Publications by authors named "Matthew Johnston"

90 Publications

Frequency-Division Multiplexing with Graphene Active Electrodes for Neurosensor Applications.

IEEE Trans Circuits Syst II Express Briefs 2021 May 17;68(5):1735-1739. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA.

Multielectrode arrays are used broadly for neural recording, both and for cultured neurons. In most cases, recording sites are passive electrodes wired to external read-out circuitry, and the number of wires is at least equal to the number of recording sites. We present an approach to break the conventional N-wire, N-electrode array architecture using graphene active electrodes, which allow signal upconversion at the recording site and sharing of each interface wire among multiple active electrodes using frequency-division multiplexing (FDM). The presented work includes the design and implementation of a frequency modulation and readout architecture using graphene FET electrodes, a custom integrated circuit (IC) analog front-end (AFE), and digital demodulation. The AFE was fabricated in 0.18 m CMOS; electrical characterization and multi-channel FDM results are provided, including GFET-based signal modulation and IC/DSP demodulation. Long-term, this approach can simultaneously enable high signal count, high spatial resolution, and high temporal precision to infer functional interactions between neurons while markedly decreasing access wires.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/tcsii.2021.3066556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8130868PMC
May 2021

Very preterm infants engage in an intervention to train their control of attention: results from the feasibility study of the Attention Control Training (ACT) randomised trial.

Pilot Feasibility Stud 2021 Mar 12;7(1):66. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Very premature birth (gestational age between 28 and 31 + 6 weeks) is associated with increased risk of cognitive delay and attention deficit disorder, which have been linked to anomalies in the development of executive functions (EFs) and their precursors. In particular, very preterm (VP) infants display anomalies in controlling attention and gathering task-relevant information. Early interventions that support attention control may be pivotal in providing a secure base for VP children's later attainments. The Attention Control Training (ACT) is a cognitive training intervention that targets infants' abilities to select visual information according to varying task demands but had not been tested in VP infants. We conducted a feasibility study to test the processes we intend to use in a trial delivering the ACT to VP infants.

Methods And Design: We tested recruitment and retention of VP infants and their families in a randomised trial, as well as acceptability and completion of baseline and outcome measures. To evaluate these aims, we used descriptive quantitative statistics and qualitative methods to analyse feedback from infants' caregivers. We also investigated the quality of eye-tracking data collected and indicators of infants' engagement in the training, using descriptive statistics.

Results: Twelve VP infants were recruited, and 10 (83%) completed the study. Participants' parents had high education attainment. The rate of completion of baseline and outcome measures was optimal. VP infants demonstrated engagement in the training, completing on average 84 min of training over three visits, and displaying improved performance during this training. Eye-tracking data quality was moderate, but this did not interfere with infants' engagement in the training.

Discussion: The results suggest the ACT can be delivered to VP infants. However, challenges remain in recruitment of numerous and diverse samples. We discuss strategies to overcome these challenges informed by results of this study.

Trial Registration: Registered Registration ID: NCT03896490 . Retrospectively registered at Clinical Trials Protocol Registration and Results System ( clinicaltrials.gov ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40814-021-00809-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952829PMC
March 2021

Clostridioides difficile Infection in a Rural New Zealand Secondary Care Centre: An Incidence Case-Control Study.

Intern Med J 2021 Feb 2. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Principal Technician, Nosocomial Infections Laboratory, Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

Background: Clostridioides difficile Infection (CDI) is a form of antibiotic associated infectious diarrhoea resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Community acquired disease in low risk individuals is increasingly recognised. There are limited New Zealand data published.

Aim: To determine the incidence and location of onset of CDI cases in the Manawatu region, and further describe the demographics, risk factors and prevalent C. difficile ribotypes of the population.

Methods: We performed an incidence case-control study of CDI in the Manawatu region between September 2018 and September 2019. Cases were matched to controls with a negative test for C. difficile. Demographic and comorbidity data, location of onset, drug exposure, disease recurrence and 30-day mortality were collected. Ribotype analysis was performed on C. difficile isolates.

Results: 32 specimens tested toxin positive over twelve months, yielding an incidence of 18.3 cases per 100,000 person-years. 25% of cases had community onset disease. Cases were more likely to have had amoxicillin/clavulanate or ceftriaxone prescribed. Elevated blood white cell count and lower HbA1c were significantly associated with CDI. The dominant ribotype was 014/020, 2 cases were RT 023.

Conclusion: Our data are similar to previous national data. RT 023 has not been previously reported in New Zealand and has been associated with severe colitis. We demonstrated a significant proportion of community acquired cases and the true incidence may be higher. Vigilance for community onset disease is required. This data may allow observation of temporal changes in incidence and infection patterns of CDI in New Zealand. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.15220DOI Listing
February 2021

Reconsidering Reconciliation Within Families of Youth Who Sexually Offend.

