90 research outputs found

    A spatial prioritisation exercise for marine spatial planning implementation within the North-East MPA of the Maltese Islands

    Get PDF
    The cumulative pressure/risk posed to both Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows and maerl beds by ongoing maritime activities as well as the cumulative user-user conflict within the NE MPA were quantified and mapped to serve as a decision-support tool for MPA managers implementing MSP provisions in the area.peer-reviewe

    Sol–gel thermal barrier coatings: Optimization of the manufacturing route and durability under cyclic oxidation

    Get PDF
    A new promising and versatile process based on the sol–gel transformation has been developed to deposit yttria-stabilised thermal barrier coatings. The non-oriented microstructure with randomly structured pore network, resulting from the soft chemical process, is expected to show satisfactory thermo-mechanical behaviour when the TBC is cyclically oxidized. First stage of the research consists of optimizing the processing route to generate homogeneous microstructure and controlled surface roughness. The objective is to reduce, as much as possible, the size and depth of the surface cracks network inherent to the process. Indeed, the durability of the TBC when cyclically oxidized strongly depends on the sharpness of those cracks that concentrate thermo-mechanical stresses and generate detrimental propagation resulting in spallation. Cyclic oxidation tests are performed using a cyclic oxidation rig instrumented with CCD cameras to monitor in a real time basis the mechanism of crack propagation and spallation. The impact of various parameters either directly related to the processing route, e.g. the intimate microstructure of the TBC and the TBC thickness, or to the thermal loading, e.g. the oxidation temperature and the cumulated hot time, on the durability of the TBC is investigate

    Report on the excavation of a Punic tomb

    Get PDF
    On 19th November 2001, while two of us (DB, NJC) were preparing a drawn record of the Punic tomb that is situated on Bajda Ridge, Xemxija, a small ceramic bowl (100211) was uncovered from below a few centimetres of soil that covered the inner part of the threshold to the rock-cut chamber (Fig. 1). An official from the Museums Department was informed of the discovery on the same day and a site inspection was carried out. It was realised that more artefacts could lie undisturbed within the chamber and a decision was taken to excavate the deposit. Authorisation for the Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta, to undertake the excavation was received from the Director, Museums Department, and the excavation was completed on the 22nd November. The tomb is located on the ridge, near a path that diverges eastwards from the track that links Pwales valley to the Mistra valley. It is cut in the Upper Coralline limestone that outcrops in the area on a North-South axis and consists of a sub-rectangular chamber that is reached through a low entrance at the bottom of a rectangular shaft (Fig. 1). The tomb appears in an inventory for the first time in 1996 when it was listed in the survey of archaeological sites prepared by Malta University Services for the Planning Authority by Anthony Bonanno in connection with the preparation of the North-West local plan for Malta. The tomb had been examined and photographed by one of us (NCV) in 1992. At the time, it was littered with debris and it was only with difficulty that a view of the chamber could be achieved through the entrance that was partly concealed by an irregular blocking stone. Late in 2000, members of the St Paul's Bay Heritage Group lifted the debris from the trench and cleared the area around the site.peer-reviewe

    Ric-8A, a Gα Protein Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor Potentiates Taste Receptor Signaling

    Get PDF
    Taste receptors for sweet, bitter and umami tastants are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). While much effort has been devoted to understanding G-protein-receptor interactions and identifying the components of the signalling cascade downstream of these receptors, at the level of the G-protein the modulation of receptor signal transduction remains relatively unexplored. In this regard a taste-specific regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS), RGS21, has recently been identified. To study whether guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) are involved in the transduction of the signal downstream of the taste GPCRs we investigated the expression of Ric-8A and Ric-8B in mouse taste cells and their interaction with G-protein subunits found in taste buds. Mammalian Ric-8 proteins were initially identified as potent GEFs for a range of Gα subunits and Ric-8B has recently been shown to amplify olfactory signal transduction. We find that both Ric-8A and Ric-8B are expressed in a large portion of taste bud cells and that most of these cells contain IP3R-3 a marker for sweet, umami and bitter taste receptor cells. Ric-8A interacts with Gα-gustducin and Gαi2 through which it amplifies the signal transduction of hTas2R16, a receptor for bitter compounds. Overall, these findings are consistent with a role for Ric-8 in mammalian taste signal transduction

    Ġungla

    Get PDF
    Ġabra ta’ poeżiji u proża li tinkludi: Tliet battuti mhux kompluti ta’ Mario Azzopardi – Ittra ta’ mara ħalliema ta’ Mario Azzopardi – Imħabba sewda ta’ Ġorġ Borg – Naf tifel ta’ Ġorġ Borg – Metaforosi ta’ Alfred Degabriele – Bħan-nar tal-festi ta’ Alfred Degabriele – Temporale ta’ Victor Fenech – Foresti-Xita ta’ Victor Fenech – Qamar tal-vikingi ta’ Charles Flores – Pakkett nru. 49 ta’ Charles Flores – Il-bieb imsakkar ta’ Oliver Friggieri – Kull ħolma tqila ta’ Oliver Friggieri – Wara l-bwieb tal-ħġieġ ta’ Raymond Mahoney – Femminista ta’ Albert Marshall – Vudu ta’ Albert Marshall – Serp ta’ Daniel Massa – M 42: Saif u riġel ta’ Daniel Massa – Blanzun ta’ Achille Mizzi – Tifsir ta’ Achille Mizzi – Is-snin ta’ Frans Sammut – Stqarrija ta’ Philip Sciberras – Ġungla ta’ Philip Sciberras.peer-reviewe

    Proposed guidelines to evaluate scientific validity and evidence for genotype-based dietary advice

