Lack of D1 receptor leads to slowness of movements in Parkinson’s disease

first_imgShare on Facebook Share Normally, the electrical stimulation of the motor cortex, which resembles the electrical activity during voluntary movements, causes triphasic response consisting of early excitation, inhibition and late excitation in the nerve cells of the EPN, and the “inhibition” is mediated by the “direct pathway” and acts to initiate movements. When D1 receptors were reduced in the transgenic mice by “doxycycline”, the triphasic response was changed, and the “inhibition” was largely decreased. These results suggest that dopamine transmission mediated by D1 receptors is essential for information flow through the “direct pathway” to appropriately initiate movements.The research team also revealed that spontaneous activity of nerve cells in the ENP did not change when D1 receptors were reduced, which denies the prevalent view that lack of D1 receptor-mediated dopamine transmission increases spontaneous nerve cell activity in the EPN. The results suggest that transient activity changes through the “direct pathway”, not spontaneous activity changes, in the EPN are responsible for slowness of movements in Parkinson’s disease.“We have shown that lack of dopamine transmission via D1 receptors disrupts information flow through the ‘direct pathway’ and results in slowness of movements in Parkinson’s disease. This finding provides us important clues to develop new therapies to the disease, such as on-demand activation of D1 receptors to facilitate the information flow through the ‘direct pathway’”, Professor Nambu said. Dopamine deficiency in the basal ganglia (a set of subcortical structures) causes severe motor dysfunctions, such as slowness of movements (bradykinesia), as observed in Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine binds D1 and D2 receptors that are expressed in the nerve cells of the striatum (a structure of the basal ganglia), and exerts different effects on the nerve cells. However, how dopamine controls through these receptors the information flow in the basal ganglia and voluntary movements is still not clear.Assistant Professor Satomi Chiken and Professor Atsushi Nambu from National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Dr. Asako Sato from Kitasato University, Professor Toshikuni Sasaoka from Niigata University, and their research team members have revealed that lack of dopamine transmission through D1 receptors disturbs information flow through the “direct pathway” in the basal ganglia, and ends up in difficulty in initiating voluntary movements. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI and CREST, and published online in the Oxford journal Cerebral Cortex on October 7, 2015.The research team successfully developed a novel transgenic mouse model in which dopamine D1 receptors can be reversibly reduced by a pharmacological agent “doxycycline”, and found that the mice showed decreased movements when D1 receptors were reduced. The team used electrophysiological techniques in awake mice and examined the electrical activity of the nerve cells in the entopeduncular nucleus (EPN, the homologous structure to the internal segment of the globus pallidus in humans) that is the output station of the basal ganglia. Share on Twittercenter_img LinkedIn Email Pinterestlast_img read more

Reading an opponent’s face gives the edge in martial arts

first_imgShare on Twitter Email Share on Facebook LinkedIn Pinterestcenter_img Share There’s more to excelling in the martial arts combat sport of taekwondo than just being able to produce well-aimed kicks or punches. A participant’s skill at reading the emotions on an opponent’s face and to therefore anticipate his or her next move can mean the difference between winning and losing a sparring match. This is according to Yu-Ling Shih and Chia-Yen Lin of the National Taiwan University of Sport.In a study published in Springer’s journal Cognitive Processing, the researchers also note that the understanding of intent is a skill more developed in taekwondo athletes than by weightlifters.The ability to pre-empt an opponent’s next move is called action anticipation. It is regarded as a critical skill that people who excel in time-constrained combat and ball sports in which they come face to face with an opponent possess. Research has confirmed that such athletes are able to quickly gather lots of information about an opponent’s body mechanics and movements. While most research on the subject has been done on ball sports such as tennis or soccer, not much is known about how it plays out in close-contact combat sports. Shih and Lin therefore turned to taekwondo and weightlifting to investigate whether the recognition of facial emotions has an influence on participants’ action anticipation skills.Their study group contained taekwondo athletes, weightlifters and people without any professional sport training. Each group comprised seven men and seven women. They were shown sets of static pictures of taekwondo athletes and weightlifters in action, and had to predict what would be happening next. They also had to name the emotions experienced by a person in another series of photographs.Participants were generally better at predicting what would happen next when the photographs were from a later stage in a movement. Taekwondo athletes, in particular, tended to respond faster than the other participants when presented pictures in which more than 50 percent of a movement was already completed.“The recognition of facial emotions plays a role in the action prediction in combat sports such as taekwondo, and is not only about the dynamics of movement,” says Shih.The results also suggest that being able to recognize facial emotions is more important in combat sports such as taekwondo where two contestants face off within two meters of each other than in weightlifting. The latter is a closed skill sport in which athletes do not compete directly against another, and they therefore do not need to be so sensitive towards subtle changes in an opponent’s face.“Our results contribute to recent findings about mechanisms underlying superior action prediction skills, including excellent strategies of memory, visual searching, and body kinematic information extraction,” adds Lin.last_img read more

