On June 26-28, 2020, the International Conference on Software and Systems Processes (ICSSP 2020) and the International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE 2020) were held in virtual settings during the first year of the COVID pandemic. Several submissions to the joint event have been selected for inclusion in this special issue, focusing on impactful and timely contributions to Machine Learning (ML). At present, many in our field are enthusiastic about the potential of ML, yet some risks should not be casually overlooked or summarily dismissed. Each ML implementation is subtly different from any other implementation, and the risk profile varies greatly based on the approach adopted and the implementation context. The ICSSP/ICGSE 2020 Program Committees have encouraged submissions that explore the risks and benefits associated with ML so that the important discussion regarding ML efficacy and advocacy can be further elaborated. Four contributions have been included in this special issue.
Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with heart failure associated with a reduced EF (HFrEF) was associated with a significantly lower rate of a composite endpoint of death from any cause or hospitalization for worsening heart failure (HF) than medical therapy in the CASTLE-AF trial. In patients with HF and also with a preserved EF (HFpEF), AF is known to be associated with increased mortality. Although the particular benefit in patients with an EF >35% may suggest the need for prospective randomized control trial data in patients with HF to assess the role of ablation as a first-line therapy as Sessions AJ, et al. stated, we believe at present that 1) whether there is structural heart disease detected by cardiac images and 2) whether the left atrial voltage is generally low, should be assessed “before ablation” in each patient with HF to achieve a successful ablation.
Since the rapid development of nanomedicine in oncotherapy, multiple nanomaterials are adopted to regulate the immune system in cancer individuals. Tumor immunotherapy enhances the immune function of patients to achieve the purpose of killing tumor cells by utilizing the organism immune mechanism. As emerging inorganic carbon nanoparticles, carbon dots (CDs) have been found as photosensitizers, vaccines, immunoadjuvants, and so on for cancer treatment due to their unique structure and property, such as effective platforms for drug delivery, immunomodulation, and phototherapy. In this review, we mainly discuss the recent application of CDs in tumor immunotherapy and the prospects of CDs in the field of immune medicine. By assessing the achievements and challenges of CDs in tumor immunotherapy, our review would provide mechanistic insights into the evolution of future nanomedicine.
Quantifying spatiotemporally explicit interactions within animal populations facilitates the understanding of social structure and its relationship with ecological processes. Data from animal tracking technologies (Global Positioning Systems [“GPS”]) can circumvent longstanding challenges in the estimation of spatiotemporally explicit interactions, but the discrete nature and coarse temporal resolution of data mean that ephemeral interactions that occur between consecutive GPS locations go undetected. Here, we developed a method to quantify individual and spatial patterns of interaction using continuous-time movement models (CTMMs) fit to GPS tracking data. We first applied CTMMs to infer the full movement trajectories at an arbitrarily fine temporal scale before estimating interactions, thus allowing inference of interactions occurring between observed GPS locations. Our framework then infers indirect interactions – individuals occurring at the same location, but at different times– while allowing the identification of indirect interactions to vary with ecological context based on CTMM outputs. We assessed the performance of our new method using simulations and illustrated its implementation by deriving disease-relevant interaction networks for two behaviorally differentiated species, wild pigs (Sus scrofa) that can host African Swine Fever and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) that can host Chronic Wasting Disease. Simulations showed that interactions derived from observed GPS data can be substantially underestimated when temporal resolution of movement data exceeds 30-minute intervals. Empirical application suggested that underestimation occurred in both interaction rates and their spatial distributions. CTMM-Interaction method, which can introduce uncertainties, recovered the majority of true interactions. Our method leverages advances in movement ecology to quantify fine-scale spatiotemporal interactions between individuals from lower temporal resolution GPS data. It can be leveraged to infer dynamic social networks, transmission potential in disease systems, consumer-resource interactions, information sharing, and beyond. The method also sets the stage for future predictive models linking observed spatiotemporal interaction patterns to environmental drivers.
