# Nicolaus Copernicus University

• Toruń, Poland
Recent publications
This letter draws attention to recent work supporting the notion that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may use the nervus terminalis rather than the olfactory nerve as a shortcut route from the nasal cavity to infect the brain.
Background Sarcoidosis is a multi-system disease characterized by the formation of non-caseating granulomas in various organs. The lungs remain the most frequently affected organ, whereas lesions in the genitourinary system affect around 0.2% of patients. The primary site found in the spermatic cord is extremely rare. Case presentation We present a patient’s case where the spermatic cord involvement was the first manifestation of sarcoidosis. For several months, a number of tests had been performed, which showed, among others, non-caseating granulomas in pathomorphological material, bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy, and leukopenia with lymphopenia. Tumor markers were normal. Infection with urogenital pathogens (including Chlamydia Trachomatis , Neisseria gonorrhea, Mycoplasma hominis ) was excluded. The patient did not report any general symptoms such as fever, excessive fatigue, weight loss. He denied swelling, shortness of breath. At the same time, a complete differential diagnosis was carried out, and the extent of the disease was assessed. Due to interdisciplinary management, the patient’s quality of life and fertility is preserved. In the discussion, we present the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of such patients. Conclusion Sarcoidosis is a multi-system disease, which should not be omitted in the differential diagnosis. Selective excision of the lesion with intraoperative examination plays a significant role while establishing a diagnosis. However, in the primary site in the genitourinary system, the diagnosis is challenging.
Enzyme-assisted extraction of plant material is widely used method for isolation of biologically active compounds. Changes in the structure of the plant material occuring during enzymatic hydrolysis and their consequences for the extraction process of biological active compounds as well functional aspects of the quality of the obtained extracts are usually not considered. Therefore, the aim of the study was to correlate the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis of plant material prepared for extraction with quality of obtained extracts. Optical and transmission electron microscopy analysis showed that enzymes efficiently penetrate inside the plant fragments of tissue. MALDI-TOF-MS spectra of released compounds showed that pectinase is especially efficient in obtaining high quality extract with a low content of interfering compounds. This extract was characterized by a particularly high content of phenolic acids, flavonoids and medicagenic acid at the same time, thanks to which it has a high utility value. FTIR analysis of plant fragments allowed to assign characteristic bands for the material undergoing hydrolysis, therefore it can be successfully used in the future to quickly and inexpensively control the progress of the enzymatic reaction.
We show a linking-type result which allows us to study strongly indefinite problems with sign-changing nonlinearities. We apply the abstract theory to the singular Schrödinger equation -Δu+V(x)u+ar2u=f(u)-λg(u),x=(y,z)∈RK×RN-K,r=|y|,\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}\begin{aligned} -\Delta u + V(x)u + \frac{a}{r^2} u = f(u) - \lambda g(u), \quad x = (y,z) \in {\mathbb {R}}^K \times {\mathbb {R}}^{N-K}, \ r = |y|, \end{aligned}\end{document}where 0∉σ-Δ+ar2+V(x).\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}\begin{aligned} 0 \not \in \sigma \left( -\Delta + \frac{a}{r^2} + V(x) \right) . \end{aligned}\end{document}As a consequence we obtain also the existence of solutions to the nonlinear curl-curl problem.
Remains of the steppe bison Bison priscus Bojanus, 1827 from the Upper Pleistocene layers of Biśnik Cave were morphometrically analysed and compared to those from other localities in Eurasia. The remains occurred in accumulations with archaeological artefacts. They bore traces of gnawing by carnivores. Morphometric analyses of the skull and post-cranial skeleton point to the small form of bison. The skull belonged to a small male while the bones of post-cranial skeleton indicate the occurrence of both males and females. Here we present all available and newly obtained calibrated ¹⁴C dates of the bison remains from this site, supplemented with new data for five specimens from Biśnik Cave, thus confirming the presence of the species during MIS 3 in Poland. The results are relevant to tracing the migration paths of the bison in the Upper Pleistocene during MIS 4-3.
