Conservar y restaurar música de ayer y de hoy es cada vez más fácil gracias a los avances informáticos. Existen técnicas y programas que permiten la digitalización de la información musical para conservar, desde el sonido correspondiente a una interpretación particular de una obra musical, en forma de señal sonora susceptible de ser procesada por programas de edición de audio, hasta la imagen de la partitura manuscrita por el propio compositor, con las posibilidades que ello ofrece para la restauración del posible deterioro sufrido por el documento original. En este artículo se analizan algunos de los aspectos que hacen de los Sistemas Informáticos herramientas especialmente adecuadas para la conservación y restauración del patrimonio documental musical.
The application of microbial inoculants (biofertilizers) is a promising technology for future sustainable farming systems in view of rapidly decreasing phosphorus stocks and the need to more efficiently use available nitrogen (N). Various microbial taxa are currently used as biofertilizers, based on their capacity to access nutrients from fertilizers and soil stocks, to fix atmospheric nitrogen, to improve water uptake or to act as biocontrol agents. Despite the existence of a considerable knowledge on effects of specific taxa of biofertilizers, a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the performance of biofertilizers with different traits such as phosphorus solubilization and N fixation applied to various crops at a global scale is missing. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantify benefits of biofertilizers in terms of yield increase, nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency, based on 171 peer reviewed publications that met eligibility criteria. Major findings are: (i) the superiority of biofertilizer performance in dry climates over other climatic regions (yield response: dry climate + 20.0 +/- 1.7%, tropical climate + 14.9 +/- 1.2%, oceanic climate + 10.0 +/- 3.7%, continental climate + 8.5 +/- 2.4%); (ii) meta-regression analyses revealed that yield response due to biofertilizer application was generally small at low soil P levels; efficacy increased along higher soil P levels in the order arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), P solubilizers, and N fixers; (iii) meta-regressions showed that the success of inoculation with AMF was greater at low organic matter content and at neutral pH. Our comprehensive analysis provides a basis and guidance for proper choice and application of biofertilizers.
When renewable policies are in place, the mismatch between policy targets and lack of technology diffusion indicates a gap between codifying a policy and implementing it. In Switzerland, photovoltaic (PV) electricity is seen to play a major role in the future. Stakeholders’ opinions in the implementation of photovoltaic projects may block or delay the achievement of renewable policy goals. This paper explores the question: which are the main drivers and risks perceived by stakeholders at different levels of the government in the implementation of a pilot PV project?We study a decision-making process of a pilot project in the Swiss Alps to figure out which determinants explain the public opposition to such implementation. We study five types of determinants of public acceptance: economy, technology, environment, social aspects, and the policy process. We use Q methodology, which is especially suited to determine the different interests of stakeholders’ groups.Our results show four different perspectives: “Mainstream proponents,” “Ecologically wary,” “Worried about implementation,” and “Looking for cantonal and national backing.” The results indicate that the photovoltaics’ acceptance was highly driven by the potential contribution of the project to the regional economy. However, economy and technology determinants elicited both the highest and the lowest statistical consensus among perspectives (z-score). Our results point out the important role of initiators to maintain trust during the decision-making process. Finally, stakeholders in the photovoltaic project wanted to have fluent access to concrete information about the project and its future plans.Most of the implementation risks observed are determinants of acceptance related to economic aspects and the policy process. Characteristics of the decision-making process, such as trust during the process, affect the perceived outcomes of the project. Aspects of the decision-making process may, therefore, turn into risks for the project’s implementation. Results also suggest that techno-economic assessments are key drivers to fostering energy transitions, but they are not sufficient in themselves. Initiators have to consider enhancing communication since the early steps of the policy process, the intelligence and promotion phases to avoid implementation risks.
