Gender dysphoria among transgender adolescents has predominantly been examined in relation to body dissatisfaction. While in adult transgender samples, body dissatisfaction is higher than in cisgender controls, this has so far rarely been investigated for adolescents. In the context of a cisnormative society, the impact of influences from the social environment on body dissatisfaction and gender dysphoria has been neglected in research. Therefore, this study aimed to (1) provide a detailed analysis of body dissatisfaction among young transgender people and (2) investigate whether body dissatisfaction and gender dysphoria are associated with experiences of minority stress such as trans hostility and poor peer relations (PPR).
The paper presents a cross-sectional study among a sample of transgender adolescents, presenting at a specialized outpatient counseling clinic (N = 99; age M = 15.36, SD = 1.85). First, body dissatisfaction (assessed by the Body-Image-Scale; BIS), was explored and compared to data from a population-based control group of cisgender peers (N = 527; age M = 14.43, SD = 0.97). Second, within a clinic-referred transgender subsample (n = 74), associations between body dissatisfaction and gender dysphoria (measured by Utrecht Gender Dysphoria Scale; UGDS), PPR (measured by the Youth-Self-Report; YSR-R), and trans hostile experiences (assessed in clinical interview) were examined by correlations, t-tests and multivariate regression.
Transgender adolescents reported more body dissatisfaction than cisgender peers. The dissatisfaction with sex characteristics, non-hormonal reactive body regions and the total score for body dissatisfaction were positively related with gender dysphoria. The majority had experienced trans hostility in the present and/or past (54.1%) and PPR (63.5%). More body dissatisfaction was correlated with more PPR regarding visible body parts i.e., hair, overall appearance and muscles, whilst PPR and gender dysphoria were not associated. Transgender adolescents who experienced trans hostility showed higher gender dysphoria and PPR, but not more body dissatisfaction. In multiple regression, trans hostility predicted gender dysphoria, whilst age and PPR predicted body dissatisfaction.
Experiences of minority-stress differentially interact with body dissatisfaction and gender dysphoria among transgender adolescents. Social correlates of body dissatisfaction and gender dysphoria must be considered when working with young transgender people.View less
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) models will have broad impacts on society including the scientific enterprise; ecology and environmental science will be no exception. Here, we discuss the potential opportunities and risks of advanced generative AI for visual material (images and video) for the science of ecology and the environment itself. There are clearly opportunities for positive impacts, related to improved communication, for example; we also see possibilities for ecological research to benefit from generative AI (e.g., image gap filling, biodiversity surveys, and improved citizen science). However, there are also risks, threatening to undermine the credibility of our science, mostly related to actions of bad actors, for example in terms of spreading fake information or committing fraud. Risks need to be mitigated at the level of government regulatory measures, but we also highlight what can be done right now, including discussing issues with the next generation of ecologists and transforming towards radically open science workflows.View less
Indium tin oxide (ITO) coatings have been proposed to reduce thermal emission losses for solar thermal applications. Unfortunately, ITO also has a large amount of free charge carriers (∼1 × 1020 per cm3), which absorb sunlight. To address this issue, we propose a nano-patterned ITO-coated quartz exhibiting both anti-reflectivity (to maximize solar transmission) and low emissivity (to minimize long wavelengths radiative losses). A record small-size nanosphere (∼60 nm) etch mask was prepared via double self-assembly, followed by dry etching and characterisation. In parallel, alternative nanopattern geometries were modelled using the Lumerical FDTD software to optimise short wavelength transmission without diminishing the inherently low emissivity of unetched ITO. It was found that an inverted moth's eye pattern (height = 250 nm and spacing = 80 nm) gave the best results at various solar concentrations (1 sun @ 100 °C, 10 suns @ 400 °C, and 100 suns @ 600 °C), resulting in ∼7% improvement in the solar weighted transmission as well as a similar boost in the overall efficiency factor for selectivity. It was concluded that if the proposed deposition/etching processes can be cost-effectively scaled in a continuous process, it would provide a net performance boost for most solar thermal technologies.View less
