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  • Those in the physical sciences work to understand relationships among non-social entities and this may come at a cost to their understanding of social relationships. Alternatively, it could be that those in the physical sciences differ in how comfortable they feel in social situations. Prior research had been confined to looking at differences between particular subject majors (e.g., humanities) and physical sciences, leaving open the possibility that people choosing subjects like psychology or biology might differ on empathy. University students (N=404) majoring in humanities, social science, life science, or physical science completed the empathy quotient (EQ). Confirmatory factor analysis showed three-factors of the EQ, and these were used in multinomial logistic regression. Empathy differences made a unique contribution to explaining subject major choice. We found that greater levels of empathy predicted membership in social and life sciences, while lower levels of empathy predicted physical sciences enrollment.
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  • New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) will soon become the most commonly isolated and distributed metallo-beta-lactamase worldwide due to its rapid international dissemination and its ability to be expressed by numerous Gram-negative pathogens. NDM-positive bacteria pose a significant public health threat in the Indian subcontinent and the Balkans, which have been designated as endemic regions. Our study was focused on urban rivers, a lake and springheads as a potential source of NDM-1-producing strains in Serbia, but also as a source of other metallo-beta-lactamases and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria. A total of 69 beta-lactam resistant isolates, belonging to 12 bacterial genera, were collected from 8 out of 10 different locations in Belgrade, of which the most were from a popular recreational site, Ada Ciganlija Lake. Phenotypic tests revealed 7 (10.14%) ESBL-producing isolates and 39 (56.52%) isolates resistant to imipenem, of which 32 were positive for metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL) production. PCR and sequencing revealed the presence of genetic determinants for SHV (3 isolates), DHA-1 (1 isolate) and CMY-2 (1 isolate) beta-lactamases. However, we did not detect any NDM-1-producing strains (previously described cases of NDM-1 from Serbia were limited to Belgrade), so we propose that Serbian NDM-1 is in fact a transplant and a nosocomial, rather than an environmental, issue and that Serbia is not an endemic region for NDM-1.
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  • Despite remarkable advances in the genomic characterization of adult melanoma, the molecular pathogenesis of pediatric melanoma remains largely unknown. We analyzed 15 conventional melanomas (CMs), 3 melanomas arising in congenital nevi (CNMs), and 5 spitzoid melanomas (SMs), using various platforms, including whole genome or exome sequencing, the molecular inversion probe assay, and/or targeted sequencing. CMs demonstrated a high burden of somatic single-nucleotide variations (SNVs), with each case containing a TERT promoter (TERT-p) mutation, 13/15 containing an activating BRAF V600 mutation, and >80% of the identified SNVs consistent with UV damage. In contrast, the three CNMs contained an activating NRAS Q61 mutation and no TERT-p mutations. SMs were characterized by chromosomal rearrangements resulting in activated kinase signaling in 40%, and an absence of TERT-p mutations, except for the one SM that succumbed to hematogenous metastasis. We conclude that pediatric CM has a very similar UV-induced mutational spectrum to that found in the adult counterpart, emphasizing the need to promote sun protection practices in early life and to improve access to therapeutic agents being explored in adults in young patients. In contrast, the pathogenesis of CNM appears to be distinct. TERT-p mutations may identify the rare subset of spitzoid melanocytic lesions prone to disseminate.
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  • Primary progressive multiple sclerosis can present with a wide variety of symptoms. We report a case of a 52-year-old man presenting with visual symptoms and gait impairment in whom a diagnosis of a primary progressive multiple sclerosis was established. Symptomatic treatment with dalfampridine was started but did not result in a considerable improvement. Gait disorders in multiple sclerosis are common and can have a considerable effect over the patient׳s quality of life. Dalfampridine is the first drug approved for the symptomatic treatment of gait in MS, although only a 40% of patients show an objective response to this medication. Primary progressive multiple sclerosis represents a therapeutic challenge. Currently, there are no disease modifying treatments approved but there are several medications undergoing assessment for this indication. Further research in the underlying pathophysiology of PPMS will help us develope more successful disease-modifying treatments. Meanwhile, a symptomatic approach should be offered in order to improve the patient׳s quality of life.
