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This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
In the past four decades lipid vesicles (liposomes) have evolved from widely used biomembrane models into important drug and gene carriers. The phosphatidylcholine phospholipids PC used in the drug carriers are biocompatible and biodegradable but they function as a relatively inert shell and require the incorporation of cholesterol to maintain the drug encapsulated in the liposome; The PC are also incapable of associating with ligands and have very weak interactions with nucleic acids. Moreover, they are not particularly good for cytoplasmic delivery of the encapsulated cargo. Recently, we have devised three classes of new lipids and have improved the synthesis of a fourth class that enable the preparation of a bioresponsive targeted carrier with improved nucleic acid delivery. Class 1 are low pH sensitive and include a diortho ester PEG lipid or a di-orthoester PC. Class two are redox sensitive lipids and include thiocholesterol based and thio diacyl chain based lipids that can be used in a sequential assembly process to encapsulate nucleic acid drugs in a charge neutral or negatively charged nanolipid particle. Class 3 is a new family of lipids that provide increased in vivo bilayer stability without the need for crosslinking of the bilayer. Class 4 is an improved synthesis of a triNTA diacyl lipid. This lipid can be used to attach His-6 containing molecules to the bilayer vesicle after the liposomes have been prepared and loaded with drugs. These lipids form a tool kit that can be used to prepare a variety of targeted drug, protein and nucleic acid delivery vesicles with attached targeting ligands. The synthesis, characterization and use of these lipids in a variety of drug delivery applications will be described. Suported by NIH EB003008 & NIH GM061851.
These three short papers were delivered at the 72nd General Meeting of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, held in Pretoria, South Africa, on 8–11 August 2017. The ‘Quaestiones disputatae’ session was chaired by the President of the Society, Professor Michael Wolter. The first two papers engage with Teresa Morgan's book, Roman Faith and Christian Faith, and Professor Morgan responds to them in the third.
Cyanobacteria are capable of surviving the adverse conditions of low Earth orbit (LEO). We have previously demonstrated that Gloeocapsa strain OU_20, Chroococcidiopsis and akinetes of Anabaena cylindrica were able to survive 548 days of exposure to LEO. Motivated by an interest to understand how cyanobacteria can survive in LEO, we studied the strategies that Gloeocapsa strain OU_20 employs to survive in its natural environment, the upper region of the intertidal zone. Here, cyanobacteria are exposed to fluctuations in temperature, UV radiation, desiccation and salinity. We demonstrated that an increase in salinity from 6.5‰ (BG-11 medium) to 35.7‰ (similar to that of seawater), resulted in increased resistance to UV radiation (254 nm), vacuum (0.7×10−3±0.01 kPa) and cold temperatures (–20 °C). Concomitantly, biochemical analyses demonstrated that the amount of fatty acids and mycosporine-like amino acids (a UV absorbing pigment) were higher in the stressed cells. Morphological analysis demonstrated that the electron density and thickness of the mucilaginous sheath were also greater than in the control cells. Yet, the control and stressed cells both formed aggregates. As a result of studying the physiological adaptation of Gloeocapsa strain OU_20 in response to salinity, we postulate that survival in the high-intertidal zone and LEO involves a dense extracellular mucilaginous sheath and the formation of aggregates. We conclude that studying the physiological adaptation of cyanobacteria in the intertidal zone provides insight into understanding survival in LEO.
In this paper we describe the use of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) mapping and electron channeling contrast imaging—in the scanning electron microscope—to study tilt, atomic steps and dislocations in epitaxial GaN thin films. We show results from epitaxial GaN thin films and from a just coalesced epitaxial laterally overgrown GaN thin film. From our results we deduce that EBSD may be used to measure orientation changes of the order of 0.02°, in GaN thin films. As EBSD has a spatial resolution of ≈ 20 nm, this means we have a powerful technique with which to quantitatively map surface tilt. We also demonstrate that channeling contrast in electron channeling contrast images may be used to image tilt, atomic steps and threading dislocations in GaN thin films.
Richard Burridge is best known for his book, What are the Gospels?, which argues convincingly that the gospels belong within the broad generic category of the Graeco-Roman biography. The consensus that ‘the gospels are not biographies’ rests on a set of modern assumptions about what a biography should contain; measured against the yardstick of ancient biographies, however, the gospels clearly represent the same kind of literature. Of course, that does not mean that they are in every respect like other Graeco-Roman bioi or vitae. The gospels remain distinctive. One indication of this distinctiveness is that the title attached to them is not bios tou Iesou or the like, but euaggelion kata . . . followed by an evangelist's name. The gospels intend to be more than just a further contribution to the biographical literature of the ancient world. Burridge allowed that ‘gospel’ might represent a distinctive and new ‘subgenre’ within the broader biographical genre; there is no difficulty about such a move if we understand genre as a dynamic concept rather than a static one. Perhaps we might want to qualify the claim that ‘the gospels are biographies’ by stating instead that ‘the gospels represent a new development within the biographical genre’.
