ResearchPad - prototypes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[ToyArchitecture: Unsupervised learning of interpretable models of the environment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15730 Research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has focused mostly on two extremes: either on small improvements in narrow AI domains, or on universal theoretical frameworks which are often uncomputable, or lack practical implementations. In this paper we attempt to follow a big picture view while also providing a particular theory and its implementation to present a novel, purposely simple, and interpretable hierarchical architecture. This architecture incorporates the unsupervised learning of a model of the environment, learning the influence of one’s own actions, model-based reinforcement learning, hierarchical planning, and symbolic/sub-symbolic integration in general. The learned model is stored in the form of hierarchical representations which are increasingly more abstract, but can retain details when needed. We demonstrate the universality of the architecture by testing it on a series of diverse environments ranging from audio/visual compression to discrete and continuous action spaces, to learning disentangled representations.

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<![CDATA[Exploring non-assembly 3D printing for novel compliant surgical devices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14586 In minimally invasive surgery, maneuverability is usually limited and a large number of degrees of freedom (DOF) is highly demanded. However, increasing the DOF usually means increasing the complexity of the surgical instrument leading to long fabrication and assembly times. In this work, we propose the first fully 3D printed handheld, multi-steerable device. The proposed device is mechanically actuated, and possesses five serially controlled segments. We designed a new compliant segment providing high torsion and axial stiffness as well as a low bending stiffness by merging the functions of four helicoids and a continuum backbone. Compliant segments were combined to form the compliant shaft of the new device. In order to control this compliant shaft, a control handle was designed that mimics the shaft structure. A prototype called the HelicoFlex was built using only three 3D printed parts. HelicoFlex, with its 10 degrees of freedom, showed a fluid motion in performing single and multi-curved paths. The multi-steerable instrument was 3D printed without any support material in the compliant shaft itself. This work contributes to enlarge the body of knowledge regarding how additive manufacturing could be used in the production of multi-steerable surgical instruments for personalized medicine.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of a storage system to deliver uninterrupted therapeutic oxygen during power outages in resource-limited settings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cd4d5eed0c484c818b0

Access to therapeutic oxygen remains a challenge in the effort to reduce pneumonia mortality among children in low- and middle-income countries. The use of oxygen concentrators is common, but their effectiveness in delivering uninterrupted oxygen is gated by reliability of the power grid. Often cylinders are employed to provide continuous coverage, but these can present other logistical challenges. In this study, we examined the use of a novel, low-pressure oxygen storage system to capture excess oxygen from a concentrator to be delivered to patients during an outage. A prototype was built and tested in a non-clinical trial in Jinja, Uganda. The trial was carried out at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital over a 75-day period. The flow rate of the unit was adjusted once per week between 0.5 and 5 liters per minute. Over the trial period, 1284 power failure episodes with a mean duration of 3.1 minutes (range 0.08 to 1720 minutes) were recorded. The low-pressure system was able to deliver oxygen over 56% of the 4,295 power outage minutes and cover over 99% of power outage events over the course of the study. These results demonstrate the technical feasibility of a method to extend oxygen availability and provide a basis for clinical trials.

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<![CDATA[Compassionate faces: Evidence for distinctive facial expressions associated with specific prosocial motivations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217edd5eed0c484795a2a

Compassion is a complex cognitive, emotional and behavioural process that has important real-world consequences for the self and others. Considering this, it is important to understand how compassion is communicated. The current research investigated the expression and perception of compassion via the face. We generated exemplar images of two compassionate facial expressions induced from two mental imagery tasks with different compassionate motivations (Study 1). Our kind- and empathic compassion faces were perceived differently and the empathic-compassion expression was perceived as best depicting the general definition of compassion (Study 2). Our two composite faces differed in their perceived happiness, kindness, sadness, fear and concern, which speak to their underling motivation and emotional resonance. Finally, both faces were accurately discriminated when presented along a compassion continuum (Study 3). Our results demonstrate two perceptually and functionally distinct facial expressions of compassion, with potentially different consequences for the suffering of others.

