137 research outputs found

    The \u3cem\u3eChlamydomonas\u3c/em\u3e Genome Reveals the Evolution of Key Animal and Plant Functions

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    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land plants. We sequenced the ∼120-megabase nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas and performed comparative phylogenomic analyses, identifying genes encoding uncharacterized proteins that are likely associated with the function and biogenesis of chloroplasts or eukaryotic flagella. Analyses of the Chlamydomonas genome advance our understanding of the ancestral eukaryotic cell, reveal previously unknown genes associated with photosynthetic and flagellar functions, and establish links between ciliopathy and the composition and function of flagella

    Faecal pharmacokinetics of orally administered vancomycin in patients with suspected Clostridium difficile infection

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Oral vancomycin (125 mg qid) is recommended as treatment of severe <it>Clostridium difficile </it>infection (CDI). Higher doses (250 or 500 mg qid) are sometimes recommended for patients with very severe CDI, without supporting clinical evidence. We wished to determine to what extent faecal levels of vancomycin vary according to diarrhoea severity and dosage, and whether it is rational to administer high-dose vancomycin to selected patients.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We recruited hospitalized adults suspected to have CDI for whom oral vancomycin (125, 250 or 500 mg qid) had been initiated. Faeces were collected up to 3 times/day and levels were measured with the AxSYM fluorescence polarization immunoassay.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Fifteen patients (9 with confirmed CDI) were treated with oral vancomycin. Patients with ≥4 stools daily presented lower faecal vancomycin levels than those with a lower frequency. Higher doses of oral vancomycin (250 mg or 500 mg qid) led to consistently higher faecal levels (> 2000 mg/L), which were 3 orders of magnitude higher than the MIC<sub>90 </sub>of vancomycin against <it>C. difficile</it>. One patient receiving 125 mg qid had levels below 50 mg/L during the first day of treatment.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Faecal levels of vancomycin are proportional to the dosage administered and, even in patients with increased stool frequency, much higher than the MIC<sub>90</sub>. Patients given the standard 125 mg qid dosage might have low faecal levels during the first day of treatment. A loading dose of 250 mg or 500 mg qid during the first 24-48 hours followed by the standard dosage should be evaluated in larger studies, since it might be less disruptive to the colonic flora and save unnecessary costs.</p

    An Epigenetic Switch Involving Overlapping Fur and DNA Methylation Optimizes Expression of a Type VI Secretion Gene Cluster

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    Type VI secretion systems (T6SS) are macromolecular machines of the cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria responsible for bacterial killing and/or virulence towards different host cells. Here, we characterized the regulatory mechanism underlying expression of the enteroagregative Escherichia coli sci1 T6SS gene cluster. We identified Fur as the main regulator of the sci1 cluster. A detailed analysis of the promoter region showed the presence of three GATC motifs, which are target of the DNA adenine methylase Dam. Using a combination of reporter fusion, gel shift, and in vivo and in vitro Dam methylation assays, we dissected the regulatory role of Fur and Dam-dependent methylation. We showed that the sci1 gene cluster expression is under the control of an epigenetic switch depending on methylation: fur binding prevents methylation of a GATC motif, whereas methylation at this specific site decreases the affinity of Fur for its binding box. A model is proposed in which the sci1 promoter is regulated by iron availability, adenine methylation, and DNA replication

    Myogenin Regulates Exercise Capacity and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism in the Adult Mouse

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    Although skeletal muscle metabolism is a well-studied physiological process, little is known about how it is regulated at the transcriptional level. The myogenic transcription factor myogenin is required for skeletal muscle development during embryonic and fetal life, but myogenin's role in adult skeletal muscle is unclear. We sought to determine myogenin's function in adult muscle metabolism. A Myog conditional allele and Cre-ER transgene were used to delete Myog in adult mice. Mice were analyzed for exercise capacity by involuntary treadmill running. To assess oxidative and glycolytic metabolism, we performed indirect calorimetry, monitored blood glucose and lactate levels, and performed histochemical analyses on muscle fibers. Surprisingly, we found that Myog-deleted mice performed significantly better than controls in high- and low-intensity treadmill running. This enhanced exercise capacity was due to more efficient oxidative metabolism during low- and high-intensity exercise and more efficient glycolytic metabolism during high-intensity exercise. Furthermore, Myog-deleted mice had an enhanced response to long-term voluntary exercise training on running wheels. We identified several candidate genes whose expression was altered in exercise-stressed muscle of mice lacking myogenin. The results suggest that myogenin plays a critical role as a high-level transcriptional regulator to control the energy balance between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in adult skeletal muscle

    Complete Genome Sequence of Crohn's Disease-Associated Adherent-Invasive E. coli Strain LF82

