Now showing items 5045-5064 of 11675

    • “I Am a Caregiver”: Sense-making and Identity Construction through Online Caregiving Narratives

      Cooper, R. Amanda; Department of Communication, University of Arizona (Routledge, 2021-02-13)
      The all-consuming role and responsibilities of providing care to an aging parent or spouse create identity disruption and stress. However, this stress may be resolved as family caregivers integrate the role of caregiver into their identity and construct an aspect of their identity around providing care (i.e., caregiver identity). Rooted in the retrospective heuristic of communicated narrative sense-making theory (CNSM), this paper investigates the identities family caregivers construct through online narratives about their caregiving experiences. Using thematic narrative analysis to analyze a corpus of 40 online narratives, this study yielded four distinct caregiver identities: the prisoner, which is defined by a sense of being trapped by the responsibility of caregiving; the crumbling caregiver, which focuses on extreme exhaustion in providing care; the companionate caregiver, which focuses on the relational aspects of providing care; and the redeemed caregiver, which is defined by growth through difficulty. © 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
    • I blame you, I hear you: Couples’ pronoun use in conflict and dyadic coping

      Meier, T.; Milek, A.; Mehl, M.R.; Nussbeck, F.W.; Neysari, M.; Bodenmann, G.; Martin, M.; Zemp, M.; Horn, A.B.; University of Arizona (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2021)
      In dyadic interaction, a verbal focus on one individual (“you-talk,” “I-talk”), rather than on the couple (“we-talk”) has predominantly been linked to dysfunctional relationship processes. However, context differences in these links have not yet been systematically examined. Is it functional to asymmetrically focus on one partner during support interactions but problematic during conflict? Does a high level of couple-focus represent a resource across contexts? In this preregistered study, we investigated dyad-level pronoun use (we-/I-/you-talk) and their link to situational relationship functioning (SRF) across three interaction tasks (one conflict, two dyadic coping tasks) within couples (N = 365). More specifically, we examined associations of couple-means, i.e. pronoun use as a shared resource/vulnerability between partners, and couple-differences, i.e. functional/dysfunctional asymmetric pronoun use with observed interaction positivity and relationship climate. Results revealed both context differences and similarities. Asymmetric partner-focus (i.e. you-talk) was dysfunctional in conflict, whereas asymmetric partner- and self-focus (i.e., you-talk/I-talk; focus on the stressed partner) were functional in dyadic coping. Beyond asymmetry, you-talk (couple-mean) showed consistent negative associations with SRF in all tasks studied. We-talk (couple-mean) was positively linked to SRF, but only in conflict interactions. In conflict, couple-focus thus represented a shared resource that can buffer from dysfunctional conflict interaction characterized by partner-focus. In line with conceptual frameworks, the dyadic coping results emphasize the importance of focusing on the partner in need. The study corroborates the prospect of pronoun use as a context-specific indicator of relationship functioning. Gender differences, implications for future research and possible interventions are discussed. © The Author(s) 2021.
    • I could take the judgment if you could just provide the service: non-prescription syringe purchase experience at Arizona pharmacies, 2018

      Meyerson, Beth E; Lawrence, Carrie A; Cope, Summer Dawn; Levin, Steven; Thomas, Christopher; Eldridge, Lori Ann; Coles, Haley B; Vadiei, Nina; Kennedy, Amy; Univ Arizona, Southwest Inst Res Women; et al. (BMC, 2019-09-18)
      Background: Community pharmacies are important for health access by rural populations and those who do not have optimum access to the health system, because they provide myriad health services and are found in most communities. This includes the sale of non-prescription syringes, a practice that is legal in the USA in all but two states. However, people who inject drugs (PWID) face significant barriers accessing sterile syringes, particularly in states without laws allowing syringe services programming. To our knowledge, no recent studies of pharmacy-based syringe purchase experience have been conducted in communities that are both rural and urban, and none in the Southwestern US. This study seeks to understand the experience of retail pharmacy syringe purchase in Arizona by PWID. Methods: An interview study was conducted between August and December 2018 with 37 people living in 3 rural and 2 urban Arizona counties who identified as current or former users of injection drugs. Coding was both a priori and emergent, focusing on syringe access through pharmacies, pharmacy experiences generally, experiences of stigma, and recommendations for harm reduction services delivered by pharmacies. Results: All participants reported being refused syringe purchase at pharmacies. Six themes emerged about syringe purchase: (1) experience of stigma and judgment by pharmacy staff, (2) feelings of internalized stigma, (3) inconsistent sales outcomes at the same pharmacy or pharmacy chain, (4) pharmacies as last resort for syringes, (5) fear of arrest for syringe possession, and (6) health risks resulting from syringe refusal. Conclusions: Non-prescription syringe sales in community pharmacies are a missed opportunity to improve the health of PWID by reducing syringe sharing and reuse. Yet, current pharmacy syringe sales refusal and stigmatization by staff suggest that pharmacy-level interventions will be necessary to impact pharmacy practice. Lack of access to sterile syringes reinforces health risk behaviors among PWID. Retail syringe sales at pharmacies remain an important, yet barrier-laden, element of a comprehensive public health response to reduce HIV and hepatitis C among PWID. Future studies should test multilevel evidence-based interventions to decrease staff discrimination and stigma and increase syringe sales.
    • I don't even want to go to the doctor when I get sick now: Healthcare experiences and discrimination reported by people who use drugs, Arizona 2019

