292 research outputs found

    Compartmentalized PDE4A5 signaling impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity and long-term memory

    Get PDF
    Alterations in cAMP signaling are thought to contribute to neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Members of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family, which contains >25 different isoforms, play a key role in determining spatial cAMP degradation so as to orchestrate compartmentalized cAMP signaling in cells. Each isoform binds to a different set of protein complexes through its unique N-terminal domain, thereby leading to targeted degradation of cAMP in specific intracellular compartments. However, the functional role of specific compartmentalized PDE4 isoforms has not been examined in vivo. Here, we show that increasing protein levels of the PDE4A5 isoform in mouse hippocampal excitatory neurons impairs a long-lasting form of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and attenuates hippocampus-dependent long-term memories without affecting anxiety. In contrast, viral expression of a truncated version of PDE4A5, which lacks the unique N-terminal targeting domain, does not affect long-term memory. Further, overexpression of the PDE4A1 isoform, which targets a different subset of signalosomes, leaves memory undisturbed. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor-based cAMP measurements reveal that the full-length PDE4A5, in contrast to the truncated form, hampers forskolin-mediated increases in neuronal cAMP levels. Our study indicates that the unique N-terminal localization domain of PDE4A5 is essential for the targeting of specific cAMP-dependent signaling underlying synaptic plasticity and memory. The development of compounds to disrupt the compartmentalization of individual PDE4 isoforms by targeting their unique N-terminal domains may provide a fruitful approach to prevent cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive disorders that are associated with alterations in cAMP signaling

    Discovery and Rossiter-McLaughlin Effect of Exoplanet Kepler-8b

    Get PDF
    We report the discovery and the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect of Kepler-8b, a transiting planet identified by the NASA Kepler Mission. Kepler photometry and Keck-HIRES radial velocities yield the radius and mass of the planet around this F8IV subgiant host star. The planet has a radius RP = 1.419 RJ and a mass, MP = 0.60 MJ, yielding a density of 0.26 g cm^-3, among the lowest density planets known. The orbital period is P = 3.523 days and orbital semima jor axis is 0.0483+0.0006/-0.0012 AU. The star has a large rotational v sin i of 10.5 +/- 0.7 km s^-1 and is relatively faint (V = 13.89 mag), both properties deleterious to precise Doppler measurements. The velocities are indeed noisy, with scatter of 30 m s^-1, but exhibit a period and phase consistent with the planet implied by the photometry. We securely detect the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, confirming the planet's existence and establishing its orbit as prograde. We measure an inclination between the projected planetary orbital axis and the projected stellar rotation axis of lambda = -26.9 +/- 4.6 deg, indicating a moderate inclination of the planetary orbit. Rossiter-McLaughlin measurements of a large sample of transiting planets from Kepler will provide a statistically robust measure of the true distribution of spin-orbit orientations for hot jupiters in general.Comment: 26 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables; In preparation for submission to the Astrophysical Journa

    Detectors for the James Webb Space Telescope Near-Infrared Spectrograph I: Readout Mode, Noise Model, and Calibration Considerations

    Full text link
    We describe how the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Near-Infrared Spectrograph's (NIRSpec's) detectors will be read out, and present a model of how noise scales with the number of multiple non-destructive reads sampling-up-the-ramp. We believe that this noise model, which is validated using real and simulated test data, is applicable to most astronomical near-infrared instruments. We describe some non-ideal behaviors that have been observed in engineering grade NIRSpec detectors, and demonstrate that they are unlikely to affect NIRSpec sensitivity, operations, or calibration. These include a HAWAII-2RG reset anomaly and random telegraph noise (RTN). Using real test data, we show that the reset anomaly is: (1) very nearly noiseless and (2) can be easily calibrated out. Likewise, we show that large-amplitude RTN affects only a small and fixed population of pixels. It can therefore be tracked using standard pixel operability maps.Comment: 55 pages, 10 figure

