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News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Researchers have made the first detailed map of the regions into which the brain of one of the most closely-related organisms to the vertebrates is divided and which could give us an idea of what our ancestor was like A study recently published in PLOS Biology provides information that substantially changes the prevailing idea about the brain formation process in vertebrates and sheds some light on how it might have evolved. The findings show that the interpretation maintained hitherto regarding the principal regions formed at the beginning of vertebrate brain development is not correct. This research was led jointly by the researchers José Luis Ferran and Luis Puelles of the Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology of the UMU; Manuel Irimia of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), and Jordi García Fernández of the Genetics Department of the University of Barcelona. The brain of an invertebrate organism, amphioxus (a fish-like marine chordate), whose place in the evolutionary tree is very close to the origin of the vertebrates, was used for the research. Using the data obtained, researchers have made the first detailed map of the regions into which the brain of this species, which inhabits the seabed and has a very simple life, is divided. "We set out to understand what the brain of the cephalocordate amphioxus was like. It is a very simple invertebrate organism, albeit very close to us in evolutionary terms, therefore it gives us some insights as to what our ancestors might have been like. Hence, by comparing the territories of the modern vertebrate brain to that of amphioxus, we analysed what might have occurred to lead them to multiply and how such a complex structure was formed in the course of our evolution", explained the lecturer of the Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology of the University of Murcia (UMU) José Luis Ferrán, one of the researchers. "In this study, we used genoarchitecture as our main experimental framework to determine the regionalization of the amphioxus neural tube and compare it to that of vertebrates. Within this framework, we generated a molecular map of gene expression patterns in amphioxus, whose homologs are known to be involved in establishment and regionalization of the vertebrate brains" explains Beatriz Albuixech-Crespo (Dept Genética, Microbiología y Estadística UB e IBUB), first author of the article. A new model that dismantles many existing ideas This work shows that the brain of vertebrates must have formed initially from two regions (anterior and posterior), and not three (forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain), as proposed by the current prosomeric model. No cerebral cortex or exclusive region giving rise to the formation of the vertebrate midbrain has been detected in amphioxi. However, a common territory inside the forebrain has been found, which they termed DiMes (Di-Mesencephalic primordium), from which both the midbrain and other important structures of the classic forebrain would derive. The DiMes territory yielded three important regions of the vertebrate brain that are used to process sensory information. "The three classic vertebrate cerebral regions (thalamus, pretectum and midbrain) would have emerged evolutionarily through the action of molecular signalling centres that lead to the expansion and division of a DiMes-like portion", said Manuel Irimia of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) of Barcelona, one of the leading investigators of the study. This explains that if the function of these signalling centres, called secondary organizers, is eliminated in vertebrates there remains a single territory similar to the one observed in amphioxi. The study of the formation of these three important parts of the brain, which vertebrates use to process visual, auditory or propioceptive information (on the position and movement of the parts of the body), is useful in understanding how the brain has adapted to the environment and is capable of processing information around it. The idea that these regions were formed independently and that each one of them has given rise to other regions has been proven to be wrong. "The brain has not evolved in isolation, but rather through the interaction of these primitive animals with the environment", clarified the lecturer from the UMU. In summary, both brains, amphioxus and vertebrate, are divided into two main regions: anterior and posterior. In amphioxus, the anterior region splits into two domains, whereas in vertebrates it is divided into many more portions, including the three aforementioned regions which, jointly, would correspond to one of the parts of amphioxus. Knowing the true history of the formation of the brain and the composition of its structures could have a major long-term impact, since it could "help to explain why both the composition and the function of a region are altered. For example, it could lead us to a better understanding of brain-related diseases and why some regions are affected jointly and others are not", concluded the CRG researcher. The brain's structure is the outcome of an evolutionary process The human brain has undergone an evolutionary process that began some 500 million years ago in the marine animals that lived submerged in the sand and which led to its first central nervous system building plan. This system has been progressively modified and is shared by all modern vertebrates. The study of the genetic networks that have given an identity to the different brain regions plays a key role in our understanding of how they have evolved. For this reason, genoarchitecture is a powerful tool for describing the regions of the nervous system, cells and their structures, making it possible to determine which genes are active in each territory or region during development and to characterise the limits between them, as well as to define, with the utmost precision, how many different components originate from each region. It is therefore useful in helping us to recognise, in detail, how the human brain resembles that of another vertebrate.