Scientific Reports

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ISSN / EISSN : 20452322 / 20452322
Current Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038)
Total articles ≅ 97,014
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Laura Galbusera, Michael T. M. Finn, Wolfgang Tschacher, Miriam Kyselo
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-12; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-50960-0

Abstract:The social benefits of interpersonal synchrony are widely recognized. Yet, little is known about its impact on the self. According to enactive cognitive science, the human self for its stability and regulation needs to balance social attunement with disengagement from others. Too much interpersonal synchrony is considered detrimental for a person’s ability to self-regulate. In this study, 66 adults took part in the Body-Conversation Task (BCT), a dyadic movement task promoting spontaneous social interaction. Using whole-body behavioural imaging, we investigated the simultaneous impact of interpersonal synchrony (between persons) and intrapersonal synchrony (within a person) on positive affect and self-regulation of affect. We hypothesized that interpersonal synchrony’s known tendency to increase positive affect would have a trade-off, decreasing a person’s ability to self-regulate affect. Interpersonal synchrony predicted an increase in positive affect. Consistent with our hypothesis, it simultaneously predicted a weakening in self-regulation of affect. Intrapersonal synchrony, however, tended to oppose these effects. Our findings challenge the widespread belief that harmony with others has only beneficial effects, pointing to the need to better understand the impact of interaction dynamics on the stability and regulation of the human self.
Suzanne Aarts, Myrthe Reiche, Myrthe Den Toom, Marion Gijbels, Linda Beckers, Norbert Gerdes, Esther Lutgens
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-11; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-50976-6

Abstract:The co-stimulatory CD40-CD40L dyad plays a central role in fine-tuning immune reactions, including obesity-induced inflammation. Genetic ablation of CD40L reduced adipose tissue inflammation, while absence of CD40 resulted in aggravated metabolic dysfunction in mice. During obesity, CD40 expressing CD11c+ dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages accumulate in adipose tissue and liver. We investigated the role of CD40+CD11c+ cells in the metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). DC-CD40-ko mice (CD40fl/flCD11ccre) mice were subjected to obesity or NASH. Obesity and insulin resistance were induced by feeding mice a 54% high fat diet (HFD). NASH was induced by feeding mice a diet containing 40% fat, 20% fructose and 2% cholesterol. CD40fl/flCD11ccre mice fed a HFD displayed increased weight gain, increased adipocyte size, and worsened insulin resistance. Moreover, CD40fl/flCD11ccre mice had higher plasma and hepatic cholesterol levels and developed profound liver steatosis. Overall, regulatory T cell numbers were decreased in these mice. In NASH, absence of CD40 on CD11c+ cells slightly decreased liver inflammation but did not affect liver lipid accumulation. Our experiments suggest that CD40 expressing CD11c+ cells can act as a double-edged sword: CD40 expressing CD11c+ cells contribute to liver inflammation during NASH but are protective against the metabolic syndrome via induction of regulatory T cells.
Hidetaka Matsumoto, Shoji Kishi, Ryo Mukai, Hideo Akiyama
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-7; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51268-9

Abstract:Superior and inferior macular vortex veins are divided by a horizontal watershed passing through the macula. We evaluated macular vortex vein remodeling in eyes with pachychoroid neovasculopathy (PNV). Thirty eyes of 30 patients with treatment-naïve PNV and 30 normal eyes of 30 age-, gender-, and refraction-matched subjects were studied. We assessed the features of macular vortex veins employing en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) and determined central choroidal thickness (CCT) using B-mode OCT. Of the 30 normal eyes, a horizontal watershed was identified in 24 eyes (80%), while venous anastomosis between the superior and inferior vortex veins was observed in 6 eyes (20%). Mean CCT was 233 μm. Of the 30 eyes with PNV, vortex veins were dilated in all 30 eyes with PNV. In 27 of the 30 PNV eyes (90%), the horizontal watershed had disappeared, and collateral veins had instead developed via anastomosis between the superior and inferior vortex veins, making this finding significantly more frequent than in normal eyes (P < 0.001). Mean CCT was 357 μm, significantly thicker than that of normal eyes (P < 0.001). Remodeling of choroidal drainage routes by venous anastomosis between superior and inferior vortex veins was common in eyes with PNV. This observation suggests longstanding congestion of the choroidal veins.
Jamie L. Young, Xiaofang Yan, Jianxiang Xu, Xinmin Yin, Xiang Zhang, Gavin E. Arteel, Gregory N. Barnes, J. Christopher States, Walter H. Watson, Maiying Kong, et al.
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-11; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-50771-3

