150 research outputs found

    Distribution of Astragalus amnis-amissi (Fabaceae), a plant endemic to east-central Idaho

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    Astragalus amnis-amissi (Fabaceae), also known as Lost River milkvetch, is a plant endemic to East-central Idaho for which no published surveys have been completed in the last 17 years. A search of several previouslydocumented populations in canyons of the Southern Lemhi Range and the Lost River Range, in Butte and Custer Counties, Idaho, documented the species in four canyons. However, it was not relocated in an unnamed canyon in the Southern Lemhi Range, indicating potential extirpation of that population. No new populations of A. amnis-amissi were found

    Vascular Plants of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and Curlew National Grassland in Southeastern Idaho, Western Wyoming, and Northern Utah

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    Due to a historical paucity of collections from and the absence of a comprehensive floristic treatment for parts of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and Curlew National Grassland, an updated inventory for the area was needed. I present an annotated checklist of the vascular plants documented from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and Curlew National Grassland. A total of new 3189 voucher specimens were collected for this project in 2021 and 2022. To compile the annotated checklist, I consulted both newly collected specimens and specimen data from online botanical databases. A total of 1557 taxa (species, subspecies, varieties, and hybrids), 1423 species (including hybrids), 481 genera, and 94 families are known to occur in the study area. At least three new state records (Draba thompsonii (C.L. Hitchc.) G. Mulligan & Al-Shehbaz, Sphaeralca parvifolia A. Nelson, and Boechera lasiocarpa (Rollins) Dorn) and 137 new county records were documented, a few of which were published previously. An additional 38 first records were discovered, of which approximately 21.1% were not native to the United States. A number of other important occurrences were documented, such as occurrences of rare taxa, Forest Service Region 4 Sensitive Species, and new reports of non-native taxa. The large number of documented county records supports the continued applicability of the Wallacean Shortfall in the flora of western North America. Employees of the U.S. Forest Service, academic researchers, and others will be able to use the annotated checklist to better understand, research, and conserve the flora of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and Curlew National Grassland

    Antimicrobial Efficacy and Safety of a Novel Gas Plasma-Activated Catheter Lock Solution

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    Antimicrobial lock solutions are important for prevention of microbial colonization and infection of long-term central venous catheters. We investigated the efficacy and safety of a novel antibiotic-free lock solution formed from gas plasma-activated disinfectant (PAD). Using a luminal biofilm model, viable cells of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans in mature biofilms were reduced by 6 to 8 orders of magnitude with a PAD lock for 60 min. Subsequent 24-h incubation of PAD-treated samples resulted in no detectable regrowth of viable bacteria or fungi. As a comparison, the use of a minocycline-EDTA-ethanol lock solution for 60 min led to regrowth of bacteria and fungi, up to 10(7) to 10(9) CFU/ml, in 24 h. The PAD lock solution had minimal impact on human umbilical vein endothelial cell viability, whereas the minocycline-EDTA-ethanol solution elicited cell death in nearly half of human endothelial cells. Additionally, PAD treatment caused little topological change to catheter materials. In conclusion, PAD represents a novel antibiotic-free, noncytotoxic lock solution that elicits rapid and broad-spectrum eradication of biofilm-laden microbes and shows promise for the prevention and treatment of intravascular catheter infections

    Structure and Functions of Pediatric Aerodigestive Programs: A Consensus Statement

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    Aerodigestive programs provide coordinated interdisciplinary care to pediatric patients with complex congenital or acquired conditions affecting breathing, swallowing, and growth. Although there has been a proliferation of programs, as well as national meetings, interest groups and early research activity, there is, as of yet, no consensus definition of an aerodigestive patient, standardized structure, and functions of an aerodigestive program or a blueprint for research prioritization. The Delphi method was used by a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional panel of aerodigestive providers to obtain consensus on 4 broad content areas related to aerodigestive care: (1) definition of an aerodigestive patient, (2) essential construct and functions of an aerodigestive program, (3) identification of aerodigestive research priorities, and (4) evaluation and recognition of aerodigestive programs and future directions. After 3 iterations of survey, consensus was obtained by either a supermajority of 75% or stability in median ranking on 33 of 36 items. This included a standard definition of an aerodigestive patient, level of participation of specific pediatric disciplines in a program, essential components of the care cycle and functions of the program, feeding and swallowing assessment and therapy, procedural scope and volume, research priorities and outcome measures, certification, coding, and funding. We propose the first consensus definition of the aerodigestive care model with specific recommendations regarding associated personnel, infrastructure, research, and outcome measures. We hope that this may provide an initial framework to further standardize care, develop clinical guidelines, and improve outcomes for aerodigestive patients

    Osteoarthritis-Like Changes in Bardet–Biedl Syndrome Mutant Ciliopathy Mice (Bbs1M390R/M390R): Evidence for a Role of Primary Cilia in Cartilage Homeostasis and Regulation of Inflammation