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Researchers have made the first detailed map of the regions into which the brain of one of the most closely related organisms to the vertebrates is divided, and which could give us an idea of what our ancestor was like. A study recently published in PLOS Biology provides information that substantially changes the prevailing idea about the brain formation process in vertebrates and sheds some light on how it might have evolved. The findings show that the interpretation maintained previously regarding the principal regions formed at the beginning of vertebrate brain development is not correct. This research was led jointly by the researchers José Luis Ferran and Luis Puelles of the Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology of the UMU; Manuel Irimia of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), and Jordi García Fernández of the Genetics Department of the University of Barcelona. The brain of an invertebrate organism, amphioxus (a fish-like marine chordate), whose place in the evolutionary tree is very close to the origin of the vertebrates, was used for the research. Using the data obtained, researchers have made the first detailed map of the regions into which the brain of this species, which inhabits the seabed and has a very simple life, is divided. “We set out to understand what the brain of the cephalocordate amphioxus was like. It is a very simple invertebrate organism, albeit very close to us in evolutionary terms, therefore it gives us some insights as to what our ancestors might have been like. Hence, by comparing the territories of the modern vertebrate brain to that of amphioxus, we analysed what might have occurred to lead them to multiply and how such a complex structure was formed in the course of our evolution,” explained the lecturer of the Department of Human Anatomy and Psychobiology of the University of Murcia (UMU) José Luis Ferrán, one of the researchers. “In this study, we used genoarchitecture as our main experimental framework to determine the regionalization of the amphioxus neural tube and compare it to that of vertebrates. Within this framework, we generated a molecular map of gene expression patterns in amphioxus, whose homologs are known to be involved in establishment and regionalization of the vertebrate brains,” explains Beatriz Albuixech-Crespo (Dept Genética, Microbiología y Estadística UB e IBUB), first author of the article. A new model that dismantles many existing ideas This work shows that the brain of vertebrates must have formed initially from two regions (anterior and posterior), and not three (forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain), as proposed by the current prosomeric model. No cerebral cortex or exclusive region giving rise to the formation of the vertebrate midbrain has been detected in amphioxi. However, a common territory inside the forebrain has been found, which they termed DiMes (Di-Mesencephalic primordium), from which both the midbrain and other important structures of the classic forebrain would derive. The DiMes territory yielded three important regions of the vertebrate brain that are used to process sensory information. “The three classic vertebrate cerebral regions (thalamus, pretectum and midbrain) would have emerged evolutionarily through the action of molecular signalling centres that lead to the expansion and division of a DiMes-like portion,” said Manuel Irimia of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) of Barcelona, one of the leading investigators of the study. This explains that if the function of these signalling centres, called secondary organizers, is eliminated in vertebrates there remains a single territory similar to the one observed in amphioxi. The study of the formation of these three important parts of the brain, which vertebrates use to process visual, auditory or propioceptive information (on the position and movement of the parts of the body), is useful in understanding how the brain has adapted to the environment and is capable of processing information around it. The idea that these regions were formed independently and that each one of them has given rise to other regions has been proven to be wrong. “The brain has not evolved in isolation, but rather through the interaction of these primitive animals with the environment,” clarified the lecturer from the UMU. In summary, both brains, amphioxus and vertebrate, are divided into two main regions: anterior and posterior. In amphioxus, the anterior region splits into two domains, whereas in vertebrates it is divided into many more portions, including the three aforementioned regions which, jointly, would correspond to one of the parts of amphioxus. Knowing the true history of the formation of the brain and the composition of its structures could have a major long-term impact, since it could “help to explain why both the composition and the function of a region are altered. For example, it could lead us to a better understanding of brain-related diseases and why some regions are affected jointly and others are not,” concluded the CRG researcher. The brain’s structure is the outcome of an evolutionary process The human brain has undergone an evolutionary process that began some 500 million years ago in the marine animals that lived submerged in the sand and which led to its first central nervous system building plan. This system has been progressively modified and is shared by all modern vertebrates. The study of the genetic networks that have given an identity to the different brain regions plays a key role in our understanding of how they have evolved. For this reason, genoarchitecture is a powerful tool for describing the regions of the nervous system, cells and their structures, making it possible to determine which genes are active in each territory or region during development and to characterise the limits between them, as well as to define, with the utmost precision, how many different components originate from each region. It is therefore useful in helping us to recognise, in detail, how the human brain resembles that of another vertebrate.


