43 research outputs found

    A new language of truth: the role of animation in a fast changing world

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    Nea Ehrlich’s Animating Truth: Documentary and Visual Culture in the 21st Century brings together her research into the relationship of animation to contemporary technoculture, and the ways in which this culture is changing the nature of what we understand as the ‘documentary’. This book brings animated documentary scholarship firmly into the contemporary media landscape. By beginning to develop new conceptual tools with which to discuss and analyse new media forms, Ehrlich has created a helpful book that breathes fresh ideas into animated documentary scholarship

    Transforming Growth Factor Beta 2 and Heme Oxygenase 1 Genes Are Risk Factors for the Cerebral Malaria Syndrome in Angolan Children

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    BACKGROUND: Cerebral malaria (CM) represents a severe outcome of the Plasmodium falciparum infection. Recent genetic studies have correlated human genes with severe malaria susceptibility, but there is little data on genetic variants that increase the risk of developing specific malaria clinical complications. Nevertheless, susceptibility to experimental CM in the mouse has been linked to host genes including Transforming Growth Factor Beta 2 (TGFB2) and Heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1). Here, we tested whether those genes were governing the risk of progressing to CM in patients with severe malaria syndromes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report that the clinical outcome of P. falciparum infection in a cohort of Angolan children (n = 430) correlated with nine TGFB2 SNPs that modify the risk of progression to CM as compared to other severe forms of malaria. This genetic effect was explained by two haplotypes harboring the CM-associated SNPs (Pcorrec. = 0.035 and 0.036). In addition, one HMOX1 haplotype composed of five CM-associated SNPs increased the risk of developing the CM syndrome (Pcorrec. = 0.002) and was under-transmitted to children with uncomplicated malaria (P = 0.036). Notably, the HMOX1-associated haplotype conferred increased HMOX1 mRNA expression in peripheral blood cells of CM patients (P = 0.012). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results represent the first report on CM genetic risk factors in Angolan children and suggest the novel hypothesis that genetic variants of the TGFB2 and HMOX1 genes may contribute to confer a specific risk of developing the CM syndrome in patients with severe P. falciparum malaria. This work may provide motivation for future studies aiming to replicate our findings in larger populations and to confirm a role for these genes in determining the clinical course of malaria

    Asymmetric Error Correction Models for the Oil-Gasoline Price Relationship

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    31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016) : part two

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    Background The immunological escape of tumors represents one of the main ob- stacles to the treatment of malignancies. The blockade of PD-1 or CTLA-4 receptors represented a milestone in the history of immunotherapy. However, immune checkpoint inhibitors seem to be effective in specific cohorts of patients. It has been proposed that their efficacy relies on the presence of an immunological response. Thus, we hypothesized that disruption of the PD-L1/PD-1 axis would synergize with our oncolytic vaccine platform PeptiCRAd. Methods We used murine B16OVA in vivo tumor models and flow cytometry analysis to investigate the immunological background. Results First, we found that high-burden B16OVA tumors were refractory to combination immunotherapy. However, with a more aggressive schedule, tumors with a lower burden were more susceptible to the combination of PeptiCRAd and PD-L1 blockade. The therapy signifi- cantly increased the median survival of mice (Fig. 7). Interestingly, the reduced growth of contralaterally injected B16F10 cells sug- gested the presence of a long lasting immunological memory also against non-targeted antigens. Concerning the functional state of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), we found that all the immune therapies would enhance the percentage of activated (PD-1pos TIM- 3neg) T lymphocytes and reduce the amount of exhausted (PD-1pos TIM-3pos) cells compared to placebo. As expected, we found that PeptiCRAd monotherapy could increase the number of antigen spe- cific CD8+ T cells compared to other treatments. However, only the combination with PD-L1 blockade could significantly increase the ra- tio between activated and exhausted pentamer positive cells (p= 0.0058), suggesting that by disrupting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis we could decrease the amount of dysfunctional antigen specific T cells. We ob- served that the anatomical location deeply influenced the state of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. In fact, TIM-3 expression was in- creased by 2 fold on TILs compared to splenic and lymphoid T cells. In the CD8+ compartment, the expression of PD-1 on the surface seemed to be restricted to the tumor micro-environment, while CD4 + T cells had a high expression of PD-1 also in lymphoid organs. Interestingly, we found that the levels of PD-1 were significantly higher on CD8+ T cells than on CD4+ T cells into the tumor micro- environment (p < 0.0001). Conclusions In conclusion, we demonstrated that the efficacy of immune check- point inhibitors might be strongly enhanced by their combination with cancer vaccines. PeptiCRAd was able to increase the number of antigen-specific T cells and PD-L1 blockade prevented their exhaus- tion, resulting in long-lasting immunological memory and increased median survival

