416 research outputs found

    Epigenetics : a catalyst of plant immunity against pathogens

    Get PDF
    The plant immune system protects against pests and diseases. The recognition of stress-related molecular patterns triggers localised immune responses, which are often followed by longer-lasting systemic priming and/or up-regulation of defences. In some cases, this induced resistance (IR) can be transmitted to following generations. Such transgenerational IR is gradually reversed in the absence of stress at a rate that is proportional to the severity of disease experienced in previous generations. This review outlines the mechanisms by which epigenetic responses to pathogen infection shape the plant immune system across expanding time scales. We review the cis- and trans-acting mechanisms by which stress-inducible epigenetic changes at transposable elements (TEs) regulate genome-wide defence gene expression and draw particular attention to one regulatory model that is supported by recent evidence about the function of AGO1 and H2A.Z in transcriptional control of defence genes. Additionally, we explore how stress-induced mobilisation of epigenetically controlled TEs acts as a catalyst of Darwinian evolution by generating (epi)genetic diversity at environmentally responsive genes. This raises questions about the long-term evolutionary consequences of stress-induced diversification of the plant immune system in relation to the long-held dichotomy between Darwinian and Lamarckian evolution

    Visually Impaired OLder people's Exercise programme for falls prevenTion (VIOLET): a feasibility study

    Get PDF
    This study aims to conduct a mixed methods feasibility study to inform the design and conduct of a future definitive RCT of an adapted exercise programme to prevent falls by reducing fear of falling among older people with visual impairment (OPVI). The research questions are: can an existing exercise programme be adapted for OPVI and successfully delivered in the community; is it feasible to conduct an RCT of this intervention and what are the features of a future definitive trial? We propose to: (i) Adapt an existing exercise programme with the full involvement of OPVI and practitioners; (ii) Run a feasibility study in 2 sites to test our proposed measures, trial processes and recruitment; explore acceptability of the intervention; fidelity of and compliance with the intervention. Two stakeholder panels will be established including OPVI aged 60 and over from Newcastle Society for Blind People (NSBP) and Visibility in Glasgow, practitioners and researchers. They will work together to adapt the FaME programme, which is known to be effective in reducing falls in frequent fallers, so that the methods are acceptable for OPVI, whilst retaining the effective components of the exercise. The panels will meet 4 times to adapt the intervention and contribute to decisions on outcome measures and data collection. During this time we will identify OPVI wishing to act as expert stakeholders in the subsequent WPs. OPVI aged 60+ will be recruited from low vision clinics and voluntary organisations and randomised into the intervention or comparator arm. Those in the comparator arm will receive no intervention, but will be offered it after final data collection. The core components of the adapted exercise programme aim to strengthen leg muscles and retrain balance. However, the detail of the methods and timing will be decided by the stakeholder panel. The programme is likely to run once a week over 12 weeks, with each session lasting up to one hour. The final form of delivery will be one of the outcomes of the PPI work in WP1. Participants will be provided with instructions and equipment to do the exercises at home if they wish. The intervention will be delivered by exercise instructors engaged by Health Works, Newcastle and Visibility, Glasgow, in venues agreed with participants. The final primary outcome of the future RCT will be decided by the responsiveness to change, participant burden and participant feedback from this study. The likely candidate primary outcome is fear of falling (Short FES-I scale). The main secondary outcomes will be: activity avoidance; balance/falls risk; number of falls; quality of life; loneliness; depression; adherence to exercise programme; self-reported home exercising. An estimate of cost effectiveness and cost utility of the intervention will be undertaken. In-depth interviews with a sample of OPVI will be conducted to explore their reasons for taking part/not taking part; factors that facilitate/hinder them from participating in exercise groups; their experiences of the recruitment and randomisation process and views on the outcome measures; their experience of the adapted intervention. The interviews will highlight site specific issues to consider for the definitive RCT. Structured interviews will be undertaken with commissioners and practitioners to explore their perspectives on the application of the intervention

