Publications by authors named "Adam Jones"

152 Publications

Terahertz Sensor via Ultralow-Loss Dispersion-Flattened Polymer Optical Fiber: Design and Analysis.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Aug 29;14(17). Epub 2021 Aug 29.

School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK.

A novel cyclic olefin copolymer (COC)-based polymer optical fiber (POF) with a rectangular porous core is designed for terahertz (THz) sensing by the finite element method. The numerical simulations showed an ultrahigh relative sensitivity of 89.73% of the x-polarization mode at a frequency of 1.2 THz and under optimum design conditions. In addition to this, they showed an ultralow confinement loss of 2.18 × 10 cm, a high birefringence of 1.91 × 10, a numerical aperture of 0.33, and an effective mode area of 1.65 × 10 μm was obtained for optimum design conditions. Moreover, the range dispersion variation was within 0.7 ± 0.41 ps/THz/cm, with the frequency range of 1.0-1.4 THz. Compared with the traditional sensor, the late-model sensor will have application value in THz sensing and communication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14174921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8434055PMC
August 2021

High-Throughput Digital Image Analysis Reveals Distinct Patterns of Dystrophin Expression in Dystrophinopathy Patients.

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2021 Sep 8. Epub 2021 Sep 8.

From the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, UK (ST, DS, VS, JD, AJ, CAS, JEM, FM); NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health & Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK (ST, DS, VS, JD, AJ, CAS, JEM, FM); Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK (MJE); School of Cancer Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK (MJE); Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology & Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK (LF, DC, RP); Department of Orthopaedics, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK (DME); The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore and University College London, London, UK (DME); APHP, Laboratoire de Génétique et Biologie Moléculaire, HUPC Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France (FL, RBY); APHP-Sorbonne Université, Centre de Référence Maladies Neuromusculaires Nord/Est/Ile de France, Institut de Myologie, GH Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France (RBY); Sorbonne Université, Inserm, Institut de Myologie, Center de Recherche en Myologie, Paris, France (RBY, TS, GB, MB); APHP-Hôpital Marin de Hendaye, Hendaye, France (AU); CHU de Reims-American Memorial Hospital, Reims, France (PS); Department of Pediatric Neurology, Necker Enfants Maladies Hospital, Paris, France (CB); Institute of Neurology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy (ER); Wolfson Centre for Inherited Neuromuscular Diseases and Department of Musculoskeletal Histopathology, RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, UK (CAS, TW, RK); and UOC di Neurologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy (GT).

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an incurable disease caused by out-of-frame DMD gene deletions while in frame deletions lead to the milder Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). In the last decade several antisense oligonucleotides drugs have been developed to induce a partially functional internally deleted dystrophin, similar to that produced in BMD, and expected to ameliorate the disease course. The pattern of dystrophin expression and functionality in dystrophinopathy patients is variable due to multiple factors, such as molecular functionality of the dystrophin and its distribution. To benchmark the success of therapeutic intervention, a clear understanding of dystrophin expression patterns in dystrophinopathy patients is vital. Recently, several groups have used innovative techniques to quantify dystrophin in muscle biopsies of children but not in patients with milder BMD. This study reports on dystrophin expression using both Western blotting and an automated, high-throughput, image analysis platform in DMD, BMD, and intermediate DMD/BMD skeletal muscle biopsies. Our results found a significant correlation between Western blot and immunofluorescent quantification indicating consistency between the different methodologies. However, we identified significant inter- and intradisease heterogeneity of patterns of dystrophin expression in patients irrespective of the amount detected on blot, due to variability in both fluorescence intensity and dystrophin sarcolemmal circumference coverage. Our data highlight the heterogeneity of the pattern of dystrophin expression in BMD, which will assist the assessment of dystrophin restoration therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnen/nlab088DOI Listing
September 2021

Higher Number of EBI3 Cells in Mucosal Chronic Hyperplastic Candidiasis May Serve to Regulate IL-17-Producing Cells.

J Fungi (Basel) 2021 Jun 30;7(7). Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Dental Hospital, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XY, UK.

Previous research into the inflammatory cell infiltrate of chronic hyperplastic candidosis (CHC) determined that the immune response is primarily composed of T cells, the majority of which are T helper (CD4) cells. This present investigation used immunohistochemistry to further delineate the inflammatory cell infiltrate in CHC. Cells profiled were those expressing IL-17A cytokine, EBI3 and IL-12A subunits of the IL-35 cytokine, and FoxP3 cells. Squamous cell papilloma (with infection) and oral lichen planus tissues served as comparative controls to understand the local immune responses to infection. The results demonstrated that induced inflammation and immune regulation co-exist in the oral mucosa of CHC and that high prevalence of cells expressing the EBI3 cytokine subunit may play an important role in this regulation. This balance between inflammation and immune tolerance toward invading in the oral mucosa may be critical in determining progress of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jof7070533DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8306506PMC
June 2021

Can oral surgery be performed safely when COVID-19 status is unknown?

Evid Based Dent 2021 01;22(2):74-75

Department of Oral Surgery, Leeds Dental Institute, UK.