      Meyerson, Beth E.; Russell, Danielle M.; Kichler, Michaela; Atkin, Tyson; Fox, Graeme; Coles, Haley B.; Southwest Institute for Research on Women, College of Social & Behavioral Science, University of Arizona; Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arizona; Institute for LGBT Studies, University of Arizona (ELSEVIER B.V., 2021-01-15)
      Background: People who use drugs experience severe health inequities created by structural and social barriers related to healthcare access. This includes stigma. Objective: To characterize the experience of healthcare access among people who use drugs in Maricopa County, Arizona USA. Methods: A 20-item guided survey with quantitative and qualitative items was fielded between October 23-November 5, 2019 among people who use drugs in community locations (public spaces, trap houses, drug copping areas). Surveys were administered face-to-face by community researchers with lived experiences. Survey recruitment included convenience sampling and social referral among respondents. Quantitative items were described and qualitative data were independently coded using an a priori coding scheme including reasons for healthcare seeking and healthcare-related stigma (anticipated, experienced, enacted). Results: Over one-third (39.5%) of the185 person sample did not seek medical care in the past year. Of this group, 34.2% reported that they did not seek needed healthcare because they were afraid of being treated badly by medical providers for using drugs. The three major experiences reported by those seeking healthcare in the past year included 1) medical mistreatment (not addressing the primary medical complaint, providing wrong or inadequate treatment), 2) social mistreatment (disapproval, embarrassment, shaming) and 3) abusive behavior (verbal and physical) by healthcare providers. Conclusions: Efforts should create healthcare social and practice environments that assure appropriate and competent medical care and prohibit healthcare provider mistreatment of people who use drugs. Structural incentives such as healthcare finance, hospital accreditation and medical complaint registration should be considered. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
    • "I put diabetes on the shelf": African-American Women's Perceptions of Risk for Diabetes Complications

      Ochieng, Judith Muhonja; Crist, Janice D; The University of Arizona (SAGE Publications Inc., 2021-02-22)
      The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of African American (AA) women with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) about developing diabetes mellitus (DM) complications and explore how their perceived risk influenced DM self-management. Ten (N = 10) AA women participated in the qualitative description study through semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis informed by the Health Belief Model and Risk Perception Conceptual Model revealed the perceived probability of DM complications by AA women with T2DM and how they made judgments regarding the seriousness, extent, or severity of complications. Those with high levels of DM knowledge perceived themselves at high risk of developing DM complications and those with low DM knowledge perceived themselves at low risk of DM complications. Risk perceptions and health literacy also influenced DM self-management behaviors.
    • "I'm Scared of the Disappointment": Young Adult Smokers' Relational Identity Gaps and Management Strategies as Sites of Communication Intervention

      Stanley, Samantha J; Pitts, Margaret Jane; Univ Arizona, Dept Commun (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2019-07-03)
      While cigarette smoking is decreasing among young adults, rates of nicotine consumption through other devices, most notably electronic cigarettes, are on the rise. Framed by communication theory of identity, this study examines young adult smokers' experiences with relational others in regard to their smoking. Focus group discussions and individual interviews convened with 20 young adult cigarette and electronic cigarette smokers revealed identity gaps implicating the relational layer of identity, including personal-relational, enacted-relational, and personal-enacted-relational identity gaps. Participants used communicative and behavioral strategies to manage relational discrepancies. The documented identity gaps and management strategies present opportunities for targeted smoking cessation interventions that amplify dissonance created through identity gaps as a motivational tactic.
    • I/O Aware Power Shifting

