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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 novelenergy resources, and the needs for improvement of the energy efficiency of currentpower generation systems are pushing the industry towards the search ofalternative working fluids. The great challenge for these non-conventional fluidsis to provide satisfactory performances and fill the existing lack of media forsome innovative energy applications. In this review a number of emergingworking fluids for thermal power generation are presented. Also, a specialemphasis is devoted to the discussion about new promising fluids, such asnanofluids or ionic liquids, that could be an important breakdown for powergeneration 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. TAApatients have dilated ascending aorta that eventually ruptures and leads todeath. Treatment of TAA is limited to surgery only. The structural andmorphological changes localized to the ascending region have intense effect onfunctioning of the aorta. Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that theunderlying cause of TAA is a result of various alterations at the cellularlevel. Given that there is an absence of a direct pharmacological treatment forTAA, therefore a growing demand to determine the underlying mechanisms of TAAis utmost necessary to elucidate. Till date, a great progress has been made todiagnose and identify the risk factors of TAA, however a better understanding ofthe mechanisms that trigger the progression is needed in order to develop new therapeuticstrategies. The current review compiles the recent highlights about the contributionsof 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 illnessaffecting approximately 2.5 million Americans. Despite enormous efforts made byscientists, the precise etiology of schizophrenia remains largely unknown todate. Interestingly, many lines of evidence over many years have revealed ahigh prevalence of smoking in patients with psychiatric illnesses, especiallyschizophrenia. Preclinical and clinical studies indicate that both α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) and β2*-nAChRs play a role in thepathogenesis of schizophrenia. This review emphasizes evidence oflinkage between nAChRs and schizophrenia and potential therapeutic applicationsof 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 significantrole in pain perception. Among them, transientreceptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) expressed in dorsal rootganglia (DRG) neurons plays a pivotal role. Considering the potential sideeffects and high risk of dependence from opiates commonly co-prescribed with non-steroidalanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), alternative compounds from plants need to beidentified. For years, herbal medicines treated pain worldwide, but their preciseaction was not clear until recently. The role of individual ion channels inpain detection and transmission can be separated and understood better now thanever before. Additionally, through improvements in active compound purificationtechniques and alteration of active compounds by synthetic chemistry, many herbaland naturally derived compounds are waiting to be screened for their probablerole as analgesic. In this small review, some very familiar plant-basedcompounds, which act on TRPV1 channels and in turn influence pain sensation, arediscussed.  


Author(s)
Rajprasad Loganathan, PhD
Address

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


Abstract:

Invaginationis a key morphogenetic event in the generation of epithelial tube architectures.The driving force for cell shape changes that enable coordinated invaginationis provided by the cytoskeleton. Much has been learned about the dynamics ofactomyosin – as drivers of cell shape changes, particularly apical constriction– during invagination.  However, the roleof 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 aloss of centrosomal attachment coincident with tube formation of cells fated toform the salivary glands.   They showedthat targeted disruption of the microtubule cytoskeleton leads to a failure of invaginationby destabilization of the medial actomyosin network, a driver of apicalconstriction. 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 inpatients after receiving an allogeneic tissue transplant, such as hematopoieticstem cell transplantation from unrelated donors.  cGVHD was viewed predominantly as a T-cellmediated disease but the emerging evidences indicate the crucial role of B-celland other immune cells in its pathogenesis.  In their original paper in Blood [1], Flynn et al. show that increased frequency ofT follicular helper (Tfh) cells and germinal center (GC) B-cells correlateswith the development of cGVHD in a murine model and that blocking monoclonalantibodies (mAbs) for interleukin-21 (IL-21), inducble T-cell costimulator(ICOS) and CD40 ligand reverse cGVHD. These data demonstrate the importanceof T follicular helper (Tfh) and germinal center (GC) B-cells in thepathogenesis 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 reverseestablished 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 ofamyloid 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 ofbrains of AD patients. Aβ42 (only two amino acid longer than Aβ40)tends to aggregate, forming neurotoxic oligomers and fibrils. Alot of studies were focused on Aβ42, but all failed explainwhy the production balance of Aβ42 and Aβ40 leans towards Aβ42 in neurons of Alzheimer’s patients. A recentstudy, utilizing NMR technology, was able to illustrate the molecular mechanismof abnormal formation of Aβ42. A mutant of theamyloid precursor protein foundin familial AD, V44M, was shown to alterthe 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 Aβ42isoform. In this highlight, we explain the work in detail and discuss itsimplications 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 ofbiomedical disciplines plan to go for an academic career, there's afunnel-shaped distribution over the involved career stages. Recent data fromthe United States underlines the high drop-out rates at each level and evenlead to a wake-up call being published in Nature. An attempt to consolidate thenumbers is presented here aiming to allow a realistic view on individual careerperspectives. Finally, a strategy to repress arising fears to keep the personalacademic dream alive is presented: being realistic and knowing one's risks andchances.


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.


 
     
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