Design Cross-sectional study/special report.Study population This paper presents the early experience of the oral and maxillofacial surgery department at Hadassah University Medical Centre in Jerusalem during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The study involved both medical staff and patients.Data analysis A retrospective analysis of an eight-week period (February-April 2020) collated 1,471 patient records and examined diagnoses, procedures performed and COVID-19 status of patients and staff. Any attempts made to access routine dental care before presentation in secondary care were recorded.Results In the study period, one member of staff was confirmed as COVID-19-positive. Sixty-three patients had formal COVID-19 tests; all were negative. Forty-three patients were admitted for drainage of odontogenic fascial space infections; 53% reported delayed or failed attempts to access dental care before their infection. Additionally, the authors describe a screening process, personal protective equipment (PPE) allocation and staff/patient testing protocols employed in their surgical unit throughout this period.Conclusions The authors suggest a series of triage and screening measures to limit the risk of unknowingly exposing clinical staff to the COVID-19 virus and offer advice on safely delaying non-emergency treatment where necessary. Recommendations for use of PPE for aerosol and non-aerosol generating procedures are made, but it is important to recognise that the efficacy of these measures cannot be determined by the methodology employed. This paper demonstrates an early example of complications developing from absent or delayed routine dental services resulting from lockdowns. This 'excess morbidity' is likely to have an impact on healthcare services as the pandemic recovery unfolds and services begin to return to normal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41432-021-0176-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8226344PMC
January 2021

The Role of Topical Anesthetics in the Treatment of Pediatric Facial Lacerations.

J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2021 Oct 23;79(10):2087-2090. Epub 2021 May 23.

Consultant, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, St. Richard's Hospital, PO19 6SE Chichester, Worthing Hospital, BN11 2DH Worthing, United Kingdom.

Purpose: Pediatric facial lacerations (PLACS) are a common emergency, often requiring a general anesthetic (GA) or sedation if infiltration of local anesthetic (LA) cannot be tolerated. Topical anesthetics are a well-established and accepted alternative to infiltrations for facial lacerations which can reduce the need for general anesthesia. We report our experience following the introduction of topical 5% cocaine w/v and 1:2000 adrenaline gel (TCA) in a single center.

Methods: A secondary data analysis of 11 months attendances with PLACS following the introduction of TCA as part of a service improvement project.

Results: Fifty-three patients had wounds suitable for use of TCA. Twenty-three patients were treated with TCA, 14 with TCA alone and 9 with top-up local anesthetic infiltration (TCA + LA). Fourteen patients were treated using LA alone and 16 underwent GA. No adverse reactions were recorded.

Conclusion: Topical anesthetics are a safe and effective alternative to infiltration of local anesthetic for PLACS and can be used to avoid the additional risks posed by sedation or GA. We recommend more departments introduce a topical anesthetic for this purpose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2021.05.020DOI Listing
October 2021

Continuous In-Line Chromium Coating Thickness Measurement Methodologies: An Investigation of Current and Potential Technology.

Sensors (Basel) 2021 May 11;21(10). Epub 2021 May 11.

Wireless and Optoelectronic Research and Innovation Centre, University of South Wales, Treforest CF37 1DL, UK.

Coatings or films are applied to a substrate for several applications, such as waterproofing, corrosion resistance, adhesion performance, cosmetic effects, and optical coatings. When applying a coating to a substrate, it is vital to monitor the coating thickness during the coating process to achieve a product to the desired specification via real time production control. There are several different coating thickness measurement methods that can be used, either in-line or off-line, which can determine the coating thickness relative to the material of the coating and the substrate. In-line coating thickness measurement methods are often very difficult to design and implement due to the nature of the harsh environmental conditions of typical production processes and the speed at which the process is run. This paper addresses the current and novel coating thickness methodologies for application to chromium coatings on a ferro-magnetic steel substrate with their advantages and limitations regarding in-line measurement. The most common in-line coating thickness measurement method utilized within the steel packaging industry is the X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) method, but these systems can become costly when implemented for a wide packaging product and pose health and safety concerns due to its ionizing radiation. As technology advances, nanometer-scale coatings are becoming more common, and here three methods are highlighted, which have been used extensively in other industries (with several variants in their design) which can potentially measure coatings of nanometer thickness in a production line, precisely, safely, and do so in a non-contact and non-destructive manner. These methods are optical reflectometry, ellipsometry and interferometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s21103340DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8151628PMC
May 2021

Consideration of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases during Differential Diagnosis.

South Med J 2021 May;114(5):277-282

From the Departments of Environmental Toxicology and Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, and the Department of Human Development, Family Studies, and Counseling, Texas Woman's University, Denton.

Objective: Recognition and reporting of vector-borne and zoonotic disease (VBZD) cases is largely dependent upon the consideration of such diseases by healthcare practitioners during the initial diagnosis and ordering of specific confirmative diagnostic tests. This study was conducted to assess the general knowledge and understanding of VBZD transmission and clinical presentation.

Methods: Healthcare practitioners were surveyed to determine the extent of training and educational experiences they received relative to VBZDs, and their likelihood to consider such diseases during differential diagnoses. In addition, an assessment of their knowledge of arthropod species that may transmit VBZD pathogens was conducted.

