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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 19 December 2014, Vol.346(6216), pp.1456-7
    Description: How do electric fields affect enzymatic processes? Binding and crystallographic studies have shown that electrostatic interactions are important in the substrate-binding step that initiates enzyme catalysis. However, for the subsequent steps, experimental data have been limited....
    Keywords: Static Electricity ; Ketosteroids -- Metabolism ; Steroid Isomerases -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(3), p.e17744
    Description: The naked mole-rat ( Heterocephalus glaber ) is one of the two known mammalian species that live in a eusocial population structure. Here we investigate the exceptionally long gestation period of 70 days observed in the mole-rat queen. The course of seven successful pregnancies in two individuals was recorded in a colony of captive naked mole-rats using ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) and 3D-ultrasonography. We establish a catalogue of basic reference ultrasound data for this species by describing the ultrasonographic appearance of reproductive organs, calculating growth curves to predict gestational age and defining ultrasonographic milestones to characterize pregnancy stages. Mean litter size was 10.9±2.7, of which 7.2±1.5 survived the weaning period. Mean interbirth interval was 128.8±63.0 days. The reproductive success in our colony did not differ from previously published data. In the queen the active corpora lutea had an anechoic, fluid filled centre. Using UBM, pregnancy could be detected 53 days before parturition. The period of embryonic development is assumed to last until 30 days before parturition. Embryonic resorptions were detected frequently in the queen, indicating that this might be an ordinary event in this species. We discuss the extraordinary long gestation period of this small rodent and postulate that the long gestation is beneficial to both the eusocial structure and longevity. An increased litter size, twice as large as for other rodents of similar size, seemingly compensates for the doubling of pregnancy length. We demonstrate that the lifetime reproductive effort of a naked mole-rat queen is equivalent to the mass of offspring that would be produced if all of the females of a colony would be reproducing.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Veterinary Science ; Physiology ; Developmental Biology ; Evolutionary Biology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(9), p.e23796
    Description: Factors and mechanisms controlling lipometabolism homeostasis share a remarkable evolutionary conservation between humans and Drosophila flies. Accordingly, the Drosophila model has been successfully used to understand the pathophysiology of human metabolic diseases such as obesity. Body fat stores in species as different as humans and flies consist of neutral lipids, mainly triacylglycerols. Changes in body fat storage are a diagnostic phenotype of lipometabolism imbalances of genetic or environmental origin. Various methods have been developed to quantify Drosophila body fat storage. The most widely used method adopts a commercial coupled colorimetric assay designed for human serum triacylglycerol quantification, which is based on glycerol content determination after enzymatic conversion of glycerides into glycerol. The coupled colorimetric assay is compatible with large-scale genetic screen approaches and has been successfully applied to characterize central regulators of Drosophila lipometabolism. Recently, the applicability of the coupled colorimetric assay for Drosophila storage fat quantification has been questioned in principle. Here we compare the performance of the coupled colorimetric assay on Drosophila samples with thin layer chromatography, the “gold standard” in storage lipid analysis. Our data show that the presented variant of the coupled colorimetric assay reliably discriminates between lean and fat flies and allows robust, quick and cost-effective quantification of Drosophila body fat stores.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Genetics And Genomics ; Biochemistry
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 4
    In: PLoS ONE, 2015, Vol.10(8)
    Description: The relative age effect (RAE), which refers to an over-representation of selected athletes born early in the selection year, was proven to be present in alpine ski racing in all age categories at both national and international levels. However, the influential factors on, or the causal mechanisms of, the RAE are still unknown. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine three possible influential factors on the relative age effect in alpine skiing: physical performance, anthropometric characteristics and biological maturational status. The study included the investigation of 282 elite Austrian youth ski racers and 413 non-athletes (comparison group) of the same age (10–13 years) and region. Six physical performance tests were performed, body mass and height were assessed, and the age at peak height velocity (APHV) was calculated. A significant RAE was present in the ski racers. No differences were shown in the physical performance characteristics or in the calculated APHV between the relative age quarters. These results suggest that ski racers born in the last quarter can counteract the relative age disadvantages if they already present the same level of physical performance and maturational status as those born at the beginning of the year. The height and weight of ski racers born at the beginning of the year were significantly higher compared to the non-athletes, and ski racers born in relative age quarter 1 were taller and heavier compared to the ski racers of the other quarters. This indicates that the anthropometric characteristics influence the selection process in alpine ski racing, and that relatively older athletes are more likely to be selected if they exhibit advanced anthropometric characteristics.
