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María V Cardo, Alejandra Rubio, Melania Junges, Darío Vezzani, Aníbal E Carbajo
Given their medical and veterinary relevance, the members of the Pipiens Assemblage are a worldwide target of ecological research. The distribution of Culex pipiens s.s. and Cx. quinquefasciatus converge in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where hybrids have been detected. Each member of the assemblage exhibits a distinct eco-physiological behaviour that can affect its efficiency in pathogen transmission. Our aim was to identify the environmental drivers for the spatio-temporal distribution of each member, focusing on latitudinal and urbanisation gradients...
October 24, 2016: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Sérgio Ferreira de Lima, Mayara Mansur Fernandes Tavares, Jamilly Lopes de Macedo, Renata Santos de Oliveira, Sandra de Andrade Heráclio, Maria de Mascena Diniz Maia, Paulo Roberto Eleutério de Souza, Ronald Moura, Sergio Crovella
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are strongly associated with the development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasias and invasive cervical cancer. Polymorphisms in cytokine-encoding genes and behavioural cofactors could play an important role in protecting an individual against viral infections and cancer. Here, we investigated whether IL-6 -174 G>C, IL-8 +396 G>T, and TGF-β1 +869 G>C and +915 G>C polymorphisms were associated with susceptibility to HPV infection in women from north-east (Pernambuco) Brazil...
October 24, 2016: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Bruno C L Macena, Fábio H V Hazin
Whale sharks are generally associated with environmental factors that drive their movements to specific locations where food availability is high. Consequently, foraging is believed to be the main reason for the formation of whale shark aggregations. Feeding aggregations occur mainly in nearshore areas and are composed primarily of immature individuals. Conversely, aggregations of mature adults are rarely observed, and their occurrence is correlated with oceanic environments. Despite an increase in the number of whale shark studies, information on mating and parturition grounds is still lacking...
2016: PloS One
Renzo Sebastián Adilardi, Andrés Alejandro Ojanguren-Affilastro, Liliana María Mola
Scorpions of the genus Tityus show holokinetic chromosomes, achiasmatic male meiosis and an absence of heteromorphic sex chromosomes, like all Buthidae. In this work, we analysed the meiotic behaviour and chromosome rearrangements of a population of the scorpion Tityus confluens, characterising the cytotypes of males, females and embryos with different cytogenetic techniques. This revealed that all the females were structural homozygotes, while all the males were structural heterozygotes for different chromosome rearrangements...
2016: PloS One
Aurelie Thomas, Amy Miller, Johnny Roughan, Aneesa Malik, Katherine Haylor, Charlotte Sandersen, Paul Flecknell, Matthew Leach
Concerns over interactions between analgesics and experimental outcomes are a major reason for withholding opioids from rats undergoing surgical procedures. Only a fraction of morphine injected intravenously reaches receptors responsible for analgesia in the central nervous system. Intrathecal administration of morphine may represent a way to provide rats with analgesia while minimizing the amount of morphine injected. This study aimed to assess whether morphine injected intrathecally via direct lumbar puncture provides sufficient analgesia to rats exposed to acute surgical pain (caudal laparotomy)...
2016: PloS One
T Pamminger, W O H Hughes
The evolution of complex societies with obligate reproductive division of labour represents one of the major transitions in evolution. In such societies, functionally sterile individuals (workers) perform many of fitness-relevant behaviours including allomaternal ones, without getting any direct fitness benefits. The question of how such worker division of labour has evolved remains controversial. The reproductive groundplan hypothesis (RGPH) offers a powerful proximate explanation for this evolutionary leap...
October 26, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Saowalak Kalapanulak, Treenut Saithong, Chinae Thammarongtham
To understand how biological processes work, it is necessary to explore the systematic regulation governing the behaviour of the processes. Not only driving the normal behavior of organisms, the systematic regulation evidently underlies the temporal responses to surrounding environments (dynamics) and long-term phenotypic adaptation (evolution). The systematic regulation is, in effect, formulated from the regulatory components which collaboratively work together as a network. In the drive to decipher such a code of lives, a spectrum of technologies has continuously been developed in the post-genomic era...
