Publications by authors named "David Richardson"

932 Publications

Experimental characterization of an o-band bismuth-doped fiber amplifier.

Opt Express 2021 May;29(10):15345-15355

The recent emergence of bismuth-doped fiber amplifiers (BDFAs) offers the potential to transmit high-speed WDM signals over long distances in the O-band spectral region, thereby greatly enhancing the scope of systems utilizing these wavelengths. In this paper, we present a comprehensive experimental study on several basic characteristics of an O-band BDFA based on a phosphosilicate optical fiber, including the frequency-dependent noise figure, gain tilt (static and dynamic), transient response, and polarization dependent gain. We discuss our findings and their implications on the use of BDFA technology in high bit-rate multichannel systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.420995DOI Listing
May 2021

Genomic variation, population history and within-archipelago adaptation between island bird populations.

R Soc Open Sci 2021 Feb 3;8(2):201146. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.

Oceanic island archipelagos provide excellent models to understand evolutionary processes. Colonization events and gene flow can interact with selection to shape genetic variation at different spatial scales. Landscape-scale variation in biotic and abiotic factors may drive fine-scale selection within islands, while long-term evolutionary processes may drive divergence between distantly related populations. Here, we examine patterns of population history and selection between recently diverged populations of the Berthelot's pipit (), a passerine endemic to three North Atlantic archipelagos. First, we use demographic trees and statistics to show that genome-wide divergence across the species range is largely shaped by colonization and bottlenecks, with evidence of very weak gene flow between populations. Then, using a genome scan approach, we identify signatures of divergent selection within archipelagos at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes potentially associated with craniofacial development and DNA repair. We did not detect within-archipelago selection at the same SNPs as were detected previously at broader spatial scales between archipelagos, but did identify signatures of selection at loci associated with similar biological functions. These findings suggest that similar ecological factors may repeatedly drive selection between recently separated populations, as well as at broad spatial scales across varied landscapes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.201146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8074581PMC
February 2021

Seeing the PDB.

J Biol Chem 2021 May 3:100742. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Integrative and Computational Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA; Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA. Electronic address:

Ever since the first structures of proteins were determined in the 1960s, structural biologists have required methods to visualize biomolecular structures, both as an essential tool for their research and also to promote 3D comprehension of structural results by a wide audience of researchers, students, and the general public. In this review to celebrate the 50 anniversary of the Protein Data Bank, we present our own experiences in developing and applying methods of visualization and analysis to the ever-expanding archive of protein and nucleic acid structures in the worldwide PDB. Across that timespan, Jane and David Richardson have concentrated on the organization inside and between the macromolecules, with ribbons to show the overall backbone "fold" and contact dots to show how the all-atom details fit together locally. David Goodsell has explored surface-based representations to present and explore biological subjects that range from molecules to cells. This review concludes with some ideas about the current challenges being addressed by the field of biomolecular visualization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100742DOI Listing
May 2021

Contemporary evolution of the innate immune receptor gene TLR3 in an isolated vertebrate population.

Mol Ecol 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norfolk, UK.

Understanding where genetic variation exists, and how it influences fitness within populations is important from an evolutionary and conservation perspective. Signatures of past selection suggest that pathogen-mediated balancing selection is a key driver of immunogenetic variation, but studies tracking contemporary evolution are needed to help resolve the evolutionary forces and mechanism at play. Previous work in a bottlenecked population of Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) show that functional variation has been maintained at the viral-sensing Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) gene, including one nonsynonymous SNP, resulting in two alleles. Here, we characterise evolution at this TLR3 locus over a 25-year period within the original remnant population of the Seychelles warbler, and in four other derived, populations. Results show a significant and consistent temporal decline in the frequency of the TLR3 allele in the original population, and that similar declines in the TLR3 allele frequency occurred in all the derived populations. Individuals (of both sexes) with the TLR3 genotype had lower survival, and males - but not females - that carry the TLR3 allele had significantly lower lifetime reproductive success than those with only the TLR3 allele. These results indicate that positive selection on the TLR3 allele, caused by an as yet unknown agent, is driving TLR3 evolution in the Seychelles warbler. No evidence of heterozygote advantage was detected. However, whether the positive selection observed is part of a longer-term pattern of balancing selection (through fluctuating selection or rare-allele advantage) cannot be resolved without tracking the TLR3 allele over an extended time period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15914DOI Listing
May 2021

Pregnancy exposure to organophosphate esters and the risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in the Norwegian mother, father and child cohort study.

Environ Int 2021 Apr 25;154:106549. Epub 2021 Apr 25.

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Background: Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are a class of flame retardants in common use. OPEs can easily leach from materials, resulting in human exposure. Increasing concentrations have been reported in human populations over the past decade. Recent studies have linked prenatal OPE exposure to hyperactivity and attention problems in children. Such behaviors are often found among children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, no study has investigated OPEs in relation to clinically assessed ADHD.

Objective: To evaluate prenatal exposure to OPEs as risk factors for clinically assessed ADHD using a case-cohort study nested within the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).

Methods: We included in the case group 295 ADHD cases obtained via linkage with the Norwegian Patient Registry, and the sub-cohort group 555 children sampled at baseline, irrespective of their ADHD case status. Prenatal concentrations of OPE metabolites were measured in maternal urine collected at 17 weeks of gestation, and included diphenyl phosphate (DPHP), di-n-butyl phosphate (DNBP), bis(2-butoxyethyl) hydrogen phosphate (BBOEP), and bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP). We estimated risk ratios and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals [95% CI] using logistic regression, adjusting for season of urine collection, child sex, birth year, and maternal depression, education, and sum of urinary di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites (∑DEHP) concentration during pregnancy. To assess the overall impact of simultaneously decreasing exposure to all chemical constituents of an OPE-phthalate mixture, quantile based g-computation was implemented. The mixture constituents included OPE and phthalate metabolites commonly detected in our study. In all models, we considered effect measure modification by child sex and polymorphisms in genes encoding paraoxonase 1 (PON1) and cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes. Mediation analysis was conducted using thyroid function biomarkers estimated from maternal blood collected at 17 weeks of gestation.