The realization of a coherent interface between distant charge or spin qubits in semiconductor quantum dots is an open challenge for quantum information processing. Here, we demonstrate both resonant (real) and nonresonant (virtual) photon-mediated coherent interactions between double quantum-dot charge qubits separated by several tens of micrometers. We present clear spectroscopic evidence of the resonant collective enhancement of the coupling of two qubits and the resonator. With both qubits in resonance with each other but detuned from the resonator, we observe exchange coupling between the qubits mediated by virtual photons. In both instances, pronounced bright and dark states governed by the symmetry of the qubit-field interaction are found. Our observations are in excellent quantitative agreement with mastere-quation simulations. The extracted two-qubit coupling strengths significantly exceed the linewidths of the combined resonator-qubit system, which indicates that this approach is viable for creating photon-mediated two-qubit gates in quantum-dot-based systems.
Bacterial colonies are abundant on living and nonliving surfaces and are known to mediate a broad range of processes in ecology, medicine, and industry. Although extensively researched, from single cells to demographic scales, a comprehensive biomechanical picture, highlighting the cell-to-colony dynamics, is still lacking. Here, using molecular dynamics simulations and continuous modeling, we investigate the geometrical and mechanical properties of a bacterial colony growing on a substrate with a free boundary and demonstrate that such an expanding colony self-organizes into a "mosaic" of microdomains consisting of highly aligned cells. The emergence of microdomains is mediated by two competing forces: the steric forces between neighboring cells, which favor cell alignment, and the extensile stresses due to cell growth that tend to reduce the local orientational order and thereby distort the system. This interplay results in an exponential distribution of the domain areas and sets a characteristic length scale proportional to the square root of the ratio between the system orientational stiffness and the magnitude of the extensile active stress. Our theoretical predictions are finally compared with experiments with freely growing E. coli microcolonies, finding quantitative agreement.
The Trametes versicolor laccase (TvL)-catalysed oligomerisation of the aniline dimer p-aminodiphenylamine (PADPA) was investigated in an aqueous medium of pH = 3.5, containing 80-100 nm-sized anionic vesicles formed from AOT, the sodium salt of bis(2-ethylhexyl)sulfosuccinic acid. If run under optimal conditions, the reaction yields oligomeric products which resemble the emeraldine salt form of polyaniline (PANI-ES) in its polaron state, known to be the only oxidation state of linear PANI which is electrically conductive. The vesicles serve as "templates" for obtaining products with the desired PANI-ES-like features. For this complex, heterogeneous, vesicle-assisted, and enzyme-mediated reaction, in which dissolved dioxygen also takes part as a re-oxidant for TvL, small changes in the composition of the reaction mixture can have significant effects. Initial conditions may not only affect the kinetics of the reaction, but also the outcome, i.e., the product distribution once the reaction reaches its equilibrium state. While a change in the reaction temperature from T approximate to 25 to 5 degrees C mainly influenced the rate of reaction, increase in enzyme concentration and the presence of millimolar concentrations of chloride ions were found to have significant undesired effects on the outcome of the reaction. Chloride ions, which may originate from the preparation of the pH = 3.5 solution, inhibit TvL, such that higher TvL concentrations are required than without chloride to yield the same product distribution for the same reaction runtime as in the absence of chloride. With TvL concentrations much higher than the elaborated value, the products obtained clearly were different and over-oxidised. Thus, a change in the activity of the enzyme was found to have influence not only on kinetics but also led to a change in the final product distribution, molecular structure and electrical properties, which was a surprising find. The complementary analytical methods which we used in this work were in situ UV/vis/NIR, EPR, and Raman spectroscopy measurements, in combination with a detailed ex situ HPLC analysis and molecular dynamics simulations. With the results obtained, we would like to recall the often neglected or ignored fact that it is important to describe and pay attention to the experimental details, since this matters for being able to perform experiments in a reproducible way.
