933 research outputs found

    Toward a New Consciousness: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities

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    A Synthesis of Insights and Recommendations from the 2007 Yale F&ES Conferenc

    Dietary nitrate increases arginine availability and protects mitochondrial complex I and energetics in the hypoxic rat heart

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    This is the final version. It was first published by Wiley in The Journal of Physiology at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.2014.275263/abstract.Hypoxic exposure is associated with impaired cardiac energetics in humans and altered mitochondrial function, with suppressed complex I-supported respiration, in rat heart. This response might limit reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, but at the cost of impaired electron transport chain (ETC) activity. Dietary nitrate supplementation improves mitochondrial efficiency and can promote tissue oxygenation by enhancing blood flow. We therefore hypothesised that ETC dysfunction, impaired energetics and oxidative damage in the hearts of rats exposed to chronic hypoxia could be alleviated by sustained administration of a moderate dose of dietary nitrate. Male Wistar rats (n=40) were given water supplemented with 0.7 mmol/L NaCl (as control) or 0.7 mmol/L NaNO3, elevating plasma nitrate levels by 80%, and were exposed to 13% O2 (hypoxia) or normoxia (n=10 per group) for 14 days. Respiration rates, ETC protein levels, mitochondrial density, ATP content and protein carbonylation were measured in cardiac muscle. Complex I respiration rates and protein levels were 33% lower in hypoxic/NaCl rats compared with normoxic/NaCl controls. Protein carbonylation was 65% higher in hearts of hypoxic rats compared with controls, indicating increased oxidative stress, whilst ATP levels were 62% lower. Respiration rates, complex I protein and activity, protein carbonylation and ATP levels were all fully protected in the hearts of nitrate-supplemented hypoxic rats. Both in normoxia and hypoxia, dietary nitrate suppressed cardiac arginase expression and activity and markedly elevated cardiac L-arginine concentrations, unmasking a novel mechanism of action by which nitrate enhances tissue NO bioavailability. Dietary nitrate therefore alleviates metabolic abnormalities in the hypoxic heart, improving myocardial energetics

    East Bay Coalition for the Homeless: Branding Study and Marketing Strategy

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    There are a number of potential positioning strategies. The two which make the most sense for the EBCH are to “position the EBCH away from others in the category” and to “position the EBCH as unique.” These strategies have the advantage of setting the EBCH apart from the other organizations that address homelessness. Occupying its own “position” in the minds of potential and current donors is not only an effective communications/marketing strategy but also a less costly one because it avoids head-to-head competition and comparisons

    Spectroscopic and Mechanistic Studies of Heterodimetallic Forms of Metallo-β-lactamase NDM-1

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    In an effort to characterize the roles of each metal ion in metallo-β-lactamase NDM-1, heterodimetallic analogues (CoCo-, ZnCo-, and CoCd-) of the enzyme were generated and characterized. UV–vis, 1H NMR, EPR, and EXAFS spectroscopies were used to confirm the fidelity of the metal substitutions, including the presence of a homogeneous, heterodimetallic cluster, with a single-atom bridge. This marks the first preparation of a metallo-β-lactamase selectively substituted with a paramagnetic metal ion, Co(II), either in the Zn1 (CoCd-NDM-1) or in the Zn2 site (ZnCo-NDM-1), as well as both (CoCo-NDM-1). We then used these metal-substituted forms of the enzyme to probe the reaction mechanism, using steady-state and stopped-flow kinetics, stopped-flow fluorescence, and rapid-freeze-quench EPR. Both metal sites show significant effects on the kinetic constants, and both paramagnetic variants (CoCd- and ZnCo-NDM-1) showed significant structural changes on reaction with substrate. These changes are discussed in terms of a minimal kinetic mechanism that incorporates all of the data

    In vitro inhibition of monkeypox virus production and spread by Interferon-β

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The <it>Orthopoxvirus </it>genus contains numerous virus species that are capable of causing disease in humans, including variola virus (the etiological agent of smallpox), monkeypox virus, cowpox virus, and vaccinia virus (the prototypical member of the genus). Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease that is endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is characterized by systemic lesion development and prominent lymphadenopathy. Like variola virus, monkeypox virus is a high priority pathogen for therapeutic development due to its potential to cause serious disease with significant health impacts after zoonotic, accidental, or deliberate introduction into a naïve population.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The purpose of this study was to investigate the prophylactic and therapeutic potential of interferon-β (IFN-β) for use against monkeypox virus. We found that treatment with human IFN-β results in a significant decrease in monkeypox virus production and spread <it>in vitro</it>. IFN-β substantially inhibited monkeypox virus when introduced 6-8 h post infection, revealing its potential for use as a therapeutic. IFN-β induced the expression of the antiviral protein MxA in infected cells, and constitutive expression of MxA was shown to inhibit monkeypox virus infection.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Our results demonstrate the successful inhibition of monkeypox virus using human IFN-β and suggest that IFN-β could potentially serve as a novel safe therapeutic for human monkeypox disease.</p

