182 research outputs found

    Growing Religious Diversity in South Carolina: Implications for the Palmetto State

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    This paper documents the growth of religious diversity in South Carolina, drawing on interviews with members from the traditions represented, previous scholarly research on religion in South Carolina, newspaper articles, census data and interviews with religion reporters and educators across the state. After presenting basic outlines and historical sketchs of each faith in South Carolina, the paper goes on to explore the implications of this growing diversity for a Southern "Bible Belt" state like South Carolina, highlighting controversies over prayer in public schools and at government council meetings and examining discrimination and hate crimes. It also gives attention to the two predominant reactions to religious diversity in South Carolina--the emerging interfaith movement and the attempts to convert members of other religious traditions, suggesting that dialogue needs to take place along this boundary as well as between faiths

    The anatomical distribution of genetic associations

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    Deeper understanding of the anatomical intermediaries for disease and other complex genetic traits is essential to understanding mechanisms and developing new interventions. Existing ontology tools provide functional, curated annotations for many genes and can be used to develop mechanistic hypotheses; yet information about the spatial expression of genes may be equally useful in interpreting results and forming novel hypotheses for a trait. Therefore, we developed an approach for statistically testing the relationship between gene expression across the body and sets of candidate genes from across the genome. We validated this tool and tested its utility on three applications. First, we show that the expression of genes in associated loci from GWA studies implicates specific tissues for 57 out of 98 traits. Second, we tested the ability of the tool to identify novel relationships between gene expression and phenotypes. Specifically, we experimentally confirmed an underappreciated prediction highlighted by our tool: that white blood cell count – a quantitative trait of the immune system – is genetically modulated by genes expressed in the skin. Finally, using gene lists derived from exome sequencing data, we show that human genes under selective constraint are disproportionately expressed in nervous system tissues

    Effect of Computer-Assisted Cognitive Behavior Therapy vs Usual Care on Depression Among Adults in Primary Care: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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    Importance Depression is a common disorder that may go untreated or receive suboptimal care in primary care settings. Computer-assisted cognitive behavior therapy (CCBT) has been proposed as a method for improving access to effective psychotherapy, reducing cost, and increasing the convenience and efficiency of treatment for depression. Objectives To evaluate whether clinician-supported CCBT is more effective than treatment as usual (TAU) in primary care patients with depression and to examine the feasibility and implementation of CCBT in a primary care population with substantial numbers of patients with low income, limited internet access, and low levels of educational attainment. Design, Setting, and Participants This randomized clinical trial included adult primary care patients from clinical practices at the University of Louisville who scored 10 or greater on the Patient Health Questionnaire–9 (PHQ-9) and were randomly assigned to CCBT or TAU for 12 weeks of active treatment. Follow-up assessments were conducted 3 and 6 months after treatment completion. Enrollment occurred from June 24, 2016, to May 13, 2019. The last follow-up assessment was conducted on January 30, 2020. Interventions CCBT included use of the 9-lesson computer program Good Days Ahead, along with as many as 12 weekly telephonic support sessions of approximately 20 minutes with a master’s level therapist, in addition to TAU, which consisted of the standard clinical management procedures at the primary care sites. TAU was uncontrolled, but use of antidepressants and psychotherapy other than CCBT was recorded. Main Outcomes and Measures The primary outcome measure (PHQ-9) and secondary outcome measures (Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire for negative cognitions, Generalized Anxiety Disorder–7, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale for quality of life) were administered at baseline, 12 weeks, and 3 and 6 months after treatment completion. Satisfaction with treatment was assessed with the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire–8. Results The sample of 175 patients was predominately female (147 of 174 [84.5%]) and had a high proportion of individuals who identified as racial and ethnic minority groups (African American, 44 of 162 patients who reported [27.2%]; American Indian or Alaska Native, 2 [1.2%]; Hispanic, 4 [2.5%]; multiracial, 14 [8.6%]). An annual income of less than $30 000 was reported by 88 of 143 patients (61.5%). Overall, 95 patients (54.3%) were randomly assigned to CCBT and 80 (45.7%) to TAU. Dropout rates were 22.1% for CCBT (21 patients) and 30.0% for TAU (24 patients). An intent-to-treat analysis found that CCBT led to significantly greater improvement in PHQ-9 scores than TAU at posttreatment (mean difference, −2.5; 95% CI, −4.5 to −0.8; P = .005) and 3 month (mean difference, −2.3; 95% CI, −4.5 to −0.8; P = .006) and 6 month (mean difference, −3.2; 95% CI, −4.5 to −0.8; P = .007) follow-up points. Posttreatment response and remission rates were also significantly higher for CCBT (response, 58.4% [95% CI, 46.4-70.4%]; remission, 27.3% [95% CI, 16.4%-38.2%]) than TAU (response, 33.1% [95% CI, 20.7%-45.5%]; remission, 12.0% [95% CI, 3.3%- 20.7%]). Conclusions and Relevance In this randomized clinical trial, CCBT was found to have significantly greater effects on depressive symptoms than TAU in primary care patients with depression. Because the study population included people with lower income and lack of internet access who typically have been underrepresented or not included in earlier investigations of CCBT, results suggest that this form of treatment can be acceptable and useful in diverse primary care settings. Additional studies with larger samples are needed to address implementation procedures that could enhance the effectiveness of CCBT and to examine potential factors associated with treatment outcome

