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Charles University in Prague is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348, it was the first university in Central Europe, east of France and north of the Alps. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe in continuous operation and ranks in the upper 1.5 percent of the world’s best universities.Its seal shows its protector Emperor Charles IV, with his coats of arms as King of the Romans and King of Bohemia, kneeling in front of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. It is surrounded by the inscription, Sigillum Universitatis Scolarium Studii Pragensis . Wikipedia.

Stefanics G.,ETH Zurich | Stefanics G.,University of Zurich | Kremlacek J.,Charles University | Czigler I.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2014

An increasing number of studies investigate the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) or use the vMMN as a tool to probe various aspects of human cognition. This paper reviews the theoretical underpinnings of vMMN in the light of methodological considerations and provides recommendations for measuring and interpreting the vMMN. The following key issues are discussed from the experimentalist's point of view in a predictive coding framework: (1) experimental protocols and procedures to control “refractoriness” effects; (2) methods to control attention; (3) vMMN and veridical perception. © 2014 Stefanics, Kremláček and Czigler.

Bartak R.,Charles University
ICAART 2012 - Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence | Year: 2012

Workflow is a formal description of a process or processes. There exist tools for interactive and visual editing of workflows such as the FlowOpt Workflow Editor. During manual editing of workflows, it is common to introduce flaws such as cycles of activities. Hence one of the required features of workflow management tools is verification of workflows, which is a problem of deciding whether the workflow describes processes that can be realized in practice. In this paper we deal with the theoretical complexity of verifying workflows with a nested structure and with extra constraints. The nested structure forces users to create valid workflows but as we shall show, introduction of extra causal, precedence, and temporal synchronization constraints makes the problem of deciding whether the workflow represents a realizable process hard. In particular, we will show that this problem is NP-complete.

Urbanek P.,Charles University
Kidney and Blood Pressure Research | Year: 2012

Within the last few decades, the incidence and prevalence of both hepatitis B and C infections have decreased among kidney disease patients. Significant advances have been made in the prevention of hepatitis B and C virus transmission in these high-risk populations; however, the transmission risk is still not negligible. Viral hepatitis infections represent a significant problem among kidney disease patients; patients on regular dialysis, as well as renal transplant recipients (RTRs) due to their epidemiological, virological, and clinical features. Chronic hepatitis B and C have a strong impact on the clinical course of kidney disease as well as on the clinical course after kidney transplantation. The purpose of this review is to focus on the epidemiology, transmission modes, natural courses, and treatment options of hepatitis B and C infections in both chronic kidney disease patients and RTRs. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Valenta J.,Charles University | Bruhn B.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Linnros J.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Nano Letters | Year: 2011

Single silicon nanowires (Si-NWs) prepared by electron-beam lithography and reactive-ion etching are investigated by imaging optical spectroscopy under variable temperatures and laser pumping intensities. Spectral images of individual Si-NWs reveal a large variability of photoluminescence (PL) along a single Si-NW. The weaker broad emission band asymmetrically extended to the high-energy side is interpreted to be due to recombination of quasi-free 1D excitons while the brighter localized emission features (with significantly variable peak position, width, and shape) are due to localization of electron-hole pairs in surface protrusions acting like quasi-0D centers or quantum dots (QDs). Correlated PL and scanning electron microscopy images indicate that the efficiently emitting QDs are located at the Si-NW interface with completely oxidized neck of the initial Si wall. Theoretical fitting of the delocalized PL emission band explains its broad asymmetrical band to be due to the Gaussian size distribution of the Si-NW diameter and reveals also the presence of recombination from the Si-NW excited state which can facilitate a fast capture of excitons into QD centers. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Hadrava P.,Czech Republic Astronomical Institute | Cechura J.,Czech Republic Astronomical Institute | Cechura J.,Charles University
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Aims. We investigate the anisotropy of stellar winds in binaries to improve the models of accretion in high-mass X-ray binaries. Methods. We model numerically the stellar wind from a supergiant component of a binary in radial and three-dimensional radiation hydrodynamic approximation taking into account the Roche potential, Coriolis force, and radiative pressure in the continuum and spectral lines. Results. The Coriolis force influences substantially the mass loss and thus also the accretion rate. The focusing of the stellar wind by the gravitational field of the compact companion leads to the formation of a gaseous tail behind the companion. © 2012 ESO.

Ouda L.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Druga R.,Charles University | Syka J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Brain Structure and Function | Year: 2012

SMI-32 antibody recognizes a non-phosphorylated epitope of neurofilament proteins, which are thought to be necessary for the maintenance of large neurons with highly myelinated processes. We investigated the distribution and quantity of SMI-32-immunoreactive(-ir) neurons in individual parts of the rat auditory system. SMI-32-ir neurons were present in all auditory structures; however, in most regions they constituted only a minority of all neurons (10-30%). In the cochlear nuclei, a higher occurrence of SMI-32-ir neurons was found in the ventral cochlear nucleus. Within the superior olivary complex, SMI-32-ir cells were particularly abundant in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB), the only auditory region where SMI-32-ir neurons constituted an absolute majority of all neurons. In the inferior colliculus, a region with the highest total number of neurons among the rat auditory subcortical structures, the percentage of SMI-32-ir cells was, in contrast to the MNTB, very low. In the medial geniculate body, SMI-32-ir neurons were prevalent in the ventral division. At the cortical level, SMI-32-ir neurons were found mainly in layers III, V and VI. Within the auditory cortex, it was possible to distinguish the Te1, Te2 and Te3 areas on the basis of the variable numerical density and volumes of SMI-32-ir neurons, especially when the pyramidal cells of layer V were taken into account. SMI-32-ir neurons apparently form a representative subpopulation of neurons in all parts of the rat central auditory system and may belong to both the inhibitory and excitatory systems, depending on the particular brain region. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Tyrosine hydroxylase deficiency manifests mainly in early childhood and includes two clinical phenotypes: an infantile progressive hypokinetic-rigid syndrome with dystonia (type A) and a neonatal complex encephalopathy (type B). The biochemical diagnostics is exclusively based on the quantitative determination of the neurotransmitters or their metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The implementation of neurotransmitter analysis in clinical praxis is necessary for early diagnosis and adequate treatment. Neurotransmitter metabolites in CSF were analyzed in 82 children (at the age 1 month to 17 years) with clinical suspicion for neurometabolic disorders using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection. The CSF level of homovanillic acid (HVA) was markedly decreased in three children (64, 79 and 94 nmol/l) in comparison to age related controls (lower limit 218-450 nmol/l). Neurological findings including severe psychomotor retardation, quadruspasticity and microcephaly accompanied with marked dystonia, excessive sweating in the first patient was compatible with the diagnosis of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) deficiency (type B) and subsequent molecular analysis revealed two novel heterozygous mutations c.636A>C and c.1124G>C in the TH gene. The treatment with L-DOPA/carbidopa resulted in the improvement of dystonia. Magnetic resonance imaging studies in two other patients with microcephaly revealed postischaemic brain damage, therefore secondary HVA deficit was considered in these children. Diagnostic work-up in patients with neurometabolic disorders should include analysis of neurotransmitter metabolites in CSF.

Neumann F.-J.,Heart Center Bad Krozingen | Widimsky P.,Charles University | Belardi J.A.,Instituto Cardiovascular Of Buenos Aires
EuroIntervention | Year: 2012

Aims: To provide clinical outcome data from everyday practice for the new generation Resolute zotarolimuseluting stent (R-ZES). Methods and results: Patients were eligible if placement of ≥1 R-ZES was intended. There were no restrictions on clinical indication, number of treated vessels, and lesion characteristics. The primary endpoint was the adjudicated cumulative 1-year incidence of cardiac death and target vessel myocardial infarction. Twenty-five per cent of the patients were randomly selected for monitoring. We recruited 2,349 patients with 3,147 lesions (1.6±1.0 stents per patient); 46.0% of patients had acute coronary syndrome, 30.5% were diabetic, and ≥1 complex criterion for stent placement was present in 67.5% of patients. One-year follow-up was complete in 97.9% of patients. The 1-year incidence of the primary endpoint was 4.3% (95% CI: 3.5% to 5.2%) and for ARC definite and probable stent thrombosis, 0.9% (0.5% to 1.3%). Clinically driven target lesion revascularisation and target lesion failure were 3.4% (2.7% to 4.3%) and 7.0% (6.0% to 8.2%), respectively. These findings were consistent across all lesion and patient subsets analysed. There were no significant differences in outcomes between monitored and unmonitored patients. Conclusions: In everyday practice, the R-ZES performed similarly well as in the RESOLUTE All Comers randomised trial. © Europa Edition 2012. All rights reserved.

Sykora J.,Charles University
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVES:: Abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders in children include functional dyspepsia, functional abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal migraine. We aimed to evaluate a possible association between functional abdominal pain disorders and Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) infection as well as faecal calprotectin level. METHODS:: Prospective observational study including consecutive children with functional gastrointestinal disorders fulfilling Rome III criteria (cases) and age/gender-matched healthy controls. H.pylori has been detected by biopsy-based tests and stool-antigen detection, faecal calprotectin by ELISA. RESULTS:: A total of 56 cases (27 with functional dyspepsia) and 56 controls were enrolled. H. pylori being detected in 17/56 cases (30.4%) and 4/56 controls (7.1%, OR: 5.7; 95% CI:1.8–18.2, p?=?0.003). H. pylori was detected significantly more frequently in cases with functional dyspepsia (14/27, 51.9% OR: 14.0; 95% CI: 3.9–49.7, p?=?0.00001) than in controls and not in cases with other well-recognized functional gastrointestinal complaints (3/29, 10.3%). The median faecal calprotectin level was similar in cases (7,8ug/g, 95% CI: 7.8–8.4) including those with gastritis, and controls (9.1?ug/g, 95% CI: 7.8–11.3). Gastritis features were more frequent in H.pylori infected and non-infected cases with functional dyspepsia (27/27,100%) than in cases with other abdominal functional complaints (15/29, 51.7%, p?=?0.007). CONCLUSION:: H.pylori gastritis and non-infectious gastritis were associated with functional dyspepsia in children referred for abdominal-pain related functional gastrointestinal disorders while faecal calprotectin is not a predictor of gastritis and is similar in children with functional abdominal pain symptoms and in controls. © 2016 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

Gold R.,Ruhr University Bochum | Giovannoni G.,Queen Mary, University of London | Selmaj K.,Medical University of Lodz | Havrdova E.,Charles University | And 8 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Background Daclizumab, a humanised monoclonal antibody, modulates i nterleukin-2 signalling by blocking the ? subunit (CD25) of the interleukin-2 receptor. We assessed whether daclizumab high-yield process (HYP) would be Effective when given as monotherapy for a 1 year treatment period in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Methods We did a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at 76 centres in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UK between Feb 15, 2008, and May 14, 2010. Patients aged 18-55 years with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis were randomly assigned (1:1:1), via a central interactive voice response system, to subcutaneous injections of daclizumab HYP 150 mg or 300 mg, or placebo, every 4 weeks for 52 weeks. Patients and study personnel were masked to treatment assignment, except for the site pharmacist who prepared the study drug for injection, but had no interaction with the patient. The primary endpoint was annualized relapse rate. Analysis was by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00390221. Findings 204 patients were assigned to receive placebo, 208 to daclizumab HYP 150 mg, and 209 to daclizumab HYP 300 mg, of whom 188 (92%), 192 (92%), and 197 (94%), respectively, completed follow-up to week 52. The annualized relapse rate was lower for patients given daclizumab HYP 150 mg (021, 95% CI 016-029; 54% reduction, 95% CI 33-68%; p<00001) or 300 mg (023, 017-031, 50% reduction, 28-65%; p=000015) than for those given placebo (046, 037-057). More patients were relapse free in the daclizumab HYP 150 mg (81%) and 300 mg (80%) groups than in the placebo group (64%; p<00001 in the 150 mg group and p=00003 in the 300 mg group). 12 (6%) patients in the placebo group, 15 (7%) of those in the daclizumab 150 mg group, and 19 (9%) in the 300 mg group had serious adverse events excluding multiple sclerosis relapse. One patient given daclizumab HYP 150 mg who was recovering from a serious rash died because of local complication of a psoas abscess. Interpretation Subcutaneous daclizumab HYP administered every 4 weeks led to clinically important Effects on multiple sclerosis disease activity during 1 year of treatment. Our fi ndings support the potential for daclizumab HYP to offer an additional treatment option for relapsing-remitting disease.

Stetkarova I.,Charles University | Kofler M.,Hochzirl Hospital
Clinical Neurophysiology | Year: 2013

Objective: The cutaneous silent period (SP) is a spinal inhibitory reflex, which suppresses activity in spinal motor nuclei. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) elicits a cortical SP, which represents GABAB receptor-mediated inhibition of cortical excitability. Baclofen as a strong GABAB agonist effectively reduces muscle hypertonia, however, it is not known whether intrathecal baclofen (ITB) may modulate spinal inhibitory circuits. Methods: We evaluated clinical and neurophysiological effects of ITB in ten patients with severe spasticity due to spinal cord injury (n=9) and chronic progressive multiple sclerosis (n=1). Neurophysiological assessment included H reflex and cutaneous and cortical SPs, before and 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180. min after ITB bolus administration. Results: ITB suppressed soleus H reflex as early as 15. min after lumbar bolus injection; MAS scores declined after 1. h. Cortical SP end latency and duration increased progressively with a significant maximum 3. h following ITB bolus, whereas cutaneous SP latency and duration did not change significantly. Conclusion: The present findings suggest that baclofen does not affect the cutaneous SP, but prolongs the cortical SP. Significance: The spinal inhibitory circuitry of the cutaneous SP is not modulated by GABAB receptor-mediated activity, in contrast to the cortical inhibitory circuitry of the cortical SP, which is subject to powerful GABAB control. © 2012 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Reischig T.,Charles University
Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy | Year: 2010

The adverse impact of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection after solid organ transplantion is currently believed to be mediated primarily by its immunomodulatory effects. There is a large body of evidence showing that both CMV disease and asymptomatic viremia are independent risk factors for the development of allograft rejection. The aim of this article is to summarize mechanisms whereby CMV is involved in the development and progression of allograft rejection, with particular emphasis on renal transplant recipients. The article will also address the potential of anti-CMV preventive protocols designed to favorably affect the incidence of allograft rejection. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.

Salac T.,Charles University
Complex Analysis and Operator Theory | Year: 2013

In this paper we construct particular differential operators which are invariant with respect to the canonical action of the principal group of a particular type of parabolic geometry. These operators form sequences which are related to the minimal resolutions of the {Mathematical expression}-Dirac operator studied in Clifford analysis. © 2013 Springer Basel.

Punctuational theories of evolution suggest that adaptive evolution proceeds mostly, or even entirely, in the distinct periods of existence of a particular species. The mechanisms of this punctuated nature of evolution suggested by the various theories differ. Therefore the predictions of particular theories concerning various evolutionary phenomena also differ.Punctuational theories can be subdivided into five classes, which differ in their mechanism and their evolutionary and ecological implications. For example, the transilience model of Templeton (class III), genetic revolution model of Mayr (class IV) or the frozen plasticity theory of Flegr (class V), suggests that adaptive evolution in sexual species is operative shortly after the emergence of a species by peripatric speciation - while it is evolutionary plastic. To a major degree, i.e. throughout 98-99% of their existence, sexual species are evolutionarily frozen (class III) or elastic (class IV and V) on a microevolutionary time scale and evolutionarily frozen on a macroevolutionary time scale and can only wait for extinction, or the highly improbable return of a population segment to the plastic state due to peripatric speciation.The punctuational theories have many evolutionary and ecological implications. Most of these predictions could be tested empirically, and should be analyzed in greater depth theoretically. The punctuational theories offer many new predictions that need to be tested, but also provide explanations for a much broader spectrum of known biological phenomena than classical gradualistic evolutionary theories.This article was reviewed by Claus Wilke, Pierre Pantarotti and David Penny (nominated by Anthony Poole). © 2013 Flegr; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Mocikova H.,Charles University
Prague medical report | Year: 2010

Lymphocytopenia is a poor prognostic marker in initial staging of non- Hodgkin lymphomas (below 1.0 x 10(9)/l) and Hodgkin lymphoma (below 0.6 x 10(9)/l) and in relapsed diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Early lymphocyte recovery > or =0.5 x 10(9)/l after autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a significant predictor of tumor control and survival in lymphomas. Natural killer cells are involved in tumor cell killing and are the only subset of lymphocytes associated with disease outcome in initial staging and after autologous stem cell transplantation in lymphomas. The antitumor effect of various NK cell subsets should be defined.

Bakhouche H.,Charles University
Prague medical report | Year: 2012

Pharmacogenetics is a discipline that investigates how genetic variation relates to the drug efficacy and safety. The goal of pharmacogenetics is a personalized treatment, where according to genotype we would be able to prescribe the most effective drug at the most appropriate dose for an individual patient. The aim of this review is to summarize pharmacogenetics as a specialization with its own background, research, methods, including barriers and promises for the future.

Rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) is increasingly used in practice to monitor coagulation status of severely bleeding patients and it helps to provide aimed therapy. The main advantage of ROTEM is detection of fibrinolysis. To get fast results, the reagents for activation, either extrinsic or intrinsic pathway of coagulation, are used. Although this method gives information about whole blood coagulation, in some cases, the patient is bleeding despite normal values of ROTEM. We present a case of a bleeding patient with normal values of activated ROTEM method (EXTEM, INTEM). However, nonactivated method (NATEM) was able to detect fibrinolysis and no clot was found in the cuvette. When tranexamic acid was added to the cuvette, the trace came back to normal value and a clot was formed inside the cuvette. According to this finding, the patient was effectively treated with antifibrinolytic drugs and stopped bleeding. In this case, we want to demonstrate that NATEM, as nonactivated ROTEM, seems to be more sensitive to coagulation changes, especially in detection of fibrinolysis, than activated ROTEM methods. Copyright © 2015 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Background: Darwin's evolutionary theory could easily explain the evolution of adaptive traits (organs and behavioral patterns) in asexual but not in sexual organisms. Two models, the selfish gene theory and frozen plasticity theory were suggested to explain evolution of adaptive traits in sexual organisms in past 30 years.Results: The frozen plasticity theory suggests that sexual species can evolve new adaptations only when their members are genetically uniform, i.e. only after a portion of the population of the original species had split off, balanced on the edge of extinction for several generations, and then undergone rapid expansion. After a short period of time, estimated on the basis of paleontological data to correspond to 1-2% of the duration of the species, polymorphism accumulates in the gene pool due to frequency-dependent selection; and thus, in each generation, new mutations occur in the presence of different alleles and therefore change their selection coefficients from generation to generation. The species ceases to behave in an evolutionarily plastic manner and becomes evolutionarily elastic on a microevolutionary time-scale and evolutionarily frozen on a macroevolutionary time-scale. It then exists in this state until such changes accumulate in the environment that the species becomes extinct.Conclusion: Frozen plasticity theory, which includes the Darwinian model of evolution as a special case - the evolution of species in a plastic state, not only offers plenty of new predictions to be tested, but also provides explanations for a much broader spectrum of known biological phenomena than classic evolutionary theories. © 2010 Flegr; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Mancal T.,Charles University | Valkunas L.,Lithuanian Academy of Sciences | Valkunas L.,Vilnius University
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2010

In this paper, we consider the dynamics of a molecular system subjected to external pumping by a light source. Within a completely quantum mechanical treatment, we derive a general formula, which enables us to assess the effects of different light properties on the photo-induced dynamics of excitations in a molecular system. We show that, once the properties of light are known in terms of a certain two-point correlation function, the only information needed to reconstruct the system dynamics is the reduced evolution superoperator. The latter quantity is, in principle, accessible through ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy. Considering a direct excitation of a small molecular antenna by incoherent light, we find that excitation of coherences is possible due to the overlap of homogeneous line shapes associated with different excitonic states. In Markov and secular approximations, the amount of coherence is significant only under fast relaxation, and both the populations and coherences between exciton states become static at long times. We also study the case when the excitation of a photosynthetic complex is mediated by a mesoscopic system. We find that such a case can be treated by the same formalism with a special correlation function characterizing ultrafast fluctuations of the mesoscopic system. We discuss bacterial chlorosome as an example of such a mesoscopic mediator and propose that the properties of energy-transferring chromophore-protein complexes might be specially tuned to the fluctuation properties of their associated antennae. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

Fischerova D.,Charles University
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2011

This Review documents examination techniques, sonographic features and clinical considerations in ultrasound assessment of gynecological tumors. The methodology of gynecological cancer staging, including assessment of local tumor extent, lymph nodes and distant metastases, is described. With increased technical quality, sonography has become an accurate staging method for early and advanced gynecological tumors. Other complementary imaging techniques, such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, can be used as an adjunct to ultrasound in specific cases, but are not essential to tumor staging if sonography is performed by a specialist in gynecological oncology. Ultrasound is established as the method of choice for evaluating local extent of endometrial cancer and is the most important imaging method for the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant ovarian tumors. Ultrasound can be used to detect early as well as locally advanced cancers that extend from the vagina, cervix or other locations to the paracolpium, parametria, rectum and sigmoid colon, urinary bladder and other adjacent organs or structures. In cases of ureteric involvement, ultrasound is also helpful in locating the site of obstruction. Furthermore, it is specific for the detection of extrapelvic tumor spread to the abdominal cavity in the form of parietal or visceral carcinomatosis, omental and/or mesenteric infiltration. Ultrasound can be used to assess changes in infiltrated lymph nodes, including demonstration of characteristic sonomorphologic and vascular patterns. Vascular patterns are particularly well visualized in peripheral nodes using high resolution linear array probes or in the pelvis using high-frequency probes. The presence of peripheral or mixed vascularity or displacement of vessels seems to be the sole criterion in the diagnosis of metastatic or lymphomatous nodes. In the investigation of distant metastases, if a normal visceral organ or characteristic diffuse or focal lesions (such as a simple cyst, hepatic hemangioma, renal angiomyolipoma, fatty liver (steatosis)) are identified on ultrasound, additional examinations using complementary imaging methods are not required. If, however, less characteristic findings are encountered, especially when the examination result radically affects subsequent therapeutic management, an additional examination using a complementary imaging method (e.g. contrast-enhanced ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography) is indicated. Copyright © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Lhotakova Y.,Charles University
PloS one | Year: 2012

Novel biomaterials based on hydrophilic polycaprolactone and polyurethane (Tecophilic®) nanofibers with an encapsulated 5,10,5,20-tetraphenylporphyrin photosensitizer were prepared by electrospinning. The doped nanofiber textiles efficiently photo-generate O(2)((1)Δ(g)), which oxidize external chemical and biological substrates/targets. Strong photo-virucidal effects toward non-enveloped polyomaviruses and enveloped baculoviruses were observed on the surface of these textiles. The photo-virucidal effect was confirmed by a decrease in virus infectivity. In contrast, no virucidal effect was detected in the absence of light and/or the encapsulated photosensitizer.

Battiato M.,Uppsala University | Carva K.,Uppsala University | Carva K.,Charles University | Oppeneer P.M.,Uppsala University
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

Femtosecond laser excitation of a ferromagnetic material creates energetic spin-polarized electrons that have anomalous transport characteristics. We develop a semiclassical theory that is specifically dedicated to capture the transport of laser-excited nonequilibrium (NEQ) electrons. The randomly occurring multiple electronic collisions, which give rise to electron thermalization, are treated exactly and we include the generation of electron cascades due to inelastic electron-electron scatterings. The developed theory can, moreover, treat the presence of several different layers in the laser-irradiated material. The derived spin-dependent transport equation is solved numerically and it is shown that the hot NEQ electron spin transport occurs neither in the diffusive nor ballistic regime, it is superdiffusive. As the excited spin majority and minority electrons in typical transition-metal ferromagnets (e.g., Fe, Ni) have distinct, energy-dependent lifetimes, fast spin dynamics in the femtosecond (fs) regime is generated, causing effectively a spin current. As examples, we solve the resulting spin dynamics numerically for typical heterostructures, specifically, a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic metallic layered junction (i.e., Fe/Al and Ni/Al) and a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic insulator junction (Fe or Ni layer on a large band-gap insulator as, e.g., MgO). For the ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic metallic junction where the ferromagnetic layer is laser-excited, the computed spin dynamics shows that injection of a superdiffusive spin current in the nonmagnetic layer (Al) is achieved. The injected spin current consists of screened NEQ, mobile majority-spin electrons and is nearly 90% spin-polarized for Ni and about 65% for Fe. Concomitantly, a fast demagnetization of the ferromagnetic polarization in the femtosecond regime is driven. The analogy of the generated spin current to a superdiffusive spin Seebeck effect is surveyed. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Zobel M.,University of Tartu | Moora M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Herben T.,Charles University
Oikos | Year: 2010

Patterns of clonal growth and their controls on the level of individuals have been studied thoroughly, but little is known about the actual clonal mobility of plant individuals in vegetation and about its role in generating vegetation patterns and influencing species coexistence. Current evidence shows that communities are composed of spatially nonmobile 'matrix-forming species' and mobile 'inter-matrix' species, while local between-species variation in clonal mobility has been shown to be positively correlated to small-scale richness. We identify two major gaps in the knowledge. (1) Clonal mobility has a strong species-specific component, but the existing information is mainly qualitative and describes the potential mobility of species the best. Also, species may respond by their clonal growth in a plastic way to some environmental stimuli, such as neighbors or abiotic environment, but this data comes almost exclusively from artificial conditions. We know very little of the actual spatial mobility of clonal plant individuals in the field and of the factors that determine it. (2) Theoretical research indicates that localized dispersal plays prime role in determination of community structure. While clonal mobility shares many important features with the seed dispersal, it also shows important differences to it, such as in dispersal kernel (non-monotonic in clonal dispersal), role of microsite limitation, and role of plasticity. We have little information how systematic are these differences, and whether these differences in dispersal can play any role in shaping community dynamics. We conclude that clonal mobility has an important role in structuring plant communities in a small scale and propose further studies to address specific mechanisms, as well as community context of evolution of clonality. © 2010 The Authors.

Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are increasingly recognized as important effectors of host-pathogen interactions. Since Guan and Dixon reported in 1990 that phosphatase YopH serves as an essential virulence determinant of Yersinia, the field shifted significantly forward, and dozens of PTPs were identified in various microorganisms and even in viruses. The discovery of extensive tyrosine signaling networks in non-metazoan organisms refuted the moth-eaten paradigm claiming that these organisms rely exclusively on phosphoserine/phosphothreonine signaling. Similarly to humans, phosphotyrosine signaling is thought to comprise a small fraction of total protein phosphorylation, but plays a disproportionately important role in cell-cycle control, differentiation, and invasiveness. Here we summarize the state-of-art knowledge on PTPs of important non-metazoan pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Caulobacter crescentus, Yersinia, Synechocystis, Leishmania, Plasmodium falciparum, Entamoeba histolytica, etc.), and focus also at the microbial proteins affecting directly or indirectly the PTPs of the host (Mycobacterium tuberculosis MTSA-10, Bacillus anthracis anthrax toxin, streptococcal β protein, Helicobacter pylori CagA and VacA, Leishmania GP63 and EF-1α, Plasmodium hemozoin, etc.). This is the first review summarizing the knowledge on biological activity and pharmacological inhibition of non-metazoan PTPs, with the emphasis of those important in host-pathogen interactions. Targeting of numerous non-metazoan PTPs is simplified by the fact that they act either as ectophosphatases or are secreted outside of the pathogen. Interfering with tyrosine phosphorylation represents a powerful pharmacologic approach, and even though the PTP inhibitors are difficult to develop, lifting the fog of phosphatase inhibition is of the great market potential and further clinical impact. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Kvasnicka P.,Charles University
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2011

During the past years, the DEPFET collaboration undertook an extensive program of beam test studies as a part of the development of new generations of DEPFET pixel detectors. The beam tests in 2006, 2007 and 2008 on the CERN SPS beam have demonstrated high performance of ILC-type DEPFET matrices: S/N over 100, and spatial resolutions below 2 μm. The extensive data set of the 2008 beam test allowed us to start detailed studies of the detector properties, such as response homogeneity and resolution mapping. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Mazurova S.,Charles University
Prague medical report | Year: 2013

Barth syndrome is an X-linked recessive disorder that is caused by mutations in Taffazin gene (TAZ), leading to severe cardiolipin deficiency which results in respiratory chain dysfunction. Barth syndrome is characterized by cardiomyopathy, neutropenia, skeletal myopathy, growth deficiency and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. In this paper, we present clinical, biochemical and molecular data of the first four Czech patients from four unrelated families diagnosed with this rare disease. The mean age of onset was 5.5 ± 3.8 months. One child suffered from sudden cardiac death at the age of 2 years, the age of living patients is between 3 and 13 years. Muscle hypotonia was present in all four patients; cardiomyopathy and growth retardation in three and neutropenia in two of them. Two patients manifested a dilated and one patient a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A characteristic laboratory abnormality was the intermittently increased excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid. Three novel hemizygous mutations in the TAZ gene were found (c.584G>T; c.109+6T>C; c.86G>A). We conclude that Barth syndrome should be included in differential diagnosis of cardiomyopathy in childhood, especially in the cooccurrence of dilated cardiomyopathy and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria.

Cerna K.,Charles University
Limnologica | Year: 2010

Spatial patterns on a very small scale (10 cm), and the effect of artificial barriers on the composition of phytobenthic algal assemblages along two transects within different microhabitat types were investigated. Samples were taken in a peat bog along linear transects on a scale of 10 cm, and water chemistry was examined. The distribution of algae along both transects was influenced by both spatial distance and environmental conditions in similar proportions. Differences in species composition in various parts of the transects were observed, but this pattern was primarily related to the abundance of species, rather than to their presence/absence in samples. Similarity in species composition correlated with spatial distance and environmental parameters in both microhabitat types. I concluded that, given a homogenous environment on a small scale, spatial distribution of algae is affected by both the environmental conditions of the microhabitats and their dispersal limitations. Moreover, an artificial barrier constituted an obstruction for water and nutrient flow, as well as algal migration, and had an impact on species composition. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH.