Record US measles year adds 22 more cases

first_imgIn its regular weekly update, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported 22 more measles cases, bringing the total so far this year to 1,044 cases, the most since 1992 and since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.In a related development, experts from the CDC writing in Pediatrics today detailed recent patterns regarding the spread of measles in Europe, consequences for travelers, and advice for clinicians.Five US outbreaks still activeThe weekly number of cases is down from the 41 reported during each of the previous 2 weeks, and the number of ongoing outbreaks declined from seven to five, according to the CDC’s update. The number of affected states remained at 28.The currently active outbreaks are in New York’s Rockland County; New York City; Butte County, California; Pennsylvania; and Washington state. Most of the US cases have been in the Rockland County and New York City outbreaks, both of which are centered in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.In the latest update on the New York City outbreak, health officials said 588 cases have been confirmed as of Jun 10, an increase of 22 cases compared with the last update. Meanwhile, Rockland County has confirmed 266 cases as of Jun 12.On Jun 13, New York state’s senate and assembly voted to repeal the religious exemption to vaccine requirements for schoolchildren, and Gov Andrew Cuomo signed the measure minutes after the final vote, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Though the law takes effect right away, it gives unvaccinated students up to 30 days after entering school to document that they’ve had the first dose of each required vaccine.European measles threat to US travelersIn a special report in Pediatrics today, CDC experts profiled recent measles patterns in Europe, which reported more than 41,000 cases, including 37 deaths, in 2018, the most since the 1990s.The scientists wrote that measles activity in the region poses a substantial threat to US travelers, given that Europe is the most common travel destination worldwide, and many perceive it as being free of major infectious disease risks. “For this reason, travelers may not consider the relevance of a pretravel health consultation, including vaccination, in their predeparture plans,” they note.Of 336 US cases in 2018, 40 were imported from Europe, and 12 of those sparked outbreaks, according to the report. Also, in 2018 the CDC’s Travelers’ Health Branch posted 16 notices for countries with measles outbreaks, of which 8 were in the World Health Organization’s European region: England, France, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and the Ukraine.A factor that increases the risk of possible measles exposure is that countries with the most measles cases are among those most frequently visited, the team wrote.Because measles is highly contagious, and record case numbers pose a threat not only to unvaccinated and inadequately vaccinated travelers, it also poses a risk to nontravelers who come into contact with sick travelers.The CDC recommends that all travelers be current with their vaccinations before travel. In the report, the authors urge health providers to suspect measles in any international travel who has recently been in in Europe who has a febrile rash. And when taking the health history, health providers asking about travel history should keep in mind that even if the patient hasn’t been to a country subject to a measles travel advisory, he or she could have contracted the disease during their trip home, for example, at an airport.People who get sick after returning home should seek care immediately, and—to avoid transmitting measles in health settings—returning travelers should call ahead to provide details about symptoms, recent travel, and immunization status, the group wrote.”If measles is suspected, health care providers should isolate travelers immediately, placing them on airborne precautions until day 4 of the rash,” they added.See also:Jun 17 CDC updateJun 17 Pediatrics special reportJun 14 AP storylast_img read more