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    International audienceBACKGROUND: Ileal lesions of Crohn's disease (CD) patients are abnormally colonized by pathogenic adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) able to invade and to replicate within intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report here the complete genome sequence of E. coli LF82, the reference strain of adherent-invasive E. coli associated with ileal Crohn's disease. The LF82 genome of 4,881,487 bp total size contains a circular chromosome with a size of 4,773,108 bp and a plasmid of 108,379 bp. The analysis of predicted coding sequences (CDSs) within the LF82 flexible genome indicated that this genome is close to the avian pathogenic strain APEC_01, meningitis-associated strain S88 and urinary-isolated strain UTI89 with regards to flexible genome and single nucleotide polymorphisms in various virulence factors. Interestingly, we observed that strains LF82 and UTI89 adhered at a similar level to Intestine-407 cells and that like LF82, APEC_01 and UTI89 were highly invasive. However, A1EC strain LF82 had an intermediate killer phenotype compared to APEC-01 and UTI89 and the LF82 genome does not harbour most of specific virulence genes from ExPEC. LF82 genome has evolved from those of ExPEC B2 strains by the acquisition of Salmonella and Yersinia isolated or clustered genes or CDSs located on pLF82 plasmid and at various loci on the chromosome. CONCLUSION: LF82 genome analysis indicated that a number of genes, gene clusters and pathoadaptative mutations which have been acquired may play a role in virulence of AIEC strain LF82

    Twenty-three unsolved problems in hydrology (UPH) – a community perspective

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    This paper is the outcome of a community initiative to identify major unsolved scientific problems in hydrology motivated by a need for stronger harmonisation of research efforts. The procedure involved a public consultation through on-line media, followed by two workshops through which a large number of potential science questions were collated, prioritised, and synthesised. In spite of the diversity of the participants (230 scientists in total), the process revealed much about community priorities and the state of our science: a preference for continuity in research questions rather than radical departures or redirections from past and current work. Questions remain focussed on process-based understanding of hydrological variability and causality at all space and time scales. Increased attention to environmental change drives a new emphasis on understanding how change propagates across interfaces within the hydrological system and across disciplinary boundaries. In particular, the expansion of the human footprint raises a new set of questions related to human interactions with nature and water cycle feedbacks in the context of complex water management problems. We hope that this reflection and synthesis of the 23 unsolved problems in hydrology will help guide research efforts for some years to come

    Multi-ethnic genome-wide association study for atrial fibrillation

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    Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects more than 33 million individuals worldwide and has a complex heritability. We conducted the largest meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for AF to date, consisting of more than half a million individuals, including 65,446 with AF. In total, we identified 97 loci significantly associated with AF, including 67 that were novel in a combined-ancestry analysis, and 3 that were novel in a European-specific analysis. We sought to identify AF-associated genes at the GWAS loci by performing RNA-sequencing and expression quantitative trait locus analyses in 101 left atrial samples, the most relevant tissue for AF. We also performed transcriptome-wide analyses that identified 57 AF-associated genes, 42 of which overlap with GWAS loci. The identified loci implicate genes enriched within cardiac developmental, electrophysiological, contractile and structural pathways. These results extend our understanding of the biological pathways underlying AF and may facilitate the development of therapeutics for AF

    Advances in structure elucidation of small molecules using mass spectrometry

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    The structural elucidation of small molecules using mass spectrometry plays an important role in modern life sciences and bioanalytical approaches. This review covers different soft and hard ionization techniques and figures of merit for modern mass spectrometers, such as mass resolving power, mass accuracy, isotopic abundance accuracy, accurate mass multiple-stage MS(n) capability, as well as hybrid mass spectrometric and orthogonal chromatographic approaches. The latter part discusses mass spectral data handling strategies, which includes background and noise subtraction, adduct formation and detection, charge state determination, accurate mass measurements, elemental composition determinations, and complex data-dependent setups with ion maps and ion trees. The importance of mass spectral library search algorithms for tandem mass spectra and multiple-stage MS(n) mass spectra as well as mass spectral tree libraries that combine multiple-stage mass spectra are outlined. The successive chapter discusses mass spectral fragmentation pathways, biotransformation reactions and drug metabolism studies, the mass spectral simulation and generation of in silico mass spectra, expert systems for mass spectral interpretation, and the use of computational chemistry to explain gas-phase phenomena. A single chapter discusses data handling for hyphenated approaches including mass spectral deconvolution for clean mass spectra, cheminformatics approaches and structure retention relationships, and retention index predictions for gas and liquid chromatography. The last section reviews the current state of electronic data sharing of mass spectra and discusses the importance of software development for the advancement of structure elucidation of small molecules

    Non-Standard Errors

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    In statistics, samples are drawn from a population in a data-generating process (DGP). Standard errors measure the uncertainty in estimates of population parameters. In science, evidence is generated to test hypotheses in an evidence-generating process (EGP). We claim that EGP variation across researchers adds uncertainty: Non-standard errors (NSEs). We study NSEs by letting 164 teams test the same hypotheses on the same data. NSEs turn out to be sizable, but smaller for better reproducible or higher rated research. Adding peer-review stages reduces NSEs. We further find that this type of uncertainty is underestimated by participants
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