Arguments for the Q hypothesis have changed little since B. H. Streeter. The purpose of this article is not to advocate an alternative hypothesis but to argue that, if the Q hypothesis is to be sustained, the unlikelihood of Luke's dependence on Matthew must be demonstrated by a systematic and comprehensive reconstruction of the redactional procedures entailed in the two hypotheses. The Q hypothesis will have been verified if (and only if) it generates a more plausible account of the Matthean and Lukan redaction of Mark and Q than the corresponding account of Luke's use of Mark and Matthew.
It is an honour and a pleasure to respond to the comments of J. Louis Martyn and Troels Engberg-Pedersen. Both of them have read my book with care, and have presented many of its central emphases with clarity and insight. The questions they raise are pertinent ones – as one would expect from the authors of two of the most interesting and innovative works of Pauline scholarship to have been published in recent years. I refer to Martyn's commentary on Galatians and Engberg-Pedersen's Paul and the Stoics – both, in their different ways, the kind of ground-breaking work that keeps the field of Pauline studies from succumbing entirely to an endless rehearsal of already familiar positions. I also note in passing that my two reviewers probably differ more sharply from each other than either of them does from me. It is not easy to harmonise Martyn's apocalyptic Paul with Engberg-Pedersen's Stoic one, and the difference tends to focus on issues of divine agency which recur in their responses to my own work.
In a famous passage in his voluminous work Against Heresies (c. 180 ce), Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, reflects on the fact that the worldwide church acknowledges four gospels - neither more nor fewer. The fourfoldness of the church's gospel is, he suggests, comparable to a natural phenomenon, which it would be foolish to question: for example, there are four gospels just as there are four points of the compass. Casting around for further fourfold entities in the natural order, the bishop calls to mind the four mythical living creatures of the book of Revelation - the first like a lion, the second like an ox, the third with a human face, and the fourth like a flying eagle (Rev 4.6-7). These creatures, diverse yet united in their hymn of praise to God, represent the diversity and the unity of the four gospels. The Gospel according to John opens with a declaration of the divinity of the Word that is positively lion-like in its boldness. The Gospel according to Luke opens with Zacharias the priest offering sacrifice in the temple, and is fittingly symbolized by an ox. The Gospel according to Matthew opens with a genealogy, thereby emphasizing the humanity of the Word made flesh. Finally, the Gospel according to Mark opens with a citation from Isaiah the prophet, which is said to point to the winged, eagle-like aspect of the gospel. Later, these symbolic attributions were revised: Mark and John changed places, so that Mark was identified with the lion and John with the eagle - no doubt on account of the fourth gospel's supposedly more exalted character, its capacity to soar into regions inaccessible to the earthbound synoptic evangelists. In this revised form, Irenaeus' scheme has been taken up into Christian tradition, and is evident especially in artistic depictions of the evangelists.
Robert Jenson's two-volume Systematic Theology is a highly creative and individual synthesis of a number of often divergent strands of contemporary theology. An ecumenical and trinitarian theology, it is also a theology of narrative, hope, and of the word. The main body of this article attempts a sympathetic paraphrase of the argument of this work section by section. In a more critical ‘postscript’, it is argued that ‘word of God’ language is appropriate to the bible's twofold canonical structure, and that the appropriation of the beginning, middle and end of the biblical narrative to the first, second and third persons of the trinity respectively results in an undue bias towards eschatology.
There are many 'images' of Jesus, whether verbal or visual. Each canonical gospel presents one such image, but the process of image-making does not stop there. There are non-canonical, 'apocryphal' images, and there are images of Jesus in theology and literature, high art and popular religious culture. These images derive from many times and places, and will always reflect something of their own time and place, within which they will meet a perceived need. Does this constant manufacture of images testify to Jesus' extraordinary impact on western and global cultures? Or is Jesus little more than a blank screen onto which individuals and cultures may project their own aspirations and fantasies? Is Jesus (like Mary, perhaps) the origin and pretext for an entire myth-making industry? And if so, is the 'real' Jesus of any significance? There was, no doubt, a first-century Jew of that name who came from Nazareth and was crucified in Jerusalem, but the 'reality' of Jesus' impact on history is simply the reality of the images: or so it might be argued. Perhaps even the two centuries of scholarly endeavour to get behind the images to the 'real', historical Jesus have merely produced a further profusion of images, similar in kind to the ones they sought to displace?
