Publications by authors named "Ashley Morris"

49 Publications

From Then to now: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Association of Southeastern Biologists.

Front Sociol 2021 27;6:755072. Epub 2021 Oct 27.

Division of Workforce Programs and Professional Learning, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL, United States.

The Association of Southeastern Biologists was founded in 1937 with the goal of increasing the contact and collaboration between scientists in the southeastern United States (US). With the exception of two years during World War II and one year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Association has met annually to promote research and education in the biological sciences by providing a student-friendly networking environment. In recent years, the Association has placed an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion among elected and appointed leaders, among participants in the annual meeting, and in the development of funding and other opportunities for students. This work prompted us to review the history of our Association, including periods of racial segregation and inequity, and focus on our current efforts to promote access and inclusion by students and scientists from myriad underrepresented groups. In so doing, the past provides us with the opportunity to cast a vision for the future of the Association. In this paper, we seek to share the journey of the Association of Southeastern Biologists in this regard so that we may be transparent, exposing the missteps and amplifying the successes of our organization. We envision this work as a first step toward creating a more open and inclusive scientific community for the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2021.755072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8579068PMC
October 2021

Extracellular Vesicles Secreted by TDO2-Augmented Fibroblasts Regulate Pro-inflammatory Response in Macrophages.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 22;9:733354. Epub 2021 Oct 22.

Smidt Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted lipid bilayer vesicles that mediate cell to cell communication and are effectors of cell therapy. Previous work has shown that canonical Wnt signaling is necessary for cell and EV therapeutic potency. Tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO2) is a target gene of canonical Wnt signaling. Augmenting TDO2 in therapeutically inert fibroblasts endows their EVs with immunomodulatory capacity including attenuating inflammatory signaling in macrophages. Transcriptomic analysis showed that macrophages treated with EVs from fibroblasts overexpressing TDO2 had blunted inflammatory response compared to control fibroblast EVs. , EVs from TDO2-overexpressing fibroblasts preserved cardiac function. Taken together, these results describe the role of a major canonical Wnt-target gene (TDO2) in driving the therapeutic potency of cells and their EVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.733354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8571098PMC
October 2021

Engineered Fibroblast Extracellular Vesicles Attenuate Pulmonary Inflammation and Fibrosis in Bleomycin-Induced Lung Injury.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 23;9:733158. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Smidt Heart Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease for which no curative treatment exists. We have previously engineered dermal fibroblasts to produce extracellular vesicles with tissue reparative properties dubbed activated specialized tissue effector extracellular vesicles (ASTEX). Here, we investigate the therapeutic utility of ASTEX and in a mouse model of bleomycin-induced lung injury. RNA sequencing demonstrates that ASTEX are enriched in micro-RNAs (miRs) cargo compared with EVs from untransduced dermal fibroblast EVs (DF-EVs). Treating primary macrophages with ASTEX reduced interleukin (IL)6 expression and increased IL10 expression compared with DF-EV-exposed macrophages. Furthermore, exposure of human lung fibroblasts or vascular endothelial cells to ASTEX reduced expression of smooth muscle actin, a hallmark of myofibroblast differentiation (respectively). , intratracheal administration of ASTEX in naïve healthy mice demonstrated a favorable safety profile with no changes in body weight, lung weight to body weight, fibrotic burden, or histological score 3 weeks postexposure. In an acute phase (short-term) bleomycin model of lung injury, ASTEX reduced lung weight to body weight, IL6 expression, and circulating monocytes. In a long-term setting, ASTEX improved survival and reduced fibrotic content in lung tissue. These results suggest potential immunomodulatory and antifibrotic properties of ASTEX in lung injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.733158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8512699PMC
September 2021

Utilizing a cognitive engineering approach to conduct a hierarchical task analysis to understand complex older adult decision-making during over-the-counter medication selection.

Res Social Adm Pharm 2021 12 7;17(12):2116-2126. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 1 W Wilson St, Madison, WI, USA.

Background: Adults aged 65+ (older adults) disproportionately consume 30% of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and are largely responsible for making OTC treatment decisions because providers lack awareness of their consumption. These treatment decisions are complex: older adults must navigate age-related body/cognitive changes, developed comorbidities, and complex medication regimens when selecting the right OTC. Yet little is known about how older adults make such decisions.

Objectives: This study characterizes older adults' cognitive decision-making process when seeking to self-medicate with OTCs from their community pharmacy, and demonstrates how hierarchical task analysis (HTA) can be used to evaluate a pharmacy intervention's impact on their decision-making.

Methods: A pre-/post-implementation approach, using a think-aloud interview process, was conducted with older adults within a community pharmacy setting as they completed a hypothetical scenario to treat either pain, sleep, or cough/cold/allergy symptoms. HTA developed a conceptualization of older adult decision-making regarding OTC selection and use before/after Senior Section implementation.

