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.
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.
Calcium plays a role of universal cellular regulator in the living cell and one of the crucial regulators of proper fetal development during gestation. Mitochondria are important for intracellular calcium handling and signaling. Mitochondrial calcium uniporter (mtCU) is a multiprotein complex of the mitochondrial inner membrane responsible for the transport of calcium to the mitochondrial matrix. In the present study, we analyzed the expression level of mtCU components in two parts of the feto-maternal system - placenta and myometrium at full-term delivery and at preterm birth (PTB) on different stages: 22-27, 28-32, 33-36 weeks of gestation (n = 50). A gradual increase of mRNA expression and changes in protein content of MCU and MICU1 subunits were revealed in the placenta during gestation. We also observed slower depolarization rate of isolated placental mitochondria induced by Ca2+ titration at PTB. In myometrium at PTB relative gene expression level of MCU, MCUb and SMDT1 increased as compared to full-term pregnancy, but the tendency to gradual increase of MCU protein simultaneous with MCUb increase and MICU1 decline was shown in gestational dynamics. Changes observed in the present study might be considered both natural dynamics as well as possible pathological mechanisms underlying preterm birth.
This review presents current data on possible mechanisms forming synergies in health, particularly at the cortical level. The mechanisms of formation of pathological synergies, taking account of the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the upper limbs and the hypothesis, that synergistic patterns are transformed in patients with spastic hemiparesis are discussed. Current views of the pathophysiological bases of the formation of pathological synergies based on neuroimaging and neurophysiological study data are presented, along with a method for noninvasive stimulation of the brain. The question of the correction and transformation of pathological synergies in rehabilitation practice is discussed. Particular attention is paid to clinical and instrumented evaluation of synergies and the use of validated clinical scales and instrumented methods such as video movement analysis, electromyography, magnetic and contactless tracking systems, and virtual reality technologies.
Humans can determine image quality instantly and intuitively, but the mechanism of human perception of image quality is unknown. The purpose of this work was to identify the most important quantitative metrics responsible for the human perception of digital image quality. Digital images from two different datasets—CT tomography (MedSet) and scenic photographs of trees (TreeSet)—were presented in random pairs to unbiased human viewers. The observers were then asked to select the best-quality image from each image pair. The resulting human-perceived image quality (HPIQ) ranks were obtained from these pairwise comparisons with two different ranking approaches. Using various digital image quality metrics reported in the literature, we built two models to predict the observed HPIQ rankings, and to identify the most important HPIQ predictors. Evaluating the quality of our HPIQ models as the fraction of falsely predicted pairwise comparisons (inverted image pairs), we obtained 70–71% of correct HPIQ predictions for the first, and 73–76%for the second approach. Taking into account that 10–14% of inverted pairs were already present in the original rankings, limitations of the models, and only a few principal HPIQ predictors used, we find this result very satisfactory. We obtained a small set of most significant quantitative image metrics associated with the human perception of image quality. This can be used for automatic image quality ranking, machine learning, and quality-improvement algorithms.
Increasing evidence suggests that neuronal communication is a defining property of functionally specialized brain networks and that it is implemented through synchronization between population activities of distinct brain areas. The detection of long-range coupling in electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) data using conventional metrics (such as coherence or phase-locking value) is by definition contaminated by spatial leakage. Methods such as imaginary coherence, phase-lag index or orthogonalized amplitude correlations tackle spatial leakage by ignoring zero-phase interactions. Although useful, these metrics will by construction lead to false negatives in cases where true zero-phase coupling exists in the data and will underestimate interactions with phase lags in the vicinity of zero. Yet, empirically observed neuronal synchrony in invasive recordings indicates that it is not uncommon to find zero or close-to-zero phase lag between the activity profiles of coupled neuronal assemblies. Here, we introduce a novel method that allows us to mitigate the undesired spatial leakage effects and detect zero and near zero phase interactions. To this end, we propose a projection operation that operates on sensor-space cross-spectrum and suppresses the spatial leakage contribution but retains the true zero-phase interaction component. We then solve the network estimation task as a source estimation problem defined in the product space of interacting source topographies. We show how this framework provides reliable interaction detection for all phase-lag values and we thus refer to the method as Phase Shift Invariant Imaging of Coherent Sources (PSIICOS). Realistic simulations demonstrate that PSIICOS has better detector characteristics than existing interaction metrics. Finally, we illustrate the performance of PSIICOS by applying it to real MEG dataset recorded during a standard mental rotation task. Taken together, using analytical derivations, data simulations and real brain data, this study presents a novel source-space MEG/EEG connectivity method that overcomes previous limitations and for the first time allows for the estimation of true zero-phase coupling via non-invasive electrophysiological recordings.
