SciCombinator

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Seasonal vaccines are currently the most effective countermeasure against influenza. However, seasonal vaccines are only effective against strains closely related to the influenza strains contained in the vaccine. Recently a new hemagglutinin (HA) stem-based antigen, the so-called “mini-HA”, has been shown to induce a cross-protective immune response in influenza-naive mice and non-human primates (NHP). However, prior exposure to influenza can have a profound effect on the immune response to subsequent influenza infection and the protective efficacy of vaccination. Here we show that mini-HA, compared to a trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV), elicits a broadened influenza-specific humoral immune response in NHP previously exposed to influenza. Serum transfer experiments showed that antibodies induced by both mini-HA and seasonal vaccine protected mice against lethal challenge with a H1N1 influenza strain heterologous to the H1 HA included in the TIV. However, antibodies elicited by mini-HA showed an additional benefit of protecting mice against lethal heterosubtypic H5N1 influenza challenge, associated with H5 HA-specific functional antibodies.

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Chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, with a global prevalence of 14%. It is commoner in women and its prevalence increases with age. There are three subtypes of CIC: dyssynergic defaecation, slow transit constipation and normal transit constipation, which is the most common subtype. Clinical assessment of the patient with constipation requires careful history taking, in order to identify any red flag symptoms that would necessitate further investigation with colonoscopy to exclude colorectal malignancy. Screening for hypercalcaemia, hypothyroidism and coeliac disease with appropriate blood tests should be considered. A digital rectal examination should be performed to assess for evidence of dyssynergic defaecation. If this is suspected, further investigation with high resolution anorectal manometry should be undertaken. Anorectal biofeedback can be offered to patients with dyssynergic defaecation as a means of correcting the associated impairment of pelvic floor, abdominal wall and rectal functioning. Lifestyle modifications, such as increasing dietary fibre, are the first step in managing other causes of CIC. If patients do not respond to these simple changes, then treatment with osmotic and stimulant laxatives should be trialled. Patients not responding to traditional laxatives should be offered treatment with prosecretory agents such as lubiprostone, linaclotide and plecanatide, or the 5-HT4 receptor agonist prucalopride, where available. If there is no response to pharmacological treatment, surgical intervention can be considered, but it is only suitable for a carefully selected subset of patients with proven slow transit constipation.

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Hypokinetic dysarthria in Parkinson disease (PD) hinders the ability to verbally communicate and interferes with activities of daily living. SPEAK OUT!® is a therapy program designed to improve functional communicative ability. In contrast to the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment program, SPEAK OUT!® promotes speaking with intent to effect loud speech. This study evaluated the efficacy of SPEAK OUT!® in persons with idiopathic PD in 3 domains: self-reported voice handicap, clinical ratings of dysarthria and prosody, and acoustic analysis of prosody.

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 Over the past few years bipolar electrocoagulation techniques in neurosurgery have been continually improving. However, limited access during endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery (EETS) for central skull base pathologies and the requirement of very precise coagulation in that dedicated anatomical area requires further refinement of bipolar coagulation instruments. We describe our experience (effectiveness of coagulation, intraoperative handling, and the use as a dissecting tool) with a new type of coagulation forceps, the Calvian endo-pen (Sutter Medizintechnik, Freiburg, Germany) during EETS.

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Increasing antibiotic resistance urges for new technologies for studying microbes and antimicrobial mechanism of action. We adapted thermal proteome profiling (TPP) to probe the thermostability of Escherichia coli proteins in vivoE. coli had a more thermostable proteome than human cells, with protein thermostability depending on subcellular location-forming a high-to-low gradient from the cell surface to the cytoplasm. While subunits of protein complexes residing in one compartment melted similarly, protein complexes spanning compartments often had their subunits melting in a location-wise manner. Monitoring the E. coli meltome and proteome at different growth phases captured changes in metabolism. Cells lacking TolC, a component of multiple efflux pumps, exhibited major physiological changes, including differential thermostability and levels of its interaction partners, signaling cascades, and periplasmic quality control. Finally, we combined in vitro and in vivo TPP to identify targets of known antimicrobial drugs and to map their downstream effects. In conclusion, we demonstrate that TPP can be used in bacteria to probe protein complex architecture, metabolic pathways, and intracellular drug target engagement.

