RhAG and RhAG F65S exhibited increased ouabain and bumetanide-resistant uptake of Li+ and 86Rb+, with secondarily increased 86Rb+ influx sensitive to ouabain and to bumetanide. Increased RhAG-associated 14C-methylammonium (MA) influx was severely reduced in RhAG F65S-expressing oocytes. RhAG-associated influxes of Li+, 86Rb+, and 14C-MA were pharmacologically distinct, and Li+ uptakes associated with RhAG and RhAG F65S were differentially inhibited by NH4+ and Gd3+. RhAG-expressing oocytes were acidified and depolarized by 5 mM bath NH3/NH4+, but alkalinized and depolarized by subsequent bath exposure to 5 mM methylammonium chloride (MA/MA+). RhAG F65S-expressing oocytes exhibited near-wild-type responses to NH4Cl, but MA/MA+ elicited attenuated alkalinization and strong hyperpolarization. Expression of RhAG or RhAG F65S increased steady-state cation currents unaltered by bath Li+ substitution or bath addition of 5 mM NH4Cl or MA/MA+. These oocyte studies suggest that 1) RhAG expression increases oocyte transport of NH3/NH4+ and MA/MA+; 2) RhAG F65S exhibits gain-of-function phenotypes of increased cation conductance/permeability, and loss-of-function phenotypes of decreased and modified MA/MA+ transport, and decreased NH3/NH4+-associated depolarization; and 3) RhAG transports NH3/NH4+ and MA/MA+ by distinct mechanisms, and/or the substrates elicit distinct cellular responses. Thus, RhAG F65S is a loss-of-function mutation for amine transport. The altered oocyte intracellular pH, membrane potential, and currents associated with RhAG or RhAG F65S expression may reflect distinct transport mechanisms. PMID:21849667

  17. Economic Estimation of the Losses Caused by Surface Water Pollution Accidents in China From the Perspective of Water Bodies’ Functions

    Hong Yao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The number of surface water pollution accidents (abbreviated as SWPAs has increased substantially in China in recent years. Estimation of economic losses due to SWPAs has been one of the focuses in China and is mentioned many times in the Environmental Protection Law of China promulgated in 2014. From the perspective of water bodies’ functions, pollution accident damages can be divided into eight types: damage to human health, water supply suspension, fishery, recreational functions, biological diversity, environmental property loss, the accident’s origin and other indirect losses. In the valuation of damage to people’s life, the procedure for compensation of traffic accidents in China was used. The functional replacement cost method was used in economic estimation of the losses due to water supply suspension and loss of water’s recreational functions. Damage to biological diversity was estimated by recovery cost analysis and damage to environmental property losses were calculated using pollutant removal costs. As a case study, using the proposed calculation procedure the economic losses caused by the major Songhuajiang River pollution accident that happened in China in 2005 have been estimated at 2263 billion CNY. The estimated economic losses for real accidents can sometimes be influenced by social and political factors, such as data authenticity and accuracy. Besides, one or more aspects in the method might be overestimated, underrated or even ignored. The proposed procedure may be used by decision makers for the economic estimation of losses in SWPAs. Estimates of the economic losses of pollution accidents could help quantify potential costs associated with increased risk sources along lakes/rivers but more importantly, highlight the value of clean water to society as a whole.

  18. Economic Estimation of the Losses Caused by Surface Water Pollution Accidents in China From the Perspective of Water Bodies’ Functions

    Yao, Hong; You, Zhen; Liu, Bo

    2016-01-01

    The number of surface water pollution accidents (abbreviated as SWPAs) has increased substantially in China in recent years. Estimation of economic losses due to SWPAs has been one of the focuses in China and is mentioned many times in the Environmental Protection Law of China promulgated in 2014. From the perspective of water bodies’ functions, pollution accident damages can be divided into eight types: damage to human health, water supply suspension, fishery, recreational functions, biological diversity, environmental property loss, the accident’s origin and other indirect losses. In the valuation of damage to people’s life, the procedure for compensation of traffic accidents in China was used. The functional replacement cost method was used in economic estimation of the losses due to water supply suspension and loss of water’s recreational functions. Damage to biological diversity was estimated by recovery cost analysis and damage to environmental property losses were calculated using pollutant removal costs. As a case study, using the proposed calculation procedure the economic losses caused by the major Songhuajiang River pollution accident that happened in China in 2005 have been estimated at 2263 billion CNY. The estimated economic losses for real accidents can sometimes be influenced by social and political factors, such as data authenticity and accuracy. Besides, one or more aspects in the method might be overestimated, underrated or even ignored. The proposed procedure may be used by decision makers for the economic estimation of losses in SWPAs. Estimates of the economic losses of pollution accidents could help quantify potential costs associated with increased risk sources along lakes/rivers but more importantly, highlight the value of clean water to society as a whole. PMID:26805869

  19. Economic Estimation of the Losses Caused by Surface Water Pollution Accidents in China From the Perspective of Water Bodies' Functions.

    Yao, Hong; You, Zhen; Liu, Bo

    2016-01-22

    The number of surface water pollution accidents (abbreviated as SWPAs) has increased substantially in China in recent years. Estimation of economic losses due to SWPAs has been one of the focuses in China and is mentioned many times in the Environmental Protection Law of China promulgated in 2014. From the perspective of water bodies' functions, pollution accident damages can be divided into eight types: damage to human health, water supply suspension, fishery, recreational functions, biological diversity, environmental property loss, the accident's origin and other indirect losses. In the valuation of damage to people's life, the procedure for compensation of traffic accidents in China was used. The functional replacement cost method was used in economic estimation of the losses due to water supply suspension and loss of water's recreational functions. Damage to biological diversity was estimated by recovery cost analysis and damage to environmental property losses were calculated using pollutant removal costs. As a case study, using the proposed calculation procedure the economic losses caused by the major Songhuajiang River pollution accident that happened in China in 2005 have been estimated at 2263 billion CNY. The estimated economic losses for real accidents can sometimes be influenced by social and political factors, such as data authenticity and accuracy. Besides, one or more aspects in the method might be overestimated, underrated or even ignored. The proposed procedure may be used by decision makers for the economic estimation of losses in SWPAs. Estimates of the economic losses of pollution accidents could help quantify potential costs associated with increased risk sources along lakes/rivers but more importantly, highlight the value of clean water to society as a whole.

  20. Scanning the Global Environment. A framework and methodology for UNEP's reporting functions

    Swart RJ; Bakkes JA; Niessen LW; Rotmans J; Vries HJM de; Weterings R; Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieuhygiene RIVM; United Nations Environment Programme UNEP; MTV; ISC; VTV; CWM; SB4; TNO Centre for Technology and Policy Studies

    1994-01-01

    A conceptual framework for UNEP's reporting functions is proposed, aimed at supporting strategic environmental policy development. To this end information should be provided about the past, current and future state of the environment as a function of demographic and socio-economic developments. The policy relevance of the existing global environmental reporting functions may be improved considerably by introducing three new elements: (1) the application of integrated conceptual frameworks and...

  1. Finsler metrics—a global approach with applications to geometric function theory

    Abate, Marco

    1994-01-01

    Complex Finsler metrics appear naturally in complex analysis. To develop new tools in this area, the book provides a graduate-level introduction to differential geometry of complex Finsler metrics. After reviewing real Finsler geometry stressing global results, complex Finsler geometry is presented introducing connections, Kählerianity, geodesics, curvature. Finally global geometry and complex Monge-Ampère equations are discussed for Finsler manifolds with constant holomorphic curvature, which are important in geometric function theory. Following E. Cartan, S.S. Chern and S. Kobayashi, the global approach carries the full strength of hermitian geometry of vector bundles avoiding cumbersome computations, and thus fosters applications in other fields.

  2. The spectrum of epilepsy and electroencephalographic abnormalities due to SHANK3 loss-of-function mutations.

    Holder, J Lloyd; Quach, Michael M

    2016-10-01

    The coincidence of autism with epilepsy is 27% in those individuals with intellectual disability. 1 Individuals with loss-of-function mutations in SHANK3 have intellectual disability, autism, and variably, epilepsy. 2-5 The spectrum of seizure semiologies and electroencephalography (EEG) abnormalities has never been investigated in detail. With the recent report that SHANK3 mutations are present in approximately 2% of individuals with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities and 1% of individuals with autism, determining the spectrum of seizure semiologies and electrographic abnormalities will be critical for medical practitioners to appropriately counsel the families of patients with SHANK3 mutations. A retrospective chart review was performed of all individuals treated at the Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Child Neurology who have been identified as having either a chromosome 22q13 microdeletion encompassing SHANK3 or a loss-of-function mutation in SHANK3 identified through whole-exome sequencing. For each subject, the presence or absence of seizures, seizure semiology, frequency, age of onset, and efficacy of therapy were determined. Electroencephalography studies were reviewed by a board certified neurophysiologist. Neuroimaging was reviewed by both a board certified pediatric neuroradiologist and child neurologist. There is a wide spectrum of seizure semiologies, frequencies, and severity in individuals with SHANK3 mutations. There are no specific EEG abnormalities found in our cohort, and EEG abnormalities were present in individuals diagnosed with epilepsy and those without history of a clinical seizure. All individuals with a mutation in SHANK3 should be evaluated for epilepsy due to the high prevalence of seizures in this population. The most common semiology is atypical absence seizure, which can be challenging to identify due to comorbid intellectual disability in individuals with SHANK3 mutations; however, no consistent seizure semiology, neuroimaging

  3. Lack of AcrB Efflux Function Confers Loss of Virulence on Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium

    Xuan Wang-Kan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available AcrAB-TolC is the paradigm resistance-nodulation-division (RND multidrug resistance efflux system in Gram-negative bacteria, with AcrB being the pump protein in this complex. We constructed a nonfunctional AcrB mutant by replacing D408, a highly conserved residue essential for proton translocation. Western blotting confirmed that the AcrB D408A mutant had the same native level of expression of AcrB as the parental strain. The mutant had no growth deficiencies in rich or minimal medium. However, compared with wild-type SL1344, the mutant had increased accumulation of Hoechst 33342 dye and decreased efflux of ethidium bromide and was multidrug hypersusceptible. The D408A mutant was attenuated in vivo in mouse and Galleria mellonella models and showed significantly reduced invasion into intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages in vitro. A dose-dependent inhibition of invasion was also observed when two different efflux pump inhibitors were added to the wild-type strain during infection of epithelial cells. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq revealed downregulation of bacterial factors necessary for infection, including those in the Salmonella pathogenicity islands 1, 2, and 4; quorum sensing genes; and phoPQ. Several general stress response genes were upregulated, probably due to retention of noxious molecules inside the bacterium. Unlike loss of AcrB protein, loss of efflux function did not induce overexpression of other RND efflux pumps. Our data suggest that gene deletion mutants are unsuitable for studying membrane transporters and, importantly, that inhibitors of AcrB efflux function will not induce expression of other RND pumps.

  4. Distribution and medical impact of loss-of-function variants in the Finnish founder population.

    Elaine T Lim

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Exome sequencing studies in complex diseases are challenged by the allelic heterogeneity, large number and modest effect sizes of associated variants on disease risk and the presence of large numbers of neutral variants, even in phenotypically relevant genes. Isolated populations with recent bottlenecks offer advantages for studying rare variants in complex diseases as they have deleterious variants that are present at higher frequencies as well as a substantial reduction in rare neutral variation. To explore the potential of the Finnish founder population for studying low-frequency (0.5-5% variants in complex diseases, we compared exome sequence data on 3,000 Finns to the same number of non-Finnish Europeans and discovered that, despite having fewer variable sites overall, the average Finn has more low-frequency loss-of-function variants and complete gene knockouts. We then used several well-characterized Finnish population cohorts to study the phenotypic effects of 83 enriched loss-of-function variants across 60 phenotypes in 36,262 Finns. Using a deep set of quantitative traits collected on these cohorts, we show 5 associations (p<5×10⁻⁸ including splice variants in LPA that lowered plasma lipoprotein(a levels (P = 1.5×10⁻¹¹⁷. Through accessing the national medical records of these participants, we evaluate the LPA finding via Mendelian randomization and confirm that these splice variants confer protection from cardiovascular disease (OR = 0.84, P = 3×10⁻⁴, demonstrating for the first time the correlation between very low levels of LPA in humans with potential therapeutic implications for cardiovascular diseases. More generally, this study articulates substantial advantages for studying the role of rare variation in complex phenotypes in founder populations like the Finns and by combining a unique population genetic history with data from large population cohorts and centralized research access to National Health

  5. Loss of function mutations in EPHB4 are responsible for vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation.

    Vivanti, Alexandre; Ozanne, Augustin; Grondin, Cynthia; Saliou, Guillaume; Quevarec, Loic; Maurey, Helène; Aubourg, Patrick; Benachi, Alexandra; Gut, Marta; Gut, Ivo; Martinovic, Jelena; Sénat, Marie Victoire; Tawk, Marcel; Melki, Judith

    2018-04-01

    See Meschia (doi:10.1093/brain/awy066) for a scientific commentary on this article.Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation is a congenital anomaly of the cerebral vasculature representing 30% of all paediatric vascular malformations. We conducted whole exome sequencing in 19 unrelated patients presenting this malformation and subsequently screened candidate genes in a cohort of 32 additional patients using either targeted exome or Sanger sequencing. In a cohort of 51 patients, we found five affected individuals with heterozygous mutations in EPHB4 including de novo frameshift (p.His191Alafs*32) or inherited deleterious splice or missense mutations predicted to be pathogenic by in silico tools. Knockdown of ephb4 in zebrafish embryos leads to specific anomalies of dorsal cranial vessels including the dorsal longitudinal vein, which is the orthologue of the median prosencephalic vein and the embryonic precursor of the vein of Galen. This model allowed us to investigate EPHB4 loss-of-function mutations in this disease by the ability to rescue the brain vascular defect in knockdown zebrafish co-injected with wild-type, but not truncated EPHB4, mimicking the p.His191Alafs mutation. Our data showed that in both species, loss of function mutations of EPHB4 result in specific and similar brain vascular development anomalies. Recently, EPHB4 germline mutations have been reported in non-immune hydrops fetalis and in cutaneous capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation. Here, we show that EPHB4 mutations are also responsible for vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation, indicating that heterozygous germline mutations of EPHB4 result in a large clinical spectrum. The identification of EPHB4 pathogenic mutations in patients presenting capillary malformation or vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation should lead to careful follow-up of pregnancy of carriers for early detection of anomaly of the cerebral vasculature in order to propose optimal neonatal care. Endovascular

  6. Functional Connectivity with Distinct Neural Networks Tracks Fluctuations in Gain/Loss Framing Susceptibility

    Smith, David V.; Sip, Kamila E.; Delgado, Mauricio R.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple large-scale neural networks orchestrate a wide range of cognitive processes. For example, interoceptive processes related to self-referential thinking have been linked to the default-mode network (DMN); whereas exteroceptive processes related to cognitive control have been linked to the executive-control network (ECN). Although the DMN and ECN have been postulated to exert opposing effects on cognition, it remains unclear how connectivity with these spatially overlapping networks contribute to fluctuations in behavior. While previous work has suggested the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) is involved in behavioral change following feedback, these observations could be linked to interoceptive processes tied to DMN or exteroceptive processes tied to ECN because MPFC is positioned in both networks. To address this problem, we employed independent component analysis combined with dual-regression functional connectivity analysis. Participants made a series of financial decisions framed as monetary gains or losses. In some sessions, participants received feedback from a peer observing their choices; in other sessions, feedback was not provided. Following feedback, framing susceptibility—indexed as the increase in gambling behavior in loss frames compared to gain frames—was heightened in some participants and diminished in others. We examined whether these individual differences were linked to differences in connectivity by contrasting sessions containing feedback against those that did not contain feedback. We found two key results. As framing susceptibility increased, the MPFC increased connectivity with DMN; in contrast, temporal-parietal junction decreased connectivity with the ECN. Our results highlight how functional connectivity patterns with distinct neural networks contribute to idiosyncratic behavioral changes. PMID:25858445

  7. Children with minimal sensorineural hearing loss: prevalence, educational performance, and functional status.

    Bess, F H; Dodd-Murphy, J; Parker, R A

    1998-10-01

    This study was designed to determine the prevalence of minimal sensorineural hearing loss (MSHL) in school-age children and to assess the relationship of MSHL to educational performance and functional status. To determine prevalence, a single-staged sampling frame of all schools in the district was created for 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades. Schools were selected with probability proportional to size in each grade group. The final study sample was 1218 children. To assess the association of MSHL with educational performance, children identified with MSHL were assigned as cases into a subsequent case-control study. Scores of the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (4th Edition) (CTBS/4) then were compared between children with MSHL and children with normal hearing. School teachers completed the Screening Instrument for Targeting Education Risk (SIFTER) and the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist for a subsample of children with MSHL and their normally hearing counterparts. Finally, data on grade retention for a sample of children with MSHL were obtained from school records and compared with school district norm data. To assess the relationship between MSHL and functional status, test scores of all children with MSHL and all children with normal hearing in grades 6 and 9 were compared on the COOP Adolescent Chart Method (COOP), a screening tool for functional status. MSHL was exhibited by 5.4% of the study sample. The prevalence of all types of hearing impairment was 11.3%. Third grade children with MSHL exhibited significantly lower scores than normally hearing controls on a series of subtests of the CTBS/4; however, no differences were noted at the 6th and 9th grade levels. The SIFTER results revealed that children with MSHL scored poorer on the communication subtest than normal-hearing controls. Thirty-seven percent of the children with MSHL failed at least one grade. Finally, children with MSHL exhibited significantly greater dysfunction than children with normal hearing

  8. A New Filled Function Method with One Parameter for Global Optimization

    Fei Wei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The filled function method is an effective approach to find the global minimizer of multidimensional multimodal functions. The conventional filled functions are numerically unstable due to exponential or logarithmic term and sensitive to parameters. In this paper, a new filled function with only one parameter is proposed, which is continuously differentiable and proved to satisfy all conditions of the filled function definition. Moreover, this filled function is not sensitive to parameter, and the overflow can not happen for this function. Based on these, a new filled function method is proposed, and it is numerically stable to the initial point and the parameter variable. The computer simulations indicate that the proposed filled function method is efficient and effective.

  9. Globalization

    Plum, Maja

    Globalization is often referred to as external to education - a state of affair facing the modern curriculum with numerous challenges. In this paper it is examined as internal to curriculum; analysed as a problematization in a Foucaultian sense. That is, as a complex of attentions, worries, ways...... of reasoning, producing curricular variables. The analysis is made through an example of early childhood curriculum in Danish Pre-school, and the way the curricular variable of the pre-school child comes into being through globalization as a problematization, carried forth by the comparative practices of PISA...

  10. Globalization

    F. Gerard Adams

    2008-01-01

    The rapid globalization of the world economy is causing fundamental changes in patterns of trade and finance. Some economists have argued that globalization has arrived and that the world is “flat†. While the geographic scope of markets has increased, the author argues that new patterns of trade and finance are a result of the discrepancies between “old†countries and “new†. As the differences are gradually wiped out, particularly if knowledge and technology spread worldwide, the t...

  11. Longstanding Hyperthyroidism Is Associated with Normal or Enhanced Intrinsic Cardiomyocyte Function despite Decline in Global Cardiac Function

    Redetzke, Rebecca A.; Gerdes, A. Martin

    2012-01-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) play a pivotal role in cardiac homeostasis. TH imbalances alter cardiac performance and ultimately cause cardiac dysfunction. Although short-term hyperthyroidism typically leads to heightened left ventricular (LV) contractility and improved hemodynamic parameters, chronic hyperthyroidism is associated with deleterious cardiac consequences including increased risk of arrhythmia, impaired cardiac reserve and exercise capacity, myocardial remodeling, and occasionally heart failure. To evaluate the long-term consequences of chronic hyperthyroidism on LV remodeling and function, we examined LV isolated myocyte function, chamber function, and whole tissue remodeling in a hamster model. Three-month-old F1b hamsters were randomized to control or 10 months TH treatment (0.1% grade I desiccated TH). LV chamber remodeling and function was assessed by echocardiography at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 months of treatment. After 10 months, terminal cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and LV hemodynamics. Hyperthyroid hamsters exhibited significant cardiac hypertrophy and deleterious cardiac remodeling characterized by myocyte lengthening, chamber dilatation, decreased relative wall thickness, increased wall stress, and increased LV interstitial fibrotic deposition. Importantly, hyperthyroid hamsters demonstrated significant LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Despite the aforementioned remodeling and global cardiac decline, individual isolated cardiac myocytes from chronically hyperthyroid hamsters had enhanced function when compared with myocytes from untreated age-matched controls. Thus, it appears that long-term hyperthyroidism may impair global LV function, at least in part by increasing interstitial ventricular fibrosis, in spite of normal or enhanced intrinsic cardiomyocyte function. PMID:23056390

  12. Longstanding hyperthyroidism is associated with normal or enhanced intrinsic cardiomyocyte function despite decline in global cardiac function.

    Nathan Y Weltman

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormones (THs play a pivotal role in cardiac homeostasis. TH imbalances alter cardiac performance and ultimately cause cardiac dysfunction. Although short-term hyperthyroidism typically leads to heightened left ventricular (LV contractility and improved hemodynamic parameters, chronic hyperthyroidism is associated with deleterious cardiac consequences including increased risk of arrhythmia, impaired cardiac reserve and exercise capacity, myocardial remodeling, and occasionally heart failure. To evaluate the long-term consequences of chronic hyperthyroidism on LV remodeling and function, we examined LV isolated myocyte function, chamber function, and whole tissue remodeling in a hamster model. Three-month-old F1b hamsters were randomized to control or 10 months TH treatment (0.1% grade I desiccated TH. LV chamber remodeling and function was assessed by echocardiography at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 months of treatment. After 10 months, terminal cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and LV hemodynamics. Hyperthyroid hamsters exhibited significant cardiac hypertrophy and deleterious cardiac remodeling characterized by myocyte lengthening, chamber dilatation, decreased relative wall thickness, increased wall stress, and increased LV interstitial fibrotic deposition. Importantly, hyperthyroid hamsters demonstrated significant LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Despite the aforementioned remodeling and global cardiac decline, individual isolated cardiac myocytes from chronically hyperthyroid hamsters had enhanced function when compared with myocytes from untreated age-matched controls. Thus, it appears that long-term hyperthyroidism may impair global LV function, at least in part by increasing interstitial ventricular fibrosis, in spite of normal or enhanced intrinsic cardiomyocyte function.

  13. Loss-of-Function FANCL Mutations Associate with Severe Fanconi Anemia Overlapping the VACTERL Association.

    Vetro, Annalisa; Iascone, Maria; Limongelli, Ivan; Ameziane, Najim; Gana, Simone; Della Mina, Erika; Giussani, Ursula; Ciccone, Roberto; Forlino, Antonella; Pezzoli, Laura; Rooimans, Martin A; van Essen, Antoni J; Messa, Jole; Rizzuti, Tommaso; Bianchi, Paolo; Dorsman, Josephine; de Winter, Johan P; Lalatta, Faustina; Zuffardi, Orsetta

    2015-05-01

    The diagnosis of VACTERL syndrome can be elusive, especially in the prenatal life, due to the presence of malformations that overlap those present in other genetic conditions, including the Fanconi anemia (FA). We report on three VACTERL cases within two families, where the two who arrived to be born died shortly after birth due to severe organs' malformations. The suspicion of VACTERL association was based on prenatal ultrasound assessment and postnatal features. Subsequent chromosome breakage analysis suggested the diagnosis of FA. Finally, by next-generation sequencing based on the analysis of the exome in one family and of a panel of Fanconi genes in the second one, we identified novel FANCL truncating mutations in both families. We used ectopic expression of wild-type FANCL to functionally correct the cellular FA phenotype for both mutations. Our study emphasizes that the diagnosis of FA should be considered when VACTERL association is suspected. Furthermore, we show that loss-of-function mutations in FANCL result in a severe clinical phenotype characterized by early postnatal death. © 2015 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  14. Loss of the soil carbon storage function of drained forested peatlands

    C. Wüst-Galley

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Peatlands form a large but unstable C store. Drainage of peatlands converts them into C sources, which is undesirable if increases in atmospheric CO2 levels are to be minimised. Therefore, quantification of C stocks and an understanding of which ecosystems or management regimes are capturing or emitting C is needed. Such information is scarce for temperate European forests. We studied the soil properties of sixteen peatlands in Switzerland, representing three forest types, to test whether peatlands that are more strongly affected by drainage (according to vegetation have lost their function as C sinks or stores. Bulk density and ash enrichment, as well as H/C, O/C and C/N quotients, indicated that the soils of the two forest types that appeared to be more strongly affected by drainage were more degraded and had lost their functions as C stores. Long-term net rates of C loss estimated using the ash residue method were similar across all three forest types, for sites where this could be estimated.

  15. Keeping Older Adults with Vision Loss Safe: Chronic Conditions and Comorbidities that Influence Functional Mobility

    Riddering, Anne T.

    2008-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans aged 60 and older. The loss of central vision from AMD can decrease visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, glare sensitivity, color discrimination, and the ability to adapt to changes in lighting conditions. Older adults with vision loss often have other chronic,…

  16. A review of the (Revised) Universal Soil Loss Equation (R/USLE): with a view to increasing its global applicability and improving soil loss estimates

    Benavidez, Rubianca; Jackson, Bethanna; Maxwell, Deborah; Norton, Kevin

    2018-01-01

    Soil erosion is a major problem around the world because of its effects on soil productivity, nutrient loss, siltation in water bodies, and degradation of water quality. By understanding the driving forces behind soil erosion, we can more easily identify erosion-prone areas within a landscape and use land management and other strategies to effectively manage the problem. Soil erosion models have been used to assist in this task. One of the most commonly used soil erosion models is the Univers...

  17. Treatments to Prevent Bone Loss in Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Altayar, Osama; Al Nofal, Alaa; Carranza Leon, B Gisella; Prokop, Larry J; Wang, Zhen; Murad, M Hassan

    2017-05-01

    We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that evaluated the effect of hormonal therapy [estrogen therapy including oral contraceptive pills (OCP)] and bisphosphonates in preventing bone loss in patients with functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA). We searched several electronic databases for controlled and noncontrolled studies that enrolled females of any age presenting with FHA (including athletic, weight loss, and stress-associated amenorrhea/oligomenorrhea) through 9 January 2017. The outcomes of interest were fractures and bone mineral density (BMD). Random effects meta-analysis was used to pool outcomes across studies expressed as weighted mean difference and 95% confidence interval (CI). Nine studies reporting on 280 patients that received different hormonal therapies were included. We did not identify studies that evaluated bisphosphonates. Meta-analysis demonstrated a statistically significant increase in BMD of the lumbar spine in patients receiving hormonal therapy after a median follow-up of 12 months (weighted mean difference, 0.032 g/cm 2 ; 95% CI, 0.017 to 0.047; percentage change in BMD, 3.30%; 95% CI, 1.74 to 4.86). There was no substantial effect of receiving hormonal therapy on BMD of the femoral neck, trochanteric region, Ward triangle, or total body BMD. The quality of evidence was low because of the high risk of bias, imprecision (small sample size), and indirectness (as BMD is a surrogate outcome). None of the studies reported the incidence of fractures. The current evidence does not support using hormonal therapy for the sole purpose of improving bone health in patients with FHA. There are no data about bisphosphonates in this population.

  18. Characterization of the loss of SUMO pathway function on cancer cells and tumor proliferation.

    Xingyue He

    Full Text Available SUMOylation is a post-translational ubiquitin-like protein modification pathway that regulates important cellular processes including chromosome structure, kinetochore function, chromosome segregation, nuclear and sub-nuclear organization, transcription and DNA damage repair. There is increasing evidence that the SUMO pathway is dysregulated in cancer, raising the possibility that modulation of this pathway may have therapeutic potential. To investigate the importance of the SUMO pathway in the context of cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth, we applied lentivirus-based short hairpin RNAs (shRNA to knockdown SUMO pathway genes in human cancer cells. shRNAs for SAE2 and UBC9 reduced SUMO conjugation activity and inhibited proliferation of human cancer cells. To expand upon these observations, we generated doxycycline inducible conditional shRNA cell lines for SAE2 to achieve acute and reversible SAE2 knockdown. Conditional SAE2 knockdown in U2OS and HCT116 cells slowed cell growth in vitro, and SAE2 knockdown induced multiple terminal outcomes including apoptosis, endoreduplication and senescence. Multinucleated cells became senescent and stained positive for the senescence marker, SA-β Gal, and displayed elevated levels of p53 and p21. In an attempt to explain these phenotypes, we confirmed that loss of SUMO pathway activity leads to a loss of SUMOylated Topoisomerase IIα and the appearance of chromatin bridges which can impair proper cytokinesis and lead to multinucleation. Furthermore, knockdown of SAE2 induces disruption of PML nuclear bodies which may further promote apoptosis or senescence. In an in vivo HCT116 xenograft tumor model, conditional SAE2 knockdown strongly impaired tumor growth. These data demonstrate that the SUMO pathway is required for cancer cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo, implicating the SUMO pathway as a potential cancer therapeutic target.

  19. A comprehensive dataset of genes with a loss-of-function mutant phenotype in Arabidopsis.

    Lloyd, Johnny; Meinke, David

    2012-03-01

    Despite the widespread use of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) as a model plant, a curated dataset of Arabidopsis genes with mutant phenotypes remains to be established. A preliminary list published nine years ago in Plant Physiology is outdated, and genome-wide phenotype information remains difficult to obtain. We describe here a comprehensive dataset of 2,400 genes with a loss-of-function mutant phenotype in Arabidopsis. Phenotype descriptions were gathered primarily from manual curation of the scientific literature. Genes were placed into prioritized groups (essential, morphological, cellular-biochemical, and conditional) based on the documented phenotypes of putative knockout alleles. Phenotype classes (e.g. vegetative, reproductive, and timing, for the morphological group) and subsets (e.g. flowering time, senescence, circadian rhythms, and miscellaneous, for the timing class) were also established. Gene identities were classified as confirmed (through molecular complementation or multiple alleles) or not confirmed. Relationships between mutant phenotype and protein function, genetic redundancy, protein connectivity, and subcellular protein localization were explored. A complementary dataset of 401 genes that exhibit a mutant phenotype only when disrupted in combination with a putative paralog was also compiled. The importance of these genes in confirming functional redundancy and enhancing the value of single gene datasets is discussed. With further input and curation from the Arabidopsis community, these datasets should help to address a variety of important biological questions, provide a foundation for exploring the relationship between genotype and phenotype in angiosperms, enhance the utility of Arabidopsis as a reference plant, and facilitate comparative studies with model genetic organisms.

