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# Insight

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#1
Mimi Gao, Loana Arns, Roland Winter
Folding of ribonucleic acids (RNAs) is driven by several factors, such as base pairing and stacking, chain entropy, and ion-mediated electrostatics, which have been studied in great detail. However, the power of background molecules in the cellular milieu is often neglected. Herein, we study the effect of common osmolytes on the folding equilibrium of a hairpin-structured RNA and, using pressure perturbation, provide novel thermodynamic and volumetric insights into the modulation mechanism. The presence of TMAO causes an increased thermal stability and a more positive volume change for the helix-to-coil transition, whereas urea destabilizes the hairpin and leads to an increased expansibility of the unfolded state...
January 19, 2017: Angewandte Chemie
#2
Sebastiano Bernini, Francesco Puosi, Dino Leporini
We investigate by Molecular Dynamics simulations of a molecular liquid the thermodynamic scaling (TS) of the structural relaxation time $\tau_\alpha$ in terms of the quantity $T\rho^{-\gamma_{ts}}$ where T and rho are the temperature and the density, respectively. The liquid does not exhibit strong virial-energy correlations. We propose how to evaluate both the characteristic exponent $\gamma_{ts}$ and the TS master curve by resorting to experimentally accessible quantities characterising the anharmonic elasticity and no details about the microscopic interactions...
January 19, 2017: Journal of Physics. Condensed Matter: An Institute of Physics Journal
#3
Beverley Ewens, Joyce Hendricks, Deb Sundin
Background Intensive care unit survivors face many physical and psychological difficulties during their recovery following discharge from hospital. These difficulties can significantly affect their quality of life. Healthcare providers and survivors' families often do not understand what recovery means in this population, which may affect the support provided. Aim To consider the potential of the biographical method in helping to create stories that illustrate recovery in intensive care survivors and other populations...
January 23, 2017: Nurse Researcher
#4
Ramamoorthi Ganesan, Mahaboobkhan Rasool
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic-autoimmune-mediated disease characterized by synovial hyperplasia and progressive destruction of joint. Currently available biological agents and inhibitor therapy that specifically target tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-6, T cells, B cells, and subcellular molecules (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and janus kinase) cannot facilitate complete remission in all patients and are unable to cure the disease. Therefore, further potent therapeutic targets need to be identified for effective treatment and successful clinical outcomes in patients with RA...
January 19, 2017: International Reviews of Immunology
#5
Helena Lundberg, Fredrik Tinnis, Jiji Zhang, Andrés G Algarra, Fahmi Himo, Hans Adolfsson
The mechanism of the zirconium-catalyzed condensation of carboxylic acids and amines for direct formation of amides was studied using kinetics, NMR-spectroscopy and DFT-calculations. The reaction is found to be first order with respect to catalyst and has a positive rate dependence on amine concentration and a negative rate dependence on carboxylic acid concentration. Kinetic experiments using Reaction Progress Kinetic Analysis (RPKA) protocols demonstrate that inhibition of the catalyst by the amide product can be avoided using a high amine concentration...
January 19, 2017: Journal of the American Chemical Society
#6
Tara L Wenger, Penny Chow, Stephanie C Randle, Anna Rosen, Craig Birgfeld, Joanna Wrede, Patrick Javid, Darcy King, Vivian Manh, Anne V Hing, Erin Albers
Relatively few patients with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) due to SMC1A mutation have been reported, limiting understanding of the full extent of the phenotype. Compared to children with classic NIPBL-associated CdLS, patients with SMC1A-associated CdLS have a milder physical phenotype with prominent intellectual disability, high rate of cleft palate and absence of limb reductions. We present a patient with SMC1A-associated CdLS who had typical features including developmental delay, seizure disorder, feeding difficulties, hirsutism, and cleft palate...
February 2017: American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A
#7
Karen S Ho, E Robert Wassman
Complex, and sometimes intractable, seizures affect the quality of life and cognitive development of over 90% of individuals with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS). Fine resolution genotype-phenotype mapping of the WHS locus recently identified a candidate gene whose probable function has led to insights into a mechanism connecting WHS seizures with those of Dravet syndrome, a distinct condition caused by mutations in SCN1A and SCN1B. In addition to this possible molecular mechanistic connection, these disorders' seizures share a strikingly similar constellation of features, including clinical presentation, seizure types, early age of onset, EEG pattern, and responses to specific anti-epileptic drugs...
