345 research outputs found

    Marinomonas brasilensis sp. nov., isolated from the coral Mussismilia hispida, and reclassification of Marinomonas basaltis as a later heterotypic synonym of Marinomonas communis

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    A Gram-negative, aerobic bacterium, designated strain R-40503(T), was isolated from mucus of the reef-builder coral Mussismilia hispida, located in the Sao Sebastiao Channel, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that strain R-40503(T) belongs to the genus Marinomonas. The 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of R-40503(T) was above 97% with the type strains of Marinomonas vaga, M. basaltis, M. communis and M. pontica, and below 97% with type strains of the other Marinomonas species. Strain R-40503(T) showed less than 35% DNA-DNA hybridization (DDH) with the type strains of the phylogenetically closest Marinomonas species, demonstrating that it should be classified into a novel species. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), chemotaxonomic and phenotypic analyses provided further evidence for the proposal of a novel species. Concurrently, a close genomic relationship between M. basaltis and M. communis was observed. The type strains of these two species showed 78% DDH and 63% AFLP pattern similarity. Their phenotypic features were very similar, and their DNA G+C contents were identical (46.3 mol%). Collectively, these data demonstrate unambiguously that Marinomonas basaltis is a later heterotypic synonym of Marinomonas communis. Several phenotypic features can be used to discriminate between Marinomonas species. The novel strain R-40503(T) is clearly distinguishable from its neighbours. For instance, it shows oxidase and urease activity, utilizes L-asparagine and has the fatty acid C(12:1) 3-OH but lacks C(10:0) and C(12:0). The name Marinomonas brasilensis sp. nov. is proposed, with the type strain R-40503(T) (=R-278(T) =LMG 25434(T) =CAIM 1459(T)). The DNA G+C content of strain R-40503(T) is 46.5 mol%

    Is it a painful error?:The effect of unpredictability and intensity of punishment on the error-related negativity, and somatosensory evoked potentials

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    We examined how predictable and unpredictable punishment intensity contingent on error commission modulated ERN amplitudes. We recorded the ERN in 35 healthy volunteers performing the Eriksen flanker task. Errors were punished with predictable nonpainful, painful or unpredictable electrical stimulation. Furthermore, we investigated trait anxiety. We observed that ERN amplitudes did not differ across conditions, nor were there significant effects of anxiety. In contrast, we found that predictable painful punishments led to smaller Error Positivity (Pe). The effects of predictability and intensity were present in Somatosensory Evoked Potentials elicited by the punishments. N1 amplitudes were increased for painful compared to nonpainful stimulation, and P2/P3 amplitudes for painful compared to nonpainful, and for unpredictable compared to predictable stimulation. We suggest that unpredictability and increased painfulness of punishments enhance the potential motivational significance of the errors, but do not potentiate ERN amplitudes beyond the ones elicited by errors punished with predictable nonpainful stimulation

    AsrR Is an Oxidative Stress Sensing Regulator Modulating Enterococcus faecium Opportunistic Traits, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Pathogenicity

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    Oxidative stress serves as an important host/environmental signal that triggers a wide range of responses in microorganisms. Here, we identified an oxidative stress sensor and response regulator in the important multidrug-resistant nosocomial pathogen Enterococcus faecium belonging to the MarR family and called AsrR (antibiotic and stress response regulator). The AsrR regulator used cysteine oxidation to sense the hydrogen peroxide which results in its dissociation to promoter DNA. Transcriptome analysis showed that the AsrR regulon was composed of 181 genes, including representing functionally diverse groups involved in pathogenesis, antibiotic and antimicrobial peptide resistance, oxidative stress, and adaptive responses. Consistent with the upregulated expression of the pbp5 gene, encoding a low-affinity penicillin-binding protein, the asrR null mutant was found to be more resistant to \u3b2-lactam antibiotics. Deletion of asrR markedly decreased the bactericidal activity of ampicillin and vancomycin, which are both commonly used to treat infections due to enterococci, and also led to over-expression of two major adhesins, acm and ecbA, which resulted in enhanced in vitro adhesion to human intestinal cells. Additional pathogenic traits were also reinforced in the asrR null mutant including greater capacity than the parental strain to form biofilm in vitro and greater persistance in Galleria mellonella colonization and mouse systemic infection models. Despite overexpression of oxidative stress-response genes, deletion of asrR was associated with a decreased oxidative stress resistance in vitro, which correlated with a reduced resistance to phagocytic killing by murine macrophages. Interestingly, both strains showed similar amounts of intracellular reactive oxygen species. Finally, we observed a mutator phenotype and enhanced DNA transfer frequencies in the asrR deleted strain. These data indicate that AsrR plays a major role in antimicrobial resistance and adaptation for survival within the host, thereby contributes importantly to the opportunistic traits of E. faecium

