Theoretical descriptions of Yu-Shiba-Rusinov (YSR) states induced by magnetic impurities inside the gap of a superconductor typically rely on a classical spin model or are restricted to spin-12 quantum spins. These models fail to account for important aspects of YSR states induced by transition-metal impurities, including the effects of higher quantum spins coupled to several conduction-electron channels, crystal or ligand-field effects, and magnetic anisotropy. We introduce and explore a zero-bandwidth model, which incorporates these aspects, is readily solved numerically, and analytically tractable in several limiting cases. The principal simplification of the model is to neglect Kondo renormalizations of the exchange couplings between impurity spin and conduction electrons. Nevertheless, we find excellent correspondence in those cases, in which we can compare our results to existing numerical-renormalization-group calculations. We apply the model to obtain and understand phase diagrams as a function of pairing strength and magnetic anisotropy as well as subgap excitation spectra. The single-channel case is most relevant for transition-metal impurities embedded into metallic coordination complexes on superconducting substrates, while the multichannel case models transition-metal adatoms.View less
Naked mole-rats (NM-R; Heterocephalus glaber) live in multi-generational colonies with a social hierarchy, and show low cancer incidence and long life-spans. Here we asked if an immune component might underlie such extreme physiology. The largest lymphoid organ is the spleen, which plays an essential role in responding to immunological insults and may participate in combating cancer and slowing ageing. We investigated the anatomy, molecular composition and function of the NM-R spleen using RNA-sequencing and histological analysis in healthy NM-Rs. Spleen size in healthy NM-Rs showed considerable inter-individual variability, with some animals displaying enlarged spleens. In all healthy NM-Rs, the spleen is a major site of adult haematopoiesis under normal physiological conditions. However, myeloid-to-lymphoid cell ratio is increased and splenic marginal zone showed markedly altered morphology when compared to other rodents. Healthy NM-Rs with enlarged spleens showed potentially better anti-microbial profiles and were much more likely to have a high rank within the colony. We propose that the anatomical plasticity of the spleen might be regulated by social interaction and gives immunological advantage to increase the lifespan of higher-ranked animals.View less
Background: According to a recent paper by Gelfand et al., COVID-19 infection and case mortality rates are closely connected to the strength of social norms: “Tighter” cultures that abide by strict social norms are more successful in combating the pandemic than “looser” cultures that are more permissive. However, countries with similar levels of cultural tightness exhibit big differences in mortality rates. We are investigating potential explanations for this fact. Using data from Germany and Japan—two “tight” countries with very different infection and mortality rates—we examined how differences in socio-demographic and other determinants explain differences in individual preventive attitudes and behaviors.
Methods: We compared preventive attitudes and behaviors in 2020 based on real-time representative survey data and used logit regression models to study how individual attitudes and behaviors are shaped by four sets of covariates: individual socio-demographics, health, personality, and regional-level controls. Employing Blinder-Oaxaca regression techniques, we quantified the extent to which differences in averages of the covariates between Japan and Germany explain the differences in the observed preventive attitudes and behaviors.
Results: In Germany and Japan, similar proportions of the population supported mandatory vaccination, avoided travel, and avoided people with symptoms of a cold. In Germany, however, a significantly higher proportion washed their hands frequently and avoided crowds, physical contact, public transport, peak-hour shopping, and contact with the elderly. In Japan, a significantly higher proportion were willing to be vaccinated. We also show that attitudes and behaviors varied significantly more with covariates in Germany than in Japan. Differences in averages of the covariates contribute little to explaining the observed differences in preventive attitudes and behaviors between the two countries.
