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1.  Potential Hazard to Human Health from Exposure to Fragments of Lead Bullets and Shot in the Tissues of Game Animals 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10315.
Lead is highly toxic to animals. Humans eating game killed using lead ammunition generally avoid swallowing shot or bullets and dietary lead exposure from this source has been considered low. Recent evidence illustrates that lead bullets fragment on impact, leaving small lead particles widely distributed in game tissues. Our paper asks whether lead gunshot pellets also fragment upon impact, and whether lead derived from spent gunshot and bullets in the tissues of game animals could pose a threat to human health.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Wild-shot gamebirds (6 species) obtained in the UK were X-rayed to determine the number of shot and shot fragments present, and cooked using typical methods. Shot were then removed to simulate realistic practice before consumption, and lead concentrations determined. Data from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate Statutory Surveillance Programme documenting lead levels in raw tissues of wild gamebirds and deer, without shot being removed, are also presented. Gamebirds containing ≥5 shot had high tissue lead concentrations, but some with fewer or no shot also had high lead concentrations, confirming X-ray results indicating that small lead fragments remain in the flesh of birds even when the shot exits the body. A high proportion of samples from both surveys had lead concentrations exceeding the European Union Maximum Level of 100 ppb w.w. (0.1 mg kg−1 w.w.) for meat from bovine animals, sheep, pigs and poultry (no level is set for game meat), some by several orders of magnitude. High, but feasible, levels of consumption of some species could result in the current FAO/WHO Provisional Weekly Tolerable Intake of lead being exceeded.
The potential health hazard from lead ingested in the meat of game animals may be larger than previous risk assessments indicated, especially for vulnerable groups, such as children, and those consuming large amounts of game.
PMCID: PMC2859935  PMID: 20436670
2.  The Problem of Shot Selection in Basketball 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30776.
In basketball, every time the offense produces a shot opportunity the player with the ball must decide whether the shot is worth taking. In this article, I explore the question of when a team should shoot and when they should pass up the shot by considering a simple theoretical model of the shot selection process, in which the quality of shot opportunities generated by the offense is assumed to fall randomly within a uniform distribution. Within this model I derive an answer to the question “how likely must the shot be to go in before the player should take it?” and I show that this lower cutoff for shot quality depends crucially on the number of shot opportunities remaining (say, before the shot clock expires), with larger demanding that only higher-quality shots should be taken. The function is also derived in the presence of a finite turnover rate and used to predict the shooting rate of an optimal-shooting team as a function of time. The theoretical prediction for the optimal shooting rate is compared to data from the National Basketball Association (NBA). The comparison highlights some limitations of the theoretical model, while also suggesting that NBA teams may be overly reluctant to shoot the ball early in the shot clock.
PMCID: PMC3266291  PMID: 22295109
3.  Lead Bullet Fragments in Venison from Rifle-Killed Deer: Potential for Human Dietary Exposure 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(4):e5330.
Human consumers of wildlife killed with lead ammunition may be exposed to health risks associated with lead ingestion. This hypothesis is based on published studies showing elevated blood lead concentrations in subsistence hunter populations, retention of ammunition residues in the tissues of hunter-killed animals, and systemic, cognitive, and behavioral disorders associated with human lead body burdens once considered safe. Our objective was to determine the incidence and bioavailability of lead bullet fragments in hunter-killed venison, a widely-eaten food among hunters and their families. We radiographed 30 eviscerated carcasses of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) shot by hunters with standard lead-core, copper-jacketed bullets under normal hunting conditions. All carcasses showed metal fragments (geometric mean = 136 fragments, range = 15–409) and widespread fragment dispersion. We took each carcass to a separate meat processor and fluoroscopically scanned the resulting meat packages; fluoroscopy revealed metal fragments in the ground meat packages of 24 (80%) of the 30 deer; 32% of 234 ground meat packages contained at least one fragment. Fragments were identified as lead by ICP in 93% of 27 samples. Isotope ratios of lead in meat matched the ratios of bullets, and differed from background lead in bone. We fed fragment-containing venison to four pigs to test bioavailability; four controls received venison without fragments from the same deer. Mean blood lead concentrations in pigs peaked at 2.29 µg/dL (maximum 3.8 µg/dL) 2 days following ingestion of fragment-containing venison, significantly higher than the 0.63 µg/dL averaged by controls. We conclude that people risk exposure to bioavailable lead from bullet fragments when they eat venison from deer killed with standard lead-based rifle bullets and processed under normal procedures. At risk in the U.S. are some ten million hunters, their families, and low-income beneficiaries of venison donations.
