9,620 research outputs found

    Life history and ecological genetics of the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri

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    The colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri is a cosmopolitan, marine filter feeder, introduced as a laboratory research organism in the 1950s. Currently, it is widely used in many laboratories to investigate a variety of biological questions. Recently, it has become a species of concern, as it is an invasive species in many coastal environments. Here, we review studies on the geographical distribution of the species, sexual and asexual reproduction in the field, tolerance to temperature, salinity and anthropogenic activity, polychromatism, enzymatic polymorphism, and the genetic basis of pigmentation. Studying the relationship between genetic polymorphism and the adaptation of B. schlosseri to environmental stress is a challenge of future research and will improve our understanding of its evolutionary success and invasive potential

    Allosteric Modulators for mGlu Receptors

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    The metabotropic glutamate receptor family comprises eight subtypes (mGlu1-8) of G-protein coupled receptors. mGlu receptors have a large extracellular domain which acts as recognition domain for the natural agonist glutamate. In contrast to the ionotropic glutamate receptors which mediate the fast excitatory neurotransmission, mGlu receptors have been shown to play a more modulatory role and have been proposed as alternative targets for pharmacological interventions. The potential use of mGluRs as drug targets for various nervous system pathologies such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, pain or Parkinson’s disease has triggered an intense search for subtype selective modulators and resulted in the identification of numerous novel pharmacological agents capable to modulate the receptor activity through an interaction at an allosteric site located in the transmembrane domain. The present review presents the most recent developments in the identification and the characterization of allosteric modulators for the mGlu receptors

    The contribution of targeted therapy to the neoadjuvant chemoradiation of rectal cancer.

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    Neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy is a commonly used option aimed to make less aggressive surgery approaches and to improve quality of life allowing a high proportion of patients operated with sphincter-sparing surgical techniques in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). During the last 5 years a number of studies have tested the efficacy of more intensive chemotherapeutic approaches by combining irinotecan or oxaliplatin with fluoropyrimidines and standard radiation treatments as well as testing combined treatments with targeted agents directed against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or angiogenesis. Herein, we review the results and critiques of the published studies based on the introduction of novel targeted agents in neoadjuvant therapy of LARC

    Using simple sequence repeats in 9 brassica complex species to assess hypertrophic curd induction

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    Five Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) were used to assess the relationship between inflorescence characteristics and their allelic variation in 53 Brassica oleracea and Brassica wild relatives (n = 9). Curd morphometric traits, such as weight (CW), height (CH), diameter (CD1), shape (CS) inflorescence curvature angle (CA), and its curd stem diameter (CD2), were measured. The aim of the work was to analyze the relationships among the allelic patterns of the SSRs primers utilized, and their status of homo or heterozygosity registered at each locus, as well as the inflorescence morphometric traits in order to individuate genomic regions stimulating the hypertrophy of this reproductive organ. The relationships found explain the diversity among B. oleracea complex species (n = 9) for the inflorescence size and structure, allowing important time reduction during the breeding process by crossing wild species, transferring useful resistance, and organoleptic and nutraceutical traits. The five SSRs loci were BoABI1, BoAP1, BoPLD1, BoTHL1, and PBCGSSRBo39. According to the allelic variation ascertained, we evaluated the heterozygosity index (H) for each SSR above cited. The results showed a significant interaction between the H index of the BoPLD1 gene and the inflorescence characteristics, summarized by the First Principal Component (PC1) (p-value = 0.0244); we ascertained a negative correlation between the H index and inflorescence characteristics, namely CW, CH, CD1, CD2, CA. The homozygosity BoPLD1 alelles, indicated by the H index, affect the inflorescence characteristics and broccoli and cauliflower yields

    The expression of pre- and postcopulatory sexually selected traits reflects levels of dietary stress in guppies

