1,992 research outputs found

    CMS DT Chambers: Optimized Measurement of Cosmic Rays Crossing Time in absence of Magnetic Field

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    Two spare drift chambers produced in the I.N.F.N. Legnaro Laboratory (Padova, Italy) for the barrel muon spectrometer of the LHC CMS experiment have been extensively tested using cosmic-ray muons. A fitting algorithm was developed to optimize the determination of the time of passage of the particle. A timing resolution of ≈\approx2~ns has been obtained. The algorithm permits the measurement of the track reconstruction precision of the chambers by using cosmic-ray data with the same accuracy obtained using high-energy test-beam data

    Radiation dosimetry and biodistribution of 11C-ABP688 measured in healthy volunteers

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    Introduction: In this study, we assessed the whole-body biodistribution and radiation dosimetry of the new glutamatergic ligand 11C-ABP688. This ligand binds specifically to the metabotropic glutamatergic receptor of subtype 5 (mGluR5). Materials and methods: The study included five healthy male volunteers aged 20-29years. After intravenous injection of 240-260MBq, a series of four to ten whole-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography scans were initiated, yielding 60-80min of data. Residence times were then calculated in the relevant organs, and the software packages Mirdose and Olinda were used to calculate the absorbed radiation dose and the effective dose equivalent. Results: Of the excreted 11C activity at 1hour, approximately 80% were eliminated via the hepato-biliary pathway and 20% through the urinary tract. The absorbed dose (mGy/MBq) was highest in the liver (1.64 E -2 ± 5.08 E -3), gallbladder (8.13 E -3 ± 5.6 E -3), and kidneys (7.27 E -3 ± 2.79 E -3). The effective dose equivalent was 3.68 ± 0.84microSv/MBq. Brain uptake in the areas with high mGluR5 density was 2-3 (SUV). The agreement between the values obtained from Mirdose and the Olinda was excellent. Conclusion: 11C-ABP688 is a very promising ligand for the investigation of mGluR5 receptors in humans. Brain uptake is high and the effective dose equivalent so low that serial examinations in the same subject seem feasibl

    Reciprocal changes in DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation and a broad repressive epigenetic switch characterize FMR1 transcriptional silencing in fragile X syndrome.

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    BACKGROUND: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, resulting from the loss of function of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. The molecular pathways associated with FMR1 epigenetic silencing are still elusive, and their characterization may enhance the discovery of novel therapeutic targets as well as the development of novel clinical biomarkers for disease status. RESULTS: We have deployed customized epigenomic profiling assays to comprehensively map the FMR1 locus chromatin landscape in peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PBMCs) from eight FXS patients and in fibroblast cell lines derived from three FXS patient. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation (5-methylcytosine (5mC)) and hydroxymethylation (5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC)) profiling using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) combined with a custom FMR1 microarray identifies novel regions of DNA (hydroxy)methylation changes within the FMR1 gene body as well as in proximal flanking regions. At the region surrounding the FMR1 transcriptional start sites, increased levels of 5mC were associated to reciprocal changes in 5hmC, representing a novel molecular feature of FXS disease. Locus-specific validation of FMR1 5mC and 5hmC changes highlighted inter-individual differences that may account for the expected DNA methylation mosaicism observed at the FMR1 locus in FXS patients. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) profiling of FMR1 histone modifications, together with 5mC/5hmC and gene expression analyses, support a functional relationship between 5hmC levels and FMR1 transcriptional activation and reveal cell-type specific differences in FMR1 epigenetic regulation. Furthermore, whilst 5mC FMR1 levels positively correlated with FXS disease severity (clinical scores of aberrant behavior), our data reveal for the first time an inverse correlation between 5hmC FMR1 levels and FXS disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: We identify novel, cell-type specific, regions of FMR1 epigenetic changes in FXS patient cells, providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms of FXS. We propose that the combined measurement of 5mC and 5hmC at selected regions of the FMR1 locus may significantly enhance FXS clinical diagnostics and patient stratification

    Hearing Function: Identification of New Candidate Genes Further Explaining the Complexity of This Sensory Ability

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    To date, the knowledge of the genetic determinants behind the modulation of hearing ability is relatively limited. To investigate this trait, we performed Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) meta-analysis using genotype and audiometric data (hearing thresholds at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 kHz, and pure-tone averages of thresholds at low, medium, and high frequencies) collected in nine cohorts from Europe, South-Eastern USA, Caucasus, and Central Asia, for an overall number of ~9000 subjects. Three hundred seventy-five genes across all nine analyses were tagged by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) reaching a suggestive p-value (p < 105). Amongst these, 15 were successfully replicated using a gene-based approach in the independent Italian Salus in the Apulia cohort (n = 1774) at the nominal significance threshold (p < 0.05). In addition, the expression level of the replicated genes was assessed in published human and mouse inner ear datasets. Considering expression patterns in humans and mice, eleven genes were considered particularly promising candidates for the hearing function: BNIP3L, ELP5, MAP3K20, MATN2, MTMR7, MYO1E, PCNT, R3HDM1, SLC9A9, TGFB2, and YTHDC2. These findings represent a further contribution to our understanding of the genetic basis of hearing function and its related diseases