  20. Global biogeographical pattern of ecosystem functional types derived from earth observation data

    Ivits, Eva; Cherlet, Michael; Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F

    2013-01-01

    correspondence of the EFTs to global climate and also to land use classification. The results show the great potential of Earth Observation derived parameters for the quantification of ecosystem functional dynamics and for providing reference status information for future assessments of ecosystem changes........ The association of the EFTs with existing climate and land cover classifications was demonstrated via Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). The ordination indicated good description of the global environmental gradient by the EFTs, supporting the understanding of phenological and productivity dynamics...... of global ecosystems. Climatic constraints of vegetation growth explained 50% of variation in the phenological data along the EFTs showing that part of the variation in the global phenological gradient is not climate related but is unique to the Earth Observation derived variables. DCA demonstrated good...

  1. A global genetic interaction network maps a wiring diagram of cellular function.

    Costanzo, Michael; VanderSluis, Benjamin; Koch, Elizabeth N; Baryshnikova, Anastasia; Pons, Carles; Tan, Guihong; Wang, Wen; Usaj, Matej; Hanchard, Julia; Lee, Susan D; Pelechano, Vicent; Styles, Erin B; Billmann, Maximilian; van Leeuwen, Jolanda; van Dyk, Nydia; Lin, Zhen-Yuan; Kuzmin, Elena; Nelson, Justin; Piotrowski, Jeff S; Srikumar, Tharan; Bahr, Sondra; Chen, Yiqun; Deshpande, Raamesh; Kurat, Christoph F; Li, Sheena C; Li, Zhijian; Usaj, Mojca Mattiazzi; Okada, Hiroki; Pascoe, Natasha; San Luis, Bryan-Joseph; Sharifpoor, Sara; Shuteriqi, Emira; Simpkins, Scott W; Snider, Jamie; Suresh, Harsha Garadi; Tan, Yizhao; Zhu, Hongwei; Malod-Dognin, Noel; Janjic, Vuk; Przulj, Natasa; Troyanskaya, Olga G; Stagljar, Igor; Xia, Tian; Ohya, Yoshikazu; Gingras, Anne-Claude; Raught, Brian; Boutros, Michael; Steinmetz, Lars M; Moore, Claire L; Rosebrock, Adam P; Caudy, Amy A; Myers, Chad L; Andrews, Brenda; Boone, Charles

    2016-09-23

    We generated a global genetic interaction network for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, constructing more than 23 million double mutants, identifying about 550,000 negative and about 350,000 positive genetic interactions. This comprehensive network maps genetic interactions for essential gene pairs, highlighting essential genes as densely connected hubs. Genetic interaction profiles enabled assembly of a hierarchical model of cell function, including modules corresponding to protein complexes and pathways, biological processes, and cellular compartments. Negative interactions connected functionally related genes, mapped core bioprocesses, and identified pleiotropic genes, whereas positive interactions often mapped general regulatory connections among gene pairs, rather than shared functionality. The global network illustrates how coherent sets of genetic interactions connect protein complex and pathway modules to map a functional wiring diagram of the cell. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  2. Validation of a simple isotopic technique for the measurement of global and separated renal function

    Chachati, A.; Meyers, A.; Rigo, P.; Godon, J.P.

    1986-01-01

    Schlegel and Gates described an isotopic method for the measurement of global and separated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) based on the determination by scintillation camera of the fraction of the injected dose (99mTc-DTPA-[ 131 I]hippuran) present in the kidneys 1-3 min after its administration. This method requires counting of the injected dose and attenuation correction, but no blood or urine sampling. We validated this technique by the simultaneous infusion of inulin and para-amino hippuric acid (PAH) in patients with various levels of renal function (anuric to normal). To better define individual renal function we studied 9 kidneys in patients either nephrectomized or with a nephrostomy enabling separated function measurement. A good correlation between inulin, PAH clearance, and isotopic GFR-ERPF measurement for both global and separate renal function was observed

  3. A global interaction network maps a wiring diagram of cellular function

    Costanzo, Michael; VanderSluis, Benjamin; Koch, Elizabeth N.; Baryshnikova, Anastasia; Pons, Carles; Tan, Guihong; Wang, Wen; Usaj, Matej; Hanchard, Julia; Lee, Susan D.; Pelechano, Vicent; Styles, Erin B.; Billmann, Maximilian; van Leeuwen, Jolanda; van Dyk, Nydia; Lin, Zhen-Yuan; Kuzmin, Elena; Nelson, Justin; Piotrowski, Jeff S.; Srikumar, Tharan; Bahr, Sondra; Chen, Yiqun; Deshpande, Raamesh; Kurat, Christoph F.; Li, Sheena C.; Li, Zhijian; Usaj, Mojca Mattiazzi; Okada, Hiroki; Pascoe, Natasha; Luis, Bryan-Joseph San; Sharifpoor, Sara; Shuteriqi, Emira; Simpkins, Scott W.; Snider, Jamie; Suresh, Harsha Garadi; Tan, Yizhao; Zhu, Hongwei; Malod-Dognin, Noel; Janjic, Vuk; Przulj, Natasa; Troyanskaya, Olga G.; Stagljar, Igor; Xia, Tian; Ohya, Yoshikazu; Gingras, Anne-Claude; Raught, Brian; Boutros, Michael; Steinmetz, Lars M.; Moore, Claire L.; Rosebrock, Adam P.; Caudy, Amy A.; Myers, Chad L.; Andrews, Brenda; Boone, Charles

    2017-01-01

    We generated a global genetic interaction network for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, constructing over 23 million double mutants, identifying ~550,000 negative and ~350,000 positive genetic interactions. This comprehensive network maps genetic interactions for essential gene pairs, highlighting essential genes as densely connected hubs. Genetic interaction profiles enabled assembly of a hierarchical model of cell function, including modules corresponding to protein complexes and pathways, biological processes, and cellular compartments. Negative interactions connected functionally related genes, mapped core bioprocesses, and identified pleiotropic genes, whereas positive interactions often mapped general regulatory connections among gene pairs, rather than shared functionality. The global network illustrates how coherent sets of genetic interactions connect protein complex and pathway modules to map a functional wiring diagram of the cell. PMID:27708008

  4. Euclidean scalar Green function in a higher dimensional global monopole space-time

    Bezerra de Mello, E.R.

    2002-01-01

    We construct the explicit Euclidean scalar Green function associated with a massless field in a higher dimensional global monopole space-time, i.e., a (1+d)-space-time with d≥3 which presents a solid angle deficit. Our result is expressed in terms of an infinite sum of products of Legendre functions with Gegenbauer polynomials. Although this Green function cannot be expressed in a closed form, for the specific case where the solid angle deficit is very small, it is possible to develop the sum and obtain the Green function in a more workable expression. Having this expression it is possible to calculate the vacuum expectation value of some relevant operators. As an application of this formalism, we calculate the renormalized vacuum expectation value of the square of the scalar field, 2 (x)> Ren , and the energy-momentum tensor, μν (x)> Ren , for the global monopole space-time with spatial dimensions d=4 and d=5

  5. Global Asymptotic Stability of Impulsive CNNs with Proportional Delays and Partially Lipschitz Activation Functions

    Xueli Song

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper researches global asymptotic stability of impulsive cellular neural networks with proportional delays and partially Lipschitz activation functions. Firstly, by means of the transformation vi(t=ui(et, the impulsive cellular neural networks with proportional delays are transformed into impulsive cellular neural networks with the variable coefficients and constant delays. Secondly, we provide novel criteria for the uniqueness and exponential stability of the equilibrium point of the latter by relative nonlinear measure and prove that the exponential stability of equilibrium point of the latter implies the asymptotic stability of one of the former. We furthermore obtain a sufficient condition to the uniqueness and global asymptotic stability of the equilibrium point of the former. Our method does not require conventional assumptions on global Lipschitz continuity, boundedness, and monotonicity of activation functions. Our results are generalizations and improvements of some existing ones. Finally, an example and its simulations are provided to illustrate the correctness of our analysis.

  6. Monte Carlo Simulations of Electron Energy-Loss Spectra with the Addition of Fine Structure from Density Functional Theory Calculations.

    Attarian Shandiz, Mohammad; Guinel, Maxime J-F; Ahmadi, Majid; Gauvin, Raynald

    2016-02-01

    A new approach is presented to introduce the fine structure of core-loss excitations into the electron energy-loss spectra of ionization edges by Monte Carlo simulations based on an optical oscillator model. The optical oscillator strength is refined using the calculated electron energy-loss near-edge structure by density functional theory calculations. This approach can predict the effects of multiple scattering and thickness on the fine structure of ionization edges. In addition, effects of the fitting range for background removal and the integration range under the ionization edge on signal-to-noise ratio are investigated.

  7. Long-term Impact of Weight Loss Intervention on Changes in Cognitive Function: Exploratory Analyses from the Action for Health in Diabetes Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.

    Espeland, Mark A; Carmichael, Owen; Hayden, Kathleen; Neiberg, Rebecca H; Newman, Anne B; Keller, Jeffery N; Wadden, Thomas A; Rapp, Stephen R; Hill, James O; Horton, Edward S; Johnson, Karen C; Wagenknecht, Lynne; Wing, Rena R

    2018-03-14

    Diabetes adversely impacts cognition. Lifestyle change can improve diabetes control and potentially improve cognition. We examined whether weight loss through reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity was associated with slower cognitive aging in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Look AHEAD randomized controlled clinical trial delivered 10 years of intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) that yielded long-term weight losses. During 5 years spanning the end of intervention and postintervention follow-up, repeated cognitive assessments were obtained in 1,091 individuals who had been assigned to ILI or a control condition of diabetes support and education (DSE). We compared the means and slopes of scores on cognitive testing over these repeated assessments. Compared with DSE, assignment to ILI was associated with a -0.082 SD deficit in mean global cognitive function across repeated assessments (p = .010). However, overweight (body mass index [BMI] memory. The behavioral weight loss intervention was associated with small relative deficits in cognitive function among individuals who were obese and marginally greater cognitive decline overall compared to control. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00017953.

  8. The evolution of the global stellar mass function of star clusters: an analytic description

    Lamers, H.J.G.L.M.; Baumgardt, H.; Gieles, M.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of the global stellar mass function of star clusters is studied based on a large set of N-body simulations of clusters with a range of initial masses, initial concentrations, in circular or elliptical orbits in different tidal environments. Models with and without initial mass

  9. TDP-43 Loss-of-Function Causes Neuronal Loss Due to Defective Steroid Receptor-Mediated Gene Program Switching in Drosophila

    Lies Vanden Broeck

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available TDP-43 proteinopathy is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related neurodegenerative disorders. Whether TDP-43 neurotoxicity is caused by a novel toxic gain-of-function mechanism of the aggregates or by a loss of its normal function is unknown. We increased and decreased expression of TDP-43 (dTDP-43 in Drosophila. Although upregulation of dTDP-43 induced neuronal ubiquitin and dTDP-43-positive inclusions, both up- and downregulated dTDP-43 resulted in selective apoptosis of bursicon neurons and highly similar transcriptome alterations at the pupal-adult transition. Gene network analysis and genetic validation showed that both up- and downregulated dTDP-43 directly and dramatically increased the expression of the neuronal microtubule-associated protein Map205, resulting in cytoplasmic accumulations of the ecdysteroid receptor (EcR and a failure to switch EcR-dependent gene programs from a pupal to adult pattern. We propose that dTDP-43 neurotoxicity is caused by a loss of its normal function.

  10. Loss-of-function of neuroplasticity-related genes confers risk for human neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Smith, Milo R; Glicksberg, Benjamin S; Li, Li; Chen, Rong; Morishita, Hirofumi; Dudley, Joel T

    2018-01-01

    High and increasing prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders place enormous personal and economic burdens on society. Given the growing realization that the roots of neurodevelopmental disorders often lie in early childhood, there is an urgent need to identify childhood risk factors. Neurodevelopment is marked by periods of heightened experience-dependent neuroplasticity wherein neural circuitry is optimized by the environment. If these critical periods are disrupted, development of normal brain function can be permanently altered, leading to neurodevelopmental disorders. Here, we aim to systematically identify human variants in neuroplasticity-related genes that confer risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Historically, this knowledge has been limited by a lack of techniques to identify genes related to neurodevelopmental plasticity in a high-throughput manner and a lack of methods to systematically identify mutations in these genes that confer risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Using an integrative genomics approach, we determined loss-of-function (LOF) variants in putative plasticity genes, identified from transcriptional profiles of brain from mice with elevated plasticity, that were associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. From five shared differentially expressed genes found in two mouse models of juvenile-like elevated plasticity (juvenile wild-type or adult Lynx1-/- relative to adult wild-type) that were also genotyped in the Mount Sinai BioMe Biobank we identified multiple associations between LOF genes and increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders across 10,510 patients linked to the Mount Sinai Electronic Medical Records (EMR), including epilepsy and schizophrenia. This work demonstrates a novel approach to identify neurodevelopmental risk genes and points toward a promising avenue to discover new drug targets to address the unmet therapeutic needs of neurodevelopmental disease.

  11. Loss-of-Function Mutations in APOC3, Triglycerides, and Coronary Disease

    2014-01-01

    Background Plasma triglyceride levels are heritable and are correlated with the risk of coronary heart disease. Sequencing of the protein-coding regions of the human genome (the exome) has the potential to identify rare mutations that have a large effect on phenotype. Methods We sequenced the protein-coding regions of 18,666 genes in each of 3734 participants of European or African ancestry in the Exome Sequencing Project. We conducted tests to determine whether rare mutations in coding sequence, individually or in aggregate within a gene, were associated with plasma triglyceride levels. For mutations associated with triglyceride levels, we subsequently evaluated their association with the risk of coronary heart disease in 110,970 persons. Results An aggregate of rare mutations in the gene encoding apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) was associated with lower plasma triglyceride levels. Among the four mutations that drove this result, three were loss-of-function mutations: a nonsense mutation (R19X) and two splice-site mutations (IVS2+1G→A and IVS3+1G→T). The fourth was a missense mutation (A43T). Approximately 1 in 150 persons in the study was a heterozygous carrier of at least one of these four mutations. Triglyceride levels in the carriers were 39% lower than levels in noncarriers (Ptriglycerides and APOC3. Carriers of these mutations were found to have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others.) PMID:24941081

  12. Nuclear safeguard assessment in nuclear power plants (NPPs) using loss function with modified random numbers

    Woo, Tae Ho

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► The safeguard is analyzed by quantification. ► Newly introduced SF is analyzed by the electrical power output. ► The relative value of SF is shown in the month level. ► The better operation could be indicated numerical values. ► There are several secure operation factors to be suggested. - Abstract: The energy production in nuclear power plants (NPPs) is investigated for the safeguard risk management using economic factors. The economic loss function is used for the life quality in the social and natural objects. For the basic event elements, the game theory is applied for the basic elements of the incidents in non-secure situations. The Safeguard Factor (SF) is introduced for the quantifications of simulation. The results are shown by the standard productivity comparisons with the designed power operations, which is obtained as the range of secure life extension in 2000 MW e is between 0.0000 and 9.1985 and the range in 600 MW e is between 0.0000 and 2.7600. So, the highest value in the range of secure power operation increases about 3.33 times higher than that of the interested power operation in this study, which means the safeguard assessment is quantified by the power rate in the life extension of the NPPs. The Nuclear Safeguard Protocol (NSP) is constructed for the safe operation successfully.

  13. Apoc2 loss-of-function zebrafish mutant as a genetic model of hyperlipidemia

    Chao Liu

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Apolipoprotein C-II (APOC2 is an obligatory activator of lipoprotein lipase. Human patients with APOC2 deficiency display severe hypertriglyceridemia while consuming a normal diet, often manifesting xanthomas, lipemia retinalis and pancreatitis. Hypertriglyceridemia is also an important risk factor for development of cardiovascular disease. Animal models to study hypertriglyceridemia are limited, with no Apoc2-knockout mouse reported. To develop a genetic model of hypertriglyceridemia, we generated an apoc2 mutant zebrafish characterized by the loss of Apoc2 function. apoc2 mutants show decreased plasma lipase activity and display chylomicronemia and severe hypertriglyceridemia, which closely resemble the phenotype observed in human patients with APOC2 deficiency. The hypertriglyceridemia in apoc2 mutants is rescued by injection of plasma from wild-type zebrafish or by injection of a human APOC2 mimetic peptide. Consistent with a previous report of a transient apoc2 knockdown, apoc2 mutant larvae have a minor delay in yolk consumption and angiogenesis. Furthermore, apoc2 mutants fed a normal diet accumulate lipid and lipid-laden macrophages in the vasculature, which resemble early events in the development of human atherosclerotic lesions. In addition, apoc2 mutant embryos show ectopic overgrowth of pancreas. Taken together, our data suggest that the apoc2 mutant zebrafish is a robust and versatile animal model to study hypertriglyceridemia and the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of associated human diseases.

  14. Biallelic loss-of-function variants in DOCK3 cause muscle hypotonia, ataxia, and intellectual disability.

    Helbig, K L; Mroske, C; Moorthy, D; Sajan, S A; Velinov, M

    2017-10-01

    DOCK3 encodes the dedicator of cytokinesis 3 protein, a member of the DOCK180 family of proteins that are characterized by guanine-nucleotide exchange factor activity. DOCK3 is expressed exclusively in the central nervous system and plays an important role in axonal outgrowth and cytoskeleton reorganization. Dock3 knockout mice exhibit motor deficiencies with abnormal ataxic gait and impaired learning. We report 2 siblings with biallelic loss-of-function variants in DOCK3. Diagnostic whole-exome sequencing (WES) and chromosomal microarray were performed on a proband with severe developmental disability, hypotonia, and ataxic gait. Testing was also performed on the proband's similarly affected brother. A paternally inherited 458 kb deletion in chromosomal region 3p21.2 disrupting the DOCK3 gene was identified in both affected siblings. WES identified a nonsense variant c.382C>G (p.Gln128*) in the DOCK3 gene (NM_004947) on the maternal allele in both siblings. Common features in both affected individuals include severe developmental disability, ataxic gait, and severe hypotonia, which recapitulates the Dock3 knockout mouse phenotype. We show that complete DOCK3 deficiency in humans leads to developmental disability with significant hypotonia and gait ataxia, probably due to abnormal axonal development. © 2017 The Authors. Clinical Genetics published by John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Loss of col8a1a Function during Zebrafish Embryogenesis Results in Congenital Vertebral Malformations

    Gray, Ryan S.; Wilm, Thomas; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M.; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L.; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-01-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1,000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles (m531, vu41, vu105) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. PMID:24333517

  16. Natural Arabidopsis brx loss-of-function alleles confer root adaptation to acidic soil.

    Gujas, Bojan; Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Hardtke, Christian S

    2012-10-23

    Soil acidification is a major agricultural problem that negatively affects crop yield. Root systems counteract detrimental passive proton influx from acidic soil through increased proton pumping into the apoplast, which is presumably also required for cell elongation and stimulated by auxin. Here, we found an unexpected impact of extracellular pH on auxin activity and cell proliferation rate in the root meristem of two Arabidopsis mutants with impaired auxin perception, axr3 and brx. Surprisingly, neutral to slightly alkaline media rescued their severely reduced root (meristem) growth by stimulating auxin signaling, independent of auxin uptake. The finding that proton pumps are hyperactive in brx roots could explain this phenomenon and is consistent with more robust growth and increased fitness of brx mutants on overly acidic media or soil. Interestingly, the original brx allele was isolated from a natural stock center accession collected from acidic soil. Our discovery of a novel brx allele in accessions recently collected from another acidic sampling site demonstrates the existence of independently maintained brx loss-of-function alleles in nature and supports the notion that they are advantageous in acidic soil pH conditions, a finding that might be exploited for crop breeding. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Clinical symptoms predict concurrent social and global functioning in an early psychosis sample.

    Cacciotti-Saija, Cristina; Langdon, Robyn; Ward, Philip B; Hickie, Ian B; Guastella, Adam J

    2018-04-01

    Although well established in chronic schizophrenia, the key determinants of functioning remain unknown during the early phase of a psychotic disorder. The aim of this study was to comprehensively examine the social cognitive, basic neurocognitive and clinical predictors of concurrent social functioning and global functioning in an early psychosis sample. This study examined the relationship between social cognition, basic neurocognition and clinical symptoms with concurrent functioning in 51 early psychosis individuals. Assessments included a range of self-report, observational and clinician-rated measures of cognitive, symptom severity and functioning domains. Results revealed a significant association between self-reported social function and lower levels of both social interaction anxiety and negative psychotic symptoms. A significant association was also observed between lower levels of negative psychotic symptoms and observed social functioning. Lastly, results demonstrated a significant association between reduced negative psychotic symptoms and clinician-rated global functioning. Clinical domains such as negative symptoms and social interaction anxiety significantly contribute to an optimal model predicting outcome during the early phase of a psychotic disorder. These clinical features may also provide useful markers of an individual's capacity for social participation. Clinical implications include the need for early targeted intervention to address social anxiety and negative psychotic symptoms to facilitate optimum patient outcome. © 2015 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  18. Robust Improvement in Estimation of a Covariance Matrix in an Elliptically Contoured Distribution Respect to Quadratic Loss Function

    Z. Khodadadi

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Let S be matrix of residual sum of square in linear model Y = Aβ + e where matrix e is distributed as elliptically contoured with unknown scale matrix Σ. In present work, we consider the problem of estimating Σ with respect to squared loss function, L(Σˆ , Σ = tr(ΣΣˆ −1 −I 2 . It is shown that improvement of the estimators were obtained by James, Stein [7], Dey and Srivasan [1] under the normality assumption remains robust under an elliptically contoured distribution respect to squared loss function

  19. Sensory phenomena related to tics, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and global functioning in Tourette syndrome.

    Kano, Yukiko; Matsuda, Natsumi; Nonaka, Maiko; Fujio, Miyuki; Kuwabara, Hitoshi; Kono, Toshiaki

    2015-10-01

    Sensory phenomena, including premonitory urges, are experienced by patients with Tourette syndrome (TS) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The goal of the present study was to investigate such phenomena related to tics, obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS), and global functioning in Japanese patients with TS. Forty-one patients with TS were assessed using the University of São Paulo Sensory Phenomena Scale (USP-SPS), the Premonitory Urge for Tics Scale (PUTS), the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS), the Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (DY-BOCS), and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale. USP-SPS and PUTS total scores were significantly correlated with YGTSS total and vocal tics scores. Additionally, both sensory phenomena severity scores were significantly correlated with DY-BOCS total OCS scores. Of the six dimensional OCS scores, the USP-SPS scores were significantly correlated with measures of aggression and sexual/religious dimensions. Finally, the PUTS total scores were significantly and negatively correlated with GAF scores. By assessing premonitory urges and broader sensory phenomena, and by viewing OCS from a dimensional approach, this study provides significant insight into sensory phenomena related to tics, OCS, and global functioning in patients with TS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Spatially Explicit Analysis of Biodiversity Loss Due to Global Agriculture, Pasture and Forest Land Use from a Producer and Consumer Perspective.

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Pfister, Stephan; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2016-04-05

    Anthropogenic land use to produce commodities for human consumption is the major driver of global biodiversity loss. Synergistic collaboration between producers and consumers in needed to halt this trend. In this study, we calculate species loss on 5 min × 5 min grid level and per country due to global agriculture, pasture and forestry by combining high-resolution land use data with countryside species area relationship for mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Results show that pasture was the primary driver of biodiversity loss in Madagascar, China and Brazil, while forest land use contributed the most to species loss in DR Congo and Indonesia. Combined with the yield data, we quantified the biodiversity impacts of 1 m(3) of roundwood produced in 139 countries, concluding that tropical countries with low timber yield and a large presence of vulnerable species suffer the highest impact. We also calculated impacts per kg for 160 crops grown in different countries and linked it with FAO food trade data to assess the biodiversity impacts embodied in Swiss food imports. We found that more than 95% of Swiss consumption impacts rest abroad with cocoa, coffee and palm oil imports being responsible for majority of damage.

  1. A staffing decision support methodology using a quality loss function : a cross-disciplinary quantitative study

    Mincsovics, G.Z.

    2009-01-01

    Background Understanding the quality loss implications of short staffing is essential in maintaining service quality on a limited budget. Objectives For elaborate financial control on staffing decisions, it is necessary to quantify the cost of the incidental quality loss that a given workload and

  2. Toxic gain of function from mutant FUS protein is crucial to trigger cell autonomous motor neuron loss.

    Scekic-Zahirovic, Jelena; Sendscheid, Oliver; El Oussini, Hajer; Jambeau, Mélanie; Sun, Ying; Mersmann, Sina; Wagner, Marina; Dieterlé, Stéphane; Sinniger, Jérome; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; Drenner, Kevin; Birling, Marie-Christine; Qiu, Jinsong; Zhou, Yu; Li, Hairi; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Rouaux, Caroline; Shelkovnikova, Tatyana; Witting, Anke; Ludolph, Albert C; Kiefer, Friedemann; Storkebaum, Erik; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Dupuis, Luc

    2016-05-17

    FUS is an RNA-binding protein involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Cytoplasmic FUS-containing aggregates are often associated with concomitant loss of nuclear FUS Whether loss of nuclear FUS function, gain of a cytoplasmic function, or a combination of both lead to neurodegeneration remains elusive. To address this question, we generated knockin mice expressing mislocalized cytoplasmic FUS and complete FUS knockout mice. Both mouse models display similar perinatal lethality with respiratory insufficiency, reduced body weight and length, and largely similar alterations in gene expression and mRNA splicing patterns, indicating that mislocalized FUS results in loss of its normal function. However, FUS knockin mice, but not FUS knockout mice, display reduced motor neuron numbers at birth, associated with enhanced motor neuron apoptosis, which can be rescued by cell-specific CRE-mediated expression of wild-type FUS within motor neurons. Together, our findings indicate that cytoplasmic FUS mislocalization not only leads to nuclear loss of function, but also triggers motor neuron death through a toxic gain of function within motor neurons. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  3. Bayesian Estimation of Two-Parameter Weibull Distribution Using Extension of Jeffreys' Prior Information with Three Loss Functions

    Chris Bambey Guure

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Weibull distribution has been observed as one of the most useful distribution, for modelling and analysing lifetime data in engineering, biology, and others. Studies have been done vigorously in the literature to determine the best method in estimating its parameters. Recently, much attention has been given to the Bayesian estimation approach for parameters estimation which is in contention with other estimation methods. In this paper, we examine the performance of maximum likelihood estimator and Bayesian estimator using extension of Jeffreys prior information with three loss functions, namely, the linear exponential loss, general entropy loss, and the square error loss function for estimating the two-parameter Weibull failure time distribution. These methods are compared using mean square error through simulation study with varying sample sizes. The results show that Bayesian estimator using extension of Jeffreys' prior under linear exponential loss function in most cases gives the smallest mean square error and absolute bias for both the scale parameter α and the shape parameter β for the given values of extension of Jeffreys' prior.