Maternal overnutrition has been associated with increased susceptibility to develop obesity and neurological disorders later in life. Most epidemiological as well as experimental studies have focused on the metabolic consequences across generations following an early developmental nutritional insult. Recently, it has been shown that maternal high-fat diet (HFD) affects third-generation female body mass via the paternal lineage. We showed here that the offspring born to HFD ancestors displayed addictive-like behaviors as well as obesity and insulin resistance up to the third generation in the absence of any further exposure to HFD. These findings, implicate that the male germ line is a major player in transferring phenotypic traits. These behavioral and physiological alterations were paralleled by reduced striatal dopamine levels and increased dopamine 2 receptor density. Interestingly, by the third generation a clear gender segregation emerged, where females showed addictive-like behaviors while male HFD offspring showed an obesogenic phenotype. However, methylome profiling of F1 and F2 sperm revealed no significant difference between the offspring groups, suggesting that the sperm methylome might not be the major carrier for the transmission of the phenotypes observed in our mouse model. Together, our study for the first time demonstrates that maternal HFD insult causes sustained alterations of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system suggestive of a predisposition to develop obesity and addictive-like behaviors across multiple generations.
Randomness is a defining element of mixing processes in nature and an essential ingredient to many protocols in quantum information. In this work, we investigate how much randomness is required to transform a given quantum state into another one. Specifically, we ask whether there is a gap between the power of a classical source of randomness compared to that of a quantum one. We provide a complete answer to these questions, by identifying provably optimal protocols for both classical and quantum sources of randomness, based on a dephasing construction. We find that in order to implement any noisy transition on a d-dimensional quantum system it is necessary and sufficient to have a quantum source of randomness of dimension root d or a classical one of dimension d. Interestingly, coherences provided by quantum states in a source of randomness offer a quadratic advantage. The process we construct has the additional features to be robust and catalytic; i.e., the source of randomness can be reused. Building upon this formal framework, we illustrate that this dephasing construction can serve as a useful primitive in both equilibration and quantum information theory: We discuss applications describing the smallest measurement device, capturing the smallest equilibrating environment allowed by quantum mechanics, or forming the basis for a cryptographic private quantum channel. We complement the exact analysis with a discussion of approximate protocols based on quantum expanders deriving from discrete Weyl systems. This gives rise to equilibrating environments of remarkably small dimension. Our results highlight the curious feature of randomness that residual correlations and dimension can be traded against each other.
Future time perspective (FTP) is defined as "perceptions of the future as being limited or open-ended" (Lang and Carstensen, 2002; p. 125). The construct figures prominently in both workplace and retirement domains, but the age-predictions are competing: Workplace research predicts decreasing FTP age-change, in contrast, retirement scholars predict increasing FTP age-change. For the first time, these competing predictions are pitted in an experimental manipulation of subjective life expectancy (SLE). A sample of = 207 older adults (age 45-60) working full-time (>30-h/week) were randomly assigned to SLE questions framed as either 'Live-to' or 'Die-by' to evaluate competing predictions for FTP. Results indicate general support for decreasing age-change in FTP, indicated by independent-sample -tests showing lower FTP in the 'Die-by' framing condition. Further general-linear model analyses were conducted to test for interaction effects of retirement planning with experimental framings on FTP and intended retirement; While retirement planning buffered FTP's decrease, simple-effects also revealed that retirement planning increased intentions for sooner retirement, but lack of planning increased intentions for later retirement. Discussion centers on practical implications of our findings and consequences validity evidence in future empirical research of FTP in both workplace and retirement domains.
