203 research outputs found

    Behavior of Undergraduates: Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns

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    College is a period of time in which young people are often on a journey of self-discovery. Discovering oneself at this age may lead to new social relationships, experimenting with substance use, and experiencing mental health difficulties. The primary goal of this study was to assess the connection between undergraduate college student\u27s levels of substance use and their mental health concerns. The hypothesis of this study was that college students who had higher levels of mental health concerns would also have higher levels of substance use. This was proven to be nonsignificant but there was a significant finding between increased levels of substance use and more social support. A sample of (n=103) students at a Midwestern university completed an online survey. This survey asked students about marijuana use, alcohol use, mental health concerns, and perceived social support. In order to examine differences between substance users and non-users, an independent sample t-test was used. The analysis confirmed the hypothesis that students who used substances reported higher levels of social support

    Upstream oncology: identifying social determinants of health in a gynecologic oncology population

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    Introduction: Social determinants of health (SDoH) are the factors that affect a patient’s health quality and outcomes and contribute to health disparities. Evidence suggests that clinical care contributes only 20% to patients’ health outcomes, while the remainder is under the influence of upstream factors. The upstream approach to healthcare aims to address SDoH before they contribute to less ideal outcomes downstream. Several SDoH may contribute to outcomes for cancer patients. This Upstream Gynecologic Oncology Initiative seeks to identify which SDoH affect a population of patients with gynecologic malignancies. Hypothesis: This study hypothesizes that women receiving care for gynecologic malignancies are affected by specific SDoH among the categories of housing, food, transportation, finances, health literacy and social support. This study aims to identify the frequency of these six social factors among the outpatient gynecologic oncology population at the University of Iowa. Methods: This needs assessment is the first phase in a quality improvement project assessing the SDoH affecting women with gynecologic cancers. Two hundred twenty-two patients receiving outpatient care for gynecologic malignancies completed an anonymous needs assessment survey. Validated survey questions regarding housing, food, transportation, finances, health literacy and social support were used to identify needs. Responses were considered positive if any degree of need was reported. Results: Responses demonstrated the most substantial need in the categories of social support (32%), health literacy (28%) and financial stability (24%). Less need was reported in the categories of food (11%), transportation (5%) and housing (4%). Fifty-seven percent of women reported at least one social need among the six categories screened. Conclusion: Upstream SDoH, most notably social support, health literacy and financial stability are identified to be present and likely contributing to health quality, outcomes, and disparities within this gynecologic oncology patient population. Overall, these findings support the idea that SDoH should be assessed for each unique patient population - and for each patient receiving care for gynecologic cancer. While social support was the most frequently reported SDoH, many patients already received adequate help at home; suggesting that meaningful efforts should next be directed at improving health literacy in the population. Appreciation and assessment of SDoH potential to impact care and management should be used to design a routine screening tool for the study population and organize resources to address or mitigate the identified needs

    The pangenome of the wheat pathogen <i>Pyrenophora tritici-repentis</i> reveals novel transposons associated with necrotrophic effectors <i>ToxA</i> and <i>ToxB</i>

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    BACKGROUND: In fungal plant pathogens, genome rearrangements followed by selection pressure for adaptive traits have facilitated the co-evolutionary arms race between hosts and their pathogens. Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr) has emerged recently as a foliar pathogen of wheat worldwide and its populations consist of isolates that vary in their ability to produce combinations of different necrotrophic effectors. These effectors play vital roles in disease development. Here, we sequenced the genomes of a global collection (40 isolates) of Ptr to gain insights into its gene content and genome rearrangements. RESULTS: A comparative genome analysis revealed an open pangenome, with an abundance of accessory genes (~ 57%) reflecting Ptr’s adaptability. A clear distinction between pathogenic and non-pathogenic genomes was observed in size, gene content, and phylogenetic relatedness. Chromosomal rearrangements and structural organization, specifically around effector coding genes, were detailed using long-read assemblies (PacBio RS II) generated in this work in addition to previously assembled genomes. We also discovered the involvement of large mobile elements associated with Ptr’s effectors: ToxA, the gene encoding for the necrosis effector, was found as a single copy within a 143-kb ‘Starship’ transposon (dubbed ‘Horizon’) with a clearly defined target site and target site duplications. ‘Horizon’ was located on different chromosomes in different isolates, indicating mobility, and the previously described ToxhAT transposon (responsible for horizontal transfer of ToxA) was nested within this newly identified Starship. Additionally, ToxB, the gene encoding the chlorosis effector, was clustered as three copies on a 294-kb element, which is likely a different putative ‘Starship’ (dubbed ‘Icarus’) in a ToxB-producing isolate. ToxB and its putative transposon were missing from the ToxB non-coding reference isolate, but the homolog toxb and ‘Icarus’ were both present in a different non-coding isolate. This suggests that ToxB may have been mobile at some point during the evolution of the Ptr genome which is contradictory to the current assumption of ToxB vertical inheritance. Finally, the genome architecture of Ptr was defined as ‘one-compartment’ based on calculated gene distances and evolutionary rates. CONCLUSIONS: These findings together reflect on the highly plastic nature of the Ptr genome which has likely helped to drive its worldwide adaptation and has illuminated the involvement of giant transposons in facilitating the evolution of virulence in Ptr. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12915-022-01433-w

