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Journal of Postdoctoral Research (JPR) - Vol. 2, No. 9, September 2014
Non-conventional working fluids for thermal power generation: A review

Maria E Mondejar, PhD and Marcus Thern, PhD



Contribution of Cellular Mechanisms in the Development of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
Aruna poduri and Amit Khanna

Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Are Potential Therapeutic Targets of Schizophrenia
Kechun Yang


Herbal Compounds: Important Role as TRPV1 Channel Modulator in Pain Sensation
Saikat Chakraborty, PhD

Tubulogenesis – Microtubules Make the Move
Rajprasad Loganathan, PhD

Kill the Messenger: T-cell/B-cell Interactions in cGVHD
Ethan Strattan, BS, and Yiming Zhong, PhD

New Structural View on How Amyloid Beta Production Hints Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology
Xiaodan Yan, Qin Yang, Jenna Howe, QingShan Bill Fu, and Longfei Wang


Being Realistic about the Academic Funnel

Julian E. Fuchs




The Future of Research Symposium: Facilitating Postdoctoral Involvement in the Future of Science
Gary S McDowell, Kristin Krukenberg, and Jessica Polka


Author(s)

Maria E Mondejar, PhD and Marcus Thern, PhD


Address

Departmentof Energy Sciences, Lund University, PO Box 118, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden


Abstract:

New technology requirements derived from the exploitation of novel energy resources, and the needs for improvement of the energy efficiency of current power generation systems are pushing the industry towards the search of alternative working fluids. The great challenge for these non-conventional fluids is to provide satisfactory performances and fill the existing lack of media for some innovative energy applications. In this review a number of emerging working fluids for thermal power generation are presented. Also, a special emphasis is devoted to the discussion about new promising fluids, such as nanofluids or ionic liquids, that could be an important breakdown for power generation in the near future.


Author(s)
Aruna poduri and Amit Khanna
Address

Departmentof Biology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94305-5020, BuckInstitute of Aging, Novato, CA, 8001 Redwood Blvd, Novato, CA 94945, USA


Abstract:

Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is a devastating vascular disease. TAA patients have dilated ascending aorta that eventually ruptures and leads to death. Treatment of TAA is limited to surgery only. The structural and morphological changes localized to the ascending region have intense effect on functioning of the aorta. Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that the underlying cause of TAA is a result of various alterations at the cellular level. Given that there is an absence of a direct pharmacological treatment forT AA, therefore a growing demand to determine the underlying mechanisms of TAA is utmost necessary to elucidate. Till date, a great progress has been made to diagnose and identify the risk factors of TAA, however a better understanding of the mechanisms that trigger the progression is needed in order to develop new therapeutic strategies. The current review compiles the recent highlights about the contributions of cellular mechanisms involved in the development of TAA.  


Author(s)
Kechun Yang

Address

Department of Neuroscience, Perelman School of Medicine, UPenn, 3620 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA19104, USA


Abstract:

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling mental illness affecting approximately 2.5 million Americans. Despite enormous efforts made by scientists, the precise etiology of schizophrenia remains largely unknown todate. Interestingly, many lines of evidence over many years have revealed a high prevalence of smoking in patients with psychiatric illnesses, especially schizophrenia. Preclinical and clinical studies indicate that both α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) and β2*-nAChRs play a role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. This review emphasizes evidence of linkage between nAChRs and schizophrenia and potential therapeutic applications of α7-nAChR agonists and β2*-nAChR agonists in the treatment of schizophrenia.


Author(s)
Saikat Chakraborty, PhD
Address
Departmentof Anesthesiology, Stony Brook Medicine, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8081, USA
Abstract:

Ion channels play a significant role in pain perception. Among them, transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) expressed in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons plays a pivotal role. Considering the potential side effects and high risk of dependence from opiates commonly co-prescribed with non-steroidalanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), alternative compounds from plants need to be identified. For years, herbal medicines treated pain worldwide, but their precise action was not clear until recently. The role of individual ion channels inpain detection and transmission can be separated and understood better now than ever before. Additionally, through improvements in active compound purification techniques and alteration of active compounds by synthetic chemistry, many herbal and naturally derived compounds are waiting to be screened for their probable role as analgesic. In this small review, some very familiar plant-based compounds, which act on TRPV1 channels and in turn influence pain sensation are discussed.  


