Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) superfamily of cytokines. While some ligand members are potent inducers of angiogenesis, others promote vascular homeostasis. However, the precise understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying these functions is still a growing research field. In bone, the tissue in which BMPs were first discovered, crosstalk of TGFβ/BMP signaling with mechanobiology is well understood. Likewise, the endothelium represents a tissue that is constantly exposed to multiple mechanical triggers, such as wall shear stress, elicited by blood flow or strain, and tension from the surrounding cells and to the extracellular matrix. To integrate mechanical stimuli, the cytoskeleton plays a pivotal role in the transduction of these forces in endothelial cells. Importantly, mechanical forces integrate on several levels of the TGFβ/BMP pathway, such as receptors and SMADs, but also global cell-architecture and nuclear chromatin re-organization. Here, we summarize the current literature on crosstalk mechanisms between biochemical cues elicited by TGFβ/BMP growth factors and mechanical cues, as shear stress or matrix stiffness that collectively orchestrate endothelial function. We focus on the different subcellular compartments in which the forces are sensed and integrated into the TGFβ/BMP growth factor signaling.Weniger anzeigen
Staff rostering is a crucial task in inbound call centers, as personnel costs usually account for the largest share of operating costs. Uncertainty of capacity, such as the presence of agents is often disregarded during rostering. This paper addresses the problem of uncertainty by using predictive analytics to predict agent absences and thus increase roster robustness. Operational data from four years of a call center serves as a basis for our use case. Predictors include characteristics of the service agents such as attendance history and regular working hours as well as other factors such as the weekday. Of the prediction algorithms tested, decision trees outperform other predictive modeling approaches. Evaluation based on an expected value framework shows that the predictive analytics approach performs best compared to the planned, unchanged roster and a general staff surcharge of 10%.Weniger anzeigen
Comprehensive assessment of the virtual water trade of Germany with the world is performed and the national water footprint through the trade of crop and livestock products from 1991 to 2016 is assessed. Virtual water flows based on 328 products with more than 200 countries indicate Germany as a net virtual water importer. Average virtual water import was 100.5 Bm3/y, virtual water export was 60.2 Bm3/y and net virtual water import was 40.3 Bm3/y. Trade patterns of virtual water transfer differ for the various commodity types. Trade between Germany and the world implies a global water loss of 5.9 Bm3/y. This study portrays that trade between countries is not only related to the economics but interlinked with the agricultural water use and management practices of the respective nations. Sustainable management of the resources will require a collective consideration of the agricultural, water and economic sectors while developing strategies.Weniger anzeigen
Primary productivity of forest ecosystems depends on the availability of plant-essential mineral nutrients. Because nutrient demand of trees often exceeds nutrient supply from rock, tree nutrition is sustained by efficient reutilization of organic-bound nutrients. These nutrients are continuously returned from trees to the forest floor in litterfall. However, over millennia nutrient limitation may develop in landscapes from which nutrients are permanently lost by drainage and erosion. Such a deficit is prevented if advection of unweathered bedrock toward the surface as driven by erosion continuously supplies fresh nutrients. Yet the mechanisms and the depth range over which this deep nutrient resource is accessed are poorly known. We show that in two montane temperate forest ecosystems in the Black Forest and Bavarian Forest the geogenic source of nutrients was found within a depth zone of several meters. This deep zone contains a large pool of biologically available nutrients. We applied isotope ratios as proxies for nutrient uptake depth, and we tracked the regolith depth at which the isotope ratios of(87)Sr/Sr-86 and(10)Be(meteoric)/Be-9 match the respective values in plant tissue. We mapped the depth distribution of the biologically available calcium-bound form of the most plant-essential mineral nutrient phosphorus and found that the depth of phosphorus availability is as deep or even deeper as the range defined by the isotope ratios. We conclude that nutrient supply from a regolith depth of several meters is critical for forest ecosystem function in landscapes of moderate hillslopes and rainfall that are affected by permanent nutrient loss.Weniger anzeigen
Background: Internet- and mobile-based mental health interventions have the potential to narrow the treatment gap in ethnic groups. Little evidence exists on the cultural adaptation of such interventions. Cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions distinguishes between surface and deep structure adaptation. Surface refers to matching materials (e.g., illustrations, language) or methods of treatment delivery to the target population, whereas deep structure adaptation considers cultural concepts of distress (CCD). So far, CCD have only been considered to a limited extent in cultural adaptation of psychological interventions, and there is a lack of well documented adaptation procedures.
