Previous studies have demonstrated that efficient neurorehabilitation in post stroke aphasia leads to clinical language improvements and promotes neuroplasticity. Brain areas frequently implicated in functional restitution of language after stroke comprise perilesional sites in the left hemisphere and homotopic regions in the right hemisphere. However, the neuronal mechanisms underlying therapy-induced language restitution are still largely unclear. In this study, magnetoencephalography was used to investigate neurophysiological changes in a group of chronic aphasia patients who underwent intensive language action therapy (ILAT), also known as constraint-induced aphasia therapy (CIAT). Before and immediately after ILAT, patients’ language and communication skills were assessed and their brain responses were recorded during a lexical magnetic mismatch negativity (MMNm) paradigm, presenting familiar spoken words and meaningless pseudowords. After the two-week therapy interval, patients showed significant clinical improvements of language and communication skills. Spatio-temporal dynamics of neuronal changes revealed a significant increase in word-specific neuro-magnetic MMNm activation around 200ms after stimulus identification points. This enhanced brain response occurred specifically for words and was most pronounced over perilesional areas in the left hemisphere. Therapy-related changes in neuromagnetic activation for words in both hemispheres significantly correlated with performance on a clinical language test. The findings indicate that functional recovery of language in chronic post stroke aphasia is associated with neuroplastic changes in both cerebral hemispheres, with stronger left-hemispheric contribution during automatic stages of language processing.
Contributors:Stefania Niada, Chiara Giannasi, Lorena Maria Josè Ferreira, Anna Milani, Elena Arrigoni, Anna Teresa Brini
Adipose-derived and bone marrow stem/stromal cells (ASCs and BMSCs) have been often compared for their application in regenerative medicine, and several factors sustaining their differentiation and efficacy have been investigated. 17 β-estradiol (E2) has been reported to influence some functions of progenitor cells. Here we studied the effects of 10 and 100nM E2 on ASC and BMSC vitality, proliferation and differentiation towards osteogenic and adipogenic lineages. E2 did not modulate ASC and BMSC vitality and growth rate, while the hormone produced a pro-adipogenic effect on both mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs). In particular, the synergy between 7-day pre-treatment and 100nM E2 led to the most evident result, increasing lipid vacuoles formation in ASCs and BMSCs of +44% and +82%, respectively. Despite the fact that E2 did not alter collagen deposition of osteo-induced MSCs, we observed a different modulation of ASC and BMSC alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Indeed, this osteogenic marker was always enhanced by 17 β-estradiol in BMSCs, and 7-day pre-treatment with 100nM E2 increased it of about 70%. In contrast, E2 weakened ASC osteogenic potential, reducing their ALP activity of about 20%, with the most evident effect on ASCs isolated from pre-menopausal women (−30%).
Contributors:João Filipe Riva Tonini, Karen H. Beard, Rodrigo Barbosa Ferreira, Walter Jetz, R. Alexander Pyron
Macroevolutionary rates of diversification and anthropogenic extinction risk differ vastly throughout the Tree of Life. This results in a highly heterogeneous distribution of Evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) and threat status among species. We examine the phylogenetic distribution of ED and threat status for squamates (amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes) using fully-sampled phylogenies containing 9574 species and expert-based estimates of threat status for ~4000 species. We ask whether threatened species are more closely related than would be expected by chance and whether high-risk species represent a disproportionate amount of total evolutionary history. We found currently-assessed threat status to be phylogenetically clustered at broad level in Squamata, suggesting it is critical to assess extinction risks for close relatives of threatened lineages. Our findings show no association between threat status and ED, suggesting that future extinctions may not result in a disproportionate loss of evolutionary history. Lizards in degraded tropical regions (e.g., Madagascar, India, Australia, and the West Indies) seem to be at particular risk. A low number of threatened high-ED species in areas like the Amazon, Borneo, and Papua New Guinea may be due to a dearth of adequate risk assessments. It seems we have not yet reached a tipping point of extinction risk affecting a majority of species; 63% of the assessed species are not threatened and 56% are Least Concern. Nonetheless, our results show that immediate efforts should focus on geckos, iguanas, and chameleons, representing 67% of high-ED threatened species and 57% of Unassessed high-ED lineages.
Contributors:Yang Xu, Tian Liu, Zhaosong Li, Bingjie Feng, Siqian Li, Jinxia Duan, Cong Ye, Jun Zhang, Hao Wang
A careful control of ZnO nanorod arrays with various densities and thickness were achieved by hydrothermal method. An obvious increase in the ZnO nanorod density is observed as the concentrations of zinc acetate dropped as expected through the surface SEM images. On the other hand, samples with and without TiO2 compact layer were also studied and results had been analyzed to seek for an optimized substrate structure for light absorbing layer and increase the efficiency. What’s more, a deep research for the drying temperature for perovskite layer was also conducted. As a result, SEM images discribe a promising surface appearance of perovskite layer which is finely attached onto the nanorod structure. Final power conversion efficiency (PCE) of FTO/ZnO seed layer/ZnO nanorods/perovskite/spiro-OMe-TAD/Au electrode photovoltaic device reached ∼9.15% together with open-circuit voltage of 957mV, short-circuit current density of 17.8mA/cm2 and fill factor of 0.537.