October 26, 2016: Advances in Biochemical Engineering/biotechnology
Jilly Naaijen, Saskia de Ruiter, Marcel P Zwiers, Jeffrey C Glennon, Sarah Durston, David J Lythgoe, Steven C R Williams, Tobias Banaschewski, Daniel Brandeis, Barbara Franke, Jan K Buitelaar
BACKGROUND: Compulsivity, the closely linked trait impulsivity and addictive behaviour are associated with several neurodevelopmental disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). All three disorders show impaired fronto-striatal functioning, which may be related to altered glutamatergic signalling. Genetic factors are also thought to play an important role in the aetiology of compulsivity-related disorders...
October 26, 2016: BMC Psychiatry
George A Prenosil, Bernd Klaeser, Michael Hentschel, Markus Fürstner, Michael Berndt, Thomas Krause, Thilo Weitzel
PURPOSE: A PET/CT system's imaging capabilities are best described by its point spread function (PSF) in the spatial domain or equivalently by its modulation transfer function (MTF) in the spatial frequency domain. Knowing PSFs or MTFs is a prerequisite for many numerical methods attempting to improve resolution and to reduce the partial volume effect. In PET/CT, the observed PSF is a convolution of the system's intrinsic imaging capabilities including image reconstruction (PSF0) and the positron range function (PRF) of the imaged β(+) emitting isotope...
October 2016: Medical Physics
Ferruccio Palazzesi, Matteo Salvalaglio, Alessandro Barducci, Michele Parrinello
In the last years, it has become evident that computer simulations can assume a relevant role in modelling protein dynamical motions for their ability to provide a full atomistic image of the processes under investigation. The ability of the current protein force-fields in reproducing the correct thermodynamics and kinetics systems behaviour is thus an essential ingredient to improve our understanding of many relevant biological functionalities. In this work, employing the last developments of the metadynamics framework, we compare the ability of state-of-the-art all-atom empirical functions and water models to consistently reproduce the folding and unfolding of a helix turn motif in a model peptide...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Chemical Physics
Marco Bonetti, Jean-Marc Zanotti
Nanometric confinement of fluids in porous media is a classical way to stabilize metastable states. Calorimetric studies give insight on the behavior of confined liquids compared to bulk liquids. We have developed and built a simple quasi-adiabatic AC calorimeter for heat capacity measurement of confined liquids in porous media in a temperature range between 150 K and 360 K. Taking the fully hydrated porous medium as a reference, we address the thermal behavior of water as a monolayer on the surface of a porous silica glass (Vycor)...
September 2016: Review of Scientific Instruments
Ann-Lauriene Haag, Zeno Schumacher, Peter Grutter
A detailed analysis of the temporal surface stress evolution for potential-driven adsorption of ions is discussed. A gold-coated cantilever is used to simultaneously measure the change in surface stress as well as the current response during an applied potential step. In this electrochemical configuration, the cantilever acts as the working electrode, a platinum wire as the counter electrode, and the Ag/AgCl (sat. KCl) electrode as the reference electrode. To study the time-dependent signal and the sensitivity of the cantilever response, the frequency of the potential step applied to the cantilever is varied from 1 s to 0...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Chemical Physics
Harro R Dittmar, Peter G Kusalik
As shown previously, it is possible to apply configurational and kinetic thermostats simultaneously in order to induce a steady thermal flux in molecular dynamics simulations of many-particle systems. This flux appears to promote motion along potential gradients and can be utilized to enhance the sampling of ordered arrangements, i.e., it can facilitate the formation of a critical nucleus. Here we demonstrate that the same approach can be applied to molecular systems, and report a significant enhancement of the homogeneous crystal nucleation of a carbon dioxide (EPM2 model) system...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Chemical Physics
Peter Hamm
With the help of a Markov State Model (MSM), two-state behaviour is resolved for two computer models of water in a temperature range from 255 K to room temperature (295 K). The method is first validated for ST2 water, for which the so far strongest evidence for a liquid-liquid phase transition exists. In that case, the results from the MSM can be cross-checked against the radial distribution function g5(r) of the 5th-closest water molecule around a given reference water molecule. The latter is a commonly used local order parameter, which exhibits a bimodal distribution just above the liquid-liquid critical point that represents the low-density form of the liquid (LDL) and the high density liquid...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Chemical Physics
Paula Gómez-Álvarez, Sofia Calero
The separation of carbon dioxide from flue gas is mandatory. In adsorptive methods, the challenge lies in the choice of suitable porous materials. Among all zeolite topologies, a number of adsorbents with pore dimensions in the range of the guest molecules were identified to allow an excellent separation by diffusion, and MRE and AFO topologies appear the best candidates based on equilibrium adsorption. Also, we found that the behaviour of this gas mixture in DFT and APD zeolites is interestingly opposite to the usual...
