Concerns about shrinking spaces for civil society organisations have risen in China over the past years, in particular among international nonprofit organisations. The third sector in China, however, continued its growth in numbers, diversity and activities of organisations, accounting for more than 700,000 registered organisations. Government’s financial support to nonprofits significantly increased through contracting out of services. The new Charity Law contains provisions for public fundraising activities, including for online platforms. International activities of Chinese nonprofits took off in the context of participation in global conferences. Chinese NGOs also started to engage in delivering humanitarian aid to communities in other countries. Assessments on shrinking or changing spaces for civil society in China much depend on the type of organisations in focus. This paper pays attention to discourses related to NGO development in China and sheds light on changing spaces for different types of nonprofits in China, those that are negatively affected by new regulations and different kinds of restrictions and those benefiting from emerging opportunities in the context of growing cooperation with the government or the business sector. Analysis based on interviews and talks with experts in China and abroad shows that advocacy-oriented organisations and those receiving foreign funding tend to face more difficulties. Larger international nonprofits with a long track-record in China, however, are seen to continuing or even expanding their activities.Weniger anzeigen
Glycosyl cations are the key intermediates during the glycosylation reaction that covalently links building blocks during the synthetic assembly of carbohydrates. The exact structure of these ions remained elusive due to their transient and short-lived nature. Structural insights into the intermediate would improve our understanding of the reaction mechanism of glycosidic bond formation. Here, we report an in-depth structural analysis of glycosyl cations using a combination of cold-ion infrared spectroscopy and first-principles theory. Participating C2 protective groups form indeed a covalent bond with the anomeric carbon that leads to C1-bridged acetoxonium-type structures. The resulting bicyclic structure strongly distorts the ring, which leads to a unique conformation for each individual monosaccharide. This gain in mechanistic understanding fundamentally impacts glycosynthesis and will allow to tailor building blocks and reaction conditions in the future.Weniger anzeigen
Gram-negative bacteria utilize glutathione (GSH) as their major LMW thiol. However, most Gram-positive bacteria do not encode enzymes for GSH biosynthesis and produce instead alternative LMW thiols, such as bacillithiol (BSH) and mycothiol (MSH). BSH is utilized by Firmicutes and MSH is the major LMW thiol of Actinomycetes. LMW thiols are required to maintain the reduced state of the cytoplasm, but are also involved in virulence mechanisms in human pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Salmonella enterica subsp. Typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes. Infection conditions often cause perturbations of the intrabacterial redox balance in pathogens, which is further affected under antibiotics treatments. During the last years, novel glutaredoxin-fused roGFP2 biosensors have been engineered in many eukaryotic organisms, including parasites, yeast, plants and human cells for dynamic live-imaging of the GSH redox potential in different compartments. Likewise bacterial roGFP2-based biosensors are now available to measure the dynamic changes in the GSH, BSH and MSH redox potentials in model and pathogenic Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.
In this review, we present an overview of novel functions of the bacterial LMW thiols GSH, MSH and BSH in pathogenic bacteria in virulence regulation. Moreover, recent results about the application of genetically encoded redox biosensors are summarized to study the mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions, persistence and antibiotics resistance. In particularly, we highlight recent biosensor results on the redox changes in the intracellular food-borne pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium as well as in the Gram-positive pathogens S. aureus and M. tuberculosis during infection conditions and under antibiotics treatments. These studies established a link between ROS and antibiotics resistance with the intracellular LMW thiol-redox potential. Future applications should be directed to compare the redox potentials among different clinical isolates of these pathogens in relation to their antibiotics resistance and to screen for new ROS-producing drugs as promising strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance.Weniger anzeigen
