Reliability and current-adaptability studies of a 352 MHz, 17 MeV, continuous-wave injector for an accelerator-driven system
- EUROTRANS is a European research program for the transmutation of high level nuclear waste in an accelerator-driven system (ADS). As proposed, the driver linac needs to deliver a 2.5–4 mA, 600 MeV continuous-wave (CW) proton beam and later a 20 mA, 800 MeV one to the spallation target in the prototype-scale and industrial-scale demonstration phases, respectively. This paper is focusing on the conceptual studies performed with respect to the 17 MeV injector. First, the special beam dynamics strategies and methods, which have been developed and applied to design a current-variable injector up to 30 mA for allowing an easy upgrade without additional R&D costs, will be introduced. Then the error study made for evaluating the tolerance limits of the designed injector will be presented as well.
Developmentally adapted cognitive processing therapy for adolescents and young adults with PTSD symptoms after physical and sexual abuse: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
- Background: Although childhood sexual and/or physical abuse (CSA/CPA) is known to have severe psychopathological consequences, there is little evidence on psychotherapeutic interventions for adolescents and young adults suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Equally sparse are data on moderators of treatment response on PTSD-related epigenetic changes, health care costs and loss of productivity, alterations in cognitive processing, and on how successful interventions affect all of these factors. Early treatment may prevent later (co)morbidity. In this paper, we present a study protocol for the evaluation of a newly developed psychotherapeutic manual for PTSD after CSA/CPA in adolescents and young adults – the Developmentally Adapted Cognitive Processing Therapy (D-CPT).
Methods/design: In a multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) D-CPT is compared to treatment as usual (TAU). A sample of 90 adolescent outpatients aged 14 to 21 years will be randomized to one of these conditions. Four assessments will be carried out at baseline, at end of treatment, and 3 and 6 months after end of therapy. Each time, patients will be assessed via clinical interviews and a wide range of questionnaires. In addition to PTSD symptoms and comorbidities, we will evaluate moderators of treatment response, epigenetic profiles, direct and indirect costs of this disorder, and neurophysiological processing of threat cues in PTSD and their respective changes in the course of these two treatments (D-CPT and TAU).
Discussion: The study will provide new insights in the understudied field of PTSD in adolescents and young adults. A newly developed intervention will be evaluated in this therapeutically underserved population. Results will provide data on treatment efficacy, direct and indirect treatment costs, as well as on associations of treatment outcome and PTSD intensity both to epigenetic profiles and to the neurobiological processing of threat cues. Besides, they will help to learn more about the psychopathology and possible new objective correlates of PTSD.
Trial registration:Germanctr.de identifier: DRKS00004787.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate modulates dendritic cell function: focus on non-migratory effects in vitro and in vivo
Heinfried Hermann Radeke
- Dendritic cells (DCs) are the cutting edge in innate and adaptive immunity. The major functions of these antigen-presenting cells are the capture, endosomal processing and presentation of antigens, providing them an exclusive ability to provoke adaptive immune responses and to induce and control tolerance. Immature DCs capture and process antigens, migrate towards secondary lymphoid organs where they present antigens to naive T cells in a well-synchronized sequence of procedures referred to as maturation. Indeed, recent research indicated that sphingolipids are modulators of essential steps in DC homeostasis. It has been recognized that sphingolipids not only modulate the development of DC subtypes from precursor cells but also influence functional activities of DCs such as antigen capture, and cytokine profiling. Thus, it is not astonishing that sphingolipids and sphingolipid metabolism play a substantial role in inflammatory diseases that are modulated by DCs. Here we highlight the function of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) on DC homeostasis and the role of S1P and S1P metabolism in inflammatory diseases.
