Plate and screw fixation is a recent addition to the sternal wound treatment armamentarium. Patients undergoing cardiac and major vascular surgery have a higher risk of postoperative arrest than other elective patients. Those who undergo sternotomy for either cardiac or major vascular procedures are at a higher risk of postoperative arrest. Sternal plate design allows quick access to the mediastinum facilitating open cardiac massage, but chest compressions are the mainstay of re-establishing cardiac output in the event of arrest. The response of sternal plates and the chest wall to compressions when plated has not been studied. The safety of performing this maneuver is unknown. This study intends to demonstrate compressions are safe after sternal plating.
We investigated the effect of chest compressions on the plated sternum using a human cadaveric model. Cadavers were plated, an arrest was simulated, and an experienced physician performed a simulated resuscitation. Intrathoracic pressure was monitored throughout to ensure the plates encountered an appropriate degree of force. The hardware and viscera were evaluated for failure and trauma respectively.
No hardware failure or obvious visceral trauma was observed. Rib fractures beyond the boundaries of the plates were noted but the incidence was comparable to control and to the fracture incidence after resuscitation previously cited in the literature.
From this work we believe chest compressions are safe for the patient with sternal plates when proper plating technique is used. We advocate the use of this life-saving maneuver as part of an ACLS resuscitation in the event of an arrest for rapidly re-establishing circulation.
Controversy surrounds the expression of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in adrenal chromaffin cells. In these studies, α7 nAChRs expressed in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells are investigated. Using radiolabeled ligand binding techniques, [125I]α-bungarotoxin (αBGT) binding reaches equilibrium within 4 hours and is saturable with a Kd value of 4.2 nM. Using homologous competition experiments, the Ki for binding of αBGT was 1.9 nM. These data are consistent with the expression of homomeric α7 nAChRs. Methyllycaconatine (MLA), which binds α7 nAChRs with high affinity, inhibits [125I]αBGT binding in a concentration-dependent manner with a Ki of 30.6 nM; this value is ∼10 fold higher than the reported affinity of MLA for α7 nAChRs. We also document the ability of bromoacetylcholine (brACh) to alkylate α7 nAChRs, as has been previous demonstrated for bovine adrenal α3β4 nAChRs. When adrenal nAChRs are immunoprecipated with mAb 319, an antibody which recognizes α7 nAChR protein, and then probed with mAb 319 using Western blot analysis, a single band of ∼53 kD is identified. When adrenal nAChRs are immunoprecipated with mAb35, an antibody which recognizes α3 and α5 nAChR proteins, and then probed with mAb319 using Western blot analysis, a single band of ∼53 kD is identified. Together, these results support the expression of α7 nAChRs in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. However, these data suggest that the subunit composition of some of these receptors may include heteromeric α7 nAChRs.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor; binding; adrenal medulla; methyllycaconitine; α-bungarotoxin; α7
Ponds receiving latrine effluents may serve as sources of fecal contamination to shallow aquifers tapped by millions of tube-wells in Bangladesh. To test this hypothesis, transects of monitoring wells radiating away from four ponds were installed in a shallow sandy aquifer underlying a densely populated village and monitored for 14 months. Two of the ponds extended to medium sand. Another pond was sited within silty sand and the last in silt. The fecal indicator bacterium E. coli was rarely detected along the transects during the dry season and was only detected near the ponds extending to medium sand up to 7 m away during the monsoon. A log-linear decline in E. coli and Bacteroidales concentrations with distance along the transects in the early monsoon indicates that ponds excavated in medium sand were the likely source of contamination. Spatial removal rates ranged from 0.5-1.3 log10/m. After the ponds were artificially filled with groundwater to simulate the impact of a rain storm, E. coli levels increased near a pond recently excavated in medium sand, but no others. These observations show that adjacent sediment grain-size and how recently a pond was excavated influence how much fecal contamination ponds receiving latrine effluents contribute to neighboring groundwater.
