Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Contract bridge


The aerial view of the concept of data sharing is beautiful. What could be better than having high-quality information carefully reexamined for the possibility that new nuggets of useful data are lying there, previously unseen? The potential for leveraging existing results for even more benefit pays appropriate increased tribute to the patients who put themselves at risk to generate the data. The moral imperative to honor their collective sacrifice is the trump card that takes this trick. However, many of us who have actually conducted clinical research, managed clinical studies and data collection and analysis, and curated data sets have . . .

Concepts: Experimental design, Clinical trial, Medical statistics, Avicenna, Clinical research, Morality, Contract bridge, Donald Trump


A small library of divalent fucosidase inhibitors containing pyrrolidine motifs and separated by polyamino and triazole-benzylated spacers was prepared and evaluated as α-fucosidase inhibitors. Although a weak multivalent effect was observed in polyamino derived dimers, useful structural information can be deduced about the length of the bridge, the number of nitrogen atoms present and the moieties close to the pyrrolidine. Within these investigations one of the best α-fucosidase inhibitors containing a pyrrolidine framework was obtained (, Ki = 3.7 nM).

Concepts: Nitrogen, .NET Framework, Bridge, Contract bridge


Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) have been demonstrated to signal via regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP), in which ectodomain shedding and subsequent intramembrane cleavage by gamma-secretase leads to release of a soluble intracellular receptor fragment with functional activity. For most RTKs, however, it is not known whether they can exploit this new signaling mechanism or not. Here we used a system-wide screen to address the frequency of susceptibility to gamma-secretase cleavage among human RTKs. The screen covering 45 of the 55 human RTKs identified 12 new as well as all 9 previously published gamma-secretase substrates. The screen was biochemically validated by demonstrating that the release of a soluble intracellular fragment from endogenous AXL was dependent on the sheddase ADAM10 and the gamma-secretase component presenilin-1. Functional analysis of the cleavable RTKs indicated that proliferation promoted by overexpression of the TAM family members AXL or TYRO3 was dependent on gamma-secretase cleavage. Taken together, these data indicate that gamma-secretase-mediated cleavage provides an additional signaling mechanism for numerous human RTKs.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Receptor tyrosine kinase, Protein kinase, Signal, Vector space, Demonstration, Contract bridge


Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) provide a significant mortality benefit for appropriately selected patients with advanced heart failure. ICDs are associated with a mortality benefit when used in patients with a pulsatile left ventricular assist device (LVAD). It is unclear whether patients with a continuous-flow LVAD (CF-LVAD) derive the same benefit. We sought to determine if the presence of an ICD provided a mortality benefit during CF-LVAD support as a bridge to transplantation.

Concepts: Cardiology, Heart, Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, Propensity score, Ventricular fibrillation, Ventricular assist device, Bridge, Contract bridge


Remember the name: Melanie Davies, RCN Nurse of the Year 2017 and a truly extraordinary woman. She has transformed care for people with learning disabilities on her ward, driven through changes across her hospital and health board in south Wales, and inspired others to follow suit across the country.

Concepts: Health care, Educational psychology, Nursing, Wales, Contract bridge, Merthyr Tydfil


The value of stereoelectronic guidelines is illustrated by the discovery of a convenient, ozone-free synthesis of bridged secondary ozonides from 1,5-dicarbonyl compounds and H2 O2 . The tetraoxane products generally formed in reactions of carbonyl and dicarbonyl compounds with H2 O2 were not detected because the structural distortions imposed on the tetraoxacyclohexane subunit in [3.2.2]tetraoxanonanes by the three-carbon bridge leads to the partial deactivation of anomeric effects. The new procedure is readily scalable to produce gram quantities of the ozonides. This reaction enables the selective preparation of ozonides without the use of ozone.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Bridge, Contract bridge


Animal development is characterized by signaling events that occur at precise locations and times within the embryo, but determining when and where such precision is needed for proper embryogenesis has been a long-standing challenge. Here we address this question for extracellular signal regulated kinase (Erk) signaling, a key developmental patterning cue. We describe an optogenetic system for activating Erk with high spatiotemporal precision in vivo. Implementing this system in Drosophila, we find that embryogenesis is remarkably robust to ectopic Erk signaling, except from 1 to 4 hr post-fertilization, when perturbing the spatial extent of Erk pathway activation leads to dramatic disruptions of patterning and morphogenesis. Later in development, the effects of ectopic signaling are buffered, at least in part, by combinatorial mechanisms. Our approach can be used to systematically probe the differential contributions of the Ras/Erk pathway and concurrent signals, leading to a more quantitative understanding of developmental signaling.

