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Author: Christian Huber (216)


Feb
2018

Despite decades of accumulated knowledge about proteins and their post-translational modifications (PTMs), numerous questions remain regarding their molecular composition and biological function. One of the most fundamental queries is the extent to which the combinations of DNA-, RNA- and PTM-level variations explode the complexity of the human proteome. Here, we outline what we know from current databases and measurement strategies including mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

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Jan
2018

A long-standing question in Earth Science is the extent to which seismic and volcanic activity can be regulated by tidal stresses, a repeatable and predictable external excitation induced by the Moon-Sun gravitational force. Fortnightly tides, a ~14-day amplitude modulation of the daily tidal stresses that is associated to lunar cycles, have been suggested to affect volcano dynamics. However, previous studies found contradictory results and remain mostly inconclusive.

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Dec
2017

The macroscopic description of buoyancy-driven thermal convection in porous media is governed by advection-diffusion processes, which in the presence of thermophysical heterogeneities fail to predict the onset of thermal convection and the average rate of heat transfer. This work extends the classical model of heat transfer in porous media by including a fractional-order advective-dispersive term to account for the role of thermophysical heterogeneities in shifting the thermal instability point. The proposed fractional-order model overcomes limitations of the common closure approaches for the thermal dispersion term by replacing the diffusive assumption with a fractional-order model.

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Nov
2017

Detecting and quantifying post-translational modifications (PTMs) in full-length proteins is a challenge, especially in the case of spontaneously occurring, nonenzymatic PTMs. Such a PTM is the formation of succinimide (Snn) in a protein that occurs spontaneously in prone primary sequences and leads typically to an equilibrium between Snn and its hydrolysis products isoaspartate (isoAsp) and aspartate. In order to detect these modifications in proteins by NMR spectroscopy, chemical shift assignments of reference compounds are required.

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Oct
2017

The retention of contaminants in the finest and less-conductive regions of natural aquifer is known to strongly affect the decontamination of polluted aquifers. In fact, contaminant transfer from low to high mobility regions at the back end of a contaminant plume (i.e.

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Dec
2017

Aggressive behavior and violence in psychiatric patients have often been quoted to justify more restrictive settings in psychiatric facilities. However, the effects of open vs. locked door policies on aggressive incidents remain unclear.

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Aug
2017

Additive manufacturing of polymer-bonded magnets is a recently developed technique, for single-unit production, and for structures that have been impossible to manufacture previously. Also, new possibilities to create a specific stray field around the magnet are triggered. The current work presents a method to 3D print polymer-bonded magnets with a variable magnetic compound fraction distribution.

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Mar
2018

People suffering from schizophrenia-spectrum disorders often endorse a reduced quality of life (QoL) as compared to the general population. There appears to be a lack of studies for rural catchment areas for this patient population. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 94 people with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders in a mainly rural alpine area.

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Dec
1969

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a main target for complement activation in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a have been thought to mostly play a role as chemoattractants for macrophages and immune cells; here, we explore whether they trigger RPE alterations. Specifically, we investigated the RPE as a potential immunoregulatory gate, allowing for active changes in the RPE microenvironment in response to complement.

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Aug
2017

Oxidation of biopharmaceuticals may affect their bioactivity, serum half-life, and (bio)chemical stability. The Fc domain of IgG monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) contains two methionine residues which are susceptible to oxidation. Here, we present a middle-down approach employing the cysteine protease IdeS under reducing conditions to obtain three mAb subunits of approximately 25 kDa: Fc/2, Fd', and LC.

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Aug
2017

HPA axis functioning plays an important role in the etiology of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). However, only few studies have examined HPA axis responsivity to psychosocial stress in SSD, and results are heterogeneous. Furthermore, childhood trauma is known to influence psychopathology and treatment outcome in SSD, but studies on the influence of childhood trauma on stress related HPA axis activity are missing.