bacteria; removal rates; setback distances; tube-wells; latrine effluent; Bangladesh
Many studies have proved that oncogenic viruses develop redundant mechanisms to alter the functions of the tumor suppressor p53. Here we show that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), via the oncoprotein LMP-1, induces the expression of ΔNp73α, a strong antagonist of p53. This phenomenon is mediated by the LMP-1 dependent activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1 (JNK-1) which in turn favours the recruitment of p73 to ΔNp73α promoter. A specific chemical inhibitor of JNK-1 or silencing JNK-1 expression strongly down-regulated ΔNp73α mRNA levels in LMP-1-containing cells. Accordingly, LMP-1 mutants deficient to activate JNK-1 did not induce ΔNp73α accumulation. The recruitment of p73 to the ΔNp73α promoter correlated with the displacement of the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase EZH2 which is part of the transcriptional repressive polycomb 2 complex. Inhibition of ΔNp73α expression in lymphoblastoid cells (LCLs) led to the stimulation of apoptosis and up-regulation of a large number of cellular genes as determined by whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (RNA-seq). In particular, the expression of genes encoding products known to play anti-proliferative/pro-apoptotic functions, as well as genes known to be deregulated in different B cells malignancy, was altered by ΔNp73α down-regulation. Together, these findings reveal a novel EBV mechanism that appears to play an important role in the transformation of primary B cells.
Approximately 20% of worldwide human cancers have been associated with viral infections. Many oncogenic viruses exert their transforming properties by inactivating the products of tumour suppressor genes. One of the best characterized events induced by ongocenic viruses is the inactivation of the transcriptional factors p53. The mucosal high-risk HPV types, EBV, HTLV-1 and KSHV, via their viral proteins, are able to target p53 by distinct mechanisms. We have recently described a novel p53 inactivation mechanism of some cutaneous beta HPV types which have been suggested to be associated with skin carcinogenesis. Beta HPV38 induces accumulation of the p53 antagonist, ΔNp73α which in turn silences the expression of the p53-regulated genes. Here we report that also EBV, via the oncoprotein LMP-1, induces the expression of ΔNp73α which is dependent on the recruitment of p73 on ΔNp73 promoter and the activation of JNK-1. The recruitment of p73 to the ΔNp73 promoter correlated with the displacement of the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase EZH2 which is part of a transcriptional repressive polycomb 2 complex. We also show that ΔNp73α plays an important role in transformation of primary human B cells and regulates the expression of a large number of cellular genes that encode proteins linked to cancer development, including lymphomagenesis.
In follow-up of a recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) that identified a locus in chromosome 2p21 associated with risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), we conducted a fine mapping analysis of a 120 kb region that includes EPAS1. We genotyped 59 tagged common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2278 RCC and 3719 controls of European background and observed a novel signal for rs9679290 [P = 5.75 × 10−8, per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.27, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17–1.39]. Imputation of common SNPs surrounding rs9679290 using HapMap 3 and 1000 Genomes data yielded two additional signals, rs4953346 (P = 4.09 × 10−14) and rs12617313 (P = 7.48 × 10−12), both highly correlated with rs9679290 (r2 > 0.95), but interestingly not correlated with the two SNPs reported in the GWAS: rs11894252 and rs7579899 (r2 < 0.1 with rs9679290). Genotype analysis of rs12617313 confirmed an association with RCC risk (P = 1.72 × 10−9, per-allele OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.18–1.39) In conclusion, we report that chromosome 2p21 harbors a complex genetic architecture for common RCC risk variants.
Consumption of arsenic-contaminated drinking water is associated with numerous cancers and dermal and vascular diseases. Arsenic is also a potent nervous system toxicant and epidemiological studies indicate that intellectual functions in children are compromised following early developmental exposure. This study was designed to examine the effects of arsenic on a broad range of age-specific behaviors including basic sensory-motor responses in neonates, locomotor activity and grip strength in juveniles, and operant measures of learning and attention in adults. Pregnant C57BL6/J mice consumed drinking water containing 0, 8, 25, or 80 ppm sodium arsenite from the fourth day of gestation until birth. Arsenic produced a range of behavioral impairments in male and female offspring at each of the test ages. The most striking effects of arsenic were on the development of gait and other motor responses including acoustic startle, righting reflexes, and forelimb grip. These results suggest that developmental arsenic exposure can produce other behavioral impairments in children in addition to cognitive impairment.