PMCID: PMC2669501  PMID: 19390698
4.  Erythrocyte and blood antibacterial defense 
It is an axiom that blood cellular immunity is provided by leukocytes. As to erythrocytes, it is generally accepted that their main function is respiration. Our research provides objective video and photo evidence regarding erythrocyte bactericidal function.
Phase-contrast immersion vital microscopy of the blood of patients with bacteremia was performed, and the process of bacteria entrapping and killing by erythrocytes was shot by means of video camera.
Video evidence demonstrates that human erythrocytes take active part in blood bactericidal action and can repeatedly engulf and kill bacteria of different species and size.
Erythrocytes are extremely important integral part of human blood cellular immunity.
Compared with phagocytic leukocytes, the erythrocytes: a) are more numerous; b) are able to entrap and kill microorganisms repeatedly without being injured; c) are more resistant to infection and better withstand the attacks of pathogens; d) have longer life span and are produced faster; e) are inauspicious media for proliferation of microbes and do not support replication of chlamidiae, mycoplasmas, rickettsiae, viruses, etc.; and f) are more effective and uncompromised bacterial killers.
Blood cellular immunity theory and traditional view regarding the function of erythrocytes in human blood should be revised.
PMCID: PMC4029293  PMID: 24883200
erythrocyte; immunity; phagocytosis; sepsis
5.  An application of the matching law to evaluate the allocation of two- and three-point shots by college basketball players. 
We applied the matching equation to evaluate the allocation of two- and three-point shots by male and female college basketball players from a large Division 1 university. The matching law predicts that the proportion of shots taken from three-point range should match the proportional reinforcement rate produced by such shots. Thus, we compared the proportion of three-point shots taken relative to all shots to the proportion of three-point shots scored relative to all shots scored. However, the matching equation was adjusted to account for the greater reinforcer magnitude of the three-point basket (i.e., 1.5 times greater than the two-point basket reinforcer magnitude). For players with substantial playing time, results showed that the overall distribution of two- and three-point shots was predicted by the matching equation. Game-by-game shot distribution was variable, but the cumulative proportion of shots taken from three-point range as the season progressed was predicted almost perfectly on a player-by-player basis for both male and female basketball players.
PMCID: PMC1284234  PMID: 10885523
6.  Spectraplakins promote microtubule-mediated axonal growth by functioning as structural MAPs and EB1-dependent +TIPs 
The correct outgrowth of axons is essential for the development and regeneration of nervous systems. Axon growth is primarily driven by microtubules. Key regulators of microtubules in this context are the spectraplakins, a family of evolutionarily conserved actin-microtubule linkers. Loss of function of the mouse spectraplakin ACF7 or of its close Drosophila homologue Short stop/Shot similarly cause severe axon shortening and microtubule disorganisation. How spectraplakins perform these functions is not known. Here we show that axonal growth promoting roles of Shot require interaction with EB1 (End binding protein) at polymerising plus ends of microtubules. We show that binding of Shot to EB1 requires SxIP motifs in Shot’s carboxyterminal tail (Ctail), mutations of these motifs abolish Shot functions in axonal growth, loss of EB1 function phenocopies Shot loss, and genetic interaction studies reveal strong functional links between Shot and EB1 in axonal growth and microtubule organisation. In addition, we report that Shot localises along microtubule shafts and stabilises them against pharmacologically induced depolymerisation. This function is EB1-independent but requires net positive charges within Ctail which essentially contribute to the microtubule shaft association of Shot. Therefore, spectraplakins are true members of two important classes of neuronal microtubule regulating proteins: +TIPs (plus end regulators) and structural MAPs (microtubule associated proteins). From our data we deduce a model that relates the different features of the spectraplakin carboxy-terminus to the two functions of Shot during axonal growth.
