324 research outputs found

    Learning and generation of long-range correlated sequences

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    We study the capability to learn and to generate long-range, power-law correlated sequences by a fully connected asymmetric network. The focus is set on the ability of neural networks to extract statistical features from a sequence. We demonstrate that the average power-law behavior is learnable, namely, the sequence generated by the trained network obeys the same statistical behavior. The interplay between a correlated weight matrix and the sequence generated by such a network is explored. A weight matrix with a power-law correlation function along the vertical direction, gives rise to a sequence with a similar statistical behavior.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in Physical Review

    Psychoneuroimmunologia : nowe spojrzenie na funkcjonowanie układu odpornościowego=Psychoneuroimmunology : a new approach to the function of immunological system

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    The most recent evidence suggests that the immune system responses are not regulated only by the presence of antigens but they are also influenced by the brain and behavior. It has been known for some time that stressful conditions alter the functioning of the immune system. Despite methodological difficulties in the quantitation of stress, and its association with the onset of illness, the concept of the stress impact on susceptibility to several diseases is widely acknowledged. This paper reviews the effects of stress on the endocrine and central nervous systems and presents the interactions between these systems and the immune response after exposure to stress signals

    Correlated patterns in non-monotonic graded-response perceptrons

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    The optimal capacity of graded-response perceptrons storing biased and spatially correlated patterns with non-monotonic input-output relations is studied. It is shown that only the structure of the output patterns is important for the overall performance of the perceptrons.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figure

    A toy model of the five-dimensional universe with the cosmological constant

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    A value of the cosmological constant in a toy model of the five-dimensional universe is calculated in such a manner that it remains in agreement with both astronomical observations and the quantum field theory concerning the zero-point fluctuations of the vacuum. The (negative) cosmological constant is equal to the inverse of the Planck length squared, which means that in the toy model the vanishing of the observed value of the cosmological constant is a consequence of the existence of an energy cutoff exactly at the level of the Planck scale. In turn, a model for both a virtual and a real particle-antiparticle pair is proposed which describes properly some energetic properties of both the vacuum fluctuations and created particles, as well as it allows one to calculate the discrete "bare" values of an elementary-particle mass, electric charge and intrinsic angular momentum (spin) at the energy cutoff. The relationships between the discussed model and some phenomena such as the Zitterbewegung and the Unruh-Davies effect are briefly analyzed, too. The proposed model also allows one to derive the Lorentz transformation and the Maxwell equations while considering the properties of the vacuum filled with the sea of virtual particles and their antiparticles. Finally, the existence of a finite value of the vacuum-energy density resulting from the toy model leads us to the formulation of dimensionless Einstein field equations which can be derived from the Lagrangian with a dimensionless (naively renormalized) coupling constant.Comment: 52 pages, 1 figure; a post-final, rewritten version with a number of new remarks and conclusion

    Generalizing with perceptrons in case of structured phase- and pattern-spaces

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    We investigate the influence of different kinds of structure on the learning behaviour of a perceptron performing a classification task defined by a teacher rule. The underlying pattern distribution is permitted to have spatial correlations. The prior distribution for the teacher coupling vectors itself is assumed to be nonuniform. Thus classification tasks of quite different difficulty are included. As learning algorithms we discuss Hebbian learning, Gibbs learning, and Bayesian learning with different priors, using methods from statistics and the replica formalism. We find that the Hebb rule is quite sensitive to the structure of the actual learning problem, failing asymptotically in most cases. Contrarily, the behaviour of the more sophisticated methods of Gibbs and Bayes learning is influenced by the spatial correlations only in an intermediate regime of α\alpha, where α\alpha specifies the size of the training set. Concerning the Bayesian case we show, how enhanced prior knowledge improves the performance.Comment: LaTeX, 32 pages with eps-figs, accepted by J Phys

    Occupational asthma caused by cobalt chloride in a diamond polisher after cessation of occupational exposure: a case report

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    Objectives: The inspiration of cobalt containing dust leads to various respiratory symptoms, including asthma and interstitial lung disease. Occupational asthma caused by cobalt chloride has been diagnosed in a 35-year-old patient, who worked as a diamond polishing disc former. The patient presented a 2-year history of dyspnea, cough and symptoms of rhinitis. Materials and Methods: The patient underwent a medical history interview, skin prick tests with common and occupational allergens (cobalt and nickel chloride), and pulmonary function testing both before and after the nasal provocation with 0.05% cobalt chloride. Additionally, the authors analyzed morphological and biochemical changes before and after the specific nasal challenge test. Cell proliferation analysis was also carried out. Results: Skin prick tests (SPTs) with common environmental allergens were found to be negative, while SPTs with cobalt chloride were positive for all applied solutions. The provocation with cobalt chloride caused a significant increase in the proportion of eosinophils, basophils and albumin during the late allergic reaction. The positive lymphocyte transformation caused by cobalt was also observed. Conclusions: Cobalt salts may induce occupational asthma. The mechanism of this asthma may be IgE-mediated. The cobalt-sensitized lymphocytes may play an important role in this disease