Conclusion: Consistent with tightness-looseness theory, the populations of Japan and Germany responded similarly to the pandemic. The observed differences in infection and fatality rates therefore cannot be explained by differences in behavior. The major difference in attitudes is the willingness to be vaccinated, which was much higher in Japan. Furthermore, the Japanese population behaved more uniformly across social groups than the German population. This difference in the degree of homogeneity has important implications for the effectiveness of policy measures during the pandemic.View less
Background. Histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) plays an important role in the development and progression of a variety of cancers, but its regulatory mechanism in acute myeloid leukemia (LAML) is not entirely understood. Methods. We analyzed the expression of HDAC3 in normal and cancerous tissues using Oncomine, UALCAN, and GEO databases. Changes of the HDAC3 gene were analyzed by cBioPortal. The genes coexpressed with HDAC3 were analyzed by WebGestalt, and the predicted signaling pathways in KEGG were discussed. Results. We discovered that the expression of HDAC3 was elevated in some types of acute myeloid leukemia. The HDAC3 gene has a strong positive correlation with SLC25A5, NDUFA2, Cox4I1, and EIF3K, which regulate cell growth and development. HDAC3 transcription is higher in patients with FLT3 mutation than in healthy people. HDAC3 can be directly involved in regulating the thyroid hormone signaling pathway. MEF2D is directly involved in the cGMP-PKG signaling pathway, and the HDAC3 gene has a strong synergistic relationship with MEF2D. HDAC3 is indirectly involved in the cGMP-PKG signaling pathway, thereby indirectly regulating the expression levels of p53 and p21 genes in patients with LAML. Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer (GDSC) database analysis revealed that the application of the HDAC3 inhibitor can inhibit the proliferation of leukemia cells. Conclusions. Therefore, our data suggest that HDAC3 may be a possible therapeutic target for acute myeloid leukemia.View less
Compartmental SIR and SEIR models have become the state of the art tools to study infection cycles of arthropod-borne viruses such as West Nile virus in specific areas. In 2018, the virus was detected for the first time in Germany, and incidents have been reported in humans, birds, and horses.
The aim of the work presented here was to provide a tool for estimating West Nile virus infection scenarios, local hotspots and dispersal routes following its introduction into new locations through the movements of mosquitoes. For this purpose, we adapted a SEIR model for West Nile virus to the conditions in Germany (temperatures, geographical latitude, bird and mosquito species densities) and the characteristic transmission and life trait parameter of a possible host bird and vector mosquito species. We further extended it by a spatial component: an agent-based flight simulator for vector mosquitoes. It demonstrates how the female mosquitoes move within the landscape due to habitat structures and wind conditions and about how many of them leave the region in the different cardinal directions.
We applied the space–time coupled model with a daily temporal and spatial resolution of 100 m x 100 m to the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica) and the Asian bush mosquito (Aedes japonicus japonicus). Both species are widely distributed in Germany and discussed as important hosts and vectors, respectively. We also applied the model to three study regions in Germany, each representing slightly different climatic conditions and containing significantly different pattern of suitable habitats for the mosquito species.View less
Soft ticks (Ixodida: Argasidae) are medically important ectoparasites that mainly feed on birds and mammals, which play a key role in their geographic distribution and dispersion. Despite their importance, studies on soft ticks are scarce for many regions and countries of the world, including Pakistan.
In this study, 2330 soft ticks—179 larvae (7.7%), 850 nymphs (36.4%), 711 males (30.5%) and 590 females (25.3%)—were collected from animal shelters in 18 locations within five districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. A subset of the collected ticks was processed for DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the amplification of tick 12S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), 16S rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1), and rickettsial 16S rDNA gene fragments. The obtained sequences were used for the construction of a phylogenetic tree.
All the specimens were morphologically identified as Ornithodoros, and were morphologically similar to Ornithodoros tholozani. The genus was confirmed by sequencing partial 12S rDNA, 16S rDNA and cox1 gene fragments. Additionally, a Rickettsia sp. was detected in some of the collected ticks by PCR targeting 16S rDNA. The morphological relatedness of the tick specimens with O. tholozani was confirmed by phylogenetic analysis, in which the Ornithodoros sp. clustered with Ornithodoros tholozani and Ornithodoros verrucosus, both of which belong to the subgenus Pavlovskyella and have been previously reported from Israel, Ukraine and Iran. The phylogenetic tree also indicated that the Ornithodoros sp. from Pakistan corresponds to an undetermined species. Furthermore, the associated Rickettsia sp. grouped with the limoniae group of Rickettsia species previously reported from Argas japonicus ticks from China.