The purpose of this study was to create "green" biocomposite consisting of natural components which will exhibit biocidal properties against microorganisms and would have positive effect on mechanical properties. The authors assumed that the application of natural plant compound will reduce the hydrophilicity of natural fibres. Polylactide (PLA) biocomposites containing flax (Linum usitatissimum) fibres (20 wt%) were prepared by extrusion and injection molding processes. The samples containing fibres modified with the tannic acid (TA) used as biocidal and crosslinking agent as well as the control samples (with non-modified fibres) were prepared. The TA-treatment effects on the mechanical and structural properties of the biocomposites were studied using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and tensile tests, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetry (TG). The flax fibres and biocomposites were examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM): the analysis of samples fractures was performed in order to evaluate the influence of TA modification on interfacial adhesion properties. We investigated the biocidal and wettability properties of the materials. Application of the TA-modified fibres led to the deterioration of mechanical properties. TA decreased interphase adhesion and led to plasticization of PLA phase in the biocomposite. The migration of TA into PLA matrix caused its volume plasticization which lowered stiffness of the biocomposites with modified fibres. According to the thermal studies, the higher degradation temperature (Td = 352.72 ºC) of materials containing modified fibres has been noted. Moreover, the hydrophobic (Θw = 91.82) and biocidal (against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus) properties of the TA-treated biocomposites have been observed. The modification of the biocomposites plant reinforcements with a natural agent is an eco-friendly method that allows to change its properties in a safe way. However, it should be conducted with caution and consideration of the intended use of the finished material.
Lithium is one of the rare raw materials needed to produce high-capacity batteries. Electric cars, said to be the future of automobility, have already begun to replace oil and gasoline-powered cars. This paper analyzes price sensitivity of the world’s largest lithium producers in U.S. and China to the Brent crude oil price changes. Since there are no direct ways to invest in lithium commodity, investors might gain exposure to lithium prices thorough investments into lithium mining companies. We focus on the time-varying dependency between returns of lithium producers and Brent crude oil as well as the potential volatility spillover effect between lithium and oil. We find that returns of American lithium mining stocks are in general weakly correlated to the changes of oil prices, but they are still more strongly correlated than the returns of Chinese companies. The dynamics of correlations are similar within a market, but different across markets. The tail dependence is the strongest for the pairs of American and pair of Chinese companies, but no dependence is found for oil and lithium producers. From the portfolio management perspective oil and lithium stocks are good diversifiers, but as the correlations are time-varying such outcomes are temporary.
Urban agriculture is the collective name for a wide variety of farming activities that occur within a city’s boundaries or direct sphere of influence. A shared feature of urban agriculture types is that they are spatially limited,. Farming is generally not the primary function in the urban ecosystem; however, its spatial role should not be underestimated. Urban green spaces connected with urban agriculture are widely accepted as a nature-based solution for effectively addressing societal challenges related to urbanization. Competition for land between agricultural and urban land use is addressed mostly by regulatory command-and-control planning approaches. However, there is growing interest in the use of market-based instruments. Agricultural subsidies and legal protection against agricultural land conversion are primarily oriented towards rural areas, so the research regarding market-based instruments for agricultural land uses in cities is undeveloped. In Polish cities, urban agricultural areas comprise about 43.5 % of total urban area, and 7.8 % of individual farms in Poland are urban farms. The specific attitude towards ownership of land in Poland (a strong private-property ideology) influences (restricts) the implementation of market-based instruments. The article aims to present the potential for market-based instruments for urban agriculture and to identify barriers to the implementation of such solutions. The paper analyzes theoretical frameworks and practices for protecting agricultural land use through market-based instruments in Poland. We focus on two types of market-based instruments for ecosystem services of urban agriculture. The first encompasses the existing tools in Polish law and policy. We identified the following market-based instruments protecting urban agriculture: (1) charges and annual fees for excluding land from agricultural production, aimed at preventing agricultural land conversion in cities; and (2) land leasing charge of allotment gardens. We assess those instruments, their strengths and weaknesses and their effectiveness in protecting agricultural land use in cities. The second type are market-based instruments supporting urban agriculture cities that have potential for future implementation, We consider voluntary land readjustment and development agreement (currently very limited) to be the most promising and implementable. In this regard, we formulate de lege ferenda conclusions and recommendations.
