266 research outputs found

    Decoding of EEG signals reveals non-uniformities in the neural geometry of colour

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    The idea of colour opponency maintains that colour vision arises through the comparison of two chromatic mechanisms, red versus green and yellow versus blue. The four unique hues, red, green, blue, and yellow, are assumed to appear at the null points of these the two chromatic systems. Here we hypothesise that, if unique hues represent a tractable cortical state, they should elicit more robust activity compared to other, non-unique hues. We use a spatiotemporal decoding approach to report that electroencephalographic (EEG) responses carry robust information about the tested isoluminant unique hues within a 100-350 ms window from stimulus onset. Decoding is possible in both passive and active viewing tasks, but is compromised when concurrent high luminance contrast is added to the colour signals. For large hue-differences, the efficiency of hue decoding can be predicted by mutual distance in a nominally uniform perceptual colour space. However, for small perceptual neighbourhoods around unique hues, the encoding space shows pivotal non-uniformities which suggest that anisotropies in neurometric hue-spaces may reflect perceptual unique hues

    Bis(2-phenyl­biguanidium) adipate tetra­hydrate

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    In the title salt, 2C8H12N5 +·C6H8O4 2−·4H2O, the anion is located on a centre of symmetry. The observed supra­molecular network of the crystal structure is produced by ten different hydrogen bonds of the N—H⋯N, N—H⋯O and O—H⋯O types. One additional O—H group is not connected to an acceptor site

    A gold nanoparticles and hydroxylated fullerene water complex as a new product for cosmetics

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    Three types of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were synthesised with a custom-made Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis (USP) device, from aqueous solutions of gold (III) chloride (AuCl3) and gold (III) acetate (AuC6H12O6), with an initial concentration of Au 0.5 g/L. AuNPs were collected in suspensions of deionised (D.I.) water with the stabilisers polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or polyethylene glycol (PEG), followed by the process of freeze drying the AuNPs to be useful as a new additive for the cream. The standard cream base was used as a matrix for preparation of three types of cream with AuNPs in the same concentration ratios. The third AuNPs cream was prepared with a patented hydroxylated fullerene water complex (3HFWC-W) matrix. To examine the effect of AuNPs as additive in creams, a six-week study of test creams was conducted on 33 volunteers with no dermatological diseases. During the study three main parameters of the skin where measured: Collagen quality, skin moisturisation and the epidermis-dermis function. The results of the study found improvements of collagen quality between 18-24 %, achieved due to the use of AuNPs in standard creams, while the cream with the combination of 3HFWC-W and AuNPs gave significantly higher improvements with a value of 45.7 %. It was also discovered that hydration of the skin (stratum cornum) increased by 6.4-9.6 % in standard creams with AuNPs, and 73.7 % in the 3HFWC/AuNPs' cream. Similar results were measured by the epidermisdermis function, where 24-28 % improvement for standard creams with AuNPs was identified, and 38.4 % for the cream 3HFWC-W/AuNPs

    Understanding the limits to generalizability of experimental evolutionary models.

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    Post print version of article deposited in accordance with SHERPA RoMEO guidelines. The final definitive version is available online at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v455/n7210/abs/nature07152.htmlGiven the difficulty of testing evolutionary and ecological theory in situ, in vitro model systems are attractive alternatives; however, can we appraise whether an experimental result is particular to the in vitro model, and, if so, characterize the systems likely to behave differently and understand why? Here we examine these issues using the relationship between phenotypic diversity and resource input in the T7-Escherichia coli co-evolving system as a case history. We establish a mathematical model of this interaction, framed as one instance of a super-class of host-parasite co-evolutionary models, and show that it captures experimental results. By tuning this model, we then ask how diversity as a function of resource input could behave for alternative co-evolving partners (for example, E. coli with lambda bacteriophages). In contrast to populations lacking bacteriophages, variation in diversity with differences in resources is always found for co-evolving populations, supporting the geographic mosaic theory of co-evolution. The form of this variation is not, however, universal. Details of infectivity are pivotal: in T7-E. coli with a modified gene-for-gene interaction, diversity is low at high resource input, whereas, for matching-allele interactions, maximal diversity is found at high resource input. A combination of in vitro systems and appropriately configured mathematical models is an effective means to isolate results particular to the in vitro system, to characterize systems likely to behave differently and to understand the biology underpinning those alternatives

    Caveolin-1 protects B6129 mice against Helicobacter pylori gastritis.

