65 research outputs found

    Study of the Wealth Inequality in the Minority Game

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    To demonstrate the usefulness of physical approaches for the study of realistic economic systems, we investigate the inequality of players' wealth in one of the most extensively studied econophysical models, namely, the minority game (MG). We gauge the wealth inequality of players in the MG by a well-known measure in economics known as the modified Gini index. From our numerical results, we conclude that the wealth inequality in the MG is very severe near the point of maximum cooperation among players, where the diversity of the strategy space is approximately equal to the number of strategies at play. In other words, the optimal cooperation between players comes hand in hand with severe wealth inequality. We also show that our numerical results in the asymmetric phase of the MG can be reproduced semi-analytically using a replica method.Comment: 9 pages in revtex 4 style with 3 figures; minor revision with a change of title; to appear in PR

    Effects of prostratin on Cyclin T1/P-TEFb function and the gene expression profile in primary resting CD4(+ )T cells

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    BACKGROUND: The latent reservoir of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in resting CD4(+ )T cells is a major obstacle to the clearance of infection by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Recent studies have focused on searches for adjuvant therapies to activate this reservoir under conditions of HAART. Prostratin, a non tumor-promoting phorbol ester, is a candidate for such a strategy. Prostratin has been shown to reactivate latent HIV-1 and Tat-mediated transactivation may play an important role in this process. We examined resting CD4(+ )T cells from healthy donors to determine if prostratin induces Cyclin T1/P-TEFb, a cellular kinase composed of Cyclin T1 and Cyclin-dependent kinase-9 (CDK9) that mediates Tat function. We also examined effects of prostratin on Cyclin T2a, an alternative regulatory subunit for CDK9, and 7SK snRNA and the HEXIM1 protein, two factors that associate with P-TEFb and repress its kinase activity. RESULTS: Prostratin up-regulated Cyclin T1 protein expression, modestly induced CDK9 protein expression, and did not affect Cyclin T2a protein expression. Although the kinase activity of CDK9 in vitro was up-regulated by prostratin, we observed a large increase in the association of 7SK snRNA and the HEXIM1 protein with CDK9. Using HIV-1 reporter viruses with and without a functional Tat protein, we found that prostratin stimulation of HIV-1 gene expression appears to require a functional Tat protein. Microarray analyses were performed and several genes related to HIV biology, including APOBEC3B, DEFA1, and S100 calcium-binding protein genes, were found to be regulated by prostratin. CONCLUSION: Prostratin induces Cyclin T1 expression and P-TEFb function and this is likely to be involved in prostratin reactivation of latent HIV-1 proviruses. The large increase in association of 7SK and HEXIM1 with P-TEFb following prostratin treatment may reflect a requirement in CD4(+ )T cells for a precise balance between active and catalytically inactive P-TEFb. Additionally, genes regulated by prostratin were identified that have the potential to regulate HIV-1 replication both positively and negatively

    Interleukin-17-producing decidual CD4+ T cells are not deleterious for human pregnancy when they also produce interleukin-4

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    BACKGROUND: Trophoblast expressing paternal HLA-C antigens resemble a semiallograft, and could be rejected by maternal CD4+ T lymphocytes. We examined the possible role in human pregnancy of Th17 cells, known to be involved in allograft rejection and reported for this reason to be responsible for miscarriages. We also studied Th17/Th1 and Th17/Th2 cells never investigated before. We defined for the first time the role of different Th17 subpopulations at the embryo implantation site and the role of HLA-G5, produced by the trophoblast/embryo, on Th17 cell differentiation. METHODS: Cytokine production by CD4+ purified T cell and T clones from decidua of normal pregnancy, unexplained recurrent abortion, and ectopic pregnancy at both embryo implantation site and distant from that site were analyzed for protein and mRNA production. Antigen-specific T cell lines were derived in the presence and in the absence of HLA-G5. RESULTS: We found an associated spontaneous production of IL-17A, IL-17F and IL-4 along with expression of CD161, CCR8 and CCR4 (Th2- and Th17-type markers) in fresh decidua CD4+ T cells during successful pregnancy. There was a prevalence of Th17/Th2 cells (producing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22 and IL-4) in the decidua of successful pregnancy, but the exclusive presence of Th17 (producing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22) and Th17/Th1 (producing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22 and IFN-γ) cells was found in the decidua of unexplained recurrent abortion. More importantly, we observed that Th17/Th2 cells were exclusively present at the embryo implantation site during tubal ectopic pregnancy, and that IL-4, GATA-3, IL-17A, ROR-C mRNA levels increased in tubal biopsies taken from embryo implantation sites, whereas Th17, Th17/Th1 and Th1 cells are exclusively present apart from implantation sites. Moreover, soluble HLA-G5 mediates the development of Th17/Th2 cells by increasing IL-4, IL-17A and IL-17F protein and mRNA production of CD4+ T helper cells. CONCLUSION: No pathogenic role of decidual Th17 cells during pregnancy was observed. Indeed, a beneficial role for these cells was observed when they also produced IL-4. HLA-G5 could be the key feature of the uterine microenvironment responsible for the development of Th17/Th2 cells, which seem to be crucial for successful embryo implantatio

    The Economics of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: A Survey (Part II)

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