High levels of zinc oxide are used frequently as feed additive in pigs to improve gut health and growth performance and are still suggested as an alternative to antimicrobial growth promoters. However, we have recently described an increase of multi-resistant E. coli in association to zinc feeding in piglets. This previous study focused on clonal diversity of E. coli, observing the effect on multi-resistant strains by chance. To shed further light into this highly important topic and falsify our previous findings, we performed a zinc pig feeding trial where we specifically focused on in-depth analysis of antimicrobial resistant E. coli. Under controlled experimental conditions, piglets were randomly allocated to a high dietary zinc (zinc group) and a background zinc feeding group (control group). At different ages samples were taken from feces, digesta, and mucosa and absolute E. coli numbers were determined. A total of 2665 E. coli isolates were than phenotypically tested for antimicrobial resistance and results were confirmed by minimum inhibitory concentration testing for random samples. In piglets fed with high dietary zinc, we detected a substantial increase of multi-resistant E. coli in all gut habitats tested, ranging from 28.9–30.2% multi-resistant E. coli compared to 5.8–14.0% in the control group. This increase was independent of the total number of E. coli. Interestingly, the total amount of the E. coli population decreased over time. Thus, the increase of the multi-resistant E. coli populations seems to be linked with persistence of the resistant population, caused by the influence of high dietary zinc feeding. In conclusion, these findings corroborate our previous report linking high dietary zinc feeding of piglets with the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant E. coli and therefore question the feeding of high dietary zinc oxide as alternative to antimicrobial growth promoters.Weniger anzeigen
Early and reliable diagnostic test is essential for effective therapy of lung cancer. Volatile organic compounds that are characteristic for cancer could serve as valuable biomarkers in cancer diagnosis. Both trace analytical and detection dog approaches give some evidence for the existence of such biomarkers. In this proof of concept, study dogs and trace analysis were implemented in combination to gain more information concerning cancer biomarkers. Two dogs were trained to distinguish between absorbed breath samples of lung cancer patients and healthy persons and succeeded with correct identification of patients with 9/9 and 8/9 and correct negative indications from of 8/10 and 4/10 samples from healthy individuals. A recent observational study found that breath samples from lung cancer patients showed an increase in 1-butanol, 2-butanone, 2-pentanone, and hexanal. Synthetic air samples were therefore fortified with these compounds and adsorbed to a fleece. Tested against breath samples from healthy probands, on presentation to the dogs these synthetic samples provoked an indication in three out of four samples. We were able to demonstrate that a combination of the natural nose of a dog and a trace analytic technique can be a valuable concept in the search for cancer biomarkers.Weniger anzeigen
Cluster analyses are often conducted with the goal to characterize an underlying probability density, for which the data-point density serves as an estimate for this probability density. We here test and benchmark the common nearest neighbor (CNN) cluster algorithm. This algorithm assigns a spherical neighborhood R to each data point and estimates the data-point density between two data points as the number of data points N in the overlapping region of their neighborhoods (step 1). The main principle in the CNN cluster algorithm is cluster growing. This grows the clusters by sequentially adding data points and thereby effectively positions the border of the clusters along an iso- surface of the underlying probability density. This yields a strict partitioning with outliers, for which the cluster represents peaks in the underlying probability density—termed core sets (step 2). The removal of the outliers on the basis of a threshold criterion is optional (step 3). The benchmark datasets address a series of typical challenges, including datasets with a very high dimensional state space and datasets in which the cluster centroids are aligned along an underlying structure (Birch sets). The performance of the CNN algorithm is evaluated with respect to these challenges. The results indicate that the CNN cluster algorithm can be useful in a wide range of settings. Cluster algorithms are particularly important for the analysis of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We demonstrate how the CNN cluster results can be used as a discretization of the molecular state space for the construction of a core-set model of the MD improving the accuracy compared to conventional full-partitioning models. The software for the CNN clustering is available on GitHub.Weniger anzeigen
Understanding micro-seismicity is a critical question for earthquake hazard assessment. Since the devastating earthquakes of Izmit and Duzce in 1999, the seismicity along the submerged section of North Anatolian Fault within the Sea of Marmara (comprising the “Istanbul seismic gap”) has been extensively studied in order to infer its mechanical behaviour (creeping vs locked). So far, the seismicity has been interpreted only in terms of being tectonic- driven, although the Main Marmara Fault (MMF) is known to strike across multiple hydrocarbon gas sources. Here, we show that a large number of the aftershocks that followed the M 5.1 earthquake of July, 25th 2011 in the western Sea of Marmara, occurred within a zone of gas overpressuring in the 1.5–5 km depth range, from where pressurized gas is expected to migrate along the MMF, up to the surface sediment layers. Hence, gas-related processes should also be considered for a complete interpretation of the micro- seismicity (~M < 3) within the Istanbul offshore domain.Weniger anzeigen