Cardiovascular disease associated with metabolic syndrome has a high prevalence, but the mechanistic basis of metabolic cardiomyopathy remains poorly understood. We characterised the cardiac transcriptome in a murine metabolic syndrome (MetS) model (LDLR−/−; ob/ob, DKO) relative to the healthy, control heart (C57BL/6, WT) and the transcriptional changes induced by ACE-inhibition in those hearts. RNA-Seq, differential gene expression and transcription factor analysis identified 288 genes differentially expressed between DKO and WT hearts implicating 72 pathways. Hallmarks of metabolic cardiomyopathy were increased activity in integrin-linked kinase signalling, Rho signalling, dendritic cell maturation, production of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in macrophages, atherosclerosis, LXR-RXR signalling, cardiac hypertrophy, and acute phase response pathways. ACE-inhibition had a limited effect on gene expression in WT (55 genes, 23 pathways), and a prominent effect in DKO hearts (1143 genes, 104 pathways). In DKO hearts, ACE-I appears to counteract some of the MetS-specific pathways, while also activating cardioprotective mechanisms. We conclude that MetS and control murine hearts have unique transcriptional profiles and exhibit a partially specific transcriptional response to ACE-inhibition.
The endogenous opioid system (EOS) controls the processing of nociceptive stimuli and is a pharmacological target for opioids. Alterations in expression of the EOS genes under neuropathic pain condition may account for low efficacy of opioid drugs. We here examined whether EOS expression patterns are altered in the lumbar spinal cord of the rats with spinal nerve ligation (SNL) as a neuropathic pain model. Effects of the left- and right-side SNL on expression of EOS genes in the ipsi- and contralateral spinal domains were analysed. The SNL-induced changes were complex and different between the genes; between the dorsal and ventral spinal domains; and between the left and right sides of the spinal cord. Prodynorphin (Pdyn) expression was upregulated in the ipsilateral dorsal domains by each the left and right-side SNL, while changes in expression of μ-opioid receptor (Oprm1) and proenkephalin (Penk) genes were dependent on the SNL side. Changes in expression of the Pdyn and κ-opioid receptor (Oprk1) genes were coordinated between the ipsi- and contralateral sides. Withdrawal response thresholds, indicators of mechanical allodynia correlated negatively with Pdyn expression in the right ventral domain after right side SNL. These findings suggest multiple roles of the EOS gene products in spinal sensitization and changes in motor reflexes, which may differ between the left and right sides.
Most common drug development failures originate from either bioavailability problems, or unexpected toxic effects. The culprit is often the liver, which is responsible for biotransformation of a majority of xenobiotics. Liver may be modeled using "liver on a chip" devices, which may include established cell lines, primary human cells, and stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells. The choice of biological material along with its processing and maintenance greatly influence both the device performance and the resultant toxicity predictions. Impediments to the development of "liver on a chip" technology include the problems with standardization of cells, limitations imposed by culturing and the necessity to develop more complicated fluidic contours. Fortunately, recent breakthroughs in the development of cell-based reporters, including ones with fluorescent label, permits monitoring of the behavior of the cells embed into the "liver on a chip" devices. Finally, a set of computational approaches has been developed to model both particular toxic response and the homeostasis of human liver as a whole; these approaches pave a way to enhance the in silico stage of assessment for a potential toxicity.