    Approach to ergodicity in quantum wave functions

    Full text link
    According to theorems of Shnirelman and followers, in the semiclassical limit the quantum wavefunctions of classically ergodic systems tend to the microcanonical density on the energy shell. We here develop a semiclassical theory that relates the rate of approach to the decay of certain classical fluctuations. For uniformly hyperbolic systems we find that the variance of the quantum matrix elements is proportional to the variance of the integral of the associated classical operator over trajectory segments of length THT_H, and inversely proportional to TH2T_H^2, where TH=hŌĀňČT_H=h\bar\rho is the Heisenberg time, ŌĀňČ\bar\rho being the mean density of states. Since for these systems the classical variance increases linearly with THT_H, the variance of the matrix elements decays like 1/TH1/T_H. For non-hyperbolic systems, like Hamiltonians with a mixed phase space and the stadium billiard, our results predict a slower decay due to sticking in marginally unstable regions. Numerical computations supporting these conclusions are presented for the bakers map and the hydrogen atom in a magnetic field.Comment: 11 pages postscript and 4 figures in two files, tar-compressed and uuencoded using uufiles, to appear in Phys Rev E. For related papers, see http://www.icbm.uni-oldenburg.de/icbm/kosy/ag.htm

    UHECR as Decay Products of Heavy Relics? The Lifetime Problem

    Full text link
    The essential features underlying the top-down scenarii for UHECR are discussed, namely, the stability (or lifetime) imposed to the heavy objects (particles) whatever they be: topological and non-topological solitons, X-particles, cosmic defects, microscopic black-holes, fundamental strings. We provide an unified formula for the quantum decay rate of all these objects as well as the particle decays in the standard model. The key point in the top-down scenarii is the necessity to adjust the lifetime of the heavy object to the age of the universe. This ad-hoc requirement needs a very high dimensional operator to govern its decay and/or an extremely small coupling constant. The natural lifetimes of such heavy objects are, however, microscopic times associated to the GUT energy scale (sim 10^{-28} sec. or shorter). It is at this energy scale (by the end of inflation) where they could have been abundantly formed in the early universe and it seems natural that they decayed shortly after being formed.Comment: 11 pages, LaTex, no figures, updated versio

    Can forest management based on natural disturbances maintain ecological resilience?

    Get PDF
    Given the increasingly global stresses on forests, many ecologists argue that managers must maintain ecological resilience: the capacity of ecosystems to absorb disturbances without undergoing fundamental change. In this review we ask: Can the emerging paradigm of natural-disturbance-based management (NDBM) maintain ecological resilience in managed forests? Applying resilience theory requires careful articulation of the ecosystem state under consideration, the disturbances and stresses that affect the persistence of possible alternative states, and the spatial and temporal scales of management relevance. Implementing NDBM while maintaining resilience means recognizing that (i) biodiversity is important for long-term ecosystem persistence, (ii) natural disturbances play a critical role as a generator of structural and compositional heterogeneity at multiple scales, and (iii) traditional management tends to produce forests more homogeneous than those disturbed naturally and increases the likelihood of unexpected catastrophic change by constraining variation of key environmental processes. NDBM may maintain resilience if silvicultural strategies retain the structures and processes that perpetuate desired states while reducing those that enhance resilience of undesirable states. Such strategies require an understanding of harvesting impacts on slow ecosystem processes, such as seed-bank or nutrient dynamics, which in the long term can lead to ecological surprises by altering the forest's capacity to reorganize after disturbance

    Search for a W' boson decaying to a bottom quark and a top quark in pp collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV

    Get PDF
    Results are presented from a search for a W' boson using a dataset corresponding to 5.0 inverse femtobarns of integrated luminosity collected during 2011 by the CMS experiment at the LHC in pp collisions at sqrt(s)=7 TeV. The W' boson is modeled as a heavy W boson, but different scenarios for the couplings to fermions are considered, involving both left-handed and right-handed chiral projections of the fermions, as well as an arbitrary mixture of the two. The search is performed in the decay channel W' to t b, leading to a final state signature with a single lepton (e, mu), missing transverse energy, and jets, at least one of which is tagged as a b-jet. A W' boson that couples to fermions with the same coupling constant as the W, but to the right-handed rather than left-handed chiral projections, is excluded for masses below 1.85 TeV at the 95% confidence level. For the first time using LHC data, constraints on the W' gauge coupling for a set of left- and right-handed coupling combinations have been placed. These results represent a significant improvement over previously published limits.Comment: Submitted to Physics Letters B. Replaced with version publishe

    Search for the standard model Higgs boson decaying into two photons in pp collisions at sqrt(s)=7 TeV