Aims: With a cross-disciplinary and mixed-method approach, following a new conceptual framework for cultural adaptation of scalable psychological interventions, this study aimed to develop both surface and deep structure adaptations of an internet- and mobile-based intervention called Hap-pas-Hapi for the treatment of psychological distress among Albanian migrants in Switzerland and Germany.
Methods: A qualitative ethnopsychological study was conducted to examine the target group's CCD. Focus group discussions, an online survey, and individual key informant interviews were utilised to evaluate the original intervention, adaptation drafts and the final adapted intervention. A reporting system was developed to support the decision-making process and to report all adaptations in a transparent and replicable way.
Results: The ongoing involvement of target population key informants provided valuable feedback for the development of a more person-centred intervention, which might enhance treatment acceptance, motivation and adherence.
Discussion: This study provides empirical and theory-based considerations and suggestions for future implementation that may foster acceptability and effectiveness of culturally adapted evidence-based interventions.Weniger anzeigen
Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) causes encephalomyelopathy and abortion, for which cell-associated viremia and subsequent virus transfer to and replication in endothelial cells (EC) are responsible and prerequisites. Viral and cellular molecules responsible for efficient cell-to-cell spread of EHV-1 between peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and EC remain unclear. We have generated EHV-1 mutants lacking ORF1, ORF2, and ORF17 genes, either individually or in combination. Mutant viruses were analyzed for their replication properties in cultured equine dermal cells, PBMC infection efficiency, virus-induced changes in the PBMC proteome, and cytokine and chemokine expression profiles. ORF1, ORF2, and ORF17 are not essential for virus replication, but ORF17 deletion resulted in a significant reduction in plaque size. Deletion of ORF2 and ORF17 gene significantly reduced cell-to-cell virus transfer from virus-infected PBMC to EC. EHV-1 infection of PBMC resulted in upregulation of several pathways such as Ras signaling, oxidative phosphorylation, platelet activation and leukocyte transendothelial migration. In contrast, chemokine signaling, RNA degradation and apoptotic pathways were downregulated. Deletion of ORF1, ORF2 and ORF17 modulated chemokine signaling and MAPK pathways in infected PBMC, which may explain the impairment of virus spread between PBMC and EC. The proteomic results were further confirmed by chemokine assays, which showed that virus infection dramatically reduced the cytokine/chemokine release in infected PBMC. This study uncovers cellular proteins and pathways influenced by EHV-1 after PBMC infection and provide an important resource for EHV-1 pathogenesis. EHV-1-immunomodulatory genes could be potential targets for the development of live attenuated vaccines or therapeutics against virus infection.Weniger anzeigen
Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a major threat to public health. This study investigated the occurrence of MRSA in humans, chickens, chicken meat and environmental samples within poultry farms and live bird markets in southwestern Nigeria. Methods: MRSA were isolated using selective culture and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility by broth microdilution. Selected isolates were characterized by whole genome sequencing (WGS). From WGS data, spa, dru, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and SCCmec types, but also virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes, were identified. Results: Fifty-six MRSA isolates were detected in 734 samples. They showed resistance to β-lactams (100%), tetracycline (60.7%), ciprofloxacin (33.9%), erythromycin (28.6%), gentamicin (32.1%), and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (10.7%). All 30 isolates investigated by WGS carried mecA, dfrG, and tet(38) genes. Other resistance genes detected were blaZ (83.3%), fosB (73.3%), tet(K) (60.0%), aacA-aphD (36.6%), aphA3 (33.3%), msr(A) (30.0%), mph(C) (30.0%), dfrS1 (3.3%), and sat4 (3.3%). Seven spa types (t091, t314, t657, t1476, t2331, t4690 and t12236), four known (dt9aw, dt10ao, dt10cj, and dt11a) and two novel (dt10dr and dt11dw) dru types, as well as five sequence types (ST8, ST121, ST152, ST772 and ST789) were found among the MRSA isolates. All ST121 isolates carried an SCCmec type IV cassette and were not dru-typeable. ST152 and ST121 were