Podocytes are critical components of the glomerular filtration barrier, sitting on the outside of the glomerular basement membrane. Primary and secondary foot processes are characteristic for podocytes, but cell processes that develop in culture were not studied much in the past. Moreover, protocols for diverse visualization methods mostly can only be used for one technique, due to differences in fixation, drying and handling. However, we detected by single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) analysis that cells reveal high variability in genes involved in cell type-specific morphology, even within one cell culture dish, highlighting the need for a compatible protocol that allows measuring the same cell with different methods. Here, we developed a new serial and correlative approach by using a combination of a wide variety of microscopic and spectroscopic techniques in the same cell for a better understanding of podocyte morphology. In detail, the protocol allowed for the sequential analysis of identical cells with light microscopy (LM), Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Skipping the fixation and drying process, the protocol was also compatible with scanning ion-conductance microscopy (SICM), allowing the determination of podocyte surface topography of nanometer-range in living cells. With the help of nanoGPS Oxyo®, tracking concordant regions of interest of untreated podocytes and podocytes stressed with TGF-β were analyzed with LM, SEM, Raman spectroscopy, AFM and SICM, and revealed significant morphological alterations, including retraction of podocyte process, changes in cell surface morphology and loss of cell-cell contacts, as well as variations in lipid and protein content in TGF-β treated cells. The combination of these consecutive techniques on the same cells provides a comprehensive understanding of podocyte morphology. Additionally, the results can also be used to train automated intelligence networks to predict various outcomes related to podocyte injury in the future.View less
Tricalcium phosphate (Ca3(PO4)2, TCP), is one of the most studied and used as material for bioresorbable implants. The β phase has a slower dissolution dynamic and ensures mechanical support for a longer time in biological environment, while a faster release of ions characterize the α phase that trigger a stronger biological response. In this work a femtosecond laser system was used to process β-TCP pellets surface. The femtosecond laser processing results in surface morphology modification, by turning the flat mirror polished surface into a rough and opaque one. The morphological and phisycochemical characteristics of material surface were studied by means of SEM, AFM, Raman, XRD and contact angle measurement. The processed surface showed the formation of micro and nano roughness alongside, furthermore a partial phase transformation from β-TCP to α-TCP was detected. A significant improvement in surface wettability for three different liquids (i.e.water, ethylene glycol and diiodo-methane) is reported. This implies an increase in surface free energy as well. The combination of α and β phase, together with the increased roughness obtained by laser processing, could positively affect the cell adhesion and metabolic activity.View less
Micromechanical tests were performed to understand the local fracture behavior and adhesive strength of a fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composite (silicon carbide fiber reinforced silicon carbide matrix with the pyrolytic interphase in between, SiCfiber/PyC/SiCmatrix) and to determine the mode-dependent interfacial fracture toughness. A combined approach of pico-second laser ablation and focused ion beam milling was used to fabricate notched and unnotched micro-cantilever and in-plane micro-shear specimens for mode I and II testing. Due to the complexity of the sandwich system, finite element simulations were implemented, which took into account the elastic heterogeneity, the influence of PyC thickness, Young's modulus and beam thickness. This allowed us to obtain mode-specific geometry functions and to increase the accuracy of the obtained stress intensity factor. In all cases, a failure at the SiCfiber/PyC interface was observed. While straight through notched specimens exhibit a systematic overestimation of fracture toughness due to the less accurate alignment of notch root and PyC layer, curved notched specimens show a very low interfacial fracture toughness of 0.24 ± 0.02 MPa√m and 0.17 ± 0.06 MPa√m in mode I and mode II, respectively. Combined with tests on unnotched specimens, a critical flaw size for the present microstructure of the PyC phase of ca. 21 nm was identified. The data underlines the important role of the PyC interlayer in damage resistant ceramic composites and the developed methodology, which can be used for systematic studies of their properties as a function of process, geometry, and boundary conditions.View less
