Ultrasound-guided intramural inoculation of orthotopic bladder cancer xenografts: a novel high-precision approach
Kilian M. Gust
Alan I. So
Joachim W. Thüroff
Peter C. Black
- Orthotopic bladder cancer xenografts are essential for testing novel therapies and molecular manipulations of cell lines in vivo. Current xenografts rely on tumor cell inoculation by intravesical instillation or direct injection into the bladder wall. Instillation is limited by the lack of cell lines that are tumorigenic when delivered in this manner. The invasive model inflicts morbidity on the mice by the need for laparotomy and mobilization of the bladder. Furthermore this procedure is complex and time-consuming. Three bladder cancer cell lines (UM-UC1, UM-UC3, UM-UC13) were inoculated into 50 athymic nude mice by percutaneous injection under ultrasound guidance. PBS was first injected between the muscle wall and the mucosa to separate these layers, and tumor cells were subsequently injected into this space. Bioluminescence and ultrasound were used to monitor tumor growth. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound was used to study changes in tumor perfusion after systemic gemcitabine/cisplatin treatment. To demonstrate proof of principle that therapeutic agents can be injected into established xenografts under ultrasound guidance, oncolytic virus (VSV) was injected into UM-UC3 tumors. Xenograft tissue was harvested for immunohistochemistry after 23–37 days. Percutaneous injection of tumor cells into the bladder wall was performed efficiently (mean time: 5.7 min) and without complications in all 50 animals. Ultrasound and bioluminescence confirmed presence of tumor in the anterior bladder wall in all animals 3 days later. The average tumor volumes increased steadily over the study period. UM-UC13 tumors showed a marked decrease in volume and perfusion after chemotherapy. Immunohistochemical staining for VSV-G demonstrated virus uptake in all UM-UC3 tumors after intratumoral injection. We have developed a novel method for creating orthotopic bladder cancer xenograft in a minimally invasive fashion. In our hands this has replaced the traditional model requiring laparotomy, because this model is more time efficient, more precise and associated with less morbidity for the mice.
Analyst behaviour: the geography of social interaction
- An analyst who works in Germany is more likely to publish a high (low) price target regarding a DAX30 stock if other Germany based analysts are also optimistic (pessimistic) about the same stock. This finding is not biased by the fact that DAX30 companies are headquartered in Germany. In times of bull markets, price targets of analysts who regularly exchange their opinion are higher correlated compared to other analysts. This effect vanishes in a bearish market environment. This suggests that communication among analysts indeed plays an important role. However, analysts’ incentives induce them not to deviate too much from the overall average during an economic downturn.
Does social interaction destablise financial markets?
- With this paper, I propose a simple asset pricing model that accounts for the influence from social interaction. Investors are assumed to make up their mind about an asset’s price based on a forecasting strategy and its past profitability as well as on the contemporaneous expectations of other market participants. Empirically analysing stocks of the DAX30 index, I provide evidence that social interaction rather destabilises financial markets. Based on my results, I state that at least, it does not have a stabilising effect.
Fluctuations of social influence: evidence from the behaviour of mutual fund managers during the economic crisis 2008/09
- In this paper, I analyse the reciprocal social influence on investment decisions within an international group of roughly 2000 mutual fund managers that invested in companies of the DAX30. Using a robust estimation procedure, I provide empirical evidence that in the average a fund manager puts 0.69% more portfolio weight on a particular stock, if other fund managers increase the corresponding position by 1%. The dynamics of this influence on portfolio weights suggest that fund managers adjust their behaviour according to the prevailing market situation and are more strongly influenced by others in times of an economic downturn. Analysing the working locations of the fund managers, I conclude that more than 90% of the magnitude of influence is due to pure observation. While this form of influence varies much in time, the magnitude of influence resulting from the exchange of opinion is more or less constant.
Evidence regarding clinical use of microvolt T-wave alternans
Stefan H. Hohnloser
Richard J. Cohen
- Background: Microvolt T-wave alternans (MTWA) testing in many studies has proven to be a highly accurate predictor of ventricular tachyarrhythmic events (VTEs) in patients with risk factors for sudden cardiac death (SCD) but without a prior history of sustained VTEs (primary prevention patients). In some recent studies involving primary prevention patients with prophylactically implanted cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), MTWA has not performed as well. Objective: This study examined the hypothesis that MTWA is an accurate predictor of VTEs in primary prevention patients without implanted ICDs, but not of appropriate ICD therapy in such patients with implanted ICDs. Methods: This study identified prospective clinical trials evaluating MTWA measured using the spectral analytic method in primary prevention populations and analyzed studies in which: (1) few patients had implanted ICDs and as a result none or a small fraction (≤15%) of the reported end point VTEs were appropriate ICD therapies (low ICD group), or (2) many of the patients had implanted ICDs and the majority of the reported end point VTEs were appropriate ICD therapies (high ICD group). Results: In the low ICD group comprising 3,682 patients, the hazard ratio associated with a nonnegative versus negative MTWA test was 13.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] 8.5 to 30.4) and the annual event rate among the MTWA-negative patients was 0.3% (95% CI: 0.1% to 0.5%). In contrast, in the high ICD group comprising 2,234 patients, the hazard ratio was only 1.6 (95% CI: 1.2 to 2.1) and the annual event rate among the MTWA-negative patients was elevated to 5.4% (95% CI: 4.1% to 6.7%). In support of these findings, we analyzed published data from the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Trial II (MADIT II) and Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial (SCD-HeFT) trials and determined that in those trials only 32% of patients who received appropriate ICD therapy averted an SCD. Conclusion: This study found that MTWA testing using the spectral analytic method provides an accurate means of predicting VTEs in primary prevention patients without implanted ICDs; in particular, the event rate is very low among such patients with a negative MTWA test. In prospective trials of ICD therapy, the number of patients receiving appropriate ICD therapy greatly exceeds the number of patients who avert SCD as a result of ICD therapy. In trials involving patients with implanted ICDs, these excess appropriate ICD therapies seem to distribute randomly between MTWA-negative and MTWA-nonnegative patients, obscuring the predictive accuracy of MTWA for SCD. Appropriate ICD therapy is an unreliable surrogate end point for SCD. Key words: Arrhythmia; Sudden cardiac death; Cardiac arrest; ICD; T-wave alternans; Surrogate endpoint; Ventricular tachyarrhythmic event; Primary prevention
Über den Widerspruch von religiöser Hoffnung und politischer Analyse in Adam Smith Theorie des freien Marktes
- Die zentrale These des vorliegenden Aufsatzes ist es, dass es ein Adam Smith-Problem im traditionellen Sinne nicht gibt, aber sehr wohl einen Selbstwiderspruch in Adam Smith ökonomischer Theorie.
