Central place foraging insects like honeybees and bumblebees learn to navigate efficiently between nest and feeding site. Essential components of this behavior can be moved to the laboratory. A major component of navigational learning is the active exploration of the test arena. These conditions have been used here to search for neural correlates of exploratory walking in the central arena (ground), and thigmotactic walking in the periphery (slope). We chose mushroom body extrinsic neurons (MBENs) because of their learning-related plasticity and their multi-modal sensitivities that may code relevant parameters in a brain state-dependent way. Our aim was to test whether MBENs code space-related components or are more involved in state-dependent processes characterizing exploration and thigmotaxis. MBENs did not respond selectively to body directions or locations. Their spiking activity differently correlated with walking speed depending on the animals' locations: on the ground, reflecting exploration, or on the slope, reflecting thigmotaxis. This effect depended on walking speed in different ways for different animals. We then asked whether these effects depended on spatial parameters or on the two states, exploration and thigmotaxis. Significant epochs of stable changes in spiking did not correlate with restricted locations in the arena, body direction, or walking transitions between ground and slope. We thus conclude that the walking speed dependencies are caused by the two states, exploration and thigmotaxis, rather than by spatial parameters.Weniger anzeigen
The dynamical structure factor is one of the experimental quantities crucial in scrutinizing the validity of the microscopic description of strongly correlated systems. However, despite its long-standing importance, it is exceedingly difficult in generic cases to numerically calculate it, ensuring that the necessary approximations involved yield a correct result. Acknowledging this practical difficulty, we discuss in what way results on the hardness of classically tracking time evolution under local Hamiltonians are precisely inherited by dynamical structure factors and, hence, offer in the same way the potential computational capabilities that dynamical quantum simulators do: We argue that practically accessible variants of the dynamical structure factors are bounded-error quantum polynomial time (BQP)-hard for general local Hamiltonians. Complementing these conceptual insights, we improve upon a novel, readily available measurement setup allowing for the determination of the dynamical structure factor in different architectures, including arrays of ultra-cold atoms, trapped ions, Rydberg atoms, and super-conducting qubits. Our results suggest that quantum simulations employing near-term noisy intermediate-scale quantum devices should allow for the observation of features of dynamical structure factors of correlated quantum matter in the presence of experimental imperfections, for larger system sizes than what is achievable by classical simulation.Weniger anzeigen
Purpose When establishing IVIVC, a special problem arises by interpretation of averagedin vivoprofiles insight of considerable individual variations in term of time and number of mechanical stress events in GI-tract. The objective of the study was to investigate and forecast the effect of mechanical stress onin vivobehavior in human of hydrophilic matrix tablets. Methods Dissolution profiles for the marketed products were obtained at different conditions (stirring speed, single- or repeatable mechanical stress applied) and convoluted into C-t profiles. Vice versa, publishedin vivoC-t profiles of the products were deconvoluted into absorption profiles and compared with dissolution profiles by similarity factor. Results Investigated hydrophilic matrix tablets varied in term of their resistance against hydrodynamic stress or single stress during the dissolution. Different scenarios, including repeatable mechanical stress, were investigated on mostly prone Seroquel (R) XR 50 mg. None of the particular scenarios fits to the publishedin vivoC-t profile of Seroquel (R) XR 50 mg representing, however, the average of individual profiles related to scenarios differing by number, frequency and time of contraction stress. When different scenarios were combined in different proportions, the profiles became closer to the originalin vivoprofile including a burst between 4 and 5 h, probably, due to stress-events in GI-tract. Conclusion For establishing IVIVC of oral dosage forms susceptible mechanical stress, a comparison of the deconvoluted individualin vivoprofiles within vitroprofiles of different dissolution scenarios can be recommended.Weniger anzeigen
