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Giessen, Germany

Fleming R.W.,Justus Liebig University
Vision Research | Year: 2014

Misidentifying materials-such as mistaking soap for pâté, or vice versa-could lead to some pretty messy mishaps. Fortunately, we rarely suffer such indignities, thanks largely to our outstanding ability to recognize materials-and identify their properties-by sight. In everyday life, we encounter an enormous variety of materials, which we usually distinguish effortlessly and without error. However, despite its subjective ease, material perception poses the visual system with some unique and significant challenges, because a given material can take on many different appearances depending on the lighting, viewpoint and shape. Here, I use observations from recent research on material perception to outline a general theory of material perception, in which I suggest that the visual system does not actually estimate physical parameters of materials and objects. Instead-I argue-the brain is remarkably adept at building 'statistical generative models' that capture the natural degrees of variation in appearance between samples. For example, when determining perceived glossiness, the brain does not estimate parameters of the BRDF. Instead, it uses a constellation of low- and mid-level image measurements to characterize the extent to which the surface manifests specular reflections. I argue that these 'statistical appearance models' are both more expressive and easier to compute than physical parameters, and therefore represent a powerful middle way between a 'bag of tricks' and 'inverse optics'. © 2013 The Author. Source

Marschall R.,Justus Liebig University
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2014

The formation of semiconductor composites comprising multicomponent or multiphase heterojunctions is a very effective strategy to design highly active photocatalyst systems. This review summarizes the recent strategies to develop such composites, and highlights the most recent developments in the field. After a general introduction into the different strategies to improve photocatalytic activity through formation of heterojunctions, the three different types of heterojunctions are introduced in detail, followed by a historical introduction to semiconductor heterojunction systems and a thorough literature overview. Special chapters describe the highly-investigated carbon nitride heterojunctions as well as very recent developments in terms of multiphase heterojunction formation, including the latest insights into the anatase-rutile system. When carefully designed, semiconductor composites comprising two or three different materials or phases very effectively facilitate charge separation and charge carrier transfer, substantially improving photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical efficiency. The formation of semiconductor composites, leading to multicomponent and multiphase heterojunctions, is herein reviewed. Highly active photocatalyst systems with improved charge carrier separation and charge transfer are the result, leading to significantly enhanced efficiencies. Particular interest is given to recent developments in multiphase composites © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Hughes J.,Justus Liebig University
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2013

Extensive studies in both lower and higher plants indicate that plant phytochrome photoreceptors signal not only by regulating transcription in the nucleus but also by acting within the cytoplasm, the latter signaling routes acting within minutes or even seconds and also providing directional information. Directional signals seem to arise from phytochromes attached anisotropically to the plasma membrane. Neochromes-phytochrome-phototropin hybrid photoreceptors probably attached to the plasma membrane-provide this signal in various ferns and perhaps certain algae but are absent from other groups. In mosses and probably higher plants too, a subpopulation of canonical phytochromes interact with phototropins at the plasma membrane and thereby steer directional responses. Phytochromes also seem able to regulate translation in the cytoplasm. This review discusses putative phytochrome functions in these contexts. © Copyright ©2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source

Vilcinskas A.,Justus Liebig University
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2013

The harlequin ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis has emerged as a model species in invasion biology because of its strong resistance against pathogens and remarkable capacity to outcompete native ladybirds. The invasive success of the species may reflect its well-adapted immune system, a hypothesis we tested by analysing the transcriptome and characterizing the immune gene repertoire of untreated beetles and those challenged with bacteria and fungi. We found that most H. axyridis immunity-related genes were similar in diversity to their counterparts in the reference beetle Tribolium castaneum, but there was an unprecedented expansion among genes encoding antimicrobial peptides and proteins (AMPs). We identified more than 50 putative AMPs belonging to seven different gene families, and many of the corresponding genes were shown by quantitative real-time RT-PCR to be induced in the immune-stimulated beetles. AMPs with the highest induction ratio in the challenged beetles were shown to demonstrate broad and potent activity against Gram-negative bacteria and entomopathogenic fungi. The invasive success of H. axyridis can therefore be attributed at least in part to the greater efficiency of its immune system, particularly the expansion of AMP gene families and their induction in response to pathogens. Source

Probability of event-free survival (pEFS) in pediatric T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma is about 80%, whereas survival in relapsed patients is very poor. No stratification criteria have been established so far. Recently, activating NOTCH1 mutations were reported to be associated with favorable prognosis, and loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 6q (LOH6q) was reported to be associated with increased relapse risk. The current project was intended to evaluate the prognostic effect of these markers. Mutations in hot spots of NOTCH1 and FBXW7 were analyzed in 116 patients. Concerning LOH6q status, 118 patients were investigated, using microsatellite marker analysis, in addition to an earlier reported cohort of 99 available patients. Ninety-two cases were evaluable for both analyses. All patients were treated with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma-Berlin-Frankfurt-Münster group (BFM)-type treatment. LOH6q was observed in 12% of patients (25/217) and associated with unfavorable prognosis (pEFS 27% ± 9% vs 86% ± 3%; P < .0001). In 60% (70/116) of the patients, NOTCH1 mutations were detected and associated with favorable prognosis (pEFS 84% ± 5% vs 66% ± 7%; P = .021). Interestingly, NOTCH1 mutations were rarely observed in patients with LOH in 6q16. Both prognostic markers will be used as stratification criteria in coming Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma-BFM trials. Source

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