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<![CDATA[Computer simulations of coupled idiosyncrasies in speech perception and speech production with COSMO, a perceptuo-motor Bayesian model of speech communication]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c424389d5eed0c4845e050f

The existence of a functional relationship between speech perception and production systems is now widely accepted, but the exact nature and role of this relationship remains quite unclear. The existence of idiosyncrasies in production and in perception sheds interesting light on the nature of the link. Indeed, a number of studies explore inter-individual variability in auditory and motor prototypes within a given language, and provide evidence for a link between both sets. In this paper, we attempt to simulate one study on coupled idiosyncrasies in the perception and production of French oral vowels, within COSMO, a Bayesian computational model of speech communication. First, we show that if the learning process in COSMO includes a communicative mechanism between a Learning Agent and a Master Agent, vowel production does display idiosyncrasies. Second, we implement within COSMO three models for speech perception that are, respectively, auditory, motor and perceptuo-motor. We show that no idiosyncrasy in perception can be obtained in the auditory model, since it is optimally tuned to the learning environment, which does not include the motor variability of the Learning Agent. On the contrary, motor and perceptuo-motor models provide perception idiosyncrasies correlated with idiosyncrasies in production. We draw conclusions about the role and importance of motor processes in speech perception, and propose a perceptuo-motor model in which auditory processing would enable optimal processing of learned sounds and motor processing would be helpful in unlearned adverse conditions.

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<![CDATA[A tolerability assessment of new respiratory protective devices developed for health care personnel: A randomized simulated clinical study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa600d5eed0c484cab058

Background

U.S. health care personnel (HCP) have reported that some respiratory protective devices (RPD) commonly used in health care have suboptimal tolerability. Between 2012 and 2016, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Veterans Health Administration collaborated with two respirator manufacturers, Company A and B, to bring new RPD with improved tolerability to the U.S. health care marketplace. The purpose of this study was to compare the tolerability of four new prototype RPD to two models commonly used in U.S. health care delivery.

Methods

A randomized, simulated workplace study was conducted to compare self-reported tolerability of four new prototype RPD (A1, A2, B1, and B2) worn by HCP and two N95 control respirators commonly used in U.S. health care delivery, the 1870 and 1860, manufactured by 3M Corporation. A new survey tool, the Respirator Comfort, Wearing Experience, and Function Instrument (R-COMFI), developed previously in part for the current study, was used as the primary outcome metric. With a maximum total score of 47, lower R-COMFI scores reflected better self-reported tolerability. Poisson regression analyses were used to estimate prototype relative risks compared to controls.

Results

Conducted between 2014 and 2015 in two inpatient care rooms at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, among 383 participants who enrolled, 335 (87.5%) completed the study. Mean total R-COMFI scores for the 3M 1870, 3M 1860, and prototypes A1, A2, B1, and B2 were 8.26, 9.36, 5.79, 7.70, 6.09, and 5.71, respectively. Compared to the 3M 1870, total R-COMFI unadjusted relative risks (RR) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CI) were A1 (RR 0.70, CI 0.60, 0.82), A2 (RR 0.93, CI 0.82, 1.06), B1 (RR 0.74, CI 0.64, 0.85), and B2 (RR 0.69, CI 0.60, 0.80). Compared to the 3M 1860, prototype total R-COMFI unadjusted RR and 95 percent CI were A1 (RR 0.62, CI 0.53, 0.72), A2 (RR 0.82, CI 0.73, 0.93), B1 (RR 0.65, CI 0.57, 0.74), and B2 (RR 0.61, CI 0.53, 0.70). Similarly, models adjusted for demographic characteristics showed that prototypes A1, B1, and B2 significantly improved tolerability scores compared to both controls, while prototype A2 was significantly improved compared to the 3M 1860.

Conclusions

Compared to the 3M 1870 and 3M 1860, two RPDs commonly used in U.S. health care delivery, tolerability improved for three of four newly developed prototypes in this simulated workplace study. The R-COMFI tool, used in this study to assess tolerability, should be useful for future comparative studies of RPD.

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<![CDATA[Automatic emphysema detection using weakly labeled HRCT lung images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bce3d2240307c69b197f503

Purpose

A method for automatically quantifying emphysema regions using High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) scans of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that does not require manually annotated scans for training is presented.