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    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating inflammation related disease characterized by joint pain and effusion, loss of mobility, and deformity that may result in functional joint failure and significant impact on quality of life. Once thought of as a simple “wear and tear” disease, it is now widely recognized that OA has a considerable metabolic component and is related to chronic inflammation. Defects associated with primary cilia have been shown to be cause OA-like changes in Bardet–Biedl mice. We examined the role of dysfunctional primary cilia in OA in mice through the regulation of the previously identified degradative and pro-inflammatory molecular pathways common to OA. We observed an increase in the presence of pro-inflammatory markers TGFβ-1 and HTRA1 as well as cartilage destructive protease MMP-13 but a decrease in DDR-2. We observed a morphological difference in cartilage thickness in Bbs1M390R/M390R mice compared to wild type (WT). We did not observe any difference in OARSI or Mankin scores between WT and Bbs1M390R/M390R mice. Primary cilia appear to be involved in the upregulation of biomarkers, including pro-inflammatory markers common to OA

    Keeping the Board in the Dark: CEO Compensation and Entrenchment

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    We study a model in which a CEO can entrench himself by hiding information from the board that would allow the board to conclude that he should be replaced. Assuming that even diligent monitoring by the board cannot fully overcome the information asymmetry visà- vis the CEO, we ask if there is a role for CEO compensation to mitigate the inefficiency. Our analysis points to a novel argument for high-powered, non-linear CEO compensation such as bonus pay or stock options. By shifting the CEO’s compensation into states where the firm’s value is highest, a high-powered compensation scheme makes it as unattractive as possible for the CEO to entrench himself when he expects that the firm’s future value under his management and strategy is low. This, in turn, minimizes the severance pay needed to induce the CEO not to entrench himself, thereby minimizing the CEO’s informational rents. Amongst other things, our model suggests how deregulation and technological changes in the 1980s and 1990s might have contributed to the rise in CEO pay and turnover over the same period

    Conjugative Plasmids of Neisseria gonorrhoeae

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    Many clinical isolates of the human pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae contain conjugative plasmids. The host range of these plasmids is limited to Neisseria species, but presence of a tetracycline (tetM) determinant inserted in several of these plasmids is an important cause of the rapid spread of tetracycline resistance. Previously plasmids with different backbones (Dutch and American type backbones) and with and without different tetM determinants (Dutch and American type tetM determinants) have been identified. Within the isolates tested, all plasmids with American or Dutch type tetM determinants contained a Dutch type plasmid backbone. This demonstrated that tetM determinants should not be used to differentiate between conjugal plasmid backbones. The nucleotide sequences of conjugative plasmids with Dutch type plasmid backbones either not containing the tetM determinant (pEP5233) or containing Dutch (pEP5289) or American (pEP5050) type tetM determinants were determined. Analysis of the backbone sequences showed that they belong to a novel IncP1 subfamily divergent from the IncP1α, β, γ, δ and ε subfamilies. The tetM determinants were inserted in a genetic load region found in all these plasmids. Insertion was accompanied by the insertion of a gene with an unknown function, and rearrangement of a toxin/antitoxin gene cluster. The genetic load region contains two toxin/antitoxins of the Zeta/Epsilon toxin/antitoxin family previously only found in Gram positive organisms and the virulence associated protein D of the VapD/VapX toxin/antitoxin family. Remarkably, presence of VapX of pJD1, a small cryptic neisserial plasmid, in the acceptor strain strongly increased the conjugation efficiency, suggesting that it functions as an antitoxin for the conjugative plasmid. The presence of the toxin and antitoxin on different plasmids might explain why the host range of this IncP1 plasmid is limited to Neisseria species. The isolated plasmids conjugated efficiently between N. gonorrhoeae strains, but did not enhance transfer of a genetic marker

    A Systematically Improved High Quality Genome and Transcriptome of the Human Blood Fluke Schistosoma mansoni

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    Schistosomiasis is one of the most prevalent parasitic diseases, affecting millions of people in developing countries. Amongst the human-infective species, Schistosoma mansoni is also the most commonly used in the laboratory and here we present the systematic improvement of its draft genome. We used Sanger capillary and deep-coverage Illumina sequencing from clonal worms to upgrade the highly fragmented draft 380 Mb genome to one with only 885 scaffolds and more than 81% of the bases organised into chromosomes. We have also used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) from four time points in the parasite's life cycle to refine gene predictions and profile their expression. More than 45% of predicted genes have been extensively modified and the total number has been reduced from 11,807 to 10,852. Using the new version of the genome, we identified trans-splicing events occurring in at least 11% of genes and identified clear cases where it is used to resolve polycistronic transcripts. We have produced a high-resolution map of temporal changes in expression for 9,535 genes, covering an unprecedented dynamic range for this organism. All of these data have been consolidated into a searchable format within the GeneDB (www.genedb.org) and SchistoDB (www.schistodb.net) databases. With further transcriptional profiling and genome sequencing increasingly accessible, the upgraded genome will form a fundamental dataset to underpin further advances in schistosome research
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