February 2017: American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A
#8
REVIEW
Samuele Cortese, Luca Tessari
While psychiatric comorbidities of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been extensively explored, less attention has been paid to somatic conditions possibly associated with this disorder. However, mounting evidence in the last decade pointed to a possible significant association between ADHD and certain somatic conditions, including obesity. This papers provides an update of a previous systematic review on the relationship between obesity and ADHD (Cortese and Vincenzi, Curr Top Behav Neurosci 9:199-218, 2012), focusing on pertinent peer-reviewed empirical papers published since 2012...
January 2017: Current Psychiatry Reports
#9
Ben G McGahan, Beth K Neilsen, David L Kelly, Rodney D McComb, S A Jaffar Kazmi, Matt L White, Yan Zhang, Michele R Aizenberg
There is little data on why glioblastomas (GBM) hemorrhage and how it may affect patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms of hemorrhage in glioblastoma by examining molecular and genetic features by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and mRNA expression profiles in association with imaging and clinical outcomes. An observational retrospective cohort analysis was performed on 43 FFPE GBM tissue samples. MR images were assessed for the presence of hemorrhage and extent of resection. Specimens were examined for CD34 and CD105 expression using IHC...
January 19, 2017: Journal of Neuro-oncology
#10
Tatiana Kameneva, Tianlin Ying, Ben Guo, Dean R Freestone
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders and is characterized by recurrent seizures. We use theoretical neuroscience tools to study brain dynamics during seizures. We derive and simulate a computational model of a network of hippocampal neuronal populations. Each population within the network is based on a model that has been shown to replicate the electrophysiological dynamics observed during seizures. The results provide insights into possible mechanisms for seizure spread. We observe that epileptiform activity remains localized to a pathological region when a global connectivity parameter is less than a critical value...
January 19, 2017: Journal of Computational Neuroscience
#11
Francesco Barsotti, Giovanni Ghigo, Silvia Berto, Davide Vione
The photophysics and photochemistry of 4-hydroxybenzophenone (4HOBP) are interesting because they can give some insight into the behavior of humic material. Here we show that 4HOBP has a number of fluorescence peaks: (i) an intense one at excitation/emission wavelengths Ex/Em ∼ 200-230/280-370 nm, likely due to an excitation transition from S0 to S5 or S6, followed by S2 → S0 in emission (Sn denotes the singlet states of 4HOBP); (ii) a minor peak at Ex/Em ∼ 270-300/320-360 nm (S0 → S2 in absorption and S2 → S0 in emission), and (iii) very interesting signals in the typical emission region of humic substances, most notably at Ex/Em ∼ 200-220/400-500 nm and Ex/Em ∼ 260-280/400-470 nm (in both cases the emission corresponded to an S1 → S0 transition)...
January 19, 2017: Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences
#12
Jacob B J Chapman, Anna V Kimmel, Dorothy M Duffy
Exotic domain morphologies in ferroic materials are an exciting avenue for the development of novel nanoelectronics. In this work we have used large scale molecular dynamics to construct a strain-temperature phase diagram of the domain morphology of PbTiO3 ultrathin films. Sampling a wide interval of strain values over a temperature range up to the Curie temperature Tc, we found that epitaxial strain induces the formation of a variety of closure- and in-plane domain morphologies. The local strain and ferroelectric-antiferrodistortive coupling at the film surface vary for the strain mediated transition sequence and this could offer a route for experimental observation of the morphologies...
January 19, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
#13
Gregory Gibson, Ziyun Wang, Christopher Hardacre, Wen-Feng Lin
The H2O splitting mechanism is a very attractive alternative used in electrochemistry for the formation of O3. The most efficient catalysts employed for this reaction at room temperature are SnO2-based, in particular the Ni/Sb-SnO2 catalyst. In order to investigate the H2O splitting mechanism density functional theory (DFT) was performed on a Ni/Sb-SnO2 surface with oxygen vacancies. By calculating different SnO2 facets, the (110) facet was deemed most stable, and further doped with Sb and Ni. On this surface, the H2O splitting mechanism was modelled paying particular attention to the final two steps, the formation of O2 and O3...