Eco Marine Power and Strategic Partners to Offer Renewable Energy Solutions for Offshore Applications Marine solar power, batteries, mounting frames and computer systems to be customized for jack-up rigs and offshore platforms. Fukuoka, Japan, May 01, 2017 --( Batteries approved for marine use will be supplied in co-operation with The Furukawa Battery Company and initially include the Furukawa Cycle Power (FCP) and Ultra Battery (UB) series. Both these battery series are based upon Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) technology and have proven to be reliable, safe, cost effective and are over 90% recyclable. UB-50-12 batteries have been recently selected by EMP for a marine solar power demonstration system at the Onomichi Marine Tech Test Center. For offshore marine solutions, Teramoto Iron Works will provide marine grade frames for solar panels and batteries plus assist with engineering design. These products can also be combined with its TM-600 jack-up system – an offshore jack-up rig system suitable for offshore wind platforms. The hydraulic cylinders used by the TM-600 each have a lifting capacity of 600 ton with a 4 cylinder system having a total lifting capacity of 2400 ton. Additionally EMP will promote its Aquarius Marine Solar Power package to companies operating within the offshore sector including shipyards, offshore platform operators and rig owners. This package can also include the Aquarius Management and Automation System which is supplied in co-operation with KEI System Ltd and low power consumption LED lighting. EMP, Teramoto Iron Works, The Furukawa Battery Company and KEI System will present their expanded range of products and solutions during IMPA Singapore on the 11th & 12th May, 2017. For further details about products and solutions available from EMP please see: http://www.ecomarinepower.com/products Fukuoka, Japan, May 01, 2017 --( PR.com )-- As part of an ongoing strategy to bring renewable energy solutions to the maritime sector, Eco Marine Power (EMP) along with its strategic partners will jointly offer products and solutions for offshore applications including offshore wind platforms, oil rigs and jack-up systems. These products and solutions will incorporate marine solar power, batteries, integrated monitoring systems and engineering and design services.Batteries approved for marine use will be supplied in co-operation with The Furukawa Battery Company and initially include the Furukawa Cycle Power (FCP) and Ultra Battery (UB) series. Both these battery series are based upon Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) technology and have proven to be reliable, safe, cost effective and are over 90% recyclable. UB-50-12 batteries have been recently selected by EMP for a marine solar power demonstration system at the Onomichi Marine Tech Test Center.For offshore marine solutions, Teramoto Iron Works will provide marine grade frames for solar panels and batteries plus assist with engineering design. These products can also be combined with its TM-600 jack-up system – an offshore jack-up rig system suitable for offshore wind platforms. The hydraulic cylinders used by the TM-600 each have a lifting capacity of 600 ton with a 4 cylinder system having a total lifting capacity of 2400 ton.Additionally EMP will promote its Aquarius Marine Solar Power package to companies operating within the offshore sector including shipyards, offshore platform operators and rig owners. This package can also include the Aquarius Management and Automation System which is supplied in co-operation with KEI System Ltd and low power consumption LED lighting.EMP, Teramoto Iron Works, The Furukawa Battery Company and KEI System will present their expanded range of products and solutions during IMPA Singapore on the 11th & 12th May, 2017.For further details about products and solutions available from EMP please see: http://www.ecomarinepower.com/products Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Eco Marine Power


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: phys.org

A new field of physics seeking such advancements is called valleytronics, which exploits the electron's "valley degree of freedom" for data storage and logic applications. Simply put, valleys are maxima and minima of electron energies in a crystalline solid. A method to control electrons in different valleys could yield new, super-efficient computer chips. A University at Buffalo team, led by Hao Zeng, PhD, professor in the Department of Physics, worked with scientists around the world to discover a new way to split the energy levels between the valleys in a two-dimensional semiconductor. The work is described in a study published online today (May 1, 2017) in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The key to Zeng's discovery is the use of a ferromagnetic compound to pull the valleys apart and keep them at different energy levels. This leads to an increase in the separation of valley energies by a factor of 10 more than the one obtained by applying an external magnetic field. "Normally there are two valleys in these atomically thin semiconductors with exactly the same energy. These are called 'degenerate energy levels' in quantum mechanics terms. This limits our ability to control individual valleys. An external magnetic field can be used to break this degeneracy. However, the splitting is so small that you would have to go to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratories to measure a sizable energy difference. Our new approach makes the valleys more accessible and easier to control, and this could allow valleys to be useful for