Results: DPHP was detected in nearly all samples (97.2%), with a higher geometric mean among the case group (0.70 µg/L) as compared to the sub-cohort (0.52 µg/L). DNBP was commonly detected as well (93.8%), while BBOEP (52.9%) and BDCIPP (22.9%) were detected less frequently. A higher risk of ADHD was observed in children with greater than median exposure to DPHP during pregnancy (risk ratio: 1.38 [95% CI: 0.96, 1.99]), which was slightly higher among girls (2.04 [1.03, 4.02]) and children of mothers with PON1 Q192R genotype QR (1.69 [0.89, 3.19]) or PON1 Q192R genotype RR (4.59 [1.38, 15.29]). The relationship between DPHP and ADHD (total risk ratio: 1.34 [0.90, 2.02]) was partially mediated through total triiodothyronine to total thyroxine ratio (natural direct effect: 1.29 [0.87, 1.94]; natural indirect effect: 1.04 [1.00, 1.10]; 12.48% mediated). We also observed an elevated risk of ADHD in relation to BDCIPP detection during pregnancy (1.50 [0.98, 2.28]). We did not observe notable differences in ADHD by DNBP (0.88 [0.62, 1.26]) or BBOEP (1.03 [0.73, 1.46]) during pregnancy. Simultaneously decreasing all constituents of common-detect OPE-phthalate mixture, specifically DPHP, DNBP, and 6 phthalate metabolites, by a quartile resulted in an ADHD risk ratio of 0.68 [0.64, 0.72].

Conclusion: Prenatal exposure to DPHP and BDCIPP may increase the risk of ADHD. For DPHP, we observed potential modification by child sex and maternal PON1 Q192R genotype and partial mediation through maternal thyroid hormone imbalance at 17 weeks gestation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106549DOI Listing
April 2021

Low loss and high performance interconnection between standard single-mode fiber and antiresonant hollow-core fiber.

Sci Rep 2021 Apr 22;11(1):8799. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.

We demonstrate halving the record-low loss of interconnection between a nested antiresonant nodeless type hollow-core fiber (NANF) and standard single-mode fiber (SMF). The achieved interconnection loss of 0.15 dB is only 0.07 dB above the theoretically-expected minimum loss. We also optimized the interconnection in terms of unwanted cross-coupling into the higher-order modes of the NANF. We achieved cross-coupling as low as -35 dB into the LP[Formula: see text] mode (the lowest-loss higher-order mode and thus the most important to eliminate). With the help of simulations, we show that the measured LP[Formula: see text] mode coupling is most likely limited by the slightly imperfect symmetry of the manufactured NANF. The coupling cross-talk into the highly-lossy LP[Formula: see text] mode ([Formula: see text] dB/km in our fiber) was measured to be below -22 dB. Furthermore, we show experimentally that the anti-reflective coating applied to the interconnect interface reduces the insertion loss by 0.15 dB while simultaneously reducing the back-reflection below -40 dB over a 60 nm bandwidth. Finally, we also demonstrated an alternative mode-field adapter to adapt the mode-field size between SMF and NANF, based on thermally-expanded core fibers. This approach enabled us to achieve an interconnection loss of 0.21 dB and cross-coupling of -35 dB into the LP[Formula: see text] mode.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88065-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062498PMC
April 2021

Highly diverse and highly successful: invasive Australian acacias have not experienced genetic bottlenecks globally.

Ann Bot 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW, Australia.

Background And Aims: Invasive species may undergo rapid evolution despite very limited standing genetic diversity. This so-called genetic paradox of biological invasions assumes that an invasive species has experienced (and survived) a genetic bottleneck and then underwent local adaptation in the new range. In this study, we test how often Australian acacias (genus Acacia), one of the world's worst invasive tree groups, have experienced genetic bottlenecks and inbreeding.

Methods: We collated genetic data from 51 different genetic studies on Acacia species to compare genetic diversity between native and invasive populations. These studies analysed 37 different Acacia species, with genetic data from the invasive ranges of 11 species, and data from the native range for 36 species (14 of these 36 species are known to be invasive somewhere in the world, and the other 22 are not known to be invasive).

Key Results: Levels of genetic diversity are similar in native and invasive populations, and there is little evidence of invasive acacia populations being extensively inbred. Levels of genetic diversity in native range populations also did not differ significantly between species that have and that do not have invasive populations.

Conclusion: We attribute our findings to the impressive movement, introduction effort, and human usage of Australian acacias around the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcab053DOI Listing
April 2021

Helpers compensate for age-related declines in parental care and offspring survival in a cooperatively breeding bird.

Evol Lett 2021 Apr 20;5(2):143-153. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences University of Groningen Groningen CP 9712 The Netherlands.

Offspring from elderly parents often have lower survival due to parental senescence. In cooperatively breeding species, where offspring care is shared between breeders and helpers, the alloparental care provided by helpers is predicted to mitigate the impact of parental senescence on offspring provisioning and, subsequently, offspring survival. We test this prediction using data from a long-term study on cooperatively breeding Seychelles warblers (). We find that the nestling provisioning rate of female breeders declines with their age. Further, the total brood provisioning rate and the first-year survival probability of offspring decline progressively with age of the female breeder, but these declines are mitigated when helpers are present. This effect does not arise because individual helpers provide more care in response to the lower provisioning of older dominant females, but because older female breeders have recruited more helpers, thereby receiving more overall care for their brood. We do not find such effects for male breeders. These results indicate that alloparental care can alleviate the fitness costs of senescence for breeders, which suggests an interplay between age and cooperative breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/evl3.213DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045936PMC
April 2021

Genetic perturbation of PU.1 binding and chromatin looping at neutrophil enhancers associates with autoimmune disease.