Results: An HTA constructed from 12 purposefully-selected interviews (pre-n = 9/post-n = 3), consisting of 8 goals/15 sub-goals. While selecting an OTC, older adults considered quantity, cost, form, regimen, safety, strength, appropriateness of OTC safety, generic/name-brand, past experiences, and ingredients. The intervention reduced by half the number of factors considered.

Implications: Older adult decision-making is more complex than just selecting OTC medication from a pharmacy shelf. HTA-informed decision profiles can provide pharmacists critical insights into safety issues that older adults may not be considering (e.g., factors related to safety, strength, or appropriateness of OTC for symptoms) so that pharmacists can support their decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.07.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8551020PMC
December 2021

Impact of a pilot community pharmacy system redesign on reducing over-the-counter medication misuse in older adults.

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 2021 Sep-Oct;61(5):555-564. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Background: No interventions have attempted to decrease misuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medications for adults aged 65 years or older (older adults) by addressing system barriers. An innovative structural pharmacy redesign (the Senior Section) was conceptualized to increase awareness of higher-risk OTC medications. The Senior Section contains a curated selection of OTC medications and is close to the prescription department to facilitate pharmacy staff-patient engagement to reduce misuse.

Objective: This pilot study examined the Senior Section's effectiveness at influencing OTC medication misuse in older adults.

Methods: A pretest-post-test nonequivalent groups design was used to recruit 87 older adults from 3 pharmacies. Using a hypothetical scenario, the participants selected an OTC medication that was compared with their medication list and health conditions, and their reported use was compared with the product labeling. Misuse outcomes comprised drug-drug, drug-disease, drug-age, and drug-label, with 5 subtypes. Patient characteristics were compiled into a propensity score matching logistic regression model to estimate their effects on the Senior Section's association with misuse at pre- or postimplementation.

Results: Patient characteristics were uniform between pre- and postimplementation, and, once entered into a propensity score matching model, drug-label misuse (exceeds daily dosage) statistically significantly lessened over time (z = -2.42, P = 0.015). In addition, the Senior Section reduced drug-label misuse (exceeds single dosage) for both the raw score model (z = -6.38, P = 0.011) and the model in which the patient characteristics propensity score was added (z = -5.82, P = 0.011). Despite these limited statistical effects, misuse was found to decrease after implementation for 7 of 11 comparisons.

Conclusion: These nascent outcomes begin providing an evidence base to support a well-conceived, pharmacy-based OTC medication-aisle redesign for reducing older adult OTC medication misuse. The Senior Section, when broadly implemented, creates permanent structures and processes to assist older adults to access risk information when selecting safer OTC medications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.japh.2021.04.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8429243PMC
October 2021

Estimating herbarium specimen digitization rates: Accounting for human experience.

Appl Plant Sci 2021 Apr 30;9(4):e11415. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 615 McCallie Avenue Chattanooga Tennessee 37403 USA.

Premise: Herbaria are invaluable sources for understanding the natural world, and in recent years there has been a concerted effort to digitize these collections. To organize such efforts, a method for estimating the necessary labor is desired. This work analyzes digitization productivity reports of 105 participants from eight herbaria, deriving generalized labor estimates that account for human experience.

Methods And Results: Individuals' rates of digitization were grouped based on cumulative time performing each task and then used to estimate a series of generalized labor projection models. In most cases, productivity was shown to improve with experience, suggesting longer technician retention can reduce labor requirements by 20%.

Conclusions: Using student labor is a common tactic for digitization efforts, and the resulting outreach exposes future professionals to natural history collections. However, overcoming the learning curve should be considered when estimating the labor necessary to digitize a collection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aps3.11415DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085955PMC
April 2021

Cognitive Impairment Detection.

Authors:
Ashley O Morris

Health Aff (Millwood) 2021 04;40(4):680-681

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy Madison, Wisconsin.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.02373DOI Listing
April 2021

Small herbaria contribute unique biogeographic records to county, locality, and temporal scales.

Am J Bot 2020 11 20;107(11):1577-1587. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Biology, Central Michigan University, 2401 Biosciences, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859, USA.

Premise: With digitization and data sharing initiatives underway over the last 15 years, an important need has been prioritizing specimens to digitize. Because duplicate specimens are shared among herbaria in exchange and gift programs, we investigated the extent to which unique biogeographic data are held in small herbaria vs. these data being redundant with those held by larger institutions. We evaluated the unique specimen contributions that small herbaria make to biogeographic understanding at county, locality, and temporal scales.

Methods: We sampled herbarium specimens of 40 plant taxa from each of eight states of the United States of America in four broad status categories: extremely rare, very rare, common native, and introduced. We gathered geographic information from specimens held by large (≥100,000 specimens) and small (<100,000 specimens) herbaria. We built generalized linear mixed models to assess which features of the collections may best predict unique contributions of herbaria and used an Akaike information criterion-based information-theoretic approach for our model selection to choose the best model for each scale.