J Interpers Violence 2021 Jan 12:886260520985492. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Research on youth sexual offending has focused primarily on its prevalence, risk factors, treatment interventions, and recidivism rates. Thus, there is a need to develop better understandings of the processes towards reconciliation (or the lack thereof) that occur in the context of the collateral consequences of such harm-generating behavior. This qualitative study presents parents' perspectives on the benefits and challenges associated with the implications and outcomes of reconciliation, and of its deprivation among sexually offending youth, victims and their relatives. We analysed in-depth, semi-structured interview data among 16 parents from 10 families in Canada using thematic coding procedures. The findings reveal that in the absence of reconciliation, both relationship repair and rehabilitation are hindered by miscommunication, bitterness, and confusion. By contrast, when meaningful reconciliation occurs, offending youth are better able to take responsibility for their actions, which in many cases led to victim validation and relationship restoration among all affected parties, including immediate and extended relatives. Our research points to the importance of restorative practices in both formal and informal attempts towards accountability, reconciliation, rehabilitation, victim redress, as well as family and community reintegration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260520985492DOI Listing
January 2021

A dynamical framework for modeling fear of infection and frustration with social distancing in COVID-19 spread.

Math Biosci Eng 2020 11;17(6):7892-7915

Lawrence Technological University, 21000 W 10 Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48075, USA.

We introduce a novel modeling framework for incorporating fear of infection and frustration with social distancing into disease dynamics. We show that the resulting SEIR behavior-perception model has three principal modes of qualitative behavior-no and . We also demonstrate that the model can produce transient and sustained waves of infection consistent with secondary outbreaks. We fit the model to cumulative COVID-19 case and mortality data from several regions. Our analysis suggests that regions which experience a significant decline after the first wave of infection, such as Canada and Israel, are more likely to contain secondary waves of infection, whereas regions which only achieve moderate success in mitigating the disease's spread initially, such as the United States, are likely to experience substantial secondary waves or uncontrolled outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/mbe.2020401DOI Listing
November 2020

A bootstrap approach is a superior statistical method for the comparison of non-normal data with differing variances.

New Phytol 2021 04 29;230(1):23-26. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.17159DOI Listing
April 2021

DC-100 kHz Tunable Readout IC for Impedance Spectroscopy and Amperometric Measurement of Electrochemical Sensors.

Conf Proc (Midwest Symp Circuits Syst) 2020 Aug 2;2020:651-654. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.

This paper presents a low-noise, front-end sensor IC that includes both AC impedance spectroscopy and DC amperometric measurement capabilities for electrochemical and biosensor applications. A common-gate current buffer topology is proposed that supports both current-mode and voltage-mode sensor signals to allow an input frequency range from DC to 100 kHz. Low-noise operation is achieved across a wide input frequency range using tunable high-pass and low-pass frequency response. In addition, an incremental delta-sigma modulator with embedded frequency response analysis serves as both on-chip impedance analyzer and current-driven analog-to-digital converter. Implemented using a 0.18 μm CMOS process, this work achieves 45 fA/√Hz input current noise density at 1 kHz. Input dynamic range exceeding 80 dB is achieved up to 10 kHz bandwidth, with a maximum of 104 dB dynamic range at 10 Hz.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/mwscas48704.2020.9184465DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7728457PMC
August 2020

A 6-Transistor Ultra-Low Power CMOS Voltage Reference with 0.02%/V Line Sensitivity.

Proc Cust Integr Circuits Conf 2020 Mar 23;2020. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.

This work presents a technique for design of ultra-low power (ULP) CMOS voltage references achieving extremely low line sensitivity while maintaining state-of-the-art temperature insensitivity through the use of a 6-transistor (6T) structure. The proposed technique demonstrates good performance in sub-100 nm CMOS technologies. The 65-nm CMOS implementation occupies only 840 m of area and consumes 28.6 pA from a 0.5 V supply. Measurements from 6 samples from the same wafer show an average line sensitivity of 0.02 %/V, a 10X improvement over previous 65 nm implementations, and an average temperature coefficient of 99.2 ppm/°C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/cicc48029.2020.9075941DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7728458PMC
March 2020

A Batteryless Motion-Adaptive Heartbeat Detection System-on-Chip Powered by Human Body Heat.

IEEE J Solid-State Circuits 2020 Nov 14;55(11):2902-2913. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.