Results: Having postprofessional school training relevant to VBZDs significantly influenced diagnostic accuracy for such disease cases based on the presented clinical signs and symptoms.

Conclusions: The prevalence of VBZDs in the United States likely is significantly underestimated. The authors suggest the enhancement of VBZD-focused education as an important initiative that would significantly improve timely diagnosis, treatment, and, ultimately, prevention of these diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001248DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061336PMC
May 2021

Correlational selection in the age of genomics.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 05 15;5(5):562-573. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Ecologists and evolutionary biologists are well aware that natural and sexual selection do not operate on traits in isolation, but instead act on combinations of traits. This long-recognized and pervasive phenomenon is known as multivariate selection, or-in the particular case where it favours correlations between interacting traits-correlational selection. Despite broad acknowledgement of correlational selection, the relevant theory has often been overlooked in genomic research. Here, we discuss theory and empirical findings from ecological, quantitative genetic and genomic research, linking key insights from different fields. Correlational selection can operate on both discrete trait combinations and quantitative characters, with profound implications for genomic architecture, linkage, pleiotropy, evolvability, modularity, phenotypic integration and phenotypic plasticity. We synthesize current knowledge and discuss promising research approaches that will enable us to understand how correlational selection shapes genomic architecture, thereby linking quantitative genetic approaches with emerging genomic methods. We suggest that research on correlational selection has great potential to integrate multiple fields in evolutionary biology, including developmental and functional biology, ecology, quantitative genetics, phenotypic polymorphisms, hybrid zones and speciation processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01413-3DOI Listing
May 2021

Burnout and secondary traumatic stress in health-system pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Am J Health Syst Pharm 2021 04;78(9):818-824

Department of Pharmacy, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI, and University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Purpose: To describe the prevalence of burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS) in health-system pharmacists during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Methods: A cross-sectional, professional pharmacy organization listserver-based online survey of a target group of health-system pharmacists across the United States was conducted. The survey was sent out through professional organization listservers and was anonymous and voluntary. The survey questionnaire included items regarding demographics and employment characteristics, COVID-19-related questions, a survey of respondents' perceptions of the prevalence and severity of burnout, and the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL). The ProQOL assessed respondents for compassion satisfaction (subcategorized as burnout and STS) and compassion fatigue. Descriptive statistics was used to assess the prevalence of burnout and STS.

Results: Four hundred eighty-four health-system pharmacists completed the survey. Based on respondents' self-ratings of burnout, 47% were identified as having current burnout and 81% as having a history of burnout. Based on ProQOL scoring, 65.3% of respondents were identified as having a moderate or high likelihood of burnout, which was a prevalence higher than that indicated by respondents' self-ratings. Additionally, 51.4% of respondents were identified as having a moderate or high probability of STS and 99.4% as having a moderate or high probability of compassion satisfaction.

Conclusion: The survey found that over half of health-system pharmacists were affected with burnout, half with STS, and all with compassion satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the development of burnout and STS in these health-system pharmacists may lead to several work-related consequences (eg, increase risk of medical errors, depression); therefore, addressing burnout and STS is crucial. Further studies of the consequences of burnout and STS during the COVID-19 pandemic are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajhp/zxab051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7929387PMC
April 2021

The population genomics of repeated freshwater colonizations by Gulf pipefish.

Mol Ecol 2021 04 6;30(7):1672-1687. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA.

How organisms adapt to the novel challenges imposed by the colonization of a new habitat has long been a central question in evolutionary biology. When multiple populations of the same species independently adapt to similar environmental challenges, the question becomes whether the populations have arrived at their adaptations through the same genetic mechanisms. In recent years, genetic techniques have been used to tackle these questions by investigating the genome-level changes underlying local adaptation. Here, we present a genomic analysis of colonization of freshwater habitats by a primarily marine fish, the Gulf pipefish (Syngnathus scovelli). We sample pipefish from four geographically distinct freshwater locations and use double-digest restriction site associated DNA sequencing to compare them to 12 previously studied saltwater populations. The two most geographically distant and isolated freshwater populations are the most genetically distinct, although demographic analysis suggests that these populations are experiencing ongoing migration with their saltwater neighbours. Additionally, outlier regions were found genome-wide, showing parallelism across ecotype pairs. We conclude that these multiple freshwater colonizations involve similar genomic regions, despite the large geographical distances and different underlying mechanisms. These similar patterns are probably facilitated by the interacting effects of intrinsic barriers, gene flow among populations and ecological selection in the Gulf pipefish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15841DOI Listing
April 2021

Survey of Health-System Pharmacy Leadership Pathways: A 10-Year Revisit.

J Pharm Pract 2021 Jan 5:897190020986094. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Michigan Medicine, 21614University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Objective: To compare health-system pharmacy leadership pathways and opinions in the last decade.

Methods: A 33 question survey was recreated from the 2009 survey of health-system pharmacy leadership pathways and reviewed and modified by the original creators. In November 2019, investigators sent two invites to complete a Qualtrics survey to individuals listed on the ASHP Connect Pharmacy Practice Leaders listserver. The survey closed on December 15, 2019.