Theileria annulata is a protozoan parasite with a complex life cycle involving a bovine host and a tick vector. It is transmitted by Hyalomma ticks and is the causative agent of tropical theileriosis, a debilitating and often fatal disease in southern Europe, northern Africa and large parts of Asia. Understanding the biology of different life cycle stages is critical for the control of tropical theileriosis and requires the use of experimental animals which poses an ethical concern. We present for the first time the in vitro infection of red blood cells (RBCs) with T. annulata differentiated schizonts. The Ankara cell line of T. annulata was cultured at 41 °C for nine days to induce merogony and subsequently incubated with purified RBCs for one to three days. Percentage of parasitized erythrocyte (PPE) over the short culture period was estimated by Giemsa staining (0.007–0.01%), Flow cytometry activated sorting (FACS) (0.02–1.1%) and observation of FACS sorted cells by confocal microscopy (0.05–0.4%). There was a significant difference in the PPE between FACS and the two other techniques (one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey test, P = 0.004) but no significant difference was observed between the confocal imaging and Giemsa staining methods (ANOVA one-way followed by Tukey test, P = 0.06). Importantly, all three complementary methods confirmed the invasion of RBCs by T. annulata merozoites in vitro. Although the experimental conditions will require further optimization to increase the PPE, the in vitro infection of RBCs by T. annulata merozoites is pivotal in paving the way for the eventual completion of the T. annulata life cycle in vitro when combined with artificial tick feeding.View less
Patients affected by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) frequently show muscle weakness with unknown etiology. Here we show that, in mice, Neurofibromin 1 (Nf1) is not required in muscle fibers, but specifically in early postnatal myogenic progenitors (MPs), where Nf1 loss led to cell cycle exit and differentiation blockade, depleting the MP pool resulting in reduced myonuclear accretion as well as reduced muscle stem cell numbers. This was caused by precocious induction of stem cell quiescence coupled to metabolic reprogramming of MPs impinging on glycolytic shutdown, which was conserved in muscle fibers. We show that a Mek/Erk/NOS pathway hypersensitizes Nf1-deficient MPs to Notch signaling, consequently, early postnatal Notch pathway inhibition ameliorated premature quiescence, metabolic reprogramming and muscle growth. This reveals an unexpected role of Ras/Mek/Erk signaling supporting postnatal MP quiescence in concert with Notch signaling, which is controlled by Nf1 safeguarding coordinated muscle growth and muscle stem cell pool establishment. Furthermore, our data suggest transmission of metabolic reprogramming across cellular differentiation, affecting fiber metabolism and function in NF1.View less
This paper is about the opposite of judgement and calculation. This opposition has been a traditional anchor of critiques concerned with the rise of AI decision making over human judgement. Contrary to these approaches, it is argued that human judgement is not and cannot be replaced by calculation, but that it is human judgement that contextualises computational structures and gives them meaning and purpose. The article focuses on the epistemic structure of algorithms and artificial neural networks to find that they always depend on human judgement to be related to real life objects or purposes. By introducing the philosophical concept of judgement, it becomes clear that the property of judgement to provide meaning and purposiveness is based on the temporality of human life and the ambiguity of language, which quantitative processes lack. A juxtaposition shows that calculations and clustering can be used and referred to in more or less prejudiced and reflecting as well as opaque and transparent ways, but thereby always depend on human judgement. The paper clearly asserts that the transparency of AI is necessary for their autonomous use. This transparency requires the explicitness of the judgements that constitute these computational structures, thereby creating an awareness of the conditionality of such epistemic entities.View less
Itch sensitization has been reported in patients with chronic allergic skin diseases and observed in a mouse model of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). There is evidence suggesting that neuroimmune interactions may contribute to itch sensitization, as an increase in dendritic cells (DCs) within ganglia has been observed during allergic conditions. However, how DCs interact with sensory neurons in ganglia during allergic conditions is still not known. This study aims to investigate the role of DCs in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) under ACD conditions, specifically focusing on itch sensitization within the DRG. The tolylene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) mouse model for ACD and the co-culture model of DCs and DRG neurons was employed in this study.
We successfully induced ACD by TDI, as evidenced by the development of edema, elevated total serum IgE levels, and an observed itch reaction in TDI-sensitized mice. Calcium imaging and RT-qPCR analysis revealed that TDI-sensitized mice exhibited signs of peripheral sensitization, including a higher percentage of neurons responding to pruritogens and increased activation and expression of itch receptors in excised DRG of TDI-sensitized mice. Immunofluorescence and flow cytometric analysis displayed an increase of MHCII+ cells, which serves as a marker for DCs, within DRG during ACD. The co-culture study revealed that when DRG neurons were cultured with DCs, there was an increase in the number of neurons responsive to pruritogens and activation of itch receptors such as TRPA1, TRPV1, H1R, and TRPV4. In addition, the immunofluorescence and RT-qPCR study confirmed an upregulation of TRPV4.
