405 research outputs found

    Halogen-bonded guanine base pairs, quartets and ribbons

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    Halogen bonding is studied in different structures consisting of halogenated guanine DNA bases, including the Hoogsteen guanine–guanine base pair, two different types of guanine ribbons (R-I and R-II) consisting of two or three monomers, and guanine quartets. In the halogenated base pairs (except the Cl-base pair, which has a very non-planar structure with no halogen bonds) and R-I ribbons (except the At trimer), the potential N-X•••O interaction is sacrificed to optimise the N-X•••N halogen bond. In the At trimer, the astatines originally bonded to N1 in the halogen bond donating guanines have moved to the adjacent O6 atom, enabling O-At•••N, N-At•••O, and N-At•••At halogen bonds. The brominated and chlorinated R-II trimers contain two N-X•••N and two N-X•••O halogen bonds, whereas in the iodinated and astatinated trimers, one of the N-X•••N halogen bonds is lost. The corresponding R-II dimers keep the same halogen bond patterns. The G-quartets display a rich diversity of symmetries and halogen bond patterns, including N-X•••N, N-X•••O, N-X•••X, O-X•••X, and O-X•••O halogen bonds (the latter two facilitated by the transfer of halogens from N1 to O6). In general, halogenation decreases the stability of the structures. However, the stability increases with the increasing atomic number of the halogen, and the At-doped R-I trimer and the three most stable At-doped quartets are more stable than their hydrogenated counterparts. Significant deviations from linearity are found for some of the halogen bonds (with halogen bond angles around 150°).Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Owner perceptions of their cat's quality of life when treated with a modified University of Wisconsin-Madison protocol for lymphoma

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    The objectives of this study were to assess owner perceptions of their cat’s quality of life during treatment for lymphoma with a doxorubicin-containing multi-agent chemotherapy protocol, whether various health-related parameters correlated with quality of life scores, and to assess owner satisfaction with the protocol

    Fuel poverty increases risk of mould contamination, regardless of adult risk perception & ventilation in social housing properties

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    INTRODUCTION: Fuel poverty affects 2.4 million UK homes leading to poor hygrothermal conditions and risk of mould and house dust mite contaminations, which in turn increases risk of asthma exacerbation. For the first time we assess how fuel poverty, occupants' risk perception and use of mechanical ventilation mediate the risk of mould contamination in social housing. METHODS: Postal questionnaires were sent to 3867 social housing properties to collect adult risk perception, and demographic and environmental information on occupants. Participant details were linked to data pertaining to the individual properties. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios and confidence intervals while allowing for clustering of individuals coming from the same housing estate. We used Structured Equation Modelling and Goodness of Fit analysis in mediation analyses to examine the role of fuel poverty, risk perception, use of ventilation and energy efficiency. RESULTS: Eighteen percent of our target social housing populations (671 households) were included into our study. High risk perception (score of 8-10) was associated with reduced risk of mould contamination in the bedrooms of children (OR 0.5 95% CI; 0.3-0.9) and adults (OR 0.4 95% CI; 0.3-0.7). High risk perception of living with inadequate heating and ventilation reduced the risk of mould contamination (OR 0.5 95% CI; 0.3-0.8 and OR 0.5 95% CI; 0.3-0.7, respectively). Participants living with inadequate heating and not heating due to the cost of fuel had an increased risk of mould contamination (OR 3.4 95% CI; 2.0-5.8 and OR 2.2 95% CI; 1.5-3.2, respectively). Increased risk perception and use of extractor fans did not mediate the association between fuel poverty behaviours and increased risk of mould contamination. DISCUSSION: Fuel poverty behaviours increased the risk of mould contamination, which corresponds with existing literature. For the first time we used mediation analysis to assess how this association maybe modified by occupant behaviours. Increased risk perception and use of extractor fans did not modify the association between fuel poverty and mould contamination. This suggests that fuel poor populations may not benefit from energy efficiency interventions due to ineffective heating and ventilation practices of those occupants residing participating households. Our findings may be modified by a complex interaction between occupant behaviours and the built environment. We found that participant age, occupancy, SES, pets, drying washing indoors, geographic location, architectural design/age of the property, levels of insulation and type of heating regulated risk of mould contamination. CONCLUSION: Fuel poverty behaviours affected around a third of participating households and represent a risk factor for increased exposures to damp and mouldy conditions, regardless of adult risk perception, heating and ventilation practices. This requires multidisciplinary approach to assess the complex interaction between occupant behaviours, risk perception, the built environment and the effective use of heating and ventilation practices. STUDY IMPLICATIONS: Our findings have implications for housing policies and future housing interventions. Effective communication strategies focusing on awareness and perception of risk may help address indoor air quality issues. This must be supported by improved household energy efficiency with the provision of more effective heating and ventilation strategies, specifically to help alleviate those suffering from fuel poverty.European Regional Development Fund Programme  202497 50002

    RNA interference of endochitinases in the sugarcane endophyte Trichoderma virens 223 reduces its fitness as a biocontrol agent of pineapple disease

