399 research outputs found

    Quantum diffusion on a cyclic one dimensional lattice

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    The quantum diffusion of a particle in an initially localized state on a cyclic lattice with N sites is studied. Diffusion and reconstruction time are calculated. Strong differences are found for even or odd number of sites and the limit N->infinit is studied. The predictions of the model could be tested with micro - and nanotechnology devices.Comment: 17 pages, 5 figure

    Repeated exposure to Lutzomyia intermedia sand fly saliva induces local expression of interferon-inducible genes both at the site of injection in mice and in human blood.

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    During a blood meal, Lutzomyia intermedia sand flies transmit Leishmania braziliensis, a parasite causing tegumentary leishmaniasis. In experimental leishmaniasis, pre-exposure to saliva of most blood-feeding sand flies results in parasite establishment in absence of any skin damages in mice challenged with dermotropic Leishmania species together with saliva. In contrast, pre-immunization with Lu. intermedia salivary gland sonicate (SGS) results in enhanced skin inflammatory exacerbation upon co-inoculation of Lu. intermedia SGS and L. braziliensis. These data highlight potential unique features of both L. braziliensis and Lu. intermedia. In this study, we investigated the genes modulated by Lu. intermedia SGS immunization to understand their potential impact on the subsequent cutaneous immune response following inoculation of both SGS and L. braziliensis. The cellular recruitment and global gene expression profile was analyzed in mice repeatedly inoculated or not with Lu. intermedia. Microarray gene analysis revealed the upregulation of a distinct set of IFN-inducible genes, an immune signature not seen to the same extent in control animals. Of note this INF-inducible gene set was not induced in SGS pre-immunized mice subsequently co-inoculated with SGS and L. braziliensis. These data suggest the parasite prevented the upregulation of this Lu. intermedia saliva-related immune signature. The presence of these IFN-inducible genes was further analyzed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) sampled from uninfected human individuals living in a L. braziliensis-endemic region of Brazil thus regularly exposed to Lu. intermedia bites. PBMCs were cultured in presence or absence of Lu. intermedia SGS. Using qRT-PCR we established that the IFN-inducible genes induced in the skin of SGS pre-immunized mice, were also upregulated by SGS in PBMCs from human individuals regularly exposed to Lu. intermedia bites, but not in PBMCs of control subjects. These data demonstrate that repeated exposure to Lu. intermedia SGS induces the expression of potentially host-protective IFN-inducible genes

    Inflammasome in als skeletal muscle: Nlrp3 as a potential biomarker

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    Since NLRP3 inflammasome plays a pivotal role in several neurodegenerative disorders, we hypothesized that levels of inflammasome components could help in diagnosis or prognosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gene and protein expression was assayed by RT-PCR and Western blot. Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used to determine the linear correlation of transcriptional expression levels with longevity throughout disease progression in mice models. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to evaluate MCC950 effects (NLRP3 inhibitor) on lifespan of SOD1G93A mice. The results showed significant alterations in NLRP3 inflammasome gene and protein levels in the skeletal muscle of SOD1G93A mice. Spearman’s correlation coefficient revealed a positive association between Nlrp3 transcriptional levels in skeletal muscle and longevity of SOD1G93A mice (r = 0.506; p = 0.027). Accordingly, NLRP3 inactivation with MCC950 decreased the lifespan of mice. Furthermore, NLRP3 mRNA levels were significantly elevated in the blood of ALS patients compared to healthy controls (p = 0.03). In conclusion, NLRP3 could be involved in skeletal muscle pathogenesis of ALS, either through inflammasome or independently, and may play a dual role during disease progression. NLRP3 gene expression levels could be used as a biomarker to improve diagnosis and prognosis in skeletal muscle from animal models and also to support diagnosis in clinical practice with the blood of ALS patients

    Competing endogenous rna networks as biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases

