9,223 research outputs found

    Distinct mechanisms underlie pattern formation in the skin and skin appendages

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    Patterns form with the break of homogeneity and lead to the emergence of new structure or arrangement. There are different physiological and pathological mechanisms that lead to the formation of patterns. Here, we first introduce the basics of pattern formation and their possible biological basis. We then discuss different categories of skin patterns and their potential underlying molecular mechanisms. Some patterns, such as the lines of Blaschko and Naevus, are based on cell lineage and genetic mosaicism. Other patterns, such as regionally specific skin appendages, can be set by distinct combinatorial molecular codes, which in turn may be set by morphogenetic gradients. There are also some patterns, such as the arrangement of hair follicles (hair whorls) and fingerprints, which involve genetics as well as stochastic epigenetic events based on physiochemical principles. Many appendage primordia are laid out in developmental waves. In the adult, some patterns, such as those involving cycling hair follicles, may appear as traveling waves in mice. Since skin appendages can renew themselves in regeneration, their size and shape can still change in the adult via regulation by hormones and the environment. Some lesion patterns are based on pathological changes involving the above processes and can be used as diagnostic criteria in medicine. Understanding the different mechanisms that lead to patterns in the skin will help us appreciate their full significance in morphogenesis and medical research. Much remains to be learned about complex pattern formation, if we are to bridge the gap between molecular biology and organism phenotypes. Birth Defects Research (Part C) 78:280-291, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc

    Neural mechanisms of resistance to peer influence in early adolescence

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    During the shift from a parent-dependent child to a fully autonomous adult, peers take on a significant role in shaping the adolescent’s behaviour. Peer-derived influences are not always positive, however. Here we explore neural correlates of inter-individual differences in the probability of resisting peer influence in early adolescence. Using functional magnetic-resonance imaging (fMRI), we found striking differences between 10-year old children with high and low resistance to peer influence in their brain activity during observation of angry hand-movements and angry facial expressions: compared with subjects with low resistance to peer influence, individuals with high resistance showed a highly coordinated brain activity in neural systems underlying perception of action and decision making. These findings suggest that the probability of resisting peer influence depends on neural interactions during observation of emotion-laden actions

    A practical guide for the study of human and murine sebaceous glands in situ

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    The skin of most mammals is characterised by the presence of sebaceous glands (SGs), whose predominant constituent cell population is sebocytes, that is, lipid-producing epithelial cells, which develop from the hair follicle. Besides holocrine sebum production (which contributes 90% of skin surface lipids), multiple additional SG functions have emerged. These range from antimicrobial peptide production and immunomodulation, via lipid and hormone synthesis/metabolism, to the provision of an epithelial progenitor cell reservoir. Therefore, in addition to its involvement in common skin diseases (e.g. acne vulgaris), the unfolding diversity of SG functions, both in skin health and disease, has raised interest in this integral component of the pilosebaceous unit. This practical guide provides an introduction to SG biology and to relevant SG histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques, with emphasis placed on in situ evaluation methods that can be easily employed. We propose a range of simple, established markers, which are particularly instructive when addressing specific SG research questions in the two most commonly investigated species in SG research, humans and mice. To facilitate the development of reproducible analysis techniques for the in situ evaluation of SGs, this methods review concludes by suggesting quantitative (immuno-)histomorphometric methods for standardised SG evaluation

    What is the biological basis of pattern formation of skin lesions?

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    Pattern recognition is at the heart of clinical dermatology and dermatopathology. Yet, while every practitioner of the art of dermatological diagnosis recognizes the supreme value of diagnostic cues provided by defined patterns of 'efflorescences', few contemplate on the biological basis of pattern formation in and of skin lesions. Vice versa, developmental and theoretical biologists, who would be best prepared to study skin lesion patterns, are lamentably slow to discover this field as a uniquely instructive testing ground for probing theoretical concepts on pattern generation in the human system. As a result, we have at best scraped the surface of understanding the biological basis of pattern formation of skin lesions, and widely open questions dominate over definitive answer. As a symmetry-breaking force, pattern formation represents one of the most fundamental principles that nature enlists for system organization. Thus, the peculiar and often characteristic arrangements that skin lesions display provide a unique opportunity to reflect upon – and to experimentally dissect – the powerful organizing principles at the crossroads of developmental, skin and theoretical biology, genetics, and clinical dermatology that underlie these – increasingly less enigmatic – phenomena. The current 'Controversies' feature offers a range of different perspectives on how pattern formation of skin lesions can be approached. With this, we hope to encourage more systematic interdisciplinary research efforts geared at unraveling the many unsolved, yet utterly fascinating mysteries of dermatological pattern formation. In short: never a dull pattern