Environmental factors are involved in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and may contribute to the raise in its incidence rate. It is currently unknown whether the increasing use of nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide (TiO2 NPs) in consumer products and biomedical applications may play a role in these associations. While nano-sized TiO2 is generally regarded as safe and non-toxic, excessive exposure to TiO2 NPs may be associated with negative health consequences especially when occurring during sensitive developmental periods. To test if prenatal exposure to TiO2 NPs alters fetal development and behavioral functions relevant to ASD, C57B16/N dams were subjected to a single intravenous injection of a low (100 mu g) or high (1000 mu g) dose of TiO2 NPs or vehicle solution on gestation day 9. ASD-related behavioral functions were assessed in the offspring using paradigms that index murine versions of ASD symptoms. Maternal exposure to TiO2 NPs led to subtle and dose-dependent impairments in neonatal vocal communication and juvenile sociability, as well as a dose-dependent increase in prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex of both sexes. These behavioral alterations emerged in the absence of pregnancy complications. Prenatal exposure to TiO2 NPs did not cause overt fetal malformations or changes in pregnancy outcomes, nor did it affect postnatal growth of the offspring. Taken together, our study provides a first set of preliminary data suggesting that prenatal exposure to nano-sized TiO2 can induce behavioral deficits relevant to ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders without inducing major changes in physiological development. If extended further, our preclinical findings may provide an incentive for epidemiological studies examining the role of prenatal TiO2 NPs exposure in the etiology of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
We present a fundamentally new approach to laboratory acoustic and seismic wave experimentation that enables full immersion of a physical wave propagation experiment within a virtual numerical environment. Using a recent theory of immersive boundary conditions that relies on measurements made on an inner closed surface of sensors, the output of numerous closely spaced sources around the physical domain is continuously varied in time and space. This allows waves to seamlessly propagate back and forth between both domains, without being affected by reflections at the boundaries between both domains, which enables us to virtually expand the size of the physical laboratory and operate at much lower frequencies than previously possible (sonic frequencies as low as 1 kHz). While immersive boundary conditions have been rigorously tested numerically, here we present the first proof of concept for their physical implementation with experimental results from a one-dimensional sound wave tube. These experiments demonstrate the performance and capabilities of immersive boundary conditions in canceling boundary reflections and accounting for long-range interactions with a virtual domain outside the physical experiment. Moreover, we introduce a unique high-performance acquisition, computation, and control system that will enable the real-time implementation of immersive boundary conditions in three dimensions. The system is capable of extrapolating wave fields recorded on 800 simultaneous inputs to 800 simultaneous outputs, through arbitrarily complex virtual background media with an extremely low total system latency of 200 mu s. The laboratory allows studying a variety of long-standing problems and poorly understood aspects of wave physics and imaging. Moreover, such real-time immersive experimentation opens up exciting possibilities for the future of laboratory acoustic and seismic experiments and for fields such as active acoustic cloaking and holography.
Currently, levamisole is the most common cocaine adulterant worldwide and it is known to induce a variety of adverse side effects. Animal studies and human case reports suggest potential neurotoxicity of the compound but neither neuroanatomical nor cognitive effects of levamisole have been systematically investigated in cocaine users so far. We examined cognitive performance and cortical structural differences between chronic cocaine users with low and high recent exposure to levamisole objectively determined by quantitative toxicological hair analyses. In Study 1, we compared 26 chronic cocaine users with low levamisole exposure (lowLevCU), 49 matched cocaine users with high levamisole exposure (highLevCU), and 78 matched stimulant-naive controls regarding cognitive functioning employing a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. In Study 2, we investigated cortical thickness by use of T1-weighted MRI in a subgroup of 12 lowLevCU, 17 highLevCU, and 38 stimulant-naive controls. In Study 1, both cocaine user groups showed significant impairments in the cognitive domains of attention and working memory as well as in the global cognitive index. However, highLevCU showed significantly worse executive functions compared to lowLevCU although both groups did not differ in severity of cocaine consumption and other clinical dimensions. Study 2 revealed that highLevCU, displayed reduced cortical thickness specifically in the middle frontal gyrus compared to both controls and lowLevCU. Our results suggest that levamisole exposure during the last months in cocaine users is associated with increased executive function impairments and pronounced thinning of the lateral prefrontal cortex. Consequently, prevention and drug policy-making should aim to reduce levamisole contamination of street cocaine.
Seagrass roots host a diverse microbiome that is critical for plant growth and health. Composition of microbial communities can be regulated in part by root exudates, but the specifics of these interactions in seagrass rhizospheres are still largely unknown. As light availability controls primary productivity, reduced light may impact root exudation and consequently the composition of the root microbiome. Hence, we analyzed the influence of light availability on root exudation and community structure of the root microbiome of three co-occurring seagrass species, and . Plants were grown under four light treatments in mesocosms for 2 weeks; control (100% surface irradiance (SI), medium (40% SI), low (20% SI) and fluctuating light (10 days 20% and 4 days 100%). 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing revealed that microbial diversity, composition and predicted function were strongly influenced by the presence of seagrass roots, such that root microbiomes were unique to each seagrass species. Reduced light availability altered seagrass root exudation, as characterized using fluorescence spectroscopy, and altered the composition of seagrass root microbiomes with a reduction in abundance of potentially beneficial microorganisms. Overall, this study highlights the potential for above-ground light reduction to invoke a cascade of changes from alterations in root exudation to a reduction in putative beneficial microorganisms and, ultimately, confirms the importance of the seagrass root environment - a critical, but often overlooked space.
