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Thomas H Segall-Shapiro, Eduardo D Sontag, Christopher A Voigt
The internal environment of growing cells is variable and dynamic, making it difficult to introduce reliable parts, such as promoters, for genetic engineering. Here, we applied control-theoretic ideas to design promoters that maintained constant levels of expression at any copy number. Theory predicts that independence to copy number can be achieved by using an incoherent feedforward loop (iFFL) if the negative regulation is perfectly non-cooperative. We engineered iFFLs into Escherichia coli promoters using transcription-activator-like effectors (TALEs)...
March 19, 2018: Nature Biotechnology
Sandra Claes, Thomas D'huys, Anneleen Van Hout, Dominique Schols, Tom Van Loy
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are of great importance to the pharmaceutical industry as they are involved in many human diseases and include well-validated targets for therapeutic intervention. Discovery of lead compounds, including small synthetic molecules, that specifically inhibit the receptor's function, is an important initial step in drug development and relies on sensitive, specific, and robust cell-based assays. Here, we describe a kinetic cellular assay with a fluorescent readout primarily designed to identify receptor-specific antagonists that inhibit the intracellular Ca2+ release evoked upon the activation of the CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) by its endogenous ligand, the CXC chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12)...
February 20, 2018: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Tiffany Guess, Hoyin Lai, Serenah E Smith, Linda Sircy, Kirsten Cunningham, David E Nelson, Erin E McClelland
The polysaccharide capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans is the primary virulence factor and one of the most commonly studied aspects of this pathogenic yeast. Capsule size can vary widely between strains, has the ability to grow rapidly when introduced to stressful or low nutrient conditions, and has been positively correlated with strain virulence. For these reasons, the size of the capsule is of great interest to C. neoformans researchers. The growth of the C. neoformans capsule is induced during phenotypic testing to help understand the effects of different treatments on the yeast or size differences between strains...
February 27, 2018: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Marija D Ivanovic, Jovana Petrovic, Andrej Savic, Goran Gligoric, Marjan Miletic, Miodrag Vukcevic, Bosko Bojovic, Ljupco Hadzievski, Tom D P Allsop, David J Webb
The ventilators involved in non-invasive mechanical ventilation commonly provide ventilator support via a facemask. The interface of the mask with a patient promotes air leaks that cause errors in the feedback information provided by a pneumatic sensor and hence patient-ventilator asynchrony with multiple negative consequences. Our objective is to test the possibility of using chest-wall motion measured by an optical fibre-grating sensor as a more accurate non-invasive ventilator triggering mechanism.
 Approach: The basic premise of our approach is that the measurement accuracy can be improved by using a triggering signal that precedes pneumatic triggering in the neuro-ventilatory coupling sequence...
March 19, 2018: Physiological Measurement
Amy E Kalkbrenner, Gayle C Windham, Cheng Zheng, Rob McConnell, Nora L Lee, James J Schauer, Brian Thayer, Juhi Pandey, Heather E Volk
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have reported associations of perinatal exposure to air toxics, including some metals and volatile organic compounds, with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). OBJECTIVES: Our goal was to further explore associations of perinatal air toxics with ASD and associated quantitative traits in high-risk multiplex families. METHODS: We included participants of a U.S. family-based study [the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE)] who were born between 1994 and 2007 and had address information...
