SciCombinator

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We present a low-frequency sensor for the detection of vibrations, with a sub-nm amplitude, based on a cantilever made of a single-crystalline lithium niobate (LiNbO₃) plate, with a bidomain ferroelectric structure. The sensitivity of the sensor-to-sinusoidal vibrational excitations was measured in terms of displacement as well as of acceleration amplitude. We show a linear behavior of the response, with the vibrational displacement amplitude in the entire studied frequency range up to 150 Hz. The sensitivity of the developed sensor varies from minimum values of 20 μV/nm and 7 V/g (where g = 9.81 m/s² is the gravitational acceleration), at a frequency of 23 Hz, to peak values of 92.5 mV/nm and 2443 V/g, at the mechanical resonance of the cantilever at 97.25 Hz. The smallest detectable vibration depended on the excitation frequency and varied from 100 nm, at 7 Hz, to 0.1 nm, at frequencies above 38 Hz. Sensors using bidomain lithium niobate single crystals, as sensitive elements, are promising for the detection of ultra-weak low-frequency vibrations in a wide temperature range and in harsh environments.

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Cryoglobulinemia is defined as the persistent presence in serum of abnormal immunoglobulins (Igs) that precipitate at low temperatures and dissolve again upon warming. Cryoglobulins may be composed only of a monoclonal Ig (simple type I cryoglobulinemia), of a monoclonal Ig bound to the constant domain of polyclonal Ig heavy chains (mixed type II cryoglobulinemia), or only of polyclonal Igs (mixed type III cryoglobulinemia). The manifestations of type I cryoglobulinemia are often related to intravascular obstruction, whereas those seen in the mixed cryoglobulinemias often originate in true immune complex-mediated vasculitis. The main clinical manifestations affect the skin (purpura, necrotic ulcers), joints, peripheral nervous system, and kidneys (membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis). Patients with type I cryoglobulinemia should be investigated for hematological malignancies (myeloma and B-cell lymphoma). Hepatitis C is the main diagnosis to consider in patients with mixed cryoglobulinemia, followed by connective tissue disease and B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The treatment depends mainly on the cause of the cryoglobulinemia. For instance, hepatitis C virus (HCV) eradication is in order in patients with HCV-associated cryoglobulinemia vasculitis, and the underlying hematological malignancy must be treated in patients with type I cryoglobulinemia.

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Lily R3-MYB transcription factors are involved in negative regulation to limit anthocyanin accumulation in lily flowers and leaves and create notable color patterns on ectopically expressed petunia flowers. In eudicots, both positive and negative regulators act to precisely regulate the level of anthocyanin accumulation. The R3-MYB transcription factor is among the main factors repressing anthocyanin biosynthesis. Although, in monocots, the positive regulators have been well characterized, the negative regulators have not been examined. Two R3-MYBs, LhR3MYB1 and LhR3MYB2, which were identified in lily transcriptomes, were characterized in this study to understand the regulatory mechanisms of anthocyanin biosynthesis. LhR3MYB1 and LhR3MYB2 had a C2 suppressor motif downstream of a single MYB repeat; the similar amino acid motif appears only in AtMYBL2 among the eudicot R3-MYB proteins. Stable and transient overexpression of LhR3MYB1 and LhR3MYB2 in tobacco plants showed suppression of anthocyanin biosynthesis by both; however, suppression by LhR3MYB2 was stronger than that by LhR3MYB1. In the lily plant, the LhR3MYB2 transcript was detected in leaves with light stimulus-induced anthocyanin accumulation and in pink tepals. Although LhR3MYB1 was expressed in some, but not all tepals, its expression was not linked to anthocyanin accumulation. In addition, LhR3MYB1 expression levels in the leaves remained unchanged by the light stimulus, and LhR3MYB1 transcripts predominantly accumulated in the ovaries, which did not accumulate anthocyanins. Thus, although LhR3MYB1 and LhR3MYB2 have an ability to repress anthocyanin accumulation, LhR3MYB2 is more strongly involved in the negative regulation to limit the accumulation than that by LhR3MYB1. In addition, the overexpression of LhR3MYB2 generated notable color patterns in petunia flowers; thus, the usefulness of the LhR3MYB genes for creating unique color patterns by genetic engineering is discussed.

