2,442 research outputs found

    Fluid flow induced calcium response in bone cell network

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    In our previous work, bone cell networks with controlled spacing and functional intercellular gap junctions had been successfully established by using microcontact printing and self assembled monolayers technologies [Guo, X. E., E. Takai, X. Jiang, Q. Xu, G. M. Whitesides, J. T. Yardley, C. T. Hung, E. M. Chow, T. Hantschel, and K. D. Costa. Mol. Cell. Biomech. 3:95-107, 2006]. The present study investigated the calcium response and the underlying signaling pathways in patterned bone cell networks exposed to a steady fluid flow. The glass slides with cell networks were separated into eight groups for treatment with specific pharmacological agents that inhibit pathways significant in bone cell calcium signaling. The calcium transients of the network were recorded and quantitatively evaluated with a set of network parameters. The results showed that 18 alpha-GA (gap junction blocker), suramin (ATP inhibitor), and thapsigargin (depleting intracellular calcium stores) significantly reduced the occurrence of multiple calcium peaks, which were visually obvious in the untreated group. The number of responsive peaks also decreased slightly yet significantly when either the COX-2/PGE(2) or the NOS/nitric oxide pathway was disrupted. Different from all other groups, cells treated with 18 alpha-GA maintained a high concentration of intracellular calcium following the first peak. In the absence of calcium in the culture medium, the intracellular calcium concentration decreased slowly with fluid flow without any calcium transients observed. These findings have identified important factors in the flow mediated calcium signaling of bone cells within a patterned network.</p

    Sex, sex chromosomes and gene expression

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    The X chromosome has fewer testis-specific genes than autosomes in many species. This bias is commonly attributed to X inactivation in spermatogenesis but a recent paper in BMC Biology provides evidence against X inactivation in Drosophila and proposes that somatic tissue- and testis- but not ovary-specific genes tend not to be located on the X chromosome. Here, we discuss possible mechanisms underlying this bias, including sexual antagonism and dosage compensation

    Semi-Automated Reconstruction of Neural Processes from Large Numbers of Fluorescence Images

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    We introduce a method for large scale reconstruction of complex bundles of neural processes from fluorescent image stacks. We imaged yellow fluorescent protein labeled axons that innervated a whole muscle, as well as dendrites in cerebral cortex, in transgenic mice, at the diffraction limit with a confocal microscope. Each image stack was digitally re-sampled along an orientation such that the majority of axons appeared in cross-section. A region growing algorithm was implemented in the open-source Reconstruct software and applied to the semi-automatic tracing of individual axons in three dimensions. The progression of region growing is constrained by user-specified criteria based on pixel values and object sizes, and the user has full control over the segmentation process. A full montage of reconstructed axons was assembled from the ∼200 individually reconstructed stacks. Average reconstruction speed is ∼0.5 mm per hour. We found an error rate in the automatic tracing mode of ∼1 error per 250 um of axonal length. We demonstrated the capacity of the program by reconstructing the connectome of motor axons in a small mouse muscle

    Counter-current chromatography for the separation of terpenoids: A comprehensive review with respect to the solvent systems employed

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    Copyright @ 2014 The Authors.This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.Natural products extracts are commonly highly complex mixtures of active compounds and consequently their purification becomes a particularly challenging task. The development of a purification protocol to extract a single active component from the many hundreds that are often present in the mixture is something that can take months or even years to achieve, thus it is important for the natural product chemist to have, at their disposal, a broad range of diverse purification techniques. Counter-current chromatography (CCC) is one such separation technique utilising two immiscible phases, one as the stationary phase (retained in a spinning coil by centrifugal forces) and the second as the mobile phase. The method benefits from a number of advantages when compared with the more traditional liquid-solid separation methods, such as no irreversible adsorption, total recovery of the injected sample, minimal tailing of peaks, low risk of sample denaturation, the ability to accept particulates, and a low solvent consumption. The selection of an appropriate two-phase solvent system is critical to the running of CCC since this is both the mobile and the stationary phase of the system. However, this is also by far the most time consuming aspect of the technique and the one that most inhibits its general take-up. In recent years, numerous natural product purifications have been published using CCC from almost every country across the globe. Many of these papers are devoted to terpenoids-one of the most diverse groups. Naturally occurring terpenoids provide opportunities to discover new drugs but many of them are available at very low levels in nature and a huge number of them still remain unexplored. The collective knowledge on performing successful CCC separations of terpenoids has been gathered and reviewed by the authors, in order to create a comprehensive document that will be of great assistance in performing future purifications. © 2014 The Author(s)