PMCID: PMC3666083  PMID: 22764224
7.  A systematic examination of the bone destruction pattern of the two-shot technique 
The two-shot technique is an effective stopping power method. The precise mechanisms of action on the bone and soft-tissue structures of the skull; however, remain largely unclear. The aim of this study is to compare the terminal ballistics of the two-shot and single-shot techniques.
Materials and Methods:
40 fresh pigs’ heads were randomly divided into 4 groups (n = 10). Either a single shot or two shots were fired at each head with a full metal jacket or a semi-jacketed bullet. Using thin-layer computed tomography and photography, the diameter of the destruction pattern and the fractures along the bullet path were then imaged and assessed.
A single shot fired with a full metal jacket bullet causes minor lateral destruction along the bullet path. With two shots fired with a full metal jacket bullet, however, the maximum diameter of the bullet path is significantly greater (P < 0.05) than it is with a single shot fired with a full metal jacket bullet. In contrast, the maximum diameter with a semi-jacketed bullet is similar with the single-shot and two-shot techniques.
With the two-shot technique, a full metal jacket bullet causes a destruction pattern that is comparable to that of a single shot fired with a semi-jacketed bullet.
PMCID: PMC4013744  PMID: 24812454
Ballistics; full metal jacket; two-shot technique
8.  A robust multi-shot scan strategy for high-resolution diffusion weighted MRI enabled by multiplexed sensitivity-encoding (MUSE) 
NeuroImage  2013;72:41-47.
Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) data have been mostly acquired with single-shot echo-planar imaging (EPI) to minimize motion induced artifacts. The spatial resolution, however, is inherently limited in single-shot EPI, even when the parallel imaging (usually at an acceleration factor of 2) is incorporated. Multi-shot acquisition strategies could potentially achieve higher spatial resolution and fidelity, but they are generally susceptible to motion-induced phase errors among excitations that are exacerbated by diffusion sensitizing gradients, rendering the reconstructed images unusable. It has been shown that shot-to-shot phase variations may be corrected using navigator echoes, but at the cost of imaging throughput. To address these challenges, a novel and robust multi-shot DWI technique, termed multiplexed sensitivity-encoding (MUSE), is developed here to reliably and inherently correct nonlinear shot-to-shot phase variations without the use of navigator echoes. The performance of the MUSE technique is confirmed experimentally in healthy adult volunteers on 3 Tesla MRI systems. This newly developed technique should prove highly valuable for mapping brain structures and connectivities at high spatial resolution for neuroscience studies.
PMCID: PMC3602151  PMID: 23370063
diffusion weighted imaging; inherent phase correction; multiplexed sensitivity-encoding; interleaved echo-planar imaging; multi-shot echo-planar imaging
9.  Paratyphoid Blamed On Ulster: A Nursing Odyssey 
The Ulster Medical Journal  2008;77(2):119-126.
The aim of the Modicum mission from the United States was to determine the fate of the Western World, the Second Front and the Manhattan Project plans for development of atomic weapons. The Modicum mission was appointed in March 1942 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as President and Commander-in-Chief of the US forces. The journey via the Anglican Cathedral in Bermuda, to Gander, to London, to Ulster was eventful. There was a clay-pigeon shooting contest in Gander. Generals Marshall, Eisenhower, Clark and Averell Harriman were outshot by their pilot. In Ulster, an escorting US sergeant killed a Londonderry bus driver with three shots. At a house party requested by King George VI and General Marshall, at Ashbrook, Ardmore, near Londonderry, it is alleged Averell Harriman was poisoned with Salmonella schottmülleri. He was delirious and ‘gravely ill’ for three weeks at 3 Grosvenor Square next to the American Embassy. He subsequently married his “other nurse”, Pamela. Ambassador Pamela Churchill Harriman, a long-time ardent supporter of the Clintons, died in February 1997 following a stroke.
PMCID: PMC2516427  PMID: 18711624
Enteric Fever; Paratyphoid
10.  Impact of the California Lead Ammunition Ban on Reducing Lead Exposure in Golden Eagles and Turkey Vultures 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e17656.