      Savoie, Lee; Lowenthal, David K.; Supinski, Bronis R. de; Islam, Tanzima; Mohror, Kathryn; Rountree, Barry; Schulz, Martin; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Arizona (IEEE, 2016-05)
      Power limits on future high-performance computing (HPC) systems will constrain applications. However, HPC applications do not consume constant power over their lifetimes. Thus, applications assigned a fixed power bound may be forced to slow down during high-power computation phases, but may not consume their full power allocation during low-power I/O phases. This paper explores algorithms that leverage application semantics-phase frequency, duration and power needs-to shift unused power from applications in I/O phases to applications in computation phases, thus improving system-wide performance. We design novel techniques that include explicit staggering of applications to improve power shifting. Compared to executing without power shifting, our algorithms can improve average performance by up to 8% or improve performance of a single, high-priority application by up to 32%.
    • I=1 /2 S -wave and P -wave Kπ scattering and the κ and K∗ resonances from lattice QCD

      Rendon, G.; Leskovec, L.; Meinel, S.; Negele, J.; Paul, S.; Petschlies, M.; Pochinsky, A.; Silvi, G.; Syritsyn, S.; Department of Physics, University of Arizona (American Physical Society, 2020)
      We present a lattice-QCD determination of the elastic isospin-1/2 S-wave and P-wave Kπ scattering amplitudes as a function of the center-of-mass energy using Lüscher's method. We perform global fits of K-matrix parametrizations to the finite-volume energy spectra for all irreducible representations with total momenta up to 32πL; this includes irreducible representations (irreps) that mix the S- and P-waves. Several different parametrizations for the energy dependence of the K-matrix are considered. We also determine the positions of the nearest poles in the scattering amplitudes, which correspond to the broad κ resonance in the S-wave and the narrow K∗(892) resonance in the P-wave. Our calculations are performed with 2+1 dynamical clover fermions for two different pion masses of 317.2(2.2) and 175.9(1.8) MeV. Our preferred S-wave parametrization is based on a conformal map and includes an Adler zero; for the P-wave, we use a standard pole parametrization including Blatt-Weisskopf barrier factors. The S-wave κ-resonance pole positions are found to be [0.86(12)-0.309(50)i] GeV at the heavier pion mass and [0.499(55)-0.379(66)i] GeV at the lighter pion mass. The P-wave K∗-resonance pole positions are found to be [0.8951(64)-0.00250(21)i] GeV at the heavier pion mass and [0.8718(82)-0.0130(11)i] GeV at the lighter pion mass, which corresponds to couplings of gK∗Kπ=5.02(26) and gK∗Kπ=4.99(22), respectively. © 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.
    • Ibuprofen Overuse Leading to Life-threatening Hypokalemia Associated with Renal Tubular Acidosis in Two Patients

      Thammineni, Nikhila; Kathi, Pradeep R; Sharma, Aditi; Jawed, Areeba; Univ Arizona, Internal Med Gastroenterol (CUREUS INC, 2019-12-17)
      Ibuprofen is a commonly used medication in the United States and is used both by prescription and over the counter, while hypokalemia is a life-threatening condition caused by various etiologies, one of which is the side effect of medications. Ibuprofen is well-known for its various nephrotoxic side effects, including hyperkalemia as a common electrolyte abnormality, however, renal tubular acidosis leading to hypokalemia with the use of ibuprofen has been reported rarely. We present here two cases of life-threatening hypokalemia due to over-thecounter use of large doses of ibuprofen and describe its management.
    • IC-Behavior: An interdisciplinary taxonomy of behaviors