future information storage and processing," Zeng said. The simplest way to understand how valleys could be used in processing data may be to think of two valleys side by side. When one valley is occupied by electrons, the switch is "on." When the other valley is occupied, the switch is "off." Zeng's work shows that the valleys can be positioned in such a way that a device can be turned "on" and "off," with a tiny amount of electricity. Zeng and his colleagues created a two-layered heterostructure, with a 10 nanometer thick film of magnetic EuS (europium sulfide) on the bottom and a single layer (less than 1 nanometer) of the transition metal dichalcogenide WSe2 (tungsten diselenide) on top. The magnetic field of the bottom layer forced the energy separation of the valleys in the WSe2. Previous attempts to separate the valleys involved the application of very large magnetic fields from outside. Zeng's experiment is believed to be the first time a ferromagnetic material has been used in conjunction with an atomically thin semiconductor material to split its valley energy levels. "As long as we have the magnetic material there, the valleys will stay apart," he said. "This makes it valuable for nonvolatile memory applications." Athos Petrou, a UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics, measured the energy difference between the separated valleys by bouncing light off the material and measuring the energy of reflected light. "We typically get this type of results only once every five or 10 years," Petrou said. The experiment was conducted at 7 degrees Kelvin (-447 Fahrenheit), so any everyday use of the process is far in the future. However, proving it possible is a first step. "The reason people are really excited about this, is that Moore's law [which says the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years] is predicted to end soon. It no longer works because it has hit its fundamental limit," Zeng said. "Current computer chips rely on the movement of electrical charges, and that generates an enormous amount of heat as computers get more powerful. Our work has really pushed valleytronics a step closer in getting over that challenge." Explore further: Scientists model the formation of multivalleys in semiconductor microcavities More information: Enhanced valley splitting in monolayer WSe2 due to magnetic exchange field, Nature Nanotechnology (2017). nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nnano.2017.68


— Global Office Chairs Industry Report offers market overview, segmentation by types, application, countries, key manufactures, cost analysis, industrial chain, sourcing strategy, downstream buyers, marketing strategy analysis, distributors/traders, factors affecting market, forecast and other important information for key insight. Companies profiled in this report are Steelcase, Herman Miller, Haworth, HNI Group, Okamura Corporation, Kimball Office, AURORA, TopStar, Bristol, True Innovations, Nowy Styl, SUNON GROUP, Knoll, UE Furniture, Quama Group, UB Office Systems, Kinnarps Holdingl, King Hong Industrial, KI, Global Group, Teknion, Kokuyo in terms of Basic Information, Manufacturing Base, Sales Area and Its Competitors, Sales, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2012-2017). Split by Product Types, with sales, revenue, price, market share of each type, can be divided into • Leather Office Chair • PU Office Chair • Cloth Office Chair • Plastic Office Chair • Mesh Cloth Office Chair • Others Split by applications, this report focuses on sales, market share and growth rate of Office Chairs in each application, can be divided into • Enterprise Procurement • Government Procurement • School Procurement • Individual Procurement Purchase a copy of this report at: https://www.themarketreports.com/report/buy-now/424176 Table of Content: 1 Office Chairs Market Overview 2 Global Office Chairs Sales, Revenue (Value) and Market Share by Manufacturers 3 Global Office Chairs Sales, Revenue (Value) by Countries, Type and Application (2012-2017) 4 Global Office Chairs Manufacturers Profiles/Analysis 5 North America Office Chairs Sales, Revenue (Value) by Countries, Type and Application (2012-2017) 6 Latin America Office Chairs Sales, Revenue (Value) by Countries, Type and Application (2012-2017) 7 Europe Office Chairs Sales, Revenue (Value) by Countries, Type and Application (2012-2017) 8 Asia-Pacific Office Chairs Sales, Revenue (Value) by Countries, Type and Application (2012-2017) 9 Middle East and Africa Office Chairs Sales, Revenue (Value) by Countries, Type and Application (2012-2017) 10 Office Chairs Manufacturing Cost Analysis 11 Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers 12 Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders 13 Market Effect Factors Analysis 14 Global Office Chairs Market Forecast (2017-2022) 15 Research Findings and Conclusion 16 Appendix Inquire more for more details about this report at: https://www.themarketreports.com/report/ask-your-query/424176 For more information, please visit https://www.themarketreports.com/report/2017-2022-global-top-countries-office-chairs-market-report