Results: Small herbaria contributed unique specimens at all scales in proportion with their contribution of specimens to our data set. The best models for all scales were the full models that included the factors of species status and herbarium size when accounting for state as a random variable.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that small herbaria contribute unique information for research. It is clear that unique contributions cannot be predicted based on herbarium size alone. We must prioritize digitization and data sharing from herbaria of all sizes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756855PMC
November 2020

Opportunities for Outpatient Pharmacy Services for Patients with Cystic Fibrosis: Perceptions of Healthcare Team Members.

Pharmacy (Basel) 2019 Apr 3;7(2). Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Social and Administrative Sciences Division, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, Madison, WI 53705, USA.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common life-threatening, genetic conditions. People with CF follow complex, time-consuming treatment regimens to manage their chronic condition. Due to the complexity of the disease, multidisciplinary care from CF Foundation (CFF)-accredited centers is recommended for people with CF. These centers include several types of healthcare professionals specializing in CF; however, pharmacists are not required members. The purpose of this study was to identify the outpatient care needs of people living with CF that pharmacists could address to improve their quality of care. Healthcare members from a CFF accredited center and pharmacists were recruited to participate in semi-structured, audio-recorded interviews. Prevalent codes were identified and data analysis was conducted, guided by the systems engineering initiative for patient safety (SEIPS) model. The objective was to understand the medication and pharmacy-related needs of patients with CF and care team perspectives on pharmacists providing support for these patients. From the themes that emerged, pharmacists can provide support for people living with CF (medication burden, medication access, medication education) and the CF care team (drug monitoring and adherence, prior authorizations and insurance coverage, refill history). Pharmacists are well-positioned to address these difficulties to improve quality of care for people living with cystic fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7020034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6631244PMC
April 2019

Tissue-specific mosaicism in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: Implications for genetic testing in families.

Am J Med Genet A 2018 07 7;176(7):1618-1621. Epub 2018 May 7.

ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mosaicism in hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) has been previously identified when testing blood samples of HHT patients. We report the first detection of mosaicism not involving blood of a family proband, and discuss implications for genetic testing algorithms in HHT families. Sanger sequencing and large deletion/duplication analysis in a patient with HHT identified no pathogenic variant in ENG, ACVRL1, or SMAD4. Exome sequencing was then performed on this proband, as well as her affected adult child. A pathogenic ENG variant was detected in the proband's affected child, but not in DNA extracted from peripheral blood of the affected parent/proband. Additional tissue samples (saliva and hair bulbs) were obtained from the proband. The variant was not detected in saliva, but was detected in the hair bulb sample (at 33%). This is the first report of an HHT patient with mosaicism in whom the disease-causing mutation was not detected in blood. The molecular findings in this family suggest that the possibility of mosaicism not present or detectable in blood should be considered if a proband with HHT tests "negative" for a mutation in known genes. This occurrence is particularly suspect for families in which the proband does not have a clearly affected parent. This mechanism may explain some patients with classic HHT in whom a pathogenic variant has not been identified in one of the known HHT genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38695DOI Listing
July 2018

Digitization protocol for scoring reproductive phenology from herbarium specimens of seed plants.

Appl Plant Sci 2018 Feb 28;6(2):e1022. Epub 2018 Feb 28.

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology University of California Santa Barbara California 93106-9620 USA.

Premise Of The Study: Herbarium specimens provide a robust record of historical plant phenology (the timing of seasonal events such as flowering or fruiting). However, the difficulty of aggregating phenological data from specimens arises from a lack of standardized scoring methods and definitions for phenological states across the collections community.

Methods And Results: To address this problem, we report on a consensus reached by an iDigBio working group of curators, researchers, and data standards experts regarding an efficient scoring protocol and a data-sharing protocol for reproductive traits available from herbarium specimens of seed plants. The phenological data sets generated can be shared via Darwin Core Archives using the Extended MeasurementOrFact extension.

Conclusions: Our hope is that curators and others interested in collecting phenological trait data from specimens will use the recommendations presented here in current and future scoring efforts. New tools for scoring specimens are reviewed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aps3.1022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5851559PMC
February 2018

Markers in time and space: A review of the last decade of plant phylogeographic approaches.

Mol Ecol 2018 05;27(10):2317-2333

Department of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Plant studies comprise a relatively small proportion of the phylogeographic literature, likely as a consequence of the fundamental challenges posed by the complex genomic structures and life history strategies of these organisms. Comparative plastomics (i.e., comparisons of mutation rates within and among regions of the chloroplast genome) across plant lineages has led to an increased understanding of which markers are likely to provide the most information at low taxonomic levels. However, the extent to which the results of such work have influenced the literature has not been fully assessed, nor has the extent to which plant phylogeographers explicitly analyse markers in time and space, both of which are integral components of the field. Here, we reviewed more than 400 publications from the last decade of plant phylogeography to specifically address the following questions: (i) What is the phylogenetic breadth of studies to date? (ii) What molecular markers have been used, and why were they chosen? (iii) What kinds of markers are most frequently used and in what combinations? (iv) How frequently are divergence time estimation and ecological niche modelling used in plant phylogeography? Our results indicate that chloroplast DNA sequence data remain the primary tool of choice, followed distantly by nuclear DNA sequences and microsatellites. Less than half (42%) of all studies use divergence time estimation, while even fewer use ecological niche modelling (14%). We discuss the implications of our findings, as well as the need for community standards on data reporting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.14695DOI Listing
May 2018