Predatory and scavenging birds may be exposed to high levels of lead when they ingest shot or bullet fragments embedded in the tissues of animals injured or killed with lead ammunition. Lead poisoning was a contributing factor in the decline of the endangered California condor population in the 1980s, and remains one of the primary factors threatening species recovery. In response to this threat, a ban on the use of lead ammunition for most hunting activities in the range of the condor in California was implemented in 2008. Monitoring of lead exposure in predatory and scavenging birds is essential for assessing the effectiveness of the lead ammunition ban in reducing lead exposure in these species. In this study, we assessed the effectiveness of the regulation in decreasing blood lead concentration in two avian sentinels, golden eagles and turkey vultures, within the condor range in California. We compared blood lead concentration in golden eagles and turkey vultures prior to the lead ammunition ban and one year following implementation of the ban. Lead exposure in both golden eagles and turkey vultures declined significantly post-ban. Our findings provide evidence that hunter compliance with lead ammunition regulations was sufficient to reduce lead exposure in predatory and scavenging birds at our study sites.
PMCID: PMC3071804  PMID: 21494329
11.  Acute and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in a Prospective Gene × Environment Study of a University Campus Shooting 
Archives of general psychiatry  2011;69(1):89-97.
The serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) has been associated with several stress-related syndromes including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The ability to detect meaningful associations is largely dependent on reliable measures of preexisting trauma.
To study the association of genetic variants within SLC6A4 with acute and posttraumatic stress symptoms in a civilian cohort with known levels of preexisting trauma and PTSD symptoms collected prior to a shared index traumatic event.
Ongoing longitudinal study.
On February 14, 2008, a lone gunman shot multiple people on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing 5 and wounding 21. As part of an ongoing longitudinal study on that campus, a cohort of female undergraduate students, interviewed prior to the shooting, completed follow-up trauma-related measures including PTSD symptom severity (follow-up survey was launched 17 days postshooting; n=691). To obtain DNA, salivary samples were collected from a subset of the original study population based on willingness to participate (n=276).
Two hundred four undergraduate women.
Main Outcome Measures
SLC6A4 polymorphisms STin2, 5-HTTLPR, and rs25531 were genotyped in 235 individuals.
We found that although the STin2 variant and 5-HTTLPR alone did not associate with increased PTSD symptoms, rs25531 and the 5-HTTLPRmultimarker genotype (combined 5-HTTLPR and rs25531) were associated with significantly increased acute stress disorder symptoms at 2 to 4 weeks postshooting (n = 161; P<.05). This association remained significant when controlling for race and for level of shooting exposure (n = 123; P<.007). The association was most robust with the 5-HTTLPR multimarker genotype and avoidance symptoms (P=.003).
These data suggest that differential function of the serotonin transporter may mediate differential response to a severe trauma. When examined in a relatively homogenous sample with shared trauma and known prior levels of child and adult trauma, the 5-HTTLPR multimarker genotype may serve as a useful predictor of risk for PTSD-related symptoms in the weeks and months following the trauma.
PMCID: PMC3738299  PMID: 21893641
12.  Fluctuation analysis of nonideal shot noise. Application to the neuromuscular junction 
Procedures are described for analyzing shot noise and determining the waveform, w(t), mean amplitude, (h), and mean rate of occurrence, (r), of the shots under a variety of nonideal conditions that include: (a) slow, spurious changes in the mean, (b) nonstationary shot rates, (c) nonuniform distribution of shot amplitudes, and (d) nonlinear summation of the shots. The procedures are based upon Rice's (1944. Bell Telephone System Journal. 23: 282-332) extension of Campbell's theorem to the second (variance), lambda 2, third (skew), lambda 3, and fourth, lambda 4, semi-invariants (cumulants) of the noise. It is shown that the spectra of lambda 2 and lambda 3 of nonstationary shot noise contain a set of components that are proportional to (r) and arise from w(t), and a set of components that are independent of (r) and arise from the temporal variations in r(t). Since the latter components are additive and are limited by the bandwidth of r(t), they can be removed by appropriate filters; then (r) and (h) can be determined from the lambda 2 and lambda 3 of the filtered noise. We also show that a factor related to the ratio (lambda 3)2/(lambda 2)(lambda 4) monitors the spread in the distribution of shot amplitudes and can be used to correct the estimates of (r) and (h) for the effects of that spread, if the shape of the distribution is known and if r(t) is stationary. The accuracy of the measurements of lambda 4 is assessed and corrections for the effects of nonlinear summation of lambda 2, lambda 3, and lambda 4 are derived. The procedures give valid results when they are used to analyze shot noise produced by the (linear) summation of simulated miniature endplate potentials, which are generated either at nonstationary rates or with a distribution of amplitudes.