    The Impact of Patient Navigation on the Delivery of Diagnostic Breast Cancer Care in the National Patient Navigation Research Program: A Prospective Meta-Analysis.

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    Patient navigation is emerging as a standard in breast cancer care delivery, yet multi-site data on the impact of navigation at reducing delays along the continuum of care are lacking. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of navigation on reaching diagnostic resolution at specific time points after an abnormal breast cancer screening test among a national sample. A prospective meta-analysis estimated the adjusted odds of achieving timely diagnostic resolution at 60, 180, and 365 days. Exploratory analyses were conducted on the pooled sample to identify which groups had the most benefit from navigation. Clinics from six medical centers serving vulnerable populations participated in the Patient Navigation Research Program. Women with an abnormal breast cancer screening test between 2007 and 2009 were included and received the patient navigation intervention or usual care. Patient navigators worked with patients and their care providers to address patient-specific barriers to care to prevent delays in diagnosis. A total of 4675 participants included predominantly racial/ethnic minorities (74 %) with public insurance (40 %) or no insurance (31 %). At 60 days and 180 days, there was no statistically significant effect of navigation on achieving timely diagnostic care, but a benefit of navigation was seen at 365 days (aOR 2.12, CI 1.36-3.29). We found an equal benefit of navigation across all groups, regardless of race/ethnicity, language, insurance status, and type of screening abnormality. Patient navigation resulted in more timely diagnostic resolution at 365 days among a diverse group of minority, low-income women with breast cancer screening abnormalities. Trial registrations clinicaltrials.gov Identifiers: NCT00613275, NCT00496678, NCT00375024, NCT01569672

    Development, validation, and utilization of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of antibodies against Brucella species in marine mammals

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    A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) was developed by using a whole-cell antigen from a marine Brucella sp. isolated from a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). The assay was designed to screen sera from multiple marine mammal species for the presence of antibodies against marine-origin Brucella. Based on comparisons with culture-confirmed cases, specificity and sensitivity for cetacean samples tested were 73% and 100%, respectively. For pinniped samples, specificity and sensitivity values were 77% and 67%, respectively. Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi; n = 28) and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus; n = 48) serum samples were tested, and the results were compared with several other assays designed to detect Brucella abortus antibodies. The comparison testing revealed the marine-origin cELISA to be more sensitive than the B. abortus tests by the detection of additional positive serum samples. The newly developed cELISA is an effective serologic method for detection of the presence of antibodies against marine-origin Brucella sp. in marine mammals

    Preventing phosphorylation of dystroglycan ameliorates the dystrophic phenotype in mdx mouse