This paper presents a batteryless heartbeat detection system-on-chip (SoC) powered by human body heat. An adaptive threshold generation architecture using pulse-width locked loop (PWLL) is developed to detect heartbeats from electrocardiogram (ECG) in the presence of motion artifacts. The sensing system is autonomously powered by harvesting thermal energy from human body heat using a thermoelectric generator (TEG) coupled to a low-voltage, self-starting boost converter and integrated power management system. The SoC was implemented in a 0.18 μm CMOS process and is fully functional with a minimum input power of 20 μW, provided by a portable TEG at 20 mV with a ~0.5 °C temperature gradient. The complete system demonstrates motion-adaptive, power-autonomous heartbeat detection for sustainable healthcare using wearable devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/jssc.2020.3013789DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7731923PMC
November 2020

Octocoral populations and connectivity in continental Ecuador and Galápagos, Eastern Pacific.

Adv Mar Biol 2020 29;87(1):411-441. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Halmos College of Arts and Sciences, Nova Southeastern University, Dania Beach, FL, United States.

Octocorals are important zoobenthic organisms, contributing to structural heterogeneity and species diversity on hardgrounds. Their persistence amidst global coral reef degradation and ocean acidification, has prompted renewed interest in this taxon. Octocoral assemblages at 52 sites in continental Ecuador and Galápagos (23 species, 3742 colonies) were examined for composition, size distributions within and among populations, and connectivity patterns based on ocean current models. Species richness varied from 1 to 14 species per site, with the richest sites on the continent. Three assemblage clusters were recognised based on species richness and population size, one with a mix of sites from the mainland and Galápagos (defined by Muricea fruticosa and Leptogorgia alba, Muricea plantaginea and Pacifigorgia darwinii), the second from Santa Elena in southern Ecuador (defined by M. plantaginea and L. alba) and the third from the northernmost sites on the continent, in Esmeraldas (defined by Muricea fruticosa, Heterogorgia hickmani, Leptogorgia manabiensis). Based on biophysical larval flow models with 30, 60, 90-day Pelagic Larval Duration, good connectivity existed along the South American mainland, and from the continent to Galápagos. Connectivity between Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo and the Colombian mainland may explain the wide distribution of L. alba. Muricea plantaginea had the densest populations with the largest colonies and therewith was an important habitat provider both in continental Ecuador and Galápagos. Continental Ecuador harbours the most speciose populations of octocorals so far recorded in the southern Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Most species were uncommon and possibly vulnerable to local extirpation. The present study may serve as a base line to determine local and regional impacts of future disturbances on ETP octocorals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.amb.2020.07.002DOI Listing
December 2020

Do I consider a career in dental academia and if so how do I go about it?

Br Dent J 2020 08;229(4):253-255

Health Education England, Bourne House, Mandale Business Park, Durham, Tyne and Wear, DH1 1TH, UK.

Medicine has around 450 academic foundation roles available every year involving research and teaching, leadership and management, or quality improvement. However, an academic career in dentistry is not as clearly defined immediately post-graduation. The North East General Professional Training scheme is a two-year longitudinal dental foundation training scheme and this year, for the first time, has conducted a pilot programme allowing two trainees the opportunity to complete a research project. The experiences of the two trainees confirm the benefit of dental foundation research posts and support the need for additional positions nationally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-1991-yDOI Listing
August 2020

Recommendations for Prehospital Airway Management in Patients with Suspected COVID-19 Infection.

West J Emerg Med 2020 Jun 15;21(4):809-812. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Springfield, Illinois.

In light of the rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and hospitals nationwide have developed new protocols to address infection control as well as the care of critical patients. Airway management has been particularly difficult; the challenge of quickly establishing an airway in patients must be balanced by the risk of aerosolizing respiratory secretions and putting the provider at risk of infection. Significant attention has been given to developing protocols for the emergency department and critical care units, but little guidance regarding establishing airway and respiratory support for patients in the prehospital setting has been made available. While some of the recommendations can be extrapolated from hospital guidelines, other factors such as environment and available resources make these protocols unfeasible. Through review of current literature the authors established recommendations regarding airway management and the provision of respiratory support to patients developing respiratory failure related to COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2020.5.47540DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7390580PMC
June 2020

Unfolding the diagnosis of subspectacular fluid opacity in a corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus).

Vet Ophthalmol 2020 Jul 29;23(4):754-759. Epub 2020 May 29.

Comparative ophthalmology, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Objective: To present the results of clinical, surgical, and histopathologic procedures and how these were compared with the initial presumptive clinical diagnosis in a corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) presenting with subspectacular fluid opacity; and to improve upon currently established surgical enucleation techniques in the snake.

Animal Studied: An 8-month-old corn snake was presented for enlarged globe OD.

Procedures: The following diagnostics were performed: systemic and ophthalmic examinations, complete blood count, cytology and culture of subspectacular fluid, and histopathology of enucleated globe and spectacle. Enucleation was performed in a routine fashion with the addition of a porcine small intestinal submucosa bioscaffold graft (SISplus™; Avalon Medical, Stillwater, MN), sutured over the orbit.

