1,258 research outputs found

    ANTH 500 Anthropology in Film

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    Course syllabus for ANTH 500 Anthropology in Film Course description: An introduction to world cultures, past and present, and to human nature through the use of classic ethnographic films. Focus is on the development of a cross-cultural understanding of central problems of human existence and how different people at different times solve them

    Can Carbon Nanotubes Deliver on their Promise in Biology? Harnessing Unique Properties for Unparalleled Applications

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    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are cylindrical sheets of hexagonally ordered carbon atoms, giving tubes with diameters on the order of a few nanometers and lengths typically in the micrometer range. They may be single- or multiwalled (SWCNTs and MWCNTs respectively). Since the seminal report of their synthesis in 1991, CNTs have fascinated scientists of all stripes. Physicists have been intrigued by their electrical, thermal, and vibrational potential. Materials scientists have worked on integrating them into ultrastrong composites and electronic devices, while chemists have been fascinated by the effects of curvature on reactivity and have developed new synthesis and purification techniques. However, to date no large-scale, real-life biotechnological CNT breakthrough has been industrially adopted and it is proving difficult to justify taking these materials forward into the clinic. We believe that these challenges are not the end of the story, but that a viable carbon nanotube biotechnology is one in which the unique properties of nanotubes bring about an effect that would be otherwise impossible. In this Outlook, we therefore seek to reframe the field by highlighting those biological applications in which the singular properties of CNTs provide some entirely new activity or biological effect as a pointer to "what could be"

    The winding road for carbon nanotubes in nanomedicine

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    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are recognized as promising nanomaterials for technological advancement. However, the stigma of structural similarity with asbestos fibers has slowed down progress of CNTs in nanomedicine. Nevertheless, it also prompted thorough studies that have revealed that functionalized CNTs ( f CNTs) can biologically behave in a very different and safer manner. Here we review pristine and f CNT fate in biological settings, focusing on the importance of protein interaction, formation of the protein corona, and modulation of immune response. The emerging consensus on the desirable f CNT properties to achieve immunological neutrality, and even biodegradation, shows great promise for CNT adoption in medicine

    Primary microglia maintain capacity to function despite internalisation and intracellular loading with carbon nanotubes

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    Biomedical applications of functionalised carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) for imaging as well as drug or gene delivery in the brain have recently gained interest. Several studies have demonstrated the potential of f-CNTs to offer treatment options for neurological conditions with success. However, there is also evidence that f-CNTs accumulate preferentially within microglial cells when introduced in the brain. Considering the key immunological role of these cells in the brain and the limited knowledge regarding the interaction of CNTs with microglial cells, it is imperative to understand whether accumulation of CNTs in microglial cells can alter their physiological functions or trigger pro-inflammatory signalling. The aim of the present study was to investigate the basic physiological functions of isolated primary microglial cells over time, following their exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes functionalized via different surface chemistries. We rationalized that some chemical strategies may be more deleterious for microglial cell functions than others. We used rat primary microglial cells that can be maintained in cell culture for a long period of time without undergoing cell division. Cell viability, phagocytosis, migration, and pro-inflammatory factor release were studied over one month, following a single exposure to a non-cytotoxic concentration of three different f-CNTs (carboxylated, aminated and both carboxylated and aminated). We show that f-CNTs do not induce inflammation and do not affect the basic functions of microglial cells under these conditions. Importantly, this was the case from day 1 to day 28 post-exposure, even though microglial cells had internalized f-CNTs in subcellular compartments and retained the nanotube load in their cytoplasm over time.This work was supported by the European Commission, under the FP-7 Marie Curie actions (Career Development Intra-European Fellowship, PIEF-GA-2010-276051, project NANONEUROHOP). AB wishes to thank the CNRS financial support from PICS (Project for International Scientific Cooperation). MP, as the recipient of the AXA Chair, is grateful to the AXA Research Fund for financial support. MP was also supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness MINECO (project CTQ2016-76721-R), by the University of Trieste and by Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa program Red (101/16)

    Functioning human lung organoids model pulmonary tissue response from carbon nanomaterial exposures

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    Human lung organoids (HLOs) are increasingly used to model development and infectious diseases, however their ability to recapitulate functional pulmonary tissue response to nanomaterial (NM) exposures has yet to be demonstrated. Here, we established a lung organoid exposure model that utilises microinjection to present NMs into the lumen of organoids. Our model assures efficient, reproducible and controllable exposure of the apical pulmonary epithelium, emulating real-life human exposure scenario. By comparing the impact of two well studied carbon-based NMs, graphene oxide sheets (GO) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), we validated lung organoids as tools for predicting pulmonary NM-driven responses. In agreement with established in vivo data, we demonstrate that MWCNT, but not GO, elicit adverse effects on lung organoids, leading to a pro-fibrotic phenotype. Our findings reveal the capacity and suitability of HLOs for hazard assessment of NMs, aligned with the much sought-out 3Rs (animal research replacement, reduction, refinement) framework

