Contributions to the data on theoretical metallurgy : 8: the thermodynamic properties of metal carbides and nitrides
Kenneth Keith Kelley
Orientalism in contemporary Asian American literature : mounting Madame Butterfly on the Asian American needle
- Representations of the unknown and the foreign can be found in every culture. Paralleling the method of constructing identity in relation to the Other, all cultures create myths about the ‘foreign’ in order to discern what the ‘native’ is, and thus often essentialize them as either good or bad, ultimately to vindicate one’s own actions and values. The nature of myths has it as such that they lend themselves to images, which are easily transformed into representations. Representations of the foreign in the United States follow the same purpose; they are propagated to define the nation’s identity and set it into political and cultural relation to other nations and civilizations. In this thesis’ context, then, representations of Asian Americans in American culture strengthen the imaginative bonds of American national identity manifesto. However, the interdependency of the Self and the Other clarifies and further entangles the subjects that constitute American national identity and in turn legitimizes the belated claim of Asian Americans to be included into it. Asian American literature is primarily concerned with these myths and (mis)representations that are influenced by Orientalist images in Western culture. Thus, Orientalism – a constructed myth about the Orient, which exists in art, books, and armchair theories of all kinds in the Western world – becomes the main motif for Asian American literature. If we construe this theory a little further then Asian American identity is formed in relation to Orientalist representations that need to be deconstructed first. From the outset, if Orientalism is considered as a produce of imperialism, it seems that time is a defining factor in Orientalism, both as an agent of change and as a factor of perspective. In reality, however, Orientalism seems resilient to time and change; the creation of the Madame Butterfly myth exemplifies what was created in 1887 had been perfected by 1900 and since then enjoys frequent comebacks until today. Thus, for Asian American artists and writers to dismantle Orientalist stereotypes begins a literally archaeological process: excavating the leftovers of American Orientalism, evaluating those finds, and re-relating them with their own cultural and historical actuality. Rather than producing a neat line of argumentation, the approaches on defining Asian American identity within the American national identity manifesto fall into unwieldy clusters and even get tangled up into self-contradictions. The methods of dismantling Orientalist stereotypes are manifold and range from total rejection over evocation and appropriation to reflection. In order to wrestle such disparate issues Orientalism produces in Asian American Literature into an organic whole, it was important to focus consistently on the over arching theme of American national identity. As this thesis aims to show, Orientalist issues that are dealt with in Asian American literature all point toward the greater aim of national inclusion. This thesis is grouped into two parts. PART I provides historical and theoretical background information necessary to understand Orientalist issues in contemporary Asian American literature. Analogous to Asian American writers that feel the necessity to bed their work into the correct historical frame in order to prevent misunderstanding, chapters two and three serve to couch my argument into the correct frame. The theoretical base work is laid with Edward Said’s Orientalism and its implementation on the American and Asian American context. PART II examines literary examples, applying the theorems discussed in PART I. Chapter four is a close analysis of the submissive Butterfly stereotype that has, since its appearance in late nineteenth century, moved, inspired and even outraged writers. Beginning with the literary development of Madame Butterfly, D. H. Hwang’s deconstructivist M. Butterfly gives new perspectives on Orientalism by redefining gender and racial roles. To complement my analysis, in chapter five, I try to trace current Asian American reactions to Orientalism. Texts by comedian Margaret Cho and poet Beau Sia serve as examples of analysis. As a result of the disparate narrative forms of the analyzed works and the unevenness of scholarship on twenty-first century, the analyses vary greatly in scope and detail. In choosing fairly young narrative forms like stand-up comedy and spoken word poetry I want to emphasize how Orientalism pertains to the question of Asian American identity. To close the circle of my discourse I will go back to where I start my thesis: Asian Americans and their position within America’s national identity discourse. It is noteworthy that until today, Asian American identity remains a hostage of these Orientalist stereotypes that mark the boundaries of their American identity.
Wnt/beta-catenin signaling controls development of the blood–brain barrier
Cathrin J. Czupalla
Makoto M. Taketo
Harald von Melchner
Karl H. Plate
- The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is confined to the endothelium of brain capillaries and is indispensable for fluid homeostasis and neuronal function. In this study, we show that endothelial Wnt/beta-catenin (beta-cat) signaling regulates induction and maintenance of BBB characteristics during embryonic and postnatal development. Endothelial specific stabilization of beta-cat in vivo enhances barrier maturation, whereas inactivation of beta-cat causes significant down-regulation of claudin3 (Cldn3), up-regulation of plamalemma vesicle-associated protein, and BBB breakdown. Stabilization of beta-cat in primary brain endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro by N-terminal truncation or Wnt3a treatment increases Cldn3 expression, BBB-type tight junction formation, and a BBB characteristic gene signature. Loss of beta-cat or inhibition of its signaling abrogates this effect. Furthermore, stabilization of beta-cat also increased Cldn3 and barrier properties in nonbrain-derived ECs. These findings may open new therapeutic avenues to modulate endothelial barrier function and to limit the devastating effects of BBB breakdown.
