2,367 research outputs found

    RASA3 is a critical inhibitor of RAP1-dependent platelet activation

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    The small GTPase RAP1 is critical for platelet activation and thrombus formation. RAP1 activity in platelets is controlled by the GEF CalDAG-GEFI and an unknown regulator that operates downstream of the adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptor, P2Y12, a target of antithrombotic therapy. Here, we provide evidence that the GAP, RASA3, inhibits platelet activation and provides a link between P2Y12 and activation of the RAP1 signaling pathway. In mice, reduced expression of RASA3 led to premature platelet activation and markedly reduced the life span of circulating platelets. The increased platelet turnover and the resulting thrombocytopenia were reversed by concomitant deletion of the gene encoding CalDAG-GEFI. Rasa3 mutant platelets were hyperresponsive to agonist stimulation, both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, activation of Rasa3 mutant platelets occurred independently of ADP feedback signaling and was insensitive to inhibitors of P2Y12 or PI3 kinase. Together, our results indicate that RASA3 ensures that circulating platelets remain quiescent by restraining CalDAG-GEFI/RAP1 signaling and suggest that P2Y12 signaling is required to inhibit RASA3 and enable sustained RAP1-dependent platelet activation and thrombus formation at sites of vascular injury. These findings provide insight into the antithrombotic effect of P2Y12 inhibitors and may lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of platelet-related disorders

    The social dimension of globalization: A review of the literature

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    With globalization affecting so many inter-connected areas, it is difficult to grasp its full impact. This literature review of over 120 sources considers the impact of globalization on wages and taxes, poverty, inequality, insecurity, child labour, gender, and migration. Opening with some stylized facts concerning globalization in 1985-2002, the authors then highlight recent findings on these areas, reporting on controversies and on emerging consensus where it exists. There follows a review of national and international policy responses designed to make globalization more sustainable and equitable and to deliver decent jobs, security and a voice in decision-making

    Human papillomavirus vaccine introduction in low-income and middle-income countries: guidance on the use of cost-effectiveness models

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    BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the cost effectiveness of introducing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is considered before such a strategy is implemented. However, developing countries often lack the technical capacity to perform and interpret results of economic appraisals of vaccines. To provide information about the feasibility of using such models in a developing country setting, we evaluated models of HPV vaccination in terms of their capacity, requirements, limitations and comparability. METHODS: A literature review identified six HPV vaccination models suitable for low-income and middle-income country use and representative of the literature in terms of provenance and model structure. Each model was adapted by its developers using standardised data sets representative of two hypothetical developing countries (a low-income country with no screening and a middle-income country with limited screening). Model predictions before and after vaccination of adolescent girls were compared in terms of HPV prevalence and cervical cancer incidence, as was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of vaccination under different scenarios. RESULTS: None of the models perfectly reproduced the standardised data set provided to the model developers. However, they agreed that large decreases in type 16/18 HPV prevalence and cervical cancer incidence are likely to occur following vaccination. Apart from the Thai model (in which vaccine and non-vaccine HPV types were combined), vaccine-type HPV prevalence dropped by 75% to 100%, and vaccine-type cervical cancer incidence dropped by 80% to 100% across the models (averaging over age groups). The most influential factors affecting cost effectiveness were the discount rate, duration of vaccine protection, vaccine price and HPV prevalence. Demographic change, access to treatment and data resolution were found to be key issues to consider for models in developing countries. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicated the usefulness of considering results from several models and sets of modelling assumptions in decision making. Modelling groups were prepared to share their models and expertise to work with stakeholders in developing countries. Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/9/55

    Control of star formation by supersonic turbulence

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    Understanding the formation of stars in galaxies is central to much of modern astrophysics. For several decades it has been thought that stellar birth is primarily controlled by the interplay between gravity and magnetostatic support, modulated by ambipolar diffusion. Recently, however, both observational and numerical work has begun to suggest that support by supersonic turbulence rather than magnetic fields controls star formation. In this review we outline a new theory of star formation relying on the control by turbulence. We demonstrate that although supersonic turbulence can provide global support, it nevertheless produces density enhancements that allow local collapse. Inefficient, isolated star formation is a hallmark of turbulent support, while efficient, clustered star formation occurs in its absence. The consequences of this theory are then explored for both local star formation and galactic scale star formation. (ABSTRACT ABBREVIATED)Comment: Invited review for "Reviews of Modern Physics", 87 pages including 28 figures, in pres