The relationship between human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections and accelerated immune senescence is controversial. Whereas some studies reported a CMV-associated impaired capacity to control heterologous infections at old age, other studies could not confirm this. We hypothesized that these discrepancies might relate to the variability in the infectious dose of CMV occurring in real life. Here, we investigated the influence of persistent CMV infection on immune perturbations and specifically addressed the role of the infectious dose on the contribution of CMV to accelerated immune senescence. We show in experimental mouse models that the degree of mouse CMV (MCMV)-specific memory CD8 T cell accumulation and the phenotypic T cell profile are directly influenced by the infectious dose, and data on HCMV-specific T cells indicate a similar connection. Detailed cluster analysis of the memory CD8 T cell development showed that high-dose infection causes a differentiation pathway that progresses faster throughout the life span of the host, suggesting a virus-host balance that is influenced by aging and infectious dose. Importantly, short-term MCMV infection in adult mice is not disadvantageous for heterologous superinfection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). However, following long-term CMV infection the strength of the CD8 T cell immunity to LCMV superinfection was affected by the initial CMV infectious dose, wherein a high infectious dose was found to be a prerequisite for impaired heterologous immunity. Altogether our results underscore the importance of stratification based on the size and differentiation of the CMV-specific memory T cell pools for the impact on immune senescence, and indicate that reduction of the latent/lytic viral load can be beneficial to diminish CMV-associated immune senescence.
Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is the most commonly prescribed drug in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is suggested that in vivo, methylphenidate treatment supports cortical maturation, however, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are not well understood. This study aimed to explore the potential effect of methylphenidate on cell proliferation and maturation in various cellular models, hypothesizing its interaction with the Wnt-signaling. The termination of cell proliferation concomitant to neuronal maturation following methylphenidate treatment was observed in all of the cell-models tested: murine neural stem-, rat PC12- and the human SH-SY5Y-cells. Inhibition of Wnt-signaling in SH-SY5Y cells with Dkk1 30 min before methylphenidate treatment suppressed neuronal differentiation but enhanced proliferation. The possible involvement of the dopamine-transporter in cell differentiation was discounted following the observation of opposing results after GBR-12909 treatment. Moreover, Wnt-activation via methylphenidate was confirmed in Wnt-luciferase-reporter assay. These findings reveal a new mechanism of action of methylphenidate that might explain long-term effects.
IntroductionExtended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae were first described in relation with hospital-acquired infections. In the 2000s, the epidemiology of ESBL-producing organisms changed as especially ESBL-producing Escherichia coli was increasingly described as an important cause of community-acquired infections, supporting the hypothesis that in more recent years ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae have probably been imported into hospitals rather than vice versa. Transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae is complicated by ESBL genes being encoded on self-transmissible plasmids, which can be exchanged among the same and different bacterial species. The aim of this research project is to quantify hospital-wide transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae on both the level of bacterial species and the mobile genetic elements and to determine if hospital-acquired infections caused by ESBL producers are related to strains and mobile genetic elements predominantly circulating in the community or in the healthcare setting. This distinction is critical in prevention since the former emphasises the urgent need to establish or reinforce antibiotic stewardship programmes, and the latter would call for more rigorous infection control.Methods and analysisThis protocol presents an observational study that will be performed at the University Hospital Basel and in the city of Basel, Switzerland. ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae will be collected from any specimens obtained by routine clinical practice or by active screening in both inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as from wastewater samples and foodstuffs, both collected monthly over a 12-month period for analyses by whole genome sequencing. Bacterial chromosomal, plasmid and ESBL-gene sequences will be compared within the cohort to determine genetic relatedness and migration between humans and their environment.Ethics and disseminationThis study has been approved by the local ethics committee (Ethikkommission Nordwest-und Zentralschweiz) as a quality control project (Project-ID 2017–00100). The results of this study will be published in peer-reviewed medical journals, communicated to participants, the general public and all relevant stakeholders.