Telomerase activity and telomere maintenance in certain somatic cells of human adults support the proliferative capacity of these cells and thus contribute to their regenerative potential, and telomerase activity and telomere length are commonly considered lifespan predictors. Eusocial insects provide excellent models for aging research based on their extraordinary caste-related lifespan differences that contradict the typical mammalian fecundity/lifespan trade-off. Telomerase activity is upregulated in the reproductive, long-lived individuals of eusocial insects such as queens and kings, and telomerase activity may act as a key factor in their extended longevity. But, as documented by the presence of telomerase in somatic tissues of numerous invertebrate and vertebrate species, the connection between telomerase activity and the predicted lifespan is not clear. Here, I ask whether somatic telomerase activity in eusocial reproductives may serve its non-canonical function to protect its individuals against the metabolic stress due to reproduction and reflect a more common phenomenon among species. Here, I propose a hypothesis that the presence of telomerase activity in somatic cells reflects a different reproduction strategy of species.
Lobophorins (LOBs) belong to a large family of spirotetronate antibiotics with antibacterial and antitumor activities. In this study, we demonstrated the function of LobP1, a P450 monooxygenase encoded in the LOB biosynthetic gene cluster, by in vivo deletion and in vitro biochemical assays. The disruption of lobP1 led to the isolation of three new LOBs derivatives (3‒5) and three known ones (6‒8) without the hydroxyl group at C-32. LobP1 was shown to have relatively broad substrate scope. Determing the kinetic parameters of LobP1 towards different substrates revealed that LobP1 preferred substrate with a nitrosugar. The major product LOB E (6) from the ∆lobP1 mutant displayed better cytotoxic activities against several cancer cell lines than LOB B, the C-32 hydroxlated counterpart.
Cutaneous leiomyomas are benign tumors arising from smooth muscles of the skin. Multiple lesions may be arranged in segmental, zosteriform, disseminated patterns. Multiple pilar leiomyomas may be inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern and may be associated with uterine fibroids and renal cell carcinoma, also known as Reed Syndrome.
Sulfide solid state electrolyte (SSE) possesses high ionic conductivity and great processability but suffers from narrow electrochemical window. Conversion sulfide cathode FeS2 has higher specific capacity and moderate redox potential, making it appropriate towards sulfide SSE. However, the complex reaction pathway and capacity fading mechanism in FeS2 are rarely studied, especially in all-solid-state lithium battery (ASSLB). Herein, argyrodite sulfide SSE is paired with FeS2 to investigate the electrochemical reaction pathways and the capacity fade mechanism. Instead of single conversion reaction, an anionic redox driven reaction of FeS2 is revealed. The oxidization of Li2S vanishes and large quantity of inactive Li2S accumulates to cause the interfacial deterioration, along with the stress concentration during cycling, which leads to the rapid capacity fade of FeS2. Finally, a simple strategy of slurry-coated composite electrode with highly conductive network is proposed to direct the uniform deposition of Li2S and alleviate the stress concentration.
In this letter, we consider the privacy-preserving strategies of the distributed state estimator over wireless sensor networks. Aiming at an eavesdropper who can intercept the data transmitted on the communication channel, we design a simple preserving scheme to encode the transmitted data by using system dynamics and history estimates. To analyze the privacy-preserving performance, we use the gap between the values deciphered by the eavesdropper and decoded by the sensor as the privacy index to evaluate the degree of robust privacy protection. Finally, we provide some simulations to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed preserving schemes.
Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a rare genodermatosis characterized by defective DNA repair, leading to hypersensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) sunlight and predisposes to various cutaneous and non-cutaneous malignancies. Platinum compounds are used against cutaneous cancers as concurrent chemoradiotherapy. But the XP gene polymorphism has a potential role in metabolism of these agents and their susceptibility. Here, we report a case of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in a patient with XP who had severe toxicity to chemotherapy. We also discuss other similar cases reported in literature of this entity, to highlight this potentially lethal pharmacogenomic association.
