ResearchPad - 524 https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Noninvasive hippocampal blood−brain barrier opening in Alzheimer’s disease with focused ultrasound]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N45f31126-6340-488f-bf4d-7df2c4768529 The blood–brain barrier (BBB) presents a significant challenge for treating brain disorders. The hippocampus is a key target for novel therapeutics, playing an important role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), epilepsy, and depression. Preclinical studies have shown that magnetic resonance (MR)-guided low-intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) can reversibly open the BBB and facilitate delivery of targeted brain therapeutics. We report initial clinical trial results evaluating the safety, feasibility, and reversibility of BBB opening with FUS treatment of the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex (EC) in patients with early AD. Six subjects tolerated a total of 17 FUS treatments with no adverse events and neither cognitive nor neurological worsening. Post-FUS contrast MRI revealed immediate and sizable hippocampal parenchymal enhancement indicating BBB opening, followed by BBB closure within 24 h. The average opening was 95% of the targeted FUS volume, which corresponds to 29% of the overall hippocampus volume. We demonstrate that FUS can safely, noninvasively, transiently, reproducibly, and focally mediate BBB opening in the hippocampus/EC in humans. This provides a unique translational opportunity to investigate therapeutic delivery in AD and other conditions.

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<![CDATA[Enhanced isolation of SARS-CoV-2 by TMPRSS2-expressing cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6f02d160-a345-4e57-8ae6-1f96eb2e3453

A novel betacoronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which caused a large respiratory outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019, is currently spreading across many countries globally. Here, we show that a TMPRSS2-expressing VeroE6 cell line is highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, making it useful for isolating and propagating SARS-CoV-2. Our results reveal that, in common with SARS- and Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 infection is enhanced by TMPRSS2.

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<![CDATA[Oil and gas companies invest in legislators that vote against the environment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6d50e930-5da4-4e77-99fb-60f8b1ba09e8

Do campaign contributions from oil and gas companies influence legislators to vote against the environment, or do these companies invest in legislators that have a proven antienvironmental voting record? Using 28 y of campaign contribution data, we find that evidence consistently supports the investment hypothesis: The more a given member of Congress votes against environmental policies, the more contributions they receive from oil and gas companies supporting their reelection.

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<![CDATA[Scientists’ incentives and attitudes toward public communication]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8e498a7b-8f3f-40eb-95f1-f444b813d8fe

In an era of large-scale science-related challenges and rapid advancements in groundbreaking science with major societal implications, communicating about science is critical. The profile of science communication has increased over the last few decades, with multiple sectors calling for such activities. As scientists respond to calls for public-facing communication, we need to evaluate where the scientific community stands. We conducted a unique census of science faculty at land-grant universities across the United States intended to spur the next generation of science communicators and research. Despite scientists’ strong approval of science communication efforts, potential areas of tension, attributable to lack of institutional support and confidence in communication skills, constrain these efforts.

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<![CDATA[Host protein glycosylation in nucleic acid vaccines as a potential hurdle in vaccine design for nonviral pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8f2d9c91-08bd-4ce0-aedd-9045ce14d8e9

Nucleic acid vaccines introduce the genetic materials encoding antigenic proteins into host cells. If these proteins are directed into the secretory pathway with a signal/leader sequence, they will be exposed to the host’s glycosylation machinery, and, if their amino acid sequences contain consensus sequons for N-linked glycosylation, they may become glycosylated. The presence of host glycans on the proteins of microbial origin may prevent a strong protective immune response either through hindering access to key epitopes by lymphocytes or through altering immune responses by binding to immunoregulatory glycan-binding receptors on immune cells. Ag85A expressed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a bacterial surface protein that is commonly used in nucleic acid vaccines in multiple clinical trials. Here we show that, when Ag85A is expressed in mammalian cells, it is glycosylated, does not induce a strong humoral immune response in mice, and does not activate Ag85A-specific lymphocytes as highly as Ag85A natively expressed by the bacterium. Our study indicates that host glycosylation of the vaccine target can impede its antigenicity and immunogenicity. Glycosylation of the antigenic protein targets therefore must be carefully evaluated in designing nucleic acid vaccines.

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<![CDATA[Evidence of tool use in a seabird]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9cfc219d-04bd-48d9-ad20-b7adbac34ffc

Documenting novel cases of tool use in wild animals can inform our understanding of the evolutionary drivers of the behavior’s emergence in the natural world. We describe a previously unknown tool-use behavior for wild birds, so far only documented in the wild in primates and elephants. We observed 2 Atlantic puffins at their breeding colonies, one in Wales and the other in Iceland (the latter captured on camera), spontaneously using a small wooden stick to scratch their bodies. The importance of these observations is 3-fold. First, while to date only a single form of body-care-related tool use has been recorded in wild birds (anting), our finding shows that the wild avian tool-use repertoire is wider than previously thought and extends to contexts other than food extraction. Second, we expand the taxonomic breadth of tool use to include another group of birds, seabirds, and a different suborder (Lari). Third, our independent observations span a distance of more than 1,700 km, suggesting that occasional tool use may be widespread in this group, and that seabirds’ physical cognition may have been underestimated.

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