Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
  • Gießen, Hesse, Germany
Recent publications
Background In 2010, a political and social crisis pushed thousands of Venezuelans out of their country; today, seven million Venezuelans live abroad. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, border closure increased and affected specific vulnerable migration flows, such as Venezuelans trying to migrate to Chile through the Northern borders. In this context, there is little evidence of migrants’ health status and needs, their access to health services, and other basic needs (e.g., housing) from a human rights perspective. Therefore, we qualitatively explored the effects of border closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Venezuelan migrants’ health and human rights, focusing on access to healthcare in the Northern Chilean border that adjoins Peru and Bolivia. Methods Following a case-study qualitative design, we conducted an ethnography that included participatory observation of relevant sites (e.g., hospitals, main squares, migrant shelters) in Antofagasta, Iquique, and Arica and 30 in-depth interviews with actors in the health sector (n = 7), experts from the non-governmental sector (n = 16), and governmental actors (n = 7) in three large cities close to the Northern border. Results We found four main dimensions: (i) border and migration processes, (ii) specific groups and intersectionality, (iii) barriers to healthcare services, and (iv) regional and local responses to the crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs characterized by the presence of healthcare providers in the field were essential to attend to migrants’ health needs at borders. Conclusions Coordination between actors is crucial to implement regional protocols that respond to current migration phenomena and migrants’ health needs. Health policies using a human rights approach are urgently required to respond to migrants’ healthcare needs at borders in South America.
In cereal crops, environmental fluctuations affect different physiological processes during various developmental phases associated with the formation of yield components. Because these effects are coupled with cultivar-specific phenology, studies investigating environmental responses in different cultivars can give contradictory results regarding key phases impacting yield performance. To dissect how genotype-by-environment interactions affect grain yield in winter wheat, we estimated the sensitivities of yield components to variation in global radiation, temperature and precipitation in 220 cultivars across 81 time-windows ranging from double ridge to seed desiccation. Environmental sensitivity responses were prominent in the short-term physiological subphases of spike and kernel development, causing phenologically dependent, stage-specific genotype-by-environment interactions. Here we reconcile contradicting findings from previous studies and show previously undetected effects; for example, the positive impact of global radiation on kernel weight during canopy senescence. This deep insight into the three-way interactions between phenology, yield formation and environmental fluctuations provides comprehensive new information for breeding and modelling cereal crops.
The mining industry continues to have considerable adverse effects on ecosystems, which necessitates the development of robust and effective strategies for the remediation of abandoned mine sites. One such approach involves the integration of mineral‐solubilizing microorganisms into existing external soil spray seeding technologies. These microorganisms have the capacity to reduce mineral particle sizes, stimulate plant growth, and facilitate the release of essential soil nutrients. Despite the potential benefits of mineral‐solubilizing microbial inoculants, their impacts on overall soil multifunctionality and microbial communities, associations with microbial diversity, soil multifunctionality, and plant growth remain largely unknown. To bridge these knowledge gaps, we conducted a 1‐year greenhouse experiment, which involved a comprehensive assessment of various parameters including soil nutrients, enzyme activities, functional gene copies, and microbial communities. Our findings unveiled that the application of mineral‐solubilizing microbial inoculants led to a significant augmentation of soil multifunctionality. Additionally, the application of microbial inoculants increased the relative abundances of Bacilli (class), Bacillales (order), Bacillaceae (family), and Bacillus (genus). While no significant relationship emerged between microbial alpha diversity and soil multifunctionality, our investigation found positive correlations between the Bacillus groups, keystone ecological cluster, and soil multifunctionality. Furthermore, our results suggested that the indirect impact of microbial inoculants on plant growth was primarily channeled indirectly through their influence on Bacilli, keystone ecological cluster, and soil multifunctionality, as opposed to changes in the overall bacterial or fungal diversity. Overall, our study underscores the significance of mineral‐solubilizing microbial inoculants for the rejuvenation of abandoned mine sites, while providing valuable insights for future research aimed at optimizing the efficacy of external soil spray seeding techniques.
Using the example of the fin‐de‐siècle German Reich, this article outlines how insomnia emerged as a “disease of civilisation” in an industrialising society, defined by time‐specific notions, reflecting and strengthening the social norms of the time. Furthermore, it analyses the process of individualisation and flexibilisation that transferred the social struggles and economic demands of modernity onto the subject's body or soul. The history of insomnia around 1900 thus reveals a pattern of thought that shaped the understanding of the insomniac throughout the 20th century.