      Larsen, K.R.; Ramsay, L.J.; Godinho, C.A.; Gershuny, V.; Hovorka, D.S.; University of Arizona (Public Library of Science, 2021)
      Academic disciplines are often organized according to the behaviors they examine. While most research on a behavior tends to exist within one discipline, some behaviors are examined by multiple disciplines. Better understanding of behaviors and their relationships should enable knowledge transfer across disciplines and theories, thereby dramatically improving the behavioral knowledge base. We propose a taxonomy built on the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), but design the taxonomy as a stand-alone extension rather than an improvement to ICF. Behaviors considered important enough to serve as the dependent variable in articles accepted for publication in top journals were extracted from nine different behavioral and social disciplines. A six-step development and validation process was employed, leading to the final taxonomy. A hierarchy of behaviors under the top banner of Engaging in activities/participating, reflective of ICF’s D. hierarchy was constructed with eight immediate domains addressing behaviors ranging from learning, exercising, self-care, and substance use. The resulting International Classification of Behaviors (IC-Behavior), provides a behavior taxonomy targeted towards the interdisciplinary integration of nomological networks relevant to behavioral theories. While IC-Behavior has been labeled v.1.0 to communicate that it is by no means an endpoint, it has empirically shown to provide flexibility for the addition of new behaviors and is tested in the health domain. Copyright: © 2021 Larsen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    • ICDP workshop on the Lake Tanganyika Scientific Drilling Project: a late Miocene–present record of climate, rifting, and ecosystem evolution from the world's oldest tropical lake

      Russell, James M.; Barker, Philip; Cohen, Andrew; Ivory, Sarah; Kimirei, Ishmael; Lane, Christine; Leng, Melanie; Maganza, Neema; McGlue, Michael; Msaky, Emma; et al. (COPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH, 2020-05-27)
      The Neogene and Quaternary are characterized by enormous changes in global climate and environments, including global cooling and the establishment of northern high-latitude glaciers. These changes reshaped global ecosystems, including the emergence of tropical dry forests and savannahs that are found in Africa today, which in turn may have influenced the evolution of humans and their ancestors. However, despite decades of research we lack long, continuous, well-resolved records of tropical climate, ecosystem changes, and surface processes necessary to understand their interactions and influences on evolutionary processes. Lake Tanganyika, Africa, contains the most continuous, long continental climate record from the mid-Miocene (∼10 Ma) to the present anywhere in the tropics and has long been recognized as a top-priority site for scientific drilling. The lake is surrounded by the Miombo woodlands, part of the largest dry tropical biome on Earth. Lake Tanganyika also harbors incredibly diverse endemic biota and an entirely unexplored deep microbial biosphere, and it provides textbook examples of rift segmentation, fault behavior, and associated surface processes. To evaluate the interdisciplinary scientific opportunities that an ICDP drilling program at Lake Tanganyika could offer, more than 70 scientists representing 12 countries and a variety of scientific disciplines met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in June 2019. The team developed key research objectives in basin evolution, source-to-sink sedimentology, organismal evolution, geomicrobiology, paleoclimatology, paleolimnology, terrestrial paleoecology, paleoanthropology, and geochronology to be addressed through scientific drilling on Lake Tanganyika. They also identified drilling targets and strategies, logistical challenges, and education and capacity building programs to be carried out through the project. Participants concluded that a drilling program at Lake Tanganyika would produce the first continuous Miocene–present record from the tropics, transforming our understanding of global environmental change, the environmental context of human origins in Africa, and providing a detailed window into the dynamics, tempo and mode of biological diversification and adaptive radiations.
    • Ice Ice Baby: Are Librarian Stereotypes Freezing Us Out of Instruction?

      Pagowsky, Nicole; DeFrain, Erica; University of Arizona Libraries (2014-06-03)
      Why do librarians struggle so much with instruction? Part of the problem is that we have so many facets to consider: pedagogy, campus culture, relationships with faculty, and effectiveness with students. Research on student and faculty perceptions of librarians combined with sociological and psychological research on the magnitude of impression effects prompted us to more thoroughly examine how perceptions of instruction librarians impact successful teaching and learning. In this article, we look at theories of impression formation, the historical feminization of librarianship, and suggestions for next steps that we should take in order to take charge of our image and our instruction.
    • Ideas and perspectives: Tracing terrestrial ecosystem water fluxes using hydrogen and oxygen stable isotopes – challenges and opportunities from an interdisciplinary perspective