Bouzarovski S.,Charles University | Bassin M.,Sodertorn University College
Annals of the Association of American Geographers | Year: 2011

The relationship between energy systems, on the one hand, and narratives and practices of identity building at different scales, on the other, has received little attention in the mainstream human geography and social science literature. There is still a paucity of integrated theoretical insights into the manner in which energy formations are implicated in the rise of particular cultural self-determinations, even though various strands of work on energy and identity are frequently present throughout the wide-and rather disparate-corpus of social science energy research. Therefore, this article explores themanner in which the exploitation and management of energy resources is woven into discourses and debates about national identity, international relations, a nation's path of future development, and its significance on the global arena using the case of Russia. We investigate some of the policies, narratives, and discourses that accompany the attempt to represent this country as a global "energy superpower" in relation to the resurrection of its domestic economy and material prosperity, on the one hand, and the restoration of its global status as a derzhava (or "Great Power"), on the other. Using ideas initially developed within the field of critical discourse analysis, we pay special attention to the national identity-building role played by geographical imaginations about the country's past and present energy exports to neighboring states. We argue that they have created a hydrocarbon landscape in which the discursive and material have become mutually entangled to create an infrastructurally grounded vision of national identity. © 2011 by Association of American Geographers Initial submission, March 2010.

Stych P.,Charles University
Acta Universitatis Carolinae, Geographica | Year: 2011

The aim of this article is to compare the effects of altitude and slope inclination on the spatial distribution of selected categories of land use.This study is based on Czechia's LUCC database 1845-1948-1990-2000.The database contains nearly 9,000 basic territorial units (BTUs) and 8 LUCC categories that can be compared in all of the time periods mentioned. For the purpose of calculating the average altitude and slope inclination of all BTUs, a digital terrain model (DTM) of Czechia was created using interpolation methods. The average altitude and slope inclination of each BTU constituted the primary input variables for the correlation analysis. The strength of the relationship between these factors and the relevant categories was examined. Evidence concerning the increasing significance of inclination In the spatial distribution of arable land and grasslands after 1948 may be the most important finding. While in 1845, the first year in the database, altitude basically determined the location of arable land; after the World War II, there was a turn in this trend. Mainly in connection with the development of agro-industrial forms (the introduction of modern heavy machinery, the automation of modern cultivation methods, etc.), inclination became more important in determining the abandonment of arable land.

Kucerova S.,Charles University
Acta Universitatis Carolinae, Geographica | Year: 2011

The article deals with evaluation of the process of education as an instrument enabling an individual to acquire certain competencies (a kind of capital). These when used in an active way, may help him/her to reach different personal benefits, or even benefits for the whole society in a given territory. Possible relationships between education and different types of capital are shown. Special attention is given to a relatively new and in this context less discussed concept of social capital. Traditionally the concept of education is regarded asan investment into human capital. For example in the case of Czechia education process is perceived mostly as acquisition of individual knowledge and skills relevant for living, for holding social roles or performing job. Despite its very problematic nature, education should be also regarded as an investment into social capital. However, it remains unclear whether investment into social capital is beneficial. Its returns are less easily definable and harder to specify. Moreover, it is also unclear who benefits from this investment. Only those who are connected to the affected networks or the local/regional society as a whole?

Harmanec P.,Charles University | Prsa A.,Villanova University
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific | Year: 2011

The increasing precision of astronomical observations of stars and stellar systems is gradually getting to a level where the use of slightly different values of the solar mass, radius, and luminosity, as well as different values of fundamental physical constants, can lead to measurable systematic differences in the determination of basic physical properties. An equivalent issue with an inconsistent value of the speed of light was resolved by adopting a nominal value that is constant and has no error associated with it. Analogously, we suggest that the systematic error in stellar parameters may be eliminated by (1) replacing the solar radius Rȯ and luminosity Lȯ by the nominal values that are by definition exact and expressed in SI units: 1 RN ȯ = 6.95508 × 108 m and 1 LN ȯ = 3.846 × 1026 W; (2) computing stellar masses in terms of Mȯ by noting that the measurement error of the product GMȯ is 5 orders of magnitude smaller than the error in G; (3) computing stellar masses and temperatures in SI units by using the derived values M2010 ȯ = 1:988547 × 1030 kg and T2010 ȯ = 5779.57 K; and (4) clearly stating the reference for the values of the fundamental physical constants used. We discuss the need and demonstrate the advantages of such a paradigm shift. © 2011.

Roth W.J.,J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry | Roth W.J.,Jagiellonian University | Nachtigall P.,Charles University | Morris R.E.,University of St. Andrews | Cejka J.,J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

Zeolites are well-known as valuable crystalline solids with framework structures containing discrete micropores of molecular dimensions that accommodate exchangeable extra-framework cation sites. Lamellar zeolites combine useful benefits of both classes, high catalytic activity, microporosity, thermal stability, and chemical resistance of zeolites with structural flexibility of 2D solids, enabling their postsynthetic modification, both structural and compositional. The main category of 2D zeolites is the layered precursors, which are viewed as primary forms because they are the starting materials for further modifications. The various modifications may be an end product (IEZ-stabilized) or they may be further modifiable, like intercalated and swollen derivatives. Synthesis method, either via direct synthesis or by postsynthetic modification, is another criterion for classifying layered zeolite materials. New precursors can also be obtained from a regular zeolite by selective chemical degradation.

This paper presents an overview of past and current debates over the conceptualization of migration into rural areas - counterurbanization. It begins with the history of the term itself, leading us from its original use to the contemporary plurality of its meanings. Key issues in the process of defining counterurbanization are examined, in light of the term's historical development. The article illustrates a shift in counterurbanization research from the study of the settlement system to the study of local dimensions of counterurbanization and finally to the discursive production of counterurbanization. Secondly, contemporary residential decentralization in Czechia and the theoretical framing of counterurbanization are linked together in order to discuss the relevance of the counterurbanization research agenda in Czechia. The article concludes by stating the need for new ways to approach migration into rural areas. © Česká geografická společnost, 2011 (Czech Geographic Society).

Vesely J.,Charles University | Rios R.,University of Southampton
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

Nucleophilic addition to carbon-nitrogen double bonds (imines) represents one of the most common strategies for the synthesis of amine derivatives. In order to circumvent the problem associated with low reactivity of imines in nucleophilic addition, various imines with electron-withdrawing groups at nitrogen have been studied, and many of them were successfully applied in asymmetric methodologies. Especially N-carbamoyl imines were found to be useful in the enantioselective synthesis of various organic compounds, due to their increased reactivity toward nucleophiles as well as limited difficulties connected with the removal of the carbamoyl moiety in target molecules. The aim of this review is to cover enantioselective methods based on N-carbamoyl imines, focusing on synthetically useful protocols. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Heneberg P.,Charles University
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2016

Growth stimuli in cancer growth resemble those exhibited in wound healing. However, the process of nemosis is absent in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), which remain constitutively active. CAFs are present in almost all solid tumors but are most abundant in breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers. TGF-β1, TGF-β2, PDGF, IL-6, bFGF, reactive oxide species and protein kinase C are considered the key players in tumor-induced transdifferentiation of surrounding fibroblasts. Full-extent transdifferentiation was obtained only when the medium contained TGF-β1 or TGF-β2 (with or without other factors), whereas PDGF, bFGF or IL-6 (each alone) induced only partial transdifferentiation. Recent evidence suggests that the fibroblasts associated with primary cancers differ from those associated with metastases. The metastases-associated fibroblasts are converted by a metastasis-specific spectrum of factors. A large portion of paracrine tumor signaling is mediated by cancer cell-derived vesicles termed exosomes and microvesicles. The cancer cell-derived exosomes contain abundant and diverse proteomes and a number of signaling factors (TGF-ß1, TGF-ß2, IL-6, MMP2 and MMP9), particularly under hypoxic conditions. In contrast to the traditional view, the clonal expansion and selection of neoplastic cells should not be viewed outside the host body context. It is vital for a neoplastic cell to achieve the ability to re-program host body cells into CAFs and by this influence to modulate its microenvironment and receive positive feedback for growth and drug resistance. Neoplastic cells, which fail to develop such capacity, do not pass critical barriers in tumorigenesis and remain dormant and benign. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

The most common cause of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHc) deficiency is the deficit of the E1α-subunit. The aim of this study was to describe distinct course of the disease in two boys with mutations in PDHA1 gene and illustrate the possible obstacles in measurement of PDHc activity. Clinical data and metabolic profiles were collected and evaluated. PDHc and E1α-subunit activities were measured using radiometric assay. Subunits of PDHc were detected by Western blot. PDHA1 gene was analysed by direct sequencing. In patient 1, the initial hypotonia with psychomotor retardation was observed since early infancy. The child gradually showed symptoms of spasticity and arrest of psychomotor development. In patient 2, the disease manifested by seizures and hyporeflexia in the toddler age. The diagnosis was confirmed at the age of seven years after attacks of dystonia and clinical manifestation of myopathy with normal mental development. Brain MRI of both patients revealed lesions typical of Leigh syndrome. Enzymatic analyses revealed PDHc deficiency in isolated lymphocytes in the first but not in the second patient. The direct measurement of PDH E1-subunit revealed deficiency in this individual. In patient 1, a novel hemizigous mutation c.857C>T (Pro250Leu) was detected in the X-linked PDHA1 gene. Mutation c.367C>T (Arg88Cys) was found in patient 2. We present first two patients with PDHc deficit due to mutations in PDHA1 gene in the Czech Republic. We document the broad variability of clinical symptoms of this disease. We proved that normal PDHc activity may not exclude the disease.

Vandenabeele P.,Ghent University | Edwards H.G.M.,University of Bradford | Jehlicka J.,Charles University
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

The applications of analytical Raman spectroscopy in the characterisation of materials associated with archaeologically excavated artefacts, forensic investigations of drugs of abuse, security and crime scenes, minerals and rocks and future astrobiological space missions are now well established; however, these applications have emphasised the need for new developments in the area of miniaturised instrumentation which extends the concept and breadth of the analytical requirement to facilitate the provision of data from 'in field' studies. In this respect, the apparently unrelated themes of art and archaeology, forensic science, geological science and astrobiology as covered by this review are unified broadly by the ability to record data nondestructively and without resorting to sampling and the subsequent transfer of samples to the analytical laboratory. In studies of works of art there has long been a requirement for on-site analysis, especially for valuable paintings held under strict museum security and for wall paintings which cannot physically be removed from their setting; similarly, the use of portable Raman spectroscopy in archaeological and geological field work as a first-pass screening device which obviates the necessity of multiple and wasteful specimen collection is high on the wish-list of practicing spectroscopists. As a first-pass screening probe for forensic crime scenes, Raman spectroscopy has proved to be of inestimable value for the early detection of dangerous and prohibited materials such as drugs of abuse, explosives and their chemical precursors, and banned contraband biomaterials such as ivories and animal products; in these applications the advantage of the Raman spectroscopic technique for the recognition of spectral signatures from mixtures of inorganic and organic compounds is paramount and not afforded by other less portable instrumental techniques. Finally, in astrobiological work, these requirements also apply but with the additional prerequisite for system operation remotely-often over distances of several hundred million kilometres-as part of instrumental suites on robotic spacecraft and planetary landers; this necessitates robust and reliable instrumentation for the observation of unique and characteristic spectral features from the planetary geological surface and subsurface which are dependent on the assignment of both biological and geological band signatures. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.

Vokrouhlicky D.,Charles University | Nesvorn D.,Southwest Research Institute
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2011

Disruptive collisions in the asteroid belt produced groups of fragments known as the asteroid families. The studies of identified asteroid families help us to better understand issues related to impact physics, space weathering, asteroid interior, and collisional evolution of the main belt. Here, we analyze a family near the central main belt asteroid (2384) Schulhof. We show that the previously found group of objects around (81337) 2000 GP36 is actually a sub-cluster in the larger Schulhof family. Using backward integrations we demonstrate that the orbits of sub-cluster asteroids converge to that of (2384) Schulhof at 780 ± 100 kyr ago, suggesting that the breakup event happened very recently. Interestingly, a similar analysis of the two newly discovered members of the Schulhof family may indicate a second event ≲ 100 kyr ago (e.g., secondary collision, fission, satellite instability). If confirmed, the formation history of the Schulhof family would suggest that small asteroids may have very colorful lifetimes. Additional astrometric observations of the two new member asteroids will be needed to improve their present orbit and better constrain their past histories. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Lin X.,Uppsala University | Novotny M.,Charles University | Soderhall K.,Uppsala University | Soderhall I.,Uppsala University
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2010

Hematopoiesis is the process by which hemocytes mature and subsequently enter the circulation. Vertebrate prokineticins (PKs) are known to take part in this process, as are the invertebrate prokineticin domain proteins, astakines. In Pacifastacus leniusculus, astakine 1 is essential for the release of new hemocytes into the open circulatory system of these animals. In addition to astakine 1, we have now cloned a homologue of astakine 1 with an insert of 13 amino acids, named as astakine 2. Both crustacean astakines lack the N-terminal AVIT motif, which is present in vertebrate PKs, and hence receptor binding differs from that of vertebrate PKs. We have found astakine-like sequences in 19 different invertebrate species, and the sequences show that some motifs are conserved among invertebrate groups. Previously we showed that astakine 1 is directly involved in hematopoiesis, and now we show that astakine 1 and astakine 2 have different roles in hemocyte lineage differentiation. Astakine 1 can stimulate proliferation of hematopoietic tissue (Hpt) cells (precursor of hemocytes) as well as specifically induce differentiation of Hpt cells along the semigranular cell lineage, whereas astakine 2 plays a role in granular cell differentiation. Moreover, we discuss the impact of the putative structures of different astakines in comparison with the vertebrate prokineticins. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Hedl R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Kopecky M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Kopecky M.,Charles University | Komarek J.,Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2010

Aim: Lowland woodlands in Europe went through dramatic changes in management in the past century. This article investigates the influence of two key factors, abandonment of coppicing and increased pressure of ungulates, in thermophilous oakwoods. We focused on three interconnected topics: (1) Has the assumed successional trend lead to impoverishment of the vegetation assemblages? (2) Has it resulted in vegetation homogenization? (3) Are the thermophilous oakwoods loosing their original character? Location: Czech Republic, Central Europe. Methods: The vegetation in 46 semi-permanent plots was recorded three times: firstly, shortly after the abandonment of coppicing (1953) and then, after four to six decades of secondary succession and strong game impact (1992 and 2006). Overall trends and changes in species spectra were analysed. Results: There is a marked successional shift towards species-poorer communities growing in cooler, moister and nutrient-richer conditions. The change was significantly different in parts affected and unaffected by high numbers of ungulates yet only for herbs, not the woody species. However, observed change in species composition was not accompanied by significant homogenization process that is the general process reported from elsewhere. A sharp decline in plant species typical for thermophilous woodland communities and in endangered species indicates that the original character of the woodland has been gradually lost. Main conclusions: Thermophilous oakwoods have been largely replaced by mesic forests. Lowland oakwoods in continental parts of Europe historically depended on active management, which kept the understorey conditions light and warm. Successional processes in the 20th century caused a critical loss of species diversity at various spatial levels. However, artificially high numbers of ungulates, which otherwise have a negative impact, probably held up succession, so that the changes may still be reversible. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Helicobacter pylori has been recently detected in the oral cavity and oropharynx. However, the role it plays in oral and oropharyngeal pathogenesis remains unclear. The virulence of H. pylori strains can be distinguished according to the virulence factors genes carried. Our research has been focused on realtime PCR analysis of cagA and vacA genes of H. pylori strains in tonsils and tonsillar squamous cell cancer and their comparison with H. pylori strains obtained from the gastric mucosa of the same patients. Urea breath test (UBT) test was used to detect a gastric H. pylori infection in 20 patients with previously proven H. pylori in the oropharynx. Genotyping of H. pylori in gastric biopsies was performed in patients with positive gastric infection. Out of 20 patients positive for oropharyngeal H. pylori, 8 were positive for concurrent gastric H. pylori infection. In 6 of them gastric biopsies were obtained. Comparison of oropharyngeal and stomach H. pylori genotypes showed important differences. Four of 6 patients had different H. pylori strains in the oropharynx and stomach. The differences were found in cagA gene as well as in vacA gene. The finding of oral presence of H. pylori without concurrent stomach infection was confirmed using UBT. The results show that more than one H. pylori strain can be present in oropharynx and stomach in the same patient. The oropharyngeal infection seems to be independent to the gastric infection.

Fuchs O.,Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion | Fuchs O.,Charles University
Current Molecular Pharmacology | Year: 2010

Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) upregulates the transcription of proteins that promote cell survival, stimulate growth, induce angiogenesis and reduce susceptibility to apoptosis. NF-κB signaling pathway is constitutively activated in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), lymphomas and in multiple myeloma (MM). Inactive NF-κB is bound in the cytoplasm to its inhibitor IκB, which masks its nuclear localisation signal. Two protein kinases with a high degree of sequence similarity, IKKα and IKKβ, mediate phosphorylation of IκB proteins and represent a convergence point for most signal transduction pathways leading to NF-κB activation. The overexpression of NF-κB and its antiapoptotic cytoprotective effect suggest that it might be a useful therapeutic target for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. Several drugs effective for the treatment of MM, including proteasome inhibitors, thalidomide, lenalidomide and arsenic trioxide, block NF-κB activation. New agents with NF-κB inhibitory activity enhance the anti-MM effects of conventional chemotherapeutic agents and reduce different side-effects. Triptolide (diterpenoid triepoxyde), a purified component of a traditional Chinese medicine, extracted from a shrub-like vine named Trypterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF) inhibits transcriptional activation of NF-κB and downregulates the expression of various NF-κB-regulated genes. Triptolide (10-80 ng/ml) induces apoptosis of MM cells and effectively inhibits cell growth of MM cells. NF-κB activation can be also inhibited by IKKβ-selective inhibitors, PS-1145dihydrochloride, MLN120B (both Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA) and BMS-345541 (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ). LC-1, the dimethylamino-parthenolide (DMAPT) derivative demonstrated significant cytotoxicity to AML blasts targeting NF-κB. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Two CE methods with contactless conductivity detection have been developed for determining the oral antidiabetic drug metformin in human urine and blood. The determination of metformin is performed on a separation capillary with an effective length of 14. cm, using a maximum voltage of 30. kV and with a small injection of 50-fold diluted urine into the capillary. Under these conditions, the migration time of metformin is 35. s and the LOD is 0.3. μM. Large-volume sample stacking was used to determine low metformin levels in serum. The injection of a sample of serum deproteinized with acetonitrile was 10 times greater compared to the injected amount of urine. This enabled reduction of the LOD to 0.03. μM and the metformin migration time equalled 86. s. The undesirable solvent from sample zone was forced out of the capillary to ensure rapidity and good repeatability of the determination. The RSD values for the migration time are 0.1% for urine and 0.7% for serum; RSD for the peak areas equalled 1.4% for urine and 2.6% for serum. The developed CE technique was tested on performance of routine analyses of metformin in the urine and serum of patients suffering from type II diabetes mellitus. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Skalova S.,Charles University
Arab journal of nephrology and transplantation | Year: 2013

Gitelman syndrome (GS) is a very rare autosomal recessive tubulopathy due to loss-of-function or mutation in solute carrier family12, member 3 gene (SLC12A3 gene) encoding thiazide-sensitive NaCl co-transporter in the distal convoluted tubule, leading to hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, hypomagnesemia, hypocalciuria and low-to-normal blood pressure. Clinical signs are mostly secondary to chronic hypokalemia and include dizziness, fatigue, constipation and weakness. Patients can also present with muscle cramps, tetany, fatigue and convulsions due to severe metabolic alkalosis or hypomagnesemia. Manifestations of GS are rarely apparent before the age of five, and the syndrome is usually diagnosed during adolescence or adulthood. Here we describe a case of GS presenting in infancy with hypokalemia and psychomotor retardation. We present an 18-month-old boy who presented with psychomotor retardation and failure to thrive. Investigations revealed hypokalemia at 2.7 mmol/L, metabolic alkalosis, hypocalciuria and normal serum magnesium level. The diagnoses of Barter syndrome (BS) and Gitelman syndrome (GS) were considered. Genetic studies confirmed the diagnosis of GS and three different mutations of in SLC12A3 gene were detected. Two mutations (c.2576T>C and c.2929C>Ty) were considered as causal ones, with the patient's parents being the heterozygous carriers. Oral potassium supplementation resulted in normalisation of the hypokalemia and psychomotor improvement. We report a rare case of psychomotor retardation occurring at an early age in genetically confirmed GS. In spite of being a rare disorder, GS has to be considered in children with developmental delay and muscle weakness. With adequate treatment, GS patients have an excellent prognosis.

There is substantial clinical and experimental evidence that ammonia is a major factor in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. In the article is demonstrated that in hepatocellular dysfunction, ammonia detoxification to glutamine (GLN) in skeletal muscle, brain, and likely the lungs, is activated. In addition to ammonia detoxification, enhanced GLN production may exert beneficial effects on the immune system and gut barrier function. However, enhanced GLN synthesis may exert adverse effects in the brain (swelling of astrocytes or altered neurotransmission) and stimulate catabolism of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; valine, leucine, and isoleucine) in skeletal muscle. Furthermore, the majority of GLN produced is released to the blood and catabolized in enterocytes and the kidneys to ammonia, which due to liver injury escapes detoxification to urea and appears in peripheral blood. As only one molecule of ammonia is detoxified in GLN synthesis whereas two molecules may appear in GLN breakdown, these events can be seen as a vicious cycle in which enhanced ammonia concentration activates synthesis of GLN leading to its subsequent catabolism and increase in ammonia levels in the blood. These alterations may explain why therapies targeted to intestinal bacteria have only a limited effect on ammonia levels in patients with liver failure and indicate the needs of new therapeutic strategies focused on GLN metabolism. It is demonstrated that each of the various treatment options targeting only one the of the ammonia-lowering mechanisms that affect GLN metabolism, such as enhancing GLN synthesis (BCAA), suppressing ammonia production from GLN breakdown (glutaminase inhibitors and alpha-ketoglutarate), and promoting GLN elimination (phenylbutyrate) exerts substantial adverse effects that can be avoided if their combination is tailored to the specific needs of each patient. © 2013 The Author(s).

Cizkova H.,Charles University | Bina C.R.,Northwestern University
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2013

Trench rollback has been a widely discussed phenomenon in recent years, and multiple studies have concentrated on various parameters that may influence trench migration and related aspects of slab deformation in the (upper) mantle. Here we concentrate on the effects of rheological description (yield stress, lower-mantle viscosity, viscosity of crust) in controlling the rollback and associated stagnation of slabs in the transition zone (410-660 km depth). We perform numerical simulations of slab evolution in a 2D Cartesian model with strongly nonlinear rheology combining diffusion creep, dislocation creep and a power-law stress limiter. We demonstrate that trench retreat develops in most models considered, regardless of the subducting plate age or prescribed strength. Rollback then mostly produces slabs that are horizontally deflected at the 660-km phase boundary and remain subhorizontal at the bottom of the transition zone. Slab morphologies are in agreement with stagnant, horizontally deflected structures reported in the transition zone by seismic tomography. Furthermore, if the strength of the slab is limited to less than 0.5 GPa, the slab experiences a significant amount of horizontal buckling. The amplitude of the rollback velocity is sensitive to several model parameters. As one might expect, it increases with the age of the subducting plate, thus reflecting its increasingly negative buoyancy. On the other hand, rollback velocity decreases if we increase the viscosity of the crust and thereby strengthen the coupling between the subducting and overriding plates. High friction on the contact between the subducting and overriding plates may even result in slabs penetrating into the lower mantle after a period of temporary stagnation. Also, reducing the additional negative buoyancy imparted by the 410-km exothermic phase transition suppresses trench rollback. Interpretation of the controls on slab rollback and stagnation may be rather complex in strongly nonlinear rheological models, where, for example, buoyancy effects may be counteracted by associated yield-stress weakening. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Zhou Y.,Zhejiang Normal University | Pokornyy M.,Charles University
Nonlinearity | Year: 2010

We consider the regularity criteria for the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations connected with one velocity component. Based on the method from Cao and Titi (2008 Indiana Univ. Math. J. 57 2643-61) we prove that the weak solution is regular, provided u3 ∈ Lt(O,T;L s(ℝ3)), 2/t + 3/s ≤ 3/4 + 1/2s, s > 10/3 or provided ∇u3 ∈ Lt(O, T;Ls(ℝ3)), 2/t + 3/s ≤ 19/12 + 1/2s , if or if s ∈ (30/19, 3] or 2/t + 3/s ≤ 3/2 + 3/4s if s ∈ (3, ∞]. As a corollary, we also improve the regularity criteria expressed by the regularity of ∂p/∂x3 or ∂u3/∂x3. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd & London Mathematical Society.

Menova P.,Czech Institute of Organic Chemistry And Biochemistry | Hocek M.,Czech Institute of Organic Chemistry And Biochemistry | Hocek M.,Charles University
Chemical Communications | Year: 2012

A method for enzymatic production of short (10-20 nt) cytosine-modified oligonucleotides was developed by nicking enzyme amplification reaction using Vent(exo-) polymerase, Nt.BstNBI nicking endonuclease and 5-substituted dCTP derivatives. The methodology including isolation was scaled up to nanomolar amounts and was proved to be suitable for production of diverse base-modified short single-stranded oligonucleotides (inaccessible by other enzymatic methods) that are of potential interest as labelled primers or functionalized aptamers. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Tacheci I.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2010

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) induced enteropathy represents an important complication of one of the most commonly used drugs worldwide. Due to previous diagnostics difficulties the real prevalence of this disease was underestimated for a long time. The pathogenesis of NSAID-enteropathy is more multifactorial and complex than formerly assumed but has still not been fully uncovered. A combination of the local and systemic effect plays an important role in pathogenesis. Thanks to novel enteroscopy methods (wireless capsule endoscopy, double balloon enteroscopy), small bowel lesions are described in a substantial section of NSAID users although most are clinically asymptomatic. The other non-invasive tests (small bowel permeability, faecal calprotectin, scintigraphy using faecal excretion of 111-indium-labelled leukocytes etc.) proposed for diagnostics are not generally used in clinical practice, mainly because of their non-specificity. Despite intensive research into possible treatment, the main measure for patients with NSAID-enteropathy is still withdrawal of NSAIDs. Double balloon enteroscopy plays an important role in the treatment of complications (bleeding, strictures).

Dinicolantonio J.J.,Wegmans Pharmacy | Dinicolantonio J.J.,Charles University
International Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Objective Ascertain platelet inhibition and patient outcomes (PLATO) trial conduct. Methods We examined information from the FDA complete response review. Results FDA Medical Review indicated that (1) patients on ticagrelor monitored by the study sponsor had a lower odds ratio for the primary endpoint (p = 0.0004) versus ticagrelor patients monitored by a third party Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) independent of the study sponsor, (2) a significant interaction existed between ticagrelor and regions monitored by the study sponsor for all cause mortality through study end in favor of ticagrelor (p = 0.006), (3) ticagrelor faired worse than clopidogrel when regions were monitored independent of the study sponsor by a third party Contract Research Organisation (United States, Russia and Georgia), (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 0.91 to 1.59, p = 0.2022), (4) 46% of all primary endpoint events favoring ticagrelor came from just two countries (Poland and Hungary), (5) PLATO was easy to unblind by breaking open a clopidogrel/dummy clopidogrel tablet with at least 452 patients being unblinded prior to the database lock, (6) significantly more cardiac events submitted for clopidogrel counted in the primary analysis as a myocardial infarction (MI) compared to those submitted for ticagrelor (p < 0.0001), (7) significantly more ticagrelor subjects hospitalized after an index event/hospitalization were not being reported as having a primary event compared to clopidogrel (p = 0.002 in favor of ticagrelor), (8) site-reported MI was not significantly reduced with ticagrelor versus clopidogrel, (9) an estimated 23 definite or possible cardiovascular events or deaths on ticagrelor were either not submitted for adjudication, inactivated, deleted or were downgraded to "softer" endpoints (this was not shown in the FDA review for clopidogrel), and (10) four FDA reviewers voted for non-approval of ticagrelor. Discussion The FDA report highlights what appear to be multiple serious deficiencies in the reporting of the PLATO results, which clinicians will not have gleaned from the primary publication alone. Individual clinicians may therefore wish to carefully reconsider their practice of ticagrelor prescription for this indication. Guideline bodies should also evaluate the information in its totality. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Barto L.,McMaster University | Barto L.,Charles University
Proceedings - Symposium on Logic in Computer Science | Year: 2011

A central open question in the study of non-uniform constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs) is the dichotomy conjecture of Feder and Vardi stating that the CSP over a fixed constraint language is either NP-complete, or tractable. One of the main achievements in this direction is a result of Bulatov (LICS'03) confirming the dichotomy conjecture for conservative CSPs, that is, CSPs over constraint languages containing all unary relations. Unfortunately, the proof is very long and complicated, and therefore hard to understand even for a specialist. This paper provides a short and transparent proof. © 2011 IEEE.