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In the world of semiconductor physics, the goal is to devise more efficient and microscopic ways to control and keep track of 0 and 1, the binary codes that all information storage and logic functions in computers are based on. A new field of physics seeking such advancements is called valleytronics, which exploits the electron's "valley degree of freedom" for data storage and logic applications. Simply put, valleys are maxima and minima of electron energies in a crystalline solid. A method to control electrons in different valleys could yield new, super-efficient computer chips. A University at Buffalo team, led by Hao Zeng, PhD, professor in the Department of Physics, worked with scientists around the world to discover a new way to split the energy levels between the valleys in a two-dimensional semiconductor. The work is described in a study published online today (May 1, 2017) in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The key to Zeng's discovery is the use of a ferromagnetic compound to pull the valleys apart and keep them at different energy levels. This leads to an increase in the separation of valley energies by a factor of 10 more than the one obtained by applying an external magnetic field. "Normally there are two valleys in these atomically thin semiconductors with exactly the same energy. These are called 'degenerate energy levels' in quantum mechanics terms. This limits our ability to control individual valleys. An external magnetic field can be used to break this degeneracy. However, the splitting is so small that you would have to go to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratories to measure a sizable energy difference. Our new approach makes the valleys more accessible and easier to control, and this could allow valleys to be useful for future information storage and processing," Zeng said. The simplest way to understand how valleys could be used in processing data may be to think of two valleys side by side. When one valley is occupied by electrons, the switch is "on." When the other valley is occupied, the switch is "off." Zeng's work shows that the valleys can be positioned in such a way that a device can be turned "on" and "off," with a tiny amount of electricity. Zeng and his colleagues created a two-layered heterostructure, with a 10 nanometer thick film of magnetic EuS (europium sulfide) on the bottom and a single layer (less than 1 nanometer) of the transition metal dichalcogenide WSe2 (tungsten diselenide) on top. The magnetic field of the bottom layer forced the energy separation of the valleys in the WSe2. Previous attempts to separate the valleys involved the application of very large magnetic fields from outside. Zeng's experiment is believed to be the first time a ferromagnetic material has been used in conjunction with an atomically thin semiconductor material to split its valley energy levels. "As long as we have the magnetic material there, the valleys will stay apart," he said. "This makes it valuable for nonvolatile memory applications." Athos Petrou, a UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics, measured the energy difference between the separated valleys by bouncing light off the material and measuring the energy of reflected light. "We typically get this type of results only once every five or 10 years," Petrou said. The experiment was conducted at 7 degrees Kelvin (-447 Fahrenheit), so any everyday use of the process is far in the future. However, proving it possible is a first step. "The reason people are really excited about this, is that Moore's law [which says the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years] is predicted to end soon. It no longer works because it has hit its fundamental limit," Zeng said. "Current computer chips rely on the movement of electrical charges, and that generates an enormous amount of heat as computers get more powerful. Our work has really pushed valleytronics a step closer in getting over that challenge." Contributors to the study included the physics graduate students from UB: Chuan Zhao, Tenzin Norden, Peiyao Zhang, Fan Sun; plus researchers at Nanjing Tech University and Xi'an Jiaotong University in China; University of Waterloo in Canada; University of Nebraska-Omaha; and University of Crete in Greece.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

In the world of semiconductor physics, the goal is to devise more efficient and microscopic ways to control and keep track of 0 and 1, the binary codes that all information storage and logic functions in computers are based on. A new field of physics seeking such advancements is called valleytronics, which exploits the electron’s “valley degree of freedom” for data storage and logic applications. Simply put, valleys are maxima and minima of electron energies in a crystalline solid. A method to control electrons in different valleys could yield new, super-efficient computer chips. A University at Buffalo team, led by Hao Zeng, PhD, professor in the Department of Physics, worked with scientists around the world to discover a new way to split the energy levels between the valleys in a two-dimensional semiconductor. The work is described in a study published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The key to Zeng’s discovery is the use of a ferromagnetic compound to pull the valleys apart and keep them at different energy levels. This leads to an increase in the separation of valley energies by a factor of 10 more than the one obtained by applying an external magnetic field. “Normally there are two valleys in these atomically thin semiconductors with exactly the same energy. These are called ‘degenerate energy levels’ in quantum mechanics terms. This limits our ability to control individual valleys. An external magnetic field can be used to break this degeneracy. However, the splitting is so small that you would have to go to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratories to measure a sizable energy difference. Our new approach makes the valleys more accessible and easier to control, and this could allow