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Calcium (Ca2+) is an important second messenger in lymphocytes and is essential in regulating various intracellular pathways that control critical cell functions. Ca2+ channels are located in the plasma membrane and intracellular membranes, facilitating Ca2+ entry into the cytoplasm. Upon Ag receptor stimulation, Ca2+ can enter the lymphocyte via the Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ channel found in the plasma membrane. The increase of cytosolic Ca2+ modulates signaling pathways, resulting in the transcription of target genes implicated in differentiation, activation, proliferation, survival, and apoptosis of lymphocytes. Along with Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ channels, several other channels have been found in the membranes of T and B lymphocytes contributing to key cellular events. Among them are the transient receptor potential channels, the P2X receptors, voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, and the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor as well as the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. In this article, we review the contributions of these channels to mediating Ca2+ currents that drive specific lymphocyte functions.

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In-vitro study of the tissue mechanics of annulus fibrosus.

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In multiple myeloma (MM), the impaired function of several types of immune cells favors the tumor’s escape from immune surveillance and, therefore, its growth and survival. Tremendous improvements have been made in the treatment of MM over the past decade but cellular immunotherapy using dendritic cells, natural killer cells, and genetically engineered T-cells represent a new therapeutic era. The application of these treatments is growing rapidly, based on their capacity to eradicate MM. In this review, we summarize recent progress in cellular immunotherapy for MM and its future prospects.

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AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates energy homeostasis in eukaryotic cells and organisms […].

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Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS) is an autoimmune disease that destroys the salivary glands and results in severe dry mouth. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been recently proposed as a promising therapy for restoring cells in multiple degenerative diseases. We have recently utilized advanced proteomics biochemical assays to identify the key molecules involved in the mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) of co-cultured mouse bone-marrow-derived MSCs mMSCs with primary salivary gland cells. Among the multiple transcription factors (TFs) that were differentially expressed, two major TFs were selected: muscle, intestine, and stomach expression-1 (MIST1) and transcription factor E2a (TCF3). These factors were assessed in the current study for their ability to drive the expression of acinar cell marker, alpha-salivary amylase 1 (AMY1), and ductal cell marker, cytokeratin19 (CK19), in vitro. Overexpression of MIST1-induced AMY1 expression while it had little effect on CK19 expression. In contrast, TCF3 induced neither of those cellular markers. Furthermore, we have identified that mMSCs express muscarinic-type 3 receptor (M3R) mainly in the cytoplasm and aquaporin 5 (AQP5) in the nucleus. While MIST1 did not alter M3R levels in mMSCs, a TCF3 overexpression downregulated M3R expressions in mMSCs. The mechanisms for such differential regulation of glandular markers by these TFs warrant further investigation.

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Ageing on Lees (AOL) is a technique to improve the aromatic and gustatory complexity of wine, mainly by improving its body and reducing its astringency. However, the autolytic process is slow, resulting in high production costs. This work evaluated the effect of adding sonicated lees and combining it with oak chips, as a new technique to accelerate the AOL process and improve the aromatic quality of aged red wine. Cell disruption due to sonication was verified by optical microscopy. Volatile acidity, total polyphenol index, color intensity, tonality, dissolved oxygen, anthocyanins, and fermentative volatiles were monitored throughout the ageing of the wines. Sensory analysis was performed at the end of the ageing process. Polysaccharides released from the cell walls and the oxygen consumption, was quantified using a hydroalcoholic solution. The results indicated a 20% increase of the polysaccharide content and suggested an increase in the antioxidant capacity of the lees. No significant changes were observed in the fermentative volatile compounds and the total polyphenol index (TPI), except for those wines in contact with wood. The sonication of lees had some protective effect on the total anthocyanins content, however, color intensity was significantly lower in the sonicated treatments. The sonication of the lees did not cause any defect at the sensory level. Therefore, sonication could allow a reduction in the SO₂ addition to wine, as well as a shortening of the ageing times.

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Pure tetravinylsilane and its oxygen mixture were used to deposit oxidized plasma polymer films at various effective power (0.1⁻10 W) and various oxygen fractions (0⁻0.71) using RF pulsed plasma. The optical properties (refractive index, extinction coefficient, band gap) of the deposited films were investigated by spectroscopic ellipsometry (230⁻830 nm) using an optical model and Tauc‒Lorentz parametrization. Analyses of chemical and mechanical properties of films allowed for the interpretation of changes in optical properties with deposition conditions. The refractive index was revealed to increase with enhanced effective power due to the increased crosslinking of the plasma polymer network but decreased when increasing the oxygen fraction due to the decrease of polymer crosslinking as the number of carbon bonds in the plasma polymer network was eliminated. A very strong positive correlation was found between the Young’s modulus and the refractive index for oxidized plasma polymer films. The optical properties of films correlated with their chemical properties for the specific deposition conditions used in this study. The band gap (1.9⁻2.9 eV) was assumed to be widened due to the increased concentration of vinyl groups in oxidized plasma polymer films.