Abstract:Exposure to the environmental toxicant cadmium (Cd) contributes to the development of obesity-associated diseases. Obesity is a risk factor for a spectrum of unhealthy conditions including systemic metabolic dyshomeostasis. In the present study, the effects of whole-life exposure to environmentally-relevant concentrations of Cd on systemic essential metal distribution in adult mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) were examined. For these studies, male and female mice were exposed to Cd-containing drinking water for >2 weeks before breeding. Pregnant mice and dams with offspring were exposed to Cd-containing drinking water. After weaning, offspring were continuously exposed to the same Cd concentration as their parents, and divided into HFD and normal (low) fat diet (LFD) groups. At 10 and 24 weeks, mice were sacrificed and blood, liver, kidney and heart harvested for metal analyses. There were significant concentration dependent increases in Cd levels in offspring with kidney > liver > heart. Sex significantly affected Cd levels in kidney and liver, with female animals accumulating more metal than males. Mice fed the HFD showed > 2-fold increase in Cd levels in the three organs compared to similarly treated LFD mice. Cadmium significantly affected essential metals levels in blood, kidney and liver. Additionally, HFD affected essential metal levels in these three organs. These findings suggest that Cd interacts with HFD to affect essential metal homeostasis, a phenomenon that may contribute to the underlying mechanism responsible for the development of obesity-associated pathologies.
Nzar Rauf Abdullah, Chi-Shung Tang, Andrei Manolescu, Vidar Gudmundsson
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-10; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51320-8

Abstract:Transport properties of a quantum dot coupled to a photon cavity are investigated using a quantum master equation in the steady-state regime. In the off-resonance regime, when the photon energy is smaller than the energy spacing between the lowest electron states of the quantum dot, we calculate the current that is generated by photon replica states as the electronic system is pumped with photons. Tuning the electron-photon coupling strength, the photocurrent can be enhanced by the influences of the photon polarization, and the cavity-photon coupling strength of the environment. We show that the current generated through the photon replicas is very sensitive to the photon polarization, but it is not strongly dependent on the average number of photons in the environment.
Tongil Park, Youngsu Cha
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-9; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51308-4

Abstract:There is a considerable demand for legged robots with exploring capabilities such as passing through narrow pathways. Soft robots can provide a solution for such applications. Here, we propose a soft legged mobile robot with bimorph piezoelectric main body and pre-curved piezoelectric legs. We experimentally demonstrate the performance of the soft mobile robot. The mobile robot can move 70% of the body length per second. In addition, we investigate physical mechanisms behind the locomotion of the mobile robot using a numerical simulation. Interestingly, the mobile robot generates an animal-like running motion. We find that the amplitude difference of the legs, depending on the leg activation condition, may affect the performance of the robot. We also confirm that the soft mobile robot can maintain the movement under impulsive shock owing to its flexibility.
Georgia Andra Boni, Cristina Florentina Chirila, Luminita Hrib, Raluca Negrea, Lucian Dragos Filip, Ioana Pintilie, Lucian Pintilie
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-8; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51312-8