Results: Systemic examination revealed signs of maxillary stomatitis. Ophthalmic examination revealed semitransparent fluid in the subspectacular space. Complete blood count was unremarkable. Cytology of fluid obtained via subspectacular centesis was acellular, and culture grew Clostridium perfringens, which was consistent with the clinical suspicion of right maxillary stomatitis. Histopathology of the enucleated globe revealed spectaculitis, characterized by regional heterophilic inflammation, and no evidence of lymph dissection in the (peri)ocular tissues. The final diagnosis was a subspectacular abscess. Follow-up revealed that the SIS graft provided excellent healing and cosmesis of the surgical site.

Conclusions: While there are reports of lymphatic fluid dissection between skin layers during ecdysis, which can result in an opaque spectacle, the fluid opacity in this case was attributed to a subspectacular abscess secondary to an ascending oral infection. Addition of biological wound dressing may contribute to positive post-enucleation outcome in the snake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vop.12781DOI Listing
July 2020

Head and neck surgical oncology in the time of a pandemic: Subsite-specific triage guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Head Neck 2020 06;42(6):1194-1201

Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Background: COVID-19 pandemic has strained human and material resources around the world. Practices in surgical oncology had to change in response to these resource limitations, triaging based on acuity, expected oncologic outcomes, availability of supportive resources, and safety of health care personnel.

Methods: The MD Anderson Head and Neck Surgery Treatment Guidelines Consortium devised the following to provide guidance on triaging head and neck cancer (HNC) surgeries based on multidisciplinary consensus. HNC subsites considered included aerodigestive tract mucosa, sinonasal, salivary, endocrine, cutaneous, and ocular.

Recommendations: Each subsite is presented separately with disease-specific recommendations. Options for alternative treatment modalities are provided if surgical treatment needs to be deferred.

Conclusion: These guidelines are intended to help clinicians caring for patients with HNC appropriately allocate resources during a health care crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to advocate for individual consideration of cases in a multidisciplinary fashion based on individual patient circumstances and resource availability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hed.26206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7267348PMC
June 2020

Molecular profiling of Peru Balsam reveals active ingredients responsible for its pharmaceutical properties.

Nat Prod Res 2020 Apr 21:1-6. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Peru Balsam, a resinous substance derived from var. , has historically been used as a topical ointment for various skin conditions such as scabies, poorly healing wounds, eczema, and haemorrhoids. The ingredients responsible for these properties are not fully elucidated. We investigated the chemical composition of two Peru Balsam samples, one historical and one modern, using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify the active ingredients responsible for its pharmaceutical properties. Both Peru Balsam specimens investigated had similar compositions, showing the stability of the substance. Components identified are effective against scabies, exhibit antimicrobial activity and aid skin penetration. These properties are consistent with historical uses of Peru Balsam. Several ingredients are also known allergens. This study, combining chemical information with scientific literature related to pharmaceutical properties of natural substances, represents a breakthrough in the elucidation of active ingredients in Peru Balsam.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2020.1753056DOI Listing
April 2020

Chitin perception in plasmodesmata characterizes submembrane immune-signaling specificity in plants.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 04 13;117(17):9621-9629. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, NR4 7UH Norwich, United Kingdom;

The plasma membrane (PM) is composed of heterogeneous subdomains, characterized by differences in protein and lipid composition. PM receptors can be dynamically sorted into membrane domains to underpin signaling in response to extracellular stimuli. In plants, the plasmodesmal PM is a discrete microdomain that hosts specific receptors and responses. We exploited the independence of this PM domain to investigate how membrane domains can independently integrate a signal that triggers responses across the cell. Focusing on chitin signaling, we found that responses in the plasmodesmal PM require the LysM receptor kinases LYK4 and LYK5 in addition to LYM2. Chitin induces dynamic changes in the localization, association, or mobility of these receptors, but only LYM2 and LYK4 are detected in the plasmodesmal PM. We further uncovered that chitin-induced production of reactive oxygen species and callose depends on specific signaling events that lead to plasmodesmata closure. Our results demonstrate that distinct membrane domains can integrate a common signal with specific machinery that initiates discrete signaling cascades to produce a localized response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1907799117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7196898PMC
April 2020

SEDATIVE, CARDIORESPIRATORY, AND THERMOREGULATORY EFFECTS OF ALFAXALONE ON BUDGERIGARS ().

J Zoo Wildl Med 2020 Mar;51(1):96-101

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525, USA.

