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Alter Kacyzne

Alter Kacyzne was a Jewish writer and photographer. One of the most significant contributors to Jewish-Polish cultural life in the first half of the 20th century. Among other things, he is known as a photographer whose work immortalised Jewish life in Poland in the 1920s and 1930s. Alter-Sholem Kacyzne was born on the 31 May 1885 to a poor working-class family in Vilna in Imperial Russia, within the Pale of Settlement, his father worked as his mother worked as a seamstress. He was educated in the Russian-Jewish school, he spoke Yiddish at home. An avid reader, he taught himself Hebrew, Polish and French. Following the death of his father in 1899, when Kacyzne was fourteen, he went to work as an apprentice in his uncle's professional photography studio in Ekaterinoslav, New Russia. While engaged in self-education, he began to write short stories in Russian, he sent some of these to the Yiddish author S. Ansky. Around this time he married Khana Khachnov. In 1910 attracted by the Yiddish works of I. L. Peretz, he moved to Warsaw.

He developed a close relationship with Peretz. In the 1920s, he worked as a photojournalist for the New York City-based newspaper Forverts, he traveled as a photographer to Poland, Italy, Spain and Morocco. In the years 1927-1928 Kacyzne's photographs, accompanied by his travel essays, were published in the Warsaw magazine Our Express, his work as a photographer was combined with his literary work. As a critic and essayist, he published articles on social issues in Warsaw and Vilna, he was co-editor of several journals. In the early 1920s the founded the literary series The Ark, short-lived magazines Bells and The Links. In 1924 he became co-founder of the magazine Literary Pages. In 1930 he participated in newspapers with a communist orientation: Literary Tribune, Comrade, Literature In 1937-1938, he issued the fortnightly magazine, My film speaks, the contents of which were critical articles and satires. In 1939, after the Nazi occupation of Poland, he fled with his family to Soviet-occupied Lwów.

He became in charge of the literary section of the Lviv State Jewish Theater. Kacyzne tried to escape Nazi persecution in Poland and moved to Ternopil in 1941. By the time he arrived the Nazis had occupied the city, he was beaten to death by Ukrainian collaborators during an attack on the town's Jewish population. His wife Khana was murdered in Belzec extermination camp, while his daughter Sulamita survived by hiding in Poland as a non-Jew. Arriving in Warsaw in 1910, Kacyzne opened his own photography studio, it was located on Długa street. Kacyzne worked at portraits, shooting memorable events, soon became a well-known photographer; the turning point in his professional career as a photographer began in 1921, when he was commissioned by a charitable organisation based in the United States of America the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to make a series of images dedicated to the life of Jews in Polish cities and towns, including the eastern lands that were part of the territory of Poland - Galicia and Volyn.

These images so impressed Abraham Cahan, Chief Editor of the New York newspaper Forward, that he suggested that Kacyzne document Jewish life in Poland for readers. Kacyzne's precious historical collection was entirely destroyed during the Nazi occupation. After the Holocaust, the imagery acquired not only artistic but historical value, documenting the pre-war life of the Polish Jewish community; these photographs, which are an important part of Kacyzne's work, are now kept in the YIVO Archive in Manhattan and in the Bibliothèque Medem of Paris. Poyln: Jewish Life in the Old Country ISBN 0-805-05097-3 1999: National Jewish Book Award in the Yiddish Literature category for Poyln: Jewish Life in the Old Country

Alfa mannan degradation

The α-mannan Degradation. Mannan which can be found in the cell wall of yeast has a particular chemical structure, constitutes a food source since humans begun eating fermented foods several thousands of years ago. To determine whether the intake of yeast mannans through fermented foods has promoted specific adaptations of the human gut microbiota, an international team of researchers studied the ability of Bacteroidetes thetaiotaomicron to degrade yeast mannans; the mannan-oligosaccharides are able to alter the composition of the microbiota present in the bowels, so they produce an increase in the growth of benign bacteria and therefore an increase in the resistance to infection by pathogens. The B. thetaiotaomicron are bacteria that have been shown to bind polysaccharides thanks to a receptor system located on the outer membrane before introducing the polysaccharides into the periplasm for their degradation to monosaccharides. These bacteria use α-mannose as a carbon source. Transcriptional studies have identified three different PULs which are activated by α-Mannan from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe and the yeast pathogen Candida albicans.

To demonstrate the specificity of these PULs, the researchers have engineered different B. thetaiotaomicron strains which showed that mutants lacking MAN-PUL1, MAN-PUL3 or PUL2 are unable to grow in vitro with yeast Mannan as the sole carbon source. In order to assess whether the ability to degrade yeast mannan is a general feature of the microbiota or it is a specific adaptation of B. thetaiotaomicron, the authors analysed the growth profiles of 29 species of Bacteroidetes on the human bowel. The analysis revealed that only nine are able to metabolize Saccharomyces cereviseae alfa-mannan while 33 of 34 strains of B. thetaiotaomicron are able to grow on this glycan. These results show that B. thetaiotaomicron along with some phylogenetically related species dominate the yeast metabolism of α-Mannan in the phylum Bacteroidetes of the microbial flora