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1.  Plant and animal endemism in the eastern Andean slope: challenges to conservation 
BMC Ecology  2012;12:1.
Background
The Andes-Amazon basin of Peru and Bolivia is one of the most data-poor, biologically rich, and rapidly changing areas of the world. Conservation scientists agree that this area hosts extremely high endemism, perhaps the highest in the world, yet we know little about the geographic distributions of these species and ecosystems within country boundaries. To address this need, we have developed conservation data on endemic biodiversity (~800 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, and plants) and terrestrial ecological systems (~90; groups of vegetation communities resulting from the action of ecological processes, substrates, and/or environmental gradients) with which we conduct a fine scale conservation prioritization across the Amazon watershed of Peru and Bolivia. We modelled the geographic distributions of 435 endemic plants and all 347 endemic vertebrate species, from existing museum and herbaria specimens at a regional conservation practitioner's scale (1:250,000-1:1,000,000), based on the best available tools and geographic data. We mapped ecological systems, endemic species concentrations, and irreplaceable areas with respect to national level protected areas.
Results
We found that sizes of endemic species distributions ranged widely (< 20 km2 to > 200,000 km2) across the study area. Bird and mammal endemic species richness was greatest within a narrow 2500-3000 m elevation band along the length of the Andes Mountains. Endemic amphibian richness was highest at 1000-1500 m elevation and concentrated in the southern half of the study area. Geographical distribution of plant endemism was highly taxon-dependent. Irreplaceable areas, defined as locations with the highest number of species with narrow ranges, overlapped slightly with areas of high endemism, yet generally exhibited unique patterns across the study area by species group. We found that many endemic species and ecological systems are lacking national-level protection; a third of endemic species have distributions completely outside of national protected areas. Protected areas cover only 20% of areas of high endemism and 20% of irreplaceable areas. Almost 40% of the 91 ecological systems are in serious need of protection (= < 2% of their ranges protected).
Conclusions
We identify for the first time, areas of high endemic species concentrations and high irreplaceability that have only been roughly indicated in the past at the continental scale. We conclude that new complementary protected areas are needed to safeguard these endemics and ecosystems. An expansion in protected areas will be challenged by geographically isolated micro-endemics, varied endemic patterns among taxa, increasing deforestation, resource extraction, and changes in climate. Relying on pre-existing collections, publically accessible datasets and tools, this working framework is exportable to other regions plagued by incomplete conservation data.
doi:10.1186/1472-6785-12-1
PMCID: PMC3311091  PMID: 22284854
Andes-Amazon; conservation planning; ecological systems; endemic species richness; irreplaceability; Latin America
2.  Gold Mining in the Peruvian Amazon: Global Prices, Deforestation, and Mercury Imports 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18875.
Many factors such as poverty, ineffective institutions and environmental regulations may prevent developing countries from managing how natural resources are extracted to meet a strong market demand. Extraction for some resources has reached such proportions that evidence is measurable from space. We present recent evidence of the global demand for a single commodity and the ecosystem destruction resulting from commodity extraction, recorded by satellites for one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. We find that since 2003, recent mining deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru is increasing nonlinearly alongside a constant annual rate of increase in international gold price (∼18%/yr). We detect that the new pattern of mining deforestation (1915 ha/year, 2006–2009) is outpacing that of nearby settlement deforestation. We show that gold price is linked with exponential increases in Peruvian national mercury imports over time (R2 = 0.93, p = 0.04, 2003–2009). Given the past rates of increase we predict that mercury imports may more than double for 2011 (∼500 t/year). Virtually all of Peru's mercury imports are used in artisanal gold mining. Much of the mining increase is unregulated/artisanal in nature, lacking environmental impact analysis or miner education. As a result, large quantities of mercury are being released into the atmosphere, sediments and waterways. Other developing countries endowed with gold deposits are likely experiencing similar environmental destruction in response to recent record high gold prices. The increasing availability of satellite imagery ought to evoke further studies linking economic variables with land use and cover changes on the ground.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018875
PMCID: PMC3079740  PMID: 21526143
3.  Epstein-Barr Virus Immediate-Early Protein BRLF1 Interacts with CBP, Promoting Enhanced BRLF1 Transactivation 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(13):6228-6234.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) immediate-early protein BRLF1 is a transcriptional activator that mediates the switch from latent to lytic viral replication. Many transcriptional activators function, in part, due to an interaction with histone acetylases, such as CREB-binding protein (CBP). Here we demonstrate that BRLF1 interacts with the amino and carboxy termini of CBP and that multiple domains of the BRLF1 protein are necessary for this interaction. Furthermore, we show that the interaction between BRLF1 and CBP is important for BRLF1-induced activation of the early lytic EBV gene SM in Raji cells.
doi:10.1128/JVI.75.13.6228-6234.2001
PMCID: PMC114342  PMID: 11390628
4.  The Epstein-Barr Virus Protein BRLF1 Activates S Phase Entry through E2F1 Induction 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(8):6540-6550.
The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) immediate-early protein BRLF1 is one of two transactivators which mediate the switch from latent to lytic replication in EBV-infected cells. DNA viruses often modulate the function of critical cell cycle proteins to maximize the efficiency of virus replication. Here we have examined the effect of BRLF1 on cell cycle progression. A replication-deficient adenovirus expressing BRLF1 (AdBRLF1) was used to infect normal human fibroblasts and various epithelial cell lines. BRLF1 expression induced S phase entry in contact-inhibited fibroblasts and in the human osteosarcoma cell line U-2 OS. AdBRLF1 infection produced a dramatic increase in the level of E2F1 but not E2F4. In contrast, the levels of Rb, p107, and p130 were decreased in AdBRLF1-infected cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed an increased level of free E2F1 in the AdBRLF1-infected human fibroblasts. Consistent with the previously described effect of E2F1, AdBRLF1-infected fibroblasts had increased levels of p53 and p21 and died by apoptosis. BRLF1-induced activation of E2F1 may be required for efficient EBV lytic replication, since at least one critical viral replication gene (the viral DNA polymerase) is activated by E2F (C. Liu, N. D. Sista, and J. S. Pagano, J. Virol. 70:2545–2555, 1996).
PMCID: PMC112737  PMID: 10400750

Results 1-4 (4)