    Search for composite and exotic fermions at LEP 2

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    A search for unstable heavy fermions with the DELPHI detector at LEP is reported. Sequential and non-canonical leptons, as well as excited leptons and quarks, are considered. The data analysed correspond to an integrated luminosity of about 48 pb^{-1} at an e^+e^- centre-of-mass energy of 183 GeV and about 20 pb^{-1} equally shared between the centre-of-mass energies of 172 GeV and 161 GeV. The search for pair-produced new leptons establishes 95% confidence level mass limits in the region between 70 GeV/c^2 and 90 GeV/c^2, depending on the channel. The search for singly produced excited leptons and quarks establishes upper limits on the ratio of the coupling of the excited fermio

    Search for lightest neutralino and stau pair production in light gravitino scenarios with stau NLSP

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    Promptly decaying lightest neutralinos and long-lived staus are searched for in the context of light gravitino scenarios. It is assumed that the stau is the next to lightest supersymmetric particle (NLSP) and that the lightest neutralino is the next to NLSP (NNLSP). Data collected with the Delphi detector at centre-of-mass energies from 161 to 183 \GeV are analysed. No evidence of the production of these particles is found. Hence, lower mass limits for both kinds of particles are set at 95% C.L.. The mass of gaugino-like neutralinos is found to be greater than 71.5 GeV/c^2. In the search for long-lived stau, masses less than 70.0 to 77.5 \GeVcc are excluded for gravitino masses from 10 to 150 \eVcc . Combining this search with the searches for stable heavy leptons and Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model staus a lower limit of 68.5 \GeVcc may be set for the stau mas

    Diagnostic Accuracy of Obstructive Airway Adult Test for Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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    Rationale. The gold standard for the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is polysomnography, whose access is however reduced by costs and limited availability, so that additional diagnostic tests are needed. Objectives. To analyze the diagnostic accuracy of the Obstructive Airway Adult Test (OAAT) compared to polysomnography for the diagnosis of OSA in adult patients. Methods. Ninety patients affected by OSA verified with polysomnography (AHI ≄ 5) and ten healthy patients, randomly selected, were included and all were interviewed by one blind examiner with OAAT questions. Measurements and Main Results. The Spearman rho, evaluated to measure the correlation between OAAT and polysomnography, was 0.72 ( &lt; 0.01). The area under the ROC curve (95% CI) was the parameter to evaluate the accuracy of the OAAT: it was 0.91 (0.81-1.00) for the diagnosis of OSA (AHI ≄ 5), 0.90 (0.82-0.98) for moderate OSA (AHI ≄ 15), and 0.84 (0.76-0.92) for severe OSA (AHI ≄ 30). Conclusions. The OAAT has shown a high correlation with polysomnography and also a high diagnostic accuracy for the diagnosis of OSA. It has also been shown to be able to discriminate among the different degrees of severity of OSA. Additional large studies aiming to validate this questionnaire as a screening or diagnostic test are needed

    Community-Level Responses to Iron Availability in Open Ocean Plankton Ecosystems

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    Predicting responses of plankton to variations in essential nutrients is hampered by limited in situ measurements, a poor understanding of community composition, and the lack of reference gene catalogs for key taxa. Iron is a key driver of plankton dynamics and, therefore, of global biogeochemical cycles and climate. To assess the impact of iron availability on plankton communities, we explored the comprehensive bio-oceanographic and bio-omics data sets from Tara Oceans in the context of the iron products from two state-of-the-art global scale biogeochemical models. We obtained novel information about adaptation and acclimation toward iron in a range of phytoplankton, including picocyanobacteria and diatoms, and identified whole subcommunities covarying with iron. Many of the observed global patterns were recapitulated in the Marquesas archipelago, where frequent plankton blooms are believed to be caused by natural iron fertilization, although they are not captured in large-scale biogeochemical models. This work provides a proof of concept that integrative analyses, spanning from genes to ecosystems and viruses to zooplankton, can disentangle the complexity of plankton communities and can lead to more accurate formulations of resource bioavailability in biogeochemical models, thus improving our understanding of plankton resilience in a changing environment
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