PMCID: PMC2228789  PMID: 2426389
Based on a small sample of highly successful teams, past studies suggested that shot selection (two- vs. three-point field goals) in basketball corresponds to predictions of the generalized matching law. We examined the generality of this finding by evaluating shot selection of college (Study 1) and professional (Study 3) players. The matching law accounted for the majority of variance in shot selection, with undermatching and a bias for taking three-point shots. Shot-selection matching varied systematically for players who (a) were members of successful versus unsuccessful teams, (b) competed at different levels of collegiate play, and (c) served as regulars versus substitutes (Study 2). These findings suggest that the matching law is a robust descriptor of basketball shot selection, although the mechanism that produces matching is unknown.
PMCID: PMC2741074  PMID: 20190921
basketball shot selection; choice; matching law
14.  Jello Shot Consumption among Older Adolescents: A Pilot Study of a Newly Identified Public Health Problem 
Substance use & misuse  2010;46(6):828-835.
We investigated the extent of jello shot consumption among underage youth. We conducted a pilot study among a non-random national sample of 108 drinkers, ages 16-20 years, recruited from the Knowledge Networks internet panel in 2010 using consecutive sampling. The prevalence of past 30-day jello shot consumption among the 108 16-20 year-old drinkers in our sample was 21.4% and among those who consumed jello shots, the percentage of alcohol consumption attributable to jello shots averaged 14.5%. We conclude that jello shot use is prevalent among youth, representing a substantial proportion of their alcohol intake. Surveillance of youth alcohol use should include jello shot consumption.
PMCID: PMC3153984  PMID: 21174500
youth alcohol use; jello shots; alcohol brands; surveillance; alcoholic beverages
15.  The Use of Match Statistics that Discriminate Between Successful and Unsuccessful Soccer Teams 
Journal of Human Kinetics  2012;31:139-147.
Three soccer World Cups were analysed with the aim of identifying the match statistics which best discriminated between winning, drawing and losing teams. The analysis was based on 177 matches played during the three most recent World Cup tournaments: Korea/Japan 2002 (59), Germany 2006 (59) and South Africa 2010 (59). Two categories of variables were studied: 1) those related to attacking play: goals scored, total shots, shots on target, shots off target, ball possession, number of off-sides committed, fouls received and corners; and 2) those related to defence: total shots received, shots on target received, shots off target received, off-sides received, fouls committed, corners against, yellow cards and red cards. Discriminant analysis of these matches revealed the following: (a) the variables related to attacking play that best differentiated between winning, drawing and losing teams were total shots, shots on target and ball possession; and (b) the most discriminating variables related to defence were total shots received and shots on target received. These results suggest that winning, drawing and losing national teams may be discriminated from one another on the basis of variables such as ball possession and the effectiveness of their attacking play. This information may be of benefit to both coaches and players, adding to their knowledge about soccer performance indicators and helping to guide the training process.