valleys to be useful for future information storage and processing,” Zeng says. The simplest way to understand how valleys could be used in processing data may be to think of two valleys side by side. When one valley is occupied by electrons, the switch is “on.” When the other valley is occupied, the switch is “off.” Zeng’s work shows that the valleys can be positioned in such a way that a device can be turned “on” and “off,” with a tiny amount of electricity. Zeng and his colleagues created a two-layered heterostructure, with a 10 nanometer thick film of magnetic EuS (europium sulfide) on the bottom and a single layer (less than 1 nanometer) of the transition metal dichalcogenide WSe2 (tungsten diselenide) on top. The magnetic field of the bottom layer forced the energy separation of the valleys in the WSe2. Previous attempts to separate the valleys involved the application of very large magnetic fields from outside. Zeng’s experiment is believed to be the first time a ferromagnetic material has been used in conjunction with an atomically thin semiconductor material to split its valley energy levels. “As long as we have the magnetic material there, the valleys will stay apart,” he says. “This makes it valuable for nonvolatile memory applications.” Athos Petrou, a UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics, measured the energy difference between the separated valleys by bouncing light off the material and measuring the energy of reflected light. “We typically get this type of results only once every five or 10 years,” Petrou says. The experiment was conducted at 7 degrees Kelvin (-447 Fahrenheit), so any everyday use of the process is far in the future. However, proving it possible is a first step. “The reason people are really excited about this, is that Moore’s law [which says the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years] is predicted to end soon. It no longer works because it has hit its fundamental limit,” Zeng says. “Current computer chips rely on the movement of electrical charges, and that generates an enormous amount of heat as computers get more powerful. Our work has really pushed valleytronics a step closer in getting over that challenge.” Contributors to the study included the physics graduate students from UB: Chuan Zhao, Tenzin Norden, Peiyao Zhang, Fan Sun; plus researchers at Nanjing Tech University and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China; University of Waterloo in Canada; University of Nebraska-Omaha; and University of Crete in Greece.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Traditional clinical hearing tests often fail to diagnose patients with a common form of inner ear damage that might otherwise be detected by more challenging behavioral tests, according to the findings of a University at Buffalo-led study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. This type of "hidden hearing loss" paradoxically presents itself as essentially normal hearing in the clinic, where audiograms -- the gold-standard for measuring hearing thresholds -- are typically conducted in a quiet room. The reason some forms of hearing loss may go unrecognized in the clinic is that hearing involves a complex partnership between the ear and the brain. It turns out that the central auditory system can compensate for significant damage to the inner ear by turning up its volume control, partially overcoming the deficiency, explains Richard Salvi, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Communicative Disorders and Sciences and director of UB's Center for Hearing and Deafness, and the study's lead author. "You can have tremendous damage to inner hair cells in the ear that transmit information to the brain and still have a normal audiogram," says Salvi. "But people with this type of damage have difficulty hearing in certain situations, like hearing speech in a noisy room. Their thresholds appear normal. So they're sent home." To understand why a hearing test isn't identifying a hearing problem it's necessary to follow the auditory pathway as sound-evoked neural signals travel from the ear to the brain. About 95 percent of sound input to the brain comes from the ear's inner hair cells. "These inner hair cells are like spark plugs in an 8-cylinder engine," says Salvi. "A car won't run well if you remove half of those spark plugs, but people can still present with normal hearing thresholds if they've lost half or even three-quarters of their inner hair cells." Ear damage reduces the signal that goes the brain. That results in trouble hearing, but that's not what's happening here, because the brain "has a central gain control, like a radio, the listener can turn up the volume control to better hear a distant station." Salvi says. Sound is converted to neural activity by the inner hair cells in the auditory part of the ear, called the cochlea. Sound-evoked neural activity then travels from the cochlea to the auditory nerve and into the central auditory pathway of the brain. Halfway up the auditory pathway the information is relayed into a structure known as the inferior colliculus, before finally arriving at the auditory cortex in the brain, where interpretation of things like speech take place. For people with inner hair cell loss, sound is less faithfully converted to neural activity in the cochlea. However, this weakened sound-evoked activity is progressively amplified as it travels along the central auditory pathway to the inferior colliculus and onward. By the time it reaches the auditory cortex, things are hyperactive because the brain has recognized a problem. "Once the signal gets high enough