463 research outputs found

    On the inverse Compton scattering model of radio pulsars

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    Some characteristics of the inverse Compton scattering (ICS) model are reviewed. At least the following properties of radio pulsars can be reproduced in the model: core or central emission beam, one or two hollow emission cones, different emission heights of these components, diverse pulse profiles at various frequencies, linear and circular polarization features of core and cones.Comment: 5 pages, no figures, LaTeX, a proceeding paper for Pacific Rim Conference on Stellar Astrophysics, Aug. 1999, HongKong, Chin

    Predicting Phenotypic Diversity and the Underlying Quantitative Molecular Transitions

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    During development, signaling networks control the formation of multicellular patterns. To what extent quantitative fluctuations in these complex networks may affect multicellular phenotype remains unclear. Here, we describe a computational approach to predict and analyze the phenotypic diversity that is accessible to a developmental signaling network. Applying this framework to vulval development in C. elegans, we demonstrate that quantitative changes in the regulatory network can render ~500 multicellular phenotypes. This phenotypic capacity is an order-of-magnitude below the theoretical upper limit for this system but yet is large enough to demonstrate that the system is not restricted to a select few outcomes. Using metrics to gauge the robustness of these phenotypes to parameter perturbations, we identify a select subset of novel phenotypes that are the most promising for experimental validation. In addition, our model calculations provide a layout of these phenotypes in network parameter space. Analyzing this landscape of multicellular phenotypes yielded two significant insights. First, we show that experimentally well-established mutant phenotypes may be rendered using non-canonical network perturbations. Second, we show that the predicted multicellular patterns include not only those observed in C. elegans, but also those occurring exclusively in other species of the Caenorhabditis genus. This result demonstrates that quantitative diversification of a common regulatory network is indeed demonstrably sufficient to generate the phenotypic differences observed across three major species within the Caenorhabditis genus. Using our computational framework, we systematically identify the quantitative changes that may have occurred in the regulatory network during the evolution of these species. Our model predictions show that significant phenotypic diversity may be sampled through quantitative variations in the regulatory network without overhauling the core network architecture. Furthermore, by comparing the predicted landscape of phenotypes to multicellular patterns that have been experimentally observed across multiple species, we systematically trace the quantitative regulatory changes that may have occurred during the evolution of the Caenorhabditis genus

    Hormonal regulation of ovarian bursa fluid in mice and involvement of aquaporins.

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    In rodent species, the ovary and the end of oviduct are encapsulated by a thin membrane called ovarian bursa. The biological functions of ovarian bursa remain unexplored despite its structural arrangement in facilitating oocytes transport into oviduct. In the present study, we observed a rapid fluid accumulation and reabsorption within the ovarian bursa after ovarian stimulation (PMSG-primed hCG injection), suggesting that the ovarian bursa might play an active role in regulating local fluid homeostasis around the timing of ovulation. We hypothesized that the aquaporin proteins, which are specialized channels for water transport, might be involved in this process. By screening the expression of aquaporin family members (Aqp1-9) in the ovarian tissue and isolated ovarian bursa (0, 1, 2 and 5 h after hCG injection), we found that AQP2 and AQP5 mRNA showed dynamic changes after hCG treatment, showing upregulation at 1-2 h followed by gradually decrease at 5 h, which is closely related with the intra-bursa fluid dynamics. Further immunofluorescence examinations of AQP2 and AQP5 in the ovarian bursa revealed that AQP2 is specifically localized in the outer layer (peritoneal side) while AQP5 localized in the inner layer (ovarian side) of the bursa, such cell type specific and spatial-temporal expressions of AQP2 and 5 support our hypothesis that they might be involved in efficient water transport through ovarian bursa under ovulation related hormonal regulation. The physiological significance of aquaporin-mediated water transport in the context of ovarian bursa still awaits further clarification

    Using detergent to enhance detection sensitivity of African trypanosomes in human CSF and blood by Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP)