Helminth infections, mainly by gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN), are one of the main concerns for animal health, welfare and productivity in grazing ruminant livestock worldwide. The use of a sensitive, precise, accurate, low-cost, and easy-to-perform copromicroscopic technique is of pivotal importance to perform reliable fecal egg count (FEC) and fecal egg count reduction test (FECRT), in order to determine the need of anthelmintic treatment, but also anthelmintic efficacy or resistance. This approach is fundamental to a correct and efficient control of GIN. Unfortunately, in worldwide ruminant farm practice, repeated anthelmintic treatments are carried out, without prior diagnosis of infection, contributing to the spread of Anthelmintic Resistance (AR). Tackling this phenomenon, improving mainly the GIN diagnosis and AR status in farm animals, is a priority of the European COST Action "COMBAR-COMBatting Anthelmintic Resistance in Ruminants" and of the STAR-IDAZ International Research Consortium on Animal Health. One of the specific objectives of the COMBAR Working Group 1 (WG1) is to conduct an European market analysis of new diagnostics and develop a business plan for commercial test introduction, leveraging technical know-how of participants. Since the Mini-FLOTAC in combination with the Fill-FLOTAC may be considered a good candidate for a standardized FEC and FECRT in the laboratory, as well as directly in the field, the aim of this study was to conduct SWOT (Strength-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) and PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal) analyses of these tools in 20 European countries involved in the COMBAR WG1, in order to identify the opportunities, barriers, and challenges that might affect the Mini-FLOTAC and Fill-FLOTAC commercialization in Europe.Weniger anzeigen
The polyphenolic compound resveratrol has been shown to exert health-beneficial properties. Given globally emerging Campylobacter infections in humans, we addressed potential anti-pathogenic, immuno-modulatory and intestinal epithelial barrier preserving properties of synthetic resveratrol in the present preclinical intervention study applying a murine acute campylobacteriosis model. Two days following peroral C. jejuni infection, secondary abiotic IL-10-/- mice were either subjected to resveratrol or placebo via the drinking water. Whereas placebo mice suffered from acute enterocolitis at day 6 post-infection, resveratrol treatment did not only lead to improved clinical conditions, but also to less pronounced colonic epithelial apoptosis as compared to placebo application. Furthermore, C. jejuni induced innate and adaptive immune cell responses were dampened in the large intestines upon resveratrol challenge and accompanied by less colonic nitric oxide secretion in the resveratrol versus the placebo cohort. Functional analyses revealed that resveratrol treatment could effectively rescue colonic epithelial barrier function in C. jejuni infected mice. Strikingly, the disease-alleviating effects of resveratrol could additionally be found in extra-intestinal and also systemic compartments at day 6 post-infection. For the first time, our current preclinical intervention study provides evidence that peroral resveratrol treatment exerts potent disease-alleviating effects during acute experimental campylobacteriosis.Weniger anzeigen
Molecular models have enabled understanding of biological structures and functions and allowed design of novel macro-molecules. Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in molecular modeling are generally focused on atomic representations, but, especially for proteins, do not usually address designs of complex and large architectures, from nanometers to microns. Therefore, we have developed Elfin UI as a Blender add-on for the interactive design of large protein architectures with custom shapes. Elfin UI relies on compatible building blocks to design single- and multiple-chain protein structures. The software can be used: (1) as an interactive environment to explore building blocks combinations; and (2) as a computer aided design (CAD) tool to define target shapes that guide automated design. Elfin UI allows users to rapidly build new protein shapes, without the need to focus on amino acid sequence, and aims to make design of proteins and protein-based materials intuitive and accessible to researchers and members of the general public with limited expertise in protein engineering.Weniger anzeigen
Purpose – Many health systems face challenges such as rising costs and lacking quality, both of which can be addressed by improving the integration of different health care sectors and professions. The purpose of this viewpoint is to present the German health care Innovation Fund (IF) initiated by the Federal Government to support the development and diffusion of integrated health care.
Design/methodology/approach – This article describes the design and rationale of the IF in detail and provides first insights into its limitations, acceptance and implementation by relevant stakeholders.
Findings – In its first period, the IF offered V 1.2 billion as start-up funding for model implementation and evaluation over a period of four years (2016–2019). This period was recently extended to a second round until 2024, offering V 200 million a year as from 2020. The IF is triggering the support of relevant insurers for the development of new integrated care models. In addition, strict evaluation requirements have led to a large number of health service research projects which assess structural and process improvements and thus enable evidence-based policy decisions.