found only in specific sample categories within defined locations, while ST8 and ST772 were distributed across most sample categories and locations. Three SCCmec types, IVa, V and Vc, were identified. All MRSA isolates possessed virulence genes including aur, clpP, coa, fnbA, esaA, hly, hla, ica, isdA, srtB, sspA, and vWbp, among others. The toxic shock syndrome toxin gene (tst) was not detected in any isolate, whereas the Pantone–Valentine leukocidin genes lukF-PV/lukS-PV were present in all ST121, all ST772, and all but one ST152 isolates. Conclusion: The results of this study (i) showed that chicken meat is contaminated by MRSA and (ii) suggested that live bird markets may serve as focal points for the dissemination of MRSA within the community.Weniger anzeigen
Actin and non-muscle myosins have long been known to play important roles in growth cone steering and neurite outgrowth. More recently, novel functions for non-muscle myosin have been described in axons and dendritic spines. Consequently, possible roles of actomyosin contraction in organizing and maintaining structural properties of dendritic spines, the size and location of axon initial segment and axonal diameter are emerging research topics. In this review, we aim to summarize recent findings involving myosin localization and function in these compartments and to discuss possible roles for actomyosin in their function and the signaling pathways that control them.Weniger anzeigen
Disruption of the Heparan sulfate (HS)-biosynthetic gene N-acetylglucosamine N-Deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase 1 (Ndst1) during nervous system development causes malformations that are composites of those caused by mutations of multiple HS binding growth factors and morphogens. However, the role of Ndst function in adult brain physiology is less explored. Therefore, we generated mice bearing a Purkinje-cell-specific deletion in Ndst1 gene function by using Cre/loxP technology under the control of the Purkinje cell protein 2 (Pcp2/L7) promotor, which results in HS undersulfation. We observed that mutant mice did not show overt changes in the density or organization of Purkinje cells in the adult cerebellum, and behavioral tests also demonstrated normal cerebellar function. This suggested that postnatal Purkinje cell development and homeostasis are independent of Ndst1 function, or that impaired HS sulfation upon deletion of Ndst1 function may be compensated for by other Purkinje cell-expressed Ndst isoforms. To test the latter possibility, we additionally deleted the second Purkinje-cell expressed Ndst family member, Ndst2. This selectively abolished reproductive capacity of compound mutant female, but not male, mice, suggesting that ovulation, gestation, or female reproductive behavior specifically depends on Ndst-dependent HS sulfation in cells types that express Cre under Pcp2/L7 promotor control.Weniger anzeigen
Human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) persists within hosts via infectious spread (de novoinfection) and mitotic spread (infected cell proliferation), creating a population structure of multiple clones (infected cell populations with identical genomic proviral integration sites). The relative contributions of infectious and mitotic spread to HTLV-1 persistence are unknown, and will determine the efficacy of different approaches to treatment. The prevailing view is that infectious spread is negligible in HTLV-1 persistence beyond early infection. However, in light of recent high-throughput data on the abundance of HTLV-1 clones, and recent estimates of HTLV-1 clonal diversity that are substantially higher than previously thought (typically between 10(4)and 10(5)HTLV-1(+)T cell clones in the body of an asymptomatic carrier or patient with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis), ongoing infectious spread during chronic infection remains possible. We estimate the ratio of infectious to mitotic spread using a hybrid model of deterministic and stochastic processes, fitted to previously published HTLV-1 clonal diversity estimates. We investigate the robustness of our estimates using three alternative estimators. We find that, contrary to previous belief, infectious spread persists during chronic infection, even after HTLV-1 proviral load has reached its set point, and we estimate that between 100 and 200 new HTLV-1 clones are created and killed every day. We find broad agreement between all estimators. The risk of HTLV-1-associated malignancy and inflammatory disease is strongly correlated with proviral load, which in turn is correlated with the number of HTLV-1-infected clones, which are created by de novo infection. Our results therefore imply that suppression of de novo infection may reduce the risk of malignant transformation.Weniger anzeigen
