This book examines how Russia, the world’s most complicated country, is governed. As it resumes its place at the centre of global affairs, the book explores Russia’s overarching strategies, and how it organizes itself (or not) in policy areas ranging from foreign policy and national security to health care, education, immigration, science, sport, agriculture, the environment and criminal justice. The book also discusses the structures and institutions on which Russia relies in order to deliver its goals in these areas of national life, as well as what’s to be done, in policy terms, to improve the country’s performance in its first post-Soviet century. Edited by Irvin Studin, the book includes contributions from a tremendous list of Russia’s leading thinkers and specialists, including Alexei Kudrin, Vladimir Mau, Alexander Auzan, Simon Kordonsky, Fyodor Lukyanov, Natalia Zubarevich and Andrey Melville.
The authors proposed and mathematically described model of a new type of the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam recurrence (the FPU auto recurrence) and hypothesized an adequate description of the heart's electrical dynamics within the observed phenomenon. The dynamics of the FPU auto recurrence making appropriate electrical dynamics of the normal functioning of the heart in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG) was obtained by a computer model study. The model solutions in the form of the FPU auto recurrence – ECG Fourier spectrum were evaluated for resistance to external disturbances in the form of random effects, as well as periodic perturbation at a frequency close to the heart beating rate of about 1 Hz. In addition, in order to simulate the dynamics of myocardial infarction model, studied the effect of the surface area of the myocardium on the stability and shape of the auto recurrence – ECG spectrum. It has been found that the intense external disturbing periodic impacts at a frequency of about 1 Hz lead to a sharp disturbance spectrum shape FPU auto recurrence – ECG structure. In addition, the decrease in the surface of the myocardium by 50% in the model led to the destruction of structures of the auto recurrence – ECG, which corresponds to the state of atrial myocardium. Research models have revealed a hypothetical basis of coronary heart disease in the form of increasing the energy of high-frequency harmonics spectrum of the auto recurrence by reducing the energy of low-frequency harmonic spectrum of the auto recurrence, which ultimately leads to a sharp decrease in myocardial contractility. In order to test the hypothesis has been studied more than 20,000 ECGs both healthy people and patients with cardiovascular disease. As a result of these studies, it was found that the dynamics of the electrical activity of normal functioning of the heart can be interpreted by the display of the detected by authors the FPU auto recurrence, and coronary heart disease is a violation of the energy ratio between the low and high frequency harmonics of the FPU auto recurrence Fourier spectrum equal to the ECG spectrum. Thus, the hypothesis has been confirmed.
The materials of The International Scientific – Practical Conference is presented below. The Conference reflects the modern state of innovation in education, science, industry and social-economic sphere, from the standpoint of introducing new information technologies.
It is interesting for a wide range of researchers, teachers, graduate students and professionals in the field of innovation and information technologies.
Adequate assessment of individual functional motor potentials is important for developing appropriate rehabilitation strategies in ischemic stroke . Microstructural changes in corticospinal tract (CST) and corpus callosum (CC) were repeatedly correlated to post-stroke outcome [2, 3]. However, relationship between them and functional recovery remains unclear. Here we investigated relationship between integrity of CST and CC assessed with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and brain functional state assessed with navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS) in chronic ischemic supratentorial stroke.
The present volume is the fourth issue of the Yearbook series entitled ‘Evolution’. The title of the present volume is ‘From Big Bang to Nanorobots’. In this way we demonstrate that all phases of evolution and Big History are covered in the articles of the present Yearbook. Several articles also present the forecasts about future development.
The main objective of our Yearbook as well as of the previous issues is the creation of a unified interdisciplinary field of research in which the scientists specializing in different disciplines could work within the framework of unified or similar paradigms, using the common terminology and searching for common rules, tendencies and regularities. At the same time for the formation of such an integrated field one should use all available opportunities: theories, laws and methods. In the present volume, a number of such approaches are used.
The volume consists of four sections: Universal Evolutionary Principles; Biosocial Evolution, Ecological Aspects, and Consciousness; Projects for the Future; In Memoriam.
This Yearbook will be useful both for those who study interdisciplinary macroproblems and for specialists working in focused directions, as well as for those who are interested in evolutionary issues of Cosmology, Biology, History, Anthropology, Economics and other areas of study. More than that, this edition will challenge and excite your vision of your own life and the new discoveries going on around us!