Controlled intramyocardial release of engineered chemokines by biodegradable hydrogels as a treatment approach of myocardial infarction
Birgit K. Kramp
Tilman M. Hackeng
Elisa A. Liehn
Rory R. Koenen
- Myocardial infarction (MI) induces a complex inflammatory immune response, followed by the remodelling of the heart muscle and scar formation. The rapid regeneration of the blood vessel network system by the attraction of hematopoietic stem cells is beneficial for heart function. Despite the important role of chemokines in these processes, their use in clinical practice has so far been limited by their limited availability over a long time-span in vivo. Here, a method is presented to increase physiological availability of chemokines at the site of injury over a defined time-span and simultaneously control their release using biodegradable hydrogels. Two different biodegradable hydrogels were implemented, a fast degradable hydrogel (FDH) for delivering Met-CCL5 over 24 hrs and a slow degradable hydrogel (SDH) for a gradual release of protease-resistant CXCL12 (S4V) over 4 weeks. We demonstrate that the time-controlled release using Met-CCL5-FDH and CXCL12 (S4V)-SDH suppressed initial neutrophil infiltration, promoted neovascularization and reduced apoptosis in the infarcted myocardium. Thus, we were able to significantly preserve the cardiac function after MI. This study demonstrates that time-controlled, biopolymer-mediated delivery of chemokines represents a novel and feasible strategy to support the endogenous reparatory mechanisms after MI and may compliment cell-based therapies.
Focus on quantum efficiency
Gregory D. Scholes
Ulrich T. Schwarz
- Technologies which convert light into energy, and vice versa, rely on complex, microscopic transport processes in the condensed phase, which obey the laws of quantum mechanics, but hitherto lack systematic analysis and modeling. Given our much improved understanding of multicomponent, disordered, highly structured, open quantum systems, this ‘focus on’ collection collects cuttingedge research on theoretical and experimental aspects of quantum transport in truly complex systems as defined, e.g., by the macromolecular functional complexes at the heart of photosynthesis, by organic quantum wires, or even photovoltaic devices. To what extent microscopic quantum coherence effects can (be made to) impact on macroscopic transport behavior is an equally challenging and controversial question, and this ‘focus on’ collection provides a setting for the present state of affairs, as well as for the ‘quantum opportunities’ on the horizon.
Enhancement of Intratumoral Chemotherapy with Cisplatin with or without Microwave Ablation and Lipiodol. Future Concept for Local Treatment in Lung Cancer
Thomas J. Vogl
J. Francis Turner
- Novel therapies for lung cancer are being explored nowadays with local therapies being the tip of the arrow. Intratumoral chemotherapy administration and local microwave ablation have been investigated in several studies. It has been previously proposed that lipiodol has the ability to modify the microenvironment matrix. In our current study we investigated this theory in BALBC mice. In total 160 BALBC mice were divided in eight groups: a) control, b) cisplatin, c) microwave, d) microwave and lipiodol, e) cisplatin and lipiodol, f) microwave and cisplatin, g) lipiodol and h) lipiodol, cisplatin and microwave. Lewis lung carcinoma cell lines (106) were injected into the right back leg of each mouse. After the 8th day, when the tumor volume was about 100mm3 the therapy application was initiated, once per week for four weeks. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed for each tumor when a mouse died or when sacrificed if they were still alive by the end of the experiment (8-Canal multifunctional spool; NORAS MRI products, Gmbh, Germany). Imaging and survival revealed efficient tumor apoptosis for the groups b,c,d,e and f. However; severe toxicity was observed in group h and no follow up was available for this group after the second week of therapy administration. Lipiodol in its current form does assist in a more efficient way the distribution of cisplatin, as the microwave apoptotic effect. Future modification of lipiodol might provide a more efficient method of therapy enhancement. Combination of drug and microwave ablation is possible and has an efficient apoptotic effect.
Alteration of ROS homeostasis and decreased lifespan in S. cerevisiae elicited by deletion of the mitochondrial translocator FLX1
Teresa Anna Giancaspero
- This paper deals with the control exerted by the mitochondrial translocator FLX1, which catalyzes the movement of the redox cofactor FAD across the mitochondrial membrane, on the efficiency of ATP production, ROS homeostasis, and lifespan of S. cerevisiae. The deletion of the FLX1 gene resulted in respiration-deficient and small-colony phenotype accompanied by a significant ATP shortage and ROS unbalance in glycerol-grown cells. Moreover, the flx1Δ strain showed H2O2 hypersensitivity and decreased lifespan. The impaired biochemical phenotype found in the flx1Δ strain might be justified by an altered expression of the flavoprotein subunit of succinate dehydrogenase, a key enzyme in bioenergetics and cell regulation. A search for possible cis-acting consensus motifs in the regulatory region upstream SDH1-ORF revealed a dozen of upstream motifs that might respond to induced metabolic changes by altering the expression of Flx1p. Among these motifs, two are present in the regulatory region of genes encoding proteins involved in flavin homeostasis. This is the first evidence that the mitochondrial flavin cofactor status is involved in controlling the lifespan of yeasts, maybe by changing the cellular succinate level. This is not the only case in which the homeostasis of redox cofactors underlies complex phenotypical behaviours, as lifespan in yeasts.