Bobek V.,Charles University
Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

The effect of anticoagulant adjuvant anti-tumor therapy depends on the cancer type and stage and on the type of the used anticoagulant drug. A striking response rate was described in experiments involving human patients with lung cancer. The aim of this study is to review anticoagulant and fibrinolytic drugs as antitumor agents with focus on their clinical use. The first part of the review evaluates the results of clinical studies. The results of early clinical research are promising and observations suggest novel approaches to the experimental therapy of lung cancer. The second part of the review shortly describes the problem of thrombosis in patients with lung cancer (incidence of thromboembolic disease and its pathogenesis). The third part briefly describes the antimetastatic and antitumor attributes of anticoagulants and fibrinolytics. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Hyperammonemia and severe amino acid imbalances play central role in hepatic encephalopathy (HE). In the article is demonstrated that the main source of ammonia in cirrhotic subjects is activated breakdown of glutamine (GLN) in enterocytes and the kidneys and the main source of GLN is ammonia detoxification to GLN in the brain and skeletal muscle. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; valine, leucine, and isoleucine) decrease due to activated GLN synthesis in muscle. Aromatic amino acids (AAA; phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan) and methionine increase due to portosystemic shunts and reduced ability of diseased liver. The effects on aminoacidemia of the following variables that may affect the course of liver disease are discussed: nutritional status, starvation, protein intake, inflammation, acute hepatocellular damage, bleeding from varices, portosystemic shunts, hepatic cancer, and renal failure. It is concluded that (1) neither ammonia nor amino acid concentrations correlate closely with the severity of liver disease; (2) BCAA/AAA ratio could be used as a good index of liver impairment and for early detection of derangements in amino acid metabolism; (3) variables potentially leading to overt encephalopathy exert substantial but uneven effects; and (4) careful monitoring of ammonia and aminoacidemia may discover important break points in the course of liver disease and indicate appropriate therapeutic approach. Of special importance might be isoleucine deficiency in bleeding from varices, arginine deficiency in sepsis, and a marked rise of GLN and ammonia levels that may appear in all events leading to HE. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Vokrouhlicky D.,Charles University | Nesvorny D.,Southwest Research Institute
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2014

Although not yet detected, pairs of exoplanets in 1:1 mean motion resonance probably exist. Low eccentricity, near-planar orbits, which in the comoving frame follow horseshoe trajectories, are one of the possible stable configurations. Here we study transit timing variations (TTVs) produced by mutual gravitational interaction of planets in this orbital architecture, with the goal to develop methods that can be used to recognize this case in observational data. In particular, we use a semi-analytic model to derive parametric constraints that should facilitate data analysis. We show that characteristic traits of the TTVs can directly constrain the (1) ratio of planetary masses and (2) their total mass (divided by that of the central star) as a function of the minimum angular separation as seen from the star. In an ideal case, when transits of both planets are observed and well characterized, the minimum angular separation can also be inferred from the data. As a result, parameters derived from the observed transit timing series alone can directly provide both planetary masses scaled to the central star mass. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Nesvorny D.,Southwest Research Institute | Vokrouhlicky D.,Charles University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2014

We develop an analytic model for transit timing variations produced by orbital conjunctions between gravitationally interacting planets. If the planetary orbits have tight orbital spacing, which is a common case among the Kepler planets, the effect of a single conjunction can be best described as: (1) a step-like change of the transit timing ephemeris with subsequent transits of the inner planet being delayed and those of the outer planet being sped up, and (2) a discrete change in sampling of the underlying oscillations from eccentricity-related interaction terms. In the limit of small orbital eccentricities, our analytic model gives explicit equations for these effects as a function of the mass and orbital separation of planets. We point out that a detection of the conjunction effect in real data is of crucial importance for the physical characterization of planetary systems from transit timing variations. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Bibliometric indicators increasingly affect careers, funding, and reputation of individuals, their institutions and journals themselves. In contrast to author self-citations, little is known about kinetics of journal self-citations. Here we hypothesized that they may show a generalizable pattern within particular research fields or across multiple fields. We thus analyzed self-cites to 60 journals from three research fields (multidisciplinary sciences, parasitology, and information science). We also hypothesized that the kinetics of journal self-citations and citations received from other journals of the same publisher may differ from foreign citations. We analyzed the journals published the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Nature Publishing Group, and Editura Academiei Române. We found that although the kinetics of journal self-cites is generally faster compared to foreign cites, it shows some field-specific characteristics. Particularly in information science journals, the initial increase in a share of journal self-citations during post-publication year 0 was completely absent. Self-promoting journal self-citations of top-tier journals have rather indirect but negligible direct effects on bibliometric indicators, affecting just the immediacy index and marginally increasing the impact factor itself as long as the affected journals are well established in their fields. In contrast, other forms of journal self-citations and citation stacking may severely affect the impact factor, or other citation-based indices. We identified here a network consisting of three Romanian physics journals Proceedings of the Romanian Academy, Series A, Romanian Journal of Physics, and Romanian Reports in Physics, which displayed low to moderate ratio of journal self-citations, but which multiplied recently their impact factors, and were mutually responsible for 55.9%, 64.7% and 63.3% of citations within the impact factor calculation window to the three journals, respectively. They did not receive nearly any network self-cites prior impact factor calculation window, and their network self-cites decreased sharply after the impact factor calculation window. Journal selfcitations and citation stacking requires increased attention and elimination from citation indices. © 2016 Petr Heneberg. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

BACKGROUND: This study was motivated by the growth in the number of elderly with dementia and consequent need to help family caregivers who face the daily stress for long periods of time. The aim was to describe the frequency of some common psychosomatic symptoms in self-assessed health status and to determine whether there are gender differences in these symptoms and the perception of one's own health in family caregivers. METHODS: The first results of cross-sectional survey design as the first phase of a longitudinal cohort study are presented. The participants in this investigation (n=73) were family caregivers of outpatients suffering from moderate (59 cases = 80.8%) or mild (14 cases = 19.2%) stage of Alzheimer' s disease (AD). RESULTS: The group of caregivers consisting of 61 (83.6%) women and 12 men (16.4%). Participants of this study were recruited from the Department of Psychiatry, Prague, Czech Republic. Data from caregivers were collected by using a self-administered questionnaire containing various items to measure self-perceived health including some common psychosomatic symptoms in relationship with their caregiving role. CONCLUSIONS: The following symptoms appeared the most frequent among family caregivers: chronic fatigue and sleeping disturbances. Most caregivers of patients with moderate stage of AD evaluated their own health as poor and experienced more symptoms in comparison with caregivers of patients with mild stage of Alzheimer's disease, who scored their own health as good or very good. A follow-up of the survey population seems to be necessary. ©2012 Neuroendocrinology Letters.

Frynta D.,Charles University
PloS one | Year: 2010

Parrots are one of the most frequently kept and bred bird orders in captivity. This increases poaching and thus the potential importance of captive populations for rescue programmes managed by zoos and related institutions. Both captive breeding and poaching are selective and may be influenced by the attractiveness of particular species to humans. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that the size of zoo populations is not only determined by conservation needs, but also by the perceived beauty of individual parrot species assessed by human observers. For the purpose of data collection, we defined four sets of species (40 parrots, 367 parrots, 34 amazons, 17 macaws). Then, we asked 776 human respondents to evaluate parrot pictures of the selected species according to perceived beauty and we analyzed its association with color and morphological characters. Irrespective of the species set, we found a good agreement among the respondents. The preferred species tended to be large, colorful, and long-tailed. We repeatedly confirmed significant, positive association between the perceived beauty and the size of worldwide zoo population. Moreover, the range size and body size appeared to be significant predictors of zoo population size. In contrast, the effects of other explanatory variables, including the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) listing, appeared insignificant. Our results may suggest that zoos preferentially keep beautiful parrots and pay less attention to conservation needs.

Ptacek R.,Charles University
Prague medical report | Year: 2010

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common child diagnosis with frequent comorbidities (Quinn, 2008). According to present studies eating disorders may represent one of them (Mikami et al., 2008). Several studies reported ADHD relation to the higher predisposition to obesity (Altafas, 2002), higher values of signs of overnutrition, as body mass index (Waring and Lapane, 2008) or higher value of fat (Ptacek et al., 2009a, c). These characteristics are considered to be directly related to the disorder. They can be caused by impulsivity and probable specific feeding customs of ADHD patients. The presence of eating disorders in ADHD patients could partially explain previously described growth and weight changes.

Massy Z.A.,Charles University | De Zeeuw D.,University of Groningen
Kidney International | Year: 2013

In the majority of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol are usually normal, with the exception of patients with nephrotic-range proteinuria and in peritoneal dialysis patients. Moreover, epidemiological evidence shows that the link between serum total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in CKD is not as straightforward as in the general population. In addition, atherosclerosis-related events are responsible for only ∼30% of CVD in these patients. Nevertheless, intervention trials, particularly the Study of Heart and Renal Protection, and meta-analyses showed a proportional reduction of cardiovascular risk associated with the absolute reduction in LDL cholesterol in patients with CKD similar to the general population, with apparent attenuation of this relationship in end-stage kidney disease. Therefore, the use of cholesterol-lowering agents appears to be indicated in early CKD stages to prevent atherosclerosis-related risk. However, uncertainty persists as to the optimal management of this risk in end-stage kidney disease patients. In the present review, we discuss these issues and end up with a practical plan aimed to help the nephrologist in managing atherosclerosis- related risk using cholesterol-lowering therapies in CKD patients. © 2013 International Society of Nephrology.

AIM: To evaluate the novel triplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the analysis of polymorphic Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat loci (Y-STR). METHODS: A total of 14 Y-STR loci was analyzed. Allele frequencies for 3 tetrameric Y-STR loci (DYS449, DYS456, and DYS458) and extended haplotype loci typed by Y-PLEXTM 12 system were investigated in a sample of 50 unrelated healthy Czech male donors. We computed the relevant intra-population statistic parameters for our data (gene diversity, average gene diversity over loci, and mean number of pairwise differences) and compared our sample set with other Central European populations using RST pairwise genetic distance. RESULTS: We focused on the comparison of genetic diversity between the Y-STR extended haplotype loci and that of the 3 additional loci, and on the benefit of using DYS449, DYS456, and DYS458 in forensic and population genetics applications. Total gene diversity in our sample set was 0.998367 when using all 14 loci. Our data analysis revealed very high genetic diversity at DYS449 locus (0.876735), which surpasses even the diversity at DYS385a/b (0.819592). Population comparison showed no difference between Czech, Bavarian, Austrian, and Saxon sample set. A minor difference was found between Czech and Polish sample set. CONCLUSION: Typing of 3 Y-chromosomal microsatellite polymorphisms may provide a useful complement to already established sets of Y-STRs.

Louthan O.,Charles University
Folia Biologica (Czech Republic) | Year: 2011

Chromogranin A (CgA) is a hydrophilic acidic one-chain peptide containing 439 amino acids, preceded by NH2-terminal 18-amino-acid signal peptide; the complete pre-chromogranin A molecule thus encompasses 457 amino acids. It is a member of the chromogranin family that comprises several proteins. The CgA gene is a single-copy gene localized in the locus 14q32. Chromogranin A is produced by endocrine and neuroendocrine cells. The largest amount of CgA occurs in chromaffin granules of adrenal medulla and in the dense-core vesicles of sympathetic nerves. Its biological functions have not been completely elucidated, but it is known that it acts as a precursor of many biologically active peptides generated by cleavage at specific sites. It is the major soluble protein co-stored and co-released along with resident catecholamines and polypeptide hormones or cell-specific neurotransmitters. Because of its widespread distribution in neuroendocrine tissue, it can be used both as immunohistochemical marker and serum marker of neuroendocrine tu- mours. CgA has been used as a rather reliable tumour marker because its level is significantly increased in neuroendocrine tumours and changes of its level reflect the tumour response to therapy or tumour recurrence. © 2006 - 2013 Folia Biologica.

Paulusova V.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2012

Oral Lichen planus (OLP) is chronic inflammatory oral mucosal disease of unknown etiology. Basement membrane damage and T-cell migration in OLP may be mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We examined the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 to support this hypothesis. The study population consisted of 71 patients with OLP and 10 control patients with oral fibromas. Indirect immunohistochemistry was used for detection of MMP 9 expression (polyclonal rabbit anti-human MMP antibody). In all cases of OLP, the MMP-9 expression was seen mainly in the area oflymphocytic inflammatory infiltrate in the lamina propria including lymphocytes within the overlying epithelium. In addition, it was observed in the epithelial keratinocytes, particularly in the stratum basale and stratum spinosum with occasional positivity in the superficial layer. Fibroblasts and endothelium of small vessels in the lamina propria showed MMP9 expression as well. In all cases of oral mucosal fibromas, the MMP-9 expression was seen only in fibroblasts and in endothelium of small vessels with occasional positivity within the overlying epithelium. It remains unclear, whether MMP-9 is directly connected to OLP pathogenesis.

Vajtr D.,Charles University
Soudní lékarství / casopis Sekce soudního lékarstvi Cs. lékarské spolecnosti J. Ev. Purkyne | Year: 2012

Introduction: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) triggers a series of reactions resulting in cytoskeletal-related changes varying between focal and diffuse injuries. Methods: The patients (n=38) were divided into group of diffuse axonal injuries (DAI, n=10) and focal (n=28) injuries. Serum hyperphosphorylated neurofilaments (NF-H) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were measured by Biovendor immunoassay, and serum S-100B protein was measured by Cobas e411 (Roche) by immunoassay. Immunohistochemistry was performed with monoclonal antibodies (Chemicon, USA). Results: The median serum S-100B concentration was higher in patients with focal mass lesions (1.72±0.4 μg/l vs. 0.37±0.1 μg/l, p<0,05) compared to patients with DAI during 10 days of hospitalisation. With respect to all patients, the highest peak of serum S-100B values (4.21±1.1 μg/l) and GFAP (8.58±2.4 μg/l) were found in expansive lesions. The median serum NF-H was higher in DAI compared to focal TBI (0.625±0.14 vs 0.139±0.02 ng/l, p<0.05) during all 10 days after admission. Further, immunohistochemical investigation, in deceased patients with DAI , using NF-H antibody proved positive varicose and waving axons, and retraction balls. Time-dependent profile of serum NF-H demonstrated the increase of values within 4th up to 10th day in both groups. Values ranged from 0.263 up to 1.325 ng/l in DAI, and from 0.103 up to 1.108 ng/l in focal injuries. Patients with expansive contusions had similar levels of serum NF-H as patients without expansive lesions. Immunohistochemistry of cytoskeletal proteins presented strong positive staining of vinculin, vimentin in vessels, GFAP, and S-100B in DAI compared to weak staining in expansive lesions. Conclusion: The time-profile kinetics of all markers may reflect different types of pathophysiological changes of the BBB or axonal damage in focal and diffuse injuries. Keywords: brain contusions - diffuse axonal injury - S-100B protein - GFAP - hyperphosphorylated neurofilaments.

Matouskova M.,Charles University
Limnetica | Year: 2011

The improvement of the ecological status of many heavily modified water bodies in Europe is a priority of the EuropeanWater Framework Directive. This paper evaluates the physical river habitat quality of the Bílina River, one of the most polluted and heavily modified rivers in Central Europe that is mainly classified as a heavily modified WB. The physical river habitat was evaluated using the Ecomorphological River Habitat method (EcoRivHab) and the LAWA Overview Survey method (LAWA-OS). The EcoRivHab method uses field surveys as data input in which the hydromorphological status is determined by 31 parameters, while LAWA-OS is based on the assessment of 17 parameters using available data and mapping resources. Human activities that affect the Bílina River are primarily the expanding coal mining operation and chemical industry, which negatively influence physical river habitat condition. The majority of the reaches of the Bílina River have become embedded, straightened and reinforced, with almost no natural vegetation in the riparian zone. Based on the results of this study, the Bílina catchment was identified as having a strong anthropogenic impact, primarily due to the high amount of reaches in ecological class (EC) IV (20.5 % EcoRivHab; 34 % LAWA-OS) and V (27.8 % EcoRivHab; 29 % LAWA-OS). These reaches were located in urban and mining areas. Significantly lower proportions of reaches were classified in EC I (2.5 % EcoRivHab; 7.5 % LAWA-OS) and II (9.5 % EcoRivHab; 7 % LAWA-OS), which are located on the upper course of the Bílina River. Differences between methods in the hydromorphological evaluations are caused by a variety of observed parameters, including different delimitations of river zones and widths of the scoring intervals. This study demonstrated the possibility of applying both methods in assessing heavily modified and artificial water bodies. © Asociación Ibérica de Limnología, Madrid. Spain.

Elias M.,University of Ostrava | Elias M.,Charles University | Brighouse A.,University of Cambridge | Gabernet-Castello C.,University of Cambridge | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2012

The presence of a nucleus and other membrane-bounded intracellular compartments is the defining feature of eukaryotic cells. Endosymbiosis accounts for the origins of mitochondria and plastids, but the evolutionary ancestry of the remaining cellular compartments is incompletely documented. Resolving the evolutionary history of organelle-identity encoding proteins within the endomembrane system is a necessity for unravelling the origins and diversification of the endogenously derived organelles. Comparative genomics reveals events after the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA), but resolution of events prior to LECA, and a full account of the intracellular compartments present in LECA, has proved elusive. We have devised and exploited a new phylogenetic strategy to reconstruct the history of the Rab GTPases, a key family of endomembrane-specificity proteins. Strikingly, we infer a remarkably sophisticated organellar composition for LECA, which we predict possessed as many as 23 Rab GTPases. This repertoire is significantly greater than that present in many modern organisms and unexpectedly indicates a major role for secondary loss in the evolutionary diversification of the endomembrane system. We have identified two Rab paralogues of unknown function but wide distribution, and thus presumably ancient nature; RabTitan and RTW. Furthermore, we show that many Rab paralogues emerged relatively suddenly during early metazoan evolution, which is in stark contrast to the lack of significant Rab family expansions at the onset of most other major eukaryotic groups. Finally, we reconstruct higher-order ancestral clades of Rabs primarily linked with endocytic and exocytic process, suggesting the presence of primordial Rabs associated with the establishment of those pathways and giving the deepest glimpse to date into pre-LECA history of the endomembrane system. © 2012. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Koukol O.,Charles University
Fungal Diversity | Year: 2011

Chalara is a genus of anamorphic fungi with typical phialidic conidiogenous cells. Species of Chalara live mostly as litter saprotrophs, many of them on coniferous litter. In this study, the morphology and DNA sequences (ITS rDNA, 28S rDNA and EF-1α) of strains of various species of Chalara isolated from coniferous litter needles were compared with those of strains from public collections. The majority of the isolates belonged to the C. longipes. Other strains represent C. piceae-abietis, C. microspora, C. microchona and four hitherto undescribed species. These are introduced here as C. holubovae sp. nov., C. hyalocuspica sp. nov., C. pseudoaffinis sp. nov. and C. recta sp. nov. Chalara recta is most closely related to C. longipes, which was found to be paraphyletic. However, no correlation of molecular data with the morphology was found. Chalara holubovae is specific among the Chalara species in that it has a synanamorph with fusiform conidia. Together with C. hyalocuspica, C. holubovae likely belong to the anamorphic Hyaloscyphaceae. Chalara piceae-abietis is epitypified. Epitypicifation of C. longipes and C. microspora cannot be done due to absence of a convenient specimen. Chalara austriaca may be re-discovered also after a targeted sampling in the locality of the type specimen. The majority of studied species are saprotrophic and colonise litter needles. An endophytic phase in living needles or other parts of a tree was confirmed for the species C. longipes and C. hyalocuspica. C. holubovae has been recorded only as an endophyte. © 2011 Kevin D. Hyde.

Bertolini S.,International School for Advanced Studies | Di Luzio L.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Malinsky M.,Charles University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We analyze the relation between the present (and foreseen) bounds on matter stability and the presence of TeV-scale color octet scalar states in nonsupersymmetric SO(10) grand unification with one adjoint Higgs representation triggering the symmetry breaking. This scenario, discarded long ago due to tree-level tachyonic instabilities appearing in all phenomenologically viable breaking patterns, has been recently revived at the quantum level. By including the relevant two-loop corrections we find a tight correlation between the octet mass and the unification scale which either requires a light color octet scalar within the reach of the LHC or, alternatively, a proton lifetime accessible to the forthcoming megaton-scale facilities. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Pluhar Z.,Charles University | Weidenmuller H.A.,Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We calculate the S-matrix correlation function for chaotic scattering on quantum graphs and show that it agrees with that of random-matrix theory. We also calculate all higher S-matrix correlation functions in the Ericson regime. These, too, agree with random-matrix theory results as far as the latter are known. We conjecture that our results give a universal description of chaotic scattering. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Kocovsky P.,University of Stockholm | Kocovsky P.,Czech Institute of Organic Chemistry And Biochemistry | Kocovsky P.,Charles University | Backvall J.-E.,University of Stockholm
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2014

In this review the stereochemistry of palladiumcatalyzed addition of nucleophiles to alkenes is discussed, and examples of these reactions in organic synthesis are given. Most of the reactions discussed involve oxygen and nitrogen nucleophiles; the Wacker oxidation of ethylene has been reviewed in detail. An anti-hydroxypalladation in the Wacker oxidation has strong support from both experimental and computational studies. From the reviewed material it is clear that anti-addition of oxygen and nitrogen nucleophiles is strongly favored in intermolecular addition to olefin-palladium complexes even if the nucleophile is coordinated to the metal. On the other hand, syn-addition is common in the case of intramolecular oxy- and amidopalladation as a result of the initial coordination of the internal nucleophile to the metal. © 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Vesely A.,Charles University
Policy Sciences | Year: 2016

This article argues that policy advice can be understood as a special kind of “policy work” that depends upon a diverse set of factors operating at different levels. The basic aim of the article is to disentangle this multi-level and multifaceted phenomenon into a conceptual framework that can be used for empirical analysis and theory building. In that framework, policy advice is conceptualized as a never-ending interaction among various actors in a specific institutional context, through which routines and norms are both reproduced and abolished. First, it is explained why policy advice is most fruitfully understood as a special kind of policy work, and then how it relates to other policy work activities. Second, problems with single-level approaches are discussed and the need for a multi-level approach is explained. Third, a multi-level conceptual framework is formulated and described. Fourth, some possible applications of the framework are illustrated with examples from current empirical research. The article concludes with implications for research and theory building. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York

Mikula P.,Charles University
Ardea | Year: 2014

Birds inhabiting urban areas have to cope with novel conditions. Unlike natural habitats, birds in urban environments are exposed to an increased human presence which often induces stress. Urban birds with reduced sensitivity to human disturbance can obtain benefits such as longer foraging time or decreased energy costs for escape. Here, I tested the hypothesis that the decrease in flight initiation distance (FID) to a potential predator (an approaching human) reflects adaptation to the level of disturbance expressed as pedestrian density. Moreover, I studied the Influence of habitat type and species on observed FIDs. I analysed 2117 flight distances (20 species of European birds) located in ten localities in Prague. I found that species and pedestrian density play a more important role in determining FIDs than the type of habitat. Moreover, urban populations exposed to increased pedestrian density had consistently shorter flight distances. This study provides empirical documentation of changes in anti-predator behaviour, which strongly correlate with the pedestrian density gradient. It could support the idea that the establishment of FID can be highly plastic process depending on local conditions, as it is highly affected by a bird's individuality and its ability to adapt to the local level of disturbance by learning.

Mancal T.,Charles University
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2013

We formulate a classical pure dephasing system-bath interaction model in a full correspondence to the well-studied quantum model of natural light-harvesting antennae. The equations of motion of our classical model not only represent the correct classical analogy to the quantum description of excitonic systems, but they also have exactly the same functional form. We demonstrate derivation of classical dissipation and relaxation tensor in second order perturbation theory. We find that the only difference between the classical and quantum descriptions is in the interpretation of the state and in certain limitations imposed on the parameters of the model by classical physics. The effects of delocalization, transfer pathway interference, and the transition from coherent to diffusive transfer can be found already in the classical realm. The only qualitatively new effect occurring in quantum systems is the preference for a downhill energy transfer and the resulting possibility of trapping the energy in the lowest energy state. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Matolin M.,Charles University
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity | Year: 2016

The radiometric map of the Czech Republic is based on uniform regional airborne radiometric total count measurements (1957-1959) which covered 100% of the country. The airborne radiometric instrument was calibrated to a 226Ra point source. The calibration facility for field gamma-ray spectrometers, established in the Czech Republic in 1975, significantly contributed to the subsequent radiometric data standardization. In the 1990's, the original analogue airborne radiometric data were digitized and using the method of back-calibration (IAEA, 2003) converted to dose rate. The map of terrestrial gamma radiation expressed in dose rate (nGy/h) was published on the scale 1:500,000 in 1995. Terrestrial radiation in the Czech Republic, formed by magmatic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks of Proterozoic to Quaternary age, ranges mostly from 6 to 245 nGy/h, with a mean of 65.6 ± 19.0 nGy/h. The elevated terrestrial radiation in the Czech Republic, in comparison to the global dose rate average of 54 nGy/h, reflects an enhanced content of natural radioactive elements in the rocks.The 1995 published radiometric map of the Czech Republic was successively studied and verified by additional ground gamma-ray spectrometric measurements and by comparison to radiometric maps of Germany, Poland and Slovakia in border zones. A ground dose rate intercomparison measurement under participation of foreign and domestic professional institutions revealed mutual dose rate deviations about 20 nGy/h and more due to differing technical parameters of applied radiometric instruments. Studies and verification of the radiometric map of the Czech Republic illustrate the magnitude of current deviations in dose rate data. This gained experience can assist in harmonization of dose rate data on the European scale. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Ettler V.,Charles University
Applied Geochemistry | Year: 2016

This review summarizes over 160 studies focused on soil contamination near non-ferrous metal smelters. The methods of these investigations were examined with an emphasis on the combinations of traditional (geo)chemical approaches with various mineralogical and metal isotope techniques that are particularly helpful for depicting the fate of smelter-derived contamination in the soil. Differences in the distributions and binding of metal(loid)s in smelter-affected soils from temperate and (sub)tropical climatic zones indicate the greater vulnerability of the latter. Prevailing wind direction is a key factor affecting the dispersion of smelter emissions and their subsequent deposition into the soils, with greater importance found especially in arid areas. Whereas the greatest contamination is generally observed in the surface soil layers, downward migration of metal(loid)s in the soil profiles has been documented at numerous sites. Contamination of smelter soils significantly affects both plants and soil organisms, but suitable remediation techniques (such as chemical stabilization of soils by amendments) can be used for reducing the bioavailability of contaminants. © 2015.

Korbel M.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2013

Periprosthetic fractures are the third most common reason for revision total hip arthroplasty. Surgical treatment of periprosthetic fractures belongs to the most difficult procedures due to the extensive surgery, elderly polymorbid patients and the high frequency of other complications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of operatively treated periprosthetic femoral fractures after total hip arthroplasty. We evaluated 47 periprosthetic fractures in 40 patients (18 men and 22 women) operated on between January 2004 and December 2010. The mean follow-up period was 27 months (within a range of 12-45 months). For the clinical evaluation, we used modified Merle d'Aubigné scoring system. In group of Vancouver A fractures, 3 patients were treated with a mean score of 15.7 points (good result). We recorded a mean score of 14.2 points (fair result) in 6 patients with Vancouver B1 fractures, 12.4 points (fair result) in 24 patients with Vancouver B2 fractures and 12.7 points (fair result) in 7 patients with Vancouver B3 fractures. In group of Vancouver C fractures, we found a mean score of 16.2 points (good result) in 7 patients. Therapeutic algorithm based on the Vancouver classification system is, in our opinion, satisfactory. Accurate differentiation of B1 and B2 type of fractures is essential. Preoperative radiographic images may not be reliable. If in doubt, checking the stability of the prosthesis fixation during surgery should be performed.

Iorio A.,Charles University
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2015

We offer some arguments in favor of the construction of an experimental facility, where to test fundamental theories of Nature by using co-responding systems. Co-responding systems are physical systems such that certain behaviors of one system are clearly related to certain behaviors of the other system. Physical systems available at our energy scales, co-responding to the unreachable high-energy systems, are what we need, to attack from an experimental perspective the open questions beyond the reach of CERN. The focus here is on two scenarios with which we have some familiarity: hadron production in high energy scattering processes as a Unruh phenomenon, and graphene as a quantum field theory in a curved spacetime, the latter being our prime bet. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

The similarity search in theoretical mass spectra generated from protein sequence databases is a widely accepted approach for identification of peptides from query mass spectra produced by shotgun proteomics. Growing protein sequence databases and noisy query spectra demand database indexing techniques and better similarity measures for the comparison of theoretical spectra against query spectra. We employ a modification of previously proposed parameterized Hausdorff distance for comparisons of mass spectra. The new distance outperforms the original distance, the angle distance and state-of-the-art peptide identification tools OMSSA and X!Tandem in the number of identified peptides even though the q-value is only 0.001. When a precursor mass filter is used as a database indexing technique, our method outperforms OMSSA in the speed of search. When variable modifications are not searched, the search time is similar to X!Tandem. We show that the precursor mass filter is an efficient database indexing technique for high-accuracy data even though many variable modifications are being searched. We demonstrate that the number of identified peptides is bigger when variable modifications are searched separately by more search runs of a peptide identification engine. Otherwise, the false discovery rates are affected by mixing unmodified and modified spectra together resulting in a lower number of identified peptides. Our method is implemented in the freely available application SimTandem which can be used in the framework TOPP based on OpenMS.

Grasselli M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Prazak D.,Charles University
Interfaces and Free Boundaries | Year: 2011

We consider a system which describes the behavior of a binary mixture of immiscible incompressible fluids with shear dependent viscosity by means of the diffuse interface approach. This system consists of Navier-Stokes type equations, characterized by a nonlinear stress-strain law, which are nonlinearly coupled with a convective Cahn-Hilliard equation for the order parameter. We analyze the corresponding dynamical system and, by means of the short trajectory method, we prove the existence of global and exponential attractors. We also discuss the dependence of an upper bound of the fractal dimension on the physical parameters of the system. © European Mathematical Society 2011.

