University of Vienna
  • Vienna, Austria, Austria
Recent publications
The oceanic waters below a depth of 200 m represent, in terms of volume, the largest habitat of the biosphere, harboring approximately 70% of the prokaryotic biomass in the oceanic water column. These waters are characterized by low temperature, increasing hydrostatic pressure, and decreasing organic matter supply with depth. Recent methodological advances in microbial oceanography have refined our view of the ecology of prokaryotes in the dark ocean. Here, we review the ecology of prokaryotes of the dark ocean, present data on the biomass distribution and heterotrophic and chemolithoautotrophic prokaryotic production in the major oceanic basins, and highlight the phylogenetic and functional diversity of this part of the ocean. We describe the connectivity of surface and deep-water prokaryotes and the molecular adaptations of piezophilic prokaryotes to high hydrostatic pressure. We also highlight knowledge gaps in the ecology of the dark ocean's prokaryotes and their role in the biogeochemical cycles in the largest habitat of the biosphere. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Marine Science, Volume 15 is January 2023. Please see for revised estimates.
Time plays an integral role in understanding International Business (IB) phenomena, and so does qualitative inquiry. Despite this, time has received little attention in qualitative IB research. To rectify this, we engage in a qualitative content analysis of qualitative articles published from 1999 until 2020 in the Journal of World Business, Journal of International Business Studies, as well as the Academy of Management Journal, and Journal of Management Studies. Our findings suggest four temporal theorizing styles, namely temporal variation, temporal accumulation, temporal evolution, and temporal story. We add further granularity by distinguishing for each how time (i.e., snapshots, incremental, evolutionary, discursive), and context (detached context, descriptive context, contextual specificity, intertwined context), generate different theorizing outputs (variation, staged process, evolutionary process, (process) story). Our paper contributes by offering researchers a rich vocabulary and conceptual building blocks to engage with different temporal theorizing styles in qualitative IB research.
An analysis of the structure of the reinforced concrete ballastless bridge decks BBD of metal railway bridges has been carried out. The traditional element of the interconnection of BBD slabs with steel bridge trusses is a rubber-wooden fabric layer, which has the advantage of being simple and technologically advanced. However, it has low durability, and due to biological deterioration of the wood and the loss of its physical and mechanical properties, can quickly lead to the failure of the track. The research on the development of a new long-life, high-strength composite material and its structural and technological solution for the cushioning layer for the BBD has been carried out. As a result of the analysis of the loading and deformation state of the concrete slab BBD and considering the technology of laying the material has established that the strength of the material of the cushioning layer at the age of 2 days should be at least 5 MPa, the deformation module must be at least 10000 MPa. As a result of theoretical studies, the composition was proposed for a cushioning layer of the cement-sand mixture of 1:1.5 with complex chemical additives and a non-woven material of the volumetric structure of polyester fibres. The experimental investigations have shown that the relation between stiffness and deformation modulus of the composition on the fibrous material content is extremal, and their maximum values provided for the input of fibrous material 0,04–0,045 of the amount of cement-sandy mixture.
A billiard is the trajectory of a mass point in a domain with ideal physical reflections in the boundary e. If e is an ellipse, then the billiard’s sides are tangents of a confocal conic called caustic c. The variation of billiards in e with caustic c is called billiard motion. We recall and extend a classical result of Poncelet on the diagonals of billiards which envelope motion-invariant conics. Each billiard in e with caustic c is the flat pose of a Henrici framework. Its spatial poses define focal billiards in an ellipsoid with a fixed focal conic c. We prove that for even j the j-th diagonals are located on a motion-invariant one-sheeted hyperboloid.
The possibilities of unfiltered communication in social media provide the perfect opportunity structure for spreading populist ideas. Generally, populist communication features an antagonistic worldview that blames elites for betraying the people and promises to reverse a ‘downward societal trend’ by bringing the people's ‘real’ interests back into politics. Although populist success is often attributed to crisis-induced dissatisfaction, research remains unclear on whether and how political actors foster such negative societal perceptions. Building on the German case, our paper accomplishes two things: It explores the use of populist social media communication and relates it to the exploitation of crisis-related messages among political parties. Conducting a manual content analysis of 3,500 Facebook posts by German parties and leading politicians, we find that the outsider parties AfD and the Left use and combine populist and crisis-related messages by far the most. Insider parties also spread crisis-related content to some extent. However, like the government parties, they are very reluctant to communicate in a populist way. By explaining the communicative output with their relative position in the party system, we deepen the understanding of parties’ social media behaviour. Overall, this study offers more in-depth insights into how politicians influence perceptions of the societal state.