    Multimodal perioperative pain protocol for Gynecologic Oncology laparotomy reduces length of hospital stay

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    Our primary objective was to evaluate the impact of a multimodal perioperative pain regimen on length of hospital stay for patients undergoing laparotomy with a gynecologic oncologist

    Exposure to Stress and Air Pollution from Bushfires during Pregnancy: Could Epigenetic Changes Explain Effects on the Offspring?

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    Due to climate change, bushfires are becoming a more frequent and more severe phenomenon which contributes to poor health effects associated with air pollution. In pregnancy, environmental exposures can have lifelong consequences for the fetus, but little is known about these consequences in the context of bushfire smoke exposure. In this review we summarise the current knowledge in this area, and propose a potential mechanism linking bushfire smoke exposure in utero to poor perinatal and respiratory outcomes in the offspring. Bushfire smoke exposure is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes including reduced birth weight and an increased risk of prematurity. Some publications have outlined the adverse health effects on young children, particularly in relation to emergency department presentations and hospital admissions for respiratory problems, but there are no studies in children who were exposed to bushfire smoke in utero. Prenatal stress is likely to occur as a result of catastrophic bushfire events, and stress is known to be associated with poor perinatal and respiratory outcomes. Changes to DNA methylation are potential epigenetic mechanisms linking both smoke particulate exposure and prenatal stress to poor childhood respiratory health outcomes. More research is needed in large pregnancy cohorts exposed to bushfire events to explore this further, and to design appropriate mitigation interventions, in this area of global public health importance.Vanessa Murphy is supported by an Investigator Grant from the Medical Research Future Fund (grant ID 1196252)

    A predictive model for serous epithelial ovarian cancer chemo-response using clinical characteristics

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    One of the prognostic factors most highly associated with ovarian cancer survival is response to initial chemotherapy. Current prediction models of chemo-response built with comprehensive molecular datasets, like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), could be improved by including clinical and outcomes data designed to study response to treatment. The objective of this study was to create a prediction model of ovarian cancer chemo-response using clinical-pathological features, and to compare its performance with a similar TCGA clinical model

    Single-molecule live-cell imaging reveals RecB-dependent function of DNA polymerase IV in double strand break repair

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    © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research. Several functions have been proposed for the Escherichia coli DNA polymerase IV (pol IV). Although much research has focused on a potential role for pol IV in assisting pol III replisomes in the bypass of lesions, pol IV is rarely found at the replication fork in vivo. Pol IV is expressed at increased levels in E. coli cells exposed to exogenous DNA damaging agents, including many commonly used antibiotics. Here we present live-cell single-molecule microscopy measurements indicating that double-strand breaks induced by antibiotics strongly stimulate pol IV activity. Exposure to the antibiotics ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim leads to the formation of double strand breaks in E. coli cells. RecA and pol IV foci increase after treatment and exhibit strong colocalization. The induction of the SOS response, the appearance of RecA foci, the appearance of pol IV foci and RecA-pol IV colocalization are all dependent on RecB function. The positioning of pol IV foci likely reflects a physical interaction with the RecA* nucleoprotein filaments that has been detected previously in vitro. Our observations provide an in vivo substantiation of a direct role for pol IV in double strand break repair in cells treated with double strand break-inducing antibiotics
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