  4. Loss-of-function mutations in SOX10 cause Kallmann syndrome with deafness.

    Pingault, Veronique; Bodereau, Virginie; Baral, Viviane; Marcos, Severine; Watanabe, Yuli; Chaoui, Asma; Fouveaut, Corinne; Leroy, Chrystel; Vérier-Mine, Odile; Francannet, Christine; Dupin-Deguine, Delphine; Archambeaud, Françoise; Kurtz, François-Joseph; Young, Jacques; Bertherat, Jérôme; Marlin, Sandrine; Goossens, Michel; Hardelin, Jean-Pierre; Dodé, Catherine; Bondurand, Nadege

    2013-05-02

    Transcription factor SOX10 plays a role in the maintenance of progenitor cell multipotency, lineage specification, and cell differentiation and is a major actor in the development of the neural crest. It has been implicated in Waardenburg syndrome (WS), a rare disorder characterized by the association between pigmentation abnormalities and deafness, but SOX10 mutations cause a variable phenotype that spreads over the initial limits of the syndrome definition. On the basis of recent findings of olfactory-bulb agenesis in WS individuals, we suspected SOX10 was also involved in Kallmann syndrome (KS). KS is defined by the association between anosmia and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism due to incomplete migration of neuroendocrine gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) cells along the olfactory, vomeronasal, and terminal nerves. Mutations in any of the nine genes identified to date account for only 30% of the KS cases. KS can be either isolated or associated with a variety of other symptoms, including deafness. This study reports SOX10 loss-of-function mutations in approximately one-third of KS individuals with deafness, indicating a substantial involvement in this clinical condition. Study of SOX10-null mutant mice revealed a developmental role of SOX10 in a subpopulation of glial cells called olfactory ensheathing cells. These mice indeed showed an almost complete absence of these cells along the olfactory nerve pathway, as well as defasciculation and misrouting of the nerve fibers, impaired migration of GnRH cells, and disorganization of the olfactory nerve layer of the olfactory bulbs. Copyright © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A method for improving global pyranometer measurements by modeling responsivity functions

    Lester, A. [Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 (United States); Myers, D.R. [National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401 (United States)

    2006-03-15

    Accurate global solar radiation measurements are crucial to climate change research and the development of solar energy technologies. Pyranometers produce an electrical signal proportional to global irradiance. The signal-to-irradiance ratio is the responsivity (RS) of the instrument (RS=signal/irradiance=microvolts/(W/m{sup 2})). Most engineering measurements are made using a constant RS. It is known that RS varies with day of year, zenith angle, and net infrared radiation. This study proposes a method to find an RS function to model a pyranometer's changing RS. Using a reference irradiance calculated from direct and diffuse instruments, we found instantaneous RS for two global pyranometers over 31 sunny days in a two-year period. We performed successive independent regressions of the error between the constant and instantaneous RS with respect to zenith angle, day of year, and net infrared to obtain an RS function. An alternative method replaced the infrared regression with an independently developed technique to account for thermal offset. Results show improved uncertainties with the function method than with the single-calibration value. Lower uncertainties also occur using a black-and-white (8-48), rather than all-black (PSP), shaded pyranometer as the diffuse reference instrument. We conclude that the function method is extremely effective in reducing uncertainty in the irradiance measurements for global PSP pyranometers if they are calibrated at the deployment site. Furthermore, it was found that the function method accounts for the pyranometer's thermal offset, rendering further corrections unnecessary. The improvements in irradiance data achieved in this study will serve to increase the accuracy of solar energy assessments and atmospheric research. (author)

  6. Correlation between audiovestibular function tests and hearing outcomes in severe to profound sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

    Wang, Chi-Te; Huang, Tsung-Wei; Kuo, Shih-Wei; Cheng, Po-Wen

    2009-02-01

    This study investigated whether audiovestibular function tests, namely auditory brain stem response (ABR) and vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) tests were correlated to hearing outcomes after controlling the effects of other potential confounding factors in severe to profound sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL). Eighty-eight patients with severe to profound SSHL were enrolled in this study. Pretreatment hearing levels, results of audiovestibular function tests, and final hearing outcomes were recorded from retrospective chart reviews. Other factors, including age, gender, delay of treatment, vertigo, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, were collected as well. Comparative analysis between multiple variables and hearing outcomes was conducted using the cumulative logits model in overall subjects. Further, multivariate analysis of prognostic factors was conducted in the stratified groups of severe (70 dB HL 90 dB HL) SSHL. Multivariate analysis showed that pretreatment hearing levels, presence of vertigo, and results of ABR and VEMP testing were significant outcome predictors in the overall subjects. Stratification analysis demonstrated that both the presence of ABR and VEMP waveforms were significantly correlated with better hearing outcomes in the group of severe SSHL [ABR: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 14.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.78 to 122, p = 0.01; VEMP: aOR = 5.91, 95% CI = 1.18 to 29.5, p = 0.03], whereas the presence of vertigo was the only significant negative prognostic factor in the group of profound SSHL (aOR = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.06 to 0.95, p = 0.04). Other variables, including age, gender, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and delay of treatment, were not significantly related to hearing outcomes in both groups (p > 0.05). A predictive hearing recovery table with the combined ABR and VEMP results was proposed for the group of severe SSHL. ABR and VEMP tests should be included in the battery of neurootological examinations in

  7. Bone loss in rheumatoid arthritis. Influence of disease activity, duration of the disease, functional capacity, and corticosteroid treatment

    Hansen, M; Florescu, A; Stoltenberg, M

    1996-01-01

    Axial and appendicular bone mass were studied in 95 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The aims were to quantify bone mineral density (BMD) and to evaluate the importance of disease activity, duration of disease, functional capacity, and corticosteroid treatment for bone loss in patients...... after the start of the disease. The overall functional capacity in terms of physical activity increased BMD in the axial skeleton. The local functional capacity in terms of grip strength was positively related to BMD in the appendicular skeleton. Patients with severe functional impairment had the lowest...

  8. Loss-of-function variants in the filaggrin gene are a significant risk factor for peanut allergy

    Brown, Sara J.; Asai, Yuka; Cordell, Heather J.; Campbell, Linda E.; Zhao, Yiwei; Liao, Haihui; Northstone, Kate; Henderson, John; Alizadehfar, Reza; Ben-Shoshan, Moshe; Morgan, Kenneth; Roberts, Graham; Masthoff, Laury J. N.; Pasmans, Suzanne G. M. A.; van den Akker, Peter C.; Wijmenga, Cisca; Hourihane, Jonathan O'B.; Palmer, Colin N. A.; Lack, Gideon; Clarke, Ann; Hull, Peter R.; Irvine, Alan D.; McLean, W. H. Irwin

    Background: IgE-mediated peanut allergy is a complex trait with strong heritability, but its genetic basis is currently unknown. Loss-of-function mutations within the filaggrin gene are associated with atopic dermatitis and other atopic diseases; therefore, filaggrin is a candidate gene in the

  9. Loss of Consciousness at Onset of Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage is Associated with Functional Outcomes in Good-Grade Patients

    Wang, Justin; Alotaibi, Naif M.; Akbar, Muhammad Ali; Ayling, Oliver G S; Ibrahim, George M.; Macdonald, R. Loch; Noble, Adam; Molyneux, Andrew; Quinn, Audrey; Schatlo, Bawarjan; Lo, Benjamin; Jaja, Blessing N R; Johnston, Clay; Hanggi, Daniel; Hasan, David; Wong, George K C; Lantigua, Hector; Fukuda, Hitoshi; Torner, James; Singh, Jeff; Spears, Julian; Schaller, Karl; Stienen, Martin N.; Vergouwen, Mervyn D I; Cusimano, Michael D.; Todd, Michael; Tseng, Ming; Le Roux, Peter; Macdonald, R. Loch; Yamagata, Sen; Mayer, Stephan; Schenk, Thomas; Schweizer, Tom A.

    2017-01-01

    Background Transient loss of consciousness (LOC) is one of the most common presentations of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and may be an indicator of early brain injury. In this study, we examined the association of LOC and functional outcomes in patients with good-grade SAH. Methods We

  10. Loss-of-function mutations in SLC30A8 protect against type 2 diabetes

    Flannick, Jason; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Beer, Nicola L

    2014-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations protective against human disease provide in vivo validation of therapeutic targets, but none have yet been described for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Through sequencing or genotyping of ~150,000 individuals across 5 ancestry groups, we identified 12 rare protein-truncating va...

  11. Global Earthquake and Volcanic Eruption Economic losses and costs from 1900-2014: 115 years of the CATDAT database - Trends, Normalisation and Visualisation

    Daniell, James; Skapski, Jens-Udo; Vervaeck, Armand; Wenzel, Friedemann; Schaefer, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    tolls from historic events is discussed. The CATDAT socioeconomic databases of parameters like disaggregated population, GDP, capital stock, building typologies, food security and inter-country export interactions are used to create a current exposure view of the world. The potential for losses globally is discussed with a re-creation of each damaging event since 1900, with well in excess of 10 trillion USD in normalised losses being seen from the 115 years of events. Potential worst case events for volcano and earthquake around the globe are discussed in terms of their potential for damage and huge economic loss today, and over the next century using SSP projections adjusted over a country basis including inter-country effects.

  12. Globally COnstrained Local Function Approximation via Hierarchical Modelling, a Framework for System Modelling under Partial Information

    Øjelund, Henrik; Sadegh, Payman

    2000-01-01

    be obtained. This paper presents a new approach for system modelling under partial (global) information (or the so called Gray-box modelling) that seeks to perserve the benefits of the global as well as local methodologies sithin a unified framework. While the proposed technique relies on local approximations......Local function approximations concern fitting low order models to weighted data in neighbourhoods of the points where the approximations are desired. Despite their generality and convenience of use, local models typically suffer, among others, from difficulties arising in physical interpretation...... simultaneously with the (local estimates of) function values. The approach is applied to modelling of a linear time variant dynamic system under prior linear time invariant structure where local regression fails as a result of high dimensionality....

  13. A global analysis of recent experimental results: How well determined are the parton distribution functions?

    Morfin, J.G.

    1990-08-01

    Following is a brief summary of the results of an analysis of experimental data performed to extract the patron distribution functions. In contrast to other global analyses, this study investigated how the fit results depend on: Experimental Systematic Errors; Kinematic Cuts on the Analyzed Data and Choice of Initial Functional Forms, with a prime goal being a close look at the range of low-x behavior allowed by data. This is crucial for predictions for the SSC/LHC, HERA, and even at Tevatron Collider energies. Since all details can be found in the just released Fermilab preprint Parton Distributions from a Global QCD Analysis of Deep Inelastic Scattering and Lepton-Pair Production by J. G. M. and Wu-Ki Tung, this summary will be only a brief outline of major results. 11 refs., 13 figs

  14. Study of real space wave functions with electron energy loss spectrometry

    Löffler, S.

    2013-07-01

    In this work, new methods to study the real space wave functions of electrons in a solid using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS) are presented. To this end, the theory of both elastic and inelastic electron scattering is treated in a density-matrix formalism. In the process, the central quantities of inelastic electron scattering - the mixed dynamic form factor (MDFF) and the double differential scattering cross section (DDSCS) - are introduced. In addition to the formal theory, several approximations and simplifications, as well as their respective validities, are discussed. Furthermore, a method for diagonalizing the mixed dynamic form factor is described, which allows calculating high resolution energy filtered TEM images with unprecedented accuracy. Subsequently, several applications of the aforementioned theory to real-world examples are presented. On the one hand, the example of Silicon serves to demonstrate how the radial wave functions in the bulk can be measured; the agreement with the theoretical predictions proves to be very good. On the other hand, the determination of the wave functions' azimuthal dependence is derived. It turns out that the symmetry of the system under investigation is crucial to the success of this endeavor. With the new techniques presented here, it will be possible to measure electronic properties with atomic resolution, which can be of great importance, particularly in material science. (author) [German] In der vorliegenden Arbeit werden neue Methoden vorgestellt, mit deren Hilfe Elektronenwellenfunktionen in Festkörpern mittels Transmissionselektronenmikroskopie (TEM) und Elektronenenergieverlustspektrometrie (EELS) direkt im Realraum vermessen werden können. Zu diesem Zweck wird sowohl die Theorie der elastischen Elektronenbeugung als auch die der inelastischen Elektronenstreuung im Dichtematrixformalismus dargestellt. Dabei werden die zentralen Größen der inelastischen

  15. Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity.

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Bates, Amanda E; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett; Baker, Susan C; Thomson, Russell J; Stuart-Smith, Jemina F; Hill, Nicole A; Kininmonth, Stuart J; Airoldi, Laura; Becerro, Mikel A; Campbell, Stuart J; Dawson, Terence P; Navarrete, Sergio A; Soler, German A; Strain, Elisabeth M A; Willis, Trevor J; Edgar, Graham J

    2013-09-26

    Species richness has dominated our view of global biodiversity patterns for centuries. The dominance of this paradigm is reflected in the focus by ecologists and conservation managers on richness and associated occurrence-based measures for understanding drivers of broad-scale diversity patterns and as a biological basis for management. However, this is changing rapidly, as it is now recognized that not only the number of species but the species present, their phenotypes and the number of individuals of each species are critical in determining the nature and strength of the relationships between species diversity and a range of ecological functions (such as biomass production and nutrient cycling). Integrating these measures should provide a more relevant representation of global biodiversity patterns in terms of ecological functions than that provided by simple species counts. Here we provide comparisons of a traditional global biodiversity distribution measure based on richness with metrics that incorporate species abundances and functional traits. We use data from standardized quantitative surveys of 2,473 marine reef fish species at 1,844 sites, spanning 133 degrees of latitude from all ocean basins, to identify new diversity hotspots in some temperate regions and the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. These relate to high diversity of functional traits amongst individuals in the community (calculated using Rao's Q), and differ from previously reported patterns in functional diversity and richness for terrestrial animals, which emphasize species-rich tropical regions only. There is a global trend for greater evenness in the number of individuals of each species, across the reef fish species observed at sites ('community evenness'), at higher latitudes. This contributes to the distribution of functional diversity hotspots and contrasts with well-known latitudinal gradients in richness. Our findings suggest that the contribution of species diversity to a range of

  16. Utility of Urinary Biomarkers in Predicting Loss of Residual Renal Function: The balANZ Trial

    Cho, Yeoungjee; Johnson, David W.; Vesey, David A.; Hawley, Carmel M.; Clarke, Margaret; Topley, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    ♦ Background: The ability of urinary biomarkers to predict residual renal function (RRF) decline in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients has not been defined. The present study aimed to explore the utility of established biomarkers from kidney injury models for predicting loss of RRF in incident PD patients, and to evaluate the impact on RRF of using neutral-pH PD solution low in glucose degradation products. ♦ Methods: The study included 50 randomly selected participants from the balANZ trial who had completed 24 months of follow-up. A change in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was used as the primary clinical outcome measure. In a mixed-effects general linear model, baseline measurements of 18 novel urinary biomarkers and albumin were used to predict GFR change. The model was further used to evaluate the impact of biocompatible PD solution on RRF, adjusted for each biomarker. ♦ Results: Baseline albuminuria was not a useful predictor of change in RRF in PD patients (p = 0.84). Only clusterin was a significant predictor of GFR decline in the whole population (p = 0.04, adjusted for baseline GFR and albuminuria). However, the relationship was no longer apparent when albuminuria was removed from the model (p = 0.31). When the effect of the administered PD solutions was examined using a model adjusted for PD solution type, baseline albuminuria, and GFR, higher baseline urinary concentrations of trefoil factor 3 (TFF3, p = 0.02), kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1, p = 0.04), and interferon γ-induced protein 10 (IP-10, p = 0.03) were associated with more rapid decline of RRF in patients receiving conventional PD solution compared with biocompatible PD solution. ♦ Conclusions: Higher urinary levels of kidney injury biomarkers (TFF3, KIM-1, IP-10) at baseline predicted significantly slower RRF decline in patients receiving biocompatible PD solutions. Findings from the present investigation should help to guide future studies to validate the utility of urinary

  17. A Method to Optimize Geometric Errors of Machine Tool based on SNR Quality Loss Function and Correlation Analysis

    Cai Ligang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Instead improving the accuracy of machine tool by increasing the precision of key components level blindly in the production process, the method of combination of SNR quality loss function and machine tool geometric error correlation analysis to optimize five-axis machine tool geometric errors will be adopted. Firstly, the homogeneous transformation matrix method will be used to build five-axis machine tool geometric error modeling. Secondly, the SNR quality loss function will be used for cost modeling. And then, machine tool accuracy optimal objective function will be established based on the correlation analysis. Finally, ISIGHT combined with MATLAB will be applied to optimize each error. The results show that this method is reasonable and appropriate to relax the range of tolerance values, so as to reduce the manufacturing cost of machine tools.

  18. A randomised trial comparing the effect of exercise training and weight loss on microvascular function in coronary artery disease

    Olsen, Rasmus Huan; Pedersen, Lene Rørholm; Jürs, Anders

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Coronary microvascular function is associated with outcome and is reduced in coronary artery disease (CAD) and obesity. We compared the effect of aerobic interval training (AIT) and weight loss on coronary flow reserve (CFR) and peripheral vascular function in revascularised obese CAD...... patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: Seventy non-diabetic patients (BMI 28-40 kg × m(-2), age 45-75 years) were randomised to 12 weeks' AIT (three weekly sessions lasting 38 min with ≈ 16 min at 85-90% of VO2peak) or low energy diet (LED, 800-1000 kcal/day). Per protocol adherence was defined by training......-attendance ≥ 60% and weight loss ≥ 5%, respectively. CFR was assessed by Doppler echocardiography of the LAD. Peripheral vascular function was assessed by arterial tonometry as reactive hyperaemia index (RHI) and augmentation index. Most participants had impaired CFR with a mean CFR of 2.38 (SD 0.59). Twenty...

  19. Weight-loss changes PPAR expression, reduces atherosclerosis and improves cardiovascular function in obese insulin-resistant mice

    Verreth, Wim; Verhamme, Peter; Pelat, Michael; Ganame, Javier; Bielicki, John K.; Mertens, Ann; Quarck, Rozenn; Benhabiles, Nora; Marguerie, Gerard; Mackness, Bharti; Mackness, Mike; Ninio, Ewa; Herregods, Marie-Christine; Balligand, Jean-Luc; Holvoet, Paul

    2003-09-01

    Weight-loss in obese insulin-resistant, but not in insulin-sensitive, persons reduces CHD risk. It is not known to what extent changes in the adipose gene expression profile are important for reducing CHD risk. We studied the effect of diet restriction-induced weight-loss on gene expression in adipose tissue, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular function in mice with combined leptin and LDL-receptor deficiency. Obesity, hypertriglyceridemia and insulin-resistance are associated with hypertension, impaired left ventricle function and accelerated atherosclerosis in those mice. Diet restriction during 12 weeks caused a 45% weight-loss and changes in the gene expression in adipose tissue of PPARa and PPAR? and of key genes regulating glucose transport and insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and inflammation, most of which are under the transcriptional control of PPARs. These changes were associated with increased insulin-sensitivity, decreased hypertriglyceridemia, reduced mean 24-hour blood pressure and heart rate, restored circadian variations of blood pressure and heart rate, increased ejection fraction, and reduced atherosclerosis. Thus, induction of PPARa and PPAR? in adipose tissue is a key mechanism for reducing atherosclerosis and improving cardiovascular function resulting from weight-loss. Our observations point to the critical role of PPARs in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular features of the metabolic syndrome.

  20. Electron transport in furfural: dependence of the electron ranges on the cross sections and the energy loss distribution functions

    Ellis-Gibbings, L.; Krupa, K.; Colmenares, R.; Blanco, F.; Muńoz, A.; Mendes, M.; Ferreira da Silva, F.; Limá Vieira, P.; Jones, D. B.; Brunger, M. J.; García, G.

    2016-09-01

    Recent theoretical and experimental studies have provided a complete set of differential and integral electron scattering cross section data from furfural over a broad energy range. The energy loss distribution functions have been determined in this study by averaging electron energy loss spectra for different incident energies and scattering angles. All these data have been used as input parameters for an event by event Monte Carlo simulation procedure to obtain the electron energy deposition patterns and electron ranges in liquid furfural. The dependence of these results on the input cross sections is then analysed to determine the uncertainty of the simulated values.

  1. Interpretation of monoclinic hafnia valence electron energy-loss spectra by time-dependent density functional theory

    Hung, L.; Guedj, C.; Bernier, N.; Blaise, P.; Olevano, V.; Sottile, F.

    2016-04-01

    We present the valence electron energy-loss spectrum and the dielectric function of monoclinic hafnia (m -HfO2) obtained from time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) predictions and compared to energy-filtered spectroscopic imaging measurements in a high-resolution transmission-electron microscope. Fermi's golden rule density-functional theory (DFT) calculations can capture the qualitative features of the energy-loss spectrum, but we find that TDDFT, which accounts for local-field effects, provides nearly quantitative agreement with experiment. Using the DFT density of states and TDDFT dielectric functions, we characterize the excitations that result in the m -HfO2 energy-loss spectrum. The sole plasmon occurs between 13 and 16 eV, although the peaks ˜28 and above 40 eV are also due to collective excitations. We furthermore elaborate on the first-principles techniques used, their accuracy, and remaining discrepancies among spectra. More specifically, we assess the influence of Hf semicore electrons (5 p and 4 f ) on the energy-loss spectrum, and find that the inclusion of transitions from the 4 f band damps the energy-loss intensity in the region above 13 eV. We study the impact of many-body effects in a DFT framework using the adiabatic local-density approximation (ALDA) exchange-correlation kernel, as well as from a many-body perspective using "scissors operators" matched to an ab initio G W calculation to account for self-energy corrections. These results demonstrate some cancellation of errors between self-energy and excitonic effects, even for excitations from the Hf 4 f shell. We also simulate the dispersion with increasing momentum transfer for plasmon and collective excitation peaks.

  2. Impact on weight and physical function of intensive medical weight loss in older adults with stage II and III obesity.

    Ard, Jamy D; Cook, Miranda; Rushing, Julia; Frain, Annette; Beavers, Kristen; Miller, Gary; Miller, Michael E; Nicklas, Barb

    2016-09-01

    A 6-month pilot trial compared two strategies for weight loss in older adults with body mass indexes (BMIs) ≥35 kg/m(2) to assess weight loss response, safety, and impact on physical function. Twenty-eight volunteers were randomized to a balanced deficit diet (BDD) (500 kcal/day below estimated energy needs) or an intensive, low-calorie, meal replacement diet (ILCD, 960 kcal/day). Behavioral interventions and physical activity prescriptions were similar for both groups. Primary outcomes were changes in body weight and adverse event frequency; secondary outcomes included measures of physical function and body composition. ILCD average weight change was -19.1 ± 2.2 kg or 15.9 ± 4.6% of initial body weight compared with -9.1 ± 2.7 kg or 7.2 ± 1.9% for BDD. ILCD lost more fat mass (-7.7 kg, 95% CI [-11.9 to -3.5]) but had similar loss of lean mass (-1.7 kg, 95% CI [-4.1 to 0.6]) compared with BDD. There were no significant differences in change in physical function or adverse event frequency. Compared with a traditional BDD intervention, older adults who have severe obesity treated with intensive medical weight loss had greater weight loss and decreases in fat mass without a higher frequency of adverse events. In the short term, however, this did not translate into greater improvements in physical function. © 2016 The Obesity Society.

  3. Wheat yield loss attributable to heat waves, drought and water excess at the global, national and subnational scales

    Zampieri, M.; Ceglar, A.; Dentener, F.; Toreti, A.

    2017-06-01

    Heat waves and drought are often considered the most damaging climatic stressors for wheat. In this study, we characterize and attribute the effects of these climate extremes on wheat yield anomalies (at global and national scales) from 1980 to 2010. Using a combination of up-to-date heat wave and drought indexes (the latter capturing both excessively dry and wet conditions), we have developed a composite indicator that is able to capture the spatio-temporal characteristics of the underlying physical processes in the different agro-climatic regions of the world. At the global level, our diagnostic explains a significant portion (more than 40%) of the inter-annual production variability. By quantifying the contribution of national yield anomalies to global fluctuations, we have found that just two concurrent yield anomalies affecting the larger producers of the world could be responsible for more than half of the global annual fluctuations. The relative importance of heat stress and drought in determining the yield anomalies depends on the region. Moreover, in contrast to common perception, water excess affects wheat production more than drought in several countries. We have also performed the same analysis at the subnational level for France, which is the largest wheat producer of the European Union, and home to a range of climatic zones. Large subnational variability of inter-annual wheat yield is mostly captured by the heat and water stress indicators, consistently with the country-level result.

  4. Functional photoreceptor loss revealed with adaptive optics: an alternate cause of color blindness.

    Carroll, Joseph; Neitz, Maureen; Hofer, Heidi; Neitz, Jay; Williams, David R

    2004-06-01

    There is enormous variation in the X-linked L/M (long/middle wavelength sensitive) gene array underlying "normal" color vision in humans. This variability has been shown to underlie individual variation in color matching behavior. Recently, red-green color blindness has also been shown to be associated with distinctly different genotypes. This has opened the possibility that there may be important phenotypic differences within classically defined groups of color blind individuals. Here, adaptive optics retinal imaging has revealed a mechanism for producing dichromatic color vision in which the expression of a mutant cone photopigment gene leads to the loss of the entire corresponding class of cone photoreceptor cells. Previously, the theory that common forms of inherited color blindness could be caused by the loss of photoreceptor cells had been discounted. We confirm that remarkably, this loss of one-third of the cones does not impair any aspect of vision other than color.

  5. Searching for globally optimal functional forms for interatomic potentials using genetic programming with parallel tempering.

    Slepoy, A; Peters, M D; Thompson, A P

    2007-11-30

    Molecular dynamics and other molecular simulation methods rely on a potential energy function, based only on the relative coordinates of the atomic nuclei. Such a function, called a force field, approximately represents the electronic structure interactions of a condensed matter system. Developing such approximate functions and fitting their parameters remains an arduous, time-consuming process, relying on expert physical intuition. To address this problem, a functional programming methodology was developed that may enable automated discovery of entirely new force-field functional forms, while simultaneously fitting parameter values. The method uses a combination of genetic programming, Metropolis Monte Carlo importance sampling and parallel tempering, to efficiently search a large space of candidate functional forms and parameters. The methodology was tested using a nontrivial problem with a well-defined globally optimal solution: a small set of atomic configurations was generated and the energy of each configuration was calculated using the Lennard-Jones pair potential. Starting with a population of random functions, our fully automated, massively parallel implementation of the method reproducibly discovered the original Lennard-Jones pair potential by searching for several hours on 100 processors, sampling only a minuscule portion of the total search space. This result indicates that, with further improvement, the method may be suitable for unsupervised development of more accurate force fields with completely new functional forms. Copyright (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Local and global processing of music in high-functioning persons with autism: beyond central coherence?

    Mottron, L; Peretz, I; Ménard, E

    2000-11-01

    A multi-modal abnormality in the integration of parts and whole has been proposed to account for a bias toward local stimuli in individuals with autism (Frith, 1989; Mottron & Belleville, 1993). In the current experiment, we examined the utility of hierarchical models in characterising musical information processing in autistic individuals. Participants were 13 high-functioning individuals with autism and 13 individuals of normal intelligence matched on chronological age, nonverbal IQ, and laterality, and without musical experience. The task consisted of same-different judgements of pairs of melodies. Differential local and global processing was assessed by manipulating the level, local or global, at which modifications occurred. No deficit was found in the two measures of global processing. In contrast, the clinical group performed better than the comparison group in the detection of change in nontransposed, contour-preserved melodies that tap local processing. These findings confirm the existence of a "local bias" in music perception in individuals with autism, but challenge the notion that it is accounted for by a deficit in global music processing. The present study suggests that enhanced processing of elementary physical properties of incoming stimuli, as found previously in the visual modality, may also exist in the auditory modality.

  7. Regional distribution and losses of end-of-life steel throughout multiple product life cycles-Insights from the global multiregional MaTrace model.

    Pauliuk, Stefan; Kondo, Yasushi; Nakamura, Shinichiro; Nakajima, Kenichi

    2017-01-01

    Substantial amounts of post-consumer scrap are exported to other regions or lost during recovery and remelting, and both export and losses pose a constraint to desires for having regionally closed material cycles. To quantify the challenges and trade-offs associated with closed-loop metal recycling, we looked at the material cycles from the perspective of a single material unit and trace a unit of material through several product life cycles. Focusing on steel, we used current process parameters, loss rates, and trade patterns of the steel cycle to study how steel that was originally contained in high quality applications such as machinery or vehicles with stringent purity requirements gets subsequently distributed across different regions and product groups such as building and construction with less stringent purity requirements. We applied MaTrace Global, a supply-driven multiregional model of steel flows coupled to a dynamic stock model of steel use. We found that, depending on region and product group, up to 95% of the steel consumed today will leave the use phase of that region until 2100, and that up to 50% can get lost in obsolete stocks, landfills, or slag piles until 2100. The high losses resulting from business-as-usual scrap recovery and recycling can be reduced, both by diverting postconsumer scrap into long-lived applications such as buildings and by improving the recovery rates in the waste management and remelting industries. Because the lifetimes of high-quality (cold-rolled) steel applications are shorter and remelting occurs more often than for buildings and infrastructure, we found and quantified a tradeoff between low losses and high-quality applications in the steel cycle. Furthermore, we found that with current trade patterns, reduced overall losses will lead to higher fractions of secondary steel being exported to other regions. Current loss rates, product lifetimes, and trade patterns impede the closure of the steel cycle.

  8. On convergence of differential evolution over a class of continuous functions with unique global optimum.

    Ghosh, Sayan; Das, Swagatam; Vasilakos, Athanasios V; Suresh, Kaushik

    2012-02-01

    Differential evolution (DE) is arguably one of the most powerful stochastic real-parameter optimization algorithms of current interest. Since its inception in the mid 1990s, DE has been finding many successful applications in real-world optimization problems from diverse domains of science and engineering. This paper takes a first significant step toward the convergence analysis of a canonical DE (DE/rand/1/bin) algorithm. It first deduces a time-recursive relationship for the probability density function (PDF) of the trial solutions, taking into consideration the DE-type mutation, crossover, and selection mechanisms. Then, by applying the concepts of Lyapunov stability theorems, it shows that as time approaches infinity, the PDF of the trial solutions concentrates narrowly around the global optimum of the objective function, assuming the shape of a Dirac delta distribution. Asymptotic convergence behavior of the population PDF is established by constructing a Lyapunov functional based on the PDF and showing that it monotonically decreases with time. The analysis is applicable to a class of continuous and real-valued objective functions that possesses a unique global optimum (but may have multiple local optima). Theoretical results have been substantiated with relevant computer simulations.

  9. Physical Frailty Is Associated with Longitudinal Decline in Global Cognitive Function in Non-Demented Older Adults: A Prospective Study.

