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  • 1
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2013-06-26
    Description: The paper described a novel technique for semen collection in large psittacines (patent pending), a procedure which was not routinely possible before. For the first time, a large set of semen samples is now available for analysis as well as for artificial insemination. Semen samples of more than 100 psittacine taxa were collected and analysed; data demonstrate large differences in the spermatological parameters between families, indicating an ecological relationship with breeding behaviour (polygamous versus monogamous birds). Using semen samples for artificial insemination resulted in the production of offspring in various families, such as Macaws and Cockatoos, for the first time ever. The present technique represents a breakthrough in species conservation programs and will enable future research into the ecology and environmental factors influencing endangered species. Scientific Reports 3 doi: 10.1038/srep02066
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-2322
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 2
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2014-12-19
    Description: Background: AKI frequently develops in sepsis patients, significantly decreasing the overall prognosis. There are currently no diagnostic markers available which reliably predict the prognosis of sepsis-associated AKI. Recently, ATP content of CD4+ T cells (ATP_CD4) has been shown to correlate with survival in sepsis. The aim of the study was to determine ATP_CD4 in sepsis-associated AKI. Methods: Thirty-three patients with sepsis were prospectively analyzed for ATP_CD4 at three different time points. Results were related to survival, renal recovery, and further clinical/laboratory findings. Results: ATP_CD4 tended to lower in concentration at 48 h after onset of sepsis in those patients with complete renal recovery. There were no differences between patients with no AKI and those with AKI of different severity (AKIN 1-3). Urinary NGAL did not correlate with renal prognosis. Conclusion: ATP_CD4 may serve as risk predictor in sepsis-associated AKI. Lower concentrations may indicate a higher chance of complete renal recovery in sepsis.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2369
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 3
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2015-05-27
    Description: Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is predominantly a disease of older patients with a poor long-term survival. Approval of decitabine (DAC) in the European Union (EU) in 2012 for the treatment of patients with AML ≥65 years marks the potential for hypomethylating agents in elderly AML. Nevertheless the situation is dissatisfactory and the quest for novel treatment approaches, including combination epigenetic therapy is actively ongoing. The given randomized trial should be helpful in investigating the question whether combinations of DAC with the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor valproic acid (VPA) and/or all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which in vitro show a very promising synergism, are superior to the DAC monotherapy. The accompanying translational research project will contribute to find surrogate molecular end points for drug efficacy and better tailor epigenetic therapy. An additional aim of the study is to investigate the prognostic value of geriatric assessments for elderly AML patients treated non-intensively.Methods/DesignDECIDER is a prospective, randomized, observer blind, parallel group, multicenter, Phase II study with a 2x2 factorial design. The primary endpoint is objective best overall response (complete remission (CR) and partial remission (PR)). The target population is AML patients aged 60 years or older and unfit for standard induction chemotherapy. Patients are randomized to one of the four treatment groups: DAC alone or in combination with VPA or ATRA or with both add-on drugs. One interim safety analysis was planned and carried out with the objective to stop early one or more of the treatment arms in case of an unacceptable death rate. This analysis showed that in all treatment arms the critical stopping rule was not reached. No important safety issues were observed. The Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) recommended continuing the study as planned. The first patient was included in December 2011. A total of 189 out of 200 planned patients were randomized since then (status 31.12.2014).Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00867672 (registration date 23.03.2009); German clinical trials registry number: DRKS00000733 (registration date 19.04.2011).
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2407
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 4
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    American Physical Society (APS)
    Publication Date: 2016-02-26
    Description: Author(s): Anthony Lo, Philipp Haslinger, Eli Mizrachi, Loïc Anderegg, Holger Müller, Michael Hohensee, Maxim Goryachev, and Michael E. Tobar Researchers study oscillating quartz crystals to search for physics not explained by the standard model, and they recover results that are 6 orders of magnitude more precise than any previous laboratory experiment. [Phys. Rev. X 6, 011018] Published Wed Feb 24, 2016
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-3308
    Topics: Physics
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-12-16
    Description: Article Pertussis toxin is used extensively for perturbing Gαi/o pathways in the study of physiology and disease, but an equivalent inhibitor of Gαq signalling is not currently available to the research community. Here the authors characterize FR900359 as a specific Gq inhibitor and demonstrate its utility to dissect GPCR signalling and its potential to inhibit melanoma cells. Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/ncomms10156 Authors: Ramona Schrage, Anna-Lena Schmitz, Evelyn Gaffal, Suvi Annala, Stefan Kehraus, Daniela Wenzel, Katrin M. Büllesbach, Tobias Bald, Asuka Inoue, Yuji Shinjo, Ségolène Galandrin, Naveen Shridhar, Michael Hesse, Manuel Grundmann, Nicole Merten, Thomas H. Charpentier, Matthew Martz, Adrian J. Butcher, Tanja Slodczyk, Sylvain Armando, Maike Effern, Yoon Namkung, Laura Jenkins, Velten Horn, Anne Stößel, Harald Dargatz, Daniel Tietze, Diana Imhof, Céline Galés, Christel Drewke, Christa E. Müller, Michael Hölzel, Graeme Milligan, Andrew B. Tobin, Jesús Gomeza, Henrik G. Dohlman, John Sondek, T. Kendall Harden, Michel Bouvier, Stéphane A. Laporte, Junken Aoki, Bernd K. Fleischmann, Klaus Mohr, Gabriele M. König, Thomas Tüting, Evi Kostenis
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 6
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2015-01-21
    Description: Article Surface redox centres in metal oxides play a key role in catalytic performance, and the conventional view is that the transition-metal cations dominate this behaviour. Here, the authors perform an in operando spectroscopic study, and find that oxygen anions are a significant redox partner to molecular oxygen. Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/ncomms7097 Authors: David N. Mueller, Michael L. Machala, Hendrik Bluhm, William C. Chueh