Adult Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation Using Myeloablative Thiotepa, Total Body Irradiation, and Fludarabine Conditioning.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 Nov 17;23(11):1949-1954. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy, Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Electronic address:

Treatment-related mortality (TRM) remains elevated in adult patients undergoing umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT), including an early rise in TRM suggestive of excessive toxicity associated with the standard myeloablative total body irradiation (TBI), fludarabine, and cyclophosphamide regimen. In an attempt to reduce regimen-related toxicity, we previously studied a modified myeloablative regimen with TBI (1350 cGy) and fludarabine (160 mg/m); TRM was decreased, but neutrophil engraftment was suboptimal. Therefore, to improve engraftment while still minimizing regimen-related toxicity, we piloted a myeloablative regimen with the addition of thiotepa (10 mg/kg) to TBI and fludarabine conditioning. Thirty-one adult patients (median age, 46 years; range, 19 to 65) with hematologic malignancies (acute leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome, 77%; lymphoid malignancy, 23%) underwent single (n = 1) or double (n = 30) UCBT from 2010 to 2015 at our institution. The cumulative incidence of neutrophil engraftment was 90% (95% confidence interval [CI], 70% to 97%) by 60 days, with a median time to engraftment of 21 days (95% CI, 19 to 26). The cumulative incidence of platelet engraftment was 77% (95% CI, 57% to 89%) by 100 days, with a median time to engraftment of 47 days (95% CI, 37 to 73). Cumulative incidences of grades II to IV and grades III to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) at day 100 were 45% (95% CI, 27% to 62%) and 10% (95% CI, 2% to 23%), respectively. The overall incidence of chronic GVHD at 2 years was 40% (95% CI, 22% to 57%), with 17% of patients (95% CI, 6% to 33%) experiencing moderate to severe chronic GVHD by 2 years. TRM at 180 days was 13% (95% CI, 4% to 27%), at 1 year 24% (95% CI, 10% to 41%), and at 3 years 30% (95% CI, 13% to 49%). Relapse at 1 year was 13% (95% CI, 4% to 27%) and at 3 years 19% (95% CI, 6% to 38%). With a median follow-up of 35.5 months (95% CI, 12.7 to 52.2), disease-free and overall survival at 3 years were 51% (95% CI, 29% to 69%) and 57% (95% CI, 36% to 73%), respectively. This regimen represents a reasonable alternative to myeloablative conditioning with TBI, fludarabine, and cyclophosphamide and warrants further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.06.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5831160PMC
November 2017

Transplantation of Ex Vivo Expanded Umbilical Cord Blood (NiCord) Decreases Early Infection and Hospitalization.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2017 Jul 6;23(7):1151-1157. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy, Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Electronic address:

Delayed hematopoietic recovery contributes to increased infection risk following umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation. In a Phase 1 study, adult recipients of UCB stem cells cultured ex vivo for 3 weeks with nicotinamide (NiCord) had earlier median neutrophil recovery compared with historical controls. To evaluate the impact of faster neutrophil recovery on clinically relevant early outcomes, we reviewed infection episodes and hospitalization during the first 100 days in an enlarged cohort of 18 NiCord recipients compared with 86 standard UCB recipients at our institution. The median time to neutrophil engraftment was shorter in NiCord recipients compared with standard UCB recipients (12.5 days versus 26 days; P < .001). Compared with standard UCB recipients, NiCord recipients had a significantly reduced risk for total infection (RR, 0.69; P = .01), grade 2-3 (moderate to severe) infection (RR, 0.36; P < .001), bacterial infection (RR, 0.39; P = .003), and grade 2-3 bacterial infection (RR, 0.21; P = .003) by Poisson regression analysis; this effect persisted after adjustment for age, disease stage, and grade II-IV acute GVHD. NiCord recipients also had significantly more time out of the hospital in the first 100 days post-transplantation after adjustment for age and Karnofsky Performance Status (69.9 days versus 49.7 days; P = .005). Overall, transplantation of NiCord was associated with faster neutrophil engraftment, fewer total and bacterial infections, and shorter hospitalization in the first 100 days compared with standard UCB transplantation. In conclusion, rapid hematopoietic recovery from an ex vivo expanded UCB transplantation approach is associated with early clinical benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.04.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846194PMC
July 2017

EIF2AK4 Mutations in Patients Diagnosed With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Chest 2017 04 22;151(4):821-828. Epub 2016 Nov 22.

Department of Medicine, Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, UT; Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. Electronic address:

Background: Differentiating pulmonary venoocclusive disease (PVOD) and pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis (PCH) from idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) or heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (HPAH) is important clinically. Mutations in eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 4 (EIF2AK4) cause heritable PVOD and PCH, whereas mutations in other genes cause HPAH. The aim of this study was to describe the frequency of pathogenic EIF2AK4 mutations in patients diagnosed clinically with IPAH or HPAH.