Nat Commun 2021 04 16;12(1):2298. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Human Genetics, Wellcome Sanger Institute, Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK.

Neutrophils play fundamental roles in innate immune response, shape adaptive immunity, and are a potentially causal cell type underpinning genetic associations with immune system traits and diseases. Here, we profile the binding of myeloid master regulator PU.1 in primary neutrophils across nearly a hundred volunteers. We show that variants associated with differential PU.1 binding underlie genetically-driven differences in cell count and susceptibility to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. We integrate these results with other multi-individual genomic readouts, revealing coordinated effects of PU.1 binding variants on the local chromatin state, enhancer-promoter contacts and downstream gene expression, and providing a functional interpretation for 27 genes underlying immune traits. Collectively, these results demonstrate the functional role of PU.1 and its target enhancers in neutrophil transcriptional control and immune disease susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22548-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8052402PMC
April 2021

Pregnancy exposure to common-detect organophosphate esters and phthalates and maternal thyroid function.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 24;782:146709. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Background: Contemporary human populations are exposed to elevated concentrations of organophosphate esters (OPEs) and phthalates. Some metabolites have been linked with altered thyroid function, however, inconsistencies exist across thyroid function biomarkers. Research on OPEs is sparse, particularly during pregnancy, when maintaining normal thyroid function is critical to maternal and fetal health. In this paper, we aimed to characterize relationships between OPEs and phthalates exposure and maternal thyroid function during pregnancy, using a cross-sectional investigation of pregnant women nested within the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort (MoBa).

Methods: We included 473 pregnant women, who were euthyroid and provided bio-samples at 17 weeks' gestation (2004-2008). Four OPE and six phthalate metabolites were measured from urine; six thyroid function biomarkers were estimated from blood. Relationships between thyroid function biomarkers and log-transformed concentrations of OPE and phthalate metabolites were characterized using two approaches that both accounted for confounding by co-exposures: co-pollutant adjusted general linear model (GLM) and Bayesian Kernal Machine Regression (BKMR).

Results: We restricted our analysis to common-detect OPE and phthalate metabolites (>94%): diphenyl phosphate (DPHP), di-n-butyl phosphate (DNBP), and all phthalate metabolites. In GLM, pregnant women with summed di-isononyl phthalate metabolites (∑DiNP) concentrations in the 75th percentile had a 0.37 ng/μg lower total triiodothyronine (TT3): total thyroxine (TT4) ratio (95% credible interval: [-0.59, -0.15]) as compared to those in the 25th percentile, possibly due to small but diverging influences on TT3 (-1.99 ng/dL [-4.52, 0.53]) and TT4 (0.13 μg/dL [-0.01, 0.26]). Similar trends were observed for DNBP and inverse associations were observed for DPHP, monoethyl phthalate, mono-isobutyl phthalate, and mono-n-butyl phthalate. Most associations observed in co-pollutants adjusted GLMs were attenuated towards the null in BKMR, except for the case of ∑DiNP and TT3:TT4 ratio (-0.48 [-0.96, 0.003]).

Conclusions: Maternal thyroid function varied modestly with ∑DiNP, whereas results for DPHP varied by the type of statistical models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146709DOI Listing
March 2021

Characteristics and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 admitted to hospital and intensive care in the first phase of the pandemic in Canada: a national cohort study.

CMAJ Open 2021 Jan-Mar;9(1):E181-E188. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine (Lee), McGill University, Montréal, Que.; Ajmera Transplant Centre (Kumar), University Health Network, Toronto, Ont.; Department of Critical Care Medicine (Dechert), Brantford General Hospital, Brantford, Ont.; Department of Medicine (Sandhu), St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ont.; School of Rehabilitation Science (Kho, O'Grady), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont.; St. Joseph's Healthcare (Kelly), Hamilton, Ont.; Island Health Authority (Ovakim), Victoria, BC; Department of Anesthesiology and Department of Medicine - Critical Care Division (Carrier), Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montréal, Que.; Department of Medicine (Daneman), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.; Faculté de médecine de l'Université de Montréal (Tessier-Grenier), Université de Montréal, Montréal, Que.; Vancouver Island Health Authority (Wood), Victoria, BC; Department of Medicine (Gu), McGill University, Montréal, Que.; Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (O'Hearn), Ottawa, Ont.; Department of Community Health Sciences (Stelfox), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.; UBC Faculty of Medicine (Douglas), University of British Columbia, and Island Health, Vancouver, BC; Department of Medicine (Fowler), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.; Faculty of Medicine (Solomon), McGill University, Montréal, Que.; Department of Pediatrics (Goco) and of Critical Care Medicine (Guerguerian), The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ont.; Department of Medicine (Hsu), McGill University, Montréal, Que.; Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology (Cheng), McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, Que.; Department of Medicine (Swanson), University of Victoria, Victoria, BC; Department of Medicine (Hall), Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS; Department of Medicine (Pitre), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont.; Department of Pediatrics (Jouvet), Sainte-Justine Hospital, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Que.; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Pharand), Ottawa, Ont.; Department of Critical Care Medicine (Fiest), Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.; Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and Island Health (Reel), Victoria, BC; Department of Medicine (Tsang), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., and Niagara Health (Tsang), St. Catharines, Ont.; Grand River Hospital (Kruisselbrink), Kitchener, Ont.; Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine (Archambault), Université Laval, Laval, Que.; Department of Medicine (Rishu), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ont.; Department of Medicine (Codan), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.; Departments of Medicine (Rewa, Sligl), of Critical Care Medicine (Kutsogiannis) and of Pediatrics (Joffe), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.; Department of Medicine (Shadowitz), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ont.; Department of Medicine (Sarfo-Mensah), The Ottawa Hospital/Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ont.; Department of Medicine (Lamontagne), Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Que.; Department of Pediatrics (Menon), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont.; McGill University Health Centre (Atique), Montréal, Que.; William Osler Health System (Richardson), Toronto, Ont.; Joseph Brant Hospital (Reeve), Burlington, Ont.; Department of Pediatrics (Murthy), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Background: Clinical data on patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) provide clinicians and public health officials with information to guide practice and policy. The aims of this study were to describe patients with COVID-19 admitted to hospital and intensive care, and to investigate predictors of outcome to characterize severe acute respiratory infection.