Results: Two-hundred-thirteen pharmacy leaders responded to the survey. Survey respondents identified completing a pharmacy practice (PGY1) residency as the most common health-system pharmacy leadership pathway. Respondents stated on-the-job experience contributed most to their leadership development. Interpersonal skills (20%), human resource management (19%), and finance and budget management (13%) were classified as the most valuable skill-sets to a health-systems leader. Thirty-nine percent of eligible respondents stated they were interested in seeking a health-system pharmacy director position and 23% stated they may be interested. The majority of directors stated that they preferred to hire those with previous on-the job experience into leadership positions.

Conclusion: Regardless of leadership pathway, those interested in pursuing health-system pharmacy leadership positions should pursue as much on-the-job experience as possible, build relationships through networking, and find a strong, helpful mentor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0897190020986094DOI Listing
January 2021

Design and optical characterization of an efficient polarized organic light emitting diode based on refractive index modulation in the emitting layer.

Opt Express 2020 Dec;28(26):40131-40144

Luminescent liquid Crystal (LC) material is regarded as the most promising material for polarized organic light emission due to their intrinsic characteristics including orderly alignment and luminescence. Nevertheless, the optical extraction efficiency of LC based organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) devices still requires significant effort and innovation towards real-world applications. In this paper, we propose the design of a highly linearly polarized light-emission from OLEDs with integrated refractive index nanograting in the emissive layer (EML) based on photo aligned luminescent liquid crystal material. The simulation results indicate that the geometrically optimized polarized device yields an external quantum efficiency (EQE) up to 47% with a polarized ratio up to 28 dB at a 550 nm emission wavelength. This conceptual design offers a new opportunity to achieve efficient polarized organic luminescence, and it is (to the best of our knowledge) the first approach that enhances the light extraction of OLEDs based on luminescent liquid crystal via index grating in the EML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.412292DOI Listing
December 2020

Prescribing Habits of Providers and Risk Factors for Nonadherence to Opioid Prescribing Guidelines.

Am Surg 2021 Jul 9;87(7):1039-1047. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Department of Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA.

Background: The Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network introduced guidelines in October 2017 to combat opioid overprescription following various surgical procedures. We sought to evaluate changes in opioid prescribing at our academic center and identify factors associated with nonadherence to recently implemented opioid prescribing guidelines.

Methods: This retrospective review analyzed opioid prescribing data for appendectomy, cholecystectomy, and hernia repair from January 2015 through September 2017 (pre-guidelines group) and November 2017 through December 2018 (post-guidelines group). October 2017 data were excluded to allow for guideline implementation. Opioid prescribing data were recorded as total morphine equivalents (TMEs).

Results: Of 1493 cases (903 pre-vs. 590 post-guidelines), the mean TME prescribed significantly decreased post-guidelines (231.9 ± 108.6 vs. 112.7 ± 73.9 mg; < .01). More providers prescribed within recommended limits post-guidelines (2.8% vs. 44.8%; < .01). On multivariable analysis, independent risk factors for guideline nonadherence were the American Society of Anesthesiologists class > 2 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]:1.65, 95% confidence interval[CI] 1.09-2.49; = .02), general surgery vs. acute care surgery service (AOR 1.89, 95% CI 1.15-3.10; = .01), oxycodone vs. hydrocodone (AOR:1.90, 95% CI:1.06-3.41; = .03), and nonphysician provider vs. resident prescriber (AOR:2.10, 95% CI:1.14-3.11; < .01).

Conclusions: Opioid prescribing significantly reduced after the adoption of opioid prescribing guidelines at our institution. Numerous factors associated with provider guideline nonadherence may identify actionable targets to minimize opioid overprescribing further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0003134820956332DOI Listing
July 2021

Dynamic Suppression of Average Facial Structure Shapes Neural Tuning in Three Macaque Face Patches.

Curr Biol 2021 01 15;31(1):1-12.e5. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Section on Cognitive Neurophysiology and Imaging, National Institute of Mental Health, 49 Convent Dr., Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; Neurophysiology Imaging Facility, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Eye Institute, 49 Convent Dr., Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:

The visual perception of identity in humans and other primates is thought to draw upon cortical areas specialized for the analysis of facial structure. A prominent theory of face recognition holds that the brain computes and stores average facial structure, which it then uses to efficiently determine individual identity, though the neural mechanisms underlying this process are controversial. Here, we demonstrate that the dynamic suppression of average facial structure plays a prominent role in the responses of neurons in three fMRI-defined face patches of the macaque. Using photorealistic face stimuli that systematically varied in identity level according to a psychophysically based face space, we found that single units in the AF, AM, and ML face patches exhibited robust tuning around average facial structure. This tuning emerged after the initial excitatory response to the face and was expressed as the selective suppression of sustained responses to low-identity faces. The coincidence of this suppression with increased spike timing synchrony across the population suggests a mechanism of active inhibition underlying this effect. Control experiments confirmed that the diminished responses to low-identity faces were not due to short-term adaptation processes. We propose that the brain's neural suppression of average facial structure facilitates recognition by promoting the extraction of distinctive facial characteristics and suppressing redundant or irrelevant responses across the population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855058PMC
January 2021

Survival trends in elderly myeloma patients.

