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See detailTowards global flood mapping onboard low cost satellites with machine learning
Mateo‑Garcia, Gonzalo; Veitch‑Michaelis, Joshua; Smith, Lewis et al

in Scientific Reports (2021), 11(7249 (2021)),

Spaceborne Earth observation is a key technology for flood response, offering valuable information to decision makers on the ground. Very large constellations of small, nano satellites— ’CubeSats’ are a ... [more ▼]

Spaceborne Earth observation is a key technology for flood response, offering valuable information to decision makers on the ground. Very large constellations of small, nano satellites— ’CubeSats’ are a promising solution to reduce revisit time in disaster areas from days to hours. However, data transmission to ground receivers is limited by constraints on power and bandwidth of CubeSats. Onboard processing offers a solution to decrease the amount of data to transmit by reducing large sensor images to smaller data products. The ESA’s recent PhiSat-1 mission aims to facilitate the demonstration of this concept, providing the hardware capability to perform onboard processing by including a power-constrained machine learning accelerator and the software to run custom applications. This work demonstrates a flood segmentation algorithm that produces flood masks to be transmitted instead of the raw images, while running efficiently on the accelerator aboard the PhiSat-1. Our models are trained on WorldFloods: a newly compiled dataset of 119 globally verified flooding events from disaster response organizations, which we make available in a common format. We test the system on independent locations, demonstrating that it produces fast and accurate segmentation masks on the hardware accelerator, acting as a proof of concept for this approach. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating worldwide effects of non‐pharmaceutical interventions on COVID‐19 incidence and population mobility patterns using a multiple‐event study
Askitas, Nikolaos; Tatsiramos, Konstantinos UL; Verheyden, Bertrand

in Scientific Reports (2021), 11(1972 (2021)), 1-13

Various non‐pharmaceutical interventions were adopted by countries worldwide in the fight against the COVID‐19 pandemic with adverse socioeconomic side effects, which raises the question about their ... [more ▼]

Various non‐pharmaceutical interventions were adopted by countries worldwide in the fight against the COVID‐19 pandemic with adverse socioeconomic side effects, which raises the question about their differential effectiveness. We estimate the average dynamic effect of each intervention on the incidence of COVID‐19 and on people’s whereabouts by developing a statistical model that accounts for the contemporaneous adoption of multiple interventions. Using daily data from 175 countries, we show that, even after controlling for other concurrent lockdown policies, cancelling public events, imposing restrictions on private gatherings and closing schools and workplaces had significant effects on reducing COVID‐19 infections. Restrictions on internal movement and public transport had no effects because the aforementioned policies, imposed earlier on average, had already de facto reduced human mobility. International travel restrictions, although imposed early, had a short‐lived effect failing to prevent the epidemic from turning into a pandemic because they were less stringent. We interpret the impact of each intervention on containing the pandemic using a conceptual framework which relies on their effects on human mobility behaviors in a manner consistent with time‐use and epidemiological factors. [less ▲]

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See detailPINK1 deficiency impairs adult neurogenesis of dopaminergic neurons
Brown, Sarah J; Boussaad, Ibrahim UL; Jarazo, Javier UL et al

in Scientific Reports (2021)

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See detailGene expression profile of CD14+ blood monocytes following lifestyle-induced weight loss in individuals with metabolic syndrome.
Noor, Fozia UL; Biemann, Ronald; Roomp, Kirsten UL et al

in Scientific Reports (2020), 10(1), 17855

Lifestyle-induced weight loss is regarded as an efficient therapy to reverse metabolic syndrome (MetS) and to prevent disease progression. The objective of this study was to investigate whether lifestyle ... [more ▼]