Methods: This observational cohort study used Canadian data from 32 selected hospitals included in a global multisite cohort between Jan. 24 and July 7, 2020. Adult and pediatric patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 who received care in an intensive care unit (ICU) and a sampling of up to the first 60 patients receiving care on hospital wards were included. We performed descriptive analyses of characteristics, interventions and outcomes. The primary analyses examined in-hospital mortality, with secondary analyses of the length of hospital and ICU stay.

Results: Between January and July 2020, among 811 patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of COVID-19, the median age was 64 (interquartile range [IQR] 53-75) years, 495 (61.0%) were men, 46 (5.7%) were health care workers, 9 (1.1%) were pregnant, 26 (3.2%) were younger than 18 years and 9 (1.1%) were younger than 5 years. The median time from symptom onset to hospital admission was 7 (IQR 3-10) days. The most common symptoms on admission were fever, shortness of breath, cough and malaise. Diabetes, hypertension and cardiac, kidney and respiratory disease were the most common comorbidities. Among all patients, 328 received care in an ICU, admitted a median of 0 (IQR 0-1) days after hospital admission. Critically ill patients received treatment with invasive mechanical ventilation (88.8%), renal replacement therapy (14.9%) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (4.0%); 26.2% died. Among those receiving mechanical ventilation, 31.2% died. Age was an influential predictor of mortality (odds ratio per additional year of life 1.06, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.09).

Interpretation: Patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 commonly had fever, respiratory symptoms and comorbid conditions. Increasing age was associated with the development of critical illness and death; however, most critically ill patients in Canada, including those requiring mechanical ventilation, survived and were discharged from hospital.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20200250DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034299PMC
March 2021

Widely-tunable synchronisation-free picosecond laser source for multimodal CARS, SHG, and two-photon microscopy.

Biomed Opt Express 2021 Feb 26;12(2):1010-1019. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.

We demonstrate a continuous wave (CW) seeded synchronization-free optical parametric amplifier (OPA) pumped by a picosecond, 1 µm laser and show its performance when used as a simple yet powerful source for label-free coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), concurrent second harmonic generation (SHG), and two-photon fluorescence microscopy in an epi-detection geometry. The average power level of above 175 mW, spectral resolution of 8 cm, and 2 ps pulse duration are well optimized for CARS microscopy in bio-science and bio-medical imaging systems. Our OPA is a much simpler setup than either the "gold-standard" laser and optical parametric oscillator (OPO) combination traditionally used for CARS imaging, or the more recently developed OPA systems pumped with femtosecond pulses [1]. Rapid and accurate tuning between resonances was achieved by changing the poled channels and temperature of the periodically-poled lithium niobate (PPLN) OPA crystal together with the OPA seed wavelength. The Pump-Stokes frequency detuning range fully covered the C-H stretching band used for the imaging of lipids. By enabling three multiphoton techniques using a compact, synchronization free laser source, our work paves the way for the translation of label-free multi-photon microscopy imaging from biomedical research to an imaging based diagnostic tool for use in the healthcare arena.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.411620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7901310PMC
February 2021

Race and Insurance Status Association With Receiving Orthopedic Surgeon-Prescribed Foot Orthoses.

Foot Ankle Int 2021 Feb 16:1071100721990343. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Biomedical Engineering, University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic, Memphis, TN, USA.

Background: This study looked at the effect of patient demographics, insurance status, education, and patient opinion on whether various orthotic footwear prescribed for a variety of diagnoses were received by the patient. The study also assessed the effect of the orthoses on relief of symptoms.

Methods: Chart review documented patient demographics, diagnoses, and medical comorbidities. Eligible patients completed a survey either while in the clinic or by phone after their clinic visit.

Results: Of the 382 patients prescribed orthoses, 235 (61.5%) received their orthoses; 186 (48.7%) filled out the survey. Race and whether or not the patient received the orthosis were found to be significant predictors of survey completion. Race, type of insurance, and amount of orthotic cost covered by insurance were significant predictors of whether or not patients received their prescribed orthoses. Type of orthosis, diabetes as a comorbidity, education, income, sex, and diagnosis were not significant predictors of whether the patient received the orthosis. Qualitative results from the survey revealed that among those receiving their orthoses, 87% experienced improvement in symptoms: 21% felt completely relieved, 66% felt better, 10% felt no different, and 3% felt worse.

Conclusions: We found that white patients had almost 3 times the odds of receiving prescribed orthoses as black patients, even after controlling for type of insurance, suggesting race to be the primary driver of discrepancies, raising the question of what can be done to address these inequalities. While large, systematic change will be necessary, some strategies can be employed by those working directly in patient care, such as informing primary care practices of their ability to see patients with limited insurance, limiting blanket refusal policies for government insurance, and educating office staff on how to efficiently work with Medicare and Medicaid.

Level Of Evidence: Level III, comparative study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1071100721990343DOI Listing
February 2021

Telomere heritability and parental age at conception effects in a wild avian population.