Our findings indicate that there is an increase of MHCII+ cells and itch peripheral sensitization in DRG under TDI-induced ACD condition. It has been found that MHCII+ cells in DRG might contribute to the itch peripheral sensitization by activating itch receptors, as shown through co-culture studies between DRG neurons and DCs. Further studies are required to identify the specific mediator(s) responsible for peripheral sensitization induced by activated DCs.View less
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease causing loss of articular cartilage and structural damage in all joint tissues. Given the limited regenerative capacity of articular cartilage, methods to support the native structural properties of articular cartilage are highly anticipated. The aim of this study was to infiltrate zwitterionic monomer solutions into human OA-cartilage explants to replace lost proteoglycans. The study included polymerization and deposition of methacryloyloxyethyl-phosphorylcholine- and a novel sulfobetaine-methacrylate-based monomer solution within ex vivo human OA-cartilage explants and the encapsulation of isolated chondrocytes within hydrogels and the corresponding effects on chondrocyte viability. The results demonstrated that zwitterionic cartilage–hydrogel networks are formed by infiltration. In general, cytotoxic effects of the monomer solutions were observed, as was a time-dependent infiltration behavior into the tissue accompanied by increasing cell death and penetration depth. The successful deposition of zwitterionic hydrogels within OA cartilage identifies the infiltration method as a potential future therapeutic option for the repair/replacement of OA-cartilage extracellular suprastructure. Due to the toxic effects of the monomer solutions, the focus should be on sealing the OA-cartilage surface, instead of complete infiltration. An alternative treatment option for focal cartilage defects could be the usage of monomer solutions, especially the novel generated sulfobetaine-methacrylate-based monomer solution, as bionic for cell-based 3D bioprintable hydrogels.View less
High-order harmonic generation (HHG) normally requires a careful adjustment of the driving laser intensity (typically 1014–1015 W/cm2) and gas medium parameters to obtain a microscopically and macroscopically optimized output. In contrast to conventional wisdom, we present experimental results indicating efficient HHG in all rare gases, using a high-density medium and a driving laser intensity of around 1016 W/cm2. The experimental results are corroborated by theoretical simulations, which indicate that ionization-induced self-phase modulation and plasma defocusing self-regulate the driver laser intensity to a level that allows efficient HHG. A tenfold broadening of the driving near-infrared spectrum is observed, which results in the generation of continuous spectra from 18 to 140 eV in spite of using 50-fs-long driving pulses. The presented scheme represents a simple and versatile concept for the generation of extreme-ultraviolet and soft-x-ray continua, which could be used for transient absorption and reflection spectroscopy.View less
While long-lasting declines in life satisfaction following unemployment have been well documented, evidence on the impact of unemployment on affective and eudaimonic well- being is scarce. Moreover, most existing studies relied on yearly panel data and were unable to separate the immediate effects of entering unemployment from prospective effects occurring before individuals become unemployed. The present study identified the immediate effects of entering unemployment on cognitive, affective and eudaimonic well-being facets using a control-group design based on monthly panel data of initially employed German jobseekers who were at high risk of losing their job. In order to investigate patterns of short-term adaptation, the study further examined whether average well-being levels change within the first months of unemployment using a mixed-effects trait-state-occasion model. All effects were separately computed for jobseekers affected by mass-layoffs or plant closures and individuals who registered as jobseekers due to other reasons. Multi-item instruments and experience sampling were used to validly measure the various well-being facets. The results indicate that life satisfaction and income satisfaction significantly decreased for individuals affected by mass-layoffs or plant closures from the last month in employment to the first month in unemployment. For individuals who registered as jobseekers due to other reasons, these effects were smaller and not significant in the case of life satisfaction. Crucially, there were no immediate effects of entering unemployment on the examined affective and eudaimonic well-being facets. Moreover, well-being levels were generally stable within the first months of unemployment indicating a general absence of short-term adaptation.View less
Ein Zauberkunststück gab Anlass zu einem zahlentheoretischen Problem: Wenn n Karten auf spezielle Weise ausgegeben werden, welche Karte bleibt dann übrig? Die Ergebnisse geben Anlass zu interessanten Variationen des Kunststücks.
