Human to Human Interactions

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Analysis of Complex Human Interactions in Unconstrained Videos

Analysis of Complex Human Interactions in Unconstrained Videos

The UT dataset is designed for recognizing high-level two-person interactions from surveillance cameras. The videos in this dataset are further divided into two subsets, where videos in SET 1 are taken on a parking area with almost static background and little camera jitters, while videos in SET 2 are taken on a lawn in a windy day with moving background and more camera jitters. In SET 1, only a pair of people interacts, while SET 2 is more challenging due to multiple people moving in the scenes and background clutters. This dataset consists of 5 different types of human interactions, namely, handshake, punch, push, kick, and hug, each of which contains 10 sample videos in each subset. Moreover, the videos are recorded under a constrained condition with fixed camera viewpoint, moderate people scale, and staged interactions. We validate our approach on this dataset using dense trajectories and set the threshold T =1 (which has already proved to be a better strategy on the TVHI dataset). We compare our approach with the STIP-based approach and the structural learning methods proposed in [58]. The results are presented in Table 29 and 30, respectively.
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Interrogating reciprocal gaze: the animal and human in contemporary art

Interrogating reciprocal gaze: the animal and human in contemporary art

The question is, then, what particular ethical theory/theories or set of principles from the number of traditions and theories of ethics, or the morass of ethics, as Singer (1981) phrases it, are relevant to the intersection (see Figure 5.1.1). This necessitates a broad overview of the theoretical terrain in ethics. According to Hinman (2002), the basic moral orientations are: divine command theories (do what the Bible, Koran or other sacred texts set out – source: the Bible, Koran and other religious or sacred texts); the ethics of conscience (follow your conscience and inner voice – source: often religious); ethical egoism (watch out for self only – source: Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679); ethics of duty (do the right thing – source: Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804); ethics of respect (human interactions are governed by respect for others – source: Immanuel Kant); ethics of rights (humans have unalienable rights – source: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; United States Bill of Rights); utilitarianism (consider the consequences for all – sources: Jeremy Bentham, 1748-1832; John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873; William Godwin, 1756-1836; Henry Sidgwick, 1838-1900); ethics of justice (what is fair for one should be fair for all – source: John Rawls (1999); and virtue ethics (virtue ethics are to be a good person and develop good character – source: Aristotle, 384-322 BC; Plato, ca.427-ca.327; Jesuit tradition).
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The role of olfaction in human social interactions

The role of olfaction in human social interactions

Androstenol, androstenone and androstadienone make up some of the androgen-derived steroids that have been found in human axillary secretions. Little is certain of their effects, specificity, or abundance within human interactions despite much research on each compound individually. Originally found to occur as a sex pheromone in male boars, androstenone was reported to elicit the lordosis posture in sows (Ahmad and Gower, 1968; Brophy and Gower, 1972; Signoret and du Mesnil du Buisson, 1961b). It was surprising then, to discover this compound, and others like it, in humans. Since their identification in human axillary odour some 30 years ago, the role of the 16- androstenes in human interactions remains inconclusive and there is continued reluctance to define them as ‘pheromones’. Possible causes for this uncertainty are addressed throughout this thesis, particularly in Section One. For now, it seems worthwhile to introduce these compounds by describing their unique properties, highlighting certain aspects in their expression, detection and influence that have captured and sustained the interest of researchers over the years.
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Towards a Dialogue between Pierre Bourdieu’s ‘Critical Sociology’ and Luc Boltanski’s ‘Pragmatic Sociology of Critique’

Towards a Dialogue between Pierre Bourdieu’s ‘Critical Sociology’ and Luc Boltanski’s ‘Pragmatic Sociology of Critique’