Covalent triazine frameworks (CTFs) constitute an emerging class of high-performance materials due to their porosity and the possibility of structural control at the molecular or atomic level. However, the use of CTFs as electrodes in supercapacitors is hampered by their low electrical conductivity and a strong stacking effect between adjacent CTFs. Herein, two series of hybrid carbon nano-onion-based CTFs were designed and successfully synthesized using an ionothermal process at 700 °C. The CTF could undergo framework growth in two or four directions, which was related to the presence of a defined number of nitrile groups in the substrate. CTF counterparts without carbon nano-onions were also synthesized as reference materials. The hybrid materials exhibited excellent specific capacitances, with the highest value exceeding 495 F g-1. It should be emphasized that the specific capacitance value for hybrids was 1.5-2 times higher than that for the reference CTFs. In this study, we examined the factors responsible for such a large increase in electrochemical efficiency. This strategy has significantly expanded the scope and application of CTFs as high-performance electrode materials for electrochemical energy storage systems.
The design of two-photon absorbing azobenzene (AB) derivatives has received much attention; however, the two-photon absorption (2PA) properties of bis-conjugated azobenzene systems are relatively less explored. Here, we present the synthesis of six azobenzene derivatives and three bis-azobenzenes substituted (or not) at para position(s) with one or two amino group(s). Their linear and nonlinear absorption properties are studied experimentally and theoretically. The switching behavior and thermal stability of the Z-isomer are studied for unsubstituted mono- (1a, 2a) and bis-azobenzene (3a) compounds, showing that when the length of the π system increases, the half-life of the Z-isomer decreases. Moreover, along with the increase of π-conjugation, the photochromic characteristics are impaired and the photostationary state (PSS) related to E-Z photoisomerization is composed of 89% of the Z-isomer for 2a and 26% of the Z-isomer for 3a. Importantly, the 2PA cross-section increases almost five-fold on extending the π-conjugation (2a vs 3a) and by about one order of magnitude when comparing two systems: the unsubstituted π-electron one (2a, 3a) with D-π-D (2c, 3c). This work clarifies the contribution of π-conjugation and substituent effects to the linear and nonlinear optical properties of mono- and bis-azobenzene compounds based on the experimental and theoretical approaches.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare two techniques of irradiation of left-sided breast cancer patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery, three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy technique (3D-CRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), in terms of dose distribution in the planning target volume (PTV) and organs at risk (OARs). The second aim of the study was estimation of the projected risk of radiation-induced secondary cancer for both radiotherapy techniques. Materials and methods For 25 patients who underwent CT simulation in deep inspiration breath-hold (DIBH), three treatment plans were generated: one using a three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy technique and two using volumetric modulated arc therapy. First VMAT-DIBH geometry consisted of three partial arcs (ARC-DIBH 3A) and second consisted of four partial arcs (ARC-DIBH 4A). Cumulative dose–volume histograms (DVHs) were used to compare dose distributions within the PTV and OARs (heart, left anterior descending coronary artery [LAD], ipsilateral and contralateral lung [IL, CL], and contralateral breast [CB]). Normal tissue complication probabilities (NTCPs) and organ equivalent doses (OEDs) were calculated using the differential DVHs. Excess absolute risks (EARs) for second cancers were estimated using Schneider’s full mechanistic dose–response model. Results All plans fulfilled the criterium for PTV V95% ≥ 95%. The PTV coverage, homogeneity, and conformity indices were significantly better for VMAT-DIBH. VMAT showed a significantly increased mean dose and V5Gy for all OARs, but reduced LAD Dmax by 15 Gy. For IL, CL, and CB, the 3D-CRT DIBH method achieved the lowest values of EAR: 28.38 per 10,000 PYs, 2.55 per 10,000 PYs, and 4.48 per 10,000 PYs (p < 0.001), compared to 40.29 per 10,000 PYs, 15.62 per 10,000 PYs, and 23.44 per 10,000 PYs for ARC-DIBH 3A plans and 41.12 per 10,000 PYs, 15.59 per 10,000 PYs, and 22.73 per 10,000 PYs for ARC-DIBH 4A plans. Both techniques provided negligibly low NTCPs for all OARs. Conclusion The study shows that VMAT-DIBH provides better OAR sparing against high doses. However, the large low-dose-bath (≤ 5 Gy) is still a concern due to the fact that a larger volume of normal tissues exposed to lower doses may increase a radiation-induced risk of secondary cancer.
