Scientific publications

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The recently discovered conserved quantity associated with Kepler rescaling is generalized by an extension of Noether’s theorem which involves the classical action integral as an additional term. For a free particle, the familiar Schrödinger dilations are recovered. A general pattern arises for homogeneous potentials. The associated conserved quantity allows us to derive the virial theorem. The relation to the Bargmann framework is explained and illustrated by exact plane gravitational waves.


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The integrals of the motion associated with conformal Killing vectors of a curved space–time with an additional electromagnetic background are studied for massive particles. They involve a new term which might be non-local. The difficulty disappears for pp-waves, for which explicit, local conserved charges are found. Alternatively, the mass can be taken into account by “distorting” the conformal Killing vectors. The relation of these non-point symmetries to the charges is analysed both in the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian approaches, as well as in the framework of Eisenhart–Duval lift.


Yeast-extract improved biosynthesis of lignans and neolignans in cell suspension cultures of Linum usitatissimum L.


Muhammad Nadeem, Bilal Haider Abbasi, Laurine Garros, Samantha Drouet, Adnan Zahir, Waqar Ahmad, Nathalie Giglioli-Guivarc’h, Christophe Hano

DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-018-1468-8
Scientific Field Life & Health Sciences
Fellow Dr Bilal Haider Abbasi
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Lignans and neolignans are important biologically active ingredients (BAIs) biosynthesized by Linum usitatissimum. These BAIs have multi-dimensional effects against cancer, diabetes and cardio vascular diseases. In this study, yeast extract (YE) was employed as an elicitor to evaluate its effects on dynamics of biomass, BAIs and antioxidant activities in L. usitatissimum cell cultures. During preliminary experiments, flax cultures were grown on different concentrations of YE (0–1000 mg/L), and 200 mg/L YE was found to be optimum to enhance several biochemical parameters in these cell cultures. A two-fold increase in fresh (FW) and dry weight (DW) over the control was observed in cultures grown on MS medium supplemented with 200 mg/L YE. Similarly, total phenolic (TPC; 16 mg/g DW) and flavonoids content (TFC; 5.1 mg/g DW) were also positively affected by YE (200 mg/L). Stimulatory effects of YE on biosynthesis of lignans and neolignans was also noted. Thus, 200 mg/L of YE enhanced biosynthesis of secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG; 3.36-fold or 10.1 mg/g DW), lariciresinol diglucoside (LDG; 1.3-fold or 11.0 mg/g DW) and dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol glucoside (DCG; 4.26-fold or 21.3 mg/g DW) in L. usitatissimum cell cultures with respect to controls. This elicitation strategy could be scaled up for production of commercially feasible levels of these precious metabolites by cell cultures of Linum.


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Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers around the globe and accounts for a large proportion of fatalities in women. Despite the advancement in therapeutic and diagnostic procedures, breast cancer still represents a major challenge. Current anti-breast cancer approaches include surgical removal, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and the use of various chemotherapeutic drugs. However, drug resistance, associated serious adverse effects, metastasis and recurrence complications still need to be resolved which demand safe and alternative strategies. In this scenario, phytochemicals have recently gained huge attention due to their safety profile and cost-effectiveness. These phytochemicals modulate various genes, gene products and signalling pathways, thereby inhibiting breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis and inducing apoptosis. Moreover, they also target breast cancer stem cells and overcome drug resistance problems in breast carcinomas. Phytochemicals as adjuvants with chemotherapeutic drugs have greatly enhanced their therapeutic efficacy. This review focuses on the recently recognized molecular mechanisms underlying breast cancer chemoprevention with the use of phytochemicals such as curcumin, resveratrol, silibinin, genistein, epigallocatechin gallate, secoisolariciresinol, thymoquinone, kaempferol, quercetin, parthenolide, sulforaphane, ginsenosides, naringenin, isoliquiritigenin, luteolin, benzyl isothiocyanate, α-mangostin, 3,3′-diindolylmethane, pterostilbene, vinca alkaloids and apigenin.


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Female moths release sex pheromone to attract mates. In most species, sex pheromone is produced in, and released from, a specific gland. In a previous study, we used empirical data and compartmental modeling to account for the major pheromone gland processes of female Chloridea virescens: synthesis, storage, catabolism and release; we found that females released little (20–30%) of their pheromone, with most catabolized. The recent publication of a new pheromone collection method led us to reinvestigate pheromone release and catabolism in C. virescens on the basis that our original study might have underestimated release rate (thereby overestimating catabolism) due to methodology and females not calling (releasing) continuously. Further we wished to compare pheromone storage/catabolism between calling and non-calling females. First, we observed calling intermittency of females. Then, using decapitated females, we used the new collection method, along with compartmental modeling, gland sampling and stable isotope labeling, to determine differences in pheromone release, catabolism and storage between (forced) simulated calling and non-calling females. We found, (i) intact 1 d females call intermittently; (ii) pheromone is released at a higher rate than previously determined, with simulations estimating that continuously calling females release ca. 70% of their pheromone (only 30% catabolized); (iii) extension (calling)/retraction of the ovipositor is a highly effective “on/off’ mechanism for release; (iv) both calling and non-calling females store most pheromone on or near the gland surface, but calling females catabolize less pheromone; (v) females are capable of producing and releasing pheromone very rapidly. Thus, not only is the moth pheromone gland efficient, in terms of the proportion of pheromone released Vs. catabolized, but it is highly effective at shutting on/off a high flux of pheromone for release.