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    Loss of dystrophin protein due to mutations in the DMD gene causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dystrophin loss also leads to the loss of the dystrophin glycoprotein complex (DGC) from the sarcolemma which contributes to the dystrophic phenotype. Tyrosine phosphorylation of dystroglycan has been identified as a possible signal to promote the proteasomal degradation of the DGC. In order to test the role of tyrosine phosphorylation of dystroglycan in the aetiology of DMD, we generated a knock-in mouse with a phenylalanine substitution at a key tyrosine phosphorylation site in dystroglycan, Y890. Dystroglycan knock-in mice (Dag1Y890F/Y890F) had no overt phenotype. In order to examine the consequence of blocking dystroglycan phosphorylation on the aetiology of dystrophin-deficient muscular dystrophy, the Y890F mice were crossed with mdx mice an established model of muscular dystrophy. Dag1Y890F/Y890F/mdx mice showed a significant improvement in several parameters of muscle pathophysiology associated with muscular dystrophy, including a reduction in centrally nucleated fibres, less Evans blue dye infiltration and lower serum creatine kinase levels. With the exception of dystrophin, other DGC components were restored to the sarcolemma including α-sarcoglycan, α-/β-dystroglycan and sarcospan. Furthermore, Dag1Y890F/Y890F/mdx showed a significant resistance to muscle damage and force loss following repeated eccentric contractions when compared with mdx mice. While the Y890F substitution may prevent dystroglycan from proteasomal degradation, an increase in sarcolemmal plectin appeared to confer protection on Dag1Y890F/Y890F/mdx mouse muscle. This new model confirms dystroglycan phosphorylation as an important pathway in the aetiology of DMD and provides novel targets for therapeutic intervention

    Unique properties of a subset of human pluripotent stem cells with high capacity for self-renewal.

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    Archetypal human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) are widely considered to be equivalent in developmental status to mouse epiblast stem cells, which correspond to pluripotent cells at a late post-implantation stage of embryogenesis. Heterogeneity within hPSC cultures complicates this interspecies comparison. Here we show that a subpopulation of archetypal hPSC enriched for high self-renewal capacity (ESR) has distinct properties relative to the bulk of the population, including a cell cycle with a very low G1 fraction and a metabolomic profile that reflects a combination of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis. ESR cells are pluripotent and capable of differentiation into primordial germ cell-like cells. Global DNA methylation levels in the ESR subpopulation are lower than those in mouse epiblast stem cells. Chromatin accessibility analysis revealed a unique set of open chromatin sites in ESR cells. RNA-seq at the subpopulation and single cell levels shows that, unlike mouse epiblast stem cells, the ESR subset of hPSC displays no lineage priming, and that it can be clearly distinguished from gastrulating and extraembryonic cell populations in the primate embryo. ESR hPSC correspond to an earlier stage of post-implantation development than mouse epiblast stem cells

    A large scale hearing loss screen reveals an extensive unexplored genetic landscape for auditory dysfunction

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    The developmental and physiological complexity of the auditory system is likely reflected in the underlying set of genes involved in auditory function. In humans, over 150 non-syndromic loci have been identified, and there are more than 400 human genetic syndromes with a hearing loss component. Over 100 non-syndromic hearing loss genes have been identified in mouse and human, but we remain ignorant of the full extent of the genetic landscape involved in auditory dysfunction. As part of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, we undertook a hearing loss screen in a cohort of 3006 mouse knockout strains. In total, we identify 67 candidate hearing loss genes. We detect known hearing loss genes, but the vast majority, 52, of the candidate genes were novel. Our analysis reveals a large and unexplored genetic landscape involved with auditory function

    The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment: Exploring Fundamental Symmetries of the Universe

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    The preponderance of matter over antimatter in the early Universe, the dynamics of the supernova bursts that produced the heavy elements necessary for life and whether protons eventually decay --- these mysteries at the forefront of particle physics and astrophysics are key to understanding the early evolution of our Universe, its current state and its eventual fate. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) represents an extensively developed plan for a world-class experiment dedicated to addressing these questions. LBNE is conceived around three central components: (1) a new, high-intensity neutrino source generated from a megawatt-class proton accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, (2) a near neutrino detector just downstream of the source, and (3) a massive liquid argon time-projection chamber deployed as a far detector deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. This facility, located at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, is approximately 1,300 km from the neutrino source at Fermilab -- a distance (baseline) that delivers optimal sensitivity to neutrino charge-parity symmetry violation and mass ordering effects. This ambitious yet cost-effective design incorporates scalability and flexibility and can accommodate a variety of upgrades and contributions. With its exceptional combination of experimental configuration, technical capabilities, and potential for transformative discoveries, LBNE promises to be a vital facility for the field of particle physics worldwide, providing physicists from around the globe with opportunities to collaborate in a twenty to thirty year program of exciting science. In this document we provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess.Comment: Major update of previous version. This is the reference document for LBNE science program and current status. Chapters 1, 3, and 9 provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess. 288 pages, 116 figure
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