4,121 research outputs found

    A strategy for the characterization of minute chromosome rearrangements using multiple color fluorescence in situ hybridization with chromosome-specific DNA libraries and YAC clones

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    The identification of marker chromosomes in clinical and tumor cytogenetics by chromosome banding analysis can create problems. In this study, we present a strategy to define minute chromosomal rearrangements by multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with whole chromosome painting probes derived from chromosome-specific DNA libraries and Alu-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products of various region-specific yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) clones. To demonstrate the usefulness of this strategy for the characterization of chromosome rearrangements unidentifiable by banding techniques, an 8p+ marker chromosome with two extra bands present in the karyotype of a child with multiple anomalies, malformations, and severe mental retardation was investigated. A series of seven-color FISH experiments with sets of fluorochrome-labeled DNA library probes from flow-sorted chromosomes demonstrated that the additional segment on 8p+ was derived from chromosome 6. For a more detailed characterization of the marker chromosome, three-color FISH experiments with library probes specific to chromosomes 6 and 8 were performed in combination with newly established telomeric and subtelomeric YAC clones from 6q25, 6p23, and 8p23. These experiments demonstrated a trisomy 6pter6p22 and a monosomy 8pter8p23 in the patient. The present limitations for a broad application of this strategy and its possible improvements are discusse

    A cross validation of Consumer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) with Private Labels in Spain

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    Molinillo,S., Ekinci, Y., Japutra, A. (2014)'A cross validation of Consumer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) with Private Labels in Spain'. in Martínez-López, Gázquez-Abad, J.C. and Sethuraman, R. J.A. (eds.) Advances in National Brand and Private Label Marketing. Second International Conference, 2015. Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics, pp. 113-125In recent years a number of Consumer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) models and measurement scales have been introduced in the branding literature. However, examinations of brand equity in Private Labels (PL) are rather limited. This study aims to compare the validity of the two prominent CBBE models those introduced by Yoo and Donthu (2001) and Nam et al. (2011). In order to test the models and make this comparison, the study collected data from 236 respondents who rated private labels in Spain. A list of 30 different fashion and sportswear PL was introduced to respondents. These brands do not make any reference to the retail store in which they are sold. Research findings suggest that the extended CBBE model introduced by Nam et al. (2011) and Ciftci et al. (2014) is more reliable and valid than Yoo and Donthu’s model for assessing PL. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications are discussed.Universidad de Málaga. Campus de Excelencia Internacional Andalucía Tech

    Growth dynamics and the evolution of cooperation in microbial populations

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    Microbes providing public goods are widespread in nature despite running the risk of being exploited by free-riders. However, the precise ecological factors supporting cooperation are still puzzling. Following recent experiments, we consider the role of population growth and the repetitive fragmentation of populations into new colonies mimicking simple microbial life-cycles. Individual-based modeling reveals that demographic fluctuations, which lead to a large variance in the composition of colonies, promote cooperation. Biased by population dynamics these fluctuations result in two qualitatively distinct regimes of robust cooperation under repetitive fragmentation into groups. First, if the level of cooperation exceeds a threshold, cooperators will take over the whole population. Second, cooperators can also emerge from a single mutant leading to a robust coexistence between cooperators and free-riders. We find frequency and size of population bottlenecks, and growth dynamics to be the major ecological factors determining the regimes and thereby the evolutionary pathway towards cooperation.Comment: 26 pages, 6 figure

    The labor market regimes of Denmark and Norway – one Nordic model?

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    The literature on the Danish and Norwegian labor market systems emphasizes the commonalities of the two systems. We challenge this perception by investigating how employers in multinational companies in Denmark and Norway communicate with employees on staffing changes. We argue that the development of ‘flexicurity’ in Denmark grants Danish employers considerably greater latitude in engaging in staffing changes than its Nordic counterpart, Norway. Institutional theory leads us to suppose that large firms located in the Danish setting will be less likely to engage in employer–employee communication on staffing plans than their Norwegian counterparts. In addition, we argue that in the Danish context indigenous firms will have a better insight into the normative and cognitive aspects to flexicurity than foreign-owned firms, meaning that they are more likely to engage in institutional entrepreneurialism than their foreign owned counterparts. We supplement institutional theory with an actor perspective in order to take into account the role of labor unions. Our analysis is based on a survey of 203 firms in Norway and Denmark which are either indigenous multinational companies or the subsidiaries of foreign multinational companies. The differences we observe cause us to conclude that the notion of a common Nordic model is problematic