Author(s)
Rajprasad Loganathan, PhD
Address

Department of Cell Biology, JHMI, 725 N. Wolfe Street, 114 WBSB, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA


Abstract:

Invagination is a key morphogenetic event in the generation of epithelial tube architectures.The driving force for cell shape changes that enable coordinated invagination is provided by the cytoskeleton. Much has been learned about the dynamics of actomyosin - as drivers of cell shape changes, particularly apical constriction - during invagination.  However, the role of microtubules has not been clear. In a recently published study, Booth et al. describe the dynamics of microtubule during morphogenesis of a tubular organ (the salivary glands) in the Drosophila embryo. The authors observed both a 90°change in microtubule orientation relative to the cellular apicobasal axis and a loss of centrosomal attachment coincident with tube formation of cells fated to form the salivary glands.   They showed that targeted disruption of the microtubule cytoskeleton leads to a failure of invagination by destabilization of the medial actomyosin network, a driver of apical constriction. The study also suggests that a cytolinker protein - Shot - linksthe microtubule bundles with the medial actomyosin network.


Author(s)
Ethan Strattan, BS, and Yiming Zhong, PhD
Address

Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, OSU, 320 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA


Abstract:

Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a common complication in patients after receiving an allogeneic tissue transplant, such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from unrelated donors.  cGVHD was viewed predominantly as a T-cell mediated disease but the emerging evidences indicate the crucial role of B-cell and other immune cells in its pathogenesis.  In their original paper in Blood [1], Flynn et al. show that increased frequency of T follicular helper (Tfh) cells and germinal center (GC) B-cells correlates with the development of cGVHD in a murine model and that blocking monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for interleukin-21 (IL-21), inducble T-cell costimulator(ICOS) and CD40 ligand reverse cGVHD. These data demonstrate the importance of T follicular helper (Tfh) and germinal center (GC) B-cells in the pathogenesis of cGVHD and associated bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) and suggest that new therapies using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targetingTfh cells, GC B cells, and their interactions could potentially reverse established pulmonary cGVHD. 


Author(s)
Xiaodan Yan, Qin Yang, Jenna Howe, QingShan Bill Fu, and Longfei Wang

Address
Departmentof Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical Schoo
Abstract:

The accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide faulty isoform has been found to cause Alzheimer’sdisease (AD) as itis the major component of amyloid senile plaques in the extracellular matrix of brains of AD patients. Aβ42 (only two amino acid longer than Aβ40) tends to aggregate, forming neurotoxic oligomers and fibrils. A lot of studies were focused on Aβ42, but all failed explain why the production balance of Aβ42 and Aβ40 leans towards Aβ42 in neurons of Alzheimer’s patients. A recent study, utilizing NMR technology, was able to illustrate the molecular mechanism of abnormal formation of Aβ42. A mutant of the amyloid precursor protein found in familial AD, V44M, was shown to alter the structure of its transmembrane region, leading to the exposure of residueT48. The exposure of T48 leads to the shift of cleavage by γ-secretase from residue L49 to residue T48, thus producing the Aβ42 isoform. In this highlight, we explain the work in detail and discuss its implications on potential treatment of AD.


Author(s)

Julian E. Fuchs



Address

Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics, Department ofChemistry, U Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK


Abstract:

The more you're in, the more it's obvious: Though many students of biomedical disciplines plan to go for an academic career, there's af unnel-shaped distribution over the involved career stages. Recent data from the United States underlines the high drop-out rates at each level and even lead to a wake-up call being published in Nature. An attempt to consolidate the numbers is presented here aiming to allow a realistic view on individual career perspectives. Finally, a strategy to repress arising fears to keep the personal academic dream alive is presented: being realistic and knowing one's risks and chances.


Author(s)
Gary S McDowell, Kristin Krukenberg, and Jessica Polka
Address

Tufts University, 200 Boston Avenue, Medford, MA02155, USA. And Harvard Medical School,Warren Alpert Building, Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.


Abstract:

The scientific enterprise is facing a series ofchallenges that will directly impact the careers of postdocs both presently andin the future. A growing body of literature and correspondence highlights theconcerns that are felt by many senior researchers and policy-makers in theacademic and wider research community. However, the involvement of postdoctoral researchers in this discussionhas so far been minimal and isolated.  A symposiumis being organized in Boston October 2-3, 2014, which aims to give postdoctoralresearchers an opportunity to express their concerns, discuss the issues thatscientific research is currently facing, and come together to present to thewider research community a united voice on our views of the action required topromote the scientific endeavor.

 
     
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