108 research outputs found

    Extra Dimensions at the LHC

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    We discuss the motivation and the phenomenology of models with either flat or warped extra dimensions. We describe the typical mass spectrum and discovery signatures of such models at the LHC. We also review several proposed methods for discriminating the usual low-energy supersymmetry from a model with flat (universal) extra dimensions. (For the official website of the book, see http://cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521763684 .)Comment: 33 pages, 17 figure

    Perubahan sosioekonomi komuniti orang Asli Jakun akibat Rancangan Penempatan Semula: satu kajian kes di RPS Runchang, Pahang

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    Masyarakat orang Asli merupakan masyarakat peribumi di Semenanjung Malaysia. Sehubungan itu, dalam menentukan indeks Kesejahteraan Hidup Malaysia, indeks kesejahteraan orang Asli perlu dikira bersama. Dalam usaha untuk mencapai kesejahteraan hidup masyarakat orang Asli, Rancangan Penempatan Semula (RPS) telah memindahkan mereka dari kawasan pendalaman ke kawasan pinggir bandar bermula pada Rancangan Malaysia Keempat (1980-1985). Program ini telah menyusun dan membangunkan pembangunan sosial dan ekonomi di penempatan orang Asli. Penempatan semula orang Asli ini membawa perubahan dalam kehidupan mereka terutamanya aspek ekonomi, kesihatan dan pendidikan. Pembangunan sosioekonomi ini menyebabkan berlakunya kemusnahan sumber hutan yang sebelum ini menjadi kebergantungan hidup kepada komuniti orang Asli. Kajian ini bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti perubahan sosial, ekonomi dan kesan RPS kepada komuniti orang Asli Jakun di RPS Runchang, Pekan, Pahang. Bagi mencapai tujuan tersebut, temu bual mendalam telah dilakukan terhadap 11 informan untuk mengetahui perubahan kehidupan yang dialami oleh penduduk di RPS Runchang. Analisis data kajian ini menunjukkan terdapat perubahan sosioekonomi dalam aspek ekonomi, kesihatan dan pendidikan setelah program penempatan semula dilaksanakan. Aspek kesihatan mengalami perubahan secara menyeluruh berbanding dengan aspek ekonomi dan pendidikan. Sehubungan itu, bersama-sama dengan aspek kesihatan, aspek sosioekonomi yang lain ini perlu diberikan perhatian dalam proses pembangunan orang Asli di negara ini bagi memastikan peningkatan dalam indeks Kesejahteraan Hidup masyarakat orang Asli dan indeks kesejahteraan hidup Malaysia umumnya

    A Simple Model for the Influence of Meiotic Conversion Tracts on GC Content

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    A strong correlation between GC content and recombination rate is observed in many eukaryotes, which is thought to be due to conversion events linked to the repair of meiotic double-strand breaks. In several organisms, the length of conversion tracts has been shown to decrease exponentially with increasing distance from the sites of meiotic double-strand breaks. I show here that this behavior leads to a simple analytical model for the evolution and the equilibrium state of the GC content of sequences devoid of meiotic double-strand break sites. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, meiotic double-strand breaks are practically excluded from protein-coding sequences. A good fit was observed between the predictions of the model and the variations of the average GC content of the third codon position (GC3) of S. cerevisiae genes. Moreover, recombination parameters that can be extracted by fitting the data to the model coincide with experimentally determined values. These results thus indicate that meiotic recombination plays an important part in determining the fluctuations of GC content in yeast coding sequences. The model also accounted for the different patterns of GC variations observed in the genes of Candida species that exhibit a variety of sexual lifestyles, and hence a wide range of meiotic recombination rates. Finally, the variations of the average GC3 content of human and chicken coding sequences could also be fitted by the model. These results suggest the existence of a widespread pattern of GC variation in eukaryotic genes due to meiotic recombination, which would imply the generality of two features of meiotic recombination: its association with GC-biased gene conversion and the quasi-exclusion of meiotic double-strand breaks from coding sequences. Moreover, the model points out to specific constraints on protein fragments encoded by exon terminal sequences, which are the most affected by the GC bias

    Adjuvants and the vaccine response to the DS-Cav1-stabilized fusion glycoprotein of respiratory syncytial virus