From beginning to end, Barth's Church Dogmatics is nothing other than a sustained meditation on the texts of Holy Scripture, in all the richness and diversity with which these texts elaborate their single theme: a divine-human action constitutive both of divine and of human being, a particular action that is nevertheless all-inclusive in its scope. There are, of course, many parts of the Church Dogmatics that practise an 'explicit' biblical interpretation or hermeneutics: from passing references to particular verses to extended expositions of whole chapters or books, from consideration of particular concepts such as 'witness' or 'saga' (or 'legend'), to the construction of what might be called an 'ontology' of Holy Scripture. This material can be roughly differentiated from other material where the biblical texts appear to be in the background, or are perhaps absent altogether. Yet to regard biblical interpretation as just one among a number of items on Barth's agenda would be to allow the seamless garment of his theology to be torn to pieces.
The polarity between ‘hierarchical’ and ‘egalitarian’ perspectives on the relationship of male and female is not the best way to approach this passage (1 Cor 11.2–16), which interprets this relationship as one of interdependence. This interdependence is expressed in the shared practices of prophecy and prayer, in which the dialogue between God and the congregation is articulated. In Paul's proposed modification to these practices, female head-covering – probably a veil – serves as a symbol of women's freedom from an erotic basis for the relationship of male and female derived from creation.
The veil signifies the exclusion of eros from the inner life of the Christian community, in which man and woman belong together in agape. Does this mean that it also signifies the ‘negative attitude towards sexuality and the body’ for which Christian faith is so often held to be responsible? This thesis presupposes a contrast between an earlier era of sexual repression (variously associated with ‘Victorian hypocrisy’ or with Paul and Augustine) and the present era of sexual enlightenment. Freud is conventionally seen as the turning-point from one era to the other, since it was he who first gave voice to sex, enabling sex to speak for itself and without shame. Paul and Augustine on the one hand, Freud on the other, mark the opposite poles of contemporary telling and retelling of the story of our sexual enlightenment.
Augustine's view of sexuality is based on the Pauline analysis of desire (epithumia, concupiscentia) and of the ego caught within the opposition between ‘the law of God’ and ‘the law of sin that is in my members’ (Rom. 7). In his later theory of the ego as exposed to the contradictory demands of super-ego and id, Freud shows himself to belong to the Pauline-Augustinian tradition. Far from underwriting the modern assumption that we (unlike our predecessors) have now discovered sexuality to be unproblematic, Freud recovers the Pauline-Augustinian sense of the intractability of this sphere of human experience.
A man leaves his father and his mother and is joined to his wife, so that the two become one flesh. This is not the only way in which man and woman belong together, nor is it the primary way. But among the various aspects of their belonging together, there is also this one: their becoming one flesh. Where this event participates in the love of Christ that reconciles the church and all things to himself, it may be said: sacramentum hoc magnum est. If the veil marks the limit of eros in order to preserve the space of agape, there is no corresponding limit of agape; for an agape deriving from the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ knows no limit but must occupy this sphere too, the space of the eros of man and woman.
This space may appear to be self-contained and self-sufficient, withdrawn from the eyes of the profane – a sacred space within which sacrifices are performed that celebrate the divinity of the flesh. But the flesh is not divine, and neither is eros: these are creaturely realities, and their original goodness is that of the creature. The agape that overflows into this space too exposes the pretensions of pseudo-divinities and restores to them their proper creaturely status, bringing harmony and proportion where there was previously wilfulness and excess.
Disciplinary boundaries within the theological curriculum are a necessary concession to the complexity of the subject matter and the inevitable limitations of the individual scholar. It makes good pragmatic sense that one person should be a New Testament scholar, another a systematic theologian, and another an ethicist – so long as the boundaries remain open, ensuring freedom of movement between the disciplines. But where boundaries are closed, they define a subject matter which is now held to be the exclusive preserve of a single group of scholars. Communication between the disciplines is subject to severe restrictions. Thus, the New Testament scholar becomes incapable of serious theological reflection on the New Testament texts. The systematic theologian makes only cursory forays into the fields of the biblical scholar or ethicist, and may even believe that an apology is due for trespassing in someone else's professional domain. The ethicist may seek to develop a Christian ethical refiection that shows scant regard for any theological or biblical foundations. In this way, ‘theology’ becomes a flag of convenience for a number of related but basically autonomous disciplines. All sense that Christian theology is ultimately concerned with a single, simple subject matter disappears.
This book represents my third attempt to develop an interdisciplinary approach to biblical interpretation that refuses to be deterred by the warning notices that biblical scholars have posted at regular intervals along the boundaries of their discipline: notices that warn against allowing contemporary concerns to undermine the integrity of pure scholarship, and that prohibit all serious theological engagement with the biblical texts – on the grounds that such an engagement is inevitably partisan, confessional and divisive.