March 12, 2018: Environmental Health Perspectives
Alessandro Pepe, Loredana Addimando, Jamal Dagdouke, Shaher Yagi, Guido Veronese
BACKGROUND: Subjective wellbeing can be defined in terms of good mental state, including positive and negative evaluations that people make of their affect and lives. The aim of this study was to identify specific domains of wellbeing that are salient to Palestinian teachers living in three different contexts (West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel) and to map how components of subjective wellbeing vary between the three cohorts. METHODS: Data were gathered from interviews of teachers participating in 16 focus groups and from 36 key informants (including psychologists, counsellors, school principals, lawyers)...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Tiziana Leone, Diego Alburez-Gutierrez, Rula Gandour, Ernestina Coast, Rita Giacaman
BACKGROUND: Armed conflicts can undermine a country's health-care capacity and disrupt the delivery of basic health services. Yet the public health consequences of war remain difficult to quantify, mainly because adequate data do not exist. We hypothesised that the ongoing conflict in the occupied Palestinian territory (including the restrictions on free movement and the strain on health-care services) have had detrimental effects on maternal and child health outcomes. METHODS: We reconstructed data on delivery by caesarean section and diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus vaccination with pooled data from Demographic and Health Surveys for 2000-14...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Suha Al-Butmeh, Njah Al-Khataib
BACKGROUND: The focus of this study was quality of life and mental health in elderly people living in the Bethlehem district. The aim of this study was to identify the most prevalent mental health problems and how they affect quality of life. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was done in June and July, 2010. We recruited a convenience sample of elderly people (aged 65 years and older) living in the Bethlehem district of occupied Palestinian territory. Using a structured questionnaire, we assessed quality of life with the WHOQOL-BREF and current psychological status and distress with the Brief Symptom Inventor...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Shahenaz Najjar, Nashat Nafouri, Kris Vanhaecht, Martin Euwema
BACKGROUND: Patient safety is the central component of health-care quality. There is a lack of patient safety data in the occupied Palestinian territory. The aim of this study was to assess patient safety and explore relationships between patient safety culture and the prevalence of adverse events at the department level. METHODS: Between May 25, 2009, and June 1, 2010, the Arabic validated Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture was used to measure the norms and perceptions of health professionals regarding safety...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Safwat Y Diab, Sanna Isosävi, Samir R Qouta, Saija Kuittinen, Raija-Leena Punamäki
BACKGROUND: Women at pre partum and post partum are especially susceptible to war trauma because they struggle to protect their infants from danger. Trauma research suggests increased problems in maternal mental health and infant development. Yet many cognitive-emotional processes affect the trauma survivors' mental health, such as post-traumatic growth and post-traumatic cognition. The aim of this study was to examine whether a mother's high post-traumatic growth and optimal post-traumatic cognition could protect their own mental health and their infant's stress regulation from the effects of traumatic war experiences...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Majed Hababeh, Wafaa Zeidan, Mariam Abdel El-Kader, Anwar Al Thaher, Nimer Kassim, Elias Habash, Hasan Arab, Ali Khader, Akihiro Seita
BACKGROUND: UNRWA introduced family planning services in 1994 as an integral part of its expanded maternal and child health-care programme. The main objective of UNRWA's family planning programme is to promote the health of mothers, children, and their families. The aim of this follow-up study was to assess contraceptive practices in the target population 5 years after the 2010 follow-up study and to identify future programme needs. METHODS: This cross-sectional survey was a done by trained nurses from June 1 to Dec 31, 2015...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Hendia Abu Nabaa', Nisreen Shelleh
BACKGROUND: The mammogram is considered a life-saving breast cancer screening procedure for women aged 40 years and older, yet uptake of mammography services by Palestinian women is very low. Breast cancer is the most common cancer, comprising 17% of all reported cancer cases, and the second leading cause of death in women in the occupied Palestinian territory. The aim of this study was to understand the barriers to mammography uptake through an exploratory qualitative study in Ramallah and Salfeet...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Guido Veronese, Alessandro Pepe, Feda Almurnak, Alaa Jaradah, Husam Hamdouna
BACKGROUND: Many researchers have reported that exposure to war and ongoing political violence increases mental health problems in children. Results of studies have also shown a high prevalence (58-80%) of post-traumatic stress disorder in war-affected children living in the occupied Palestinian territory. The aim of this study was to estimate the direct and indirect effects of perceived life satisfaction on the consequences of children's exposure to trauma and the balance of positive and negative affect...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Abeer A Nasir, Razan Salah, Abla Sayyed Ahmad, Samah Abu Hijleh, Sa'eed Abu Kattab, Alia Al Kurd, Rawan Al Sharif, Raed Amro, Ahmad Khatib, Hana' Mousa, Walaa Shamasnah, Khammisa Shqerat, Rita Giacaman
BACKGROUND: Hamm is an Arabic word that is used to express suffering. Idioms of distress are communicated differently in different contexts and cultures. Understanding idioms of distress and symptoms can help in diagnosis and lead to socioculturally sensitive health care. METHODS: In this qualitative study, we did semi-structured interviews with men and women of all age groups. Questions focused on the definition, causes, and consequences of Hamm. Responses were analysed by reading and re-reading interview transcripts until themes and subthemes emerged...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Alhassane Diallo, Heike Jacobi, Arron Cook, Robyn Labrum, Alexandra Durr, Alexis Brice, Perrine Charles, Cecilia Marelli, Caterina Mariotti, Lorenzo Nanetti, Marta Panzeri, Maria Rakowicz, Anna Sobanska, Anna Sulek, Tanja Schmitz-Hübsch, Ludger Schöls, Holger Hengel, Bela Melegh, Alessandro Filla, Antonella Antenora, Jon Infante, José Berciano, Bart P van de Warrenburg, Dagmar Timmann, Sylvia Boesch, Massimo Pandolfo, Jörg B Schulz, Peter Bauer, Paola Giunti, Jun-Suk Kang, Thomas Klockgether, Sophie Tezenas du Montcel
BACKGROUND: Spinocerebellar ataxias are dominantly inherited progressive ataxia disorders that can lead to premature death. We aimed to study the overall survival of patients with the most common spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, and SCA6) and to identify the strongest contributing predictors that affect survival. METHODS: In this longitudinal cohort study (EUROSCA), we enrolled men and women, aged 18 years or older, from 17 ataxia referral centres in ten European countries; participants had positive genetic test results for SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, or SCA6 and progressive, otherwise unexplained, ataxias...
