1,835 research outputs found

    N=1 SQCD-like theories with N_f massive flavors from AdS/CFT and beta functions

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    We study new supergravity solutions related to large-NcN_c N=1{\cal N}=1 supersymmetric gauge field theories with a large number NfN_f of massive flavors. We use a recently proposed framework based on configurations with NcN_c color D5 branes and a distribution of NfN_f flavor D5 branes, governed by a function NfS(r)N_f S(r). Although the system admits many solutions, under plausible physical assumptions the relevant solution is uniquely determined for each value of xNf/Ncx\equiv N_f/N_c. In the IR region, the solution smoothly approaches the deformed Maldacena-N\'u\~nez solution. In the UV region it approaches a linear dilaton solution. For x<2x<2 the gauge coupling βg\beta_g function computed holographically is negative definite, in the UV approaching the NSVZ β\beta function with anomalous dimension γ0=1/2\gamma_0= -1/2 (approaching 3/(32π2)(2NcNf)g3-3/(32\pi^2)(2N_c-N_f)g^3)), and with βg\beta_g \to-\infty in the IR. For x=2x=2, βg\beta_g has a UV fixed point at strong coupling, suggesting the existence of an IR fixed point at a lower value of the coupling. We argue that the solutions with x>2x>2 describe a "Seiberg dual" picture where Nf2NcN_f-2N_c flips sign.Comment: 18 pages, 10 figure

    Actinomycosis of the parotid masquerading as malignant neoplasm.

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    BACKGROUND: Primary actinomycosis of the parotid gland is of rare occurrence and can mimic a malignant neoplasm both clinically as well as radiologically. CASE PRESENTATION: We present here a case of primary actinomycosis of the parotid gland presenting with a parotid mass lesion with erosion of skull bones. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical presentation of cervico-facial actinomycosis is characterized by the presence of a suppurative or indurative mass with discharging sinuses. The lesion demonstrates characteristic features on fine needle aspiration cytology and histology, however at times the findings are equivocal

    In vivo imaging and quantitative analysis of leukocyte directional migration and polarization in inflamed tissue

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    Directional migration of transmigrated leukocytes to the site of injury is a central event in the inflammatory response. Here, we present an in vivo chemotaxis assay enabling the visualization and quantitative analysis of subtype-specific directional motility and polarization of leukocytes in their natural 3D microenvironment. Our technique comprises the combination of i) semi-automated in situ microinjection of chemoattractants or bacteria as local chemotactic stimulus, ii) in vivo near-infrared reflected-light oblique transillumination (RLOT) microscopy for the visualization of leukocyte motility and morphology, and iii) in vivo fluorescence microscopy for the visualization of different leukocyte subpopulations or fluorescence-labeled bacteria. Leukocyte motility parameters are quantified off-line in digitized video sequences using computer-assisted single cell tracking. Here, we show that perivenular microinjection of chemoattractants [macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha/Ccl3), platelet-activating factor (PAF)] or E. coli into the murine cremaster muscle induces target-oriented intravascular adhesion and transmigration as well as polarization and directional interstitial migration of leukocytes towards the locally administered stimuli. Moreover, we describe a crucial role of Rho kinase for the regulation of directional motility and polarization of transmigrated leukocytes in vivo. Finally, combining in vivo RLOT and fluorescence microscopy in Cx3CR1(gfp/gfp) mice (mice exhibiting green fluorescent protein-labeled monocytes), we are able to demonstrate differences in the migratory behavior of monocytes and neutrophils.Taken together, we propose a novel approach for investigating the mechanisms and spatiotemporal dynamics of subtype-specific motility and polarization of leukocytes during their directional interstitial migration in vivo

    Pelvic actinomycosis presenting as a malignant pelvic mass: a case report

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Introduction</p> <p>Pelvic actinomycosis constitutes 3% of all human actinomycosis infections. It is usually insidious, and is often mistaken for other conditions such as diverticulitis, abscesses, inflammatory bowel disease and malignant tumors, presenting a diagnostic challenge pre-operatively; it is identified post-operatively in most cases. Here we present a case that presented as pelvic malignancy and was diagnosed as pelvic actinomycosis post-operatively.</p> <p>Case presentation</p> <p>A 48-year-old Caucasian Turkish woman presented to our clinic with a three-month history of abdominal pain, weight loss and difficulty in defecation. She had used an intra-uterine device for 16 years, however it had recently been removed. The rectosigmoidoscopy revealed narrowing of the lumen at 12 cm due to a mass lesion either in the wall or due to an extrinsic lesion that prevented the passage of the endoscope. On examination, there was no gynecological pathology. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a mass, measuring 5.5 × 4 cm attached to the rectum posterior to the uterus. The ureter on that side was dilated. Surgically there was a pelvic mass adhered to the rectum and uterine adnexes, measuring 10 × 12 cm. It originated from uterine adnexes, particularly ones from the left side and formed a conglomerated mass with the uterus and nearby organs; the left ureter was also dilated due to the pelvic mass. Because of concomitant tubal abscess formation and difficulty in dissection planes, total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salphingo-oophorectomy was performed (our patient was 48 years old and had completed her childbearing period). The cytology revealed inflammatory cells with aggregates of <it>Actinomyces</it>. Penicillin therapy was given for six months without any complication.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Pelvic actinomycosis should always be considered in patients with a pelvic mass especially in ones using intra-uterine devices, and who have a history of appendectomy, tonsillectomy or dental infection. Surgeons should be aware of this infection in order to avoid excessive surgical procedures.</p