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    <p><b>Background:</b> The loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay, with its advantages of simplicity, rapidity and cost effectiveness, has evolved as one of the most sensitive and specific methods for the detection of a broad range of pathogenic microorganisms including African trypanosomes. While many LAMP-based assays are sufficiently sensitive to detect DNA well below the amount present in a single parasite, the detection limit of the assay is restricted by the number of parasites present in the volume of sample assayed; i.e. 1 per µL or 103 per mL. We hypothesized that clinical sensitivities that mimic analytical limits based on parasite DNA could be approached or even obtained by simply adding detergent to the samples prior to LAMP assay.</p> <p><b>Methodology/Principal Findings:</b> For proof of principle we used two different LAMP assays capable of detecting 0.1 fg genomic DNA (0.001 parasite). The assay was tested on dilution series of intact bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or blood with or without the addition of the detergent Triton X-100 and 60 min incubation at ambient temperature. With human CSF and in the absence of detergent, the LAMP detection limit for live intact parasites using 1 µL of CSF as the source of template was at best 103 parasites/mL. Remarkably, detergent enhanced LAMP assay reaches sensitivity about 100 to 1000-fold lower; i.e. 10 to 1 parasite/mL. Similar detergent-mediated increases in LAMP assay analytical sensitivity were also found using DNA extracted from filter paper cards containing blood pretreated with detergent before card spotting or blood samples spotted on detergent pretreated cards.</p> <p><b>Conclusions/Significance:</b> This simple procedure for the enhanced detection of live African trypanosomes in biological fluids by LAMP paves the way for the adaptation of LAMP for the economical and sensitive diagnosis of other protozoan parasites and microorganisms that cause diseases that plague the developing world.</p&gt

    Up-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in primary afferent pathway regulates colon-to-bladder cross-sensitization in rat

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    Background In humans, inflammation of either the urinary bladder or the distal colon often results in sensory cross-sensitization between these organs. Limited information is known about the mechanisms underlying this clinical syndrome. Studies with animal models have demonstrated that activation of primary afferent pathways may have a role in mediating viscero-visceral cross-organ sensitization. Methods Colonic inflammation was induced by a single dose of tri-nitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) instilled intracolonically. The histology of the colon and the urinary bladder was examined by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain. The protein expression of transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel of the vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were examined by immunohistochemistry and/or western blot. The inter-micturition intervals and the quantity of urine voided were obtained from analysis of cystometrograms. Results At 3 days post TNBS treatment, the protein level of TRPV1 was increased by 2-fold (p \u3c 0.05) in the inflamed distal colon when examined with western blot. TRPV1 was mainly expressed in the axonal terminals in submucosal area of the distal colon, and was co-localized with the neural marker PGP9.5. In sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), BDNF expression was augmented by colonic inflammation examined in the L1 DRG, and was expressed in TRPV1 positive neurons. The elevated level of BDNF in L1 DRG by colonic inflammation was blunted by prolonged pre-treatment of the animals with the neurotoxin resiniferatoxin (RTX). Colonic inflammation did not alter either the morphology of the urinary bladder or the expression level of TRPV1 in this viscus. However, colonic inflammation decreased the inter-micturition intervals and decreased the quantities of urine voided. The increased bladder activity by colonic inflammation was attenuated by prolonged intraluminal treatment with RTX or treatment with intrathecal BDNF neutralizing antibody. Conclusion Acute colonic inflammation increases bladder activity without affecting bladder morphology. Primary afferent-mediated BDNF up-regulation in the sensory neurons regulates, at least in part, the bladder activity during colonic inflammation

    Deoxycholate induces COX-2 expression via Erk1/2-, p38-MAPK and AP-1-dependent mechanisms in esophageal cancer cells

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The progression from Barrett's metaplasia to adenocarcinoma is associated with the acquirement of an apoptosis-resistant phenotype. The bile acid deoxycholate (DCA) has been proposed to play an important role in the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but the precise molecular mechanisms remain undefined. The aim of this study was to investigate DCA-stimulated COX-2 signaling pathways and their possible contribution to deregulated cell survival and apoptosis in esophageal adenocarcinoma cells.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Following exposure of SKGT-4 cells to DCA, protein levels of COX-2, MAPK and PARP were examined by immunoblotting. AP-1 activity was assessed by mobility shift assay. DCA-induced toxicity was assessed by DNA fragmentation and MTT assay.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>DCA induced persistent activation of the AP-1 transcription factor with Fra-1 and JunB identified as the predominant components of the DCA-induced AP-1 complex. DCA activated Fra-1 via the Erk1/2- and p38 MAPK while Erk1/2 is upstream of JunB. Moreover, DCA stimulation mediated inhibition of proliferation with concomitant low levels of caspase-3-dependent PARP cleavage and DNA fragmentation. Induction of the anti-apoptotic protein COX-2 by DCA, via MAPK/AP-1 pathway appeared to balance the DCA mediated activation of pro-apoptotic markers such as PARP cleavage and DNA fragmentation. Both of these markers were increased upon COX-2 suppression by aspirin pretreatment prior to DCA exposure.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>DCA regulates both apoptosis and COX-2-regulated cell survival in esophageal cells suggesting that the balance between these two opposing signals may determine the transformation potential of DCA as a component of the refluxate.</p