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    Appropriate adjuvant selection may be essential to optimize the potency and to tailor the immune response of subunit vaccines. To induce protective responses against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—a highly prevalent childhood pathogen without a licensed vaccine—we previously engineered a pre-fusion-stabilized trimeric RSV F (pre-F) “DS-Cav1” immunogen, which induced high titer RSV-neutralizing antibodies, in mice and non-human primates, when formulated with adjuvants Poly (I:C) and Poly (IC:LC), respectively. To assess the impact of different adjuvants, here we formulated RSV F DS-Cav1 with multiple adjuvants and assessed immune responses. Very high RSV-neutralizing antibody responses (19,006 EC50) were observed in naïve mice immunized with 2 doses of DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with Sigma adjuvant system (SAS), an oil-in-water adjuvant, plus Carbopol; high responses (3658–7108) were observed with DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with Alum, SAS alone, Adjuplex, Poly (I:C) and Poly (IC:LC); and moderate responses (1251–2129) were observed with DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with the TLR4 agonist MPLA, Alum plus MPLA or AddaVax. In contrast, DS-Cav1 without adjuvant induced low-level responses (6). A balanced IgG1 and IgG2a (Th2/Th1) immune response was elicited in most of the high to very high response groups (all but Alum and Adjuplex). We also tested the immune response induced by DS-Cav1 in elderly mice with pre-existing DS-Cav1 immunity; we observed that DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with SAS plus Carbopol boosted the response 2-3-fold, whereas DS-Cav1 adjuvanted with alum boosted the response 5-fold. Finally, we tested whether a mixture of ISA 71 VG and Carbopol would enhanced the antibody response in DS-Cav1 immunized calves. While pre-F-stabilized bovine RSV F induced very high titers in mice when adjuvanted with SAS plus Carbopol, the addition of Carbopol to ISA 71 VG did not enhance immune responses in calves. The vaccine response to pre-F-stabilized RSV F is augmented by adjuvant, but the degree of adjuvant-induced enhancement appears to be both context-dependent and species-specific

    Protection of calves by a prefusion-stabilized bovine RSV F vaccine

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    Bovine respiratory syncytial virus, a major cause of respiratory disease in calves, is closely related to human RSV, a leading cause of respiratory disease in infants. Recently, promising human RSV-vaccine candidates have been engineered that stabilize the metastable fusion (F) glycoprotein in its prefusion state; however, the absence of a relevant animal model for human RSV has complicated assessment of these vaccine candidates. Here, we use a combination of structure-based design, antigenic characterization, and X-ray crystallography to translate human RSV F stabilization into the bovine context. A “DS2” version of bovine respiratory syncytial virus F with subunits covalently fused, fusion peptide removed, and pre-fusion conformation stabilized by cavity-filling mutations and intra- and inter-protomer disulfides was recognized by pre-fusion- specific antibodies, AM14, D25, and MPE8, and elicited bovine respiratory syncytial virus- neutralizing titers in calves >100-fold higher than those elicited by post-fusion F. When challenged with a heterologous bovine respiratory syncytial virus, virus was not detected in nasal secretions nor in respiratory tract samples of DS2-immunized calves; by contrast bovine respiratory syncytial virus was detected in all post-fusion- and placebo-immunized calves. Our results demonstrate proof-of-concept that DS2-stabilized RSV F immunogens can induce highly protective immunity from RSV in a native host with implications for the efficacy of prefusion- stabilized F vaccines in humans and for the prevention of bovine respiratory syncytial virus in calves

    Analysis of Xq27-28 linkage in the international consortium for prostate cancer genetics (ICPCG) families.

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    BACKGROUND: Genetic variants are likely to contribute to a portion of prostate cancer risk. Full elucidation of the genetic etiology of prostate cancer is difficult because of incomplete penetrance and genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity. Current evidence suggests that genetic linkage to prostate cancer has been found on several chromosomes including the X; however, identification of causative genes has been elusive. METHODS: Parametric and non-parametric linkage analyses were performed using 26 microsatellite markers in each of 11 groups of multiple-case prostate cancer families from the International Consortium for Prostate Cancer Genetics (ICPCG). Meta-analyses of the resultant family-specific linkage statistics across the entire 1,323 families and in several predefined subsets were then performed. RESULTS: Meta-analyses of linkage statistics resulted in a maximum parametric heterogeneity lod score (HLOD) of 1.28, and an allele-sharing lod score (LOD) of 2.0 in favor of linkage to Xq27-q28 at 138 cM. In subset analyses, families with average age at onset less than 65 years exhibited a maximum HLOD of 1.8 (at 138 cM) versus a maximum regional HLOD of only 0.32 in families with average age at onset of 65 years or older. Surprisingly, the subset of families with only 2-3 affected men and some evidence of male-to-male transmission of prostate cancer gave the strongest evidence of linkage to the region (HLOD = 3.24, 134 cM). For this subset, the HLOD was slightly increased (HLOD = 3.47 at 134 cM) when families used in the original published report of linkage to Xq27-28 were excluded. CONCLUSIONS: Although there was not strong support for linkage to the Xq27-28 region in the complete set of families, the subset of families with earlier age at onset exhibited more evidence of linkage than families with later onset of disease. A subset of families with 2-3 affected individuals and with some evidence of male to male disease transmission showed stronger linkage signals. Our results suggest that the genetic basis for prostate cancer in our families is much more complex than a single susceptibility locus on the X chromosome, and that future explorations of the Xq27-28 region should focus on the subset of families identified here with the strongest evidence of linkage to this region.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