PMCID: PMC3588662  PMID: 23487020
soccer; match analysis; performance indicators; discriminant analysis
16.  The Effect of Court Location and Available Time on the Tactical Shot Selection of Elite Squash Players 
No previous research in squash has considered the time between shots or the proximity of the ball to a wall, which are two important variables that influence shot outcomes. The aim of this paper was to analyse shot types to determine the extent to which they are played in different court areas and a more detailed analysis to determine whether the time available had an influence on the shot selected. Ten elite matches, contested by fifteen of the world’s top right handed squash players (age 27 ± 3.2, height 1.81 ± 0.06 m, weight 76.3 ± 3.7 kg), at the men’s World Team Championships were processed using the SAGIT/Squash tracking system with shot information manually added to the system. Results suggested that shot responses were dependent upon court location and the time between shots. When these factors were considered repeatable performance existed to the extent that one of two shots was typically played when there was limited time to play the shot (< 1.20s). For example, it was clear that when players did not have a lot of time to hit the ball (low time i.e. < 1.06s, and mid time i.e. 1.06 - 1.20s) in the front left corner close to the side wall, the crosscourt lob was used frequently (44.30% and 36.31% respectively) whereas when there was more time this shot was seldom used (13.64%). Consequently variant and invariant behaviour were shown to exist in elite squash although for the first time it was suggested that the availability of time to play a shot contributed to which of these behaviours was evident. This analysis could be extended by adopting a case study approach to see how individual differences in strategy and tactics affect shot selections.
Key pointsPrevious research has suggested that a playing strategy, elements decided in advance of the match, may be evident for elite players by examining court location and preceding shot type, however these parameters alone are unlikely to be sufficient predictors.At present there is no known analysis in squash, or indeed in any of the racket sports, that has quantified the time available to respond to different shot types. An understanding of the time interval between shots and the movement characteristics of the player responding to different shots according to the court positions might facilitate a better understanding of the dynamics that determine shot selection.Some elements of a general playing strategy were evident e.g. predominately hitting to the back left of the court, but tactical differences in shot selection were also evident on the basis of court location and time available to play a shot.
PMCID: PMC3761750  PMID: 24149727
Strategy; tactics; SAGIT; invariant behaviour.
17.  The actin-microtubule cross-linking activity of Drosophila Short stop is regulated by intramolecular inhibition 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(18):2885-2893.
The authors investigated the regulation of the Drosophila actin-microtubule cross-linker Short stop (Shot) and found that Shot undergoes an intramolecular conformational change that regulates its cross-linking activity. This intramolecular interaction depends on Shot's NH2-terminal actin-binding domain and EF-hand-GAS2 domain.
Actin and microtubule dynamics must be precisely coordinated during cell migration, mitosis, and morphogenesis—much of this coordination is mediated by proteins that physically bridge the two cytoskeletal networks. We have investigated the regulation of the Drosophila actin-microtubule cross-linker Short stop (Shot), a member of the spectraplakin family. Our data suggest that Shot's cytoskeletal cross-linking activity is regulated by an intramolecular inhibitory mechanism. In its inactive conformation, Shot adopts a “closed” conformation through interactions between its NH2-terminal actin-binding domain and COOH-terminal EF-hand-GAS2 domain. This inactive conformation is targeted to the growing microtubule plus end by EB1. On activation, Shot binds along the microtubule through its COOH-terminal GAS2 domain and binds to actin with its NH2-terminal tandem CH domains. We propose that this mechanism allows Shot to rapidly cross-link dynamic microtubules in response to localized activating signals at the cell cortex.
PMCID: PMC3771950  PMID: 23885120
18.  Further Analysis of the Matching Law to Describe Two- and Three-point Shot Allocation by Professional Basketball Players 
The matching law was used to analyze whether the proportion of shots taken from two- or three-point range would match the proportional reinforcement rates produced by those shots when the reinforcement rate of three-point shooting was changed. Rule changes in 1994 and 1997 altered the distance of the three-point line in the National Basketball Association, which created a quasiexperimental reversal design, thereby naturally changing three-point reinforcement rates. The present data partially confirmed predictions made by the matching law, in that increases in the relative rate of three-point shots attempted corresponded to increases in the relative rate of three-point shots made.