The book presents the most important aspects of safe digital image workflows, starting from the basic practical implications and gradually uncovering the underlying concepts and algorithms. With an easy-to-follow, down-to-earth presentation style, the text helps you to optimize your diagnostic imaging projects and connect the dots of medical informatics.
In the context of global efforts to move towards universal coverage in health systems, this report reviews health financing reforms in the Republic of Moldova and looks in particular at how the population´s access to health services has been affected. In 2004, as has been widely documented elsewhere, wholesale reforms were made to the way in which government funds were used to fund health services, shifting the system overnight from a highly fragmented and inflexible one, to one in which funds for the health sector were pooled nationally, allowing improved risk-sharing as a result of greater flexibility to allocate funds in line with health needs. A new source of funding in the form of a payroll tax for health was also introduced directly leading to a growth in total levels of government health spending. A second phase of reforms starting in 2009 addressed the issue of gaps in population coverage under mandatory health insurance, with legislative measures taken to ensure that all citizens of Moldova had access to primary health care, and to ensure that the poor receive subsidized health insurance. Fiscal constraints have limited the full implementation of these reforms however. Moldova has shown that it is prepared to tackle difficult policy issues head on and has articulated clear goals for the sector. In particular, the Roadmap “Accelerating Reforms: addressing the needs of the health area through investment policies” approved on 1 March 2012, lays a clear agenda for the next phase or priority reforms focusing on principally on service delivery reorganization but also on health financing. This is the correct focus given that progress on a number of priority indicators such as equity in access to services and financial protection has been limited in recent years. This report summarizes the main impact of health financing reforms to date and agrees with the Roadmap about the major challenges for the coming decade, in particular the need to address inefficiencies in service delivery, but also to ensure that the close link between guaranteed benefits and available funding is maintained in future policy decisions.
Rigid amphipathic fusion inhibitors are potent broad-spectrum antivirals based on the perylene scaffold, usually decorated with a hydrophylic group linked via ethynyl or triazole. We have sequentially simplified these structures by removing sugar moiety, then converting uridine to aniline, then moving to perylenylthiophenecarboxilic acids and to perylenylcarboxylic acid. All these polyaromatic compounds, as well as antibiotic heliomycin, still showed pronounced activity against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) with limited toxicity in porcine embryo kidney (PEK) cell line. 5-(Perylen-3-yl)-2-thiophenecarboxylic acid (5a) showed the highest antiviral activity with 50% effective concentration of approx. 1.6 nM.
The cooperative dynamics of cellular populations emerging from the underlying interactions determines cellular functions and thereby their identity in tissues. Global deviations from this dynamics, on the other hand, reflect pathological conditions. However, how these conditions are stabilized from dysregulation on the level of the single entities is still unclear. Here, we tackle this question using the generic Hodgkin–Huxley type of models that describe physiological bursting dynamics of pancreatic -cells and introduce channel dysfunction to mimic pathological silent dynamics. The probability for pathological behavior in -cell populations is ~100% when all cells have these defects, despite the negligible size of the silent state basin of attraction for single cells. In stark contrast, in a more realistic scenario for a mixed population, stabilization of the pathological state depends on the size of the subpopulation which acquired the defects. However, the probability to exhibit stable pathological dynamics in this case is less than 10%. These results, therefore, suggest that the physiological bursting dynamics of a population of -cells is cooperatively maintained, even under intercellular communication defects induced by dysfunctional channels of single cells.
Rigid amphipathic fusion inhibitors (RAFIs) are potent antivirals based on a perylene core linked with a nucleoside moiety. Sugar-free analogues of RAFIs, 5-(perylen-3-ylethynyl)uracil-1-acetic acid 1 and its amides 2, were synthesized using combined protection group strategy. Compounds 1 and 2 appeared to have low toxicity on porcine embryo kidney (PEK) or rhabdomiosarcoma (RD) cells together with remarkable activity against enveloped tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV): EC50 values vary from 0.077 mM to subnanomolar range. Surprisingly, 3-pivaloyloxymethyl (Pom) protected precursors 7 and 8 showed even more pronounced activity. All the compounds showed no activity against several nonenveloped enteroviruses, except 4-hydroxybutylamides 2d,g, which inhibited the reproduction of enterovirus A71 with EC50 50e100 mM, with a non-specific mode of action. The results suggest that the carbohydrate moiety of RAFI nucleosides does not play a crucial role in their antiviral action, and biological activity of the 5-(perylen-3-ylethynyl)uracil scaffold can be effectively modulated by substituents in positions 1 and 3. The high antiviral activity of these new compounds, coupled with low toxicity advocate their potential role in antiviral therapy.
