Abstract:
Understanding the immune response is critical to evaluate the response to infection and vaccines, particularly in bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients who may exhibit an altered immune system. Such studies have relied upon inbred mouse models due to genetic consistency and experimental reproducibility. Recent studies suggest that inbred mice vary substantially from outbred counterparts in terms of immune responses. These experiments quantified differences in immune responses of inbred and outbred mice before and after BMT. Inbred and outbred adult mice were lethally irradiated and syngeneic bone marrow transplants performed. 6–9 weeks after engraftment, the mice were immunized with allogeneic cells. Immune cell changes were analyzed by flow cytometry. Immunization resulted in significant leukocyte increases in all groups. B cells only varied for transplanted inbred mice. Outbred mice had significantly greater baseline T cells due to increased CD4+ T cells. CD8+ T cell numbers were comparable between the strains and groups. Interestingly, in outbred mice both CD4 and CD8 T cells responded equally while in inbred mice CD8 T cells were predominant. Outbred mice had peak responses later and more prolonged than inbred mice. Thus, inbred mice may not be an accurate model for testing immune responses in humans, especially after BMT.

Abstract:
Any continuous, transitive, piecewise monotonic map is determined up to a binary choice by its dimension module with the associated finite sequence of generators. The dimension module by itself determines the topological entropy of any transitive piecewise monotonic map, and determines any transitive unimodal map up to conjugacy. For a transitive piecewise monotonic map which is not essentially injective, the associated dimension group is a direct sum of simple dimension groups, each with a unique state.

Abstract:
With each piecewise monotonic map of the unit interval, a dimension triple is associated. The dimension triple, viewed as a Z[t, t^{-1}] module, is finitely generated, and generators are identified. Dimension groups are computed for Markov maps, unimodal maps, multimodal maps, and interval exchange maps. It is shown that the dimension group defined here is isomorphic to K_0(A), where A is a C*-algebra (an "AI-algebra") defined in dynamical terms.

Abstract:
Rigel (beta Ori, B8 Ia) is a nearby blue supergiant displaying alpha Cyg type variability, and is one of the nearest type-II supernova progenitors. As such it is an excellent test bed to study the internal structure of pre core-collapse stars. In this study, for the first time, we present 28 days of high precision MOST photometry and over 6 years of spectroscopic monitoring. We report nineteen significant pulsation modes of SNR>4.6 from radial velocities, with variability time scales ranging from 1.21 to 74.7 days, which are associated with high order low degree gravity modes. While the radial velocity variations show a degree of correlation with the flux changes, there is no clear interplay between the equivalent widths of different metallic and Halpha lines.

Abstract:
The production of fully immunologically competent humanized mice engrafted with peripheral lymphocyte populations provides a model for in vivo testing of new vaccines, the durability of immunological memory and cancer therapies. This approach is limited, however, by the failure to efficiently engraft human B lymphocytes in immunodeficient mice. We hypothesized that this deficiency was due to the failure of the murine microenvironment to support human B cell survival. We report that while the human B lymphocyte survival factor, B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS/BAFF) enhances the survival of human B cells ex vivo, murine BLyS has no such protective effect. Although human B cells bound both human and murine BLyS, nuclear accumulation of NF-κB p52, an indication of the induction of a protective anti-apoptotic response, following stimulation with human BLyS was more robust than that induced with murine BLyS suggesting a fundamental disparity in BLyS receptor signaling. Efficient engraftment of both human B and T lymphocytes in NOD rag1？/？ Prf1？/？ immunodeficient mice treated with recombinant human BLyS is observed after adoptive transfer of human PBL relative to PBS treated controls. Human BLyS treated recipients had on average 40-fold higher levels of serum Ig than controls and mounted a de novo antibody response to the thymus-independent antigens in pneumovax vaccine. The data indicate that production of fully immunologically competent humanized mice from PBL can be markedly facilitated by providing human BLyS.