    Fostering collective intelligence education

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    New educational models are necessary to update learning environments to the digitally shared communication and information. Collective intelligence is an emerging field that already has a significant impact in many areas and will have great implications in education, not only from the side of new methodologies but also as a challenge for education. This paper proposes an approach to a collective intelligence model of teaching using Internet to combine two strategies: idea management and real time assessment in the class. A digital tool named Fabricius has been created supporting these two elements to foster the collaboration and engagement of students in the learning process. As a result of the research we propose a list of KPI trying to measure individual and collective performance. We are conscious that this is just a first approach to define which aspects of a class following a course can be qualified and quantified.Postprint (published version

    First operational experience with the CMS Run Control System

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    The Run Control System of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) controls the sub-detector and central data acquisition systems and the high-level trigger farm of the experiment. It manages around 10,000 applications that control custom hardware or handle the event building and the high-level trigger processing. The CMS Run Control System is a distributed Java system running on a set of Apache Tomcat servlet containers. Users interact with the system through a web browser. The paper presents the architecture of the CMS Run Control System and deals with operational aspects during the first phase of operation with colliding beams. In particular it focuses on performance, stability, integration with the CMS Detector Control System, integration with LHC status information and tools to guide the shifter.United States. Dept. of EnergyNational Science Foundation (U.S.)European Community. Marie-Curie Research Network

    Regional cerebral blood flow changes as a function of delta and spindle activity during slow wave sleep in humans

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    In the present study, we investigated changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in humans during the progression from relaxed wakefulness through slow wave sleep (SWS). These changes were examined as a function of spindle (12-15 Hz) and delta (1.5-4.0 Hz) electroencephalographic (EEG) activity of SWS. rCBF was studied with positron emission tomography (PET) using the H215O bolus method. A maximum of six 60 sec scans were performed per subject during periods of wakefulness and stages 1-4 of SWS, as determined by on-line EEG monitoring. Spectral analysis was performed off-line on the EEG epochs corresponding to the scans for computation of activity in specific frequency bands. The relationship between EEG frequency band activity and normalized rCBF was determined by means of a voxel-by-voxel analysis of covariance. delta activity covaried negatively with rCBF most markedly in the thalamus and also in the brainstem reticular formation, cerebellum, anterior cingulate, and orbitofrontal cortex. After the effect of delta was removed, a significant negative covariation between spindle activity and the residual rCBF was evident in the medial thalamus. These negative covariations may reflect the disfacilitation and active inhibition of thalamocortical relay neurons in association with delta and spindles, as well as the neural substrates underlying the progressive attenuation of sensory awareness, motor responsiveness, and arousal that occur during SWS. delta activity covaried positively with rCBF in the visual and auditory cortex, possibly reflecting processes of dream-like mentation purported to occur during SW

    Online data handling and storage at the CMS experiment

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    During the LHC Long Shutdown 1, the CMS Data Acquisition (DAQ) system underwent a partial redesign to replace obsolete network equipment, use more homogeneous switching technologies, and support new detector back-end electronics. The software and hardware infrastructure to provide input, execute the High Level Trigger (HLT) algorithms and deal with output data transport and storage has also been redesigned to be completely file- based. All the metadata needed for bookkeeping are stored in files as well, in the form of small documents using the JSON encoding. The Storage and Transfer System (STS) is responsible for aggregating these files produced by the HLT, storing them temporarily and transferring them to the T0 facility at CERN for subsequent offline processing. The STS merger service aggregates the output files from the HLT from ~62 sources produced with an aggregate rate of ~2GB/s. An estimated bandwidth of 7GB/s in concurrent read/write mode is needed. Furthermore, the STS has to be able to store several days of continuous running, so an estimated of 250TB of total usable disk space is required. In this article we present the various technological and implementation choices of the three components of the STS: the distributed file system, the merger service and the transfer system.United States. Department of EnergyNational Science Foundation (U.S.
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