Norwegian Vegetation Types. A Preliminary Survey of Higher Syntaxa
- In a preliminary phytosociological survey the Norwegian vegetation types are placed into the floristic-sociological BRAUN-BLANQUET system. The list has been compiled on the basis of Norwegian publications, the author's field experience as well as the systems in foreign textbooks and publications. The survey has also been greatly influenced by discussions and advice from collegue phytosociologists. The present system (partly hypothetical) comprises 42 classes, 73 orders and approximately 140 alliances.
Forming the future lawyers' communicative competence: the experience of higher education in Ukraine and Germany
- In the article the state of forming of communicative competence of future lawyers in higher education of Ukraine and Germany is analyzed. There is made the comparative description of preparation of the students of law faculty with an accent on forming of communicative competence on the example of the University of modern knowledge (Ukraine) and Frankfort university is named after Goethe (Germany).
It is drawn the conclusion, that the structure of professional preparation of future lawyers is folded educational and cognitive, research constituents, and also productive practice. A main place is taken to conception of communicative preparation of the future lawyers, the essence of it consists in integration of the special courses of the special and professional disciplines, in continuous perfection of skills of the verbal and writing broadcasting, receptions of analytical mental work, that need knowledge. It is also outlined the aim of productive practice of future lawyers in Ukraine that begins from the second course: the forming of professional abilities and skills of acceptance of independent decisions; the education of necessity systematic to proceed the knowledge, to promote a legal culture and professional legal consciousness; to teach to apply knowledge in practical activity. In Germany the practice for future lawyers begins from the first course and lasts two years in legal establishments (from civil cases, court from criminal cases or office of public prosecutor, administrative and managerial establishments, advocacy). The sign line of studies is an active collaboration with the faculties of law of the foreign states. All these factors assist the forming of communicative competence of lawyers.
Interplay between endothelin and erythropoietin in astroglia: the role in protection against hypoxia
Christoph H. Gleiter
- We show that, under in vitro conditions, the vulnerability of astroglia to hypoxia is reflected by alterations in endothelin (ET)-1 release and capacity of erythropoietin (EPO) to regulate ET-1 levels. Exposure of cells to 24 h hypoxia did not induce changes in ET-1 release, while 48–72 h hypoxia resulted in increase of ET-1 release from astrocytes that could be abolished by EPO. The endothelin receptor type A (ETA) antagonist BQ123 increased extracellular levels of ET-1 in human fetal astroglial cell line (SV-FHAS). The survival and proliferation of rat primary astrocytes, neural precursors, and neurons upon hypoxic conditions were increased upon administration of BQ123. Hypoxic injury and aging affected the interaction between the EPO and ET systems. Under hypoxia EPO decreased ET-1 release from astrocytes, while ETA receptor blockade enhanced the expression of EPO mRNA and EPO receptor in culture-aged rat astroglia. The blockade of ETA receptor can increase the availability of ET-1 to the ETB receptor and can potentiate the neuroprotective effects of EPO. Thus, the new therapeutic use of combined administration of EPO and ETA receptor antagonists during hypoxia-associated neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) can be suggested.
The final stage of gravitationally collapsed thick matter layers
- In the presence of a minimal length, physical objects cannot collapse to an infinite density, singular, matter point. In this paper, we consider the possible final stage of the gravitational collapse of “thick” matter layers. The energy momentum tensor we choose to model these shell-like objects is a proper modification of the source for “noncommutative geometry inspired,” regular black holes. By using higher momenta of Gaussian distribution to localize matter at finite distance from the origin, we obtain new solutions of the Einstein equation which smoothly interpolates between Minkowski’s geometry near the center of the shell and Schwarzschild’s spacetime far away from the matter layer. The metric is curvature singularity free. Black hole type solutions exist only for “heavy” shells; that is, M >= Mρ, where Mρ is the mass of the extremal configuration. We determine the Hawking temperature and a modified area law taking into account the extended nature of the source.
Eukaryotic LYR proteins interact with mitochondrial protein complexes
- In eukaryotic cells, mitochondria host ancient essential bioenergetic and biosynthetic pathways. LYR (leucine/tyrosine/arginine) motif proteins (LYRMs) of the Complex1_LYR-like superfamily interact with protein complexes of bacterial origin. Many LYR proteins function as extra subunits (LYRM3 and LYRM6) or novel assembly factors (LYRM7, LYRM8, ACN9 and FMC1) of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) core complexes. Structural insights into complex I accessory subunits LYRM6 and LYRM3 have been provided by analyses of EM and X-ray structures of complex I from bovine and the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, respectively. Combined structural and biochemical studies revealed that LYRM6 resides at the matrix arm close to the ubiquinone reduction site. For LYRM3, a position at the distal proton-pumping membrane arm facing the matrix space is suggested. Both LYRMs are supposed to anchor an acyl-carrier protein (ACPM) independently to complex I. The function of this duplicated protein interaction of ACPM with respiratory complex I is still unknown. Analysis of protein-protein interaction screens, genetic analyses and predicted multi-domain LYRMs offer further clues on an interaction network and adaptor-like function of LYR proteins in mitochondria.
The re-greening of the Sahel: natural cyclicity or human-induced change?
- The Sahel has been the focus of scientific interest in environmental-human dynamics and interactions. The objective of the present study is to contribute to the recent debate on the re-greening of Sahel. The paper examines the dynamics of barren land in the Sahel of Burkina Faso through analysis of remotely-sensed and rainfall data from 1975–2011. Discussions with farmers and land management staff have helped to understand the anthropogenic efforts toward soil restoration to enable the subsistence farming agriculture. Results showed that area of barren land has been fluctuating during the study period with approximately 10-year cyclicity. Similarly, rainfall, both at national and local levels has followed the same trends. The trends of the area of barren land and rainfall variability suggest that when rainfall increases, the area of barren land decreases and barren land increases when rainfall decreases. This implies that rainfall is one of the main factors driving the change in area of barren land. In addition, humans have contributed positively and negatively to the change by restoring barren lands for agriculture using locally known techniques and by accelerating land degradation through intensive and inappropriate land use practices.