To maintain and foster the welfare of laboratory mice, tools that reliably measure the current state of the animals are applied in clinical assessment. One of these is the Mouse Grimace Scale (MGS), a coding system for facial expression analysis. Since there are concerns about the objectivity of the MGS, we further investigated its reliability. Four observers (two experienced and two inexperienced in use of the MGS) scored 188 images of 33 female and 31 male C57BL/6JRj mice. Images were generated prior to, 150 min, and two days after ketamine/xylazine anesthesia. The intraclass correlations coefficient (ICC = 0.851) indicated good agreement on total MGS scores between all observers when all three time points were included in the analysis. However, interrater reliability was higher in the early post-anesthetic period (ICC = 0.799) than at baseline (ICC = 0.556) and on day 2 after anesthesia (ICC = 0.329). The best agreement was achieved for orbital tightening, and the poorest agreement for nose and cheek bulge, depending on the observers’ experience levels. In general, experienced observers produced scores of higher consistency when compared to inexperienced. Against this background, we critically discuss factors that potentially influence the reliability of MGS scoring.Weniger anzeigen
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a noninvasive technique to detect changes in the autonomous nervous system. It has rarely been investigated in horses with colic. Therefore, the objective was to assess the evolution of HRV parameters and cortisol concentrations in horses with colic. The 43 horses included in this study were categorized into three groups according to the treatment (1, surgical; 2, conservative; 3, euthanized). The HRV and laboratory variables were measured at admission (T1), the day after admission (T2), and at discharge (T3) and compared between groups and over time with an ANOVA with Bonferroni correction. Relationships between the HRV parameters themselves and the laboratory variables was assessed by Pearson correlation coefficients. Evolution of the heart rate (HR) over time, mean normal to normal R intervals (meanNN) and cortisol concentrations indicate a decreased sympathetic stimulation over time in group 1 and 2, in contrast to group 3. For group 3, the meanNN and HR differed significantly to group 2 at T1 and to group 1 and 2 at T2. Treatment induced a change in the HRV and cortisol response in horses managed conservatively or surgically but not in horses that required euthanasia. However, further studies are required to assess the validity of HRV analyses in horses with colic.Weniger anzeigen
Ultrafast demagnetization of rare-earth metals is distinct from that of 3d ferromagnets, as rare-earth magnetism is dominated by localized 4f electrons that cannot be directly excited by an optical laser pulse. Their demagnetization must involve excitation of magnons, driven either through exchange coupling between the 5d6s-itinerant and 4f-localized electrons or by coupling of 4f spins to lattice excitations. Here, we disentangle the ultrafast dynamics of 5d6s and 4f magnetic moments in terbium metal by time-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We show that the demagnetization time of the Tb 4f magnetic moments of 400 fs is set by 4f spin-lattice coupling. This is experimentally evidenced by a comparison to ferromagnetic gadolinium and supported by orbital-resolved spin dynamics simulations. Our findings establish coupling of the 4f spins to the lattice via the orbital momentum as an essential mechanism driving magnetization dynamics via ultrafast magnon generation in technically relevant materials with strong magnetic anisotropy.Weniger anzeigen
Understanding how the packaging of chromatin in the nucleus is regulated and organized to guide complex cellular and developmental programmes, as well as responses to environmental cues is a major question in biology. Technological advances have allowed remarkable progress within this field over the last years. However, we still know very little about how the 3D genome organization within the cell nucleus contributes to the regulation of gene expression. The nuclear space is compartmentalized in several domains such as the nucleolus, chromocentres, telomeres, protein bodies, and the nuclear periphery without the presence of a membrane around these domains. The role of these domains and their possible impact on nuclear activities is currently under intense investigation. In this review, we discuss new data from research in plants that clarify functional links between the organization of different nuclear domains and plant genome function with an emphasis on the potential of this organization for gene regulation.Weniger anzeigen