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  • The 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) was applied as a solvent of cobalt and manganese precursors, in order to adjust the structure and chemical properties of the Co/MnOx catalyst. The light olefin selectivity of the catalyst prepared by BDO is 42.2% in all hydrocarbon products, which is much higher than 26.5% of conventional Co/MnOx catalyst. It was found that the presence of BDO markedly adjusted the pore structure of obtained catalyst, reducibility and electronic states of supported cobalt, leading to higher light olefins selectivity in FTS reaction.
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  • The cascade of dense waters of the Southeast Greenland shelf during summer 2003 is investigated with two very high-resolution (0.5-km) simulations. The first simulation is non-hydrostatic. The second simulation is hydrostatic and about 3.75 times less expensive. Both simulations are compared to a 2-km hydrostatic run, about 31 times less expensive than the 0.5km non-hydrostatic case.
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  • For decades, the sugar-fermenting, acidogenic species Streptococcus mutans has been considered the main causative agent of dental caries and most diagnostic and therapeutic strategies have been targeted toward this microorganism. However, recent DNA- and RNA-based studies from carious lesions have uncovered an extraordinarily diverse ecosystem where S. mutans accounts only a tiny fraction of the bacterial community. This supports the concept that consortia formed by multiple microorganisms act collectively, probably synergistically, to initiate and expand the cavity. Thus, antimicrobial therapies are not expected to be effective in the treatment of caries and other polymicrobial diseases that do not follow classical Koch's postulates.
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  • In cell culture, many adherent mammalian cells undergo substantial actin cytoskeleton rearrangement prior to mitosis as they detach from the extracellular matrix and become spherical. At the end of mitosis, the actin cytoskeleton is required for cytokinesis and the reassembly of interphase structures as cells spread and reattach to substrate. To understand the processes regulating mitotic cytoskeletal remodeling, we studied how mitotic phosphorylation regulates filamin A (FLNa). FLNa is an actin-crosslinking protein that was previously identified as a cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) binding partner and substrate in vitro. Using quantitative label-based mass spectrometry, we find that FLNa serines 1084, 1459 and 1533 are phosphorylated in mitotic HeLa cells and all three sites match the phosphorylation consensus sequence of Cdk1. To investigate the functional role of mitotic FLNa phosphorylation, we mutated serines 1084, 1459 and 1533 to nonphosphorylatable alanine residues and expressed GFP-tagged FLNaS1084A,S1459A,S1533A (FLNa-AAA GFP) in a FLNa-deficient human melanoma cell line called M2. M2 cells expressing FLNa-AAA GFP have enhanced FLNa-AAA GFP and actin localization at sites of contact between daughter cells, impaired post-mitotic daughter cell separation and defects in cell migration. Therefore, mitotic phosphorylation of FLNa is important for successful cell division and interphase cell behavior.
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  • In this paper we report an electron beam induced rapid (up to several tens of nm/s) growth of silver nanowhiskers from silver nanowire networks coated with TiO2 by sol–gel method. Different growth conditions are tested and it is demonstrated that growth is optimal for samples with the film thickness in the range 50–200nm and previously annealed at 400°C for 5–10min. Growth mechanism is attributed to cooperative effect of several factors including diffusion of Ag into TiO2 matrix during annealing, electromigration of Ag atoms caused by strong electric field, and presence of mechanical stresses at interfaces enhanced by thermal expansions due to local heating under e-beam illumination.
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  • Ceramides are crucial for skin barrier function, but little is known about the regulation of epidermal appendages and whether stem cell populations that control their regeneration depend on specific ceramide species. Here we demonstrate that ceramide synthase 4 (CerS4) is highly expressed in the epidermis of adult mice where it is localized in the interfollicular epidermis and defined populations within the pilosebaceous unit. Inactivation of CerS4 in mice resulted in precocious activation of hair follicle bulge stem cells while expanding the Lrig1+ junctional zone and sebaceous glands. This was preceded first by a decrease in bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and a subsequent increase in Wnt signaling. This imbalance in quiescent versus activating signals likely promoted a prolonged anagen-like hair follicle state after the second catagen, which exhausted stem cells over time ultimately resulting in hair loss in aged mice. K14-Cre-mediated deletion of CerS4 revealed a similar phenotype, thus suggesting an epidermis intrinsic function of CerS4 in regulating the regeneration of the pilosebaceous unit. The data indicate that CerS4-directed epidermal ceramide composition is essential to control hair follicle stem and progenitor cell behavior potentially through its regulation of BMP and Wnt signaling.
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