    A chemical survey of exoplanets with ARIEL

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    Thousands of exoplanets have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits: from rocky Earth-like planets to large gas giants grazing the surface of their host star. However, the essential nature of these exoplanets remains largely mysterious: there is no known, discernible pattern linking the presence, size, or orbital parameters of a planet to the nature of its parent star. We have little idea whether the chemistry of a planet is linked to its formation environment, or whether the type of host star drives the physics and chemistry of the planet’s birth, and evolution. ARIEL was conceived to observe a large number (~1000) of transiting planets for statistical understanding, including gas giants, Neptunes, super-Earths and Earth-size planets around a range of host star types using transit spectroscopy in the 1.25–7.8 ÎŒm spectral range and multiple narrow-band photometry in the optical. ARIEL will focus on warm and hot planets to take advantage of their well-mixed atmospheres which should show minimal condensation and sequestration of high-Z materials compared to their colder Solar System siblings. Said warm and hot atmospheres are expected to be more representative of the planetary bulk composition. Observations of these warm/hot exoplanets, and in particular of their elemental composition (especially C, O, N, S, Si), will allow the understanding of the early stages of planetary and atmospheric formation during the nebular phase and the following few million years. ARIEL will thus provide a representative picture of the chemical nature of the exoplanets and relate this directly to the type and chemical environment of the host star. ARIEL is designed as a dedicated survey mission for combined-light spectroscopy, capable of observing a large and well-defined planet sample within its 4-year mission lifetime. Transit, eclipse and phase-curve spectroscopy methods, whereby the signal from the star and planet are differentiated using knowledge of the planetary ephemerides, allow us to measure atmospheric signals from the planet at levels of 10–100 part per million (ppm) relative to the star and, given the bright nature of targets, also allows more sophisticated techniques, such as eclipse mapping, to give a deeper insight into the nature of the atmosphere. These types of observations require a stable payload and satellite platform with broad, instantaneous wavelength coverage to detect many molecular species, probe the thermal structure, identify clouds and monitor the stellar activity. The wavelength range proposed covers all the expected major atmospheric gases from e.g. H2O, CO2, CH4 NH3, HCN, H2S through to the more exotic metallic compounds, such as TiO, VO, and condensed species. Simulations of ARIEL performance in conducting exoplanet surveys have been performed – using conservative estimates of mission performance and a full model of all significant noise sources in the measurement – using a list of potential ARIEL targets that incorporates the latest available exoplanet statistics. The conclusion at the end of the Phase A study, is that ARIEL – in line with the stated mission objectives – will be able to observe about 1000 exoplanets depending on the details of the adopted survey strategy, thus confirming the feasibility of the main science objectives.Peer reviewedFinal Published versio

    Genetic Risk Score for Intracranial Aneurysms:Prediction of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Role in Clinical Heterogeneity

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    BACKGROUND: Recently, common genetic risk factors for intracranial aneurysm (IA) and aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (ASAH) were found to explain a large amount of disease heritability and therefore have potential to be used for genetic risk prediction. We constructed a genetic risk score to (1) predict ASAH incidence and IA presence (combined set of unruptured IA and ASAH) and (2) assess its association with patient characteristics. METHODS: A genetic risk score incorporating genetic association data for IA and 17 traits related to IA (so-called metaGRS) was created using 1161 IA cases and 407 392 controls from the UK Biobank population study. The metaGRS was validated in combination with risk factors blood pressure, sex, and smoking in 828 IA cases and 68 568 controls from the Nordic HUNT population study. Furthermore, we assessed association between the metaGRS and patient characteristics in a cohort of 5560 IA patients. RESULTS: Per SD increase of metaGRS, the hazard ratio for ASAH incidence was 1.34 (95% CI, 1.20-1.51) and the odds ratio for IA presence 1.09 (95% CI, 1.01-1.18). Upon including the metaGRS on top of clinical risk factors, the concordance index to predict ASAH hazard increased from 0.63 (95% CI, 0.59-0.67) to 0.65 (95% CI, 0.62-0.69), while prediction of IA presence did not improve. The metaGRS was statistically significantly associated with age at ASAH (ÎČ=-4.82×10(-3) per year [95% CI, -6.49×10(-3) to -3.14×10(-3)]; P=1.82×10(-8)), and location of IA at the internal carotid artery (odds ratio=0.92 [95% CI, 0.86-0.98]; P=0.0041). CONCLUSIONS: The metaGRS was predictive of ASAH incidence, although with limited added value over clinical risk factors. The metaGRS was not predictive of IA presence. Therefore, we do not recommend using this metaGRS in daily clinical care. Genetic risk does partly explain the clinical heterogeneity of IA warranting prioritization of clinical heterogeneity in future genetic prediction studies of IA and ASAH

    Characterisation of age and polarity at onset in bipolar disorder

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    Background Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools. Aims To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics. Method Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts. Results Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (ÎČ = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (ÎČ = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (ÎČ = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (ÎČ = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO. Conclusions AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses
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