53 research outputs found

    Microbial community assembly and evolution in subseafloor sediment

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    Bacterial and archaeal communities inhabiting the subsurface seabed live under strong energy limitation and have growth rates that are orders of magnitude slower than laboratory-grown cultures. It is not understood how subsurface microbial communities are assembled and whether populations undergo adaptive evolution or accumulate mutations as a result of impaired DNA repair under such energy-limited conditions. Here we use amplicon sequencing to explore changes of microbial communities during burial and isolation from the surface to the > 5,000-y-old subsurface of marine sediment and identify a small core set of mostly uncultured bacteria and archaea that is present throughout the sediment column. These persisting populations constitute a small fraction of the entire community at the surface but become predominant in the subsurface. We followed patterns of genome diversity with depth in four dominant lineages of the persisting populations by mapping metagenomic sequence reads onto single-cell genomes. Nucleotide sequence diversity was uniformly low and did not change with age and depth of the sediment. Likewise, therewas no detectable change inmutation rates and efficacy of selection. Our results indicate that subsurface microbial communities predominantly assemble by selective survival of taxa able to persist under extreme energy limitation

    The impact of avoiding cardiopulmonary by-pass during coronary artery bypass surgery in elderly patients: the Danish On-pump Off-pump Randomisation Study (DOORS)

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Coronary Artery Bypass Graft operation for ischemic heart disease provides improved quality of life and, in some patients, prolonged survival. Concern has, however, been raised about complications that may be related to the use of cardiopulmonary by-pass (CPB) and aortic cross-clamping. It has been hypothesized that when coronary artery by-pass grafting is performed without the use of CPB, the rate of serious complications is reduced.</p> <p>Methods/Design</p> <p>The trial is designed as an open, randomized, controlled, clinical trial with blinded assessment of end-points. Patients at or above 70 years of age, referred for surgical myocardial revascularisation, are included and randomised to receive coronary artery by-pass grafting either with or without the use of CPB and aortic cross-clamping. Follow-up is performed by clinical, biochemical, electrocardiographic, and angiographic data that are evaluated by independent committees that are blinded with respect to the result of the randomisation. End points include mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, graft patency, quality of life, and cost-effectiveness. The trial is performed in four different Danish, cardiac surgery centres.</p> <p>Trial registration</p> <p>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00123981</p

    Plasma neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) is associated with kidney function in uraemic patients before and after kidney transplantation

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a biomarker of kidney injury. We examined plasma levels of NGAL in a cohort of 57 kidney allograft recipients (Tx group, 39 ± 13 years), a uraemic group of 40 patients remaining on the waiting list (47 ± 11 years) and a control group of 14 healthy subjects matched for age, sex and body mass index (BMI). The kidney graft recipients were studied at baseline before transplantation and 3 and 12 months after transplantation and the uraemic group at baseline and after 12 months.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>NGAL was measured using a validated in-house Time-Resolved Immuno-flourometric assay (TRIFMA). Repeated measurements differed by < 10% and mean values were used for statistical analyses. Spearman rank order correlation analysis and the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test were used to evaluate the association of NGAL concentrations with clinical parameters.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Plasma NGAL levels before transplantation in the Tx and uraemic groups were significantly higher than in the healthy controls (1,251 μg/L, 1,478 μg/L vs. 163 μg/L, p < 0.0001). In the Tx group NGAL concentrations were associated with serum creatinine (R = 0.51, p < 0.0001), duration of end-stage renal failure (R = 0.41, p = 0.002) and leukocyte count (R = 0.29, p < 0.026). At 3 and 12 months plasma NGAL concentrations declined to 223 μg/L and 243 μg/L, respectively and were associated with homocysteine (R = 0.39, p = 0.0051 and R = 0.47, p = 0.0007).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Plasma NGAL is a novel marker of kidney function, which correlates to duration of end-stage renal failure (ESRD) and serum creatinine in uraemic patients awaiting kidney transplantation. Plasma NGAL is associated with homocysteine in transplanted patients. The prognostic value of these findings requires further studies.</p