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    publication-status: PublishedThe sugarcane root endophyte Trichoderma virens 223 holds enormous potential as a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides in the control of sugarcane diseases. Its efficacy as a biocontrol agent is thought to be associated with its production of chitinase enzymes, including N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidases, chitobiosidases and endochitinases. We used targeted gene deletion and RNA-dependent gene silencing strategies to disrupt N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase and endochitinase activities of the fungus, and to determine their roles in the biocontrol of soil-borne plant pathogens. The loss of N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase activities was dispensable for biocontrol of the plurivorous damping-off pathogens Rhizoctonia solani and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and of the sugarcane pathogen Ceratocystis paradoxa, the causal agent of pineapple disease. Similarly, suppression of endochitinase activities had no effect on R. solani and S. sclerotiorum disease control, but had a pronounced effect on the ability of T. virens 223 to control pineapple disease. Our work demonstrates a critical requirement for T. virens 223 endochitinase activity in the biocontrol of C. paradoxa sugarcane disease, but not for general antagonism of other soil pathogens. This may reflect its lifestyle as a sugarcane root endophyte

    NADPH oxidases regulate septin-mediated cytoskeletal remodeling during plant infection by the rice blast fungus

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    notes: PMCID: PMC3581893types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tThe rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae infects plants with a specialized cell called an appressorium, which uses turgor to drive a rigid penetration peg through the rice leaf cuticle. Here, we show that NADPH oxidases (Nox) are necessary for septin-mediated reorientation of the F-actin cytoskeleton to facilitate cuticle rupture and plant cell invasion. We report that the Nox2-NoxR complex spatially organizes a heteroligomeric septin ring at the appressorium pore, required for assembly of a toroidal F-actin network at the point of penetration peg emergence. Maintenance of the cortical F-actin network during plant infection independently requires Nox1, a second NADPH oxidase, which is necessary for penetration hypha elongation. Organization of F-actin in appressoria is disrupted by application of antioxidants, whereas latrunculin-mediated depolymerization of appressorial F-actin is competitively inhibited by reactive oxygen species, providing evidence that regulated synthesis of reactive oxygen species by fungal NADPH oxidases directly controls septin and F-actin dynamics.Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaHalpin ScholarshipEuropean Research Council Advanced Investigator Awar

    Mechanism and Catalytic Site Atlas (M-CSA): a database of enzyme reaction mechanisms and active sites.

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    M-CSA (Mechanism and Catalytic Site Atlas) is a database of enzyme active sites and reaction mechanisms that can be accessed at www.ebi.ac.uk/thornton-srv/m-csa. Our objectives with M-CSA are to provide an open data resource for the community to browse known enzyme reaction mechanisms and catalytic sites, and to use the dataset to understand enzyme function and evolution. M-CSA results from the merging of two existing databases, MACiE (Mechanism, Annotation and Classification in Enzymes), a database of enzyme mechanisms, and CSA (Catalytic Site Atlas), a database of catalytic sites of enzymes. We are releasing M-CSA as a new website and underlying database architecture. At the moment, M-CSA contains 961 entries, 423 of these with detailed mechanism information, and 538 with information on the catalytic site residues only. In total, these cover 81% (195/241) of third level EC numbers with a PDB structure, and 30% (840/2793) of fourth level EC numbers with a PDB structure, out of 6028 in total. By searching for close homologues, we are able to extend M-CSA coverage of PDB and UniProtKB to 51 993 structures and to over five million sequences, respectively, of which about 40% and 30% have a conserved active site

    Computation in Classical Mechanics

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    There is a growing consensus that physics majors need to learn computational skills, but many departments are still devoid of computation in their physics curriculum. Some departments may lack the resources or commitment to create a dedicated course or program in computational physics. One way around this difficulty is to include computation in a standard upper-level physics course. An intermediate classical mechanics course is particularly well suited for including computation. We discuss the ways we have used computation in our classical mechanics courses, focusing on how computational work can improve students' understanding of physics as well as their computational skills. We present examples of computational problems that serve these two purposes. In addition, we provide information about resources for instructors who would like to include computation in their courses.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, submitted to American Journal of Physic

    A novel NGF mutation clarifies the molecular mechanism and extends the phenotypic spectrum of the HSAN5 neuropathy

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    Background Nerve growth factor beta (NGF beta) and tyrosine kinase receptor type A (TRKA) are a well studied neurotrophin/receptor duo involved in neuronal survival and differentiation. The only previously reported hereditary sensory neuropathy caused by an NGF mutation, c.661C>T (HSAN5), and the pathology caused by biallelic mutations in the TRKA gene (NTRK1) (HSAN4), share only some clinical features. A consanguineous Arab family, where five of the six children were completely unable to perceive pain, were mentally retarded, did not sweat, could not discriminate temperature, and had a chronic immunodeficiency, is reported here. The condition is linked to a new homozygous mutation in the NGF gene, c. [680C>A]+[681_682delGG].Methods Genetic linkage and standard sequencing techniques were used to identify the causative gene. Using wild-type or mutant over-expression constructs transfected into PC12 and COS-7 cells, the cellular and molecular consequences of the mutations were investigated.Results The mutant gene produced a precursor protein V232fs that was unable to differentiate PC12 cells. V232fs was not secreted from cells as mature NGF beta.Conclusions Both the clinical and cellular data suggest that the c.[680C>A]+[ 681 682delGG] NGF mutation is a functional null. The HSAN5 phenotype is extended to encompass HSAN4-like characteristics. It is concluded that the HSAN4 and HSAN5 phenotypes are parts of a phenotypic spectrum caused by changes in the NGF/ TRKA signalling pathway

