142 research outputs found

    Twitter-based analysis of the dynamics of collective attention to political parties

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    Large-scale data from social media have a significant potential to describe complex phenomena in real world and to anticipate collective behaviors such as information spreading and social trends. One specific case of study is represented by the collective attention to the action of political parties. Not surprisingly, researchers and stakeholders tried to correlate parties' presence on social media with their performances in elections. Despite the many efforts, results are still inconclusive since this kind of data is often very noisy and significant signals could be covered by (largely unknown) statistical fluctuations. In this paper we consider the number of tweets (tweet volume) of a party as a proxy of collective attention to the party, identify the dynamics of the volume, and show that this quantity has some information on the elections outcome. We find that the distribution of the tweet volume for each party follows a log-normal distribution with a positive autocorrelation of the volume over short terms, which indicates the volume has large fluctuations of the log-normal distribution yet with a short-term tendency. Furthermore, by measuring the ratio of two consecutive daily tweet volumes, we find that the evolution of the daily volume of a party can be described by means of a geometric Brownian motion (i.e., the logarithm of the volume moves randomly with a trend). Finally, we determine the optimal period of averaging tweet volume for reducing fluctuations and extracting short-term tendencies. We conclude that the tweet volume is a good indicator of parties' success in the elections when considered over an optimal time window. Our study identifies the statistical nature of collective attention to political issues and sheds light on how to model the dynamics of collective attention in social media.Comment: 16 pages, 7 figures, 3 tables. Published in PLoS ON

    Role of spinon and spinon singlet pair excitations on phase transitions in dwaved-wave superconductors

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    We examine the roles of massless Dirac spinon and spin singlet pair excitations on the phase transition in dwaved-wave superconductors. Although the massless spinon excitations in the presence of the spin singlet pair excitations do not alter the nature of the phase transition at T=0T = 0, that is, the XY universality class, they are seen to induce an additional attractive interaction potential between vortices, further stabilizing vortex-antivortex pairs at low temperature for lightly doped high TcT_c samples.Comment: 5 pages, 1 figur

    Mechanical Properties of Silicon Nanowires

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    Nanowires have been taken much attention as a nanoscale building block, which can perform the excellent mechanical function as an electromechanical device. Here, we have performed atomic force microscope (AFM)-based nanoindentation experiments of silicon nanowires in order to investigate the mechanical properties of silicon nanowires. It is shown that stiffness of nanowires is well described by Hertz theory and that elastic modulus of silicon nanowires with various diameters from ~100 to ~600 nm is close to that of bulk silicon. This implies that the elastic modulus of silicon nanowires is independent of their diameters if the diameter is larger than 100 nm. This supports that finite size effect (due to surface effect) does not play a role on elastic behavior of silicon nanowires with diameter of >100 nm

    Characterizing and modeling citation dynamics

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    Citation distributions are crucial for the analysis and modeling of the activity of scientists. We investigated bibliometric data of papers published in journals of the American Physical Society, searching for the type of function which best describes the observed citation distributions. We used the goodness of fit with Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistics for three classes of functions: log-normal, simple power law and shifted power law. The shifted power law turns out to be the most reliable hypothesis for all citation networks we derived, which correspond to different time spans. We find that citation dynamics is characterized by bursts, usually occurring within a few years since publication of a paper, and the burst size spans several orders of magnitude. We also investigated the microscopic mechanisms for the evolution of citation networks, by proposing a linear preferential attachment with time dependent initial attractiveness. The model successfully reproduces the empirical citation distributions and accounts for the presence of citation bursts as well.Comment: 8 pages, 5 figure

    Identification of hypoxanthine as a urine marker for non-Hodgkin lymphoma by low-mass-ion profiling

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a hematologic malignancy for which good diagnostic markers are lacking. Despite continued improvement in our understanding of NHL, efforts to identify diagnostic markers have yielded dismal results. Here, we translated low-mass-ion information in urine samples from patients with NHL into a diagnostic marker.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>To minimize experimental error, we tested variable parameters before MALDI-TOF analysis of low-mass ions in urine. Urine from 30 controls and 30 NHL patients was analyzed as a training set for NHL prediction. All individual peak areas were normalized to total area up to 1000 m/z. The training set analysis was repeated four times. Low-mass peaks that were not affected by changes in experimental conditions were collected using MarkerView™ software. Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) searches and ESI LC-MS/MS analyses were used to identify low-mass ions that exhibited differential patterns in control and NHL urines. Identified low-mass ions were validated in a blinded fashion in 95 controls and 66 NHL urines to determine their ability to discriminate NHL patients from controls.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The 30 highest-ranking low-mass-ion peaks were selected from the 60-urine training set, and three low-mass-ion peaks with high intensity were selected for identification. Of these, a 137.08-m/z ion showed lower mass-peak intensity in urines of NHL patients, a result that was validated in a 161-urine blind validation set (95 controls and 66 NHL urines). The 130.08-m/z ion was identified from HMDB searches and ESI LC-MS/MS analyses as hypoxanthine (HX). The HX concentration in urines of NHL patients was significantly decreased (P < 0.001) and was correlated with the mass-peak area of the 137.08-m/z ion. At an HX concentration cutoff of 17.4 μM, sensitivity and specificity were 79.2% and 78.4%, respectively.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The present study represents a good example of low-mass-ion profiling in the setting of disease screening using urine. This technique can be a powerful non-invasive diagnostic tool with high sensitivity and specificity for NHL screening. Furthermore, HX identified in the study may be a useful single urine marker for NHL screening.</p

