880 research outputs found

    The order of the quantum chromodynamics transition predicted by the standard model of particle physics

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    We determine the nature of the QCD transition using lattice calculations for physical quark masses. Susceptibilities are extrapolated to vanishing lattice spacing for three physical volumes, the smallest and largest of which differ by a factor of five. This ensures that a true transition should result in a dramatic increase of the susceptibilities.No such behaviour is observed: our finite-size scaling analysis shows that the finite-temperature QCD transition in the hot early Universe was not a real phase transition, but an analytic crossover (involving a rapid change, as opposed to a jump, as the temperature varied). As such, it will be difficult to find experimental evidence of this transition from astronomical observations.Comment: 7 pages, 4 figure

    Long-Term Survival With Tafamidis in Patients With Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy

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    BACKGROUND: Tafamidis is approved in many countries for the treatment of transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy. This study reports data on the long-term efficacy of tafamidis from an ongoing long-term extension (LTE) to the pivotal ATTR-ACT (Tafamidis in Transthyretin Cardiomyopathy Clinical Trial). METHODS: Patients with transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy who completed ATTR-ACT could enroll in an LTE, continuing with the same tafamidis dose or, if previously treated with placebo, randomized (2:1) to tafamidis meglumine 80 or 20 mg. All patients in the LTE transitioned to tafamidis free acid 61 mg (bioequivalent to tafamidis meglumine 80 mg) following a protocol amendment. In this interim analysis, all-cause mortality was assessed in patients treated with tafamidis meglumine 80 mg in ATTR-ACT continuing in the LTE, compared with those receiving placebo in ATTR-ACT transitioning to tafamidis in the LTE. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 58.5 months in the continuous tafamidis group (n=176) and 57.1 months in the placebo to tafamidis group (n=177). There were 79 (44.9%) deaths with continuous tafamidis and 111 (62.7%) with placebo to tafamidis (hazard ratio, 0.59 [95% CI, 0.44-0.79]; P<0.001). Mortality was also reduced in the continuous tafamidis (versus placebo to tafamidis) subgroups of: variant transthyretin amyloidosis (0.57 [0.33-0.99]; P=0.05) and wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis (0.61 [0.43-0.87]; P=0.006); and baseline New York Heart Association class I and II (0.56 [0.38-0.82]; P=0.003) and class III (0.65 [0.41-1.01]; P=0.06). CONCLUSIONS: In the LTE, patients initially treated with tafamidis in ATTR-ACT had substantially better survival than those first treated with placebo, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy. REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01994889 and NCT02791230

    The emerging structure of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: where does Evo-Devo fit in?

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    The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) debate is gaining ground in contemporary evolutionary biology. In parallel, a number of philosophical standpoints have emerged in an attempt to clarify what exactly is represented by the EES. For Massimo Pigliucci, we are in the wake of the newest instantiation of a persisting Kuhnian paradigm; in contrast, Telmo Pievani has contended that the transition to an EES could be best represented as a progressive reformation of a prior Lakatosian scientific research program, with the extension of its Neo-Darwinian core and the addition of a brand-new protective belt of assumptions and auxiliary hypotheses. Here, we argue that those philosophical vantage points are not the only ways to interpret what current proposals to ‘extend’ the Modern Synthesis-derived ‘standard evolutionary theory’ (SET) entail in terms of theoretical change in evolutionary biology. We specifically propose the image of the emergent EES as a vast network of models and interweaved representations that, instantiated in diverse practices, are connected and related in multiple ways. Under that assumption, the EES could be articulated around a paraconsistent network of evolutionary theories (including some elements of the SET), as well as models, practices and representation systems of contemporary evolutionary biology, with edges and nodes that change their position and centrality as a consequence of the co-construction and stabilization of facts and historical discussions revolving around the epistemic goals of this area of the life sciences. We then critically examine the purported structure of the EES—published by Laland and collaborators in 2015—in light of our own network-based proposal. Finally, we consider which epistemic units of Evo-Devo are present or still missing from the EES, in preparation for further analyses of the topic of explanatory integration in this conceptual framework