Lifestyle-induced weight loss is regarded as an efficient therapy to reverse metabolic syndrome (MetS) and to prevent disease progression. The objective of this study was to investigate whether lifestyle-induced weight loss modulates gene expression in circulating monocytes. We analyzed and compared gene expression in monocytes (CD14+ cells) and subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies by unbiased mRNA profiling. Samples were obtained before and after diet-induced weight loss in well-defined male individuals in a prospective controlled clinical trial (ICTRP Trial Number: U1111-1158-3672). The BMI declined significantly (- 12.6%) in the treatment arm (N = 39) during the 6-month weight loss intervention. This was associated with a significant reduction in hsCRP (- 45.84%) and circulating CD14+ cells (- 21.0%). Four genes were differentially expressed (DEG's) in CD14+ cells following weight loss (ZRANB1, RNF25, RB1CC1 and KMT2C). Comparative analyses of paired CD14+ monocytes and subcutaneous adipose tissue samples before and after weight loss did not identify common genes differentially regulated in both sample types. Lifestyle-induced weight loss is associated with specific changes in gene expression in circulating CD14+ monocytes, which may affect ubiquitination, histone methylation and autophagy [less ▲]

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See detailHaploinsufficiency due to a novel ACO2 deletion causes mitochondrial dysfunction in fibroblasts from a patient with dominant optic nerve atrophy
Neumann, Marie Anne-Catherine UL; Grossmann, Dajana UL; Schimpf-Linzenbold, Simone et al

in Scientific Reports (2020)

ACO2 is a mitochondrial protein, which is critically involved in the function of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), the maintenance of iron homeostasis, oxidative stress defense and the integrity of ... [more ▼]

ACO2 is a mitochondrial protein, which is critically involved in the function of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), the maintenance of iron homeostasis, oxidative stress defense and the integrity of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mutations in the ACO2 gene were identified in patients suffering from a broad range of symptoms, including optic nerve atrophy, cortical atrophy, cerebellar atrophy, hypotonia, seizures and intellectual disabilities. In the present study, we identified a heterozygous 51 bp deletion (c.1699_1749del51) in ACO2 in a family with autosomal dominant inherited isolated optic atrophy. A complementation assay using aco1-deficient yeast revealed a growth defect for the mutant ACO2 variant substantiating a pathogenic effect of the deletion. We used patient-derived fibroblasts to characterize cellular phenotypes and found a decrease of ACO2 protein levels, while ACO2 enzyme activity was not affected compared to two age- and gender-matched control lines. Several parameters of mitochondrial function, including mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial membrane potential or mitochondrial superoxide production, were not changed under baseline conditions. However, basal respiration, maximal respiration, and spare respiratory capacity were reduced in mutant cells. Furthermore, we observed a reduction of mtDNA copy number and reduced mtDNA transcription levels in ACO2-mutant fibroblasts. Inducing oxidative stress led to an increased susceptibility for cell death in ACO2-mutant fibroblasts compared to controls. Our study reveals that a monoallelic mutation in ACO2 is sufficient to promote mitochondrial dysfunction and increased vulnerability to oxidative stress as main drivers of cell death related to optic nerve atrophy. [less ▲]

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See detailFibroblast mitochondria in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease display morphological changes and enhanced resistance to depolarization
Krüger, Rejko UL; Balling, Rudolf UL; Antony, Paul UL et al

in Scientific Reports (2020)

Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). Here, we established screenable phenotypes of mitochondrial morphology and function in primary fibroblasts derived from ... [more ▼]

Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). Here, we established screenable phenotypes of mitochondrial morphology and function in primary fibroblasts derived from patients with IPD. Upper arm punch skin biopsy was performed in 41 patients with mid-stage IPD and 21 age-matched healthy controls. At the single-cell level, the basal mitochondrial membrane potential (Ψm) was higher in patients with IPD than in controls. Similarly, under carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP) stress, the remaining Ψm was increased in patients with IPD. Analysis of mitochondrial morphometric parameters revealed significantly decreased mitochondrial connectivity in patients with IPD, with 9 of 14 morphometric mitochondrial parameters differing from those in controls. Significant morphometric mitochondrial changes included the node degree, mean volume, skeleton size, perimeter, form factor, node count, erosion body count, endpoints, and mitochondria count (all P-values < 0.05). These functional data reveal that resistance to depolarization was increased by treatment with the protonophore FCCP in patients with IPD, whereas morphometric data revealed decreased mitochondrial connectivity and increased mitochondrial fragmentation. [less ▲]

