1,583 research outputs found

    Phylotastic! Making tree-of-life knowledge accessible, reusable and convenient

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    Abstract Background Scientists rarely reuse expert knowledge of phylogeny, in spite of years of effort to assemble a great “Tree of Life” (ToL). A notable exception involves the use of Phylomatic, which provides tools to generate custom phylogenies from a large, pre-computed, expert phylogeny of plant taxa. This suggests great potential for a more generalized system that, starting with a query consisting of a list of any known species, would rectify non-standard names, identify expert phylogenies containing the implicated taxa, prune away unneeded parts, and supply branch lengths and annotations, resulting in a custom phylogeny suited to the user’s needs. Such a system could become a sustainable community resource if implemented as a distributed system of loosely coupled parts that interact through clearly defined interfaces. Results With the aim of building such a “phylotastic” system, the NESCent Hackathons, Interoperability, Phylogenies (HIP) working group recruited 2 dozen scientist-programmers to a weeklong programming hackathon in June 2012. During the hackathon (and a three-month follow-up period), 5 teams produced designs, implementations, documentation, presentations, and tests including: (1) a generalized scheme for integrating components; (2) proof-of-concept pruners and controllers; (3) a meta-API for taxonomic name resolution services; (4) a system for storing, finding, and retrieving phylogenies using semantic web technologies for data exchange, storage, and querying; (5) an innovative new service, DateLife.org, which synthesizes pre-computed, time-calibrated phylogenies to assign ages to nodes; and (6) demonstration projects. These outcomes are accessible via a public code repository (GitHub.com), a website ( http://www.phylotastic.org ), and a server image. Conclusions Approximately 9 person-months of effort (centered on a software development hackathon) resulted in the design and implementation of proof-of-concept software for 4 core phylotastic components, 3 controllers, and 3 end-user demonstration tools. While these products have substantial limitations, they suggest considerable potential for a distributed system that makes phylogenetic knowledge readily accessible in computable form. Widespread use of phylotastic systems will create an electronic marketplace for sharing phylogenetic knowledge that will spur innovation in other areas of the ToL enterprise, such as annotation of sources and methods and third-party methods of quality assessment.http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/112888/1/12859_2013_Article_5897.pd

    Vesicle-Like Biomechanics Governs Important Aspects of Nuclear Geometry in Fission Yeast

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    It has long been known that during the closed mitosis of many unicellular eukaryotes, including the fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe), the nuclear envelope remains intact while the nucleus undergoes a remarkable sequence of shape transformations driven by elongation of an intranuclear mitotic spindle whose ends are capped by spindle pole bodies embedded in the nuclear envelope. However, the mechanical basis of these normal cell cycle transformations, and abnormal nuclear shapes caused by intranuclear elongation of microtubules lacking spindle pole bodies, remain unknown. Although there are models describing the shapes of lipid vesicles deformed by elongation of microtubule bundles, there are no models describing normal or abnormal shape changes in the nucleus. We describe here a novel biophysical model of interphase nuclear geometry in fission yeast that accounts for critical aspects of the mechanics of the fission yeast nucleus, including the biophysical properties of lipid bilayers, forces exerted on the nuclear envelope by elongating microtubules, and access to a lipid reservoir, essential for the large increase in nuclear surface area during the cell cycle. We present experimental confirmation of the novel and non-trivial geometries predicted by our model, which has no free parameters. We also use the model to provide insight into the mechanical basis of previously described defects in nuclear division, including abnormal nuclear shapes and loss of nuclear envelope integrity. The model predicts that (i) despite differences in structure and composition, fission yeast nuclei and vesicles with fluid lipid bilayers have common mechanical properties; (ii) the S. pombe nucleus is not lined with any structure with shear resistance, comparable to the nuclear lamina of higher eukaryotes. We validate the model and its predictions by analyzing wild type cells in which ned1 gene overexpression causes elongation of an intranuclear microtubule bundle that deforms the nucleus of interphase cells

    Safety and Efficacy of the NVX-CoV2373 Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine at Completion of the Placebo-Controlled Phase of a Randomized Controlled Trial

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    Acknowledgements The study and article were funded by Novavax. We would like to thank all the study participants for their commitment to this study. We also acknowledge the investigators and their study teams for their hard work and dedication. In addition, we would like to thank the National Institute for Health Research, representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care laboratories and NHS Digital and the members of the UK Vaccine Task Force. Editorial support was provided by Kelly Cameron of Ashfield MedComms, an Inizio company Funding This work was funded by Novavax, and the sponsor had primary responsibility for study design, study vaccines, protocol development, study monitoring, data management, and statistical analyses. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript before submission. LF reports a position as a prior full-time employee, now contractor to Novavax re-imbursed hourly for work performed on this study and in analyses and drafting this report. IC reports providing medical writing support for this work as an employee of NovavaxPeer reviewedPublisher PD