    Self-Organization, Layered Structure, and Aggregation Enhance Persistence of a Synthetic Biofilm Consortium

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    Microbial consortia constitute a majority of the earth’s biomass, but little is known about how these cooperating communities persist despite competition among community members. Theory suggests that non-random spatial structures contribute to the persistence of mixed communities; when particular structures form, they may provide associated community members with a growth advantage over unassociated members. If true, this has implications for the rise and persistence of multi-cellular organisms. However, this theory is difficult to study because we rarely observe initial instances of non-random physical structure in natural populations. Using two engineered strains of Escherichia coli that constitute a synthetic symbiotic microbial consortium, we fortuitously observed such spatial self-organization. This consortium forms a biofilm and, after several days, adopts a defined layered structure that is associated with two unexpected, measurable growth advantages. First, the consortium cannot successfully colonize a new, downstream environment until it selforganizes in the initial environment; in other words, the structure enhances the ability of the consortium to survive environmental disruptions. Second, when the layered structure forms in downstream environments the consortium accumulates significantly more biomass than it did in the initial environment; in other words, the structure enhances the global productivity of the consortium. We also observed that the layered structure only assembles in downstream environments that are colonized by aggregates from a previous, structured community. These results demonstrate roles for self-organization and aggregation in persistence of multi-cellular communities, and also illustrate a role for the techniques of synthetic biology in elucidating fundamental biological principles

    Decay of correlations for maps with uniformly contracting fibers and logarithm law for singular hyperbolic attractors

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    We consider two dimensional maps preserving a foliation which is uniformly contracting and a one dimensional associated quotient map having exponential convergence to equilibrium (iterates of Lebesgue measure converge exponentially fast to physical measure). We prove that these maps have exponential decay of correlations over a large class of observables. We use this result to deduce exponential decay of correlations for the Poincare maps of a large class of singular hyperbolic flows. From this we deduce logarithm laws for these flows.Comment: 39 pages; 03 figures; proof of Theorem 1 corrected; many typos corrected; improvements on the statements and comments suggested by a referee. Keywords: singular flows, singular-hyperbolic attractor, exponential decay of correlations, exact dimensionality, logarithm la

    MicroRNAs targeting oncogenes are down-regulated in pancreatic malignant transformation from benign tumors

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    BACKGROUND MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profiles have been described in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but these have not been compared with pre-malignant pancreatic tumors. We wished to compare the miRNA expression signatures in pancreatic benign cystic tumors (BCT) of low and high malignant potential with PDAC, in order to identify miRNAs deregulated during PDAC development. The mechanistic consequences of miRNA dysregulation were further evaluated. METHODS Tissue samples were obtained at a tertiary pancreatic unit from individuals with BCT and PDAC. MiRNA profiling was performed using a custom microarray and results were validated using RT-qPCR prior to evaluation of miRNA targets. RESULTS Widespread miRNA down-regulation was observed in PDAC compared to low malignant potential BCT. We show that amongst those miRNAs down-regulated, miR-16, miR-126 and let-7d regulate known PDAC oncogenes (targeting BCL2, CRK and KRAS respectively). Notably, miR-126 also directly targets the KRAS transcript at a "seedless" binding site within its 3'UTR. In clinical specimens, miR-126 was strongly down-regulated in PDAC tissues, with an associated elevation in KRAS and CRK proteins. Furthermore, miR-21, a known oncogenic miRNA in pancreatic and other cancers, was not elevated in PDAC compared to serous microcystic adenoma (SMCA), but in both groups it was up-regulated compared to normal pancreas, implicating early up-regulation during malignant change. CONCLUSIONS Expression profiling revealed 21 miRNAs down-regulated in PDAC compared to SMCA, the most benign lesion that rarely progresses to invasive carcinoma. It appears that miR-21 up-regulation is an early event in the transformation from normal pancreatic tissue. MiRNA expression has the potential to distinguish PDAC from normal pancreas and BCT. Mechanistically the down-regulation of miR-16, miR-126 and let-7d promotes PDAC transformation by post-transcriptional up-regulation of crucial PDAC oncogenes. We show that miR-126 is able to directly target KRAS; re-expression has the potential as a therapeutic strategy against PDAC and other KRAS-driven cancers

    The price of tumor control: an analysis of rare side effects of anti-CTLA-4 therapy in metastatic melanoma from the ipilimumab network

