14,468 research outputs found

    The geometry of manifolds and the perception of space

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    This essay discusses the development of key geometric ideas in the 19th century which led to the formulation of the concept of an abstract manifold (which was not necessarily tied to an ambient Euclidean space) by Hermann Weyl in 1913. This notion of manifold and the geometric ideas which could be formulated and utilized in such a setting (measuring a distance between points, curvature and other geometric concepts) was an essential ingredient in Einstein's gravitational theory of space-time from 1916 and has played important roles in numerous other theories of nature ever since.Comment: arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1301.064

    Downregulation of genes with a function in axon outgrowth and synapse formation in motor neurones of the VEGF(delta/delta) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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    Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial cell mitogen that stimulates vasculogenesis. It has also been shown to act as a neurotrophic factor in vitro and in vivo. Deletion of the hypoxia response element of the promoter region of the gene encoding VEGF in mice causes a reduction in neural VEGF expression, and results in adult-onset motor neurone degeneration that resembles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Investigating the molecular pathways to neurodegeneration in the VEGF(delta/delta) mouse model of ALS may improve understanding of the mechanisms of motor neurone death in the human disease. Results: Microarray analysis was used to determine the transcriptional profile of laser captured spinal motor neurones of transgenic and wild-type littermates at 3 time points of disease. 324 genes were significantly differentially expressed in motor neurones of presymptomatic VEGF(delta/delta) mice, 382 at disease onset, and 689 at late stage disease. Massive transcriptional downregulation occurred with disease progression, associated with downregulation of genes involved in RNA processing at late stage disease. VEGF(delta/delta) mice showed reduction in expression, from symptom onset, of the cholesterol synthesis pathway, and genes involved in nervous system development, including axonogenesis, synapse formation, growth factor signalling pathways, cell adhesion and microtubule-based processes. These changes may reflect a reduced capacity of VEGF(delta/delta) mice for maintenance and remodelling of neuronal processes in the face of demands of neural plasticity. The findings are supported by the demonstration that in primary motor neurone cultures from VEGF(delta/delta) mice, axon outgrowth is significantly reduced compared to wild-type littermates. Conclusions: Downregulation of these genes involved in axon outgrowth and synapse formation in adult mice suggests a hitherto unrecognized role of VEGF in the maintenance of neuronal circuitry. Dysregulation of VEGF may lead to neurodegeneration through synaptic regression and dying-back axonopathy

    User's guide for the Solar Backscattered Ultraviolet (SBUV) and the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) RUT-S and RUT-T data sets: October 31, 1978 to November 1, 1980

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    Raw data from the Solar Backscattered Ultrviolet/Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (SBUV/TOMS) Nimbus 7 operation are available on computer tape. These data are contained on two separate sets of RUTs (Raw Units Tapes) for SBUV and TOMS, labelled RUT-S and RUT-T respectively. The RUT-S and RUT-T tapes contain uncalibrated radiance and irradiance data, housekeeping data, wavelength and electronic calibration data, instrument field-of-view location and solar ephemeris information. These tapes also contain colocated cloud, terrain pressure and snow/ice thickness data, each derived from an independent source. The "RUT User's Guide" describes the SBUV and TOMS experiments, the instrument calibration and performance, operating schedules, and data coverage, and provides an assessment of RUT-S and -T data quality. It also provides detailed information on the data available on the computer tapes

    Detecting Changes in Retinal Function: Analysis with Non-Stationary Weibull Error Regression and Spatial Enhancement (ANSWERS)

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    Visual fields measured with standard automated perimetry are a benchmark test for determining retinal function in ocular pathologies such as glaucoma. Their monitoring over time is crucial in detecting change in disease course and, therefore, in prompting clinical intervention and defining endpoints in clinical trials of new therapies. However, conventional change detection methods do not take into account non-stationary measurement variability or spatial correlation present in these measures. An inferential statistical model, denoted ‘Analysis with Non-Stationary Weibull Error Regression and Spatial enhancement’ (ANSWERS), was proposed. In contrast to commonly used ordinary linear regression models, which assume normally distributed errors, ANSWERS incorporates non-stationary variability modelled as a mixture of Weibull distributions. Spatial correlation of measurements was also included into the model using a Bayesian framework. It was evaluated using a large dataset of visual field measurements acquired from electronic health records, and was compared with other widely used methods for detecting deterioration in retinal function. ANSWERS was able to detect deterioration significantly earlier than conventional methods, at matched false positive rates. Statistical sensitivity in detecting deterioration was also significantly better, especially in short time series. Furthermore, the spatial correlation utilised in ANSWERS was shown to improve the ability to detect deterioration, compared to equivalent models without spatial correlation, especially in short follow-up series. ANSWERS is a new efficient method for detecting changes in retinal function. It allows for better detection of change, more efficient endpoints and can potentially shorten the time in clinical trials for new therapies

    A review of treatment options for behavioural manifestations of clinical anxiety as a comorbidity in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy

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    Psychiatric comorbidities affect a large percentage of people with epilepsy and have a detrimental impact on their quality of life. Recently, behavioural comorbidities, with similar characteristics to human psychiatric diseases, have been identified in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. In particular, behaviours motivated by the fear–anxiety emotional system have been found to be associated with the occurrence of idiopathic epilepsy in both dogs receiving anti-epileptic drugs, and drug-naïve dogs. There has been little research into the relationship between epilepsy and behavioural signs, and even less into potential treatment protocols. The following article will review available literature from human medicine to describe the current state of knowledge about the bi-directional relationship between anxiety and epilepsy, draw parallels from reported anxiogenic and anxiolytic properties of anti-epileptic drugs and attempt to provide pharmaceutical and behavioural guidance for veterinary patients with epilepsy and comorbid anxiety

    Language and theory of mind in autism spectrum disorder : the relationship between complement syntax and false belief task performance.

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    This study aimed to test the hypothesis that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use their knowledge of complement syntax as a means of “hacking out” solutions to false belief tasks, despite lacking a representational theory of mind (ToM). Participants completed a “memory for complements” task, a measure of receptive vocabulary, and traditional location change and unexpected contents false belief tasks. Consistent with predictions, the correlation between complement syntax score and location change task performance was significantly stronger within the ASD group than within the comparison group. However, contrary to predictions, complement syntax score was not significantly correlated with unexpected contents task performance within either group. Possible explanations for this pattern of results are considered