A considerable body of literature has documented the significance of fair treatment in terms of generating trust towards decision-makers across different institutional contexts. It has also been demonstrated that even young children are sensitive to procedural justice, and that experiences of both fairness and unfairness help shape young people’s wider attitudes towards authority. In this paper, we seek to extend these findings into the academic context. We use data from two separate studies of university students in Poland. In study 1 ( N = 315), using a survey to capture students’ actual experiences, we find that fair treatment was a stronger predictor of perceived legitimacy of university authorities than were fair outcomes. In study 2 ( N = 751), also using a survey of a nationally representative sample of university students, we demonstrate that this procedural effect is mediated by students’ identification with their university, and that trust in academic authorities translates into higher levels of engagement and lower levels of burnout. Academic identification fully mediated the relationship between both procedural and distributive fairness and engagement and partly mediated the relationship between the two dimensions of fairness and burnout. We conclude that the experience of procedural fairness leads students to more strongly identify with their university and thereby enhances their trust in university authorities.
Mixed‐halide mixed‐cation hybrid perovskites are among the most promising perovskite compositions for application in a variety of optoelectronic devices due to their high performance, low cost, and bandgap tuning capabilities. Instability pathways such as those driven by ionic migration however continue to hinder their further progress. Here, we use an operando variable‐pitch synchrotron Grazing‐Incidence Wide‐Angle X‐ray Scattering technique to track the surface and bulk structural changes in mixed‐halide mixed‐cation perovskite solar cells under continuous load and illumination. By monitoring the evolution of the material structure, we demonstrate that halide remixing along the electric field and illumination direction during operation hinders phase segregation and limits device instability. Correlating the evolution with directionality‐ and depth‐dependent analyses, we propose that this halide remixing is induced by an electrostrictive effect acting along the substrate out‐of‐plane direction. However, this stabilizing effect is overwhelmed by competing halide demixing processes in devices exposed to humid air or with poorer starting performance. Our findings shed new light on understanding halide de‐ and re‐mixing competitions and their impact on device longevity. These operando techniques allow real‐time tracking of the structural evolution in full optoelectronic devices and unveil otherwise inaccessible insights into rapid structural evolution under external stress conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Pseudowords allow researchers to investigate multiple grammatical or syntactic aspects of language processing. In order to serve that purpose, pseudoword stimuli need to preserve certain properties of real language. We provide a Python-based pipeline for the generation of pseudoword stimuli that sound/read naturally in a given language. The pseudowords are designed to resemble real words and clearly indicate their grammatical class for languages that use specific suffixes from parts of speech. We also provide two sets of pseudonouns and pseudoverbs in Polish that are outcomes of the applied pipeline. The sets are equipped with psycholinguistically relevant properties of words, such as orthographic Levenshtein distance 20. We also performed two studies (overall N = 640) to test the validity of the algorithmically constructed stimuli in a human sample. Thus, we present stimuli that were deprived of direct meaning yet are clearly classifiable as grammatical categories while being orthographically and phonologically plausible.