Despite the rapid expansion of sustainability science in recent decades, sustainability crises have continued to grow. Sustainability researchers argue that this is partly the result of neglecting people’s inner worlds and call for a stronger consideration of inner states and processes in sustainability scholarship. We argue that the advancement of personal sustainability science, i.e., the systematic inquiry of inner worlds in relation to sustainability, is currently impeded by at least two unresolved issues. First, attitudes, emotions, values, and the like have frequently been the object of sustainability-related research. It thus remains unclear to what exactly researchers should more closely look at when inquiring into people’s inner worlds. Second, the epistemological and methodological foundations for conducting research on inner worlds remain underdeveloped. We illustrate that current research activities usually remain at a phenomenologically shallow level. In response to these issues, we provide conceptual, methodological, and normative cornerstones for a first-person inquiry within personal sustainability science, allowing for an in-depth understanding and potentially even a transformation of people’s inner worlds with regard to sustainability. Overall, we suggest redirecting personal sustainability science more strongly toward the inquiry into people’s subjective (i.e., first-person) experiences of inner states and processes unfolding in relation to sustainability.View less
The electron withdrawing and oxidatively stable perfluorinated Cp* ligand [C5(CF3)5]− allowed for the isolation of rare and unusually stable coinage metal complexes [M(C5(CF3)5)(PtBu3)] (M = Cu, Ag, Au), representing the first complete and structurally comparable series of group 11 Cp coordination compounds. Full characterization and structure analysis revealed distinct and partly unknown coordination motifs with hapticities ranging from η1, η3/η1 and η3/η2 for gold, silver and copper, respectively. Quantum-chemical studies using DFT methods confirm these findings and connect them to the unique electronic structure of the given ligand system.View less
Environmental factors, such as temperature, precipitation, and elevation, explain most of the variation in species richness at the global scale. Nevertheless, richness patterns may have different drivers across taxa and regions. To date, a comprehensive global examination of how various factors such as climate or topography drive patterns of species richness across all terrestrial vertebrates, using the same methods and predictors, has been lacking. Recent advances in species-distribution data allowed us to model and examine the richness pattern of all terrestrial tetrapods comprehensively. We tested the relationship between environmental and biogeographical variables and richness of amphibians (5983 species), birds (9630), mammals (5004), reptiles (8939), and tetrapods as a whole, globally, and across biogeographical realms. We studied the effects of climatic, ecological, and biogeographic drivers using generalized additive models. Richness patterns and their environmental associations varied among taxa and realms. Overall precipitation was the predominant richness predictor. However, temperature was more important in realms where both cold and warm conditions exist. In the Indomalayan realm, elevational range was very important. Richness patterns of mammals, birds, and amphibians were strongly related to precipitation whereas reptile richness was mostly associated with temperature. Our results support the universal importance of precipitation but also suggest that future global-scaled research should incorporate other relevant variables other than climate, such as elevational range, to gain a better understanding of the richness–environment relationship. By doing so, we can further advance our knowledge of the complex relationships between biodiversity and the environment.View less
We consider the deformation of a geological structure with non-intersecting faults that can be represented by a layered system of viscoelastic bodies satisfying rate- and state-depending friction conditions along the common interfaces. We derive a mathematical model that contains classical Dieterich- and Ruina-type friction as special cases and accounts for possibly large tangential displacements. Semi-discretization in time by a Newmark scheme leads to a coupled system of nonsmooth, convex minimization problems for rate and state to be solved in each time step. Additional spatial discretization by a mortar method and piecewise constant finite elements allows for the decoupling of rate and state by a fixed point iteration and efficient algebraic solution of the rate problem by truncated nonsmooth Newton methods. Numerical experiments with a spring slider and a layered multiscale system illustrate the behavior of our model as well as the efficiency and reliability of the numerical solver.View less
Contemporary research has shown that authoritarian regimes are not static. At the same time, gradual changes are often difficult to detect and the literature has not yet developed convincing tools to identify autocracy-to-autocracy transitions outside the visible ruptures of coups, power transfers, and opposition victories. Building on fieldwork in Tanzania, we show that patterns of rule shifted significantly under Magufuli. Once the model case of a party-based system in Africa, we argue that Tanzania should be reclassified as a party-personalist regime for the time of his presidency. The basis for his success lies in the increasing factional tensions within the CCM which gave him the power to act as the arbiter and to manipulate party institutions and nominations to his favour. Beyond providing a thick description of a single case, we address the theoretical and empirical challenges of correctly classifying authoritarian regimes.View less
Focusing on the fact that digital media commodities are easily reproduced once initially produced, this paper explains, against the backdrop of Marxist insights, just how these commodities are produced, distributed, and consumed in the current digital media environment. Working with Marx’s definition of the value of commodities as the social labor time required for their production, we can thereby define the value and price of reproduced digital media commodities as zero, but the market price of these commodities as in fact constituting the Marxist monopoly price. These determinations are then supported by a review of the ways valueless digital media goods are commodified in a monopolistic real world. The approach here, borrowing from Marx’s research methods, starts from commodity analysis to explain comprehensively the wider political and economic system of capitalism. This viewpoint of the inherent value of media products is foreign to neoclassical economics as well as to mainstream media and communication studies embracing the utility theory of value.View less