519 research outputs found

    A proposed new approach to light rail safety management in Spain and other countries

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    [Abstract:] The light rail transit (LRT) has experienced considerable growth in Spain since 1994; to date, this has led to the installation of more than 200 km of light rail lines and LRT operations in 11 metropolitan areas. Nevertheless, its institutional and regulatory framework have not been developed accordingly. Thus, in this paper, an approach for managing the LRT safety in Spain is proposed. The approach is based on the French model and could be applied to any other country that is interested in improving its LRT safety management. The paper explains the current situation of LRT safety management in Spain and provides a critical review. A comparison of the situations in several European countries is presented. Moreover, the paper presents details pertaining to the French framework and tool as the most adequate model for managing the LRT safety; a critical review is also included in order to propose ways for improving it. Finally, the main points of the proposed LRT safety management approach include the following: (1) development of a National Light Rail Safety Act, which would create the National Light Rail Safety Body; (2) implementation of a light rail safety database, which is created through the codification of light rail lines in homogenised sections from the safety point of view and the standardised light rail accident/incident reports, to be filled in by light rail operators directly; (3) management of the database by the National Light Rail Safety Body in order to improve safety based on the conclusions obtained

    Spike-Threshold Adaptation Predicted by Membrane Potential Dynamics In Vivo

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    International audienceNeurons encode information in sequences of spikes, which are triggered when their membrane potential crosses a threshold. In vivo, the spiking threshold displays large variability suggesting that threshold dynamics have a profound influence on how the combined input of a neuron is encoded in the spiking. Threshold variability could be explained by adaptation to the membrane potential. However, it could also be the case that most threshold variability reflects noise and processes other than threshold adaptation. Here, we investigated threshold variation in auditory neurons responses recorded in vivo in barn owls. We found that spike threshold is quantitatively predicted by a model in which the threshold adapts, tracking the membrane potential at a short timescale. As a result, in these neurons, slow voltage fluctuations do not contribute to spiking because they are filtered by threshold adaptation. More importantly, these neurons can only respond to input spikes arriving together on a millisecond timescale. These results demonstrate that fast adaptation to the membrane potential captures spike threshold variability in vivo


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    Ce numéro thématique invite à une réflexion documentée sur le rapport entre les situations d’usage de la parole et leurs contextes sociaux (entendus dans un sens large). Il propose sept études fondées sur des enquêtes tout à la fois ethnographiques et historiques. Si les auteurs sont associés formellement à des disciplines différentes (anthropologie sociale et linguistique, littérature comparée, sociologie), leurs perspectives spécifiques n’en contribuent pas moins à mettre en évidence la dim..

    In Vivo Detection of Succinate by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy as a Hallmark of SDHx Mutations in Paraganglioma

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    International audiencePurpose: Germline mutations in genes encoding mitochon-drial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) are found in patients with paragangliomas, pheochromocytomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and renal cancers. SDH inactivation leads to a massive accumulation of succinate, acting as an oncometabolite and which levels, assessed on surgically resected tissue are a highly specific biomarker of SDHx-mutated tumors. The aim of this study was to address the feasibility of detecting succinate in vivo by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Experimental Design: A pulsed proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1 H-MRS) sequence was developed, optimized, and applied to image nude mice grafted with Sdhb À/À or wild-type chromaffin cells. The method was then applied to patients with paraganglioma carrying (n ¼ 5) or not (n ¼ 4) an SDHx gene mutation. Following surgery, succinate was measured using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and SDH protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in resected tumors. Results: A succinate peak was observed at 2.44 ppm by 1 H-MRS in all Sdhb À/À-derived tumors in mice and in all paragangliomas of patients carrying an SDHx gene mutation, but neither in wild-type mouse tumors nor in patients exempt of SDHx mutation. In one patient, 1 H-MRS results led to the identification of an unsus-pected SDHA gene mutation. In another case, it helped define the pathogenicity of a variant of unknown significance in the SDHB gene. Conclusions: Detection of succinate by 1 H-MRS is a highly specific and sensitive hallmark of SDHx mutations. This non-invasive approach is a simple and robust method allowing in vivo detection of the major biomarker of SDHx-mutated tumors. Clin Cancer Res; 22(5); 1120–9. Ó2015 AACR