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Sep
2017

Oxybenzone (OBZ), a common ingredient in sunscreens and personal care products, has been frequently detected in effluents from municipal wastewater treatment plants and also in surface waters. OBZ is an emerging contaminant due to its adverse impacts on marine/aquatic ecosystems. To investigate the removal and degradation capacity of phytotreatment for OBZ, the common wetland plant species Cyperus alternifolius L.

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Sep
2017

There is only limited agreement with respect to location, directionality and functional implications of brain structural alterations observed in patients with schizophrenia. Additionally, their link to occurrence of psychotic symptoms remains unclear. A viable way of addressing these questions is to examine populations in an at-risk mental state (ARMS) before the transition to psychosis.

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Mar
2017

The present study investigates the role of thermal nonequilibrium on natural convection in a fluid-saturated porous medium heated from below. We conduct high-resolution direct numerical simulation at the pore scale in a two-dimensional regular porous structure by means of the thermal lattice-Boltzmann method (LBM). We perform a combination of linear stability analysis of continuum-scale heat transfer models, and pore-scale and continuum-scale simulations to study the role of thermal conductivity contrasts among phases on natural convection.

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Apr
2017

The distribution of fitness effects (DFE) of new mutations plays a fundamental role in evolutionary genetics. However, the extent to which the DFE differs across species has yet to be systematically investigated. Furthermore, the biological mechanisms determining the DFE in natural populations remain unclear.

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Apr
2017

To compare the ward atmosphere, safety, therapeutic hold, and patients' coherence on recently opened (1 year), opened (4 years) and open (> 20 years) psychiatric wards in a longitudinal naturalistic study design. The question was if a patient shift from formerly locked to open wards might deteriorate the ward atmosphere on the open and opened wards.
Ward atmosphere on two recently opened (n = 2), opened (n = 2) and open (n = 2) wards was examined using the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES) in a follow-up study after 4 years.

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Sep
2017

Although elderly people have many serious dental issues and are in need of prosthesis, few opt for dental implants. The aim of this study was to investigate barriers that prevent elderly people from receiving dental implants. Specifically, we examined (i) whether the message was delivered before or after the interview had an impact, and (ii) whether it did matter who delivered the message.

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Apr
2017

Perceptions of dangerousness are an influential component of mental health stigma and can be driven by the display of psychiatric symptoms and the use of psychiatric service institutions. Yet, no previous study compared symptoms and service use associated perceptions of dangerousness. Therefore, we conducted a representative survey (N = 2,207) in the canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland.

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Mar
2017

The objective is to investigate the relationship between psychopathology measured by the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) and concurrent global assessment of functioning (GAF) and subjective well-being under neuroleptics (SWN) in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) regarding severity of illness and disease phase. We analyzed a sample of 202 SSD patients consisting of first episode psychosis (FEP) and multiple episode psychosis (MEP) patients followed up to 12 months using linear mixed models. All PANSS syndromes except excitement were associated with GAF scores (positive syndrome: p < 0.

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Mar
2017

Cancer represents heterogeneous and aberrantly proliferative manifestations composed of (epi)genetically and phenotypically distinct cells with a common clonal origin. Cancer stem cells (CSC) make up a rare subpopulation with the remarkable capacity to initiate, propagate and spread a malignant disease. Furthermore, CSC show increased therapy resistance, thereby contributing to disease relapse.

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Dec
1969

Substance use treatment is often performed inside locked wards. We investigate the effects of adopting a policy of open-door treatment for a substance use treatment and dual diagnosis ward.
This is a prospective open-label study investigating 3-month study periods before opening (P1), immediately after (P2), and 1 year after the first period (P3).

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Apr
2017

This study explores ibuprofen (IBP) uptake and transformation in the wetland plant species Phragmites australis and the underlying mechanisms. We grew P. australis in perlite under greenhouse conditions and treated plants with 60 μg/L of IBP.

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Dec
1969

The distribution of fitness effects (DFE) has considerable importance in population genetics. To date, estimates of the DFE come from studies using a small number of individuals. Thus, estimates of the proportion of moderately to strongly deleterious new mutations may be unreliable because such variants are unlikely to be segregating in the data.

