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  • Genetic material is not randomly organized within the nucleus of a cell. How this organization occurs and why it matters are questions that Cell editor Marta Koch posed to Mitchell Guttman, Job Dekker, and Stavros Lomvardas. Excerpts from this Conversation are presented below, and an audio file of the full discussion is available with the article online.
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  • Individual recognition in gregarious species is fundamental in order to avoid misdirected parental investment. In ungulates, two very different parental care strategies have been identified: ‘hider’ offspring usually lie concealed in vegetation whereas offspring of ‘follower’ species remain with their mothers while they forage. These two strategies have been suggested to impact on mother–offspring vocal recognition, with unidirectional recognition of the mother by offspring occurring in hiders and bidirectional recognition in followers. In domestic cattle, Bos taurus, a facultative hider species, vocal communication and recognition have not been studied in detail under free-ranging conditions, where cows and calves can graze freely and where hiding behaviour can occur. We hypothesized that, as a hider species, cattle under these circumstances would display unidirectional vocal recognition. To test this hypothesis, we conducted playback experiments using mother–offspring contact calls. We found that cows were more likely to respond, by moving their ears and/or looking, turning or walking towards the loudspeaker, to calls of their own calves than to calls from other calves. Similarly, calves responded more rapidly, and were more likely to move their ears and/or look, turn or walk towards the loudspeaker, and to call back and/or meet their mothers, in response to calls from their own mothers than to calls from other females. Contrary to our predictions, our results suggest that mother–offspring vocal individual recognition is bidirectional in cattle. Additionally, mothers of younger calves tended to respond more strongly to playbacks than mothers of older calves. Therefore, mother responses to calf vocalizations are at least partially influenced by calf age.
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  • Patients with incomplete surgical resection of medulloblastoma are controversially regarded as having a marker of high-risk disease, which leads to patients undergoing aggressive surgical resections, so-called second-look surgeries, and intensified chemoradiotherapy. All previous studies assessing the clinical importance of extent of resection have not accounted for molecular subgroup. We analysed the prognostic value of extent of resection in a subgroup-specific manner.
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  • The most common forms of pulmonary hypertension are pulmonary arterial hypertension, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, and pulmonary hypertension due to left-sided heart and lung disease. The treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension has advanced substantially over the past 20 years. Five different classes of drugs are now available—ie, endothelin receptor antagonists, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators, prostacyclin analogues, and prostacyclin receptor agonists. Long-term studies have provided evidence that various combinations of these compounds improve the progression-free survival of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. For patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, surgical pulmonary endarterectomy is the treatment of choice. For patients who are inoperable and have chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, riociguat, a stimulator of soluble guanylate cyclase, has proven efficacious. Additionally, interventional approaches could become a treatment option for these patients. For patients with pulmonary hypertension due to left-sided heart disease or lung disease, the use of pulmonary vasodilator treatment has not been proven to be safe and effective.
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  • Pulmonary hypertension is a substantial global health issue. All age groups are affected with rapidly growing importance in elderly people, particularly in countries with ageing populations. Present estimates suggest a pulmonary hypertension prevalence of about 1% of the global population, which increases up to 10% in individuals aged more than 65 years. In almost all parts of the world, left-sided heart and lung diseases have become the most frequent causes of pulmonary hypertension. About 80% of affected patients live in developing countries, where pulmonary hypertension is frequently associated with congenital heart disease and various infectious disorders, including schistosomiasis, HIV, and rheumatic heart disease. These forms of pulmonary hypertension occur predominantly in those younger than 65 years. Independently of the underlying disease, the development of pulmonary hypertension is associated with clinical deterioration and a substantially increased mortality risk. Global research efforts are needed to establish preventive strategies and treatments for the various types of pulmonary hypertension.
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  • Fatigue and other treatment-related symptoms (e.g., sleep disturbance) are critical targets for improving quality of life in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Yoga may reduce the burden of such symptoms. This study investigated the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled study of a brief yoga intervention during chemotherapy for colorectal cancer.
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  • Although previous studies on metaphor and music have yielded fruitful results in the past decades, none of them have investigated the complex “one-to-many” relationships between metaphor and music in compositions based on the same lyrics in examining how verbal metaphors are mapped on, transformed into, and combined with the musical/aural mode of the compositions. To bridge this gap, this study provides a detailed metaphor-based and musical analyses to examine the transformation of verbal metaphors in the classic Mandarin Chinese poem “Serendipity,” written by the famous poet Hsu Chih-Mo (徐志摩), into multimodal metaphors in four musical versions.
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  • To explore the physiological factors affecting exercise-induced changes in peak oxygen consumption and function poststroke.
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  • Homeostatic mechanisms stabilize neural circuit function by keeping firing rates within a set-point range, but whether this process is gated by brain state is unknown. Here, we monitored firing rate homeostasis in individual visual cortical neurons in freely behaving rats as they cycled between sleep and wake states. When neuronal firing rates were perturbed by visual deprivation, they gradually returned to a precise, cell-autonomous set point during periods of active wake, with lengthening of the wake period enhancing firing rate rebound. Unexpectedly, this resetting of neuronal firing was suppressed during sleep. This raises the possibility that memory consolidation or other sleep-dependent processes are vulnerable to interference from homeostatic plasticity mechanisms.
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  • Physical models are increasingly used to inform our understanding of biology. Where such models still run into limits was the question that Cell’s Robert Kruger posed to Julie Theriot, K.C. Huang, and Mark Goulian. Annotated excerpts from this conversation are presented below, and the full conversation is available with the article online.
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