    Get PDF
    Nutrigenetic research examines the effects of inter-individual differences in genotype on responses to nutrients and other food components, in the context of health and of nutrient requirements. A practical application of nutrigenetics is the use of personal genetic information to guide recommendations for dietary choices that are more efficacious at the individual or genetic subgroup level relative to generic dietary advice. Nutrigenetics is unregulated, with no defined standards, beyond some commercially adopted codes of practice. Only a few official nutrition-related professional bodies have embraced the subject, and, consequently, there is a lack of educational resources or guidance for implementation of the outcomes of nutrigenetic research. To avoid misuse and to protect the public, personalised nutrigenetic advice and information should be based on clear evidence of validity grounded in a careful and defensible interpretation of outcomes from nutrigenetic research studies. Evidence requirements are clearly stated and assessed within the context of state-of-the-art ‘evidence-based nutrition’. We have developed and present here a draft framework that can be used to assess the strength of the evidence for scientific validity of nutrigenetic knowledge and whether ‘actionable’. In addition, we propose that this framework be used as the basis for developing transparent and scientifically sound advice to the public based on nutrigenetic tests. We feel that although this area is still in its infancy, minimal guidelines are required. Though these guidelines are based on semiquantitative data, they should stimulate debate on their utility. This framework will be revised biennially, as knowledge on the subject increases

    Transcriptional diversity during lineage commitment of human blood progenitors.

    Get PDF
    Blood cells derive from hematopoietic stem cells through stepwise fating events. To characterize gene expression programs driving lineage choice, we sequenced RNA from eight primary human hematopoietic progenitor populations representing the major myeloid commitment stages and the main lymphoid stage. We identified extensive cell type-specific expression changes: 6711 genes and 10,724 transcripts, enriched in non-protein-coding elements at early stages of differentiation. In addition, we found 7881 novel splice junctions and 2301 differentially used alternative splicing events, enriched in genes involved in regulatory processes. We demonstrated experimentally cell-specific isoform usage, identifying nuclear factor I/B (NFIB) as a regulator of megakaryocyte maturation-the platelet precursor. Our data highlight the complexity of fating events in closely related progenitor populations, the understanding of which is essential for the advancement of transplantation and regenerative medicine.The work described in this article was primarily supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Program through the BLUEPRINT grant with code HEALTH-F5-2011-282510 (D.H., F.B., G.C., J.H.A.M., K.D., L.C., M.F., S.C., S.F., and S.P.G.). Research in the Ouwehand laboratory is further supported by program grants from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR, www.nihr.ac.uk; to A.A., M.K., P.P., S.B.G.J., S.N., and W.H.O.) and the British Heart Foundation under nos. RP-PG-0310-1002 and RG/09/12/28096 (www.bhf.org.uk; to A.R. and W.J.A.). K.F. and M.K. were supported by Marie Curie funding from the NETSIM FP7 program funded by the European Commission. The laboratory receives funding from the NHS Blood and Transplant for facilities. The Cambridge BioResource (www.cambridgebioresource.org.uk), the Cell Phenotyping Hub, and the Cambridge Translational GenOmics laboratory (www.catgo.org.uk) are supported by an NIHR grant to the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). The BRIDGE-Bleeding and Platelet Disorders Consortium is supported by the NIHR BioResource—Rare Diseases (http://bioresource.nihr.ac.uk/; to E.T., N.F., and Whole Exome Sequencing effort). Research in the Soranzo laboratory (L.V., N.S., and S. Watt) is further supported by the Wellcome Trust (Grant Codes WT098051 and WT091310) and the EU FP7 EPIGENESYS initiative (Grant Code 257082). Research in the Cvejic laboratory (A. Cvejic and C.L.) is funded by the Cancer Research UK under grant no. C45041/A14953. S.J.S. is funded by NIHR. M.E.F. is supported by a British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Training Fellowship, no. FS/12/27/29405. E.B.-M. is supported by a Wellcome Trust grant, no. 084183/Z/07/Z. Research in the Laffan laboratory is supported by Imperial College BRC. F.A.C., C.L., and S. Westbury are supported by Medical Research Council Clinical Training Fellowships, and T.B. by a British Society of Haematology/NHS Blood and Transplant grant. R.J.R. is a Principal Research Fellow of the Wellcome Trust, grant no. 082961/Z/07/Z. Research in the Flicek laboratory is also supported by the Wellcome Trust (grant no. 095908) and EMBL. Research in the Bertone laboratory is supported by EMBL. K.F. and C.v.G. are supported by FWO-Vlaanderen through grant G.0B17.13N. P.F. is a compensated member of the Omicia Inc. Scientific Advisory Board. This study made use of data generated by the UK10K Consortium, derived from samples from the Cohorts arm of the project.This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science on 26/9/14 in volume 345, number 6204, DOI: 10.1126/science.1251033. This version will be under embargo until the 26th of March 2015

    The case for strategic international alliances to harness nutritional genomics for public and personal health

    Get PDF
    Nutrigenomics is the study of how constituents of the diet interact with genes, and their products, to alter phenotype and, conversely, how genes and their products metabolise these constituents into nutrients, antinutrients, and bioactive compounds. Results from molecular and genetic epidemiological studies indicate that dietary unbalance can alter gene-nutrient interactions in ways that increase the risk of developing chronic disease. The interplay of human genetic variation and environmental factors will make identifying causative genes and nutrients a formidable, but not intractable, challenge. We provide specific recommendations for how to best meet this challenge and discuss the need for new methodologies and the use of comprehensive analyses of nutrient-genotype interactions involving large and diverse populations. The objective of the present paper is to stimulate discourse and collaboration among nutrigenomic researchers and stakeholders, a process that will lead to an increase in global health and wellness by reducing health disparities in developed and developing countrie
    corecore