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See detailA robust electrophysiological marker of spontaneous numerical discrimination
Georges, Carrie UL; Guillaume, Mathieu; Schiltz, Christine UL

in Scientific Reports (2020)

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See detailAn efficient machine learning-based approach for screening individuals at risk of hereditary haemochromatosis.
Martins Conde, Patricia UL; Sauter, Thomas UL; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong UL

in Scientific reports (2020), 10(1), 20613

Hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) is an autosomal recessive disease, where HFE C282Y homozygosity accounts for 80-85% of clinical cases among the Caucasian population. HH is characterised by the ... [more ▼]

Hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) is an autosomal recessive disease, where HFE C282Y homozygosity accounts for 80-85% of clinical cases among the Caucasian population. HH is characterised by the accumulation of iron, which, if untreated, can lead to the development of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Since iron overload is preventable and treatable if diagnosed early, high-risk individuals can be identified through effective screening employing artificial intelligence-based approaches. However, such tools expose novel challenges associated with the handling and integration of large heterogeneous datasets. We have developed an efficient computational model to screen individuals for HH using the family study data of the Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) cohort. This dataset, consisting of 254 cases and 701 controls, contains variables extracted from questionnaires and laboratory blood tests. The final model was trained on an extreme gradient boosting classifier using the most relevant risk factors: HFE C282Y homozygosity, age, mean corpuscular volume, iron level, serum ferritin level, transferrin saturation, and unsaturated iron-binding capacity. Hyperparameter optimisation was carried out with multiple runs, resulting in 0.94 ± 0.02 area under the receiving operating characteristic curve (AUCROC) for tenfold stratified cross-validation, demonstrating its outperformance when compared to the iron overload screening (IRON) tool. [less ▲]

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See detailAutomated high-throughput high-content autophagy and mitophagy analysis platform
Arias, Jonathan UL; Jarazo, Javier UL; Walter, Jonas UL et al

in Scientific Reports (2019)

Autophagic processes play a central role in cellular homeostasis. In pathological conditions, the flow of autophagy can be affected at multiple and distinct steps of the pathway. Current analyses tools do ... [more ▼]

Autophagic processes play a central role in cellular homeostasis. In pathological conditions, the flow of autophagy can be affected at multiple and distinct steps of the pathway. Current analyses tools do not deliver the required detail for dissecting pathway intermediates. The development of new tools to analyze autophagic processes qualitatively and quantitatively in a more straightforward manner is required. Defining all autophagy pathway intermediates in a high-throughput manner is technologically challenging and has not been addressed yet. Here, we overcome those requirements and limitations by the developed of stable autophagy and mitophagy reporter-iPSC and the establishment of a novel high-throughput phenotyping platform utilizing automated high-content image analysis to assess autophagy and mitophagy pathway intermediates. [less ▲]

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See detailBulk and surface recombination properties in thin film semiconductors with different surface treatments from timeresolved photoluminescence measurements
Weiss, Thomas UL; Bissig, Benjamin; Feurer, Thomas et al

in Scientific Reports (2019), 9

The knowledge of minority carrier lifetime of a semiconductor is important for the assessment of its quality and design of electronic devices. Time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) measurements offer the ... [more ▼]

The knowledge of minority carrier lifetime of a semiconductor is important for the assessment of its quality and design of electronic devices. Time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) measurements offer the possibility to extract effective lifetimes in the nanosecond range. However, it is difficult to discriminate between surface and bulk recombination and consequently the bulk properties of the semiconductor cannot be estimated reliably. Here we present an approach to constrain systematically the bulk and surface recombination parameters in semiconducting layers and reduces to finding the roots of a mathematical function. This method disentangles the bulk and surface recombination based on TRPL decay times of samples with different surface preparations. The technique is exemplarily applied to a CuInSe2 and a back-graded Cu(In,Ga)Se2 compound semiconductor, and upper and lower bounds for the recombination parameters and the mobility are obtained. Sets of calculated parameters are extracted and used as input for simulations of photoluminescence transients, yielding a good match to experimental data and validating the effectiveness of the methodology. A script for the simulation of TRPL transients is provided. [less ▲]