A sixth point of convergence between ‘critical sociology’ and the ‘pragmatic sociology of critique’ emanates from the presupposition that all human interactions are embedded in a ‘structural background’ or, if one prefers, situated in a ‘social grammar’. Consequently, these two accounts may be characterized as contextualist, rather than as transcendentalist, approaches. Highlighting the sociological importance of the fact that there is no human interaction – that is, in effect, no human action – which escapes the power of the historical background permeating the spatio-temporal context in which it has emerged, both frameworks tend to examine the functioning of the social world in terms of its grammatical structuration. The increasing complexification of differentiated societies is illustrated in the pluralization of interactional grammars. In this regard, it is possible to focus on different levels of analysis: the individual or the collective, community or society, ephemeral or durable circumstances, spontaneous or ritualized interactions, formal or informal situations, official or unofficial spaces, codified or improvised behaviours – to mention only the most obvious domains of contextualist investigation in sociology. Irrespective of the specificity of a chosen exploratory focus, it is important to acknowledge that all human actions are embedded in particular grammars that impose – largely in implicit and subtle, but sometimes also in explicit and overt, ways – their logic upon the unfolding of social life. Regardless of whether we consider a ‘field’ (champ) – in the Bourdieusian sense – or a ‘city’ (cité) – in the Boltanskian sense – as the foundational background setting of a given social action, or of a given set of social actions, we need to account for the fact that, in the human universe, there is no ‘doing’ without ‘framing’ – to borrow an insight from Goffman. 24 Bourdieu and Boltanski converge in that both insist
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Intertemporal Model of Co Existence of Two Rival Species: A Case of Vampires and Humans Co Habitation

Intertemporal Model of Co Existence of Two Rival Species: A Case of Vampires and Humans Co Habitation

it be possible for vampires to peacefully co-exist with humans? Starting from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, the theme of vampirism has been widely exploited by many authors: Stephen King, Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer, Elizabeth Kostova or Charlaine Harris, just to name a few. In addition to that, vampires often appear in comic books and films and TV series based on these books (e.g. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). We reviewed some of the popular literature sources, comic books, and films on vampires and identified four types of scenarios describe- ing vampire-human interactions. These scenarios were used to draw models of vampire-human confrontation using the predator-prey model specified above.
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Computational Models for Analyzing Affective Behaviors and Personality from Speech and Text

Computational Models for Analyzing Affective Behaviors and Personality from Speech and Text

Automatic analysis and summarization of affective behavior and personality from human-human interactions are becoming a central theme in many research areas including computer and social sciences and psychology. Affective behavior are defined as short-term states, which are very brief in duration, arise in response to an event or situation that are relevant and change rapidly over time. They include empathy, anger, frustration, satisfac- tion, and dissatisfaction. Personality is defined as individual’s longer-term characteristics that are stable over time and that describe individual’s true nature. The stable personal- ity traits have been captured in psychology by the Big-5 model that includes the following traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Tradi- tional approaches towards measuring behavioral information and personality use either observer- or self- assessed questionnaires. Observers usually monitor the overt signals and label interactional scenarios, whereas self-assessors evaluate what they perceive from the interactional scenarios. Using this measured behavioral and personality information, a typical descriptive summary is designed to improve domain experts’ decision-making processes. However, such a manual approach is time-consuming and expensive. Thus it motivated us to the design of automated computational models. Moreover, the motiva- tion of studying affective behavior and personality is to design a behavioral profile of an individual, from which one can understand/predict how an individual interprets or values a situation. Therefore, the aim of the work presented in this dissertation is to design au- tomated computational models for analyzing affective behavior such as empathy, anger, frustration, satisfaction, and dissatisfaction and Big-5 personality traits using behavioral signals that are expressed in conversational interactions.
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Spectroscopic approach of protein  androgen complexes: study of  Testosterone interactions with human serum albumin "hsa"

Spectroscopic approach of protein androgen complexes: study of Testosterone interactions with human serum albumin "hsa"

The chemical structure of testosterone is as shown in Figure (1) It is classified as Δ4 steroid as the saturation site) is located at 4-5 position. Testosterone chemical structure lacks the 2-carbon side-chain attached to the 17 position existed in the cholesterol structure, carbon steroid, also the side-chain has been hydroxyl (Brandt 1999). Human serum albumin HSA is an abundant plasma protein that binds a wide variety of hydrophobic ligands including fatty acids, bilirubin, thyroxine and hemin and also drugs (Carter et al., 1989; Abu . The most important physiological role for the protein is to bring such solutes into blood stream and then deliver them to the target organs, as well as to maintain the PH and osmotic pressure of plasma (Norman et al., 2004). HSA concentration in human plasma is 40 mg/ml (Tushar et al., The molecular interactions between HSA and some compounds have been investigated successfully (Gudrun et al., Ji-Sook et al., 2006; Abu et al., . It has recently been proved that
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In-Solution Virus Capture Assay Helps Deconstruct Heterogeneous Antibody Recognition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1

In-Solution Virus Capture Assay Helps Deconstruct Heterogeneous Antibody Recognition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1