Background: Systemic oppression, particularly towards sexual minorities, continues to be deeply rooted in the bedrock of many societies globally. Experiences with minority stressors (e.g. discrimination, hate-crimes, internalized homonegativity, rejection sensitivity, and microaggressions or everyday indignities) have been consistently linked to adverse mental health outcomes. Elucidating the neural adaptations associated with minority stress exposure will be critical for furthering our understanding of how sexual minorities become disproportionately affected by mental health burdens. Methods: Following PRISMA-guidelines, we systematically reviewed published neuroimaging studies that compared neural dynamics among sexual minority and heterosexual populations, aggregating information pertaining to any measurement of minority stress and relevant clinical phenomena. Results: Only 1 of 13 studies eligible for inclusion examined minority stress directly, where all other studies focused on investigating the neurobiological basis of sexual orientation. In our narrative synthesis, we highlight important themes that suggest minority stress exposure may be associated with decreased activation and functional connectivity within the default-mode network (related to the sense-of-self and social cognition), and summarize preliminary evidence related to aberrant neural dynamics within the salience network (involved in threat detection and fear processing) and the central executive network (involved in executive functioning and emotion regulation). Importantly, this parallels neural adaptations commonly observed among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of trauma and supports the inclusion of insidious forms of trauma related to minority stress within models of PTSD. Conclusions: Taken together, minority stress may have several shared neuropsychological pathways with PTSD and stress-related disorders. Here, we outline a detailed research agenda that provides an overview of literature linking sexual minority stress to PTSD and insidious trauma, moral affect (including shame and guilt), and mental health risk/resiliency, in addition to racial, ethnic, and gender related minority stress. Finally, we propose a novel minority mosaic framework designed to inform future directions of minority stress neuroimaging research from an intersectional lens.
The internal ribosome entry site (IRES) RNA of bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), an economically significant Pestivirus, is required for the cap-independent translation of viral genomic RNA. Thus, it is essential for viral replication and pathogenesis. We applied a combination of high-throughput biochemical RNA structure probing (SHAPE-MaP) and in silico modelling approaches to gain insight into the secondary and tertiary structures of BVDV IRES RNA. Our study demonstrated that BVDV IRES RNA in solution forms a modular architecture composed of three distinct structural domains (I-III). Two regions within domain III are represented in tertiary interactions to form an H-type pseudoknot. Computational modelling of the pseudoknot motif provided a fine-grained picture of the tertiary structure and local arrangement of helices in the BVDV IRES. Furthermore, comparative genomics and consensus structure predictions revealed that the pseudoknot is evolutionarily conserved among many Pestivirus species. These studies provide detailed insight into the structural arrangement of BVDV IRES RNA H-type pseudoknot and encompassing motifs that likely contribute to the optimal functionality of viral cap-independent translation element.
Background: The complex system of stressors related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the global population, provoking a broad range of psychological reactions. Although numerous studies have investigated the mental health impact of COVID-19, qualitative research and cross-country comparisons are still rare. Objective: This qualitative study aimed to explore self-perceived challenges and opportunities related to COVID-19 across six European countries. The overall objective was to provide a differentiated picture of individual subjective experiences in the early stages of the pandemic. Method: The present study included 7309 participants from Austria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Poland, and Portugal. We performed qualitative content analysis according to Mayring analyse open-ended questions regarding stressful events, positive and negative aspects of the pandemic, and recommendations to cope with the pandemic situation. MAXQDA software was used for data management and analysis. Results: Participants' accounts were moderately consistent across the countries. The most prominent themes regarding stressful and negative pandemic aspects included: Restrictions and changes in daily life, Emotional distress, and Work and finances. Answers about positive pandemic consequences were mainly centred around the themes Reflection and growth, Opportunity for meaningful/enjoyable activities, and Benefits on interpersonal level. Key themes identified from participants' recommendations to cope with the pandemic included Beneficial behavioural adjustment, Beneficial cognitive-emotional strategies, and Social support. Conclusions: Participants experienced various challenges, but also shared several positive pandemic consequences and recommendations to cope with the pandemic. These first-hand data could inform mental health practices to promote well-being during COVID-19 and similar global challenges in the participating countries and possibly beyond. Highlights: We examined COVID-19-related experiences in 7309 adults from six European countries.Besides challenges, participants identified many positive pandemic consequences.Participants' recommendations to cope with COVID-19 included behavioural and cognitive-emotional strategies.