NWS: Today’s High Near 37; Tonight’s Low Around 17

first_imgThe National Weather Service forecasts today’s high in Los Alamos near 37 with mostly sunny skies and tonight’s low around 17. Courtesy/NWSlast_img

Osborne hit by delays to £50m City office project

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

A New Tear For The Old Man

first_imgI had never seen my father with two legs.As I sat in drop-dead U.S. Open traffic on Sunrise Highway last week with the radio filled with news of the World Cup, I realized that I never really imagined my dad as a man with two legs until the day before, a few days before Father’s Day.I remembered as a kid that I’d watch my father after a grueling week of working in an electrical appliance factory limp home on his wooden leg and climb the three flights of Brooklyn tenement stairs on a Friday night with his pay envelope that never totaled more than $125.He’d hand that over to my mother, keep $10 for himself, eat a hearty bowl of Irish beef stew, and then he’d start getting ready for a night out with the men — most of them immigrants — in Rattigan’s saloon across from our railroad flat.Billy Hamill would take off his work pants, and then unbuckle a second two-inch wide leather belt under his pants that held up his wooden left leg. Then, from the hollowed top of the artificial limb, he would remove the stump of his left leg that had been amputated after a violent soccer injury.He’d remove the sweaty hand-washed-by-my-mother stump sock that resembled an elf’s hat and then, he would sit on the edge of the bed and remove the work-shoe from the wooden leg’s foot, then slide off the work pants, and then pull on the left leg of a freshly ironed pair of dress pants and wiggle a dress shoe onto the wooden foot.Then, my old man would don a bathrobe, working his crutches across the apartment to the tiny L-shaped bathroom as my mom ironed him a clean white shirt. I would stand by his side, watching my father shave with a double edge Gillette razor they used to advertise on the Wednesday night fights that we’d often watch together. He would slap on some Old Spice aftershave that his sons gave him every Christmas and then he’d take a fast, cold sponge bath because we didn’t have a shower.Then, my father would button on the freshly ironed white shirt, knot a sharp tie, and slide on a tie clasp.Then, my father would pull on a fresh stump sock, jam his stump into the hollow of his leg, fasten the leather belt, and pull up the dress pants.Then, he’d limp out of the bedroom, where I’d be waiting with my shoeshine box. I would shine his shoes, trying to be gentle as I polished his wayward left shoe.Then, my father would give me my weekly allowance of a quarter. He’d wink, shadowboxing me from a rugged, schooled pug’s stance, ripping a five-punch Willie Pep combo ending with a ferocious left hook to the plastic glow-in-dark knob at the bottom of the light cord dangling over the Formica kitchen table.Then, Billy Hamill would adjust a suave little fedora on his thick-haired head, wave goodbye, and gripping the banisters, he’d descend those three flights of steps two stairs at a time on his one good leg for a night of Four Roses whiskey, Camel cigarettes, and Irish rebel songs in the saloon.That was “Dad,” the gruff, hard-working little guy with one leg who raised seven kids and often said that if he’d had had two legs he would have had 14 kids.When pressed, he told us a few stories about when he was kid playing soccer and raising dogs with his father and 10 siblings in Ireland, and then coming to America at 20 and boxing every Friday night at the 14th Regiment armory against his roommate Eddie Slattery, pooling their money to buy needle beer in a speakeasy.Then, playing soccer in the competitive immigrant leagues against the Scots, Italians, Poles, and German teams. Until, one day, he was blindsided by a violent slide tackle, leaving his leg broken. “It became infected and they had to take it off,” he said.End of story.He wasn’t a man for details.He hated that wooden leg but he often cracked jokes about it and I don’t remember him ever complaining about it. Self-pity wasn’t allowed in our family. He worked. My mother worked. All of their kids started working at 12 at local stores.Last week as I sat in the snarled traffic on Sunrise Highway listening to news about young soccer players in the World Cup, I realized that I had never even imagined my father with two legs. Until the day before when my brother Pete had sent me some old clips from the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper that had been mined from its archives.And here was an actual news story from Friday, May 11, 1928, with a headline: TO PLAY BENEFIT GAME FOR HAMILL “Willie Hamill, star of the St. Mary’s Field Club Soccer Team, who suffered an injury in a playoff game with Hakoah on March 25 at Commercial Field which resulted in the amputation of his left leg three inches above the knee, is now reported convalescing rapidly. It was at first thought that Hamill’s injury would not injure him permanently. His leg was broken and he was immediately rushed to Kings County Hospital, where the leg was set.“Septic poisoning set in, however, and doctors found it necessary to amputate to prevent the poison from spreading through the body. Hamill, who is but 22 years old, was an outstanding star of the St. Mary’s team and one of the leading amateur players in the metropolitan district. He is a cousin of the famous Mickey Hamill of the Irish International.“A double header will be played at Todd Field Sunday afternoon for the benefit of the player . . . ”I cried when my father died at 80, of course, the way any son would mourn his beloved father.But every time I thought of him since, I smiled, because my father was a colorful character who had lived a full and worthwhile life.But as the World Cup filled the news, after I read this story for the very first time, my old man came roaring to life for me as a young man, running across a soccer pitch with two good legs, a star athlete, a dashing young immigrant in this great new country called America.And, in that moment, for the first time, I realized how traumatic and tragic a loss my father had suffered in his early 20s.And so, as I sat in U.S. Open traffic with news of the World Cup on the radio, for the first time since he died in 1983, I wiped a runaway tear as I thought about my father.In that moment, I wanted to shake his calloused hand and hug him and smell the Old Spice on his face and thank him for coming to America and for getting off that hospital bed 90 years ago and for letting my Irish immigrant mother lead him onto a dance floor a year after his amputation and then to the altar, and for making a small Irish-American family of seven.I especially wanted to thank Billy Hamill for strapping on “the lumber” every morning and going to work in a factory for the next 40 years until the last of his brood was reared, because every one of those days was Father’s Day.denishamill@gmail.com Sharelast_img read more