    The effect of stellar evolution on SiC dust grain sizes

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    Stars on the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) produce dust in their circumstellar shells. The nature of the dust-forming environment is influenced by the evolution of the stars, in terms of both chemistry and density, leading to an evolution in the nature of the dust that is produced. Carbon-rich AGB stars are known to produce silicon carbide (SiC). Furthermore, observations of the ~11um SiC feature show that the spectral features change in a sequence that correlates with stellar evolution. We present new infrared spectra of amorphous SiC and show that the ~9um feature seen in both emission and absorption, and correlated with trends in the ~11um feature, may be due to either amorphous SiC or to nano-crystalline diamond with a high proportion of Si substituting for C. Furthermore, we identify SiC absorption in three ISO spectra of extreme carbon stars, in addition to the four presented by Speck et al. (1997). An accurate description of the sequence in the IR spectra of carbon stars requires accounting for both SiC emission and absorption features. This level of detail is needed to infer the role of dust in evolution of carbon stars. Previous attempts to find a sequence in the infrared spectra of carbon stars considered SiC emission features, while neglecting SiC absorption features, leading to an interpretation of the sequence inadequately describes the role of dust. We show that the evolutionary sequence in carbon star spectra is consistent with a grain size evolution, such that dust grains get progressively smaller as the star evolves. The evolution of the grain sizes provides a natural explanation for the shift of the ~11um SiC feature in emission and in absorption. Further evidence for this scenario is seen in both post-AGB star spectra and in meteoritic studies of presolar grains.Comment: accepted by ApJ 8 figure

    Grip Force Reveals the Context Sensitivity of Language-Induced Motor Activity during “Action Words

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    Studies demonstrating the involvement of motor brain structures in language processing typically focus on \ud time windows beyond the latencies of lexical-semantic access. Consequently, such studies remain inconclusive regarding whether motor brain structures are recruited directly in language processing or through post-linguistic conceptual imagery. In the present study, we introduce a grip-force sensor that allows online measurements of language-induced motor activity during sentence listening. We use this tool to investigate whether language-induced motor activity remains constant or is modulated in negative, as opposed to affirmative, linguistic contexts. Our findings demonstrate that this simple experimental paradigm can be used to study the online crosstalk between language and the motor systems in an ecological and economical manner. Our data further confirm that the motor brain structures that can be called upon during action word processing are not mandatorily involved; the crosstalk is asymmetrically\ud governed by the linguistic context and not vice versa

    Increased chromosomal radiosensitivity in asymptomatic carriers of a heterozygous BRCA1 mutation

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    Background: Breast cancer risk increases drastically in individuals carrying a germline BRCA1 mutation. The exposure to ionizing radiation for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes of BRCA1 mutation carriers is counterintuitive, since BRCA1 is active in the DNA damage response pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate whether healthy BRCA1 mutations carriers demonstrate an increased radiosensitivity compared with healthy individuals. Methods: We defined a novel radiosensitivity indicator (RIND) based on two endpoints measured by the G2 micronucleus assay, reflecting defects in DNA repair and G2 arrest capacity after exposure to doses of 2 or 4 Gy. We investigated if a correlation between the RIND score and nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) could be established. Results: We found significantly increased radiosensitivity in the cohort of healthy BRCA1 mutation carriers compared with healthy controls. In addition, our analysis showed a significantly different distribution over the RIND scores (p = 0.034, Fisher’s exact test) for healthy BRCA1 mutation carriers compared with non-carriers: 72 % of mutation carriers showed a radiosensitive phenotype (RIND score 1–4), whereas 72 % of the healthy volunteers showed no radiosensitivity (RIND score 0). Furthermore, 28 % of BRCA1 mutation carriers had a RIND score of 3 or 4 (not observed in control subjects). The radiosensitive phenotype was similar for relatives within several families, but not for unrelated individuals carrying the same mutation. The median RIND score was higher in patients with a mutation leading to a premature termination codon (PTC) located in the central part of the gene than in patients with a germline mutation in the 5′ end of the gene. Conclusions: We show that BRCA1 mutations are associated with a radiosensitive phenotype related to a compromised DNA repair and G2 arrest capacity after exposure to either 2 or 4 Gy. Our study confirms that haploinsufficiency is the mechanism involved in radiosensitivity in patients with a PTC allele, but it suggests that further research is needed to evaluate alternative mechanisms for mutations not subjected to NMD
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