The environment topography alters the transition from single-cell populations to multicellular structures in Myxococcus xanthus
Karla C. Hernández Ramos, Edna Rodríguez-Sánchez, Juan Antonio Arias del Angel, Alejandro V. Arzola, Mariana Benítez, Ana E. Escalante, Alessio Franci, Giovanni Volpe, Natsuko Rivera-Yoshida
Sci. Adv. 7(35), eabh2278 (2021)
The social soil-dwelling bacteria Myxococcus xanthus can form multicellular structures, known as fruiting bodies. Experiments in homogeneous environments have shown that this process is affected by the physico-chemical properties of the substrate, but they have largely neglected the role of complex topographies. We experimentally demonstrate that the topography alters single-cell motility and multicellular organization in M. xanthus. In topographies realized by randomly placing silica particles over agar plates, we observe that the cells’ interaction with particles drastically modifies the dynamics of cellular aggregation, leading to changes in the number, size and shape of the fruiting bodies, and even to arresting their formation in certain conditions. We further explore this type of cell-particle interaction in a minimal computational model. These results provide fundamental insights into how the environment topography influences the emergence of complex multicellular structures from single cells, which is a fundamental problem of biological, ecological and medical relevance.
The Cognitive Connectome in Healthy Aging
Eloy Garcia-Cabello, Lissett Gonzalez-Burgos, Joana B. Pereira, Juan Andres Hernández-Cabrera, Eric Westman, Giovanni Volpe, José Barroso, & Daniel Ferreira
Front. Aging Neurosci. 13, 530 (2021)
Objectives: Cognitive aging has been extensively investigated using both univariate and multivariate analyses. Sophisticated multivariate approaches such as graph theory could potentially capture unknown complex associations between multiple cognitive variables. The aim of this study was to assess whether cognition is organized into a structure that could be called the “cognitive connectome,” and whether such connectome differs between age groups.
Methods: A total of 334 cognitively unimpaired individuals were stratified into early-middle-age (37–50 years, n = 110), late-middle-age (51–64 years, n = 106), and elderly (65–78 years, n = 118) groups. We built cognitive networks from 47 cognitive variables for each age group using graph theory and compared the groups using different global and nodal graph measures.
Results: We identified a cognitive connectome characterized by five modules: verbal memory, visual memory—visuospatial abilities, procedural memory, executive—premotor functions, and processing speed. The elderly group showed reduced transitivity and average strength as well as increased global efficiency compared with the early-middle-age group. The late-middle-age group showed reduced global and local efficiency and modularity compared with the early-middle-age group. Nodal analyses showed the important role of executive functions and processing speed in explaining the differences between age groups.
Conclusions: We identified a cognitive connectome that is rather stable during aging in cognitively healthy individuals, with the observed differences highlighting the important role of executive functions and processing speed. We translated the connectome concept from the neuroimaging field to cognitive data, demonstrating its potential to advance our understanding of the complexity of cognitive aging.
Enhanced prediction of atrial fibrillation and mortality among patients with congenital heart disease using nationwide register based medical hospital data and neural networks
Kok Wai Giang, Saga Helgadottir, Mikael Dellborg, Giovanni Volpe, Zacharias Mandalenakis
European Heart Journal – Digital Health (2021)
Aims: To improve short-and long-term predictions of mortality and atrial fibrillation (AF) among patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) from a nationwide population using neural networks (NN).
Methods and results: The Swedish National Patient Register and the Cause of Death Register were used to identify all patients with CHD born from 1970 to 2017. A total of 71 941 CHD patients were identified and followed-up from birth until the event or end of study in 2017. Based on data from a nationwide population, a NN model was obtained to predict mortality and AF. Logistic regression (LR) based on the same data was used as a baseline comparison. Of 71 941 CHD patients, a total of 5768 died (8.02%) and 995 (1.38%) developed AF over time with a mean follow-up time of 16.47 years (standard deviation 12.73 years). The performance of NN models in predicting the mortality and AF was higher than the performance of LR regardless of the complexity of the disease, with an average area under the receiver operating characteristic of >0.80 and >0.70, respectively. The largest differences were observed in mortality and complexity of CHD over time.
Conclusion: We found that NN can be used to predict mortality and AF on a nationwide scale using data that are easily obtainable by clinicians. In addition, NN showed a high performance overall and, in most cases, with better performance for prediction as compared with more traditional regression methods.