257 research outputs found

    Dilaton Quantum Cosmology with a Schrodinger-like equation

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    A quantum cosmological model with radiation and a dilaton scalar field is analysed. The Wheeler-deWitt equation in the mini-superspace induces a Schr\"odinger equation, which can be solved. An explicit wavepacket is constructed for a particular choice of the ordering factor. A consistent solution is possible only when the scalar field is a phantom field. Moreover, although the wavepacket is time dependent, a Bohmian analysis allows to extract a bouncing behaviour for the scale factor.Comment: 14 pages, 3 figures in eps format. Minors corrections, new figure

    Effective Rheology of Bubbles Moving in a Capillary Tube

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    We calculate the average volumetric flux versus pressure drop of bubbles moving in a single capillary tube with varying diameter, finding a square-root relation from mapping the flow equations onto that of a driven overdamped pendulum. The calculation is based on a derivation of the equation of motion of a bubble train from considering the capillary forces and the entropy production associated with the viscous flow. We also calculate the configurational probability of the positions of the bubbles.Comment: 4 pages, 1 figur

    Low prevalence of H. pylori Infection in HIV-Positive Patients in the Northeast of Brazil

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>This study conducted in Northeastern Brazil, evaluated the prevalence of <it>H. pylori </it>infection and the presence of gastritis in HIV-infected patients.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>There were included 113 HIV-positive and 141 age-matched HIV-negative patients, who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for dyspeptic symptoms. <it>H. pylori </it>status was evaluated by urease test and histology.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The prevalence of <it>H. pylori </it>infection was significantly lower (p < 0.001) in HIV-infected (37.2%) than in uninfected (75.2%) patients. There were no significant differences between <it>H. pylori </it>status and gender, age, HIV viral load, antiretroviral therapy and the use of antibiotics. A lower prevalence of <it>H. pylori </it>was observed among patients with T CD4 cell count below 200/mm<sup>3</sup>; however, it was not significant. Chronic active antral gastritis was observed in 87.6% of the HIV-infected patients and in 780.4% of the control group (p = 0.11). <it>H. pylori </it>infection was significantly associated with chronic active gastritis in the antrum in both groups, but it was not associated with corpus chronic active gastritis in the HIV-infected patients.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>We demonstrated that the prevalence of <it>H. pylori </it>was significantly lower in HIV-positive patients compared with HIV-negative ones. However, corpus gastritis was frequently observed in the HIV-positive patients, pointing to different mechanisms than <it>H. pylori </it>infection in the genesis of the lesion.</p

    Age, gender, and cancer but not neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases strongly modulate systemic effect of the Apolipoprotein E4 allele on lifespan

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    Enduring interest in the Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) polymorphism is ensured by its evolutionary-driven uniqueness in humans and its prominent role in geriatrics and gerontology. We use large samples of longitudinally followed populations from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) original and offspring cohorts and the Long Life Family Study (LLFS) to investigate gender-specific effects of the ApoE4 allele on human survival in a wide range of ages from midlife to extreme old ages, and the sensitivity of these effects to cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders (ND). The analyses show that women's lifespan is more sensitive to the e4 allele than men's in all these populations. A highly significant adverse effect of the e4 allele is limited to women with moderate lifespan of about 70 to 95 years in two FHS cohorts and the LLFS with relative risk of death RR = 1.48 (p = 3.6×10(−6)) in the FHS cohorts. Major human diseases including CVD, ND, and cancer, whose risks can be sensitive to the e4 allele, do not mediate the association of this allele with lifespan in large FHS samples. Non-skin cancer non-additively increases mortality of the FHS women with moderate lifespans increasing the risks of death of the e4 carriers with cancer two-fold compared to the non-e4 carriers, i.e., RR = 2.07 (p = 5.0×10(−7)). The results suggest a pivotal role of non-sex-specific cancer as a nonlinear modulator of survival in this sample that increases the risk of death of the ApoE4 carriers by 150% (p = 5.3×10(−8)) compared to the non-carriers. This risk explains the 4.2 year shorter life expectancy of the e4 carriers compared to the non-carriers in this sample. The analyses suggest the existence of age- and gender-sensitive systemic mechanisms linking the e4 allele to lifespan which can non-additively interfere with cancer-related mechanisms

    Detection of circulating miRNAs : comparative analysis of extracellular vesicle-incorporated miRNAs and cell-free miRNAs in whole plasma of prostate cancer patients