Glutamate signaling plays a major role in addiction. Preclinical research strongly suggests an implication of G-protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) in nicotine addiction and alcohol use disorder. In humans, smoking is related to a global reduction in mGluR5 availability. In the present study, we investigated mGluR5 in vivo in patients with alcohol use disorder without the confounding effects of smoking. A total of 14 male subjects with alcohol use disorder and at least a 25-day abstinence and 14 matched male non-smoking healthy controls were included in the study. We employed positron emission tomography (PET) with the mGluR5-specific radiotracer [11C]ABP688, using a bolus/infusion protocol. We found increased mGluR5 DVR in several regions within the temporal lobe in patients, as compared to controls. The largest between-group difference was in the amygdala. There was a marked positive relation between mGluR5 DVR in the anterior cingulate and mGluR5 DVR in the orbitofrontal cortex in patients, but not in controls. In patients, lower temptation to drink was related to higher amygdala mGluR5 DVR. We did not find altered mGluR5 DVR in the basal ganglia of subjects recovering from alcohol use disorder. In conclusion, our study provides clinical evidence for altered mGluR5 signaling in the amygdala in alcohol use disorder. This alteration was associated with the temptation to drink. In addition, this study suggests abnormal mGluR5 signaling in a network underlying reward-related behavioral flexibility. These findings strengthen the case for pharmacological agents acting on mGluR5 as promising candidates for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.
The Lengenbach quarry is a world-famous mineral locality, especially known for its rare and well-crystallized Tl, Pb, Ag, and Cu bearing sulfosalts. As of June 2018, it is the type locality for 44 different mineral species, making it one of the most prolific localities worldwide. A total of 33 thallium mineral species have been identified, 23 of which are type minerals. A brief description of several thallium species of special interest follows a concise and general overview of the thallium mineralization.
Motivated by experimental studies on the effect of tensile and compressive strain or uniaxial pressure in the superconducting phase of the transition metal oxide Sr2RuO4, the pairing symmetry assuming the chiral p-wave superconducting state and the transport property are investigated theoretically by means of the self-consistent Bogoliubov-de Gennes approach. The uniaxial strain leads to the Fermi surface deformation. The topological properties are sensitive to the Fermi surface geometry induced by the strain and switch around the Lifshitz transition in the γ band. The temperature dependence of the thermal Hall conductivity is connected with the amplitude of the strain. While the topological number is reflected in the temperature linear contribution in the low-temperature limit of the thermal Hall conductivity, the deviation from this behavior depends on the pairing channel. Our result may enable us to provide information on the gap function of the chiral p-wave phase.
Forthcoming low-energy consumption oxide electronics rely on the deterministic control of ferroelectric and multiferroic domain states at the nanoscale. In this review, we address the recent progress in the field of investigation of ferroic order in thin films and heterostructures, with a focus on non-invasive optical second harmonic generation (SHG). For more than 50 years, SHG has served as an established technique for probing ferroic order in bulk materials. Here, we will survey the specific new aspects introduced to SHG investigation of ferroelectrics and multiferroics by working with thin film structures. We show how SHG can probe complex ferroic domain patterns non-invasively and even if the lateral domain size is below the optical resolution limit or buried beneath an otherwise impenetrable cap layer. We emphasize the potential of SHG to distinguish contributions from individual (multi-) ferroic films or interfaces buried in a device or multilayer architecture. Special attention is given to monitoring switching events in buried ferroic domain-and domain-wall distributions by SHG, thus opening new avenues towards the determination of the domain dynamics. Another aspect studied by SHG is the role of strain. We will finally show that by integrating SHG into the ongoing thin film deposition process, we can monitor the emergence of ferroic order and properties in situ, while they emerge during growth. Our review closes with an outlook, emphasizing the present underrepresentation of ferroic switching dynamics in the study of ferroic oxide heterostructures.