3,120 research outputs found

    Partition Functions in Statistical Mechanics, Symmetric Functions, and Group Representations

    Full text link
    Partition functions for non-interacting particles are known to be symmetric functions. It is shown that powerful group-theoretical techniques can be used not only to derive these relationships, but also to significantly simplify calculation of the partition functions for particles that carry internal quantum numbers. The partition function is shown to be a sum of one or more group characters. The utility of character expansions in calculating the partition functions is explored. Several examples are given to illustrate these techniques.Comment: 16 pages of RevTe

    Chronic granulomatous disease: the European experience.

    Get PDF
    CGD is an immunodeficiency caused by deletions or mutations in genes that encode subunits of the leukocyte NADPH oxidase complex. Normally, assembly of the NADPH oxidase complex in phagosomes of certain phagocytic cells leads to a "respiratory burst", essential for the clearance of phagocytosed micro-organisms. CGD patients lack this mechanism, which leads to life-threatening infections and granuloma formation. However, a clear picture of the clinical course of CGD is hampered by its low prevalence (approximately 1:250,000). Therefore, extensive clinical data from 429 European patients were collected and analyzed. Of these patients 351 were males and 78 were females. X-linked (XL) CGD (gp91(phox) deficient) accounted for 67% of the cases, autosomal recessive (AR) inheritance for 33%. AR-CGD was diagnosed later in life, and the mean survival time was significantly better in AR patients (49.6 years) than in XL CGD (37.8 years), suggesting a milder disease course in AR patients. The disease manifested itself most frequently in the lungs (66% of patients), skin (53%), lymph nodes (50%), gastrointestinal tract (48%) and liver (32%). The most frequently cultured micro-organisms per episode were Staphylococcus aureus (30%), Aspergillus spp. (26%), and Salmonella spp. (16%). Surprisingly, Pseudomonas spp. (2%) and Burkholderia cepacia (<1%) were found only sporadically. Lesions induced by inoculation with BCG occurred in 8% of the patients. Only 71% of the patients received antibiotic maintenance therapy, and 53% antifungal prophylaxis. 33% were treated with gamma-interferon. 24 patients (6%) had received a stem cell transplantation. The most prominent reason of death was pneumonia and pulmonary abscess (18/84 cases), septicemia (16/84) and brain abscess (4/84). These data provide further insight in the clinical course of CGD in Europe and hopefully can help to increase awareness and optimize the treatment of these patients

    Variation in developmental rates is not linked to environmental unpredictability in annual killifishes

    Get PDF
    Comparative evidence suggests that adaptive plasticity may evolve as a response to predictable environmental variation. However, less attention has been placed on unpredictable environmental variation, which is considered to affect evolutionary trajectories by increasing phenotypic variation (or bet hedging). Here, we examine the occurrence of bet hedging in egg developmental rates in seven species of annual killifish that originate from a gradient of variation in precipitation rates, under three treatment incubation temperatures (21, 23, and 25 degrees C). In the wild, these species survive regular and seasonal habitat desiccation, as dormant eggs buried in the soil. At the onset of the rainy season, embryos must be sufficiently developed in order to hatch and complete their life cycle. We found substantial differences among species in both the mean and variation of egg development rates, as well as species-specific plastic responses to incubation temperature. Yet, there was no clear relationship between variation in egg development time and variation in precipitation rate (environmental predictability). The exact cause of these differences therefore remains enigmatic, possibly depending on differences in other natural environmental conditions in addition to precipitation predictability. Hence, if species-specific variances are adaptive, the relationship between development and variation in precipitation is complex and does not diverge in accordance with simple linear relationships