arsenic; behavior; C57BL6/J; development; learning; motor; prenatal exposure
While paint-balling a 15-year-old boy was shot on the front of his face guard causing him to hyperextend his neck. Over the next few days he developed neck stiffness and a large painful swelling over his upper left sternocleidomastoid muscle. CT confirmed this to be a haematoma abscess and at operation it was found to originate from the parapharyngeal vessels, extending from the skull base and tracking inferiorly along the carotid sheath, compressing (and partially thrombosing) the internal jugular vein (IJV). After surgical decompression, double-dose low molecular weight heparin and antibiotics, the patient made an uneventful recovery, including recanalisation of his IJV. Delayed cervical haematoma can result in neck space infection and potential airway compromise. Early CT scanning optimises timely intervention, consisting of airway protection, broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgical drainage.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary malignant brain tumor, with a median survival of about one year1. This poor prognosis is due to therapeutic resistance and tumor recurrence following surgical removal. Precisely how recurrence occurs is unknown. Using a genetically-engineered mouse model of glioma, we identify a subset of endogenous tumor cells that are the source of new tumor cells after the drug, temozolomide (TMZ), is administered to transiently arrest tumor growth. A Nestin-ΔTK-IRES-GFP (Nes-ΔTK-GFP) transgene that labels quiescent subventricular zone adult neural stem cells also labels a subset of endogenous glioma tumor cells. Upon arrest of tumor cell proliferation with TMZ, pulse-chase experiments demonstrate a tumor re-growth cell hierarchy originating with the Nes-ΔTK-GFP transgene subpopulation. Ablation of the GFP+ cells with chronic ganciclovir administration significantly arrested tumor growth and combined TMZ-ganciclovir treatment impeded tumor development. These data indicate the existence of a relatively quiescent subset of endogenous glioma cells that are responsible for sustaining long-term tumor growth through the production of transient populations of highly proliferative cells.
tumor hierarchy; cancer stem cells; cell ablation; glioma; ganciclovir
The cold inducible RNA binding protein (CIRBP) responds to a wide array of cellular stresses, including short wavelength ultraviolet light (UVC), at the transcriptional and post-translational level. CIRBP can bind the 3'untranslated region of specific transcripts to stabilize them and facilitate their transport to ribosomes for translation. Here we used RNA interference and oligonucleotide microarrays to identify potential downstream targets of CIRBP induced in response to UVC. Twenty eight transcripts were statistically increased in response to UVC and these exhibited a typical UVC response. Only 5 of the 28 UVC-induced transcripts exhibited a CIRBP-dependent pattern of expression. Surprisingly, 3 of the 5 transcripts (IL1B, IL8 and TNFAIP6) encoded proteins important in inflammation with IL-1β apparently contributing to IL8 and TNFAIP6 expression in an autocrine fashion. UVC-induced IL1B expression could be inhibited by pharmacological inhibition of NFκB suggesting that CIRBP was affecting NF-κB signaling as opposed to IL1B mRNA stability directly. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used as an activator of NF-κB to further study the potential link between CIRBP and NFκB. Transfection of siRNAs against CIRBP reduced the extent of the LPS-induced phosphorylation of IκBα, NF-κB DNA binding activity and IL-1β expression. The present work firmly establishes a novel link between CIRBP and NF-κB signaling in response to agents with diverse modes of action. These results have potential implications for disease states associated with inflammation.
Mitochondrial dysfunction causes poorly understood tissue-specific pathology stemming from primary defects in respiration, coupled with altered reactive oxygen species (ROS), metabolic signaling and apoptosis. The A1555G mtDNA mutation that causes maternally inherited deafness disrupts mitochondrial ribosome function, in part, via increased methylation of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA by the methyltransferase mtTFB1. In patient-derived A1555G cells, we show that 12S rRNA hyper-methylation causes ROS-dependent activation of AMP kinase and the pro-apoptotic nuclear transcription factor E2F1. This retrograde mitochondrial-stress relay is operative in vivo as transgenic-mtTFB1 mice exhibit enhanced 12S rRNA methylation in multiple tissues, increased E2F1 and apoptosis in the stria vascularis and spiral ganglion neurons of the inner ear, and progressive E2F1-dependent hearing loss. This transgenic-mtTFB1 mouse mitochondrial disease model provides a robust platform for deciphering the complex tissue-specificity of human mitochondrial-based disorders, as well as the precise pathogenic mechanism of maternally inherited deafness and its exacerbation by environmental factors.