PruSa V.,Charles University | Rajagopal K.R.,Texas A&M University
Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2012

Starting with an implicit constitutive relation between the stress and relative deformation gradient histories to describe the response of a fluid, and using the assumption of fading memory, we show that both rate type and differential type fluid representations can be obtained, as approximations in retarded motions, that have the same form as the Maxwell, Oldroyd-B, Rivlin-Ericksen, and other popular fluid models. This result provides further evidence that the recently proposed implicit constitutive framework provides a very robust and general methodology to describe fluid response. Thus, fluids defined through an implicit constitutive relation between the stress and relative deformation gradient histories can be seen as an appropriate generalization of the notion of simple fluids and rate type fluids. © 2012.

Richardson D.M.,Stellenbosch University | Pysek P.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Pysek P.,Charles University
New Phytologist | Year: 2012

Contents: Summary 383 I. Introduction 383 II. The introduction-naturalization-invasion continuum for conceptualizing biological invasions 384 III. The biogeographical background for studying naturalization: variation among populations and regions 385 IV. Factors determining naturalization in plants 388 Acknowledgements 392 References 392 Summary: The literature on biological invasions is biased in favour of invasive species - those that spread and often reach high abundance following introduction by humans. It is, however, also important to understand previous stages in the introduction-naturalization-invasion continuum ('the continuum'), especially the factors that mediate naturalization. The emphasis on invasiveness is partly because most invasions are only recognized once species occupy large adventive ranges or start to spread. Also, many studies lump all alien species, and fail to separate introduced, naturalized and invasive populations and species. These biases impede our ability to elucidate the full suite of drivers of invasion and to predict invasion dynamics, because different factors mediate progression along different sections of the continuum. A better understanding of the determinants of naturalization is important because all naturalized species are potential invaders. Processes leading to naturalization act differently in different regions and global biogeographical patterns of plant invasions result from the interaction of population-biological, macroecological and human-induced factors. We explore what is known about how determinants of naturalization in plants interact at various scales, and how their importance varies along the continuum. Research that is explicitly linked to particular stages of the continuum can generate new information that is appropriate for improving the management of biological invasions if, for example, potentially invasive species are identified before they exert an impact. © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

Stiborova M.,Charles University | Frei E.,German Cancer Research Center
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

The anti-tumor therapeutic ellipticine and its derivatives act as potent anticancer agents via a combined mechanism involving cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis. Cell death induced by ellipticine has been shown to engage a p53-dependent pathway, cell cycle arrest, interaction with several kinases and induction of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptotic cell death. Cell cycle arrest was shown to result from DNA damage caused by a variety of tumor chemotherapeutic agents; this is also the case for ellipticines. The prevalent DNA-mediated mechanisms of anti-tumor, mutagenic and cytotoxic activities of ellipticine are (i) intercalation into DNA, (ii) inhibition of DNA topoisomerase II activity, and (iii) covalent binding to DNA in vitro and in vivo after enzymatic activation by cytochrome P450 and/or peroxidase enzymes The mechanism leading to apoptosis by ellipticine is thought to also be associated with DNA damage, by inhibition of topoisomerase II and the covalent modification of DNA. In addition, the formation of ellipticine-DNA adducts ultimately can mutate cancer cells or initiate cell death. The aim of this review is to summarize our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms with the aim to explain the effectiveness of ellipticines as DNA-targeted chemotherapeutics in cancer cells. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

Amlerova J.,Charles University
Epilepsy & behavior : E&B | Year: 2012

Hyperfamiliarity is a type of paramnesia characterized by an increased feeling of familiarity to unfamiliar faces. This dysfunction has been associated with frontal and temporal lobe pathology. The study investigated hyperfamiliarity in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) by assessing their ability to recognize both familiar and unfamiliar faces. We evaluated 61 patients with pharmacoresistant TLE (33 right-sided, 28 left-sided) and 16 controls. The ability to recognize familiar faces was similar in patients and controls, although patients with left-sided TLE showed poorer performance in familiar face naming compared to both right-sided TLE patients and controls. Hyperfamiliarity was observed in a significantly higher number of patients with TLE compared to controls; in subgroup analysis, only right-sided TLE patients expressed hyperfamiliarity. Overall, patients with right-sided TLE showed more severe impairment compared to patients with left-sided TLE. It is proposed that hyperfamiliarity can be a relatively common symptom in patients with treatment-refractory TLE and right-sided focus. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bleyer A.J.,Medical Center Boulevard | Kmoch S.,Charles University
Kidney International | Year: 2014

Autosomal dominant tubulointerstitial kidney disease (ADTKD) refers to a group of conditions characterized by autosomal dominant inheritance, a bland urinary sediment with minimal blood and protein, pathologic changes of tubular and interstitial fibrosis, and slowly progressive chronic kidney disease. This commentary discusses recent advances in our medical knowledge of these conditions, including the recent identification of mutations in the MUC1 gene as a cause of ADTKD and changes in terminology proposed by Ekici et al.

Treglown A.,Charles University | Zhao Y.,Georgia State University
Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series A | Year: 2012

Given positive integers k and ℓ where 4 divides k and k/2 ≤ ℓ ≤ k-1, we give a minimum ℓ-degree condition that ensures a perfect matching in a k-uniform hypergraph. This condition is best possible and improves on work of Pikhurko who gave an asymptotically exact result. Our approach makes use of the absorbing method, as well as the hypergraph removal lemma and a structural result of Keevash and Sudakov relating to the Turán number of the expanded triangle. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Stofkova A.,Charles University
Endocrine Regulations | Year: 2010

Adipokines play a significant role in the pathogenesis of a low-grade inflammation associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome, and in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Among variety of adipokines, resistin and visfatin are proposed as important pro-inflammatory mediators, which also interfere with the central regulation of insulin sensitivity. Resistin has been initially postulated as a risk factor for insulin resistance, however, the subsequent available data on it have revealed contradictory findings in both humans and rodents. On the other hand, visfatin has been suggested to be a beneficial adipokine with insulin-mimicking/- sensitizing effects, but regulation of visfatin production and its physiological importance in the conditions of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are still not completely understood. Despite the opposing effects of resistin and visfatin on the regulation of insulin sensitivity, both adipokines have pro-inflammatory properties. Clinical and experimental studies have shown that the expression and secretion of resistin and visfatin are up-regulated during inflammation and in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines. It has also become increasingly evident that resistin as well as visfatin itself can contribute to the inflammatory processes by triggering cytokine production and NF-kappaB activation. New insight into the role of adipokines makes them attractive targets for novel therapeutic strategies in chronic inflammatory diseases or subclinical inflammation relating to obesity and various metabolic abnormalities.

The surface area-to-volume ratio of cells is one of the key factors affecting fundamental biological processes and, thus, fitness of unicellular organisms. One of the general models for allometric increase in surface-to-volume scaling involves fractal-like elaboration of cellular surfaces. However, specific data illustrating this pattern in natural populations of the unicellular organisms have not previously been available. This study shows that unicellular green algae of the genus Micrasterias (Desmidiales) have positive allometric surface-to-volume scaling caused by changes in morphology of individual species, especially in the degree of cell lobulation. This allometric pattern was also detected within most of the cultured and natural populations analysed. Values of the allometric S:V scaling within individual populations were closely correlated to the phylogenetic structure of the clade. In addition, they were related to species-specific cellular morphology. Individual populations differed in their allometric patterns, and their position in the allometric space was strongly correlated with the degree of allometric S:V scaling. This result illustrates that allometric shape patterns are an important correlate of the capacity of individual populations to compensate for increases in their cell volumes by increasing the surface area. However, variation in allometric patterns was not associated with phylogenetic structure. This indicates that the position of the populations in the allometric space was not evolutionarily conserved and might be influenced by environmental factors. © 2016 European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

Biederman H.,Charles University
Surface and Coatings Technology | Year: 2011

Nanocomposite metal/plasma polymer films have been deposited since the seventies of the last century using sputtering or thermal evaporation of a metal simultaneously with a plasma polymerization process. The main attention was paid to fluorocarbon and hydrocarbon plasma polymers as matrices for the incorporation of metals such as Au and Ag. Main deposition techniques used for the fabrication of such nanocomposites are reviewed together with an overview of their basic optical and electrical properties, composition and structure. Proposed applications are mentioned as well. In addition, RF magnetron co-sputtering of a polymer such as polytetrafluoroethylene, is also mentioned. Nanostructuring of a fluorocarbon plasma polymer by changing deposition parameters including deposition system geometry is revealed and the application in terms of superhydrophobic coating is mentioned. Cluster sources, namely the gas aggregation (condensation) cluster source (GAS) based on a planar magnetron in a compact and simple form is described and its performance for the preparation of nanocomposite and nanostructured metal/plasma polymer films is discussed. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Sumnik Z.,Charles University
Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions | Year: 2013

To present gender-specific pediatric normative data on the main parameters of muscle function assessed using jumping mechanography. The study population included 796 non-selected Caucasian children and adolescents (432 girls and 364 boys) aged 6-19 years recruited from 6 primary schools and 3 high schools. Maximum peak power (Pmax) was examined by a single two-legged jump, and maximum force (Fmax) was examined by a multiple one-legged hopping. All measurements were performed using a portable force platform (Leonardo Mechanograph, Novotec). Pmax, Pmax/mass, Fmax and Fmax/body weight were analyzed as the main outcome parameters. LMS method was used to generate age- and weight-specific reference smooth curves. Both Pmax and Fmax were strongly dependent on age and weight in both genders (all p<0.001). In prepubertal children, there was no intergender difference in Pmax or Fmax. Both parameters steadily increased in boys and plateaued in girls aged >13 years. Whereas Pmax/mass was more dependent on anthropometric parameters, Fmax/BW remained nearly constant with respect to age and weight. These reference data are intended to assist clinicians in the assessment of muscle function by jumping mechanography in pediatric patients.

A compact handheld Raman spectrometer equipped with a 532 nm excitation laser was used to detect pigments as possible biomarkers in autotrophic (cyanobacteria and purple sulfur bacteria) and heterotrophic halophilic microorganisms (Archaea of the family Halobacteriaceae, Salinibacter). Common as well as less common carotenoids, including &-bacterioruberin, salinixanthin, and spirilloxanthin derivatives were detected in cell pellets of model organisms belonging to the genera Haloferax, Haloarcula, Halobacterium (Archaea), Salinibacter (Bacteroidetes), and Ectothiorhodospira (Gammaproteobacteria). Direct measurements on such cultures provide fast and reliable identification of pigments. Bacterioruberin was detected as the dominant carotenoid in pellets of cells collected from the saltern crystallizer ponds in Eilat, Israel. Raman analysis of the colored layered microbial communities in a benthic gypsum crust in the saltern evaporation ponds showed signals consistent with the presence of myxoxanthophyll and echinenone carotenoids in the upper orange and dark-green cyanobacterial layers. Chlorophyll a and phycocyanin expected in the green layer were not detected using the green excitation. Spirilloxanthin dominates the red layer below, inhabited mainly by purple sulfur bacteria. To our best knowledge, this is the first attempt to detect and identify pigments in natural microbial communities consisting of different types of halophilic microorganisms by direct Raman spectrometric measurements using light compact handheld devices. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Hell P.,Simon Fraser University | Hell P.,Charles University
European Journal of Combinatorics | Year: 2013

We discuss partition problems that generalize graph colouring and homomorphism problems, and occur frequently in the study of perfect graphs. Depending on the pattern, we seek a finite forbidden induced subgraph characterization, or at least a polynomial time algorithm. We give an overview of the current knowledge, focusing on open problems and recent breakthroughs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Benes V.,Charles University
Acta neurochirurgica. Supplement | Year: 2011

The 3T ioMRI in Prague is composed of two independent suites: the operating theatre and the 3T MR suite, both of which can and do work independently. They are connected by a double door and a special transportation system. The whole operating table is moved on rails to and from the MR gantry. Anaesthesiological equipment is built from paramagnetic material, which is also moved to and from the MR suite. The integral parts of the multifunctional surgical suite (MFSS) are the neuronavigation system, electrophysiological monitoring, surgical microscope with availability of indocyanin green angiography and fluorescence-guided glioma resection technique and endoscopy equipment. The operating theatre is equipped in a normal fashion with the exception of a head holder that is paramagnetic. MR radiologist and MR assistants are alerted approximately 30 min before the requested intraoperative and out-patient service is interrupted to clean the MR suite. The ioMRI takes 15-20 min and immediately after the door closes the out patient activity is resumed. Intraoperative MR was performed in 332 surgeries in the first 17 months of operation. The most frequent indications were pituitary adenomas, followed by gliomas. Other indications were less frequent and included meningiomas, cavernomas, aneurysms, epilepsy surgery, intramedullary lesions, non-pituitary sellar lesions, metastases and various other surgeries. In 332 cases no technical or medical complication connected with ioMRI was encountered.

Balek P.,Charles University
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2016

The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) measures charged hadron spectra obtained in 2010 and 2011 lead-lead LHC data taking periods with total integrated statistics of 0.15 nb-1. The results are compared to the pp spectra of charged hadrons at the same centre-of-mass energy based on the data sample with integrated luminosity of 4.2 pb-1 obtained by the ATLAS experiment in 2011 and 2013. This allows a detailed comparison of the two collision systems in a wide transverse momentum (0.5

Spousta M.,Charles University
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2016

In this short paper we provide an overview of new results from the ATLAS physics program at the LHC as of spring 2015. We separately summarize the results from pPb collisions and Pb+Pb collisions along with some of their interpretations. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Sukumar S.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2011

The study was designed to evaluate the clinical outcome of a composite material, beta-tricalcium phosphate in combination with calcium sulphate, in the treatment of periodontal intrabony defects. The combination of these materials is believed to aid in guided tissue regeneration owing to their properties. A total of 47 teeth with intrabony defects in 26 periodontitis patients were treated with Fortoss Vital (Biocomposites, Staffordshire, U.K.). Clinical parameters were evaluated which included changes in probing depth, clinical attachment level/loss and gingival recession at the baseline and 2 years postoperatively. The mean differences in measurements between the baseline and 2 years postoperatively were a reduction of 2.07 +/- 1.14 mm (p = 0.000) in case of probing depth and a gain of 1.93 +/- 1.36 mm (p = 0.000) in clinical attachment level; but an increase of 0.14 +/- 0.73 mm (p = 0.571) in gingival recession. The study results show that the treatment with a combination of beta tricalcium phosphate and calcium sulphate led to a significantly favorable clinical improvement in periodontal intrabony defects 2 years after the surgery.

The complete renal artery embolization is an alternative to surgical nephrectomy in seriously ill patients. Iatrogenic embolization can be used in many different conditions. Refractory nephrotic syndrome represents a very rare indication for embolization. Complete renal artery embolization has usually been complicated by postembolization syndrome (PES) which is characterized by flank pain and fever. Possible immunologic contribution to the PES leads some authors to the administration of corticosteroids to the patients undergoing embolization. We report here a cohort of 13 patients undergoing complete embolization of total 21 kidneys due to refractory nephrotic syndrome non-responding to the various specific treatment regimes. We treated our patients undergoing renal artery embolization according to special protocol containing combination of antibiotic drugs and corticosteroids (CS) to diminish PES and evaluated its influence to the cytokine production. The incidence of PES was less frequent and milder in comparison with the historical group of patients. Significant decrease in plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor α during first post-embolization day (8.37 pre- vs. 5.74 pg/ml post-embolization, P=0.0002) could partially explain the reduction of PES symptoms. The procedure was not complicated by severe complications and represents an elegant alternative to surgical procedure. The accurate timing of the embolization remains a controversial point in this intervention.

The administration of a radionuclide in unsealed source whose radiation will destroy cells that have selectively accumulated product is called radiometabolic therapy. The management of bone pain is a major problem, particularly in cases of breast or prostate where the presence of metastases can remain compatible with long-term survival of cancer patients. In this context, the radiometabolic therapy reduces the pain secondary to bone metastases, in association or not with analgesics. This technique is rarely prescribed as first-line. It can also be combined with external beam radiotherapy or chemotherapy, if clinical conditions permit (due to the increased risk of hematologic toxicity). In this setting, the currently used substances are Metastron® and Quadramet®. Recently, a new product, radium chloride (or Alpharadin®) has shown efficacy in bone metastases from prostate cancer, particularly in terms of bone pain palliation, but also of increased overall survival. In addition, this product has virtually no hematologic toxicity. ©John Libbey Eurotext.

Skrbek L.,Charles University
Journal of Low Temperature Physics | Year: 2010

A number of experiments where quantum turbulence in helium superfluids has been generated by various means (such as towed/oscillating grids, thermal coun-terflow, pure superflow, spin-down, ion/vortex rings emission) displays a temporal decay of the observed vortex line density, of the power law form L =Γt-3/2 at late times. The prefactor, Γ, in analogy with classical homogeneous isotropic turbulence, allows deducing the temperature dependent effective kinematic viscosity, v eff,for turbulent helium superfluids. It appears to be a robust quantity, independent of methods of generating quantum turbulence and detecting the decaying vortex line density. We present a simple phenomenological model to estimate v eff based on comparison of dissipation terms in equations of motion for classical viscous flow and vortex flow of a superfluid in a stationary normal fluid. This model leads to v eff ≈iκq, where q = α/(1-α'); a and α' being dimensionless mutual friction parameters. Within the temperature range where mutual friction dissipation mechanism is dominant this simple model prediction agrees well with the experimental data and with the recent theoretical estimate of Roche, Barenghi and Leveque (Europhys. Lett. 87:54006, 2009). © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

Tierra G.,Charles University | Guillen-Gonzalez F.,University of Seville
Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering | Year: 2015

In this paper, we review some numerical methods presented in the literature in the last years to approximate the Cahn–Hilliard equation. Our aim is to compare the main properties of each one of the approaches to try to determine which one we should choose depending on which are the crucial aspects when we approximate the equations. Among the properties that we consider desirable to control are the time accuracy order, energy-stability, unique solvability and the linearity or nonlinearity of the resulting systems. In particular, we concern about the iterative methods used to approximate the nonlinear schemes and the constraints that may arise on the physical and computational parameters. Furthermore, we present the connections of the Cahn–Hilliard equation with other physically motivated systems (not only phase field models) and we state how the ideas of efficient numerical schemes in one topic could be extended to other frameworks in a natural way. © 2014, CIMNE, Barcelona, Spain.

Reischig T.,Charles University
Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy | Year: 2012

Prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is an important part of clinical care provided to patients after solid organ transplantation. While the optimal preventive strategy has not been defined, most centers rely on universal prophylaxis or pre-emptive therapy. This article comments on recent studies designed to identify strategies that effectively reduce the incidence of late-onset CMV disease as the main problem associated with prophylaxis, and on recent data regarding the development of CMV-specific immunity depending on the CMV-preventive regimen used. Despite an apparent trend to prefer prophylaxis in clinical practice, this approach does not seem to be based on robust evidence. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.

L'vov V.S.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Skrbek L.,Charles University | Sreenivasan K.R.,Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
Physics of Fluids | Year: 2014

In the vicinity of the superfluid transition in liquid 4He, we explore the relation between two apparently unrelated physical quantities-the kinematic viscosity, ν, in the normal state and the quantum of circulation, κ, in the superfluid state. The model developed here leads to the simple relationship ν ≈ κ/6, and links the classical and quantum flow properties of liquid 4He. We critically examine available data relevant to this relation and find that the prediction holds well at the saturated vapor pressure. Additionally,we predict the kinematic viscosity for liquid 4He along the λ-line at negative pressures © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

Kvacek Z.,Charles University
Bulletin of Geosciences | Year: 2010

An attempt is made to follow the extent of forest types during the Palaeocene and Eocene in time and space over Europe. Problems that hinder producing more detailed maps of potential Eocene vegetation are the different palaeogeographic configuration of land and sea and changing relief due to orogeny, the variation in global climate, atmospheric circulation and the world ocean. The early Palaeogene palaeofloristic sites in Europe are widely spaced and the data so far obtained are of varying quality from one site to another. The differences between zonal, intrazonal (azonal) and extrazonal formations and impact of precipitation must be considered. Objective definitions of units based on diversity percentages of components are still to be elaborated. The macropalaeobotanical data thus far available allow us to distinguish intuitively three zonal vegetation types: 1) Broad-leaved evergreen/semi-evergreen quasi-paratropical forest with a high diversity of woody angiosperms related to tropical families, ferns and a low diversity of conifers (mostly Doliostrobus), 2) Broad-leaved nothophyllous evergreen forest with evergreen Fagaceae, Lauraceae, Altingiaceae, Myrtaceae and some conifers (Pinus, Doliostrobus, Cephalotaxus) and 3) Polar deciduous to mixed mesophytic forest with well diversified angiosperms predominantly deciduous and moderate representation of Ginkgo, conifers and ferns. Intrazonal (azonal) formations include riparian gallery forests, coal-forming swamp forests, and poorly developed mangroves with marginal freshwater wetland/aquatic vegetation. The Eocene extrazonal vegetation is less distinct in Europe, consisting probably of pine forests in high mountains and lowland sclerophyllous scrub on specific substrates.

Kristoufek L.,Charles University | Kristoufek L.,Czech Institute of Information Theory And Automation
Advances in Complex Systems | Year: 2012

We investigate whether the fractal markets hypothesis and its focus on liquidity and investment horizons give reasonable predictions about the dynamics of the financial markets during turbulences such as the Global Financial Crisis of late 2000s. Compared to the mainstream efficient markets hypothesis, the fractal markets hypothesis considers the financial markets as complex systems consisting of many heterogenous agents, which are distinguishable mainly with respect to their investment horizon. In the paper, several novel measures of trading activity at different investment horizons are introduced through the scaling of variance of the underlying processes. On the three most liquid US indices DJI, NASDAQ and S&P500 we show that the predictions of the fractal markets hypothesis actually fit the observed behavior adequately. © 2012 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Elias M.,Charles University | Elias M.,University of Ostrava
Molecular Membrane Biology | Year: 2010

The eukaryotic endomembrane system (ES) is served by hundreds of dedicated proteins. Experimental characterization of the ES-associated molecular machinery in several model eukaryotes complemented by a recent progress in phylogenomics and comparative genomics have revealed a conserved complex core of the machinery that appears to have been established before the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). At the same time, modern eukaryotes exhibit a huge variation in the ES resulting from a multitude of evolutionary processes operating along the ever-branching paths from the LECA to its descendants. The most important source of evolutionary novelty in the ES functioning has undoubtedly been gene duplication followed by divergence of the gene copies, responsible not only for the pre-LECA establishment of many multi-paralog families of proteins in the very core of the ES-associated machinery, but also for post-LECA lineage-specific elaborations via family expansions and the origin of novel components. Extreme sequence divergence has obscured actual homologous relationships between potentially many components of the machinery, even between orthologous proteins, as illustrated by the yeast Vps51 subunit of the vesicle tethering complex GARP hypothesized here to be a highly modified ortholog of a conserved eukaryotic family typified by the zebrafish Fat-free (Ffr) protein. A dynamic evolution of many ES-associated proteins, especially those centred around RAB and ARF GTPases, seems to take place at the level of their domain architectures. Finally, reductive evolution and recurrent gene loss are emerging as pervasive factors shaping the ES in all phylogenetic lineages. © 2010 Informa UK, Ltd.

Filla J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Filla J.,Charles University | Honys D.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Amino Acids | Year: 2012

Rapid changes of protein phosphorylation play a crucial role in the regulation of many cellular processes. Being post-translationally modified, phosphoproteins are often present in quite low abundance and tend to co-exist with their unphosphorylated isoform within the cell. To make their identification more practicable, the use of enrichment protocols is often required. The enrichment strategies can be performed either at the level of phosphoproteins or at the level of phosphopeptides. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Most enriching strategies are based on chemical modifications, affinity chromatography to capture peptides and proteins containing negatively charged phosphate groups onto a positively charged matrix, or immunoprecipitation by phospho-specific antibodies. In this article, the most up-to-date enrichment techniques are discussed, taking into account their optimization, and highlighting their advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, these methods are compared to each other, revealing their complementary nature in providing comprehensive coverage of the phosphoproteome. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Popper H.H.,Medical University of Graz | Ryska A.,Charles University | Timar J.,Semmelweis University | Olszewski W.,Cancer Center
Translational Lung Cancer Research | Year: 2014

The clinical expectations how pathologists should submit lung cancer diagnosis have changed dramatically. Until mid 90-ties a clear separation between small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) was mostly sufficient. With the invention of antiangiogenic treatment a differentiation between squamous and non-squamous NSCLC was requested. When epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation was detected in patients with pulmonary adenocarcinomas and subsequent specific treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) was invented, sub-classification of NSCLC and molecular analysis of the tumor tissue for mutations was asked for. Pathologists no longer submit just a diagnosis, but instead are involved in a multidisciplinary team for lung cancer patient management. After EGFR several other driver genes such as echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4-AL-Kinase 1 (EML4-ALK1), c-ros oncogene 1 , receptor tyrosine kinase (ROS1), discoidin domain receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (DDR2), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) were discovered, and more to come. Due to new developments in bronchology (EUS, EBUS) the amount of tissue submitted for diagnosis and molecular analysis is decreasing, however, the genes to be analyzed are increasing. Many of these driver gene aberrations are inversions or translocations and thus require FISH analysis. Each of these analyses requires a certain amount of tumor cells or one to two tissue sections from an already limited amount of tissues or cells. In this respect new genetic test systems have been introduced such as next generation sequencing, which enables not only to detect multiple mutations in different genes, but also amplifications and fusion genes. As soon as these methods have been validated for routine molecular analysis this will enable the analysis of multiple genetic changes simultaneously. In this review we will focus on genetic aberrations in NSCLC, resistance to new target therapies, and also to methodological requirements for a meaningful evaluation of lung cancer tissue and cells. © Translational lung cancer research. All rights reserved.

The ATLAS detector at the LHC obtained the sample of p+Pb data at sNN=5.02TeV with integrated luminosity of 25 nb-1, which can be compared to the pp data obtained by interpolating pp measurements at s=2.76TeV and 7 TeV. Due to the excellent capabilities of the ATLAS detector, and its stable operation in heavy ion as well as proton-proton physics runs, the data allow measurements of the nuclear modification factor, ratio of heavy ion charged particle spectra divided by pp reference, in different centrality classes over a wide range of rapidity. The charged particle nuclear modification factor is found to vary significantly as a function of transverse momentum with a stronger dependence in more peripheral collisions. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Jungwirth T.,ASCR Institute of Physics Prague | Jungwirth T.,University of Nottingham | Wunderlich J.,ASCR Institute of Physics Prague | Wunderlich J.,Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2014

Over the past two decades, the research of (Ga,Mn)As has led to a deeper understanding of relativistic spin-dependent phenomena in magnetic systems. It has also led to discoveries of new effects and demonstrations of unprecedented functionalities of experimental spintronic devices with general applicability to a wide range of materials. This is a review of the basic material properties that make (Ga,Mn)As a favorable test-bed system for spintronics research and a discussion of contributions of (Ga,Mn)As studies in the general context of the spin-dependent phenomena and device concepts. Special focus is on the spin-orbit coupling induced effects and the reviewed topics include the interaction of spin with electrical current, light, and heat. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Vachtenheim J.,University Hospital | Borovansky J.,Charles University
Experimental Dermatology | Year: 2010

Melanin production is the primary mechanism protecting human skin against the UV light-induced damage. The polymeric compound melanin is synthesized within melanocytes in the specialized subcellular organelles, termed melanosomes, which are then transferred to surrounding keratinocytes. The genes for melanin synthesis and deposition are coordinately expressed in melanocytes. The transcription factor MITF, which has been reported to activate more than 25 genes in pigment cells, has emerged as an essential regulator not only for melanocyte development, proliferation and survival, but also for the expression of enzymes and structural proteins ensuring the production of melanin. MITF is a transcriptional activator of several genes which encode melanosome-localized proteins involved both in melanin synthesis and in melanosome biogenesis and transport, including genes whose mutations are associated with human oculocutaneous and ocular forms of albinism. Here, we outline the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of genes associated with the biosynthesis of melanin in melanocytes and melanoma cells. MITF is crucial in this process, while several other factors seem to have only an auxiliary role to play under specific circumstances. © 2010 John Wiley and Sons A/S.