    Keywords: Research Article
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(8), p.e23686
    Description: Ablation of a cochlea causes total sensory deafferentation of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem, providing a model to investigate nervous degeneration and formation of new synaptic contacts in the adult brain. In a quantitative electron microscopical study on the plasticity of the central auditory system of the Wistar rat, we first determined what fraction of the total number of synaptic contact zones (SCZs) in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) is attributable to primary sensory innervation and how many synapses remain after total unilateral cochlear ablation. Second, we attempted to identify the potential for a deafferentation-dependent synaptogenesis. SCZs were ultrastructurally identified before and after deafferentation in tissue treated for ethanolic phosphotungstic acid (EPTA) staining. This was combined with pre-embedding immunocytochemistry for gephyrin identifying inhibitory SCZs, the growth-associated protein GAP-43, glutamate, and choline acetyltransferase. A stereological analysis of EPTA stained sections revealed 1.11±0.09 (S.E.M.)×10 9 SCZs per mm 3 of AVCN tissue. Within 7 days of deafferentation, this number was down by 46%. Excitatory and inhibitory synapses were differentially affected on the side of deafferentation. Excitatory synapses were quickly reduced and then began to increase in number again, necessarily being complemented from sources other than cochlear neurons, while inhibitory synapses were reduced more slowly and continuously. The result was a transient rise of the relative fraction of inhibitory synapses with a decline below original levels thereafter. Synaptogenesis was inferred by the emergence of morphologically immature SCZs that were consistently associated with GAP-43 immunoreactivity. SCZs of this type were estimated to make up a fraction of close to 30% of the total synaptic population present by ten weeks after sensory deafferentation. In conclusion, there appears to be a substantial potential for network reorganization and synaptogenesis in the auditory brainstem after loss of hearing, even in the adult brain.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Neuroscience
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Science, 8 January 2010, Vol.327(5962), pp.198-201
    Description: The liver-expressed microRNA-122 (miR-122) is essential for hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA accumulation in cultured liver cells, but its potential as a target for antiviral intervention has not been assessed. We found that treatment of chronically infected chimpanzees with a locked nucleic acid (LNA)-modified oligonucleotide (SPC3649) complementary to miR-122 leads to long-lasting suppression of HCV viremia, with no evidence of viral resistance or side effects in the treated animals. Furthermore, transcriptome and histological analyses of liver biopsies demonstrated derepression of target mRNAs with miR-122 seed sites, down-regulation of interferon-regulated genes, and improvement of HCV-induced liver pathology. The prolonged virological response to SPC3649 treatment without HCV rebound holds promise of a new antiviral therapy with a high barrier to resistance.
    Keywords: Biological sciences -- Biology -- Anatomy ; Physical sciences -- Chemistry -- Chemical compounds ; Health sciences -- Medical conditions -- Infections ; Health sciences -- Medical diagnosis -- Diagnostic methods ; Health sciences -- Medical conditions -- Infections ; Physical sciences -- Chemistry -- Chemical compounds ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Zoology ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Physiology ; Physical sciences -- Earth sciences -- Geography ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Microbiology ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Anatomy ; Physical sciences -- Chemistry -- Chemical compounds ; Health sciences -- Medical conditions -- Infections ; Health sciences -- Medical diagnosis -- Diagnostic methods ; Health sciences -- Medical conditions -- Infections ; Physical sciences -- Chemistry -- Chemical compounds ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Zoology ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Physiology ; Physical sciences -- Earth sciences -- Geography ; Biological sciences -- Biology -- Microbiology
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 10959203
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Science (New York, N.Y.), 08 January 2010, Vol.327(5962), pp.198-201
    Description: The liver-expressed microRNA-122 (miR-122) is essential for hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA accumulation in cultured liver cells, but its potential as a target for antiviral intervention has not been assessed. We found that treatment of chronically infected chimpanzees with a locked nucleic acid (LNA)-modified oligonucleotide (SPC3649) complementary to miR-122 leads to long-lasting suppression of HCV viremia, with no evidence of viral resistance or side effects in the treated animals. Furthermore, transcriptome and histological analyses of liver biopsies demonstrated derepression of target mRNAs with miR-122 seed sites, down-regulation of interferon-regulated genes, and improvement of HCV-induced liver pathology. The prolonged virological response to SPC3649 treatment without HCV rebound holds promise of a new antiviral therapy with a high barrier to resistance.
