by Zhenjie Zhang, Chengtai Ma, Peng Zhao, Luntao Duan, Wenqing Chen, Fushou Zhang, Zhizhong CuiTo qualitatively analyze and evaluate a bi-directional promoter transcriptional function in both transient and transgenic systems, several different plasmids were constructed and recombinant MDV type 1 strain GX0101 was developed to co-express a Neuraminidase (NA) gene from Avian Influenza Virus H9N2 strain and a Fusion (F) gene from the Newcastle disease virus (NDV). The two foreign genes, NDV-F gene and AIV-NA gene, were inserted in the plasmid driven in each direction by the bi-directional promoter. To test whether the expression of pp38/pp24 heterodimers are the required activators for the expression of the foreign genes, the recombinant plasmid pPpp38-NA/1.8kb-F containing expression cassette for the two foreign genes was co-transfected with a pp38/pp24 expression plasmid, pBud-pp38-pp24, in chicken embryo fibroblast (CEF) cells. Alternatively, plasmid pPpp38-NA/1.8kb-F was transfected in GX0101-infected CEFs where the viral endogenous pp38/pp24 were expressed via virus infection. The expression of both foreign genes was activated by pp38/pp24 dimers either via virus infection, or co-expression. The CEFs transfected with pPpp38-NA/1.8kb-F alone had no expression. We chose to insert the expression cassette of Ppp38-NA/1.8kb-F in the non-essential region of GX0101ΔMeq US2 gene, and formed a new rMDV named MZC13NA/F through homologous recombination. Indirect fluorescence antibody (IFA) test, ELISA and Western blot analyses indicated that F and NA genes were expressed simultaneously under control of the bi-directional promoter, but in opposite directions. The data also indicated the activity of the promoter in the 1.8-kb mRNA transcript direction was higher than that in the direction for the pp38 gene. The expression of pp38/pp24 dimers either via co-tranfection of the pBud-pp38-pp24 plasmid, or by GX0101 virus infection were critical to activate the bi-directional promoter for expression of two foreign genes in both directions. Therefore, the confirmed function of the bi-directional promoter provides better feasibilities to insert multiple foreign genes in MDV genome based vectors.
by John Paul Wilson, Pirita E. See, Michael J. Bernstein, Kurt Hugenberg, Christopher ChartierAccording to much research, the Own Group Bias (OGB) in face memory occurs as a consequence of social categorization – ingroup members are more likely than outgroup members to be encoded as individuals and remembered well. The current work is an examination of the role of anticipated future interaction in the OGB. We conducted two studies showing that anticipated interaction influences group-based face memory. In Study 1, we provided correlational evidence that beliefs about the amount and importance of future interaction one will have with racial outgroup members is associated with the OGB, such that people expecting more interaction with outgroup members show a reduced OGB. In Study 2, we manipulated expectations about future interactions with lab-created groups and observed that high levels of anticipated future interaction with the outgroup eliminated the OGB. Thus, social group categorization drives face memory biases to the extent that group membership affords the expectation of interpersonal interaction.
by Yao Yao, Kathleen Marchal, Yves Van de PeerOne of the important challenges in the field of evolutionary robotics is the development of systems that can adapt to a changing environment. However, the ability to adapt to unknown and fluctuating environments is not straightforward. Here, we explore the adaptive potential of simulated swarm robots that contain a genomic encoding of a bio-inspired gene regulatory network (GRN). An artificial genome is combined with a flexible agent-based system, representing the activated part of the regulatory network that transduces environmental cues into phenotypic behaviour. Using an artificial life simulation framework that mimics a dynamically changing environment, we show that separating the static from the conditionally active part of the network contributes to a better adaptive behaviour. Furthermore, in contrast with most hitherto developed ANN-based systems that need to re-optimize their complete controller network from scratch each time they are subjected to novel conditions, our system uses its genome to store GRNs whose performance was optimized under a particular environmental condition for a sufficiently long time. When subjected to a new environment, the previous condition-specific GRN might become inactivated, but remains present. This ability to store ‘good behaviour’ and to disconnect it from the novel rewiring that is essential under a new condition allows faster re-adaptation if any of the previously observed environmental conditions is reencountered. As we show here, applying these evolutionary-based principles leads to accelerated and improved adaptive evolution in a non-stable environment.