Captive great apes regularly use pointing gestures in their interactions with humans. However, the precise function of this gesture is unknown. One possibility is that apes use pointing primarily to direct attention (as in “please look at that”); another is that they point mainly as an action request (such as “can you give that to me?”). We investigated these two possibilities here by examining how the looking behavior of recipients affects pointing in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus). Upon pointing to food, subjects were faced with a recipient who either looked at the indicated object (successful-look) or failed to look at the indicated object (failed- look). We predicted that, if apes point primarily to direct attention, subjects would spend more time pointing in the failed-look condition because the goal of their gesture had not been met. Alternatively, we expected that, if apes point primarily to request an object, subjects would not differ in their pointing behavior between the successful-look and failed-look conditions because these conditions differed only in the looking behavior of the recipient. We found that subjects did differ in their pointing behavior across the successful-look and failed-look conditions, but contrary to our prediction subjects spent more time pointing in the successful-look condition. These results suggest that apes are sensitive to the attentional states of gestural recipients, but their adjustments are aimed at multiple goals. We also found a greater number of individuals with a strong right-hand than left-hand preference for pointing.Weniger anzeigen
Kunst und innerhalb dieser die Architektur ist Ausdruck der zeitlichen Gegebenheiten. Diese waren 1945 nach der mentalen und physischen Hinterlassenschaft des Naziregimes desaströs, Stuttgart - die Heimatstadt des Architekten Rolf Gutbrod (1910 - 1999) - war völlig untergegangen. Wie sollte der Wiederaufbau geschehen? Als Anknüpfung an die erste Stuttgarter Bauschule vor 1933, als Anpassung an den „internationalen Stil“ als Re-Import des Bauhausstils? Ein kleines Gebäude - die Milchbar auf dem Stuttgarter Höhenpark Killesberg 1950, die einer Bauzeitung als sonderbar bezeichnet wird, um sie in der Folge als Befreiung zu loben - steht am Anfang der individualisierten Baukunst des Architekten Rolf Gutbrod. Yehudi Menuhin - wer könnte besser ein Werk einer verwandten Kunstgattung bewerten als er? - findet für das Konzerthaus Liederhalle 1956 die folgenden Worte: Nachdem ich nun schon zum zweiten Male in Ihrer neuen Liederhalle konzertiert habe, schreibe ich Ihnen, um Ihnen zu diesem Gebäude Glück zu wünschen. Der Raum ist akustisch hervorragend. Dabei hat seine geniale Asymmetrie für den Künstler etwas geradezu Befreiendes. In ihm scheint die mechanistische Perfektion, die unsere Kultur so bedroht, überwunden zu sein. Die freie Bewegtheit des Raumes steht in einem direkten Zusammenhang mit der freien Bewegtheit der Kunst der Musik. In einem solchen Raum ist es leicht, neue und alte Musik schöpferisch nachzuschaffen. Dass gerade in Deutschland, dem der Ruf der Reglementierung auch im Geistigen noch immer anhaftet, ein solches Gebäude an so wichtiger Stelle entstand, freut mich tief. Christoph Hackelsberger schrieb Mitte der 1980er Jahre über dieses Gebäude: Die äußere Erscheinung befremdete in ihrer Neuartigkeit nicht nur die Traditionalisten, sondern auch die Anhänger der klassischen Moderne. So entstand mitten in der Orientierungsphase der deutschen Architektur ein autochthones, organisches Baukunstwerk. In dieser Studie wird am Beispiel exemplarischer Bauwerke das Autochthone des Werks des Architekten, das so erfrischend vor dem Hintergrund der gegenwärtigen Kubenarchitektur wirkt, dargestellt.Weniger anzeigen
The e-vector orientation of linearly polarized light represents an important visual stimulus for many insects. Especially the detection of polarized skylight by many navigating insect species is known to improve their orientation skills. While great progress has been made towards describing both the anatomy and function of neural circuit elements mediating behaviors related to navigation, relatively little is known about how insects perceive non-celestial polarized light stimuli, like reflections off water, leaves, or shiny body surfaces. Work on different species suggests that these behaviors are not mediated by the “Dorsal Rim Area” (DRA), a specialized region in the dorsal periphery of the adult compound eye, where ommatidia contain highly polarization-sensitive photoreceptor cells whose receptive fields point towards the sky. So far, only few cases of polarization-sensitive photoreceptors have been described in the ventral periphery of the insect retina. Furthermore, both the structure and function of those neural circuits connecting to these photoreceptor inputs remain largely uncharacterized. Here we review the known data on non-celestial polarization vision from different insect species (dragonflies, butterflies, beetles, bugs and flies) and present three well-characterized examples for functionally specialized non-DRA detectors from different insects that seem perfectly suited for mediating such behaviors. Finally, using recent advances from circuit dissection in Drosophila melanogaster, we discuss what types of potential candidate neurons could be involved in forming the underlying neural circuitry mediating non- celestial polarization vision.Weniger anzeigen