Spearing mantis shrimps are aggressive crustaceans using specialized appendages with sharp spikes to capture fishes with a fast movement. Each spike is a biological tool that have to combine high toughness, as required by the initial impact with the victim, with high stiffness and strength, to ensure sufficient penetration while avoid breaking. We performed a multimodal analysis to uncover the design strategies of this harpoon based on chitin. We found that the spike is a slightly hooked hollow beam with the outer surface decorated by serrations and grooves to enhance cutting and interlocking. The cuticle of the spike resembles a multilayer composite: an outer heavily mineralized, stiff and hard region (with average indentation modulus and hardness of 68 and 3 GPa), providing high resistance to contact stresses, is combined with a less mineralized region, which occupies a large fraction of the cuticle (up to 50%) and features parallel fibers oriented longitudinally, enhancing stiffness and strength. A central finding of our work is the presence of a tiny interphase (less than 10 μm in width) based on helical fibers and showing a spatial modulation in mechanical properties, which has the critical task to integrate the stiff but brittle outer layer with the more compliant highly anisotropic parallel fiber region. We highlighted the remarkable ability of this helicoidal region to stop nanoindentation-induced cracks. Using three-dimensional multimaterial printing to prototype spike-inspired composites, we showed how the observed construction principles can not only hamper damage propagation between highly dissimilar layers (resulting in composites with the helical interphase absorbing 50% more energy than without it) but can also enhance resistance to puncture (25% increase in the force required to penetrate the composites with a blunt tool). Such findings may provide guidelines to design lightweight harpoons relying on environmentally friendly and recyclable building blocks.
As many other physicians and researchers, we have had the great pleasure to be fellows in the laboratory of Dean Metcalfe, the Laboratory of Allergic Diseases, National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH, Bethesda, USA (Figure (#fig-cap-0001)). The open atmosphere, research driven by curiosity, hypotheses originating from clinical observations, and mutual trust and respect are the cornerstones of Dean’s mentorship. Dean and his laboratory have made major contributions on mast cell biology, from basic studies on the regulation of mast cell development and functions, to clinical studies on mast cells in diseases, such as systemic mastocytosis. After more than 50 years of exploring human mast cells, Dean’s impact on what we know today about these cells, their biology and how they affect diseases is outstanding and unique.
ETI treatment reduces inflammatory markers and positive bacterial cultures on BAL in PwCF. These findings suggest that ETI has a greater impact on chronic infection and inflammation than ivacaftor alone. However, airway inflammation persists in a fraction of treated individuals, indicating an ongoing need to optimize other treatments in a subset of patients.
CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T lymphocytes (CAR-T) have led to durable remissions in children with refractory and/or multiply relapsed B-lymphoblastic leukemia. For those who relapse or lose B-cell aplasia post-CAR-T, the role of CAR-T reinfusion is unclear. We report a case of durable remission with tisagenlecleucel reinfusion despite failure to achieve B-cell aplasia and compare this case to seven additional children who received multiple tisagenlecleucel infusions at our institution. Our experience suggests that reinfusion is safe and may be a definitive therapy for a small subset of patients. Reinfusion can also reintroduce remission and/or B-cell aplasia, allowing for subsequent therapies.
Despite of superior performance of the oxide-derived copper (OD-Cu) in producing valuable hydrocarbons during CO2RR, its fabrication process is still ambiguous and complicated. In this work, we develop a simple microwave-assisted method to synthesize the oxide-derived Cu nanosheet (OD-Cu NS) and reveal that the oxidation state of Cu species is controlled by varying the Cu precursor amount. Notably, the simultaneous formation of nano-sized Cu domains influence the surface roughness of OD-Cu NS. The partially oxidized Cu surface exhibits a superior faradaic efficiency (FE) of C2+ products up to 72%, along with a partial current density of 55 mA cm−2 in a neutral KHCO3 solution. More importantly, the as-obtained OD-Cu NS shows a synergetic effect on dissociating of CO2 molecules by the strong binding energy and promoting of C2+ compounds productivity by the enlarged electrochemical surface area. This work provides a new insight for designing efficient OD-Cu catalysts towards CO2RR.