    Old World megadroughts and pluvials during the Common Era

    Get PDF
    Climate model projections suggest widespread drying in the Mediterranean Basin and wetting in Fennoscandia in the coming decades largely as a consequence of greenhouse gas forcing of climate. To place these and other “Old World” climate projections into historical perspective based on more complete estimates of natural hydroclimatic variability, we have developed the “Old World Drought Atlas” (OWDA), a set of year-to-year maps of tree-ring reconstructed summer wetness and dryness over Europe and the Mediterranean Basin during the Common Era. The OWDA matches historical accounts of severe drought and wetness with a spatial completeness not previously available. In addition, megadroughts reconstructed over north-central Europe in the 11th and mid-15th centuries reinforce other evidence from North America and Asia that droughts were more severe, extensive, and prolonged over Northern Hemisphere land areas before the 20th century, with an inadequate understanding of their causes. The OWDA provides new data to determine the causes of Old World drought and wetness and attribute past climate variability to forced and/or internal variability

    Identifying the science and technology dimensions of emerging public policy issues through horizon scanning

    Get PDF
    Public policy requires public support, which in turn implies a need to enable the public not just to understand policy but also to be engaged in its development. Where complex science and technology issues are involved in policy making, this takes time, so it is important to identify emerging issues of this type and prepare engagement plans. In our horizon scanning exercise, we used a modified Delphi technique [1]. A wide group of people with interests in the science and policy interface (drawn from policy makers, policy adviser, practitioners, the private sector and academics) elicited a long list of emergent policy issues in which science and technology would feature strongly and which would also necessitate public engagement as policies are developed. This was then refined to a short list of top priorities for policy makers. Thirty issues were identified within broad areas of business and technology; energy and environment; government, politics and education; health, healthcare, population and aging; information, communication, infrastructure and transport; and public safety and national security.Public policy requires public support, which in turn implies a need to enable the public not just to understand policy but also to be engaged in its development. Where complex science and technology issues are involved in policy making, this takes time, so it is important to identify emerging issues of this type and prepare engagement plans. In our horizon scanning exercise, we used a modified Delphi technique [1]. A wide group of people with interests in the science and policy interface (drawn from policy makers, policy adviser, practitioners, the private sector and academics) elicited a long list of emergent policy issues in which science and technology would feature strongly and which would also necessitate public engagement as policies are developed. This was then refined to a short list of top priorities for policy makers. Thirty issues were identified within broad areas of business and technology; energy and environment; government, politics and education; health, healthcare, population and aging; information, communication, infrastructure and transport; and public safety and national security

    Extremism and Social Learning

    Full text link

    Food Insecurity and Sexual Risk in an HIV Endemic Community in Uganda

    Get PDF
    Food insecurity has been linked to high-risk sexual behavior in sub-Saharan Africa, but there are limited data on these links among people living with HIV/AIDS, and on the mechanisms for how food insecurity predisposes individuals to risky sexual practices. We undertook a series of in-depth open-ended interviews with 41 individuals living with HIV/AIDS to understand the impact of food insecurity on sexual-risk behaviors. Participants were recruited from the Immune Suppression Clinic at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara, Uganda. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated, and coded following the strategy of grounded theory. Four major themes emerged from the interview data: the relationship between food insecurity and transactional sex for women; the impact of a husband’s death from HIV on worsening food insecurity among women and children; the impact of food insecurity on control over condom use, and the relationship between food insecurity and staying in violent/abusive relationships. Food insecurity led to increased sexual vulnerability among women. Women were often compelled to engage in transactional sex or remain in violent or abusive relationships due to their reliance on men in their communities to provide food for themselves and their children. There is an urgent need to prioritize food security programs for women living with HIV/AIDS and address broader gender-based inequities that are propelling women to engage in risky sexual behaviors based on hunger. Such interventions will play an important role in improving the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS, and preventing HIV transmission
    corecore