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The SiCF free radical has been spectroscopically identified for the first time. The radical was produced in an electric discharge jet using CF3Si(CH3)3 or CF3SiH3 vapor in high pressure argon as the precursor. The laser-induced fluorescence spectrum of the Ã∑+2-X̃∏2 band system in the 610 - 550 nm region was recorded and the ∏3/22 spin component of the 0-0 band was studied at high resolution. Rotational analysis gave the B values for the combining states, and by fixing the CF bond lengths at ab initio values we obtained r″Si-C=1.6921Å and r'Si-C=1.594(1)Å. The bond lengths correspond to a silicon-carbon double bond in the ground state and an unusual Si-C triple bond in the excited state. Single vibronic level emission spectra yielded the ground state bending and stretching energy levels. These were fitted to a Renner-Teller model that included spin-orbit and limited vibrational anharmonicity effects.

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Many physical phenomena must be accounted for to accurately model solution-phase optical spectral line shapes, from the sampling of chromophore-solvent configurations to the electronic-vibrational transitions leading to vibronic fine structure. Here we thoroughly explore the role of nuclear quantum effects, direct and indirect solvent effects, and vibronic effects in the computation of the optical spectrum of the aqueously solvated anionic chromophores of green fluorescent protein and photoactive yellow protein. By analyzing the chromophore and solvent configurations, the distributions of vertical excitation energies, the absorption spectra computed within the ensemble approach, and the absorption spectra computed within the ensemble plus zero-temperature Franck-Condon approach, we show how solvent, nuclear quantum effects, and vibronic transitions alter the optical absorption spectra. We find that including nuclear quantum effects in the sampling of chromophore-solvent configurations using ab initio path integral molecular dynamics simulations leads to improved spectral shapes through three mechanisms. The three mechanisms that lead to line shape broadening and a better description of the high-energy tail are softening of heavy atom bonds in the chromophore that couple to the optically bright state, widening the distribution of vertical excitation energies from more diverse solvation environments, and redistributing spectral weight from the 0-0 vibronic transition to higher energy vibronic transitions when computing the Franck-Condon spectrum in a frozen solvent pocket. The absorption spectra computed using the combined ensemble plus zero-temperature Franck-Condon approach yield significant improvements in spectral shape and width compared to the spectra computed with the ensemble approach. Using the combined approach with configurations sampled from path integral molecular dynamics trajectories presents a significant step forward in accurately modeling the absorption spectra of aqueously solvated chromophores.

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We investigate the role of the thermodynamic (TD) force as an essential and sufficient technical ingredient for an efficient and accurate adaptive resolution algorithm. Such a force applied in the coupling region of an adaptive resolution molecular dynamics setup assures thermodynamic equilibrium between atomistically resolved and coarse-grained regions, allowing the proper exchange of molecules. We numerically prove that indeed for systems as relevant as liquid water and 1,3-dimethylimidazolium chloride ionic liquid, the combined action of the TD force and thermostat allows for computationally efficient and numerically accurate simulations, beyond the current capabilities of adaptive resolution setups, which employ switching functions in the coupling region.

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Aggregated cyanines form ordered supramolecular structures with the potential to transport energy efficiently over long distances, a hallmark of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes. In concentrated aqueous solution, pseudoisocyanine (PIC) spontaneously forms fibers with a chiral J-band red-shifted 1600 cm-1 from the monomeric 0-0 transition. A cryogenic transmission electron microscopy analysis of these fibers show an average fiber width of 2.89 nm, although the molecular-level structure of the aggregate is currently unknown. To determine a molecular model for these PIC fibers, the calculated spectra and dynamics using a Frenkel exciton model are compared to experiment. A chiral aggregate model in which the PIC monomers are neither parallel nor orthogonal to the long axis of the fiber is shown to replicate the experimental spectra most closely. This model can be physically realized by the sequential binding of PIC dimers and monomers to the ends of the fiber. These insights into the molecular aggregation model for aqueous PIC can also be applied to other similar cyanine-based supramolecular complexes with the potential for long-range energy transport, a key building block for the rational design of novel excitonic systems.