The ductus arteriosus is a muscular artery connecting the pulmonary trunk directly to the aorta in fetal circulation in order to by-pass the fluid filled lungs. Post-natally, this vessel is speculated to undergo obliteration, fibrosis and ultimately metamorphosize into a band of ligament, thereby changing name from the ductus arteriosus to the ligamentum arteriosum (LA). Earlier studies into the innervation of the ductus arteriosus reported innervation from the left aortic and vagus nerves. However, information of what becomes of the innervation is scanty and contradictory. I hypothesized that; this fetal shunt still receives innervation even in post-uterine life. To test this, LA of human, pig, and wild-type mice were studied using double-immunofluorescence labeling using antibodies directed against structural and general neuronal marker proteins (Smooth muscle actin and Protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5, respectively). Additionally, TEM studies were performed on mouse LA. Results from the present study demonstrates an extensive innervation of the LA in animals (mice and pigs) and in senescent humans validated by two independent methods, i.e., immunolabeling with antibody directed against PGP 9.5 and TEM. Intense immunoreactivity was clearly visible in samples subjected to PGP-immunolabeling. TEM revealed the presence of nerve terminals with about 30% of all nerve terminals observed less than 1 μm away from smooth muscle cells within the LA. This clearly differs from elastic arteries, where the distance between autonomic terminals and smooth muscle cells is rarely less than 1 μm. Conceivably, these results imply that the so- called LA receives innervation representative of that present within the ductus arteriosus during fetal life. This provides the first reliable study of innervation of the LA and makes room for further investigation into the neurochemistry of this innervation. This is crucial as the presence of nerve terminals may play a role in vessel compliance or impedance of the two great vessels related to this structure. The substances released by these fibers may also have an influence on cells and tissues in the immediate microenvironment of this structure.
Vaccine hesitancy, spurred by misinterpretation of Adverse Events (AEs), threatens public health. Despite sporadic reports of oral AEs post-COVID-19 vaccination, systematic analysis is scarce. This study evaluates these AEs using the Australian Database of Adverse Event Notifications (DAEN). A secondary analysis of DAEN data was conducted, with the analysis period commencing from the start of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in February 2021 and the inception of the influenza vaccine database in 1971, both through until December 2022. The focus of the analysis was on oral AEs related to COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. Reports were extracted according to a predefined schema and then stratified by vaccine type, sex, and age. Oral paresthesia was the most common oral AE after COVID-19 vaccination (75.28 per 10,000 reports), followed by dysgeusia (73.96), swollen tongue (51.55), lip swelling (49.43), taste disorder (27.32), ageusia (25.85), dry mouth (24.75), mouth ulceration (18.97), oral hypoaesthesia (15.60), and oral herpes (12.74). While COVID-19 and influenza vaccines shared most oral AEs, taste-related AEs, dry mouth, and oral herpes were significantly more common after COVID-19 vaccination. mRNA vaccines yielded more oral AEs than other types. Females had higher oral AE incidence. Most oral AEs did not differ significantly between COVID-19 and influenza vaccination. However, specific oral AEs, particularly taste-related, dry mouth, and oral herpes, were more prevalent after COVID-19 vaccination compared with seasonal influenza, especially in females and mRNA vaccine recipients.
Constructing arguments is essential in science subjects like chemistry. For example, students in organic chemistry should learn to argue about the plausibility of competing chemical reactions by including various sources of evidence and justifying the derived information with reasoning. While doing so, students face significant challenges in coherently structuring their arguments and integrating chemical concepts. For this reason, a reliable assessment of students' argumentation is critical. However, as arguments are usually presented in open‐ended tasks, scoring assessments manually is resource‐consuming and conceptually difficult. To augment human diagnostic capabilities, artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning or natural language processing offer novel possibilities for an in‐depth analysis of students' argumentation. In this study, we extensively evaluated students' written arguments about the plausibility of competing chemical reactions based on a methodological approach called computational grounded theory . By using an unsupervised clustering technique, we sought to evaluate students' argumentation patterns in detail, providing new insights into the modes of reasoning and levels of granularity applied in students' written accounts. Based on this analysis, we developed a holistic 20‐category rubric by combining the data‐driven clusters with a theory‐driven framework to automate the analysis of the identified argumentation patterns. Pre‐trained large language models in conjunction with deep neural networks provided almost perfect machine‐human score agreement and well‐interpretable results, which underpins the potential of the applied state‐of‐the‐art deep learning techniques in analyzing students' argument complexity. The findings demonstrate an approach to combining human and computer‐based analysis in uncovering written argumentation.
