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Athanasios Ntelezos, Francesco Guarato, James F C Windmill
The selection pressure from echolocating bats has driven the development of a diverse range of anti-bat strategies in insects. For instance, several studies have proposed that the wings of some moths absorb a large portion of the sound energy contained in a bat's ultrasonic cry; as a result, the bat receives a dampened echo, and the moth becomes invisible to the bat. To test the hypothesis that greater exposure to bat predation drives the development of higher ultrasound absorbance, we used a small reverberation chamber to measure the ultrasound absorbance of the wings of nocturnal (Bombycoidea: Saturniidae) and diurnal moths (Chalcosiinae: Zygaenoidea: Zygaenidae)...
December 2, 2016: Biology Open
Brent R O'Neill, Danielle Gallegos, Alex Herron, Claire Palmer, Nicholas V Stence, Todd C Hankinson, C Corbett Wilkinson, Michael H Handler
OBJECTIVE Cutaneous stigmata or congenital anomalies often prompt screening for occult spinal dysraphism (OSD) in asymptomatic infants. While a number of studies have examined the results of ultrasonography (US) screening, less is known about the findings when MRI is used as the primary imaging modality. The object of this study was to assess the results of MRI screening for OSD in infants. METHODS The authors undertook a retrospective review of all infants who had undergone MRI of the lumbar spine to screen for OSD over a 6-year period (September 2006-September 2012)...
December 2, 2016: Journal of Neurosurgery. Pediatrics
Shuhei Niitsu, Hirotaka Sugawara, Fumio Hayashi
The evolution of winglessness in insects has been typically interpreted as a consequence of developmental and other adaptations to various environments that are secondarily derived from a winged morph. Several species of bagworm moths (Insecta: Lepidoptera, Psychidae) exhibit a case-dwelling larval life style along with one of the most extreme cases of sexual dimorphism: wingless female adults. While the developmental process that led to these wingless females is well known, the origins and evolutionary transitions are not yet understood...
November 21, 2016: Evolution & Development
Adriana Ludwig, Marco Aurelio Krieger
Transposable elements are important residents of eukaryotic genomes and eventually the host can domesticate them to serve cellular functions. We reported here a possible domestication event of the vestigial interposed retroelement (VIPER) in trypanosomatids. We found a large gene in a syntenic location in Leishmania braziliensis, L. panamensis, Leptomanas pyrrhocoris, and Crithidia fasciculata whose products share similarity in the C-terminal portion with the third protein of VIPER. No remnants of other VIPER regions surrounding the gene sequence were found...
November 16, 2016: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Kai Schrötter, Anamika Dayal, Manfred Grabner
The L-type Ca(2+) channel or dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR) in vertebrate skeletal muscle is responsible for sensing sarcolemmal depolarizations and transducing this signal to the sarcoplasmic Ca(2+) release channel RyR1 via conformational coupling to initiate muscle contraction. During this excitation-contraction (EC) coupling process there is a slow Ca(2+) current through the mammalian DHPR which is fully missing in euteleost fishes. In contrast to ancestral evolutionary stages where skeletal muscle EC coupling is still depended on Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+)-release (CICR), it is possible that the DHPR Ca(2+) conductivity during mammalian (conformational) EC coupling was retained as an evolutionary remnant (vestigiality)...
October 23, 2016: Cell Calcium
Shiu-Dong Chung, Chung-Chien Huang, Herng-Ching Lin, Ming-Chieh Tsai, Chao-Hung Chen
Although the vermiform appendix is commonly considered a vestigial organ, adverse health consequences after an appendectomy have garnered increasing attention. In this study, we investigated the risks of gallstone occurrence during a 5-year follow-up period after an appendectomy, using a population-based dataset. We used data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. The exposed cohort included 4916 patients who underwent an appendectomy. The unexposed cohort was retrieved by randomly selecting 4916 patients matched with the exposed cohort in terms of sex, age, and year...
2016: PloS One
Himanshi Kapoor, Nalini Yadav, Madhu Chopra, Sushil Chandra Mahapatra, Veena Agrawal
Glioblastoma has been reckoned as the prime cause of death due to brain tumours, being most invasive and lethal. Available treatment options, i.e. surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapies are not effective in improving prognosis, so an alternate therapy is insistent. Plant based drugs are efficient due to their synergistic action, multi-targeted approach and least side effects. Present investigation reports the strong anti-tumorous potential of Nardostachys jatamansi rhizome extract (NJRE) on U87 MG glioblastoma cells...
