• Q&A: Evolutionary capacitance

      Masel, Joanna; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 1041 E. Lowell St, Tucson, AZ 84721, USA (BioMed Central, 2013)
    • QBO/solar modulation of the boreal winter Madden-Julian oscillation: A prediction for the coming solar minimum

      Hood, Lon L.; Univ Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab; Lunar and Planetary Laboratory; University of Arizona; Tucson Arizona USA (AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2017-04-28)
      The Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO), also known as the 30-60day oscillation, is the strongest of the intraseasonal climate oscillations in the tropics and has significant derivative effects on extratropical circulation and intraseasonal climate. It has recently been shown that the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) modulates the amplitude of the boreal winter MJO such that MJO amplitudes are larger on average during the easterly phase (QBOE) than during the westerly phase (QBOW). A major possible mechanism is the decrease in static stability in the lowermost stratosphere under QBOE conditions resulting from relative upwelling associated with the QBO-induced meridional circulation. Here evidence is presented that tropical upwelling changes related to the 11year solar cycle also modulate the boreal winter MJO. Based on 37.3years of MJO amplitude data, the largest amplitudes and occurrence rates, and the weakest static stabilities in the tropical lower stratosphere, occur during the QBOE phase under solar minimum (SMIN) conditions while the smallest amplitudes and strongest static stabilities occur during the QBOW phase under solar maximum (SMAX) conditions. Conversely, when the QBO and solar forcings are opposed (QBOW/SMIN and QBOE/SMAX), the difference in occurrence rates becomes statistically insignificant. During the coming solar minimum, at least one additional winter in the QBOE/SMIN category should occur (possibly as early as 2017/2018) during which especially large MJO amplitudes are expected and an initial test of these results will be possible. Plain Language Summary An ongoing issue in climate science is the extent to which upper atmospheric processes, including solar forcing, can influence tropospheric climate. It has recently been shown that an internal oscillation of the stratosphere, the quasi-biennial oscillation, can modulate the amplitude and occurrence rate of intraseasonal climate oscillations in the tropical Pacific during northern winter. These intraseasonal oscillations, the most important of which is the 30-60day Madden-Julian oscillation, have significant derivative effects on climate outside of the tropics, including impacts on rainfall events over the continental United States. Here evidence is presented that the amplitude of the Madden-Julian oscillation during northern winter is also modulated by the 11year solar cycle. The modulation is such that amplitudes and occurrence rates are largest under solar minimum conditions when the quasi-biennial oscillation is in its easterly phase and smallest under solar maximum conditions when the quasi-biennial oscillation is in its westerly phase. However, the available time record (37.3years of satellite measurements) is limited. During the coming solar minimum, at least one additional winter in the solar minimum/easterly category should occur (possibly as early as 2017/2018) during which larger-than-average amplitudes are expected and an initial test of the proposed relationship will be possible.
    • A qualitative analysis of vaccine decision makers' conceptualization and fostering of 'community engagement' in India

      Dutta, Tapati; Meyerson, Beth E; Agley, Jon; Barnes, Priscilla A; Sherwood-Laughlin, Catherine; Nicholson-Crotty, Jill; Univ Arizona, Coll Med, Coll Social & Behav Sci Family & Community Med, Southwest Inst Res Women (BMC, 2020-10-20)
      Background Globally, and in India, research has highlighted the importance of community engagement in achieving national vaccination goals and in promoting health equity. However, community engagement is not well-defined and remains an underutilized approach. There is also paucity of literature on community engagement's effectiveness in achieving vaccination outcomes. To address that gap, this study interviewed Indian vaccination decision makers to derive a shared understanding of the evolving conceptualization of community engagement, and how it has been fostered during India's Decade of Vaccines (2010-2020). Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 purposefully sampled national-level vaccine decision makers in India, including policymakers, immunization program heads, and vaccine technical committee leads. Participants were identified by their 'elite' status among decisionmakers in the Indian vaccination space. Schutz' Social Phenomenological Theory guided development of an a priori framework derived from the Social Ecological Model. The framework helped organize participants' conceptualizations of communities, community engagement, and related themes. Inter-rater reliability was computed for a subsample of coded interviews, and findings were validated in a one-day member check-in meeting with study participants and teams. Results The interviews successfully elucidated participants' understanding of key terminology ("community") and approaches to community engagement propagated by the vaccine decision makers. Participants conceptualized 'communities' as vaccine-eligible children, their parents, frontline healthcare workers, and vaccination influencers. Engagement with those communities was understood to mean vaccine outreach, capacity-building of healthcare workers, and information dissemination. However, participants indicated that there were neither explicit policy guidelines defining community engagement nor pertinent evaluation metrics, despite awareness that community engagement is complex and under-researched. Examples of different approaches to community engagement ranged from vaccine imposition to empowered community vaccination decision-making. Finally, participants proposed an operational definition of community engagement and discussed concerns related to implementing it. Conclusions Although decision makers had different perceptions about what constitutes a community, and how community engagement should optimally function, the combined group articulated its importance to ensure vaccination equity and reiterated the need for concerted political will to build trust with communities. At the same time, work remains to be done both in terms of research on community engagement as well as development of appropriate implementation and outcome metrics.
    • A Qualitative Study Describing Nurses' Experiences With Presenteeism