Nugent C.R.,University of California at Los Angeles | Margot J.L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Chesley S.R.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Vokrouhlick D.,Charles University
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2012

We have identified and quantified semimajor axis drifts in near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) by performing orbital fits to optical and radar astrometry of all numbered NEAs. We focus on a subset of 54 NEAs that exhibit some of the most reliable and strongest drift rates. Our selection criteria include a Yarkovsky sensitivity metric that quantifies the detectability of semimajor axis drift in any given data set, a signal-to-noise metric, and orbital coverage requirements. In 42 cases, the observed drifts (∼10 -3AUMyr -1) agree well with numerical estimates of Yarkovsky drifts. This agreement suggests that the Yarkovsky effect is the dominant non-gravitational process affecting these orbits, and allows us to derive constraints on asteroid physical properties. In 12 cases, the drifts exceed nominal Yarkovsky predictions, which could be due to inaccuracies in our knowledge of physical properties, faulty astrometry, or modeling errors. If these high rates cannot be ruled out by further observations or improvements in modeling, they would be indicative of the presence of an additional non-gravitational force, such as that resulting from a loss of mass of order a kilogram per second. We define the Yarkovsky efficiency f Y as the ratio of the change in orbital energy to incident solar radiation energy, and we find that typical Yarkovsky efficiencies are ∼10 -5. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Fonseca R.M.,University of Lisbon | Malinsky M.,Charles University | Staub F.,University of Bonn
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

We work out a set of simple rules for adopting the two-loop renormalization group equations of a generic gauge field theory given in the seminal works of Machacek and Vaughn to the most general case with an arbitrary number of Abelian gauge factors and comment on the extra subtleties possibly encountered upon matching a set of effective gauge theories in such a framework. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Kaiser R.,Charles University
Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques | Year: 2015

STUDY DESIGN:: Retrospective, blinded analysis of imaging studies. OBJECTIVE:: The aim of this study is compare the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to lateral radiograph using bolster in the evaluation of Scheuermann kyphosis (SK) curve flexibility measurement. SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND DATA:: The flexibility of the thoracic curve [thoracic kyphosis (TK)] in SK is of primary importance in its preoperative planning. Several methods have been described for SK curve flexibility measurement. The most commonly used method is lateral hyperextension radiography on hard bolster [hyperextension radiograph (HE)]. No current methods use MRI for flexibility assessment. MATERIALS AND METHODS:: Flexibility of TK in SK patients was measured as a difference between standing radiograph and bolster-assisted lateral HE or supine MRI. The sagittal Cobb angle of the TK was measured between the superior endplate of T4 and the inferior endplate of T12 vertebral body. Flexibilities measured by these 2 methods were compared and analyzed using the generalized estimating equation analysis and the correlation analysis. RESULTS:: We assessed 18 SK patients (14 males and 4 females) with mean age of 20.06±6.03 years. The standing TK x-rays showed 83.8±6.1 degrees. On HE, TK curve reduced by 39.3 degrees (95% confidence interval, 35.8–42.9) to 44.5±6.2 degrees (P<0.001). Preoperative MRI images showed TK of 53.8±5.9 degrees which means reduction by 30 degrees (95% confidence interval, 26.6–33.4) from the standing radiographs (P<0.001). Linear dependency between HE and MRI flexibility with a mean difference of 9.3 degrees was found (R=0.61, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:: Our study shows that preoperative MRI can be used for SK flexibility assessment with similar predictive value as routinely used bolster-assisted hyperextension lateral radiograph. Consequently, patient exposure to preoperative hyperextension ionizing radiation may be reduced. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kampf K.,Charles University
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2015

The study of the simplest case of effective field theory - the chiral SU(N) nonlinear sigma model will be presented. For last several decades it has played an extremely important role not only in the low energy phenomenology but also in many other areas of theoretical physics. It will be shown that the scattering amplitudes of n Goldstone bosons can be reconstructed using BCFW-like recursion relations. This method does not rely on the Lagrangian description and the only input is the four-point amplitudes together with the known analytic properties. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Spevacek J.,Czech Institute of Macromolecular Chemical | Hanykova L.,Charles University | Labuta J.,Japan National Institute of Materials Science
Macromolecules | Year: 2011

The behavior of water during the temperature-induced phase separation in PVME/D2O solutions was investigated by 1H NMR methods and optical microscopy. A fast exchange between water (HDO) bound in mesoglobules and free water was found from 1H NMR spin-spin relaxation measurements at temperature above the LCST transition for semidilute PVME/D 2O solutions where the exchange time is 1.2 ms for c = 6 wt %. In contrast, there is a slow exchange between bound and free water in highly concentrated PVME solutions and the residence time of the bound water 2 s was found for concentrations c = 20-50 wt % using one-dimensional NOE 1H NMR experiment. A 3 order of magnitude slower exchange in highly concentrated PVME/D2O solutions is in accord with our optical microscopy findings that globular-like structures are here approximately 20 times larger than in PVME solution with c = 6 wt %. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a disease of varying severity. Its manifestations range from mild diarrhea to life-threatening paralytic ileus, painful distension of the large bowel and sepsis. Another possible manifestation of the disease is recurrent colitis that can exhaust the patient. For establishing the diagnosis, the patient's stool should be examined with two or three different microbiological methods. Immunochemical testing for the presence of clostridial toxins A and B shows good specificity but poor sensitivity. Therefore, it must be combined with other methods: stool testing for glutamate dehydrogenase (Clostridium antigen), anaerobic culture or PCR detection. An alternative way of assessing the etiology is colonoscopic examination; the disease is confirmed if typical pseudomembrane isles are present in the bowel mucosa. The basic drugs to treat CDI are still metronidazole (oral or parenteral) and/or vancomycin (oral or rectal). Fidaxomicin seems to be promising. Stool transplant via a nasojejunal tube is effective in recurrent disease. In the hospital setting, patients suffering from CDI should be isolated for the entire duration of diarrhea. Surveillance rules should also be applied, together with early treatment of symptomatic patients and prevention of the spread of the infection. Higher incidence of CDI in a ward implies that the local antibiotic prescription habits should be revised.

Alda M.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Alda M.,Charles University
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2015

After decades of research, the mechanism of action of lithium in preventing recurrences of bipolar disorder remains only partially understood. Lithium research is complicated by the absence of suitable animal models of bipolar disorder and by having to rely on in vitro studies of peripheral tissues. A number of distinct hypotheses emerged over the years, but none has been conclusively supported or rejected. The common theme emerging from pharmacological and genetic studies is that lithium affects multiple steps in cellular signaling, usually enhancing basal and inhibiting stimulated activities. Some of the key nodes of these regulatory networks include GSK3 (glycogen synthase kinase 3), CREB (cAMP response element-binding protein) and Na + -K + ATPase. Genetic and pharmacogenetic studies are starting to generate promising findings, but remain limited by small sample sizes. As full responders to lithium seem to represent a unique clinical population, there is inherent value and need for studies of lithium responders. Such studies will be an opportunity to uncover specific effects of lithium in those individuals who clearly benefit from the treatment.

The aim of the study was to compare three different methods of radial artery harvesting with regard to postoperative complications and perioperative stress of the patient. A total of 60 patients admitted for coronary artery bypass surgery were randomized into three groups. Each patient underwent extraction of radial artery, all performed by a single surgeon. The radial artery was harvested by one of the following three techniques: classical technique (20 patients), mini-invasive technique (20), and endoscopic technique (20). The time required for the graft harvest was greater in the group where the endoscopic technique was used (52.6 ± 11.3 min) than with the mini-invasive (41.5 ± 7.3 min) or the classical (27.8 ± 4.6 min) technique. Postoperative blood loss into drains was higher where the classical technique was used (35.5 ± 9.4 ml) as compared to the mini-invasive (20 ± 5 ml) or the endoscopic (10 ± 7.3 ml) technique. There was no significant difference among the groups in the rate of local neurological complications, contusion of wound edge, edema of the extremity, or wound infection rate. We observed no case of ischemia of the extremity, and a single case of postoperative myocardial ischemia in the group where the classical technique was used. From a clinical point of view, the mini-invasive and the endoscopic approach are comparable, but the latter is more expensive. Both mini-invasive and endoscopic techniques prolong the operation, reduce perioperative blood loss, and require additional training time.

The studied Mokrsko-West (90-100t Au), Mokrsko-East (30t Au) and Čelina (11t Au) deposits represent three spatially and genetically interrelated deposits of supposed affiliation to the intrusion-related gold deposit type. The deposits differ in their dominant host rocks, which are represented by ca 354Ma old biotite tonalite (Mokrsko-West) and Neoproterozoic volcanic and volcanosedimentary rocks (Mokrsko-East, Čelina). Another difference lies in the style of veining - densely spaced networks of 0.1-5mm thin veins (Q2) within the tonalite, compared to thick (usually 5-20cm; Q1-2) and widely spaced veins within the Neoproterozoic rocks. Five generations of quartz veins, referred to as Q0 through Q4 were distinguished: Q0 veins are the oldest and ore-barren, Q1 veins mark the onset of the Au-ore formation, Q2 veins its culmination and Q3 veins its fading. Late quartz gangue (Q4) is associated with uneconomic Ag-Pb-Zn vein-type ores hosted by calcite-barite-(quartz) veins. Quartz vein thickness (~0.3 to ~300 mm), spacing (~3 mm to ~500 mm), distribution, and related extensional strain (ca. 3-25%) evolve systematically across the studied ore district, reflecting both the major host rock and other tectonic factors. Detailed study of vein dimension parameters (thickness, length, width, aspect ratios) allowed estimation of the probable depth of the fluid source reservoir (~2km or ~4km) below the present surface. The depth to the fluid source seems to increase through time, being the shallowest for the Q0 veins and the deepest for the Q2 veins. Two independent methods of estimating fluid overpressure are discussed in the paper. Fluid overpressure during vein formation decreases from the Q0 through the Q2 veins, from 10 to 4MPa or from 26 to 10MPa, depending on the assumed tensile strength of the tonalite (5.5 and 15MPa, respectively). The origin of joints and veins is discussed in terms of the stress orientation and crack-seal and crack-jump mechanisms. Field relationships unambiguously indicate that the veins hosted by Neoproterozoic rocks originated by reopening of the pre-existing extension joints (J1) due to fluid overpressure. The origin of the densely-spaced thin veins (Q2) hosted by the tonalite at the Mokrsko-West deposit is, however, less certain. It is probable that the tonalite was already affected by microfracturing analogous to the J1 joints prior to the formation of quartz veins. The formation of the Q1-2 veins at the Mokrsko-East deposit was constrained by the Re-Os dating of molybdenite to 342.9±1.4Ma. The ore-bearing hydrothermal system is thus ca 12Ma younger than the tonalite that hosts the Mokrsko-West deposit. A similar ca 15-2Ma difference between the age of the host-intrusion and the age of the hydrothermal event was encountered in several other gold deposits in the vicinity of the Central Bohemian Plutonic Complex. Two hypotheses to explain this are discussed in the paper. © 2015.

Palmiere C.,University of Lausanne | Teresinski G.,Medical University of Lublin | Hejna P.,Charles University
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2014

The identification of hypothermia as the cause of death has always been somewhat problematic in forensic pathology because of unspecific, inconstant, or even negative macroscopic and microscopic findings. Though the simultaneous presence of frost erythema, Wischnewski spots, hemorrhages into the synovial membrane, bloody discoloration of synovial fluid of the knee, and basal vacuolization of the renal tubular epithelial cells has been indicated as strongly supportive of fatal hypothermia, their absence does not allow the diagnosis of hypothermia to be ruled out. Postmortem biochemical investigations are valuable in detecting adaptation responses to cold stress and metabolic changes that occur following cold exposure. However, ethanol intoxication prevents appearance of adaptation responses to cold, rendering the diagnosis less obvious. Immunohistochemistry, postmortem imaging, and molecular pathology have shown promising results, although at present, they do not provide pathognomonic signs of fatal hypothermia. The aim of this article is to present a review of the literature covering the significance of different postmortem investigations that are associated with hypothermia fatalities. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Stepan J.J.,Charles University
Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism | Year: 2013

Strontium ranelate is a medicine with evidenced effects on the risk of fractures. The heterogeneity of strontium distribution in bone, quality of bone mineral crystals in young bone packets on bone surfaces formed during strontium ranelate administration, and activation of the calcium sensing receptor may, at least partially, explain the beneficial effects of SrR on reducing the risk of fractures. In this review, the concept of the dual action of strontium ranelate is also discussed. However, sufficient evidence for the bone anabolic effect of SrR does not exist in humans. The knowledge of the mechanism of action of SrR is important not only for the explanation of the effects of SrR upon the skeleton, but also for the safety of treatment for other tissues. © 2013 The Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Springer Japan.

Kholova I.,University of Tampere | Ludvikova M.,Charles University | Ludvikova M.,General University Hospital in Prague
Acta Cytologica | Year: 2014

Objective: The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (BSRTC) was introduced in thyroid cytology in 2007 and is now generally accepted. BSRTC categories include a morphologic description and risk of malignancy as well as follow-up suggestions in each group. However, the category entitled 'atypia of undetermined significance or follicular lesion of undetermined significance' (AUS/FLUS) is problematic. This category is heterogeneous and has been overused so far. Study Design: Twenty-six studies were included in a meta-analysis. In addition to AUS/FLUS percentage, we analysed repeated AUS/FLUS percentage, cytological and histological correlations, and risk of malignancy and neoplasm for AUS/FLUS. Furthermore, stratification, interand intra-observer variability, and the possibility of a switch to another category and its clinical consequences were reviewed. Results: Out of a total of 81,833 cases, AUS/FLUS accounted for 10.9%, with a 34% risk of malignancy. Persistent AUS/FLUS was found in 21.6% in repeated cytology. Cytohistological correlation was analysed from 16 studies (4,964 cases), revealing 10.4% as AUS/FLUS and a 21.5% risk of malignancy. Conclusions: An AUS/FLUS category seems to be currently reasonable with clearly defined cytomorphological criteria which do not correspond unequivocally with those of the other categories. An AUS/FLUS category is justified and possible means of its improvement with immunohistochemistry, molecular analysis and imaging are discussed. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Masek T.,Charles University
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2011

Velocity separation of translation complexes in linear sucrose gradients is the ultimate method for both analysis of the overall fitness of protein synthesis as well as for detailed investigation of physiological roles played by individual factors of the translational machinery. Polysome profile analysis is a frequently performed task in translational control research that not only enables direct monitoring of the efficiency of translation but can easily be extended with a wide range of downstream applications such as Northern and Western blotting, genome-wide microarray analysis or qRT-PCR. This chapter provides a basic overview of the polysome profile analysis technique and the RNA isolation procedure from sucrose gradients. We also discuss possible experimental pitfalls of data normalization, describe main alternatives of the basic protocol and outline a novel application of denaturing RNA electrophoresis in several steps of polysome profile analysis.

Bartos T.,Charles University
Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment | Year: 2013

The increasing amount of available unstructured content together with the growing number of large non-relational databases put more emphasis on the content-based retrieval and precisely on the area of similarity searching. Although there exist several indexing methods for efficient querying, not all of them are best-suited for arbitrary similarity mod-els. Having a metric space, we can easily apply metric access methods but for nonmetric models which typically better describe similarities between generally unstructured objects the situation is a little bit more complicated. To address this challenge, we introduce SIMDEX, the universal framework that is capable of nding alternative indexing methods that will serve for efficient yet effective similarity searching for any similarity model. Using trivial or more advanced methods for the incremental exploration of possible indexing techniques, we are able to find alternative methods to the widely used metric space model paradigm. Through experimental evaluations, we validate our approach and show how it outperforms the known indexing methods. © 2013 VLDB Endowment.

Kolarik M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Kolarik M.,Charles University | Jankowiak R.,Agricultural University of Krakow
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2013

Fungi from the genus Geosmithia (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) are associated with bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytinae), though little is known about ecology, diversity, and distribution of these fungi across beetle and its host tree species. This study surveyed the diversity, distribution and vector affinity of Geosmithia isolated from subcortical insects that colonized trees from the family Pinaceae in Central and Northeastern Europe. Twelve Geosmithia species were isolated from 85 plant samples associated with 23 subcortical insect species (including 14 bark beetle species). Geosmithia community composition was similar across different localities and vector species; although the fungal communities associated with insects that colonized Pinus differed from that colonizing other tree species (Abies, Larix, and Picea). Ten Geosmithia species from four independent phylogenetic lineages were not reported previously from vectors feeding on other plant families and seem to be restricted to the vectors from Pinaceae only. We conclude that presence of such substrate specificity suggests a long and stable association between Geosmithia and bark beetles. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Broz P.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Broz P.,Charles University | Hauber E.,German Aerospace Center
Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets | Year: 2013

Hydrovolcanism is a common natural phenomenon on Earth and should be common on Mars, too, since its surface shows widespread evidence for volcanism and near-surface water. We investigate fields of pitted cones in the Nephentes/Amenthes region at the southern margin of the ancient impact basin, Utopia, which were previously interpreted as mud volcanoes. The cone fields contain pitted and breached cones with associated outgoing flow-like landforms. Based on stratigraphic relations, we determined a Hesperian or younger model age. We test the hypothesis of a (hydro)volcanic origin. Based on a detailed morphological and morphometrical analysis and an analysis of the regional context, an igneous volcanic origin of these cones as hydrovolcanic edifices produced by phreatomagmatic eruptions is plausible. Several lines of evidence suggest the existence of subsurface water ice. The pitted cones display well-developed wide central craters with floor elevations below the preeruptive surface. Their morphometry and the overall appearance are analogous to terrestrial tuff cones and tuff rings. Mounds that are also observed in the same region resemble terrestrial lava domes. The hydrovolcanic interaction between ascending magma and subsurface water and/or water ice may explain the formation of the pitted cones, although other scenarios such as mud volcanism cannot be ruled out. Together with the mounds, the cones might represent effusive and explosive edifices of a monogenetic volcanic field composed of lava domes, tuff rings, tuff cones, and possibly maars. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Flegr J.,Charles University
Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy | Year: 2015

The existence of an association between schizophrenia and an infection by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii has been suspected since the 1950s. Two significant phenomena first garnered the attention of the psychiatric community toward toxoplasmosis, the illness precipitated by an infection of the parasite. Transient symptoms of acute toxoplasmosis sometimes resemble the clinical picture of paranoid schizophrenia. Many studies have also found an increased seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in clients of mental health institutions in comparison with members of control populations. We have had to wait until the first decade of our millennium for several independent research teams to make discoveries that would shed light on the possible mechanisms that link the Toxoplasma parasite to schizophrenia. © 2015 Informa UK, Ltd.

Lachout P.,Charles University
Operations Research Letters | Year: 2016

Quasi-concave functions play an important role in economics and finance as utility functions, measures of risk or the other objects used, mainly, in portfolio selection analysis. Unfortunately, their limited application is due to the fact that their supremum, sum, product are typically not quasi-concave. This difficulty is overcome by establishing uniformly quasi-concave functions. We contribute with a new characterization of uniformly quasi-concave functions that allows easier verification and provide more straightforward insight. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Dostal P.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Paleckova M.,Charles University
Biological Invasions | Year: 2011

The naturalisation hypothesis has been gaining attention recently as a possible mechanism to explain variations in invasion success. It predicts that exotic genera with native representatives should be less successful because of an overlap in resource use and of the existence of common specialised enemies. In this study, we tested whether native congenerics have more negative impact on exotic species than heterogenerics by increasing the effects of soil pathogens. We sampled soil in populations of three exotic species (Epilobium ciliatum, Impatiens parviflora and Stenactis annua) at sites with and without respective congeneric species. This soil was used as an inoculum for cultivating the first plant cohort, which included exotics, as well as native congenerics and heterogenerics. The conditioned soil was subsequently used for cultivating the second cohort of plants (exotics only). We found no consistent impact of relatedness of conditioning species on exotic growth. Although soil conditioned by congeneric E. hirsutum had the largest reduction on the performance of E. ciliatum, the final biomass of S. annua was lowest when grown in soil conditioned by itself. There was no effect of stimulating species on the biomass of I. parviflora. In both experimental phases, performance of exotics was improved when cultivated with sterilised inoculua, indicating the dominance of soil generalist pathogens. However, the biomass of S. annua was increased most by congeneric-stimulated inoculum from congeneric sites, suggesting a possible role for specialised symbionts. Our results suggest that variations in invasion success of at least some exotics may be affected by species-specific interactions mediated by the soil biota. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Benakova N.,Charles University
Acta Dermatovenerologica Croatica | Year: 2011

This article reviews recent literature on phototherapy for psoriasis, particularly narrowband UVB. The efficacy, safety, tolerability and acceptance of phototherapy are discussed. It focuses in detail on how to improve the efficacy and safety in practice by trying to optimize the protocols, using combination therapy, monitoring the cumulative dose and providing skin cancer surveillance. Careful patient selection, individualized treatment, long-term therapy plan and complex approach to patients are the prerequisites for this. Narrowband UVB as the most widely used modality of phototherapy for psoriasis has a relatively good efficacy, cost, availability and minimal side effects. It represents a valuable treatment, which deserves more utilization and research. Although not so dynamic as in systemic drugs, research into phototherapy is ongoing. Even in the era of biologics, phototherapy remains an important therapeutic modality for psoriasis and other dermatoses and represents an essential part of modern dermatological therapy.

Sindelar O.,Charles University | Sroubek F.,Czech Institute of Information Theory And Automation
Journal of Electronic Imaging | Year: 2013

which is difficult to remove without prior information about the camera motion. In this work, we utilize inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes) in modern smartphones to detect exact motion trajectory of the smartphone camera during exposure and remove blur from the resulting photography based on the recorded motion data. The whole system is implemented on the Android platform and embedded in the smartphone device, resulting in a close-to-realtime deblurring algorithm. The performance of the proposed system is demonstrated in real-life scenarios. © 2013 SPIE and IS&T.

Declerck P.,Charles University
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2010

Legionella pneumophila, the aetiological agent of 90% of legionellosis cases, is a common inhabitant of natural and anthropogenic freshwater environments, where it resides in biofilms. Biofilms are defined as complex, natural assemblages of microorganisms that involve a multitude of trophic interactions. A thorough knowledge and understanding of Legionella ecology in relation to biofilm communities is of primary importance in the search for innovative and effective control strategies to prevent the occurrence of disease cases. This review provides a critical update on the state-of-the-art progress in understanding the mechanisms and factors affecting the biofilm life cycle of L. pneumophila. Particular emphasis is given to discussing the different strategies this human pathogen uses to grow and retain itself in biofilm communities. Biofilms develop not only at solid-water interfaces (substrate-associated biofilms), but also at the water-air interface (floating biofilms). Disturbance of the water surface can lead to liberation of aerosols derived from the floating biofilm into the atmosphere that allow transmission of biofilm-associated pathogens over considerable distances. Recent data concerning the occurrence and replication of L. pneumophila in floating biofilms are also elaborated and discussed. © 2009 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Stepanova K.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Stepanova K.,Charles University | Sinkora M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Developmental and Comparative Immunology | Year: 2012

The expression of selected molecules was chosen to study porcine γδ lymphocytes and their CD2/CD8 subsets in different lymphoid organs in vivo and in vitro. Results indicate that many γδ T cells can constitutively express CD25 and MHC-II and that the frequency of γδ T cells positive for CD25, CD11b, SWC1 and SWC7 can be increased by stimulation. A diversified TCRδ repertoire was found inside CD25 +, CD11b +, SWC1 - and CD45RA - cells. Ontogenetic studies revealed various age and/or colonization dependency for expression of all studied molecules except of SWC7. Findings generally indicate that CD25 represent an activation molecule that probably marks a functionally distinct subsets, expression of CD11b is perhaps connected to early functions of naive γδ T cells in the periphery, SWC1 is lineage specific marker, SWC7 may represent an activation molecule with intrinsic or transient expression, and the expression of CD45RA/RC most likely defines naive and terminally differentiated cells. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Horvathova E.,Charles University
Ecological Economics | Year: 2012

We examine the intertemporal effect of environmental performance on financial performance and propose a method to assess the environmental performance in a fuller manner based on the weighting various pollutants according to their dangerousness to environment. Using our improved measures of environmental performance applied to the firm level data from the Czech Republic, the results suggest that while the effect of environmental performance on financial performance is negative for environmental performance lagged by 1. year lag, it becomes positive for 2. years lag. As a consequence, our findings indicate that Porter hypothesis holds in the long-run. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Sviglerova J.,Charles University
Physiological research / Academia Scientiarum Bohemoslovaca | Year: 2010

Chronic renal failure (CRF) is associated with high incidence of cardiovascular complications. To clarify pathogenesis of CRF numerous animal models have been developed. The aim of our work was to describe methodology of subtotal surgical renal ablation in rat and to characterize some biochemical and cardiovascular parameters of this animal model. Male rats underwent 5/6 surgical nephrectomy or sham operations in two steps. The following parameters were measured on day 10 and in week 10 after the surgery: plasma concentrations of creatinine and urea, blood pressure, resting heart rate, chronotropic response to atropine and metipranol, heart ventricles weight, contraction parameters and action potential duration in the left ventricle. Increased serum concentrations of creatinine and urea, decreased creatinine clearance, polyuria and alteration of the remnant kidney tissue were found in CRF rats. Changes in cardiovascular parameters identified after subtotal nephrectomy resembled alterations of cardiovascular system in uremic patients and included hypertension, elevated resting heart rate, diminished parasympathetic cardiac tone, hypertrophy of the left ventricle associated with weakened force of contraction, prolonged contraction and relaxation and shortening of action potential duration. These data suggest that the present model can be a useful tool in the study of CRF and its cardiovascular complications.

Hromadnikova I.,Charles University
DNA and Cell Biology | Year: 2012

Since the placenta is being continuously remodeled during normal placental development, extracellular nucleic acids of both fetal and placental origin, packed into either trophoblast-derived apoptotic bodies or shedding syncytiotrophoblast microparticles, may be detected in maternal circulation during the course of normal gestation. Placental-insufficiency-related pregnancy complications have been shown to be associated with excessive placental trophoblast apoptosis and shedding of placenta debris. Recent advances in the field are reviewed with a focus on the diagnostic potential of particular molecular biomarkers and their eventual implementation in the currently used predictive and diagnostic algorithms for placental-insufficiency-related pregnancy complications. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Kuriplach J.,Charles University
Acta Physica Polonica A | Year: 2014

Vacancy behavior and positron trapping at selected grain boundaries in iron, nickel, and zirconia are investigated theoretically. It is found that the grain boundary vacancy loses its free volume in metals at moderate temperatures whereas it is kept up to very high temperatures in zirconia. The consequences of these findings for positron annihilation studies of nanocrystalline materials are discussed.

Barto L.,Charles University | Kozik M.,Jagiellonian University
Journal of the ACM | Year: 2014

We prove that constraint satisfaction problems without the ability to count are solvable by the local consistency checking algorithm. This settles three (equivalent) conjectures: Feder-Vardi [SICOMP'98], Bulatov [LICS'04] and Larose-Zádori [AU'07]. © 2014 ACM.

Sgall J.,Charles University
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2012

We give a simple proof and a generalization of the classical result which says that the (asymptotic) approximation ratio of BestFit algorithm is 1.7. We generalize this result to a wide class of algorithms that are allowed to pack the incoming item to any bin with load larger than 1/2 (if it fits), instead to the most full bin, and at the same time this class includes the bounded-space variants of these algorithms. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Angulithes galea (Fritsch in Fritsch & Schlönbach, 1872) and Angulithes westphalicus (Schlüter, 1872) are representatives of Angulithes Montfort, 1808, occurring in the Late Cretaceous of Europe, from the Late Turonian to the Late Campanian. Following examination of the majority of specimens representing these species and their specific morphology, a detailed revision was made. Both species undergo significant morphological changes during their ontogeny, changing the shape of the ventral side and whorl cross-section attended by onset and loss of ventral keel and changing of the shell surface (by A. galea). Comparing these changes with the ontogeny of recent Nautilus suggests they are expressions of the approach and attainment of maturity. Due to this comparison, comparable changes in other taxa can be similarly interpreted, e.g. representatives of the genus Deltocymatoceras. The changes undergone by A. galea are at maturity accompanied by additional features such as strong radial ribbing, which is comparable with the ribbing in Deltocymatoceras. The affinity (ventral keel, suture, ontogeny and stratigraphy) of this genus with Angulithes is a topic for discussion.

Masin D.,Charles University
International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics | Year: 2010

The paper presents an approach to predicting variation of a degree of saturation in unsaturated soils with void ratio and suction. The approach is based on the effective stress principle for unsaturated soils and several underlying assumptions. It focuses on the main drying and wetting processes and does not incorporate the effects of hydraulic hysteresis. It leads to the dependency of water retention curve (WRC) on void ratio, which does not require any material parameters apart from the parameters specifying WRC for the reference void ratio. Its validity is demonstrated by comparing predictions with the experimental data on four different soils taken over from the literature. Good correlation between the measured and predicted behaviour indirectly supports applicability of the effective stress principle for unsaturated soils. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Oplustil S.,Charles University
Bulletin of Geosciences | Year: 2010

A new reconstruction of Lepidodendron mannebachense is proposed here based on collection of well-preserved compressions from middle Moscovian volcanoclastics of the Radnice Basin, Czech Republic. These specimens that represent remains of juvenile and matured individuals make progress in our current knowledge on ontogeny of this species and help us to improve its whole plant reconstruction. The juvenile stage was characterised by an unbranched columnar stem. The mature stage of L. mannebachense had an umbrella-like canopy produced by combination of more or less isotomous apical dichotomies of the stem and main branches with anisotomous pseudomonopodial branching. Dichotomous branching built the frame of the crown and continued until the limit for meristem division was reached. However, most of thin terminal shoots were anisotomous lateral branches growing from the main dichotomies. Some of them as well as terminal branches bore cones on their tips. Only a narrow zone of leaves was maintained at any stage of tree development. In the mature stage, leaves were retained only at apical parts of terminal shoots. L. mannebachense was a monocarpic type of plant with a determinate growth.

We deal with the problem of an investor who is using a mean-risk model for accessing efficiency of investment opportunities. Our investor employs value at risk on several risk levels at the same time which corresponds to the approach called risk shaping. We review several data envelopment analysis (DEA) models which can deal with negative data. We show that a diversification–consistent extension of the DEA models based on a directional distance measure can be used to identify the Pareto–Koopmans efficient investment opportunities. We derive reformulations as chance constrained, nonlinear and mixed-integer problems under particular assumptions. In the numerical study, we access efficiency of US industry representative portfolios based on empirical distribution of random returns. We employ bootstrap and jackknife to investigate the empirical properties of the efficiency estimators. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Bar T.,Labonnet Ltd. | Kubista M.,Biocenter | Kubista M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Tichopad A.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Tichopad A.,Charles University
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) is the method of choice for specific and sensitive quantification of nucleic acids. However, data validation is still a major issue, partially due to the complex effect of PCR inhibition on the results. If undetected PCR inhibition may severely impair the accuracy and sensitivity of results. PCR inhibition is addressed by prevention, detection and correction of PCR results. Recently, a new family of computational methods for the detection of PCR inhibition called kinetics outlier detection (KOD) emerged. KOD methods are based on comparison of one or a few kinetic parameters describing a test reaction to those describing a set of reference reactions. Modern KOD can detect PCR inhibition reflected by shift of the amplification curve by merely half a cycle with specificity and sensitivity >90. Based solely on data analysis, these tools complement measures to improve and control pre-analytics. KOD methods do not require labor and materials, do not affect the reaction accuracy and sensitivity and they can be automated for fast and reliable quantification. This review describes the background of KOD methods, their principles, assumptions, strengths and limitations. Finally, the review provides recommendations how to use KOD and how to evaluate its performance. © 2012 The Author(s).