Bats (order Chiroptera ) are a major reservoir for emerging and re-emerging zoonotic viruses. Their tolerance toward highly pathogenic human viruses led to the hypothesis that bats may possess an especially active antiviral interferon (IFN) system. Here, we cloned and functionally characterized the virus RNA sensor, retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I), from the “microbat” Myotis daubentonii (suborder Yangochiroptera ) and the “megabat” Rousettus aegyptiacus (suborder Yinpterochiroptera) and compared them to the human ortholog. Our data show that the overall sequence and domain organization are highly conserved and that all three RIG-I orthologs can mediate a similar IFN induction in response to viral RNA at 37° and 39°C but not at 30°C. Like human RIG-I, bat RIG-Is were optimally activated by double stranded RNA containing a 5’-triphosphate end and required mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS) for antiviral signaling. Moreover, the RIG-I orthologs of humans and of R. aegyptiacus , but not of M. daubentonii , enable innate immune sensing of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our results thus show that microbats and megabats express a RIG-I that is not substantially different from the human counterpart with respect to function, temperature dependency, antiviral signaling, and RNA ligand properties, and that human and megabat RIG-I are able to sense SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE A common hypothesis holds that bats (order Chiroptera ) are outstanding reservoirs for zoonotic viruses because of a special antiviral interferon (IFN) system. However, functional studies about key components of the bat IFN system are rare. RIG-I is a cellular sensor for viral RNA signatures that activates the antiviral signaling chain to induce IFN. We cloned and functionally characterized RIG-I genes from two species of the suborders Yangochiroptera and Yinpterochiroptera . The bat RIG-Is were conserved in their sequence and domain organization, and similar to human RIG-I in (i) mediating virus- and IFN-activated gene expression, (ii) antiviral signaling, (iii) temperature dependence, and (iv) recognition of RNA ligands. Moreover, RIG-I of Rousettus aegyptiacus (suborder Yinpterochiroptera ) and of humans were found to recognize SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, members of both bat suborders encode RIG-Is that are comparable to their human counterpart. The ability of bats to harbor zoonotic viruses therefore seems due to other features.
Background The aim of this work is to provide the currently missing evidence that may allow an update of the Paediatric Dosage Card provided by the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) for conventional PET/CT systems. Methods In a total of 2082 consecutive [ ¹⁸ F]FDG-PET scans performed within the EuroNet-PHL-C2 trial, the administered [ ¹⁸ F]FDG activity was compared to the activity recommended by the EANM Paediatric Dosage Card. None of these scans had been rejected beforehand by the reference nuclear medicine panel of the trial because of poor image quality. For detailed quality assessment, a subset of 91 [ ¹⁸ F]FDG-PET scans, all performed in different patients at staging, was selected according to pre-defined criteria, which (a) included only patients who had received substantially lower activities than those recommended by the EANM Paediatric Dosage Card, and (b) included as wide a range of different PET systems and imaging parameters as possible to ensure that the conclusions drawn in this work are as generally valid as possible. The image quality of the subset was evaluated visually by two independent readers using a quality scoring system as well as analytically based on a volume-of-interest analysis in 244 lesions and the healthy liver. Finally, recommendations for an update of the EANM Paediatric Dosage Card were derived based on the available data. Results The activity recommended by the EANM Paediatric Dosage Card was undercut by a median of 99.4 MBq in 1960 [ ¹⁸ F]FDG-PET scans and exceeded by a median of 15.1 MBq in 119 scans. In the subset analysis ( n = 91), all image data were visually classified as clinically useful. In addition, only a very weak correlation ( r = 0.06) between activity reduction and tumour-to-background ratio was found. Due to the intended heterogeneity of the dataset, the noise could not be analysed statistically sound as the high range of different imaging variables resulted in very small subsets. Finally, a suggestion for an update of the EANM Paediatric Dosage Card was developed, based on the analysis presented, resulting in a mean activity reduction by 39%. Conclusion The results of this work allow for a conservative update of the EANM Paediatric Dosage Card for [ ¹⁸ F]FDG-PET/CT scans performed with conventional PET/CT systems. Graphical abstract
Image-guided and minimally invasive procedures still require confirmation on having reached a target. Intraoperative imaging is not always sufficient or conclusive as it comes with artifacts that can come with a certain amount of ambiguity and inaccurate location information. As an alternative to imaging, we want to explore sounds produced by the biopsy needle tip while advancing and interacting with tissue. In this paper, we show that by analyzing vibroacoustic signals acquired at the proximal end of the needle we are able to differentiate the tissue type. In total, 419 audio samples of 5 tissues were acquired and converted to spectrograms used as input to a convolutional neural network. Using this experimental setup we were able to differentiate the tissue types with an F1 score of 71.64%. Based on these results we were able to demonstrate the feasibility of our approach, as well as the importance of further experiments to ensure that vibroacoustic sounds produced by the needle tip can be a new navigation method.
