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The rat model of prenatal restraint stress (PRS) is particularly valuable to study the mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of anxiety/depression since adult PRS rats show endocrine and behavioral abnormalities that are corrected by antidepressant medication. We have previously shown that agomelatine chronic treatment reversed the anxiety behaviour and decreased hippocampal neurogenesis observed in PRS. Here, we investigated the mechanisms that may contribute to the antidepressant activity of agomelatine, by assessing the effects of a chronic treatment with agomelatine on neurobiological markers of neuroplasticity in the rat hippocampus such as BDNF and its receptor, TrkB, the transcription factor pCREB and metabotrophic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Adult SD control and PRS rats were treated chronically with agomelatine (40mg/kg ip) or vehicle. 16h after last drug administration, animals were sacrificed and hippocampus dissected for biochemical analysis.
PRS animals showed reduced levels of pCREB in the hippocampus and increased hippocampal BDNF, and TrkB receptor levels. Agomelatine reversed changes in pCREB and BDNF/TrkB levels in PRS rats, had no effect on pCREB in control rats, and, interestingly, increased BDNF and TrkB receptor levels in control rats. Moreover, agomelatine reversed the reduced expression (for mGluR5 and mGluR2/3 receptors) and function (for mgluR5 receptor) observed in the hippocampus of PRS rats.
In conclusion, we have shown that agomelatine treatment reversed all biochemical and cellular changes induced by PRS in rats. These changes, independently of their direction, are the expression of an enduring maladaptive form of neuroplasticity that may contribute to the depressive/anxious phenotype of PRS rats.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Giardiasis is one of the most important non-viral causes of human diarrhoea. Yet, little is known about the epidemiology of giardiasis in the context of developed countries such as Australia and there is a limited information about local sources of exposure to inform prevention strategies in New South Wales. This study aimed to (1) describe the epidemiology of giardiasis and (2) identify potential modifiable risk factors associated with giardiasis that are unique to south-western Sydney, Australia. A 1:2 matched case-control study of 190 confirmed giardiasis cases notified to the South-Western Local Health District Public Health Unit from January to December 2016 was employed to investigate the risk factors for giardiasis. Two groups of controls were selected to increase response rate; Pertussis cases and neighbourhood (NBH) controls. A matched analysis was carried out for both control groups separately. Variables with a significant odds ratio (OR) in the univariate analysis were placed into a multivariable regression for each matched group, respectively. In the regression model with the NBH controls, age and sex were controlled as potential confounders. Identified risk factors included being under 5 years of age (aOR = 7.08; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.02–49.36), having a household member diagnosed with a gastrointestinal illness (aOR = 15.89; 95% CI 1.53–164.60) and having contact with farm animals, domestic animals or wildlife (aOR = 3.03; 95% CI 1.08–8.54). Cases that travelled overseas were at increased risk of infection (aOR = 19.89; 95% CI 2.00–197.37) when compared with Pertussis cases. This study provides an update on the epidemiology and associated risk factors of a neglected tropical disease, which can inform enhanced surveillance and prevention strategies in the developed metropolitan areas.
The predictions of mean-field electrodynamics can now be probed using direct numerical simulations of random flows and magnetic fields. When modelling astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics, it is important to verify that such simulations are in agreement with observations. One of the main challenges in this area is to identify robust quantitative measures to compare structures found in simulations with those inferred from astrophysical observations. A similar challenge is to compare quantitatively results from different simulations. Topological data analysis offers a range of techniques, including the Betti numbers and persistence diagrams, that can be used to facilitate such a comparison. After describing these tools, we first apply them to synthetic random fields and demonstrate that, when the data are standardized in a straightforward manner, some topological measures are insensitive to either large-scale trends or the resolution of the data. Focusing upon one particular astrophysical example, we apply topological data analysis to H i observations of the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM) in the Milky Way and to recent magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the random, strongly compressible ISM. We stress that these topological techniques are generic and could be applied to any complex, multi-dimensional random field.
The Crab pulsar was first detected soon after the discovery of pulsars, and has long been studied for its unique traits. One of these traits, giant pulses that can be upwards of 1000 times brighter than the average pulse, was key to the Crab’s initial detection. Giant pulses are only seen in a few pulsars, and their energy distributions distinguish them from normal pulsed emission. There have been many studies over a period of decades to measure the power-law slope of these energy distributions, which provide insight into the possible emission mechanism of these giant pulses.
The 42-foot telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory monitors the Crab pulsar on a daily basis. We have single-pulse data dating back to 2012, containing roughly 1,000,000 giant pulses, the largest sample of Crab giant pulses to date. This large set of giant pulses allows us to do a range of science, including pulse-width studies and in-depth studies of giant-pulse energy distributions. The latter are particularly interesting, as close inspection of the high-energy tail of the energy distribution allows us to investigate the detectability of extragalactic giant-pulsing pulsars. Also, by calculating rates from these energy distributions, we may be able to shed light on a possible link between Fast Radio Bursts and giant pulses.
