221 research outputs found

    The topology of a discussion: the #occupy case

    Get PDF
    We analyse a large sample of the Twitter activity developed around the social movement 'Occupy Wall Street' to study the complex interactions between the human communication activity and the semantic content of a discussion. We use a network approach based on the analysis of the bipartite graph @Users-#Hashtags and of its projections: the 'semantic network', whose nodes are hashtags, and the 'users interest network', whose nodes are users In the first instance, we find out that discussion topics (#hashtags) present a high heterogeneity, with the distinct role of the communication hubs where most the 'opinion traffic' passes through. In the second case, the self-organization process of users activity leads to the emergence of two classes of communicators: the 'professionals' and the 'amateurs'. Moreover the network presents a strong community structure, based on the differentiation of the semantic topics, and a high level of structural robustness when a certain set of topics are censored and/or accounts are removed. Analysing the characteristics the @Users-#Hashtags network we can distinguish three phases of the discussion about the movement. Each phase corresponds to specific moment of the movement: from declaration of intent, organisation and development and the final phase of political reactions. Each phase is characterised by the presence of specific #hashtags in the discussion. Keywords: Twitter, Network analysisComment: 13 pages, 9 figure

    Twitter-based analysis of the dynamics of collective attention to political parties

    Get PDF
    Large-scale data from social media have a significant potential to describe complex phenomena in real world and to anticipate collective behaviors such as information spreading and social trends. One specific case of study is represented by the collective attention to the action of political parties. Not surprisingly, researchers and stakeholders tried to correlate parties' presence on social media with their performances in elections. Despite the many efforts, results are still inconclusive since this kind of data is often very noisy and significant signals could be covered by (largely unknown) statistical fluctuations. In this paper we consider the number of tweets (tweet volume) of a party as a proxy of collective attention to the party, identify the dynamics of the volume, and show that this quantity has some information on the elections outcome. We find that the distribution of the tweet volume for each party follows a log-normal distribution with a positive autocorrelation of the volume over short terms, which indicates the volume has large fluctuations of the log-normal distribution yet with a short-term tendency. Furthermore, by measuring the ratio of two consecutive daily tweet volumes, we find that the evolution of the daily volume of a party can be described by means of a geometric Brownian motion (i.e., the logarithm of the volume moves randomly with a trend). Finally, we determine the optimal period of averaging tweet volume for reducing fluctuations and extracting short-term tendencies. We conclude that the tweet volume is a good indicator of parties' success in the elections when considered over an optimal time window. Our study identifies the statistical nature of collective attention to political issues and sheds light on how to model the dynamics of collective attention in social media.Comment: 16 pages, 7 figures, 3 tables. Published in PLoS ON

    Merkel cell carcinoma: a population-based study on mortality and the association with other cancers

    Get PDF
    Few population-based epidemiological data are available on Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare lethal non-melanoma skin cancer. We analysed multiple-cause-of-death records to describe MCC mortality and trends and the association with other primary cancers. We reviewed all 6,713,059 death certificates in Italy (1995-2006) to identify those mentioning MCC. We evaluated the association with other primary cancers by calculating the ratio of observed to expected deaths, using a standardized mortality ratio (SMR)-like analysis. We also evaluated the geographic distribution of deaths. We identified 351 death certificates with the mention of MCC. The age-adjusted mortality was 0.031/100,000, with a significant trend of increase and a slight north-south gradient. There was a significant deficit for solid cancers (SMR = 0.15) and a non-significant excess for lymphohematopoietic malignancies (SMR = 1.62). There were significant excesses for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (SMR = 4.07) and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (SMR = 27.2) and a non-significant excess for chronic myeloid leukemia (SMR = 5.12). The increase in MCC mortality reflects the incidence trend in the literature. The association with chronic lymphocytic leukemia confirms the importance of immunologic factors in MCC. Regarding Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, an association with MCC has never been reported

    Crystal structures of the NO sensor NsrR reveal how its iron-sulfur cluster modulates DNA binding

    Get PDF
    NsrR from Streptomyces coelicolor (Sc) regulates the expression of three genes through the progressive degradation of its [4Fe–4S] cluster on nitric oxide (NO) exposure. We report the 1.95 Å resolution crystal structure of dimeric holo-ScNsrR and show that the cluster is coordinated by the three invariant Cys residues from one monomer and, unexpectedly, Asp8 from the other. A cavity map suggests that NO displaces Asp8 as a cluster ligand and, while D8A and D8C variants remain NO sensitive, DNA binding is affected. A structural comparison of holo-ScNsrR with an apo-IscR-DNA complex shows that the [4Fe–4S] cluster stabilizes a turn between ScNsrR Cys93 and Cys99 properly oriented to interact with the DNA backbone. In addition, an apo ScNsrR structure suggests that Asn97 from this turn, along with Arg12, which forms a salt-bridge with Asp8, are instrumental in modulating the position of the DNA recognition helix region relative to its major groove