Alfaxalone is a neurosteroid anesthetic agent that has been extensively used in both human and veterinary medicine for more than 50 yr. Previous studies involving avian species demonstrated various dose ranges and multiple routes of administration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term sedative, cardiorespiratory, and thermoregulatory effects of an intramuscular injection of alfaxalone on budgerigars (). A crossover study was performed with a sample size of 10 male budgerigars, previously determined to be healthy based on physical examination. Alfaxalone was administered intramuscularly at two doses: 15 and 20 mg/kg. The lower dose resulted in mild to moderate sedation for 29 ± 5 min, whereas the higher dose resulted in moderate to profound sedation for 29 ± 7 min. A statistically significant decrease in heart rate was observed 2 min after administration of alfaxalone at 15 mg/kg; however, this finding was noted to be transient. A statistically significant decrease in respiratory rate was observed at 6 and 10 min after injection in both groups. Cloacal temperature measurement with a digital thermometer and eye temperature calculated from thermographic images demonstrated a decrease in body temperature over time but was not found to be statistically significant. Intramuscular use of alfaxalone proved to provide short-term sedation in budgerigars, with statistically significant but clinically mild cardiorespiratory effects. Due to a significant decrease in body temperature, active warming is recommended when using alfaxalone in budgerigars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2019-0059DOI Listing
March 2020

Does Evolutionary History Correlate with Contemporary Extinction Risk by Influencing Range Size Dynamics?

Am Nat 2020 03 17;195(3):569-576. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Extinction threatens many species yet is predicted by few factors across the plant tree of life (ToL). Taxon age is one factor that may associate with extinction if occupancy of geographic and adaptive zones varies with time, but evidence for such an association has been equivocal. Age-dependent occupancy can also influence diversification rates and thus extinction risk where new taxa have small range and population sizes. To test how age, diversification, and range size were correlated with extinction, we analyzed 639 well-sampled genera representing 8,937 species from across the plant ToL. We found a greater proportion of species were threatened by contemporary extinction in younger and faster-diversifying genera. When we directly tested how range size mediated this pattern in two large, well-sampled groups, our results varied. In conifers, potential range size was smaller in older species and was correlated with higher extinction risk. Age on its own had no direct effect on extinction when accounting for its influence on range size. In palm species, age was neither directly nor indirectly correlated with extinction risk. Our results suggest that range size dynamics may explain differing patterns of extinction risk across the ToL, with consequences for biodiversity conservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/707207DOI Listing
March 2020

Training attention control of very preterm infants: protocol for a feasibility study of the Attention Control Training (ACT).

Pilot Feasibility Stud 2020 10;6:17. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

7Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Children born preterm may display cognitive, learning, and behaviour difficulties as they grow up. In particular, very premature birth (gestation age between 28 and less than 32 weeks) may put infants at increased risk of intellectual deficits and attention deficit disorder. Evidence suggests that the basis of these problems may lie in difficulties in the development of executive functions. One of the earliest executive functions to emerge around 1 year of age is the ability to control attention. An eye-tracking-based cognitive training programme to support this emerging ability, the Attention Control Training (ACT), has been developed and tested with typically developing infants. The aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of using the ACT with healthy very preterm (VP) infants when they are 12 months of age (corrected age). The ACT has the potential to address the need for supporting emerging cognitive abilities of VP infants with an early intervention, which may capitalise on infants' neural plasticity.

Methods/design: The feasibility study is designed to investigate whether it is possible to recruit and retain VP infants and their families in a randomised trial that compares attention and social attention of trained infants against those that are exposed to a control procedure. Feasibility issues include the referral/recruitment pathway, attendance, and engagement with testing and training sessions, completion of tasks, retention in the study, acceptability of outcome measures, quality of data collected (particularly, eye-tracking data). The results of the study will inform the development of a larger randomised trial.

Discussion: Several lines of evidence emphasise the need to support emerging cognitive and learning abilities of preterm infants using early interventions. However, early interventions with preterm infants, and particularly very preterm ones, face difficulties in recruiting and retaining participants. These problems are also augmented by the health vulnerability of this population. This feasibility study will provide the basis for informing the implementation of an early cognitive intervention for very preterm infants.

Trial Registration: Registered Registration ID: NCT03896490. Retrospectively registered at Clinical Trials Protocol Registration and Results System (clinicaltrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40814-020-0556-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7008548PMC
February 2020

Evaluation of Peripheral Blood Markers as Early Endpoint Criteria in Guinea Pigs () when Testing Tuberculosis Vaccine Candidates.

Comp Med 2020 02 17;70(1):45-55. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Departments of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

The guinea pig model of tuberculosis is used extensively to assess the efficacy of novel tuberculosis vaccines. There are established parameters to determine vaccine efficacy in this model, but the science community currently lacks established biomarkers for early detection and monitoring of experimental disease in guinea pigs. To define a set of biomarkers that could be used as benchmarks for disease progression and early endpoint criteria, we assessed serum biochemical and hematology parameters in 2 groups of guinea pigs-one vaccinated with the attenuated vaccine strain (BCG) and one sham-vaccinated with saline-and then experimentally infected with a virulent strain of . After infection, WBC showed the strongest differences between saline-inoculated and vaccinated animals, with more subtle changes in other serum biochemical parameters, including ALT and ALP. Therefore, this study provides a starting point for evaluating the utility of blood values as possible early endpoint criteria in the guinea pig model of tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.30802/AALAS-CM-19-000047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7024781PMC
February 2020

Comparison of detection methods for shedding among reptilian patients at a veterinary teaching hospital.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2020 Jan 18;32(1):118-123. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO (Fagre, Pabilonia, Johnston, Morley, Burgess).