    The Impact of Duty Hours on Resident Self Reports of Errors

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    BACKGROUND: Resident duty hour limitations aim, in part, to reduce medical errors. Residents’ perceptions of the impact of duty hours on errors are unknown. OBJECTIVE: To determine residents’ self-reported contributing factors, frequency, and impact of hours worked on suboptimal care practices and medical errors. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SUBJECTS: 164 Internal Medicine Residents at the University of California, San Francisco. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Residents were asked to report the frequency and contributing factors of suboptimal care practices and medical errors, and how duty hours impacted these practices and aspects of resident work-life. One hundred twenty-five residents (76%) responded. The most common suboptimal care practices were working while impaired by fatigue and forgetting to transmit information during sign-out. In multivariable models, residents who felt overwhelmed with work (p = 0.02) and who reported spending >50% of their time in nonphysician tasks (p = 0.002) were more likely to report suboptimal care practices. Residents reported work-stress (a composite of fatigue, excessive workload, distractions, stress, and inadequate time) as the most frequent contributing factor to medical errors. In multivariable models, only engaging in suboptimal practices was associated with self-report of higher risk for medical errors (p < 0.001); working more than 80 hours per week was not associated with suboptimal care or errors. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that administrative load and work stressors are more closely associated with resident reports of medical errors than the number of hours work. Efforts to reduce resident duty hours may also need to address the nature of residents’ work to reduce errors

    Insufficient Rest or Sleep and Its Relation to Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Obesity in a National, Multiethnic Sample

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    BACKGROUND: A new question on insufficient rest/sleep was included in the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for the 50 states, District of Columbia, and three US territories. No previous study, however, has examined perceived insufficient rest/sleep in relation to cardiovascular disease (CVD) or diabetes mellitus. We examined the association between self-reported insufficient rest/sleep and CVD, diabetes, and obesity in a contemporary sample of US adults. METHODS: Multiethnic, nationally representative, cross-sectional survey (2008 BRFSS) participants were >20 years of age (n=372, 144, 50% women). Self-reported insufficient rest/sleep in the previous month was categorized into four groups: zero, 1-13, 14-29, and 30 days. There were five outcomes: 1) any CVD, 2) coronary heart disease (CHD), 3) stroke, 4) diabetes mellitus, and 5) obesity (body mass index≥30 kg/m2). We employed multivariable logistic regression to calculate odds ratio (OR), (95% confidence interval (CI), of increasing categories of insufficient rest/sleep, taking zero days of insufficient rest/sleep as the referent category. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Insufficient rest/sleep was found to be associated with 1) any CVD, 2) CHD, 3) stroke, 4) diabetes mellitus, and 5) obesity, in separate analyses. Compared to those reporting zero days of insufficient sleep (referent), the OR (95% CI) associated with all 30 days of insufficient sleep was 1.67 (1.55-1.79) for any cardiovascular disease, 1.69(1.56-1.83) for CHD, 1.51(1.36-1.68) for stroke, 1.31(1.21-1.41) for diabetes, and 1.51 (1.43-1.59) for obesity. CONCLUSIONS: In a multiethnic sample of US adults, perceived insufficient rest/sleep was found to be independently associated with CHD, stroke, diabetes mellitus and obesity

    Short-term variability of biomarkers of proteinase activity in patients with emphysema associated with type Z alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency

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    BACKGROUND: The burden of proteinases from inflammatory cells in the lung of subjects with type Pi ZZ of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency is higher than in those without the deficiency. Cross-sectional studies have shown increased levels of biomarkers of extracellular matrix degradation in vivo. Longitudinal variability of these biomarkers is unknown but desirable for clinical studies with proteinase inhibitors. METHODS: We measured three different types of biomarkers, including desmosines, elastase-formed fibrinogen fragments and heparan sulfate epitope JM403, in plasma and urine for a period of 7 weeks in a group of 12 patients who participated in a placebo-controlled study to assess the safety of a single inhalation of hyaluronic acid. RESULTS: Effect of study medication on any of the biomarkers was not seen. Baseline desmosines in plasma and urine correlated with baseline CO diffusion capacity (R = 0.81, p = 0.01 and R = 0.65, p = 0.05). Mean coefficient of variation within patients (CVi) for plasma and urine desmosines was 18.7 to 13.5%, respectively. Change in urinary desmosine levels correlated significantly with change in plasma desmosine levels (R = 0.84, p < 0.01). Mean CVi for fibrinogen fragments in plasma was 20.5% and for JM403 in urine was 27.8%. No correlations were found between fibrinogen fragments or JM403 epitope and desmosines. CONCLUSION: We found acceptable variability in our study parameters, indicating the feasibility of their use in an evaluation of biochemical efficacy of alpha-1-antitrypsin augmentation therapy in Pi Z subjects

    PIP5KIβ Selectively Modulates Apical Endocytosis in Polarized Renal Epithelial Cells

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    Localized synthesis of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2] at clathrin coated pits (CCPs) is crucial for the recruitment of adaptors and other components of the internalization machinery, as well as for regulating actin dynamics during endocytosis. PtdIns(4,5)P2 is synthesized from phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate by any of three phosphatidylinositol 5-kinase type I (PIP5KI) isoforms (α, β or γ). PIP5KIβ localizes almost exclusively to the apical surface in polarized mouse cortical collecting duct cells, whereas the other isoforms have a less polarized membrane distribution. We therefore investigated the role of PIP5KI isoforms in endocytosis at the apical and basolateral domains. Endocytosis at the apical surface is known to occur more slowly than at the basolateral surface. Apical endocytosis was selectively stimulated by overexpression of PIP5KIβ whereas the other isoforms had no effect on either apical or basolateral internalization. We found no difference in the affinity for PtdIns(4,5)P2-containing liposomes of the PtdIns(4,5)P2 binding domains of epsin and Dab2, consistent with a generic effect of elevated PtdIns(4,5)P2 on apical endocytosis. Additionally, using apical total internal reflection fluorescence imaging and electron microscopy we found that cells overexpressing PIP5KIβ have fewer apical CCPs but more internalized coated structures than control cells, consistent with enhanced maturation of apical CCPs. Together, our results suggest that synthesis of PtdIns(4,5)P2 mediated by PIP5KIβ is rate limiting for apical but not basolateral endocytosis in polarized kidney cells. PtdIns(4,5)P2 may be required to overcome specific structural constraints that limit the efficiency of apical endocytosis. © 2013 Szalinski et al

    Large-scale genome-wide association studies and meta-analyses of longitudinal change in adult lung function.

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    BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci influencing cross-sectional lung function, but less is known about genes influencing longitudinal change in lung function. METHODS: We performed GWAS of the rate of change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) in 14 longitudinal, population-based cohort studies comprising 27,249 adults of European ancestry using linear mixed effects model and combined cohort-specific results using fixed effect meta-analysis to identify novel genetic loci associated with longitudinal change in lung function. Gene expression analyses were subsequently performed for identified genetic loci. As a secondary aim, we estimated the mean rate of decline in FEV1 by smoking pattern, irrespective of genotypes, across these 14 studies using meta-analysis. RESULTS: The overall meta-analysis produced suggestive evidence for association at the novel IL16/STARD5/TMC3 locus on chromosome 15 (P  =  5.71 × 10(-7)). In addition, meta-analysis using the five cohorts with ≥3 FEV1 measurements per participant identified the novel ME3 locus on chromosome 11 (P  =  2.18 × 10(-8)) at genome-wide significance. Neither locus was associated with FEV1 decline in two additional cohort studies. We confirmed gene expression of IL16, STARD5, and ME3 in multiple lung tissues. Publicly available microarray data confirmed differential expression of all three genes in lung samples from COPD patients compared with controls. Irrespective of genotypes, the combined estimate for FEV1 decline was 26.9, 29.2 and 35.7 mL/year in never, former, and persistent smokers, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In this large-scale GWAS, we identified two novel genetic loci in association with the rate of change in FEV1 that harbor candidate genes with biologically plausible functional links to lung function
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