    The Value of Information for Populations in Varying Environments

    Full text link
    The notion of information pervades informal descriptions of biological systems, but formal treatments face the problem of defining a quantitative measure of information rooted in a concept of fitness, which is itself an elusive notion. Here, we present a model of population dynamics where this problem is amenable to a mathematical analysis. In the limit where any information about future environmental variations is common to the members of the population, our model is equivalent to known models of financial investment. In this case, the population can be interpreted as a portfolio of financial assets and previous analyses have shown that a key quantity of Shannon's communication theory, the mutual information, sets a fundamental limit on the value of information. We show that this bound can be violated when accounting for features that are irrelevant in finance but inherent to biological systems, such as the stochasticity present at the individual level. This leads us to generalize the measures of uncertainty and information usually encountered in information theory

    Safety assessment of high-dose narcotic analgesia for emergency department procedures

    Full text link
    Study objective:To evaluate the safety of high-dose IV narcotics in patients requiring analgesia for painful emergency department procedures.Design:Prospective multicenter clinical trial.Setting:Five adult urban EDs.Methods and measurements:All patients received IV meperidine (1.5 to 3.0 mg/kg) titrated to analgesia followed by a painful procedure. Vital signs and alertness scale were recorded at regular intervals, and patients were observed for four hours. Adverse events were monitored and documented. Comparisons between baseline and postanalgesia intervals were made with a repeated measures ANOVA (Dunnett's test).Results:Although statistically significant changes in vital signs and alertness scale occurred, they were not clinically significant. Opiate reversal with naloxone was not needed in any patient, and no significant respiratory or circulatory compromise occurred.Conclusion:This study of 72 patients demonstrates that high-dose narcotic analgesia is appropriate, well tolerated, and safe when used in selected patients before painful procedures in the ED. Narcotic antagonists and resuscitation equipment nonetheless should be available to maximize safety.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/30581/1/0000218.pd

    Regulatory control and the costs and benefits of biochemical noise

    Get PDF
    Experiments in recent years have vividly demonstrated that gene expression can be highly stochastic. How protein concentration fluctuations affect the growth rate of a population of cells, is, however, a wide open question. We present a mathematical model that makes it possible to quantify the effect of protein concentration fluctuations on the growth rate of a population of genetically identical cells. The model predicts that the population's growth rate depends on how the growth rate of a single cell varies with protein concentration, the variance of the protein concentration fluctuations, and the correlation time of these fluctuations. The model also predicts that when the average concentration of a protein is close to the value that maximizes the growth rate, fluctuations in its concentration always reduce the growth rate. However, when the average protein concentration deviates sufficiently from the optimal level, fluctuations can enhance the growth rate of the population, even when the growth rate of a cell depends linearly on the protein concentration. The model also shows that the ensemble or population average of a quantity, such as the average protein expression level or its variance, is in general not equal to its time average as obtained from tracing a single cell and its descendants. We apply our model to perform a cost-benefit analysis of gene regulatory control. Our analysis predicts that the optimal expression level of a gene regulatory protein is determined by the trade-off between the cost of synthesizing the regulatory protein and the benefit of minimizing the fluctuations in the expression of its target gene. We discuss possible experiments that could test our predictions.Comment: Revised manuscript;35 pages, 4 figures, REVTeX4; to appear in PLoS Computational Biolog

    The evolution of cooperation and altruism--a general framework and a classification of models.

    Get PDF
    One of the enduring puzzles in biology and the social sciences is the origin and persistence of intraspecific cooperation and altruism in humans and other species. Hundreds of theoretical models have been proposed and there is much confusion about the relationship between these models. To clarify the situation, we developed a synthetic conceptual framework that delineates the conditions necessary for the evolution of altruism and cooperation. We show that at least one of the four following conditions needs to be fulfilled: direct benefits to the focal individual performing a cooperative act; direct or indirect information allowing a better than random guess about whether a given individual will behave cooperatively in repeated reciprocal interactions; preferential interactions between related individuals; and genetic correlation between genes coding for altruism and phenotypic traits that can be identified. When one or more of these conditions are met, altruism or cooperation can evolve if the cost-to-benefit ratio of altruistic and cooperative acts is greater than a threshold value. The cost-to-benefit ratio can be altered by coercion, punishment and policing which therefore act as mechanisms facilitating the evolution of altruism and cooperation. All the models proposed so far are explicitly or implicitly built on these general principles, allowing us to classify them into four general categories