Evolution of leaf warbler songs (Aves: Phylloscopidae)
Dieter Thomas Tietze
Balduin S. Fischer
- Songs in passerine birds are important for territory defense and mating. Speciation rates in oscine passerines are so high, due to cultural evolution, that this bird lineage makes up half of the extant bird species. Leaf warblers are a speciose Old-World passerine family of limited morphological differentiation, so that songs are even more important for species delimitation. We took 16 sonographic traits from song recordings of 80 leaf warbler taxa and correlated them with 15 potentially explanatory variables, pairwise, and in linear models. Based on a well-resolved molecular phylogeny of the same taxa, all pairwise correlations were corrected for relatedness with phylogenetically independent contrasts and phylogenetic generalized linear models were used. We found a phylogenetic signal for most song traits, but a strong one only for the duration of the longest and of the shortest element, which are presumably inherited instead of learned. Body size of a leaf warbler species is a constraint on song frequencies independent of phylogeny. At least in this study, habitat density had only marginal impact on song features, which even disappeared through phylogenetic correction. Maybe most leaf warblers avoid the deterioration through sound propagation in dense vegetation by singing from exposed perches. Latitudinal (and longitudinal) extension of the breeding ranges was correlated with most song features, especially verse duration (longer polewards and westwards) and complexity (lower polewards). Climate niche or expansion history might explain these correlations. The number of different element types per verse decreases with elevation, possibly due to fewer resources and congeneric species at higher elevations.
Association of myeloperoxidase with total and cardiovascular mortality in individuals undergoing coronary angiography - the LURIC study
Marcus E. Kleber
Bernhard R. Winkelmann
Bernhard O. Boehm
- Background: The phagocytic enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) acts as a front-line defender against microorganisms. However, increased MPO levels have been found to be associated with complex and calcified atherosclerotic lesions and incident cardiovascular disease. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate a predictive role of MPO, a biomarker of inflammation and oxidative stress, for total and cardiovascular mortality in patients referred to coronary angiography.
Methods and results: MPO plasma concentrations along with eight MPO polymorphisms were determined in 3036 participants of the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health study (median follow-up 7.75 years). MPO concentrations were positively associated with age, diabetes, smoking, markers of systemic inflammation (interleukin-6, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A) and vascular damage (vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1) but negatively associated with HDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I. After adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors MPO concentrations in the highest versus the lowest quartile were associated with a 1.34-fold risk (95% CI: 1.09–1.67) for total mortality. In the adjusted model the hazard ratio for cardiovascular mortality in the highest MPO quartile was 1.42 (95% CI: 1.07–1.88). Five MPO polymorphisms were positively associated with MPO concentrations but not with mortality. Using Mendelian randomization, we did not obtain evidence for a causal association of MPO with either total or cardiovascular mortality.
Conclusions: MPO concentrations but not genetic variants at the MPO locus are independently associated with risk for total and cardiovascular mortality in coronary artery disease patients.
A Description of Biremis panamae sp. nov., a New Diatom Species from the Marine Littoral, with an Account of the Phylogenetic Position of Biremis D.G. Mann et E.J. Cox (Bacillariophyceae)
David G. Mann
Jascha L. F. Weisenborn
Matt P. Ashworth
Krzysztof J. Kurzydłowski
- Here we present a formal description of Biremis panamae Barka, Witkowski et Weisenborn sp. nov., which was isolated from the marine littoral environment of the Pacific Ocean coast of Panama. The description is based on morphology (light and electron microscopy) and the rbcL, psbC and SSU sequences of one clone of this species. The new species is included in Biremis due to its morphological features; i.e. two marginal rows of foramina, chambered striae, and girdle composed of numerous punctate copulae. The new species also possesses a striated valve face which is not seen in most known representatives of marine littoral Biremis species. In this study we also present the relationship of Biremis to other taxa using morphology, DNA sequence data and observations of auxosporulation. Our results based on these three sources point to an evolutionary relationship between Biremis, Neidium and Scoliopleura. The unusual silicified incunabular caps present in them are known otherwise only in Muelleria, which is probably related to the Neidiaceae and Scoliotropidaceae. We also discuss the relationship between Biremis and the recently described Labellicula and Olifantiella.