1,845 research outputs found

    Effects of science interest and experience on pseudoscientific beliefs--An Empirical Test

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    An article for Skeptic Magazine investigating the effect of science literacy on pseudoscientific belief. Authors found no significant relationship between science literacy scores and pseudoscientific belief. Students observed were significantly skeptical of psuedoscientific belief overall

    Effects of sample handling and storage on quantitative lipid analysis in human serum

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    There is sparse information about specific storage and handling protocols that minimize analytical error and variability in samples evaluated by targeted metabolomics. Variance components that affect quantitative lipid analysis in a set of human serum samples were determined. The effects of freeze-thaw, extraction state, storage temperature, and freeze-thaw prior to density-based lipoprotein fractionation were quantified. The quantification of high abundance metabolites, representing the biologically relevant lipid species in humans, was highly repeatable (with coefficients of variation as low as 0.01 and 0.02) and largely unaffected by 1-3 freeze-thaw cycles (with 0-8% of metabolites affected in each lipid class). Extraction state had effects on total lipid class amounts, including decreased diacylglycerol and increased phosphatidylethanolamine in thawed compared with frozen samples. The effects of storage temperature over 1week were minimal, with 0-4% of metabolites affected by storage at 4°C, −20°C, or −80°C in most lipid classes, and 19% of metabolites in diacylglycerol affected by storage at −20°C. Freezing prior to lipoprotein fractionation by density ultracentrifugation decreased HDL free cholesterol by 37% and VLDL free fatty acid by 36%, and increased LDL cholesterol ester by 35% compared with fresh samples. These findings suggest that density-based fractionation should preferably be undertaken in fresh serum samples because up to 37% variability in HDL and LDL cholesterol could result from a single freeze-thaw cycle. Conversely, quantitative lipid analysis within unfractionated serum is minimally affected even with repeated freeze-thaw cycle

    The 125th anniversary of the first postulation of the soil origin of endophytic bacteria – a tribute to M.L.V. Galippe

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    In both managed and natural ecosystems, a wide range of various non-nodulating bacteria can thrive as endophytes in the plant interior, and some can be beneficial to their hosts (Hallmann and Berg 2007; Reinhold-Hurek and Hurek 2011). Colonizationmechanisms, the ecology and functioning of these endophytic bacteria as well as their interactions with plants have been investigated (Hardoim et al. 2008; Compant et al. 2010). Although the source of colonization can also be the spermosphere, anthosphere, caulosphere, and the phyllosphere,most endophytic bacteria are derived from the soil environment (Hallmann and Berg 2007; Compant et al. 2010)

    Scalable control of mounting and attack by Esr1^+ neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus

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    Social behaviours, such as aggression or mating, proceed through a series of appetitive and consummatory phases that are associated with increasing levels of arousal. How such escalation is encoded in the brain, and linked to behavioural action selection, remains an unsolved problem in neuroscience. The ventrolateral subdivision of the murine ventromedial hypothalamus (VMHvl) contains neurons whose activity increases during male–male and male–female social encounters. Non-cell-type-specific optogenetic activation of this region elicited attack behaviour, but not mounting. We have identified a subset of VMHvl neurons marked by the oestrogen receptor 1 (Esr1), and investigated their role in male social behaviour. Optogenetic manipulations indicated that Esr1^+ (but not Esr1^−) neurons are sufficient to initiate attack, and that their activity is continuously required during ongoing agonistic behaviour. Surprisingly, weaker optogenetic activation of these neurons promoted mounting behaviour, rather than attack, towards both males and females, as well as sniffing and close investigation. Increasing photostimulation intensity could promote a transition from close investigation and mounting to attack, within a single social encounter. Importantly, time-resolved optogenetic inhibition experiments revealed requirements for Esr1^+ neurons in both the appetitive (investigative) and the consummatory phases of social interactions. Combined optogenetic activation and calcium imaging experiments in vitro, as well as c-Fos analysis in vivo, indicated that increasing photostimulation intensity increases both the number of active neurons and the average level of activity per neuron. These data suggest that Esr1^+ neurons in VMHvl control the progression of a social encounter from its appetitive through its consummatory phases, in a scalable manner that reflects the number or type of active neurons in the population

    Experimental study of the role of physicochemical surface processing on the IN ability of mineral dust particles

