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1.  Exploring the scope for advocacy by paediatricians 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1999;81(6):515-518.
AIMS—To ascertain the type and extent of problems requiring advocacy in paediatrics. To develop an approach for analysing problems according to their root causes and the level of society at which advocacy is needed.
METHODS—Nine paediatricians kept detailed clinical diaries for two weeks to identify problems. Classifications were developed to categorise problems by cause and the level of society at which they needed to be addressed. The press was surveyed for one week for childhood issues attracting media attention.
RESULTS—60 problems requiring advocacy were identified. Root causes included failures within agencies, between agencies, and inadequate provision. In addition to advocacy required individually, "political" action was needed at the community level (16 issues), city level (16 issues), and nationally (15 issues). 103 articles were found in the press, these did not relate closely to issues identified by clinicians.
CONCLUSIONS—Many opportunities for advocacy arise in the course of daily work. A systematic way of analysing them has been developed for use in planning action. To optimise the health and health care of children, there is a need to train and support paediatricians in advocacy work for local as well as national issues. Ten issues were identified that might be prioritised by paediatricians working on an agenda for action.


PMCID: PMC1718159  PMID: 10569972
2.  Young Carers and their Families. 
PMCID: PMC1717925  PMID: 10208964
3.  Myotactin, a Novel Hypodermal Protein Involved in Muscle–Cell Adhesion inCaenorhabditis elegans 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1999;146(3):659-672.
In C. elegans, assembly of hypodermal hemidesmosome-like structures called fibrous organelles is temporally and spatially coordinated with the assembly of the muscle contractile apparatus, suggesting that signals are exchanged between these cell types to position fibrous organelles correctly. Myotactin, a protein recognized by monoclonal antibody MH46, is a candidate for such a signaling molecule. The antigen, although expressed by hypodermis, first reflects the pattern of muscle elements and only later reflects the pattern of fibrous organelles. Confocal microscopy shows that in adult worms myotactin and fibrous organelles show coincident localization. Further, cell ablation studies show the bodywall muscle cells are necessary for normal myotactin distribution. To investigate myotactin's role in muscle-hypodermal signaling, we characterized the myotactin locus molecularly and genetically. Myotactin is a novel transmembrane protein of ∼500 kd. The extracellular domain contains at least 32 fibronectin type III repeats and the cytoplasmic domain contains unique sequence. In mutants lacking myotactin, muscle cells detach when embryonic muscle contraction begins. Later in development, fibrous organelles become delocalized and are not restricted to regions of the hypodermis previously contacted by muscle. These results suggest myotactin helps maintain the association between the muscle contractile apparatus and hypodermal fibrous organelles.
PMCID: PMC2150558  PMID: 10444073
Caenorhabditis elegans; cell adhesion; cell ablations; muscle; hemidesmosome-like structures
4.  High-throughput plasmid DNA purification for 3 cents per sample. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1999;27(24):e37.
To accommodate the increasingly rapid rates of DNA sequencing we have developed and implemented an inexpensive, expeditious method for the purification of double-stranded plasmid DNA clones. The robust nature, high throughput, low degree of technical difficulty and extremely low cost have made it the plasmid DNA preparation method of choice in both our expressed sequence tag (EST) and genome sequencing projects. Here we report the details of the method and describe its application in the generation of more than 700 000 ESTs at a rate exceeding 16 000 per week.
PMCID: PMC148760  PMID: 10572189

Results 1-5 (5)