    Albiglutide and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Harmony Outcomes): a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial

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    Background: Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists differ in chemical structure, duration of action, and in their effects on clinical outcomes. The cardiovascular effects of once-weekly albiglutide in type 2 diabetes are unknown. We aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of albiglutide in preventing cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Methods: We did a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in 610 sites across 28 countries. We randomly assigned patients aged 40 years and older with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (at a 1:1 ratio) to groups that either received a subcutaneous injection of albiglutide (30–50 mg, based on glycaemic response and tolerability) or of a matched volume of placebo once a week, in addition to their standard care. Investigators used an interactive voice or web response system to obtain treatment assignment, and patients and all study investigators were masked to their treatment allocation. We hypothesised that albiglutide would be non-inferior to placebo for the primary outcome of the first occurrence of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke, which was assessed in the intention-to-treat population. If non-inferiority was confirmed by an upper limit of the 95% CI for a hazard ratio of less than 1·30, closed testing for superiority was prespecified. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02465515. Findings: Patients were screened between July 1, 2015, and Nov 24, 2016. 10 793 patients were screened and 9463 participants were enrolled and randomly assigned to groups: 4731 patients were assigned to receive albiglutide and 4732 patients to receive placebo. On Nov 8, 2017, it was determined that 611 primary endpoints and a median follow-up of at least 1·5 years had accrued, and participants returned for a final visit and discontinuation from study treatment; the last patient visit was on March 12, 2018. These 9463 patients, the intention-to-treat population, were evaluated for a median duration of 1·6 years and were assessed for the primary outcome. The primary composite outcome occurred in 338 (7%) of 4731 patients at an incidence rate of 4·6 events per 100 person-years in the albiglutide group and in 428 (9%) of 4732 patients at an incidence rate of 5·9 events per 100 person-years in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0·78, 95% CI 0·68–0·90), which indicated that albiglutide was superior to placebo (p<0·0001 for non-inferiority; p=0·0006 for superiority). The incidence of acute pancreatitis (ten patients in the albiglutide group and seven patients in the placebo group), pancreatic cancer (six patients in the albiglutide group and five patients in the placebo group), medullary thyroid carcinoma (zero patients in both groups), and other serious adverse events did not differ between the two groups. There were three (<1%) deaths in the placebo group that were assessed by investigators, who were masked to study drug assignment, to be treatment-related and two (<1%) deaths in the albiglutide group. Interpretation: In patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, albiglutide was superior to placebo with respect to major adverse cardiovascular events. Evidence-based glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists should therefore be considered as part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes. Funding: GlaxoSmithKline

    Effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker initiation on organ support-free days in patients hospitalized with COVID-19

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    IMPORTANCE Overactivation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may contribute to poor clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Objective To determine whether angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) initiation improves outcomes in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS In an ongoing, adaptive platform randomized clinical trial, 721 critically ill and 58 non–critically ill hospitalized adults were randomized to receive an RAS inhibitor or control between March 16, 2021, and February 25, 2022, at 69 sites in 7 countries (final follow-up on June 1, 2022). INTERVENTIONS Patients were randomized to receive open-label initiation of an ACE inhibitor (n = 257), ARB (n = 248), ARB in combination with DMX-200 (a chemokine receptor-2 inhibitor; n = 10), or no RAS inhibitor (control; n = 264) for up to 10 days. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was organ support–free days, a composite of hospital survival and days alive without cardiovascular or respiratory organ support through 21 days. The primary analysis was a bayesian cumulative logistic model. Odds ratios (ORs) greater than 1 represent improved outcomes. RESULTS On February 25, 2022, enrollment was discontinued due to safety concerns. Among 679 critically ill patients with available primary outcome data, the median age was 56 years and 239 participants (35.2%) were women. Median (IQR) organ support–free days among critically ill patients was 10 (–1 to 16) in the ACE inhibitor group (n = 231), 8 (–1 to 17) in the ARB group (n = 217), and 12 (0 to 17) in the control group (n = 231) (median adjusted odds ratios of 0.77 [95% bayesian credible interval, 0.58-1.06] for improvement for ACE inhibitor and 0.76 [95% credible interval, 0.56-1.05] for ARB compared with control). The posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitors and ARBs worsened organ support–free days compared with control were 94.9% and 95.4%, respectively. Hospital survival occurred in 166 of 231 critically ill participants (71.9%) in the ACE inhibitor group, 152 of 217 (70.0%) in the ARB group, and 182 of 231 (78.8%) in the control group (posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitor and ARB worsened hospital survival compared with control were 95.3% and 98.1%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this trial, among critically ill adults with COVID-19, initiation of an ACE inhibitor or ARB did not improve, and likely worsened, clinical outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT0273570
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