    Interlaboratory comparison study of the Colony Forming Efficiency assay for assessing cytotoxicity of nanomaterials

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    Nanotechnology has gained importance in the past years as it provides opportunities for industrial growth and innovation. However, the increasing use of manufactured nanomaterials (NMs) in a number of commercial applications and consumer products raises also safety concerns and questions regarding potential unintended risks to humans and the environment. Since several years the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) is putting effort in the development, optimisation and harmonisation of in vitro test methods suitable for screening and hazard assessment of NMs. Work is done in collaboration with international partners, in particular the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This report presents the results from an interlaboratory comparison study of the in vitro Colony Forming Efficiency (CFE) cytotoxicity assay performed in the frame of OECD's Working Party of Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN). Twelve laboratories from European Commission, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Switzerland participated in the study coordinated by JRC. The results show that the CFE assay is a suitable and robust in vitro method to assess cytotoxicity of NMs. The assay protocol is well defined and is easily and reliably transferable to other laboratories. The results obtained show good intra and interlaboratory reproducibility of the assay for both the positive control and the tested nanomaterials. In conclusion the CFE assay can be recommended as a building block of an in vitro testing battery for NMs toxicity assessment. It could be used as a first choice method to define dose-effect relationships for other in vitro assays.JRC.I.4-Nanobioscience

    Clinical outcomes and prognostic factors in patients with breast diffuse large B cell lymphoma; Consortium for Improving Survival of Lymphoma (CISL) study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The breast is a rare extranodal site of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and primary breast lymphoma (PBL) has been arbitrarily defined as disease localized to one or both breasts with or without regional lymph nodes involvement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and breast involvement, and to find the criteria of PBL reflecting the outcome and prognosis.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We retrospectively analyzed data from 68 patients, newly diagnosed with DLBCL and breast involvement at 16 Korean institutions between January 1994 and June 2009.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Median age at diagnosis was 48 years (range, 20-83 years). Forty-three (63.2%) patients were PBL according to previous arbitrary criteria, sixteen (23.5%) patients were high-intermediate to high risk of international prognostic index. The patients with one extranodal disease in the breast (OED) with or without nodal disease were 49 (72.1%), and those with multiple extranodal disease (MED) were 19 (27.9%). During median follow-up of 41.5 months (range, 2.4-186.0 months), estimated 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 53.7 ± 7.6%, and overall survival (OS) was 60.3 ± 7.2%. The 5-year PFS and OS was significantly higher for patients with the OED group than those with the MED group (5-year PFS, 64.9 ± 8.9% vs. 27.5 ± 11.4%, p = 0.001; 5-year OS, 74.3 ± 7.6% vs. 24.5 ± 13.0%, p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, MED (hazard ratio [HR], 3.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-12.2) and fewer than four cycles of systemic chemotherapy with or without local treatments (HR, 4.47; 95% CI, 1.54-12.96) were independent prognostic factors for worse OS. Twenty-five (36.8%) patients experienced progression, and the cumulative incidence of progression in multiple extranodal sites or other than breasts and central nervous system was significantly different between the OED group and the MED group (5-year cumulative incidence, 9.7 ± 5.4% vs. 49.0 ± 15.1%, p = 0.001).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Our results show that the patients included in OED group, reflecting different treatment outcome, prognosis and pattern of progression, should be considered as PBL in the future trial. Further studies are warranted to validate our suggested criteria.</p

    Genome-wide association and Mendelian randomisation analysis provide insights into the pathogenesis of heart failure

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    Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A small proportion of HF cases are attributable to monogenic cardiomyopathies and existing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have yielded only limited insights, leaving the observed heritability of HF largely unexplained. We report results from a GWAS meta-analysis of HF comprising 47,309 cases and 930,014 controls. Twelve independent variants at 11 genomic loci are associated with HF, all of which demonstrate one or more associations with coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial fibrillation, or reduced left ventricular function, suggesting shared genetic aetiology. Functional analysis of non-CAD-associated loci implicate genes involved in cardiac development (MYOZ1, SYNPO2L), protein homoeostasis (BAG3), and cellular senescence (CDKN1A). Mendelian randomisation analysis supports causal roles for several HF risk factors, and demonstrates CAD-independent effects for atrial fibrillation, body mass index, and hypertension. These findings extend our knowledge of the pathways underlying HF and may inform new therapeutic strategies