October 26, 2016: Chemistry: a European Journal
J A Fairfield, C G Rocha, C O'Callaghan, M S Ferreira, J J Boland
Nanowire networks act as self-healing smart materials, whose sheet resistance can be tuned via an externally applied voltage stimulus. This memristive response occurs due to modification of junction resistances to form a connectivity path across the lowest barrier junctions in the network. While most network studies have been performed on expensive noble metal nanowires like silver, networks of inexpensive nickel nanowires with a nickel oxide coating can also demonstrate resistive switching, a common feature of metal oxides with filamentary conduction...
October 26, 2016: Nanoscale
Chih-Yao Chen, Teruki Sano, Tetsuya Tsuda, Koichi Ui, Yoshifumi Oshima, Masaki Yamagata, Masashi Ishikawa, Masakazu Haruta, Takayuki Doi, Minoru Inaba, Susumu Kuwabata
A comprehensive understanding of the charge/discharge behaviour of high-capacity anode active materials, e.g., Si and Li, is essential for the design and development of next-generation high-performance Li-based batteries. Here, we demonstrate the in situ scanning electron microscopy (in situ SEM) of Si anodes in a configuration analogous to actual lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) with an ionic liquid (IL) that is expected to be a functional LIB electrolyte in the future. We discovered that variations in the morphology of Si active materials during charge/discharge processes is strongly dependent on their size and shape...
October 26, 2016: Scientific Reports
C Tarantini, K Iida, J Hänisch, F Kurth, J Jaroszynski, N Sumiya, M Chihara, T Hatano, H Ikuta, S Schmidt, P Seidel, B Holzapfel, D C Larbalestier
Fe-based superconductors (FBS) present a large variety of compounds whose properties are affected to different extents by their crystal structures. Amongst them, the REFeAs(O,F) (RE1111, RE being a rare-earth element) is the family with the highest critical temperature Tc but also with a large anisotropy and Josephson vortices as demonstrated in the flux-flow regime in Sm1111 (Tc ∼ 55 K). Here we focus on the pinning properties of the lower-Tc Nd1111 in the flux-creep regime. We demonstrate that for H//c critical current density Jc at high temperatures is dominated by point-defect pinning centres, whereas at low temperatures surface pinning by planar defects parallel to the c-axis and vortex shearing prevail...
October 26, 2016: Scientific Reports
Keiko Okamoto, Akifumi Kijima, Yoshitaka Umeno, Hiroyuki Shima
When two or more candle flames are fused by approaching them together, the resulting large flame often exhibits flickering, i.e., prolonged high-frequency oscillation in its size and luminance. In the present work, we investigate the collective behaviour of three-coupled candle flame oscillators in a triangular arrangement. The system showed four distinct types of syncronised modes as a consequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking. The modes obtained include the in-phase mode, the partial in-phase mode, the rotation mode, and an anomalous one called the "death" mode that causes a sudden stop of the flame oscillation followed by self-sustained stable combustion...
October 26, 2016: Scientific Reports
Roberta Schellino, Sara Trova, Irene Cimino, Alice Farinetti, Bart C Jongbloets, R Jeroen Pasterkamp, Giancarlo Panzica, Paolo Giacobini, Silvia De Marchis, Paolo Peretto
Opposite-sex attraction in most mammals depends on the fine-tuned integration of pheromonal stimuli with gonadal hormones in the brain circuits underlying sexual behaviour. Neural activity in these circuits is regulated by sensory processing in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), the first central station of the vomeronasal system. Recent evidence indicates adult neurogenesis in the AOB is involved in sex behaviour; however, the mechanisms underlying this function are unknown. By using Semaphorin 7A knockout (Sema7A ko) mice, which show a reduced number of gonadotropin-releasing-hormone neurons, small testicles and subfertility, and wild-type males castrated during adulthood, we demonstrate that the level of circulating testosterone regulates the sex-specific control of AOB neurogenesis and the vomeronasal system activation, which influences opposite-sex cue preference/attraction in mice...
October 26, 2016: Scientific Reports
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