Contributors:Abiram Bala, Colin T. Penrose, Julia D. Visgauss, Thorsten M. Seyler, Timmothy R. Randell, Michael P. Bolognesi, Grant E. Garrigues
Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection were previously at substantial risk for immunosuppression-related complications. As a result of highly active antiretroviral therapy, HIV-infected patients are living longer and are presenting for elective surgery. Outcomes in HIV-infected patients are well described for hip and knee arthroplasty but not for total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). The purpose of this study was to examine postoperative complications of TSA in HIV-positive patients.
Contributors:Rounak Nassirpour, Dominic Raj, Raymond Townsend, Christos Argyropoulos
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a common health problem affecting 1 in 12 Americans. It is associated with elevated risks of mortality, cardiovascular disease, and high costs for the treatment of renal failure with dialysis or transplantation. Advances in CKD care are impeded by the lack of biomarkers for early diagnosis, assessment of the extent of tissue injury, estimation of disease progression, and evaluation of response to therapy. Such biomarkers should improve the performance of existing measures of renal functional impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR) or kidney damage (proteinuria). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) a class of small, non-coding RNAs that act as post-transcriptional repressors are gaining momentum as biomarkers in a number of disease areas. In this review, we examine the potential utility of miRNAs as promising biomarkers for renal disease. We explore the performance of miRNAs as biomarkers in two clinically important forms of CKD, diabetes and the nephropathy developing in kidney transplant recipients. Finally, we highlight the pitfalls and opportunities of miRNAs and provide a broad perspective for the future clinical development of miRNAs as biomarkers in CKD beyond the current gold standards of eGFR and albuminuria.
Contributors:Sara E. Wirbisky, Gregory J. Weber, Kelly E. Schlotman, Maria S. Sepúlveda, Jennifer L. Freeman
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, single-stranded RNA that regulate post-transcriptional control of mRNA translation. Knowledge on the role of these critical regulators in toxicological responses in increasing, but is still limited. Atrazine is a herbicide used throughout the Midwestern US that is reported to frequently contaminate potable water supplies above the maximum contaminant level of 3 parts per billion. Atrazine is a suspected endocrine disrupting chemical and studies have begun to investigate the genetic mechanisms of toxicity; however, studies investigating epigenetic mechanisms are limited. In this study both zebrafish and human miRNAs were significantly altered in response to an embryonic atrazine exposure of 0.3, 3, or 30 ppb in zebrafish. Altered miRNAs are known to play a role in angiogenesis, cancer, or neuronal development, differentiation, and maturation. Targeted analysis of altered human miRNAs with genes previously identified to be altered by atrazine exposure revealed several targets linked to cell cycle and cell signaling. Further analysis of hsa-miRNA-126-3p, which had altered expression in all three atrazine treatments at 72 hpf, revealed alterations also occurred at 60 hpf in the 30 ppb treatment group. Results from this study indicate miRNA deregulation in zebrafish and human miRNAs following an embryonic atrazine exposure in zebrafish.
Ion-pairing assemblies are formed by the interionic interactions, and the structures and properties of the assemblies can be controlled by the combined negatively and positively charged species in the assemblies. In this study, a negatively charged π-electronic system as the building block for ion-pairing assemblies, arylethynyl-substituted dipyrrolyldiketone BF2 complex was prepared via anion binding; this system provided interlocked [2+1]- and planar [1+1]-type anion complexes. As a counteranion, the photoresponsive azobenzene moiety was used as a cationic species for ion-pairing assemblies. The single-crystal X-ray structure of the ion pair of the azobenzene-appended tetraalkylammonium cation and [2+1]-type π-system-Br– complex showed the formation of a completely charge-segregated assembly containing potential photoresponsive units.
Contributors:Jo McDonald, Andrea Catacora, Sarah de Koning, Emily Middleton
A recent cultural resources inventory project recorded rock art sites in the Great Basin using a number of digital techniques. This streamlined data collection enabled comprehensive documentation of the rock art and improved analytical approaches to understanding the art's nature and extent. The Lincoln County Archaeological Initiative focused on three Nevada rock art assemblages (in Mount Irish, Shooting Gallery and Pahroc). These three areas are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and the overall project involved a comprehensive heritage inventory of >700 recorded sites.
Contributors:Milena Monfort-Pires, Sandra Roberta G. Ferreira
Postprandial state is characterized by metabolic changes which may elevate circulating inflammatory biomarkers, used to assess cardiometabolic risk. It is unclear if biological benefits of certain food components could be obtained by a short-term change in a single meal of Brazilian's habitual diet. We investigated the postprandial effects of 2 fat tolerance tests (FTT) with different isocaloric meals (a typical Brazilian and a modified meal) differing by type of fatty acids and fiber contents, prior to and after breakfast interventions.