Abstract:
The current report describes the development of a dual modality tomographic agent for both positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI). The dual-modality agent in this study was based on a 124I (PET) radiolabeled tri-gadolinium endohedral metallofullerene Gd 3N@C 80 (MRI) nanoprobe platform. The outer surface of the fullerene cage of the Gd 3N@C 80 metallofullerenes was surface functionalized with carboxyl and hydroxyl groups (f-Gd 3N@C 80) using previously developed procedures and subsequently iodinated with 124I to produce 124I-f-Gd 3N@C 80 nanoprobe. Orthotopic tumor-bearing rats were infused intratumorally by convection-enhanced delivery (CED) with the 124I-f-Gd 3N@C 80 agent and imaged by MRI or micro PET. The anatomical positioning and distribution of the 124I-f-Gd 3N@C 80 agent were comparable between the MRI and PET scans. The 124I-f-Gd 3N@C 80- dual-agent distribution and infusion site within the tumor was clearly evident in both T 1- and T 2-weighted MR images. The results demonstrate the successful preparation of a dual-modality imaging agent, 124I-f-Gd 3N@C 80, which could ultimately be used for simultaneous PET/MR imaging.

Abstract:
Early human evolution is characterised by pulsed speciation and dispersal events that cannot be explained fully by global or continental paleoclimate records. We propose that the collated record of ephemeral East African Rift System (EARS) lakes could be a proxy for the regional paleoclimate conditions experienced by early hominins. Here we show that the presence of these lakes is associated with low levels of dust deposition in both West African and Mediterranean records, but is not associated with long-term global cooling and aridification of East Africa. Hominin expansion and diversification seem to be associated with climate pulses characterized by the precession-forced appearance and disappearance of deep EARS lakes. The most profound period for hominin evolution occurs at about 1.9 Ma; with the highest recorded diversity of hominin species, the appearance of Homo (sensu stricto) and major dispersal events out of East Africa into Eurasia. During this period, ephemeral deep-freshwater lakes appeared along the whole length of the EARS, fundamentally changing the local environment. The relationship between the local environment and hominin brain expansion is less clear. The major step-wise expansion in brain size around 1.9 Ma when Homo appeared was coeval with the occurrence of ephemeral deep lakes. Subsequent incremental increases in brain size are associated with dry periods with few if any lakes. Plio-Pleistocene East African climate pulses as evinced by the paleo-lake records seem, therefore, fundamental to hominin speciation, encephalisation and migration.

Abstract:
Let S_k be the set of separable states on B(C^m \otimes C^n) admitting a representation as a convex combination of k pure product states, or fewer. If m>1, n> 1, and k \le max(m,n), we show that S_k admits a subset V_k such that V_k is dense and open in S_k, and such that each state in V_k has a unique decomposition as a convex combination of pure product states, and we describe all possible convex decompositions for a set of separable states that properly contains V_k. In both cases we describe the associated faces of the space of separable states, which in the first case are simplexes, and in the second case are direct convex sums of faces that are isomorphic to state spaces of full matrix algebras. As an application of these results, we characterize all affine automorphisms of the convex set of separable states, and all automorphisms of the state space of B(C^m otimes C^n). that preserve entanglement and separability.

Abstract:
By definition a separable state has the form \sum A_i \otimes B_i, where 0 \leq A_i, B_i for each i. In this paper we consider the class of states which admit such a decomposition with B_1, ..., B_p having independent images. We give a simple intrinsic characterization of this class of states, and starting with a density matrix in this class, describe a procedure to find such a decomposition with B_1, ..., B_p having independent images, and A_1, ..., A_p being distinct with unit trace. Such a decomposition is unique, and we relate this to the facial structure of the set of separable states. A special subclass of such separable states are those for which the rank of the matrix matches one marginal rank. Such states have arisen in previous studies of separability (e.g., they are known to be a class for which the PPT condition is equivalent to separability). The states investigated also include a class that corresponds (under the Choi-Jamio{\l}kowski isomorphism) to the quantum channels called quantum-classical and classical-quantum by Holevo.

Abstract:
For each piecewise monotonic map tau of [0,1], we associate a pair of C*-algebras F_tau and O_tau and calculate their K-groups. The algebra F_tau is an AI-algebra. We characterize when F_tau and O_\tau are simple. In those cases, F_tau has a unique trace, and O_tau is purely infinite with a unique KMS-state. In the case that tau is Markov, these algebras include the Cuntz-Krieger algebras O_A, and the associated AF-algebras F_A. Other examples for which the K-groups are computed include tent maps, quadratic maps, multimodal maps, interval exchange maps, and beta-transformations. For the case of interval exchange maps and of beta-transformations, the C*-algebra O_tau coincides with the algebras defined by Putnam and Katayama-Matsumoto-Watatani respectively.