Background: Afghan refugees often face hardship and traumatic experiences before, during, and after migration and frequently suffer from mental health burdens. Evidence based psychological treatments for refugees mostly focus on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), however, refugees often suffer from a variety of general health problems as well as depression and anxiety. We thus aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a transdiagnostic psychological intervention. Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an adapted version of Problem Management Plus (aPM+) delivered by mental health professionals to adult Afghan refugees and asylum seekers. Methods: We randomly allocated 88 Afghan refugees either to aPM+ in addition to treatment as usual (aPM+/TAU) or TAU alone. APM+ comprises of six weekly 90-minute individual sessions including strategies of stress management, problem solving, behavioural activation, strengthening social support and either anger regulation or increasing self-efficacy. The primary outcome was general health (GHQ-28) post intervention. Secondary outcome measures included distress by PMLD, Complex PTSD symptoms, quality of life, self-identified problems, and integration. Results: Attrition was high: 42% of the randomized participants did not participate in the post-treatment assessment. A repeated measures per-protocol (completers only) ANCOVA evidenced a significant group × timepoint interaction for GHQ total scores [F(1, 47) = 14.80, p < .001, partial η2 = 0.24]. Post-hoc analyses showed significantly lower symptoms in the aPM+/TAU arm (n = 26) as compared to the TAU arm (n = 25) for the GHQ total scores (dz = 1.04). Most secondary outcomes significantly improved in the aPM+/TAU arm, but not in the TAU arm. Conclusion: APM+ was effective in reducing general health problems in Afghan refugees and might be considered as a first-line intervention. High drop-out rate limit the interpretations of our results, where future investigations should focus on possibilities to reduce these rates.Trial registration: Uniform Trial Number identifier: U1111-1226-3285. Highlights: Refugees' mental health can be strengthened with a brief psychological intervention that also focuses on skills in the context of post-migration stressors.High drop-out rates are a major challenge for future research and delivery of psychological interventions as part of health care systems to refugees and asylum seekers.
This work is an attempt to fill the academic gap that neglects the close reading of speeches of political leaders in non-democratic societies during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, this research focuses on the rhetoric of Hassan Rouhani, the former president of Iran, during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis. Using the two main rhetorical devices of identification and metaphor, this work analyzes all of Rouhani’s speeches from February 2, 2020, to April 27, 2020. In addition, all speeches by three most powerful clerics in Iran, namely Khamenei, Saeidi, and Alamolhoda, and a sample of tweets by Iranian users (1644 in total) were analyzed to understand the extent to which Rouhani’s rhetoric was successful. The results show that Rouhani articulated a populist discourse during the pandemic. In an attempt to break away from hegemonic discourse, he sought to identify his government, rather than the state, with the people to construct a discursive us. Nevertheless, his rhetoric did not go down well with Iranian Twitter users. This study also analyzes Rouhani’s deft juggling act to woo both the populace and the conservative power centers to satisfy them while trying to distance himself from the latter. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Background: While many elaborated treatment protocols focus on post-traumatic stress symptoms, a large number of refugees suffer from a range of mental health problems. Thus, brief and transdiagnostic psychological interventions may be helpful first interventions for help-seeking refugees and asylum seekers in a stepped-care approach. Critically, there is limited research on how transdiagnostic interventions are received in general practice in non-specialized mental healthcare settings in high-income countries, where often only mental health professionals (MHPs) are legally allowed to treat people with mental disorders. MHPs may thus deliver such interventions, but their perspective towards them has not yet been investigated. Objective: We aimed to investigate MHPs' perception of the usability of adapted Problem Management Plus (aPM+), a brief transdiagnostic psychological intervention for refugees, which we adapted to address distress caused by post-migration living difficulties (PMLDs). Method: Employing an e-learning tool, we introduced the aPM+ intervention to 59 MHPs and assessed their perspective towards the intervention. We then used an inductive approach to analyse their perspective towards the intervention with open-ended questions. Results: Altogether, 59 MHPs enrolled in the webinar and 29 provided feedback on the intervention. MHPs had a positive view on the intervention but emphasized the importance of situation-specific adaptations to the structure of the manual. The most favoured specific strategies were 'managing stress/slow-breathing', the 'tree of capabilities', and the 'riding the anger' exercise. The last two were additionally developed to reduce distress caused by PMLDs by either enhancing self-efficacy or reducing anger regulation difficulties. Conclusions: An adaptation to aPM+ regarding more flexibility of the manual may enhance the likelihood of MHPs implementing the intervention in their daily practice. Strategies addressing coping with PMLDs could be particularly helpful.Trial registration: German Clinical Trials Register identifier: DRKS00016538. Highlights: Mental health professionals had a positive view on a brief transdiagnostic psychological intervention for refugees but emphasized the importance of situation-specific adaptations to the structure of the manual.Low -intensity interventions may be useful not only in low- and middle-income countries but also in high-income countries as part of a stepped-care approach, even if distributed by MHPs instead of trained laypersons.