Subtype selective molecules for α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been sought as novel therapeutics for nicotine cessation. α4β2 nAChRs have been shown to be involved in mediating the addictive properties of nicotine while other subtypes (i.e., α3β4 and α7) are believed to mediate the undesired effects of potential CNS drugs. To obtain selective molecules, it is important to understand the physiochemical features of ligands that affect selectivity and potency on nAChR subtypes. Here we present novel QSAR/QSSR models for negative allosteric modulators of human α4β2 nAChRs and human α3β4 nAChRs. These models support previous homology model and site-directed mutagenesis studies that suggest a novel mechanism of antagonism. Additionally, information from the models presented in this work was used to synthesize novel molecules; which subsequently led to the discovery of a new selective antagonist of human α4β2 nAChRs.
Accumulating evidence suggests that risk factors for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) differ by tumor Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) status. This potential etiological heterogeneity is not recognized in current disease classification.
We conducted a genome-wide association study of 1200 cHL patients and 6417 control subjects, with validation in an independent replication series, to identify common genetic variants associated with total cHL and subtypes defined by tumor EBV status. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) assuming a log-additive genetic model for the variants. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Two novel loci associated with total cHL irrespective of EBV status were identified in the major histocompatibility complex region; one resides adjacent to MICB (rs2248462: OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.69, P = 1.3 × 10−13) and the other at HLA-DRA (rs2395185: OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.50 to 0.62, P = 8.3 × 10−25) with both results confirmed in an independent replication series. Consistent with previous reports, associations were found between EBV-positive cHL and genetic variants within the class I region (rs2734986, HLA-A: OR = 2.45, 95% CI = 2.00 to 3.00, P = 1.2 × 10−15; rs6904029, HCG9: OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.36 to 0.59, P = 5.5 × 10−10) and between EBV-negative cHL and rs6903608 within the class II region (rs6903608, HLA-DRA: OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.84 to 2.35, P = 6.1 × 10−31). The association between rs6903608 and EBV-negative cHL was confined to the nodular sclerosis histological subtype. Evidence for an association between EBV-negative cHL and rs20541 (5q31, IL13: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.32 to 1.76, P = 5.4 x 10−9), a variant previously linked to psoriasis and asthma, was observed; however, the evidence for replication was less clear. Notably, one additional psoriasis-associated variant, rs27524 (5q15, ERAP1), showed evidence of an association with cHL in the genome-wide association study (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.10 to 1.33, P = 1.5 × 10−4) and replication series (P = .03).
Overall, these results provide strong evidence that EBV status is an etiologically important classification of cHL and also suggest that some components of the pathological process are common to both EBV-positive and EBV-negative patients.
Based on studies in mice and humans, cohesin loss from chromosomes during the period of protracted meiotic arrest appears to play a major role in chromosome segregation errors during female meiosis. In mice, mutations in meiosis-specific cohesin genes cause meiotic disturbances and infertility. However, the more clinically relevant situation, heterozygosity for mutations in these genes, has not been evaluated. We report here evidence from the mouse that partial loss of gene function for either Smc1b or Rec8 causes perturbations in the formation of the synaptonemal complex (SC) and affects both synapsis and recombination between homologs during meiotic prophase. Importantly, these defects increase the frequency of chromosomally abnormal eggs in the adult female. These findings have important implications for humans: they suggest that women who carry mutations or variants that affect cohesin function have an elevated risk of aneuploid pregnancies and may even be at increased risk of transmitting structural chromosome abnormalities.
Chromosome segregation errors during meiosis are the leading cause of birth defects and miscarriages in humans. While the basis for these errors is unknown, recent studies suggest that defective sister chromatid cohesion may be an important contributor. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that partial loss of gene function for either of two meiosis-specific cohesins, Smc1b or Rec8, might adversely affect synapsis or recombination between homologs during meiotic prophase. Our analyses of different mouse models demonstrate cohesin dosage effects on meiosis in both males and females. Importantly, reduced gene function led to an increase the frequency of chromosomally abnormal eggs in the adult female, suggesting that, in humans, women carrying cohesin mutations may be at an increased risk of chromosomally abnormal pregnancies.