by Kamaldeep Bhui, Nasir Warfa, Edgar JonesBackground
Doctors, lawyers and criminal justice agencies need methods to assess vulnerability to violent radicalization. In synergy, public health interventions aim to prevent the emergence of risk behaviours as well as prevent and treat new illness events. This paper describes a new method of assessing vulnerability to violent radicalization, and then investigates the role of previously reported causes, including poor self-reported health, anxiety and depression, adverse life events, poverty, and migration and socio-political factors. The aim is to identify foci for preventive intervention.Methods
A cross-sectional survey of a representative population sample of men and women aged 18–45, of Muslim heritage and recruited by quota sampling by age, gender, working status, in two English cities. The main outcomes include self-reported health, symptoms of anxiety and depression (common mental disorders), and vulnerability to violent radicalization assessed by sympathies for violent protest and terrorist acts.Results
2.4% of people showed some sympathy for violent protest and terrorist acts. Sympathy was more likely to be articulated by the under 20s, those in full time education rather than employment, those born in the UK, those speaking English at home, and high earners (>£75,000 a year). People with poor self-reported health were less likely to show sympathies for violent protest and terrorism. Anxiety and depressive symptoms, adverse life events and socio-political attitudes showed no associations.Conclusions
Sympathies for violent protest and terrorism were uncommon among men and women, aged 18–45, of Muslim heritage living in two English cities. Youth, wealth, and being in education rather than employment were risk factors.
by Jonathan E. Kolby, Kristine M. Smith, Lee Berger, William B Karesh, Asa Preston, Allan P. Pessier, Lee F. SkerrattThe emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong’s trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.
by Kristine S. Klos, Janel K. Warmka, Disa M. Drachenberg, Liang Chang, G. W. Gant Luxton, Cheuk T. Leung, Kathryn L. Schwertfeger, Elizabeth V. WattenbergThe potent tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) alters many cellular processes through activation of its receptor protein kinase C (PKC), including gene expression, cell cycle, and the regulation of cell morphology, raising an important question for developing targeted methods to prevent cancer: which effects of TPA are crucial for carcinogenesis? To address this question, we studied TPA action in the 3-dimensional (3D) MCF10A human breast epithelial cell system, which models important features of in vivo epithelial tissue including growth constraints, structural organization of cells, and establishment of a basement membrane. MCF10A cells, which are immortalized but nontumorigenic, form hollow, spheroid structures in 3D culture referred to as acini. The development of normal acini requires the tight spatiotemporal regulation of cellular proliferation, polarization, apoptosis, and growth arrest. Treatment of MCF10A acini with TPA caused the appearance of multi-acinar structures. Surprisingly, this phenotype did not involve an increase in cell number or major changes in cell death, and polarization. Instead, live cell and confocal microscopy revealed that TPA stimulates MCF10A acini to aggregate. TPA induces the PKC-dependent production of actin-based protrusions, which leads to the formation of cellular bridges between acini, the clustering of acini, and allows cells to move into adjacent acini. During this process, the integrity of the laminin V basement membrane is disrupted, while E-cadherin-based cell-cell contacts remain intact. Altogether, our results show that under the biochemical and structural constraints of epithelial tissue, as modeled by the 3D MCF10A system, TPA induces a novel PKC-dependent phenotype that resembles local invasion. Of the many effects caused by TPA, these studies highlight the aggressive production of actin-based cellular protrusions as a potentially important event along the pathway to carcinogenesis.
by José Joaquín Merino, Carmen Arce, Ahmad Naddaf, Victor Bellver-Landete, Maria Jesús Oset-Gasque, María Pilar GonzálezBackground
The discovery that nitric oxide (NO) functions as a signalling molecule in the nervous system has radically changed the concept of neuronal communication. NO induces the release of amino acid neurotransmitters but the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated.Findings
The aim of this work was to study the effect of NO on amino acid neurotransmitter release (Asp, Glu, Gly and GABA) in cortical neurons as well as the mechanism underlying the release of these neurotransmitters. Cortical neurons were stimulated with SNAP, a NO donor, and the release of different amino acid neurotransmitters was measured by HPLC. The involvement of voltage dependent Na+ and Ca2+ channels as well as cGMP in its mechanism of action was evaluated.Conclusions
Our results indicate that NO induces release of aspartate, glutamate, glycine and GABA in cortical neurons and that this release is inhibited by ODQ, an inhibitor of soluble guanylate cyclase. Thus, the NO effect on amino acid neurotransmission could be mediated by cGMP formation in cortical neurons. Our data also demonstrate that the Na+ and Ca2+ voltage- dependent calcium channels are involved in the NO effects on cortical neurons.