Eur J Haematol 2021 Jan 29;106(1):126-131. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Objective: Myeloma is primarily a disease of the elderly, but older patients experience poorer outcomes. Effective treatments may not be offered to older patients over fears about toxicity, particularly for those with comorbidities. We aimed to characterise the trend in survival disparity between older and younger patients and assess to what extent comorbidity might explain these disparities.

Methods: We examined records for 56 010 patients diagnosed with myeloma in England between 1998-2014. The Hospital Episode Statistics database provided information on comorbidity. Net survival was estimated for each diagnosis period. Adjusted excess hazard ratios for the effect of age were estimated using flexible parametric models.

Results: Net survival increased for all age groups over the study period. However, older patients experienced a higher risk of death from their disease consistent between 1998 and 2014. Adjusting for comorbidity made little difference to the estimates.

Conclusion: Factors other than comorbidity must explain the poorer survival experience of elderly patients. Treatment data were not examined and should be employed by future population studies. Inconsistent treatment of elderly patients with myeloma may be prevented by further use of pragmatic clinical trials which are inclusive of older adults, and also wider utilisation of frailty scores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13530DOI Listing
January 2021

Early impact of COVID-19 social distancing measures on reported sexual behaviour of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis users in Wales.

Sex Transm Infect 2021 03 23;97(2):85-87. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Centre for Trials Research, School of Medicine, College of Biomedical & Life Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales.

Objectives: To describe the early impact of COVID-19 and associated control measures on the sexual behaviour of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users in Wales.

Methods: Data were obtained from an ecological momentary assessment study of PrEP use and sexual behaviour. Participants were individuals accessing PrEP through the National Health Service (NHS) sexual health clinics across four health boards in Wales. Weekly data documenting condomless sex in the preceding week were analysed between 03/02/2020 and 10/05/2020. The introduction of social distancing measures and changes to sexual health clinics in Wales occurred on the week starting 16/03/2020. Two-level logistic regression models were fitted to condomless sex (yes/no) over time, included an indicator for the week starting 16/03/2020, and were extended to explore differential associations by relationship status and sexual health clinic.

Results: Data were available from 56 participants and included 697 person-weeks (89% of the maximum number that could have been obtained). On average, 42% of participants reported condomless sex in the period prior to the introduction of social distancing measures and 20% reported condomless sex after (OR=0.16, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.37, p<0.001). There was some evidence to suggest that this association was moderated by relationship status (OR for single participants=0.09, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.23; OR for not single participants=0.46, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.25).

Conclusions: The introduction of social distancing measures and changes to PrEP services across Wales was associated with a marked reduction in reported instances of condomless sexual intercourse among respondents, with a larger reduction in those who were single compared with those who were not. The long-term impact of COVID-19 and associated control measures on this population's physical and mental health and well-being requires close examination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2020-054598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7892366PMC
March 2021

The ATPase Inhibitory Factor 1 (IF) regulates the expression of the mitochondrial Ca uniporter (MCU) via the AMPK/CREB pathway.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res 2021 01 18;1868(1):118860. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, 4 Royal College Street, NW1 0TU London, United Kingdom; Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Consortium for Mitochondrial Research (CfMR), University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT London, United Kingdom.. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2020.118860DOI Listing
January 2021

Quantifying the causal pathways contributing to natural selection.

Evolution 2020 12 12;74(12):2560-2574. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, 83844.

The consequences of natural selection can be understood from a purely statistical perspective. In contrast, an explicitly causal approach is required to understand why trait values covary with fitness. In particular, key evolutionary constructs, such as sexual selection, fecundity selection, and so on, are best understood as selection via particular fitness components. To formalize and operationalize these concepts, we must disentangle the various causal pathways contributing to selection. Such decompositions are currently only known for linear models, where they are sometimes referred to as "Wright's rules." Here, we provide a general framework, based on path analysis, for partitioning selection among its contributing causal pathways. We show how the extended selection gradient-which represents selection arising from a trait's causal effects on fitness-can be decomposed into path-specific selection gradients, which correspond to distinct causal mechanisms of selection. This framework allows for nonlinear effects and nonadditive interactions among variables, which may be estimated using standard statistical methods (e.g., generalized linear [mixed] models or generalized additive models). We thus provide a generalization of Wright's path rules that accommodates the nonlinear and nonadditive mechanisms by which natural selection commonly arises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.14091DOI Listing
December 2020

Genetic tool development in marine protists: emerging model organisms for experimental cell biology.