Methods: Sanger sequencing and deletion/duplication analysis were performed to detect mutations in the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2) gene in 81 patients diagnosed at 30 North American medical centers with IPAH (n = 72) or HPAH (n = 9). BMPR2 mutation-negative patients (n = 67) were sequenced for mutations in four other genes (ACVRL1, ENG, CAV1, and KCNK3) known to cause HPAH. Patients negative for mutations in all known PAH genes (n = 66) were then sequenced for mutations in EIF2AK4. We assessed the pathogenicity of EIF2AK4 mutations and reviewed clinical characteristics of patients with pathogenic EIF2AK4 mutations.

Results: Pathogenic BMPR2 mutations were identified in 8 of 72 (11.1%) patients with IPAH and 6 of 9 (66.7%) patients with HPAH. A novel homozygous EIF2AK4 mutation (c.257+4A>C) was identified in 1 of 9 (11.1%) patients diagnosed with HPAH. The novel EIF2AK4 mutation (c.257+4A>C) was homozygous in two sisters with severe pulmonary hypertension. None of the 72 patients with IPAH had biallelic EIF2AK4 mutations.

Conclusions: Pathogenic biallelic EIF2AK4 mutations are rarely identified in patients diagnosed with HPAH. Identification of pathogenic biallelic EIF2AK4 mutations can aid clinicians in differentiating HPAH from heritable PVOD or PCH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2016.11.014DOI Listing
April 2017

Isolated coastal populations of Tilia americana var. caroliniana persist long-term through vegetative growth.

Am J Bot 2016 09 14;103(9):1687-93. Epub 2016 Sep 14.

Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Biology, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132 USA

Premise Of The Study: Sprouting in woody plant species allows for the long-term persistence of small, isolated populations experiencing changing environments and can preserve genetic diversity in these populations despite the infrequent recruitment of sexually produced individuals. We examined demographic data collected over a 10-yr period for Tilia americana var. caroliniana populations in the context of genetic structure as an empirical case study of this concept.

Methods: Two back-barrier islands on the Georgia coast of the United States were completely censused for Tilia americana var. caroliniana. Recruitment, growth, and mortality of all stems were tracked over 10 yr. All genets were genotyped using eight nuclear microsatellite loci to assess population genetic structure among sampled stems and among populations in the region.

Key Results: The two island populations differed in their ability to establish seedlings despite having similar patterns in flowering frequency. Seedling mortality was high throughout the 10 yr, and cycling of ramets within genets was common. Long-term recruitment in this system appears to be primarily a result of vegetative growth via basal sprouts. Genetic structure was limited, both between islands and among populations in the region.

Conclusions: Long-lived woody species that persist by vegetative reproduction may unexpectedly influence regional forest responses to climate change, particularly on the trailing edge of a species' distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1600233DOI Listing
September 2016

Idiosyncratic responses of evergreen broad-leaved forest constituents in China to the late Quaternary climate changes.

Sci Rep 2016 08 18;6:31044. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Laboratory of Subtropical Biodiversity, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, 330045, China.

Subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest (EBLF) is one of the most important vegetation types in China. Inferences from palaeo-biome reconstruction (PBR) and phylogeography regarding range shift history of EBLF during the late Quaternary are controversial and should be reconciled. We compared phylogeographic patterns of three EBLF constituents in China, Castanopsis tibetana, Machilus thunbergii and Schima superba. Contrary to a chorus of previous phylogeographic studies and the results of species distribution modelling (SDM) of this study (in situ survival during the LGM), the three species displayed three different phylogeographic patterns that conform to either an in situ survival model or an expansion-contraction model. These results are partially congruent with the inference of PBR that EBLF was absent to the north of 24° N at the LGM. This study suggests that the constituents of EBLF could have responded idiosyncratically to climate changes during the Late Quaternary. The community assemblages of EBLF could have been changing over time, resulting in no palaeo-analogs to modern-day EBLF, which may be the main reason responsible for the failure of PBR to detect the occurrence of EBLF north of 24° N at the LGM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep31044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989166PMC
August 2016

Development and characterization of microsatellite primers in the federally endangered Astragalus bibullatus (Fabaceae).

Appl Plant Sci 2016 Apr 5;4(4). Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, 1301 E. Main Street, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132 USA.

Premise Of The Study: Microsatellites were developed for Astragalus bibullatus (Fabaceae), a federally endangered narrow endemic, to investigate reproductive ecology and species boundaries among closely related taxa.

Methods And Results: Next-generation sequencing was used to develop 12 nuclear microsatellite loci that amplify in A. bibullatus, as well as in A. crassicarpus var. trichocalyx, A. gypsodes, and A. tennesseensis. Identified loci were di- and trinucleotide repeats, with 1-15 alleles per locus. Observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.000-0.938 and 0.000-0.860, respectively. Cross-amplification of three loci previously published in A. michauxii was also confirmed for the taxa included here.