In the United States, ~1.4 million sporadic human infections occur annually, with an estimated 6% attributable to reptile exposure. Detection of in reptiles can be challenging given the limitations among detection methods. We evaluated sampling and detection methods for in a cross-sectional study of reptilian patients ( = 45) over the course of 13 mo. Two sampling methods (cloacal swabs, electrostatic cloth body-feet samples) and 3 detection methods (enriched culture, lateral flow immunoassay [LFI], real-time PCR) were compared using McNemar and Fisher exact tests. Results varied by species, sample type, and detection method. In total, 14 of 45 (33%) patients were positive by culture, 10 of 45 (22%), and/or 13 of 45 (29%) by rtPCR. Among rtPCR-positive results, cloacal swabs (12 of 45 [27%]) resulted in a higher detection than body-feet wipes (4 of 45 [9%];  = 0.01). Among culture-positive results, shedding was most commonly detected after additional incubation at room temperature when testing cloacal swabs (9 of 45 [20%]). However, there was significant disagreement between sampling methods (cloacal vs. body-feet;  = 0.03). No samples were positive by LFI. In general, cloacal swabs yielded the highest test-positive rates, irrespective of testing method. Our study highlights the importance of using detection methods optimized for the sample being tested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638719886542DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7003227PMC
January 2020

Realizations of kinetic differential equations.

Math Biosci Eng 2019 Nov;17(1):862-892

Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1325, USA.

The induced kinetic differential equations of a reaction network endowed with mass action type kinetics is a system of polynomial differential equations. The problem studied here is: Given a system of polynomial differential equations, is it possible to find a network which induces these equations; in other words: is it possible to find a of this system of differential equations? If yes, can we find a network with some chemically relevant properties (implying also important dynamic consequences), such as reversibility, weak reversibility, zero deficiency, detailed balancing, complex balancing, mass conservation, etc.? The constructive answers presented to a series of questions of the above type are useful when fitting differential equations to datasets, or when trying to find out the dynamic behavior of the solutions of differential equations. It turns out that some of these results can be applied when trying to solve seemingly unrelated mathematical problems, like the existence of positive solutions to algebraic equations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/mbe.2020046DOI Listing
November 2019

Integrated Cold-Start of a Boost Converter at 57mV using Cross-Coupled Complementary Charge Pumps and Ultra-Low-Voltage Ring Oscillator.

IEEE J Solid-State Circuits 2019 Oct 8;54(10):2867-2878. Epub 2019 Aug 8.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331, USA.

This paper demonstrates an on-chip electrical cold-start technique to achieve low-voltage and fast start up of a boost converter for autonomous thermal energy harvesting from human body heat. An improved charge transfer through high gate-boosted switches by means of cross-coupled complementary charge pumps enables voltage multiplication of the low input voltage during cold start. The start-up voltage multiplier operates with an on-chip clock generated by an ultra-low-voltage ring oscillator. The proposed cold-start scheme implemented in a general purpose 0.18μm CMOS process assists an inductive boost converter to start operation with a minimum input voltage of 57mV in 135 ms while consuming only 90 nJ of energy from the harvesting source, without using additional sources of energy or additional off-chip components.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/JSSC.2019.2930911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6853622PMC
October 2019

Anion channel SLAH3 is a regulatory target of chitin receptor-associated kinase PBL27 in microbial stomatal closure.

Elife 2019 09 16;8. Epub 2019 Sep 16.

The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, United Kingdom.

In plants, antimicrobial immune responses involve the cellular release of anions and are responsible for the closure of stomatal pores. Detection of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) induces currents mediated via slow-type (S-type) anion channels by a yet not understood mechanism. Here, we show that stomatal closure to fungal chitin is conferred by the major PRRs for chitin recognition, LYK5 and CERK1, the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase PBL27, and the SLAH3 anion channel. PBL27 has the capacity to phosphorylate SLAH3, of which S127 and S189 are required to activate SLAH3. Full activation of the channel entails CERK1, depending on PBL27. Importantly, both S127 and S189 residues of SLAH3 are required for chitin-induced stomatal closure and anti-fungal immunity at the whole leaf level. Our results demonstrate a short signal transduction module from MAMP recognition to anion channel activation, and independent of ABA-induced SLAH3 activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.44474DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6776436PMC
September 2019

CLINICAL CONDITIONS FOUND RADIOGRAPHICALLY IN THE FRONT FEET OF RETICULATED GIRAFFE () IN A SINGLE ZOO.