    Converging mechanisms of epileptogenesis and their insight in glioblastoma

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    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and advanced form of primary malignant tumor occurring in the adult central nervous system, and it is frequently associated with epilepsy, a debilitating comorbidity. Seizures are observed both pre- and post-surgical resection, indicating that several pathophysiological mechanisms are shared but also prompting questions about how the process of epileptogenesis evolves throughout GBM progression. Molecular mutations commonly seen in primary GBM, i.e., in PTEN and p53, and their associated downstream effects are known to influence seizure likelihood. Similarly, various intratumoral mechanisms, such as GBM-induced blood-brain barrier breakdown and glioma-immune cell interactions within the tumor microenvironment are also cited as contributing to network hyperexcitability. Substantial alterations to peri-tumoral glutamate and chloride transporter expressions, as well as widespread dysregulation of GABAergic signaling are known to confer increased epileptogenicity and excitotoxicity. The abnormal characteristics of GBM alter neuronal network function to result in metabolically vulnerable and hyperexcitable peri-tumoral tissue, properties the tumor then exploits to favor its own growth even post-resection. It is evident that there is a complex, dynamic interplay between GBM and epilepsy that promotes the progression of both pathologies. This interaction is only more complicated by the concomitant presence of spreading depolarization (SD). The spontaneous, high-frequency nature of GBM-associated epileptiform activity and SD-associated direct current (DC) shifts require technologies capable of recording brain signals over a wide bandwidth, presenting major challenges for comprehensive electrophysiological investigations. This review will initially provide a detailed examination of the underlying mechanisms that promote network hyperexcitability in GBM. We will then discuss how an investigation of these pathologies from a network level, and utilization of novel electrophysiological tools, will yield a more-effective, clinically-relevant understanding of GBM-related epileptogenesis. Further to this, we will evaluate the clinical relevance of current preclinical research and consider how future therapeutic advancements may impact the bidirectional relationship between GBM, SDs, and seizures

    Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes in the Brain: Cellular Internalization and Neuroinflammatory Responses

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    The potential use of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) for drug and gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) and as neural substrates makes the understanding of their in vivo interactions with the neural tissue essential. The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between chemically functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWNTs) and the neural tissue following cortical stereotactic administration. Two different f-MWNT constructs were used in these studies: shortened (by oxidation) amino-functionalized MWNT (oxMWNT-NH3+) and amino-functionalized MWNT (MWNT-NH3+). Parenchymal distribution of the stereotactically injected f-MWNTs was assessed by histological examination. Both f-MWNT were uptaken by different types of neural tissue cells (microglia, astrocytes and neurons), however different patterns of cellular internalization were observed between the nanotubes. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining for specific markers of glial cell activation (GFAP and CD11b) was performed and secretion of inflammatory cytokines was investigated using real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Injections of both f-MWNT constructs led to a local and transient induction of inflammatory cytokines at early time points. Oxidation of nanotubes seemed to induce significant levels of GFAP and CD11b over-expression in areas peripheral to the f-MWNT injection site. These results highlight the importance of nanotube functionalization on their interaction with brain tissue that is deemed critical for the development nanotube-based vector systems for CNS application

    Thin graphene oxide nanoflakes modulate glutamatergic synapses in the amygdala cultured circuits: exploiting synaptic approaches to anxiety disorders

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    Anxiety disorders (ADs) are nervous system maladies involving changes in the amygdala synaptic circuitry, such as an upregulation of excitatory neurotransmission at glutamatergic synapses. In the field of nanotechnology, thin graphene oxide flakes with nanoscale lateral size (s-GO) have shown outstanding promise for the manipulation of excitatory neuronal transmission with high temporal and spatial precision, thus they were considered as ideal candidates for modulating amygdalar glutamatergic transmission. Here, we validated an in vitro model of amygdala circuitry as a screening tool to target synapses, towards development of future ADs treatments. After one week in vitro, dissociated amygdalar neurons reconnected forming functional networks, whose development recapitulated that of the tissue of origin. When acutely applied to these cultures, s-GO flakes induced a selective modification of excitatory activity. This type of interaction between s-GO and amygdalar neurons may form the basis for the exploitation of alternative approaches in the treatment of ADs

    A method for the measurement of mass and number of graphene oxide sheets in suspension based on non-spherical approximations

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    Currently, particle analysis of 2D materials in suspension is commonly restricted to microscopic techniques in the dry state, and thus does not permit an accurate investigation of colloidal suspensions. Colloids in bulk can be assessed by light scattering and diffraction to investigate features such as their hydrodynamic size, charge and concentration. However, the main drawback of such techniques lies in the application of analytical and computational methods based on models assuming particle sphericity which are not representative for 2D materials. Resonance mass measurement (RMM) is a technique which can enable the analysis of 2D materials in suspension without the assumptions of spherical models. Here, we report the application of RMM to measure particle mass and concentration for three types of graphene oxide (GO) aqueous dispersions. Using micro- and nano-suspended resonating sensors, we were able to decipher gravimetric differences between GO and graphitic materials. Our results support the urge for proper definitions and standardisations of graphene based materials, and offer a new method of characterisation for 2D material colloids in liquid suspension

    Το πολιτικό τραγούδι στη Λατινική Αμερική στο δεύτερο μισό του 20ου αιώνα: Οι περιπτώσεις της Κούβας, της Χιλής και της Αργεντινής

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    Στο πλαίσιο της αλληλεπίδρασης της μουσικής με την πολιτική, εξετάζεται σε αυτή την εργασία ο τρόπος με τον οποίο διαμορφώθηκε το πολιτικό τραγούδι σε τρεις χώρες της Λατινικής Αμερικής κατά το δεύτερο μισό του 20ου αιώνα: την Κούβα με τη μουσική της Nueva Trova, υπό την επίδραση της Επανάστασης του ’59, τη Χιλή με τη Nueva Cancion, κατά τη διάρκεια της διακυβέρνησης του Salvador Allende και υπό το δικτατορικό καθεστώς του Augusto Pinochet, καθώς και την Αργεντινή με το ροκ, μετά το πραξικόπημα του 1976.Within the context of music and politics, this paper examines the way in which the political song was formed in three Latin American countries during the second half of the 20th century: Cuba's Nueva Trova, under the influence of the Revolution of '59, Chile's Nueva Cancion, during the governance of Salvador Allende and under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, as well as Argentina's rock music after the 1976 coup
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