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    Funding Information: This study was supported by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009–2014 under Project Contract No NFI/R/2014/045. The funding body had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s).Background: Circulating cell-free miRNAs have emerged as promising minimally-invasive biomarkers for early detection, prognosis and monitoring of cancer. They can exist in the bloodstream incorporated into extracellular vesicles (EVs) and ribonucleoprotein complexes. However, it is still debated if EVs contain biologically meaningful amounts of miRNAs and may provide a better source of miRNA biomarkers than whole plasma. The aim of this study was to systematically compare the diagnostic potential of prostate cancer-associated miRNAs in whole plasma and in plasma EVs. Methods: RNA was isolated from whole plasma and plasma EV samples from a well characterised cohort of 50 patient with prostate cancer (PC) and 22 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Nine miRNAs known to have a diagnostic potential for PC in cell-free blood were quantified by RT-qPCR and the relative quantities were compared between patients with PC and BPH and between PC patients with Gleason score ≥ 8 and ≤6. Results: Only a small fraction of the total cell-free miRNA was recovered from the plasma EVs, however the EV-incorporated and whole plasma cell-free miRNA profiles were clearly different. Four of the miRNAs analysed showed a diagnostic potential in our patient cohort. MiR-375 could differentiate between PC and BPH patients when analysed in the whole plasma, while miR-200c-3p and miR-21-5p performed better when analysed in plasma EVs. EV-incorporated but not whole plasma Let-7a-5p level could distinguish PC patients with Gleason score ≥ 8 vs ≤6. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that for some miRNA biomarkers EVs provide a more consistent source of RNA than whole plasma, while other miRNAs show better diagnostic performance when tested in the whole plasma.publishersversionPeer reviewe

    Longevity in mice: is stress resistance a common factor?

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    A positive relationship between stress resistance and longevity has been reported in a multitude of studies in organisms ranging from yeast to mice. Several mouse lines have been discovered or developed that exhibit extended longevities when compared with normal, wild-type mice of the same genetic background. These long-living lines include the Ames dwarf, Snell dwarf, growth hormone receptor knockout (Laron dwarf), IGF-1 receptor heterozygote, Little, α-MUPA knockout, p66shc knockout, FIRKO, mClk-1 heterozygote, thioredoxin transgenic, and most recently the Klotho transgenic mouse. These mice are described in terms of the reported extended lifespans and studies involving resistance to stress. In addition, caloric restriction (CR) and stress resistance are briefly addressed for comparison with genetically altered mice. Although many of the long-living mice have GH/IGF-1/insulin signaling-related alterations and enhanced stress resistance, there are some that exhibit life extension without an obvious link to this hormone pathway. Resistance to oxidative stress is by far the most common system studied in long-living mice, but there is evidence of enhancement of resistance in other systems as well. The differences in stress resistance between long-living mutant and normal mice result from complex interrelationships among pathways that appear to coordinate signals of growth and metabolism, and subsequently result in differences in lifespan

    Implications of the polymorphism of HLA-G on its function, regulation, evolution and disease association

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    The HLA-G gene displays several peculiarities that are distinct from those of classical HLA class I genes. The unique structure of the HLA-G molecule permits a restricted peptide presentation and allows the modulation of the cells of the immune system. Although polymorphic sites may potentially influence all biological functions of HLA-G, those present at the promoter and 3′ untranslated regions have been particularly studied in experimental and pathological conditions. The relatively low polymorphism observed in the MHC-G coding region both in humans and apes may represent a strong selective pressure for invariance, whereas, in regulatory regions several lines of evidence support the role of balancing selection. Since HLA-G has immunomodulatory properties, the understanding of gene regulation and the role of polymorphic sites on gene function may permit an individualized approach for the future use of HLA-G for therapeutic purposes

    Alignment of the ALICE Inner Tracking System with cosmic-ray tracks

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    37 pages, 15 figures, revised version, accepted by JINSTALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiment devoted to investigating the strongly interacting matter created in nucleus-nucleus collisions at the LHC energies. The ALICE ITS, Inner Tracking System, consists of six cylindrical layers of silicon detectors with three different technologies; in the outward direction: two layers of pixel detectors, two layers each of drift, and strip detectors. The number of parameters to be determined in the spatial alignment of the 2198 sensor modules of the ITS is about 13,000. The target alignment precision is well below 10 micron in some cases (pixels). The sources of alignment information include survey measurements, and the reconstructed tracks from cosmic rays and from proton-proton collisions. The main track-based alignment method uses the Millepede global approach. An iterative local method was developed and used as well. We present the results obtained for the ITS alignment using about 10^5 charged tracks from cosmic rays that have been collected during summer 2008, with the ALICE solenoidal magnet switched off.Peer reviewe
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