While tumor resection and liver transplantation (LT) represent potentially curative therapeutic options for patients with early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the identification of the ideal surgical candidates has remained challenging. Just recently, miRNA-193a-5p was described as a tumor suppressor in murine and human HCC but only little is known about circulating miRNA-193a-5p in HCC patients. Here, we evaluated serum levels of miR-193a-5p by qPCR in 41 HCC patients undergoing tumor resection (n = 33) or LT (n = 8) and 20 controls. Circulating relative miR-193a-5p levels were significantly elevated in HCC patients compared to healthy controls. While relative miR-193a-5p levels were comparable between patients of different underlying disease etiology and tumor size, high relative miR-193a-5p levels were predictive for the patients’ postoperative outcome, which was confirmed in uni- and multivariate Cox-regression analysis. As such, HCC patients with a preoperative relative miR-193a-5p level above the ideal cut-off value (3.57) had a median overall survival (OS) of only 451 days compared to 1158 days in patients with a relative miR-193a-5p level below this cut-off value. Our data support a novel function of miR-193a-5p as a biomarker in early-stage HCC patients that might help to identify the best surgical candidates in terms of postoperative outcome.Weniger anzeigen
Dendrobium bibenzyls and phenanthrenes such as chrysotoxine, cypripedin, gigantol and moscatilin have been reported to show promising inhibitory effects on lung cancer growth and metastasis in ex vivo human cell line models, suggesting their potential for clinical application in patients with lung cancer. However, it remains to be determined whether these therapeutic effects can be also seen in primary human cells and/or in vivo. In this study, we comparatively investigated the immune modulatory effects of bibenzyls and phenanthrenes, including a novel Dendrobium bibenzyl derivative, in primary human monocytes. All compounds were isolated and purified from a Thai orchid Dendrobium lindleyi Steud, a new source of therapeutic compounds with promising potential of tissue culture production. We detected increased frequencies of TNF- and IL-6-expressing monocytes after treatment with gigantol and cypripedin, whereas chrysotoxine and moscatilin did not alter the expression of these cytokines in monocytes. Interestingly, the new 4,5-dihydroxy-3,3′,4′-trimethoxybibenzyl derivative showed dose-dependent immune modulatory effects in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated CD14lo and CD14hi monocytes. Together, our findings show immune modulatory effects of the new bibenzyl derivative from Dendrobium lindleyi on different monocyte sub-populations. However, therapeutic consequences of these different monocyte populations on human diseases including cancer remain to be investigated.Weniger anzeigen
Wrist-worn devices with heart rate monitoring have become increasingly popular. Although current guidelines advise to consider clinical symptoms and exercise tolerance during decision-making in heart disease, it remains unknown to which extent wearables can help to determine such functional capacity measures. In clinical settings, the 6-minute walk test has become a standardized diagnostic and prognostic marker. We aimed to explore, whether 6-minute walk distances can be predicted by wrist-worn devices in patients with different stages of mitral and aortic valve disease. A total of n = 107 sensor datasets with 1,019,748 min of recordings were analysed. Based on heart rate recordings and literature information, activity levels were determined and compared to results from a 6-minute walk test. The percentage of time spent in moderate activity was a predictor for the achievement of gender, age and body mass index-specific 6-minute walk distances (p < 0.001; R2 = 0.48). The uncertainty of these predictions is demonstrated.Weniger anzeigen