Nat Methods 2020 05 6;17(5):481-494. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Diverse microbial ecosystems underpin life in the sea. Among these microbes are many unicellular eukaryotes that span the diversity of the eukaryotic tree of life. However, genetic tractability has been limited to a few species, which do not represent eukaryotic diversity or environmentally relevant taxa. Here, we report on the development of genetic tools in a range of protists primarily from marine environments. We present evidence for foreign DNA delivery and expression in 13 species never before transformed and for advancement of tools for eight other species, as well as potential reasons for why transformation of yet another 17 species tested was not achieved. Our resource in genetic manipulation will provide insights into the ancestral eukaryotic lifeforms, general eukaryote cell biology, protein diversification and the evolution of cellular pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41592-020-0796-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7200600PMC
May 2020

The Influence of Soccer Playing Surface on the Loading Response to Ankle (P)Rehabilitation Exercises.

J Sport Rehabil 2020 Mar 31:1-7. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Context: Contemporary synthetic playing surfaces have been associated with an increased risk of ankle injury in the various types of football. Triaxial accelerometers facilitate in vivo assessment of planar mechanical loading on the player.

Objective: To quantify the influence of playing surface on the PlayerLoad elicited during footwork and plyometric drills focused on the mechanism of ankle injury.

Design: Repeated-measures, field-based design.

Setting: Regulation soccer pitches.

Participants: A total of 15 amateur soccer players (22.1 [2.4] y), injury free with ≥6 years competitive experience.

Interventions: Each player completed a test battery comprising 3 footwork drills (anterior, lateral, and diagonal) and 4 plyometric drills (anterior hop, inversion hop, eversion hop, and diagonal hop) on natural turf (NT), third-generation artificial turf (3G), and AstroTurf. Global positioning system sensors were located at C7 and the mid-tibia of each leg to measure triaxial acceleration (100 Hz).

Main Outcome Measures: PlayerLoad in each axial plane was calculated for each drill on each surface and at each global positioning system location.

Results: Analysis of variance revealed a significant main effect for sensor location in all drills, with PlayerLoad higher at mid-tibia than at C7 in all movement planes. AstroTurf elicited significantly higher PlayerLoad in the mediolateral and anteroposterior planes, with typically no difference between NT and 3G. In isolated inversion and eversion hopping trials, the 3G surface also elicited lower PlayerLoad than NT.

Conclusions: PlayerLoad magnitude was sensitive to unit placement, advocating measurement with greater anatomical relevance when using microelectromechanical systems technology to monitor training or rehabilitation load. AstroTurf elicited higher PlayerLoad across all planes and drills and should be avoided for rehabilitative purposes, whereas 3G elicited a similar mechanical response to NT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2019-0199DOI Listing
March 2020

The Estrogen-Responsive Transcriptome of Female Secondary Sexual Traits in the Gulf Pipefish.

J Hered 2020 05;111(3):294-306

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID.

Sexual dimorphism often results from hormonally regulated trait differences between the sexes. In sex-role-reversed vertebrates, females often have ornaments used in mating competition that are expected to be under hormonal control. Males of the sex-role-reversed Gulf pipefish (Syngnathus scovelli) develop female-typical traits when they are exposed to estrogens. We aimed to identify genes whose expression levels changed during the development and maintenance of female-specific ornaments. We performed RNA-sequencing on skin and muscle tissue in male Gulf pipefish with and without exposure to estrogen to investigate the transcriptome of the sexually dimorphic ornament of vertical iridescent bands found in females and estrogen-exposed males. We further compared differential gene expression patterns between males and females to generate a list of genes putatively involved in the female secondary sex traits of bands and body depth. A detailed analysis of estrogen-receptor binding sites demonstrates that estrogen-regulated genes tend to have nearby cis-regulatory elements. Our results identified a number of genes that differed between the sexes and confirmed that many of these were estrogen-responsive. These estrogen-regulated genes may be involved in the arrangement of chromatophores for color patterning, as well as in the growth of muscles to achieve the greater body depth typical of females in this species. In addition, anaerobic respiration and adipose tissue could be involved in the rigors of female courtship and mating competition. Overall, this study generates a number of interesting hypotheses regarding the genetic basis of a female ornament in a sex-role-reversed pipefish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esaa008DOI Listing
May 2020

The Influence of Playing Surface on the Loading Response to Soccer-Specific Activity.

J Sport Rehabil 2020 11 5;29(8):1166-1170. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Context: The influence of playing surface on injury risk in soccer is contentious, and contemporary technologies permit an in vivo assessment of mechanical loading on the player.

Objective: To quantify the influence of playing surface on the PlayerLoad elicited during soccer-specific activity.

Design: Repeated measures, field-based design.

Setting: Regulation soccer pitches.

Participants: Fifteen amateur soccer players (22.1 [2.4] y), injury free with ≥6 years competitive experience.

Interventions: Each player completed randomized order trials of a soccer-specific field test on natural turf, astroturf, and third-generation artificial turf. GPS units were located at C7 and the mid-tibia of each leg to measure triaxial acceleration (100 Hz).

Main Outcome Measures: Total accumulated PlayerLoad in each movement plane was calculated for each trial. Ratings of perceived exertion and visual analog scales assessing lower-limb muscle soreness were measured as markers of fatigue.