Kristoufek L.,Czech Institute of Information Theory And Automation | Kristoufek L.,Charles University
Acta Physica Polonica B | Year: 2010

We apply a method of time-dependent Hurst exponent, proposed in the series of papers by Grech and Mazur [Physica A 336, 335 (2004)], Grech and Pamula [Physica A 387, 4299 (2008)] and Czarnecki, Grech and Pamula [Physica A 387, 6801 (2008)], on the stock market of the Czech Republic for a period between 1997 and 2009. Our results support the findings of the authors so that the time-dependent Hurst exponent can give some crucial information before a critical event happens on a market. We also discuss some potentially weak points of the method.

Fox R.J.,Cleveland Clinic | Miller D.H.,University College London | Phillips J.T.,Baylor Research Institute | Hutchinson M.,Park University | And 8 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) is in development as an oral treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is commonly treated with parenteral agents (interferon or glatiramer acetate). METHODS: In this phase 3, randomized study, we investigated the efficacy and safety of oral BG-12, at a dose of 240 mg two or three times daily, as compared with placebo in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. An active agent, glatiramer acetate, was also included as a reference comparator. The primary end point was the annualized relapse rate over a period of 2 years. The study was not designed to test the superiority or noninferiority of BG-12 versus glatiramer acetate. RESULTS: At 2 years, the annualized relapse rate was significantly lower with twice-daily BG-12 (0.22), thrice-daily BG-12 (0.20), and glatiramer acetate (0.29) than with placebo (0.40) (relative reductions: twice-daily BG-12, 44%, P<0.001; thrice-daily BG-12, 51%, P<0.001; glatiramer acetate, 29%, P = 0.01). Reductions in disability progression with twice-daily BG-12, thrice-daily BG-12, and glatiramer acetate versus placebo (21%, 24%, and 7%, respectively) were not significant. As compared with placebo, twicedaily BG-12, thrice-daily BG-12, and glatiramer acetate significantly reduced the numbers of new or enlarging T 2-weighted hyperintense lesions (all P<0.001) and new T 1-weighted hypointense lesions (P<0.001, P<0.001, and P = 0.002, respectively). In post hoc comparisons of BG-12 versus glatiramer acetate, differences were not significant except for the annualized relapse rate (thrice-daily BG-12), new or enlarging T 2-weighted hyperintense lesions (both BG-12 doses), and new T 1-weighted hypointense lesions (thrice-daily BG-12) (nominal P<0.05 for each comparison). Adverse events occurring at a higher incidence with an active treatment than with placebo included flushing and gastrointestinal events (with BG-12) and injection-related events (with glatiramer acetate). There were no malignant neoplasms or opportunistic infections reported with BG-12. Lymphocyte counts decreased with BG-12. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, BG-12 (at both doses) and glatiramer acetate significantly reduced relapse rates and improved neuroradiologic outcomes relative to placebo. (Funded by Biogen Idec; CONFIRM ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00451451.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Kroiss C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Bures T.,Charles University
Future Generation Computer Systems | Year: 2016

In modeling multi-agent systems, the structure of their communication is typically one of the most important aspects, especially for systems that strive toward self-organization or collaborative adaptation. Traditionally, such structures have often been described using logic-based approaches as they provide a formal foundation for many verification methods. However, these formalisms are typically not well suited to reflect the stochastic nature of communication in the cyber-physical setting. In particular, their level of abstraction is either too high to provide sufficient accuracy or too low to be practicable in more complex models. Therefore, we propose an extension of the logic-based modeling language SALMA, which we have introduced recently, that provides adequate high-level constructs for communication and data propagation, explicitly taking into account stochastic delays and errors. In combination with SALMA's tool support for simulation and statistical model checking, this creates a pragmatic approach for verification and validation of cyber-physical multi-agent systems. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Coleman D.,Dublin City University | Spulak M.,Charles University | Garcia M.T.,CSIC - Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia | Gathergood N.,Dublin City University
Green Chemistry | Year: 2012

Imidazolium salts can be classed as surfactants, detergents, ionic liquids, reagents, catalysts or solvents. A study of the toxicity and ecotoxicity of these salts yields valuable information for their use as pharmaceuticals as well as impact on the environment. Our approach to screen a series of chiral imidazolium salts for toxicity to bacteria and fungi, including clinical pathogen strains, has led to the identification of a 'hit' MRSA selective antimicrobial compound. Preliminary structure-activity-relationship (SAR) information (required position of l-phenylalanine and l-valine group) is also elucidated within this first generation of compounds. Conversely, most of the imidazolium salts were nontoxic (IC95 > 2 mM) to the 12 fungi strains and 8 bacteria strains screened, and we propose that they are suitable candidates for 'green chemistry' applications. Ecotoxicity studies (Biodegradation ISO 14593 'CO2 Headspace Test') of two bromide ionic liquids containing l-phenylalanine residues indicate that these ionic liquids passed the test (>60% in 28 days) and classed as readily biodegradable. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

This article addresses e-mail communication between university students and a lecturer in the Czech Republic. A total of 260 e-mail messages that contained a high imposition request for action and were addressed to faculty were analysed. The researcher examined verbal means of expressing politeness in forms of address, opening and closing formulas, degrees of directness and amounts of syntactic, lexical/phrasal and external modification used in the e-mail requests of Czech students to faculty. The focus was on the selection of a politeness strategy. It was observed that students use both direct and conventionally indirect strategies, a great deal of syntactic modification and elaborate external modification. Opening and closing sequences occurred in all of the analysed e-mail. More than half of the students avoided deferential forms of address and used only greetings that could be interpreted as equalising the power asymmetry between interactants. It may be concluded that students generally employ a wide variety of both negative and positive politeness strategies to mitigate their requests. Because negative politeness strategies are expected in an institutional setting, requests using positive politeness strategies can lead to pragmatic failure. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Soldan P.,Charles University
Journal of Chemical Physics | Year: 2010

Potential energy surface for the lowest quartet state of the rubidium trimer is constructed, making use of the many-body decomposition. Interaction energies are calculated using the coupled-clusters method and interpolated using the reciprocal-power reproducing kernel Hilbert space interpolation method. Both the two-body and three-body nonadditive parts are extrapolated to exhibit the correct long-range behavior. Consequences for the low-energy scattering are briefly discussed. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

Dvorak Z.,Palacky University | Pavek P.,Charles University
Drug Metabolism Reviews | Year: 2010

The regulation of drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP) is a complex process involving multiple mechanisms. Among them, transcriptional regulation through ligand-activated nuclear receptors is the crucial mechanism involved in hormone-controlled and xenobiotic-induced expression of drug-metabolizing CYPs. In this article, we focus, in detail, on the role of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the transcriptional regulation of human drug-metabolizing CYP enzymes and the mechanisms of the regulation. There are at least three distinct transcriptional mechanisms by which GR controls the expression of CYPs: 1) direct binding of GR to a specific gene-promoter sequence called the glucocorticoid responsive element (GRE); 2) indirect binding of GR in the form of a multiprotein complex to gene promoters without a direct contact between GR and promoter DNA; and 3) up- or downregulation of other CYP transcriptional regulators or nuclear receptors (i.e., transcriptional regulatory cross-talk). However, due to the general effect of glucocorticoids on numerous cellular pathways and functions, the net transcriptional effect of glucocorticoids on drug-metabolizing enzymes is usually a combination of several mechanisms. Since synthetic glucocorticoids are widely prescribed in human pharmacotherapy for the treatment of many diseases, comprehensive understanding of the transcriptional regulation of drug-metabolizing CYPs via GR with respect to glucocorticoid therapy or glucocorticoid hormonal status will aid in the development of efficient individualized pharmacotherapy without drug-drug interactions. © 2010 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Celakovska J.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2011

Few studies concerning the importance of wheat allergy affecting the course ofatopic eczema in adolescents and adult patients exist. The evaluation if wheat allergy can deteriorate the course of atopic eczema. Follow-up of patients with confirmed food allergy to wheat. Altogether 179 persons suffering from atopic eczema were included in the study: 51 men and 128 women entered the study with an average age of 26.2 (s.d. 9.5 years) Dermatological and allergological examinations were performed, including skin prick tests, atopy patch tests, and specific serum IgE for wheat, open exposure test and double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge test with wheat flour. Wheat allergy affecting the coures of atopic eczema was confirmed in eight patients (4.5%) out of 179 patients enrolled in this study by double-blind, placebo controlled food challenge test. The course of atopic eczema showed a positive trend in patients with confirmed food allergy at 3, 6, 9, 12 month follow-up (statistical evaluation with paired t-test) after the elimination of wheat flour. Wheat allergy may play an important role in the worsening of atopic eczema (acting as a triggering exacerbating factor) only in a minority of adolescents and adult patients (4.5% in our study). The diagnostic methods (skin prick test, specific IgE, atopy patch test, history) cannot be used as separated tests for the determination of food allergy to wheat in patients with atopic eczema.Open exposure tests and double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge should be used for the confirmation of wheat allergy affecting the course of atopic eczema.

Cech P.,Laboratory of Informatics and Chemistry | Svozil D.,Laboratory of Informatics and Chemistry | Hoksza D.,Institute of Chemical Technology Prague | Hoksza D.,Charles University
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

The recent discoveries of regulatory non-coding RNAs changed our view of RNA as a simple information transfer molecule. Understanding the architecture and function of active RNA molecules requires methods for comparing and analyzing their 3D structures. While structural alignment of short RNAs is achievable in a reasonable amount of time, large structures represent much bigger challenge. Here, we present the SETTER web server for the RNA structure pairwise comparison utilizing the SETTER (SEcondary sTructure-based TERtiary Structure Similarity Algorithm) algorithm. The SETTER method divides an RNA structure into the set of non-overlapping structural elements called generalized secondary structure units (GSSUs). The SETTER algorithm scales as O(n 2) with the size of a GSSUs and as O(n) with the number of GSSUs in the structure. This scaling gives SETTER its high speed as the average size of the GSSU remains constant irrespective of the size of the structure. However, the favorable speed of the algorithm does not compromise its accuracy. The SETTER web server together with the stand-alone implementation of the SETTER algorithm are freely accessible at http://siret.cz/setter. © 2012 The Author(s).

Debates relevant to transdiciplinary and sustainability oriented teaching at the higher education level anticipate necessary transitions in curricula. This article describes an international sustainability-oriented teaching and learning programme at the higher education level, where theoretical concepts developed over recent decades were applied in teaching practice, tested and reflected upon. The authors have operationalized conditions for learning success in a transdisciplinary learning environment, designed courses so that desirable competences were not only a by-product of sustainability oriented teaching, but its primary educational goal, developed (formative) assessment tools, observed the specifics of the environment in which particular courses have been realized (e-learning setting), and received feedback on students' perceptions of various aspects of their learning. While the content of the programme was concerned with the principles of sustainability, its methodological focus on competences was associated with a change in communication practices between teachers and students that have been gradually liberated from the traditional transmission model in favour of a more open and interactive one. Analysis of the students' perception of the learning process showed their attitudes and approaches to learning ranged from a surface approach to a deep approach; desirable approaches have been identified as core educational qualities to be preserved within curricular innovations. The article contributes to understanding the role of the learning environment which provides the opportunities for teacher interventions to support interactive and self-directed learning. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bezrouk A.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to find out the impact of degradation and regeneration of force over time at NiTi springs on the value and course of the final acting force and to verify the possibility of using these phenomena for a directed transition to the reverse plateau and its maintaining. Static and cyclic mechanical loadings were performed. At first unused springs were tested. Afterwards the springs were mechanically stabilized by stress cycling and finally tested again. The difference in shape of the working curves was assessed. For simulation and description of the force degradation the modified Voight model was used. New springs, mainly those with large hysteresis, showed a significant stress-strain curve movement and shape changes during the cycling. The effect of the stress-strain curve course change disappeared fully in the stabilized springs. Multiple loading led to an overall decrease of force value during the measurement. The effect of force degradation and regeneration over time by simple static loading varies in the range of percentage of the nominal force in the plateau area. The transition between stress-strain curve phases caused by the degradation or regeneration of the force wasn't observed in case of mechanically stabilized springs. Springs should be mechanically stabilized before their application. The degree of force degradation over time is insignificant for mechanically stabilized springs. Degradation or regeneration of force over time, mechanical stabilization or micromovements in the mouth don't cause any transition between individual stress-strain curve phases.

OBJECTIVES:: To elucidate the epidemiology, complication profiles, hospital outcome, and predisposing factors of CNS complications occurring during venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in adults. DESIGN:: Retrospective analysis of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry. SETTING:: Data reported to Extracorporeal Life Support Organization by 230 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation centers from 1992 to 2013. PATIENTS:: Patients more than 16 years old supported with a single-run of venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. INTERVENTIONS:: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: We examined 4,522 adult patients supported with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and included in the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry. Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was used for cardiac dysfunction in 3,005 patients (66.5%), cardiopulmonary resuscitation in 877 patients (19.4%), and respiratory failure in 640 patients (14.1%), respectively. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify factors independently associated with CNS injury. Neurologic complications occurred in 682 patients (15.1%), and included brain death in 358 patients (7.9%), cerebral infarction in 161 patients (3.6%), seizures in 83 patients (1.8%), and cerebral hemorrhage in 80 patients (1.8%). Multiple CNS complications in the same patient occurred in 70 cases. Hospital mortality in patients with CNS complications was 89%, compared with 57% in patients without (p < 0.001). In a multivariable model, age, pre-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cardiac arrest, the use of inotropes on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and post-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation hypoglycemia were shown to be associated with CNS complications. CONCLUSIONS:: Neurologic complications in adult patients on venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support are common and associated with poor survival. Further research should focus on better understanding and management of brain/extracorporeal membrane oxygenation interaction to avoid such catastrophic complications. Copyright © by 2016 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Zurmanova J.,Charles University | Soukup T.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Physiological Research | Year: 2013

We studied the expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms at mRNA and protein levels as well as fiber type composition in the fast extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and slow soleus (SOL) twitch muscles of adult inbred Lewis strain rats. Comparison of the results from Real Time RT-PCR, SDS-PAGE and fiber type analysis showed corresponding proportions of MyHC transcripts (MyHC-1, -2a, -2x/d, -2b), protein isoforms (MyHC-1, -2a, -2x/d, -2b) and fiber types (type 1, 2A, 2X/D, 2B) in both muscles. Furthermore, we found that slow MyHC-1 mRNA expression in the SOL was up to three orders higher than that of fast MyHC transcripts. This finding can explain the predominance of MyHC-1 isoform and fiber type 1 and the absence of pure 2X/D and 2B fibers in the SOL muscle. Based on our data presenting quantitative evidence of corresponding proportions between mRNA level, protein content and fiber type composition, we suggest that the Real Time RT-PCR technique can be used as a routine method for analysis of muscle composition changes and could be advantageous for the analysis of scant biological samples such as muscle biopsies in humans. © 2013 Institute of Physiology v.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.

Trc T.,Charles University | Bohmova J.,Faculty Hospital Brno
International Orthopaedics | Year: 2011

This was a 13-week, multicentre, randomised, parallel, double-blind study. One hundred men and women volunteers aged ≥40 years with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) were randomised to once daily enzymatic hydrolysed collagen (EHC) 10 g or glucosamine sulphate (GS) 1.5 g for 90 consecutive days. Follow-up took place after two weeks and after one, two and three months. Primary [visual analogue scale (VAS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC Index)] and secondary outcomes variables, assessed at weeks two, four, eight and 12, were KOA pain intensity measured by quadruple visual analogue scales in the target knee, the WOMAC total score index, patient's and investigator's global assessments of disease activity, joint assessment, use of rescue medication (ibuprofen 400 mg tablets) and assessment of Quality of Life index (SF-36 Questionnaire). Safety and tolerability were also evaluated. Clear improvement was observed in both joint pain and symptoms in patients with KOA treated with EHC (Colatech ®) and significant differences were observed. Mean reductions from baseline for EHC 10 g daily and GS 1.5 g, respectively, were KOA pain intensity reduction in the target knee for Colatech® (p<0.05): WOMAC index decrease ≤ 15 points at the last visit (day 90) for Colatech® in 16 patients (34.04%) (p<0.05) and for glucosamine in six patients (13.04%); total score index for painful joints: Colatech® 1.6 (p<0.05) and glucosamine 1.8; total score index for swollen joints: Colatech® 0.5 (p<0.05) and glucosamine 0.7; patient's global assessment of efficacy as the sum of improvement good + ideal: 80.8% for Colatech® and 46.6% for glucosamine (p<0.05). EHC (Colatech®) showed superior improvement over GS in the SF-36 Questionnaire in the Physical Health Index (42.0 for Colatech and 40.0 for glucosamine). The incidence of adverse events was similar in both groups. Both EHC and GS were well tolerated. © Springer-Verlag 2010.

The aim of this study was to investigate two patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) who suffered from multiple repeated pregnancy losses of probably genetically impaired embryos. Sera from these patients contained high levels of IgG antibodies against cardiolipin, IgG and IgM phosphatidyl inositol, IgG phosphatidyl L-serine, and IgG against anti-annexin V. The conventional treatment of APS was ineffective. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) showed chromosomally impaired embryos. The course of pregnancies and deliveries were monitored due to the close collaboration of in vitro fertilization and PGD in early embryos. After the selection of normal embryos using PGD, and the treatment of APS, both patients became pregnant and delivered healthy babies. Without such selection, both women would probably have miscarried their embryos again. © The Author(s), 2012. Reprints and permissions: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

Holmannova D.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2012

Summary: CD200 and its receptor were recognized as having the multiple immunoregulatory functions. Their immunoregulatory, suppressive, and tolerogenic potentials could be very effectively exploited in the treatment of many diseases, e.g. Alzheimer disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergy to name only some. Many research projects are aimed to develop clinically valuable methods being based on the structure and function of these paired molecules. In this review, we would like to introduce CD200/CD200R functions in a clinical context.

The differentiation of embryonic stem cells is associated with extensive changes in gene expression. It is not yet clear whether these changes are the result of binary switch-like mechanisms or that of continuous and progressive variation. Here, I have used immunostaining and single molecule RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to assess changes in the expression of the well-known pluripotency-associated gene Pou5f1 (also known as Oct4) and early differentiation markers Sox1 and T-brachyury in single cells during the early steps of differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. I found extensive overlap between the expression of Pou5f1/Sox1 or Pou5f1/T-brachyury shortly after the initiation of differentiation towards either the neuronal or the mesendodermal lineage, but no evidence of correlation between their respective expression levels. Quantitative analysis of transcriptional output at the sites of nascent transcription revealed that Pou5f1 and Sox1 were transcribed in pulses and that embryonic stem cell differentiation was accompanied by changes in pulsing frequencies. The progressive induction of Sox1 was further associated with an increase in the average size of individual transcriptional bursts. Surprisingly, single cells that actively and simultaneously transcribe both the pluripotency- and the lineage-associated genes could easily be found in the differentiating population. The results presented here show for the first time that lineage priming can occur in cells that are actively transcribing a pluripotent marker. Furthermore, they suggest that this process is associated with changes in transcriptional dynamics. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.

Cibula D.,Charles University | Widschwendter M.,University College London | Majek O.,Masaryk University | Dusek L.,Masaryk University
Human Reproduction Update | Year: 2011

Background: The reduction of ovarian cancer (OC) risk in women with a history of tubal ligation (TL) has been reported repeatedly, mostly on small populations. We have aimed to provide a critical overview of the studies available to date and to conduct a meta-analysis. Methods: There were 40 relevant studies identified. The studies were divided into two groups for strict and extended meta-analysis, respectively. Subgroup analysis was performed for age, time dependency since TL, histological types of OC and BReast CAncer (BRCA) mutation. Results: Meta-analysis of 13 strictly selected studies showed a reduced risk of epithelial OC by 34%. The protective effect of TL was confirmed even in a subgroup of women 10-14 years after the procedure. The risk reduction was confirmed for the endometrioid (RR = 0.40) and serous (RR = 0.73) cancers but not for mucinous. Conclusions: The review of relevant articles, as well as the meta-analysis of selected studies, yields consistent data on a significant reduction of OC risk in women who had undergone TL. The results of this meta-analysis should provide an impulse for further research on the etiology of ovarian epithelial cancers, focusing particularly on the importance of retrograde transport of endometrial cells. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.

Janovska Z.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2012

Bisphosphonates (BP) are potent inhibitors of bone resorption used mainly in the treatment of metastatic bone disease and osteoporosis. By inhibiting bone resorption, they prevent complications as pathological fracture, pain, tumor-induced hypercalcemia. Even though patient's benefit of BP therapy is huge, various side effects may develop. Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (BRONJ) is among the most serious ones. Oncologic patients receiving high doses of BP intravenously are at high risk of BRONJ development. BPs impair bone turnover leading to compromised bone healing which may result in the exposure of necrotic bone in the oral cavity frequently following tooth extraction or trauma of the oral mucosa. Frank bone exposure may be complicated by secondary infection leading to osteomyelitis development with various symptoms and radiological findings. In the management of BRONJ, conservative therapy aiming to reduce the symptoms plays the main role. In patients with extensive bone involvement resective surgery may lead to complete recovery, provided that the procedure is correctly indicated. Since the treatment of BRONJ is difficult, prevention is the main goal. Therefore in high risk patients dental preventive measures should be taken prior to bisphosphonate administration. This requires adequate communication between the prescribing physician, the patient and the dentist.

Sklenar P.,Charles University | Hedberg I.,Uppsala University | Cleef A.M.,University of Amsterdam
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: We analysed the effects of alpine area, geographical distance between mountains and isolation due to topography on mountain plant species richness, regional species turnover and patterns of species distribution. Location: Equatorial mountains of East Africa, South America and New Guinea. Methods: We collated lists of alpine species and estimated the extent of alpine area for seven mountains in each geographical region to construct species-area curves. We tested the observed frequency distribution of species among mountains against the expected distribution (assuming random dispersal) by means of a log-likelihood test. We compared species turnover among mountains using species accumulation curves. We expressed floristic similarity between mountain pairs as chi-square distance between observed and expected numbers of shared species and tested its correlation with geographical distance using the Mantel test. Results: Samples of East African, South American and New Guinean alpine floras contained 371, 489 and 279 species, respectively. Andean genera tended to be more species rich than genera in the other regions. Species richness of the mountains correlated with log-transformed area except in East Africa. Species distributions among mountains significantly deviated from random in all regions. Species turnover was lowest among East African sites and highest among South American sites, and the slopes of the cumulative species-area relationship were significantly different. Floristic similarity between mountains significantly declined with log(distance) in all regions, and the slope of the relationship was steepest in South America. Main conclusions: The flora of the Andean páramo is confirmed to be the most species rich of the tropical alpine regions. Páramo genera tend to be richer in species than afroalpine and tropicalpine Asian genera. There is higher species turnover in the Andes and the floras of individual mountains are therefore quite distinct. In contrast, the floras of the East African mountains are more uniform and possess a relatively large number of widespread species. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Di Giulio M.,Charles University | Di Giulio M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Biochimie | Year: 2012

The properties, historical and empirical observations of a model of the origin of the tRNA molecule are discussed. This model would predict that this molecule originated by means of the assembly of two hairpin-like structures of RNA. The conclusion is that the model possesses a relevant part of the truth on the origin of the tRNA molecule. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Carva K.,Uppsala University | Carva K.,Charles University | Battiato M.,Uppsala University | Oppeneer P.M.,Uppsala University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

The spin-flip (SF) Eliashberg function is calculated from first principles for ferromagnetic Ni to accurately establish the contribution of Elliott-Yafet electron-phonon SF scattering to Ni's femtosecond laser-driven demagnetization. This is used to compute the SF probability and demagnetization rate for laser-created thermalized as well as nonequilibrium electron distributions. Increased SF probabilities are found for thermalized electrons, but the induced demagnetization rate is extremely small. A larger demagnetization rate is obtained for nonequilibrium electron distributions, but its contribution is too small to account for femtosecond demagnetization. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Zieg J.,Charles University
Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992) | Year: 2014

AIM: Paediatric hyponatraemia is usually caused by an excess of antidiuretic hormone and may lead to serious neurological complications. It is challenging for clinicians to differentiate between conditions causing excess water and salt loss. This review analyses individual causes of hyponatraemia and focuses on optimal diagnostic algorithms and treatment strategies.CONCLUSION: Correct evaluation of hyponatraemia requires proper understanding of the aetiology and appropriate management calls for a detailed history, physical examination and specific laboratory investigations. ©2014 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Kempf W.,Kempf und Pfaltz. Histologische Diagnostik | Kempf W.,University of Zurich | Kazakov D.V.,Charles University | Panizzon R.G.,Center Hospitalier University Vaud
American Journal of Surgical Pathology | Year: 2013

Lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) belongs to the spectrum of primary cutaneous CD30-positive lymphoproliferative disorders. Clinically, LyP is characterized by a variable number of self-healing papulo-nodular lesions, with the typical waxing and waning course. Histologically, 4 types (A, B, C, and D) have been delineated. Angioinvasive growth and large ulcers are rare findings in LyP and simulate aggressive lymphoma. We retrospectively analyzed the clinicopathologic and molecular features of angioinvasive LyP in a series of 16 patients. This new form of LyP is characterized by oligolesional papules that rapidly ulcerate and evolve into large necrotic eschar-like lesions with a diameter of 1 to 4 cm and an angiocentric and angiodestructive infiltrate of small-sized to medium-sized atypical lymphocytes expressing CD30 and frequently CD8. As in other forms of LyP, the lesions underwent spontaneous regression after a few weeks. Recurrences were common, but the prognosis was excellent with no extracutaneous spread or disease-related deaths. Complete remission occurred in 9 of 16 patients (56%). This LyP variant should be distinguished from aggressive forms of angiocentric and angiodestructive and cytotoxic T-cell lymphomas. We propose the term LyP type E for this clinically and histologically unusual variant. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.

Heneberg P.,Charles University
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Previous analyses identified research on environmental tobacco smoke to be subject to strong fluctuations as measured by both quantitative and qualitative indicators. The evolution of search algorithms (based on the Web of Science and Web of Knowledge database platforms) was used to show the impact of errors of omission and commission in the outcomes of scientometric research. Optimization of the search algorithm led to the complete reassessment of previously published findings on the performance of environmental tobacco smoke research. Instead of strong continuous growth, the field of environmental tobacco smoke research was shown to experience stagnation or slow growth since mid-1990s when evaluated quantitatively. Qualitative analysis revealed steady but slow increase in the citation rate and decrease in uncitedness. Country analysis revealed the North-European countries as leaders in environmental tobacco smoke research (when the normalized results were evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively), whereas the United States ranked first only when assessing the total number of papers produced. Scientometric research artifacts, including both errors of omission and commission, were shown to be capable of completely obscuring the real output of the chosen research field. © 2012 ASIS&;T.

Bodirsky M.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | Kara J.,Charles University
Journal of the ACM | Year: 2010

A temporal constraint language is a set of relations that has a first-order definition in(Q;<), the dense linear order of the rational numbers. We present a complete complexity classification of the constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) for temporal constraint languages: if the constraint language is contained in one out of nine temporal constraint languages, then the CSP can be solved in polynomial time; otherwise, the CSP is NP-complete. Our proof combines model-theoretic concepts with techniques from universal algebra, and also applies the so-called product Ramsey theorem, which we believe will useful in similar contexts of constraint satisfaction complexity classification. An extended abstract of this article appeared in the proceedings of STOC'08. © 2010 ACM.

Opanasenko M.,J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry | Stepnicka P.,Charles University | Cejka J.,J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry
RSC Advances | Year: 2014

Palladium catalysts deposited over different types of silica (amorphous silica, mesoporous molecular sieves, solids obtained by co-condensation of silicate precursors and many others) modified with suitable donor moieties have gained enormous importance due to their wide application as catalysts for cross-coupling and other synthetically useful organic reactions. This work provides an overview of the chemistry of silica-supported palladium catalysts in different types of organic transformations in order to present the major features, advantages and limitations of various supports and immobilised ligands. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Prochazkova D.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Bousova I.,Charles University | Wilhelmova N.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Fitoterapia | Year: 2011

The interest in possible health benefits of flavonoids has increased owing to their potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities observed in vitro. Nevertheless, the antioxidant efficacy of flavonoids in vivo is less documented and their prooxidant properties have been actually described in vivo. Due to their prooxidant properties, they are able to cause oxidative damage by reacting with various biomolecules, such as lipids, proteins and DNA. Hence, the aim of this review is to discuss both the antioxidant and prooxidant effects of flavonoids. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Chee S.Y.,Nanyang Technological University | Flegel M.,Charles University | Pumera M.,Nanyang Technological University
Electrochemistry Communications | Year: 2011

The determination of important regulatory peptides containing disulphidic bridge and thiols are of much interest. We investigated, via differential pulse voltammetry, the use of glassy carbon electrodes modified with nickel(II) oxide nanoparticles for electrocatalytic oxidation of L-glutathione and desmopressin. Linear response in the range of 0.2 to 6.0 mM of L-glutathione was observed, which brackets the concentration of about 5 mM of L-glutathione in living cells. Hence electrochemical detection of L-glutathione can be achieved using the simple preparation of GC electrodes modified with inexpensive NiO nanoparticles. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Spousta M.,Charles University
Indian Journal of Physics | Year: 2011

We present studies of the performance of jet reconstruction algorithms with full GEANT simulation of the ATLAS detector. Simulated jets from PYTHIA are embedded into the heavy ion background from HIJING. The results on the jet energy and position resolutions of the ATLAS calorimeter system for different centralities of the PbPb collisions are shown. The energy resolution of single reconstructed jets is better than 20% at 100 GeV. We also present ATLAS capability for measurement of jet energy profiles, fragmentation functions and transverse jet structure. © 2011 Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science.

