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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2015-11-28
    Description: We present a new technique for the statistical evaluation of the Tully–Fisher relation (TFR) using spectral line stacking. This technique has the potential to extend TFR observations to lower masses and higher redshifts than possible through a galaxy-by-galaxy analysis. It further avoids the need for individual galaxy inclination measurements. To quantify the properties of stacked H i emission lines, we consider a simplistic model of galactic discs with analytically expressible line profiles. Using this model, we compare the widths of stacked profiles with those of individual galaxies. We then follow the same procedure using more realistic mock galaxies drawn from the S 3 -SAX model (a derivative of the Millennium simulation). Remarkably, when stacking the apparent H i lines of galaxies with similar absolute magnitude and random inclinations, the width of the stack is very similar to the width of the deprojected (= corrected for inclination) and dedispersed (= after removal of velocity dispersion) input lines. Therefore, the ratio between the widths of the stack and the deprojected/dedispersed input lines is approximately constant – about 0.93 – with very little dependence on the gas dispersion, galaxy mass, galaxy morphology and shape of the rotation curve. Finally, we apply our technique to construct a stacked TFR using H i Parkes All-Sky Survey (HIPASS) data which already has a well-defined TFR based on individual detections. We obtain a B -band TFR with a slope of –8.5 ± 0.4 and a K -band relation with a slope of –11.7 ± 0.6 for the HIPASS data set which is consistent with the existing results.
    Print ISSN: 0035-8711
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-2966
    Topics: Physics
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-11-26
    Print ISSN: 0035-8711
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-2966
    Topics: Physics
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  • 3
  • 4
    Publication Date: 2016-12-24
    Description: Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) is a sustainable and renewable nanomaterial, with diverse potential applications in the paper and medical industries. As NFC consists of long fibres of high aspect ratio, we examined here whether TEMPO-(2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-piperidin-1-oxyl) oxidised NFC (length 300–1000nm, thickness 10–25nm), administrated by a single pharyngeal aspiration, could be genotoxic to mice, locally in the lungs or systemically in the bone marrow. Female C57Bl/6 mice were treated with four different doses of NFC (10, 40, 80 and 200 µg/mouse), and samples were collected 24h later. DNA damage was assessed by the comet assay in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung cells, and chromosome damage by the bone marrow erythrocyte micronucleus assay. Inflammation was evaluated by BAL cell counts and analysis of cytokines and histopathological alterations in the lungs. A significant induction of DNA damage was observed at the two lower doses of NFC in lung cells, whereas no increase was seen in BAL cells. No effect was detected in the bone marrow micronucleus assay, either. NFC increased the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the lungs, together with a dose-dependent increase in mRNA expression of tumour necrosis factor α, interleukins 1β and 6, and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 5, although there was no effect on the levels of the respective proteins. The histological analysis showed a dose-related accumulation of NFC in the bronchi, the alveoli and some in the cytoplasm of macrophages. In addition, neutrophilic accumulation in the alveolar lung space was observed with increasing dose. Our findings showed that NFC administered by pharyngeal aspiration caused an acute inflammatory response and DNA damage in the lungs, but no systemic genotoxic effect in the bone marrow. The present experimental design did not, however, allow us to determine whether the responses were transient or could persist for a longer time.
    Print ISSN: 0267-8357
    Electronic ISSN: 1464-3804
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2016-09-03
    Description: Heating by short-lived radioisotopes (SLRs) such as 26 Al and 60 Fe fundamentally shaped the thermal history and interior structure of Solar system planetesimals during the early stages of planetary formation. The subsequent thermo-mechanical evolution, such as internal differentiation or rapid volatile degassing, yields important implications for the final structure, composition and evolution of terrestrial planets. SLR-driven heating in the Solar system is sensitive to the absolute abundance and homogeneity of SLRs within the protoplanetary disc present during the condensation of the first solids. In order to explain the diverse compositions found for extrasolar planets, it is important to understand the distribution of SLRs in active planet formation regions (star clusters) during their first few Myr of evolution. By constraining the range of possible effects, we show how the imprint of SLRs can be extrapolated to exoplanetary systems and derive statistical predictions for the distribution of 26 Al and 60 Fe based on N -body simulations of typical to large clusters (10 3 –10 4 stars) with a range of initial conditions. We quantify the pollution of protoplanetary discs by supernova ejecta and show that the likelihood of enrichment levels similar to or higher than the Solar system can vary considerably, depending on the cluster morphology. Furthermore, many enriched systems show an excess in radiogenic heating compared to Solar system levels, which implies that the formation and evolution of planetesimals could vary significantly depending on the birth environment of their host stars.
    Print ISSN: 0035-8711
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-2966
    Topics: Physics
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2016-06-15
    Description: In the yearly Internationally Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, teams of Bachelor's and Master's students design and build an engineered biological system using DNA technologies. Advising an iGEM team poses unique challenges due to the inherent difficulties of mounting and completing a new biological project from scratch over the course of a single academic year; the challenges in obtaining financial and structural resources for a project that will likely not be fully realized; and conflicts between educational and competition-based goals. This article shares tips and best practices for iGEM team advisors, from two team advisors with very different experiences with the iGEM competition.