Der Aufsatz behandelt zunächst die enge systematische Verbindung von Smith ökonomischer und ethischer Theorie. Die Verbindung beruht auf der Annahme eines höchsten Wesens und einer daraus gefolgerten prästabilisierenden Harmonie Dem religiösen Vertrauen auf eine natürliche Ordnung korresponiert der Glaube an die Gerechtigkeit des Marktes. Smith weitere politische Analyse produziert allerdings einen Selbstwiderspruch. Smith zeigt auf, dass die unternehmerischen Eigeninteressen dem Allgemeininteresse der Gesellschaft widersprechen und die Unternehmer zudem virtuoser und erfolgreicher beim Durchsetzen ihrer eigenen Interessen agieren als andere Marktakteure. Dennoch hält Smith an der Annahme fest, der Markt entfalte eine harmonisierende und den allseitigen Wohlstand fördernde Wirkung. Diese Annahme mutiert bei seinen Epigonen zu einer ontologischen Gewissheit.
Integer point sets minimizing average pairwise L1 distance: What is the optimal shape of a town?
Erik D. Demaine
Sándor P. Fekete
- An n-town, n[is an element of]N , is a group of n buildings, each occupying a distinct position on a 2-dimensional integer grid. If we measure the distance between two buildings along the axis-parallel street grid, then an n-town has optimal shape if the sum of all pairwise Manhattan distances is minimized. This problem has been studied for cities, i.e., the limiting case of very large n. For cities, it is known that the optimal shape can be described by a differential equation, for which no closed-form solution is known. We show that optimal n-towns can be computed in O(n[superscript 7.5]) time. This is also practically useful, as it allows us to compute optimal solutions up to n=80.
Römische Bildnisse : Bibliographie, ungekürzt, mit den zu ergänzenden Literaturverweisen des Autors
- Originalfassung der in der Verlagspublikation um zahlreiche Literaturverweise gekürzten Bibliographie des Werkes: Götz Lahusen: Römische Bildnisse : Auftraggeber, Funktionen, Standorte. - Mainz : von Zabern, 2010. - Lizenz der WBG (Wiss. Buchges.) Darmstadt. - ISBN: 978-3-8053-3738-0. Pp. : EUR 49.90
The performance of approximating ordinary differential equations by neural nets
Rüdiger W. Brause
- The dynamics of many systems are described by ordinary differential equations (ODE). Solving ODEs with standard methods (i.e. numerical integration) needs a high amount of computing time but only a small amount of storage memory. For some applications, e.g. short time weather forecast or real time robot control, long computation times are prohibitive. Is there a method which uses less computing time (but has drawbacks in other aspects, e.g. memory), so that the computation of ODEs gets faster? We will try to discuss this question for the assumption that the alternative computation method is a neural network which was trained on ODE dynamics and compare both methods using the same approximation error. This comparison is done with two different errors. First, we use the standard error that measures the difference between the approximation and the solution of the ODE which is hard to characterize. But in many cases, as for physics engines used in computer games, the shape of the approximation curve is important and not the exact values of the approximation. Therefore, we introduce a subjective error based on the Total Least Square Error (TLSE) which gives more consistent results. For the final performance comparison, we calculate the optimal resource usage for the neural network and evaluate it depending on the resolution of the interpolation points and the inter-point distance. Our conclusion gives a method to evaluate where neural nets are advantageous over numerical ODE integration and where this is not the case. Index Terms—ODE, neural nets, Euler method, approximation complexity, storage optimization.
Covalently bound substrate at the regulatory site triggers allosteric enzyme activation
Manfred S. Weiss
- The mechanism by which the enzyme pyruvate decarboxylase from yeast is activated allosterically has been elucidated. A total of seven three-dimensional structures of the enzyme, of enzyme variants or of enzyme complexes from two yeast species (three of them reported here for the first time) provide detailed atomic resolution snapshots along the activation coordinate. The prime event is the covalent binding of the substrate pyruvate to the side chain of cysteine 221, thus forming a thiohemiketal. This reaction causes the shift of a neighbouring amino acid, which eventually leads to the rigidification of two otherwise flexible loops, where one of the loops provides two histidine residues necessary to complete the enzymatically competent active site architecture. The structural data are complemented and supported by kinetic investigations and binding studies and provide a consistent picture of the structural changes, which occur upon enzyme activation.