    A chemical survey of exoplanets with ARIEL

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    Thousands of exoplanets have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits: from rocky Earth-like planets to large gas giants grazing the surface of their host star. However, the essential nature of these exoplanets remains largely mysterious: there is no known, discernible pattern linking the presence, size, or orbital parameters of a planet to the nature of its parent star. We have little idea whether the chemistry of a planet is linked to its formation environment, or whether the type of host star drives the physics and chemistry of the planet’s birth, and evolution. ARIEL was conceived to observe a large number (~1000) of transiting planets for statistical understanding, including gas giants, Neptunes, super-Earths and Earth-size planets around a range of host star types using transit spectroscopy in the 1.25–7.8 μm spectral range and multiple narrow-band photometry in the optical. ARIEL will focus on warm and hot planets to take advantage of their well-mixed atmospheres which should show minimal condensation and sequestration of high-Z materials compared to their colder Solar System siblings. Said warm and hot atmospheres are expected to be more representative of the planetary bulk composition. Observations of these warm/hot exoplanets, and in particular of their elemental composition (especially C, O, N, S, Si), will allow the understanding of the early stages of planetary and atmospheric formation during the nebular phase and the following few million years. ARIEL will thus provide a representative picture of the chemical nature of the exoplanets and relate this directly to the type and chemical environment of the host star. ARIEL is designed as a dedicated survey mission for combined-light spectroscopy, capable of observing a large and well-defined planet sample within its 4-year mission lifetime. Transit, eclipse and phase-curve spectroscopy methods, whereby the signal from the star and planet are differentiated using knowledge of the planetary ephemerides, allow us to measure atmospheric signals from the planet at levels of 10–100 part per million (ppm) relative to the star and, given the bright nature of targets, also allows more sophisticated techniques, such as eclipse mapping, to give a deeper insight into the nature of the atmosphere. These types of observations require a stable payload and satellite platform with broad, instantaneous wavelength coverage to detect many molecular species, probe the thermal structure, identify clouds and monitor the stellar activity. The wavelength range proposed covers all the expected major atmospheric gases from e.g. H2O, CO2, CH4 NH3, HCN, H2S through to the more exotic metallic compounds, such as TiO, VO, and condensed species. Simulations of ARIEL performance in conducting exoplanet surveys have been performed – using conservative estimates of mission performance and a full model of all significant noise sources in the measurement – using a list of potential ARIEL targets that incorporates the latest available exoplanet statistics. The conclusion at the end of the Phase A study, is that ARIEL – in line with the stated mission objectives – will be able to observe about 1000 exoplanets depending on the details of the adopted survey strategy, thus confirming the feasibility of the main science objectives.Peer reviewedFinal Published versio

    A proposal for a study on treatment selection and lifestyle recommendations in chronic inflammatory diseases:A danish multidisciplinary collaboration on prognostic factors and personalised medicine

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    Chronic inflammatory diseases (CIDs), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel diseases, IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthritides, hidradenitis suppurativa, and immune-mediated uveitis, are treated with biologics targeting the pro-inflammatory molecule tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF) (i.e., TNF inhibitors). Approximately one-third of the patients do not respond to the treatment. Genetics and lifestyle may affect the treatment results. The aims of this multidisciplinary collaboration are to identify (1) molecular signatures of prognostic value to help tailor treatment decisions to an individual likely to initiate TNF inhibitor therapy, followed by (2) lifestyle factors that support achievement of optimised treatment outcome. This report describes the establishment of a cohort that aims to obtain this information. Clinical data including lifestyle and treatment response and biological specimens (blood, faeces, urine, and, in IBD patients, intestinal biopsies) are sampled prior to and while on TNF inhibitor therapy. Both hypothesis-driven and data-driven analyses will be performed according to pre-specified protocols including pathway analyses resulting from candidate gene expression analyses and global approaches (e.g., metabolomics, metagenomics, proteomics). The final purpose is to improve the lives of patients suffering from CIDs, by providing tools facilitating treatment selection and dietary recommendations likely to improve the clinical outcome

    Age dating of an early Milky Way merger via asteroseismology of the naked-eye star ν Indi

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    Over the course of its history, the Milky Way has ingested multiple smaller satellite galaxies1. Although these accreted stellar populations can be forensically identified as kinematically distinct structures within the Galaxy, it is difficult in general to date precisely the age at which any one merger occurred. Recent results have revealed a population of stars that were accreted via the collision of a dwarf galaxy, called Gaia–Enceladus1, leading to substantial pollution of the chemical and dynamical properties of the Milky Way. Here we identify the very bright, naked-eye star ν Indi as an indicator of the age of the early in situ population of the Galaxy. We combine asteroseismic, spectroscopic, astrometric and kinematic observations to show that this metal-poor, alpha-element-rich star was an indigenous member of the halo, and we measure its age to be 11.0±0.7 (stat) ±0.8 (sys) billion years. The star bears hallmarks consistent with having been kinematically heated by the Gaia–Enceladus collision. Its age implies that the earliest the merger could have begun was 11.6 and 13.2 billion years ago, at 68% and 95% confidence, respectively. Computations based on hierarchical cosmological models slightly reduce the above limits
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