The overall complication rate during laparoscopic access is estimated to be as high as 14 %. Surgeons have to rely heavily on their experience and haptic perception while inserting the Veress needle or a trocar into the peritoneal cavity. Surgical Audio Guidance (SURAG) is a promising alternative to current techniques. It acquires instrument-born vibroacoustic (VA) waves to track the insertion of the instrument and provide real-time feedback to surgeons. This article presents an initial evaluation of the SURAG technology through two sets of experiments to classify Veress needle events using different AI-models. The results demonstrate the feasibility of using AI for classifying Veress needle events and the potential of the SURAG technology to support surgeons during laparoscopic access and minimally invasive needle interventions in general.
This paper presents the use of vibro-acoustic sensing to augment laparoscopic surgery procedures by analyzing the signals produced during cutting and palpation tasks on various tissue samples. Vibro-acoustic signals were acquired during an experiment on a dedicated phantom covered in dense foam, where three trocars were inserted into the phantom to place the endoscopic camera and two laparoscopic instruments. The results of the signals analysis demonstrate the potential of this approach for making laparoscopic interactions audible, differentiating between tissue types, and detecting variations in tissue properties. Vibro-acoustic sensing could be a valuable tool for integrating sound into the current clinical workflow for enhancing endoscope video images.
Nutrient addition has a significant impact on plant growth and nutrient cycling. Yet, the understanding of how the addition of nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) significantly affects soil gross N transformations and N availability in temperate desert steppes is still limited. Therefore, a ¹⁵ N tracing experiment was conducted to study these processes and their underlying mechanism in a desert steppe soil that had been supplemented with N and P for 4 years in northwestern China. Soil N mineralization was increased significantly by P addition, and N and P additions significantly promoted soil autotrophic nitrification, rather than NH 4 ⁺ ‐N immobilization. The addition of N promoted dissimilatory NO 3 ⁻ reduction to NH 4 ⁺ , while that of P inhibited it. Soil NO 3 ⁻ ‐N production was greatly increased by N added alone and by that of N and P combined, while net NH 4 ⁺ ‐N production was decreased by these treatments. Soil N mineralization was primarily mediated by pH, P content or organic carbon, while soil NH 4 ⁺ ‐N content regulated autotrophic nitrification mainly, and this process was mainly controlled by ammonia‐oxidizing bacteria rather than archaea and comammox. NH 4 ⁺ ‐N immobilization was mainly affected by functional microorganisms, the abundance of narG gene and comammox Ntsp‐ amoA . In conclusion, gross N transformations in the temperate desert steppe largely depended on soil inorganic N, P contents and related functional microorganisms. Soil acidification plays a more key role in N mineralization than other environmental factors or functional microorganisms.
Town twinning is often seen as a linear driving force of European integration. This article argues that town twinning’s historicity is more complex. The initial post-war period, according to today’s practitioners’ accounts, was characterized by a high degree of personal involvement which transformed into an exposure to relationship uncertainty. By way of contrast, twinning practices since the 1990s are reported as being driven by a more managerial logic. The shift from the imaginary of ‘reconciliation’ to that of ‘integration’ comes along with a change in twinning practices, the distribution of responsibilities and the share of personal involvement and exposure.
Earth observations (EO) have successfully been used to train artificial intelligence (AI)-based models in the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR) contributing to tools such as disaster early warning systems. Given the number of in situ and remote (e.g., radiosonde/satellite) monitoring devices, there is a common perception that there are no limits to the availability of EO for immediate use in such AI-based models. However, a mere fraction of EO is actually being used in this way. This topical review draws on use cases, workshop presentations, literature, and consultation with experts from key institutes to explore reasons for this discrepancy. Specifically, it evaluates the types of EO needed to train AI-based models for DRR applications and identifies the main characteristics, possible challenges, and innovative solutions for EO. Finally, it suggests ways to make EO more user ready and to facilitate its uptake in AI for DRR and beyond.
Stigmatization of patients with skin diseases has only recently attracted more attention in research. However, both external stigmatization by society and self-stigmatization by the affected patients are widespread in patients with skin diseases. Many studies show that in this group of patients, the experience of both kinds of stigmatization is associated with psychosocial burden, such as social anxiety. This is often independent of the visibility of skin lesions. The psychosocial burden of affected individuals may lead to psychological comorbidities, such as depression or anxiety disorders, making it important to screen patients in dermatologic settings for the presence of these conditions. Interventions to reduce external and self-stigmatization have been developed, but more randomized controlled trials are needed to test the effects of such interventions.
Institution pages aggregate content on ResearchGate related to an institution. The members listed on this page have self-identified as being affiliated with this institution. Publications listed on this page were identified by our algorithms as relating to this institution. This page was not created or approved by the institution. If you represent an institution and have questions about these pages or wish to report inaccurate content, you can contact us here.
8,924 members
Nicole Graulich
  • Institute of Chemistry Education
Goethestraße 58, D-35390 Giessen, Gießen, Hesse, Germany
Head of institution
Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee,
+49(0)641 99 0