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    Background: Ipilimumab, a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) blocking antibody, has been approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and induces adverse events (AE) in up to 64% of patients. Treatment algorithms for the management of common ipilimumab-induced AEs have lead to a reduction of morbidity, e.g. due to bowel perforations. However, the spectrum of less common AEs is expanding as ipilimumab is increasingly applied. Stringent recognition and management of AEs will reduce drug-induced morbidity and costs, and thus, positively impact the cost-benefit ratio of the drug. To facilitate timely identification and adequate management data on rare AEs were analyzed at 19 skin cancer centers. Methods and Findings: Patient files (n = 752) were screened for rare ipilimumab-associated AEs. A total of 120 AEs, some of which were life-threatening or even fatal, were reported and summarized by organ system describing the most instructive cases in detail. Previously unreported AEs like drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), granulomatous inflammation of the central nervous system, and aseptic meningitis, were documented. Obstacles included patientś delay in reporting symptoms and the differentiation of steroid-induced from ipilimumab-induced AEs under steroid treatment. Importantly, response rate was high in this patient population with tumor regression in 30.9% and a tumor control rate of 61.8% in stage IV melanoma patients despite the fact that some patients received only two of four recommended ipilimumab infusions. This suggests that ipilimumab-induced antitumor responses can have an early onset and that severe autoimmune reactions may reflect overtreatment. Conclusion: The wide spectrum of ipilimumab-induced AEs demands doctor and patient awareness to reduce morbidity and treatment costs and true ipilimumab success is dictated by both objective tumor responses and controlling severe side effects

    Genetic diversity and population structure of Ascochyta rabiei from the western Iranian Ilam and Kermanshah provinces using MAT and SSR markers

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    Knowledge of genetic diversity in A. rabiei provides different levels of information that are important in the management of crop germplasm resources. Gene flow on a regional level indicates a significant potential risk for the regional spread of novel alleles that might contribute to fungicide resistance or the breakdown of resistance genes. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) and mating type (MAT) markers were used to determine the genetic structure, and estimate genetic diversity and the prevalence of mating types in 103 Ascochyta rabiei isolates from seven counties in the Ilam and Kermanshah provinces of western Iran (Ilam, Aseman abad, Holaylan, Chardavol, Dareh shahr, Gilangharb, and Sarpul). A set of 3 microsatellite primer pairs revealed a total of 75 alleles; the number of alleles varied from 15 to 34 for each marker. A high level of genetic variability was observed among A. rabiei isolates in the region. Genetic diversity was high (He = 0.788) within populations with corresponding high average gene flow and low genetic distances between populations. The smallest genetic distance was observed between isolates from Ilam and Chardavol. Both mating types were present in all populations, with the majority of the isolates belonging to Mat1-1 (64%), but within populations the proportions of each mating type were not significantly different from 50%. Results from this study will be useful in breeding for Ascochyta blight-resistant cultivars and developing necessary control measures

    MFGE8 does not influence chorio-retinal homeostasis or choroidal neovascularization in vivo

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    Purpose: Milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor-factor VIII (MFGE8) is necessary for diurnal outer segment phagocytosis and promotes VEGF-dependent neovascularization. The prevalence of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in MFGE8 was studied in two exsudative or “wet” Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) groups and two corresponding control groups. We studied the effect of MFGE8 deficiency on retinal homeostasis with age and on choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in mice. Methods: The distribution of the SNP (rs4945 and rs1878326) of MFGE8 was analyzed in two groups of patients with “wet” AMD and their age-matched controls from Germany and France. MFGE8-expressing cells were identified in Mfge8+/− mice expressing ß-galactosidase. Aged Mfge8+/− and Mfge8−/− mice were studied by funduscopy, histology, electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts of the choroid, and after laser-induced CNV. Results: rs1878326 was associated with AMD in the French and German group. The Mfge8 promoter is highly active in photoreceptors but not in retinal pigment epithelium cells. Mfge8−/− mice did not differ from controls in terms of fundus appearance, photoreceptor cell layers, choroidal architecture or laser-induced CNV. In contrast, the Bruch's membrane (BM) was slightly but significantly thicker in Mfge8−/− mice as compared to controls. Conclusions: Despite a reproducible minor increase of rs1878326 in AMD patients and a very modest increase in BM in Mfge8−/− mice, our data suggests that MFGE8 dysfunction does not play a critical role in the pathogenesis of AMD