Originality/value – This article is the first of its kind to present the German IF to the international readership. The IF is a political initiative through which to foster innovations and promote integrated health care.Weniger anzeigen
We investigate the mean-square displacement (MSD) for random motion governed by the generalized Langevin equation for memory functions that contain two different time scales: In the first model, the memory kernel consists of a delta peak and a single-exponential and in the second model of the sum of two exponentials. In particular, we investigate the scenario where the long-time exponential kernel contribution is negative. The competition between positive and negative friction memory contributions produces an enhanced transient persistent regime in the MSD, which is relevant for biological motility and active matter systems.Weniger anzeigen
The superantigen Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) enterotoxin B (SEB) has been proposed a central player in the associations between S. aureus nasal colonization and the development of allergic asthma. Previously, SEB has been shown to aggravate allergic sensitization and allergic airway inflammation (AAI) in experimental mouse models. Aiming at understanding the underlying immunological mechanisms, we tested the hypothesis that intranasal (i.n.) SEB-treatment divergently modulates AAI depending on the timing and intensity of the SEB-encounter. In an ovalbumin-mediated mouse model of AAI, we treated mice i.n. with 50 ng or 500 ng SEB either together with the allergic challenge or prior to the peripheral sensitization. We observed SEB to affect different hallmark parameters of AAI depending on the timing and the dose of treatment. SEB administered i.n. together with the allergic challenge significantly modulated respiratory leukocyte accumulation, intensified lymphocyte activation and, at the higher dose, induced a strong type-1 and pro-inflammatory cytokine response and alleviated airway hyperreactivity in AAI. SEB administered i.n. prior to the allergic sensitization at the lower dose significantly boosted the specific IgE response while administration of the higher dose led to a significantly reduced recruitment of immune cells, including eosinophils, to the respiratory tract and to a significantly dampened Th-2 cytokine response without inducing a Th-1 or pro-inflammatory response. We show a remarkably versatile potential for SEB to either aggravate or alleviate different parameters of allergic sensitization and AAI. Our study thereby not only highlights the complexity of the associations between S. aureus and allergic asthma but possibly even points at prophylactic and therapeutic pathways.Weniger anzeigen
Deflighting zoo birds is a practice that receives increasing criticism due to its presumed incompatibility with animal welfare. To our knowledge, this is the first approach to address this problem in a scientific way. To do this, we compared feather corticosterone (CORTf) from Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus, n = 151) of different flight status (i.e., pinioned, feather clipped, airworthy) from twelve different zoological institutions. To complement the hormone measurements, behavioral observations (scan samplings) were conducted prior to feather sampling within the presumed time frame of feather growth. We hypothesized that CORTf of the deflighted flamingos would differ from CORTf of their airworthy conspecifics. No significant difference in CORTf was found between the three groups, and our hypothesis was rejected. However, the impact of the institution itself (i.e., the housing conditions) proved to be the most dominant variable (variance between the institutions = 53.82%). Due to high variability, the behavioral observations were evaluated descriptively but did not give rise to doubt the findings in CORTf. Therefore, we assume that the method of flight restraint of Greater Flamingos does not have a measurable effect on CORTf. We consider this model for evaluating animal welfare of zoo birds a useful tool and provide ideas for further adjustments for consecutive studies.Weniger anzeigen
Sustainable development practices in higher education institutions are diverse, with regard not only to the types of challenges that have to be addressed, but also to the forms of sustainability governance adopted by individual higher education institutions. This paper aims to reflect on the aspects of organizational culture that are particularly crucial for the implementation of sustainable practices at higher education institutions. Specifically, it addresses the research question: how do different organizational cultures affect approaches to sustainability governance at higher education institutions (HEIs)? It reflects on data from multi-case studies at eleven German higher education institutions. Four of the cases are analyzed in this paper to draw out the insights they offer on how organizational culture shapes the institutions’ approach to sustainable development. A governance equalizer is used as a functional framework for evaluating and discussing the influence of different cultural orientations on sustainability governance. In addition to providing many insights and findings in relation to specific cases, comparison of the different institutions, their governance structures and their cultures of sustainable development helps to emphasize that there is no single cultural factor that can be identified as directly promoting particular governance structures. Rather, there is an active interplay between cultural orientations, which influence, and are also influenced by, the measures deployed. Such influence is not instantly apparent but needs time to develop, and it evolves in a variety of ways as illustrated by the case studies.Weniger anzeigen
Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. The species, B. abortus and B. melitensis, major causative agents of human brucellosis, share remarkably similar genomes, but they differ in their natural hosts, phenotype, antigenic, immunogenic, proteomic and metabolomic properties. In the present study, label-free quantitative proteomic analysis was applied to investigate protein expression level differences. Type strains and field strains were each cultured six times, cells were harvested at a midlogarithmic growth phase and proteins were extracted. Following trypsin digestion, the peptides were desalted, separated by reverse-phase nanoLC, ionized using electrospray ionization and transferred into an linear trap quadrapole (LTQ) Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer to record full scan MS spectra (m/z 300–1700) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) spectra of the 20 most intense ions. Database matching with the reference proteomes resulted in the identification of 826 proteins. The Cluster of Gene Ontologies of the identified proteins revealed differences in bimolecular transport and protein synthesis mechanisms between these two strains. Among several other proteins, antifreeze proteins, Omp10, superoxide dismutase and 30S ribosomal protein S14 were predicted as potential virulence factors among the proteins differentially expressed. All mass spectrometry data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD006348.Weniger anzeigen
NMR-based metabolomics investigations of human biofluids offer great potential to uncover new biomarkers. In contrast to protocols for sample collection and biobanking, procedures for sample preparation prior to NMR measurements are still heterogeneous, thus compromising the comparability of the resulting data. Herein, we present results of an investigation of the handling of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples for NMR metabolomics research. Origins of commonly observed problems when conducting NMR experiments on this type of sample are addressed, and suitable experimental conditions in terms of sample preparation and pH control are discussed. Sample stability was assessed by monitoring the degradation of CSF samples by NMR, hereby identifying metabolite candidates, which are potentially affected by sample storage. A protocol was devised yielding consistent spectroscopic data as well as achieving overall sample stability for robust analysis. We present easy to adopt standard operating procedures with the aim to establish a shared sample handling strategy that facilitates and promotes inter-laboratory comparison, and the analysis of sample degradation provides new insights into sample stability.Weniger anzeigen
Newer non-ionic amphiphiles have been synthesized using biocompatible materials and by following a greener approach i.e., D-glucitol has been used as a template, and hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments were incorporated on it by using click chemistry. The hydrophilic segments in turn were prepared from glycerol using an immobilized Candida antarctica lipase (Novozym-435)-mediated chemoenzymatic approach. Surface tension measurements and dynamic light scattering studies reflect the self-assembling behavior of the synthesized amphiphilic architectures in the aqueous medium. The results from UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy establish the encapsulation of guests in the hydrophobic core of self-assembled amphiphilic architectures. The results of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay indicate that the amphiphiles are well tolerated by the used A549 cell lines at all tested concentrations.Weniger anzeigen
Empirical evidence has shown that local community opposition is one of the key obstacles for new wind energy development. Consequently, the community acceptance of renewables, such as wind energy, has become a crux for Europe in both achieving and going beyond its renewable energy targets. Significant academic literature has already been devoted to conceptualising the community acceptance of wind energy. This article builds on the existing research by showcasing how regions and municipalities across Europe have successfully and effectively been able to overcome barriers to community acceptance. In doing so, 10 best practice case studies across six European countries have been carefully identified and investigated. The results of individual assessment of these different cases, each of which employ different types of measures/approaches, are comparatively analysed in order to identify the key success factors (drivers) for achieving community acceptance of wind energy in Europe. The identification of the success factors serves to start paving the way for the transfer of these measures/approaches to other municipalities and regions across Europe, particularly those who may encounter similar barriers of community acceptance of wind energy. Thus, our findings deliver to policy makers and developers a number of lessons learnt on how to organise future actions by proposing ways their activities can enhance community acceptance.Weniger anzeigen