    Keywords: Pan Troglodytes ; Antiviral Agents -- Therapeutic Use ; Hepatitis C, Chronic -- Drug Therapy ; Micrornas -- Antagonists & Inhibitors ; Phosphorothioate Oligonucleotides -- Therapeutic Use
    ISSN: 00368075
    E-ISSN: 1095-9203
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: 2012, Vol.7(12), p.e51151
    Description: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cardiovascular effects of the novel bradykinin B1 receptor antagonist BI-113823 following myocardial infarction (MI) and to determine whether B1 receptor blockade alters the cardiovascular effects of an angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist after MI in rats. ; Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to permanent occlusion of the left descending coronary artery. Cardiovascular function was determined at 7 days post MI. Treatment with either B1 receptor antagonist (BI-113823) or AT1 receptor antagonist (irbesartan) alone or in combination improved post-MI cardiac function as evidenced by attenuation of elevated left ventricular end diastolic pressure (LVEDP); greater first derivative of left ventricular pressure (± dp/dt max), left ventricle ejection fraction, fractional shorting, and better wall motion; as we as reductions in post-MI up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinases 2 (MMP-2) and collagen III. In addition, the cardiac up-regulation of B1 receptor and AT1 receptor mRNA were markedly reduced in animals treated with BI 113823, although bradykinin B2 receptor and angiotensin 1 converting enzyme (ACE1) mRNA expression were not significantly affected by B1 receptor blockade. ; The present study demonstrates that treatment with the novel B1 receptor antagonist, BI-113823 improves post-MI cardiac function and does not influence the cardiovascular effects of AT1 receptor antagonist following MI.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Medicine ; Physiology ; Biotechnology ; Pharmacology ; Biochemistry
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Naturwissenschaften, 2011, Vol.98(12), pp.995-1008
    Description: Blood-sucking leeches have been used for medical purposes in humans for hundreds of years. Accordingly, one of the most prominent species has been named Hirudo medicinalis by Carl Linne in 1758. Feeding on vertebrate blood poses some serious problems to blood-sucking ectoparasites, as they have to penetrate the body surface of the host and to suppress the normal reactions of the host to such injuries (swelling, pain, inflammation) to remain undetected during the feeding period. Furthermore, the parasites have to take measures to inhibit the normal reactions in host tissues to blood vessel damage, namely hemostasis and blood coagulation (platelet aggregation and activation, activation of thrombin and formation of fibrin clots). During evolution, leeches have acquired the ability to control these processes in their hosts by transferring various bioactive substances to the host. These substances are supposedly produced in unicellular salivary gland cells and injected into the wound at the feeding site through tiny salivary ductule openings in the jaws that the leech uses to slice open the host body surface and to cut blood vessels in the depth of the wound. This review summarizes current knowledge about the salivary gland cells and the biological effects of individual saliva components as well as hints to the potential usefulness of some of these compounds for medical purposes.
    Keywords: spp. ; Salivary gland cells ; Saliva ; Blood feeding ; Salivary proteins ; Medical applications
    ISSN: 0028-1042
    E-ISSN: 1432-1904
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 July 2015, Vol.10(4)
    Description: Physical protection of soil carbon (C) is one of the important components of C storage. However, its exact mechanisms are still not sufficiently lucid. The goal of this study was to explore the influence of soil structure, that is, soil pore spatial arrangements, with and without presence of plant residue on (i) decomposition of added plant residue, (ii) CO₂ emission from soil, and (iii) structure of soil bacterial communities. The study consisted of several soil incubation experiments with samples of contrasting pore characteristics with/without plant residue, accompanied by X-ray micro-tomographic analyses of soil pores and by microbial community analysis of amplified 16S–18S rRNA genes via pyrosequencing. We observed that in the samples with substantial presence of air-filled well-connected large (〉30 µm) pores, 75–80% of the added plant residue was decomposed, cumulative CO₂ emission constituted 1,200 µm C g⁻¹ soil, and movement of C from decomposing plant residue into adjacent soil was insignificant. In the samples with greater abundance of water-filled small pores, 60% of the added plant residue was decomposed, cumulative CO₂ emission constituted 2,000 µm C g⁻¹ soil, and the movement of residue C into adjacent soil was substantial. In the absence of plant residue the influence of pore characteristics on CO₂ emission, that is on decomposition of the native soil organic C, was negligible. The microbial communities on the plant residue in the samples with large pores had more microbial groups known to be cellulose decomposers, that is, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes, while a number of oligotrophic Acidobacteria groups were more abundant on the plant residue from the samples with small pores. This study provides the first experimental evidence that characteristics of soil pores and their air/water flow status determine the phylogenetic composition of the local microbial community and directions and magnitudes of soil C decomposition processes.
    Keywords: Environmental Sciences ; Leaves ; Carbon Dioxide ; Maize ; Plant Communities ; Porosity ; Community Structure ; Fluid Dynamics ; Shannon Index ; Sciences (General) ; Environmental Sciences
    ISSN: 1932-6203
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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