Methods

HRCT scans of controls and of COPD patients with diverse disease severity are acquired at two different centers. Textural features from co-occurrence matrices and Gaussian filter banks are used to characterize the lung parenchyma in the scans. Two robust versions of multiple instance learning (MIL) classifiers that can handle weakly labeled data, miSVM and MILES, are investigated. Weak labels give information relative to the emphysema without indicating the location of the lesions. The classifiers are trained with the weak labels extracted from the forced expiratory volume in one minute (FEV1) and diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO). At test time, the classifiers output a patient label indicating overall COPD diagnosis and local labels indicating the presence of emphysema. The classifier performance is compared with manual annotations made by two radiologists, a classical density based method, and pulmonary function tests (PFTs).

Results

The miSVM classifier performed better than MILES on both patient and emphysema classification. The classifier has a stronger correlation with PFT than the density based method, the percentage of emphysema in the intersection of annotations from both radiologists, and the percentage of emphysema annotated by one of the radiologists. The correlation between the classifier and the PFT is only outperformed by the second radiologist.

Conclusions

The presented method uses MIL classifiers to automatically identify emphysema regions in HRCT scans. Furthermore, this approach has been demonstrated to correlate better with DLCO than a classical density based method or a radiologist, which is known to be affected in emphysema. Therefore, it is relevant to facilitate assessment of emphysema and to reduce inter-observer variability.

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<![CDATA[New chamber stapes prosthesis – A preliminary assessment of the functioning of the prototype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdff7c

Piston-stapedotomy is the most common method for hearing restoration in patients with otosclerosis. In this study, we have experimentally examined a prototype of a new chamber stapes prosthesis. The prototype was implanted in a human cadaver temporal bone. The round window vibrations before and after implantation were measured for the acoustic signal (90 dB SPL, 0.8–8 kHz) in the external auditory canal. In comparison with a 0.4-mm piston prosthesis, the chamber prosthesis induced significantly higher vibration of the round window, especially for frequencies above 1.5 kHz. Based on the results, it can be surmised that stapedotomy with a chamber stapes prosthesis could provide better hearing results in comparison with the piston-stapedotomy.

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<![CDATA[Virtual Reconstruction and Three-Dimensional Printing of Blood Cells as a Tool in Cell Biology Education]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7ccbf

The cell biology discipline constitutes a highly dynamic field whose concepts take a long time to be incorporated into the educational system, especially in developing countries. Amongst the main obstacles to the introduction of new cell biology concepts to students is their general lack of identification with most teaching methods. The introduction of elaborated figures, movies and animations to textbooks has given a tremendous contribution to the learning process and the search for novel teaching methods has been a central goal in cell biology education. Some specialized tools, however, are usually only available in advanced research centers or in institutions that are traditionally involved with the development of novel teaching/learning processes, and are far from becoming reality in the majority of life sciences schools. When combined with the known declining interest in science among young people, a critical scenario may result. This is especially important in the field of electron microscopy and associated techniques, methods that have greatly contributed to the current knowledge on the structure and function of different cell biology models but are rarely made accessible to most students. In this work, we propose a strategy to increase the engagement of students into the world of cell and structural biology by combining 3D electron microscopy techniques and 3D prototyping technology (3D printing) to generate 3D physical models that accurately and realistically reproduce a close-to-the native structure of the cell and serve as a tool for students and teachers outside the main centers. We introduce three strategies for 3D imaging, modeling and prototyping of cells and propose the establishment of a virtual platform where different digital models can be deposited by EM groups and subsequently downloaded and printed in different schools, universities, research centers and museums, thereby modernizing teaching of cell biology and increasing the accessibility to modern approaches in basic science.

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<![CDATA[Suburothelial Bladder Contraction Detection with Implanted Pressure Sensor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db05ab0ee8fa60bc8386

Aims

Managing bladder pressure in patients with neurogenic bladders is needed to improve rehabilitation options, avoid upper tract damage, incontinence, and their associated co-morbidities and mortality. Current methods of determining bladder contractions are not amenable to chronic or ambulatory settings. In this study we evaluated detection of bladder contractions using a novel piezoelectric catheter-free pressure sensor placed in a suburothelial bladder location in animals.

Methods

Wired prototypes of the pressure monitor were implanted into 2 nonsurvival (feline and canine) and one 13-day survival (canine) animal. Vesical pressures were obtained from the device in both suburothelial and intraluminal locations and simultaneously from a pressure sensing catheter in the bladder. Intravesical pressure was monitored in the survival animal over 10 days from the suburothelial location and necropsy was performed to assess migration and erosion.