October 19, 2016: Current Cancer Drug Targets
Geoffrey Ian McFadden, Ellen Yeh
Parasites such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma possess a vestigial plastid homologous to the chloroplasts of algae and plants. The plastid (known as the apicoplast; for apicomplexan plastid) is non-photosynthetic and very much reduced, but has clear endosymbiotic ancestry including a circular genome that encodes RNAs and proteins and a suite of bacterial biosynthetic pathways. Here we review the initial discovery of the apicoplast, and recount the major new insights into apicoplast origin, biogenesis and function...
October 20, 2016: International Journal for Parasitology
Chin Jian Yang, Lisa E Kursel, Anthony J Studer, Madelaine E Bartlett, Clinton J Whipple, John F Doebley
The effects of an allelic substitution at a gene often depend critically on genetic background, the genotype at other genes in the genome. During the domestication of maize from its wild ancestor (teosinte), an allelic substitution at teosinte branched (tb1) caused changes in both plant and ear architecture. The effects of tb1 on phenotype were shown to depend on multiple background loci including one called enhancer of tb1.2 (etb1.2) We mapped etb1.2 to a YABBY class transcription factor (ZmYAB2.1) and showed that the maize alleles of ZmYAB2...
October 11, 2016: Genetics
Mouna Sghir, Mohamed Guedria, Marwa Maraoui, Wafa Haj Hamad, Wafa Said, Saida Jerbi, Wassia Kessomtini
OBJECTIVE: The femur aplasia is a congenital developmental defect of the femur often associated with malformations of the pelvis and lower limb. There are all intermediaries between the short femur and vestigial femoral. The total femur absence (agenesis) is rare. We report a case of a child followed in our Physical Medicine Department for proximal bilateral femoral agenesis. OBSERVATIONS: This is M.S., a 5 years old child, addressed for a waddling gait and a deformation of the trunk...
September 2016: Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Caitlin G Robinson, Taylor C Duke, Ashley W Allison
True human tails are rare vestigial structures that are typically removed in childhood. Here a case is presented in which an inconspicuous sacrococcygeal tail was incidentally discovered in late adulthood. A 56-year-old man with no significant past medical history presented to a dermatology clinic with a chief complaint of a hyperpigmented lesion on his central back. However, on full body skin exam, a separate flesh-colored 0.7 cm x 0.5 cm appendage was discovered in the midline sacrococcygeal region. This lesion had been present and unchanged since childhood...
September 24, 2016: Journal of Cutaneous Pathology
Jamie J Kwan, Logan W Donaldson
BACKGROUND: CASKIN2 is a neuronal signaling scaffolding protein comprised of multiple ankyrin repeats, two SAM domains, and one SH3 domain. The CASKIN2 SH3 domain for an NMR structural determination because its peptide-binding cleft appeared to deviate from the repertoire of aromatic enriched amino acids that typically bind polyproline-rich sequences. RESULTS: The structure demonstrated that two non-canonical basic amino acids (K290/R319) in the binding cleft were accommodated well in the SH3 fold...
2016: BMC Structural Biology
Abhay Kumar Singh, Georgios Pantouris, Sebastian Borosch, Siripong Rojanasthien, Thomas Yoonsang Cho
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a master regulator of proinflammatory cytokines and plays pathological roles when not properly regulated in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, atherosclerosis, asthma and cancer. Unlike canonical cytokines, MIF has vestigial keto-enol tautomerase activity. Most of the current MIF inhibitors were screened for the inhibition of this enzymatic activity. However, only some of the enzymatic inhibitors inhibit receptor-mediated biological functions of MIF, such as cell recruitment, through an unknown molecular mechanism...
September 13, 2016: Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Zaira Rizopoulos, Kai Matuschewski, Joana Haussig
Malarial parasites have evolved complex regulation of heme supply and disposal to adjust to heme-rich and -deprived host environments. In addition to its own pathway for heme biosynthesis, Plasmodium likely harbors mechanisms for heme scavenging from host erythrocytes. Elaborate compartmentalization of de novo heme synthesis into three subcellular locations, including the vestigial plastid organelle, indicates critical roles in life cycle progression. In this study, we systematically profile the essentiality of heme biosynthesis by targeted gene deletion of enzymes in early steps of this pathway...