    Chen, S; Honda, T; Narazaki, K; Chen, T; Kishimoto, H; Haeuchi, Y; Kumagai, S

    2018-01-01

    To assess the relationship between physical frailty and subsequent decline in global cognitive function in the non-demented elderly. A prospective population-based study in a west Japanese suburban town, with two-year follow-up. Community-dwellers aged 65 and older without placement in long-term care, and not having a history of dementia, Parkinson's disease and depression at baseline, who participated in the cohort of the Sasaguri Genkimon Study and underwent follow-up assessments two years later (N = 1,045). Global cognitive function was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Physical frailty was identified according to the following five components: weight loss, low grip strength, exhaustion, slow gait speed and low physical activities. Linear regression models were used to examine associations between baseline frailty status and the MoCA scores at follow-up. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the risk of cognitive decline (defined as at least two points decrease of MoCA score) according to baseline frailty status. Seven hundred and eight non-demented older adults were included in the final analyses (mean age: 72.6 ± 5.5 years, male 40.3%); 5.8% were frail, and 40.8% were prefrail at baseline. One hundred and fifty nine (22.5%) participants experienced cognitive decline over two years. After adjustment for baseline MoCA scores and all confounders, being frail at baseline was significantly associated with a decline of 1.48 points (95% confidence interval [CI], -2.37 to -0.59) in MoCA scores, as compared with non-frailty. Frail persons were over two times more likely to experience cognitive decline (adjusted odds ratio 2.28; 95% CI, 1.02 to 5.08), compared to non-frail persons. Physical frailty is associated with longitudinal decline in global cognitive function in the non-demented older adults over a period of two years. Physically frail older community-dwellers should be closely monitored for cognitive decline that can be

  10. Systems-level analysis of age-related macular degeneration reveals global biomarkers and phenotype-specific functional networks

    2012-01-01

    Background Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness that affects the central region of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), choroid, and neural retina. Initially characterized by an accumulation of sub-RPE deposits, AMD leads to progressive retinal degeneration, and in advanced cases, irreversible vision loss. Although genetic analysis, animal models, and cell culture systems have yielded important insights into AMD, the molecular pathways underlying AMD's onset and progression remain poorly delineated. We sought to better understand the molecular underpinnings of this devastating disease by performing the first comparative transcriptome analysis of AMD and normal human donor eyes. Methods RPE-choroid and retina tissue samples were obtained from a common cohort of 31 normal, 26 AMD, and 11 potential pre-AMD human donor eyes. Transcriptome profiles were generated for macular and extramacular regions, and statistical and bioinformatic methods were employed to identify disease-associated gene signatures and functionally enriched protein association networks. Selected genes of high significance were validated using an independent donor cohort. Results We identified over 50 annotated genes enriched in cell-mediated immune responses that are globally over-expressed in RPE-choroid AMD phenotypes. Using a machine learning model and a second donor cohort, we show that the top 20 global genes are predictive of AMD clinical diagnosis. We also discovered functionally enriched gene sets in the RPE-choroid that delineate the advanced AMD phenotypes, neovascular AMD and geographic atrophy. Moreover, we identified a graded increase of transcript levels in the retina related to wound response, complement cascade, and neurogenesis that strongly correlates with decreased levels of phototransduction transcripts and increased AMD severity. Based on our findings, we assembled protein-protein interactomes that highlight functional networks likely to be

  11. A kind of balance between exploitation and exploration on kriging for global optimization of expensive functions

    Dong, Huachao; Song, Baowei; Wang, Peng; Huang, Shuai

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, a novel kriging-based algorithm for global optimization of computationally expensive black-box functions is presented. This algorithm utilizes a multi-start approach to find all of the local optimal values of the surrogate model and performs searches within the neighboring area around these local optimal positions. Compared with traditional surrogate-based global optimization method, this algorithm provides another kind of balance between exploitation and exploration on kriging-based model. In addition, a new search strategy is proposed and coupled into this optimization process. The local search strategy employs a kind of improved 'Minimizing the predictor' method, which dynamically adjusts search direction and radius until finds the optimal value. Furthermore, the global search strategy utilizes the advantage of kriging-based model in predicting unexplored regions to guarantee the reliability of the algorithm. Finally, experiments on 13 test functions with six algorithms are set up and the results show that the proposed algorithm is very promising.

  12. Altered Brain Functional Activity in Infants with Congenital Bilateral Severe Sensorineural Hearing Loss: A Resting-State Functional MRI Study under Sedation

    Shuang Xia

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Early hearing deprivation could affect the development of auditory, language, and vision ability. Insufficient or no stimulation of the auditory cortex during the sensitive periods of plasticity could affect the function of hearing, language, and vision development. Twenty-three infants with congenital severe sensorineural hearing loss (CSSHL and 17 age and sex matched normal hearing subjects were recruited. The amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF and regional homogeneity (ReHo of the auditory, language, and vision related brain areas were compared between deaf infants and normal subjects. Compared with normal hearing subjects, decreased ALFF and ReHo were observed in auditory and language-related cortex. Increased ALFF and ReHo were observed in vision related cortex, which suggest that hearing and language function were impaired and vision function was enhanced due to the loss of hearing. ALFF of left Brodmann area 45 (BA45 was negatively correlated with deaf duration in infants with CSSHL. ALFF of right BA39 was positively correlated with deaf duration in infants with CSSHL. In conclusion, ALFF and ReHo can reflect the abnormal brain function in language, auditory, and visual information processing in infants with CSSHL. This demonstrates that the development of auditory, language, and vision processing function has been affected by congenital severe sensorineural hearing loss before 4 years of age.

  13. P2X7 receptor regulates osteoclast function and bone loss in a mouse model of osteoporosis.

    Wang, Ning; Agrawal, Ankita; Jørgensen, Niklas Rye; Gartland, Alison

    2018-02-22

    Post-menopausal osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions worldwide and places a huge socio-economic burden on society. Previous research has shown an association of loss of function SNPs in the gene for the purinergic receptor P2X7R with low bone mineral density, increased rates of bone loss and vertebral fractures in post-menopausal women. In this study we use a mouse model of oestrogen deficiency-induced bone loss and the BALB/cJ P2X7R -/- to show that absence of the P2X7R resulted in increased bone loss. Osteoclast precursors were isolated from both BALB/cJ P2X7R -/- and BALB/cJ P2X7R +/+ mice and then cultured in vitro to form mature resorbing osteoclasts. The BALB/cJ P2X7R -/- derived precursors generated slightly more osteoclasts but with a significant reduction in the amount of resorption per osteoclast. Furthermore, when using modified culture conditions osteoclast activity was additionally increased in the absence of the P2X7R suggest that P2X7R may regulate the lifespan and activity of osteoclasts. Finally using mechanical loading as an anabolic stimulus for bone formation, we demonstrated that the increased oestrogen-deficient bone loss could be rescued, even in the absence of P2X7R. This study paves the way for clinical intervention for women with post-menopausal osteoporosis and P2XR7 loss of function polymorphisms.

  14. Patterns of functional vision loss in glaucoma determined with archetypal analysis

    Elze, Tobias; Pasquale, Louis R.; Shen, Lucy Q.; Chen, Teresa C.; Wiggs, Janey L.; Bex, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy accompanied by vision loss which can be mapped by visual field (VF) testing revealing characteristic patterns related to the retinal nerve fibre layer anatomy. While detailed knowledge about these patterns is important to understand the anatomic and genetic aspects of glaucoma, current classification schemes are typically predominantly derived qualitatively. Here, we classify glaucomatous vision loss quantitatively by statistically learning prototypical patterns on the convex hull of the data space. In contrast to component-based approaches, this method emphasizes distinct aspects of the data and provides patterns that are easier to interpret for clinicians. Based on 13 231 reliable Humphrey VFs from a large clinical glaucoma practice, we identify an optimal solution with 17 glaucomatous vision loss prototypes which fit well with previously described qualitative patterns from a large clinical study. We illustrate relations of our patterns to retinal structure by a previously developed mathematical model. In contrast to the qualitative clinical approaches, our results can serve as a framework to quantify the various subtypes of glaucomatous visual field loss. PMID:25505132

  15. Reading in times of loss: An exploration of the functions of literature during grief

    E.M. Koopman (Emy)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ This study examined the use of literature as a coping strategy among people who had experienced loss, comparing it to the use of music. Theory suggested that these artistic media can facilitate insight, recognition, support, relaxation, new emotions, and/or

  16. A half-century of production-phase greenhouse gas emissions from food loss & waste in the global food supply chain.

    Porter, Stephen D; Reay, David S; Higgins, Peter; Bomberg, Elizabeth

    2016-11-15

    Research on loss & waste of food meant for human consumption (FLW) and its environmental impact typically focuses on a single or small number of commodities in a specific location and point in time. However, it is unclear how trends in global FLW and potential for climate impact have evolved. Here, by utilising the Food and Agriculture Organization's food balance sheet data, we expand upon existing literature. Firstly, we provide a differentiated (by commodity, country and supply chain stage) bottom-up approach; secondly, we conduct a 50-year longitudinal analysis of global FLW and its production-phase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and thirdly, we trace food wastage and its associated emissions through the entire food supply chain. Between 1961 and 2011 the annual amount of FLW by mass grew a factor of three - from 540Mt to 1.6Gt; associated production-phase (GHG) emissions more than tripled (from 680Mt to 2.2Gt CO2e). A 44% increase in global average per capita FLW emissions was also identified - from 225kg CO2e in 1961 to 323kg CO2e in 2011. The regional weighting within this global average changing markedly over time; in 1961 developed countries accounted for 48% of FLW and less than a quarter (24%) in 2011. The largest increases in FLW-associated GHG emissions were from developing economies, specifically China and Latin America - primarily from increasing losses in fruit and vegetables. Over the period examined, cumulatively such emissions added almost 68Gt CO2e to the atmospheric GHG stock; an amount the rough equivalent of two years of emissions from all anthropogenic sources at present rates. Building up from the most granular data available, this study highlights the growth in the climate burden of FLW emissions, and thus the need to improve efficiency in food supply chains to mitigate future emissions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Risk seeking for losses modulates the functional connectivity of the default mode and left frontoparietal networks in young males.

    Deza Araujo, Yacila I; Nebe, Stephan; Neukam, Philipp T; Pooseh, Shakoor; Sebold, Miriam; Garbusow, Maria; Heinz, Andreas; Smolka, Michael N

    2018-06-01

    Value-based decision making (VBDM) is a principle that states that humans and other species adapt their behavior according to the dynamic subjective values of the chosen or unchosen options. The neural bases of this process have been extensively investigated using task-based fMRI and lesion studies. However, the growing field of resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) may shed light on the organization and function of brain connections across different decision-making domains. With this aim, we used independent component analysis to study the brain network dynamics in a large cohort of young males (N = 145) and the relationship of these dynamics with VBDM. Participants completed a battery of behavioral tests that evaluated delay aversion, risk seeking for losses, risk aversion for gains, and loss aversion, followed by an RSFC scan session. We identified a set of large-scale brain networks and conducted our analysis only on the default mode network (DMN) and networks comprising cognitive control, appetitive-driven, and reward-processing regions. Higher risk seeking for losses was associated with increased connectivity between medial temporal regions, frontal regions, and the DMN. Higher risk seeking for losses was also associated with increased coupling between the left frontoparietal network and occipital cortices. These associations illustrate the participation of brain regions involved in prospective thinking, affective decision making, and visual processing in participants who are greater risk-seekers, and they demonstrate the sensitivity of RSFC to detect brain connectivity differences associated with distinct VBDM parameters.

  18. Reduced loss aversion in pathological gambling and alcohol dependence is associated with differential alterations in amygdala and prefrontal functioning.

    Genauck, Alexander; Quester, Saskia; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Mörsen, Chantal; Heinz, Andreas; Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina

    2017-11-24

    Diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling and alcohol dependence (AD) include repeated addictive behavior despite severe negative consequences. However, the concept of loss aversion (LA) as a facet of value-based decision making has not yet been used to directly compare these disorders. We hypothesized reduced LA in pathological gamblers (PG) and AD patients, correlation of LA with disorder severity, and reduced loss-related modulation of brain activity. 19 PG subjects, 15 AD patients and 17 healthy controls (HC) engaged in a LA task in a functional magnetic resonance imaging setting. Imaging analyses focused on neural gain and loss sensitivity in the meso-cortico-limbic network of the brain. Both PG and AD subjects showed reduced LA. AD subjects showed altered loss-related modulation of activity in lateral prefrontal regions. PG subjects showed indication of altered amygdala-prefrontal functional connectivity. Although we observed reduced LA in both a behavioral addiction and a substance-related disorder our neural findings might challenge the notion of complete neuro-behavioral congruence of substance-use disorders and behavioral addictions.

  19. EVALUATION OF PENALTY FUNCTIONS FOR SEMI-GLOBAL MATCHING COST AGGREGATION

    C. Banz

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The stereo matching method semi-global matching (SGM relies on consistency constraints during the cost aggregation which are enforced by so-called penalty terms. This paper proposes new and evaluates four penalty functions for SGM. Due to mutual dependencies, two types of matching cost calculation, census and rank transform, are considered. Performance is measured using original and degenerated images exhibiting radiometric changes and noise from the Middlebury benchmark. The two best performing penalty functions are inversely proportional and negatively linear to the intensity gradient and perform equally with 6.05% and 5.91% average error, respectively. The experiments also show that adaptive penalty terms are mandatory when dealing with difficult imaging conditions. Consequently, for highest algorithmic performance in real-world systems, selection of a suitable penalty function and thorough parametrization with respect to the expected image quality is essential.

  20. Comparison of Xenon-Enhanced Area-Detector CT and Krypton Ventilation SPECT/CT for Assessment of Pulmonary Functional Loss and Disease Severity in Smokers.

    Ohno, Yoshiharu; Fujisawa, Yasuko; Takenaka, Daisuke; Kaminaga, Shigeo; Seki, Shinichiro; Sugihara, Naoki; Yoshikawa, Takeshi

    2018-02-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the capability of xenon-enhanced area-detector CT (ADCT) performed with a subtraction technique and coregistered 81m Kr-ventilation SPECT/CT for the assessment of pulmonary functional loss and disease severity in smokers. Forty-six consecutive smokers (32 men and 14 women; mean age, 67.0 years) underwent prospective unenhanced and xenon-enhanced ADCT, 81m Kr-ventilation SPECT/CT, and pulmonary function tests. Disease severity was evaluated according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification. CT-based functional lung volume (FLV), the percentage of wall area to total airway area (WA%), and ventilated FLV on xenon-enhanced ADCT and SPECT/CT were calculated for each smoker. All indexes were correlated with percentage of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (%FEV 1 ) using step-wise regression analyses, and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed. In addition, the diagnostic accuracy of the proposed model was compared with that of each radiologic index by means of McNemar analysis. Multivariate logistic regression showed that %FEV 1 was significantly affected (r = 0.77, r 2 = 0.59) by two factors: the first factor, ventilated FLV on xenon-enhanced ADCT (p < 0.0001); and the second factor, WA% (p = 0.004). Univariate logistic regression analyses indicated that all indexes significantly affected GOLD classification (p < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that ventilated FLV on xenon-enhanced ADCT and CT-based FLV significantly influenced GOLD classification (p < 0.0001). The diagnostic accuracy of the proposed model was significantly higher than that of ventilated FLV on SPECT/CT (p = 0.03) and WA% (p = 0.008). Xenon-enhanced ADCT is more effective than 81m Kr-ventilation SPECT/CT for the assessment of pulmonary functional loss and disease severity.

  1. Using the CARDAMOM framework to retrieve global terrestrial ecosystem functioning properties

    Exbrayat, Jean-François; Bloom, A. Anthony; Smallman, T. Luke; van der Velde, Ivar R.; Feng, Liang; Williams, Mathew

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems act as a sink for anthropogenic emissions of fossil-fuel and thereby partially offset the ongoing global warming. However, recent model benchmarking and intercomparison studies have highlighted the non-trivial uncertainties that exist in our understanding of key ecosystem properties like plant carbon allocation and residence times. It leads to worrisome differences in terrestrial carbon stocks simulated by Earth system models, and their evolution in a warming future. In this presentation we attempt to provide global insights on these properties by merging an ecosystem model with remotely-sensed global observations of leaf area and biomass through a data-assimilation system: the CARbon Data MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM). CARDAMOM relies on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm to retrieve confidence intervals of model parameters that regulate ecosystem properties independently of any prior land-cover information. The MCMC method thereby enables an explicit representation of the uncertainty in land-atmosphere fluxes and the evolution of terrestrial carbon stocks through time. Global experiments are performed for the first decade of the 21st century using a 1°×1° spatial resolution. Relationships emerge globally between key ecosystem properties. For example, our analyses indicate that leaf lifespan and leaf mass per area are highly correlated. Furthermore, there exists a latitudinal gradient in allocation patterns: high latitude ecosystems allocate more carbon to photosynthetic carbon (leaves) while plants invest more carbon in their structural parts (wood and root) in the wet tropics. Overall, the spatial distribution of these ecosystem properties does not correspond to usual land-cover maps and are also partially correlated with disturbance regimes. For example, fire-prone ecosystems present statistically significant higher values of carbon use efficiency than less disturbed ecosystems experiencing similar climatic conditions. These results

  2. Increased Global Functional Connectivity Correlates with LSD-Induced Ego Dissolution.

    Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Roseman, Leor; Kaelen, Mendel; Orban, Csaba; Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh D; Murphy, Kevin; Laufs, Helmut; Leech, Robert; McGonigle, John; Crossley, Nicolas; Bullmore, Edward; Williams, Tim; Bolstridge, Mark; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin

    2016-04-25

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a non-selective serotonin-receptor agonist that was first synthesized in 1938 and identified as (potently) psychoactive in 1943. Psychedelics have been used by indigenous cultures for millennia [1]; however, because of LSD's unique potency and the timing of its discovery (coinciding with a period of major discovery in psychopharmacology), it is generally regarded as the quintessential contemporary psychedelic [2]. LSD has profound modulatory effects on consciousness and was used extensively in psychological research and psychiatric practice in the 1950s and 1960s [3]. In spite of this, however, there have been no modern human imaging studies of its acute effects on the brain. Here we studied the effects of LSD on intrinsic functional connectivity within the human brain using fMRI. High-level association cortices (partially overlapping with the default-mode, salience, and frontoparietal attention networks) and the thalamus showed increased global connectivity under the drug. The cortical areas showing increased global connectivity overlapped significantly with a map of serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor densities (the key site of action of psychedelic drugs [4]). LSD also increased global integration by inflating the level of communication between normally distinct brain networks. The increase in global connectivity observed under LSD correlated with subjective reports of "ego dissolution." The present results provide the first evidence that LSD selectively expands global connectivity in the brain, compromising the brain's modular and "rich-club" organization and, simultaneously, the perceptual boundaries between the self and the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Abnormal functional global and local brain connectivity in female patients with anorexia nervosa

    Geisler, Daniel; Borchardt, Viola; Lord, Anton R.; Boehm, Ilka; Ritschel, Franziska; Zwipp, Johannes; Clas, Sabine; King, Joseph A.; Wolff-Stephan, Silvia; Roessner, Veit; Walter, Martin; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Background Previous resting-state functional connectivity studies in patients with anorexia nervosa used independent component analysis or seed-based connectivity analysis to probe specific brain networks. Instead, modelling the entire brain as a complex network allows determination of graph-theoretical metrics, which describe global and local properties of how brain networks are organized and how they interact. Methods To determine differences in network properties between female patients with acute anorexia nervosa and pairwise matched healthy controls, we used resting-state fMRI and computed well-established global and local graph metrics across a range of network densities. Results Our analyses included 35 patients and 35 controls. We found that the global functional network structure in patients with anorexia nervosa is characterized by increases in both characteristic path length (longer average routes between nodes) and assortativity (more nodes with a similar connectedness link together). Accordingly, we found locally decreased connectivity strength and increased path length in the posterior insula and thalamus. Limitations The present results may be limited to the methods applied during preprocessing and network construction. Conclusion We demonstrated anorexia nervosa–related changes in the network configuration for, to our knowledge, the first time using resting-state fMRI and graph-theoretical measures. Our findings revealed an altered global brain network architecture accompanied by local degradations indicating wide-scale disturbance in information flow across brain networks in patients with acute anorexia nervosa. Reduced local network efficiency in the thalamus and posterior insula may reflect a mechanism that helps explain the impaired integration of visuospatial and homeostatic signals in patients with this disorder, which is thought to be linked to abnormal representations of body size and hunger. PMID:26252451

  4. Loss of Peripheral Sensory Function Explains Much of the Increase in Postural Sway in Healthy Older Adults

    Eric Anson

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Postural sway increases with age and peripheral sensory disease. Whether, peripheral sensory function is related to postural sway independent of age in healthy adults is unclear. Here, we investigated the relationship between tests of visual function (VISFIELD, vestibular function (CANAL or OTOLITH, proprioceptive function (PROP, and age, with center of mass sway area (COM measured with eyes open then closed on firm and then a foam surface. A cross-sectional sample of 366 community dwelling healthy adults from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging was tested. Multiple linear regressions examined the association between COM and VISFIELD, PROP, CANAL, and OTOLITH separately and in multi-sensory models controlling for age and gender. PROP dominated sensory prediction of sway across most balance conditions (β's = 0.09–0.19, p's < 0.001, except on foam eyes closed where CANAL function loss was the only significant sensory predictor of sway (β = 2.12, p < 0.016. Age was not a consistent predictor of sway. This suggests loss of peripheral sensory function explains much of the age-associated increase in sway.

  5. A new method for the production of social fragility functions and the result of its use in worldwide fatality loss estimation for earthquakes

    Daniell, James; Wenzel, Friedemann

    2014-05-01

    A review of over 200 fatality models over the past 50 years for earthquake loss estimation from various authors has identified key parameters that influence fatality estimation in each of these models. These are often very specific and cannot be readily adapted globally. In the doctoral dissertation of the author, a new method is used for regression of fatalities to intensity using loss functions based not only on fatalities, but also using population models and other socioeconomic parameters created through time for every country worldwide for the period 1900-2013. A calibration of functions was undertaken from 1900-2008, and each individual quake analysed from 2009-2013 in real-time, in conjunction with www.earthquake-report.com. Using the CATDAT Damaging Earthquakes Database containing socioeconomic loss information for 7208 damaging earthquake events from 1900-2013 including disaggregation of secondary effects, fatality estimates for over 2035 events have been re-examined from 1900-2013. In addition, 99 of these events have detailed data for the individual cities and towns or have been reconstructed to create a death rate as a percentage of population. Many historical isoseismal maps and macroseismic intensity datapoint surveys collected globally, have been digitised and modelled covering around 1353 of these 2035 fatal events, to include an estimate of population, occupancy and socioeconomic climate at the time of the event at each intensity bracket. In addition, 1651 events without fatalities but causing damage have also been examined in this way. The production of socioeconomic and engineering indices such as HDI and building vulnerability has been undertaken on a country-level and state/province-level leading to a dataset allowing regressions not only using a static view of risk, but also allowing for the change in the socioeconomic climate between the earthquake events to be undertaken. This means that a year 1920 event in a country, will not simply be

  6. Loss of function of C9orf72 causes motor deficits in a zebrafish model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Ciura, Sorana; Lattante, Serena; Le Ber, Isabelle; Latouche, Morwena; Tostivint, Hervé; Brice, Alexis; Kabashi, Edor

    2013-08-01

    To define the role that repeat expansions of a GGGGCC hexanucleotide sequence of the C9orf72 gene play in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). A genetic model for ALS was developed to determine whether loss of function of the zebrafish orthologue of C9orf72 (zC9orf72) leads to abnormalities in neuronal development. C9orf72 mRNA levels were quantified in brain and lymphoblasts derived from FTLD and ALS/FTLD patients and in zebrafish. Knockdown of the zC9orf72 was performed using 2 specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotides to block transcription. Quantifications of spontaneous swimming and tactile escape response, as well as measurements of axonal projections from the spinal cord, were performed. Significantly decreased expression of C9orf72 transcripts in brain and lymphoblasts was found in sporadic FTLD and ALS/FTLD patients with normal-size or expanded hexanucleotide repeats. The zC9orf72 is selectively expressed in the developing nervous system at developmental stages. Loss of function of the zC9orf72 transcripts causes both behavioral and cellular deficits related to locomotion without major morphological abnormalities. These deficits were rescued upon overexpression of human C9orf72 mRNA transcripts. Our results indicate C9orf72 haploinsufficiency could be a contributing factor in the spectrum of ALS/FTLD neurodegenerative disorders. Loss of function of the zebrafish orthologue of zC9orf72 expression in zebrafish is associated with axonal degeneration of motor neurons that can be rescued by expressing human C9orf72 mRNA, highlighting the specificity of the induced phenotype. These results reveal a pathogenic consequence of decreased C9orf72 levels, supporting a loss of function mechanism of disease. © 2013 American Neurological Association.

  7. Recombination between Homeologous Chromosomes in Lager Yeasts leads to Loss of Function of the Hybrid GPH1 Gene.

    BOND, URSULA

    2009-01-01

    PUBLISHED Yeasts used in the production of lagers contain complex allopolyploid genomes, resulting from the fusion of two different yeast species closely related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces bayanus. Recombination between the homoeologous chromosomes has generated a number of hybrid chromosomes. These recombination events provide potential for adaptive evolution through the loss or gain of gene function. We have examined the genotypic and phenotypic effects of one of the c...

  8. VPS35 Deficiency or Mutation Causes Dopaminergic Neuronal Loss by Impairing Mitochondrial Fusion and Function

    Fu-Lei Tang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Vacuolar protein sorting-35 (VPS35 is a retromer component for endosomal trafficking. Mutations of VPS35 have been linked to familial Parkinson’s disease (PD. Here, we show that specific deletion of the VPS35 gene in dopamine (DA neurons resulted in PD-like deficits, including loss of DA neurons and accumulation of α-synuclein. Intriguingly, mitochondria became fragmented and dysfunctional in VPS35-deficient DA neurons, phenotypes that could be restored by expressing VPS35 wild-type, but not PD-linked mutant. Concomitantly, VPS35 deficiency or mutation increased mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin ligase 1 (MUL1 and, thus, led to mitofusin 2 (MFN2 degradation and mitochondrial fragmentation. Suppression of MUL1 expression ameliorated MFN2 reduction and DA neuron loss but not α-synuclein accumulation. These results provide a cellular mechanism for VPS35 dysfunction in mitochondrial impairment and PD pathogenesis.

  9. Tai Ji Quan and global cognitive function in older adults with cognitive impairment: a pilot study.

    Li, Fuzhong; Harmer, Peter; Liu, Yu; Chou, Li-Shan

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated whether Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) could improve global cognitive function in older adults with cognitive impairment. Using a nonrandomized control group pretest-posttest design, participants aged ≥65 years who scored between 20 and 25 on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were allocated into either a 14-week TJQMBB program (n=22) or a control group (n=24). The primary outcome was MMSE as a measure of global cognitive function with secondary outcomes of 50-ft speed walk, Timed Up&Go, and Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale. At 14 weeks, Tai Ji Quan participants showed significant improvement on MMSE (mean=2.26, pJi Quan participants performed significantly better compared to the controls in both physical performance and balance efficacy measures (p<0.05). Improvement in cognition as measured by MMSE was related to improved physical performance and balance efficacy. These results provide preliminary evidence of the utility of the TJQMBB program to promote cognitive function in older adults in addition to physical benefits. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Network organization is globally atypical in autism: A graph theory study of intrinsic functional connectivity.

    Keown, Christopher L; Datko, Michael C; Chen, Colleen P; Maximo, José Omar; Jahedi, Afrooz; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2017-01-01

    Despite abundant evidence of brain network anomalies in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), findings have varied from broad functional underconnectivity to broad overconnectivity. Rather than pursuing overly simplifying general hypotheses ('under' vs. 'over'), we tested the hypothesis of atypical network distribution in ASD (i.e., participation of unusual loci in distributed functional networks). We used a selective high-quality data subset from the ABIDE datashare (including 111 ASD and 174 typically developing [TD] participants) and several graph theory metrics. Resting state functional MRI data were preprocessed and analyzed for detection of low-frequency intrinsic signal correlations. Groups were tightly matched for available demographics and head motion. As hypothesized, the Rand Index (reflecting how similar network organization was to a normative set of networks) was significantly lower in ASD than TD participants. This was accounted for by globally reduced cohesion and density, but increased dispersion of networks. While differences in hub architecture did not survive correction, rich club connectivity (among the hubs) was increased in the ASD group. Our findings support the model of reduced network integration (connectivity with networks) and differentiation (or segregation; based on connectivity outside network boundaries) in ASD. While the findings applied at the global level, they were not equally robust across all networks and in one case (greater cohesion within ventral attention network in ASD) even reversed.

  11. Investigation of local losses as a function of material removal in a large-grain superconducting niobium cavity

    Gianluigi Ciovati; Peter Kneisel

    2006-01-01

    The performance of a superconducting radio-frequency (RF) cavity made of residual resistivity ratio (RRR) > 200 large-grain niobium has been investigated as a function of material removal, between 70 and 240 ?m, by buffered chemical polishing (BCP). Temperature maps of the cavity surface at 1.7 and 2.0 K were taken for each step of chemical etching and revealed localized losses (''hot-spots''), which contribute to the degradation of the cavity quality factor as a function of the RF surface field. It was found that the number of ''hot-spots'' decreased for larger material removal. Interestingly, the losses at the ''hot-spots'' at different locations evolved differently for successive material removal. The cavity achieved peak surface magnetic fields of about of 130 mT and was limited mostly by thermal quench. By measuring the temperature dependence of the surface resistance (Rs) at low field between 4.2 K and 1.7 K, the variation of material parameters such as the energy gap at 0 K, the residual resistance and the mean free path as a function of material removal could also be investigated. This contribution presents the results of the RF tests along with the temperature maps and the analysis of the losses caused by the ''hot-spots''

  12. The helical ventricular myocardial band: global, three-dimensional, functional architecture of the ventricular myocardium.

    Kocica, Mladen J; Corno, Antonio F; Carreras-Costa, Francesc; Ballester-Rodes, Manel; Moghbel, Mark C; Cueva, Clotario N C; Lackovic, Vesna; Kanjuh, Vladimir I; Torrent-Guasp, Francisco

    2006-04-01

    We are currently witnessing the advent of new diagnostic tools and therapies for heart diseases, but, without serious scientific consensus on fundamental questions about normal and diseased heart structure and function. During the last decade, three successive, international, multidisciplinary symposia were organized in order to setup fundamental research principles, which would allow us to make a significant step forward in understanding heart structure and function. Helical ventricular myocardial band of Torrent-Guasp is the revolutionary new concept in understanding global, three-dimensional, functional architecture of the ventricular myocardium. This concept defines the principal, cumulative vectors, integrating the tissue architecture (i.e. form) and net forces developed (i.e. function) within the ventricular mass. Here we expose the compendium of Torrent-Guasp's half-century long functional anatomical investigations in the light of ongoing efforts to define the integrative approach, which would lead to new understanding of the ventricular form and function by linking across multiple scales of biological organization, as defined in ongoing Physiome project. Helical ventricular myocardial band of Torrent-Guasp may also, hopefully, allow overcoming some difficulties encountered in contemporary efforts to create a comprehensive mathematical model of the heart.