    Contexts of short animated documentary production in the United Kingdom

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    This research looks at the evolving space of animated documentary production in the UK, with a focus on its community of practice and the related communities of practice that overlap with and within it. In recent years there has been an increase in scholarly attention paid to the history of animated documentary, as well as to the legitimacy of its documentary status. Less research has addressed its diverse production processes or the distribution of power within its production culture. The originality of this research lies in my focus on these areas, and in the synthesis of social research methods with reflection on my own critical practice as an independent animated documentary filmmaker. I approach animated documentary as a ‘conjunctional’ practice (Ward, 2003, p.7), taking place at the boundaries of other communities of practice and governed by both the formal systems of the commercial media industries and the informal systems of social interaction and identity. As objects of cultural capital, films carry, through their production histories, the traces of the exchange of other forms of capital – symbolic and economic. By analysing case studies of animated documentaries, I shed light on some of the ways in which power is distributed in the environments from which they emerge. My methodology synthesizes multiple qualitative methods to observe and analyse production culture, including: semi-structured interviews; textual analysis of documents; field observation of production and exhibition spaces; theoretical and historical research; and reflection on my own practice, as well as analysis of trends in animated documentaries recently programmed in key film festivals. It includes biographical and production- focused case studies. I interpret my findings using perspectives drawn from concepts of ‘forms of capital’ (Bourdieu, 1986), ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991), and ‘boundary objects’ (Star and Griesemer, 1989). Through these research methods I engage with both academic and production communities, aiming to create new avenues for knowledge sharing between these. I propose that animated documentary is multivalent and elastic, allowing filmmakers to work across industrial boundaries, to access new skills, audiences and relationships, and to develop rich, interdisciplinary identities. However, the boundary-crossing nature of animated documentary means that it lacks a set of standardised methods and an industrial lexicon. Because of this, animated documentary production can be hampered by communication and production issues. This can lead to inefficiency and wasted creative opportunities, and it is in part responsible for the difficulties that filmmakers encounter when trying to find support for larger scale, longer form animated documentary work. As part of this thesis, I begin to reify processes through the identification of two broad modes of animated documentary production: a ‘linear’ process in which animation is commissioned as an illustration to an existing soundtrack, and a ‘dialogic’ process in which sound, story and image are developed in parallel, each element in dialogue with the others. I contrast these modes, looking at the risks and advantages of each. I conclude by proposing ways in which animated documentary production can grow in scale and ambition, through establishing systems of knowledge sharing, and developing an industrial lexicon. I suggest that this endeavour is best taken up by academics working in dialogue with industry, with a flow of knowledge passing between these worlds and approaches to production being reified into named systems and techniques. As part of the conclusion, I suggest simple guidelines to support practitioners approaching an animated documentary production, and some words and phrases that could form the beginning of a lexicon of animated documentary production

    Contexts of Short Animated Documentary Production in the United Kingdom

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    This research looks at the evolving space of animated documentary production in the UK, with a focus on its community of practice and the related communities of practice that overlap with and within it. In recent years there has been an increase in scholarly attention paid to the history of animated documentary, as well as to the legitimacy of its documentary status. Less research has addressed its diverse production processes or the distribution of power within its production culture. The originality of this research lies in my focus on these areas, and in the synthesis of social research methods with reflection on my own critical practice as an independent animated documentary filmmaker. I approach animated documentary as a ‘conjunctional’ practice (Ward, 2003, p.7), taking place at the boundaries of other communities of practice and governed by both the formal systems of the commercial media industries and the informal systems of social interaction and identity. As objects of cultural capital, films carry, through their production histories, the traces of the exchange of other forms of capital – symbolic and economic. By analysing case studies of animated documentaries, I shed light on some of the ways in which power is distributed in the environments from which they emerge. My methodology synthesizes multiple qualitative methods to observe and analyse production culture, including: semi-structured interviews; textual analysis of documents; field observation of production and exhibition spaces; theoretical and historical research; and reflection on my own practice, as well as analysis of trends in animated documentaries recently programmed in key film festivals. It includes biographical and productionfocused case studies. I interpret my findings using perspectives drawn from concepts of ‘forms of capital’ (Bourdieu, 1986), ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991), and ‘boundary objects’ (Star and Griesemer, 1989). Through these research methods I engage with both academic and production communities, aiming to create new avenues for knowledge sharing between these. I propose that animated documentary is multivalent and elastic, allowing filmmakers to work across industrial boundaries, to access new skills, audiences and relationships, and to develop rich, interdisciplinary identities. However, the boundary-crossing nature of animated documentary means that it lacks a set of standardised methods and an industrial lexicon. Because of this, animated documentary production can be hampered by communication and production issues. This can lead to inefficiency and wasted creative opportunities, and it is in part responsible for the difficulties that filmmakers encounter when trying to find support for larger scale, longer form animated documentary work. As part of this thesis, I begin to reify processes through the identification of two broad modes of animated documentary production: a ‘linear’ process in which animation is commissioned as an illustration to an existing soundtrack, and a ‘dialogic’ process in which sound, story and image are developed in parallel, each element in dialogue with the others. I contrast these modes, looking at the risks and advantages of each. I conclude by proposing ways in which animated documentary production can grow in scale and ambition, through establishing systems of knowledge sharing, and developing an industrial lexicon. I suggest that this endeavour is best taken up by academics working in dialogue with industry, with a flow of knowledge passing between these worlds and approaches to production being reified into named systems and techniques. As part of the conclusion, I suggest simple guidelines to support practitioners approaching an animated documentary production, and some words and phrases that could form the beginning of a lexicon of animated documentary production
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