    Estimation of cancer incidence and mortality attributable to alcohol drinking in china

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    Background. Cancer constitutes a serious burden of disease worldwide and has become the second leading cause of death in China. Alcohol consumption is causally associated with the increased risk of certain cancers. Due to the current lack of data and the imperative need to guide policymakers on issues of cancer prevention and control, we aim to estimate the role of alcohol on the cancer burden in China in 2005. Methods. We calculated the proportion of cancers attributable to alcohol use to estimate the burden of alcohol-related cancer. The population attributable fraction was calculated based on the assumption of no alcohol drinking. Data on alcohol drinking prevalence were from two large-scale national surveys of representative samples of the Chinese population. Data on relative risk were obtained from meta-analyses and large-scale studies. Results. We found that a total of 78,881 cancer deaths were attributable to alcohol drinking in China in 2005, representing 4.40% of all cancers (6.69% in men, 0.42% in women). The corresponding figure for cancer incidence was 93,596 cases (3.63% of all cancer cases). Liver cancer was the main alcohol-related cancer, contributing more than 60% of alcohol-related cancers. Conclusions. Particular attention needs to be paid to the harm of alcohol as well as its potential benefits when making public health recommendations on alcohol drinking. \ua9 2010 Liang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd

    First Observation of τ3πηντ\tau\to 3\pi\eta\nu_{\tau} and τf1πντ\tau\to f_{1}\pi\nu_{\tau} Decays

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    We have observed new channels for τ\tau decays with an η\eta in the final state. We study 3-prong tau decays, using the ηγγ\eta\to\gamma\gamma and \eta\to 3\piz decay modes and 1-prong decays with two \piz's using the ηγγ\eta\to\gamma\gamma channel. The measured branching fractions are \B(\tau^{-}\to \pi^{-}\pi^{-}\pi^{+}\eta\nu_{\tau}) =(3.4^{+0.6}_{-0.5}\pm0.6)\times10^{-4} and \B(\tau^{-}\to \pi^{-}2\piz\eta\nu_{\tau} =(1.4\pm0.6\pm0.3)\times10^{-4}. We observe clear evidence for f1ηππf_1\to\eta\pi\pi substructure and measure \B(\tau^{-}\to f_1\pi^{-}\nu_{\tau})=(5.8^{+1.4}_{-1.3}\pm1.8)\times10^{-4}. We have also searched for η(958)\eta'(958) production and obtain 90% CL upper limits \B(\tau^{-}\to \pi^{-}\eta'\nu_\tau)<7.4\times10^{-5} and \B(\tau^{-}\to \pi^{-}\piz\eta'\nu_\tau)<8.0\times10^{-5}.Comment: 11 page postscript file, postscript file also available through http://w4.lns.cornell.edu/public/CLN

    Observation of the Decay Ds+ωπ+D_{s}^{+}\to \omega\pi^{+}

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    Using e+e- annihilation data collected by the CLEO~II detector at CESR, we have observed the decay Ds+ to omega pi+. This final state may be produced through the annihilation decay of the Ds+, or through final state interactions. We find a branching ratio of [Gamma(Ds+ to omega pi+)/Gamma(Ds+ to eta pi+)]=0.16+-0.04+-0.03, where the first error is statistical and the second is systematic.Comment: 9 pages, postscript file also available through http://w4.lns.cornell.edu/public/CLN

    Gold Nanoparticle Delivery of Modified CpG Stimulates Macrophages and Inhibits Tumor Growth for Enhanced Immunotherapy

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    Gold nanoparticle accumulation in immune cells has commonly been viewed as a side effect for cancer therapeutic delivery; however, this phenomenon can be utilized for developing gold nanoparticle mediated immunotherapy. Here, we conjugated a modified CpG oligodeoxynucleotide immune stimulant to gold nanoparticles using a simple and scalable selfassembled monolayer scheme that enhanced the functionality of CpG in vitro and in vivo. Nanoparticles can attenuate systemic side effects by enhancing CpG delivery passively to innate effector cells. The use of a triethylene glycol (TEG) spacer on top of the traditional poly-thymidine spacer increased CpG macrophage stimulatory effects without sacrificing DNA content on the nanoparticle, which directly correlates to particle uptake. In addition, the immune effects of modified CpGAuNPs were altered by the core particle size, with smaller 15 nm AuNPs generating maximum immune response. These TEG modified CpG-AuNP complexes induced macrophage and dendritic cell tumor infiltration, significantly inhibited tumor growth, and promoted survival in mice when compared to treatments with free CpG
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