Results

In the nonsurvival animals, the average correlation between device and reference catheter data was high during both electrically stimulated bladder contractions and manual compressions (r = 0.93±0.03, r = 0.89±0.03). Measured pressures correlated strongly (r = 0.98±0.02) when the device was placed in the bladder lumen. The survival animal initially recorded physiologic data, but later this deteriorated. However, endstage intraluminal device recordings correlated (r = 0.85±0.13) with the pressure catheter. Significant erosion of the implant through the detrusor was found.

Conclusions

This study confirms correlation between suburothelial pressure readings and intravesical bladder pressures. Due to device erosion during ambulatory studies, a wireless implant is recommended for clinical rehabilitation applications.

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<![CDATA[What Is a Group? Young Children’s Perceptions of Different Types of Groups and Group Entitativity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3aab0ee8fa60bd4779

To date, developmental research on groups has focused mainly on in-group biases and intergroup relations. However, little is known about children’s general understanding of social groups and their perceptions of different forms of group. In this study, 5- to 6-year-old children were asked to evaluate prototypes of four key types of groups: an intimacy group (friends), a task group (people who are collaborating), a social category (people who look alike), and a loose association (people who coincidently meet at a tram stop). In line with previous work with adults, the vast majority of children perceived the intimacy group, task group, and social category, but not the loose association, to possess entitativity, that is, to be a ‘real group.’ In addition, children evaluated group member properties, social relations, and social obligations differently in each type of group, demonstrating that young children are able to distinguish between different types of in-group relations. The origins of the general group typology used by adults thus appear early in development. These findings contribute to our knowledge about children's intuitive understanding of groups and group members' behavior.

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<![CDATA[Rotatable Small Permanent Magnet Array for Ultra-Low Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Instrumentation: A Concept Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daecab0ee8fa60bbf87f

Object

We studied the feasibility of generating the variable magnetic fields required for ultra-low field nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry with dynamically adjustable permanent magnets. Our motivation was to substitute traditional electromagnets by distributed permanent magnets, increasing system portability.

Materials and Methods

The finite element method (COMSOL®) was employed for the numerical study of a small permanent magnet array to calculate achievable magnetic field strength, homogeneity, switching time and magnetic forces. A manually operated prototype was simulated and constructed to validate the numerical approach and to verify the generated magnetic field.

Results

A concentric small permanent magnet array can be used to generate strong sample pre-polarisation and variable measurement fields for ultra-low field relaxometry via simple prescribed magnet rotations. Using the array, it is possible to achieve a pre-polarisation field strength above 100 mT and variable measurement fields ranging from 20–50 μT with 200 ppm absolute field homogeneity within a field-of-view of 5 x 5 x 5 cubic centimetres.

Conclusions

A dynamic small permanent magnet array can generate multiple highly homogeneous magnetic fields required in ultra-low field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instruments. This design can significantly reduce the volume and energy requirements of traditional systems based on electromagnets, improving portability considerably.

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<![CDATA[Drivers of Vaginal Drug Delivery System Acceptability from Internet-Based Conjoint Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabaab0ee8fa60bae333

Vaginal microbicides potentially empower women to protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially when culture, religion, or social status may prevent them from negotiating condom use. The open literature contains minimal information on factors that drive user acceptability of women’s health products or vaginal drug delivery systems. By understanding what women find to be most important with regard to sensory properties and product functionality, developers can iteratively formulate a more desirable product. Conjoint analysis is a technique widely used in market research to determine what combination of elements influence a consumer’s willingness to try or use a product. We applied conjoint analysis here to better understand what sexually-active woman want in a microbicide, toward our goal of formulating a product that is highly acceptable to women. Both sensory and non-sensory attributes were tested, including shape, color, wait time, partner awareness, messiness/leakage, duration of protection, and functionality. Heterosexually active women between 18 and 35 years of age in the United States (n = 302) completed an anonymous online conjoint survey using IdeaMap software. Attributes (product elements) were systematically presented in various combinations; women rated these combinations of a 9-point willingness-to-try scale. By coupling systematic combinations and regression modeling, we can estimate the unique appeal of each element. In this population, a multifunctional product (i.e., broad spectrum STI protection, coupled with conception) is far more desirable than a microbicide targeted solely for HIV protection; we also found partner awareness and leakage are potentially strong barriers to use.