Emerging drug resistance is generating an urgent need for novel and effective antibiotics. A promising target that has not yet been addressed by approved antibiotics is the bacterial DNA gyrase subunit B (GyrB), and GyrB inhibitors could be effective against drug-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Here, we used the 4-hydroxy-2-quinolone fragment to search the Specs database of purchasable compounds for potential inhibitors of GyrB and identified AG-690/11765367, or f1, as a novel and potent inhibitor of the target protein (IC50: 1.21 µM). Structural modification was used to further identify two more potent GyrB inhibitors: f4 (IC50: 0.31 µM) and f14 (IC50: 0.28 µM). Additional experiments indicated that compound f1 is more potent than the others in terms of antibacterial activity against MRSA (MICs: 4–8 µg/mL), non-toxic to HUVEC and HepG2 (CC50: approximately 50 µM), and metabolically stable (t1/2: > 372.8 min for plasma; 24.5 min for liver microsomes). In summary, this study showed that the discovered N-quinazolinone-4-hydroxy-2-quinolone-3-carboxamides are novel GyrB-targeted antibacterial agents; compound f1 is promising for further development.
It is expected that diseases are likely to spread to newer areas, and high-income countries may experience some illnesses that may have been restricted to low or middle-income countries. In addition, following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the present study noted that climate change is likely to have many effects on the spatial and temporal distribution of malaria in many Sub-Saharan African countries. This study examines climate change effects on the geographical distribution of malaria occurrence and how extreme climatic events may perhaps be determining factors in the range of vectors for human diseases in SSA in the nearest future. Here, the study appraisals the symbiotic connection of (1) malaria transmission and association with the changes in temperature, rainfall, and humidity as well as their extremes in SSA and (2) the relationship between climate and malaria with the role of climate change in determining upsurge in malaria and meningitis occurrences in the SSA. The study concludes that major drivers of malaria occurrence are climatic elements such as precipitation and temperature. Therefore, we call for a better early Warning System on a proposed roadmap solution for Sub-Saharan Africa.
This study seeks to provide a critical overview of the existing evidence on extreme climate events and the adaptation options of the affected population in order to help scholars navigate the field. The study examined the recent extreme climate events that occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the climate change adaptation options mentioned in the literature, and the need for international technological transfer in SSA. 181 peer-reviewed publications were evaluated on the following topics: 1) the impacts of climate extremes in SSA; 2) the adaptation options discussed in the literature for the region; 3) the analysis of the needs and the gaps of the international technology transfer in SSA, and 4) the various impact areas of the technology transfer on the adaptive capacity in SSA. The major finding from this study is that the impacts of climate change have been observed in the region, with many extreme events leading to reductions in crop yield qualities and quantities, with much greater impacts on the smallholder farmers' livelihoods in SSA countries. Based on these findings climate change conceptual framework is proposed which summarises the observed impacts of climate change on agriculture and food systems in SSA countries. The study concluded that there are new adaptation options that SSA countries can adopt from developed countries, and that much greater agricultural technological transfer is needed to facilitate better adaptation to climate change in SSA.