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See detailCross-disease analysis of Alzheimer’s disease and type-2 Diabetes highlights the role of autophagy in the pathophysiology of two highly comorbid diseases
Caberlotto, Laura; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong UL; Lauria, Mario et al

in Scientific Reports (2019), 9(1), 3965

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See detailMicrobiota alter metabolism and mediate neurodevelopmental toxicity of 17β-estradiol
Catron, Tara R.; Swank, Adam; Wehmas, Leah C. et al

in Scientific Reports (2019), 9(1), 7064

Estrogenic chemicals are widespread environmental contaminants associated with diverse health and ecological effects. During early vertebrate development, estrogen receptor signaling is critical for many ... [more ▼]

Estrogenic chemicals are widespread environmental contaminants associated with diverse health and ecological effects. During early vertebrate development, estrogen receptor signaling is critical for many different physiologic responses, including nervous system function. Recently, host-associated microbiota have been shown to influence neurodevelopment. Here, we hypothesized that microbiota may biotransform exogenous 17-βestradiol (E2) and modify E2 effects on swimming behavior. Colonized zebrafish were continuously exposed to non-teratogenic E2 concentrations from 1 to 10 days post-fertilization (dpf). Changes in microbial composition and predicted metagenomic function were evaluated. Locomotor activity was assessed in colonized and axenic (microbe-free) zebrafish exposed to E2 using a standard light/dark behavioral assay. Zebrafish tissue was collected for chemistry analyses. While E2 exposure did not alter microbial composition or putative function, colonized E2-exposed larvae showed reduced locomotor activity in the light, in contrast to axenic E2-exposed larvae, which exhibited normal behavior. Measured E2 concentrations were significantly higher in axenic relative to colonized zebrafish. Integrated peak area for putative sulfonated and glucuronidated E2 metabolites showed a similar trend. These data demonstrate that E2 locomotor effects in the light phase are dependent on the presence of microbiota and suggest that microbiota influence chemical E2 toxicokinetics. More broadly, this work supports the concept that microbial colonization status may influence chemical toxicity. [less ▲]

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See detailA new class of protein biomarkers based on subcellular distribution: application to a mouse liver cancer model.
Sajic, Tatjana; Ciuffa, Rodolfo; Lemos, Vera et al

in Scientific reports (2019), 9(1), 6913

To-date, most proteomic studies aimed at discovering tissue-based cancer biomarkers have compared the quantity of selected proteins between case and control groups. However, proteins generally function in ... [more ▼]

To-date, most proteomic studies aimed at discovering tissue-based cancer biomarkers have compared the quantity of selected proteins between case and control groups. However, proteins generally function in association with other proteins to form modules localized in particular subcellular compartments in specialized cell types and tissues. Sub-cellular mislocalization of proteins has in fact been detected as a key feature in a variety of cancer cells. Here, we describe a strategy for tissue-biomarker detection based on a mitochondrial fold enrichment (mtFE) score, which is sensitive to protein abundance changes as well as changes in subcellular distribution between mitochondria and cytosol. The mtFE score integrates protein abundance data from total cellular lysates and mitochondria-enriched fractions, and provides novel information for the classification of cancer samples that is not necessarily apparent from conventional abundance measurements alone. We apply this new strategy to a panel of wild-type and mutant mice with a liver-specific gene deletion of Liver receptor homolog 1 (Lrh-1(hep-/-)), with both lines containing control individuals as well as individuals with liver cancer induced by diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Lrh-1 gene deletion attenuates cancer cell metabolism in hepatocytes through mitochondrial glutamine processing. We show that proteome changes based on mtFE scores outperform protein abundance measurements in discriminating DEN-induced liver cancer from healthy liver tissue, and are uniquely robust against genetic perturbation. We validate the capacity of selected proteins with informative mtFE scores to indicate hepatic malignant changes in two independent mouse models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), thus demonstrating the robustness of this new approach to biomarker research. Overall, the method provides a novel, sensitive approach to cancer biomarker discovery that considers contextual information of tested proteins. [less ▲]