Results: Analysis of variance revealed no significant main effect for playing surface on total PlayerLoad (P = .55), distance covered (P = .75), or postexercise measures of ratings of perceived exertion (P = .98) and visual analog scales (P = .61). There was a significant main effect for GPS location (P < .001), with lower total loading elicited at C7 than mid-tibia (P < .001), but with no difference between limbs (P = .70). There was no unit placement × surface interaction (P = .98). There was also a significant main effect for GPS location on the relative planar contributions to loading (P < .001). Relative planar contributions to loading in the anterioposterior:mediolateral:vertical planes was 25:27:48 at C7 and 34:32:34 at mid-tibia.

Conclusions: PlayerLoad metrics suggest that playing surface does not influence mechanical loading during soccer-specific activity (not including tackling). Clinical reasoning should consider that PlayerLoad magnitude and axial contributions were sensitive to unit placement, highlighting opportunities in the objective monitoring of load during rehabilitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2019-0327DOI Listing
November 2020

Fisher's lost model of runaway sexual selection.

Evolution 2020 02 6;74(2):487-494. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter MS 3051, Moscow, Idaho, USA.

The bizarre elaboration of sexually selected traits such as the peacock's tail was a puzzle to Charles Darwin and his 19th century followers. Ronald A. Fisher crafted an ingenious solution in the 1930s, positing that female preferences would become genetically correlated with preferred traits due to nonrandom mating. These genetic correlations would translate selection for preferred traits into selection for stronger preferences, leading to a self-reinforcing process of ever-elaborating traits and preferences. It is widely believed that Fisher provided only a verbal model of this "runaway" process. However, in correspondence with Charles Galton Darwin, Fisher also laid out a simple mathematical model that purportedly confirms his verbal prediction of runaway sexual selection. Unfortunately, Fisher's model contains inconsistencies that render his quantitative conclusions inaccurate. Here, we correct Fisher's model and show that it contains all the ingredients of a working runaway process. We derive quantitative predictions of his model using numerical techniques that were unavailable in Fisher's time. Depending on parameter values, mean traits and preferences may increase until genetic variance is depleted by selection, exaggerate exponentially while their variances remain stable, or both means and variances may increase super-exponentially. We thus present the earliest mathematical model of runaway sexual selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.13910DOI Listing
February 2020

Immunohistochemical Expression Patterns of Inflammatory Cells Involved in Chronic Hyperplastic Candidosis.

Pathogens 2019 Nov 12;8(4). Epub 2019 Nov 12.

School of Dentistry, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XY, UK.

The profile of the inflammatory cell infiltrate in chronic hyperplastic candidosis (CHC) was determined in oral mucosal biopsies by immunohistochemistry. One tonsillar tissue section was included as an immunohistochemistry control, whilst squamous papilloma ( = 4) with secondary infection was used as controls. Oral lichen planus tissues ( = 10) provided negative controls for presence, as well as positive controls for inflammation. Immunohistochemistry employed antibodies specific for CD3 (T lymphocytes), CD4 (T helper cells), CD8 (cytotoxic T cells), and CD20 (B lymphocytes). Manual counting of stained cells from digitised images determined the proportion of each cell type relative to the total number of cells, and these were assessed in the mucosa, the epithelium, and the lamina propria. The mean proportion of CD3 cells was significantly higher than CD20 cells in all tissue types. For CHC, the mean proportion of CD3 cells in entire tissues was 15.6%, with the highest proportion in the lamina propria (32.6%) compared with the epithelium (3.9%). CD20 cells were in much lower proportions (1.8%) in CHC, with the highest proportion (3.6%) in the lamina propria. T lymphocytes were predominately CD4 cells (9.0%) compared with CD8 cells (4.4%). CD4 cells were most prevalent in the lamina propria (23.1%) compared with the epithelium (mean = 3.2%). From these results, it was concluded that the immune response invoked by in CHC is primarily driven by the T helper cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8040232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6963680PMC
November 2019

Sex roles and the evolution of parental care specialization.

Proc Biol Sci 2019 08 28;286(1909):20191312. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter MS 3051, Moscow, ID, USA.

Males and females are defined by the relative size of their gametes (anisogamy), but secondary sexual dimorphism in fertilization, parental investment and mating competition is widespread and often remarkably stable over evolutionary timescales. Recent theory has clarified the causal connections between anisogamy and the most prevalent differences between the sexes, but deviations from these patterns remain poorly understood. Here, we study how sex differences in parental investment and mating competition coevolve with parental care specialization. Parental investment often consists of two or more distinct activities (e.g. provisioning and defence) and parents may care more efficiently by specializing in a subset of these activities. Our model predicts that efficient care specialization broadens the conditions under which biparental investment can evolve in lineages that historically had uniparental care. Major transitions in sex roles (e.g. from female-biased care with strong male mating competition to male-biased care with strong female competition) can arise following ecologically induced changes in the costs or benefits of different care types, or in the sex ratio at maturation. Our model provides a clear evolutionary mechanism for sex-role transitions, but also predicts that such transitions should be rare. It consequently contributes towards explaining widespread phylogenetic inertia in parenting and mating systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1312DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6732396PMC
August 2019

The protective effect of inflammatory monocytes during systemic C. albicans infection is dependent on collaboration between C-type lectin-like receptors.