In-solution VCA significantly reduces apparent Env-inde- pendent capture of virion particles. MAbs 4E10 and, to a lesser extent, 2F5 have been reported to have weak reactivity to certain lipids (31, 73), whereas 2G12 has been shown to bind 293T cells under conditions of hypermannosylation (47, 75), and D5 reportedly binds to its epitope on gp41 via mostly hydrophobic interactions (48). A multivalent, clustered display of immobilized capture MAbs interacting with concentrated virions could cause avidity effects that amplify these weak in- teractions and allow Env-independent virus capture. We pos- tulated that avidity effects and apparent Env-independent binding would be reduced by allowing MAbs to bind virus in solution at MAb concentrations near the affinity constant (Kd) and then removing the unbound MAb. Thus, capture MAbs and virions were first coincubated in solution, and the virus pelleted to remove unbound MAb. Resuspended virus-Ab complexes were transferred to microtiter wells coated with anti-Fc. Using this in-solution VCA, capture of Env( ⫺ ) HIV-1 by anti-HIV-1 MAbs was virtually eliminated (Fig. 1C), even when MAbs were added at a very high concentration (200 ␮ g/ml) to virus that was concentrated 100-fold (Fig. 2). A very low level of Env-independent capture was observed with 4E10 and 2G12 at these extreme concentrations. However, MAbs 4E10 and 2G12 did not inhibit self-capture of Env( ⫺ ) virions using biotinylated counterpart MAbs, even at extremely high concentrations of unlabeled MAb (8 ␮ M; Fig. 3). We conclude that the capture of Env( ⫺ ) virions in the above-described cases FIG. 1. Env-deficient virus particles are captured by Ab using the classical (immobilized) VCA but not using an in-solution VCA. A panel of MAbs was used to capture HIV-1 virion particles that were pseudotyped with either cleavage-competent HIV-1 JR-FL gp160 plus VSV-G [Env( ⫹ )]
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Chronic pre treatment with memantine prevents amyloid beta protein mediated long term potentiation disruption

Chronic pre treatment with memantine prevents amyloid beta protein mediated long term potentiation disruption

Of course, our approach is nevertheless potentially biased by the fact that we assess orthology and not interaction directly. Thus, we are in fact setting an upper bound on the number of interactions present at older nodes in the tree. One might wonder why one would bother to use orthology data to study this type of network at all. The basic reason is that all known protein interaction networks appear to be very sparely sampled [42,43]. Thus, estimating interaction evolution rates even between human and mouse (the only other mammal with extensive PPI sampling) will be very difficult. Worse, the PPIs known from human and mouse are not independent, potentially introducing a bias. In the future, it may be possible to computationally predict the possibility of an interaction across multiple genomes [43], but even such an approach needs to be validated with evidence for the actions of selection to maintain those interactions. Likewise, the work of Qian and coauthors very elegantly estimates interaction evolution rates, but does not evaluate the network as a whole [11]. Given these issues, there remains a niche for orthology-based analyses of interaction. Similarly, one might think that some of the interactions included might be due to various types of false positives for interaction presence. However, because our approach is based on collective statistics regarding the interactions, it is unlikely that elimination of those false positives from the interaction dataset would alter our results. We also note that the HPRD data used appears to show a good balance of comprehen- siveness and quality [44].
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PKCä Mediates Platelet Induced Breast Cancer Cell Invasion

PKCä Mediates Platelet Induced Breast Cancer Cell Invasion

taining subconfluent MCF7- ␤ 3/MT cells and incubated during 12 h. Because 3 ␮ M rottlerin was found to be effective in inhibiting cancer cell invasion in invasion cell assays, qPCR experiments were per- formed with this concentration of inhibitor. In addition, actinomycin D (0.8 ␮ M) was used as a positive control of MMP-9 mRNA inhibi- tion. Quantitative PCR was carried out using an ABI PRISM 7000 Sequence Detection System (Applied Biosystems) using a TaqMan Two-Step RT-PCR method. In brief, total cellular RNA was isolated from MCF7 cells using RiboPure kit from Ambion (Austin, TX) according to manufacturer’s protocol. For reverse transcription reac- tion 1 ␮ g of total RNA (High Capacity cDNA Archive Kit) was used, and 10 ng of transcribed DNA was spent for each qPCR reaction. As a target probe, TaqMan MGB human MMP-9 labeled with 5-carboxy- fluorescein dye (Applied Biosystems) was used. As an endogenous control, TaqMan MGB eukaryotic 18S ribosomal RNA probe labeled with VIC (Applied Biosystems) was used. We used relative quanti- tation standard curve method to calculate the amount of target mRNA normalized to an endogenous reference (18S). Each sample was tested in triplicates to assure reproducibility. Evaluation of threshold cycle, amplification plot, and spectra was done using an ABI PRISM 7000 Sequence Detection System Version 1.0 (Applied Biosystems).
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Construction and analysis of a comprehensive protein interaction network of HCV with its host Homo sapiens