J Zoo Wildl Med 2019 Sep;50(3):528-538

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.

Front foot radiographs from 22 giraffe () at one zoo were analyzed to better understand causes of lameness in this giraffe population. The herd had a history of front hoof overgrowth and intermittent lameness. Radiographic findings included distal interphalangeal joint osteoarthritis (OA), distal phalangeal bone (P3) osteitis, P3 fractures, P3 rotation, and sesamoid bone cysts. OA of the distal interphalangeal joint occurred in at least one front foot of 73% (16/22 giraffe) of the herd, and all giraffe had OA by 7 yr of age. Pedal osteitis was present in at least one front foot in 86% (19/22) of the giraffe, starting in animals as young as 1 yr old. P3 fractures were present in 36% (8/22) of the herd. These fractures were near the site of the deep digital flexor attachment and were diagnosed in giraffe as young as 10 yr old. The presence of severe osteitis was associated with the presence of P3 fractures. This study is unique in that a large herd was trained to participate in voluntary front foot radiographs so multiple causes of foot disease could be diagnosed antemortem and without anesthesia. Although the underlying causes of these lesions are likely multifactorial and currently unknown to us, the high prevalence of foot disease in relatively young animals warrants further investigation across zoos. In this study, OA, osteitis, and P3 fractures were common radiographic findings among giraffe that were limping. Subsequent monitoring and management changes suggest that proactive management of foot health can decrease morbidity and mortality in zoo giraffe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2018-0031DOI Listing
September 2019

Some environmental and biological determinants of coral richness, resilience and reef building in Galápagos (Ecuador).

Sci Rep 2019 07 16;9(1):10322. Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Crane Country Day School, 1795 San Leandro Lane, Santa Barbara, CA, 93108, USA.

Throughout the Galápagos, differences in coral reef development and coral population dynamics were evaluated by monitoring populations from 2000-2019, and environmental parameters (sea temperatures, pH, NO, PO) from 2015-19. The chief goal was to explain apparent coral community differences between the northern (Darwin and Wolf) and southern (Sta. Cruz, Fernandina, San Cristóbal, Española, Isabela) islands. Site coral species richness was highest at Darwin and Wolf. In the three most common coral taxa, a declining North (N)-South (S) trend in colony sizes existed for Porites lobata and Pocillopora spp., but not for Pavona  spp. Frequent coral recruitment was observed in all areas. Algal competition was highest at Darwin, but competition by bioeroding sea urchins and burrowing fauna (polychaete worms, bivalve mollusks) increased from N to S with declining coral skeletal density. A biophysical model suggested strong connectivity among southern islands with weaker connectivity to Wolf and even less to Darwin. Also, strong connectivity was observed between Darwin and Wolf, but from there only intermittently to the south. From prevailing ocean current trajectories, coral larvae from Darwin and Wolf drift primarily towards Malpelo and Cocos Islands, some reaching Costa Rica and Colombia. Mean temperature, pH, and PO declined from N to S. Strong thermocline shoaling, especially in the warm season, was observed at most sites. A single environmental factor could not explain the variability in observed coral community characteristics, with minimum temperature, pH and nutrient levels the strongest determinants. Thus, complex environmental determinants combined with larval connectivity patterns may explain why the northern Galápagos Islands (Darwin, Wolf) have higher coral richness and cover and also recover more rapidly than central/southern islands after region-wide disturbances. These northern islands are therefore potentially of critical conservation importance as important reservoirs of regional coral biodiversity and source of larvae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46607-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6635370PMC
July 2019

Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: An overview.

AIMS Microbiol 2018 27;4(4):655-664. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, Ulster University, Coleraine BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland, UK.

The importance of honey for medicinal purposes is well documented in some of the world's oldest literature. Honey is well known and studied for its antimicrobial properties. The medicinal properties in honey originate from the floral source used by bees. Manuka honey is a dark monofloral honey rich in phenolic content, and currently it is gaining much attention for its antimicrobial activity. Researchers have found that honey is effective against a wide range of pathogens. The antibacterial potency of Manuka honey was found to be related to the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating, which is correlated with the methylglyoxal and total phenols content. It is reported that different types of Manuka honey have differing effects and Gram-negative bacteria are more resistant than Gram-positive bacteria. Bacterial resistance to honey as antimicrobial agent has yet to be identified, possibly due to the presence of a complex mixture of methylglyoxal and other components. Honey is also reported to alter a bacterium's shape and size through septal ring alteration, which affects cell morphology and growth. Research has shown that Manuka honey of different UMF values has medicinal properties of interest and it can be beneficial when used as a combination treatment with other antimicrobial agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/microbiol.2018.4.655DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6613335PMC
November 2018

Iridocorneal angle assessment of companion rabbits using gonioscopy, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (Optovue iVue ), high-resolution ultrasound, and Pentacam HR imaging.