Tumors exhibit complex organization and contain a variety of cell populations. The realization that the regenerative properties of a tumor may be largely confined to a cell subpopulation (cancer stem cell) is driving a new era of anti-cancer research. Cancer stem cells from Glioblastoma Multiforme tumors express markers that are also expressed in non-cancerous neural stem cells, including nestin and Sox2. We previously showed that the transcription factor Hes3 is a marker of neural stem cells, and that its expression is inhibited by JAK activity. Here we show that Hes3 is also expressed in cultures from glioblastoma multiforme which express neural stem cell markers, can differentiate into neurons and glia, and can recapitulate the tumor of origin when transplanted into immunocompromised mice. Similar to observations in neural stem cells, JAK inhibits Hes3 expression. Hes3 RNA interference reduces the number of cultured glioblastoma cells suggesting a novel therapeutic strategy.
A novel psychophysical method was developed for assessing spatial resolution in cochlear implants. Spectrally flat and spectrally peaked pulse train stimuli were generated by interleaving pulses on 11 electrodes. Spectrally flat stimuli used loudness-balanced currents and the spectrally peaked stimuli had a single spatial ripple with the current of the middle electrode raised to create a peak while the currents on two electrodes equally spaced at variable distance from the peak electrode were reduced to create valleys. The currents on peak and valley electrodes were adjusted to balance the overall loudness with the spectrally flat stimulus, while keeping the currents on flanking electrodes fixed. The psychometric functions obtained from percent correct discrimination of peaked and flat stimuli versus the distance between peak and valley electrodes were used to quantify spatial resolution for each of the eight subjects. The ability to resolve the spatial ripple correlated strongly with current level difference limens measured on the peak electrode. The results were consistent with a hypothesis that a factor other than spread of excitation (such as neural response variance) might underlie much of the variability in spatial resolution. Resolution ability was not correlated with phoneme recognition in quiet or sentence recognition in quiet and background noise, consistent with a hypothesis that implantees rely on cues other than fine spectral detail to identify speech, perhaps because this detail is poorly accessible or unreliable.
cochlear implant; spatial resolution; spectral resolution
Treatment advocacy (TA) programs, based in AIDS service organizations and clinics, aim to engage clients into care and support antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence through client-centered counseling; advocate for patients with providers; and provide social service referrals. Systematic evaluations of TA are lacking. We conducted a non-randomized evaluation examining relationships of TA participation to adherence, care engagement, social services utilization, unmet needs, patient self-advocacy, and adherence self-efficacy among 121 HIV-positive clients (36 in TA, 85 not in TA; 87% male, 34% African American, 31% White, 19% Latino). In multivariate models, TA participants (vs. non-TA participants) showed higher electronically monitored [85.3% vs. 70.7% of doses taken; b(SE)=13.16(5.55), p<.05] and self-reported [91.1% vs. 75.0%; b(SE)=11.60(5.65), p<.05] adherence; utilized more social service programs [Ms = 5.2 vs. 3.4; b(SE)=1.97(0.48), p<.0001]; and had fewer unmet social-service needs [Ms = 1.8 vs. 2.7; b(SE)=−1.06(0.48), p<.05]. Findings suggest the need for a randomized controlled trial of TA.
The digitization of biodiversity data is leading to the widespread application of taxon names that are superfluous, ambiguous or incorrect, resulting in mismatched records and inflated species numbers. The ultimate consequences of misspelled names and bad taxonomy are erroneous scientific conclusions and faulty policy decisions. The lack of tools for correcting this ‘names problem’ has become a fundamental obstacle to integrating disparate data sources and advancing the progress of biodiversity science.
The TNRS, or Taxonomic Name Resolution Service, is an online application for automated and user-supervised standardization of plant scientific names. The TNRS builds upon and extends existing open-source applications for name parsing and fuzzy matching. Names are standardized against multiple reference taxonomies, including the Missouri Botanical Garden's Tropicos database. Capable of processing thousands of names in a single operation, the TNRS parses and corrects misspelled names and authorities, standardizes variant spellings, and converts nomenclatural synonyms to accepted names. Family names can be included to increase match accuracy and resolve many types of homonyms. Partial matching of higher taxa combined with extraction of annotations, accession numbers and morphospecies allows the TNRS to standardize taxonomy across a broad range of active and legacy datasets.