New Mexico carbon capture project receives $22m

first_imgThe funding will pay for analysis of a site in northwest New Mexico to accelerate deployment of carbon capture, utilisation and storage technology at San Juan Generation Station. Data and analyses produced under the agreement will be used to prepare, submit and attain a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to potentially construct a CO2 injection well, that would allow for geologic sequestration of 50 million metric tonnes of CO2 at a site near the power plant. “This San Juan Generating Station carbon project continues to make tremendous progress even in the face of challenges caused by COVID-19,” said Farmington Mayor, Nate Duckett.“This project has always been important to the City of Farmington and the entire northwest New Mexico region, but maintaining the 1,500 jobs and tax revenues along with adding significant construction jobs the project will bring is now critical.” The new capital included $17.5m from the DOE and $4.5m in cost sharing from the other parties to the agreement.“The success of this application was largely dependent on past work and analyses performed at New Mexico Tech,” said Dr. Robert Balch of the Petroleum Recovery Research Centre at New Mexico Tech.“This background allowed the project to start at Phase III, due to existing knowledge about the potential storage site. New Mexico Tech is proud to have formed a New Mexico centric team including the University, the Petroleum Recovery Research Centre, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology, and both of our state’s National Labs.”“The work project builds on 17 years of previous carbon storage research performed by New Mexico Tech under numerous Department of Energy cooperative agreements.”last_img read more

