4,037 research outputs found

    Modification of Huntington's disease by short tandem repeats

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    Expansions of glutamine-coding CAG trinucleotide repeats cause a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease (HD) and several of the spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs). In general, age-at-onset of the polyglutamine diseases is inversely correlated with the size of the respective inherited expanded CAG repeat. Expanded CAG repeats are also somatically unstable in certain tissues, and age-at-onset of HD corrected for individual HTT CAG repeat length (i.e., residual age-at-onset), is modified by repeat instability-related DNA maintenance/repair genes as demonstrated by recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Modification of one polyglutamine disease (e.g., HD) by the repeat length of another (e.g., ATXN3, CAG expansions in which cause SCA3) has also been hypothesized. Consequently, we determined whether age-at-onset in HD is modified by the CAG repeats of other polyglutamine disease genes. We found that the CAG measured repeat sizes of other polyglutamine disease genes were polymorphic in HD participants but did not influence HD age-at-onset. Additional analysis focusing specifically on ATXN3 in a larger sample set (n‚ÄČ=‚ÄČ1,388) confirmed the lack of association between HD residual age-at-onset and ATXN3 CAG repeat length. Additionally, neither our HD onset modifier GWAS single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data nor imputed short tandem repeat (STR) data supported involvement of other polyglutamine disease genes in modifying HD. By contrast, our GWAS based on imputed STRs revealed significant modification signals for other genomic regions. Together, our STR GWAS show that modification of HD is associated with STRs that do not involve other polyglutamine disease-causing genes, refining the landscape of HD modification and highlighting the importance of rigorous data analysis, especially in genetic studies testing candidate modifiers

    Predicting the next pandemic: VACCELERATE ranking of the World Health Organization's Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics

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    Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO)'s Research and Development (R&D) Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics, a plan of action, highlighted several infectious diseases as crucial targets for prevention. These infections were selected based on a thorough assessment of factors such as transmissibility, infectivity, severity, and evolutionary potential. In line with this blueprint, the VACCELERATE Site Network approached infectious disease experts to rank the diseases listed in the WHO R&D Blueprint according to their perceived risk of triggering a pandemic. VACCELERATE is an EU-funded collaborative European network of clinical trial sites, established to respond to emerging pandemics and enhance vaccine development capabilities. Methods: Between February and June 2023, a survey was conducted using an online form to collect data from members of the VACCELERATE Site Network and infectious disease experts worldwide. Participants were asked to rank various pathogens based on their perceived risk of causing a pandemic, including those listed in the WHO R&D Blueprint and additional pathogens. Results: A total of 187 responses were obtained from infectious disease experts representing 57 countries, with Germany, Spain, and Italy providing the highest number of replies. Influenza viruses received the highest rankings among the pathogens, with 79 % of participants including them in their top rankings. Disease X, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and Ebola virus were also ranked highly. Hantavirus, Lassa virus, Nipah virus, and henipavirus were among the bottom-ranked pathogens in terms of pandemic potential. Conclusion: Influenza, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and Ebola virus were found to be the most concerning pathogens with pandemic potential, characterised by transmissibility through respiratory droplets and a reported history of epidemic or pandemic outbreaks

    Adaptive variational quantum minimally entangled typical thermal states for finite temperature simulations

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    Scalable quantum algorithms for the simulation of quantum many-body systems in thermal equilibrium are important for predicting properties of quantum matter at finite temperatures. Here we describe and benchmark a quantum computing version of the minimally entangled typical thermal states (METTS) algorithm for which we adopt an adaptive variational approach to perform the required quantum imaginary time evolution. The algorithm, which we name AVQMETTS, dynamically generates compact and problem-specific quantum circuits, which are suitable for noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) hardware. We benchmark AVQMETTS on statevector simulators and perform thermal energy calculations of integrable and nonintegrable quantum spin models in one and two dimensions and demonstrate an approximately linear system-size scaling of the circuit complexity. We further map out the finite-temperature phase transition line of the two-dimensional transverse field Ising model. Finally, we study the impact of noise on AVQMETTS calculations using a phenomenological noise model.Comment: 13 pages, 6 figure

    Adaptive variational quantum minimally entangled typical thermal states for finite temperature simulations