    Isolation of Flow and Nonflow Correlations by Two- and Four-Particle Cumulant Measurements of Azimuthal Harmonics in sNN=\sqrt{s_{_{\rm NN}}} = 200 GeV Au+Au Collisions

    Get PDF
    A data-driven method was applied to measurements of Au+Au collisions at sNN=\sqrt{s_{_{\rm NN}}} = 200 GeV made with the STAR detector at RHIC to isolate pseudorapidity distance Δη\Delta\eta-dependent and Δη\Delta\eta-independent correlations by using two- and four-particle azimuthal cumulant measurements. We identified a component of the correlation that is Δη\Delta\eta-independent, which is likely dominated by anisotropic flow and flow fluctuations. It was also found to be independent of η\eta within the measured range of pseudorapidity η<1|\eta|<1. The relative flow fluctuation was found to be 34%±2%(stat.)±3%(sys.)34\% \pm 2\% (stat.) \pm 3\% (sys.) for particles of transverse momentum pTp_{T} less than 22 GeV/cc. The Δη\Delta\eta-dependent part may be attributed to nonflow correlations, and is found to be 5%±2%(sys.)5\% \pm 2\% (sys.) relative to the flow of the measured second harmonic cumulant at Δη>0.7|\Delta\eta| > 0.7

    Charged-to-neutral correlation at forward rapidity in Au+Au collisions at sNN\sqrt{s_{NN}}=200 GeV

    Full text link
    Event-by-event fluctuations of the ratio of inclusive charged to photon multiplicities at forward rapidity in Au+Au collision at sNN\sqrt{s_{NN}}=200 GeV have been studied. Dominant contribution to such fluctuations is expected to come from correlated production of charged and neutral pions. We search for evidences of dynamical fluctuations of different physical origins. Observables constructed out of moments of multiplicities are used as measures of fluctuations. Mixed events and model calculations are used as baselines. Results are compared to the dynamical net-charge fluctuations measured in the same acceptance. A non-zero statistically significant signal of dynamical fluctuations is observed in excess to the model prediction when charged particles and photons are measured in the same acceptance. We find that, unlike dynamical net-charge fluctuation, charge-neutral fluctuation is not dominated by correlation due to particle decay. Results are compared to the expectations based on the generic production mechanism of pions due to isospin symmetry, for which no significant (<1%) deviation is observed.Comment: 14 pages, 6 figure

    Measurements of D0D^{0} and DD^{*} Production in pp + pp Collisions at s\sqrt{s} = 200 GeV

    Get PDF
    We report measurements of charmed-hadron (D0D^{0}, DD^{*}) production cross sections at mid-rapidity in pp + pp collisions at a center-of-mass energy of 200 GeV by the STAR experiment. Charmed hadrons were reconstructed via the hadronic decays D0Kπ+D^{0}\rightarrow K^{-}\pi^{+}, D+D0π+Kπ+π+D^{*+}\rightarrow D^{0}\pi^{+}\rightarrow K^{-}\pi^{+}\pi^{+} and their charge conjugates, covering the pTp_T range of 0.6-2.0 GeV/cc and 2.0-6.0 GeV/cc for D0D^{0} and D+D^{*+}, respectively. From this analysis, the charm-pair production cross section at mid-rapidity is dσ/dyy=0ccˉd\sigma/dy|_{y=0}^{c\bar{c}} = 170 ±\pm 45 (stat.) 59+38^{+38}_{-59} (sys.) μ\mub. The extracted charm-pair cross section is compared to perturbative QCD calculations. The transverse momentum differential cross section is found to be consistent with the upper bound of a Fixed-Order Next-to-Leading Logarithm calculation.Comment: 15 pages, 16 figures. Revised version submitted to Phys. Rev.
    corecore