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Schizophrenia: A Consequence of Gene-Environment Interactions?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195312 Year: Pages: 126 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-531-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Schizophrenia is a multi-factorial disease characterized by a high heritability and environmental risk factors (e.g. stress and cannabis use). In recent years, an increasing number of researchers worldwide have started investigating the ‘two-hit hypothesis’ of schizophrenia predicting that genetic and environmental risk factors interactively cause the development of the disorder. This work is starting to produce valuable new animal models and reveal novel insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Eventually, it might help advance studies of the molecular pathways involved in this mental disorder and propose more specific molecular medicine. However, the complexity of this multi-factorial line of research has also caused difficulties in data interpretation and comparison. Our research topic is intended to cover past and current directions in research dedicated to the understanding and measurement of gene-environment interactions (GxE) in schizophrenia, the neurobiological and behavioural consequences of such interactions as well as the challenges and limitations one encounters when working on complex aetiological systems.

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson

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Book Series: History of Computing ISSN: 21906831 ISBN: 9783319169248 9783319169255 Year: Pages: 150 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16925-5 Language: English
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Subject: Computer Science
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-22 16:50:48
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This engaging volume celebrates the life and work of Theodor Holm “Ted” Nelson, a pioneer and legendary figure from the history of early computing. Presenting contributions from world-renowned computer scientists and figures from the media industry, the book delves into hypertext, the docuverse, Xanadu and other products of Ted Nelson’s unique mind. Features: includes a cartoon and a sequence of poems created in Nelson’s honor, reflecting his wide-ranging and interdisciplinary intellect; presents peer histories, providing a sense of the milieu that resulted from Nelson’s ideas; contains personal accounts revealing what it is like to collaborate directly with Nelson; describes Nelson’s legacy from the perspective of his contemporaries from the computing world; provides a contribution from Ted Nelson himself. With a broad appeal spanning computer scientists, science historians and the general reader, this inspiring collection reveals the continuing influence of the original visionary of the World Wide Web.

The plant microbiome and its importance for plant and human health

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193783 Year: Pages: 189 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-378-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Botany --- Microbiology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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The study of plant-microbe associations by new techniques has significantly improved our understanding of the structure and specificity of the plant microbiome. Yet, microbiome function and the importance of the plant’s microbiome in the context of human and plant health are largely unexplored. Comparable with our human microbiome, millions of microbes inhabit plants, forming complex ecological communities that influence plant growth and health through its collective metabolic activities and host interactions. Viewing the microbiota from an ecological perspective can provide insight into how to promote plant health and stress tolerance of their hosts or how to adapt to a changing climate by targeting this microbial community. Moreover, the plant microbiome has a substantial impact on human health by influencing our gut microbiome by eating raw plants such as lettuce and herbs but also by influencing the microbiome of our environment through airflow. This research topic comprising reviews, original and opinion articles highlights the current knowledge regarding plant microbiomes, their specificity, diversity and function as well as all aspects studying the management of plant microbiomes to enhance plant growth, health quality and stress tolerance.

The unfolded protein response in virus infections

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193974 Year: Pages: 129 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-397-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Microbiology --- Botany
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Unfolded protein response (UPR) is a cellular adaptive response for restoring endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis in response to ER stress. Perturbation of the UPR and failure to restore ER homeostasis inevitably leads to diseases. It has now become evident that perturbation of the UPR is the cause of many important human diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and cancer. It has recently emerged that virus infections can trigger the UPR but the relationship between virus infections and host UPR is intriguing. On one hand, UPR is harmful to the virus and virus has developed means to subvert the UPR. On the other hand, virus exploits the host UPR to assist in its own infection, gene expression, establishment of persistence, reactivation from latency and to evade the immune response. When this delicate balance of virus-host UPR interaction is broken down, it may cause diseases. This is particularly challenging for viruses that establish a chronic infection to maintain this balance. Each virus interacts with the host UPR in a different way to suit their life style and how the virus interacts with the host UPR can define the characteristic of a particular virus infection. Understanding how a particular virus interacts with the host UPR may pave the way to the design of a new class of anti-viral that targets this particular pathway to skew the response towards anti-virus. This knowledge can also be translated into the clinics to help re-design oncolytic virotherapy and gene therapy. In this research topic we aimed to compile a collection of focused review articles, original research articles, commentary, opinion, hypothesis and methods to highlight the current advances in this burgeoning area of research, in an attempt to provide an in-depth understanding of how viruses interact with the host UPR, which may be beneficial to the future combat of viral and human diseases.

Manipulation of the cellular microbicidal response and endocytic dynamic by pathogens membrane factors

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196098 Year: Pages: 81 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-609-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Internal medicine
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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Intracellular pathogens, such as bacteria and parasites, have evolved specialized mechanisms to survive and replicate in their host, leading to disorders and diseases. The principle of these mechanisms is to reprogram the microbicidal cell function in order to disable the host cells defence that aims to control and eliminate foreign invaders. Devoid of their defence, cells become permissive to pathogens invasion. The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight and cover recent understanding of mechanisms and molecules used by pathogens to interfere with the microbicidal function of cells. This Research Topic will focus on the reprogramming of the cellular dynamics, the immune response, the phagolysosome biogenesis and the signal transduction pathways bypathogens. Special attention will be made on non-proteic virulence factors, however this Research Topic is not restricted to non-proteic virulence factors.