This is the first molecular study of an Ornithodoros species from Pakistan. Further studies are essential to confirm its identity and possible pathogenicity with regard to its associated microorganisms in the studied region.View less
We investigate how optimal control theory can be used to improve Circular Dichroism (CD) signals for the A-band of fenchone measured via the photoionization yield upon further excitation. These transitions are electric dipole forbidden to first order, which translates into low population transfer to the excited state but allows for a clearer interplay between electric and magnetic transition dipole moments, which are of the same order of magnitude. Using a model including the electronic ground and excited A state as well as all permanent and transition multipole moments up to the electric quadrupole, we find that the absolute CD signal of randomly oriented molecules can be increased by a factor of 2.5 when using shaped laser pulses, with the anisotropy parameter g increasing from 0.06 to 1. We find that this effect is caused by the interference between the excitation pathways prompted by the different multipole moments of the molecule.View less
Based on our prior experiences we form social expectations and anticipate another person’s response. Under certain conditions, these expectations can be so strong that they lead to illusory perception of another person who is actually not there (i.e., seeing a Bayesian ghost). We used EEG to investigate the neural correlates of such illusory social perception. Our results showed that activation of the premotor cortex predicted the occurrence of the Bayesian ghost, whereas its actual appearance was later accompanied by activation in sensorimotor and adjacent parietal regions. These findings confirm that our perception of others is so strongly affected by prior expectations, in such a way they can prompt illusory social perceptions associated with activity change in brain regions relevant for action perception. They also contribute to a better understanding of social interaction in healthy individuals as well as persons with mental illnesses, which can be characterized by illusory perception and social interaction difficulties.View less
Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of the devastating honey-bee disease American Foulbrood, produces the cationic polyketide-peptide hybrid paenilamicin that displays antibacterial and antifungal activity. Its biosynthetic gene cluster contains a gene coding for the N-acetyltransferase PamZ. We show that PamZ acts as self-resistance factor in Paenibacillus larvae by deactivation of paenilamicin. Using tandem mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and synthetic diastereomers, we identified the N-terminal amino group of the agmatinamic acid as the N-acetylation site. These findings highlight the pharmacophore region of paenilamicin, which we very recently identified as a ribosome inhibitor. Here, we further determined the crystal structure of PamZ:acetyl-CoA complex at 1.34 Å resolution. An unusual tandem-domain architecture provides a well-defined substrate-binding groove decorated with negatively-charged residues to specifically attract the cationic paenilamicin. Our results will help to understand the mode of action of paenilamicin and its role in pathogenicity of Paenibacillus larvae to fight American Foulbrood.View less
Biological processes have provided new insights into diverging labour market trajectories. This paper uses population variation in testosterone levels to explain transition probabilities into and out of unemployment. We examine labour market transitions for 2004 initially employed and 111 initially unemployed British men from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (“Understanding Society”) between 2011 and 2013. We address the endogeneity of testosterone levels by using genetic variation as instrumental variables (Mendelian Randomization). We find that for both initially unemployed men as well as initially employed men, higher testosterone levels reduce the risk of unemployment. Based on previous studies and descriptive evidence, we argue that these effects are likely driven by differences in cognitive and non-cognitive skills as well as job search behaviour of men with higher testosterone levels. Our findings suggest that latent biological processes can affect job search behaviour and labour market outcomes without necessarily relating to illness and disability.View less
A non-perturbative and exactly solvable quantum field theoretical model for a “dressed Dirac field” is presented, that exhibits all the kinematical features of QED: an appropriate delocalization of the charged field as a prerequisite for the global Gauss Law, superselected photon clouds (asymptotic expectation values of the Maxwell field), infraparticle nature of charged particles that cannot be separated from their photon clouds, broken Lorentz symmetry. The model serves as an intermediate leg on a new roadmap towards full QED, formulated as an off-shell theory, i.e., including a perturbative construction of its interacting charged fields. It also fills a gap in recent discussions of the “Infrared Triangle”, and points the way towards a new scattering theory for theories with massless particles of helicity ≥ 1, in which infraparticles can be described at the level of charged fields, rather than just states.View less
In the context of the advancement of person-centered care models, the promotion of the participation of patients with chronic illness and complex care needs in the management of their care (self-management) is increasingly seen as a responsibility of primary care nurses. It is emphasized that nurses should consider the psychosocial dimensions of chronic illness and the client’s lifeworld. Little is known about how nurses shape this task in practice.
The aim of this analysis is to examine how primary care nurses understand and shape the participation of patients with chronic illness and complex care needs regarding the promotion of self-management. Guided interviews were conducted with nurses practicing in primary care and key informants in Germany, Spain, and Brazil with a subsequent cross-case evaluation. Interpretive and practice patterns were identified based on Grounded Theory.
