40 research outputs found

    Multigenic phylogeny and analysis of tree incongruences in Triticeae (Poaceae)

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    Background: Introgressive events (e.g., hybridization, gene flow, horizontal gene transfer) and incomplete lineage sorting of ancestral polymorphisms are a challenge for phylogenetic analyses since different genes may exhibit conflicting genealogical histories. Grasses of the Triticeae tribe provide a particularly striking example of incongruence among gene trees. Previous phylogenies, mostly inferred with one gene, are in conflict for several taxon positions. Therefore, obtaining a resolved picture of relationships among genera and species of this tribe has been a challenging task. Here, we obtain the most comprehensive molecular dataset to date in Triticeae, including one chloroplastic and 26 nuclear genes. We aim to test whether it is possible to infer phylogenetic relationships in the face of (potentially) large-scale introgressive events and/or incomplete lineage sorting; to identify parts of the evolutionary history that have not evolved in a tree-like manner; and to decipher the biological causes of genetree conflicts in this tribe. Results: We obtain resolved phylogenetic hypotheses using the supermatrix and Bayesian Concordance Factors (BCF) approaches despite numerous incongruences among gene trees. These phylogenies suggest the existence of 4-5 major clades within Triticeae, with Psathyrostachys and Hordeum being the deepest genera. In addition, we construct a multigenic network that highlights parts of the Triticeae history that have not evolved in a tree-lik

    Universal health care no guarantee of equity: Comparison of socioeconomic inequalities in the receipt of coronary procedures in patients with acute myocardial infarction and angina

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In Australia there is a socioeconomic gradient in morbidity and mortality favouring socioeconomically advantaged people, much of which is accounted for by ischaemic heart disease. This study examines if Australia's universal health care system, with its mixed public/private funding and delivery model, may actually perpetuate this inequity. We do this by quantifying and comparing socioeconomic inequalities in the receipt of coronary procedures in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and patients with angina.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Using linked hospital and mortality data, we followed patients admitted to Western Australian hospitals with a first admission for AMI (n = 5539) or angina (n = 7401) in 2001-2003. An outcome event was the receipt, within a year, of a coronary procedure‚ÄĒangiography, angioplasty and/or coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG). Socioeconomic status was assigned to each individual using an area-based measure, the SEIFA Index of Disadvantage. Multivariable proportional hazards regression was used to model the association between socioeconomic status and procedure rates, allowing for censoring and adjustment of multiple covariates. Mediating models examined the effect of private health insurance.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>In the AMI patient cohort, socioeconomic gradients were not evident except that disadvantaged women were more likely than advantaged women to undergo CABG. In contrast, in the angina patient group there were clear socioeconomic gradients for all procedures, favouring more advantaged patients. Compared with patients in the most disadvantaged quintile of socioeconomic status, patients in the least disadvantaged quintile were 11% (1-21%) more likely to receive angiography, 52% (29-80%) more likely to undergo angioplasty and 30% (3-55%) more likely to undergo CABG. Private health insurance explained some of the socioeconomic variation in rates.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Australia's universal health care system does not guarantee equity in the receipt of high technology health care for patients with ischaemic heart disease. While such a system might ensure equity for patients with AMI, where guidelines for treatment are relatively well established, this is not the case for angina patients, where health care may be less urgent and more discretionary.</p

    'gcamdata': An R Package for Preparation, Synthesis, and Tracking of Input Data for the GCAM Integrated Human-Earth Systems Model

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    The increasing data requirements of complex models demand robust, reproducible, and transparent systems to track and prepare models’ inputs. Here we describe version 1.0 of the gcamdata R package that processes raw inputs to produce the hundreds of XML files needed by the GCAM integrated human-earth systems model. It features extensive functional and unit testing, data tracing and visualization, and enforces metadata, documentation, and flexibility in its component data-processing subunits. Although this package is specific to GCAM, many of its structural pieces and approaches should be broadly applicable to, and reusable by, other complex model/data systems aiming to improve transparency, reproducibility, and flexibility.   Funding statement: Primary support for this work was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, as part of research in Multi-Sector Dynamics, Earth and Environmental System Modeling Program. Additional support was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Offices of Fossil Energy, Nuclear Energy, and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    The James Webb Space Telescope Mission

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    Twenty-six years ago a small committee report, building on earlier studies, expounded a compelling and poetic vision for the future of astronomy, calling for an infrared-optimized space telescope with an aperture of at least 4m4m. With the support of their governments in the US, Europe, and Canada, 20,000 people realized that vision as the 6.5m6.5m James Webb Space Telescope. A generation of astronomers will celebrate their accomplishments for the life of the mission, potentially as long as 20 years, and beyond. This report and the scientific discoveries that follow are extended thank-you notes to the 20,000 team members. The telescope is working perfectly, with much better image quality than expected. In this and accompanying papers, we give a brief history, describe the observatory, outline its objectives and current observing program, and discuss the inventions and people who made it possible. We cite detailed reports on the design and the measured performance on orbit.Comment: Accepted by PASP for the special issue on The James Webb Space Telescope Overview, 29 pages, 4 figure

    Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition)

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    In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. For example, a key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process versus those that measure fl ux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process including the amount and rate of cargo sequestered and degraded). In particular, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation must be differentiated from stimuli that increase autophagic activity, defi ned as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (inmost higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium ) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the fi eld understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. It is worth emphasizing here that lysosomal digestion is a stage of autophagy and evaluating its competence is a crucial part of the evaluation of autophagic flux, or complete autophagy. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. Along these lines, because of the potential for pleiotropic effects due to blocking autophagy through genetic manipulation it is imperative to delete or knock down more than one autophagy-related gene. In addition, some individual Atg proteins, or groups of proteins, are involved in other cellular pathways so not all Atg proteins can be used as a specific marker for an autophagic process. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field