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 7
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2014-01-25
    Description: Background: The copy number variation (CNV) in beta-defensin genes (DEFB) on human chromosome 8p23 has been proposed to contribute to the phenotypic differences in inflammatory diseases. However, determination of exact DEFB CN is a major challenge in association studies. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), paralog ratio tests (PRT) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) have been extensively used to determine DEFB CN in different laboratories, but inter-method inconsistencies were observed frequently. In this study we asked which one is superior among the three methods for DEFB CN determination. Results: We developed a clustering approach for MLPA and PRT to statistically correlate data from a single experiment. Then we compared qPCR, a newly designed PRT and MLPA for DEFB CN determination in 285 DNA samples. We found MLPA had the best convergence and clustering results of the raw data and the highest call rate. In addition, the concordance rates between MLPA or PRT and qPCR (32.12 % and 37.99 %, respectively) were unacceptably low with underestimated CN by qPCR. Concordance rate between MLPA and PRT (90.52 %) was high but PRT systematically underestimated CN by one in a subset of samples. In these samples a sequence variant which caused complete PCR dropout of the respective DEFB cluster copies was found in one primer binding site of one of the targeted paralogous pseudogenes. Conclusion: MLPA is superior to PRT and even more to qPCR for DEFB CN determination. Although the applied PRT provides in most cases reliable results, such a test is particularly sensitive to low-frequency sequence variations preferably accumulating in loci like pseudogenes which are most likely not under selective pressure. In the light of the superior performance of multiplex assays, the drawbacks of such single PRTs could be overcome by combining more test markers.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2164
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 8
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    In: Nature
    Publication Date: 2016-05-12
    Description: A rapid burst in hotspot motion through the interaction of tectonics and deep mantle flow Nature 533, 7602 (2016). doi:10.1038/nature17422 Authors: Rakib Hassan, R. Dietmar Müller, Michael Gurnis, Simon E. Williams & Nicolas Flament Volcanic hotspot tracks featuring linear progressions in the age of volcanism are typical surface expressions of plate tectonic movement on top of narrow plumes of hot material within Earth’s mantle. Seismic imaging reveals that these plumes can be of deep origin—probably rooted on thermochemical structures in the lower mantle. Although palaeomagnetic and radiometric age data suggest that mantle flow can advect plume conduits laterally, the flow dynamics underlying the formation of the sharp bend occurring only in the Hawaiian–Emperor hotspot track in the Pacific Ocean remains enigmatic. Here we present palaeogeographically constrained numerical models of thermochemical convection and demonstrate that flow in the deep lower mantle under the north Pacific was anomalously vigorous between 100 million years ago and 50 million years ago as a consequence of long-lasting subduction systems, unlike those in the south Pacific. These models show a sharp bend in the Hawaiian–Emperor hotspot track arising from the interplay of plume tilt and the lateral advection of plume sources. The different trajectories of the Hawaiian and Louisville hotspot tracks arise from asymmetric deformation of thermochemical structures under the Pacific between 100 million years ago and 50 million years ago. This asymmetric deformation waned just before the Hawaiian–Emperor bend developed, owing to flow in the deepest lower mantle associated with slab descent in the north and south Pacific.
    Print ISSN: 0028-0836
    Electronic ISSN: 1476-4687
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 9
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2012-08-26
    Description: Background: To test the hypothesis that white matter lesions (WML) are primarily associated with regional frontal cortical volumes, and to determine the mediating effects of these regional frontal cortices on the associations of WML with depressive symptoms and cognitive dysfunction. Methods: Structural brains MRIs were performed on 161 participants: cognitively normal, cognitive impaired but not demented, and demented participants. Lobar WML volumes, regional frontal cortical volumes, depressive symptom severity, and cognitive abilities were measured. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify WML volume effects on frontal cortical volume. Structural equation modeling was used to determine the MRI-depression and the MRI-cognition path relationships. Results: WML predicted frontal cortical volume, particularly in medial orbirtofrontal cortex, irrespective of age, gender, education, and group status. WML directly predicted depressive score, and this relationship was not mediated by regional frontal cortices. In contrast, the association between WML and cognitive function was indirect and mediated by regional frontal cortices. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the neurobiological mechanisms underpinning depressive symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in older adults may differ.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2377
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 10
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2012-12-19
    Description: Background: In traditional Chinese medicine, green tea is considered to have a life-prolonging effect, possibly as a result of its rich content of antioxidant tea polyphenols, and hence has the potential to prevent cancer. This study investigated the role of the major tea secondary plant compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) for its inhibitory effects on the metastasis-associated 67 kDa laminin receptor (67LR). Methods: To clarify the impact of EGCG on siRNA-silenced expression of 67LR, we applied an adenoviral-based intestinal in vitro knockdown model, porcine IPEC-J2 cells. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to analyze 67LR gene expression following treatment with physiological and pharmacological concentrations of EGCG (1.0 g/l, 0.1 g/l, 0.02 g/l and 0.002 g/l). Results: We report co-regulation of EGCG and 67LR, which is known to be an EGCG receptor. siRNA selectively and highly significantly suppressed expression of 67LR under the impact of EGCG in a synergetic manner. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that 67LR expression is regulated by EGCG via a negative feedback loop. The explicit occurrence of this effect in synergy with a small RNA pathway and a plant-derived drug reveals a new mode of action. Our findings may help to provide insights into the many unsolved health-promoting activities of other natural pharmaceuticals.
    Electronic ISSN: 1472-6882
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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