72 research outputs found

    Molecular excitation in the Interstellar Medium: recent advances in collisional, radiative and chemical processes

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    We review the different excitation processes in the interstellar mediumComment: Accepted in Chem. Re

    Arcuate Fasciculus Abnormalities and Their Relationship with Psychotic Symptoms in Schizophrenia

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    Disruption of fronto-temporal connections involving the arcuate fasciculus (AF) may underlie language processing anomalies and psychotic features such as auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia. No study to date has specifically investigated abnormalities of white matter integrity at particular loci along the AF as well as its regional lateralization in schizophrenia. We examined white matter changes (fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), asymmetry indices) along the whole extent of the AF and their relationship with psychotic symptoms in 32 males with schizophrenia and 44 healthy males. Large deformation diffeomorphic metric mapping and Fiber Assignment Continuous Tracking were employed to characterize FA and AD along the geometric curve of the AF. Our results showed that patients with schizophrenia had lower FA in the frontal aspects of the left AF compared with healthy controls. Greater left FA and AD lateralization in the temporal segment of AF were associated with more severe positive psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia. Disruption of white matter integrity of the left frontal AF and accentuation of normal left greater than right asymmetry of FA/AD in the temporal AF further support the notion of aberrant fronto-temporal connectivity in schizophrenia. AF pathology can affect corollary discharge of neural signals from frontal speech/motor initiation areas to suppress activity of auditory cortex that may influence psychotic phenomena such as auditory hallucinations and facilitate elaboration of delusional content

    Dynamics of Co-Transcriptional Pre-mRNA Folding Influences the Induction of Dystrophin Exon Skipping by Antisense Oligonucleotides

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    Antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) mediated exon skipping offers potential therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. However, the identification of effective AON target sites remains unsatisfactory for lack of a precise method to predict their binding accessibility. This study demonstrates the importance of co-transcriptional pre-mRNA folding in determining the accessibility of AON target sites for AON induction of selective exon skipping in DMD. Because transcription and splicing occur in tandem, AONs must bind to their target sites before splicing factors. Furthermore, co-transcriptional pre-mRNA folding forms transient secondary structures, which redistributes accessible binding sites. In our analysis, to approximate transcription elongation, a “window of analysis” that included the entire targeted exon was shifted one nucleotide at a time along the pre-mRNA. Possible co-transcriptional secondary structures were predicted using the sequence in each step of transcriptional analysis. A nucleotide was considered “engaged” if it formed a complementary base pairing in all predicted secondary structures of a particular step. Correlation of frequency and localisation of engaged nucleotides in AON target sites accounted for the performance (efficacy and efficiency) of 94% of 176 previously reported AONs. Four novel insights are inferred: (1) the lowest frequencies of engaged nucleotides are associated with the most efficient AONs; (2) engaged nucleotides at 3′ or 5′ ends of the target site attenuate AON performance more than at other sites; (3) the performance of longer AONs is less attenuated by engaged nucleotides at 3′ or 5′ ends of the target site compared to shorter AONs; (4) engaged nucleotides at 3′ end of a short target site attenuates AON efficiency more than at 5′ end

    Impact of COVID-19 on cardiovascular testing in the United States versus the rest of the world

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    Objectives: This study sought to quantify and compare the decline in volumes of cardiovascular procedures between the United States and non-US institutions during the early phase of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the care of many non-COVID-19 illnesses. Reductions in diagnostic cardiovascular testing around the world have led to concerns over the implications of reduced testing for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Methods: Data were submitted to the INCAPS-COVID (International Atomic Energy Agency Non-Invasive Cardiology Protocols Study of COVID-19), a multinational registry comprising 909 institutions in 108 countries (including 155 facilities in 40 U.S. states), assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of diagnostic cardiovascular procedures. Data were obtained for April 2020 and compared with volumes of baseline procedures from March 2019. We compared laboratory characteristics, practices, and procedure volumes between U.S. and non-U.S. facilities and between U.S. geographic regions and identified factors associated with volume reduction in the United States. Results: Reductions in the volumes of procedures in the United States were similar to those in non-U.S. facilities (68% vs. 63%, respectively; p = 0.237), although U.S. facilities reported greater reductions in invasive coronary angiography (69% vs. 53%, respectively; p < 0.001). Significantly more U.S. facilities reported increased use of telehealth and patient screening measures than non-U.S. facilities, such as temperature checks, symptom screenings, and COVID-19 testing. Reductions in volumes of procedures differed between U.S. regions, with larger declines observed in the Northeast (76%) and Midwest (74%) than in the South (62%) and West (44%). Prevalence of COVID-19, staff redeployments, outpatient centers, and urban centers were associated with greater reductions in volume in U.S. facilities in a multivariable analysis. Conclusions: We observed marked reductions in U.S. cardiovascular testing in the early phase of the pandemic and significant variability between U.S. regions. The association between reductions of volumes and COVID-19 prevalence in the United States highlighted the need for proactive efforts to maintain access to cardiovascular testing in areas most affected by outbreaks of COVID-19 infection