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<![CDATA[A Novel Picosecond Pulse Generation Circuit Based on SRD and NLTL]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daecab0ee8fa60bbfa25

Because of the importance of ultra-wideband (UWB) radar in various applications, short pulse generation in UWB systems has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. In order to shorten the pulse, nonlinear transmission line (NLTL) is imported, which expands the application of step recovery diode (SRD) for pulse generation. Detailed analysis and equations for this SRD and NLTL-based pulse generation are provided and verified by simulation and experimental results. Factors that could cause pulse waveform distortions are also analyzed. The generator circuit presented in this paper generates 130ps and 3.3V pulse, which can be used in UWB radar systems that require sub-nanosecond pulses.

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<![CDATA[Control Strategies for the DAB Based PV Interface System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da69ab0ee8fa60b92998

This paper presents an interface system based on the Dual Active Bridge (DAB) converter for Photovoltaic (PV) arrays. Two control strategies are proposed for the DAB converter to harvest the maximum power from the PV array. The first strategy is based on a simple PI controller to regulate the terminal PV voltage through the phase shift angle of the DAB converter. The Perturb and Observe (P&O) Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) technique is utilized to set the reference of the PV terminal voltage. The second strategy presented in this paper employs the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to directly set the phase shift angle of the DAB converter that results in harvesting maximum power. This feed-forward strategy overcomes the stability issues of the feedback strategy. The proposed PV interface systems are modeled and simulated using MATLAB/SIMULINK and the EMTDC/PSCAD software packages. The simulation results reveal accurate and fast response of the proposed systems. The dynamic performance of the proposed feed-forward strategy outdoes that of the feedback strategy in terms of accuracy and response time. Moreover, an experimental prototype is built to test and validate the proposed PV interface system.

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<![CDATA[Reduced performance of a PVC-coated Biogents Sentinel prototype in comparison to the original Biogents Sentinel for monitoring the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, in temperate North America]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbeed

Aedes albopictus is a major nuisance pest and also a public health concern because of the role it plays in the transmission of arboviruses. There is a continuing demand for effective surveillance tools for this species. The first generation of Biogents Sentinel (BGS1) traps have proven to be an effective tool for surveillance of Ae. albopictus throughout its range, however, some defects in construction led to the eventual development of the next generation. We compared the performance of the new generation prototype trap (BGS2P) to the original. Studies were conducted in suburban and urban areas in Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Virginia, USA in the summer of 2014 (July-October). BGS1 traps collected significantly more Ae. albopictus when compared to the BGS2P with or without CO2 in all locations (P<0.05). When a white cloth was wrapped around the BGS2P traps, efficiency did not change in Louisiana, New Jersey, and Virginia; however, numbers of adult Ae. albopictus collected from the BGS2P and the BGS1 were significantly different based on lure type (P< 0.0001). Results from Florida showed that BGS1with the BG lure and CO2 collected significantly higher adult numbers compared to BGS2P with a three component cartridge lure and CO2 (P< 0.0001). Overall, our results indicate that despite improvements in construction and durability of the BGS2P, this newer trap type did not increase the capture rates of Ae. albopictus in North America. Biogents modified BGS2P based on the data collected from the current study and updated as Biogents Sentinel 2 is now commercially available and its efficacy in comparison to the original will require further study.

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<![CDATA[Towards a Safer, More Randomized Lentiviral Vector Integration Profile Exploring Artificial LEDGF Chimeras]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2fab0ee8fa60b83f8a