Abstract Migration scholars, and the universities and institutions who fund them, at times neglect to address the ways in which the traces of the imperial past, and references to the ‘post’ colonial serve to obfuscate and legitimize discriminatory practices in their work. The ‘imperial eyes’ of the academy set the terms and limitations on interactions, locations, and relationality in research, reducing the agency of migrants, producing stratified configurations in the positionality of both migrants and researchers and, subsequently, exacerbating dynamics of exclusion and extraction. As early-stage researchers, we see a critical need for an approach to migration studies which undermines the ongoing impact of colonialism and the normativity of institutionalized, hierarchical narratives that haunt academia. Our research builds on the work of scholars who write about the autonomy of migration, liberation theorists, and critical Indigenous perspectives, but our positions are also influenced by those on the ‘frontlines’ resisting various manifestations of violence and exclusion. In this article, using an interdisciplinary model, we propose the notion of collective self-inquiry to critically question and inquire into our own methods and approaches and provide a set of methodological tools that can be applied by other researchers within and outside of the university. These tools invite us to work collectively and look more critically at the b/ordering of movement(s) across former empires, thus helping us navigate towards the undercommons, a place where the liberatory potential of the academy can be realized.Weniger anzeigen
Progesterone (P4) concentration during follicular growth has a major impact on fertility response in timed artificial insemination (TAI) protocols. Luteal presence at the beginning of a TAI protocol and ovarian response after the first gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection (G1) affect P4 concentration and subsequently pregnancy per artificial insemination (P/AI). A systematic review of the literature and meta-analytical assessment was performed with the objective of evaluating the magnitude of the effect of luteal presence and ovarian response at the beginning of a TAI protocol on P/AI in lactating dairy cows. We considered only studies using synchronisation protocols consisting of GnRH and prostaglandin F (2 alpha). The time interval between G1 and prostaglandin F (2 alpha) (PGF (2 alpha)) had to range from 5 to 7 d. The time interval between the PGF (2 alpha) injection and G2 had to range from 48 to 72 h. We used 28 controlled experiments from 27 published manuscripts including 16,489 cows with the objective of evaluating the effect size of having a functional corpus luteum (CL) at G1 on P/AI. Information regarding ovulatory response after G1 was available for 5676 cows. In a subset of cows (n = 4291), information was available for luteal presence and ovulatory response at the initiation of the TAI protocol. A functional CL at G1 increased (p < 0.001) the relative risk of conceiving (RR (relative risk) = 1.32; 95% CI = 1.21-1.45) in lactating dairy cows. Ovulation after G1 increased (p < 0.001) the relative risk of conceiving (RR = 1.29; 95% CI = 1.20-1.38) in lactating dairy cows. The effect of ovulatory response on P/AI after G1 was affected by luteal presence at G1. In summary, there was a clear benefit on P/AI for cows starting a TAI protocol with a functional CL (+10.5 percentage units) and cows ovulating at the beginning of a TAI protocol (+11.0 percentage units).Weniger anzeigen
The relation between human activities, climate variability, and geomorphodynamics in the Mediterranean region is widely discussed. For the western lower Bakırçay plain in the ancient Pergamon Micro-Region, geoarchaeological studies have shown changes in geomorphodynamics primarily on a site-basis. We reconstruct past geomorphodynamics in the area based on a meta-analysis of 108 (14)C-ages obtained from 25 sediment sequences mainly from colluvial and alluvial deposits by analyzing cumulative probability functions of the (14)C-ages. Accounting for biases in the database, we applied different approaches and compared the empirical probability functions with simulated functions. Reconstructed geomorphodynamics in the western lower Bakırçay plain during the Holocene principally coincide with a trend of climate-driven sensitivity to erosion and population dynamics in the eastern Mediterranean, but are also related to the local settlement history. Our data analysis shows that transformations of the Pergamon Micro-Region between the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial times is contemporary to increasing geomorphodynamics that peak in Roman Imperial times. However, a cause–effect relationship between geomorphodynamics and settlement dynamics should be further evaluated. A comparison with data from other settlement centers in Anatolia shows that a coincidence between the peak in geomorphodynamics and a peak in settlement activity are not obvious and may be influenced by soil conservation measures, preferred settlement location, and inherited soil exhaustionWeniger anzeigen