Concepts: Embryo, Developmental biology, Signal, Embryology, Zygote, Morphogenesis, Drosophila embryogenesis, Contract bridge


Activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) is used by many signaling pathways to control tissue patterning in a broad range of multicellular organisms. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Johnson et al. (2017) provide an optogenetic approach to manipulate this pathway with high precision and explore its signaling code.

Concepts: DNA, Cell, Signal transduction, Developmental biology, Cellular differentiation, Signal, Multicellular organism, Contract bridge


Recognition of linear polyubiquitin by specific ubiquitin-binding proteins plays an important role in mediating nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling. A20 binding proteins, ABINs, recognize linear polyubiquitin and A20 through UBAN and AHD1, respectively, for the inhibition of NF-κB activation. Here we report the crystal structure of the AHD1-UBAN fragment of ABIN2 in complex with linear tri-ubiquitin, which reveals a 2:1 stoichiometry of the complex. Structural analyses together with mutagenesis, pull-down, and isothermal titration calorimetry assays show that the hABIN2:tri-ubiquitin interaction is mainly through the primary ubiquitin-binding site, and also through the secondary ubiquitin-binding site under a high local protein concentration. Surprisingly, three ubiquitin units could form a right-handed helical trimer to bridge two ABIN2 dimers. The residues around the M1-linkage are crucial for ABIN2 to recognize tri-ubiquitin. The tri-ubiquitin bridging two ABIN2 dimers model suggests a possible higher-order signaling complex assembled between M1-linked polyubiquitinated proteins, ubiquitin-binding proteins, and effector signaling proteins in signal transduction.

Concepts: Protein, Protein structure, Molecular biology, Structure, Signal, Biochemistry, Inhibitor, Contract bridge


OBJECTIVE Achondroplasia (ACH) is the most common short-limbed skeletal dysplasia caused by gain-of-function mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) gene. Foramen magnum stenosis (FMS) is one of the serious neurological complications in ACH. Through comprehensive drug screening, the authors identified that meclozine, an over-the-counter drug for motion sickness, inhibited activation of FGFR3 signaling. Oral administration of meclozine to the growing ACH mice promoted longitudinal bone growth, but it did not prevent FMS. In the current study, the authors evaluated the effects of maternal administration of meclozine on FMS in ACH mice. METHODS The area of the foramen magnum was measured in 17-day-old Fgfr3(ach) mice and wild-type mice using micro-CT scanning. Meclozine was administered to the pregnant mice carrying Fgfr3(ach) offspring from embryonic Day (ED) 14.5 to postnatal Day (PD) 4.5. Spheno-occipital and anterior intraoccipital synchondroses were histologically examined, and the bony bridges were scored on PD 4.5. In wild-type mice, tissue concentrations of meclozine in ED 17.5 fetuses and PD 6.5 pups were investigated. RESULTS The area of the foramen magnum was significantly smaller in 17-day-old Fgfr3(ach) mice than in wild-type mice (p < 0.005). There were no bony bridges in the spheno-occipital and anterior intraoccipital synchondroses in wild-type mice, while some of the synchondroses prematurely closed in untreated Fgfr3(ach) mice at PD 4.5. The average bony bridge score in the cranial base was 7.053 ± 1.393 in untreated Fgfr3(ach) mice and 6.125 ± 2.029 in meclozine-treated Fgfr3(ach) mice. The scores were not statistically significant between mice with and those without meclozine treatment (p = 0.12). The average tissue concentration of meclozine was significantly higher (508.88 ± 205.16 ng/g) in PD 6.5 mice than in ED 17.5 mice (56.91 ± 20.05 ng/g) (p < 0.005). CONCLUSIONS Maternal administration of meclozine postponed premature closure of synchondroses in some Fgfr3(ach) mice, but the effect on preventing bony bridge formation was not significant, probably due to low placental transmission of the drug. Meclozine is likely to exhibit a marginal effect on premature closure of synchondroses at the cranial base in ACH.

Concepts: Gene, Mutation, Growth factor, Statistical significance, Receptor, Fibroblast growth factor, Over-the-counter drug, Contract bridge