    Lenalidomide in combination with dexamethasone at first relapse in comparison with its use as later salvage therapy in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma

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    This subset analysis of data from two phase III studies in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (MM) evaluated the benefit of initiating lenalidomide plus dexamethasone at first relapse. Multivariate analysis showed that fewer prior therapies, along with β2-microglobulin (≤2.5 mg/L), predicted a better time to progression (TTP; study end-point) with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone treatment. Patients with one prior therapy showed a significant improvement in benefit after first relapse compared with those who received two or more therapies. Patients with one prior therapy had significantly prolonged median TTP (17.1 vs. 10.6 months; P=0.026) and progression-free survival (14.1 vs. 9.5 months, P=0.047) compared with patients treated in later lines. Overall response rates were higher (66.9% vs. 56.8%, P=0.06), and the complete response plus very good partial response rate was significantly higher in first relapse (39.8% vs. 27.7%, P=0.025). Importantly, overall survival was significantly prolonged for patients treated with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone with one prior therapy, compared with patients treated later in salvage (median of 42.0 vs. 35.8 months, P=0.041), with no differences in toxicity, dose reductions, or discontinuations despite longer treatment. Therefore, lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is both effective and tolerable for second-line MM therapy and the data suggest that the greatest benefit occurs with earlier use

    Genome-Wide Association Studies in an Isolated Founder Population from the Pacific Island of Kosrae

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    It has been argued that the limited genetic diversity and reduced allelic heterogeneity observed in isolated founder populations facilitates discovery of loci contributing to both Mendelian and complex disease. A strong founder effect, severe isolation, and substantial inbreeding have dramatically reduced genetic diversity in natives from the island of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia, who exhibit a high prevalence of obesity and other metabolic disorders. We hypothesized that genetic drift and possibly natural selection on Kosrae might have increased the frequency of previously rare genetic variants with relatively large effects, making these alleles readily detectable in genome-wide association analysis. However, mapping in large, inbred cohorts introduces analytic challenges, as extensive relatedness between subjects violates the assumptions of independence upon which traditional association test statistics are based. We performed genome-wide association analysis for 15 quantitative traits in 2,906 members of the Kosrae population, using novel approaches to manage the extreme relatedness in the sample. As positive controls, we observe association to known loci for plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein and to a compelling candidate loci for thyroid stimulating hormone and fasting plasma glucose. We show that our study is well powered to detect common alleles explaining ≥5% phenotypic variance. However, no such large effects were observed with genome-wide significance, arguing that even in such a severely inbred population, common alleles typically have modest effects. Finally, we show that a majority of common variants discovered in Caucasians have indistinguishable effect sizes on Kosrae, despite the major differences in population genetics and environment

    High Resolution Genomic Scans Reveal Genetic Architecture Controlling Alcohol Preference in Bidirectionally Selected Rat Model

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    Investigations on the influence of nature vs. nurture on Alcoholism (Alcohol Use Disorder) in human have yet to provide a clear view on potential genomic etiologies. To address this issue, we sequenced a replicated animal model system bidirectionally-selected for alcohol preference (AP). This model is uniquely suited to map genetic effects with high reproducibility, and resolution. The origin of the rat lines (an 8-way cross) resulted in small haplotype blocks (HB) with a corresponding high level of resolution. We sequenced DNAs from 40 samples (10 per line of each replicate) to determine allele frequencies and HB. We achieved ~46X coverage per line and replicate. Excessive differentiation in the genomic architecture between lines, across replicates, termed signatures of selection (SS), were classified according to gene and region. We identified SS in 930 genes associated with AP. The majority (50%) of the SS were confined to single gene regions, the greatest numbers of which were in promoters (284) and intronic regions (169) with the least in exon\u27s (4), suggesting that differences in AP were primarily due to alterations in regulatory regions. We confirmed previously identified genes and found many new genes associated with AP. Of those newly identified genes, several demonstrated neuronal function involved in synaptic memory and reward behavior, e.g. ion channels (Kcnf1, Kcnn3, Scn5a), excitatory receptors (Grin2a, Gria3, Grip1), neurotransmitters (Pomc), and synapses (Snap29). This study not only reveals the polygenic architecture of AP, but also emphasizes the importance of regulatory elements, consistent with other complex traits

    Transcriptional recapitulation and subversion of embryonic colon development by mouse colon tumor models and human colon cancer

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    Colon tumors from four independent mouse models and 100 human colorectal cancers all exhibited striking recapitulation of embryonic colon gene expression from embryonic days 13.5-18.5