      Rainbow, Jessica G; Dudding, Katherine M; Bethel, Claire; College of Nursing, University of Arizona (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 31-03-20)
      OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand nurse awareness of coping and decision making regarding presenteeism and the consequences thereof. BACKGROUND: Nurses report high levels of presenteeism or not being able to fully function in the workplace, but we currently lack understanding of nurse perceptions of presenteeism and its consequences. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive method was used to evaluate the perceptions of nurses from medical surgical units at 2 different hospitals. FINDINGS: For purposes of the study, presenteeism was defined as being present at work when not fully engaged. Most respondents experienced presenteeism in the month before data collection. Five categories of themes were identified: 1) factors leading to presenteeism, 2) awareness and symptoms of presenteeism, 3) coping with presenteeism on and off shift, 4) decision making regarding presenteeism, and 5) consequences of presenteeism. CONCLUSIONS: Both personal and work factors contribute to presenteeism. To decrease presenteeism, healthcare leaders and systems should consider reviewing and changing sick/leave polices, unit cultures, and a lack of resources that contribute to and encourage an awareness of presenteeism, thereby decreasing nurse fatigue. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
    • A qualitative study of changes in expectations over time among patients with chronic low back pain seeking four CAM therapies

      Eaves, Emery R.; Sherman, Karen J.; Ritenbaugh, Cheryl; Hsu, Clarissa; Nichter, Mark; Turner, Judith A.; Cherkin, Daniel C.; Group Health Research Institute; Department of Family and Community Medicine & School of Anthropology, University of Arizona; Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine (BioMed Central Ltd, 2015)
      BACKGROUND: The relationship between patient expectations about a treatment and the treatment outcomes, particularly for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies, is not well understood. Using qualitative data from a larger study to develop a valid expectancy questionnaire for use with participants starting new CAM therapies, we examined how participants' expectations of treatment changed over the course of a therapy. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with 64 participants initiating one of four CAM therapies (yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage) for chronic low back pain. Participants just starting treatment were interviewed up to three times over a period of 3 months. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a qualitative mixed methods approach incorporating immersion/crystallization and matrix analysis for a decontexualization and recontextualization approach to understand changes in thematic emphasis over time. RESULTS: Pre-treatment expectations consisted of conjecture about whether or not the CAM therapy could relieve pain and improve participation in meaningful activities. Expectations tended to shift over the course of treatment to be more inclusive of broader lifestyle factors, the need for long-term pain management strategies and attention to long-term quality of life and wellness. Although a shift toward greater acceptance of chronic pain and the need for strategies to keep pain from flaring was observed across participants regardless of therapy, participants varied in their assessments of whether increased awareness of the need for ongoing self-care and maintenance strategies was considered a "positive outcome". Regardless of how participants evaluated the outcome of treatment, participants from all four therapies reported increased awareness, acceptance of the chronic nature of pain, and attention to the need to take responsibility for their own health. CONCLUSIONS: The shift in treatment expectations to greater acceptance of pain and the need for continued self-care suggests that future research should explore how CAM practitioners can capitalize on these shifts to encourage feelings of empowerment rather than disappointment surrounding realizations of the need for continued engagement with self-care.
    • Quality Improvement and Safety in US Pharmacy Schools

      McManus, Katherine; Metrejean, Christina; Schweitzer, Kali; Cooley, Janet; Warholak, Terri; Univ Arizona, Coll Pharm (AMER ASSOC COLL PHARMACY, 2019-11-01)
      Objective. To catalog the methods in which quality improvement (QI) and safety are taught in schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States and showcase exemplar QI programs. Methods. This descriptive, multi-phase study included an online questionnaire, syllabi review, and phone interviews. The study was approved by the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board (IRB). One representative from each US pharmacy school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) was invited to participate. Participants indicated the type of QI education their school provided via online questionnaire. Following questionnaire completion, syllabi were requested from the schools and phone interviews were scheduled with a school representative to obtain additional information. From the data, exemplars were chosen using a predetermined, evidenced-based rubric. Results. Of the 136 schools contacted, 56 (41.2%) completed the survey. Of the responding schools reporting their QI and safety offerings, 41 (73.2%) had a required session/module; 24 (42.9%) had a required course; 21 (37.5%) had an elective course; 21 (37.5%) had an introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE), advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE), or internship; 17 (30.4%) had a required project; 17 (30.4%) had interprofessional education integrated into their course; 15 (26.8%) had an error laboratory; and 11 (19.6%) offered postgraduate training. Conclusion. Many of the responding US schools of pharmacy expose students to some aspect of QI and/or safety, most often via class session or module. The exemplar programs serve as examples of how QI can be further integrated into pharmacy curricula.
    • Quality of life and functional vision across pediatric eye conditions assessed using the PedEyeQ

