45 research outputs found

    Exploring the interrelationship between the skin microbiome and skin volatiles: A pilot study

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    Unravelling the interplay between a human’s microbiome and physiology is a relevant task for understanding the principles underlying human health and disease. With regard to human chemical communication, it is of interest to elucidate the role of the microbiome in shaping or generating volatiles emitted from the human body. In this study, we characterized the microbiome and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) sampled from the neck and axilla of ten participants (five male, five female) on two sampling days, by applying different methodological approaches. Volatiles emitted from the respective skin site were collected for 20 min using textile sampling material and analyzed on two analytical columns with varying polarity of the stationary phase. Microbiome samples were analyzed by a culture approach coupled with MALDI-TOF-MS analysis and a 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S RNA) sequencing approach. Statistical and advanced data analysis methods revealed that classification of body sites was possible by using VOC and microbiome data sets. Higher classification accuracy was achieved by combination of both data pools. Cutibacterium, Staphylococcus, Micrococcus, Streptococcus, Lawsonella, Anaerococcus, and Corynebacterium species were found to contribute to classification of the body sites by the microbiome. Alkanes, esters, ethers, ketones, aldehydes and cyclic structures were used by the classifier when VOC data were considered. The interdisciplinary methodological platform developed here will enable further investigations of skin microbiome and skin VOCs alterations in physiological and pathological conditions

    Odorants in Fish Feeds: A Potential Source of Malodors in Aquaculture

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    Although the microbiota is considered to be the primary source of off-flavors in farmed fish, there is a lack of information about the possible contribution of feeds to fish malodor. For this reason, the current study was designed to perform comprehensive sensory and chemo-analytical characterization of fish feed constituents that can impact the quality of farmed fish, and to determine whether feeds cause malodor accumulation in fish. To this aim, odorants in four commercial fish feeds were extracted using solvent assisted flavor evaporation (SAFE) and characterized by comparative aroma extract dilution analysis (cAEDA) and multi-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry (MD-GC-MS/O). The odorants in the fish feed samples were correlated with their respective sensory and fatty acid profiles. The cAEDA studies revealed the presence of 81 odorants of which 55 compounds were common to all the samples. Most of these odorants are identified here for the first time in fish feeds, and include skatole, indole, (E,Z,Z)-2,4,7-tridecatrienal, 4-ethyloctanoic acid, and cresols. Additionally, geosmin and 3-isopropyl-2-methoxypyrazine, known for their contribution to fish taint, and other cyanobacterial by-products, dimethyldisulfide and dimethyltrisulfide, were identified in feed samples. The results suggest that fish feed may contribute to fish malodor. Most of these off-flavors were linked to lipid source (fish oil or plant/lard alternatives), unsaturated fatty acids contents, and protein type (plant-based or fishmeal-based sources) in the feed

    Experimental Research in Synthetic Molecular Communications -- Part I: Overview and Short-Range Systems

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    Since its emergence from the communication engineering community around one and a half decades ago, the field of Synthetic Molecular Communication (SMC) has experienced continued growth, both in the number of technical contributions from a vibrant community and in terms of research funding. Throughout this process, the vision of SMC as a novel, revolutionary communication paradigm has constantly evolved, driven by feedback from theoretical and experimental studies, respectively. It is believed that especially the latter ones will be crucial for the transition of SMC towards a higher technology readiness level in the near future. In this spirit, we present here a comprehensive survey of experimental research in SMC. In particular, this survey focuses on highlighting the major drivers behind different lines of experimental research in terms of the respective envisioned applications. This approach allows us to categorize existing works and identify current research gaps that still hinder the development of practical SMC-based applications. Our survey consists of two parts; this paper and a companion paper. While the companion paper focuses on SMC with relatively long communication ranges, this paper covers SMC over short distances of typically not more than a few millimeters.Comment: 10 pages, 1 table, 5 figures. Accepted for publication in the IEEE Nanotechnology Magazin

    Experimental Research in Synthetic Molecular Communications -- Part II: Long-Range Communication

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    In this second part of our survey on experimental research in Synthetic Molecular Communication (SMC), we review works on long-range SMC systems, i.e., systems with communication ranges of more than a few millimeters. Despite the importance of experimental research for the evolution of SMC towards a mature communication paradigm that will eventually support revolutionary applications beyond the reach of today's prevalent communication paradigms, the existing body of literature is still comparatively sparse. Long-range SMC systems have been proposed in the literature for information transmission in two types of fluid media, liquid and air. While both types of SMC systems, liquid-based and air-based systems, rely on encoding and transmitting information using molecules, they differ substantially in terms of the physical system designs and in the type of applications they are intended for. In this paper, we present a systematic characterization of experimental works on long-range SMC that reveals the major drivers of these works in terms of the respective target applications. Furthermore, the physical designs for long-range SMC proposed in the literature are comprehensively reviewed. In this way, our survey will contribute to making experimental research in this field more accessible and identifying novel directions for future research.Comment: 10 pages, 2 tables, 4 figures. Accepted for publication in the IEEE Nanotechnology Magazin

    Past, Present, and Future of Human Chemical Communication Research

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    Although chemical signaling is an essential mode of communication in most vertebrates, it has long been viewed as having negligible effects in humans. However, a growing body of evidence shows that the sense of smell affects human behavior in social contexts ranging from affiliation and parenting to disease avoidance and social threat. This article aims to (a) introduce research on human chemical communication in the historical context of the behavioral sciences; (b) provide a balanced overview of recent advances that describe individual differences in the emission of semiochemicals and the neural mechanisms underpinning their perception, that together demonstrate communicative function; and (c) propose directions for future research toward unraveling the molecular principles involved and understanding the variability in the generation, transmission, and reception of chemical signals in increasingly ecologically valid conditions. Achieving these goals will enable us to address some important societal challenges but are within reach only with the aid of genuinely interdisciplinary approaches