    Mixing performance of viscoelastic fluids in a kenics km in-line static mixer

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    AbstractThe mixing of ideal viscoelastic (Boger) fluids within a Kenics KM static mixer has been assessed by the analysis of images obtained by Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF). The effect of fluid elasticity and fluid superficial velocity has been investigated, with mixing performance quantified using the traditional measure of coefficient of variance CoV alongside the areal method developed by Alberini et al. (2013). As previously reported for non-Newtonian shear thinning fluids, trends in the coefficient of variance follow no set pattern, whilst areal analysis has shown that the >90% mixed fraction (i.e. portion of the flow that is within ±10% of the perfectly mixed concentration) decreases as fluid elasticity increases. Further, the >90% mixed fraction does not collapse onto a single curve with traditional dimensionless parameters such as Reynolds number Re and Weissenberg number Wi, and thus a generalised Reynolds number Reg=Re/(1+2Wi) has been implemented with data showing a good correlation to this parameter

    The Rare IL22RA2 Signal Peptide Coding Variant rs28385692 Decreases Secretion of IL-22BP Isoform-1, -2 and -3 and Is Associated with Risk for Multiple Sclerosis.

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    The IL22RA2 locus is associated with risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) but causative variants are yet to be determined. In a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) screen of this locus in a Basque population, rs28385692, a rare coding variant substituting Leu for Pro at position 16 emerged significantly (p = 0.02). This variant is located in the signal peptide (SP) shared by the three secreted protein isoforms produced by IL22RA2 (IL-22 binding protein-1(IL-22BPi1), IL-22BPi2 and IL-22BPi3). Genotyping was extended to a Europe-wide case-control dataset and yielded high significance in the full dataset (p = 3.17 × 10-4). Importantly, logistic regression analyses conditioning on the main known MS-associated SNP at this locus, rs17066096, revealed that this association was independent from the primary association signal in the full case-control dataset. In silico analysis predicted both disruption of the alpha helix of the H-region of the SP and decreased hydrophobicity of this region, ultimately affecting the SP cleavage site. We tested the effect of the p.Leu16Pro variant on the secretion of IL-22BPi1, IL-22BPi2 and IL-22BPi3 and observed that the Pro16 risk allele significantly lowers secretion levels of each of the isoforms to around 50%-60% in comparison to the Leu16 reference allele. Thus, our study suggests that genetically coded decreased levels of IL-22BP isoforms are associated with augmented risk for MS

    The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization

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    Background: The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species. High-quality genomic data will inform key aspects of bumblebee biology, including susceptibility to implicated population viability threats. Results: We report the high quality draft genome sequences of Bombus terrestris and Bombus impatiens, two ecologically dominant bumblebees and widely utilized study species. Comparing these new genomes to those of the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera and other Hymenoptera, we identify deeply conserved similarities, as well as novelties key to the biology of these organisms. Some honeybee genome features thought to underpin advanced eusociality are also present in bumblebees, indicating an earlier evolution in the bee lineage. Xenobiotic detoxification and immune genes are similarly depauperate in bumblebees and honeybees, and multiple categories of genes linked to social organization, including development and behavior, show high conservation. Key differences identified include a bias in bumblebee chemoreception towards gustation from olfaction, and striking differences in microRNAs, potentially responsible for gene regulation underlying social and other traits. Conclusions: These two bumblebee genomes provide a foundation for post-genomic research on these key pollinators and insect societies. Overall, gene repertoires suggest that the route to advanced eusociality in bees was mediated by many small changes in many genes and processes, and not by notable expansion or depauperation
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