PMCID: PMC1885414  PMID: 17624070
matching; basketball; reversal design; choice; reinforcement rate
19.  Maintaining epithelial integrity 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2003;162(7):1305-1315.
The Short stop (Shot/Kakapo) spectraplakin is a giant cytoskeletal protein, which exists in multiple isoforms with characteristics of both spectrin and plakin superfamilies. Previously characterized Shot isoforms are similar to spectrin and dystrophin, with an actin-binding domain followed by spectrin repeats. We describe a new large exon within the shot locus, which encodes a series of plakin repeats similar to the COOH terminus of plakins such as plectin and BPAG1e. We find that the plakin repeats are inserted between the actin-binding domain and spectrin repeats, generating isoforms as large as 8,846 residues, which could span 400 nm. These novel isoforms localized to adherens junctions of embryonic and follicular epithelia. Loss of Shot within the follicle epithelium leads to double layering and accumulation of actin and ZO-1 in between, and a reduction of Armadillo and Discs lost within, mutant cells, indicative of a disruption of adherens junction integrity. Thus, we identify a new role for spectraplakins in mediating cell–cell adhesion.
PMCID: PMC2173965  PMID: 14517208
actin; cytoskeleton; cell junctions; adhesion; follicle epithelium
20.  Brain ethanol levels in rats after voluntary ethanol consumption using a sweetened gelatin vehicle. 
A novel procedure for initiation of voluntary ethanol consumption in the rat was evaluated in terms of ease of initiation, consistency, and resulting brain ethanol levels. The “jello shot” consists of 10% ethanol in gelatin along with a caloric source (Polycose). Initiation of “jello shot” consumption in Sprague-Dawley rats required no food or water restriction and resulted in initial daily (8.4±0.6 g/kg body weight) and eventual hourly (1.1±0.1 g/kg body weight) intake of ethanol comparable to other procedures using either alcohol-preferring or non-genetically selected rats. Rat intake of ethanol via “jello shots” recovered quickly from environmental alterations and surgical implantation of a guide cannula. During 1-hr free access sessions, consumption of the “jello shot” occurred during the initial 10 minutes and resulted in a dose-related increase in ethanol levels in nucleus accumbens measured using microdialysis. These brain ethanol levels were comparable to those achieved using other self-administration methods. However, when 0.5 g/kg ethanol was gavaged either in “jello shot” or saline, there was about a 20% decrease in brain ethanol concentrations after gavage of the “jello shot” compared to saline. Even so, lack of a need for initial food or water deprivation and the rapidity with which stable self-administration can be achieved both suggest utility of the “jello shot” as a completely voluntary ethanol procedure.
PMCID: PMC1868439  PMID: 17140644
ethanol self-administration; water deprivation; nucleus accumbens; gelatin; Polycose
21.  The Spectraplakin Short Stop Is an Actin–Microtubule Cross-Linker That Contributes to Organization of the Microtubule Network 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2010;21(10):1714-1724.
The dynamics of actin and microtubules are coordinated in many cellular processes, but little is known about molecules mediating cross-talk. We describe intracellular dynamics of Shot in a structure-function analysis of its role as a cross-linker. Shot interacts with microtubules two ways through EB1 and along microtubule lattices by the GAS2 domain.
The dynamics of actin and microtubules are coordinated in a variety of cellular and morphogenetic processes; however, little is known about the molecules mediating this cytoskeletal cross-talk. We are studying Short stop (Shot), the sole Drosophila spectraplakin, as a model actin–microtubule cross-linking protein. Spectraplakins are an ancient family of giant cytoskeletal proteins that are essential for a diverse set of cellular functions; yet, we know little about the dynamics of spectraplakins and how they bridge actin filaments and microtubules. In this study we describe the intracellular dynamics of Shot and a structure–function analysis of its role as a cytoskeletal cross-linker. We find that Shot interacts with microtubules using two different mechanisms. In the cell interior, Shot binds growing plus ends through an interaction with EB1. In the cell periphery, Shot associates with the microtubule lattice via its GAS2 domain, and this pool of Shot is actively engaged as a cross-linker via its NH2-terminal actin-binding calponin homology domains. This cross-linking maintains microtubule organization by resisting forces that produce lateral microtubule movements in the cytoplasm. Our results provide the first description of the dynamics of these important proteins and provide key insight about how they function during cytoskeletal cross-talk.
PMCID: PMC2869377  PMID: 20335501
22.  Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault 
We investigated the possible relationship between being shot in an assault and possession of a gun at the time.
