Contributors: E. Remetean, B. Dolives, F. Souvannavong, T. Germa, JB. Ginestet, A. Torres, T. Mousset
... The ROLIS, CIVA-P and OSIRIS instruments on-board the Philae lander and the Rosetta orbiter acquired high-resolution images during the lander׳s descent towards the targeted landing site Agilkia, during its unexpected rebounds and at the final landing site Abydos on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. We, exploited these images, using robotic vision techniques, to locate the first touchdown on the surface of the comet nucleus, to reconstruct the lander׳s 3D trajectory during the descent and at the beginning of the first rebound, and to create local digital terrain models and depth maps of Agilkia and Abydos sites. Using the ROLIS close-up images we could also determine the actual movements of the lander between the beginning and the end of the First Science Sequence and we propose a new lander׳s bubble movement command meant to increase the probability for a successful drilling during a hypothetical future Long Term Science phase.
Glutathione reductase gsr-1 is an essential gene required for Caenorhabditis elegans early embryonic development
Contributors: José Antonio Mora-Lorca, Beatriz Sáenz-Narciso, Christopher J. Gaffney, Francisco José Naranjo-Galindo, José Rafael Pedrajas, David Guerrero-Gómez, Agnieszka Dobrzynska, Peter Askjaer, Nathaniel J. Szewczyk, Juan Cabello
... Glutathione is the most abundant thiol in the vast majority of organisms and is maintained in its reduced form by the flavoenzyme glutathione reductase. In this work, we describe the genetic and functional analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans gsr-1 gene that encodes the only glutathione reductase protein in this model organism. By using green fluorescent protein reporters we demonstrate that gsr-1 produces two GSR-1 isoforms, one located in the cytoplasm and one in the mitochondria. gsr-1 loss of function mutants display a fully penetrant embryonic lethal phenotype characterized by a progressive and robust cell division delay accompanied by an aberrant distribution of interphasic chromatin in the periphery of the cell nucleus. Maternally expressed GSR-1 is sufficient to support embryonic development but these animals are short-lived, sensitized to chemical stress and have increased mitochondrial fragmentation and lower mitochondrial DNA content. Furthermore, the embryonic lethality of gsr-1 worms is prevented by restoring GSR-1 activity in the cytoplasm but not in mitochondria. Given the fact that the thioredoxin redox systems are dispensable in C. elegans, our data support a prominent role of the glutathione reductase/glutathione pathway in maintaining redox homeostasis in the nematode.
Contributors: Johannes Kamp, Ronny Hänsch, Gregor Kendzierski, Matthias Kraume, Olaf Hellwich
... The fundamental analysis of drop coalescence probability in liquid/liquid systems is necessary to reliably predict drop size distributions in technical applications. For this crucial investigation two colliding oil drops in continuous water phase were recorded with different high speed camera set-ups under varying conditions. In order to analyze the huge amount of recorded image sequences with varying resolutions and qualities, a robust automated image analysis was developed. This analysis is able to determine the trajectories of two colliding drops as well as the important events of drop detachment from cannulas and their collision. With this information the drop velocity in each sequence is calculated and mean values of multiple drop collisions are determined for serial examinations of single drop collisions. Using the developed automated image analysis for drop trajectory and velocity calculation, approximately 1–2 recorded high speed image sequences can be evaluated per minute.
Article - Systematic Reconstruction of Molecular Cascades Regulating GP Development Using Single-Cell RNA-Seq
Contributors: Junxiang Li, Haofei Luo, Rui Wang, Jidong Lang, Siyu Zhu, Zhenming Zhang, Jianhuo Fang, Keke Qu, Yuting Lin, Haizhou Long
... The growth plate (GP) comprising sequentially differentiated cell layers is a critical structure for bone elongation and regeneration. Although several key regulators in GP development have been identified using genetic perturbation, systematic understanding is still limited. Here, we used single-cell RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) to determine the gene expression profiles of 217 single cells from GPs and developed a bioinformatics pipeline named Sinova to de novo reconstruct physiological GP development in both temporal and spatial high resolution. Our unsupervised model not only confirmed prior knowledge, but also enabled the systematic discovery of genes, potential signal pathways, and surface markers CD9/CD200 to precisely depict development. Sinova further identified the effective combination of transcriptional factors (TFs) that regulates GP maturation, and the result was validated using an in vitro EGFP-Col10a screening system. Our case systematically reconstructed molecular cascades in GP development through single-cell profiling, and the bioinformatics pipeline is applicable to other developmental processes.