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    During the measurement campaign FROST 2 (FReezing Of duST 2), the Leipzig Aerosol Cloud Interaction Simulator (LACIS) was used to investigate the influence of various surface modifications on the ice nucleating ability of Arizona Test Dust (ATD) particles in the immersion freezing mode. The dust particles were exposed to sulfuric acid vapor, to water vapor with and without the addition of ammonia gas, and heat using a thermodenuder operating at 250 °C. Size selected, quasi monodisperse particles with a mobility diameter of 300 nm were fed into LACIS and droplets grew on these particles such that each droplet contained a single particle. Temperature dependent frozen fractions of these droplets were determined in a temperature range between −40 °C ≤T≤−28 °C. The pure ATD particles nucleated ice over a broad temperature range with their freezing behavior being separated into two freezing branches characterized through different slopes in the frozen fraction vs. temperature curves. Coating the ATD particles with sulfuric acid resulted in the particles' IN potential significantly decreasing in the first freezing branch (T>−35 °C) and a slight increase in the second branch (T≤−35 °C). The addition of water vapor after the sulfuric acid coating caused the disappearance of the first freezing branch and a strong reduction of the IN ability in the second freezing branch. The presence of ammonia gas during water vapor exposure had a negligible effect on the particles' IN ability compared to the effect of water vapor. Heating in the thermodenuder led to a decreased IN ability of the sulfuric acid coated particles for both branches but the additional heat did not or only slightly change the IN ability of the pure ATD and the water vapor exposed sulfuric acid coated particles. In other words, the combination of both sulfuric acid and water vapor being present is a main cause for the ice active surface features of the ATD particles being destroyed. A possible explanation could be the chemical transformation of ice active metal silicates to metal sulfates. The strongly enhanced reaction between sulfuric acid and dust in the presence of water vapor and the resulting significant reductions in IN potential are of importance for atmospheric ice cloud formation. Our findings suggest that the IN concentration can decrease by up to one order of magnitude for the conditions investigated

    Gender Equity in Transplantation: A Report From the Women in Transplantation Workshop of The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand

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    The exponential growth of young talented women choosing science and medicine as their professional career over the past decade is substantial. Currently, more than half of the Australian medical doctoral graduates and early career researchers are comprised of women, but less than 20% of all academic professorial staff are women. The loss of female talent in the hierarchical ladder of Australian academia is a considerable waste of government investment, productivity, and scientific innovation. Gender disparity in the professional workforce composition is even more striking within the field of transplantation. Women are grossly underrepresented in leadership roles, with currently no female heads of unit in any of the Australian and New Zealand transplanting centers. At the same time, there is also gender segregation with a greater concentration of women in lower-status academic position compared with their male counterparts. Given the extent and magnitude of the disparity, the Women in Transplantation Committee, a subcommittee of The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand established a workshop comprising 8 female clinicians/scientists in transplantation. The key objectives were to (i) identify potential gender equity issues within the transplantation workforce; (ii) devise and implement potential strategies and interventions to address some of these challenges at a societal level; (iii) set realistic and achievable goals to enhance and facility gender equality, equity, and diversity in transplantation

    An enhanced CRISPR repressor for targeted mammalian gene regulation.

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    The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 can be converted into a programmable transcriptional repressor, but inefficiencies in target-gene silencing have limited its utility. Here we describe an improved Cas9 repressor based on the C-terminal fusion of a rationally designed bipartite repressor domain, KRAB-MeCP2, to nuclease-dead Cas9. We demonstrate the system's superiority in silencing coding and noncoding genes, simultaneously repressing a series of target genes, improving the results of single and dual guide RNA library screens, and enabling new architectures of synthetic genetic circuits

    Human Parainfluenza Virus Infection after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Risk Factors, Management, Mortality, and Changes over Time

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    Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) are uncommon, yet high-risk pathogens after hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT). We evaluated 5178 pediatric and adult patients undergoing HCT between 1974 and 2010 to determine the incidence, risk factors, response to treatment, and outcome of HPIV infection as well as any change in frequency or character of HPIV infection over time. HPIV was identified in 173 patients (3.3%); type 3 was most common (66%). HPIV involved upper respiratory tract infection (URTI; 57%), lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI; 9%), and both areas of the respiratory tract (34%), at a median of 62 days after transplantation. In more recent years, HPIV has occurred later after HCT, whereas the proportion with nosocomial infection and mortality decreased. Over the last decade, HPIV was more common in older patients and in those receiving reduced intensity conditioning (RIC). RIC was a significant risk factor for later (beyond day +30). HPIV infections, and this association was strongest in patients with URTI. HCT using a matched unrelated donor (MURD), mismatched related donor (MMRD), age 10 to 19 years, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) were all risk factors for HPIV infections. LRTI, early (<30 days), age 10 to 19 years, MMRD, steroid use, and coinfection with other pathogens were risk factors for mortality. The survival of patients with LRTI, especially very early infections, was poor regardless of ribavirin treatment. HPIV incidence remains low, but may have delayed onset associated with RIC regimens and improving survival. Effective prophylaxis and treatment for HPIV are needed
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