Tallon P.P.,Charles University
European Journal of Information Systems | Year: 2014

Since firms rarely collect data on the precise economic or financial impacts of information technology (IT), perceptions play a key role in assessing IT impacts. To the extent that executives in the same firm evaluate IT impacts similarly, it can be easier to approve future IT investments or to initiate corrective action for failing IT investments. In this study, we use distributed sensemaking theory to investigate the conditions under which executives will reach a consensus as to the extent and locus of firm and process-level IT impacts in their firm. Using data from surveys of 133 top-level business executives in 13 firms, we show that consensus is a function of CIO-led sensegiving in the form of IT promotion, CIO leadership, information systems (IS) engagement with end users, and IS-business communications. The absence of consensus - discord - suggests IS disengagement, a lack of effective CIO leadership, weak IT-business communications, and ineffective promotion of the role of IT. Sensegiving does not mean telling executives what to think about IT but rather how to think about IT and its impacts at various points within the firm. Whether IT impacts are rated high or low, efforts to create increased consensus among executives can greatly enhance value from IT. © 2014 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved.

Skalova A.,Charles University
Ceskoslovenská patologie | Year: 2013

Tumor-related high risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) 16 and 18 have been repeatedly detected in head and neck cancers, particularly, they are well known risk factors in squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharyngeal and tonsillar region. Little is known, however, about the possible role of HPV in salivary gland tumors. Fifty-five cases of benign and malignant salivary gland tumors were tested using p16 immunohistochemistry followed by HPV DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using SPF, CPSGB, GP5+/GP6+ primers, and type specific primers for HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 45 in the cases with strong immunohistochemical expression for p16 protein (score 3+). Only 5 tumors of 55 (9 %) were completely devoid of any p16 staining, and in 10 cases (18 %), less than 25 % of tumor cells stained (score 1+). In the majority of cases (35 of 55; 64 %) there was a patchy nuclear and cytoplasmic strong staining in 26 to 50 % of tumor cells (score 2+). In five cases (9 %), strong nuclear and cytoplasmic staining in more than 51% of tumor cells was detected (score 3+). However, none of the p16-positive cases showed any evidence of high-risk HPV by PCR. The results of the study indicate that HPV, in particular oncogenic types 16 and 18, are not involved in the etiology of benign and malignant epithelial tumors of salivary glands. Therefore, it is likely that salivary gland tumors belong to the category of tissues in which the p16 positive immunohistochemistry is not biologically relevant to the oncogenic role of HPV infection.

Prikryl R.,Charles University | Weishauptova Z.,Czech Institute of Rock Structure And Mechanics
Applied Clay Science | Year: 2010

The use of the hierarchical pore structure in a bentonite-based mixture as a part of a nuclear waste repository's engineering barrier is proposed. The pore structure was observed in an experimental mixture composed of milled Ca-bentonite (85 vol.%), quartz sand (10 vol.%), and graphite (5 vol.%), which had been subjected to long-term (44 months) combined effects of increased temperature (up to 90 °C) and hydration during the Mock-Up-CZ experiment. Although there were negligible changes in the mineralogical composition (a slight increase of illite content, and minor conversion of montmorillonite to beidellite), the studied material underwent significant changes in the hierarchical pore structure. The parameters of the pore space were examined by adsorption techniques (CO2 and N2), as well as by the intrusion technique (mercury porosimetry). Detectable pore radii ranged from about 0.4 nm to 58 μm (micro-, meso-, macropores, and coarse pores). The observed pore categories were attributed to the presence of solid particles and their arrangement. The smallest pores exhibited a typical radius of 0.65 nm (a range from 0.4 to 1.6 nm), a total specific surface area of 50 m2/g for the initial material. Mesopores showing radii 10-20 times higher were found within aggregates of clay mineral particles. Their specific surface area was roughly similar to that of micropores. Simultaneous heating and hydration decreased the specific surface area of the micropores close to the source of heat (i.e. in the direction of increasing temperature). There was a slight increase of their volume in moderately heated areas (50-70 °C) and a decrease in both the less heated (30-40 °C) and highly heated areas (over 70 °C). The same process increased the specific surface area of mesopores by 1-18%. The maximum increase of this parameter was observed in the samples exposed to a lower temperature (30-40 °C). The volume and specific surface area of macropores and coarse pores significantly decreased (by 20 and 40% respectively) when compared to the pre-experimental material but the typical radius of macropores was increased by a factor of about 2 or 3 in the zone of maximum temperature. This fact contributed to increased hydraulic conductivity observed by Pusch et al. (2007). © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

The paper deals with sample approximation applied to stochastic programming problems with chance constraints. We extend results on rates of convergence for problems with mixed-integer bounded sets of feasible solutions and several chance constraints. We derive estimates on the sample size necessary to get a feasible solution of the original problem using sample approximation. We present an application to a vehicle routing problem with time windows, random travel times, and random demand. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Vitek L.,Charles University
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases | Year: 2015

Bile acid malabsorption (BAM) is a common but an underestimated and often neglected sign of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), especially those affecting the distal ileum. Clinically relevant BAM is most often present in patients with Crohn's ileitis and particularly in ileal-resected Crohn's disease patients. However, deterioration of bile acid (BA) metabolism occurs also in patients with IBD without ileal disease or in those in clinical remission, and the role of BAM in these patients is not well appreciated by clinicians. In a majority of cases, BAM in IBD is caused by impaired conjugated BA reabsorption, mediated by apical sodium/BA cotransporting polypeptide, localized at the luminal surface of the ileal enterocytes. As a consequence, numerous pathological sequelae may occur, including the malfunction of lipid digestion with clinical steatorrhea, impaired intestinal motility, and/or significant changes in the intestinal microflora environment. In this review, a detailed description of the pathophysiological mechanisms of BAM-related diarrhea is presented. Although BAM is present in a significant number of patients with Crohn's disease, its laboratory assessment is not routinely included in diagnostic workups, partially because of costs, logistical reasons, or the unavailability of the more sophisticated laboratory equipment needed. Simultaneously, novel findings related to the effects of the BA signaling pathways on immune functions (mediated through TGR5, cell membrane G protein-coupled BA receptor 1, nuclear farnesoid X receptor, nuclear pregnane X receptor, or nuclear vitamin D receptor) are discussed along with intestinal metabolism in its relationship to the pathogenesis of IBD. Copyright © 2014 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.

Iorio A.,Charles University
Annals of Physics | Year: 2011

The conformal invariance of the low energy limit theory governing the electronic properties of graphene is explored. In particular, it is noted that the massless Dirac theory in point enjoys local Weyl symmetry, a very large symmetry. Exploiting this symmetry in the two spatial dimensions and in the associated three dimensional spacetime, we find the geometric constraints that correspond to specific shapes of the graphene sheet for which the electronic density of states is the same as that for planar graphene, provided the measurements are made in accordance to the inner reference frame of the electronic system. These results rely on the (surprising) general relativistic-like behavior of the graphene system arising from the combination of its well known special relativistic-like behavior with the less explored Weyl symmetry. Mathematical structures, such as the Virasoro algebra and the Liouville equation, naturally arise in this three-dimensional context and can be related to specific profiles of the graphene sheet. Speculations on possible applications of three-dimensional gravity are also proposed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Eckhardt A.,Charles University
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2012

Collaborative filtering is an efficient way to find best objects to recommend. This technique is particularly useful when there is a lot of users that rated a lot of objects. In this paper, we propose a method that improve the Collaborative filtering in situations, where the number of ratings or users is small. The proposed approach is experimentally evaluated on real datasets with very convincing results. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Nachtigall P.,Charles University | Delgado M.R.,University of the Balearic Islands | Nachtigallova D.,Czech Institute of Organic Chemistry And Biochemistry | Arean C.O.,University of the Balearic Islands
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2012

Gas adsorption on zeolites constitutes the base of many technological applications of these versatile porous materials. Quite often, especially when dealing with small molecules, individual extra-framework (exchangeable) cations are considered to be the adsorption site on which molecules coming from a gas phase form the corresponding adsorption complex. Nonetheless, while that can be the case in some instances, recent research work that combines variable temperature infrared spectroscopy with periodic DFT calculations showed that some types of adsorption sites involve two or more cations, which constitute dual and multiple cation sites, respectively. Adsorption complexes formed on these cationic adsorption sites differ in both structure and stability from those formed on a single cation alone. Examples concerning CO, CO 2 and H 2 adsorption on alkali and alkaline-earth metal exchanged zeolites are reviewed, with the double purpose of clarifying concepts and highlighting their relevance to practical use of zeolites in such fields as gas separation and purification, gas storage and heterogeneous catalysis. © the Owner Societies 2012.

Kanta J.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2011

Wound healing is a complex physiological process important for tissue homeostasis. An acute injury initiates massive cell migration, proliferation and differentiation, synthesis of extracellular matrix components, scar formation and remodelling. Blood flow and tissue oxygenation are parts of the complex regulation of healing. Higher organisms utilize molecular oxygen as a terminal oxidant. This way of gaining energy for vital processes such as healing leads to the production of a number of oxygen compounds that may have a defensive or informatory role. They may be harmful when present in high concentrations. Both the lack and the excess of reactive oxygen species may influence healing negatively.

Bojdys M.J.,Charles University
Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2016

Thin layers of the semiconductor silicon are omnipresent in all electronic devices. Ongoing, exponential improvement in size, performance, and cost of a single transistor is predicted to face serious challenges in the near feature. With the era of "postsilicon electronics" on the horizon, researchers are racing to address issues of material security, less energy-intensive manufacturing, and design of device properties. The chemistry of carbon and nitrogen (C, N) provides an attractive avenue toward the modular design of new 2D materials "beyond silicon and graphene." As of 2015, the number of mobile phone subscriptions outstrips Earth's human population. Critical raw materials and silicon, won in energy intensive refinement, make up the electronics in all these devices. While graphene still has to deliver on its potential in electronic applications, the present study looks to 2D polymer materials that go beyond silicon and graphene. © 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Kudiyirickal M.G.,Charles University
Minerva stomatologica | Year: 2011

Antimicrobials are often prescribed by dental practitioners for various dental conditions. However, non-adherence to standard prescribing guidelines is common in day to day dental practice. The aim of this paper was to investigate the types of antimicrobials used for various orofacial infections by primary care dental practitioners and to verify their adherence to standard prescribing guidelines. Clinical data was analyzed from random electronic files of patients for whom antimicrobials were prescribed at two Dental Practices in UK between January 2009 and December 2010. British National Formulary (60th Edn), guidelines of Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme and UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidelines were used to identify adherence to prescribing guidelines. A total of 200 cases were analyzed. Amoxicillin (52%) was the commonest antimicrobial prescribed followed by metronidazole (43.5%). Mean age of the patients was 37.2 (+/- 15.1) years. Mean duration of antimicrobial prescription was for 4.3 (+/- 1.4) days. Non-adherence to the standard prescribing guidelines was observed in 116 (58%) prescriptions. Amoxicillin continues to be the commonest antimicrobial preferred by primary care dental practitioners. Non-adherence to standard antimicrobial prescribing guidelines still remains high among primary care dentists.

Teodoridis V.,Charles University
Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie - Abhandlungen | Year: 2010

Nine Early Miocene microfloras from the Most Basin have been evaluated using the IPR vegetation analysis. This semi-quantitative method confirms a zonal vegetation change from the Mixed Mesophytic Forest of the Holešice Member floras to the Broad-leaved Evergreen Forest type represented by floras of the Libkovice Member. This vegetation shift corresponds to palaeoclimatic fluctuation towards Early-Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum expressed by increased proportion of the evergreen and thermophilous elements and has also been corroborated by palaeoclimatic estimates derived from the LMA, CLAMP and CoA methods as well as studies of CO2 concentration. © 2010 Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.

This review deals with the role of microorganisms in spontaneous regression of a tumour. Spontaneous cancer regression is a phenomenon that has been described for many centuries. One of the most well known methods of inducing spontaneous regression of cancer is the application of Coley’s toxin (heat-killed Streptococcus pyogenes and Serratia marcescens), which has been used for the successful treatment of sarcomas, carcinomas, lymphomas, myelomas and melanomas. In clinical practice, the use of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine for the treatment of superficial urinary bladder cancer is the most common instance of the application of microorganisms for the treatment of cancer. This review provides further information on other tested bacteria – Clostridium spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Lactobacillus spp. and Salmonella spp. – in this field of study. Among new age methods, bactofection, alternative gene therapy, combination bacteriolytic therapy and bacteria-directed enzyme prodrug therapy are some of the potential cancer treatment modalities that use microorganisms. We have also provided information about the interconnection among microorganisms, immune system response, and the possible mechanisms involved in the spontaneous regression of tumours.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kozmik V.,Charles University | Morton D.P.,University of Texas at Austin
Mathematical Programming | Year: 2015

We consider a risk-averse multi-stage stochastic program using conditional value at risk as the risk measure. The underlying random process is assumed to be stage-wise independent, and a stochastic dual dynamic programming (SDDP) algorithm is applied. We discuss the poor performance of the standard upper bound estimator in the risk-averse setting and propose a new approach based on importance sampling, which yields improved upper bound estimators. Modest additional computational effort is required to use our new estimators. Our procedures allow for significant improvement in terms of controlling solution quality in SDDP-style algorithms in the risk-averse setting. We give computational results for multi-stage asset allocation using a log-normal distribution for the asset returns. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and Mathematical Optimization Society.

Massy Z.A.,University of Picardie Jules Verne | Massy Z.A.,Charles University | Drueke T.B.,University of Picardie Jules Verne
Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension | Year: 2013

Purpose of review: This review presents new evidence related to molecular mechanisms involved in the process of cardiovascular calcification, as well as to discuss new biomarkers and novel therapeutic strategies related to vascular calcification in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Recent findings: microRNAs have emerged as potential players in the genesis of osteo-chondrogenic transformation, depending on the stimulus and the localization of vascular calcification. The disturbances of the fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23)/alpha-Klotho (Klotho) axis observed in CKD appear to play an important role in CKD-associated vascular calcification. Numerous studies have identified circulating biomarkers potentially responsible for vascular calcification and have evaluated their link with this process. The respective role of these biomarkers is not yet elucidated. Beyond phosphate binders, modulation of calcium-sensing receptor and vitamin K supplementation come into sight as new potential strategies to prevent cardiovascular calcification. Conclusion A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms which are responsible for cardiovascular calcification have led to a better detection and more adequate follow-up of this pathologic process, as well as the identification of novel therapeutic targets. Whether these new insights will lead to improved care and better survival of CKD patients with cardiovascular calcification remains to be demonstrated. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Pudil R.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2010

Interleukin 6 plays an important role in chronic heart failure (HF), but little is known about its involvement in acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). The aim of our study is to evaluate the prognostic role of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in the patients with ADHF. Plasma levels of interleukin IL-6, N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide levels, and clinical covariates were measured in 92 patients with ADHF. Survival was followed up to 12 months, and prognostic factors were evaluated. Elevated plasma IL-6 levels were increased in nonsurvivors and were associated with 1-year mortality (p < 0.01). Plasma IL-6 levels were associated with plasma NT-proBNP levels. In multivariate analysis, increased plasma IL-6 and NT-proBNP levels remained strong independent predictors of 1-year mortality. Plasma IL-6 levels provide important prognostic information in the patients with ADHF. Measurement combining plasma IL-6 and NT-proBNP should serve as a powerful prognostic tool of multimarker strategy in patients with acute decompensated heart failure.

Nesetril J.,Charles University | Ossona de Mendez P.,French National Center for Scientific Research
European Journal of Combinatorics | Year: 2011

In this paper, we define and analyze the nowhere dense classes of graphs. This notion is a common generalization of proper minor closed classes, classes of graphs with bounded degree, locally planar graphs, classes with bounded expansion, to name just a few classes which are studied extensively in combinatorial and computer science contexts.In this paper, we show that this concept leads to a classification of general classes of graphs and to the dichotomy between nowhere dense and somewhere dense classes. This classification is surprisingly stable as it can be expressed in terms of the most commonly used basic combinatorial parameters, such as the independence number α, the clique number ω, and the chromatic number χ. The remarkable stability of this notion and its robustness has a number of applications to mathematical logic, complexity of algorithms, and combinatorics.We also express the nowhere dense versus somewhere dense dichotomy in terms of edge densities as a trichotomy theorem. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Sedmera D.,Charles University | Sedmera D.,Institute of Physiology | Thompson R.P.,Medical University of South Carolina
Developmental Dynamics | Year: 2011

Regulation of organ growth is critical during embryogenesis. At the cellular level, mechanisms controlling the size of individual embryonic organs include cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and attrition through cell death. All these mechanisms play a role in cardiac morphogenesis, but experimental studies have shown that the major determinant of cardiac size during prenatal development is myocyte proliferation. As this proliferative capacity becomes severely restricted after birth, the number of cell divisions that occur during embryogenesis limits the growth potential of the postnatal heart. We summarize here current knowledge concerning regional control of myocyte proliferation as related to cardiac morphogenesis and dysmorphogenesis. There are significant spatial and temporal differences in rates of cell division, peaking during the preseptation period and then gradually decreasing toward birth. Analysis of regional rates of proliferation helps to explain the mechanics of ventricular septation, chamber morphogenesis, and the development of the cardiac conduction system. Proliferation rates are influenced by hemodynamic loading, and transduced by autocrine and paracrine signaling by means of growth factors. Understanding the biological response of the developing heart to such factors and physical forces will further our progress in engineering artificial myocardial tissues for heart repair and designing optimal treatment strategies for congenital heart disease. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

The rationale for recommendation of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; valine, leucine, and isoleucine) in treatment of liver failure is based on their unique pharmacologic properties, stimulatory effect on ammonia detoxification to glutamine (GLN), and decreased concentrations in liver cirrhosis. Multiple lines of evidence have shown that the main cause of the BCAA deficiency in liver cirrhosis is their consumption in skeletal muscle for synthesis of glutamate, which acts as a substrate for ammonia detoxification to GLN and that the BCAA administration to patients with liver failure may exert a number of positive effects that may be more pronounced in patients with marked depression of BCAA levels. On the other hand, due to the stimulatory effect of BCAA on GLN synthesis, BCAA supplementation may lead to enhanced ammonia production from GLN breakdown in the intestine and the kidneys and thus exert harmful effects on the development of hepatic encephalopathy. Therefore, to enhance therapeutic effectiveness of the BCAA in patients with liver injury, their detrimental effect on ammonia production, which is negligible in healthy people and/or patients with other disorders, should be avoided. In treatment of hepatic encephalopathy, simultaneous administration of the BCAA (to correct amino acid imbalance and promote ammonia detoxification to GLN) with α-ketoglutarate (to inhibit GLN breakdown to ammonia in enterocytes) and/or phenylbutyrate (to enhance GLN excretion by the kidneys) is suggested. Attention should be given to the type of liver injury, gastrointestinal bleeding, signs of inflammation, and the dose of BCAA. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Maslov D.A.,University of California at Riverside | Votypka J.,Charles University | Votypka J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Yurchenko V.,University of Ostrava | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Parasitology | Year: 2013

Monoxenous trypanosomatids, which are usually regarded as benign dwellers of the insect alimentary tract, represent a relatively obscure group within the family Trypanosomatidae. This field of study has long been in disarray with the genus level taxonomy of this group remaining artificial, species criteria elusive, host specificity and occurrence poorly known, and their diversity mostly unexplored. The time has arrived to remedy this situation: a phylogenetic approach has been applied to taxa recognition and description, and a culture-independent (PCR-based) approach for detection and identification of organisms in nature has made it feasible to study the diversity of the group. Although more than 100 typing units have been discovered recently, these appear to represent a small segment of trypanosomatid biodiversity, which still remains to be uncovered. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Bernstein D.L.,North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System | Hulkova H.,Charles University | Bialer M.G.,North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System | Desnick R.J.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2013

Cholesteryl ester storage disease (CESD) is caused by deficient lysosomal acid lipase (LAL) activity, predominantly resulting in cholesteryl ester (CE) accumulation, particularly in the liver, spleen, and macrophages throughout the body. The disease is characterized by microvesicular steatosis leading to liver failure, accelerated atherosclerosis and premature demise. Although CESD is rare, it is likely that many patients are unrecognized or misdiagnosed. Here, the findings in 135 CESD patients described in the literature are reviewed. Diagnoses were based on liver biopsies, LAL deficiency and/or LAL gene (LIPA) mutations. Hepatomegaly was present in 99.3% of patients; 74% also had splenomegaly. When reported, most patients had elevated serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and transaminases (AST, ALT, or both), while HDL-cholesterol was decreased. All 112 liver biopsied patients had the characteristic pathology, which is progressive, and includes microvesicular steatosis, which leads to fibrosis, micronodular cirrhosis, and ultimately to liver failure. Pathognomonic birefringent CE crystals or their remnant clefts were observed in hepatic cells. Extrahepatic manifestations included portal hypertension, esophageal varices, and accelerated atherosclerosis. Liver failure in 17 reported patients resulted in liver transplantation and/or death. Genotyping identified 31 LIPA mutations in 55 patients; 61% of mutations were the common exon 8 splice-junction mutation (E8SJM-1G>A), for which 18 patients were homozygous. Genotype/phenotype correlations were limited; however, E8SJM-1G>A homozygotes typically had early-onset, slowly progressive disease. Supportive treatment included cholestyramine, statins, and, ultimately, liver transplantation. Recombinant LAL replacement was shown to be effective in animal models, and recently, a phase I/II clinical trial demonstrated its safety and indicated its potential metabolic efficacy. © 2013 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lencova E.,Charles University
BMC public health | Year: 2012

Despite the decline in childhood caries prevalence, seen particularly in 1980s, in recent years there have been reports that the declining trend has stopped or even reversed in some countries. The aim of the study was to analyse data from previous epidemiological studies on early childhood caries in the Czech Republic, conduct a secondary analysis of trend in dental caries prevalence, and discuss issues related to national oral health surveillance. Since the 1990s, caries prevalence in preschool children was monitored by two independent bodies: Institute of Health Information and Statistics (IHIS) that conducted 5 cross-sectional surveys over the period 1994-2006, and Institute of Dental Research (IDR) that conducted 4 studies over the years 1998-2010. Both study series differed in methods of sample selection and approaches to examiner training. For the assessment of the caries prevalence trends, regression modelling was used for the following oral-health indicators: caries experience, mean number of teeth with untreated caries (dt) and percentage of caries-free children. In both study series, a significant overall trend of declining caries experience and level of untreated caries, and an increasing trend of percentage of caries-free children was observed (p < 0.05). In IHIS studies, caries experience reduced from 3.5 to 2.7; dt reduced from 2.2 to 1.5 and a proportion of caries-free children increased from 23.9 to 42.2%. In IDR studies, caries experience reduced from 3.7 to 2.98; dt reduced from 2.5 to 2.1 and a proportion of caries-free children increased from 26.7 to 44.9%. Both study series identified a significant decline of caries prevalence particularly in the 1990s and early 2000s. By the end of the investigated period, flattening of the caries decline was observed. The positive trend was observed in the absence of any systematic preventive initiatives on a population level. With respect to the above the authors assume that in the Czech Republic there still is a potential for further caries reduction in preschool population. This, however, cannot be expected without any health policy interventions. Oral health surveillance in the Czech Republic should be promoted by competent regulatory authorities.

Webb J.,University of British Columbia | Cribier A.,Charles University
European Heart Journal | Year: 2011

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is assuming a major role in the routine management of patients with aortic stenosis. Surgical aortic valve replacement is generally accepted to prolong survival, on the basis of historical comparisons and long experience. However, recently percutaneous transarterial TAVI has assumed the position as the only therapy in any aortic stenosis patient group demonstrated to prolong survival in a randomized trial. Arguably, percutaneous TAVI is now the standard of care in symptomatic patients who are not candidates for conventional surgery. On the basis of almost 10 years of experience TAVI also appears to be a reasonable option for some operable, but high-risk patients. Nevertheless considerable work needs to be done before the indications for TAVI are expanded into lower risk groups. We review what is currently known about percutaneous transarterial implantation of the aortic valve. © 2011 The Author.

Holecek M.,Charles University
Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition | Year: 2013

Some people consume chronically glutamine (GLN) in high quantities (∼40 g/d), although a number of biochemical pathways and cellular functions may be negatively affected. The following side effects of GLN supplementation are discussed: (1) Alterations in amino acid transport - as GLN shares the transporters with other amino acids, enhanced GLN intake may impair amino acid distribution among tissues and their absorption in the gut and kidneys. (2) Alterations in GLN metabolism - GLN supplementation may impair synthesis of endogenous GLN and enhance glutamate and ammonia production. (3) Alterations in ammonia transport - GLN supplementation may impair ammonia detoxification and negatively affect the role of GLN as the carrier of ammonia among tissues. (4) Abnormalities in aminoacidemia - increased plasma levels of GLN, glutamate, citrulline, ornithine, arginine, and histidine and decreased levels of valine, leucine, isoleucine, glycine, threonine, serine, and proline are reported. (5) Alterations in immune system - as GLN has immunomodulating properties, the effect of chronic GLN consumption on the immune system needs to be assessed. (6) Effect on tumor growth - it should be elucidated whether chronic intake of GLN increases the risk of cancer. (7) Effect of the withdrawal of GLN supplementation - due to the adaptive response of the organism to enhanced GLN consumption, the withdrawal of GLN may enhance the risk of health problems resulting from GLN deficiency. It is concluded that enhanced intake of GLN has substantial side effects, and long-term studies should be performed to justify chronic consumption of a GLN-enriched diet. © 2012 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

Kristoufek L.,Czech Institute of Information Theory And Automation | Kristoufek L.,Charles University
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications | Year: 2013

We introduce a general framework of the Mixed-correlated ARFIMA (MC-ARFIMA) processes which allows for various specifications of univariate and bivariate long-term memory. Apart from a standard case when Hxy=12( Hx+Hy), MC-ARFIMA also allows for processes with Hxy<12(Hx+Hy) but also for long-range correlated processes which are either short-range cross-correlated or simply correlated. The major contribution of MC-ARFIMA lies in the fact that the processes have well-defined asymptotic properties for Hx, Hy and Hxy, which are derived in the paper, so that the processes can be used in simulation studies comparing various estimators of the bivariate Hurst exponent Hxy. Moreover, the framework allows for modeling of processes which are found to have Hxy<12( Hx+Hy). © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Pleskot R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Li J.,Purdue University | Zarsky V.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Zarsky V.,Charles University | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Plant Science | Year: 2013

Plants respond to diverse biotic and abiotic stimuli as well as to endogenous developmental cues. Many of these stimuli result in altered activity of phospholipase D (PLD), an enzyme that hydrolyzes structural phospholipids producing phosphatidic acid (PA). PA is a key signaling intermediate in animals, but its targets in plants are relatively uncharacterized. Recent studies have demonstrated that the cytoskeleton is a major target of PLD-PA signaling and identified a positive feedback loop between actin turnover and PLD activity. Moreover, two cytoskeletal proteins, capping protein and MAP65-1, have been identified as PA-binding proteins regulating actin and microtubule organization and dynamics. In this review, we highlight the role of the PLD-PA module as an important hub for housekeeping and stress-induced regulation of membrane-associated cytoskeletal dynamics. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Sticova E.,Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine | Jirsa M.,Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine | Jirsa M.,Charles University
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Bilirubin, a major end product of heme breakdown, is an important constituent of bile, responsible for its characteristic colour. Over recent decades, our understanding of bilirubin metabolism has expanded along with the processes of elimination of other endogenous and exogenous anionic substrates, mediated by the action of multiple transport systems at the sinusoidal and canalicular membrane of hepatocytes. Several inherited disorders characterised by impaired bilirubin conjugation (Crigler-Najjar syndrome type I and type II, Gilbert syndrome) or transport (Dubin-Johnson and Rotor syndrome) result in various degrees of hyperbilirubinemia of either the predominantly unconjugated or predominantly conjugated type. Moreover, disrupted regulation of hepatobiliary transport systems can explain jaundice in many acquired liver disorders. In this review, we discuss the recent data on liver bilirubin handling based on the discovery of the molecular basis of Rotor syndrome. The data show that a substantial fraction of bilirubin conjugates is primarily secreted by MRP3 at the sinusoidal membrane into the blood, from where they are subsequently reuptaken by sinusoidal membrane-bound organic anion transporting polypeptides OATP1B1 and OATP1B3. OATP1B proteins are also responsible for liver clearance of bilirubin conjugated in splanchnic organs, such as the intestine and kidney, and for a number of endogenous compounds, xenobiotics and drugs. Absence of one or both OATP1B proteins thus may have serious impact on toxicity of commonly used drugs cleared by this system such as statins, sartans, methotrexate or rifampicin. The liverblood cycling of conjugated bilirubin is impaired in cholestatic and parenchymal liver diseases and this impairment most likely contributes to jaundice accompanying these disorders. © 2013 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Perets H.B.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Subr L.,Charles University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

Runaway stars are stars observed to have large peculiar velocities. Two mechanisms are thought to contribute to the ejection of runaway stars, both of which involve binarity (or higher multiplicity). In the binary supernova scenario, a runaway star receives its velocity when its binary massive companion explodes as a supernova (SN). In the alternative dynamical ejection scenario, runaway stars are formed through gravitational interactions between stars and binaries in dense, compact clusters or cluster cores. Here we study the ejection scenario. We make use of extensive N-body simulations of massive clusters, as well as analytic arguments, in order to characterize the expected ejection velocity distribution of runaway stars. We find that the ejection velocity distribution of the fastest runaways (v ≳ 80 km s-1) depends on the binary distribution in the cluster, consistent with our analytic toy model, whereas the distribution of lower velocity runaways appears independent of the binaries' properties. For a realistic log constant distribution of binary separations, we find the velocity distribution to follow a simple power law: Γ(v)v -8/3 for the high-velocity runaways and v -3/2 for the low-velocity ones. We calculate the total expected ejection rates of runaway stars from our simulated massive clusters and explore their mass function and their binarity. The mass function of runaway stars is biased toward high masses and strongly depends on their velocity. The binarity of runaways is a decreasing function of their ejection velocity, with no binaries expected to be ejected with v > 150 km s-1. We also find that hyper-runaways with velocities of hundreds of km s-1 can be dynamically ejected from stellar clusters, but only at very low rates, which cannot account for a significant fraction of the observed population of hyper-velocity stars in the Galactic halo. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Urban P.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Musilova V.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Skrbek L.,Charles University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

We present an experimental study of turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection (RBC) in a cylindrical cell of height 0.3m, diameter 0.3m. It is designed to minimize the influence of its structure on the convective flow of cryogenic He4 gas of Prandtl number Pr1, with the aim of resolving existing contradictions in Nusselt (Nu) versus Rayleigh number (Ra) scaling. For 7.2×106≤R1011 our data agree with suitably corrected data from similar cryogenic experiments and are consistent with NuRa2/7. On approaching Ra1011 our data display a crossover to NuRa1/3 that approximately holds up to Ra≅4.6×1013; there is no sign of a transition to the ultimate Kraichnan regime. Differences in Nu(Ra) scaling observed in similar RBC experiments for Ra1011 cannot be explained due to the difference in Pr, but seem to depend also on experimental details. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Kondelkova K.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2010

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a specialized subpopulation of T cells that act to suppress immune response, thereby maintaining homeostasis and self-tolerance. It has been shown that Tregs are able to inhibit T cell proliferation and cytokine production and play a critical role in preventing autoimmunity. Different subsets with various functions of Treg cells exist. Tregs can be usually identified by flow cytometry. The most specific marker for these cells is FoxP3, which is localized intracellulary. Selected surface markers such as CD25high (high molecular density) and CD127low (low molecular density) could serve as surrogate markers to detect Tregs in a routine clinical practice. Dysregulation in Treg cell frequency or functions may lead to the development of autoimmune disease. Therapeutical Treg modulation is considered to be a promising therapeutical approach to treat some selected disorders, such as allergies, and to prevent allograft rejection.