Dynamics of water and solute transport in polymeric reverse osmosis membranes via molecular dynamics simulations
Contributors: Meng Shen, Sinan Keten, Richard M. Lueptow
... The Ångström-scale transport characteristics of water and six different solutes, methanol, ethanol, 2-propanol, urea, Na+, and Cl-, were studied for a polyamide reverse osmosis (RO) membrane, FT-30, using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations. Results indicate that water transport increases with an increasing fraction of connected percolated free volume, or water-accessible open space, in the membrane polymer structure. This free volume is enhanced by the dynamic structure of the membrane at the molecular level as it swells when hydrated and vibrates due to molecular collisions allowing a continuous path connecting the opposite membrane surfaces. The tortuous paths available for transport of solutes result in Brownian motion of solute molecules and hopping from pore to pore as they pass through the polymer network structure of the membrane. The transport of alcohol solutes decreases for solutes with larger Van der Waals volume, which corresponds to less available percolated free volume, or solute-accessible space, within the membrane polymer structure. However, the Van der Waals size of the dehydrated solutes is generally not a good measure to predict solute transport or rejection. Urea has reduced transport compared to ethanol, most likely due to more complex chemistry, even though urea has a smaller Van der Waals volume than ethanol. Na+ and Cl- experience the lowest transport, likely due to strong ion-water and ion-ion electrostatic interactions.
In vivo time-lapse imaging reveals extensive neural crest and endothelial cell interactions during neural crest migration and formation of the dorsal root and sympathetic ganglia
Contributors: Lynn George, Haley Dunkel, Barbara J. Hunnicutt, Michael Filla, Charles Little, Rusty Lansford, Frances Lefcort
... During amniote embryogenesis the nervous and vascular systems interact in a process that significantly affects the respective morphogenesis of each network by forming a “neurovascular” link. The importance of neurovascular cross-talk in the central nervous system has recently come into focus with the growing awareness that these two systems interact extensively both during development, in the stem-cell niche, and in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. With respect to the peripheral nervous system, however, there have been no live, real-time investigations of the potential relationship between these two developing systems. To address this deficit, we used multispectral 4D time-lapse imaging in a transgenic quail model in which endothelial cells (ECs) express a yellow fluorescent marker, while neural crest cells (NCCs) express an electroporated red fluorescent marker. We monitored EC and NCC migration in real-time during formation of the peripheral nervous system. Our time-lapse recordings indicate that NCCs and ECs are physically juxtaposed and dynamically interact at multiple locations along their trajectories. These interactions are stereotypical and occur at precise anatomical locations along the NCC migratory pathway. NCCs migrate alongside the posterior surface of developing intersomitic vessels, but fail to cross these continuous streams of motile ECs. NCCs change their morphology and migration trajectory when they encounter gaps in the developing vasculature. Within the nascent dorsal root ganglion, proximity to ECs causes filopodial retraction which curtails forward persistence of NCC motility. Overall, our time-lapse recordings support the conclusion that primary vascular networks substantially influence the distribution and migratory behavior of NCCs and the patterned formation of dorsal root and sympathetic ganglia.
Research Paper - Numerical and experimental investigation of a counter-current two-phase thermosyphon with cascading pools
Contributors: Marc Schreiber, Wessel W. Wits, Gert Jan te Riele
... An innovative design of a counter-current two-phase thermosyphon is investigated for the in-plane cooling of flat product structures. The thermosyphon features multiple pools staggered along the entire evaporator section, in which liquid flowing toward the bottom of the thermosyphon can be stored. The pools are used to cascade the working fluid to the evaporator end cap. Liquid accumulates in the pools until they overflow, thereby spreading the working fluid across the entire evaporator length rather than creating one liquid pool at the bottom end cap. Multiple of such thermosyphons operating in parallel can be used for low-gradient planar cooling of vertically oriented surfaces. A numerical model using a control volume approach is developed to predict and to validate the experimental results of this innovative design. The main advantages of the control volume approach are the adaptability of the entire model and the fast computational speed in comparison to elaborate fluid dynamics models. Empirical correlations are used for the modeling of the heat transfer coefficients and friction factors of the counter-current flow. A proof of principle is given by observing a prototype that was milled into a copper bar. Next to logging temperature measurements, the prototype had a glass top plate to visually record the working fluid behavior. The model presented is well suitable for the early stages of thermosyphon design studies and for the impact evaluation of design changes.