Two interpretive and practice patterns were identified: (1) Giving clients orientation in dealing with chronic diseases and (2) supporting the integration of illness in clients’ everyday lives. Nurses in the first pattern consider it their most important task to provide guidance toward health-promoting behavior and disease-related decision-making by giving patients comprehensive information. Interview partners emphasize client autonomy, but rarely consider the limitations chronic disease imposes on patients’ everyday lives. Alternatively, nurses in the second pattern regard clients as cooperation partners. They seek to familiarize themselves with their clients’ social environments and habits to give recommendations for dealing with the disease that are as close to the client’s lifeworld as possible. Nurses’ recommendations seek to enable patients and their families to lead a largely ‘normal life’ despite chronic illness. While interview partners in Brazil or Spain point predominantly to clients’ socio-economic disadvantages as a challenge to promoting client participation in primary health care, interview partners in Germany maintain that clients’ high disease burden represents the chief barrier to self-management.
Nurses in practice should be sensitive to client’s lifeworlds, as well as to challenges that arise as they attempt to strengthen clients’ participation in care and self-management. Regular communication between clients, nurses, and further professionals should constitute a fundamental feature of person-centered primary care models.View less
Precipitation induced mudflows are a major and longstanding threat in Uzbekistan, impacting on many properties and livelihoods. In this paper, the role of large-scale atmospheric circulation in producing the conditions necessary to initiate mudflows in piedmont areas of Uzbekistan have been evaluated based on historical and scenario (Representative Concentration Pathways; RCP8.5) experiments along from 10 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models. Applying the well-established circulation weather type (CWT) technique, and CMIP5 models reveal that mudflow generating large-scale circulation flows will increase by up to 5% to the end of the century. Considering the historical simulations over 1979–2005 and following the projections of RCP8.5 emission scenario for the target period of 2071–2100, precipitation climatology has been evaluated using bias correction techniques. By this way, the synthetic rainfall series were linked to a central proxy – a mudflow generating weather types, such as cyclonic (C), westerly (W) and south-westerly (SW) in order to diagnose potential changes in mudflow occurrences given the changed CWT characteristics by running the statistical-empirical algorithm of antecedent daily rainfall model (ADRM) and statistical logistic regression (LRM). Results for the important weather types (C, W and SW) confirm that mudflow activity will increase in the selected region as precipitation values associated with the CWT C and W flows in CMIP5 projections are expected to increase in the warm season for the target period of 2071–2100.
The research focuses on piedmont areas of Uzbekistan as it has remained poorly understood due to limited climate research, particularly, in mountain areas. This is important in the face of climate change, which is likely to increase pressure upon high mountain areas that may need to investigate more frequent mudflow occurrences.View less
Periodic tidal ocean currents induce electric currents and, therefore, magnetic field signals that are observable using spaceborne and ground-based observation techniques. In theory, the signals can be used to monitor oceanic temperature and salinity variations. Tidal magnetic field amplitudes and phases have been extracted from magnetometer measurements in the past. However, due to uncertainties caused by a plentitude of influencing factors, the shape and temporal variation of these signals are only known to a limited extent. This study uses past extraction methods to characterize seasonal variations and long-term trends in the ten year magnetometer time series of three coastal island observatories. First, we assess data processing procedures used to prepare ground-based magnetometer observations for tidal ocean dynamo signal extraction to demonstrate that existing approaches, i.e., subtraction of core field models or first-order differencing, are unable to reliably remove low-frequency contributions. We hence propose low-frequency filtering using smoothing splines and demonstrate the advantages over the existing approaches. Second, we determine signal and side peak magnitudes of the M2 tide induced magnetic field signal by spectral analysis of the processed data. We find evidence for seasonal magnetic field signal variations of up to 25% from the annual mean. Third, to characterize the long-term behavior of tidal ocean dynamo signal amplitudes and phases, we apply different signal extraction techniques to identify tidal ocean-dynamo signal amplitudes and phases in sub-series of the ten-year time series with incrementally increasing lengths. The analyses support three main findings: (1) trends cause signal amplitude changes of up to ≈1 nT and phase changes are in the order of O(10∘) within the observation period; (2) at least four years of data are needed to obtain reliable amplitude and phase values with the extraction methods used and (3) signal phases are a less dependent on the chosen extraction method than signal amplitudes.View less