Staphylococcus aureus is the most common contagious pathogen associated with bovine subclinical mastitis. Current diagnosis of S. aureus mastitis is based on bacteriological culture of milk samples and somatic cell counts, which lack either sensitivity or specificity. Identification of milk proteins that contribute to host defense and their variable responses to pathogenic stimuli would enable the characterization of putative biomarkers of subclinical mastitis. To accomplish this, milk whey samples from healthy and mastitic dairy cows were analyzed using a label-free quantitative proteomics approach. In total, 90 proteins were identified, of which 25 showed significant differential abundance between healthy and mastitic samples. In silico functional analyses indicated the involvement of the differentially abundant proteins in biological mechanisms and signaling pathways related to host defense including pathogen-recognition, direct antimicrobial function, and the acute-phase response. This proteomics and bioinformatics analysis not only facilitates the identification of putative biomarkers of S. aureus subclinical mastitis but also recapitulates previous findings demonstrating the abundance of host defense proteins in intramammary infection. All mass spectrometry data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD007516.Weniger anzeigen
Gutachten zum schweizerischen Unterhaltsrecht für das Amtsgericht Perleberg. Die Parteien streiten über die Höhe des Kindesunterhalts. Die minderjährige Klägerin ist Deutsche. Der Kindesvater ist deutscher Staatsangehöriger mit Wohnsitz und Arbeitsplatz im schweizerischen Kanton Thurgau.
Background: Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in humans range from asymptomatic carriage to life-threatening intestinal disease. Findings on C. difficile in various animal species and an overlap in ribotypes (RTs) suggest potential zoonotic transmission. However, the impact of animals for human CDI remains unclear. Methods: In a large-scale survey we collected 1,447 fecal samples to determine the occurrence of C. difficile in small companion animals (dogs and cats) and their owners and to assess potential epidemiological links within the community. The Germany-wide survey was conducted from July 2012-August 2013. PCR ribotyping, Multilocus VNTR Analysis (MLVA) and PCR detection of toxin genes were used to characterize isolated C. difficile strains. A database was defined and logistic regression used to identify putative factors associated with fecal shedding of C. difficile. Results: In total, 1,418 samples met the inclusion criteria. The isolation rates for small companion animals and their owners within the community were similarly low with 3.0% (25/840) and 2.9% (17/578), respectively. PCR ribotyping revealed eight and twelve different RTs in animals and humans, respectively, whereas three RTs were isolated in both, humans and animals. RT 014/0, a well-known human hospital-associated lineage, was predominantly detected in animal samples. Moreover, the potentially highly pathogenic RTs 027 and 078 were isolated from dogs. Even though, C. difficile did not occur simultaneously in animals and humans sharing the same household. The results of the epidemiological analysis of factors associated with fecal shedding of C. difficile support the hypothesis of a zoonotic potential. Conclusions: Molecular characterization and epidemiological analysis revealed that the zoonotic risk for C. difficile associated with dogs and cats within the community is low but cannot be excluded.Weniger anzeigen
Near-term climate predictions such as decadal climate forecasts are increasingly being used to guide adaptation measures. For near-term probabilistic predictions to be useful, systematic errors of the forecasting systems have to be corrected. While methods for the calibration of probabilistic forecasts are readily available, these have to be adapted to the specifics of decadal climate forecasts including the long time horizon of decadal climate forecasts, lead-time-dependent systematic errors (drift) and the errors in the representation of long-term changes and variability. These features are compounded by small ensemble sizes to describe forecast uncertainty and a relatively short period for which typically pairs of reforecasts and observations are available to estimate calibration parameters. We introduce the Decadal Climate Forecast Recalibration Strategy (DeFoReSt), a parametric approach to recalibrate decadal ensemble forecasts that takes the above specifics into account. DeFoReSt optimizes forecast quality as measured by the continuous ranked probability score (CRPS). Using a toy model to generate synthetic forecast observation pairs, we demonstrate the positive effect on forecast quality in situations with pronounced and limited predictability. Finally, we apply DeFoReSt to decadal surface temperature forecasts from the MiKlip prototype system and find consistent, and sometimes considerable, improvements in forecast quality compared with a simple calibration of the lead-time-dependent systematic errors.Weniger anzeigen
