296 research outputs found

    Rapid upwards spread of non-native plants in mountains across continents

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    High-elevation ecosystems are among the few ecosystems worldwide that are not yet heavily invaded by non-native plants. This is expected to change as species expand their range limits upwards to fill their climatic niches and respond to ongoing anthropogenic disturbances. Yet, whether and how quickly these changes are happening has only been assessed in a few isolated cases. Starting in 2007, we conducted repeated surveys of non-native plant distributions along mountain roads in 11 regions from 5 continents. We show that over a 5- to 10-year period, the number of non-native species increased on average by approximately 16% per decade across regions. The direction and magnitude of upper range limit shifts depended on elevation across all regions. Supported by a null-model approach accounting for range changes expected by chance alone, we found greater than expected upward shifts at lower/mid elevations in at least seven regions. After accounting for elevation dependence, significant average upward shifts were detected in a further three regions (revealing evidence for upward shifts in 10 of 11 regions). Together, our results show that mountain environments are becoming increasingly exposed to biological invasions, emphasizing the need to monitor and prevent potential biosecurity issues emerging in high-elevation ecosystems

    Management of the neck in T1 and T2 buccal squamous cell carcinoma

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    Buccal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) appears to behave more aggressively than other oral subsites, in particular with regards to regional disease at presentation and regional recurrence. Adequate management of the neck is of the utmost importance but is still the subject of debate. An international multicentre retrospective review of 101 patients treated for T1–T2 buccal SCC was performed. Twenty-four were staged clinical node positive (cN+) and underwent therapeutic neck dissection, while 77 were node negative (cN0), with 32 undergoing elective neck dissection (END), with an occult nodal metastasis rate of 28.1%. Depth of invasion (DOI) &lt; 4 mm was associated with a significantly lower rate of cervical nodal metastasis (87.5% versus 12.5%; P = 0.033). END demonstrated a non-significantly lower regional recurrence rate compared to observation (6.3% versus 8.9%, P = 0.670). Regional recurrence was more common in pN+ (24%) and undissected cases (8.9%) than in pN0 patients (0%) (P = 0.011) and was associated with DOI &gt; 5 mm (P = 0.002). Regional recurrence resulted in a reduction in survival (24 versus 93 months, P &lt; 0.001). In the pT2cN0 group, END improved survival (123 versus 26 months, P = 0.009). It is suggested that END be performed in cT2N0 buccal SCC, particularly for tumours with DOI &gt; 4 mm.</p

    Kamituga: Digital Gold

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    Questa è una sala espositiva all'interno della più ampia mostra "Planet Digital" (https://www.planetdigital.ch/en) ospitata dal Museum für Gestaltung, Zurigo, Svizzera (dal 20.2.2022 al 6.6.2022

    Unexpected post-glacial colonisation route explains the white colour of barn owls (Tyto alba) from the British Isles.

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    The climate fluctuations of the Quaternary shaped the movement of species in and out of glacial refugia. In Europe, the majority of species followed one of the described traditional postglacial recolonization routes from the southern peninsulas towards the north. Like most organisms, barn owls are assumed to have colonized the British Isles by crossing over Doggerland, a land bridge that connected Britain to northern Europe. However, while they are dark rufous in northern Europe, barn owls in the British Isles are conspicuously white, a contrast that could suggest selective forces are at play on the islands. Yet, our analysis of known candidate genes involved in coloration found no signature of selection. Instead, using whole genome sequences and species distribution modelling, we found that owls colonised the British Isles soon after the last glaciation, directly from a white coloured refugium in the Iberian Peninsula, before colonising northern Europe. They would have followed a hitherto unknown post-glacial colonization route to the Isles over a westwards path of suitable habitat in now submerged land in the Bay of Biscay, thus not crossing Doggerland. As such, they inherited the white colour of their Iberian founders and maintained it through low gene flow with the mainland that prevents the import of rufous alleles. Thus, we contend that neutral processes probably explain this contrasting white colour compared to continental owls. With the barn owl being a top predator, we expect future research will show this unanticipated route was used by other species from its paleo community

    Moths complement bumblebee pollination of red clover: A case for day-And-night insect surveillance

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    Recent decades have seen a surge in awareness about insect pollinator declines. Social bees receive the most attention, but most flower-visiting species are lesser known, non-bee insects. Nocturnal flower visitors, e.g. moths, are especially difficult to observe and largely ignored in pollination studies. Clearly, achieving balanced monitoring of all pollinator taxa represents a major scientific challenge. Here, we use time-lapse cameras for season-wide, day-And-night pollinator surveillance of Trifolium pratense (L.; red clover) in an alpine grassland. We reveal the first evidence to suggest that moths, mainly Noctua pronuba (L.; large yellow underwing), pollinate this important wildflower and forage crop, providing 34% of visits (bumblebees: 61%). This is a remarkable finding; moths have received no recognition throughout a century of T. pratense pollinator research. We conclude that despite a non-negligible frequency and duration of nocturnal flower visits, nocturnal pollinators of T. pratense have been systematically overlooked. We further show how the relationship between visitation and seed set may only become clear after accounting for moth visits. As such, population trends in moths, as well as bees, could profoundly affect T. pratense seed yield. Ultimately, camera surveillance gives fair representation to non-bee pollinators and lays a foundation for automated monitoring of species interactions in future.ISSN:1744-9561ISSN:1744-957