    Marriage, Sex, and Hydrocele: An Ethnographic Study on the Effect of Filarial Hydrocele on Conjugal Life and Marriageability from Orissa, India

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    Lymphatic filariasis, the second leading cause of permanent and long-term disability, affects 120 million people globally. Hydrocele, an accumulation of fluid in the scrotum that causes it to swell, is one of the chronic manifestations of LF among men and there are about 27 million men with hydrocele worldwide. We conducted ethnographic interviews and discussions with patients, women whose husbands have hydrocele, and the general public in a rural community of eastern India. The study describes how hydrocele impacts patients' sexual and marital life. It reveals the most worrisome effect of hydrocele for patients and their wives due to the inability to have a satisfactory sexual life. Patients expressed their incapacity during sexual intercourse. A majority of hydrocele patients' wives reported that their married life became burdened and couples were not living happily. This study also highlights the impact on marriageability, and some women expressed that a hydrocele patient is the “last choice”. In some cases, the patients were persuaded by their wives to remove hydrocele by surgery (hydrocelectomy). Hence, access to hydrocelectomy has to be strengthened under the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, which is operational in several endemic areas in the world. Also, this activity may be integrated with primary healthcare services and interventions of other neglected tropical diseases

    Sequence-specific antimicrobials using efficiently delivered RNA-guided nucleases

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    Current antibiotics tend to be broad spectrum, leading to indiscriminate killing of commensal bacteria and accelerated evolution of drug resistance. Here, we use CRISPR-Cas technology to create antimicrobials whose spectrum of activity is chosen by design. RNA-guided nucleases (RGNs) targeting specific DNA sequences are delivered efficiently to microbial populations using bacteriophage or bacteria carrying plasmids transmissible by conjugation. The DNA targets of RGNs can be undesirable genes or polymorphisms, including antibiotic resistance and virulence determinants in carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Delivery of RGNs significantly improves survival in a Galleria mellonella infection model. We also show that RGNs enable modulation of complex bacterial populations by selective knockdown of targeted strains based on genetic signatures. RGNs constitute a class of highly discriminatory, customizable antimicrobials that enact selective pressure at the DNA level to reduce the prevalence of undesired genes, minimize off-target effects and enable programmable remodeling of microbiota.National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (New Innovator Award 1DP2OD008435)National Centers for Systems Biology (U.S.) (Grant 1P50GM098792)United States. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (HDTRA1-14-1-0007)Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (W911NF13D0001)National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U.S.) (Interdepartmental Biotechnology Training Program 5T32 GM008334)Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec (Master's Training Award

    Extracellular Hsp72 concentration relates to a minimum endogenous criteria during acute exercise-heat exposure

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    Extracellular heat-shock protein 72 (eHsp72) concentration increases during exercise-heat stress when conditions elicit physiological strain. Differences in severity of environmental and exercise stimuli have elicited varied response to stress. The present study aimed to quantify the extent of increased eHsp72 with increased exogenous heat stress, and determine related endogenous markers of strain in an exercise-heat model. Ten males cycled for 90 min at 50% O2peak in three conditions (TEMP, 20°C/63% RH; HOT, 30.2°C/51%RH; VHOT, 40.0°C/37%RH). Plasma was analysed for eHsp72 pre, immediately post and 24-h post each trial utilising a commercially available ELISA. Increased eHsp72 concentration was observed post VHOT trial (+172.4%) (P<0.05), but not TEMP (-1.9%) or HOT (+25.7%) conditions. eHsp72 returned to baseline values within 24hrs in all conditions. Changes were observed in rectal temperature (Trec), rate of Trec increase, area under the curve for Trec of 38.5°C and 39.0°C, duration Trec ≥ 38.5°C and ≥ 39.0°C, and change in muscle temperature, between VHOT, and TEMP and HOT, but not between TEMP and HOT. Each condition also elicited significantly increasing physiological strain, described by sweat rate, heart rate, physiological strain index, rating of perceived exertion and thermal sensation. Stepwise multiple regression reported rate of Trec increase and change in Trec to be predictors of increased eHsp72 concentration. Data suggests eHsp72 concentration increases once systemic temperature and sympathetic activity exceeds a minimum endogenous criteria elicited during VHOT conditions and is likely to be modulated by large, rapid changes in core temperature
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