Motivation, or the desire to learn, has been extensively studied for decades by many linguists and teachers because of its vast array of insights as far as language learning is concerned, and because of its acknowledgment as one of the most prominent factors in educational settings. In fact, we are living in an age where the desire to learn languages, and specifically English, has been pushed to its most explicit limit. In this article, I will talk about a study which I carried out with my third year students and which deals with some important aspects of SDT (The Self-Determination theory)- a theory that views motivation both intrinsically and extrinsically. Intrinsic motivation is a construct that reflects the human propensity to learn. However, extrinsic motivation is thought to reflect external control or self-regulation.Weniger anzeigen
A well-established strategy to treat drug resistance is the use of multiple therapeutics. Polymer-based drug delivery systems (DDS) can facilitate a simultaneous delivery of two or more drugs. In this study, we developed and synthesized a dendritic polyglycerol (PG) nanogel (NG) system that allows for free combination of different fixed ratios of active compound conjugates within a single NG particle. As a proof of concept, we synthesized NGs bearing the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin (DOX) and paclitaxel (PTX) in different ratios, as well as conjugated dye molecules. Our combination PG NGs were formed by simply mixing PG–drug/dye conjugates bearing free thiol groups with PG-acrylate in an inverse surfactant-free nanoprecipitation method. With this method we obtained PG-NGs in the size range of 110–165 nm with low polydispersity indices. Solubility of hydrophobic PTX was improved without the need for additional solubilizing agents such as polyethylene glycol (PEG). Interestingly, we found that our NGs made from PG-DOX conjugates have a high quenching efficiency for DOX, which could be interesting for theranostic purposes.Weniger anzeigen
Mycobacterium kansasii is an emerging non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) pathogen capable of causing severe lung disease. Of the seven currently recognized M. kansasii genotypes (I-VII), genotypes I and II are most prevalent and have been associated with human disease, whereas the other five (III-VII) genotypes are predominantly of environmental origin and are believed to be non-pathogenic. Subtyping of M. kansasii serves as a valuable tool to guide clinicians in pursuing diagnosis and to initiate the proper timely treatment. Most of the previous rapid diagnostic tests for mycobacteria employing the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) technology focused on species-level identification. The purpose of this study was to establish MALDI-TOF MS reference spectra database for discrimination of M. kansasii at the genotype level. A panel of 32 strains, representatives of M. kansasii genotypes I-VI were selected, whole cell proteins extracted and measured with MALDI-TOF MS. A unique main spectra (MSP) library was created using MALDI Biotyper Compass Explorer software. The spectra reproducibility was assessed by computing composite correlation index and MSPs cross-matching. One hundred clinical M. kansasii isolates used for testing of the database resulted in 90% identification at genus-level, 7% identification at species-level and 2% identification was below the threshold of log score value 1.7, of which all were correct at genotype level. One strain could not be identified. On the other hand, 37% of strains were identified at species level, 40% at genus level and 23% was not identified with the manufacturer's database. The MALDI- TOF MS was proven a rapid and robust tool to detect and differentiate between M. kansasii genotypes. It is concluded that MALDI-TOF MS has a potential to be incorporated into the routine diagnostic workflow of M. kansasii and possibly other NTM species.Weniger anzeigen
Background Gallibacterium anatis is an opportunistic pathogen of intensively reared poultry causing oophoritis, salpingitis, peritonitis and enteritis. Gallibacterium anatis infection often remains undiagnosed. Recently multi-drug resistant isolates have been described. Methods A newly developed PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism assay targeting the 16S rRNA gene was used to identify and differentiate Gallibacterium isolates from chicken, turkey and partridge samples originating from 18 different geographical locations in Thuringia, Germany. Antimicrobial susceptibility to 19 compounds of different classes was assessed. Results Nineteen Gallibacterium isolates were investigated. In 9 birds (47.4%) Gallibacterium species were isolated exclusively while in 10 birds (52.6%) other bacterial or viral agents could be detected in addition. In one chicken a mixed infection of Gallibacterium anatis and Gallibacterium genomospecies was identified. All isolates were susceptible to apramycin, florfenicol and neomycin and resistant to clindamycin, sulfathiazole and penicillin. Resistance to sulfamethoxim, spectinomycin, tylosin and oxytetracycline was observed in 93.3%, 93.3%, 86.7% and 80.0% of the field strains, respectively. Conclusions The PCR-RFLP assay allows specific detection and differentiation of Gallibacterium spp. from poultry. Antimicrobial resistance of Gallibacterium spp. is highly significant in Thuringian field isolates.Weniger anzeigen
Gutachten zum spanischen Erb- und Sachenrecht für das Kammergericht. Das Gutachten behandelt das Phänomen der Nachlassspaltung und den Vollzug eines Vermächtnisses in Verbindung mit grundbuchrechtlichen Fragen.