April 2018: Lancet Neurology
Brooke Y Kauffman, Lorra Garey, Daniel J Paulus, Charles Jardin, Andres G Viana, Clayton Neighbors, Michael J Zvolensky
OBJECTIVE: Extant work has documented the relationship between anxiety sensitivity (AS) and problematic alcohol-related behaviors. However, research on the underlying mechanisms may serve to better explain their association. METHOD: The present study tested the hypothesis that AS would exert an indirect effect on alcohol-related behaviors through negative urgency among a sample of 507 college students (74.4% female; mean age = 22.07 years; SD = 3.83; age range: 18-47 years) who reported at least one heavy episodic drinking (HED) event in the previous month and at least one lifetime sexual partner...
March 2018: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Jessica L Combs, Elizabeth N Riley, Sarah J Peterson, Carol E Jordan, Gregory T Smith
OBJECTIVE: Exposure to sexual assault results in ongoing harms for women. After an assault, some women engage in higher levels of externalizing behaviors, such as problem drinking, and others experience higher levels of internalizing dysfunction, such as symptoms of anxiety and depression. We sought to understand the role of premorbid factors on the different post-assault experiences of women. METHOD: We studied 1,929 women prospectively during a period of high risk for sexual assault (the first year of college): women were assessed in July before arriving at college and in April near the end of the school year...
March 2018: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Erica M Eaton, Molly Magill, Christy Capone, Margaret A Cramer, Nadine R Mastroleo, Racheal Reavy, Brian Borsari
OBJECTIVE: Colleges continue to experience a high number of referred students because of campus alcohol violations. Subsequently, there has been a trend to use peer-implemented minimal interventions (PMIs), often using motivational interviewing (MI). However, little is known about how PMIs facilitate behavior change. This study aims to examine the mechanisms of behavior change within PMIs and their influence on alcohol reduction among mandated students. METHOD: Participants (N = 146; mean age = 18...
March 2018: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Bich-Tram Huynh, Elsa Kermorvant-Duchemin, Perlinot Herindrainy, Michael Padget, Feno Manitra Jacob Rakotoarimanana, Herisoa Feno, Elisoa Hariniaina-Ratsima, Tanjona Raheliarivao, Awa Ndir, Sophie Goyet, Patrice Piola, Frederique Randrianirina, Benoit Garin, Jean-Marc Collard, Didier Guillemot, Elisabeth Delarocque-Astagneau
Severe bacterial infections are a leading cause of death among neonates in low-income countries, which harbor several factors leading to emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Low-income countries should prioritize interventions to decrease neonatal infections; however, data are scarce, specifically from the community. To assess incidence, etiologies, and antimicrobial drug-resistance patterns of neonatal infections, during 2012-2014, we conducted a community-based prospective investigation of 981 newborns in rural and urban areas of Madagascar...
April 2018: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Greg A Mutch, Sarah Shulda, Alan J McCue, Martin J Menart, Cristian V Ciobanu, Chilan Ngo, James A Anderson, Ryan M Richards, David Vega-Maza
Solid metal oxides for carbon capture exhibit reduced adsorption capacity following high temperature exposure, due to surface area reduction by sintering. Furthermore, only low coordinate corner/edge sites on the thermodynamically sta-ble (100) facet display favourable binding towards CO2 , providing inherently low capacity. The (111) facet however, exhibits a high concentration of low coordinate sites. In this work, MgO(111) nanosheets displayed high capacity for CO2 , as well as a ≈ 65% increase in capacity despite a ≈ 30% reduction in surface area following sintering (0...
March 19, 2018: Journal of the American Chemical Society
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