  13. Functional results of Vibrant Soundbridge middle ear implants in conductive and mixed hearing losses.

    Bernardeschi, Daniele; Hoffman, Caroline; Benchaa, Tarek; Labassi, Samia; Beliaeff, Michel; Sterkers, Olivier; Grayeli, Alexis Bozorg

    2011-01-01

    Our purpose was to evaluate the results of Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB) in conductive or mixed hearing loss. Twenty-five adult patients (29 ears) with a mixed or conductive hearing loss and various etiologies were included in this retrospective study. The preoperative ipsilateral pure tone average was 71 ± 3.0 dB, and the average bone conduction threshold was 42 ± 2.8 dB (n = 29). The transducer was placed on the long apophysis of the incus (n = 16), in the round window (n = 10) or on the stapes (n = 3). No complications were noted. The bone conduction threshold remained unchanged. VSB was activated in all cases. The postoperative pure tone average without VSB was 63 ± 3.9 dB (n = 24) and with VSB in free-field condition 24 ± 2.1 dB (n = 22). VSB is safe and efficacious for auditory rehabilitation in conductive and mixed hearing losses. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Calculation of probability density functions for temperature and precipitation change under global warming

    Watterson, Ian G.

    2007-01-01

    Full text: he IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (Meehl ef al. 2007) presents multi-model means of the CMIP3 simulations as projections of the global climate change over the 21st century under several SRES emission scenarios. To assess the possible range of change for Australia based on the CMIP3 ensemble, we can follow Whetton etal. (2005) and use the 'pattern scaling' approach, which separates the uncertainty in the global mean warming from that in the local change per degree of warming. This study presents several ways of representing these two factors as probability density functions (PDFs). The beta distribution, a smooth, bounded, function allowing skewness, is found to provide a useful representation of the range of CMIP3 results. A weighting of models based on their skill in simulating seasonal means in the present climate over Australia is included. Dessai ef al. (2005) and others have used Monte-Carlo sampling to recombine such global warming and scaled change factors into values of net change. Here, we use a direct integration of the product across the joint probability space defined by the two PDFs. The result is a cumulative distribution function (CDF) for change, for each variable, location, and season. The median of this distribution provides a best estimate of change, while the 10th and 90th percentiles represent a likely range. The probability of exceeding a specified threshold can also be extracted from the CDF. The presentation focuses on changes in Australian temperature and precipitation at 2070 under the A1B scenario. However, the assumption of linearity behind pattern scaling allows results for different scenarios and times to be simply obtained. In the case of precipitation, which must remain non-negative, a simple modification of the calculations (based on decreases being exponential with warming) is used to avoid unrealistic results. These approaches are currently being used for the new CSIRO/ Bureau of Meteorology climate projections

  15. Tooth loss and caries prevalence in very old Swedish people: the relationship to cognitive function and functional ability

    Avlund, Kirsten; Holm-Pedersen, Poul; Morse, Douglas E

    2004-01-01

    higher risk of not using dental services regularly. This result was unchanged after adjusting for the variables studied. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed associations between the cognitive and functional status of the individual and aspects of oral health, that may contribute to a deeper understanding......OBJECTIVE: To analyse whether cognitive function and functional ability are related to oral health among community-dwelling older people over the age of 80 years. BACKGROUND: This cross-sectional study is based on the Kungsholmen Elders Oral Health Survey (KEOHS). The study included oral...... of the background of oral health status in older adults....

  16. Modeling and Measurement of 39Ar Recoil Loss From Biotite as a Function of Grain Dimensions

    Paine, J. H.; Nomade, S.; Renne, P. R.

    2004-12-01

    The call for age measurements with less than 1 per mil error puts a demand upon geochronologists to be aware of and quantify a number of problems which were previously negligible. One such factor is 39Ar recoil loss during sample irradiation, a phenomenon which is widely assumed to affect only unusually small crystals having exceptionally high surface/volume ratios. This phenomenon has important implications for thermochronologic studies seeking to exploit a range of closure temperatures arising from variable diffusion radii. Our study focuses on biotite, in which spatial isotope distributions cannot be reliably recovered by stepwise heating and which therefore lack recoil-diagnostic age spectrum behavior. Previous work by Renne et al. [Application of a deuteron-deuteron (D-D) neutron generator to 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, Applied Radiation and Isotopes, in press] used the SRIM code to calculate a ˜20% 39Ar recoil loss from the outermost 0.25 μ m of an infinite slab of phyllosillicate. This result is applied to measured grains of the biotite standard GA1550, a hypabyssal granite from the Mount Dromedary Complex, Australia. We measure the thickness and surface area of 166 grains and approximate the shape of each grain as a cylinder. Grain thickness ranges from 3 to 210 μ m, with an average grain radius of 350 μ m. We predict the amount of 39Ar recoil loss from each grain, finding an expected age error >0.1 % for grains thinner than 150 μ m, a >1% error for grain less than 10 μ m thick, and up to a 3% error for grains less than 3 μ m thick. These modeling results will be tested by analysis of the measured grains after irradiation in the Oregon State University TRIGA reactor. It is important to either account for 39Ar loss in thin biotite grains, or use sufficiently thick ones so that recoil loss is negligible. Our results indicate that only biotite grains thicker than 150 μ m should be used for neutron fluence monitoring in order to avoid bias greater than the

  17. Olfactory training induces changes in regional functional connectivity in patients with long-term smell loss

    K. Kollndorfer

    2015-01-01

    The results of this study indicate that an olfactory training program can reorganize functional networks, although, initially, no differences in the spatial distribution of neural activation were observed.

  18. Sport-specific endurance plank test for evaluation of global core muscle function.

    Tong, Tom K; Wu, Shing; Nie, Jinlei

    2014-02-01

    To examine the validity and reliability of a sports-specific endurance plank test for the evaluation of global core muscle function. Repeated-measures study. Laboratory environment. Twenty-eight male and eight female young athletes. Surface electromyography (sEMG) of selected trunk flexors and extensors, and an intervention of pre-fatigue core workout were applied for test validation. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), coefficient of variation (CV), and the measurement bias ratio */÷ ratio limits of agreement (LOA) were calculated to assess reliability and measurement error. Test validity was shown by the sEMG of selected core muscles, which indicated >50% increase in muscle activation during the test; and the definite discrimination of the ∼30% reduction in global core muscle endurance subsequent to a pre-fatigue core workout. For test-retest reliability, when the first attempt of three repeated trials was considered as familiarisation, the ICC was 0.99 (95% CI: 0.98-0.99), CV was 2.0 ± 1.56% and the measurement bias ratio */÷ ratio LOA was 0.99 */÷ 1.07. The findings suggest that the sport-specific endurance plank test is a valid, reliable and practical method for assessing global core muscle endurance in athletes given that at least one familiarisation trial takes place prior to measurement. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Global variability in leaf respiration in relation to climate, plant functional types and leaf traits.

    Atkin, Owen K; Bloomfield, Keith J; Reich, Peter B; Tjoelker, Mark G; Asner, Gregory P; Bonal, Damien; Bönisch, Gerhard; Bradford, Matt G; Cernusak, Lucas A; Cosio, Eric G; Creek, Danielle; Crous, Kristine Y; Domingues, Tomas F; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Egerton, John J G; Evans, John R; Farquhar, Graham D; Fyllas, Nikolaos M; Gauthier, Paul P G; Gloor, Emanuel; Gimeno, Teresa E; Griffin, Kevin L; Guerrieri, Rossella; Heskel, Mary A; Huntingford, Chris; Ishida, Françoise Yoko; Kattge, Jens; Lambers, Hans; Liddell, Michael J; Lloyd, Jon; Lusk, Christopher H; Martin, Roberta E; Maksimov, Ayal P; Maximov, Trofim C; Malhi, Yadvinder; Medlyn, Belinda E; Meir, Patrick; Mercado, Lina M; Mirotchnick, Nicholas; Ng, Desmond; Niinemets, Ülo; O'Sullivan, Odhran S; Phillips, Oliver L; Poorter, Lourens; Poot, Pieter; Prentice, I Colin; Salinas, Norma; Rowland, Lucy M; Ryan, Michael G; Sitch, Stephen; Slot, Martijn; Smith, Nicholas G; Turnbull, Matthew H; VanderWel, Mark C; Valladares, Fernando; Veneklaas, Erik J; Weerasinghe, Lasantha K; Wirth, Christian; Wright, Ian J; Wythers, Kirk R; Xiang, Jen; Xiang, Shuang; Zaragoza-Castells, Joana

    2015-04-01

    Leaf dark respiration (Rdark ) is an important yet poorly quantified component of the global carbon cycle. Given this, we analyzed a new global database of Rdark and associated leaf traits. Data for 899 species were compiled from 100 sites (from the Arctic to the tropics). Several woody and nonwoody plant functional types (PFTs) were represented. Mixed-effects models were used to disentangle sources of variation in Rdark . Area-based Rdark at the prevailing average daily growth temperature (T) of each site increased only twofold from the Arctic to the tropics, despite a 20°C increase in growing T (8-28°C). By contrast, Rdark at a standard T (25°C, Rdark (25) ) was threefold higher in the Arctic than in the tropics, and twofold higher at arid than at mesic sites. Species and PFTs at cold sites exhibited higher Rdark (25) at a given photosynthetic capacity (Vcmax (25) ) or leaf nitrogen concentration ([N]) than species at warmer sites. Rdark (25) values at any given Vcmax (25) or [N] were higher in herbs than in woody plants. The results highlight variation in Rdark among species and across global gradients in T and aridity. In addition to their ecological significance, the results provide a framework for improving representation of Rdark in terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) and associated land-surface components of Earth system models (ESMs). © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Reductions in soil surface albedo as a function of biochar application rate: implications for global radiative forcing

    Verheijen, F.G.A.; Jeffery, S.L.; Velde, te M.; Penizek, V.; Beland, M.; Bastos, A.C.; Keizer, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Biochar can be defined as pyrolysed (charred) biomass produced for application to soils with the aim of mitigating global climate change while improving soil functions. Sustainable biochar application to soils has been estimated to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 71-130 Pg CO2-C-e over 100

  1. A global weighted mean temperature model based on empirical orthogonal function analysis

    Li, Qinzheng; Chen, Peng; Sun, Langlang; Ma, Xiaping

    2018-03-01

    A global empirical orthogonal function (EOF) model of the tropospheric weighted mean temperature called GEOFM_Tm was developed using high-precision Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) Atmosphere Tm data during the years 2008-2014. Due to the quick convergence of EOF decomposition, it is possible to use the first four EOF series, which consists base functions Uk and associated coefficients Pk, to represent 99.99% of the overall variance of the original data sets and its spatial-temporal variations. Results show that U1 displays a prominent latitude distribution profile with positive peaks located at low latitude region. U2 manifests an asymmetric pattern that positive values occurred over 30° in the Northern Hemisphere, and negative values were observed at other regions. U3 and U4 displayed significant anomalies in Tibet and North America, respectively. Annual variation is the major component of the first and second associated coefficients P1 and P2, whereas P3 and P4 mainly reflects both annual and semi-annual variation components. Furthermore, the performance of constructed GEOFM_Tm was validated by comparison with GTm_III and GTm_N with different kinds of data including GGOS Atmosphere Tm data in 2015 and radiosonde data from Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA) in 2014. Generally speaking, GEOFM_Tm can achieve the same accuracy and reliability as GTm_III and GTm_N models in a global scale, even has improved in the Antarctic and Greenland regions. The MAE and RMS of GEOFM_Tm tend to be 2.49 K and 3.14 K with respect to GGOS Tm data, respectively; and 3.38 K and 4.23 K with respect to IGRA sounding data, respectively. In addition, those three models have higher precision at low latitude than middle and high latitude regions. The magnitude of Tm remains at the range of 220-300 K, presented a high correlation with geographic latitude. In the Northern Hemisphere, there was a significant enhancement at high latitude region reaching 270 K during summer

  2. Dysfunction in endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk underlies SIGMAR1 loss of function mediated motor neuron degeneration.

    Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Médard, Jean-Jacques; Azzedine, Hamid; Chrast, Roman

    2015-04-01

    Mutations in Sigma 1 receptor (SIGMAR1) have been previously identified in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and disruption of Sigmar1 in mouse leads to locomotor deficits. However, cellular mechanisms underlying motor phenotypes in human and mouse with disturbed SIGMAR1 function have not been described so far. Here we used a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches to investigate the role of SIGMAR1 in motor neuron biology. Characterization of Sigmar1(-/-) mice revealed that affected animals display locomotor deficits associated with muscle weakness, axonal degeneration and motor neuron loss. Using primary motor neuron cultures, we observed that pharmacological or genetic inactivation of SIGMAR1 led to motor neuron axonal degeneration followed by cell death. Disruption of SIGMAR1 function in motor neurons disturbed endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contacts, affected intracellular calcium signalling and was accompanied by activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress and defects in mitochondrial dynamics and transport. These defects were not observed in cultured sensory neurons, highlighting the exacerbated sensitivity of motor neurons to SIGMAR1 function. Interestingly, the inhibition of mitochondrial fission was sufficient to induce mitochondria axonal transport defects as well as axonal degeneration similar to the changes observed after SIGMAR1 inactivation or loss. Intracellular calcium scavenging and endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibition were able to restore mitochondrial function and consequently prevent motor neuron degeneration. These results uncover the cellular mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration mediated by loss of SIGMAR1 function and provide therapeutically relevant insight into motor neuronal diseases. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Evolution of Mass Functions of Coeval Stars through Wind Mass Loss and Binary Interactions

    Schneider, F.R.N.; Izzard, R.G.; Langer, N.; de Mink, S.E.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate determinations of stellar mass functions and ages of stellar populations are crucial to much of astrophysics. We analyze the evolution of stellar mass functions of coeval main-sequence stars, including all relevant aspects of single and binary star evolution. We show that the slope of the

  4. Neurodegenerative disease mutations in TREM2 reveal a functional surface and distinct loss-of-function mechanisms

    Kober, Daniel L.; Alexander-Brett, Jennifer M.; Karch, Celeste M.; Cruchaga, Carlos; Colonna, Marco; Holtzman, Michael J.; Brett, Thomas J. (WU-MED)

    2016-12-20

    Genetic variations in the myeloid immune receptor TREM2 are linked to several neurodegenerative diseases. To determine how TREM2 variants contribute to these diseases, we performed structural and functional studies of wild-type and variant proteins. Our 3.1 Å TREM2 crystal structure revealed that mutations found in Nasu-Hakola disease are buried whereas Alzheimer’s disease risk variants are found on the surface, suggesting that these mutations have distinct effects on TREM2 function. Biophysical and cellular methods indicate that Nasu-Hakola mutations impact protein stability and decrease folded TREM2 surface expression, whereas Alzheimer’s risk variants impact binding to a TREM2 ligand. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s risk variants appear to epitope map a functional surface on TREM2 that is unique within the larger TREM family. These findings provide a guide to structural and functional differences among genetic variants of TREM2, indicating that therapies targeting the TREM2 pathway should be tailored to these genetic and functional differences with patient-specific medicine approaches for neurodegenerative disorders.

  5. Global Approximations to Cost and Production Functions using Artificial Neural Networks

    Efthymios G. Tsionas

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The estimation of cost and production functions in economics relies on standard specifications which are less than satisfactory in numerous situations. However, instead of fitting the data with a pre-specified model, Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs let the data itself serve as evidence to support the modelrs estimation of the underlying process. In this context, the proposed approach combines the strengths of economics, statistics and machine learning research and the paper proposes a global approximation to arbitrary cost and production functions, respectively, given by ANNs. Suggestions on implementation are proposed and empirical application relies on standard techniques. All relevant measures such as Returns to Scale (RTS and Total Factor Productivity (TFP may be computed routinely.

  6. P2X7 receptor regulates osteoclast function and bone loss in a mouse model of osteoporosis

    Wang, Ning; Agrawal, Ankita; Jørgensen, Niklas Rye

    2018-01-01

    Post-menopausal osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions worldwide and places a huge socio-economic burden on society. Previous research has shown an association of loss of function SNPs in the gene for the purinergic receptor P2X7R with low bone mineral density, increased rates of bone...... loss and vertebral fractures in post-menopausal women. In this study we use a mouse model of oestrogen deficiency-induced bone loss and the BALB/cJ P2X7R-/- to show that absence of the P2X7R resulted in increased bone loss. Osteoclast precursors were isolated from both BALB/cJ P2X7R-/- and BALB/cJ P2X7......R+/+ mice and then cultured in vitro to form mature resorbing osteoclasts. The BALB/cJ P2X7R-/- derived precursors generated slightly more osteoclasts but with a significant reduction in the amount of resorption per osteoclast. Furthermore, when using modified culture conditions osteoclast activity...

  7. Integral relations in complex space and the global analytic and monodromic structure of Green's functions in quantum field theory

    Bros, J.

    1980-01-01

    In this lecture, we present some of the ideas of a global consistent approach to the analytic and monodromic structure of Green's functions and scattering amplitudes of elementary particles on the basis of general quantum field theory. (orig.)

  8. Global translational impacts of the loss of the tRNA modification t6A in yeast

    Patrick C. Thiaville

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The universal tRNA modification t6A is found at position 37 of nearly all tRNAs decoding ANN codons. The absence of t6A37 leads to severe growth defects in baker’s yeast, phenotypes similar to those caused by defects in mcm5s2U34 synthesis. Mutants in mcm5s2U34 can be suppressed by overexpression of tRNALysUUU, but we show t6A phenotypes could not be suppressed by expressing any individual ANN decoding tRNA, and t6A and mcm5s2U are not determinants for each other’s formation. Our results suggest that t6A deficiency, like mcm5s2U deficiency, leads to protein folding defects, and show that the absence of t6A led to stress sensitivities (heat, ethanol, salt and sensitivity to TOR pathway inhibitors. Additionally, L-homoserine suppressed the slow growth phenotype seen in t6A-deficient strains, and proteins aggregates and Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs were increased in the mutants. The global consequences on translation caused by t6A absence were examined by ribosome profiling. Interestingly, the absence of t6A did not lead to global translation defects, but did increase translation initiation at upstream non-AUG codons and increased frame-shifting in specific genes. Analysis of codon occupancy rates suggests that one of the major roles of t6A is to homogenize the process of elongation by slowing the elongation rate at codons decoded by high abundance tRNAs and I34:C3 pairs while increasing the elongation rate of rare tRNAs and G34:U3 pairs. This work reveals that the consequences of t6A absence are complex and multilayered and has set the stage to elucidate the molecular basis of the observed phenotypes.

  9. A generalized quantitative antibody homeostasis model: maintenance of global antibody equilibrium by effector functions.

    Prechl, József

    2017-11-01

    The homeostasis of antibodies can be characterized as a balanced production, target-binding and receptor-mediated elimination regulated by an interaction network, which controls B-cell development and selection. Recently, we proposed a quantitative model to describe how the concentration and affinity of interacting partners generates a network. Here we argue that this physical, quantitative approach can be extended for the interpretation of effector functions of antibodies. We define global antibody equilibrium as the zone of molar equivalence of free antibody, free antigen and immune complex concentrations and of dissociation constant of apparent affinity: [Ab]=[Ag]=[AbAg]= K D . This zone corresponds to the biologically relevant K D range of reversible interactions. We show that thermodynamic and kinetic properties of antibody-antigen interactions correlate with immunological functions. The formation of stable, long-lived immune complexes correspond to a decrease of entropy and is a prerequisite for the generation of higher-order complexes. As the energy of formation of complexes increases, we observe a gradual shift from silent clearance to inflammatory reactions. These rules can also be applied to complement activation-related immune effector processes, linking the physicochemical principles of innate and adaptive humoral responses. Affinity of the receptors mediating effector functions shows a wide range of affinities, allowing the continuous sampling of antibody-bound antigen over the complete range of concentrations. The generation of multivalent, multicomponent complexes triggers effector functions by crosslinking these receptors on effector cells with increasing enzymatic degradation potential. Thus, antibody homeostasis is a thermodynamic system with complex network properties, nested into the host organism by proper immunoregulatory and effector pathways. Maintenance of global antibody equilibrium is achieved by innate qualitative signals modulating a

  10. Modeling resting-state functional networks when the cortex falls asleep: local and global changes.

    Deco, Gustavo; Hagmann, Patric; Hudetz, Anthony G; Tononi, Giulio

    2014-12-01

    The transition from wakefulness to sleep represents the most conspicuous change in behavior and the level of consciousness occurring in the healthy brain. It is accompanied by similarly conspicuous changes in neural dynamics, traditionally exemplified by the change from "desynchronized" electroencephalogram activity in wake to globally synchronized slow wave activity of early sleep. However, unit and local field recordings indicate that the transition is more gradual than it might appear: On one hand, local slow waves already appear during wake; on the other hand, slow sleep waves are only rarely global. Studies with functional magnetic resonance imaging also reveal changes in resting-state functional connectivity (FC) between wake and slow wave sleep. However, it remains unclear how resting-state networks may change during this transition period. Here, we employ large-scale modeling of the human cortico-cortical anatomical connectivity to evaluate changes in resting-state FC when the model "falls asleep" due to the progressive decrease in arousal-promoting neuromodulation. When cholinergic neuromodulation is parametrically decreased, local slow waves appear, while the overall organization of resting-state networks does not change. Furthermore, we show that these local slow waves are structured macroscopically in networks that resemble the resting-state networks. In contrast, when the neuromodulator decrease further to very low levels, slow waves become global and resting-state networks merge into a single undifferentiated, broadly synchronized network. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Loss of ATF2 function leads to cranial motoneuron degeneration during embryonic mouse development.

    Julien Ackermann

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The AP-1 family transcription factor ATF2 is essential for development and tissue maintenance in mammals. In particular, ATF2 is highly expressed and activated in the brain and previous studies using mouse knockouts have confirmed its requirement in the cerebellum as well as in vestibular sense organs. Here we present the analysis of the requirement for ATF2 in CNS development in mouse embryos, specifically in the brainstem. We discovered that neuron-specific inactivation of ATF2 leads to significant loss of motoneurons of the hypoglossal, abducens and facial nuclei. While the generation of ATF2 mutant motoneurons appears normal during early development, they undergo caspase-dependent and independent cell death during later embryonic and foetal stages. The loss of these motoneurons correlates with increased levels of stress activated MAP kinases, JNK and p38, as well as aberrant accumulation of phosphorylated neurofilament proteins, NF-H and NF-M, known substrates for these kinases. This, together with other neuropathological phenotypes, including aberrant vacuolisation and lipid accumulation, indicates that deficiency in ATF2 leads to neurodegeneration of subsets of somatic and visceral motoneurons of the brainstem. It also confirms that ATF2 has a critical role in limiting the activities of stress kinases JNK and p38 which are potent inducers of cell death in the CNS.

  12. Loss of spatacsin function alters lysosomal lipid clearance leading to upper and lower motor neuron degeneration.

    Branchu, Julien; Boutry, Maxime; Sourd, Laura; Depp, Marine; Leone, Céline; Corriger, Alexandrine; Vallucci, Maeva; Esteves, Typhaine; Matusiak, Raphaël; Dumont, Magali; Muriel, Marie-Paule; Santorelli, Filippo M; Brice, Alexis; El Hachimi, Khalid Hamid; Stevanin, Giovanni; Darios, Frédéric

    2017-06-01

    Mutations in SPG11 account for the most common form of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), characterized by a gait disorder associated with various brain alterations. Mutations in the same gene are also responsible for rare forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and progressive juvenile-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To elucidate the physiopathological mechanisms underlying these human pathologies, we disrupted the Spg11 gene in mice by inserting stop codons in exon 32, mimicking the most frequent mutations found in patients. The Spg11 knockout mouse developed early-onset motor impairment and cognitive deficits. These behavioral deficits were associated with progressive brain atrophy with the loss of neurons in the primary motor cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus, as well as with accumulation of dystrophic axons in the corticospinal tract. Spinal motor neurons also degenerated and this was accompanied by fragmentation of neuromuscular junctions and muscle atrophy. This new Spg11 knockout mouse therefore recapitulates the full range of symptoms associated with SPG11 mutations observed in HSP, ALS and CMT patients. Examination of the cellular alterations observed in this model suggests that the loss of spatacsin leads to the accumulation of lipids in lysosomes by perturbing their clearance from these organelles. Altogether, our results link lysosomal dysfunction and lipid metabolism to neurodegeneration and pinpoint a critical role of spatacsin in lipid turnover. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Quantitative bronchial luminal volumetric assessment of pulmonary function loss by thin-section MDCT in pulmonary emphysema patients

    Koyama, Hisanobu; Ohno, Yoshiharu; Yamazaki, Youichi; Onishi, Yumiko; Takenaka, Daisuke; Yoshikawa, Takeshi; Nishio, Mizuho; Matsumoto, Sumiaki; Murase, Kenya; Nishimura, Yoshihiro; Sugimura, Kazuro

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: To determine the capability of quantitative bronchial luminal volume to assess pulmonary function loss and disease severity in pulmonary emphysema patients. Methods: Thirty-seven smokers (mean age, 68.1 years) underwent CT examinations and pulmonary function tests. For the quantitative assessment, luminal voxels of trachea and bronchi were computationally counted and the ratio of the following luminal voxels to all luminal voxels was obtained: (1) the lobe bronchi and the peripheral bronchi (Ratio lobe ), and (2) the main bronchi and the peripheral bronchi (Ratio main ). To determine the capability of these assessments to predict pulmonary function loss, these ratios were correlated with pulmonary function tests. To determine the capability for predicting disease severity, these ratios were compared between clinical groups. Results: These ratios were no significant correlated with vital capacity and forced vital capacity (FVC) (p > 0.05), however significantly correlated with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (Ratio lobe : r = 0.61, p main : r = 0.58, p lobe : r = 0.36, p main : r = 0.33, p lobe of smokers without COPD was significantly different from those of moderate COPD and severe or very severe COPD (p main of severe or very severe COPD patients was significantly different from those of other groups (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Quantitative bronchial luminal volumes were reflected the airflow limitation parameters and was corresponded to clinical groups in emphysema patients.

  14. Effects of a weight loss plus exercise program on physical function in overweight, older women: a randomized controlled trial.

    Anton, Stephen D; Manini, Todd M; Milsom, Vanessa A; Dubyak, Pamela; Cesari, Matteo; Cheng, Jing; Daniels, Michael J; Marsiske, Michael; Pahor, Marco; Leeuwenburgh, Christiaan; Perri, Michael G

    2011-01-01

    Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with physical impairments and biologic changes in older adults. Weight loss combined with exercise may reduce inflammation and improve physical functioning in overweight, sedentary, older adults. This study tested whether a weight loss program combined with moderate exercise could improve physical function in obese, older adult women. Participants (N = 34) were generally healthy, obese, older adult women (age range 55-79 years) with mild to moderate physical impairments (ie, functional limitations). Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups for 24 weeks: (i) weight loss plus exercise (WL+E; n = 17; mean age = 63.7 years [4.5]) or (ii) educational control (n = 17; mean age = 63.7 [6.7]). In the WL+E group, participants attended a group-based weight management session plus three supervised exercise sessions within their community each week. During exercise sessions, participants engaged in brisk walking and lower-body resistance training of moderate intensity. Participants in the educational control group attended monthly health education lectures on topics relevant to older adults. Outcomes were: (i) body weight, (ii) walking speed (assessed by 400-meter walk test), (iii) the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and (iv) knee extension isokinetic strength. Participants randomized to the WL+E group lost significantly more weight than participants in the educational control group (5.95 [0.992] vs 0.23 [0.99] kg; P meter walk test = 44 seconds; P < 0.05). Scores on the SPPB improved in both the intervention and educational control groups from pre- to post-test (P < 0.05), with significant differences between groups (P = 0.02). Knee extension strength was maintained in both groups. Our findings suggest that a lifestyle-based weight loss program consisting of moderate caloric restriction plus moderate exercise can produce significant weight loss and improve physical function while maintaining muscle

  15. Introductions do not compensate for functional and phylogenetic losses following extinctions in insular bird assemblages.

    Sobral, Fernando L; Lees, Alexander C; Cianciaruso, Marcus V

    2016-09-01

    The ratio of species extinctions to introductions has been comparable for many insular assemblages, suggesting that introductions could have 'compensated' for extinctions. However, the capacity for introduced species to replace ecological roles and evolutionary history lost following extinction is unclear. We investigated changes in bird functional and phylogenetic diversity in the wake of extinctions and introductions across a sample of 32 islands worldwide. We found that extinct and introduced species have comparable functional and phylogenetic alpha diversity. However, this was distributed at different positions in functional space and in the phylogeny, indicating a 'false compensation'. Introduced and extinct species did not have equivalent functional roles nor belong to similar lineages. This makes it unlikely that novel island biotas composed of introduced taxa will be able to maintain ecological roles and represent the evolutionary histories of pre-disturbance assemblages and highlights the importance of evaluating changes in alpha and beta diversity concurrently. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Language development and everyday functioning of children with hearing loss assessed at 3 years of age

    Ching, Teresa Y. C.; Crowe, Kathryn; Martin, Vivienne; Day, Julia; Mahler, Nicole; Youn, Samantha; Street, Laura; Cook, Cassandra; Orsini, Julia

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports language ability and everyday functioning of 133 children with hearing impairment who were evaluated at 3 years of age, as part of the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study. The language abilities of children were evaluated using the Preschool Language Scale (PLS-4), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology (DEAP) and Child Development Inventory (CDI). Everyday functioning of children was e...