    SOD2 polymorphisms: unmasking the effect of polymorphism on splicing

    Get PDF
    BACKGROUND: The SOD2 gene encodes an antioxidant enzyme, mitochondrial superoxide dismutase. SOD2 polymorphisms are of interest because of their potential roles in the modulation of free radical-mediated macromolecular damage during aging. RESULTS: We identified a new splice variant of SOD2 in human lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). The alternatively spliced product was originally detected by exon trapping of a minigene in order to examine the consequences of an intronic polymorphism found upstream of exon 4 (nucleotide 8136, 10T vs 9T). Examination of the transcripts derived from the endogenous loci in five LCLs with or without the intron 3 polymorphism revealed low levels of an in-frame deletion of exon 4 that were different from those detected by the exon trap assay. This suggested that exon trapping of the minigene unmasked the effect of the 10T vs 9T polymorphism on the splicing of the adjacent exon. We also determined the frequencies of single nucleotide polymorphisms in a sample of US African-Americans and non-African-Americans ages 65 years and older who participated in the 1999 wave of the National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS). Particularly striking differences between African-Americans and non-African-Americans were found for the frequencies of genotypes at the 10T/9T intron 3 polymorphism. CONCLUSION: Exon trapping can unmask in vitro splicing differences caused by a 10T/9T intron 3 polymorphism. Given the recent evidence that SOD2 is in a region on chromosome 6 linked to susceptibility to hypertension, it will be of interest to investigate possible associations of this polymorphism with cardiovascular disorders

    Integrated genetic map and genetic analysis of a region associated with root traits on the short arm of rye chromosome 1 in bread wheat

    Get PDF
    A rye–wheat centric chromosome translocation 1RS.1BL has been widely used in wheat breeding programs around the world. Increased yield of translocation lines was probably a consequence of increased root biomass. In an effort to map loci-controlling root characteristics, homoeologous recombinants of 1RS with 1BS were used to generate a consensus genetic map comprised of 20 phenotypic and molecular markers, with an average spacing of 2.5 cM. Physically, all recombination events were located in the distal 40% of the arms. A total of 68 recombinants was used and recombination breakpoints were aligned and ordered over map intervals with all the markers, integrated together in a genetic map. This approach enabled dissection of genetic components of quantitative traits, such as root traits, present on 1S. To validate our hypothesis, phenotyping of 45-day-old wheat roots was performed in five lines including three recombinants representative of the entire short arm along with bread wheat parents ‘Pavon 76’ and Pavon 1RS.1BL. Individual root characteristics were ranked and the genotypic rank sums were subjected to Quade analysis to compare the overall rooting ability of the genotypes. It appears that the terminal 15% of the rye 1RS arm carries gene(s) for greater rooting ability in wheat

    Molecular Mimicry by an F-Box Effector of Legionella pneumophila Hijacks a Conserved Polyubiquitination Machinery within Macrophages and Protozoa

    Get PDF
    The ability of Legionella pneumophila to proliferate within various protozoa in the aquatic environment and in macrophages indicates a remarkable evolution and microbial exploitation of evolutionarily conserved eukaryotic processes. Ankyrin B (AnkB) of L. pneumophila is a non-canonical F-box-containing protein, and is the only known Dot/Icm-translocated effector of L. pneumophila essential for intra-vacuolar proliferation within both macrophages and protozoan hosts. We show that the F-box domain of AnkB and the 9L10P conserved residues are essential for intracellular bacterial proliferation and for rapid acquisition of polyubiquitinated proteins by the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV) within macrophages, Dictyostelium discoideum, and Acanthamoeba. Interestingly, translocation of AnkB and recruitment of polyubiquitinated proteins in macrophages and Acanthamoeba is rapidly triggered by extracellular bacteria within 5 min of bacterial attachment. Ectopically expressed AnkB within mammalian cells is localized to the periphery of the cell where it co-localizes with host SKP1 and recruits polyubiquitinated proteins, which results in restoration of intracellular growth to the ankB mutant similar to the parental strain. While an ectopically expressed AnkB-9L10P/AA variant is localized to the cell periphery, it does not recruit polyubiquitinated proteins and fails to trans-rescue the ankB mutant intracellular growth defect. Direct in vivo interaction of AnkB but not the AnkB-9L10P/AA variant with the host SKP1 is demonstrated. Importantly, RNAi-mediated silencing of expression of SKP1 renders the cells non-permissive for intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila. The role of AnkB in exploitation of the polyubiquitination machinery is essential for intrapulmonary bacterial proliferation in the mouse model of Legionnaires' disease. Therefore, AnkB exhibits a novel molecular and functional mimicry of eukaryotic F-box proteins that exploits conserved polyubiquitination machinery for intracellular proliferation within evolutionarily distant hosts

    Enhanced Migratory Waterfowl Distribution Modeling by Inclusion of Depth to Water Table Data

    Get PDF
    In addition to being used as a tool for ecological understanding, management and conservation of migratory waterfowl rely heavily on distribution models; yet these models have poor accuracy when compared to models of other bird groups. The goal of this study is to offer methods to enhance our ability to accurately model the spatial distributions of six migratory waterfowl species. This goal is accomplished by creating models based on species-specific annual cycles and introducing a depth to water table (DWT) data set. The DWT data set, a wetland proxy, is a simulated long-term measure of the point either at or below the surface where climate and geological/topographic water fluxes balance. For species occurrences, the USGS' banding bird data for six relatively common species was used. Distribution models are constructed using Random Forest and MaxEnt. Random Forest classification of habitat and non-habitat provided a measure of DWT variable importance, which indicated that DWT is as important, and often more important, to model accuracy as temperature, precipitation, elevation, and an alternative wetland measure. MaxEnt models that included DWT in addition to traditional predictor variables had a considerable increase in classification accuracy. Also, MaxEnt models created with DWT often had higher accuracy when compared with models created with an alternative measure of wetland habitat. By comparing maps of predicted probability of occurrence and response curves, it is possible to explore how different species respond to water table depth and how a species responds in different seasons. The results of this analysis also illustrate that, as expected, all waterfowl species are tightly affiliated with shallow water table habitat. However, this study illustrates that the intensity of affiliation is not constant between seasons for a species, nor is it consistent between species
    corecore