Conclusions: These data indicate the utility of novel microsatellite loci for conservation genetics and reproductive ecology in closely related Astragalus species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/apps.1500126DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4850055PMC
April 2016

Digitization workflows for flat sheets and packets of plants, algae, and fungi.

Appl Plant Sci 2015 Sep 10;3(9). Epub 2015 Sep 10.

Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

Effective workflows are essential components in the digitization of biodiversity specimen collections. To date, no comprehensive, community-vetted workflows have been published for digitizing flat sheets and packets of plants, algae, and fungi, even though latest estimates suggest that only 33% of herbarium specimens have been digitally transcribed, 54% of herbaria use a specimen database, and 24% are imaging specimens. In 2012, iDigBio, the U.S. National Science Foundation's (NSF) coordinating center and national resource for the digitization of public, nonfederal U.S. collections, launched several working groups to address this deficiency. Here, we report the development of 14 workflow modules with 7-36 tasks each. These workflows represent the combined work of approximately 35 curators, directors, and collections managers representing more than 30 herbaria, including 15 NSF-supported plant-related Thematic Collections Networks and collaboratives. The workflows are provided for download as Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft Word files. Customization of these workflows for specific institutional implementation is encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/apps.1500065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4578381PMC
September 2015

The psychological sequelae of violent injury in a pediatric intervention.

J Pediatr Surg 2014 Nov 11;49(11):1668-72. Epub 2014 Sep 11.

Department of Trauma, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA.

Purpose: Pediatric trauma centers have unique potential to prevent violent injury and its psychological sequelae. Hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) are proliferating across the U.S., but little is known about the psychological needs of pediatric patients who participate in them. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of symptoms of posttraumatic stress and exposure to community violence among pediatric HVIP participants.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of psychosocial needs assessment data that were collected for 48 participants. The Child Trauma Screening Questionnaire (CTSQ) and modified Survey of Children's Exposure to Community Violence were used to assess primary outcomes.

Results: The sample was 62.5% male and had a mean age of 14.5 years. Twenty-three percent reported previously sustaining a violent injury resulting in medical care, and 47.8% had witnessed a shooting. The majority (66.0%) had a CTSQ score at/above the threshold for probable PTSD diagnosis. The mean CTSQ score was 5.9 and hyperarousal (3.3) symptoms were more common than re-experiencing symptoms (2.6).

Conclusion: Pediatric HVIPs and trauma centers should consider integrating PTSD screening and trauma-focused psychoeducation into the practice and protocols. Future research should evaluate the impacts of these interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.08.007DOI Listing
November 2014

Chloroplast DNA sequence utility for the lowest phylogenetic and phylogeographic inferences in angiosperms: the tortoise and the hare IV.

Am J Bot 2014 Nov 30;101(11):1987-2004. Epub 2014 Oct 30.

Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132 USA.

Premise Of The Study: Noncoding chloroplast DNA (NC-cpDNA) sequences are the staple data source of low-level phylogeographic and phylogenetic studies of angiosperms. We followed up on previous papers (tortoise and hare II and III) that sought to identify the most consistently variable regions of NC-cpDNA. We used an exhaustive literature review and newly available whole plastome data to assess applicability of previous conclusions at low taxonomic levels.

Methods: We aligned complete plastomes of 25 species pairs from across angiosperms, comparing the number of genetic differences found in 107 NC-cpDNA regions and matK. We surveyed Web of Science for the plant phylogeographic literature between 2007 and 2013 to assess how NC-cpDNA has been used at the intraspecific level.

Key Results: Several regions are consistently the most variable across angiosperm lineages: ndhF-rpl32, rpl32-trnL((UAG)), ndhC-trnV((UAC)), 5'rps16-trnQ((UUG)), psbE-petL, trnT((GGU))-psbD, petA-psbJ, and rpl16 intron. However, there is no universally best region. The average number of regions applied to low-level studies is ∼2.5, which may be too little to access the full discriminating power of this genome.

Conclusions: Plastome sequences have been used successfully at lower and lower taxonomic levels. Our findings corroborate earlier works, suggesting that there are regions that are most likely to be the most variable. However, while NC-cpDNA sequences are commonly used in plant phylogeographic studies, few of the most variable regions are applied in that context. Furthermore, it appears that in most studies too few NC-cpDNAs are used to access the discriminating power of the cpDNA genome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1400398DOI Listing
November 2014

Predictors of use of evidence-based practices for children and adolescents in usual care.

Adm Policy Ment Health 2015 Jul;42(4):373-83

Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Hilo, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI, 96720, USA,

Practice data from 74 therapists providing public mental health services to 519 youth ages 5-19 were examined. Multilevel modeling suggested child and therapist characteristics predicted use of practices derived from the evidence-base (PDEB) and use of practices with minimal evidence support (PMES). Longer episode length predicted greater receipt of PDEB; older youth, males, and youth in out-of-home levels of care were more likely to receive PMES; and youth receiving an evidence-based treatment program were less likely to receive PMES. Professional specialty and theoretical orientation significantly predicted PDEB whereas therapist characteristics did not predict PMES. Implementation implications are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10488-014-0578-9DOI Listing
July 2015

Umbilical cord blood expansion with nicotinamide provides long-term multilineage engraftment.