by Eduardo Fuentes, Julio Caballero, Marcelo Alarcón, Armando Rojas, Iván PalomoBackground
Chlorogenic acid is a potent phenolic antioxidant. However, its effect on platelet aggregation, a critical factor in arterial thrombosis, remains unclear. Consequently, chlorogenic acid-action mechanisms in preventing platelet activation and thrombus formation were examined.Methods and Results
Chlorogenic acid in a dose-dependent manner (0.1 to 1 mmol/L) inhibited platelet secretion and aggregation induced by ADP, collagen, arachidonic acid and TRAP-6, and diminished platelet firm adhesion/aggregation and platelet-leukocyte interactions under flow conditions. At these concentrations chlorogenic acid significantly decreased platelet inflammatory mediators (sP-selectin, sCD40L, CCL5 and IL-1β) and increased intraplatelet cAMP levels/PKA activation. Interestingly, SQ22536 (an adenylate cyclase inhibitor) and ZM241385 (a potent A2A receptor antagonist) attenuated the antiplatelet effect of chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is compatible to the active site of the adenosine A2A receptor as revealed through molecular modeling. In addition, chlorogenic acid had a significantly lower effect on mouse bleeding time when compared to the same dose of aspirin.Conclusions
Antiplatelet and antithrombotic effects of chlorogenic acid are associated with the A2A receptor/adenylate cyclase/cAMP/PKA signaling pathway.
by Raul R. Cordero, Alessandro Damiani, Jorge Ferrer, Jose Jorquera, Mario Tobar, Fernando Labbe, Jorge Carrasco, David LarozeWe report on the first spectral measurements of ultraviolet (UV) irradiance and the albedo at a Camp located in the southern Ellsworth Mountains on the broad expanse of Union Glacier (700 m altitude, 79° 46′ S; 82° 52′W); about 1,000 km from the South Pole. The measurements were carried out by using a double monochromator-based spectroradiometer during a campaign (in December 2012) meant to weight up the effect of the local albedo on the UV irradiance. We found that the albedo measured at noon was about 0.95 in the UV and the visible part of the spectrum. This high surface reflectivity led to enhancements in the UV index under cloudless conditions of about 50% in comparison with snow free surfaces. Spectral measurements carried out elsewhere as well as estimates retrieved from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) were used for further comparisons.
by András Fülöp, Attila Szijártó, László Harsányi, András Budai, Damján Pekli, Diána Korsós, Ildikó Horváth, Noémi Kovács, Kinga Karlinger, Domokos Máthé, Krisztián SzigetiObjectives
In the early recognition of portal vein ligation (PVL) induced tumor progression, positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) could improve diagnostic accuracy of conventionally used methods. It is unknown how PVL affects metabolic patterns of tumor free hepatic tissues. The aim of this preliminary study is to evaluate the effect of PVL on glucose metabolism, using PET/MRI imaging in healthy rat liver.Materials and Methods
Male Wistar rats (n = 30) underwent PVL. 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) PET/MRI imaging (nanoScan PET/MRI) and morphological/histological examination were performed before (Day 0) and 1, 2, 3, and 7 days after PVL. Dynamic PET data were collected and the standardized uptake values (SUV) for ligated and non-ligated liver lobes were calculated in relation to cardiac left ventricle (SUVVOI/SUVCLV) and mean liver SUV (SUVVOI/SUVLiver).Results
PVL induced atrophy of ligated lobes, while non-ligated liver tissue showed compensatory hypertrophy. Dynamic PET scan revealed altered FDG kinetics in both ligated and non-ligated liver lobes. SUVVOI/SUVCLV significantly increased in both groups of lobes, with a maximal value at the 2nd postoperative day and returned near to the baseline 7 days after the ligation. After PVL, ligated liver lobes showed significantly higher tracer uptake compared to the non-ligated lobes (significantly higher SUVVOI/SUVLiver values were observed at postoperative day 1, 2 and 3). The homogenous tracer biodistribution observed before PVL reappeared by 7th postoperative day.Conclusion
The observed alterations in FDG uptake dynamics should be taken into account during the assessment of PET data until the PVL induced atrophic and regenerative processes are completed.