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    Caveolin-1 (Cav1) is a scaffold protein and pathogen receptor in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. Chronic infection of gastric epithelial cells by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a major risk factor for human gastric cancer (GC) where Cav1 is frequently down-regulated. However, the function of Cav1 in H. pylori infection and pathogenesis of GC remained unknown. We show here that Cav1-deficient mice, infected for 11 months with the CagA-delivery deficient H. pylori strain SS1, developed more severe gastritis and tissue damage, including loss of parietal cells and foveolar hyperplasia, and displayed lower colonisation of the gastric mucosa than wild-type B6129 littermates. Cav1-null mice showed enhanced infiltration of macrophages and B-cells and secretion of chemokines (RANTES) but had reduced levels of CD25+ regulatory T-cells. Cav1-deficient human GC cells (AGS), infected with the CagA-delivery proficient H. pylori strain G27, were more sensitive to CagA-related cytoskeletal stress morphologies ("humming bird") compared to AGS cells stably transfected with Cav1 (AGS/Cav1). Infection of AGS/Cav1 cells triggered the recruitment of p120 RhoGTPase-activating protein/deleted in liver cancer-1 (p120RhoGAP/DLC1) to Cav1 and counteracted CagA-induced cytoskeletal rearrangements. In human GC cell lines (MKN45, N87) and mouse stomach tissue, H. pylori down-regulated endogenous expression of Cav1 independently of CagA. Mechanistically, H. pylori activated sterol-responsive element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1) to repress transcription of the human Cav1 gene from sterol-responsive elements (SREs) in the proximal Cav1 promoter. These data suggested a protective role of Cav1 against H. pylori-induced inflammation and tissue damage. We propose that H. pylori exploits down-regulation of Cav1 to subvert the host's immune response and to promote signalling of its virulence factors in host cells

    Assessing the carcinogenic potential of low-dose exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment: the challenge ahead.

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    Lifestyle factors are responsible for a considerable portion of cancer incidence worldwide, but credible estimates from the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggest that the fraction of cancers attributable to toxic environmental exposures is between 7% and 19%. To explore the hypothesis that low-dose exposures to mixtures of chemicals in the environment may be combining to contribute to environmental carcinogenesis, we reviewed 11 hallmark phenotypes of cancer, multiple priority target sites for disruption in each area and prototypical chemical disruptors for all targets, this included dose-response characterizations, evidence of low-dose effects and cross-hallmark effects for all targets and chemicals. In total, 85 examples of chemicals were reviewed for actions on key pathways/mechanisms related to carcinogenesis. Only 15% (13/85) were found to have evidence of a dose-response threshold, whereas 59% (50/85) exerted low-dose effects. No dose-response information was found for the remaining 26% (22/85). Our analysis suggests that the cumulative effects of individual (non-carcinogenic) chemicals acting on different pathways, and a variety of related systems, organs, tissues and cells could plausibly conspire to produce carcinogenic synergies. Additional basic research on carcinogenesis and research focused on low-dose effects of chemical mixtures needs to be rigorously pursued before the merits of this hypothesis can be further advanced. However, the structure of the World Health Organization International Programme on Chemical Safety 'Mode of Action' framework should be revisited as it has inherent weaknesses that are not fully aligned with our current understanding of cancer biology

    The response of phytoplankton, zooplankton and macrozoobenthos communities to change in the water supply from surface to groundwater in aquaculture ponds

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    Investigating forces driving the structure of aquatic communities has long been an important issue in ecology. In the present study, we focused on the effects of changed water supply for aquaculture ponds on phytoplankton, zooplankton and macrozoobenthos communities during two seasons of rearing common carp. We compared these communities between two types of inflow water: surface sources of water a reservoir pond, two open wells and a small stream and groundwater deep tube well. Significant changes were observed in environmental variables after the introduction of the groundwater source: oxygen concentration and water hardness decreased, while conductivity, phosphorus and un-ionized ammonia increased. Results revealed that all investigated groups, except Mollusca (macrozoobenthos), decreased in species richness, abundance and biomass due to changed water chemistry, but differed in the level of susceptibility. Rotifera and Cladocera were the most affected showing a sharp decline in density and number of species since 66% of species disappeared from the ponds. The abundance of Copepoda was relatively high although significantly lower under new conditions, with adults being more tolerant to changed inflow water than nauplii larvae. Phytoplankton had the highest potential to replace previous species with newcomers more adapted to changed water chemistry, providing 36 immigrant species, whereas 49 became extinct. Although mainly influenced by fish predation, Chironomidae (macrozoobenthos) were undoubtedly affected by changed water chemistry. These results suggest profound changes in three key ecological groups produced by significant changes of important environmental variables and water quality after the shift from surface to groundwater supply

    Cognitive rehabilitation, self-management, psychotherapeutic and caregiver support interventions in progressive neurodegenerative conditions: a scoping review

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    BACKGROUND: Despite their potentially significant impact, cognitive disability may be overlooked in a number of progressive neurodegenerative conditions, as other difficulties dominate the clinical picture. OBJECTIVE: We examined the extent, nature and range of the research evidence relating to cognitive rehabilitation, self-management, psychotherapeutic and caregiver support interventions in Parkinsonian disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), frontotemporal dementias (FTD), motor neuron disease and Huntington’s disease. METHODS: Scoping review based on searches of MEDLINE and CINAHL up to 15 March 2016. RESULTS: We included 140 eligible papers. Over half of the studies, and almost all the randomised controlled trials, related to MS, while a number of single case studies described interventions for people with FTD. CR interventions addressed functional ability, communication and interaction, behaviour or memory. The majority of psychotherapy interventions involved cognitive behavioural therapy for depression or anxiety. Self-management interventions were mainly available for people with MS. There were few reports of interventions specific to caregivers. Numerous methodological challenges were identified. CONCLUSIONS: The limited range of studies for all conditions except MS suggests a need firstly to synthesise systematically the available evidence across conditions and secondly to develop well-designed studies to provide evidence about the effectiveness of CR and other psychological interventions
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