to activate a few neurons it's like your brain has a hearing aid that turns up the volume," says Salvi. It's not clear how many people might have this type of hearing loss, but Salvi says it is a common complaint to have difficulty hearing in noisy environments as people get older. The perceptual consequences include apparently normal hearing for tests administered in quiet settings, but adding background noise often results in deficits in detecting and recognizing sounds. "That's why the way we're measuring hearing in the clinic may not be adequate for subtle forms of hearing loss," says one of the study's co-authors, Benjamin Auerbach, a postdoctoral fellow at UB's Center for Hearing and Deafness. In addition to informing how hearing tests are conducted, Auerbach suggests that this compensation might be causing or contributing to other auditory perceptual disorders such as tinnitus, often described as a ringing in the ears, or hyperacusis, a condition that causes moderate everyday sounds to be perceived as intolerably loud. "If you have excessive gain in the central auditory system, it could result in the over-amplification of sound or even make silence sound like noise," says Auerbach.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

UB research could lead to treatments for pregnant mothers at risk for bearing children with the disease BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The skin cells of four adults with schizophrenia have provided an unprecedented "window" into how the disease began while they were still in the womb, according to a recent paper in Schizophrenia Research. The paper was published online in January by researchers at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. It provides what the authors call the first proof of concept for their hypothesis that a common genomic pathway lies at the root of schizophrenia. The researchers say the work is a first step toward the design of treatments that could be administered to pregnant mothers at high risk for bearing a child with schizophrenia, potentially preventing the disease before it begins. "In the last 10 years, genetic investigations into schizophrenia have been plagued by an ever-increasing number of mutations found in patients with the disease," said Michal K. Stachowiak, PhD, senior author on the paper, and professor in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. "We show for the first time that there is, indeed, a common, dysregulated gene pathway at work here," he said. The authors gained insight into the early brain pathology of schizophrenia by using skin cells from four adults with schizophrenia and four adults without the disease that were reprogrammed back into induced pluripotent stem cells and then into neuronal progenitor cells. "By studying induced pluripotent stem cells developed from different patients, we recreated the process that takes place during early brain development in utero, thus obtaining an unprecedented view of how this disease develops," said Stachowiak. "This work gives us an unprecedented insight into those processes." The research provides what he calls proof of concept for the hypothesis he and his colleagues published in 2013. They proposed that a single genomic pathway, called the Integrative Nuclear FGFR 1 Signaling (INFS), is a central intersection point for multiple pathways involving more than 100 genes believed to be involved in schizophrenia. "This research shows that there is a common dysregulated gene program that may be impacting more than 1,000 genes and that the great majority of those genes are targeted by the dysregulated nuclear FGFR1," Stachowiak said. When even one of the many schizophrenia-linked genes undergoes mutation, by affecting the INFS it throws off the development of the brain as a whole, similar to the way that an entire orchestra can be affected by a musician playing just one wrong note, he said. The next step in the research is to use these induced pluripotent stem cells to further study how the genome becomes dysregulated, allowing the disease to develop. "We will utilize this strategy to grow cerebral organoids - mini-brains in a sense - to determine how this genomic dysregulation affects early brain development and to test potential preventive or corrective treatments," he said. UB co-authors with Stachowiak are P. Sarder and E. K. Stachowiak, both assistant professors in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, as well as S. Narla, Y-W Lee and C.A. Benson, all graduate students in the department. K.J. Brennand of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai also is a co-author. The work is funded by NYSTEM, the Patrick P. Lee Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Founded in 1846, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo is beginning a new chapter in its history with the largest medical education building under construction in the nation. The eight-story, 628,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2017. The new location puts superior medical education, clinical care and pioneering research in close proximity, anchoring Buffalo's evolving comprehensive academic health center in a vibrant downtown setting. These new facilities will better enable the school to advance health and wellness across the life span for the people of New York and the world through research, clinical care and the education of tomorrow's leaders in health care and biomedical sciences. The school's faculty and residents provide care for the community's diverse populations through strong clinical partnerships and the school's practice plan, UBMD Physicians' Group.