Construction and analysis of a comprehensive protein interaction network of HCV with its host Homo sapiens

Results: We found 1325 interactions between 12 HCV proteins and 940 human genes, among which 21 were intraviral and 1304 were HCV-Human. By analyzing the network, we found potential human gene list with their number of interactions with HCV proteins. ANXA2 and NR4A1 were interacting with 6 HCV proteins while we found 11 human genes which were interacting with 5 HCV proteins. Furthermore, the enrichment analysis and Gene Ontology of the top genes to find the pathways and the biological processes enriched with those genes. Among the viral proteins, NS3 was interacting with most number of interactors followed by NS5A and so on. KEGG pathway analysis of three set of most HCV- associated human genes was performed to find out which gene products are involved in certain disease pathways. Top 5, 10 and 20 human genes with most interactions were analyzed which revealed some striking results among which the top 10 host genes came up to be significant because they were more related to Influenza A viral infection previously. This insight provides us with a clue that the set of genes are highly enriched in HCV but are not well studied in its infection pathway.
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Adenovirus E1A and E1B genes are regulated posttranscriptionally in human lymphoid cells.

Adenovirus E1A and E1B genes are regulated posttranscriptionally in human lymphoid cells.

5349 Downloaded from http://jvi.asm.org/ on November 10, 2019 by guest The interactions of adenovirus with differentiated human cells have been investigated in human myeloma Relative to [r]

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Insights and limits of translational research in critical care medicine

Insights and limits of translational research in critical care medicine

Medicine and Physiology in 1908. However, despite the intense research that was prompted by the initial obser- vation, the human receptors for pathogen molecular patterns such as the receptor to endotoxin remained a mystery for nine decades. The identification of TLRs as pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) for conserved structures of bacteria and viruses and the acknowledge- ment of their major roles in the inflammatory response were made possible thanks to basic research. Indeed, a receptor protein whose structure is very similar to TLRs was first described in tobacco plants [2]. Two years after, Jules Hoffmann and his group reported similar proteins in the Drosophila fruit fly and showed that the mutation of a receptor called Toll inhibited the production of an antifungal peptide and increased susceptibility to fungal infection, a discovery that was awarded by the 2011 No- bel Prize for Medicine and Physiology. [3]. Williams et al. also reported that Drosophila larvae carrying a mutation on a protein of the Toll signaling pathway (18-wheeler) had an increased susceptibility to bacterial infections [4]. Based on these experimental results, Medzhitov and Janeway cloned the first TLR in humans. They confirmed the link between TLRs and the inflamma- tory immune response by showing that transfection of a constitutively activated TLR activated the NF-κB pathway [5]. Following these experimental studies, numerous clin- ical studies have confirmed the crucial role of TLR in the immune-inflammatory response induced by infections [6,7]. Moreover, strong associations between polymor- phisms and mutations in TLR family members or down- stream proteins and increased susceptibility and severity to infections have been reported in humans [8-12].
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Inhibition of CD40-TRAF6 interactions by the small molecule inhibitor 6877002 reduces neuroinflammation

Inhibition of CD40-TRAF6 interactions by the small molecule inhibitor 6877002 reduces neuroinflammation

Reactive oxygen species play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases like MS. Pro-inflammatory mediators and oxidizing radicals are produced by adherent monocytes, infiltrating macrophages and acti- vated microglia [38]. These locally generated ROS induce BBB disruption and enhance leukocyte migra- tion in the initial phase of MS lesion formation [39]. To assess whether SMI treatment affects ROS production by human monocytes, we activated CD40 in the pres- ence or absence of the CD40-TRAF6-blocking SMI and measured ROS production. As shown in Fig. 1b, CD40- induced ROS production by monocytes was signifi- cantly reduced by treatment with SMI 6877002 (35.1%). To address whether the inhibiting effects of SMI 6877002 on monocyte migration were ROS dependent, we introduced the flavonoid luteolin in our in vitro BBB system. Luteolin decreased the trans-endothelial migration capacity of non-treated monocytes, as de- scribed before [33]. Notably, CD40-induced monocyte migration was blocked when these monocytes were treated with luteolin, revealing an important role for ROS in CD40-induced monocyte trans-endothelial migration (Fig. 1c). Interestingly, luteolin had no effect on the migra- tion of SMI-treated monocytes, which is in line with our assumption that both have a similar mechanism, which is inhibition of ROS production.
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Interaction of human leukocytes and Entamoeba histolytica  Killing of virulent amebae by the activated macrophage