The capacity to integrate transgenes into the host cell genome makes retroviral vectors an interesting tool for gene therapy. Although stable insertion resulted in successful correction of several monogenic disorders, it also accounts for insertional mutagenesis, a major setback in otherwise successful clinical gene therapy trials due to leukemia development in a subset of treated patients. Despite improvements in vector design, their use is still not risk-free. Lentiviral vector (LV) integration is directed into active transcription units by LEDGF/p75, a host-cell protein co-opted by the viral integrase. We engineered LEDGF/p75-based hybrid tethers in an effort to elicit a more random integration pattern to increase biosafety, and potentially reduce proto-oncogene activation. We therefore truncated LEDGF/p75 by deleting the N-terminal chromatin-reading PWWP-domain, and replaced this domain with alternative pan-chromatin binding peptides. Expression of these LEDGF-hybrids in LEDGF-depleted cells efficiently rescued LV transduction and resulted in LV integrations that distributed more randomly throughout the host-cell genome. In addition, when considering safe harbor criteria, LV integration sites for these LEDGF-hybrids distributed more safely compared to LEDGF/p75-mediated integration in wild-type cells. This approach should be broadly applicable to introduce therapeutic or suicide genes for cell therapy, such as patient-specific iPS cells.

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<![CDATA[Feedback, Mass Conservation and Reaction Kinetics Impact the Robustness of Cellular Oscillations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1bab0ee8fa60bce3c9

Oscillations occur in a wide variety of cellular processes, for example in calcium and p53 signaling responses, in metabolic pathways or within gene-regulatory networks, e.g. the circadian system. Since it is of central importance to understand the influence of perturbations on the dynamics of these systems a number of experimental and theoretical studies have examined their robustness. The period of circadian oscillations has been found to be very robust and to provide reliable timing. For intracellular calcium oscillations the period has been shown to be very sensitive and to allow for frequency-encoded signaling. We here apply a comprehensive computational approach to study the robustness of period and amplitude of oscillatory systems. We employ different prototype oscillator models and a large number of parameter sets obtained by random sampling. This framework is used to examine the effect of three design principles on the sensitivities towards perturbations of the kinetic parameters. We find that a prototype oscillator with negative feedback has lower period sensitivities than a prototype oscillator relying on positive feedback, but on average higher amplitude sensitivities. For both oscillator types, the use of Michaelis-Menten instead of mass action kinetics in all degradation and conversion reactions leads to an increase in period as well as amplitude sensitivities. We observe moderate changes in sensitivities if replacing mass conversion reactions by purely regulatory reactions. These insights are validated for a set of established models of various cellular rhythms. Overall, our work highlights the importance of reaction kinetics and feedback type for the variability of period and amplitude and therefore for the establishment of predictive models.

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<![CDATA[The Motivational Salience of Faces Is Related to Both Their Valence and Dominance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba9732

Both behavioral and neural measures of the motivational salience of faces are positively correlated with their physical attractiveness. Whether physical characteristics other than attractiveness contribute to the motivational salience of faces is not known, however. Research with male macaques recently showed that more dominant macaques’ faces hold greater motivational salience. Here we investigated whether dominance also contributes to the motivational salience of faces in human participants. Principal component analysis of third-party ratings of faces for multiple traits revealed two orthogonal components. The first component (“valence”) was highly correlated with rated trustworthiness and attractiveness. The second component (“dominance”) was highly correlated with rated dominance and aggressiveness. Importantly, both components were positively and independently related to the motivational salience of faces, as assessed from responses on a standard key-press task. These results show that at least two dissociable components underpin the motivational salience of faces in humans and present new evidence for similarities in how humans and non-human primates respond to facial cues of dominance.

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<![CDATA[A Simplified and Efficient Process for Insulin Production in Pichia pastoris]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9feab0ee8fa60b73318

A significant barrier to insulin is affordability. In this manuscript we describe improvements to key steps in the insulin production process in Pichia pastoris that reduce cost and time. The strategy for recovery and processing of human insulin precursor has been streamlined to two steps from bioreactor to the transpeptidation reaction. In the first step the insulin precursor secreted during the methanol induction phase is recovered directly from the culture broth using Tangential Flow Filtration with a Prostak module eliminating the laborious and time-consuming multi-step clarification, including centrifugation. In the second step the protein is applied at very high loadings on a cation exchange resin and eluted in a mixture of water and ethanol to obtain a concentrated insulin precursor, suitable for use directly in the transpeptidation reaction. Overall the yield from insulin precursor to human insulin was 51% and consisted of three purification chromatography steps. In addition we describe a method for recovery of the excess of H-Thr(tBu)-OtBu from the transpeptidation reaction mixture, one of the more costly reagents in the process, along with its successful reuse.

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