  17. Developing EHR-driven heart failure risk prediction models using CPXR(Log) with the probabilistic loss function.

    Taslimitehrani, Vahid; Dong, Guozhu; Pereira, Naveen L; Panahiazar, Maryam; Pathak, Jyotishman

    2016-04-01

    Computerized survival prediction in healthcare identifying the risk of disease mortality, helps healthcare providers to effectively manage their patients by providing appropriate treatment options. In this study, we propose to apply a classification algorithm, Contrast Pattern Aided Logistic Regression (CPXR(Log)) with the probabilistic loss function, to develop and validate prognostic risk models to predict 1, 2, and 5year survival in heart failure (HF) using data from electronic health records (EHRs) at Mayo Clinic. The CPXR(Log) constructs a pattern aided logistic regression model defined by several patterns and corresponding local logistic regression models. One of the models generated by CPXR(Log) achieved an AUC and accuracy of 0.94 and 0.91, respectively, and significantly outperformed prognostic models reported in prior studies. Data extracted from EHRs allowed incorporation of patient co-morbidities into our models which helped improve the performance of the CPXR(Log) models (15.9% AUC improvement), although did not improve the accuracy of the models built by other classifiers. We also propose a probabilistic loss function to determine the large error and small error instances. The new loss function used in the algorithm outperforms other functions used in the previous studies by 1% improvement in the AUC. This study revealed that using EHR data to build prediction models can be very challenging using existing classification methods due to the high dimensionality and complexity of EHR data. The risk models developed by CPXR(Log) also reveal that HF is a highly heterogeneous disease, i.e., different subgroups of HF patients require different types of considerations with their diagnosis and treatment. Our risk models provided two valuable insights for application of predictive modeling techniques in biomedicine: Logistic risk models often make systematic prediction errors, and it is prudent to use subgroup based prediction models such as those given by CPXR

  18. Three dimensional model calculations of the global dispersion of high speed aircraft exhaust and implications for stratospheric ozone loss

    Douglass, Anne R.; Rood, Richard B.; Jackman, Charles H.; Weaver, Clark J.

    1994-01-01

    Two-dimensional (zonally averaged) photochemical models are commonly used for calculations of ozone changes due to various perturbations. These include calculating the ozone change expected as a result of change in the lower stratospheric composition due to the exhaust of a fleet of supersonic aircraft flying in the lower stratosphere. However, zonal asymmetries are anticipated to be important to this sort of calculation. The aircraft are expected to be restricted from flying over land at supersonic speed due to sonic booms, thus the pollutant source will not be zonally symmetric. There is loss of pollutant through stratosphere/troposphere exchange, but these processes are spatially and temporally inhomogeneous. Asymmetry in the pollutant distribution contributes to the uncertainty in the ozone changes calculated with two dimensional models. Pollutant distributions for integrations of at least 1 year of continuous pollutant emissions along flight corridors are calculated using a three dimensional chemistry and transport model. These distributions indicate the importance of asymmetry in the pollutant distributions to evaluation of the impact of stratospheric aircraft on ozone. The implications of such pollutant asymmetries to assessment calculations are discussed, considering both homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions.

  19. The impact of global warming on germination and seedling emergence in Alliaria petiolata, a woodland species with dormancy loss dependent on low temperature.

    Footitt, S; Huang, Z; Ölcer-Footitt, H; Clay, H; Finch-Savage, W E

    2018-03-23

    The impact of global warming on seed dormancy loss and germination was investigated in Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard), a common woodland/hedgerow plant in Eurasia, considered invasive in North America. Increased temperature may have serious implications, since seeds of this species germinate and emerge at low temperatures early in spring to establish and grow before canopy development of competing species. Dormancy was evaluated in seeds buried in field soils. Seedling emergence was also investigated in the field, and in a thermogradient tunnel under global warming scenarios representing predicted UK air temperatures through to 2080. Dormancy was simple, and its relief required the accumulation of low temperature chilling time. Under a global warming scenario, dormancy relief and seedling emergence declined and seed mortality increased as soil temperature increased along a thermal gradient. Seedling emergence advanced with soil temperature, peaking 8 days earlier under 2080 conditions. The results indicate that as mean temperature increases due to global warming, the chilling requirement for dormancy relief may not be fully satisfied, but seedling emergence will continue from low dormancy seeds in the population. Adaptation resulting from selection of this low dormancy proportion is likely to reduce the overall population chilling requirement. Seedling emergence is also likely to keep pace with the advancement of biological spring, enabling A. petiolata to maintain its strategy of establishment before the woodland canopy closes. However, this potential for adaptation may be countered by increased seed mortality in the seed bank as soils warm. © 2018 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  20. Electron energy loss spectroscopy of excitons in two-dimensional-semiconductors as a function of temperature

    Tizei, Luiz H. G.; Lin, Yung-Chang; Lu, Ang-Yd; Li, Lain-Jong; Suenaga, Kazu

    2016-01-01

    We have explored the benefits of performing monochromated Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy(EELS) in samples at cryogenic temperatures. As an example, we have observed the excitonic absorption peaks in single layer Transition Metal Dichalcogenides. These peaks appear separated by small energies due to spin orbit coupling. We have been able to distinguish the split for MoS2 below 300 K and for MoSe2 below 220 K. However, the distinction between peaks is only clear at 150 K. We have measured the change in absorption threshold between 150 K and 770 K for MoS2 and MoSe2. We discuss the effect of carbon and ice contamination in EELSspectra. The increased spectral resolution available made possible with modern monochromators in electron microscopes will require the development of stable sample holders which reaches temperatures far below that of liquid nitrogen.

  1. Electron energy loss spectroscopy of excitons in two-dimensional-semiconductors as a function of temperature

    Tizei, Luiz H. G.

    2016-04-21

    We have explored the benefits of performing monochromated Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy(EELS) in samples at cryogenic temperatures. As an example, we have observed the excitonic absorption peaks in single layer Transition Metal Dichalcogenides. These peaks appear separated by small energies due to spin orbit coupling. We have been able to distinguish the split for MoS2 below 300 K and for MoSe2 below 220 K. However, the distinction between peaks is only clear at 150 K. We have measured the change in absorption threshold between 150 K and 770 K for MoS2 and MoSe2. We discuss the effect of carbon and ice contamination in EELSspectra. The increased spectral resolution available made possible with modern monochromators in electron microscopes will require the development of stable sample holders which reaches temperatures far below that of liquid nitrogen.

  2. Isokinetic eccentric resistance training prevents loss in mechanical muscle function after running

    Oliveira, Anderson S. C.; Caputo, Fabrizio; Aagaard, Per

    2013-01-01

    session, subjects performed treadmill running (~35 min) and the previously mentioned measurements were repeated immediately after running. Subsequently, subjects were randomized to training (n = 12) consisting of 24 sessions of maximal IERT knee extensors actions at 180° s(-1), or served as controls (n...... damages. However, IERT may not avoid reductions in explosive muscle actions. In turn, this may allow more intense training sessions to be performed, facilitating the adaptive response to running training.......The aim of the study was to verify whether 8 weeks of resistance training employing maximal isokinetic eccentric (IERT) knee extensor actions would reduce the acute force loss observed after high-intensity treadmill running exercise. It was hypothesized that specific IERT would induce protective...

  3. Functional changes at the preferred retinal locus in subjects with bilateral central vision loss.

    Krishnan, Arun Kumar; Bedell, Harold E

    2018-01-01

    Subjects with bilateral central vision loss (CVL) use a retinal region called the preferred retinal locus (PRL) for performing various visual tasks. We probed the fixation PRL in individuals with bilateral macular disease, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Stargardt disease (STGD), for localized sensitivity deficits. Three letter words at the critical print size were presented in the NIDEK MP-1 microperimeter to determine the fixation PRL and its radial retinal eccentricity from the residual fovea in 29 subjects with bilateral CVL. Fixation stability was defined as the median bivariate contour ellipse area (BCEA) from 3 fixation assessments. A standard 10-2 grid (68 locations, 2° apart) was used to determine central retinal sensitivity for Goldmann size II test spots. Baseline and follow-up supra-threshold screening of the fixation PRL for localized sensitivity deficits was performed using high density (0.2° or 0.3° apart) 0 dB Goldmann size II test spots. Custom MATLAB code and a dual bootstrapping algorithm were used to register test-spot locations from the baseline and follow-up tests. Locations where the 0 dB test spots were not seen on either test were labeled as micro-scotomas (MSs). Median BCEA correlated poorly with the radial eccentricity of the fixation PRL. Mean (±SD) sensitivity around the PRL from 10-2 testing was 4.93 ± 4.73 dB. The average percentage of MSs was similar for patients with AMD (25.4%), STGD (20.3%), and other etiologies of CVL (27.1%). The fixation PRL in subjects with bilateral CVL frequently includes local regions of sensitivity loss.

  4. Mercury exposure induces cytoskeleton disruption and loss of renal function through epigenetic modulation of MMP9 expression.

    Khan, Hafizurrahman; Singh, Radha Dutt; Tiwari, Ratnakar; Gangopadhyay, Siddhartha; Roy, Somendu Kumar; Singh, Dhirendra; Srivastava, Vikas

    2017-07-01

    Mercury is one of the major heavy metal pollutants occurring in elemental, inorganic and organic forms. Due to ban on most inorganic mercury containing products, human exposure to mercury generally occurs as methylmercury (MeHg) by consumption of contaminated fish and other sea food. Animal and epidemiological studies indicate that MeHg affects neural and renal function. Our study is focused on nephrotoxic potential of MeHg. In this study, we have shown for the first time how MeHg could epigenetically modulate matrix metalloproteinase 9(MMP9) to promote nephrotoxicity using an animal model of sub chronic MeHg exposure. MeHg caused renal toxicity as was seen by increased levels of serum creatinine and expression of early nephrotoxicity markers (KIM-1, Clusterin, IP-10, and TIMP). MeHg exposure also correlated strongly with induction of MMP9 mRNA and protein in a dose dependent manner. Further, while induction of MMP9 promoted cytoskeleton disruption and loss of cell-cell adhesion (loss of F-actin, Vimentin and Fibronectin), inhibition of MMP9 was found to reduce these disruptions. Mechanistic studies by ChIP analysis showed that MeHg modulated MMP9 by promoting demethylation of its regulatory region to increase its expression. Bisulfite sequencing identified critical CpGs in the first exon of MMP9 which were demethylated following MeHg exposure. ChIP studies also showed loss of methyl binding protein, MeCP2 and transcription factor PEA3 at the demethylated site confirming decreased CpG methylation. Our studies thus show how MeHg could epigenetically modulate MMP9 to promote cytoskeleton disruption leading to loss of renal function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Vanishing Clams on an Iberian Beach: Local Consequences and Global Implications of Accelerating Loss of Shells to Tourism

    Kowalewski, Michał; Domènech, Rosa; Martinell, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    Multi-decadal increase in shell removal by tourists, a process that may accelerate degradation of natural habitats, was quantified via two series of monthly surveys, conducted thirty years apart (1978–1981 and 2008–2010) in one small embayment on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Over the last three decades, the local tourist arrivals have increased almost three-fold (2.74), while the area has remained unaffected by urban encroachment and commercial fisheries. During the same time interval the abundance of mollusk shells along the shoreline decreased by a comparable factor (2.62) and was significantly and negatively correlated with tourist arrivals (r = −0.52). The strength of the correlation increased when data were restricted to months with high tourist arrivals (r = −0.72). In contrast, the maximum monthly wave energy (an indirect proxy for changes in rate of onshore shell transport) was not significantly correlated with shell abundance (r = 0.10). Similarly, rank dominance of common species, drilling predation intensity, and body size-frequency distribution patterns have all remained stable over recent decades. A four-fold increase in global tourist arrivals over the last 30 years may have induced a comparable worldwide acceleration in shell removal from marine shorelines, resulting in multiple, currently unquantifiable, habitat changes such as increased beach erosion, changes in calcium carbonate recycling, and declines in diversity and abundance of organisms, which are dependent on shell availability. PMID:24421895

  6. Vanishing clams on an Iberian beach: local consequences and global implications of accelerating loss of shells to tourism.

    Kowalewski, Michał; Domènech, Rosa; Martinell, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    Multi-decadal increase in shell removal by tourists, a process that may accelerate degradation of natural habitats, was quantified via two series of monthly surveys, conducted thirty years apart (1978-1981 and 2008-2010) in one small embayment on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Over the last three decades, the local tourist arrivals have increased almost three-fold (2.74), while the area has remained unaffected by urban encroachment and commercial fisheries. During the same time interval the abundance of mollusk shells along the shoreline decreased by a comparable factor (2.62) and was significantly and negatively correlated with tourist arrivals (r = -0.52). The strength of the correlation increased when data were restricted to months with high tourist arrivals (r = -0.72). In contrast, the maximum monthly wave energy (an indirect proxy for changes in rate of onshore shell transport) was not significantly correlated with shell abundance (r = 0.10). Similarly, rank dominance of common species, drilling predation intensity, and body size-frequency distribution patterns have all remained stable over recent decades. A four-fold increase in global tourist arrivals over the last 30 years may have induced a comparable worldwide acceleration in shell removal from marine shorelines, resulting in multiple, currently unquantifiable, habitat changes such as increased beach erosion, changes in calcium carbonate recycling, and declines in diversity and abundance of organisms, which are dependent on shell availability.

  7. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  8. Dimensions of biodiversity loss: Spatial mismatch in land-use impacts on species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of European bees.

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Bugter, Rob; Ferrier, Simon; Hoskins, Andrew J; Potts, Simon G; Roberts, Stuart P M; Schweiger, Oliver; Purvis, Andy

    2017-12-01

    Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more comprehensive understanding of human impacts on bee diversity across Europe, we assess multiple, complementary indices of diversity. One Thousand four hundred and forty six sites across Europe. We collated data on bee occurrence and abundance from the published literature and supplemented them with the PREDICTS database. Using Rao's Quadratic Entropy, we assessed how species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of 1,446 bee communities respond to land-use characteristics including land-use class, cropland intensity, human population density and distance to roads. We combined these models with statistically downscaled estimates of land use in 2005 to estimate and map-at a scale of approximately 1 km 2 -the losses in diversity relative to semi-natural/natural baseline (the predicted diversity of an uninhabited grid square, consisting only of semi-natural/natural vegetation). We show that-relative to the predicted local diversity in uninhabited semi-natural/natural habitat-half of all EU27 countries have lost over 10% of their average local species diversity and two-thirds of countries have lost over 5% of their average local functional and phylogenetic diversity. All diversity measures were generally lower in pasture and higher-intensity cropland than in semi-natural/natural vegetation, but facets of diversity showed less consistent responses to human population density. These differences have led to marked spatial mismatches in losses: losses in phylogenetic diversity were in some areas almost 20 percentage points (pp.) more severe than losses in species diversity, but in other areas losses were almost 40 pp. less severe. These results highlight the importance of exploring

  9. The role of MAC1 in diesel exhaust particle-induced microglial activation and loss of dopaminergic neuron function.

    Levesque, Shannon; Taetzsch, Thomas; Lull, Melinda E; Johnson, Jo Anne; McGraw, Constance; Block, Michelle L

    2013-06-01

    Increasing reports support that air pollution causes neuroinflammation and is linked to central nervous system (CNS) disease/damage. Diesel exhaust particles (DEP) are a major component of urban air pollution, which has been linked to microglial activation and Parkinson's disease-like pathology. To begin to address how DEP may exert CNS effects, microglia and neuron-glia cultures were treated with either nanometer-sized DEP (neuron function was assessed. All three treatments showed enhanced ameboid microglia morphology, increased H2 O2 production, and decreased DA uptake. Mechanistic inquiry revealed that the scavenger receptor inhibitor fucoidan blocked DEP internalization in microglia, but failed to alter DEP-induced H2 O2 production in microglia. However, pre-treatment with the MAC1/CD11b inhibitor antibody blocked microglial H2 O2 production in response to DEP. MAC1(-/-) mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures were protected from DEP-induced loss of DA neuron function, as measured by DA uptake. These findings support that DEP may activate microglia through multiple mechanisms, where scavenger receptors regulate internalization of DEP and the MAC1 receptor is mandatory for both DEP-induced microglial H2 O2 production and loss of DA neuron function. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  10. Loss of Geminin induces rereplication in the presence of functional p53

    Melixetian, Marina; Ballabeni, Andrea; Masiero, Laura

    2004-01-01

    nuclear foci. Abrogation of the checkpoint leads to abortive mitosis and death of rereplicated cells. In addition, we demonstrate that the induction of rereplication is dependent on the replication initiation factors CDT1 and CDC6, and independent of the functional status of p53. These data show...

  11. Loss of Retinal Function and Pigment Epithelium Changes in a Patient with Common Variable Immunodeficiency

    Jakob Halborg

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID has only scarcely been associated with ocular symptoms and rarely with retinal disease. In this case we describe a patient with distinct morphological and functional alterations in the retina. The patient presents with characteristic changes in retinal pigment epithelium, autofluorescence, and electrophysiology.

  12. Loss of Olfactory Function and Nutritional Status in Vital Older Adults and Geriatric Patients

    Toussaint, N.; Roon, de M.; Campen, van J.P.C.M.; Kremer, S.; Boesveldt, S.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the association of olfactory function and nutritional status in vital older adults and geriatric patients. Three hundred forty-five vital (mean age 67.1 years) and 138 geriatric older adults (mean age 80.9 years) were included. Nutritional status

  13. Comparing methods to combine functional loss and mortality in clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    van Eijk RPA

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Ruben PA van Eijk,1 Marinus JC Eijkemans,2 Dimitris Rizopoulos,3 Leonard H van den Berg,4,* Stavros Nikolakopoulos5,* 1Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; 2Department of Biostatistics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; 3Department of Biostatistics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; 4Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; 5Department of Biostatistics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands *These authors contributed equally to this work Objective: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS clinical trials based on single end points only partially capture the full treatment effect when both function and mortality are affected, and may falsely dismiss efficacious drugs as futile. We aimed to investigate the statistical properties of several strategies for the simultaneous analysis of function and mortality in ALS clinical trials. Methods: Based on the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT database, we simulated longitudinal patterns of functional decline, defined by the revised amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R and conditional survival time. Different treatment scenarios with varying effect sizes were simulated with follow-up ranging from 12 to 18 months. We considered the following analytical strategies: 1 Cox model; 2 linear mixed effects (LME model; 3 omnibus test based on Cox and LME models; 4 composite time-to-6-point decrease or death; 5 combined assessment of function and survival (CAFS; and 6 test based on joint modeling framework. For each analytical strategy, we calculated the empirical power and sample size. Results: Both Cox and LME models have increased false-negative rates when treatment exclusively affects either function or survival. The joint model has superior power compared to other strategies. The composite end point

  14. Inadmissibility of Usual and Mixed Estimators of Two Ordered Gamma Scale Parameters Under Reflected Gamma Loss Function

    Z. Meghnatisi; N. Nematollahi

    2009-01-01

    Let Xi1, · · · , Xini be a random sample from a gamma distribution with known shape parameter νi > 0 and unknown scale parameter βi > 0, i = 1, 2, satisfying 0 < β1 6 β2. We consider the class of mixed estimators for estimation of β1 and β2 under reflected gamma loss function. It has been shown that the minimum risk equivariant estimator of βi, i = 1, 2, which is admissible when no information on the ordering of parameters are given, is inadmissible and dominated by a cla...

  15. Common loss-of-function variants of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin are a major predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis

    Palmer, Colin N A; Irvine, Alan D; Terron-Kwiatkowski, Ana

    2006-01-01

    most genetic studies have focused on immunological mechanisms, a primary epithelial barrier defect has been anticipated. Filaggrin is a key protein that facilitates terminal differentiation of the epidermis and formation of the skin barrier. Here we show that two independent loss-of-function genetic...... variants (R510X and 2282del4) in the gene encoding filaggrin (FLG) are very strong predisposing factors for atopic dermatitis. These variants are carried by approximately 9% of people of European origin. These variants also show highly significant association with asthma occurring in the context of atopic...

  16. Seeing the sound after visual loss: functional MRI in acquired auditory-visual synesthesia.

    Yong, Zixin; Hsieh, Po-Jang; Milea, Dan

    2017-02-01

    Acquired auditory-visual synesthesia (AVS) is a rare neurological sign, in which specific auditory stimulation triggers visual experience. In this study, we used event-related fMRI to explore the brain regions correlated with acquired monocular sound-induced phosphenes, which occurred 2 months after unilateral visual loss due to an ischemic optic neuropathy. During the fMRI session, 1-s pure tones at various pitches were presented to the patient, who was asked to report occurrence of sound-induced phosphenes by pressing one of the two buttons (yes/no). The brain activation during phosphene-experienced trials was contrasted with non-phosphene trials and compared to results obtained in one healthy control subject who underwent the same fMRI protocol. Our results suggest, for the first time, that acquired AVS occurring after visual impairment is associated with bilateral activation of primary and secondary visual cortex, possibly due to cross-wiring between auditory and visual sensory modalities.

  17. Effects of a weight loss plus exercise program on physical function in overweight, older women: a randomized controlled trial

    Anton SD

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Stephen D Anton1,2, Todd M Manini1, Vanessa A Milsom2, Pamela Dubyak2, Matteo Cesari3, Jing Cheng4, Michael J Daniels5, Michael Marsiske2, Marco Pahor1, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh1, Michael G Perri21Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 2Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 3Area di Geriatria, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy; 4Division of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health, San Francisco, CA, USA; 5Department of Statistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USABackground: Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with physical impairments and biologic changes in older adults. Weight loss combined with exercise may reduce inflammation and improve physical functioning in overweight, sedentary, older adults. This study tested whether a weight loss program combined with moderate exercise could improve physical function in obese, older adult women.Methods: Participants (n = 34 were generally healthy, obese, older adult women (age range 55–79 years with mild to moderate physical impairments (ie, functional limitations. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups for 24 weeks: (i weight loss plus exercise (WL+E; n = 17; mean age = 63.7 years [4.5] or (ii educational control (n = 17; mean age = 63.7 [6.7]. In the WL+E group, participants attended a group-based weight management session plus three supervised exercise sessions within their community each week. During exercise sessions, participants engaged in brisk walking and lower-body resistance training of moderate intensity. Participants in the educational control group attended monthly health education lectures on topics relevant to older adults. Outcomes were: (i body weight, (ii walking speed (assessed by 400-meter walk test, (iii the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB, and (iv knee extension isokinetic strength.Results: Participants randomized

  18. Sequential Optimization of Global Sequence Alignments Relative to Different Cost Functions

    Odat, Enas M.

    2011-05-01

    The purpose of this dissertation is to present a methodology to model global sequence alignment problem as directed acyclic graph which helps to extract all possible optimal alignments. Moreover, a mechanism to sequentially optimize sequence alignment problem relative to different cost functions is suggested. Sequence alignment is mostly important in computational biology. It is used to find evolutionary relationships between biological sequences. There are many algo- rithms that have been developed to solve this problem. The most famous algorithms are Needleman-Wunsch and Smith-Waterman that are based on dynamic program- ming. In dynamic programming, problem is divided into a set of overlapping sub- problems and then the solution of each subproblem is found. Finally, the solutions to these subproblems are combined into a final solution. In this thesis it has been proved that for two sequences of length m and n over a fixed alphabet, the suggested optimization procedure requires O(mn) arithmetic operations per cost function on a single processor machine. The algorithm has been simulated using C#.Net programming language and a number of experiments have been done to verify the proved statements. The results of these experiments show that the number of optimal alignments is reduced after each step of optimization. Furthermore, it has been verified that as the sequence length increased linearly then the number of optimal alignments increased exponentially which also depends on the cost function that is used. Finally, the number of executed operations increases polynomially as the sequence length increase linearly.

  19. Impaired coupling of local and global functional feedbacks underlies abnormal synchronization and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

    Noh, Kyungchul; Shin, Kyung Soon; Shin, Dongkwan; Hwang, Jae Yeon; Kim, June Sic; Jang, Joon Hwan; Chung, Chun Kee; Kwon, Jun Soo; Cho, Kwang-Hyun

    2013-04-10

    Abnormal synchronization of brain oscillations is found to be associated with various core symptoms of schizophrenia. However, the underlying mechanism of this association remains yet to be elucidated. In this study, we found that coupled local and global feedback (CLGF) circuits in the cortical functional network are related to the abnormal synchronization and also correlated to the negative symptom of schizophrenia. Analysis of the magnetoencephalography data obtained from patients with chronic schizophrenia during rest revealed an increase in beta band synchronization and a reduction in gamma band power compared to healthy controls. Using a feedback identification method based on non-causal impulse responses, we constructed functional feedback networks and found that CLGF circuits were significantly reduced in schizophrenia. From computational analysis on the basis of the Wilson-Cowan model, we unraveled that the CLGF circuits are critically involved in the abnormal synchronization and the dynamical switching between beta and gamma bands power in schizophrenia. Moreover, we found that the abundance of CLGF circuits was negatively correlated with the development of negative symptoms of schizophrenia, suggesting that the negative symptom is closely related to the impairment of this circuit. Our study implicates that patients with schizophrenia might have the impaired coupling of inter- and intra-regional functional feedbacks and that the CLGF circuit might serve as a critical bridge between abnormal synchronization and the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

  20. Green energy facilitated? The uncertain function of the global environment facility

    Young, Z.; Boehmer-Christiansen, S.

    1998-01-01

    The GEF remains the interim operating entity of the financial mechanism, the aid provider, for the Climate Change Convention (FCCC); It had 1.6 billion dollars to spend between 1994 and 1997 on the 'incremental costs' of implementing UN environmental conventions in eligible countries. The paper describes how this multilateral fund has functioned so far in the energy-environment arena, analyzing its governance and policies, decision-making criteria, project cycle and strategies for monitoring and evaluation. Through the patterns of GEF assistance to climate change related science, technologies and institutions, we explore the origins and wider purposes of the entity and in the process illuminate some assumptions and principles underlying the work of the GEF Secretariat and associated bureaucracies. What can realistically be expected should GEF become a more permanent fund for 'global environmental benefits' after current negotiations for its second replenishment? (author)

  1. Uncertainty of Monetary Valued Ecosystem Services - Value Transfer Functions for Global Mapping.

    Stefan Schmidt

    Full Text Available Growing demand of resources increases pressure on ecosystem services (ES and biodiversity. Monetary valuation of ES is frequently seen as a decision-support tool by providing explicit values for unconsidered, non-market goods and services. Here we present global value transfer functions by using a meta-analytic framework for the synthesis of 194 case studies capturing 839 monetary values of ES. For 12 ES the variance of monetary values could be explained with a subset of 93 study- and site-specific variables by utilizing boosted regression trees. This provides the first global quantification of uncertainties and transferability of monetary valuations. Models explain from 18% (water provision to 44% (food provision of variance and provide statistically reliable extrapolations for 70% (water provision to 91% (food provision of the terrestrial earth surface. Although the application of different valuation methods is a source of uncertainty, we found evidence that assuming homogeneity of ecosystems is a major error in value transfer function models. Food provision is positively correlated with better life domains and variables indicating positive conditions for human well-being. Water provision and recreation service show that weak ownerships affect valuation of other common goods negatively (e.g. non-privately owned forests. Furthermore, we found support for the shifting baseline hypothesis in valuing climate regulation. Ecological conditions and societal vulnerability determine valuation of extreme event prevention. Valuation of habitat services is negatively correlated with indicators characterizing less favorable areas. Our analysis represents a stepping stone to establish a standardized integration of and reporting on uncertainties for reliable and valid benefit transfer as an important component for decision support.

  2. Uncertainty of Monetary Valued Ecosystem Services – Value Transfer Functions for Global Mapping

    Schmidt, Stefan; Manceur, Ameur M.; Seppelt, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    Growing demand of resources increases pressure on ecosystem services (ES) and biodiversity. Monetary valuation of ES is frequently seen as a decision-support tool by providing explicit values for unconsidered, non-market goods and services. Here we present global value transfer functions by using a meta-analytic framework for the synthesis of 194 case studies capturing 839 monetary values of ES. For 12 ES the variance of monetary values could be explained with a subset of 93 study- and site-specific variables by utilizing boosted regression trees. This provides the first global quantification of uncertainties and transferability of monetary valuations. Models explain from 18% (water provision) to 44% (food provision) of variance and provide statistically reliable extrapolations for 70% (water provision) to 91% (food provision) of the terrestrial earth surface. Although the application of different valuation methods is a source of uncertainty, we found evidence that assuming homogeneity of ecosystems is a major error in value transfer function models. Food provision is positively correlated with better life domains and variables indicating positive conditions for human well-being. Water provision and recreation service show that weak ownerships affect valuation of other common goods negatively (e.g. non-privately owned forests). Furthermore, we found support for the shifting baseline hypothesis in valuing climate regulation. Ecological conditions and societal vulnerability determine valuation of extreme event prevention. Valuation of habitat services is negatively correlated with indicators characterizing less favorable areas. Our analysis represents a stepping stone to establish a standardized integration of and reporting on uncertainties for reliable and valid benefit transfer as an important component for decision support. PMID:26938447

  3. Loss of TRPV4 Function Suppresses Inflammatory Fibrosis Induced by Alkali-Burning Mouse Corneas.

    Yuka Okada

    Full Text Available In humans suffering from pulmonary disease and a mouse model, transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4 channel activation contributes to fibrosis. As a corneal alkali burn induces the same response, we determined if such an effect is also attributable to TRPV4 activation in mice. Accordingly, we determined if the alkali burn wound healing responses in wild-type (WT mice are different than those in their TRPV4-null (KO counterpart. Stromal opacification due to fibrosis in KO (n = 128 mice was markedly reduced after 20 days relative to that in WT (n = 157 mice. Immunohistochemistry revealed that increases in polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophage infiltration declined in KO mice. Semi-quantitative real time RT-PCR of ocular KO fibroblast cultures identified increases in proinflammatory and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 chemoattractant gene expression after injury. Biomarker gene expression of fibrosis, collagen1a1 and α-smooth muscle actin were attenuated along with macrophage release of interleukin-6 whereas transforming growth factor β, release was unchanged. Tail vein reciprocal bone marrow transplantation between WT and KO chimera mouse models mice showed that reduced scarring and inflammation in KO mice are due to loss of TRPV4 expression on both corneal resident immune cells, fibroblasts and infiltrating polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages. Intraperitoneal TRPV4 receptor antagonist injection of HC-067047 (10 mg/kg, daily into WT mice reproduced the KO-phenotype. Taken together, alkali-induced TRPV4 activation contributes to inducing fibrosis and inflammation since corneal transparency recovery was markedly improved in KO mice.