    No full text
    Scalable quantum algorithms for the simulation of quantum many-body systems in thermal equilibrium are important for predicting properties of quantum matter at finite temperatures. Here we describe and benchmark a quantum computing version of the minimally entangled typical thermal states (METTS) algorithm for which we adopt an adaptive variational approach to perform the required quantum imaginary time evolution. The algorithm, which we name AVQMETTS, dynamically generates compact and problem-specific quantum circuits, which are suitable for noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) hardware. We benchmark AVQMETTS on statevector simulators and perform thermal energy calculations of integrable and nonintegrable quantum spin models in one and two dimensions and demonstrate an approximately linear system-size scaling of the circuit complexity. We further map out the finite-temperature phase transition line of the two-dimensional transverse field Ising model. Finally, we study the impact of noise on AVQMETTS calculations using a phenomenological noise model

    Peripheral temperature gradient screening of high-Z impurities in optimised 'hybrid' scenario H-mode plasmas in JET-ILW

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    Screening of high-Z (W) impurities from the confined plasma by the temperature gradient at the plasma periphery of fusion-grade H-mode plasmas has been demonstrated in the JET-ILW (ITER-like wall) tokamak. Through careful optimisation of the hybrid-scenario, deuterium plasmas with sufficient heating power (greater than or similar to 32 MW), high enough ion temperature gradients at the H-mode pedestal top can be achieved for the collisional, neo-classical convection of the W impurities to be directed outwards, expelling them from the confined plasma. Measurements of the W impurity fluxes between and during edge-localised modes (ELMs) based on fast bolometry measurements show that in such plasmas there is a net efflux (loss) between ELMs but that ELMs often allow some W back into the confined plasma. Provided steady, high-power heating is maintained, this mechanism allows such plasmas to sustain high performance, with an average D-D neutron rate of similar to 3.2 x 10(16) s(-1) over a period of similar to 3 s, after an initial overshoot (equivalent to a D-T fusion power of similar to 9.4 MW), without an uncontrolled rise in W impurity radiation, giving added confidence that impurity screening by the pedestal may also occur in ITER, as has previously been predicted (Dux et al 2017 Nucl. Mater. Energy 12 28-35)

    Comparison of ion cyclotron wall conditioning discharges in hydrogen and helium in JET

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    Neutrons from projectile fragmentation at 600 MeV/nucleon

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    International audienceThe neutron emission in projectile fragmentation at relativistic energies was studied with the Large-Area-Neutron-Detector LAND coupled to the ALADIN forward spectrometer at the GSI Schwerionen-Synchrotron (SIS). Stable 124Sn and radioactive 107Sn and 124La beams with an incident energy of 600 MeV/nucleon were used to explore the N/Z dependence of the identified neutron source. A cluster-recognition algorithm is applied for identifying individual particles within the hit distributions registered with LAND. The obtained momentum distributions are extrapolated over the full phase space occupied by the neutrons from the projectile-spectator source. The mean multiplicities of spectator neutrons reach values of up to about 11 and depend strongly on the isotopic composition of the projectile. An effective source temperature of T ‚Čą 2-5 MeV, monotonically increasing with decreasing impact parameter, is deduced from the transverse momentum distributions. For the interpretation of the data, calculations with the statistical multifragmentation model were performed. The variety of excited projectile spectators assumed to decay statistically is represented by an ensemble of excited sources with parameters determined previously from the fragment production observed in the same experiments. The obtained agreement is very satisfactory for more peripheral collisions where, according to the model, neutrons are mainly emitted during the secondary decays of excited fragments. The neutron multiplicity in more central collisions is underestimated, indicating that other sources besides the modeled statistical breakup contribute to the observed neutron yield. The choice made for the symmetry-term coefficient of the liquid-drop description of produced fragments has a weak effect on the predicted neutron multiplicities

    Optimized M24B Aminopeptidase Inhibitors for CARD8 Inflammasome Activation

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    Inflammasomes are innate immune signaling platforms that trigger pyroptotic cell death. NLRP1 and CARD8 are related human inflammasomes that detect similar danger signals, but NLRP1 has a higher activation threshold and triggers a more inflammatory form of pyroptosis. Both sense the accumulation of intracellular peptides with Xaa-Pro N-termini, but Xaa-Pro peptides on their own without a second danger signal only activate the CARD8 inflammasome. We recently reported that a dual inhibitor of the Xaa-Pro-cleaving M24B aminopeptidases PEPD and XPNPEP1 called CQ31 selectively activates the CARD8 inflammasome by inducing the build-up of Xaa-Pro peptides. Here, we performed structure‚Äďactivity relationship studies on CQ31 to develop the optimized dual PEPD/XPNPEP1 inhibitor CQ80 that more effectively induces CARD8 inflammasome activation. We anticipate that CQ80 will become a valuable tool to study the basic biology and therapeutic potential of selective CARD8 inflammasome activation
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