    Cell-autonomous inflammation of BRCA1-deficient ovarian cancers drives both tumor-intrinsic immunoreactivity and immune resistance through STING

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    We investigated mechanisms leading to inflammation and immunoreactivity in ovarian tumors with homologous recombination deficiency. BRCA1lossis found to lead to transcriptional reprogramming in tumor cells and cell-intrinsic inflammation involving type I IFN and STING.BRCA1-mutated (BRCA1mut) tumors are thus T-cell inflamed at baseline. Genetic deletion or methylation of DNA-sensing/IFN genes or CCL5chemokineare identified as potential mechanism to attenuate T cell inflammation. Alternatively, in BRCA1mutcancersretaining inflammation, STING up regulates VEGF-A, mediating immune resistance and tumor progression. Tumor intrinsic STING elimination reduces neoangiogenesis, increasesCD8+T cell infiltration and reverts therapeutic resistance to dual immune checkpoint blockade(ICB). VEGF-A blockade phenocopies genetic STING loss and synergizes with IC Band/or PARP inhibitors to control the outgrowth of Trp53-/-Brca1-/-but notBrca1+/+ovarian tumors in vivo, offering rational combinatorial therapies for HRD cancer

    Guidelines for Setting Up a mRNA Sequencing Experiment and Best Practices for Bioinformatic Data Analysis

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    RNA-sequencing, commonly referred to as RNA-seq, is the most recently developed method for the analysis of transcriptomes. It uses high-throughput next-generation sequencing technologies and has revolutionized our understanding of the complexity and dynamics of whole transcriptomes.In this chapter, we recall the key developments in transcriptome analysis and dissect the different steps of the general workflow that can be run by users to design and perform a mRNA-seq experiment as well as to process mRNA-seq data obtained by the Illumina technology. The chapter proposes guidelines for completing a mRNA-seq study properly and makes available recommendations for best practices based on recent literature and on the latest developments in technology and algorithms. We also remark the large number of choices available (especially for bioinformatic data analysis) in front of which the scientist may be in trouble.In the last part of the chapter we discuss the new frontiers of single-cell RNA-seq and isoform sequencing by long read technology

    Accuracy of serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies: first results of a large mixed-method evaluation study.

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    BACKGROUND Serological immunoassays that can identify protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 are needed to adapt quarantine measures, assess vaccination responses, and evaluate donor plasma. To date, however, the utility of such immunoassays remains unclear. In a mixed-design evaluation study, we compared the diagnostic accuracy of serological immunoassays that are based on various SARS-CoV-2 proteins and assessed the neutralizing activity of antibodies in patient sera. METHODS Consecutive patients admitted with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were prospectively followed alongside medical staff and biobank samples from winter 2018/2019. An in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay utilizing recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was developed and compared to three commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) targeting the nucleoprotein (N), the S1 domain of the spike protein (S1) and a lateral flow immunoassay (LFI) based on full-length spike protein. Neutralization assays with live SARS-CoV-2 were performed. RESULTS One-thousand four-hundred and seventy-seven individuals were included comprising 112 SARS-CoV-2 positives (defined as a positive real-time PCR result; prevalence 7.6%). IgG seroconversion occurred between day 0 and day 21. While the ELISAs showed sensitivities of 88.4% for RBD, 89.3% for S1, and 72.9% for N protein, the specificity was above 94% for all tests. Out of 54 SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals, 96.3% showed full neutralization of live SARS-CoV-2 at serum dilutions ≥1:16, while none of the 6 SARS-CoV-2 negative sera revealed neutralizing activity. CONCLUSIONS ELISAs targeting RBD and S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 are promising immunoassays which shall be further evaluated in studies verifying diagnostic accuracy and protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2

    Virosaurus A Reference to Explore and Capture Virus Genetic Diversity.

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    The huge genetic diversity of circulating viruses is a challenge for diagnostic assays for emerging or rare viral diseases. High-throughput technology offers a new opportunity to explore the global virome of patients without preconception about the culpable pathogens. It requires a solid reference dataset to be accurate. Virosaurus has been designed to offer a non-biased, automatized and annotated database for clinical metagenomics studies and diagnosis. Raw viral sequences have been extracted from GenBank, and cleaned up to remove potentially erroneous sequences. Complete sequences have been identified for all genera infecting vertebrates, plants and other eukaryotes (insect, fungus, etc.). To facilitate the analysis of clinically relevant viruses, we have annotated all sequences with official and common virus names, acronym, genotypes, and genomic features (linear, circular, DNA, RNA, etc.). Sequences have been clustered to remove redundancy at 90% or 98% identity. The analysis of clustering results reveals the state of the virus genetic landscape knowledge. Because herpes and poxviruses were under-represented in complete genomes considering their potential diversity in nature, we used genes instead of complete genomes for those in Virosaurus
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