    Staphylococcus aureus Resistance to Human Defensins and Evasion of Neutrophil Killing via the Novel Virulence Factor Mprf Is Based on Modification of Membrane Lipids with l-Lysine

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    Defensins, antimicrobial peptides of the innate immune system, protect human mucosal epithelia and skin against microbial infections and are produced in large amounts by neutrophils. The bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is insensitive to defensins by virtue of an unknown resistance mechanism. We describe a novel staphylococcal gene, mprF, which determines resistance to several host defense peptides such as defensins and protegrins. An mprF mutant strain was killed considerably faster by human neutrophils and exhibited attenuated virulence in mice, indicating a key role for defensin resistance in the pathogenicity of S. aureus. Analysis of membrane lipids demonstrated that the mprF mutant no longer modifies phosphatidylglycerol with l-lysine. As this unusual modification leads to a reduced negative charge of the membrane surface, MprF-mediated peptide resistance is most likely based on repulsion of the cationic peptides. Accordingly, inactivation of mprF led to increased binding of antimicrobial peptides by the bacteria. MprF has no similarity with genes of known function, but related genes were identified in the genomes of several pathogens including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococcus faecalis. MprF thus constitutes a novel virulence factor, which may be of general relevance for bacterial pathogens and represents a new target for attacking multidrug resistant bacteria

    Macrophage-derived human resistin is induced in multiple helminth infections and promotes inflammatory monocytes and increased parasite burden.

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    Parasitic helminth infections can be associated with lifelong morbidity such as immune-mediated organ failure. A better understanding of the host immune response to helminths could provide new avenues to promote parasite clearance and/or alleviate infection-associated morbidity. Murine resistin-like molecules (RELM) exhibit pleiotropic functions following helminth infection including modulating the host immune response; however, the relevance of human RELM proteins in helminth infection is unknown. To examine the function of human resistin (hResistin), we utilized transgenic mice expressing the human resistin gene (hRetnTg+). Following infection with the helminth Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (Nb), hResistin expression was significantly upregulated in infected tissue. Compared to control hRetnTg- mice, hRetnTg+ mice suffered from exacerbated Nb-induced inflammation characterized by weight loss and increased infiltration of inflammatory monocytes in the lung, along with elevated Nb egg burdens and delayed parasite expulsion. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of the infected tissue revealed that hResistin promoted expression of proinflammatory cytokines and genes downstream of toll-like receptor signaling. Moreover, hResistin preferentially bound lung monocytes, and exogenous treatment of mice with recombinant hResistin promoted monocyte recruitment and proinflammatory cytokine expression. In human studies, increased serum resistin was associated with higher parasite load in individuals infected with soil-transmitted helminths or filarial nematode Wuchereria bancrofti, and was positively correlated with proinflammatory cytokines. Together, these studies identify human resistin as a detrimental factor induced by multiple helminth infections, where it promotes proinflammatory cytokines and impedes parasite clearance. Targeting the resistin/proinflammatory cytokine immune axis may provide new diagnostic or treatment strategies for helminth infection and associated immune-mediated pathology

    Human papillomavirus infections in women seeking cervical Papanicolaou cytology of Durango, Mexico: prevalence and genotypes

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    BACKGROUND: HPV infection in women from developing countries is an important public health problem. Therefore, we sought to determine the prevalences of HPV infection and HPV genotypes in a female population of Durango City, Mexico. Also to determine whether any socio-demographic characteristic from the women associated with HPV infection exists. METHODS: Four hundred and ninety eight women seeking cervical Papanicolaou examination in three public Health Centers were examined for HPV infection. All women were tested for HPV DNA PCR by using HPV universal primers. In addition, all positive HPV DNA PCR samples were further analyzed for genotyping of HPV genotype 16, 18 and 33. Socio-demographic characteristics from each participant were also obtained. RESULTS: Twenty-four out of four hundred and ninety-eight (4.8%) women were found infected by HPV. HPV genotype 16 was found in 18 out of the 24 (75%) infected women. Two of them were also coinfected by HPV genotype 18 (8.3%). In the rest 6 PCR positive women, genotyping for HPV genotypes 16, 18 and 33 were negative. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of HPV in women of Durango City is low; however, most infected women have high risk HPV genotype. The women who were studied showed low frequency of risk factors for HPV infection and this may explain the low prevalence of HPV infection. The high frequency of high risk HPV genotypes observed might explain the high rate of mortality for cervical cancer in our region
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