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    Protein aggregation is classically considered the main cause of neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). However, increasing evidence suggests that alteration of RNA metabolism is a key factor in the etiopathogenesis of these complex disorders. Non-coding RNAs are the major contributor to the human transcriptome and are particularly abundant in the central nervous system, where they have been proposed to be involved in the onset and development of NDDs. Interestingly, some ncRNAs (such as lncRNAs, circRNAs and pseudogenes) share a common functionality in their ability to regulate gene expression by modulating miRNAs in a phenomenon known as the competing endogenous RNA mechanism. Moreover, ncRNAs are found in body fluids where their presence and concentration could serve as potential non-invasive biomarkers of NDDs. In this review, we summarize the ceRNA networks described in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinocerebellar ataxia type 7, and discuss their potential as biomarkers of these NDDs. Although numerous studies have been carried out, further research is needed to validate these complex interactions between RNAs and the alterations in RNA editing that could provide specific ceRNET profiles for neurodegenerative disorders, paving the way to a better understanding of these diseases

    An alternative approach to the construction of Schur-Weyl transform

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    We propose an alternative approach for the construction of the unitary matrix which performs generalized unitary rotations of the system consisting of independent identical subsystems (for example spin system). This matrix, when applied to the system, results in a change of degrees of freedom, uncovering the information hidden in non-local degrees of freedom. This information can be used, inter alia, to study the structure of entangled states, their classification and may be useful for construction of quantum algorithms.Comment: 6 page

    Relationships between social withdrawal and facial emotion recognition in neuropsychiatric disorders

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    Background: Emotion recognition constitutes a pivotal process of social cognition. It involves decoding social cues (e.g., facial expressions) to maximise social adjustment. Current theoretical models posit the relationship between social withdrawal factors (social disengagement, lack of social interactions and loneliness) and emotion decoding. Objective: To investigate the role of social withdrawal in patients with schizophrenia (SZ) or probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), neuropsychiatric conditions associated with social dysfunction. Methods: A sample of 156 participants was recruited: schizophrenia patients (SZ; n = 53), Alzheimer's disease patients (AD; n = 46), and two age-matched control groups (SZc, n = 29; ADc, n = 28). All participants provided self-report measures of loneliness and social functioning, and completed a facial emotion detection task. Results: Neuropsychiatric patients (both groups) showed poorer performance in detecting both positive and negative emotions compared with their healthy counterparts (p < .01). Social withdrawal was associated with higher accuracy in negative emotion detection, across all groups. Additionally, neuropsychiatric patients with higher social withdrawal showed lower positive emotion misclassification. Conclusions: Our findings help to detail the similarities and differences in social function and facial emotion recognition in two disorders rarely studied in parallel, AD and SZ. Transdiagnostic patterns in these results suggest that social withdrawal is associated with heightened sensitivity to negative emotion expressions, potentially reflecting hypervigilance to social threat. Across the neuropsychiatric groups specifically, this hypervigilance associated with social withdrawal extended to positive emotion expressions, an emotionalcognitive bias that may impact social functioning in people with severe mental illness.Education and Child Studie

    Search for a W' boson decaying to a bottom quark and a top quark in pp collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV

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    Results are presented from a search for a W' boson using a dataset corresponding to 5.0 inverse femtobarns of integrated luminosity collected during 2011 by the CMS experiment at the LHC in pp collisions at sqrt(s)=7 TeV. The W' boson is modeled as a heavy W boson, but different scenarios for the couplings to fermions are considered, involving both left-handed and right-handed chiral projections of the fermions, as well as an arbitrary mixture of the two. The search is performed in the decay channel W' to t b, leading to a final state signature with a single lepton (e, mu), missing transverse energy, and jets, at least one of which is tagged as a b-jet. A W' boson that couples to fermions with the same coupling constant as the W, but to the right-handed rather than left-handed chiral projections, is excluded for masses below 1.85 TeV at the 95% confidence level. For the first time using LHC data, constraints on the W' gauge coupling for a set of left- and right-handed coupling combinations have been placed. These results represent a significant improvement over previously published limits.Comment: Submitted to Physics Letters B. Replaced with version publishe

    Search for direct production of charginos and neutralinos in events with three leptons and missing transverse momentum in ‚ąös = 7 TeV pp collisions with the ATLAS detector