  4. Loss of TRPV4 Function Suppresses Inflammatory Fibrosis Induced by Alkali-Burning Mouse Corneas.

    Okada, Yuka; Shirai, Kumi; Miyajima, Masayasu; Reinach, Peter S; Yamanaka, Osamu; Sumioka, Takayoshi; Kokado, Masahide; Tomoyose, Katsuo; Saika, Shizuya

    2016-01-01

    In humans suffering from pulmonary disease and a mouse model, transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) channel activation contributes to fibrosis. As a corneal alkali burn induces the same response, we determined if such an effect is also attributable to TRPV4 activation in mice. Accordingly, we determined if the alkali burn wound healing responses in wild-type (WT) mice are different than those in their TRPV4-null (KO) counterpart. Stromal opacification due to fibrosis in KO (n = 128) mice was markedly reduced after 20 days relative to that in WT (n = 157) mice. Immunohistochemistry revealed that increases in polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophage infiltration declined in KO mice. Semi-quantitative real time RT-PCR of ocular KO fibroblast cultures identified increases in proinflammatory and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 chemoattractant gene expression after injury. Biomarker gene expression of fibrosis, collagen1a1 and α-smooth muscle actin were attenuated along with macrophage release of interleukin-6 whereas transforming growth factor β, release was unchanged. Tail vein reciprocal bone marrow transplantation between WT and KO chimera mouse models mice showed that reduced scarring and inflammation in KO mice are due to loss of TRPV4 expression on both corneal resident immune cells, fibroblasts and infiltrating polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages. Intraperitoneal TRPV4 receptor antagonist injection of HC-067047 (10 mg/kg, daily) into WT mice reproduced the KO-phenotype. Taken together, alkali-induced TRPV4 activation contributes to inducing fibrosis and inflammation since corneal transparency recovery was markedly improved in KO mice.

  5. SDHA loss of function mutations in a subset of young adult wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumors

    Italiano, Antoine; Chen, Chun-Liang; Sung, Yun-Shao; Singer, Samuel; DeMatteo, Ronald P; LaQuaglia, Michael P; Besmer, Peter; Socci, Nicholas; Antonescu, Cristina R

    2012-01-01

    A subset of KIT/PDGFRA wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumors (WT GIST) have been associated with alteration of the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex II function. A recent report identified four non-syndromic, KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST harboring compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations in SDHA encoding the main subunit of the SDH complex II. Next generation sequencing was applied on five pediatric and one young adult WT GIST, by whole exome capture and SOLiD 3-plus system sequencing. The putative mutations were first confirmed by Sanger sequencing and then screened on a larger panel of 11 pediatric and young adult WT GIST, including 5 in the context of Carney triad. A germline p.Arg31X nonsense SDHA mutation was identified in one of the six cases tested by SOLiD platform. An additional p.D38V missense mutation in SDHA exon 2 was identified by Sanger sequencing in the extended KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST patients cohort. Western blotting showed loss of SDHA expression in the two cases harboring SDHA mutations, while expression being retained in the other WT GIST tumors. Results were further confirmed by immunohistochemistry for both SDHA and SDHB, which showed a concurrent loss of expression of both proteins in SDHA-mutant lesions, while the remaining WT tumors showed only loss of SDHB expression. Germline and/or somatic aberrations of SDHA occur in a small subset of KIT/PDGFRA WT GISTs, outside the Carney’s triad and are associated with loss of both SDHA and SDHB protein expression. Mutations of the SDH complex II are more particularly associated with KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST occurring in young adults. Although pediatric GIST consistently display alterations of SDHB protein expression, further molecular studies are needed to identify the crucial genes involved in their tumorigenesis

  6. Optimized VBM in patients with Alzheimer's disease: gray matter loss and its correlation with cognitive function

    Choi, Seon Hyeong; Moon, Won Jin; Chung, Eun Chul; Lee, Min Hee; Roh, Hong Gee; Park, Kwang Bo; Na, Duck Ryul [Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2005-11-15

    To investigate the regional changes in gray matter volume by using optimized voxel based morphometry in the whole brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to determine its correlation with cognitive function. Nineteen patients with AD (mean mini mental state examination (MMSE) score = 20.4) and 19 age-matched control subjects (mean MMSE score 29) participated in this prospective study. T1-weighted 3D-SPGR scans were obtained for each subject. These T1-weighted images were spatially normalized into study-specific T1 template and segmented into gray matter, white matter and CSF. After the images were modulated and smoothed, all of the gray matter images were compared with control images by using voxel-wise statistical parametric test (two-sample-test). In patients with AD, total gray matter volume was significantly smaller than normal control (552 {+-} 39 mL vs. 632 {+-} 51 mL, {rho} 0.001). Significant gray matter loss was seen in both the hippocampus and amygdala complexs, and the parahippocampi and frontoparietal cortices ({rho} < 0.01, family wise error corrected). Left cerebral atrophy was more prominent than the right. Loss of gray matter volume in both the superior frontal gyri and left inferior temporal gyrus had a strong correlation with lower MMSE score. Optimized VBM was able to visualize pathologic changes of AD in vivo. In AD there was widespread gray matter volume loss in the frontoparietal lobes as well as the medial temporal lobes and had a strong correlation between volume loss of specific cortical areas and MMSE score.

  7. Molecular characterization of the llama FGF5 gene and identification of putative loss of function mutations.

    Daverio, M S; Vidal-Rioja, L; Frank, E N; Di Rocco, F

    2017-12-01

    Llama, the most numerous domestic camelid in Argentina, has good fiber-production ability. Although a few genes related to other productive traits have been characterized, the molecular genetic basis of fiber growth control in camelids is still poorly understood. Fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5) is a secreted signaling protein that controls hair growth in humans and other mammals. Mutations in the FGF5 gene have been associated with long-hair phenotypes in several species. Here, we sequenced the llama FGF5 gene, which consists of three exons encoding 813 bp. cDNA analysis from hair follicles revealed the expression of two FGF5 alternative spliced transcripts, in one of which exon 2 is absent. DNA variation analysis showed four polymorphisms in the coding region: a synonymous SNP (c.210A>G), a single base deletion (c.348delA), a 12-bp insertion (c.351_352insCATATAACATAG) and a non-sense mutation (c.499C>T). The deletion was always found together with the insertion forming a haplotype and producing a putative truncated protein of 123 amino acids. The c.499C>T mutation also leads to a premature stop codon at position 168. In both cases, critical functional domains of FGF5, including one heparin binding site, are lost. All animals analyzed were homozygous for one of the deleterious mutations or compound heterozygous for both (i.e. c.348delA, c.351_352insCATATAACATAG/c.499T). Sequencing of guanaco samples showed that the FGF5 gene encodes a full-length 270-amino acid protein. These results suggest that FGF5 is likely functional in short-haired wild species and non-functional in the domestic fiber-producing species, the llama. © 2017 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  8. A semiquantitative MRI-Score can predict loss of lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis: Preliminary results

    Schaefer, Juergen F.; Schmidt, Katharina; Teufel, Matthias; Fleischer, Sabrina; Gatidis, Sergios; Schaefer, Susanne; Nikolaou, Konstantin; Tsiflikas, Ilias [University Hospital of Tuebingen, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Tuebingen (Germany); Hector, Andreas; Graepler-Mainka, Ute; Riethmueller, Joachim; Hartl, Dominik [University Children' s Hospital of Tuebingen, Department of Paediatrics I, Tuebingen (Germany)

    2018-01-15

    To evaluate the applicability of a semiquantitative MRI scoring system (MR-CF-S) as a prognostic marker for clinical course of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. This observational study of a single-centre CF cohort included a group of 61 patients (mean age 12.9 ± 4.7 years) receiving morphological and functional pulmonary MRI, pulmonary function testing (PFT) and follow-up of 2 years. MRI was analysed by three raters using MR-CF-S. The inter-rater agreement, correlation of score categories with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV{sub 1}) at baseline, and the predictive value of clinical parameters, and score categories was assessed for the whole cohort and a subgroup of 40 patients with moderately impaired lung function. The inter-rater agreement of MR-CF-S was sufficient (mean intraclass correlation coefficient 0.92). MR-CF-S (-0.62; p < 0.05) and most of the categories significantly correlated with FEV{sub 1}. Differences between patients with relevant loss of FEV{sub 1} (>3%/year) and normal course were only significant for MR-CF-S (p < 0.05) but not for clinical parameters. Centrilobular opacity (CO) was the most promising score category for prediction of a decline of FEV{sub 1} (area under curve: whole cohort 0.69; subgroup 0.86). MR-CF-S is promising to predict a loss of lung function. CO seems to be a particular finding in CF patients with an abnormal course. (orig.)

  9. Optimization of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing for loss-of-function in the early chick embryo.

    Gandhi, Shashank; Piacentino, Michael L; Vieceli, Felipe M; Bronner, Marianne E

    2017-12-01

    The advent of CRISPR/Cas9 has made genome editing possible in virtually any organism, including those not previously amenable to genetic manipulations. Here, we present an optimization of CRISPR/Cas9 for application to early avian embryos with improved efficiency via a three-fold strategy. First, we employed Cas9 protein flanked with two nuclear localization signal sequences for improved nuclear localization. Second, we used a modified guide RNA (gRNA) scaffold that obviates premature termination of transcription and unstable Cas9-gRNA interactions. Third, we used a chick-specific U6 promoter that yields 4-fold higher gRNA expression than the previously utilized human U6. For rapid screening of gRNAs for in vivo applications, we also generated a chicken fibroblast cell line that constitutively expresses Cas9. As proof of principle, we performed electroporation-based loss-of-function studies in the early chick embryo to knock out Pax7 and Sox10, key transcription factors with known functions in neural crest development. The results show that CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion causes loss of their respective proteins and transcripts, as well as predicted downstream targets. Taken together, the results reveal the utility of this optimized CRISPR/Cas9 method for targeted gene knockout in chicken embryos in a manner that is reproducible, robust and specific. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Duplication and Loss of Function of Genes Encoding RNA Polymerase III Subunit C4 Causes Hybrid Incompatibility in Rice

    Giao Ngoc Nguyen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive barriers are commonly observed in both animals and plants, in which they maintain species integrity and contribute to speciation. This report shows that a combination of loss-of-function alleles at two duplicated loci, DUPLICATED GAMETOPHYTIC STERILITY 1 (DGS1 on chromosome 4 and DGS2 on chromosome 7, causes pollen sterility in hybrid progeny derived from an interspecific cross between cultivated rice, Oryza sativa, and an Asian annual wild rice, O. nivara. Male gametes carrying the DGS1 allele from O. nivara (DGS1-nivaras and the DGS2 allele from O. sativa (DGS2-T65s were sterile, but female gametes carrying the same genotype were fertile. We isolated the causal gene, which encodes a protein homologous to DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP III subunit C4 (RPC4. RPC4 facilitates the transcription of 5S rRNAs and tRNAs. The loss-of-function alleles at DGS1-nivaras and DGS2-T65s were caused by weak or nonexpression of RPC4 and an absence of RPC4, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that gene duplication of RPC4 at DGS1 and DGS2 was a recent event that occurred after divergence of the ancestral population of Oryza from other Poaceae or during diversification of AA-genome species.

  11. Pancreatic β-Cell-Derived IP-10/CXCL10 Isletokine Mediates Early Loss of Graft Function in Islet Cell Transplantation.

    Yoshimatsu, Gumpei; Kunnathodi, Faisal; Saravanan, Prathab Balaji; Shahbazov, Rauf; Chang, Charles; Darden, Carly M; Zurawski, Sandra; Boyuk, Gulbahar; Kanak, Mazhar A; Levy, Marlon F; Naziruddin, Bashoo; Lawrence, Michael C

    2017-11-01

    Pancreatic islets produce and secrete cytokines and chemokines in response to inflammatory and metabolic stress. The physiological role of these "isletokines" in health and disease is largely unknown. We observed that islets release multiple inflammatory mediators in patients undergoing islet transplants within hours of infusion. The proinflammatory cytokine interferon-γ-induced protein 10 (IP-10/CXCL10) was among the highest released, and high levels correlated with poor islet transplant outcomes. Transgenic mouse studies confirmed that donor islet-specific expression of IP-10 contributed to islet inflammation and loss of β-cell function in islet grafts. The effects of islet-derived IP-10 could be blocked by treatment of donor islets and recipient mice with anti-IP-10 neutralizing monoclonal antibody. In vitro studies showed induction of the IP-10 gene was mediated by calcineurin-dependent NFAT signaling in pancreatic β-cells in response to oxidative or inflammatory stress. Sustained association of NFAT and p300 histone acetyltransferase with the IP-10 gene required p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity, which differentially regulated IP-10 expression and subsequent protein release. Overall, these findings elucidate an NFAT-MAPK signaling paradigm for induction of isletokine expression in β-cells and reveal IP-10 as a primary therapeutic target to prevent β-cell-induced inflammatory loss of graft function after islet cell transplantation. © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.

  12. Arthropods on plants in a fragmented Neotropical dry forest: a functional analysis of area loss and edge effects.

    González, Ezequiel; Salvo, Adriana; Valladares, Graciela

    2015-02-01

    Loss and fragmentation of natural ecosystems are widely recognized as the most important threats to biodiversity conservation, with Neotropical dry forests among the most endangered ecosystems. Area and edge effects are major factors in fragmented landscapes. Here, we examine area and edge effects and their interaction, on ensembles of arthropods associated to native vegetation in a fragmented Chaco Serrano forest. We analyzed family richness and community composition of herbivores, predators, and parasitoids on three native plant species in 12 fragments of varying size and at edge/interior positions. We also looked for indicator families by using Indicator Species Analysis. Loss of family richness with the reduction of forest fragment area was observed for the three functional groups, with similar magnitude. Herbivores were richer at the edges without interaction between edge and area effects, whereas predators were not affected by edge/interior position and parasitoid richness showed an interaction between area and position, with a steeper area slope at the edges. Family composition of herbivore, predator, and parasitoid assemblages was also affected by forest area and/or edge/interior situation. We found three indicator families for large remnants and five for edges. Our results support the key role of forest area for conservation of arthropods taxonomic and functional diversity in a highly threatened region, and emphasize the need to understand the interactions between area and edge effects on such diversity. © 2014 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  13. Increased ethanol consumption despite taste aversion in mice with a human tryptophan hydroxylase 2 loss of function mutation.

    Lemay, Francis; Doré, François Y; Beaulieu, Jean-Martin

    2015-11-16

    Polymorphisms in the gene encoding the brain serotonin synthesis enzyme Tph2 have been identified in mental illnesses, with co-morbidity of substance use disorder. However, little is known about the impact of Tph2 gene variants on addiction. Mice expressing a human Tph2 loss of function variant were used to investigate consequences of aversive conditions on ethanol intake. Mice were familiarized either with ethanol or a solution containing both ethanol and the bittering agent quinine. Effect of familiarization to ethanol or an ethanol-quinine solution was then evaluated using a two-bottles preference test in Tph2-KI and control littermates. Mice from both genotypes displayed similar levels of ethanol consumption and quinine avoidance when habituated to ethanol alone. In contrast, addition of quinine to ethanol during the familiarization period resulted in a reduction of avoidance for the quinine-ethanol solution only in mutant mice. These results indicate that loss of function mutation in Tph2 results in greater motivation for ethanol consumption under aversive conditions and may confer enhanced sensitivity to alcohol use disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Loss-of-function mutations in CAST cause peeling skin, leukonychia, acral punctate keratoses, cheilitis, and knuckle pads.

    Lin, Zhimiao; Zhao, Jiahui; Nitoiu, Daniela; Scott, Claire A; Plagnol, Vincent; Smith, Frances J D; Wilson, Neil J; Cole, Christian; Schwartz, Mary E; McLean, W H Irwin; Wang, Huijun; Feng, Cheng; Duo, Lina; Zhou, Eray Yihui; Ren, Yali; Dai, Lanlan; Chen, Yulan; Zhang, Jianguo; Xu, Xun; O'Toole, Edel A; Kelsell, David P; Yang, Yong

    2015-03-05

    Calpastatin is an endogenous specific inhibitor of calpain, a calcium-dependent cysteine protease. Here we show that loss-of-function mutations in calpastatin (CAST) are the genetic causes of an autosomal-recessive condition characterized by generalized peeling skin, leukonychia, acral punctate keratoses, cheilitis, and knuckle pads, which we propose to be given the acronym PLACK syndrome. In affected individuals with PLACK syndrome from three families of different ethnicities, we identified homozygous mutations (c.607dup, c.424A>T, and c.1750delG) in CAST, all of which were predicted to encode truncated proteins (p.Ile203Asnfs∗8, p.Lys142∗, and p.Val584Trpfs∗37). Immunohistochemistry shows that staining of calpastatin is reduced in skin from affected individuals. Transmission electron microscopy revealed widening of intercellular spaces with chromatin condensation and margination in the upper stratum spinosum in lesional skin, suggesting impaired intercellular adhesion as well as keratinocyte apoptosis. A significant increase of apoptotic keratinocytes was also observed in TUNEL assays. In vitro studies utilizing siRNA-mediated CAST knockdown revealed a role for calpastatin in keratinocyte adhesion. In summary, we describe PLACK syndrome, as a clinical entity of defective epidermal adhesion, caused by loss-of-function mutations in CAST. Copyright © 2015 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Global Convergence of Arbitrary-Block Gradient Methods for Generalized Polyak-{\\L} ojasiewicz Functions

    Csiba, Dominik

    2017-09-09

    In this paper we introduce two novel generalizations of the theory for gradient descent type methods in the proximal setting. First, we introduce the proportion function, which we further use to analyze all known (and many new) block-selection rules for block coordinate descent methods under a single framework. This framework includes randomized methods with uniform, non-uniform or even adaptive sampling strategies, as well as deterministic methods with batch, greedy or cyclic selection rules. Second, the theory of strongly-convex optimization was recently generalized to a specific class of non-convex functions satisfying the so-called Polyak-{\\\\L}ojasiewicz condition. To mirror this generalization in the weakly convex case, we introduce the Weak Polyak-{\\\\L}ojasiewicz condition, using which we give global convergence guarantees for a class of non-convex functions previously not considered in theory. Additionally, we establish (necessarily somewhat weaker) convergence guarantees for an even larger class of non-convex functions satisfying a certain smoothness assumption only. By combining the two abovementioned generalizations we recover the state-of-the-art convergence guarantees for a large class of previously known methods and setups as special cases of our general framework. Moreover, our frameworks allows for the derivation of new guarantees for many new combinations of methods and setups, as well as a large class of novel non-convex objectives. The flexibility of our approach offers a lot of potential for future research, as a new block selection procedure will have a convergence guarantee for all objectives considered in our framework, while a new objective analyzed under our approach will have a whole fleet of block selection rules with convergence guarantees readily available.

  16. A global view of structure-function relationships in the tautomerase superfamily.

    Davidson, Rebecca; Baas, Bert-Jan; Akiva, Eyal; Holliday, Gemma L; Polacco, Benjamin J; LeVieux, Jake A; Pullara, Collin R; Zhang, Yan Jessie; Whitman, Christian P; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2018-02-16

    The tautomerase superfamily (TSF) consists of more than 11,000 nonredundant sequences present throughout the biosphere. Characterized members have attracted much attention because of the unusual and key catalytic role of an N-terminal proline. These few characterized members catalyze a diverse range of chemical reactions, but the full scale of their chemical capabilities and biological functions remains unknown. To gain new insight into TSF structure-function relationships, we performed a global analysis of similarities across the entire superfamily and computed a sequence similarity network to guide classification into distinct subgroups. Our results indicate that TSF members are found in all domains of life, with most being present in bacteria. The eukaryotic members of the cis -3-chloroacrylic acid dehalogenase subgroup are limited to fungal species, whereas the macrophage migration inhibitory factor subgroup has wide eukaryotic representation (including mammals). Unexpectedly, we found that 346 TSF sequences lack Pro-1, of which 85% are present in the malonate semialdehyde decarboxylase subgroup. The computed network also enabled the identification of similarity paths, namely sequences that link functionally diverse subgroups and exhibit transitional structural features that may help explain reaction divergence. A structure-guided comparison of these linker proteins identified conserved transitions between them, and kinetic analysis paralleled these observations. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the linker set was consistent with these findings. Our results also suggest that contemporary TSF members may have evolved from a short 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase-like ancestor followed by gene duplication and fusion. Our new linker-guided strategy can be used to enrich the discovery of sequence/structure/function transitions in other enzyme superfamilies. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  17. Global Convergence of Arbitrary-Block Gradient Methods for Generalized Polyak-{\\L} ojasiewicz Functions

    Csiba, Dominik; Richtarik, Peter

    2017-01-01

    In this paper we introduce two novel generalizations of the theory for gradient descent type methods in the proximal setting. First, we introduce the proportion function, which we further use to analyze all known (and many new) block-selection rules for block coordinate descent methods under a single framework. This framework includes randomized methods with uniform, non-uniform or even adaptive sampling strategies, as well as deterministic methods with batch, greedy or cyclic selection rules. Second, the theory of strongly-convex optimization was recently generalized to a specific class of non-convex functions satisfying the so-called Polyak-{\\L}ojasiewicz condition. To mirror this generalization in the weakly convex case, we introduce the Weak Polyak-{\\L}ojasiewicz condition, using which we give global convergence guarantees for a class of non-convex functions previously not considered in theory. Additionally, we establish (necessarily somewhat weaker) convergence guarantees for an even larger class of non-convex functions satisfying a certain smoothness assumption only. By combining the two abovementioned generalizations we recover the state-of-the-art convergence guarantees for a large class of previously known methods and setups as special cases of our general framework. Moreover, our frameworks allows for the derivation of new guarantees for many new combinations of methods and setups, as well as a large class of novel non-convex objectives. The flexibility of our approach offers a lot of potential for future research, as a new block selection procedure will have a convergence guarantee for all objectives considered in our framework, while a new objective analyzed under our approach will have a whole fleet of block selection rules with convergence guarantees readily available.

  18. Progressive Loss of Function in a Limb Enhancer during Snake Evolution

    Kvon, Evgeny Z.; Kamneva, Olga K.; Melo, Uirá S.; Barozzi, Iros; Osterwalder, Marco; Mannion, Brandon J.; Tissières, Virginie; Pickle, Catherine S.; Plajzer-Frick, Ingrid; Lee, Elizabeth A.; Kato, Momoe; Garvin, Tyler H.; Akiyama, Jennifer A.; Afzal, Veena; Lopez-Rios, Javier; Rubin, Edward M.; Dickel, Diane E.; Pennacchio, Len A.; Visel, Axel

    2016-10-20

    The evolution of body shape is thought to be tightly coupled to changes in regulatory sequences, but specific molecular events associated with major morphological transitions in vertebrates have remained elusive. In this paper, we identified snake-specific sequence changes within an otherwise highly conserved long-range limb enhancer of Sonic hedgehog (Shh). Transgenic mouse reporter assays revealed that the in vivo activity pattern of the enhancer is conserved across a wide range of vertebrates, including fish, but not in snakes. Genomic substitution of the mouse enhancer with its human or fish ortholog results in normal limb development. In contrast, replacement with snake orthologs caused severe limb reduction. Synthetic restoration of a single transcription factor binding site lost in the snake lineage reinstated full in vivo function to the snake enhancer. Our results demonstrate changes in a regulatory sequence associated with a major body plan transition and highlight the role of enhancers in morphological evolution.

  19. Enu mutagenesis identifies a novel platelet phenotype in a loss-of-function Jak2 allele.

    Nicole M Anderson

    Full Text Available Utilizing ENU mutagenesis, we identified a mutant mouse with elevated platelets. Genetic mapping localized the mutation to an interval on chromosome 19 that encodes the Jak2 tyrosine kinase. We identified a A3056T mutation resulting in a premature stop codon within exon 19 of Jak2 (Jak2(K915X, resulting in a protein truncation and functionally inactive enzyme. This novel platelet phenotype was also observed in mice bearing a hemizygous targeted disruption of the Jak2 locus (Jak2(+/-. Timed pregnancy experiments revealed that Jak2(K915X/K915X and Jak2(-/- displayed embryonic lethality; however, Jak2(K915X/K915X embryos were viable an additional two days compared to Jak2(-/- embryos. Our data suggest that perturbing JAK2 activation may have unexpected consequences in elevation of platelet number and correspondingly, important implications for treatment of hematological disorders with constitutive Jak2 activity.

  20. Sleep Extension before Sleep Loss: Effects on Performance and Neuromuscular Function.

    Arnal, Pierrick J; Lapole, Thomas; Erblang, Mégane; Guillard, Mathias; Bourrilhon, Cyprien; Léger, Damien; Chennaoui, Mounir; Millet, Guillaume Y

    2016-08-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effects of six nights of sleep extension on motor performance and associated neuromuscular function before and after one night of total sleep deprivation (TSD). Twelve healthy men participated in two experimental conditions (randomized crossover design): extended sleep (EXT, 9.8 ± 0.1 h time in bed) and habitual sleep (HAB, 8.2 ± 0.1 h time in bed). In each condition, subjects performed six nights of either EXT or HAB at home followed by an assessment of motor performance and neuromuscular function at baseline (D0) and after one night of TSD, i.e., 34-37 h of continuous wakefulness (D1). Maximal voluntary contractions with superimposed femoral nerve electrical and transcranial magnetic stimulations and stimulations on relaxed muscles were investigated before and after submaximal isometric knee extensor exercises performed until task failure. Time to exhaustion was longer in EXT compared with HAB (+3.9% ± 7.7% and +8.1% ± 12.3% at D0 and D1, respectively). Performance at D1 decreased from D0 similarly between conditions (-7.2% ± 5.6% and -3.7% ± 7.3% in HAB and EXT, respectively). At D1, the RPE during exercise was lower in EXT compared with HAB (-7.2% ± 7.5%) with no difference at D0. No difference was observed in voluntary activation between the two conditions. Six nights of sleep extension improved sustained contraction time to exhaustion, and this result cannot be explained by smaller reductions in voluntary activation, measured by both nerve and transcranial magnetic stimulation. The beneficial effect on motor performance in the EXT condition was likely due to reduced RPE after TSD.

  1. A loss of function analysis of host factors influencing Vaccinia virus replication by RNA interference.

    Philippa M Beard

    Full Text Available Vaccinia virus (VACV is a large, cytoplasmic, double-stranded DNA virus that requires complex interactions with host proteins in order to replicate. To explore these interactions a functional high throughput small interfering RNA (siRNA screen targeting 6719 druggable cellular genes was undertaken to identify host factors (HF influencing the replication and spread of an eGFP-tagged VACV. The experimental design incorporated a low multiplicity of infection, thereby enhancing detection of cellular proteins involved in cell-to-cell spread of VACV. The screen revealed 153 pro- and 149 anti-viral HFs that strongly influenced VACV replication. These HFs were investigated further by comparisons with transcriptional profiling data sets and HFs identified in RNAi screens of other viruses. In addition, functional and pathway analysis of the entire screen was carried out to highlight cellular mechanisms involved in VACV replication. This revealed, as anticipated, that many pro-viral HFs are involved in translation of mRNA and, unexpectedly, suggested that a range of proteins involved in cellular transcriptional processes and several DNA repair pathways possess anti-viral activity. Multiple components of the AMPK complex were found to act as pro-viral HFs, while several septins, a group of highly conserved GTP binding proteins with a role in sequestering intracellular bacteria, were identified as strong anti-viral VACV HFs. This screen has identified novel and previously unexplored roles for cellular factors in poxvirus replication. This advancement in our understanding of the VACV life cycle provides a reliable knowledge base for the improvement of poxvirus-based vaccine vectors and development of anti-viral theraputics.

  2. Uncertainties propagation and global sensitivity analysis of the frequency response function of piezoelectric energy harvesters

    Ruiz, Rafael O.; Meruane, Viviana

    2017-06-01

    The goal of this work is to describe a framework to propagate uncertainties in piezoelectric energy harvesters (PEHs). These uncertainties are related to the incomplete knowledge of the model parameters. The framework presented could be employed to conduct prior robust stochastic predictions. The prior analysis assumes a known probability density function for the uncertain variables and propagates the uncertainties to the output voltage. The framework is particularized to evaluate the behavior of the frequency response functions (FRFs) in PEHs, while its implementation is illustrated by the use of different unimorph and bimorph PEHs subjected to different scenarios: free of uncertainties, common uncertainties, and uncertainties as a product of imperfect clamping. The common variability associated with the PEH parameters are tabulated and reported. A global sensitivity analysis is conducted to identify the Sobol indices. Results indicate that the elastic modulus, density, and thickness of the piezoelectric layer are the most relevant parameters of the output variability. The importance of including the model parameter uncertainties in the estimation of the FRFs is revealed. In this sense, the present framework constitutes a powerful tool in the robust design and prediction of PEH performance.

  3. Developmental Reorganization of the Core and Extended Face Networks Revealed by Global Functional Connectivity.

    Wang, Xu; Zhu, Qi; Song, Yiying; Liu, Jia

    2017-08-28

    Prior studies on development of functional specialization in human brain mainly focus on age-related increases in regional activation and connectivity among regions. However, a few recent studies on the face network demonstrate age-related decrease in face-specialized activation in the extended face network (EFN), in addition to increase in activation in the core face network (CFN). Here we used a voxel-based global brain connectivity approach to investigate whether development of the face network exhibited both increase and decrease in network connectivity. We found the voxel-wise resting-state functional connectivity (FC) within the CFN increased with age in bilateral posterior superior temporal sulcus, suggesting the integration of the CFN during development. Interestingly, the FC of the voxels in the EFN to the right fusiform face area and occipital face area decreased with age, suggesting that the CFN segregated from the EFN during development. Moreover, the age-related connectivity in the CFN was related to behavioral performance in face processing. Overall, our study demonstrated developmental reorganization of the face network achieved by both integration within the CFN and segregation of the CFN from the EFN, which may account for the simultaneous increases and decreases in neural activation during the development of the face network. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Functional impact of global rare copy number variation in autism spectrum disorders.