Distribution of VOCs between air and snow at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station, Switzerland, during CLACE 5 (winter 2006)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were analyzed in air and snow samples at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station in Switzerland as part of CLACE 5 (CLoud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment) during February/March 2006. The fluxes of individual compounds in ambient air were calculated from gas phase concentrations and wind speed. The highest concentrations and flux values were observed for the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene (14.3 micro m-2 -1), 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene (5.27 micro m-2 -1), toluene (4.40 micro m-2 -1), and the aliphatic hydrocarbons i-butane (7.87 micro m-2 -1), i-pentane (3.61 micro m-2 -1) and n-butane (3.23 micro m-2 -1). The measured concentrations and fluxes were used to calculate the efficiency of removal of VOCs by snow, which is defined as difference between the initial and final concentration/flux values of compounds before and after wet deposition. The removal efficiency was calculated at -24°C (-13.7°C) and ranged from 37% (35%) for o-xylene to 93% (63%) for i-pentane. The distribution coefficients of VOCs between the air and snow phases were derived from published poly-parameter linear free energy relationship (pp-LFER) data, and compared with distribution coefficients obtained from the simultaneous measurements of VOC concentrations in air and snow at Jungfraujoch. The coefficients calculated from pp-LFER exceeded those values measured in the present study, which indicates more efficient snow scavenging of the VOCs investigated than suggested by theoretical predictions.
Experimental characterization of the COndensation PArticle counting System for high altitude aircraft-borne application
- A characterization of the ultra-fine aerosol particle counter COPAS (COndensation PArticle counting System) for operation on board the Russian high altitude research aircraft M-55 Geophysika is presented. The COPAS instrument consists of an aerosol inlet and two dual-channel continuous flow Condensation Particle Counters (CPCs) operated with the chlorofluorocarbon FC-43. It operates at pressures between 400 and 50 hPa for aerosol detection in the particle diameter (dp) range from 6 nm up to 1 micro m. The aerosol inlet, designed for the M-55, is characterized with respect to aspiration, transmission, and transport losses. The experimental characterization of counting efficiencies of three CPCs yields dp50 (50% detection particle diameter) of 6 nm, 11 nm, and 15 nm at temperature differences (DeltaT) between saturator and condenser of 17°C, 30°C, and 33°C, respectively. Non-volatile particles are quantified with a fourth CPC, with dp50=11 nm. It includes an aerosol heating line (250°C) to evaporate H2SO4-H2O particles of 11 nm<dp<200 nm at pressures between 70 and 300 hPa. An instrumental in-flight inter-comparison of the different COPAS CPCs yields correlation coefficients of 0.996 and 0.985. The particle emission index for the M-55 in the range of 1.4–8.4×10 16 kg -1 fuel burned has been estimated based on measurements of the Geophysika's own exhaust.
Evaluation of a probabilistic hydrometeorological forecast system
- Medium range hydrological forecasts in mesoscale catchments are only possible with the use of hydrological models driven by meteorological forecasts, which in particular contribute quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF). QPFs are accompanied by large uncertainties, especially for longer lead times, which are propagated within the hydrometeorological model system. To deal with this limitation of predictability, a probabilistic forecasting system is tested, which is based on a hydrological-meteorological ensemble prediction system. The meteorological component of the system is the operational limited-area ensemble prediction system COSMO-LEPS that downscales the global ECMWF ensemble to a horizontal resolution of 10 km, while the hydrological component is based on the semi-distributed hydrological model PREVAH with a spatial resolution of 500 m. Earlier studies have mostly addressed the potential benefits of hydrometeorological ensemble systems in short case studies. Here we present an analysis of hydrological ensemble hindcasts for two years (2005 and 2006). It is shown that the ensemble covers the uncertainty during different weather situations with appropriate spread. The ensemble also shows advantages over a corresponding deterministic forecast, even under consideration of an artificial spread.
Chemokine receptor-5Delta32 mutation is no risk factor for ischemic-type biliary lesion in liver transplantation
- It has been shown that certain chemokine receptor polymorphisms may correspond to certain complications after organ transplantation. Ischemic-type biliary lesion (ITBL) encounters for major morbidity and mortality in liver transplant recipients. So far, the exact cause for ITBL remains unclear. Certain risk factors for the development of ITBL like donor age and cold ischemic time are well described. In a previous study, a 32-nucleotide deletion of the chemokine receptor-5Delta32 (CCR-5Delta32) was strongly associated with the incidence of ITBL in adult liver transplantation. This study re-evaluates the association of CCR-5Delta32 gene polymorphism and the incidence of ITBL. 169 patients were included into this retrospective analysis. 134 patients were homozygous for wild-type CCR-5, 33 patients heterozygous, and 2 patients were homozygous for CCR-5Delta32 mutation. There were no major differences in donor or recipients demographics. No association was found between CCR-5Delta32 mutation and the development of ITBL.We conclude that CCR-5Delta32 is no risk factor for the development of ITBL in our patient cohort.