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    Environmental and ecological conditions can shape the evolution of life history traits in many animals. Among such factors, food or nutrition availability can play an important evolutionary role in moderating an animal\u27s life history traits, particularly sexually selected traits. Here, we test whether diet quantity and/or composition in the form of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (here termed \u27n3LC\u27) influence the expression of pre- and postcopulatory traits in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a livebearing poeciliid fish. We assigned males haphazardly to one of two experimental diets supplemented with n3LC, and each of these diet treatments was further divided into two diet \u27quantity\u27 treatments. Our experimental design therefore explored the main and interacting effects of two factors (n3LC content and diet quantity) on the expression of precopulatory (sexual behaviour and sexual ornamentation, including the size, number and spectral properties of colour spots) and postcopulatory (the velocity, viability, number and length of sperm) sexually selected traits. Our study revealed that diet quantity had significant effects on most of the pre- and postcopulatory traits, while n3LC manipulation had a significant effect on sperm traits and in particular on sperm viability. Our analyses also revealed interacting effects of diet quantity and n3LC levels on courtship displays, and the area of orange and iridescent colour spots in the males\u27 colour patterns. We also confirmed that our dietary manipulations of n3LC resulted in the differential uptake of n3LC in body and testes tissues in the different n3LC groups. This study reveals the effects of diet quantity and n3LC on behavioural, ornamental and ejaculate traits in P. reticulata and underscores the likely role that diet plays in maintaining the high variability in these condition-dependent sexual traits

    Skin acrometastases in squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue.

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    Linomide blocks angiogenesis by breast carcinoma vascular endothelial growth factor transfectants.

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    The blocking of angiogenesis provides a novel therapeutic target to inhibit tumour spreading. In this study, we investigated the effect of linomide on angiogenesis induced in vivo by highly angiogenic breast carcinoma cells. The rabbit cornea was used to assess neovascular growth in the absence of a tumour mass. MCF-7 cells stably transfected with the cDNA encoding for vascular endothelial growth factor 121 (VEGF121) (V12 clone) were used to elicit a potent VEGF-dependent corneal angiogenesis. After tumour cell implant, albino rabbits received 100 mg kg(-1) day(-1) linomide for 5 consecutive days. Daily observation of neovascular progression indicated that linomide blocked angiogenesis. The antiangiogenic effect of linomide was apparent within 48 h from the beginning of the treatment and was both angiosuppressive and angiostatic. The block of neovascular growth lasted over 10 days from treatment suspension, and preformed vessels, which had regressed, remained dormant, suggesting the persistence of unfavourable conditions for capillary progression. Linomide (50-200 microg ml[-1]) was not cytotoxic in vitro on resting capillary endothelial cells but blocked endothelial cell replication induced by VEGF. Our data indicate that linomide can efficiently and persistently block VEGF-dependent angiogenesis in vivo in the absence of a growing tumour mass. These data suggest that linomide could be a chemopreventive drug in breast cancer patients and a valuable tool in clinical settings in which metastatic spreading occurs in the absence of a detectable tumour mass

    The Specific Heat of a Ferromagnetic Film.

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    We analyze the specific heat for the O(N)O(N) vector model on a dd-dimensional film geometry of thickness LL using ``environmentally friendly'' renormalization. We consider periodic, Dirichlet and antiperiodic boundary conditions, deriving expressions for the specific heat and an effective specific heat exponent, \alpha\ef. In the case of d=3d=3, for N=1N=1, by matching to the exact exponent of the two dimensional Ising model we capture the crossover for \xi_L\ra\infty between power law behaviour in the limit {L\over\xi_L}\ra\infty and logarithmic behaviour in the limit {L\over\xi_L}\ra0 for fixed LL, where ÎľL\xi_L is the correlation length in the transverse dimensions.Comment: 21 pages of Plain TeX. Postscript figures available upon request from [email protected]

    Diagnostic Role of Bronchoalveolar Lavage in Patients with Suspected SARS-CoV-2 Pneumonia and Negative Upper Respiratory Tract Swab: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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    The added role of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in SARS-CoV-2 detection in hospitalized patients with suspected COVID-19 pneumonia and at least one negative nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) has yet to be definitively established. We aimed to provide a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize data from the literature on the diagnostic yield of BAL in this context. We searched Medline and Embase for all studies reporting outcomes of interest published up to October 2021. Two authors reviewed all titles/abstracts and retrieved the selected full texts according to predefined selection criteria. The summary estimate was derived using the random-effects model. Thirteen original studies, involving 868 patients, were included. The summary estimate of proportions of SARS-CoV-2 positivity in BAL fluid in patients with at least one previous negative NPS was 20% (95% confidence interval [CI]; 11–30%). Moreover, microbiological tests of BAL fluid led to the identification of other pathogens, mainly bacteria, in up to two-thirds of cases. BAL plays a crucial role in the diagnostic work-up of patients with clinical suspicion of COVID-19 and previous negative NPS, as it allowed to detect the infection in a significant proportion of subjects, who would have been otherwise misclassified, with relevant implications in the prevention of disease spread, especially in hospital settings
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