Mol Ecol 2021 Feb 15. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Faculty of Biological Sciences, School of Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

Individual variation in telomere length is predictive of health and mortality risk across a range of species. However, the relative influence of environmental and genetic variation on individual telomere length in wild populations remains poorly understood. Heritability of telomere length has primarily been calculated using parent-offspring regression which can be confounded by shared environments. To control for confounding variables, quantitative genetic "animal models" can be used, but few studies have applied animal models in wild populations. Furthermore, parental age at conception may also influence offspring telomere length, but most studies have been cross-sectional. We investigated within- and between-parental age at conception effects and heritability of telomere length in the Seychelles warbler using measures from birds caught over 20 years and a multigenerational pedigree. We found a weak negative within-paternal age at conception effect (as fathers aged, their offspring had shorter telomeres) and a weak positive between-maternal age at conception effect (females that survived to older ages had offspring with longer telomeres). Animal models provided evidence that heritability and evolvability of telomere length were low in this population, and that variation in telomere length was not driven by early-life effects of hatch period or parental identities. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction plate had a large influence on telomere length variation and not accounting for it in the models would have underestimated heritability. Our study illustrates the need to include and account for technical variation in order to accurately estimate heritability, as well as other environmental effects, on telomere length in natural populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15804DOI Listing
February 2021

No severe genetic bottleneck in a rapidly range-expanding bumblebee pollinator.

Proc Biol Sci 2021 Feb 10;288(1944):20202639. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, UK.

Genetic bottlenecks can limit the success of populations colonizing new ranges. However, successful colonizations can occur despite bottlenecks, a phenomenon known as the genetic paradox of invasion. Eusocial Hymenoptera such as bumblebees ( spp.) should be particularly vulnerable to genetic bottlenecks, since homozygosity at the sex-determining locus leads to costly diploid male production (DMP). The Tree Bumblebee () has rapidly colonized the UK since 2001 and has been highlighted as exemplifying the genetic paradox of invasion. Using microsatellite genotyping, combined with the first genetic estimates of DMP in UK , we tested two alternative genetic hypotheses ('bottleneck' and 'gene flow' hypotheses) for 's colonization of the UK. We found that the UK population has not undergone a recent severe genetic bottleneck and exhibits levels of genetic diversity falling between those of widespread and range-restricted species. Diploid males occurred in 15.4% of reared colonies, leading to an estimate of 21.5 alleles at the sex-determining locus. Overall, the findings show that this population is not bottlenecked, instead suggesting that it is experiencing continued gene flow from the continental European source population with only moderate loss of genetic diversity, and does not exemplify the genetic paradox of invasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2639DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7893223PMC
February 2021

Standard versus combined chemical, mechanical, and heat decontamination of hospital drains harboring carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs): A randomized controlled trial.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2021 Feb 8:1-4. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

William Osler Health System, Etobicoke and Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

We sought to determine whether combined chemical, mechanical, and heat cleaning was superior to standard cleaning for the decontamination of 32 sink and shower drains harboring carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs). Of 16 intervention drains, 10 (63%) were decontaminated until day 7 versus 1 (5%) of 16 comparator drains (P = .002). Intensive cleaning may be useful if administered repeatedly in drain-associated CPO outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2020.1384DOI Listing
February 2021

Part 1: Surgical Correction in 231 Trigonocephaly Patients - The Alder Hey Experience.

J Craniofac Surg 2021 Jan 25. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Eaton Road, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Abstract: Isolated metopic synostosis presents with a range of severity, from a palpable ridge as the sole presenting feature to a constellation of features resulting in trigonocephaly. At our unit, patients on the moderate to severe end of the phenotypic spectrum of trigonocephaly are offered fronto-orbital advancement and remodeling. The authors present our series of trigonocephaly patients who have undergone surgical correction. From January 2000 to January 2020, the authors operated on 231 patients with trigonocephaly. The average age at surgery was 18 months, with an average follow-up of 77.4 months. Seventy-nine percent of patients had no comorbidity. Ten percent of patients sustained a dural tear with no long-term consequences. The total early complication rate was 12.1%. The most common early complications were wound infection and wound dehiscence at 7.4% and 3.9% respectively. The total reoperation rate was 6.5%. The introduction of infection prevention and control measures over the 2 decades at our unit reduced the reoperation rate to 1.1%. The most common late complication was temporal recession in 20.8% of patients, none of whom required aesthetic correction. The recurrence rate of a metopic ridge was 2.3% with no patients requiring further surgery. None of our patients required calvarial remodeling for raised intracranial pressure after the primary fronto-orbital advancement and remodeling. There were no life-threatening complications or mortalities in our cohort. The authors present recommendations which include an infection control care bundle, cessation of surgical drains, and practice adjustments to reduce risks of infection and risk of requiring further calvarial remodelling for raised intracranial pressure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SCS.0000000000007475DOI Listing
January 2021

HEALTH SCREENING OF THE EUROPEAN ENDANGERED SPECIES PROGRAM CAPTIVE POPULATION OF THE PINK PIGEON ().

J Zoo Wildl Med 2021 Jan;51(4):970-980

Department of Veterinary Services and Conservation Medicine, Bristol Zoological Society, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA, United Kingdom and the University of Bristol, Bristol BS40 5DU, United Kingdom.

The population of the Mauritian pink pigeon () fell to fewer than 20 individuals in the 1970s. Following intensive conservation efforts, the free-living population is now estimated to be 470 individuals. However, because of the population bottleneck the species remains at risk of extinction because of genetic loss and inbreeding depression. A European captive population was established in 1977 and a European Endangered Species Program (EEP) was formalized in 1992. As birds in the EEP captive population possess unique alleles not observed in the surviving free-living birds, the EEP management plan recommends transferring EEP birds to Mauritius to improve genetic diversity. Health screening of the current EEP population to identify circulating pathogens was performed. Forty-two birds from three collections in the United Kingdom and one in Jersey were screened for a wide range of pathogens, present clinically or subclinically, including important viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and helminths. Eleven birds tested positive for at least one pathogen: spp. (5), (2), (1), coccidial oocysts (3), and strongyle ova (3). None of the positive birds showed overt signs of clinical disease, although two birds with spp. had suboptimal body condition. Genotyping of one sample revealed a type-C strain (low pathogenicity). The results from this screening will contribute towards a disease risk assessment, to create a pre-export protocol for translocation of captive EEP birds to Mauritius.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2020-0018DOI Listing
January 2021

Risk of cancer associated with low-dose radiation exposure: comparison of results between the INWORKS nuclear workers study and the A-bomb survivors study.