J Clin Invest 2014 Jul 9;124(7):3121-8. Epub 2014 Jun 9.

Background: Delayed hematopoietic recovery is a major drawback of umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation. Transplantation of ex vivo-expanded UCB shortens time to hematopoietic recovery, but long-term, robust engraftment by the expanded unit has yet to be demonstrated. We tested the hypothesis that a UCB-derived cell product consisting of stem cells expanded for 21 days in the presence of nicotinamide and a noncultured T cell fraction (NiCord) can accelerate hematopoietic recovery and provide long-term engraftment.

Methods: In a phase I trial, 11 adults with hematologic malignancies received myeloablative bone marrow conditioning followed by transplantation with NiCord and a second unmanipulated UCB unit. Safety, hematopoietic recovery, and donor engraftment were assessed and compared with historical controls.

Results: No adverse events were attributable to the infusion of NiCord. Complete or partial neutrophil and T cell engraftment derived from NiCord was observed in 8 patients, and NiCord engraftment remained stable in all patients, with a median follow-up of 21 months. Two patients achieved long-term engraftment with the unmanipulated unit. Patients transplanted with NiCord achieved earlier median neutrophil recovery (13 vs. 25 days, P < 0.001) compared with that seen in historical controls. The 1-year overall and progression-free survival rates were 82% and 73%, respectively.

Conclusion: UCB-derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells expanded in the presence of nicotinamide and transplanted with a T cell-containing fraction contain both short-term and long-term repopulating cells. The results justify further study of NiCord transplantation as a single UCB graft. If long-term safety is confirmed, NiCord has the potential to broaden accessibility and reduce the toxicity of UCB transplantation.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01221857.

Funding: Gamida Cell Ltd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI74556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4071379PMC
July 2014

Mature beech trees (Fagus grandifolia; Fagaceae) are persistently clonal in coves and beech gaps in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Am J Bot 2014 Feb 3;101(2):381-8. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132 USA.

Premise Of The Study: Angiosperms frequently have mixed sexual and asexual reproductive strategies, which can have significant consequences for population and community structure. Many tree species respond to disturbance by vegetative sprouting over sexual reproduction, but the ability to do so varies within and among species and is poorly studied. We tested the hypothesis that root sprouting in Fagus grandifolia is more important in high-elevation beech forests (extreme environmental conditions), relative to lower-elevation cove hardwood forests (optimal environmental conditions), in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Methods: Four cove hardwood and two high-elevation beech gap forests were sampled. Fagus grandifolia trees were tagged, mapped, and genotyped at each site using six nuclear microsatellite loci. A subset of trees was cored to determine minimum ages of identified clonal lineages. Relationships between measures of clonal richness, diameter, forest type, and elevation were compared by nonparametric analyses.

Key Results: Five of six sites were highly dependent on sprouting; one site was entirely dependent on reproduction by seed. Clonal richness did not differ significantly by forest type or elevation, but differed significantly from previously published work. Tree diameter was significant by elevation and significant between the present study and previously published work.

Conclusions: The results of this study in the context of previously published work suggest that relatively recent recruits may be more likely to reflect both sexual and asexual strategies, whereas mature F. grandifolia may be more likely to be the result of persistent clonal lineages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1300161DOI Listing
February 2014

Reduced-intensity allogeneic transplantation using alemtuzumab from HLA-matched related, unrelated, or haploidentical related donors for patients with hematologic malignancies.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Feb 20;20(2):257-63. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program, Division of Cellular Therapy, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

We present a comparative study on 124 patients with hematologic malignancies who had undergone reduced-intensity conditioning and then received a transplant from an HLA-matched related (MRD), an HLA-matched unrelated (MUD), or an HLA-haploidentical related (HAPLO) donor. The conditioning regimen, which consisted of fludarabine, melphalan or busulfan, and alemtuzumab was administered to patients with lymphoid (n = 62) or myeloid disease (n = 62). Mycophenolate mofetil was used as prophylaxis for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and 38, 58, and 33 patients received transplants from MRD, MUD, and HAPLO donors, respectively. Only 2 patients experienced primary graft failure (GF) after melphalan-based regimen, whereas 8 of the 17 patients who received a transplant from HAPLO donors experienced a primary GF after busulfan-based regimen. The cumulative incidence of grade III to IV acute GVHD in engrafted patients who had received transplants from MRD, MUD, or HAPLO donors was 3%, 11%, and 27%, respectively, and the 2-year overall survival (OS) rates were 51%, 22%, and 23%, respectively. According to multivariate analysis, transplantation from either MUD or HAPLO donors compared with MRD were adverse factors that affected the OS (P = .006 and P = .002, respectively). In conclusion, the reduced-intensity regimen that included fludarabine, busulfan, or melphalan and alemtuzumab using only mycophenolate mofetil as the GVHD prophylaxis conferred favorable outcomes in the MRD group but lower survival rates in the MUD and HAPLO groups. The busulfan-based regimen led to a high incidence of GF in the HAPLO group, suggesting the need for modification or intensification of immunosuppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.11.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4140655PMC
February 2014

Adsorption of buffer ion pairs can alter long-term electroosmotic flow stability.