DNV GL validates WaveRoller

first_imgAW Energy WaveRoller’s load calculation and structural analysis methods have been validated by DNV GL.DNV GL used its wave energy modeling tool, WaveDyn, to simulate the loads on Wave Roller wave energy device structure.The response of the structure was then predicted and compared with the information gained through Wave Roller’s sea trials.“Suitable agreement with measurements has now been confirmed, thus validating the numerical methodology for design purposes,” AW Energy’s press release reads.The numerical models, created and now validated by DNV GL, are currently being used for the load and structural assessment of the commercial scale WaveRoller design, with the first commercial roll-out of the 350 kW being on track for 2016, it is stated in AW Energy’s press release.The R&D Manager Tuula Mäki of Finland-based AW Energy said: “These results are especially valuable since they will help in optimizing the design of the technology. Keeping safety factors at a reasonable level by reducing uncertainty in the modelling process will also cut investment costs, further stimulating the technology’s progress towards large scale roll-out.”DNV GL is a ship and offshore classification society, and technical advisor for the energy value chain including renewables and energy efficiency, as well as the global oil and gas industry.[mappress mapid=”272″]Image: AW Energylast_img read more

MARAD Invites Comments on Delfin LNG’s DEIS

first_imgThe Maritime Administration (MARAD), together with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has issued a call for comments on the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Delfin LNG deepwater port project.MARAD’s notice launched a 45-day comment period and requests for public participation in the environmental impact review process.On May 8, 2015, MARAD and USCG received a license application from Delfin LNG for all Federal authorizations required for a license to own, construct and operate the deepwater port for the export of U.S. natural gas.To be located some 40 nautical miles off the coast of Cameron Parish, Louisiana, the proposed Delfin LNG deepwater port would consists of onshore gas compression facilities and a deepwater port that uses existing pipeline infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.The pipelines would transport natural gas offshore to four semi-permanently moored floating liquefaction vessels (FLNGs), which would have a total storage capacity of 210,000 cubic meters (m3) each.The LNG would be stored onboard the FLNGs and transferred to LNG tankers. An offloading mooring system, which would be provided on each FLNG, would be capable of accommodating standard LNG tankers with nominal cargo capacities up to 170,000 m3.Some 31 LNG tankers are estimated to visit each of the four FLNGs for a total of up to 124 cargo transfer operations per year.The port would be capable of exporting 443.3 Bscf/y of natural gas or 9.2 MMtpa of LNG, according to MARAD’s notice.last_img read more

Hammonds in talks on transatlantic merger

first_imgCity firm Hammonds and US firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey are discussing a merger that would create a 1,300-lawyer transatlantic practice with combined revenues of more than £400m. In a statement released this afternoon, the firms said that they are ‘evaluating the possibility’ of a tie-up, although ‘much remains to be done before bringing the merger to a partnership vote’. The statement said that partners are likely to be asked to vote on the merger before the end of the year. If partners vote in favour, the deal will become the third major transatlantic tie-up to be given the green light in the last 12 months. The merger between City firm Denton Wilde Sapte and US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal is due to complete on 30 September, creating a 1,400-lawyer, £500m practice. City firm Lovells and US firm Hogan & Hartson finalised their merger in May with the creation of Hogan Lovells, comprising 2,500 lawyers and revenues of around £1.1bn. Squire Sanders chair James Maiwurm and Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley said that preliminary discussions showed that both firms are ‘focused on strategic geographic and practice growth’, that ‘meets multinational clients’ desire to work with fewer law firms and with firms that have demonstrated global depth and breadth’. The firms’ leadership groups have identified ‘compatible client bases and culture’, the statement said. Maiwurm said: ‘While we are still at an early stage, our discussions to date indicate that such a merger would appeal strongly to clients that want high-quality legal services from lawyers who have global experience and who understand and respect client demand for value. ‘Squire Sanders is committed to being a global firm. We need a more complete presence in the UK and Western Europe to complement our strength in central and Eastern Europe. Hammonds has a well-developed platform that would complement our presence in Europe, would add to our capabilities in Asia and would enhance Squire Sanders’ broad-based Latin America resources.’ Crossley said that Hammonds’ long-term strategy targets growth in the UK and Asia, expansion of the firm’s footprint in continental Europe and the establishment of closer ties with the US. ‘Operating as “one firm” around the world is a foundation of the Hammonds culture which is shared by Squire Sanders. There is an obvious cultural fit between the two firms,’ he said.last_img read more