    Keywords: Professional Development
    Print ISSN: 0378-1097
    Electronic ISSN: 1574-6968
    Topics: Biology
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2016-04-10
    Description: Susceptibility to antibiotics is dramatically reduced when bacteria form biofilms. In clinical settings this has a profound impact on treatment of implant-associated infections, as these are characterized by biofilm formation. Current routine susceptibility testing of microorganisms from infected implants does not reflect the actual susceptibility, and the optimal antibiotic strategy for treating implant-associated infections is not established. In this study of biofilm formation in implant-associated osteomyelitis, we compared the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of selected antibiotics alone and in combination against Staphylococcus aureus. We tested vancomycin, linezolid, daptomycin and tigecycline alone and in combination with rifampicin, vancomycin, linezolid and daptomycin against S. aureus . In vitro , biofilm formation dramatically reduced susceptibility by a factor of 500–2000. In vivo , antibiotic combinations were tested in a murine model of implant-associated osteomyelitis. Mice were infected by inserting implants colonized with S. aureus trough their tibia. After 11 days, the animals were divided into different groups (five animals/group) and given 14 days of antibiotic therapy. All antibiotics resulted in a reduced bacterial load in the infected bone surrounding the implant. Overall, the most effective antibiotic combinations contained rifampicin. Combinations containing two non-rifampicin antibiotics were not more active than single drugs.
    Print ISSN: 0928-8244
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2016-04-07
    Description: The new release AIUB-RL02 of monthly gravity models from GRACE GPS and K-Band range-rate data is based on reprocessed satellite orbits referring to the reference frame IGb08. The release is consistent with the IERS2010 conventions. Improvements with respect to its predecessor AIUB-RL01 include the use of reprocessed (RL02) GRACE observations, new atmosphere and ocean dealiasing products (RL05), an upgraded ocean tide model (EOT11A), and the interpolation of shallow ocean tides (admittances). The stochastic parametrization of AIUB-RL02 was adapted to include daily accelerometer scale factors, which drastically reduces spurious signal at the 161 d period in C 20 and at other low degree and order gravity field coefficients. Moreover, the correlation between the noise in the monthly gravity models and solar activity is considerably reduced in the new release. The signal and the noise content of the new AIUB-RL02 monthly gravity fields are studied and calibrated errors are derived from their non-secular and non-seasonal variability. The short-period time-variable signal over the oceans, mostly representing noise, is reduced by 50 per cent with respect to AIUB-RL01. Compared to the official GFZ-RL05a and CSR-RL05 monthly models, the AIUB-RL02 stands out by its low noise at high degrees, a fact emerging from the estimation of seasonal variations for selected river basins and of mass trends in polar regions. Two versions of the monthly AIUB-RL02 gravity models, with spherical harmonics resolution of degree and order 60 and 90, respectively, are available for the time period from March 2003 to March 2014 at the International Center for Global Earth Models or from ftp://ftp.unibe.ch/aiub/GRAVITY/GRACE (last accessed 22 March 2016).
    Keywords: Gravity, Geodesy and Tides
    Print ISSN: 0956-540X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2015-08-27
    Description: In pancreatic β-cells, mitochondria play a central role in coupling glucose metabolism to insulin secretion. Chronic exposure of β-cells to metabolic stresses impairs their function and potentially induces apoptosis. Little is known on mitochondrial adaptation to metabolic stresses, i.e. high glucose, fatty acids or oxidative stress; being all highlighted in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Here, human islets were exposed for 3 days to 25 m m glucose, 0.4 m m palmitate, 0.4 m m oleate and transiently to H 2 O 2 . Culture at physiological 5.6 m m glucose served as no-stress control. Expression of mitochondrion-associated genes was quantified, including the transcriptome of mitochondrial inner membrane carriers. Targets of interest were further evaluated at the protein level. Three days after acute oxidative stress, no significant alteration in β-cell function or apoptosis was detected in human islets. Palmitate specifically increased expression of the pyruvate carriers MPC1 and MPC2, whereas the glutamate carrier GC1 and the aspartate/glutamate carrier AGC1 were down-regulated by palmitate and oleate, respectively. High glucose decreased mRNA levels of key transcription factors (HNF4A, IPF1, PPARA and TFAM) and energy-sensor SIRT1. High glucose also reduced expression of 11 mtDNA-encoded respiratory chain subunits. Interestingly, transcript levels of the carriers for aspartate/glutamate AGC2, malate DIC and malate/oxaloacetate/aspartate UCP2 were increased by high glucose, a profile suggesting important mitochondrial anaplerotic/cataplerotic activities and NADPH-generating shuttles. Chronic exposure to high glucose impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, decreased insulin content, promoted caspase-3 cleavage and cell death, revealing glucotoxicity. Overall, expression profile of mitochondrion-associated genes was selectively modified by glucose, delineating a glucotoxic-specific signature.
    Print ISSN: 0964-6906
    Electronic ISSN: 1460-2083
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-08-29
    Description: On average, mutations are deleterious to proteins. Mutations conferring new function to a protein often come at the expense of protein folding or stability, reducing overall activity. Over the years, a panel of T7 RNA polymerases have been designed or evolved to accept nucleotides with modified ribose moieties. These modified RNAs have proven useful, especially in vivo , but the transcriptional yields tend to be quite low. Here we show that mutations previously shown to increase the thermal tolerance of T7 RNA polymerase can increase the activity of mutants with expanded substrate range. The resulting polymerase mutants can be used to generate 2' -O- methyl modified RNA with yields much higher than enzymes currently employed.
    Print ISSN: 0305-1048
    Electronic ISSN: 1362-4962
    Topics: Biology
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