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Kepler's rescaling becomes, when “Eisenhart-Duval lifted” to 5-dimensional “Bargmann” gravitational wave spacetime, an ordinary spacetime symmetry for motion along null geodesics, which are the lifts of Keplerian trajectories. The lifted rescaling generates a well-behaved conserved Noether charge upstairs, which takes an unconventional form when expressed in conventional terms. This conserved quantity seems to have escaped attention so far. Applications include the Virial Theorem and also Kepler's Third Law. The lifted Kepler rescaling is a Chrono-Projective transformation. The results extend to celestial mechanics and Newtonian Cosmology.


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In this paper, a fractional viscoelastic model is proposed to describe the physical behaviour of polymeric material. The material parameters in the model are characterized by the experimental data obtained in the dynamical mechanical analysis. The proposed model is integrated into the fractional governing equation of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) above its glass transition temperature. The numerical algorithm based on the shifted Legendre polynomials is retained to solve the fractional governing equations in the time-domain. The accuracy and effectiveness of the algorithm are verified according to the mathematical examples. The advantage of this method is that Laplace transform and the inverse Laplace transform commonly used in fractional calculus are avoided. The dynamical response of the viscoelastic PMMA beam is determined with several loading conditions (uniformly distributed load and harmonic load). The effects of the loading condition and the temperature on the dynamic response of the beam are investigated in the results. The proposed approach shows great potentials for the high-precision calculation in solving the fractional equations in the science and engineering.


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An innovative numerical procedure for solving the viscoelastic column problem based on fractional rheological models, directly in the time domain, is investigated. Firstly, the governing equation is established according to the fractional constitutive relation. Secondly, the resulting equation is transformed into algebraic equation and solved by using the shifted Chebyshev wavelet function. Furthermore, the convergence analysis and the retained numerical benchmarks are carried out to validate the performance of the proposed method. A small value of the absolute error between numerical and accurate solution is obtained. Finally, the dynamic analysis of viscoelastic beam-column problems is investigated with different cross-section shape (circular and square) under various loading conditions (axial compressive force and harmonic load). The displacement, strain and stress of the viscoelastic column at different time and position are determined. The deformation and stress of the viscoelastic column of different materials under the same loading condition are compared. The results in the paper show the highly accuracy and efficiency of the proposed numerical algorithm in the dynamical stability analysis of the viscoelastic column.


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This paper applies a numerical method of polynomial function approximation to the numerical analysis of variable fractional order viscoelastic rotating beam. First, the governing equation of the viscoelastic rotating beam is established based on the variable fractional model of the viscoelastic material. Second, shifted Bernstein polynomials and Legendre polynomials are used as basis functions to approximate the governing equation and the original equation is converted to matrix product form. Based on the configuration method, the matrix equation is further transformed into algebraic equations and numerical solutions of the governing equation are obtained directly in the time domain. Finally, the efficiency of the proposed algorithm is proved by analyzing the numerical solutions of the displacement of rotating beam under different loads.


Mariner Transposons Contain a Silencer: Possible Role of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2


Solenne Bire, Sophie Casteret, Benoit Piegu, Linda Beauclair, Nathalie Moiré, Peter Arensbuger, Yves Bigot

DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005902
Scientific Field Life & Health Sciences
Fellow Dr Peter Arensburger
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Transposable elements are driving forces for establishing genetic innovations such as transcriptional regulatory networks in eukaryotic genomes. Here, we describe a silencer situated in the last 300 bp of the Mos1 transposase open reading frame (ORF) which functions in vertebrate and arthropod cells. Functional silencers are also found at similar locations within three other animal mariner elements, i.e. IS630-Tc1-mariner (ITm) DD34D elements, Himar1, Hsmar1 and Mcmar1. These silencers are able to impact eukaryotic promoters monitoring strong, moderate or low expression as well as those of mariner elements located upstream of the transposase ORF. We report that the silencing involves at least two transcription factors (TFs) that are conserved within animal species, NFAT-5 and Alx1. These cooperatively act with YY1 to trigger the silencing activity. Four other housekeeping transcription factors (TFs), neuron restrictive silencer factor (NRSF), GAGA factor (GAF) and GTGT factor (GTF), were also found to have binding sites within mariner silencers but their impact in modulating the silencer activity remains to be further specified. Interestingly, an NRSF binding site was found to overlap a 30 bp motif coding a highly conserved PHxxYSPDLAPxD peptide in mariner transposases. We also present experimental evidence that silencing is mainly achieved by co-opting the host Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 pathway. However, we observe that when PRC2 is impaired another host silencing pathway potentially takes over to maintain weak silencer activity. Mariner silencers harbour features of Polycomb Response Elements, which are probably a way for mariner elements to self-repress their transcription and mobility in somatic and germinal cells when the required TFs are expressed. At the evolutionary scale, mariner elements, through their exaptation, might have been a source of silencers playing a role in the chromatin configuration in eukaryotic genomes.