The enigmatic larvae of the Old World genus Passeromyia Rodhain & Villeneuve, 1915 (Diptera: Muscidae) inhabit the nests of birds as saprophages or as haemato-phagous agents of myiasis among nestlings. Using light microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, we provide the first morphological descriptions of the first, second and third instar of P. longicornis (Macquart, 1851) (Diptera: Muscidae), the first and third instar of P. indecora (Walker, 1858) (Diptera: Muscidae), and we revise the larval morphology of P. heterochaeta (Villenueve, 1915) (Diptera: Muscidae) and P. steini Pont, 1970 (Diptera: Muscidae). We provide a key to the third instar of examined species (excluding P. steini and P. veitchi Bezzi, 1928 (Diptera: Muscidae)). Examination of the cephaloskeleton revealed paired rod-like sclerites, named 'rami', between the lateral arms of the intermediate sclerite in the second and third instar larva. We reveal parastomal bars fused apically with the intermediate sclerite, the absence of which has so far been considered as apomorphic for second and third instar muscid larvae. Examination of additional material suggests that modified parastomal bars are not exclusive features of Passero-myia but occur widespread in the Muscidae, and rami may occur widespread in the Cyclorrhapha.
Hydroa vacciniforme-like lymphoproliferative disorder (HV-LPD) is a cutaneous form of chronic active Epstein-Barrvirus (EBV) infection, which can develop into the extremely rare systemic lymphoma. Patients with Inborn errors of immunity (IEI), such as common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), are at higher risk of developing a severe course of infections especially viral and malignancies than the general population. The aim of the study was to present complex diagnostic and therapeutic management of HV-LPD. The clinical diagnosis was confirmed at the histological and molecular level with next generation sequencing. HV-LPD was diagnosed in a patient with CVID and chronic active Epstein–Barr virus (CAEBV) infection. The patient was refractory to CHOP chemotherapy and immunosuppressive treatment in combination with antiviral drugs (prednisone, bortezomib, gancyclovir). The third-party donor EBV-specific cytotoxic T cells (EBV-CTL, tabelecleucel) were used, which stabilised the disease course. Finally, matched unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (MUD-HCT) was performed followed by another cycle of EBV-CTL.
Objective: Mind-COVID is a prospective cross-sectional study aimed to assess risk factors for anxiety and depression among pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study compares outcomes in middle-income economies and high-income economies. Methods: 7,102 pregnant women from 12 high-income economies and 9 middle-income economies were included. The web-based survey used two standardised instruments, GAD-7 and PHQ-9. Result: Pregnant women in high-income economies reported higher PHQ-9 (0.18 SD, p<<0.001) and GAD-7 (0.08 SD, p=0.005) scores than those living in middle-income economies. Multivariate regression analysis showed that increasing PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scales were associated with mental health problems during pregnancy and the need of psychiatric treatment before pregnancy. PHQ-9 was associated with feeling of burden related to restrictions in social distancing and access to leisure activities. GAD-7 scores were associated with a pregnancy-related complication, fear of adverse outcomes in children related to COVID-19 and feeling of burden related to finances. Conclusions: According to this study, the imposed public health measures and hospital restrictions have left pregnant women more vulnerable during these difficult times. Adequate partner and family support during pregnancy and childbirth can be one of the most important protective factors against anxiety and depression, regardless of national economic status.
Amyloid transthyretin cardiomyopathy is a progressive disease that confers significant mortality. While it is relatively rare, the frequency of diagnoses has risen with the increased contribution of novel diagnostic approach over the last decade. Traditionally tissue biopsy was considered to be a gold standard for amyloidosis diagnosis. However, there are significant limitations in the wide application of this approach. A noninvasive imaging-based diagnostic algorithm has been substantially developed in recent years. Establishing radionuclide imaging standards may translate into a further enhancement of disease detection and improving prognosis in the group of patients. Therefore we present in the following document current evidence on the scintigraphic diagnosis of cardiac transthyretin amyloidosis. Moreover, we present standardized protocol for the acquisition and interpretation criteria in the scintigraphic evaluation of cardiac amyloidosis.
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• Department of Ecology and Biogeography
• Department of Animal Physiology and Neurobiology
• Department of Pharmacodynamics and Molecular Pharmacology
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