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Dec
1969

People who suffer from severe mental illness often present with histories of abuse during childhood. Alcohol use disorders is a common co-morbidity of survivors of childhood abuse and neglect. This study analyzes the effects of stressful childhood experiences, a proxy for trauma, on the frequency of alcohol consumption and the utilization of health care services in a population of people with severe mental illness.

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Jan
2017

An efficient algorithm for the reconstruction of the magnetization state within magnetic components is presented. The occurring inverse magnetostatic problem is solved by means of an adjoint approach, based on the Fredkin-Koehler method for the solution of the forward problem. Due to the use of hybrid FEM-BEM coupling combined with matrix compression techniques the resulting algorithm is well suited for large-scale problems.

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Feb
2017

An ongoing debate concerns acceptability, benefits, and shortcomings of coercive treatment such as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT). The hypothesis that involuntary commitment to outpatient treatment may lead to a better clinical outcome for a subgroup of persons with severe mental illness (SMI) is controversial. Nonetheless, positive effects of AOT may be mediated by an increased availability of healthcare resources or increased service use.

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Jun
2017

Background There is evidence for two different types and/or sources of mental illness stigma, namely the display of psychiatric symptoms and the use of psychiatric service institutions. However, no current study has compared the two. Furthermore, gaps exist in our knowledge of both types of stigma.

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Dec
1969

There is evidence that exposure to social stress plays a crucial role in the onset and relapse of schizophrenia; however, the reaction of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) to experimentally induced social stress is not yet fully understood.
Original research published between January 1993 and August 2015 was included in this systematic literature research. Social stress paradigms, reporting subjective responses to stress measures, plasma or saliva cortisol, or heart rate (HR) in patients with SSD were included.

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Dec
1969

The rapidly increasing number of engineered nanoparticles (NPs), and products containing NPs, raises concerns for human exposure and safety. With this increasing, and ever changing, catalogue of NPs it is becoming more difficult to adequately assess the toxic potential of new materials in a timely fashion. It is therefore important to develop methods which can provide high-throughput screening of biological responses.

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Dec
1969

Bacterial collagenases differ considerably in their structure and functions. The collagenases ColH and ColG from Clostridium histolyticum and ColA expressed by Clostridium perfringens are well-characterized collagenases that cleave triple-helical collagen, which were therefore termed as ´true´ collagenases. ColA from Bacillus cereus (B.

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Aug
2016

A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous.

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Aug
2016

Untargeted metabolomics aims at obtaining quantitative information on the highest possible number of low-molecular biomolecules present in a biological sample. Rather small changes in mass spectrometric spectrum acquisition parameters may have a significant influence on the detectabilities of metabolites in untargeted global-scale studies by means of high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). Employing whole cell lysates of human renal proximal tubule cells, we present a systematic global-scale study of the influence of mass spectrometric scan parameters and post-acquisition data treatment on the number and intensity of metabolites detectable in whole cell lysates.

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Dec
1969

Our study aimed to explore the effects of different types of adverse childhood experiences (e.g. domestic violence, early loss, parental dysfunction, sexual and physical abuse) as well as experiences of sexual and physical abuse in adulthood on dissociative symptoms in adult patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

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Dec
1969

SweepFinder is a widely used program that implements a powerful likelihood-based method for detecting recent positive selection, or selective sweeps. Here, we present SweepFinder2, an extension of SweepFinder with increased sensitivity and robustness to the confounding effects of mutation rate variation and background selection. Moreover, SweepFinder2 has increased flexibility that enables the user to specify test sites, set the distance between test sites and utilize a recombination map.

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Aug
2016

Plant cell wall polymers are synthesized by glycosyltransferases using nucleotide sugars as substrates. Most UDP-sugars are synthesized from UDP-glucose via de novo pathways but salvage pathways work in parallel to recycle sugars, which have been released during cell wall polymer and glycoprotein turnover. Here we report on the cloning and biochemical analysis of two arabinokinases in Arabidopsis.