PLoS Pathog 2019 06 26;15(6):e1007850. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Division of Infection and Immunity and Systems Immunity Research Institute, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, Wales.

Invasive candidiasis, mainly caused by Candida albicans, is a serious healthcare problem with high mortality rates, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Innate immune cells express pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) including C-type lectin-like receptors (CLRs) that bind C. albicans to initiate an immune response. Multiple CLRs including Dectin-1, Dectin-2 and Mincle have been proposed individually to contribute to the immune response to C. albicans. However how these receptors collaborate to clear a fungal infection is unknown. Herein, we used novel multi-CLR knockout (KO) mice to decipher the individual, collaborative and collective roles of Dectin-1, Dectin-2 and Mincle during systemic C. albicans infection. These studies revealed an unappreciated and profound role for CLR co-operation in anti-fungal immunity. The protective effect of multiple CLRs was markedly greater than any single receptor, and was mediated through inflammatory monocytes via recognition and phagocytosis of C. albicans, and production of C. albicans-induced cytokines and chemokines. These CLRs were dispensable for mediating similar responses from neutrophils, likely due to lower expression of these CLRs on neutrophils compared to inflammatory monocytes. Concurrent deletion of Dectin-1 and Dectin-2, or all three CLRs, resulted in dramatically increased susceptibility to systemic C. albicans infection compared to mice lacking a single CLR. Multi-CLR KO mice were unable to control fungal growth due to an inadequate early inflammatory monocyte-mediated response. In response to excessive fungal growth, the multi-CLR KO mice mounted a hyper-inflammatory response, likely leading to multiple organ failure. Thus, these data reveal a critical role for CLR co-operation in the effective control of C. albicans and maintenance of organ function during infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007850DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594653PMC
June 2019

erefinder: Genome-wide detection of oestrogen response elements.

Mol Ecol Resour 2019 Sep 5;19(5):1366-1373. Epub 2019 Jul 5.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA.

Oestrogen response elements (EREs) are specific DNA sequences to which ligand-bound oestrogen receptors (ERs) physically bind, allowing them to act as transcription factors for target genes. Locating EREs and ER responsive regions is therefore a potentially important component of the study of oestrogen-regulated pathways. Here, we report the development of a novel software tool, erefinder, which conducts a genome-wide, sliding-window analysis of oestrogen receptor binding affinity. We demonstrate the effects of adjusting window size and highlight the program's general agreement with ChIP studies. We further provide two examples of how erefinder can be used for comparative approaches. erefinder can handle large input files, has settings to allow for broad and narrow searches, and provides the full output to allow for greater data manipulation. These features facilitate a wide range of hypothesis testing for researchers and make erefinder an excellent tool to aid in oestrogen-related research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13046DOI Listing
September 2019

University students' behaviours towards accessing sexual health information and treatment.

Int J STD AIDS 2019 06 8;30(7):671-679. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

3 Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK.

Globally, it is widely recognised that young people (those under the age of 25 years) are at a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The majority of university students studying in the UK fall within this age bracket, and to help prevent such high incidence of STIs in this age group, it is essential that advice and treatment, if required, are obtained from reliable sources. This study sought to explore sources of sexual heath advice and treatment for students at Welsh universities (n = 3007). The main sources of advice were identified as the internet (49.1%) and GP/family doctors (38.9%), whilst local sexual health clinics (24.9%) and GP/family doctor services (20.2%) were the main sources for treatment in students. Males were more likely than females to report never needing advice (AOR 2.74; CI = 2.24-3.35) or requiring treatment (AOR 1.37; CI = 1.17-1.60). The apparent lack of engagement with these services by male students is a cause for concern, although one possible solution could be to further develop online methods to increase uptake of testing. Furthermore, the popularity of the internet for advice provides a timely reminder that regulation of online sexual health information is critical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956462419828866DOI Listing
June 2019

Fungi in the Marine Environment: Open Questions and Unsolved Problems.

mBio 2019 03 5;10(2). Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Terrestrial fungi play critical roles in nutrient cycling and food webs and can shape macroorganism communities as parasites and mutualists. Although estimates for the number of fungal species on the planet range from 1.5 to over 5 million, likely fewer than 10% of fungi have been identified so far. To date, a relatively small percentage of described species are associated with marine environments, with ∼1,100 species retrieved exclusively from the marine environment. Nevertheless, fungi have been found in nearly every marine habitat explored, from the surface of the ocean to kilometers below ocean sediments. Fungi are hypothesized to contribute to phytoplankton population cycles and the biological carbon pump and are active in the chemistry of marine sediments. Many fungi have been identified as commensals or pathogens of marine animals (e.g., corals and sponges), plants, and algae. Despite their varied roles, remarkably little is known about the diversity of this major branch of eukaryotic life in marine ecosystems or their ecological functions. This perspective emerges from a Marine Fungi Workshop held in May 2018 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. We present the state of knowledge as well as the multitude of open questions regarding the diversity and function of fungi in the marine biosphere and geochemical cycles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01189-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6401481PMC
March 2019
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