Radiat Environ Biophys 2021 03 21;60(1):23-39. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.

The Life Span Study (LSS) of Japanese atomic bomb survivors has served as the primary basis for estimates of radiation-related disease risks that inform radiation protection standards. The long-term follow-up of radiation-monitored nuclear workers provides estimates of radiation-cancer associations that complement findings from the LSS. Here, a comparison of radiation-cancer mortality risk estimates derived from the LSS and INWORKS, a large international nuclear worker study, is presented. Restrictions were made, so that the two study populations were similar with respect to ages and periods of exposure, leading to selection of 45,625 A-bomb survivors and 259,350 nuclear workers. For solid cancer, excess relative rates (ERR) per gray (Gy) were 0.28 (90% CI 0.18; 0.38) in the LSS, and 0.29 (90% CI 0.07; 0.53) in INWORKS. A joint analysis of the data allowed for a formal assessment of heterogeneity of the ERR per Gy across the two studies (P = 0.909), with minimal evidence of curvature or of a modifying effect of attained age, age at exposure, or sex in either study. There was evidence in both cohorts of modification of the excess absolute risk (EAR) of solid cancer by attained age, with a trend of increasing EAR per Gy with attained age. For leukemia, under a simple linear model, the ERR per Gy was 2.75 (90% CI 1.73; 4.21) in the LSS and 3.15 (90% CI 1.12; 5.72) in INWORKS, with evidence of curvature in the association across the range of dose observed in the LSS but not in INWORKS; the EAR per Gy was 3.54 (90% CI 2.30; 5.05) in the LSS and 2.03 (90% CI 0.36; 4.07) in INWORKS. These findings from different study populations may help understanding of radiation risks, with INWORKS contributing information derived from cohorts of workers with protracted low dose-rate exposures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00411-020-00890-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902587PMC
March 2021

Improving SARS-CoV-2 structures: Peer review by early coordinate release.

Biophys J 2021 03 16;120(6):1085-1096. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Department of Biochemistry, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Electronic address:

This work builds upon the record-breaking speed and generous immediate release of new experimental three-dimensional structures of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proteins and complexes, which are crucial to downstream vaccine and drug development. We have surveyed those structures to catch the occasional errors that could be significant for those important uses and for which we were able to provide demonstrably higher-accuracy corrections. This process relied on new validation and correction methods such as CaBLAM and ISOLDE, which are not yet in routine use. We found such important and correctable problems in seven early SARS-CoV-2 structures. Two of the structures were soon superseded by new higher-resolution data, confirming our proposed changes. For the other five, we emailed the depositors a documented and illustrated report and encouraged them to make the model corrections themselves and use the new option at the worldwide Protein Data Bank for depositors to re-version their coordinates without changing the Protein Data Bank code. This quickly and easily makes the better-accuracy coordinates available to anyone who examines or downloads their structure, even before formal publication. The changes have involved sequence misalignments, incorrect RNA conformations near a bound inhibitor, incorrect metal ligands, and cis-trans or peptide flips that prevent good contact at interaction sites. These improvements have propagated into nearly all related structures done afterward. This process constitutes a new form of highly rigorous peer review, which is actually faster and more strict than standard publication review because it has access to coordinates and maps; journal peer review would also be strengthened by such access.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2020.12.029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7834719PMC
March 2021

Radon and cancer mortality among underground uranium miners in the Příbram region of the Czech Republic.

Am J Ind Med 2020 10 9;63(10):859-867. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Background: This study aims to estimate the association between radon and site-specific cancer mortality among a large contemporary cohort of male uranium miners.

Methods: Annual occupational radon exposure was estimated based on a worker's duration of underground mining in a year and estimates of potential alpha energy of radon progeny in their location of work. Cancer mortality over the period 1977-1992 was ascertained for a cohort of 16 434 male underground uranium miners employed in the Czech Republic between 1946 and 1992. Poisson regression was used to estimate relationships between cumulative radiation exposure (in working level months [WLM]) and site-specific cancer mortality.

Results: Radon is positively associated with lung cancer mortality (excess relative rate [ERR] per 100 WLM = 0.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.10, 0.37). The best fit of the dose-response relationship between radon and lung cancer mortality was linear and estimates of radon-lung cancer associations varied by windows of time-since-exposure. Positive associations between radon and several types of cancer other than lung cancer were identified, notably chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (ERR/100 WLM = 0.24; 95% CI: [not determined [ND], 5.10]) and extrathoracic cancer (ERR/100 WLM = 0.12; 95% CI: [ND, 0.69]). We observed no associations between radon and stomach cancer, nor between radon and several hematopoietic cancer subtypes.

Conclusions: This study confirms the established radon-lung cancer association and suggests that radon may also be associated with other types of cancer mortality. Further investigations of extrathoracic and CLL cancer, with the aim of obtaining more precise estimates, are warranted to understand associations between radon and cancers other than lung.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.23167DOI Listing
October 2020

Hematocrit, age, and survival in a wild vertebrate population.

Ecol Evol 2021 Jan 21;11(1):214-226. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

School of Biological Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich UK.