We enrolled 677 case participants that had been shot in an assault and 684 population-based control participants within Philadelphia, PA, from 2003 to 2006. We adjusted odds ratios for confounding variables.
After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P<.05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P<.05).
On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.
PMCID: PMC2759797  PMID: 19762675
23.  Photochemical degradation study of polyvinyl acetate paints used in artworks by Py–GC/MS 
► Thermal and photo degradation of PVAc paint samples were studied by Py–GC/MS with double-shot and single-shot techniques. ► Changes of the PVAc paint samples before and after UV ageing were revealed. ► The effects of pigments and ageing status to the degradation of PVAc paint samples were illustrated.
Photochemical degradation of commercial polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) homopolymer and PVAc paints mixed with burnt umber, cobalt blue, cadmium red dark, nickel azo yellow and titanium white commonly used for artworks were studied by pyrolysis–gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py–GC/MS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR). Py–GC/MS with single-shot technique was used for the characterization of the thermal degradation of PVAc at different temperatures, while the double-shot technique of Py–GC/MS was used to reveal the differences in the specimens before and after UV ageing, including the changes of detectable amounts of deacetylation product – acetic acid and plasticizers such as diethyl phthalate (DEP). Furthermore, the relative concentration of the pyrolysis products of the paint samples could be measured and compared in the second step of the double-shot Py–GC/MS, which are highly dependent on the presence of pigments and the ageing status of PVAc paints.
PMCID: PMC3438447  PMID: 23024446
Polyvinyl acetate (PVAc); Py–GC/MS; Degradation; Paints; Artworks
24.  The Effects of Caffeinated “Energy Shots” on Time Trial Performance 
Nutrients  2013;5(6):2062-2075.
An emerging trend in sports nutrition is the consumption of energy drinks and “energy shots”. Energy shots may prove to be a viable pre-competition supplement for runners. Six male runners (mean ± SD age and VO2max: 22.5 ± 1.8 years and 69.1 ± 5.7 mL·kg−1·min−1) completed three trials [placebo (PLA; 0 mg caffeine), Guayakí Yerba Maté Organic Energy Shot™ (YM; 140 mg caffeine), or Red Bull Energy Shot™ (RB; 80 mg caffeine)]. Treatments were ingested following a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design. Participants ran a five kilometer time trial on a treadmill. No differences (p > 0.05) in performance were detected with RB (17.55 ± 1.01 min) or YM ingestion (17.86 ± 1.59 min) compared to placebo (17.44 ± 1.25 min). Overall, energy shot ingestion did not improve time-trial running performance in trained runners.
PMCID: PMC3725493  PMID: 23743969
time trial; caffeine; taurine; yerba maté; distance running
25.  Increased Distance of Shooting on Basketball Jump Shot 
The present study analyzed the effect of increased distance on basketball jump shot outcome and performance. Ten male expert basketball players were filmed and a number of kinematic variables analyzed during jump shot that were performed from three conditions to represent close, intermediate and far distances (2.8, 4.6, and 6.4m, respectively). Shot accuracy decreased from 59% (close) to 37% (far), in function of the task constraints (p < 0.05). Ball release height decreased (p < 0.05) from 2.46 m (close) to 2.38m (intermediate) and to 2.33m (long). Release angle also decreased (p < 0.05) when shot was performed from close (78.92°) in comparison to intermediate distances (65.60°). While, ball release velocity increased (p < 0.05) from 4.39 m/s (close) to 5.75 m·s-1 (intermediate) to 6.89 m·s-1 (far). These changes in ball release height, angle and velocity, related to movement performance adaptations were suggested as the main factors that influence jump shot accuracy when distance is augmented.
Key pointsThe increased distance leads to greater spatial con-straint over shot movement that demands an adapta-tion of the movement for the regulation of the accu-racy and the impulse generation to release the ball.The reduction in balls release height and release angle, in addition to the increase in balls release ve-locity, were suggested as the main factors that de-creased shot accuracy with the distance increased.Players should look for release angles of shooting that provide an optimal balls release velocity to im-prove accuracy.
PMCID: PMC3737873  PMID: 24149195
Jump shot; distance of shooting; basketball; motor control; biomechanics

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