      Penna, Daniele; Hopp, Luisa; Scandellari, Francesca; Allen, Scott T.; Benettin, Paolo; Beyer, Matthias; Geris, Josie; Klaus, Julian; Marshall, John D.; Schwendenmann, Luitgard; et al. (COPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH, 2018-10-30)
      In this commentary, we summarize and build upon discussions that emerged during the workshop "Isotope-based studies of water partitioning and plant-soil interactions in forested and agricultural environments" held in San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Italy, in September 2017. Quantifying and understanding how water cycles through the Earth's critical zone is important to provide society and policymakers with the scientific background to manage water resources sustainably, especially considering the ever-increasing worldwide concern about water scarcity. Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water have proven to be a powerful tool for tracking water fluxes in the critical zone. However, both mechanistic complexities (e.g. mixing and fractionation processes, heterogeneity of natural systems) and methodological issues (e.g. lack of standard protocols to sample specific compartments, such as soil water and xylem water) limit the application of stable water isotopes in critical-zone science. In this commentary, we examine some of the opportunities and critical challenges of isotope-based ecohydrological applications and outline new perspectives focused on interdisciplinary research opportunities for this important tool in water and environmental science.
    • Identifiability of parameters of three-phase oil relative permeability models under simultaneous water and gas (SWAG) injection

      Ranaee, Ehsan; Moghadasi, Leili; Inzoli, Fabio; Riva, Monica; Guadagnini, Alberto; Univ Arizona, Dept Hydrol & Atmospher Sci (ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2017-11)
      We assess the relative performance of a suite of selected models to interpret three-phase oil relative permeability data and provide a procedure to determine identifiability of the model parameters. We ground our analysis on observations of Steady-State two-and three-phase relative permeabilities we collect on a water-wet Sand-Pack sample through series of core-flooding experiments. Three-phase experiments are characterized by simultaneous injection of water and gas into the core sample initiated at irreducible water saturation, a scenario which is relevant for modern enhanced oil recovery techniques. The selected oil relative permeability models include classical and recent formulations and we consider their performance when (i) solely two-phase data are employed and/or (ii) two-and three-phase data are jointly used to render predictions of three-phase oil relative permeability, kro. We assess identifiability of model parameters through the Profile Likelihood (PL) technique. We rely on formal model discrimination criteria for a quantitative evaluation of the interpretive skill of each of the candidate models tested. We also evaluate the relative degree of likelihood associated with the competing models through a posterior probability weight and use Maximum Likelihood Bayesian model averaging to provide modelaveraged estimate of kro and the associated uncertainty bounds. Results show that assessing identifiability of uncertain model parameters on the basis of the available dataset can provide valuable information about the quality of the parameter estimates and can reduce computational costs by selecting solely identifiable models among available candidates.
    • Identification and characterization of a mosquito-specific eggshell organizing factor in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

      Isoe, Jun; Koch, Lauren E; Isoe, Yurika E; Rascón, Alberto A; Brown, Heidi E; Massani, Brooke B; Miesfeld, Roger L; Univ Arizona, Dept Chem & Biochem; Univ Arizona, Mel & Enid Zuckerman Coll Publ Hlth (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-01-01)
      Mosquito-borne diseases are responsible for several million human deaths annually around the world. One approach to controlling mosquito populations is to disrupt molecular processes or antagonize novel metabolic targets required for the production of viable eggs. To this end, we focused our efforts on identifying proteins required for completion of embryonic development that are mosquito selective and represent potential targets for vector control. We performed bioinformatic analyses to identify putative protein-coding sequences that are specific to mosquito genomes. Systematic RNA interference (RNAi) screening of 40 mosquito- specific genes was performed by injecting double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This experimental approach led to the identification of eggshell organizing factor 1 (EOF1, AAEL012336), which plays an essential role in the formation and melanization of the eggshell. Eggs deposited by EOF1-deficient mosquitoes have nonmelanized fragile eggshells, and all embryos are nonviable. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis identified that exochorionic eggshell structures are strongly affected in EOF1-deficient mosquitoes. EOF1 is a potential novel target, to our knowledge, for exploring the identification and development of mosquito-selective and biosafe small-molecule inhibitors.
    • Identification and characterization of lysine-rich proteins and starch biosynthesis genes in the opaque2 mutant by transcriptional and proteomic analysis

