632 research outputs found

    Post-Newtonian limit of teleparallel Horndeski gravity

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    We consider the newly proposed Bahamonde–Dialektopoulos–Levi Said (BDLS) theory, that is the Horndeski analog in the teleparallel framework and thus contains a non-minimally coupled scalar field, including higher order derivatives, that leads however to second order field equations both for the tetrad and the scalar field. This theory was mostly constructed to revive those models that were severely constrained in the scalar–tensor version of the theory from the GW170817, but includes also much richer phenomenology because of the nature of the torsion tensor. For this theory we determine the parameterized post-Newtonian (PPN) limit, calculate the full set of post-Newtonian parameters and highlight some special cases

    Black Phosphorus Degradation during Intercalation and Alloying in Batteries

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    Numerous layered materials are being recognized as promising candidates for high-performance alkali-ion battery anodes, but black phosphorus (BP) has received particular attention. This is due to its high specific capacity, due to a mixed alkali-ion storage mechanism (intercalation-alloying), and fast alkali-ion transport within its layers. Unfortunately, BP based batteries are also commonly associated with serious irreversible losses and poor cycling stability. This is known to be linked to alloying, but there is little experimental evidence of the morphological, mechanical, or chemical changes that BP undergoes in operational cells and thus little understanding of the factors that must be mitigated to optimize performance. Here the degradation mechanisms of BP alkali-ion battery anodes are revealed through operando electrochemical atomic force microscopy (EC-AFM) and ex situ spectroscopy. Among other phenomena, BP is observed to wrinkle and deform during intercalation but suffers from complete structural breakdown upon alloying. The solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) is also found to be unstable, nucleating at defects before spreading across the basal planes but then disintegrating upon desodiation, even above alloying potentials. By directly linking these localized phenomena with the whole-cell performance, we can now engineer stabilizing protocols for next-generation high-capacity alkali-ion batteries

    Emotional stress as a trigger of myasthenic crisis and concomitant takotsubo cardiomyopathy: a case report

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Introduction</p> <p>Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular junction post-synaptic autoimmune disorder. Myasthenic crisis is characterized by respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a rare clinical syndrome defined as a profound but reversible left ventricular dysfunction in the absence of coronary artery disease.</p> <p>Case presentation</p> <p>We report a unique case of a 60-year-old Hispanic woman with myasthenia gravis who developed takotsubo cardiomyopathy and concomitant myasthenic crisis that appear to have been triggered by a stressful life event. On admission, she presented with severe mid-sternal chest pain and shortness of breath shortly after a personally significant stressful life event. A pertinent neurological examination showed bilateral facial weakness and right ptosis. The left ventriculogram showed apical ballooning with hyperdynamic proximal segments with sparing of the apex. Her troponin I level was elevated, while cardiac catheterization revealed no significant coronary artery disease. The findings were consistent with takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Shortly after cardiac catheterization, she developed bilateral ophthalmoparesis and significant bulbar and respiratory muscle weakness. Forced vital capacity values were persistently less than 1 L. The patient developed respiratory failure and required endotracheal intubation. After plasmapheresis and corticosteroid treatment, her clinical course improved with successful extubation. A normal left ventricle chamber size and a normal ejection fraction were noted by an echocardiogram repeated 10 months later.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>This is the first reported case of the simultaneous triggering of both takotsubo cardiomyopathy and myasthenic crisis by the physiologic consequences of a state of severe emotional stress. We hypothesize that the mechanism underlying the rare association of takotsubo cardiomyopathy with myasthenic crisis involves excessive endogenous glucocorticoid release, a high-catecholamine state, or a combination of both. We advocate careful cardiac monitoring of myasthenia gravis patients during acute emotional or physical stress, as there is potential risk of developing takotsubo cardiomyopathy.</p

    Terrorism discourse on French international broadcasting: <i>France 24</i> and the case of <i>Charlie Hebdo</i> attacks in Paris

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    This article offers an inquiry into the discursive construction of ‘terrorism’ by France 24, the French international broadcaster, in the aftermath of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January 2015. The article argues that the broadcaster seems to employ a relatively narrow definition of terrorism linking it to Islam and Muslims. France 24 portrays the attacks as an external phenomenon coming to France from outside. The blame is assigned to non-French factors, mainly to foreign extremist organisations, Islamist ideologues and overseas training. No reasons for violence are sought inside the country. Internal developments, such as discrimination, youth marginalisation, lack of educational and work opportunities, relations between law enforcement and the Muslim community that could potentially contribute to the acts, are not explored by the broadcaster’s investigative journalism. This narrow interpretation of ‘terrorism’ that assigns responsibility to Muslims, Islamic indoctrination and overseas training may further alienate Muslim communities in France’s already divided society. It points to narrow policy responses that focus mainly on stricter monitoring of Muslim minorities, on limiting combat and cross-border movement. This type of discourse excludes long-term policy solutions that address broader socio-politico-economic conditions in which ‘terrorism’ might flourish

    A Pivotal Role of Vitamin B9 in the Maintenance of Regulatory T Cells In Vitro and In Vivo

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    Dietary factors regulate immunological function, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here we show that vitamin B9 is a survival factor for regulatory T (Treg) cells expressing high levels of vitamin B9 receptor (folate receptor 4). In vitamin B9-reduced condition in vitro, Treg cells could be differentiated from naïve T cells but failed to survive. The impaired survival of Treg cells was associated with decreased expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl2 and independent of IL-2. In vivo depletion of dietary vitamin B9 resulted in the reduction of Treg cells in the small intestine, a site for the absorption of dietary vitamin B9. These findings provide a new link between diet and the immune system, which could maintain the immunological homeostasis in the intestine

    Coronary artery to left ventricle fistula

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    BACKGROUND: Coronary cameral fistulas are an uncommon entity, the etiology of which may be congenital or traumatic. They involve abnormal termination of a coronary artery, usually the right coronary, into a cardiac chamber, usually the right ventricle. CASE PRESENTATION: We describe a case of female patient with severe aortic stenosis and interventricular septal hypertrophy that underwent bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement with concomitant septal myectomy. On subsequent follow-up an abnormal flow traversing the septum into the left ventricle was identified and Doppler interrogation demonstrated a continuous flow, with a predominantly diastolic component, consistent with coronary arterial flow. CONCLUSION: The literature on coronary cameral fistulas is reviewed and the etiology of the diagnostic findings discussed. In our patient, a coronary artery to left ventricle fistula was the most likely explanation secondary to trauma to the septal perforator artery during myectomy. Since the patient was asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis no intervention was recommended and has done well on follow-up