Electrophoresis 2013 Sep 1;34(17):2585-92. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA.

Dynamic capillary coatings have become widespread due to their efficacy in modifying the EOF in capillary electrophoretic separations and ability to limit unwanted analyte-surface interactions. However, our understanding of exactly what types of interactions are taking place at the surface of a capillary when these dynamic additives are present is limited. In this work, we have chosen a simple, small molecule additive, tetramethylammonium to examine its influence on the EOF under typical separation conditions. What we have revealed is that this simple compound does not interact with the capillary surface in a very simple manner. Our initial hypothesis of a direct ionic interaction with the silanol surface has evolved with evidence of complex ion pairing between the silanols, the tetramethylammonium, and the buffer ions. This ion pairing can result in drastic changes in the EOF over time, and that the EOF can only be restored to initial levels with harsh rinses containing sodium hydroxide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/elps.201200687DOI Listing
September 2013

Learning For and From the Field: The Experience of Being a Research Interviewer.

Resid Treat Child Youth 2012 Jan 8;29(4):265-281. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine.

This paper provides a narrative on the experience of being a research interviewer on a federally-funded state-wide study of group homes for youth. Despite the centrality of interviewers for much of the research on a wide range of children's services, very little attention has been given to how interviewers experience this role and what supports they need to enact it effectively. The article discusses various aspects of the interviewer job, discusses management and supervisory approaches that support interviewers, and provides lessons learned and anecdotes to illustrate key points. An introduction and concluding thoughts by the study's Principal Investigator provide an overview and potentially relevant lessons for the broader research field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0886571X.2012.725367DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505087PMC
January 2012

Immune recovery in adult patients after myeloablative dual umbilical cord blood, matched sibling, and matched unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2012 Nov 12;18(11):1664-1676.e1. Epub 2012 Jun 12.

Division of Cellular Therapy, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA.

Immunologic reconstitution after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is a critical component of successful outcome. Umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation in adult recipients is associated with slow and often inadequate immune recovery. We characterized the kinetics and extent of immune recovery in 95 adult recipients after a dual UCB (n = 29) and matched sibling donor (n = 33) or matched unrelated donor (n = 33) transplantation. All patients were treated with myeloablative conditioning. There were no differences in the immune recovery profile of matched sibling donor and matched unrelated donor recipients. Significantly lower levels of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells were observed in UCB recipients until 6 months after transplantation. Lower levels of regulatory T cells persisted until 1 year after transplantation. Thymopoiesis as measured by TCR rearrangement excision circle was comparable among all recipients by 6 months after transplantation. In a subset of patients 1 year after transplantation with similar levels of circulating T cells and TCR rearrangement excision circle, there was no difference in TCR diversity. Compared to HLA-identical matched sibling donor and matched unrelated donor adult hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients, quantitative lymphoid recovery in UCB transplantation recipients is slower in the first 3 months, but these differences disappeared by 6 to 12 months after transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2012.06.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3472115PMC
November 2012

Clonal structure of wild populations and origins of horticultural stocks of Illicium parviflorum (Illiciaceae).

Am J Bot 2010 Sep 19;97(9):1574-8. Epub 2010 Jul 19.

Department of Biology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688 USA.

Unlabelled:

Premise Of The Study: Habitat fragmentation is often assumed to result in limited genetic diversity across impacted plant communities. Central Florida has undergone extensive anthropogenic changes, while also harboring large numbers of endemic species. In this study, we assessed genetic structure and dependence on clonality in a central Florida endemic, Illicium parviflorum (Illiciaceae), as well as evaluated genetic diversity of this species in horticultural stocks. •

Methods: Six sites were sampled across the geographic range of I. parviflorum. A PCR-based assay using intersimple sequence repeats (ISSRs) was used to assess genetic structure. •

Key Results: Results, based on 26 ISSR loci, suggest that clonal structure plays a role in all populations, with PD values ranging from 0.25 to 0.50. Only two populations exhibited unique genotypes, while the remaining four populations shared genotypes. Horticultural samples all shared one genotype, which can be traced back to a single natural population. •

Conclusions: Clonal reproduction is an important factor in the maintenance of natural populations of I. parviflorum, although the degree to which this is true varies by population. Horticultural samples likely represent a single or very few collection events, indicating the need for greater genetic diversity within horticultural stocks. Further analyses using microsatellites are planned to confirm these results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.0900291DOI Listing
September 2010
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