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Dec
1969

Agitation, aggression, and violence are increased in psychotic disorders. Additionally, an earlier age at onset may be associated with aggressive behavior. However, the relationship of age at onset, an agitated-aggressive syndrome as measured with the Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale for Schizophrenia - Excited Component (PANSS-EC), and its potential correlates in first-episode psychosis (FEP) has not been studied.

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Mar
2016

Human pharmaceuticals and their residues are constantly detected in our waterbodies, due to poor elimination rates, even in the most advanced waste water treatment plants. Their impact on the environment and human health still remains unclear. When phytoremediation is applied to aid water treatment, plants may transform and degrade xenobiotic contaminants through phase I and phase II metabolism to more water soluble and less toxic intermediates.

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Apr
2016

Oxybenzone (OBZ), known as Benzophenone-3, is a commonly used UV filter in sun tans and skin protectants, entering aquatic systems either directly during recreational activities or indirectly through wastewater treatment plants discharge. To study the potential degradation capacity of plants for OBZ in phytotreatment, a well-established hairy root culture (Armoracia rusticana) was treated with OBZ. More than 20% of spiked OBZ (100μM) was eliminated from the medium by hairy roots after 3h of exposure.

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Aug
2016

Spouses of cancer patients play a crucial role in deciding on therapeutic choices. The aim of our study was to assess their role in counseling for radical prostatectomy.
We analyzed 30 videotaped preoperative consultations prior to radical prostatectomy.

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Nov
2015

Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are a popular choice for use in medical and biomedical research applications. With suitable functionalisation AuNPs can be applied in drug delivery systems, or can aid in disease diagnosis. One such functionalisation is with chitosan, which enables efficient interaction and permeation of cellular membranes, providing an effective adjuvant.

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Dec
2015

Heroin addiction is a severe relapsing brain disorder associated with impaired cognitive control, including deficits in attention allocation. The thalamus has a high density of opiate receptors and is critically involved in orchestrating cortical activity during cognitive control. However, there have been no studies on how acute heroin treatment modulates thalamic activity.

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Sep
2015

The characterization and absolute quantification of protein biopharmaceuticals and their product-related impurities, e.g., oxidation variants, is essential due to their potential impact on biological activity and immunogenicity.

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Jan
2016

A composite likelihood ratio test implemented in the program sweepfinder is a commonly used method for scanning a genome for recent selective sweeps. sweepfinder uses information on the spatial pattern (along the chromosome) of the site frequency spectrum around the selected locus. To avoid confounding effects of background selection and variation in the mutation process along the genome, the method is typically applied only to sites that are variable within species.

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Jul
2015

Untargeted metabolomics has the potential to improve the predictivity of in vitro toxicity models and therefore may aid the replacement of expensive and laborious animal models. Here we describe a long term repeat dose nephrotoxicity study conducted on the human renal proximal tubular epithelial cell line, RPTEC/TERT1, treated with 10 and 35 μmol·liter(-1) of chloroacetaldehyde, a metabolite of the anti-cancer drug ifosfamide. Our study outlines the establishment of an automated and easy to use untargeted metabolomics workflow for HPLC-high resolution mass spectrometry data.

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May
2016

Sinus augmentation is a standard procedure to increase vertical bone supply for dental implants in the atrophic posterior maxilla. Despite the longstanding application of this method, information about some basic factors that could potentially influence bone regeneration after sinus augmentation is rare. The objective of this study was therefore to quantify the impact of the maxillary region (premolar/molar) and patients' age and sex on bone regeneration after sinus grafting.

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Dec
2015

The present study was performed in an attempt to develop an in vitro integrated testing strategy (ITS) to evaluate drug-induced neurotoxicity. A number of endpoints were analyzed using two complementary brain cell culture models and an in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) model after single and repeated exposure treatments with selected drugs that covered the major biological, pharmacological and neuro-toxicological responses. Furthermore, four drugs (diazepam, cyclosporine A, chlorpromazine and amiodarone) were tested more in depth as representatives of different classes of neurotoxicants, inducing toxicity through different pathways of toxicity.

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