      Leske, David A; Hatt, Sarah R; Wernimont, Suzanne M; Castañeda, Yolanda S; Cheng-Patel, Christina S; Liebermann, Laura; Birch, Eileen E; Holmes, Jonathan M; Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, University of Arizona (Elsevier Inc., 2021-02-16)
      Purpose: To evaluate eye-related quality of life (ER-QOL) and functional vision across a wide range of pediatric eye conditions, using the Pediatric Eye Questionnaires (PedEyeQ). Methods: A total of 1,037 children with an eye condition and 254 visually normal controls, across 0-4, 5-11, and 12-17 years age groups, completed the following questionnaires: Child PedEyeQ (Functional Vision, Bothered by Eyes/Vision, Social, Frustration/Worry domains), Proxy PedEyeQ (same domains plus Eye Care), and Parent PedEyeQ (Impact on Parent and Family, Worry about Child's Eye Condition, Worry about Child's Self-perception and Interactions, and Worry about Functional Vision domains). The primary eye condition was classified as amblyopia (n = 171), cataract (n = 99), cerebral visual impairment (CVI; n = 50), cornea (n = 20), eyelid (n = 35), glaucoma (n = 24), nystagmus (n = 57), orbital (n = 19), pupil/iris (n = 7), refractive error (n = 119), retina (n = 82), strabismus (n = 332), and uveitis (n = 22). Results: PedEyeQ domain scores (scaled 0-100) were significantly worse across eye conditions, compared with controls. Child PedEyeQ greatest differences were on the Bothered by Eyes/Vision domain (nystagmus 5-11 years, −26 points [95% CI, −39 to −12]; nystagmus 12-17 years, −45 [95% CI, −61 to −28]). Proxy PedEyeQ differences were greatest on Functional Vision (CVI 0-4 years, −45 [95% CI, −56 to −34]; CVI 5-11 years, −58 [95% CI, −72 to −43]; nystagmus 12-17 years, −50 [95% CI, −69 to −31]). Parent PedEyeQ differences were greatest on Worry about Child's Functional Vision (CVI 0-4 years, −64; 95% CI −77 to −50). Conclusions: The PedEyeQ detects reduced ER-QOL and functional vision across pediatric eye conditions, and across age groups, indicating its utility for clinical practice and clinical trials. © 2021 American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
    • The Quality of Recovery after Dexamethasone, Ondansetron, or Placebo Administration in Patients Undergoing Lower Limbs Orthopedic Surgery under Spinal Anesthesia Using Intrathecal Morphine. A Randomized Controlled Trial

      Moro, Eduardo Toshiyuki; Ferreira, Miguel Antônio Teixeira; Gonçalves, Renyer Dos Santos; Vargas, Roberta Costa; Calil, Samira Joverno; Soranz, Maria Alice; Bloomstone, Joshua; Univ Arizona, Coll Med (HINDAWI LTD, 2020-05-20)
      Intrathecal morphine is widely and successfully used to prevent postoperative pain after orthopedic surgery, but it is frequently associated with side effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dexamethasone or ondansetron when compared to placebo to reduce the occurrence of these undesirable effects and, consequently, to improve the quality of recovery based on patient's perspective. Methods. One hundred and thirty-five patients undergoing lower extremity orthopedic surgery under spinal anesthesia using bupivacaine and morphine were randomly assigned to receive IV dexamethasone, ondansetron, or saline. On the morning following surgery, a quality of recovery questionnaire (QoR-40) was completed. Results. No differences were detected in the global and dimensional QoR-40 scores following surgery; however, following postanesthesia care unit (PACU) discharge, pain scores were higher in patients receiving ondansetron compared with patients who received dexamethasone. Conclusion. Neither ondansetron nor dexamethasone improves the quality of recovery after lower limbs orthopedic surgery under spinal anesthesia using intrathecal morphine.
    • Quality standards, implementation autonomy, and citizen satisfaction with public services: cross-national evidence

