The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone-US$166 billion to 490 billion per year according to our estimation-is more than twice what it would cost to implement effective global conservation. This highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities.
We present results of the first large-scale interlaboratory study carried out in synthetic biology, as part of the 2014 and 2015 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competitions. Participants at 88 institutions around the world measured fluorescence from three engineered constitutive constructs in E. coli. Few participants were able to measure absolute fluorescence, so data was analyzed in terms of ratios. Precision was strongly related to fluorescent strength, ranging from 1.54-fold standard deviation for the ratio between strong promoters to 5.75-fold for the ratio between the strongest and weakest promoter, and while host strain did not affect expression ratios, choice of instrument did. This result shows that high quantitative precision and reproducibility of results is possible, while at the same time indicating areas needing improved laboratory practices.
Epidemiology and experimental studies provide an overwhelming support of the notion that diets high in red or processed meat accompany an elevated risk of developing pre-neoplastic colorectal adenoma and frank colorectal carcinoma (CRC). The underlying mechanisms are disputed; thus several hypotheses have been proposed. A large body of reports converges, however, on haem and nitrosyl haem as major contributors to the CRC development, presumably acting through various mechanisms. Apart from a potentially higher intestinal mutagenic load among consumers on a diet rich in red/processed meat, other mechanisms involving subtle interference with colorectal stem/progenitor cell survival or maturation are likewise at play. From an overarching perspective, suggested candidate mechanisms for red/processed meat-induced CRC appear as three partly overlapping tenets: i) increased N-nitrosation/oxidative load leading to DNA adducts and lipid peroxidation in the intestinal epithelium, ii) proliferative stimulation of the epithelium through haem or food-derived metabolites that either act directly or subsequent to conversion and iii) higher inflammatory response, which may trigger a wide cascade of pro-malignant processes. In this review we summarize and discuss major findings of the area in the context of potentially pertinent mechanisms underlying the above-mentioned association between consumption of red/processed meat and increased risk for CRC.
Tidal breathing flow volume (TBFV) profiles have been used to characterise altered lung function. Impedance pneumography (IP) is a novel option for assessing TBFV curves noninvasively. The aim of this study was to extend the application of IP for infants and to estimate the agreement between IP and direct pneumotachograph (PNT) measurements in assessing tidal airflow and flow-derived indices.Tidal flow profiles were recorded for 1 min simultaneously with PNT and uncalibrated IP at baseline in 44 symptomatic infants, and after methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction in a subgroup (n=20).The agreement expressed as the mean deviation from linearity ranged between 3.9 and 4.3% of tidal peak inspiratory flow, but was associated with specific airway conductance (p=0.002) and maximal flow at functional residual capacity (V'maxFRC) (p=0.004) at baseline. Acute bronchoconstriction induced by methacholine did not significantly affect the agreement of IP with PNT. TBFV indices derived from IP were slightly underestimated compared to PNT, but were equally well repeatable and associated with baseline V'maxFRC (p=0.012 and p=0.013, respectively).TBFV profiles were consistent between IP and PNT in most infants, but the agreement was affected by reduced lung function. TBFV parameters were not interchangeable between IP and PNT, but had a similar association with lung function in infants.
Recent research has demonstrated that all body fluids assessed contain substantial amounts of vesicles that range in size from 30 to 1000 nm and that are surrounded by phospholipid membranes containing different membrane microdomains such as lipid rafts and caveolae. The most prominent representatives of these so-called extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized exosomes (70-150 nm), which are derivatives of the endosomal system, and microvesicles (100-1000 nm), which are produced by outward budding of the plasma membrane. Nanosized EVs are released by almost all cell types and mediate targeted intercellular communication under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Containing cell-type-specific signatures, EVs have been proposed as biomarkers in a variety of diseases. Furthermore, according to their physical functions, EVs of selected cell types have been used as therapeutic agents in immune therapy, vaccination trials, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery. Undoubtedly, the rapidly emerging field of basic and applied EV research will significantly influence the biomedicinal landscape in the future. In this Perspective, we, a network of European scientists from clinical, academic, and industry settings collaborating through the H2020 European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) program European Network on Microvesicles and Exosomes in Health and Disease (ME-HAD), demonstrate the high potential of nanosized EVs for both diagnostic and therapeutic (i.e., theranostic) areas of nanomedicine.
Mercer, Jaron A M; Cohen, Carolyn M.; Shuken, Steven R.; Wagner, Anna M.; Smith, Myles W.; Moss, Frank R.; Smith, Matthew D.; Vahala, Riku; Gonzalez-Martinez, Alejandro; Boxer, Steven G.; Burns, Noah Z.
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Volume 138, Issue 49
Ladderane lipids produced by anammox bacteria constitute some of the most structurally fascinating yet poorly studied molecules among biological membrane lipids. Slow growth of the producing organism and the inherent difficulty of purifying complex lipid mixtures have prohibited isolation of useful amounts of natural ladderane lipids. We have devised a highly selective total synthesis of ladderane lipid tails and a full phosphatidylcholine to enable biophysical studies on chemically homogeneous samples of these molecules. Additionally, we report the first proof of absolute configuration of a natural ladderane.
Next-generation sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) was used to characterize water and biofilm microbiome collected from a drinking water distribution system of an office building after its first year of operation.
The total bacterial community (rDNA) and active bacterial members (rRNA) sequencing databases were generated by Illumina MiSeq PE250 platform. As estimated by Chao1 index, species richness in cold water system was lower (180-260) in biofilms (Sphingomonas spp., Methylobacterium spp., Limnohabitans spp., Rhizobiales order) than in waters (250-580), (also Methylotenera spp.) (P = 0.005, n = 20). Similarly species richness (Chao1) was slightly higher (210-580) in rDNA libraries compared to rRNA libraries (150-400; P = 0.054, n = 24). Active Mycobacterium spp. was found in cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) but not in corresponding copper pipeline biofilm. Non-pathogenic Legionella spp. was found in rDNA libraries but not in rRNA libraries.
Microbial communities differed between water and biofilms, between cold and hot water systems, locations in the building and between water rRNA and rDNA libraries, as shown by clear clusters in principal component analysis (PcoA). By using the rRNA method, we found that not all bacterial community members were active (e.g. Legionella spp.) while other members showed increased activity in some locations; e.g. Pseudomonas spp. in hot water circulations' biofilm and order Rhizobiales and Limnohabitans spp. in stagnated locations' water and biofilm.
rRNA-based methods may be better than rDNA-based methods for evaluating human health implications as rRNA methods can be used to describe the active bacterial fraction. This study indicates that copper as a pipeline material might have an adverse impact on the occurrence of Mycobacterium spp. The activity of Legionella spp. maybe questionable when detected solely by using DNA-based methods. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.