ResearchPad - focus-issue https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Collateral Damage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13086 The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an enormous strain on health care systems and society on a global scale. We report a new…

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<![CDATA[Characterization of a novel <i>Mycoplasma cynos</i> real-time PCR assay]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8f375dfe-698c-4863-9c8c-c3ae1a97d98d Mycoplasma cynos is recognized as an emerging causative pathogen of canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD) worldwide. We developed a new open-source real-time PCR (rtPCR) assay for M. cynos that performs well under standard rtPCR conditions. Primers and probes were designed to target the M. cynos tuf gene. Reaction efficiencies for the M. cynos tuf gene assay on 2 platforms were based on amplification of standard curves spanning 8 orders of magnitude: ABI 7500 platform, 94.3–97.9% (r2 ≥ 0.9935); QuantStudio OpenArray platform, 119.1–122.5% (r2 = 0.9784). The assay performed very well over a range of template input, from 109 copies to the lower limit of quantification at 4 copies of the M. cynos genome on the ABI 7500 platform. Diagnostic performance was estimated by comparison with an in-house legacy assay on clinical specimens as well as testing isolates that were characterized previously by intergenic spacer region (ISR) sequencing. Exclusivity was established by testing 12 other Mycoplasma species. To substantiate the high specificity of the M. cynos tuf gene assay, sequence confirmation was performed on ISR PCR amplicons obtained from clinical specimens. One ISR amplicon sequence revealed M. mucosicanis rather than M. cynos. The complete protocol of the newly developed M. cynos tuf assay is provided to facilitate assay harmonization.

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<![CDATA[Non-invasive lung disease diagnostics from exhaled microdroplets of lung fluid: perspectives and technical challenges]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N54fc4cea-fb76-4709-806e-d788f2a8b9e5

Abstract

The combination of ultra-sensitive assay techniques and recent improvements in the instrumentation used to collect microdroplets of lung fluid (MLF) from exhaled breath has enabled the development of non-invasive lung disease diagnostics that are based on MLF analysis. In one example of this approach, electrospun nylon filters were used to collect MLFs from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. The filters were washed to obtain liquid probes, which were then tested for human immunoglobulin A (h-IgA) and fractions of h-IgA specific to ESAT-6 and Psts-1, two antigens secreted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Probes collected for 10 min contained 100–1500 fg of h-IgA and, in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, a portion of these h-IgA molecules showed specificity to the secreted antigens. Separate MLFs and their dry residues were successfully collected using an electrostatic collector and impactor developed especially for this purpose. Visualization of MLF dry residues by atomic force microscopy made it possible to estimate the lipid content in each MLF and revealed mucin molecules in some MLFs. This exciting new approach will likely make it possible to detect biomarkers in individual MLFs. MLFs emerging from an infection site (‘hot’ microdroplets) are expected to be enriched with infection biomarkers. This paper discusses possible experimental approaches to detecting biomarkers in single MLFs, as well as certain technological problems that need to be resolved in order to develop new non-invasive diagnostics based on analysing biomarkers in separate MLFs.

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<![CDATA[Cooperative spreading processes in multiplex networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7f2fe00f-b4dd-407e-85c7-4b5be849ef9b

This study is concerned with the dynamic behaviors of epidemic spreading in multiplex networks. A model composed of two interacting complex networks is proposed to describe cooperative spreading processes, wherein the virus spreading in one layer can penetrate into the other to promote the spreading process. The global epidemic threshold of the model is smaller than the epidemic thresholds of the corresponding isolated networks. Thus, global epidemic onset arises in the interacting networks even though an epidemic onset does not arise in each isolated network. Simulations verify the analysis results and indicate that cooperative spreading processes in multiplex networks enhance the final infection fraction.

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<![CDATA[Contribution of PsbS Function and Stomatal Conductance to Foliar Temperature in Higher Plants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5afff612463d7e2f3081168e

Natural capacity has evolved in higher plants to absorb and harness excessive light energy. In basic models, the majority of absorbed photon energy is radiated back as fluorescence and heat. For years the proton sensor protein PsbS was considered to play a critical role in non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of light absorbed by PSII antennae and in its dissipation as heat. However, the significance of PsbS in regulating heat emission from a whole leaf has never been verified before by direct measurement of foliar temperature under changing light intensity. To test its validity, we here investigated the foliar temperature changes on increasing and decreasing light intensity conditions (foliar temperature dynamics) using a high resolution thermal camera and a powerful adjustable light-emitting diode (LED) light source. First, we showed that light-dependent foliar temperature dynamics is correlated with Chl content in leaves of various plant species. Secondly, we compared the foliar temperature dynamics in Arabidopsis thaliana wild type, the PsbS null mutant npq4-1 and a PsbS-overexpressing transgenic line under different transpiration conditions with or without a photosynthesis inhibitor. We found no direct correlations between the NPQ level and the foliar temperature dynamics. Rather, differences in foliar temperature dynamics are primarily affected by stomatal aperture, and rapid foliar temperature increase during irradiation depends on the water status of the leaf. We conclude that PsbS is not directly involved in regulation of foliar temperature dynamics during excessive light energy episodes.

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<![CDATA[DP1 receptor signaling prevents the onset of intrinsic apoptosis in eosinophils and functions as a transcriptional modulator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c060776d5eed0c484aed835

Abstract

Prostaglandin (PG) D2 is the ligand for the G‐protein coupled receptors DP1 (D‐type prostanoid receptor 1) and DP2 (also known as chemoattractant receptor homologous molecule, expressed on Th2 cells; CRTH2). Both, DP1 and DP2 are expressed on the cellular surface of eosinophils; although it has become quite clear that PGD2 induces eosinophil migration mainly via DP2 receptors, the role of DP1 in eosinophil responses has remained elusive. In this study, we addressed how DP1 receptor signaling complements the pro‐inflammatory effects of DP2. We found that PGD2 prolongs the survival of eosinophils via a DP1 receptor‐mediated mechanism that inhibits the onset of the intrinsic apoptotic cascade. The DP1 agonist BW245c prevented the activation of effector caspases in eosinophils and protected mitochondrial membranes from depolarization which—as a consequence—sustained viability of eosinophils. DP1 activation in eosinophils enhanced the expression of the anti‐apoptotic gene BCL‐XL, but also induced pro‐inflammatory genes, such as VLA‐4 and CCR3. In HEK293 cells that overexpress recombinant DP1 and/or DP2 receptors, activation of DP1, but not DP2, delayed cell death and stimulated proliferation, along with induction of serum response element (SRE), a regulator of anti‐apoptotic, early‐response genes. We conclude that DP1 receptors promote the survival via SRE induction and induction of pro‐inflammatory genes. Therefore, targeting DP1 receptors, along with DP2, may contribute to anti‐inflammatory therapy in eosinophilic diseases.

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