    Studies of Metabolic Phenotypic Correlates of 15 Obesity Associated Gene Variants

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    Genome-wide association studies have identified novel BMI/obesity associated susceptibility loci. The purpose of this study is to determine associations with overweight, obesity, morbid obesity and/or general adiposity in a Danish population. Moreover, we want to investigate if these loci associate with type 2 diabetes and to elucidate potential underlying metabolic mechanisms.15 gene variants in 14 loci including TMEM18 (rs7561317), SH2B1 (rs7498665), KCTD15 (rs29941), NEGR1 (rs2568958), ETV5 (rs7647305), BDNF (rs4923461, rs925946), SEC16B (rs10913469), FAIM2 (rs7138803), GNPDA2 (rs10938397), MTCH2 (rs10838738), BAT2 (rs2260000), NPC1 (rs1805081), MAF (rs1424233), and PTER (rs10508503) were genotyped in 18,014 middle-aged Danes.Five of the 15 gene variants associated with overweight, obesity and/or morbid obesity. Per allele ORs ranged from 1.15-1.20 for overweight, 1.10-1.25 for obesity, and 1.41-1.46 for morbid obesity. Five of the 15 variants moreover associated with increased measures of adiposity. BDNF rs4923461 displayed a borderline BMI-dependent protective effect on type 2 diabetes (0.87 (0.78-0.96, p = 0.008)), whereas SH2B1 rs7498665 associated with nominally BMI-independent increased risk of type 2 diabetes (1.16 (1.07-1.27, p = 7.8×10(-4))).Associations with overweight and/or obesity and measures of obesity were confirmed for seven out of the 15 gene variants. The obesity risk allele of BDNF rs4923461 protected against type 2 diabetes, which could suggest neuronal and peripheral distinctive ways of actions for the protein. SH2B1 rs7498665 associated with type 2 diabetes independently of BMI

    Genome-wide association study identifies six new loci influencing pulse pressure and mean arterial pressure.

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    Numerous genetic loci have been associated with systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in Europeans. We now report genome-wide association studies of pulse pressure (PP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP). In discovery (N = 74,064) and follow-up studies (N = 48,607), we identified at genome-wide significance (P = 2.7 × 10(-8) to P = 2.3 × 10(-13)) four new PP loci (at 4q12 near CHIC2, 7q22.3 near PIK3CG, 8q24.12 in NOV and 11q24.3 near ADAMTS8), two new MAP loci (3p21.31 in MAP4 and 10q25.3 near ADRB1) and one locus associated with both of these traits (2q24.3 near FIGN) that has also recently been associated with SBP in east Asians. For three of the new PP loci, the estimated effect for SBP was opposite of that for DBP, in contrast to the majority of common SBP- and DBP-associated variants, which show concordant effects on both traits. These findings suggest new genetic pathways underlying blood pressure variation, some of which may differentially influence SBP and DBP

    Genome-wide association identifies nine common variants associated with fasting proinsulin levels and provides new insights into the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes.

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    OBJECTIVE: Proinsulin is a precursor of mature insulin and C-peptide. Higher circulating proinsulin levels are associated with impaired β-cell function, raised glucose levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies of the insulin processing pathway could provide new insights about T2D pathophysiology. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We have conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association tests of ∼2.5 million genotyped or imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and fasting proinsulin levels in 10,701 nondiabetic adults of European ancestry, with follow-up of 23 loci in up to 16,378 individuals, using additive genetic models adjusted for age, sex, fasting insulin, and study-specific covariates. RESULTS: Nine SNPs at eight loci were associated with proinsulin levels (P < 5 × 10(-8)). Two loci (LARP6 and SGSM2) have not been previously related to metabolic traits, one (MADD) has been associated with fasting glucose, one (PCSK1) has been implicated in obesity, and four (TCF7L2, SLC30A8, VPS13C/C2CD4A/B, and ARAP1, formerly CENTD2) increase T2D risk. The proinsulin-raising allele of ARAP1 was associated with a lower fasting glucose (P = 1.7 × 10(-4)), improved β-cell function (P = 1.1 × 10(-5)), and lower risk of T2D (odds ratio 0.88; P = 7.8 × 10(-6)). Notably, PCSK1 encodes the protein prohormone convertase 1/3, the first enzyme in the insulin processing pathway. A genotype score composed of the nine proinsulin-raising alleles was not associated with coronary disease in two large case-control datasets. CONCLUSIONS: We have identified nine genetic variants associated with fasting proinsulin. Our findings illuminate the biology underlying glucose homeostasis and T2D development in humans and argue against a direct role of proinsulin in coronary artery disease pathogenesis

    SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease severity are associated with genetic variants affecting gene expression in a variety of tissues

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    Variability in SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease severity between individuals is partly due to genetic factors. Here, we identify 4 genomic loci with suggestive associations for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and 19 for COVID-19 disease severity. Four of these 23 loci likely have an ethnicity-specific component. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) signals in 11 loci colocalize with expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) associated with the expression of 20 genes in 62 tissues/cell types (range: 1:43 tissues/gene), including lung, brain, heart, muscle, and skin as well as the digestive system and immune system. We perform genetic fine mapping to compute 99% credible SNP sets, which identify 10 GWAS loci that have eight or fewer SNPs in the credible set, including three loci with one single likely causal SNP. Our study suggests that the diverse symptoms and disease severity of COVID-19 observed between individuals is associated with variants across the genome, affecting gene expression levels in a wide variety of tissue types
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