Vet Ophthalmol 2019 Nov 1;22(6):834-841. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Objective: Iridocorneal angle (ICA) narrowing is a known risk factor for primary glaucoma in multiple species, but has not been described in companion rabbits. This study aimed to develop an ICA grading scheme for companion rabbits to enable early glaucoma predisposition diagnosis.

Animals Studied: Twenty healthy rabbits of varying breeds and ages.

Procedures: Rabbits received complete ophthalmic examinations, including gonioscopy, and imaging of the ICA using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), Scheimpflug imaging (Pentacam HR), and high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS). Angle opening distance (AOD) and angle recess area (ARA) of the ICA were measured and assessed for agreement using a Bland-Altman analysis. A five-stage gonioscopy grading scheme was created, and Spearman-rank test assessed for correlation between gonioscopy grades and ICA measurements. Differences among age and sex were analyzed with a nonparametric ANOVA and Wilcoxon rank-sum test, respectively.

Results: Analysis revealed AOD medians of 0.28mm for SD-OCT [95% CI: 0.24-0.31], 0.20mm for Pentacam HR [95% CI: 0.18-0.21], and 0.25mm for HRUS [95% CI: 0.22-0.28]. The median ARA was 0.14mm for SD-OCT [95% CI: 0.117-0.163], 0.09mm for Pentacam HR [95% CI: 0.082-0.100], and 0.06mm for HRUS [95% CI: 0.046-0.054]. The association between gonioscopy grade and SD-OCT ARA was significant (P < 0.05), and there was a significant difference (P < 0.001) between imaging modalities for both ARA and AOD.

Conclusions: Gonioscopy grade correlated well with SD-OCT ARA. Therefore, SD-OCT is recommended as a noncontact method for evaluating companion rabbit ICA. Each imaging device should not be used interchangeably for ICA evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vop.12660DOI Listing
November 2019

Computing Weakly Reversible Deficiency Zero Network Translations Using Elementary Flux Modes.

Bull Math Biol 2019 05 21;81(5):1613-1644. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Department of Mathematics, San José State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA, 95192, USA.

We present a computational method for performing structural translation, which has been studied recently in the context of analyzing the steady states and dynamical behavior of mass-action systems derived from biochemical reaction networks. Our procedure involves solving a binary linear programming problem where the decision variables correspond to interactions between the reactions of the original network. We call the resulting network a reaction-to-reaction graph and formalize how such a construction relates to the original reaction network and the structural translation. We demonstrate the efficacy and efficiency of the algorithm by running it on 508 networks from the European Bioinformatics Institutes' BioModels database. We also summarize how this work can be incorporated into recently proposed algorithms for establishing mono- and multistationarity in biochemical reaction systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11538-019-00579-zDOI Listing
May 2019

Minimal physical therapy utilization compared with higher physical therapy utilization for patients with low back pain: a systematic review.

Physiother Theory Pract 2020 Nov 9;36(11):1179-1200. Epub 2019 Feb 9.

Department of Physical Therapy, University of the Pacific, Thomas J Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences , Stockton, CA, USA.

: Currently there is a large and perhaps unwarranted variation regarding physical therapy utilization for individuals with low back pain (LBP).  The purpose of this systematic review was to compare the effects of minimal physical therapy utilization/education (two visits or less) versus typical physical therapy utilization (three visits or more) on patient-important outcomes for patients with LBP. : Two independent reviewers searched Cochrane, Medline, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PEDro from database inception until March 2017. Eligible studies used a randomized design, included subjects with LBP, and compared minimal versus higher utilization. The GRADE approach was used to provide an overall level of evidence regarding utilization. Eight articles (1153 individual subjects) met the inclusion criteria. Effect sizes for each outcome measure were calculated using Hedge's and were adjusted for baseline values at each time period. : When compared with minimal utilization, higher utilization demonstrated no significant differences on pain, disability, or quality of life at the 1-year follow-up. However, two of the three studies that analyzed cost-effectiveness found higher utilization to be more cost-effective at 1-year follow-up. Moreover, there was insufficient evidence available to investigate patient subgroups (acuity, risk for chronicity), multiple levels of utilization dosage (low, typical, and high), or intervention type. : This review identifies the need for further research on the dosage of physical therapy among various subgroups of patients with LBP. While higher utilization may not result in significant improvements in patient-important outcomes, it may be more cost-effective for patients with chronic or complex LBP conditions when compared to minimal utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2019.1571135DOI Listing
November 2020