Interaction of human leukocytes and Entamoeba histolytica Killing of virulent amebae by the activated macrophage

protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica have not been described. To identify a competent human effector cell, we studied the in vitro interactions of normal human polymorphonuclear neutrophils, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), monocytes (MC), and MC-derived macrophages with virulent axenic amebae (strain HMI-IMSS). Amebae killed neutrophils, PBMC, MC, and MC-derived macrophages (P less than 0.001), without loss of parasite viability. The addition of heat-inactivated immune serum did not enable leukocytes to kill amebae, nor did it protect these host cells from amebae. MC-derived macrophages,
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Salient Feature of Haptic-Based Guidance of People
in Low Visibility Environments Using Hard Reins

Salient Feature of Haptic-Based Guidance of People in Low Visibility Environments Using Hard Reins

While learning the control policy, we next considered grad- ual change in muscle activation of the guider across the trials to see optimality of total effort to generate actions in the actuation space by the guider. Previous work [25] has proved that the total muscle activation for a single task decreased over their learning trials [25]. From the 2 nd order best fit curve for the quadratic sum of EMG J for all muscles as shown in Fig. 10(C), we can observe that J increase to a maximum around the 10th trial and then decreases in last 10 trials. This suggests that effort optimization is a non- monotonic process. During the first 10 trials, participants may have given priority to order selection than optimization in the actuation space, which is also reflected in the behavior of R 2 values in Fig. 3. Once the optimal order is selected, subjects exhibit monotonic optimization in the actuation space as seen in the last 10 trials of Fig. 10(C), with a corresponding increase of R 2 values in Fig. 3. However, our observation on the guider’s muscle activation gradually progresses from an initial muscle co-contraction based command generation strategy to a low energy policy with minimum muscle co-contraction. Therefore, this is in agreement with other studies that show a similar pattern of reduction in muscle co contraction when motor learning progresses [18]. This phenomenon can come from the fact that the guiding agent builds internal models [26] of hand and task dynamics to guide the blindfolded follower. In the future, by combining the proposed control policy and the confidence studies, we will implement a full controller for guiding a human with limited auditory and visual perception from the environment. It will be interesting to numerically test whether construction of internal models of the follower’s behavioral dynamics will lead to smoother and efficient model based controllers. This will also help us to implement a model based predictive controller in a robot to guide a human follower in a low visibility environment. The strength of this approach is that the robotic controller will be able to adjust to the changes of the behavioral dynamics of the human follower in varying distraction and stress conditions in a fire-fighting context.
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Gene-nutrient interactions and susceptibility to human obesity

Gene-nutrient interactions and susceptibility to human obesity

Consistent with obesity susceptibility gene variants inter- acting with an obesogenic environment to increase obes- ity, James V. Neel proposed the thrifty genotype hypothesis based on positive selection (adaptation) of “thrifty genes” resulting from seasonal food shortages and episodic famines during human evolution [64, 65]. A number of years later, John R. Speakman proposed the drifty genotype hypothesis based on neutral selection (genetic drift) of “drifty genes” resulting from predation release characterized by liberation from predation pres- sures due to the advent of fire and development of more advanced weapons technology, thereby, in effect, in- creasing the upper limit of body weight set points [66, 67]. In support of both these hypotheses, commentaries published by experts in the field suggest that positive and neutral selection of gene variants has occurred dur- ing human evolution to optimize efficient storage of food energy for later use when food becomes limiting [68–70]. This commentary is also evidenced by a recent study performed with 9416 individuals in 14 European countries indicating that although environmental differ- ences masked genetic differentiation for BMI, it was de- termined that 8% of the captured additive genetic variance for BMI was reflected in population genetic dif- ferences [71]. However, some studies have questioned the thrifty genotype hypothesis due to the high preva- lence of obesity within certain populations, such as those populations in the South Pacific, because past seasonal food shortages and episodic famines are believed not to have occurred, and that a recent comprehensive study performed using signatures of positive selection at obes- ity susceptibility gene variants did not find evidence for the “thrifty gene” hypothesis [72, 73]. However, other studies have provided evidence of “thrifty gene variants” present within the CREBFR gene among Samoans and the PPARGC1A gene among Tongans in the South Pa- cific, thereby explaining high rates of obesity among these two populations [8, 74]. Therefore, it is anticipated that the intellectual debate concerning origin of obesity susceptibility genes will continue.
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The control of viral infection by tripartite motif proteins and cyclophilin A

