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1.  Creation of an Open-Access, Mutation-Defined Fibroblast Resource for Neurological Disease Research 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43099.
Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of many neurological disorders has been greatly enhanced by the discovery of mutations in genes linked to familial forms of these diseases. These have facilitated the generation of cell and animal models that can be used to understand the underlying molecular pathology. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in the use of patient-derived cells, due to the development of induced pluripotent stem cells and their subsequent differentiation into neurons and glia. Access to patient cell lines carrying the relevant mutations is a limiting factor for many centres wishing to pursue this research. We have therefore generated an open-access collection of fibroblast lines from patients carrying mutations linked to neurological disease. These cell lines have been deposited in the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Repository at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research and can be requested by any research group for use in in vitro disease modelling. There are currently 71 mutation-defined cell lines available for request from a wide range of neurological disorders and this collection will be continually expanded. This represents a significant resource that will advance the use of patient cells as disease models by the scientific community.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043099
PMCID: PMC3428297  PMID: 22952635
2.  Suppressive lateral interactions at parafoveal representations in primary visual cortex 
The perceptual salience and visibility of image elements is influenced by other elements in their vicinity. The perceptual effect of image elements on an adjacent target element depends on their relative orientation. Collinear flanking elements usually improve sensitivity for the target element while orthogonal elements have a weaker effect. It is believed that the collinear flankers exert these effects through lateral interactions between neurons in the primary visual cortex (area V1), but the precise mechanisms underlying these contextual interactions remain unknown. Here we directly examined this question by recording the effects of flankers on the responses of V1 neurons at parafoveal representations while monkeys performed a fixation task or a contrast detection task. We found, unexpectedly, that collinear flankers reduce the monkeys’ perceptual sensitivity for a central target element. This behavioural effect was explained by a flanker induced increase in the activity of V1 neurons in the absence of the central target stimulus, which reduced the amplitude of the target response. Our results indicate that the dominant effect of collinear flankers in parafoveal vision is suppression and suggest that these suppressive effects are caused by a decrease in the dynamic range of neurons coding the central target.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6071-09.2010
PMCID: PMC3044877  PMID: 20861379
visual cortex; contextual modulation; collinear flankers; primary visual cortex
3.  Antifungal Resistance of Candida glabrata Vaginal Isolates and Development of a Quantitative Reverse Transcription-PCR-Based Azole Susceptibility Assay ▿  
A multiplex quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assay was developed to detect azole resistance in Candida glabrata, an important opportunistic pathogen that develops resistance rapidly. Resistance was defined as a ≥3-fold increase in CDR1 expression by this assay, which proved to be 100% sensitive and 95% specific in comparison to the gold standard broth microdilution assay.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00462-08
PMCID: PMC2533493  PMID: 18591262
4.  Survey of Vaginal-Flora Candida Species Isolates from Women of Different Age Groups by Use of Species-Specific PCR Detection▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(4):1501-1503.
A retrospective survey of 93,775 samples testing positive in Candida species-specific PCR tests performed on cervicovaginal swabs over a 4-year period demonstrated consistent yearly distributions of Candida albicans (89%), C. glabrata (7.9%), C. parapsilosis (1.7%), and C. tropicalis (1.4%). However, the species distributions among different age groups revealed increases in the percentages of non-albicans species with increases in age.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02485-07
PMCID: PMC2292962  PMID: 18305136

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