Dispositional Essentialism, as commonly conceived, consists in the claims that at least some of the fundamental properties essentially confer certain causal-nomological roles on their bearers, and that these properties give rise to the natural modalities. As such, the view is generally taken to be committed to a realist conception of properties as either universals or tropes, and to be thus incompatible with nominalism as understood in the strict sense. Pace this common assumption of the ontological import of Dispositional Essentialism, the aim of this paper is to explore a nominalist version of the view, Austere Nominalist Dispositional Essentialism. The core features of the proposed account are that it eschews all kinds of properties (be they universals, tropes, or sets of particulars), takes certain predicative truths as fundamental, and employs the so-called generic notion of essence. As I will argue, the account is significantly closer to the core idea behind Dispositional Essentialism than the only nominalist account in the vicinity of Dispositional Essentialism that has been offered so far—Ann Whittle’s (2009) Causal Nominalism—and is immune to crucial problems that affect this view.View less
Like many other countries, the United Kingdom (UK) produces a national consumer priceindex (CPI) to measure inflation. Presently, CPI measures are not produced for regions withinthe UK. It is believed that, using only available data sources, a regional CPI would not beprecise or reliable enough as an official statistic, primarily because the regional partitioning ofthe data makes sample sizes too small. We investigate this claim by producing experimentalregional CPIs using publicly available price data, and deriving expenditure weights from theLiving Costs and Food survey. We detail the methods and challenges of developing a regional CPI and evaluate its reliability. We then assess whether model-based methods such assmoothing and small area estimation significantly improve the measures. We find that a regional CPI can be produced with available data sources, however it appears to beexcessively volatile over time, mainly due to the weights. Smoothing and small areaestimation improve the reliability of the regional CPI series to some extent but they remain toovolatile for regional policy use. This research provides a valuable framework for thedevelopment of a more viable regional CPI measure for the UK in the future.View less
Assembly and budding of the influenza C virus is mediated by three membrane proteins: the hemagglutinin-esterase-fusion glycoprotein (HEF), the matrix protein (CM1), and the ion channel (CM2). Here we investigated whether the formation of the hexagonal HEF arrangement, a distinctive feature of influenza C virions is important for virus budding. We used super resolution microscopy and found 250-nm sized HEF clusters at the plasma membrane of transfected cells, which were insensitive to cholesterol extraction and cytochalasin treatment. Overexpression of either CM1, CM2, or HEF caused the release of membrane-enveloped particles. Cryo-electron microscopy of the latter revealed spherical vesicles exhibiting the hexagonal HEF clusters. We subsequently used reverse genetics to identify elements in HEF required for this clustering. We found that deletion of the short cytoplasmic tail of HEF reduced virus titer and hexagonal HEF arrays, suggesting that an interaction with CM1 stabilizes the HEF clusters. In addition, we substituted amino acids at the surface of the closed HEF conformation and identified specific mutations that prevented virus rescue, others reduced virus titers and the number of HEF clusters in virions. Finally, mutation of two regions that mediate contacts between trimers in the in-situ structure of HEF was shown to prevent rescue of infectious virus particles. Mutations at residues thought to mediate lateral interactions were revealed to promote intracellular trafficking defects. Taken together, we propose that lateral interactions between the ectodomains of HEF trimers are a driving force for virus budding, although CM2 and CM1 also play important roles in this process.View less
Creating objects can increase our evaluation of them, even when we compare them to physically identical copies (IKEA effect). Here we evaluate the influence of collaboration on the IKEA effect in two societies—the United Kingdom and India. One hundred twenty-eight 5-to-6-year-old children (48% female, 50% British middle class, 50% Indian middle class) assembled toys in pairs. Half of the children collaborated to assemble a single toy and half assembled their own toy. In both societies, children demonstrated an IKEA effect (η2p = .19), valuing their own creation over an identical copy. This was the case regardless of whether children collaborated or worked independently. In summary, it seems that the IKEA effect is a potent bias that is present in diverse societies and is insensitive to others’ contributions in a collaborative environment.View less
Microplastic contamination, like other global change factors, can induce effects on ecosystem functions and processes, affecting various soil biophysical properties. However, effects of such contaminants on nutrient cycles in agroecosystems are still poorly understood. We here performed two pot experiments to investigate the effect of polyester microplastic fibers (PMFs) on soil physical properties, nitrogen cycle, and plant performance in a maize-based agroecosystem. Moreover, we followed the N loss via leaching in soil contaminated or not with PMFs by simulating heavy rainfall events that mimic a future scenario of climate change. Our results show that soil contaminated with PMFs (at a concentration of 0.5% w/w) can jeopardize agroecosystem sustainability by affecting soil physical properties and in particular soil macro- and microporosity, the nitrogen cycle, and plant performance. In particular, we found that soil PMF contamination limited crop growth and N uptake by circa 30%, and consequently increased N loss via leaching. Overall, our findings show that soil contamination with PMFs may pose problems to future agricultural challenges like food security and environmental protection.View less