      Jia, Mo; Wu, Hao; Clay, Kasi; Jung, Rudolf; Larkins, Brian; Gibbon, Bryan; Department of Biology, Baylor University, One Bear place #97388, Waco, TX 76798, USA; Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Johnston, IA 50131, USA; Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA (BioMed Central, 2013)
      BACKGROUND:The opaque2 mutant is valuable for producing maize varieties with enhanced nutritional value. However, the exact mechanisms by which it improves protein quality and creates a soft endosperm texture are unclear. Given the importance of improving nutritional quality in grain crops, a better understanding of the physiological basis for these traits is necessary.RESULTS:In this study, we combined transcript profiling and proteomic analysis to better understand which genes and proteins are altered by opaque2 in the W64A inbred line. These analyses showed that the accumulation of some lysine-rich proteins, such as sorbitol dehydrogenase and glyceraldehyde3-phosphate dehydrogenase, was increased in mature kernels and may contribute substantially to the lysine content of opaque2 endosperm. Some defense proteins such as beta-glucosidase aggregating factor were strongly down regulated and may be regulated directly by opaque2. The mutant also had altered expression of a number of starch biosynthesis genes and this was associated with a more highly crystalline starch.CONCLUSIONS:The results of these studies revealed specific target genes that can be investigated to further improve nutritional quality and agronomic performance of high lysine maize lines, particularly those based on the presence of the opaque2 mutation. Alteration of amylopectin branching patterns in opaque2 starch could contribute to generation of the soft, starchy endosperm.
    • Identification and characterization of micrornas in gonads of helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

      Li, L.; Wang, S.; Huang, K.; Zhang, Y.; Li, Y.; Zhang, M.; Huang, J.; Deng, Z.; Ni, X.; Li, X.; et al. (MDPI AG, 2021)
      The high fecundity of the most destructive pest Helicoverpa armigera and its great resistance risk to insecticides and Bt crops make the reproductive-destruction-based control of this pest extremely appealing. To find suitable targets for disruption of its reproduction, we observed the testis and ovary development of H. armigera and conducted deep sequencing of the ovary and testis small RNAs of H. armigera and quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) validation to identify reproduction-related micro RNAs (miRNAs). A total of 7,592,150 and 8,815,237 clean reads were obtained from the testis and ovary tissue, respectively. After further analysis, we obtained 173 novel and 74 known miRNAs from the two libraries. Among the 74 known miRNAs, 60 miRNAs existed in the ovary and 72 existed in the testis. Further RT-qPCR validation of 5 miRNAs from the ovary and 6 miRNAs from the testis confirmed 8 of them were indeed ovary-(miR-989a, miR-263-5p, miR-34) or testisbiased (miR-2763, miR-998, miR-2c, miR-2765, miR-252a-5p). The 8 ovary-or testis-biased miRNAs had a total of 30,172 putative non-redundant target transcripts, as predicted by miRanda and RNAhybrid. Many of these target transcripts are assigned to reproduction-related GO terms (e.g., oocyte maturation, vitellogenesis, spermatogenesis) and are members of multiple reproduction-related KEGG pathways, such as the JAK-STAT signaling pathway, oocyte meiosis, the insulin signaling pathway, and insect hormone biosynthesis. These results suggest that the 8 gonad-biased miRNAs play important roles in reproduction and may be used as the targets for the development of reproductive-destruction-based control of H. armigera and, possibly, other lepidopteran pests. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
    • Identification and characterization of the masculinizing function of the helicoverpa armigera masc gene

      Deng, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Li, Y.; Huang, K.; Chen, X.; Zhang, M.; Huang, J.; Ni, X.; Li, X.; Department of Entomology, University of Arizona (MDPI AG, 2021)
      The Masculinizer (Masc) gene has been known to control sex development and dosage compensation in lepidopterans. However, it remains unclear whether its ortholog exists and plays the same roles in distantly related lepidopterans such as Helicoverpa armigera. To address this question, we cloned Masc from H. armigera (HaMasc), which contains all essential functional domains of BmMasc, albeit with less than 30% amino acid sequence identity with BmMasc. Genomic PCR and qPCR analyses showed that HaMasc is a Z chromosome‐linked gene since its genomic content in males (ZZ) was two times greater than that in females (ZW). RT‐PCR and RT‐qPCR analyses revealed that HaMasc expression was sex‐ and stage‐biased, with significantly more transcripts in males and eggs than in females and other stages. Transfection of a mixture of three siRNAs of HaMasc into a male embryonic cell line of H. armigera led to the appearance of female‐specific mRNA splicing isoforms of H. armigera doublesex (Hadsx), a downstream target gene of HaMasc in the H. armigera sex determination pathway. The knockdown of HaMasc, starting from the third instar larvae resulted in a shift of Hadsx splicing from male to female isoforms, smaller male pupa and testes, fewer but larger/longer spermatocytes and sperm bundles, delayed pupation and internal fusion of the testes and follicles. These data demonstrate that HaMasc functions as a masculinizing gene in the H. armigera sex‐determination cascade. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
    • Identification and quantitation of clinically relevant microbes in patient samples: Comparison of three k-mer based classifiers for speed, accuracy, and sensitivity