    Prognostic value of upper respiratory tract microbes in children presenting to primary care with respiratory infections:a prospective cohort study

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    BACKGROUND: The association between upper respiratory tract microbial positivity and illness prognosis in children is unclear. This impedes clinical decision-making and means the utility of upper respiratory tract microbial point-of-care tests remains unknown. We investigated for relationships between pharyngeal microbes and symptom severity in children with suspected respiratory tract infection (RTI). METHODS: Baseline characteristics and pharyngeal swabs were collected from 2,296 children presenting to 58 general practices in Bristol, UK with acute cough and suspected RTI between 2011–2013. Post-consultation, parents recorded the severity of six RTI symptoms on a 0–6 scale daily for ≤28 days. We used multivariable hurdle regression, adjusting for clinical characteristics, antibiotics and other microbes, to investigate associations between respiratory microbes and mean symptom severity on days 2–4 post-presentation. RESULTS: Overall, 1,317 (57%) children with complete baseline, microbiological and symptom data were included. Baseline characteristics were similar in included participants and those lacking microbiological data. At least one virus was detected in 869 (66%) children, and at least one bacterium in 783 (60%). Compared to children with no virus detected (mean symptom severity score 1.52), adjusted mean symptom severity was 0.26 points higher in those testing positive for at least one virus (95% CI 0.15 to 0.38, p<0.001); and was also higher in those with detected Influenza B (0.44, 0.15 to 0.72, p = 0.003); RSV (0.41, 0.20 to 0.60, p<0.001); and Influenza A (0.25, -0.01 to 0.51, p = 0.059). Children positive for Enterovirus had a lower adjusted mean symptom severity (-0.24, -0.43 to -0.05, p = 0.013). Children with detected Bordetella pertussis (0.40, 0.00 to 0.79, p = 0.049) and those with detected Moraxella catarrhalis (-0.76, -1.06 to -0.45, p<0.001) respectively had higher and lower mean symptom severity compared to children without these bacteria. CONCLUSIONS: There is a potential role for upper respiratory tract microbiological point-of-care tests in determining the prognosis of childhood RTIs

    The two most common histological subtypes of malignant germ cell tumour are distinguished by global microRNA profiles, associated with differential transcription factor expression.

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    BACKGROUND: We hypothesised that differences in microRNA expression profiles contribute to the contrasting natural history and clinical outcome of the two most common types of malignant germ cell tumour (GCT), yolk sac tumours (YSTs) and germinomas. RESULTS: By direct comparison, using microarray data for paediatric GCT samples and published qRT-PCR data for adult samples, we identified microRNAs significantly up-regulated in YSTs (n = 29 paediatric, 26 adult, 11 overlapping) or germinomas (n = 37 paediatric). By Taqman qRT-PCR we confirmed differential expression of 15 of 16 selected microRNAs and further validated six of these (miR-302b, miR-375, miR-200b, miR-200c, miR-122, miR-205) in an independent sample set. Interestingly, the miR-302 cluster, which is over-expressed in all malignant GCTs, showed further over-expression in YSTs versus germinomas, representing six of the top eight microRNAs over-expressed in paediatric YSTs and seven of the top 11 in adult YSTs. To explain this observation, we used mRNA expression profiles of paediatric and adult malignant GCTs to identify 10 transcription factors (TFs) consistently over-expressed in YSTs versus germinomas, followed by linear regression to confirm associations between TF and miR-302 cluster expression levels. Using the sequence motif analysis environment iMotifs, we identified predicted binding sites for four of the 10 TFs (GATA6, GATA3, TCF7L2 and MAF) in the miR-302 cluster promoter region. Finally, we showed that miR-302 family over-expression in YST is likely to be functionally significant, as mRNAs down-regulated in YSTs were enriched for 3' untranslated region sequences complementary to the common seed of miR-302a~miR-302d. Such mRNAs included mediators of key cancer-associated processes, including tumour suppressor genes, apoptosis regulators and TFs. CONCLUSIONS: Differential microRNA expression is likely to contribute to the relatively aggressive behaviour of YSTs and may enable future improvements in clinical diagnosis and/or treatment.RIGHTS : This article is licensed under the BioMed Central licence at http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/license which is similar to the 'Creative Commons Attribution Licence'. In brief you may : copy, distribute, and display the work; make derivative works; or make commercial use of the work - under the following conditions: the original author must be given credit; for any reuse or distribution, it must be made clear to others what the license terms of this work are