The phenoxazine scaffold is widely used to stabilize nucleic acid duplexes, as a part of fluorescent probes for the study of nucleic acid structure, recognition, and metabolism, etc. Here we present the synthesis of phenoxazine-based nucleoside derivatives and their antiviral activity against a panel of structurally diverse viruses: enveloped DNA herpesviruses varicella zoster virus (VZV) and human cytomegalovirus, enveloped RNA tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), and non-enveloped RNA enteroviruses. Studied compounds were effective against DNA and RNA viruses reproduction in cell culture. 3-(2′-Deoxy-β-D-ribofuranosyl)-1,3-diaza-2-oxophenoxazine proved to be a potent inhibitor of VZV replication with superior activity against wild type than thymidine kinase deficient strains (EC50 0.06 and 10 μM, respectively). This compound did not show cytotoxicity on all the studied cell lines. Several compounds showed promising activity against TBEV (EC50 0.35–0.91 μM), but the activity was accompanied by pronounced cytotoxicity. These compounds may be considered as a good starting point for further structure optimization as antiherpesviral or antiflaviviral compounds.
In practical medicine, a diagnostic procedure is used only when it can be interpreted at the individual level. The aim of this work was to systematically investigate the relative and absolute reliability of different TMS motor maps parameters. 18 young healthy male right-handed volunteers were enrolled. Two TMS motor mapping sessions of three right-hand muscles were separated by 6-10 days. The analysis was performed using TMSmap software (http://tmsmap.ru). For reliability assessment, intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and smallest detectable changes (SDC) were calculated, while for quantitative comparison of the excitability profiles we used a novel earth mover's distance metrics (EMD), the convergence of the parameters depending on the number of stimuli was estimated.
Tk-hefu is an artificial peptide designed based on the α-hairpinin scaffold, which selectively blocks voltage-gated potassium channels Kv1.3. Here we present its spatial structure resolved by NMR spectroscopy and analyze its interaction with channels using computer modeling. We apply protein surface topography to suggest mutations and increase Tk-hefu affinity to the Kv1.3 channel isoform. We redesign the functional surface of Tk-hefu to better match the respective surface of the channel pore vestibule. The resulting peptide Tk-hefu-2 retains Kv1.3 selectivity and displays ∼15 times greater activity compared with Tk-hefu. We verify the mode of Tk-hefu-2 binding to the channel outer vestibule experimentally by site-directed mutagenesis. We argue that scaffold engineering aided by protein surface topography represents a reliable tool for design and optimization of specific ion channel ligands.
Voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels are essential for the normal functioning of cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous systems. These channels have modular organization; the central pore domain allows current flow and provides ion selectivity, whereas four peripherally located voltage-sensing domains (VSDs-I/IV) are needed for voltage-dependent gating. Mutations in the S4 voltage-sensing segments of VSDs in the skeletal muscle channel NaV1.4 trigger leak (gating pore) currents and cause hypokalemic and normokalemic periodic paralyses. Previously, we have shown that the gating modifier toxin Hm-3 from the crab spider Heriaeus melloteei binds to the S3-S4 extracellular loop in VSD-I of NaV1.4 channel and inhibits gating pore currents through the channel with mutations in VSD-I. Here, we report that Hm-3 also inhibits gating pore currents through the same channel with the R675G mutation in VSD-II. To investigate the molecular basis of Hm-3 interaction with VSD-II, we produced the corresponding 554-696 fragment of NaV1.4 in a continuous exchange cell-free expression system based on the Escherichia coli S30 extract. We then performed a combined nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy study of isolated VSD-II in zwitterionic dodecylphosphocholine/lauryldimethylamine-N-oxide or dodecylphosphocholine micelles. To speed up the assignment of backbone resonances, five selectively 13C,15N-labeled VSD-II samples were produced in accordance with specially calculated combinatorial scheme. This labeling approach provides assignment for ∼50% of the backbone. Obtained NMR and electron paramagnetic resonance data revealed correct secondary structure, quasi-native VSD-II fold, and enhanced ps–ns timescale dynamics in the micelle-solubilized domain. We modeled the structure of the VSD-II/Hm-3 complex by protein–protein docking involving binding surfaces mapped by NMR. Hm-3 binds to VSDs I and II using different modes. In VSD-II, the protruding ß-hairpin of Hm-3 interacts with the S1-S2 extracellular loop, and the complex is stabilized by ionic interactions between the positively charged toxin residue K24 and the negatively charged channel residues E604 or D607. We suggest that Hm-3 binding to these charged groups inhibits voltage sensor transition to the activated state and blocks the depolarization-activated gating pore currents. Our results indicate that spider toxins represent a useful hit for periodic paralyses therapy development and may have multiple structurally different binding sites within one NaV molecule.
The present study reports alterations of task-based functional brain connectivity in a group of 11 cosmonauts after a long-duration spaceflight, compared to a healthy control group not involved in the space program. To elicit the postural and locomotor sensorimotor mechanisms that are usually most significantly impaired when space travelers return to Earth, a plantar stimulation paradigm was used in a block design fMRI study. The motor control system activated by the plantar stimulation involved the pre-central and post-central gyri, SMA, SII/operculum, and, to a lesser degree, the insular cortex and cerebellum. While no post-flight alterations were observed in terms of activation, the network-based statistics approach revealed task-specific functional connectivity modifications within a broader set of regions involving the activation sites along with other parts of the sensorimotor neural network and the visual, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems. The most notable findings included a post-flight increase in the stimulation-specific connectivity of the right posterior supramarginal gyrus with the rest of the brain; a strengthening of connections between the left and right insulae; decreased connectivity of the vestibular nuclei, right inferior parietal cortex (BA40) and cerebellum with areas associated with motor, visual, vestibular, and proprioception functions; and decreased coupling of the cerebellum with the visual cortex and the right inferior parietal cortex. The severity of space motion sickness symptoms was found to correlate with a post- to pre-flight difference in connectivity between the right supramarginal gyrus and the left anterior insula. Due to the complex nature and rapid dynamics of adaptation to gravity alterations, the post-flight findings might be attributed to both the long-term microgravity exposure and to the readaptation to Earth’s gravity that took place between the landing and post-flight MRI session. Nevertheless, the results have implications for the multisensory reweighting and gravitational motor system theories, generating hypotheses to be tested in future research.
Long-duration spaceflight induces detrimental changes in human physiology. Its residual effects and mechanisms remain unclear. We prospectively investigated the changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume of the brain ventricular regions in space crew by means of a region of interest analysis on structural brain scans. Cosmonaut MRI data were investigated preflight (n = 11), postflight (n = 11), and at long-term follow-up 7 mo after landing (n = 7). Post hoc analyses revealed a significant difference between preflight and postflight values for all supratentorial ventricular structures, i.e., lateral ventricle (mean % change ± SE = 13.3 ± 1.9), third ventricle (mean % change ± SE = 10.4 ± 1.1), and the total ventricular volume (mean % change ± SE = 11.6 ± 1.5) (all P < 0.0001), with higher volumes at postflight. At follow-up, these structures did not quite reach baseline levels, with still residual increases in volume for the lateral ventricle (mean % change ± SE = 7.7 ± 1.6; P = 0.0009), the third ventricle (mean % change ± SE = 4.7 ± 1.3; P = 0.0063), and the total ventricular volume (mean % change ± SE = 6.4 ± 1.3; P = 0.0008). This spatiotemporal pattern of CSF compartment enlargement and recovery points to a reduced CSF resorption in microgravity as the underlying cause. Our results warrant more detailed and longer longitudinal follow-up. The clinical impact of our findings on the long-term cosmonauts’ health and their relation to ocular changes reported in space travelers requires further prospective studies.