Solar M.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2011

The aim of our study was to evaluate duplex ultrasonography (DUS) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) in detection of haemodynamically significant renal artery stenosis (RAS). The study included patients with high clinical suspicion of renovascular hypertension (RVH). The imaging of renal arteries was performed by DUS, MRA and digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Significant RAS was defined as maximum systolic velocity > or =180 cm/sec (DUS) or as 60% reduction of the endoluminal arterial diameter (MRA, DSA). The results of DUS and MRA were assessed in respect to the results of DSA. Arterial supply of 186 kidneys in 94 patients was evaluated. DSA revealed significant RAS in 61 kidneys evaluated. DUS was not able to examine arterial supply in 18 kidneys of 13 patients. In the detection of significant RAS, DUS was characterized by sensitivity and specificity of 85% and 84%. MRA achieved satisfactory imaging quality in all but one kidney evaluated. The sensitivity and specificity of MRA in the detection of significant RAS was 93% and 93%, respectively. In patients with high clinical probability of RVH, MRA proved to be more reliable and superior in both sensitivity and specificity to DUS in the detection of significant RAS.

Kohoutova D.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2010

Cryptogenic multifocal ulcerous stenosing enteritis (CMUSE) is a rare condition characterised by chronic or relapsing moderate ileous episodes resulting from multiple small intestinal strictures, multiple shallow ulcers of the small bowel and favourable therapeutical effect of glucocorticosteroids. The aim of this paper was to evaluate three cases of CMUSE diagnosed within 10 years at a tertiary gastroenterology centre. Three females (35, 50, 60 years) were presented with colicky pain, repeated moderate ileous episodes and weight loss. Multiple fibrous strictures and ulcers of the small bowel were found. All three patients responded to glucocorticosteroid treatment. Tandem tight jejunal stenoses were dilated endoscopically by means of double balloon enteroscopy. In conclusion, CMUSE should always be considered when chronic moderate ileous episodes and multiple small intestinal strictures and ulcers of uncertain aetiology are found. Double balloon enteroscopy enables precise diagnostic work, possible endoscopic treatment of stenoses, may obviate the need for surgery and prevent excessive small bowel resections.

Zima T.,Charles University
Biochemia Medica | Year: 2010

At the beginning of the 21st century there are defined priorities in laboratory medicine such as laboratory automation, laboratory consolidation, molecular diagnostics, and accreditation of laboratories aiming to improve the quality of patient care. Laboratory medicine is backbone in the medical treatment, diagnosis and prevention. Laboratory diagnostics influences 70-80% of hospital health care decisions and costs between 3-5% of total health care costs. Laboratory attempts to improve quality aim to reduce diagnostic errors and decrease turn around time with traceability of all laboratory procedures. Concerning quality, the strategic plans of IFCC and EFCC include focusing of accreditation of labs based on ISO standards and cooperation with European Accreditation and national accreditation bodies. IFCC recognises that ISO 15189:2007 - Medical laboratories - Particular requirements for quality and competence, encompasses all the assessment criteria specified in the policy statement and as such should form the basis for the accreditation of laboratories. There are also different systems in EU countries based on national quality systems which are based on ISO 15189. Accreditation is not about who the best is, but who has a system of standard procedures. Quality system is about people, with people and for people.

Dual hereditary jaundice, a combination of Dubin–Johnson and Gilbert’s syndromes, is a rare clinical entity resulting from the compound defects of bilirubin conjugation and transport. We aimed to study the hereditary jaundice in 56 members from seven seemingly unrelated Roma families, to find the causal genetic defect and to estimate its origin in Roma population. On the basis of biochemical results of total and conjugated serum bilirubin and clinical observations, ABCC2 gene, TATA box and phenobarbital enhancer (PBREM) of UGT1A1 gene were analyzed by sequencing, RFLP and fragment analysis. We found a novel variant c.1013_1014delTG in the eighth exon of ABCC2 gene in 17 individuals in homozygous state. Dual defect NG_011798.1:c.[1013_1014delTG]; NG_002601.2:g.[175492_175493insTA] in homozygous state was found in four subjects. Biochemical analyses of porphyrins and coproporphyrin isomers in urine performed by HPLC showed inverted ratio of excreted coproporphyrin, with the predominance of coproporphyrin I (up to 100%), typical for patients with Dubin–Johnson syndrome. Pursuant cultural and social specifics of the population led us to suspect a founder effect; therefore, we performed a haplotype study using genotyping data from Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0. As a result, we detected a common 86 kbp haplotype encompassing promoter and part of the ABCC2 coding region among all families, and estimated the age of the ancestral variant to 178–185 years. In this study, we found a novel deletion in ABCC2 gene, described genetic and biochemical features of dual hereditary jaundice and confirmed the existence of founder effect and common haplotype among seven Roma families.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 9 September 2015; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.181. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Celakovska J.,Charles University
Acta medica (Hradec Králové) / Universitas Carolina, Facultas Medica Hradec Králové | Year: 2012

Few studies concerning the occurrence of cow's milk allergy with the use of double-blind, placebo controlled food challenge test in adolescents and adult patients suffering from atopic dermatitis exist. To evaluate the occurrence of cow's milk allergy in adolescents and adults suffering from atopic dermatitis. Altogether 179 persons suffering from atopic dermatitis were included in the study: 51 men and 128 women entered the study with the average age of 26.2 (s.d. 9.5 years). Complete dermatological and allergological examinations were performed. The positive results in specific IgE and in skin prick tests were recorded in 12% of patients. According to the open exposure tests and double-blind, placebo controlled food challenge tests these patients are only sensitized to cow's milk without clinical symptoms of allergy. Double-blind, placebo controlled food challenge test confirmed food allergy to cow milk only in one patient (worsening of atopic dermatitis), the oral allergy syndrome was observed in another one patient, occurrence of this allergy was altogether 1.1%. Cow's milk allergy rarely plays a role in the worsening of atopic dermatitis in adolescent and adult patients.

Fait T.,Charles University
Central European Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

The aim of the prospective, multicenter project was to evaluate the effect of standardized information on the decision of woman when selecting application routes for combined hormonal contraceptives (CC). Selection the route of CC's administration before and after consultation with the physician was evaluated on the group of 1326 women in 125 centres in the Czech Republic using a questionnaire. Analysis of the difference between the intended (4,1%) and selected (33,9%, CI 95% 31% - 38%, 451 women) contraception shows that the vaginal ring preference increased by 29,8% (CI 97,5% 26,9% - 32,8%, p < 0,0001). The difference for the weekly patch after (5,7%) and prior (4,2%) to the counseling of 1,4% was borderline statistically significant (CI 97,5% -0,002% - 3,0%, p = 0,05). Preference of COC remained practically unchanged at 53,5%. Vaginal ring was selected by 45,2% of undecided women and 28,0% of women, who considered other than combined hormonal contraception. Easibility of application, efficacy and cycle control are the most important predictors for contraception choice. Following expert advice, including information on all forms of combined oral contraceptives, more than 33% of women chose the latest application form of combined hormonal contraceptives - vaginal ring. © Versita Sp. z o.o.

Krcah P.,Charles University
Proceedings of the 2010 10th International Conference on Intelligent Systems Design and Applications, ISDA'10 | Year: 2010

Evolutionary algorithms are a frequently used technique for designing morphology and controller of a robot. However, a significant challenge for evolutionary algorithms is premature convergence to local optima. Recently proposed Novelty Search algorithm introduces a radical idea that premature convergence to local optima can be avoided by ignoring the original objective and searching for any novel behaviors instead. In this paper, we apply novelty search to the problem of body-brain co-evolution. We demonstrate that novelty search significantly outperforms fitness-based search in a deceiving barrier avoidance task but does not provide an advantage in the swimming task where a large unconstrained behavior space inhibits its efficiency. Thus, we show that the advantages of novelty search previously demonstrated in other domains can also be utilized in the more complex domain of body-brain co-evolution, provided that the task is deceiving and behavior space is constrained. © 2010 IEEE.

Stepnika P.,Charles University
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

Compounds combining phosphine and carboxamide moieties in their molecules have developed virtually unnoticed into a specific class of highly structurally versatile and tuneable donor molecules finding manifold use in various fields, particularly in coordination chemistry, biomedical sciences and in catalysis. In the latter field, some phosphinoamides became the real privileged ligands and an indispensable part of a standard toolbox for synthetic chemists. This critical review aims to give an overview of the multifaceted chemistry of such compounds, paying attention to both the fundamentals and recent developments in this continuously expanding field. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

A laboratory-made INSTCoated fused-silica capillary has been newly used for CE separation of four mixtures of proteins in sodium phosphate BGEs at pH 3.0 and 2.5, respectively. The obtained separation efficiencies range from 145 000 theoretical plates per meter for myoglobin to 1 216 000 m-1 for lysozyme. A total of 49-89% of the number of theoretical plates was obtained in a commercial polyvinyl alcohol coated capillary compared to the INSTCoated capillary under the same experimental conditions, 0-86% was obtained in a laboratory polyacrylamide-coated capillary, and only 0-6% was obtained in an uncoated fused-silica capillary. The RSD values for the intraday repeatability for an INSTCoated capillary were 0.1-1.0% (migration time) and 0.3-2.4% (peak area); RSD values for the interday repeatability in the same capillary are 0.6-1.4% (migration time) and 2.4-5.5% (peak area); RSD values for interday repeatability between different capillaries equaled 1.7-2.1% (migration time) and 2.8-10.9% (peak area). The INSTCoated capillary has been further used for rapid determination of globin chains isolated from red blood cells. A separation of α and β chains prepared from adult blood has been completed in 3 min with a peak resolution of 1.3, and the separation of α and Gγ chains prepared from newborn blood took 3 min with a peak resolution of 3.6. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Nevsimalova S.,Charles University
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports | Year: 2014

Narcolepsy in children is a serious disorder marked by a chronic course and lifelong handicap in school performance and choice of employment, by free time activity limitation, and by behavior and personality changes, all of which constitute a major influence on the quality of life. Increased daytime sleepiness may be the only sign at the disease onset, with attacks of sleep becoming longer and lasting up to hours. Also present may be confusional arousals with features of sleep drunkenness. Paradoxically, preschool and young children may show inattentiveness, emotional lability, and hyperactive behavior. Cataplexy may develop after onset of sleepiness and affect mainly muscles of the face. Hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis are seldom present. Multiple Sleep Latency Test criteria are not available for children younger than 6 years. The haplotype (HLA-DQB1:0602) can be associated with the disorder; however, the best predictor of narcolepsy-cataplexy is hypocretin deficiency. The treatment generally used in adults is regarded as off-label in childhood, which is why the management of pediatric narcolepsy is difficult. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.

Sipek P.,Charles University | Ahrens D.,Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig
Systematic Entomology | Year: 2011

Based on a comparative molecular study of scarab chafers we matched adult and larval instars to identify and describe unknown larvae of Sericini. Here, we use for the first time a two-fold DNA taxonomy approach based on: (i) mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers of a local sample (from Nepal) of adults and larvae, in combination with character and tree-based species delimitation methods; and (ii) a global search of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) sequences with GenBank data. In the latter analysis we used a sequence of a specimen that resulted in the first analysis conspecific with the larvae of Maladera affinis (Blanchard) as the query sequence in GenBank, and checked in a minimum evolution tree whether larva-adult matches from the local approach were altered through interference with other taxa of the worldwide database. Both approaches unambiguously identified the unknown larvae as belonging to M. affinis and Maladera cardoni (Brenske). Based on this robust framework of taxonomic identification we could associate names to the larval morphology of the third larval instar of these two Nepalese Maladera species, which are both known for their economical importance in agriculture. They are described here in detail and are compared with known related taxa, especially with Maladera castanea (Arrow). © 2011 The Authors. Systematic Entomology © 2011 The Royal Entomological Society.

The synthesis of 2′-deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs) either by classical triphosphorylation of nucleosides or by aqueous cross-coupling reactions of halogenated dNTPs is discussed. Different enzymatic methods for synthesis of modified oligonucleotides and DNA by polymerase incorporation of modified nucleotides are summarized, and the applications in redox or fluorescent labeling, as well as in bioconjugations and modulation of interactions of DNA with proteins, are outlined. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Stankova M.,Charles University
Prague medical report | Year: 2011

The study evaluates results obtained from the documentation of patients with special needs, who have undergone treatment under general anesthesia at the pediatric dentistry department. DMFT (decayed, missing, filled teeth) was used for comparison. A sample of 1,836 children from our dental clinic was evaluated. The sample was divided into two groups - special patient and disabled patient populations. A group of 5 years old children was chosen on the bases of WHO guidelines for the setting of the oral health status. A descriptive statistical analysis of the mean standard deviation was conducted with a focus on three factors: sex, age and year. A questionnaire was prepared to compare the oral health habits in the families of the patients. A literary review was conducted to compare the results with other studies from various countries. The meta-analysis using the software MedCalc was done. The DMFT of the patient was counted (disabled DMFT 11.05 - SD 4.82, special patient population 8.8 - SD 3.7) and the descriptive statistics mean standard deviation was calculated. The significant difference between the DMFT of disabled patient and special patient population was exerted (p<0.00003). It was statistically evaluated that the data gained from the studies and from the WHO as population average for 5 years old children are situated under the minimum limit of the confidence interval for our study. The meta-analysis confirmed the hypothesis that oral health status of the special needs children is worse than in other countries.

Roithova J.,Charles University
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

In the last decade, we have experienced massive progress in spectroscopic methods for mass-selected ions. The aim of this tutorial review is to present action spectroscopy as a powerful tool for the investigation of ionic reaction intermediates. Examples span from ultraviolet and infrared photodissociation spectroscopy of model reaction intermediates to applications of infrared multiphoton dissociation spectroscopy (IRMPD) to intermediates directly sampled from reaction mixtures. The first example of double resonance IR-UV spectroscopy of model intermediates in an organometallic reaction is also mentioned. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

In foundational knowledge engineering courses, students engage in problem solving in order to learn important course concepts. To help in this process, students receive feedback on their performance from the instructor. This paper explores an alternative to instructor-provided feedback: a semi-structured assignment in which students reworked problems they failed to solve correctly on a midterm exam for credit. The assignment required students to provide a correct solution to the problem and identify both mathematical and conceptual errors made in the initial solution. The initial results show that students who completed this assignment were able to apply course concepts in analysis and reasoning questions more accurately than students who received exam feedback from the instructor. In addition, these students showed a marked improvement in their ability to solve problems common in a Circuit Analysis course. These results show that such semi-structured assignments can replace instructor-provided feedback in large-enrollment classes and lead to improved problem solving. © 2014 IEEE.

Hejna P.,Charles University
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010

Shotguns are usually used to fire multiple pellets, but they are capable of firing single projectiles. Shotgun slug injuries are rare, severe, and fully comparable to those inflicted by high-velocity projectiles. A case of gunshot suicide of a 59-year-old man with a shotgun loaded with shotgun slugs is presented. The first two shots were fired into the heart region, but did not hit the vital organs of the victim's thorax and did not cause immediate incapacitation. The man was able to reload and refire. The third shot was fired into the region of right temple; the last shot caused severe cerebrocranial gunshot injury and was fatal. The victim did not pull aside his clothing to expose his skin before shooting into the heart region. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

Novotny J.,Charles University | Cheshire J.A.,University College London
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

In the majority of countries, surnames represent a ubiquitous cultural attribute inherited from an individual's ancestors and predominantly only altered through marriage. This paper utilises an innovative method, taken from economics, to offer unprecedented insights into the "surname space" of the Czech Republic. We construct this space as a network based on the pairwise probabilities of co-occurrence of surnames and find that the network representation has clear parallels with various ethno-cultural boundaries in the country. Our inductive approach therefore formalizes a simple assumption that the more frequently the bearers of two surnames concentrate in the same locations the higher the probability that these two surnames can be related (considering ethno-cultural relatedness, common co-ancestry or genetic relatedness, or some other type of relatedness). Using the Czech Republic as a case study this paper offers a fresh perspective on surnames as a quantitative data source and provides a methodology that can be easily incorporated within wider cultural, ethnic, geographic and population genetics studies already utilizing surnames. © 2012 Novotny, Cheshire.

Alberini A.,University of Maryland University College | Scasny M.,Charles University
Environmental and Resource Economics | Year: 2011

We report on the results of a survey based on conjoint choice experiments that was specifically designed to investigate the effect of context on the Value of a Statistical Life (VSL), an important input into the calculation of the mortality benefits of environmental policies that reduce premature mortality. We define "context" broadly to include (1) the cause of death (respiratory illness, cancer, road traffic accident), (2) the beneficiary of the risk reduction (adult v. child), and (3) the mode of provision of the risk reduction (public program v. private good). The survey was conducted following similar protocols in Italy and the Czech Republic. When do not distinguish for the cause of death, child and adult VSL are not significantly different from one another in Italy, and the difference is weak in the Czech sample. When we distinguish for the cause of death, we find that child and adult VSLs are different at the 1% level for respiratory illnesses and road-traffic accidents, but do not differ for cancer risks. We find evidence of a "cancer premium" and a "public program premium." In both countries, the marginal utility of income is about 20% lower among wealthier people, which makes the VSL about 20% higher among respondents with incomes above the sample average. The discount rate implicit in people's choices is effectively zero. We conclude that there is heterogeneity in the VSL, and that such heterogeneity is primarily driven by risk characteristics mode of delivery of the risk reduction, and income, while other individual characteristics of the respondent (e. g., age and education) are less important. For the most part, our results are in agreement with environmental policy analyses that use the same VSL for children and adults, and that apply a cancer premium. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Fisar Z.,Charles University
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Progress in understanding the mechanisms of action of cannabinoids was made after discovery of cannabinoid receptors and finding their endogenous ligands. New findings are obtained using both endogenous cannabinoids and plant or synthetic cannabinoids. Activation of cannabinoid receptors on synaptic terminals results in regulation of ion channels, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity. Neuromodulation of synapses by cannabinoids is proving to have a wide range of functional effects, making them potential targets as medical preparations in a variety of illnesses, including some neurodegenerative and mental disorders. Brain monoamines are involved in many of the same processes affected by neuropsychiatric disorders and by different psychotropic drugs, including cannabinoids. Basic information is summarized in the paper about mechanisms of action of cannabinoids on monoaminergic systems, with a view to inhibition of monoamine oxidase. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Drevinek P.,Charles University | Mahenthiralingam E.,University of Cardiff
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2010

Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria have gained notoriety as pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF) because they are difficult to identify and treat, and also have the ability to spread between CF individuals. Of the 17 formally named species within the complex, Burkholderia multivorans and Burkholderia cenocepacia dominate in CF. Multilocus sequence typing has proven to be a very useful tool for tracing the global epidemiology of Bcc bacteria and has shown that B. cenocepacia strains with high transmissibility, such as the ET-12 strain (ST-28) and the Czech strain (ST-32), have spread epidemically within CF populations in Canada and Europe. The majority of research on the molecular pathogenesis of Bcc bacteria has focused on the B. cenocepacia ET-12 epidemic lineage, with gene mutation, genome sequence analysis and, most recently, global gene expression studies shedding considerable light on the virulence and antimicrobial resistance of this pathogen. These studies demonstrate that the ability of B. cenocepacia to acquire foreign DNA (genomic islands, insertion sequences and other mobile elements), regulate gene expression via quorum sensing, compete for iron during infection, and mediate antimicrobial resistance and inflammation via its membrane and surface polysaccharides are key features that underpin the virulence of different strains. With the wealth of molecular knowledge acquired in the last decade on B. cenocepacia strains, we are now in a much better position to develop strategies for the treatment of pathogenic colonization with Bcc and to answer key questions on pathogenesis concerning, for example, the factors that trigger the rapid clinical decline in CF patients. © 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Peckova K.,Charles University
Advances in Anatomic Pathology | Year: 2016

We report on an exceedingly rare lesion of the thyroid probably of a branchial cleft origin, which was not published in the world literature before. A 58-year-old woman underwent a total thyroidectomy for bilateral goiter. Grossly, there was one yellowish nodule sized 15 mm in the largest dimension found in the right lobe. Microscopically, the thyroid parenchyma showed signs of Hashimoto thyroiditis. The nodule in the right lobe was composed of a part of solid cell nests appearance, another part resembling a branchial cleft cyst, and a part resembling Warthin tumor. This lesion may belong to the histogenetically similar group of entities in the head and neck region which are derived from branchial cleft derivatives and which, under the inflammatory influence, have the ability to a cystic dilatation and proliferation of the epithelial component. The epithelium can afterwards become papillary and may undergo oncocytic transformation, thus gaining features that impart the resemblance of a Warthin tumor. Club members generally agreed with a submitted diagnosis of benign Warthin tumor of the thyroid. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

The article explains the pathogenesis of disturbances in branched-chain amino acid (BCAA; valine, leucine, and isoleucine) and protein metabolism in various forms of hepatic injury and it is suggested that the main cause of decrease in plasma BCAA concentration in liver cirrhosis is hyperammonemia. Three possible targets of BCAA supplementation in hepatic disease are suggested: (1) hepatic encephalopathy, (2) liver regeneration, and (3) hepatic cachexia. The BCAA may ameliorate hepatic encephalopathy by promoting ammonia detoxification, correction of the plasma amino acid imbalance, and by reduced brain influx of aromatic amino acids. The influence of BCAA supplementation on hepatic encephalopathy could be more effective in chronic hepatic injury with hyperammonemia and low concentrations of BCAA in blood than in acute hepatic illness, where hyperaminoacidemia frequently develops. The favorable effect of BCAA on liver regeneration and nutritional state of the body is related to their stimulatory effect on protein synthesis, secretion of hepatocyte growth factor, glutamine production and inhibitory effect on proteolysis. Presumably the beneficial effect of BCAA on hepatic cachexia is significant in compensated liver disease with decreased plasma BCAA concentrations, whereas it is less pronounced in hepatic diseases with inflammatory complications and enhanced protein turnover. It is concluded that specific benefits associated with BCAA supplementation depend significantly on the type of liver disease and on the presence of inflammatory reaction. An important task for clinical research is to identify groups of patients for whom BCAA treatment can significantly improve the health-related quality of life and the prognosis of hepatic disease. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

New compression leaf material of Ceratozamia (Zamiaceae) has been recognised in the European Cenozoic. A leaflet of Ceratozamia floersheimensis (Engelhardt) Kvaček was recovered among unidentified material from the Oligocene of Trbovlje, former Trifail, Slovenia, housed in old collections of the Austrian Geological Survey, Vienna. It is similar in morphology and epidermal anatomy to other specimens previously studied from the lower Oligocene of Flörsheim, Germany and Budapest, Hungary. A fragmentary leaflet assigned to C. hof-mannii Ettingsh. was recovered in the uppermost part of the Most Formation (Most Basin in North Bohemia, Czech Republic) and dated by magnetostratigraphy and cyclostratigraphy to CHRON C5Cn.3n, that is, the latest early Miocene. It yielded excellently preserved epidermal structures, permitting confirmation of the generic affin-ity and a more precise comparison with this lower Miocene species previously known from Austria (Münzenberg, Leoben Basin) and re-investigated earlier. Both the Oligocene and Miocene populations of Ceratozamia are based on isolated disarticulated leaflets matching some living representatives in the size and slender form of the leaflets. Such ceratozamias thrive today in extratropical areas near the present limits of distribution of the genus along the Sierra Madre Orientale in north-eastern Mexico, in particular C. microstrobila Vovides & J.D. Rees and others of the C. latifolia complex, as well as C. hildae G.P. Landry & M.C. Wilson ("bamboo cycad"). The occurrence of Ceratozamia suggests subtropical to warm-temperate, almost frostless climate and a high amount of precipitation. The accompanied fossil vegetation of both species corresponds well with the temperature regime. While the Oligocene species in Hungary probably thrived under sub-humid conditions, the remaining occurrences of fossil Ceratozamia were connected with humid evergreen to mixed-mesophytic forests.

Rhesus factor polymorphism has been an evolutionary enigma since its discovery in 1939. Carriers of the rarer allele should be eliminated by selection against Rhesus positive children born to Rhesus negative mothers. Here I used an ecologic regression study to test the hypothesis that Rhesus factor polymorphism is stabilized by heterozygote advantage. The study was performed in 65 countries for which the frequencies of RhD phenotypes and specific disease burden data were available. I performed multiple multivariate covariance analysis with five potential confounding variables: GDP, latitude (distance from the equator), humidity, medical care expenditure per capita and frequencies of smokers. The results showed that the burden associated with many diseases correlated with the frequencies of particular Rhesus genotypes in a country and that the direction of the relation was nearly always the opposite for the frequency of Rhesus negative homozygotes and that of Rhesus positive heterozygotes. On the population level, a Rhesus-negativity-associated burden could be compensated for by the heterozygote advantage, but for Rhesus negative subjects this burden represents a serious problem. © 2016 Jaroslav Flegr.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Hrouda F.,AGICO Inc. | Hrouda F.,Charles University
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2011

Mathematical models of the frequency-dependent susceptibility in rocks, soils and environmental materials have been adapted to measurements performed with multiple operating frequencies (465, 976, 3904, 4650, 15 616, 100 000 and 250 000 Hz) on the basis of log-normal volume distribution of magnetic particles. The XFD parameter depends, in addition to the amount of SP particles, also on the operating frequencies, whose values should be therefore also presented. The model curves of the XFD parameter versus arithmetical mean (μ) of the logarithms of grain volume are roughly bell-like shaped. The width and peak position of these curves is controlled by mean and standard deviation of the logarithmic volume distribution. Magnetic susceptibility contributions from paramagnetic minerals, and from ferrimagnetic particles not belonging to a unimodal SP/SD volume distribution, tend to decrease the XFD parameter. Therefore, low XFD values do not therefore necessarily indicate low amount of SP particles, but can also be indicative of the presence of the paramagnetic fraction. A new parameter XR is introduced based on susceptibility measurements at three operating frequencies; it is insensitive to dia- and paramagnetic fractions and helps us to differentiate between wide and narrow size distributions of ferromagnetic particles. A new XFB parameter is introduced that originates through normalizing the XFD parameter by the difference of natural logarithms of operating frequencies and related to the decade difference between the frequencies. It is convenient for comparison of the Bartington MS-2 Susceptibility Meter data with the MFK1-FA Kappabridge data. © 2011 The Author Geophysical Journal International © 2011 RAS.

Velimski J.,Charles University | Finlay C.C.,ETH Zurich
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems | Year: 2011

Magnetic fields due to the magnetospheric ring current, together with their induced counterparts, must be correctly taken into account when modeling the geomagnetic field using modern observatory and satellite measurements. It is common practice to parameterize the induced field using a response function depending on a spherically symmetric electrical conductivity model of the solid Earth. Here we show that Earth's metallic core should be included in such conductivity models, which has not previously been the case. Abrupt changes in the amplitude of the ring current during geomagnetic storms excite a wide range of frequencies, some of which can induce electrical currents in the core. These currents decay very slowly because of the high conductivity of the core; the resulting induced field will therefore not be of zero mean even when averaged over many years. We present the results of time domain numerical simulations of induction that demonstrate the influence of a conducting core in an idealized experiment based on a synthetic geomagnetic storm. Moving to a more realistic scenario we show that taking 50 years of Dst(t) index as an input, an induced field Ist(t) with a mean value (when averaged over 10 years) of up to -1.5 nT is obtained. We conclude that transient induction in the metallic core caused by magnetospheric field variations must be included in accurate portrayals of the near-Earth magnetic environment. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.