A plausible mechanism underlying flavonoid-associated cognitive effects is increased cerebral blood flow (CBF). However, behavioural and CBF effects following flavanone-rich juice consumption have not been explored. The aim of this study was to investigate whether consumption of flavanone-rich juice is associated with acute cognitive benefits and increased regional CBF in healthy, young adults. An acute, single-blind, randomised, cross-over design was applied with two 500-ml drink conditions – high-flavanone (HF; 70·5 mg) drink and an energy-, and vitamin C- matched, zero-flavanone control. A total of twenty-four healthy young adults aged 18–30 years underwent cognitive testing at baseline and 2-h after drink consumption. A further sixteen, healthy, young adults were recruited for functional MRI assessment, whereby CBF was measured with arterial spin labelling during conscious resting state at baseline as well as 2 and 5 h after drink consumption. The HF drink was associated with significantly increased regional perfusion in the inferior and middle right frontal gyrus at 2 h relative to baseline and the control drink. In addition, the HF drink was associated with significantly improved performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test at 2 h relative to baseline and the control drink, but no effects were observed on any other behavioural cognitive tests. These results demonstrate that consumption of flavanone-rich citrus juice in quantities commonly consumed can acutely enhance blood flow to the brain in healthy, young adults. However, further studies are required to establish a direct causal link between increased CBF and enhanced behavioural outcomes following citrus juice ingestion.
Recent spectropolarimetric surveys of bright, hot stars have found that ~10% of OB-type stars contain strong (mostly dipolar) surface magnetic fields (~kG). The prominent paradigm describing the interaction between the stellar winds and the surface magnetic field is the magnetically confined wind shock (MCWS) model. In this model, the stellar wind plasma is forced to move along the closed field loops of the magnetic field, colliding at the magnetic equator, and creating a shock. As the shocked material cools radiatively it will emit X-rays. Therefore, X-ray spectroscopy is a key tool in detecting and characterizing the hot wind material confined by the magnetic fields of these stars. Some B-type stars are found to have very short rotational periods. The effects of the rapid rotation on the X-ray production within the magnetosphere have yet to be explored in detail. The added centrifugal force due to rapid rotation is predicted to cause faster wind outflows along the field lines, leading to higher shock temperatures and harder X-rays. However, this is not observed in all rapidly rotating magnetic B-type stars. In order to address this from a theoretical point of view, we use the X-ray Analytical Dynamical Magnetosphere (XADM) model, originally developed for slow rotators, with an implementation of new rapid rotational physics. Using X-ray spectroscopy from ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope, we observed 5 rapidly rotating B-types stars to add to the previous list of observations. Comparing the observed X-ray luminosity and hardness ratio to that predicted by the XADM allows us to determine the role the added centrifugal force plays in the magnetospheric X-ray emission of these stars.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
Environmental specimens lining seawater blowholes of Whale Point, Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean were collected (August 2012) and investigated by morphological and molecular techniques. Reported here, Acremonium stroudii (Ascomycota) sp. nov., a filamentous conidia-forming fungus, was the only fungus isolated from the samples collected. Molecular analysis of the material also indicates the presence of a novel species of green algae being present, however, isolation of this alga has not been possible. Instead it appears that this specimen, which belongs to a novel lineage within the Ulvales, sister to the Dilabifilum species, encourages fungal growth in culture and has been shown to form a symbiotic relationship on low nutrition agar plates, supported by investigation through electron microscopy. As no holotype of this species could be isolated in an axenic culture it was not suitable at this point to try to define this alga, especially as no established genus could be attributed. We recommend trying to further sample areas of Ascension Island looking for other members of this green algal lineage, both investigating free-living green algae and those which are found as lichenized photobionts.
This chapter focuses on defining and illustrating multimedia learning of metacognitive strategies, and reviews the empirical literature on multimedia learning of metacognitive strategies. It provides suggestions for augmenting contemporary cognitive theories of multimedia learning, proposes empirically based principles for designing multimedia environments aimed at fostering metacognitive strategies, and recommends several areas for future research. The chapter specifies self-regulated learning (SRL) as a concept superordinate to metacognition that incorporates both metacognitive monitoring (i.e., knowledge of cognition or metacognitive knowledge) and metacognitive control, as well as processes related to manipulating contextual conditions and planning for future activities within a learning episode. More research on multimedia learning of metacognitive strategies is needed to determine the optimal length of various phases of training programs and their effectiveness in laboratory versus real-world settings, as well as the retention and transfer of strategies to other domains and computer-based learning environments (CBLEs).
Thank you, Albin Eser. I was very pleased to note in the Program that I am
listed as a member of the Israeli delegation. This is an honor, but I would
also would like to think that I am treated as an honorary member of the Max
Planck delegation. I first studied the theory of criminal law at the Max
Planck Institute in Freiburg and my work there has had a lasting influence
on my thought.
My subject is complicity, which in general terms refers to the liability of
one person for the act of another. I begin with an example to render clear
the different approaches to this problem of derivative liability. The
perpetrator Paul plans the robbery of a gas station and he offers part of
the expected bounty to Alex for driving him to and from the scene of the
crime. Carrying out this task, Alex knows of the criminal purpose and
therefore it seems clear that in some way he should be held criminally
liable. The problem is identifying the form of his liability.
The objective of this work was to develop a field method for the determination of labile organic carbon in hyper-arid desert soils. Industry standard methods rely on expensive analytical equipment that are not possible to take into the field, while scientific challenges require fast turn-around of large numbers of samples in order to characterize the soils throughout this region. Here we present a method utilizing acid-hydrolysis extraction of the labile fraction of organic carbon followed by potassium permanganate oxidation, which provides a quick and inexpensive approach to investigate samples in the field. Strict reagent standardization and calibration steps within this method allowed the determination of very low levels of organic carbon in hyper-arid soils, in particular, with results similar to those determined by the alternative methods of Calcination and Pyrolysis–Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry. Field testing of this protocol increased the understanding of the role of organic materials in hyper-arid environments and allowed real-time, strategic decision making for planning for more detailed laboratory-based analysis.