The control of viral infection by tripartite motif proteins and cyclophilin A

The fact that TRIM5 restricts retroviral infection so potently, at least in monkeys, has suggested that polymor- phism in human TRIM5 might impact on HIV-1 transmis- sion and/or pathogenesis in vivo. Several studies have addressed this issue and shown at best, only weak associ- ation of any particular TRIM5α allele with disease pro- gression [68-71]. Importantly, human TRIM5α is not polymorphic in the regions of the B30.2 domain known to impact on viral recognition, and its over expression does not reduce HIV-1 infectivity by more than a few fold [7,9,10,72]. Furthermore under in vitro conditions where rhesus TRIM5 efficiently binds the HIV-1 capsid, the human protein binds only poorly [46]. It therefore seems likely that TRIM5 doesn't significantly impact on HIV-1 replication and pathogenesis in humans. Indeed, we imagine that HIV-1's insensitivity to TRIM5 has been an important factor in its success as a pathogen in humans. Conversely the TRIM5 gene in rhesus macaques and sooty mangabeys is relatively polymorphic with a number of polymorphisms occurring in the variable loops that dic- tate antiviral specificity. Indeed, expression of these alleles in permissive feline cells followed by challenge with retro- viral vectors derived from HIV-1, SIVmac MPMV or MLV- N demonstrated that the different alleles have slightly dif- ferent antiviral specificities [72].
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Identification of Novel Transcription Start Sites and Distinct Proximal Promoter Regions for 
Pregnane X Receptor (PXR) Isoforms 
PXR 1 and PXR 2

Identification of Novel Transcription Start Sites and Distinct Proximal Promoter Regions for Pregnane X Receptor (PXR) Isoforms PXR 1 and PXR 2

superfamily, but are similarly unfolded structures whose organization is greatly altered by interactions with other regions of the receptor. It has been suggested that variability in the N-terminal domain constitutes a possible determinant of receptor- specific responses through recruitment of various co-activators and co-repressors (Li et al., 2003). PR-B contains 164 aa of N-terminal sequence that strikingly differentiates its function from PR-A, while PXR 2 has only 39 unique aa compared to PXR 1. Variant receptor isoforms with N-terminal addition are produced by the inclusion of a unique first exon. By definition, this unique first exon affords each transcript variant a distinct proximal promoter region to more specifically regulate its individual function (Landry et al., 2003). As demonstrated in the GR gene, the 5’ region contains 3 separate first exons (denoted 1A, 1B, & 1C) and 3 independent promoters—one which was recently discovered to be responsible for hormone- dependant upregulation of the GR message (Breslin et al., 2001; Geng and
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Bestiality, Zoophilia, and human animal sexual interactions

Bestiality, Zoophilia, and human animal sexual interactions

There is a further problem: what is meant by “sex”? Humans engage in a range of activities they call “sexual”, including caressing, masturbating, cunnilinging, fellating, and penetrating the anus or vagina, to name just a few. As we shall see, both in legal texts and animal protection discourses, the assumption is often made that “bestiality” involves penetration of the mouth, anus, or vagina of one or more of the participants. This makes it easier to argue that the acts are offensive because of potential or actual injury to either of the participants. Ethical issues become less clear-cut if “sexual” includes non-penetrative eroticism or non-genital sensuality, such as when a cat licks a woman’s vulva or (as in formicophilia) a woman is aroused by ants collecting honey from her mons veneris or her hand. It is no coincidence that both of the examples I have mentioned here involve sexual acts between women and animals, since female sexuality is routinely assumed to be less aggressive than its male counterparts. In contrast, the debates about bestiality have too often assumed a phallic model of sexuality that de-eroticises most of the body, localising eroticism in the penis – whether of the human or animal male.
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