On unitary evolution and collapse in quantum mechanics
- In the framework of an interference setup in which only two outcomes are possible (such as in the case of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer), we discuss in a simple and pedagogical way the difference between a standard, unitary quantum mechanical evolution and the existence of a real collapse of the wavefunction. This is a central and not-yet resolved question of quantum mechanics and indeed of quantum field theory as well. Moreover, we also present the Elitzur–Vaidman bomb, the delayed choice experiment, and the effect of decoherence. In the end, we propose two simple experiments to visualize decoherence and to test the role of an entangled particle.
Indication for 'Over the Scope' (OTS)-Clip vs. Covered Self-Expanding Metal Stent (cSEMS) Is Unequal in Upper Gastrointestinal Leakage: Results from a Retrospective Head-to-Head Comparison
Wolf O. Bechstein
Jörg G. Albert
- Background: Intestinal perforation or leakage increases morbidity and mortality of surgical and endoscopic interventions. We identified criteria for use of full-covered, extractable self-expanding metal stents (cSEMS) vs. ‘Over the scope’-clips (OTSC) for leak closure.
Methods: Patients who underwent endoscopic treatment for postoperative leakage, endoscopic perforation, or spontaneous rupture of the upper gastrointestinal tract between 2006 and 2013 were identified at four tertiary endoscopic centers. Technical success, outcome (e.g. duration of hospitalization, in-hospital mortality), and complications were assessed and analyzed with respect to etiology, size and location of leakage.
Results: Of 106 patients (male: 75 (71%), female: 31 (29%); age (mean ± SD): 62.5 ± 1.3 years, 72 (69%) were treated by cSEMS and 34 (31%) by OTSC. For cSEMS vs. OTSC, mean treatment duration was 41.1 vs. 25 days, p<0.001, leakage size 10 (1-50) vs. 5 (1-30) mm (median (range)), and complications were observed in 68% vs. 8.8%, p<0.001, respectively. Clinical success for primary interventional treatment was observed in 29/72 (40%) vs. 24/34 (70%, p = 0.006), and clinical success at the end of follow-up was 46/72 (64%) vs. 29/34 (85%) for patients treated by cSEMS vs. OTSC; p = 0.04.
Conclusion: OTSC is preferred in small-sized lesions and in perforation caused by endoscopic interventions, cSEMS in patients with concomitant local infection or abscess. cSEMS is associated with a higher frequency of complications. Therefore, OTSC might be preferred if technically feasible. Indication criteria for cSEMS vs. OTSC vary and might impede design of randomized studies.
Primary Biliary Acids Inhibit Hepatitis D Virus (HDV) Entry into Human Hepatoma Cells Expressing the Sodium-Taurocholate Cotransporting Polypeptide (NTCP)
Isabel Veloso Alves Pereira
Michael P. Manns
Cláudia Pinto Marques Souza de Oliveira
Thomas von Hahn
- Background: The sodium-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) is both a key bile acid (BA) transporter mediating uptake of BA into hepatocytes and an essential receptor for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV). In this study we aimed to characterize to what extent and through what mechanism BA affect HDV cell entry.
Methods: HuH-7 cells stably expressing NTCP (HuH-7/NTCP) and primary human hepatocytes (PHH) were infected with in vitro generated HDV particles. Infectivity in the absence or presence of compounds was assessed using immunofluorescence staining for HDV antigen, standard 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) assays and quantitative PCR.
Results: Addition of primary conjugated and unconjugated BA resulted in a dose dependent reduction in the number of infected cells while secondary, tertiary and synthetic BA had a lesser effect. This effect was observed both in HuH-7/NTCP and in PHH. Other replication cycle steps such as replication and particle assembly and release were unaffected. Moreover, inhibitory BA competed with a fragment from the large HBV envelope protein for binding to NTCP-expressing cells. Conversely, the sodium/BA-cotransporter function of NTCP seemed not to be required for HDV infection since infection was similar in the presence or absence of a sodium gradient across the plasma membrane. When chenodeoxycolic acid (15 mg per kg body weight) was administered to three chronically HDV infected individuals over a period of up to 16 days there was no change in serum HDV RNA.
Conclusions: Primary BA inhibit NTCP-mediated HDV entry into hepatocytes suggesting that modulation of the BA pool may affect HDV infection of hepatocytes.
Closed circuits – subversive dialogues : artistic strategies against
- In the past years surveillance, especially visual surveillance systems, have entered our cities and streets on a large scale. In my hometown Frankfurt/Main, the city centre and traffic-hubs have become zones under intensive surveillance. Over 120 cameras are installed at the central station, over 2,000 at the airport. In such highly surveilled places it is impossible to remain unobserved. The extent of surveillance in the United Kingdom and the USA offers a glance into the future. In these countries visual surveillance systems have spread into the farthest corners of cities and villages and into the privacy of their inhabitants.
This development calls for artistic endeavours which examine the phenomenon and raise people’s awareness of CCTV. Subversive strategies have to be developed which counter the inherent power relations of surveillance systems and foster self-confident, active behaviour towards the instruments of control.
The ongoing artistic project, Contemporary Closed Circuits – Subversive Dialogues, examines practices of contemporary visual surveillance. The works explore possibilities of interaction with and subversion of systems of observation. Most of the works were produced during the past three years as an artistic final thesis at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.