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See detailTunable magnetoplasmonics in lattices of Ni/SiO2/Au dimers
Pourjamal, Sara; Kataja, Mikko; Maccaferri, Nicolò UL et al

in Scientific Reports (2019), 9

We present a systematic study on the optical and magneto-optical properties of Ni/SiO2/Au dimer lattices. By consideringthe excitation of orthogonal dipoles in the Ni and Au nanodisks, we analytically ... [more ▼]

We present a systematic study on the optical and magneto-optical properties of Ni/SiO2/Au dimer lattices. By consideringthe excitation of orthogonal dipoles in the Ni and Au nanodisks, we analytically demonstrate that the magnetoplasmonicresponse of dimer lattices is governed by a complex interplay of near- and far-field interactions. Near-field coupling betweendipoles in Ni and low-loss Au enhances the polarizabilty of single dimers compared to that of isolated Ni nanodisks. Far-fielddiffractive coupling in periodic lattices of these two particle types enlarges the difference in effective polarizability further.This effect is explained by an inverse relationship between the damping of collective surface lattice resonances and theimaginary polarizability of individual scatterers. Optical reflectance measurements, magneto-optical Kerr effect spectra, andfinite-difference time-domain simulations confirm the analytical results. Hybrid dimer arrays supporting intense plasmonexcitations are a promising candidate for active magnetoplasmonic devices. [less ▲]

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See detailMitochondrial morphology provides a mechanism for energy buffering at synapses.
Garcia, Guadalupe Clara UL; Bartol, Thomas M.; Phan, Sébastien et al

in Scientific reports (2019), 9

Mitochondria as the main energy suppliers of eukaryotic cells are highly dynamic organelles that fuse, divide and are transported along the cytoskeleton to ensure cellular energy homeostasis. While these ... [more ▼]

Mitochondria as the main energy suppliers of eukaryotic cells are highly dynamic organelles that fuse, divide and are transported along the cytoskeleton to ensure cellular energy homeostasis. While these processes are well established, substantial evidence indicates that the internal structure is also highly variable in dependence on metabolic conditions. However, a quantitative mechanistic understanding of how mitochondrial morphology affects energetic states is still elusive. To address this question, we here present an agent-based multiscale model that integrates three-dimensional morphologies from electron microscopy tomography with the molecular dynamics of the main ATP producing components. We apply our modeling approach to mitochondria at the synapse which is the largest energy consumer within the brain. Interestingly, comparing the spatiotemporal simulations with a corresponding space-independent approach, we find minor spatial effects when the system relaxes toward equilibrium but a qualitative difference in fluctuating environments. These results suggest that internal mitochondrial morphology is not only optimized for ATP production but also provides a mechanism for energy buffering and may represent a mechanism for cellular robustness. IM [less ▲]

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See detailEmotion-related impulsivity moderates the cognitive interference effect of smartphone availability on working memory.
Canale, Natale; Vieno, Alessio; Doro, Mattia et al

in Scientific reports (2019), 9(1), 18519

Although recent studies suggest that the mere presence of a smartphone might negatively impact on working memory capacity, fluid intelligence, and attentional processes, less is known about the individual ... [more ▼]

Although recent studies suggest that the mere presence of a smartphone might negatively impact on working memory capacity, fluid intelligence, and attentional processes, less is known about the individual differences that are liable to moderate this cognitive interference effect. This study tested whether individual differences in emotion-related impulsivity traits (positive urgency and negative urgency) moderate the effect of smartphone availability on cognitive performance. We designed an experiment in which 132 college students (age 18-25 years) completed a laboratory task that assessed visual working memory capacity in three different conditions: two conditions differing in terms of smartphone availability (smartphone turned off and visible, smartphone in silent mode and visible) and a condition in which the smartphone was not available and was replaced by a calculator (control condition). Participants also completed self-reports that assessed their thoughts after the task performance, positive/negative urgency, and problematic smartphone use. The results showed that participants with higher positive urgency presented increased cognitive interference (reflected by poorer task performance) in the "silent-mode smartphone" condition compared with participants in the "turned-off smartphone" condition. The present study provides new insights into the psychological factors that explain how smartphone availability is liable to interfere with high-level cognitive processes. [less ▲]

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