    Pinto, Dalila; Pagnamenta, Alistair T; Klei, Lambertus; Anney, Richard; Merico, Daniele; Regan, Regina; Conroy, Judith; Magalhaes, Tiago R; Correia, Catarina; Abrahams, Brett S; Almeida, Joana; Bacchelli, Elena; Bader, Gary D; Bailey, Anthony J; Baird, Gillian; Battaglia, Agatino; Berney, Tom; Bolshakova, Nadia; Bölte, Sven; Bolton, Patrick F; Bourgeron, Thomas; Brennan, Sean; Brian, Jessica; Bryson, Susan E; Carson, Andrew R; Casallo, Guillermo; Casey, Jillian; Chung, Brian H Y; Cochrane, Lynne; Corsello, Christina; Crawford, Emily L; Crossett, Andrew; Cytrynbaum, Cheryl; Dawson, Geraldine; de Jonge, Maretha; Delorme, Richard; Drmic, Irene; Duketis, Eftichia; Duque, Frederico; Estes, Annette; Farrar, Penny; Fernandez, Bridget A; Folstein, Susan E; Fombonne, Eric; Freitag, Christine M; Gilbert, John; Gillberg, Christopher; Glessner, Joseph T; Goldberg, Jeremy; Green, Andrew; Green, Jonathan; Guter, Stephen J; Hakonarson, Hakon; Heron, Elizabeth A; Hill, Matthew; Holt, Richard; Howe, Jennifer L; Hughes, Gillian; Hus, Vanessa; Igliozzi, Roberta; Kim, Cecilia; Klauck, Sabine M; Kolevzon, Alexander; Korvatska, Olena; Kustanovich, Vlad; Lajonchere, Clara M; Lamb, Janine A; Laskawiec, Magdalena; Leboyer, Marion; Le Couteur, Ann; Leventhal, Bennett L; Lionel, Anath C; Liu, Xiao-Qing; Lord, Catherine; Lotspeich, Linda; Lund, Sabata C; Maestrini, Elena; Mahoney, William; Mantoulan, Carine; Marshall, Christian R; McConachie, Helen; McDougle, Christopher J; McGrath, Jane; McMahon, William M; Merikangas, Alison; Migita, Ohsuke; Minshew, Nancy J; Mirza, Ghazala K; Munson, Jeff; Nelson, Stanley F; Noakes, Carolyn; Noor, Abdul; Nygren, Gudrun; Oliveira, Guiomar; Papanikolaou, Katerina; Parr, Jeremy R; Parrini, Barbara; Paton, Tara; Pickles, Andrew; Pilorge, Marion; Piven, Joseph; Ponting, Chris P; Posey, David J; Poustka, Annemarie; Poustka, Fritz; Prasad, Aparna; Ragoussis, Jiannis; Renshaw, Katy; Rickaby, Jessica; Roberts, Wendy; Roeder, Kathryn; Roge, Bernadette; Rutter, Michael L; Bierut, Laura J; Rice, John P; Salt, Jeff; Sansom, Katherine; Sato, Daisuke; Segurado, Ricardo; Sequeira, Ana F; Senman, Lili; Shah, Naisha; Sheffield, Val C; Soorya, Latha; Sousa, Inês; Stein, Olaf; Sykes, Nuala; Stoppioni, Vera; Strawbridge, Christina; Tancredi, Raffaella; Tansey, Katherine; Thiruvahindrapduram, Bhooma; Thompson, Ann P; Thomson, Susanne; Tryfon, Ana; Tsiantis, John; Van Engeland, Herman; Vincent, John B; Volkmar, Fred; Wallace, Simon; Wang, Kai; Wang, Zhouzhi; Wassink, Thomas H; Webber, Caleb; Weksberg, Rosanna; Wing, Kirsty; Wittemeyer, Kerstin; Wood, Shawn; Wu, Jing; Yaspan, Brian L; Zurawiecki, Danielle; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Cantor, Rita M; Cook, Edwin H; Coon, Hilary; Cuccaro, Michael L; Devlin, Bernie; Ennis, Sean; Gallagher, Louise; Geschwind, Daniel H; Gill, Michael; Haines, Jonathan L; Hallmayer, Joachim; Miller, Judith; Monaco, Anthony P; Nurnberger, John I; Paterson, Andrew D; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A; Schellenberg, Gerard D; Szatmari, Peter; Vicente, Astrid M; Vieland, Veronica J; Wijsman, Ellen M; Scherer, Stephen W; Sutcliffe, James S; Betancur, Catalina

    2010-07-15

    The autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of conditions characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviours. Individuals with an ASD vary greatly in cognitive development, which can range from above average to intellectual disability. Although ASDs are known to be highly heritable ( approximately 90%), the underlying genetic determinants are still largely unknown. Here we analysed the genome-wide characteristics of rare (variation in ASD using dense genotyping arrays. When comparing 996 ASD individuals of European ancestry to 1,287 matched controls, cases were found to carry a higher global burden of rare, genic copy number variants (CNVs) (1.19 fold, P = 0.012), especially so for loci previously implicated in either ASD and/or intellectual disability (1.69 fold, P = 3.4 x 10(-4)). Among the CNVs there were numerous de novo and inherited events, sometimes in combination in a given family, implicating many novel ASD genes such as SHANK2, SYNGAP1, DLGAP2 and the X-linked DDX53-PTCHD1 locus. We also discovered an enrichment of CNVs disrupting functional gene sets involved in cellular proliferation, projection and motility, and GTPase/Ras signalling. Our results reveal many new genetic and functional targets in ASD that may lead to final connected pathways.

  5. Association Between RT-Induced Changes in Lung Tissue Density and Global Lung Function

    Ma Jinli; Zhang Junan; Zhou Sumin; Hubbs, Jessica L.; Foltz, Rodney J.; Hollis, Donna R.; Light, Kim L.; Wong, Terence Z.; Kelsey, Christopher R.; Marks, Lawrence B.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the association between radiotherapy (RT)-induced changes in computed tomography (CT)-defined lung tissue density and pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Methods and Materials: Patients undergoing incidental partial lung RT were prospectively assessed for global (PFTs) and regional (CT and single photon emission CT [SPECT]) lung function before and, serially, after RT. The percent reductions in the PFT and the average changes in lung density were compared (Pearson correlations) in the overall group and subgroups stratified according to various clinical factors. Comparisons were also made between the CT- and SPECT-based computations using the Mann-Whitney U test. Results: Between 1991 and 2004, 343 patients were enrolled in this study. Of these, 111 patients had a total of 203 concurrent post-RT evaluations of changes in lung density and PFTs available for the analyses, and 81 patients had a total of 141 concurrent post-RT SPECT images. The average increases in lung density were related to the percent reductions in the PFTs, albeit with modest correlation coefficients (range, 0.20-0.43). The analyses also indicated that the association between lung density and PFT changes is essentially equivalent to the corresponding association with SPECT-defined lung perfusion. Conclusion: We found a weak quantitative association between the degree of increase in lung density as defined by CT and the percent reduction in the PFTs.

  6. CT14 intrinsic charm parton distribution functions from CTEQ-TEA global analysis

    Hou, Tie-Jiun; Dulat, Sayipjamal; Gao, Jun; Guzzi, Marco; Huston, Joey; Nadolsky, Pavel; Schmidt, Carl; Winter, Jan; Xie, Keping; Yuan, C.-P.

    2018-02-01

    We investigate the possibility of a (sizable) nonperturbative contribution to the charm parton distribution function (PDF) in a nucleon, theoretical issues arising in its interpretation, and its potential impact on LHC scattering processes. The "fitted charm" PDF obtained in various QCD analyses contains a process-dependent component that is partly traced to power-suppressed radiative contributions in DIS and is generally different at the LHC. We discuss separation of the universal component of the nonperturbative charm from the rest of the radiative contributions and estimate its magnitude in the CT14 global QCD analysis at the next-to-next-to leading order in the QCD coupling strength, including the latest experimental data from HERA and the Large Hadron Collider. Models for the nonperturbative charm PDF are examined as a function of the charm quark mass and other parameters. The prospects for testing these models in the associated production of a Z boson and a charm jet at the LHC are studied under realistic assumptions, including effects of the final-state parton showering.

  7. Knee posture during gait and global functioning post-stroke: a theoretical ICF framework using current measures in stroke rehabilitation

    Neves Rosa, Marlene Cristina; Marques, Alda; Demain, Sara; Metcalf, Cheryl D.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To characterise the global functioning post-stroke in patients with normal knee posture (NKP) and abnormal knee posture (AKP) during loading-response. Methods: 35 people, 6 months post-stroke. with NKP and AKP were identified and assessed using clinical measures classified into the corresponding International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) domains: weight function (body mass index); muscle power (knee isometric strength); muscle tone (Modified Ashworth Sca...

  8. Repressive mutations restore function-loss caused by the disruption of trimerization in Escherichia coli multidrug transporter AcrB

    Zhaoshuai eWang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available AcrAB-TolC and their homologs are major multidrug efflux systems in Gram-negative bacteria. The inner membrane component AcrB functions as a trimer. Replacement of Pro223 by Gly in AcrB decreases the trimer stability and drastically reduces the drug efflux activity. The goal of this study is to identify suppressor mutations that restore function to mutant AcrBP223G and explore the mechanism of function recovery. Two methods were used to introduce random mutations into the plasmid of AcrBP223G. Mutants with elevated drug efflux activity were identified, purified, and characterized to examine their expression level, trimer stability, interaction with AcrA, and substrate binding. Nine single-site repressor mutations were identified, including T199M, D256N, A209V, G257V, M662I, Q737L, D788K, P800S, and E810K. Except for M662I, all other mutations located in the docking region of the periplasmic domain. While three mutations, T199M, A209V, and D256N, significantly increased the trimer stability, none of them restored the trimer affinity to the wild type level. M662, the only site of mutation that located in the porter domain, was involved in substrate binding. Our results suggest that the function loss resulted from compromised AcrB trimerization could be restored through various mechanisms involving the compensation of trimer stability and substrate binding.

  9. Leak Isolation in Pressurized Pipelines using an Interpolation Function to approximate the Fitting Losses

    Badillo-Olvera, A.; Begovich, O.; Peréz-González, A.

    2017-01-01

    The present paper is motivated by the purpose of detection and isolation of a single leak considering the Fault Model Approach (FMA) focused on pipelines with changes in their geometry. These changes generate a different pressure drop that those produced by the friction, this phenomenon is a common scenario in real pipeline systems. The problem arises, since the dynamical model of the fluid in a pipeline only considers straight geometries without fittings. In order to address this situation, several papers work with a virtual model of a pipeline that generates a equivalent straight length, thus, friction produced by the fittings is taking into account. However, when this method is applied, the leak is isolated in a virtual length, which for practical reasons does not represent a complete solution. This research proposes as a solution to the problem of leak isolation in a virtual length, the use of a polynomial interpolation function in order to approximate the conversion of the virtual position to a real-coordinates value. Experimental results in a real prototype are shown, concluding that the proposed methodology has a good performance.

  10. Anti-correlated networks, global signal regression, and the effects of caffeine in resting-state functional MRI.

    Wong, Chi Wah; Olafsson, Valur; Tal, Omer; Liu, Thomas T

    2012-10-15

    Resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging is proving to be an essential tool for the characterization of functional networks in the brain. Two of the major networks that have been identified are the default mode network (DMN) and the task positive network (TPN). Although prior work indicates that these two networks are anti-correlated, the findings are controversial because the anti-correlations are often found only after the application of a pre-processing step, known as global signal regression, that can produce artifactual anti-correlations. In this paper, we show that, for subjects studied in an eyes-closed rest state, caffeine can significantly enhance the detection of anti-correlations between the DMN and TPN without the need for global signal regression. In line with these findings, we find that caffeine also leads to widespread decreases in connectivity and global signal amplitude. Using a recently introduced geometric model of global signal effects, we demonstrate that these decreases are consistent with the removal of an additive global signal confound. In contrast to the effects observed in the eyes-closed rest state, caffeine did not lead to significant changes in global functional connectivity in the eyes-open rest state. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Using Green's Functions to initialize and adjust a global, eddying ocean biogeochemistry general circulation model

    Brix, H.; Menemenlis, D.; Hill, C.; Dutkiewicz, S.; Jahn, O.; Wang, D.; Bowman, K.; Zhang, H.

    2015-11-01

    The NASA Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) Flux Project aims to attribute changes in the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide to spatially resolved fluxes by utilizing the full suite of NASA data, models, and assimilation capabilities. For the oceanic part of this project, we introduce ECCO2-Darwin, a new ocean biogeochemistry general circulation model based on combining the following pre-existing components: (i) a full-depth, eddying, global-ocean configuration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), (ii) an adjoint-method-based estimate of ocean circulation from the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II (ECCO2) project, (iii) the MIT ecosystem model "Darwin", and (iv) a marine carbon chemistry model. Air-sea gas exchange coefficients and initial conditions of dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, and oxygen are adjusted using a Green's Functions approach in order to optimize modeled air-sea CO2 fluxes. Data constraints include observations of carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2) for 2009-2010, global air-sea CO2 flux estimates, and the seasonal cycle of the Takahashi et al. (2009) Atlas. The model sensitivity experiments (or Green's Functions) include simulations that start from different initial conditions as well as experiments that perturb air-sea gas exchange parameters and the ratio of particulate inorganic to organic carbon. The Green's Functions approach yields a linear combination of these sensitivity experiments that minimizes model-data differences. The resulting initial conditions and gas exchange coefficients are then used to integrate the ECCO2-Darwin model forward. Despite the small number (six) of control parameters, the adjusted simulation is significantly closer to the data constraints (37% cost function reduction, i.e., reduction in the model-data difference, relative to the baseline simulation) and to independent observations (e.g., alkalinity). The adjusted air-sea gas

  12. De novo loss-of-function mutations in WAC cause a recognizable intellectual disability syndrome and learning deficits in Drosophila.

    Lugtenberg, Dorien; Reijnders, Margot R F; Fenckova, Michaela; Bijlsma, Emilia K; Bernier, Raphael; van Bon, Bregje W M; Smeets, Eric; Vulto-van Silfhout, Anneke T; Bosch, Danielle; Eichler, Evan E; Mefford, Heather C; Carvill, Gemma L; Bongers, Ernie M H F; Schuurs-Hoeijmakers, Janneke Hm; Ruivenkamp, Claudia A; Santen, Gijs W E; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Peeters-Scholte, Cacha M P C D; Kuenen, Sabine; Verstreken, Patrik; Pfundt, Rolph; Yntema, Helger G; de Vries, Petra F; Veltman, Joris A; Hoischen, Alexander; Gilissen, Christian; de Vries, Bert B A; Schenck, Annette; Kleefstra, Tjitske; Vissers, Lisenka E L M

    2016-08-01

    Recently WAC was reported as a candidate gene for intellectual disability (ID) based on the identification of a de novo mutation in an individual with severe ID. WAC regulates transcription-coupled histone H2B ubiquitination and has previously been implicated in the 10p12p11 contiguous gene deletion syndrome. In this study, we report on 10 individuals with de novo WAC mutations which we identified through routine (diagnostic) exome sequencing and targeted resequencing of WAC in 2326 individuals with unexplained ID. All but one mutation was expected to lead to a loss-of-function of WAC. Clinical evaluation of all individuals revealed phenotypic overlap for mild ID, hypotonia, behavioral problems and distinctive facial dysmorphisms, including a square-shaped face, deep set eyes, long palpebral fissures, and a broad mouth and chin. These clinical features were also previously reported in individuals with 10p12p11 microdeletion syndrome. To investigate the role of WAC in ID, we studied the importance of the Drosophila WAC orthologue (CG8949) in habituation, a non-associative learning paradigm. Neuronal knockdown of Drosophila CG8949 resulted in impaired learning, suggesting that WAC is required in neurons for normal cognitive performance. In conclusion, we defined a clinically recognizable ID syndrome, caused by de novo loss-of-function mutations in WAC. Independent functional evidence in Drosophila further supported the role of WAC in ID. On the basis of our data WAC can be added to the list of ID genes with a role in transcription regulation through histone modification.

  13. Global sourcing - performance and integration : reflections on performance, implications from cross-functional and external integration

    Horn, Philipp

    2013-01-01

    Despite the fact that firms and individuals have been sourcing on a global basis since ancient times, global sourcing as a topic has received considerable attention from managers and scholars in recent years. Global business has been reported to be growing considerably during the last decades and

  14. Loss of circulating CD4 T cells with B cell helper function during chronic HIV infection.

    Kristin L Boswell

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The interaction between follicular T helper cells (TFH and B cells in the lymph nodes and spleen has a major impact on the development of antigen-specific B cell responses during infection or vaccination. Recent studies described a functional equivalent of these cells among circulating CD4 T cells, referred to as peripheral TFH cells. Here, we characterize the phenotype and in vitro B cell helper activity of peripheral TFH populations, as well as the effect of HIV infection on these populations. In co-culture experiments we confirmed CXCR5+ cells from HIV-uninfected donors provide help to B cells and more specifically, we identified a CCR7(highCXCR5(highCCR6(highPD-1(high CD4 T cell population that secretes IL-21 and enhances isotype-switched immunoglobulin production. This population is significantly decreased in treatment-naïve, HIV-infected individuals and can be recovered after anti-retroviral therapy. We found impaired immunoglobulin production in co-cultures from HIV-infected individuals and found no correlation between the frequency of peripheral TFH cells and memory B cells, or with neutralization activity in untreated HIV infection in our cohort. Furthermore, we found that within the peripheral TFH population, the expression level of TFH-associated genes more closely resembles a memory, non-TFH population, as opposed to a TFH population. Overall, our data identify a heterogeneous population of circulating CD4 T cells that provides in vitro help to B cells, and challenges the origin of these cells as memory TFH cells.

  15. Natriuretic peptides in developing medaka embryos: implications in cardiac development by loss-of-function studies.

    Miyanishi, Hiroshi; Okubo, Kataaki; Nobata, Shigenori; Takei, Yoshio

    2013-01-01

    Cardiac natriuretic peptides (NPs), atrial NP (ANP) and B-type NP (BNP), and their receptor, guanylyl cyclase (GC)-A have attracted attention of many basic and clinical researchers because of their potent renal and cardiovascular actions. In this study, we used medaka, Oryzias latipes, as a model species to pursue the physiological functions of NPs because it is a suitable model for developmental analyses. Medaka has two ligands, BNP and C-type NP3 (CNP3) (but not ANP), that have greater affinity for the two O. latipes GC-A receptors (OLGC), OLGC7 and OLGC2, respectively. CNP3 is the ancestral molecule of cardiac NPs. Initially, we examined developmental expression of cardiac NP/receptor combinations, BNP/OLGC7 and CNP3/OLGC2, using quantitative real-time PCR and in situ hybridization. BNP and CNP3 mRNA increased at stages 25 (onset of ventricular formation) and 22 (appearance of heart anlage), respectively, whereas both receptor mRNAs increased at as early as stage 12. BNP/OLGC7 transcripts were found in arterial/ventricular tissues and CNP3/OLGC2 transcripts in venous/atrial tissues by in situ hybridization. Thus, BNP and CNP3 can act locally on cardiac myocytes in a paracrine/autocrine fashion. Double knockdown of BNP/OLGC7 genes impaired ventricular development by causing hypoplasia of ventricular myocytes as evidenced by reduced bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. CNP3 knockdown induced hypertrophy of atria and activated the renin-angiotensin system. Collectively, it appears that BNP is important for normal ventricular, whereas CNP3 is important for normal atrial development and performance, a role usually taken by ANP in other vertebrates. The current study provides new insights into the role of cardiac NPs in cardiac development in vertebrates.

  16. Is the Hierarchy of Loss in Functional Ability Evident in Midlife? Findings from a British Birth Cohort.

    Wloch, Elizabeth G; Kuh, Diana; Cooper, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    Difficulties performing a range of physical tasks of daily living have been shown to develop in older populations in a typically observed sequence, known as the hierarchy of loss. Nearly all previous research has been undertaken using populations aged over 75. This study aimed to use cross-sectional and longitudinal data to test for evidence of the hierarchy of loss from midlife onwards. The prevalence of reported difficulty undertaking 16 physical tasks in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development at age 60-64 were calculated, with Mokken scaling used to confirm the hierarchical order. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios of reporting difficulty performing tasks at the bottom of the hierarchy (i.e. feeding, washing and/or toileting) at age 60-64 by reported difficulty at the top of the hierarchy (i.e. gripping, walking and/or stair climbing) at age 43. At age 60-64, tasks associated with balance, strength and co-ordination, such as climbing stairs, were the first tasks participants reported difficulty with and tasks associated with upper limb mobility, such as feeding yourself, were the last. In a fully-adjusted model, participants who reported difficulty at the top of the hierarchy at age 43 were 2.85 (95% CI: 1.45-5.60) times more likely to report difficulty with tasks at the bottom of the hierarchy at age 60-64. This study presents evidence of the hierarchy of loss in a younger population than previously observed suggesting that targeted interventions to prevent functional decline should not be delayed until old age.

  17. Is the Hierarchy of Loss in Functional Ability Evident in Midlife? Findings from a British Birth Cohort.

    Elizabeth G Wloch

    Full Text Available Difficulties performing a range of physical tasks of daily living have been shown to develop in older populations in a typically observed sequence, known as the hierarchy of loss. Nearly all previous research has been undertaken using populations aged over 75. This study aimed to use cross-sectional and longitudinal data to test for evidence of the hierarchy of loss from midlife onwards.The prevalence of reported difficulty undertaking 16 physical tasks in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development at age 60-64 were calculated, with Mokken scaling used to confirm the hierarchical order. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios of reporting difficulty performing tasks at the bottom of the hierarchy (i.e. feeding, washing and/or toileting at age 60-64 by reported difficulty at the top of the hierarchy (i.e. gripping, walking and/or stair climbing at age 43.At age 60-64, tasks associated with balance, strength and co-ordination, such as climbing stairs, were the first tasks participants reported difficulty with and tasks associated with upper limb mobility, such as feeding yourself, were the last. In a fully-adjusted model, participants who reported difficulty at the top of the hierarchy at age 43 were 2.85 (95% CI: 1.45-5.60 times more likely to report difficulty with tasks at the bottom of the hierarchy at age 60-64.This study presents evidence of the hierarchy of loss in a younger population than previously observed suggesting that targeted interventions to prevent functional decline should not be delayed until old age.

  18. A novel ATM-dependent checkpoint defect distinct from loss of function mutation promotes genomic instability in melanoma.

    Spoerri, Loredana; Brooks, Kelly; Chia, KeeMing; Grossman, Gavriel; Ellis, Jonathan J; Dahmer-Heath, Mareike; Škalamera, Dubravka; Pavey, Sandra; Burmeister, Bryan; Gabrielli, Brian

    2016-05-01

    Melanomas have high levels of genomic instability that can contribute to poor disease prognosis. Here, we report a novel defect of the ATM-dependent cell cycle checkpoint in melanoma cell lines that promotes genomic instability. In defective cells, ATM signalling to CHK2 is intact, but the cells are unable to maintain the cell cycle arrest due to elevated PLK1 driving recovery from the arrest. Reducing PLK1 activity recovered the ATM-dependent checkpoint arrest, and over-expressing PLK1 was sufficient to overcome the checkpoint arrest and increase genomic instability. Loss of the ATM-dependent checkpoint did not affect sensitivity to ionizing radiation demonstrating that this defect is distinct from ATM loss of function mutations. The checkpoint defective melanoma cell lines over-express PLK1, and a significant proportion of melanomas have high levels of PLK1 over-expression suggesting this defect is a common feature of melanomas. The inability of ATM to impose a cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage increases genomic instability. This work also suggests that the ATM-dependent checkpoint arrest is likely to be defective in a higher proportion of cancers than previously expected. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Stochastic Modeling of Empirical Storm Loss in Germany

    Prahl, B. F.; Rybski, D.; Kropp, J. P.; Burghoff, O.; Held, H.

    2012-04-01

    Based on German insurance loss data for residential property we derive storm damage functions that relate daily loss with maximum gust wind speed. Over a wide range of loss, steep power law relationships are found with spatially varying exponents ranging between approximately 8 and 12. Global correlations between parameters and socio-demographic data are employed to reduce the number of local parameters to 3. We apply a Monte Carlo approach to calculate German loss estimates including confidence bounds in daily and annual resolution. Our model reproduces the annual progression of winter storm losses and enables to estimate daily losses over a wide range of magnitude.

  20. The functional upregulation of piriform cortex is associated with cross-modal plasticity in loss of whisker tactile inputs.

    Bing Ye

    Full Text Available Cross-modal plasticity is characterized as the hypersensitivity of remaining modalities after a sensory function is lost in rodents, which ensures their awareness to environmental changes. Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cross-modal sensory plasticity remain unclear. We aim to study the role of different types of neurons in cross-modal plasticity.In addition to behavioral tasks in mice, whole-cell recordings at the excitatory and inhibitory neurons, and their two-photon imaging, were conducted in piriform cortex. We produced a mouse model of cross-modal sensory plasticity that olfactory function was upregulated by trimming whiskers to deprive their sensory inputs. In the meantime of olfactory hypersensitivity, pyramidal neurons and excitatory synapses were functionally upregulated, as well as GABAergic cells and inhibitory synapses were downregulated in piriform cortex from the mice of cross-modal sensory plasticity, compared with controls. A crosswire connection between barrel cortex and piriform cortex was established in cross-modal plasticity.An upregulation of pyramidal neurons and a downregulation of GABAergic neurons strengthen the activities of neuronal networks in piriform cortex, which may be responsible for olfactory hypersensitivity after a loss of whisker tactile input. This finding provides the clues for developing therapeutic strategies to promote sensory recovery and substitution.

  1. Polycystin 1 loss of function is directly linked to an imbalance in G-protein signaling in the kidney.

    Zhang, Bo; Tran, Uyen; Wessely, Oliver

    2018-03-22

    The development of the kidney relies on the establishment and maintenance of a precise tubular diameter of its functional units, the nephrons. This process is disrupted in polycystic kidney disease (PKD), resulting in dilations of the nephron and renal cyst formation. In the course of exploring G-protein-coupled signaling in the Xenopus pronephric kidney, we discovered that loss of the G-protein α subunit, Gnas, results in a PKD phenotype. Polycystin 1, one of the genes mutated in human PKD, encodes a protein resembling a G-protein-coupled receptor. Furthermore, deletion of the G-protein-binding domain present in the intracellular C terminus of polycystin 1 impacts functionality. A comprehensive analysis of all the G-protein α subunits expressed in the Xenopus pronephric kidney demonstrates that polycystin 1 recruits a select subset of G-protein α subunits and that their knockdown - as in the case of Gnas - results in a PKD phenotype. Mechanistically, the phenotype is caused by increased endogenous G-protein β/γ signaling and can be reversed by pharmacological inhibitors as well as knocking down Gnb1. Together, our data support the hypothesis that G proteins are recruited to the intracellular domain of PKD1 and that this interaction is crucial for its function in the kidney. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. Loss-of-function mutations in co-chaperone BAG3 destabilize small HSPs and cause cardiomyopathy.

    Fang, Xi; Bogomolovas, Julius; Wu, Tongbin; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Canzhao; Veevers, Jennifer; Stroud, Matthew J; Zhang, Zhiyuan; Ma, Xiaolong; Mu, Yongxin; Lao, Dieu-Hung; Dalton, Nancy D; Gu, Yusu; Wang, Celine; Wang, Michael; Liang, Yan; Lange, Stephan; Ouyang, Kunfu; Peterson, Kirk L; Evans, Sylvia M; Chen, Ju

    2017-08-01

    Defective protein quality control (PQC) systems are implicated in multiple diseases. Molecular chaperones and co-chaperones play a central role in functioning PQC. Constant mechanical and metabolic stress in cardiomyocytes places great demand on the PQC system. Mutation and downregulation of the co-chaperone protein BCL-2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) are associated with cardiac myopathy and heart failure, and a BAG3 E455K mutation leads to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, the role of BAG3 in the heart and the mechanisms by which the E455K mutation leads to DCM remain obscure. Here, we found that cardiac-specific Bag3-KO and E455K-knockin mice developed DCM. Comparable phenotypes in the 2 mutants demonstrated that the E455K mutation resulted in loss of function. Further experiments revealed that the E455K mutation disrupted the interaction between BAG3 and HSP70. In both mutants, decreased levels of small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) were observed, and a subset of proteins required for cardiomyocyte function was enriched in the insoluble fraction. Together, these observations suggest that interaction between BAG3 and HSP70 is essential for BAG3 to stabilize sHSPs and maintain cardiomyocyte protein homeostasis. Our results provide insight into heart failure caused by defects in BAG3 pathways and suggest that increasing BAG3 protein levels may be of therapeutic benefit in heart failure.

  3. Inadmissibility of Usual and Mixed Estimators of Two Ordered Gamma Scale Parameters Under Reflected Gamma Loss Function

    Z. Meghnatisi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Let Xi1, · · · , Xini be a random sample from a gamma distribution with known shape parameter νi > 0 and unknown scale parameter βi > 0, i = 1, 2, satisfying 0 < β1 6 β2. We consider the class of mixed estimators for estimation of β1 and β2 under reflected gamma loss function. It has been shown that the minimum risk equivariant estimator of βi, i = 1, 2, which is admissible when no information on the ordering of parameters are given, is inadmissible and dominated by a class of mixed estimators when it is known that the parameters are ordered. Also, the inadmissible estimators in the class of mixed estimators are derived. Finally the results are extended to some subclass of exponential family

  4. Optimization of multiple performance characteristics in turning using Taguchi’s quality loss function: An experimental investigation

    Tanmaya Mohanty

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Cutting force and chip reduction coefficient is the important index of machinability as it determines the power consumption and amount of energy invested in machining actions. It is primarily influenced by process parameters like cutting speed, feed and depth of cut. This paper presents the application of Taguchi’s parameter design to optimize the parameters for individual responses. For multi-response optimization, Taguchi’s quality loss function approach is proposed. In the present investigation, optimal values of cutting speed, feed and depth of cut are determined to minimize cutting force and chip reduction coefficient during orthogonal turning. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is illustrated through an experimental investigation in turning mild steel workpiece using high speed steel tool.

  5. Tranexamic Acid Attenuates The Loss of Lung Barrier Functio