Understanding trade-offs in wild populations is difficult, but important if we are to understand the evolution of life histories and the impact of ecological variables upon them. Markers that reflect physiological state and predict future survival would be of considerable benefit to unraveling such trade-offs and could provide insight into individual variation in senescence. However, currently used markers often yield inconsistent results. One underutilized measure is hematocrit, the proportion of blood comprising erythrocytes, which relates to the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity and viscosity, and to individual endurance. Hematocrit has been shown to decline with age in cross-sectional studies (which may be confounded by selective appearance/disappearance). However, few studies have tested whether hematocrit declines within individuals or whether low hematocrit impacts survival in wild taxa. Using longitudinal data from the Seychelles warbler (), we demonstrated that hematocrit increases with age in young individuals (<1.5 years) but decreases with age in older individuals (1.5-13 years). In breeders, hematocrit was higher in males than females and varied relative to breeding stage. High hematocrit was associated with lower survival in young individuals, but not older individuals. Thus, while we did not find support for hematocrit as a marker of senescence, high hematocrit is indicative of poor condition in younger individuals. Possible explanations are that these individuals were experiencing dehydration and/or high endurance demands prior to capture, which warrants further investigation. Our study demonstrates that hematocrit can be an informative metric for life-history studies investigating trade-offs between survival, longevity, and reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790625PMC
January 2021

A prospective observational study of patient-reported functioning and quality of life in advanced and metastatic breast cancer utilizing a novel mobile application.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 May 11;187(1):113-124. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Norton Cancer Institute, Louisville, KY, USA.

Purpose: To assess and describe patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in women with locally advanced/unresectable or metastatic breast cancer (aBC/mBC) with hormone receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HR + /HER2 -) status receiving palbociclib combination therapy in a US real-world setting.

Methods: A prospective, noninterventional, multicenter longitudinal study was conducted in US patients initiating treatment with palbociclib combination therapy for HR + /HER2 - aBC/mBC. PRO data (SF-12; CES-D-10; mood; pain; fatigue; interference of aBC/mBC or its treatment on family life, social life, physical activity, energy, and productivity; overall health rating; and quality of life [QOL]) were collected via a custom-developed mobile application at daily, weekly, and cycle-based intervals. Patient medical information (demographics, clinical characteristics, treatment information, and adverse events) was collected from medical records at baseline and at the end of the 6-month follow-up period.

Results: Patients' general health status (SF-12) remained consistent throughout treatment and was generally consistent with published norms for individuals diagnosed with cancer. The presence of depression (CES-D-10) was low and did not change substantially over time. Mean pain and fatigue scores using an 11-point numeric rating scale were low and remained stable. Patients, on average, reported neutral or positive moods. Patient-reported QOL and overall health was primarily "Good," "Very good," or "Excellent." Findings were consistent regardless of patient experience with neutropenia.

Conclusions: Patients treated with palbociclib, on average, reported consistently low levels of pain and fatigue as well as good QOL and overall health that remained stable throughout the first 6 months of treatment regardless of episodes of neutropenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-020-06082-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062359PMC
May 2021

Help or hindrance? The evolutionary impact of whole-genome duplication on immunogenetic diversity and parasite load.

Ecol Evol 2020 Dec 22;10(24):13949-13956. Epub 2020 Nov 22.

School of Biological Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich UK.

Whole-genome duplication (WGD) events occur in all kingdoms and have been hypothesized to promote adaptability. WGDs identified in the early history of vertebrates, teleosts, and angiosperms have been linked to the large-scale diversification of these lineages. However, the mechanics and full outcomes of WGD regarding potential evolutionary impacts remain a topic of debate. The Corydoradinae are a diverse subfamily of Neotropical catfishes with over 170 species described and a history of WGDs. They are divided into nine mtDNA lineages, with species coexisting in sympatric-and often mimetic-communities containing representatives of two or more of the nine lineages. Given their similar life histories, coexisting species of might be exposed to similar parasite loads and because of their different histories of WGD and genome size they provide a powerful system for investigating the impacts of WGD on immune diversity and function in an animal system. Here, we compared parasite counts and the diversity of the immune-related toll-like receptors (TLR) in two coexisting species of catfish ( and ), one diploid and one putative tetraploid. In the putative tetraploid , we found significantly lower numbers of parasites and significantly higher diversity (measured by both synonymous and nonsynonymous SNP counts) in two TLR genes than in the diploid . These results provide insight into how WGD may impact evolution, in this case by providing greater immunogenetic diversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6987DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771170PMC
December 2020

Real-world evidence: Patient views on asthma in respiratory specialist clinics in America.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2021 04 31;126(4):385-393.e2. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

US Medical Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Electronic address:

Background: Approximately 30% to 50% of patients with moderate/severe asthma have inadequately controlled disease despite adherence to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting β-agonist (LABA) therapy. Data on prevalence and burden of uncontrolled asthma in specialty settings are lacking.

Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and burden of uncontrolled asthma in respiratory specialist clinics in the United States.

Methods: Adults with physician-diagnosed asthma attending pulmonary and allergy clinics with self-reported ICS use in the previous 4 weeks completed an electronic questionnaire including the Asthma Control Test and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire. Additional information was collected using an electronic case report form.

Results: Of 774 patients attending 12 pulmonary and 12 allergy clinics, 53% were not well controlled (mean [SD] Asthma Control Test, 14.3 [3.6] vs 22.4 [1.6] in well-controlled patients). Among ICS/LABA users, 56% were not well controlled, which increased with increasing ICS dose (low-dose 45.7%; high-dose 59.7%). The not well-controlled group reported more respiratory illnesses, more comorbidities, and poorer health-related quality of life (mean [SD] St George's Respiratory Questionnaire, 46.1 [18.9] vs 19.8 [12.9] in the well-controlled group). These patients also had more asthma exacerbations (≥1 exacerbation, 68.9% vs 43.1%) and increased health care resource utilization (≥1 asthma-related hospitalization, 10.7% vs 2.7%); 27.3% were also receiving systemic corticosteroids. Approximately 40% of the population were eligible for step-up to ICS/LABA/long-acting muscarinic antagonist triple therapy, and 20% were eligible for biologic therapy.