Filling of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and extraction of the encapsulated species from their cavities are perspective treatments for tuning the functional properties of SWCNT-based materials. Here, we have investigated sulfur-modified SWCNTs synthesized by the ampoule method. The morphology and chemical states of carbon and sulfur were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy, Raman scattering, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray photoelectron and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopies. Successful encapsulation of sulfur inside SWCNTs cavities was demonstrated. The peculiarities of interactions of SWCNTs with encapsulated and external sulfur species were analyzed in details. In particular, the donor–acceptor interaction between encapsulated sulfur and host SWCNT is experimentally demonstrated. The sulfur-filled SWCNTs were continuously irradiated in situ with polychromatic photon beam of high intensity. Comparison of X-ray spectra of the samples before and after the treatment revealed sulfur transport from the interior to the surface of SWCNTs bundles, in particular extraction of sulfur from the SWCNT cavity. These results show that the moderate heating of filled nanotubes could be used to de-encapsulate the guest species tuning the local composition, and hence, the functional properties of SWCNT-based materials.Weniger anzeigen
A complex inflammatory process mediated by proinflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins commonly occurs in the synovial tissue of patients with joint trauma (JT), osteoarthritis (OA), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study systematically investigated the distinct expression profile of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), its processing enzymes (COX-2), and microsomal PGES-1 (mPGES-1) as well as the corresponding prostanoid receptor subtypes (EP1-4) in representative samples of synovial tissue from these patients (JT, OA, and RA). Quantitative TaqMan®-PCR and double immunofluorescence confocal microscopy of synovial tissue determined the abundance and exact immune cell types expressing these target molecules. Our results demonstrated that PGE2 and its processing enzymes COX-2 and mPGES-1 were highest in the synovial tissue of RA, followed by the synovial tissue of OA and JT patients. Corresponding prostanoid receptor, subtypes EP3 were highly expressed in the synovium of RA, followed by the synovial tissue of OA and JT patients. These proinflammatory target molecules were distinctly identified in JT patients mostly in synovial granulocytes, in OA patients predominantly in synovial macrophages and fibroblasts, whereas in RA patients mainly in synovial fibroblasts and plasma cells. Our findings show a distinct expression profile of EP receptor subtypes and PGE2 as well as the corresponding processing enzymes in human synovium that modulate the inflammatory process in JT, OA, and RA patients.Weniger anzeigen
Impairment of circadian rhythms impacts carcinogenesis. SMAD4, a clock-controlled gene and central component of the TGFβ canonical pathway, is frequently mutated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), leading to decreased survival. Here, we used an in vitro PDA model of SMAD4-positive and SMAD4-negative cells to investigate the interplay between circadian rhythms, the TGFβ canonical signaling pathway, and its impact on tumor malignancy. Our data show that TGFβ1, SMAD3, SMAD4, and SMAD7 oscillate in a circadian fashion in SMAD4-positive PDA cells, whereas altering the clock impairs the mRNA dynamics of these genes. Furthermore, the expression of the clock genes DEC1, DEC2, and CRY1 varied depending on SMAD4 status. TGFβ pathway activation resulted in an altered clock, cell-cycle arrest, accelerated apoptosis rate, enhanced invasiveness, and chemosensitivity. Our data suggest that the impact of TGFβ on the clock is SMAD4-dependent, and S MAD3, SMAD4, DEC1, and CRY1 involved in this cross-talk affect PDA patient survival.Weniger anzeigen
Background: Due to demographic transition, multimorbidity and high numbers of medicinal products, polypharmacy rates will presumably further increase. This could lead to higher risks of potentially inappropriate medications with potential drug-drug interactions (PDDI). PDDI has already been investigated by several studies, but not for patients with indication for prophylactic implantation of a cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Thus, the objective of this analysis was to examine the frequency of PDDI in that specific group of patients and compare patients with or without PDDI regarding potential underlying factors.
Methods: Cross-sectional data analyses were performed using data of the prospective EU-CERT-ICD study that primarily aimed to assess ICD effectiveness in Europe. Self-reported baseline medication data of patients from Germany and Switzerland were used. Patients who reported to take at least two drugs simultaneously for at least 80 days were defined as population at risk. By means of a publicly available interaction checker, we analyzed the medication data regarding occurrence and characteristics of PDDI categorized as minor, moderate, and major PDDI. The analyses were done using descriptive methods and chi square testing.
Results: The total population (n = 524) and the population at risk (n = 383) were rather similar with an average age of 64 years and about 80% male. PDDIs were found for 296 patients (in 57% of total population vs. 77% of population at risk). The moderate PDDI category was most frequently with 268 affected patients. Comparing patients with and without any PDDI, the proportion of patients with place of residence in Germany varied distinctly (93% vs. 78%). The frequency of any PDDI for the total population was twice as high in Germany as in Switzerland (p value < 0.001).
Conclusions: PDDIs were frequently observed in this selected patient population and differed markedly between German and Swiss patients. The results should lead to higher awareness of polypharmacy and PDDIs. Adequate cooperation between health care providers should be promoted and new technologies such as drug interaction information systems or digital patient files used.
Trial registration: The EU-CERT-ICD study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02064192).Weniger anzeigen