Contributors: Bingfang Xu, Angela M. Washington, Raquel Fantin Domeniconi, Ana Cláudia Ferreira Souza, Xiaowei Lu, Ann Sutherland, Barry T. Hinton
... The Wolffian duct, the proximal end of the mesonephric duct, undergoes non-branching morphogenesis to achieve an optimal length and size for sperm maturation. It is important to examine the mechanisms by which the developing mouse Wolffian duct elongates and coils for without proper morphogenesis, male infertility will result. Here we show that highly proliferative epithelial cells divide in a random orientation relative to the elongation axis in the developing Wolffian duct. Convergent extension (CE)-like of cell rearrangements is required for elongating the duct while maintaining a relatively unchanged duct diameter. The Wolffian duct epithelium is planar polarized, which is characterized by oriented cell elongation, oriented cell rearrangements, and polarized activity of regulatory light chain of myosin II. Conditional deletion of protein tyrosine kinase 7 (PTK7), a regulator of planar cell polarity (PCP), from mesoderm results in loss of the PCP characteristics in the Wolffian duct epithelium. Although loss of Ptk7 does not alter cell proliferation or division orientation, it affects CE and leads to the duct with significantly shortened length, increased diameter, and reduced coiling, which eventually results in loss of sperm motility, a key component of sperm maturation. In vitro experiments utilizing inhibitors of myosin II results in reduced elongation and coiling, similar to the phenotype of Ptk7 knockout. This data suggest that PTK7 signaling through myosin II regulates PCP, which in turn ensures CE-like of cell rearrangements to drive elongation and coiling of the Wolffian duct. Therefore, PTK7 is essential for Wolffian duct morphogenesis and male fertility.
Research Report - Single body parts are processed by individual neurons in the mouse dorsolateral striatum
Contributors: Kevin R. Coffey, Miles Nader, Mark O. West
... Interest in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) has generated numerous scientific studies of its neuropathologies, as well as its roles in normal sensorimotor integration and learning. Studies are informed by knowledge of DLS functional organization, the guiding principle being its somatotopic afferent projections from primary somatosensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortices. The potential to connect behaviorally relevant function to detailed structure is elevated by mouse models, which have access to extensive genetic neuroscience tool kits. Remaining to be demonstrated, however, is whether the correspondence between S1/M1 corticostriatal terminal distributions and the physiological properties of DLS neurons demonstrated in rats and non-human primates exists in mice. Given that the terminal distribution of S1/M1 projections to the DLS in mice is similar to that in rats, we studied whether firing rates (FRs) of DLS neurons in awake, behaving mice are related to activity of individual body parts. MSNs exhibited robust, selective increases in FR during movement or somatosensory stimulation of single body parts. Properties of MSNs, including baseline FRs, locations, responsiveness to stimulation, and proportions of responsive neurons were similar to properties observed in rats. Future studies can be informed by the present demonstration that the mouse lateral striatum functions as a somatic sensorimotor sector of the striatum and appears to be a homolog of the primate putamen, as demonstrated in rats (Carelli and West, 1991).
Contributors: John Kaiser Calautit, Dominic O'Connor, Ben Richard Hughes
... Commercial wind towers are passive ventilation technology based on traditional wind towers of the Middle East. Typical operation of wind towers in cold – mild climates is generally limited to summer-seasons as the outdoor air is too cold to be introduced into spaces for the majority of the year. In addition, the use of natural ventilation solutions has been seen to increase heat loss in buildings and lead to increased energy cost. Wind towers are normally shut down for the sake of avoiding indoor heating energy losses during winter months. Consequently, the concentration of pollutants has seen to rise above the guideline levels, which can lead to ill health. To improve the year-round capabilities of wind towers, a heat recovery system utilising the combination of heat pipes and heat sink was incorporated into a multi-directional wind tower. This study investigates the potential of this concept through the use of numerical analysis and wind tunnel experiments for validation. The findings showed that the wind tower with heat pipes was capable of meeting the required ventilation rates above an inlet air velocity of 1 m/s. In addition to sufficient ventilation, the integration of heat pipes had a positive effect on thermal performance of the wind tower; it raised the supply air by up to 4.5 K. The technology presented here is subject to a patent application (PCT/GB2014/052263).