    Deciphering the Multifactorial Nature of Acinetobacter baumannii Pathogenicity

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    Background: Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging bacterial pathogen that causes a broad array of infections, particularly in hospitalized patients. Many studies have focused on the epidemiology and antibiotic resistance of A. baumannii, but little is currently known with respect to its virulence potential. Methodology/Principal Findings: The aim of this work was to analyze a number of virulence-related traits of four A. baumannii strains of different origin and clinical impact for which complete genome sequences were available, in order to tentatively identify novel determinants of A. baumannii pathogenicity. Clinical strains showed comparable virulence in the Galleria mellonella model of infection, irrespective of their status as outbreak or sporadic strains, whereas a non-human isolate was avirulent. A combined approach of genomic and phenotypic analyses led to the identification of several virulence factors, including exoproducts with hemolytic, phospholipase, protease and iron-chelating activities, as well as a number of multifactorial phenotypes, such as biofilm formation, surface motility and stress resistance, which were differentially expressed and could play a role in A. baumannii pathogenicity. Conclusion/Significance: This work provides evidence of the multifactorial nature of A. baumannii virulence. While A. baumannii clinical isolates could represent a selected population of strains adapted to infect the human host, subpopulations of highly genotypically and phenotypically diverse A. baumannii strains may exist outside the hospita

    Fitness of Escherichia coli during Urinary Tract Infection Requires Gluconeogenesis and the TCA Cycle

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    Microbial pathogenesis studies traditionally encompass dissection of virulence properties such as the bacterium's ability to elaborate toxins, adhere to and invade host cells, cause tissue damage, or otherwise disrupt normal host immune and cellular functions. In contrast, bacterial metabolism during infection has only been recently appreciated to contribute to persistence as much as their virulence properties. In this study, we used comparative proteomics to investigate the expression of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) cytoplasmic proteins during growth in the urinary tract environment and systematic disruption of central metabolic pathways to better understand bacterial metabolism during infection. Using two-dimensional fluorescence difference in gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and tandem mass spectrometry, it was found that UPEC differentially expresses 84 cytoplasmic proteins between growth in LB medium and growth in human urine (P<0.005). Proteins induced during growth in urine included those involved in the import of short peptides and enzymes required for the transport and catabolism of sialic acid, gluconate, and the pentose sugars xylose and arabinose. Proteins required for the biosynthesis of arginine and serine along with the enzyme agmatinase that is used to produce the polyamine putrescine were also up-regulated in urine. To complement these data, we constructed mutants in these genes and created mutants defective in each central metabolic pathway and tested the relative fitness of these UPEC mutants in vivo in an infection model. Import of peptides, gluconeogenesis, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle are required for E. coli fitness during urinary tract infection while glycolysis, both the non-oxidative and oxidative branches of the pentose phosphate pathway, and the Entner-Doudoroff pathway were dispensable in vivo. These findings suggest that peptides and amino acids are the primary carbon source for E. coli during infection of the urinary tract. Because anaplerosis, or using central pathways to replenish metabolic intermediates, is required for UPEC fitness in vivo, we propose that central metabolic pathways of bacteria could be considered critical components of virulence for pathogenic microbes

    Different approaches for dealing with rare variants in family-based genetic studies: application of a Genetic Analysis Workshop 17 problem

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    Rare variants are becoming the new candidates in the search for genetic variants that predispose individuals to a phenotype of interest. Their low prevalence in a population requires the development of dedicated detection and analytical methods. A family-based approach could greatly enhance their detection and interpretation because rare variants are nearly family specific. In this report, we test several distinct approaches for analyzing the information provided by rare and common variants and how they can be effectively used to pinpoint putative candidate genes for follow-up studies. The analyses were performed on the mini-exome data set provided by Genetic Analysis Workshop 17. Eight approaches were tested, four using the trait’s heritability estimates and four using QTDT models. These methods had their sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values compared in light of the simulation parameters. Our results highlight important limitations of current methods to deal with rare and common variants, all methods presented a reduced specificity and, consequently, prone to false positive associations. Methods analyzing common variants information showed an enhanced sensibility when compared to rare variants methods. Furthermore, our limited knowledge of the use of biological databases for gene annotations, possibly for use as covariates in regression models, imposes a barrier to further research

    Age-related delay in information accrual for faces: Evidence from a parametric, single-trial EEG approach

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    Background: In this study, we quantified age-related changes in the time-course of face processing by means of an innovative single-trial ERP approach. Unlike analyses used in previous studies, our approach does not rely on peak measurements and can provide a more sensitive measure of processing delays. Young and old adults (mean ages 22 and 70 years) performed a non-speeded discrimination task between two faces. The phase spectrum of these faces was manipulated parametrically to create pictures that ranged between pure noise (0% phase information) and the undistorted signal (100% phase information), with five intermediate steps. Results: Behavioural 75% correct thresholds were on average lower, and maximum accuracy was higher, in younger than older observers. ERPs from each subject were entered into a single-trial general linear regression model to identify variations in neural activity statistically associated with changes in image structure. The earliest age-related ERP differences occurred in the time window of the N170. Older observers had a significantly stronger N170 in response to noise, but this age difference decreased with increasing phase information. Overall, manipulating image phase information had a greater effect on ERPs from younger observers, which was quantified using a hierarchical modelling approach. Importantly, visual activity was modulated by the same stimulus parameters in younger and older subjects. The fit of the model, indexed by R2, was computed at multiple post-stimulus time points. The time-course of the R2 function showed a significantly slower processing in older observers starting around 120 ms after stimulus onset. This age-related delay increased over time to reach a maximum around 190 ms, at which latency younger observers had around 50 ms time lead over older observers. Conclusion: Using a component-free ERP analysis that provides a precise timing of the visual system sensitivity to image structure, the current study demonstrates that older observers accumulate face information more slowly than younger subjects. Additionally, the N170 appears to be less face-sensitive in older observers
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