September 6, 2016: Infection and Immunity
Xiang-Rong Zhao, Chao Gao, Yong Zhang, Lei Kong, Wei Qu, Jia Li, Yong-Sheng Gao, Yong-Hua Yu
BACKGROUND: The urachus is a vestigial tubular structure that connects the urinary bladder to the allantois during early embryonic development. Urachal carcinoma develops in the urachus, which is an embryological remnant of the urogenital sinus and allantois. The estimated annual incidence of urachal carcinoma in the general population is 0.01% of all cancers in adults. Moreover, urachal carcinoma accounts for 0.34% to 0.7% of all bladder carcinoma cases. And breast metastasis is extremely rarer...
August 2016: Medicine (Baltimore)
Kamaljeet Singh, C James Sung, W Dwayne Lawrence, M Ruhul Quddus
Mesonephric ducts regress in genotypic females, leaving behind few remnants. These vestigial structures are often recognized in the mesosalpinx and paracervical regions. We report here 3 cases of female-to-male transgenders who underwent hysterectomy following testosterone treatment. Both female and male genital structures were identified on histologic examination. Although the morphologic appearances of the specimens were unremarkable, histologically 1 case revealed a well-formed fallopian tube as well as an epididymis and 2 cases showed prostate glands to be present in the cervical squamous epithelium...
August 26, 2016: International Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Go-Woon Kim, Jong-Hoon Won, Ok-Kyung Lee, Sang-Soo Lee, Jeong-Hoon Han, Orkhon Tsogtbaatar, Sujin Nam, Yeon Kim, Kyung-Ok Cho
ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteases with thrombospondin motif) family consists of secreted proteases, and is shown to cleave extracellular matrix proteins. Their malfunctions result in cancers and disorders in connective tissues. We report here that a Drosophila ADAMTS named Sol narae (Sona) promotes Wnt/Wingless (Wg) signaling. sona loss-of-function mutants are lethal and rare escapers had malformed appendages, indicating that sona is essential for fly development and survival. sona exhibited positive genetic interaction with wntless (wls) that encodes a cargo protein for Wg...
2016: Scientific Reports
C Simerly, C Castro, C Hartnett, C C Lin, M Sukhwani, K Orwig, G Schatten
The fertilizing sperm's lengthiest unchartered voyage is through the longest, least-investigated organ in a man's body - the Epididymis. Over six meters long in men, ~80 meters in stallions and over one-hundred times a mouse's body length, there are few functions known aside from sperm storage and nutrition. While spermatogenesis is completed in the testes, here we demonstrate sperm centriole reduction occurs within the epididymis. Investigations of GFP-CENTR mice and controls demonstrate both the presence of centriole pairs in the upper caput region of the epididymis and, the destruction, first, of the distal and, then, of the proximal centriole as the sperm transits to the cauda and vas deferens in preparation for its climactic release...
2016: Scientific Reports
P Mendes, R Martinho, S Leite, A Leite-Moreira, A Lourenço, M Moreira-Rodrigues
OBJECTIVE: Phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (Pnmt) is required for the conversion of norepinephrine to epinephrine. Bao et al (2007) described that Pnmt-knockout (Pnmt-KO) mice have an increased ratio of left ventricular (LV) posterior wall thickness to internal dimensions (LVPW/LVID) but not overall cardiac hypertrophy. Pnmt-KO mice showed normal resting blood pressure (BP) but became hypertensive during treadmill exercise. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiac morphological and functional alterations after chronic exercise in Pnmt-KO mice...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
J A Buckland-Nicks
The adipose fin of salmonids, once widely regarded as vestigial and lacking in function, was shown to be important to swimming efficiency in juvenile brown trout Salmo trutta. Examination with confocal microscopy of adipose fins of S. trutta stained with various antibodies targeting the nervous system revealed several large nerves entering the fin and anastomosing throughout its length. The branching nerves form a plexus with specific patterns of fine terminal branches in the leading and trailing edges. A network of astrocyte-like cells (ALCs) that is linked through cell processes to nerves and structural collagen reacted positively with antibodies to glial cells...
October 2016: Journal of Fish Biology
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