Towards an embodied science of intersubjectivity: Widening the scope of social understanding research

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195299 Year: Pages: 413 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-529-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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An important amount of research effort in psychology and neuroscience over the past decades has focused on the problem of social cognition. This problem is understood as how we figure out other minds, relying only on indirect manifestations of other people's intentional states, which are assumed to be hidden, private and internal. Research on this question has mostly investigated how individual cognitive mechanisms achieve this task. A shift in the internalist assumptions regarding intentional states has expanded the research focus with hypotheses that explore the role of interactive phenomena and interpersonal histories and their implications for understanding individual cognitive processes. This interactive expansion of the conceptual and methodological toolkit for investigating social cognition, we now propose, can be followed by an expansion into wider and deeply-related research questions, beyond (but including) that of social cognition narrowly construed. Our social lives are populated by different kinds of cognitive and affective phenomena that are related to but not exhausted by the question of how we figure out other minds. These phenomena include acting and perceiving together, verbal and non-verbal engagement, experiences of (dis-)connection, management of relations in a group, joint meaning-making, intimacy, trust, conflict, negotiation, asymmetric relations, material mediation of social interaction, collective action, contextual engagement with socio-cultural norms, structures and roles, etc. These phenomena are often characterized by a strong participation by the cognitive agent in contrast with the spectatorial stance typical of social cognition research. We use the broader notion of embodied intersubjectivity to refer to this wider set of phenomena. This Research Topic aims to investigate relations between these different issues, to help lay strong foundations for a science of intersubjectivity – the social mind writ large. To contribute to this goal, we encouraged contributions in psychology, neuroscience, psychopathology, philosophy, and cognitive science that address this wider scope of intersubjectivity by extending the range of explanatory factors from purely individual to interactive, from observational to participatory.

Genetics and epigenetics of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195732 Year: Pages: 114 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-573-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Biology --- Science (General) --- Genetics
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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Women drinking during pregnancy can result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which may feature variable neurodevelopmental deficits, facial dysmorphology, growth retardation, and learning disabilities. Research suggests the human brain is precisely formed through an intrinsic, genetic-cellular expression that is carefully orchestrated by an epigenetic program. This program can be influenced by environmental inputs such as alcohol. Current research suggests the genetic and epigenetic elements of FASD are heavily intertwined and highly dependent on one another. As such, now is the time for investigators to combine genetic, genomic and epigenetic components of alcohol research into a centralized, accessible platform for discussion. Genetic analyses inform gene sets which may be vulnerable to alcohol exposure during early neurulation. Prenatal alcohol exposure indeed alters expression of gene subsets, including genes involved in neural specification, hematopoiesis, methylation, chromatin remodeling, histone variants, eye and heart development. Recently, quantitative genomic mapping has revealed loci (QTLs) that mediate alcohol-induced phenotypes identified between two alcohol-drinking mouse strains. One question to consider is (besides the role of dose and stage of alcohol exposure) why only 5% of drinking women deliver newborns diagnosed with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)? Studies are ongoing to answer this question by characterizing genome-wide expression, allele-specific expression (ASE), gene polymorphisms (SNPs) and maternal genetic factors that influence alcohol vulnerability. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy, which can lead to FASD, has been used as a model to resolve the epigenetic pathway between environment and phenotype. Epigenetic mechanisms modify genetic outputs through alteration of 3D chromatin structure and accessibility of transcriptional machinery. Several laboratories have reported altered epigenetics, including DNA methylation and histone modification, in multiple models of FASD. During development DNA methylation is dynamic yet orchestrated in a precise spatiotemporal manner during neurulation and coincidental with neural differentiation. Alcohol can directly influence epigenetics through alterations of the methionine pathway and subsequent DNA or histone methylation/acetylation. Alcohol also alters noncoding RNA including miRNA and transposable elements (TEs). Evidence suggests that miRNA expression may mediate ethanol teratology, and TEs may be affected by alcohol through the alteration of DNA methylation at its regulatory region. In this manner, the epigenetic and genetic components of FASD are revealing themselves to be mechanistically intertwined. Can alcohol-induced epigenomic alterations be passed across generations? Early epidemiological studies have revealed infants with FASD-like features in the absence of maternal alcohol, where the fathers were alcoholics. Novel mechanisms for alcohol-induced phenotypes include altered sperm DNA methylation, hypomethylated paternal allele and heritable epimutations. These studies predict the heritability of alcohol-induced epigenetic abnormalities and gene functionality across generations. We opened a forum to researchers and investigators the field of FASD to discuss their insights, hypotheses, fresh data, past research, and future research themes embedded in this rising field of the genetics and epigenetics of FASD. This eBook is a product of the collective sharing and debate among researchers who have contributed or reviewed each subject.

The Talking Heads experiment: Origins of words and meanings

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Book Series: Computational Models of Language Evolution ISBN: 9783944675428 Year: Pages: 390 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_559870 Language: English
Publisher: Language Science Press
Subject: Computer Science --- Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2015-05-11 14:47:00
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The Talking Heads Experiment, conducted in the years 1999-2001, was the first large-scale experiment in which open populations of situated embodied agents created for the first time ever a new shared vocabulary by playing language games about real world scenes in front of them. The agents could teleport to different physical sites in the world through the Internet. Sites, in Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Tokyo, London, Cambridge and several other locations were linked into the network. Humans could interact with the robotic agents either on site or remotely through the Internet and thus influence the evolving ontologies and languages of the artificial agents. The present book describes in detail the motivation, the cognitive mechanisms used by the agents, the various installations of the Talking Heads, the experimental results that were obtained, and the interaction with humans. It also provides a perspective on what happened in the field after these initial groundbreaking experiments. The book is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the history of agent-based models of language evolution and the future of Artificial Intelligence.

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