Conclusion: Substantial unmet needs exist among patients with inadequately controlled asthma managed in United States specialist settings, which may be addressed by improved patient and physician education, better guideline implementation, and improved adherence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anai.2020.12.015DOI Listing
April 2021

Exploring the Molecular Machinery of Denitrification in Through Proteomics.

Front Microbiol 2020 8;11:605859. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

División de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Departamento de Agroquímica y Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain.

Many proteins and enzymes involved in denitrification in haloarchaea can be inferred to be located between the cytoplasmic membrane and the S-layer, based on the presence of a Tat signal sequence and the orientation of the active site that some of these enzymes have. The membrane fraction of the haloarchaeon (R-4), grown under anaerobic conditions in the presence of nitrate, was solubilized to identify the respiratory proteins associated or anchored to it. Using Triton X-100, CHAPS, and n-Octyl-β-d-glucopyranoside at different concentrations we found the best conditions for isolating membrane proteins in micelles, in which enzymatic activity and stability were maintained. Then, they were subjected to purification using two chromatographic steps followed by the analysis of the eluents by NANO-ESI Chip-HPLC-MS/MS. The results showed that the four main enzymes of denitrification (nitrate, nitrite, nitric oxide, and nitrous oxide reductases) in were identified and they were co-purified thanks to the micelles made with Triton X-100 (20% w/v for membrane solubilisation and 0.2% w/v in the buffers used during purification). In addition, several accessory proteins involved in electron transfer processes during anaerobic respiration as well as proteins supporting ATP synthesis, redox balancing and oxygen sensing were detected. This is the first characterization of anaerobic membrane proteome of haloarchaea under denitrifying conditions using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. It provides new information for a better understanding of the anaerobic respiration in haloarchaea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.605859DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754194PMC
December 2020

Influenza vaccine effectiveness against all-cause mortality following laboratory-confirmed influenza in older adults, 2010-2011 to 2015-2016 seasons in Ontario, Canada.

Clin Infect Dis 2020 Dec 23. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

ICES, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Older adults are at increased risk of mortality from influenza infections. We estimated influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) against mortality following laboratory-confirmed influenza.

Methods: Using a test-negative design study and linked laboratory and health administrative databases in Ontario, Canada, we estimated VE against all-cause mortality following laboratory-confirmed influenza for community-dwelling adults aged >65 years during the 2010-2011 to 2015-2016 influenza seasons.

Results: Among 54,116 older adults tested for influenza across the 6 seasons, 6,837 died within 30 days of specimen collection. Thirteen percent (925 individuals) tested positive for influenza, and 50.6% were considered vaccinated for that season. Only 23.2% of influenza test-positive cases had influenza recorded as their underlying cause of death. Before and after multivariable adjustment, we estimated VE against all-cause mortality following laboratory-confirmed influenza to be 20% (95%CI, 8%-30%) and 20% (95%CI, 7%-30%), respectively. This estimate increased to 34% after correcting for influenza vaccination exposure misclassification. We observed significant VE against deaths following influenza confirmation during 2014-2015 (VE=26% [95%CI, 5%-42%]). We also observed significant VE against deaths following confirmation of influenza A/H1N1 and A/H3N2, and against deaths with COPD as the underlying cause.

Conclusions: These results support the importance of influenza vaccination in older adults, who account for most influenza-associated deaths annually.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1862DOI Listing
December 2020

Deeper waters are changing less consistently than surface waters in a global analysis of 102 lakes.

Sci Rep 2020 11 25;10(1):20514. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Lake Ecosystems Group, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster, UK.

Globally, lake surface water temperatures have warmed rapidly relative to air temperatures, but changes in deepwater temperatures and vertical thermal structure are still largely unknown. We have compiled the most comprehensive data set to date of long-term (1970-2009) summertime vertical temperature profiles in lakes across the world to examine trends and drivers of whole-lake vertical thermal structure. We found significant increases in surface water temperatures across lakes at an average rate of + 0.37 °C decade, comparable to changes reported previously for other lakes, and similarly consistent trends of increasing water column stability (+ 0.08 kg m decade). In contrast, however, deepwater temperature trends showed little change on average (+ 0.06 °C decade), but had high variability across lakes, with trends in individual lakes ranging from - 0.68 °C decade to + 0.65 °C decade. The variability in deepwater temperature trends was not explained by trends in either surface water temperatures or thermal stability within lakes, and only 8.4% was explained by lake thermal region or local lake characteristics in a random forest analysis. These findings suggest that external drivers beyond our tested lake characteristics are important in explaining long-term trends in thermal structure, such as local to regional climate patterns or additional external anthropogenic influences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-76873-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7688658PMC
November 2020

Invasion costs, impacts, and human agency: response to Sagoff 2020.

Conserv Biol 2020 12 30;34(6):1579-1582. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

CNRS, AgroParisTech, Ecologie Systématique Evolution, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, 91405, France.

Article impact statement: In an era of profound biodiversity crisis, invasion costs, invader impacts, and human agency should not be dismissed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13592DOI Listing
December 2020

Building on the RCP FallSafe care bundles: Is observation and review the key to reducing inpatient falls? The Northumbria experience 2013-2020.

Clin Med (Lond) 2020 11;20(6):545-550

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, North Shields, UK.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) FallSafe care bundles are the recommended foundation for inpatient falls prevention in the UK. Yet there is a paucity of data to support its widespread use and the reductions in falls demonstrated in the original pilot and in subsequent small studies have not yet been reproduced in larger patient groups. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHCFT) has seen a significant reduction in falls, falls per 1,000 bed days and harm from falls between 2013-2020 when combining the RCP FallSafe care bundles with a supportive observation policy (SOP) related to falls prevention. Highlighting the potential cost savings (∼£5.3 million over a 3-year period) has supported the growth and development of the NHCFT inpatient falls prevention service and the implementation of the SOP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7861/clinmed.2020-0482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7687313PMC
November 2020