Background: Regular, especially sustained exercise plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of multiple chronic diseases. Some of the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms behind the adaptive response to physical activity are still unclear, but recent findings suggest a possible role of epigenetic mechanisms, especially miRNAs, in the progression and management of exercise-related changes. Due to the combination of the analysis of epigenetic biomarkers (miRNAs), the intake of food and supplements, and genetic dispositions, a "fitness score" was evaluated to assess the individual response to nutrition, exercise, and metabolic influence. Methods: In response to a 12-week sports intervention, we analyzed genetic and epigenetic biomarkers in capillary blood from 61 sedentary, healthy participants (66.1% females, 33.9% males, mean age 33 years), including Line-1 methylation, three SNPs, and ten miRNAs using HRM and qPCR analysis. These biomarkers were also analyzed in a healthy, age- and sex-matched control group (n, 20) without intervention. Food frequency intake, including dietary supplement intake, and general health questionnaires were surveyed under the supervision of trained staff. Results: Exercise training decreased the expression of miR-20a-5p, -22-5p, and -505-3p (p < 0.02) and improved the "fitness score," which estimates eight different lifestyle factors to assess, nutrition, inflammation, cardiovascular fitness, injury risk, regeneration, muscle and hydration status, as well as stress level. In addition, we were able to determine correlations between individual miRNAs, miR-20a-5p, -22-5p, and -101-3p (p < 0.04), and the genetic predisposition for endurance and/or strength and obesity risk (ACE, ACTN3, and FTO), as well as between miRNAs and the body composition (p < 0.05). MiR-19b-3p and -101-3p correlated with the intake of B vitamins. Further, miR-19b-3p correlated with magnesium and miR-378a-3p with iron intake (p < 0.05). Conclusions: In summary, our results indicate that a combined analysis of several biomarkers (miRNAs) can provide information about an individual's training adaptions/fitness, body composition, nutritional needs, and possible recovery. In contrast to most studies using muscle biopsies, we were able to show that these biomarkers can also be measured using a minimally invasive method.
Morphological traits, such as white patches, floppy ears and curly tails, are ubiquitous in domestic animals and are referred to as the 'domestication syndrome'. A commonly discussed hypothesis that has the potential to provide a unifying explanation for these traits is the 'neural crest/domestication syndrome hypothesis'. Although this hypothesis has the potential to explain most traits of the domestication syndrome, it only has an indirect connection to the reduction of brain size, which is a typical trait of domestic animals. We discuss how the expensive-tissue hypothesis might help explain brain-size reduction in domestication.
The growing world population, rapid industrialization, and intensive agriculture have increased environmental impacts such as wastewater discharge and global warming. These threats coupled the deficiency of fossil fuel and the rise in crude oil prices globally cause serious social, environmental and economic problems. Microalgae strains can withstand the harsh environments of modern industrial and municipal wastes. The shift toward a circular bio-economy that relies on resource diversification has also prompted the reorganization of traditional wastewater treatment (WWT) processes into a low-carbon, integrated biorefinery model that can accommodate multiple waste streams. Therefore, microalgae-based WWT is now a serious competitor to conventional WWT since the major bottlenecks of nutrient assimilation and high microalgae population have been partially mitigated. This review paper aims to collate advances and new knowledge emerged in recent years for microalgae-based WWT and related biofuel technologies.
The response time concealed information test (RT-CIT) can reveal that a person recognizes a relevant item (probe) among other, irrelevant items, based on slower responding to the probe compared to the irrelevant items. Thereby, if this person is concealing knowledge about the relevance of this item (e.g., recognizing it as a murder weapon), this deception can be unveiled. In the present paper, we examined the impact of a speed versus accuracy instruction: Examinees ( N = 235) were either presented with instructions emphasizing a focus on speed, with instructions emphasizing a focus on accuracy, or with no particular speed or accuracy instructions at all. We found that although participants responded to the probe and the irrelevants marginally faster when they had received instructions emphasizing speed, there was no significant difference between RTs of the different experimental groups and crucially no significant difference between the probe–irrelevant RT differences either. This means that such instructions are unlikely to benefit the RT-CIT, but it also suggests that related deliberate manipulation (focusing on speed on or accuracy) is unlikely to decrease the efficiency of the RT-CIT—contributing further evidence to the RT-CIT’s resistance to faking.
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20,736 members
Roberto Cerbino
  • Fakultät für Physik
Toma Susi
  • Physics of Nanostructured Materials Group
Thomas Böttcher
  • Faculty of Chemistry Department of Biological Chemistry & Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science Division of Microbial Ecology
Universitätsring 1, 1010, Vienna, Austria, Austria
Head of institution
Heinz W. Engl