    Development of the Adolescent Preoccupation with Screens Scale

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    Abstract Background Although public health concerns have been raised regarding the detrimental health effects of increasing rates of electronic screen use among adolescents, such effects have been small. Instruments currently available tend to be lengthy, have a clinical research focus, and assess young people’s screen use on specific screen-based activities (e.g., TV, computer, or internet). None appear to address screen use across a broad range of screens, including mobile devices and screen-based activities. The objective was to develop a new and short self-report scale for investigating adolescents’ screen use across all screens and screen-based activities in non-clinical settings. Methods The Adolescent Preoccupation with Screens Scale (APSS) was developed over a three stage process. First, a review of the current literature and existing instruments was undertaken and suitable items identified. Second, the draft APSS was piloted with adolescents and item affectivity and discrimination indices were calculated. Third, a cross sectional school based online survey of 1967 Australian adolescents in grades 5 (10 years old), 7 (13 years) and 9 (15 years) from 25 randomly selected schools was conducted. Results Factor Analysis on a sub-sample of the data (n = 782) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis on the remaining sub-sample (n = 1185), supported a two-factor model. The first factor reflects adolescents’ mood management with screen use, and the second reflects a behavioural preoccupation. The measure demonstrated strong invariance across sex and across Grades 5, 7, and 9. Both factors displayed good internal consistency (α = .91 and .87, respectively). Sex and grade differences on both scales were investigated and boys in Grade 5 reported higher levels of both mood management and behavioural preoccupation with screens. There were no sex differences on mood management in Grades 7 and 9, but girls reported higher behavioural preoccupation in both these later grades. Conclusion The APSS provides researchers with a new, brief and robust measure of potentially problematic screen use across a wide array of screens, including mobile devices, so readily accessed during adolescence

    Age and Diet Affect Gene Expression Profile in Canine Skeletal Muscle

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    We evaluated gene transcription in canine skeletal muscle (biceps femoris) using microarray analysis to identify effects of age and diet on gene expression. Twelve female beagles were used (six 1-year olds and six 12-year olds) and they were fed one of two experimental diets for 12 months. One diet contained primarily plant-based protein sources (PPB), whereas the second diet contained primarily animal-based protein sources (APB). Affymetrix GeneChip Canine Genome Arrays were used to hybridize extracted RNA. Age had the greatest effect on gene transcription (262 differentially expressed genes), whereas the effect of diet was relatively small (22 differentially expressed genes). Effects of age (regardless of diet) were most notable on genes related to metabolism, cell cycle and cell development, and transcription function. All these genes were predominantly down-regulated in geriatric dogs. Age-affected genes that were differentially expressed on only one of two diets were primarily noted in the PPB diet group (144/165 genes). Again, genes related to cell cycle (22/35) and metabolism (15/19) had predominantly decreased transcription in geriatric dogs, but 6/8 genes related to muscle development had increased expression. Effects of diet on muscle gene expression were mostly noted in geriatric dogs, but no consistent patterns in transcription were observed. The insight these data provide into gene expression profiles of canine skeletal muscle as affected by age, could serve as a foundation for future research pertaining to age-related muscle diseases

    Gene Expression Profiling during Early Acute Febrile Stage of Dengue Infection Can Predict the Disease Outcome

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    Background: We report the detailed development of biomarkers to predict the clinical outcome under dengue infection. Transcriptional signatures from purified peripheral blood mononuclear cells were derived from whole-genome gene-expression microarray data, validated by quantitative PCR and tested in independent samples. Methodology/Principal Findings: The study was performed on patients of a well-characterized dengue cohort from Recife, Brazil. The samples analyzed were collected prospectively from acute febrile dengue patients who evolved with different degrees of disease severity: classic dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) samples were compared with similar samples from other non-dengue febrile illnesses. The DHF samples were collected 2-3 days before the presentation of the plasma leakage symptoms. Differentially-expressed genes were selected by univariate statistical tests as well as multivariate classification techniques. The results showed that at early stages of dengue infection, the genes involved in effector mechanisms of innate immune response presented a weaker activation on patients who later developed hemorrhagic fever, whereas the genes involved in apoptosis were expressed in higher levels. Conclusions/Significance: Some of the gene expression signatures displayed estimated accuracy rates of more than 95%, indicating that expression profiling with these signatures may provide a useful means of DHF prognosis at early stages of infection. © 2009 Nascimento et al

    Allelic Diversity of the Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 Entails Variant-Specific Red Cell Surface Epitopes

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    The clonally variant Plasmodium falciparum PfEMP1 adhesin is a virulence factor and a prime target of humoral immunity. It is encoded by a repertoire of functionally differentiated var genes, which display architectural diversity and allelic polymorphism. Their serological relationship is key to understanding the evolutionary constraints on this gene family and rational vaccine design. Here, we investigated the Palo Alto/VarO and IT4/R29 and 3D7/PF13_003 parasites lines. VarO and R29 form rosettes with uninfected erythrocytes, a phenotype associated with severe malaria. They express an allelic Cys2/group A NTS-DBL1α1 PfEMP1 domain implicated in rosetting, whose 3D7 ortholog is encoded by PF13_0003. Using these three recombinant NTS-DBL1α1 domains, we elicited antibodies in mice that were used to develop monovariant cultures by panning selection. The 3D7/PF13_0003 parasites formed rosettes, revealing a correlation between sequence identity and virulence phenotype. The antibodies cross-reacted with the allelic domains in ELISA but only minimally with the Cys4/group B/C PFL1955w NTS-DBL1α. By contrast, they were variant-specific in surface seroreactivity of the monovariant-infected red cells by FACS analysis and in rosette-disruption assays. Thus, while ELISA can differentiate serogroups, surface reactivity assays define the more restrictive serotypes. Irrespective of cumulated exposure to infection, antibodies acquired by humans living in a malaria-endemic area also displayed a variant-specific surface reactivity. Although seroprevalence exceeded 90% for each rosetting line, the kinetics of acquistion of surface-reactive antibodies differed in the younger age groups. These data indicate that humans acquire an antibody repertoire to non-overlapping serotypes within a serogroup, consistent with an antibody-driven diversification pressure at the population level. In addition, the data provide important information for vaccine design, as production of a vaccine targeting rosetting PfEMP1 adhesins will require engineering to induce variant-transcending responses or combining multiple serotypes to elicit a broad spectrum of immunity
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