      Watts, George S; Thornton, James E; Youens-Clark, Ken; Ponsero, Alise J; Slepian, Marvin J; Menashi, Emmanuel; Hu, Charles; Deng, Wuquan; Armstrong, David G; Reed, Spenser; et al. (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2019-11-22)
      Infections are a serious health concern worldwide, particularly in vulnerable populations such as the immunocompromised, elderly, and young. Advances in metagenomic sequencing availability, speed, and decreased cost offer the opportunity to supplement or even replace culture-based identification of pathogens with DNA sequence-based diagnostics. Adopting metagenomic analysis for clinical use requires that all aspects of the workflow are optimized and tested, including data analysis and computational time and resources. We tested the accuracy, sensitivity, and resource requirements of three top metagenomic taxonomic classifiers that use fast k-mer based algorithms: Centrifuge, CLARK, and KrakenUniq. Binary mixtures of bacteria showed all three reliably identified organisms down to 1% relative abundance, while only the relative abundance estimates of Centrifuge and CLARK were accurate. All three classifiers identified the organisms present in their default databases from a mock bacterial community of 20 organisms, but only Centrifuge had no false positives. In addition, Centrifuge required far less computational resources and time for analysis. Centrifuge analysis of metagenomes obtained from samples of VAP, infected DFUs, and FN showed Centrifuge identified pathogenic bacteria and one virus that were corroborated by culture or a clinical PCR assay. Importantly, in both diabetic foot ulcer patients, metagenomic sequencing identified pathogens 4–6 weeks before culture. Finally, we show that Centrifuge results were minimally affected by elimination of time-consuming read quality control and host screening steps.
    • Identification of Actionable Fusions as an Anti-EGFR Resistance Mechanism Using a Circulating Tumor DNA Assay

      Clifton, Katherine; Rich, Thereasa A.; Parseghian, Christine; Raymond, Victoria M.; Dasari, Arvind; Pereira, Allan Andresson Lima; Willis, Jason; Loree, Jonathan M.; Bauer, Todd M.; Chae, Young Kwang; et al. (AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, 2019-10-03)
      PURPOSE: Gene fusions are established oncogenic drivers and emerging therapeutic targets in advanced colorectal cancer. This study aimed to detail the frequencies and clinicopathological features of gene fusions in colorectal cancer using a circulating tumor DNA assay. METHODS: Circulating tumor DNA samples in patients with advanced colorectal cancer were analyzed at 4,581 unique time points using a validated plasma-based multigene assay that includes assessment of fusions in FGFR2, FGFR3, RET, ALK, NTRK1, and ROS1. Associations between fusions and clinicopathological features were measured using Fisher's exact test. Relative frequencies of genomic alterations were compared between fusion-present and fusion-absent cases using an unpaired t test. RESULTS: Forty-four unique fusions were identified in 40 (1.1%) of the 3,808 patients with circulating tumor DNA detected: RET(n = 6; 36% of all fusions detected), FGFR3 (n = 2; 27%), ALK(n = 10, 23%), NTRK1 (n = 3; 7%), ROS1 (n = 2; 5%), and FGFR2 (n = 1; 2%). Relative to nonfusion variants detected, fusions were more likely to be subclonal (odds ratio, 8.2; 95% CI, 2.94 to 23.00; P < .001). Mutations associated with a previously reported anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) therapy resistance signature (subclonal RAS and EGFR mutations) were found with fusions in FGFR3 (10 of 12 patients), RET(nine of 16 patients), and ALK(seven of 10 patients). For the 27 patients with available clinical histories, 21 (78%) had EGFR monoclonal antibody treatment before fusion detection. CONCLUSION: Diverse and potentially actionable fusions can be detected using a circulating tumor DNA assay in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Distribution of coexisting subclonal mutations in EGFR, KRAS, and NRAS in a subset of the patients with fusion-present colorectal cancer suggests that these fusions may arise as a novel mechanism of resistance to anti-EGFR therapies in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.