Abstract:Ferroelectrics are intensively studied materials due to their unique properties with high potential for applications. Despite all efforts devoted to obtain the values of ferroelectric material constants, the problem of the magnitude of static dielectric constant remains unsolved. In this article it is shown that the value of the static dielectric constant at zero electric field and with negligible contribution from the ferroelectric polarization (also called static background dielectric constant, or just background dielectric constant) can be very low (between 10 and 15), possibly converging towards the value in the optical domain. It is also found that the natural state of an ideal, mono-domain, epitaxial ferroelectric is that of full depletion with constant capacitance at voltages outside the switching domain. The findings are based on experimental results obtained from a new custom method designed to measure the capacitance-voltage characteristic in static conditions, as well from Rayleigh analysis. These results have important implications in future analysis of conduction mechanisms in ferroelectrics and theoretical modeling of ferroelectric-based devices.
Tibisay Guevara, Hagen Körschgen, Anna Cuppari, Carlo Schmitz, Michael Kuske, Irene Yiallouros, Julia Floehr, Willi Jahnen-Dechent, Walter Stöcker, F. Xavier Gomis-Rüth
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-13; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51095-y

Abstract:Human fetuin-B plays a key physiological role in human fertility through its inhibitory action on ovastacin, a member of the astacin family of metallopeptidases. The inhibitor consists of tandem cystatin-like domains (CY1 and CY2), which are connected by a linker containing a “CPDCP-trunk” and followed by a C-terminal region (CTR) void of regular secondary structure. Here, we solved the crystal structure of the complex of the inhibitor with archetypal astacin from crayfish, which is a useful model of human ovastacin. Two hairpins from CY2, the linker, and the tip of the “legumain-binding loop” of CY1 inhibit crayfish astacin following the “raised-elephant-trunk mechanism” recently reported for mouse fetuin-B. This inhibition is exerted by blocking active-site cleft sub-sites upstream and downstream of the catalytic zinc ion, but not those flanking the scissile bond. However, contrary to the mouse complex, which was obtained with fetuin-B nicked at a single site but otherwise intact, most of the CTR was proteolytically removed during crystallization of the human complex. Moreover, the two complexes present in the crystallographic asymmetric unit diverged in the relative arrangement of CY1 and CY2, while the two complexes found for the mouse complex crystal structure were equivalent. Biochemical studies in vitro confirmed the differential cleavage susceptibility of human and mouse fetuin-B in front of crayfish astacin and revealed that the cleaved human inhibitor blocks crayfish astacin and human meprin α and β only slightly less potently than the intact variant. Therefore, the CTR of animal fetuin-B orthologs may have a function in maintaining a particular relative orientation of CY1 and CY2 that nonetheless is dispensable for peptidase inhibition.
Xiangwen Wang, Michel Pleimling
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-17; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-50168-2

Abstract:Online gambling sites offer many different gambling games. In this work we analyse the gambling logs of numerous solely probability-based gambling games and extract the wager and odds distributions. We find that the log-normal distribution describes the wager distribution at the aggregate level. Viewing the gamblers’ net incomes as random walks, we study the mean-squared displacement of net income and related quantities and find different diffusive behaviors for different games. We discuss possible origins for the observed anomalous diffusion.
Andrej Spiridonov, LauraS Balakauskas, Robertas Stankevič, Gražyna Kluczynska, Laura Gedminienė, Miglė Stančikaitė
Scientific Reports, Volume 9, pp 1-15; doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51321-7

Abstract:The Earth’s biota originated and developed to its current complex state through interacting with multilevel physical forcing of our planet’s climate and near and outer space phenomena. In the present study, we focus on the time scale of hundreds to thousands of years in the most recent time interval – the Holocene. Using a pollen paleocommunity dataset from southern Lithuania (Čepkeliai bog) and applying spectral analysis techniques, we tested this record for the presence of statistically significant cyclicities, which can be observed in past solar activity. The time series of non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) scores, which in our case are assumed to reflect temperature variations, and Tsallis entropy-related community compositional diversity estimates q* revealed the presence of cycles on several time scales. The most consistent periodicities are characterized by periods lasting between 201 and 240 years, which is very close to the DeVries solar cycles (208 years). A shorter-term periodicity of 176 years was detected in the NMDS scores that can be putatively linked to the subharmonics of the Gleissberg solar cycle. In addition, periodicities of ≈3,760 and ≈1,880 years were found in both parameters. These periodic patterns could be explained either as originating as a harmonic nonlinear response to precession forcing, or as resulting from the long-term solar activity quasicycles that were reported in previous studies of solar activity proxies.