January 19, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
#14
Maarten Coorens, Maaike R Scheenstra, Edwin J A Veldhuizen, Henk P Haagsman
Cathelicidins are short cationic peptides initially described as antimicrobial peptides, which can also modulate the immune system. Because most findings have been described in the context of human LL-37 or murine CRAMP, or have been investigated under varying conditions, it is unclear which functions are cathelicidin specific and which functions are general cathelicidin properties. This study compares 12 cathelicidins from 6 species under standardized conditions to better understand the conservation of cathelicidin functions...
January 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
#15
Qian Zhang, Se-Ran Jun, Michael Leuze, David Ussery, Intawat Nookaew
The development of rapid, economical genome sequencing has shed new light on the classification of viruses. As of October 2016, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database contained >2 million viral genome sequences and a reference set of ~4000 viral genome sequences that cover a wide range of known viral families. Whole-genome sequences can be used to improve viral classification and provide insight into the viral "tree of life". However, due to the lack of evolutionary conservation amongst diverse viruses, it is not feasible to build a viral tree of life using traditional phylogenetic methods based on conserved proteins...
January 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
#16
F Jongbloed, T C Saat, M Verweij, C Payan-Gomez, J H J Hoeijmakers, S van den Engel, C T van Oostrom, G Ambagtsheer, S Imholz, J L A Pennings, H van Steeg, J N M IJzermans, M E T Dollé, R W F de Bruin
During kidney transplantation, ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) induces oxidative stress. Short-term preoperative 30% dietary restriction (DR) and 3-day fasting protect against renal IRI. We investigated the contribution of macronutrients to this protection on both phenotypical and transcriptional levels. Male C57BL/6 mice were fed control food ad libitum, underwent two weeks of 30%DR, 3-day fasting, or received a protein-, carbohydrate- or fat-free diet for various periods of time. After completion of each diet, renal gene expression was investigated using microarrays...
January 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
#17
Dohyeon Kwon, Chan-Gi Jeon, Junho Shin, Myoung-Sun Heo, Sang Eon Park, Youjian Song, Jungwon Kim
Timing jitter is one of the most important properties of femtosecond mode-locked lasers and optical frequency combs. Accurate measurement of timing jitter power spectral density (PSD) is a critical prerequisite for optimizing overall noise performance and further advancing comb applications both in the time and frequency domains. Commonly used jitter measurement methods require a reference mode-locked laser with timing jitter similar to or lower than that of the laser-under-test, which is a demanding requirement for many laser laboratories, and/or have limited measurement resolution...
January 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
#18
Jin Wang, Raju R Namburu, Madan Dubey, Avinash M Dongare
The potential of the applicability of two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) structures, in various electronics, optoelectronics, and flexible devices requires a fundamental understanding of the effects of strain on the electronic, magnetic and optical properties. Particularly important is the recent capability to grow large flakes of few-layered structures using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) wherein the top layers are relatively smaller in size than the bottom layers, resulting in the presence of edges/steps across adjacent layers...
January 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
#19
Lucia Speroni, Maria Voutilainen, Marja L Mikkola, Skylar A Klager, Cheryl M Schaeberle, Carlos Sonnenschein, Ana M Soto
An increased breast cancer risk during adulthood has been linked to estrogen exposure during fetal life. However, the impossibility of removing estrogens from the feto-maternal unit has hindered the testing of estrogen's direct effect on mammary gland organogenesis. To overcome this limitation, we developed an ex vivo culture method of the mammary gland where the direct action of estrogens can be tested during embryonic days (E)14 to 19. Mouse mammary buds dissected at E14 and cultured for 5 days showed that estrogens directly altered fetal mammary gland development...
January 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
#20
Ziad Ibrahim, Anne Martel, Martine Moulin, Henry S Kim, Michael Härtlein, Bruno Franzetti, Frank Gabel
We present a combination of small-angle neutron scattering, deuterium labelling and contrast variation, temperature activation and fluorescence spectroscopy as a novel approach to obtain time-resolved, structural data individually from macromolecular complexes and their substrates during active biochemical reactions. The approach allowed us to monitor the mechanical unfolding of a green fluorescent protein model substrate by the archaeal AAA+ PAN unfoldase on the sub-minute time scale. Concomitant with the unfolding of its substrate, the PAN complex underwent an energy-dependent transition from a relaxed to a contracted conformation, followed by a slower expansion to its initial state at the end of the reaction...
January 19, 2017: Scientific Reports
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