Strukturoitujen sijoituslainojen myynti laski edellisvuodesta yleisen markkinakehityksen saattelemana. Erittäin matalien korkojen ympäristö on vaikeuttanut strukturoitujen tuotteiden myyntiä kaikilla alan toimijoilla. Alhainen korkotaso on johtanut siihen, että useimpien tuotetyyppien osalta sijoitusten tuottopotentiaali on jäänyt selvästi aiempaa heikommaksi. Suomen Strukturoitujen Sijoitustuotteiden yhdistys ry:n tilastojen mukaan kokonaismarkkina supistui yli 30 prosenttia noin 1,3 miljardiin euroon. UB Omaisuudenhoidon strukturoitujen sijoituslainojen myynti laski noin 91 miljoonaan euroon (115 miljoonaa euroa vuonna 2015). Yhtiön markkinaosuus tuotteiden myynnistä kasvoi kuitenkin 7,0 prosenttiin edellisvuoden 6,0 prosentista. Yhtiön kokoon nähden UB Omaisuudenhoito onkin merkittävä toimija strukturoitujen tuotteiden markkinoilla, mikä kertoo yhtiön hyvästä maineesta laadukkaiden tuotteiden tarjoajana. United Bankers -konserni panosti edelleen voimakkaasti sekä sisäisiin tietojärjestelmiinsä että verkkopalveluihinsa. Yhtiö on kehittänyt muun muassa verkkopalvelu OmaUB:ta, joka on mahdollistanut sijoittajille vaivattoman asiakkuuden avaamisen, verkossa asioinnin ja sijoitusten seuraamisen ympäri vuorokauden. Kehitysinvestoinnit ovat myös tehostaneet yhtiön hallinnollisia prosesseja ja poistaneet manuaalisia työvaiheita merkittävästi. Digitalisaatiotrendiin vastaaminen on fokuksessa myös United Bankersin strategiassa. Tavoitteena on ollut luoda valmius sijoituspalvelutuotteiden tarjoamiselle entistä laajemmille asiakassegmenteille. Työ alkaa myös kantaa hedelmää: vuonna 2016 verkkopalvelun kautta rekisteröityneiden asiakkaiden määrä kasvoi noin 130 % edellisvuodesta ja merkintöjen lukumäärä noin 250 %. Harva yhtiö Suomen finanssimarkkinoilla on saavuttanut 30 vuoden iän itsenäisenä säilyen. Taidamme olla maan vanhin sijoituspalvelukonserni, joka ei ole pankki. Aloittaessani UB:lla 17 vuotta sitten meitä oli noin parikymmentä. Heistä suurin osa on edelleen mukana rakentamassa yhtiötä - perustajat mukaan lukien. Nyt UB-laisia on jo yli sata, mutta meillä on edelleen sama tekemisen meininki. Yhtiön pitkän iän salaisuus on asiakaskokemukseen ja sen kehittämiseen intohimoisesti suhtautuva henkilökunta. Pyrimme myös siihen, että toimintamme on mahdollisimman ketterää ja pelaamme aina joukkueena. UB:n tehtävänä on toimia suunnannäyttäjänä vaurastumisessa. Haluamme kasvattaa määrätietoisesti liiketoimintaamme nykyistä merkittävästi suuremmaksi pohjoismaiseksi finanssitaloksi. Kasvu ei ole vaihtoehto vaan elinehto, eikä kansainvälistymistä tule pelätä. Meillä on huippuluokan finanssialan osaamista Suomessa, ja sille löytyy kysyntää myös maailmalta. Me UB:lla haluamme omalta osaltamme tehdä finanssipalveluista Suomelle vientituotteen. UB:n visiona on olla asiakkailleen haluttu kumppani varallisuuden hoidossa ja taloudellisena neuvonantajana. Voimakkaasti kasvava määrä ammatti- ja yksityissijoittajia luottaa meihin. Tämä on paitsi merkittävä innostuksen lähde joukkueellemme myös paras tae sille, että kasvutarinamme jatkuu.  Meillä on vahva usko siihen, että UB kirjoittaa suomalaista finanssialan historiaa myös jatkossa! United Bankers Oyj on suomalainen, vuonna 1986 perustettu sijoitusalan konserni. Yhtiön liiketoiminta-alueisiin kuuluvat varainhoito, arvopaperinvälitys, investointipankkitoiminta ja rahastojen hallinnointi. Varainhoidossa yhtiö on erikoistunut reaaliomaisuussijoittamiseen. United Bankers on pääasiassa avainhenkilöidensä omistama ja konsernin palveluksessa työskentelee 102 henkilöä (12/2016). Yhtiön liikevaihto vuonna 2016 oli 20,1 miljoonaa euroa ja liikevoitto 1,5 miljoonaa euroa. Konsernin hallinnoitavat varat ovat noin 2,0 miljardia euroa (12/2016). Yhtiö on ollut listattuna First North Finland -markkinapaikalla marraskuusta 2014 lähtien. Tutustu tarkemmin United Bankers Oyj:hin osoitteessa www.unitedbankers.fi.

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