We show how the TNRS can resolve many forms of taxonomic semantic heterogeneity, correct spelling errors and eliminate spurious names. As a result, the TNRS can aid the integration of disparate biological datasets. Although the TNRS was developed to aid in standardizing plant names, its underlying algorithms and design can be extended to all organisms and nomenclatural codes. The TNRS is accessible via a web interface at http://tnrs.iplantcollaborative.org/ and as a RESTful web service and application programming interface. Source code is available at https://github.com/iPlantCollaborativeOpenSource/TNRS/.
Biodiversity informatics; Database integration; Taxonomy; Plants
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most lethal urologic cancer. Only two common susceptibility loci for RCC have been confirmed to date. To identify additional RCC common susceptibility loci, we conducted an independent genome-wide association study (GWAS). We analyzed 533 191 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for association with RCC in 894 cases and 1516 controls of European descent recruited from MD Anderson Cancer Center in the primary scan, and validated the top 500 SNPs in silico in 3772 cases and 8505 controls of European descent involved in the only published GWAS of RCC. We identified two common variants in linkage disequilibrium, rs718314 and rs1049380 (r2 = 0.64, D ′ = 0.84), in the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor, type 2 (ITPR2) gene on 12p11.23 as novel susceptibility loci for RCC (P = 8.89 × 10−10 and P = 6.07 × 10−9, respectively, in meta-analysis) with an allelic odds ratio of 1.19 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13–1.26] for rs718314 and 1.18 (95% CI: 1.12–1.25) for rs1049380. It has been recently identified that rs718314 in ITPR2 is associated with waist–hip ratio (WHR) phenotype. To our knowledge, this is the first genetic locus associated with both cancer risk and WHR.
This study was designed to explore the experiences of urban parents in their role as Collaborative Board members as part of the CHAMP (Collaborative HIV prevention and Adolescent Mental health Project) Family Program Study. The CHAMP Collaborative Board is comprised of urban parents, representatives from schools and community-based agencies and university-based researchers and is charged with overseeing the design, delivery and testing of a family-based HIV prevention program for pre and early adolescent youth. The current qualitative study, guided by the Theory of Unified Behavior Change, is meant to elucidate: (1) pathways to involvement by urban parents; (2) benefits and costs of participating in this collaborative HIV prevention research effort; and (3) the role of social relationships in influencing initial and ongoing participation by parent participants. Twenty-nine parent Collaborative Board members were interviewed for this study. In-depth interviews were audio recorded and ranged from 30 to 90 minutes in length. Transcripts were coded and analyzed using NUD*IST, computerized software used for examining narratives. Findings include community parent members identifying social support and learning opportunities as major reasons for involvement with the Collaborative Board. Prior involvement with other community-based projects and knowledge of at least one other person on the Board also influenced members to join the Board and remain involved over time. Further, recommendations for future collaborative partnerships are made. Findings have direct implication for participatory HIV prevention research activities.
Pathways to involvement by urban parents; family-based HIV prevention; programming; influential social relationships; community narratives; urban pre and early adolescent youth
Collisions with windows are an important human-related threat to birds in urban landscapes. However, the proximate drivers of collisions are not well understood, and no study has examined spatial variation in mortality in an urban setting. We hypothesized that the number of fatalities at buildings varies with window area and habitat features that influence avian community structure. In 2010 we documented bird-window collisions (BWCs) and characterized avian community structure at 20 buildings in an urban landscape in northwestern Illinois, USA. For each building and season, we conducted 21 daily surveys for carcasses and nine point count surveys to estimate relative abundance, richness, and diversity. Our sampling design was informed by experimentally estimated carcass persistence times and detection probabilities. We used linear and generalized linear mixed models to evaluate how habitat features influenced community structure and how mortality was affected by window area and factors that correlated with community structure. The most-supported model was consistent for all community indices and included effects of season, development, and distance to vegetated lots. BWCs were related positively to window area and negatively to development. We documented mortalities for 16/72 (22%) species (34 total carcasses) recorded at buildings, and BWCs were greater for juveniles than adults. Based on the most-supported model of BWCs, the median number of annual predicted fatalities at study buildings was 3 (range = 0–52). These results suggest that patchily distributed environmental resources and levels of window area in buildings create spatial variation in BWCs within and among urban areas. Current mortality estimates place little emphasis on spatial variation, which precludes a fundamental understanding of the issue. To focus conservation efforts, we illustrate how knowledge of the structural and environmental factors that influence bird-window collisions can be used to predict fatalities in the broader landscape.