Structural basis for the sequence-specific RNA-recognition mechanism of human CUG-BP1 RRM3
- The CUG-binding protein 1 (CUG-BP1) is a member of the CUG-BP1 and ETR-like factors (CELF) family or the Bruno-like family and is involved in the control of splicing, translation and mRNA degradation. Several target RNA sequences of CUG-BP1 have been predicted, such as the CUG triplet repeat, the GU-rich sequences and the AU-rich element of nuclear pre-mRNAs and/or cytoplasmic mRNA. CUG-BP1 has three RNA-recognition motifs (RRMs), among which the third RRM (RRM3) can bind to the target RNAs on its own. In this study, we solved the solution structure of the CUG-BP1 RRM3 by hetero-nuclear NMR spectroscopy. The CUG-BP1 RRM3 exhibited a noncanonical RRM fold, with the four-stranded b-sheet surface tightly associated with the N-terminal extension. Furthermore, we determined the solution structure of the CUG-BP1 RRM3 in the complex with (UG)3 RNA, and discovered that the UGU trinucleotide is specifically recognized through extensive stacking interactions and hydrogen bonds within the pocket formed by the b-sheet surface and the N-terminal extension. This study revealed the unique mechanism that enables the CUG-BP1 RRM3 to discriminate the short RNA segment from other sequences, thus providing the molecular basis for the comprehension of the role of the RRM3s in the CELF/Bruno-like family.
Activation of interferon regulatory factor-3 via toll-like receptor 3 and immunomodulatory functions detected in A549 lung epithelial cells exposed to misplaced U1-snRNA
Christian David Sadik
Josef Martin Pfeilschifter
- U1-snRNA is an integral part of the U1 ribonucleoprotein pivotal for pre-mRNA splicing. Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling has recently been associated with immunoregulatory capacities of U1-snRNA. Using lung A549 epithelial/carcinoma cells, we report for the first time on interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-3 activation initiated by endosomally delivered U1-snRNA. This was associated with expression of the IRF3-inducible genes interferon-b (IFN-b), CXCL10/IP-10 and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. Mutational analysis of the U1-snRNA-activated IFN-b promoter confirmed the crucial role of the PRDIII element, previously proven pivotal for promoter activation by IRF3. Notably, expression of these parameters was suppressed by bafilomycin A1, an inhibitor of endosomal acidification, implicating endosomal TLR activation. Since resiquimod, an agonist of TLR7/8, failed to stimulate A549 cells, data suggest TLR3 to be of prime relevance for cellular activation. To assess the overall regulatory potential of U1-snRNA-activated epithelial cells on cytokine production, co-cultivation with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was performed. Interestingly, A549 cells activated by U1-snRNA reinforced phytohemagglutinin-induced interleukin-10 release by PBMC but suppressed that of tumor necrosis factor-a, indicating an antiinflammatory potential of U1-snRNA. Since U1-snRNA is enriched in apoptotic bodies and epithelial cells are capable of performing efferocytosis, the present data in particular connect to immunobiological aspects of apoptosis at host/environment interfaces.
Integration of Bayesian molecular clock methods and fossil-based soft bounds reveals early Cenozoic origin of African lacertid lizards
Christy A. Hipsley
- Background Although current molecular clock methods offer greater flexibility in modelling historical evolutionary events, calibration of the clock with dates from the fossil record is still problematic for many groups. Here we implement several new approaches in molecular dating to estimate evolutionary ages of Lacertidae, an Old World family of lizards with a poor fossil record and uncertain phylogeny. Four different models of rate variation are tested in a new program for Bayesian phylogenetic analysis called TreeTime, based on a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences. We incorporate paleontological uncertainty into divergence estimates by expressing multiple calibration dates as a range of probabilistic distributions. We also test the reliability of our proposed calibrations by exploring effects of individual priors on posterior estimates. Results According to the most reliable model, as indicated by Bayes factor comparison, modern lacertids arose shortly after the K/T transition and entered Africa about 45 million years ago, with the majority of their African radiation occurring in the Eocene and Oligocene. Our findings indicate much earlier origins for these clades than previously reported, and we discuss our results in light of paleogeographic trends during the Cenozoic. Conclusions This study represents the first attempt to estimate evolutionary ages of a specific group of reptiles exhibiting uncertain phylogenetic relationships, molecular rate variation and a poor fossil record. Our results emphasize the sensitivity of molecular divergence dates to fossil calibrations, and support the use of combined molecular data sets and multiple, well-spaced dates from the fossil record as minimum node constraints. The bioinformatics program used here, TreeTime, is publicly available, and we recommend its use for molecular dating of taxa faced with similar challenges.