Over the years Streptococcus gordonii (sanguis) Challis has become the workhorse of genetic manipulations for the sanguis group of oral streptococci. This is because strain Challis was shown in early studies to be highly naturally competent for transformation. However, Challis is not usually the most appropriate strain to use in studies which focus on oral microbial adherence. We report that other members of the newly reorganized sanguis group, particularly within the species S. crista, display reasonable transformation frequencies, with both plasmid and chromosomal DNA, if transformed at the appropriate time during the growth curve. The ability to transform S. crista may be especially important for genetic studies of biological properties that appear to be limited to these specific streptococcal strains.
Streptococcus crista; Streptococcus gordonii Challis; Transformation; Competence
Intermicrobial binding plays an important role in the ecology of the oral cavity because it represents one mechanism by which specific bacteria colonize dental plaque. The formation of “corncobs”, a morphologically distinct microbial unit composed of Streptococcus crista and Fusobacterium nucleatum, is a highly specific binding interaction that depends on the presence of polar tufts of fimbriae on the streptococci. We have used a genetic approach to examine the role of streptococcal cell surface components involved in the binding of S. crista to F. nucleatum. Such binding may be an important component of corncob formation. A method for the genetic transformation of S. crista was used to transfer the broad host range transposon, Tn916, into the bacteria. Cells were grown to early log phase in brain heart infusion broth containing 10% fetal calf serum. The competent cells were mixed with purified DNA from pDL916, a plasmid construct consisting of Tn916 and the streptococcal/Escherichia coli shuttle vector pDL278. Over 300 transformants were screened for a reduction in binding to F. nucleatum. Five of the transformants showed a change in binding ranging from 59% to 29% of the positive control values. Southern blots revealed that the binding-deficient transformants contained the Tn916 element integrated into one of 4 different sites in the chromosome. The transposon, integrated into 4 different sites, appeared to be stable in the absence of selective pressure. Based on these findings, it appears that some strains of S. crista are naturally competent and that insertional inactivation methods can be used to facilitate the study of binding receptors in this group of oral streptococci.
Streptococcus crista; Fusobacterium nucleatum; corncob; transposon; transformation; dental plaque
The goal of this study was to experimentally evaluate systematic instruction compared with trial-and-error learning (conventional instruction) applied to assistive technology for cognition (ATC), in a double blind, pretest-posttest, randomized controlled trial. Twenty-nine persons with moderate-severe cognitive impairments due to acquired brain injury (15 in systematic instruction group; 14 in conventional instruction) completed the study. Both groups received 12, 45-minute individual training sessions targeting selected skills on the Palm Tungsten E2 personal digital assistant (PDA). A criterion-based assessment of PDA skills was used to evaluate accuracy, fluency/efficiency, maintenance, and generalization of skills. There were no significant differences between groups at immediate posttest with regard to accuracy and fluency. However, significant differences emerged at 30-day follow-up in favor of systematic instruction. Furthermore, systematic instruction participants performed significantly better at immediate posttest generalizing trained PDA skills when interacting with people other than the instructor. These results demonstrate that systematic instruction applied to ATC results in better skill maintenance and generalization than trial-and-error learning for individuals with moderate-severe cognitive impairments due to acquired brain injury. Implications, study limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.
instruction; errorless learning; assistive technology; memory; cognitive impairment
This study examines the relationship between family processes and youth substance use debuts among a sample of youth residing in urban family homeless shelters.
Data regarding shelter experiences, youth and family characteristics, and the use of three substances (i.e., cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana) were gathered from a sample of youth (11–14 years) and their respective parents residing in an urban family homeless shelter system. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine the influences on youth substance use.
Of the 198 youth included in the statistical analysis, 72% (n=143) reported no substance use debuts, while 18% (n=35) indicated one and 10% (n=20) indicated two to three substance use debuts. Within the final model, greater substance use debut was associated with being older (13–14 vs. 11–12; OR=7.5; 95% CI =1.8–30.9) and stressors exposure (OR=4.8; 95% CI =1.5–14.7). Furthermore, youth of adult caretakers that reported low levels of the three family processes considered were almost four and a half more likely (OR=4.4; 95% CI =1.2–16.5) to have made two to three substance use debuts.
Family processes may be a particularly important intervention target toward reducing the rate of substance use among youth residing in urban family homeless shelters.