      Song, Miyeon; An, Seung-Ho; Meier, Kenneth J.; Univ Arizona, Sch Govt (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2020-02-27)
      This article investigates whether citizens' evaluations of service performance are related to archival measures of performance, and how institutional context shapes this relationship contingent on administrative autonomy - standards, human resources, and financial autonomy. Using cross-national education data, this study finds that student performance is positively associated with parental evaluations of schools. Perceptions are more closely aligned with performance when agencies have greater autonomy in managing employees, and when national-level bureaucracies set performance standards. This research advances our understanding of the role of administrative autonomy in citizen satisfaction and provides implications for the institutional designs that can benefit performance assessment.
    • Quantal Risk Assessment Database: A Database for Exploring Patterns in Quantal Dose-Response Data in Risk Assessment and its Application to Develop Priors for Bayesian Dose-Response Analysis

      Wheeler, Matthew W; Piegorsch, Walter W; Bailer, Albert John; Univ Arizona, Interdisciplinary Program Stat (WILEY, 2019-03-01)
      Quantitative risk assessments for physical, chemical, biological, occupational, or environmental agents rely on scientific studies to support their conclusions. These studies often include relatively few observations, and, as a result, models used to characterize the risk may include large amounts of uncertainty. The motivation, development, and assessment of new methods for risk assessment is facilitated by the availability of a set of experimental studies that span a range of dose-response patterns that are observed in practice. We describe construction of such a historical database focusing on quantal data in chemical risk assessment, and we employ this database to develop priors in Bayesian analyses. The database is assembled from a variety of existing toxicological data sources and contains 733 separate quantal dose-response data sets. As an illustration of the database's use, prior distributions for individual model parameters in Bayesian dose-response analysis are constructed. Results indicate that including prior information based on curated historical data in quantitative risk assessments may help stabilize eventual point estimates, producing dose-response functions that are more stable and precisely estimated. These in turn produce potency estimates that share the same benefit. We are confident that quantitative risk analysts will find many other applications and issues to explore using this database.
    • Quantification of Elemental Contaminants in Unregulated Water across Western Navajo Nation

      Credo, Jonathan; Torkelson, Jaclyn; Rock, Tommy; Ingram, Jani C; Univ Arizona, Coll Med, Clin Translat Sci Grad Program (MDPI, 2019-07-31)
      The geologic profile of the western United States lends itself to naturally elevated levels of arsenic and uranium in groundwater and can be exacerbated by mining enterprises. The Navajo Nation, located in the American Southwest, is the largest contiguous Native American Nation and has over a 100-year legacy of hard rock mining. This study has two objectives, quantify the arsenic and uranium concentrations in water systems in the Arizona and Utah side of the Navajo Nation compared to the New Mexico side and to determine if there are other elements of concern. Between 2014 and 2017, 294 water samples were collected across the Arizona and Utah side of the Navajo Nation and analyzed for 21 elements. Of these, 14 elements had at least one instance of a concentration greater than a national regulatory limit, and six of these (V, Ca, As, Mn, Li, and U) had the highest incidence of exceedances and were of concern to various communities on the Navajo Nation. Our findings are similar to other studies conducted in Arizona and on the Navajo Nation and demonstrate that other elements may be a concern for public health beyond arsenic and uranium.
    • Quantification of multiphoton and fluorescence images of reproductive tissues from a mouse ovarian cancer model shows promise for early disease detection

      Sawyer, Travis W; Koevary, Jennifer W; Rice, Faith P S; Howard, Caitlin C; Austin, Olivia J; Connolly, Denise C; Cai, Kathy Q; Barton, Jennifer K; Univ Arizona, Dept Biomed Engn; Univ Arizona, Coll Opt Sci (SPIE-SOC PHOTO-OPTICAL INSTRUMENTATION ENGINEERS, 2019-09-30)
      Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecologic cancer due predominantly to late diagnosis. Early detection of ovarian cancer can increase 5-year survival rates from 40% up to 92%, yet no reliable early detection techniques exist. Multiphoton microscopy (MPM) is a relatively new imaging technique sensitive to endogenous fluorophores, which has tremendous potential for clinical diagnosis, though it is limited in its application to the ovaries. Wide-field fluorescence imaging (WFI) has been proposed as a complementary technique to MPM, as it offers high-resolution imagery of the entire organ and can be tailored to target specific biomarkers that are not captured by MPM imaging. We applied texture analysis to MPM images of a mouse model of ovarian cancer. We also conducted WFI targeting the folate receptor and matrix metalloproteinases. We find that texture analysis of MPM images of the ovary can differentiate between genotypes, which is a proxy for disease, with high statistical significance (p < 0.001). The wide-field fluorescence signal also changes significantly between genotypes (p < 0.01). We use the features to classify multiple tissue groups to over 80% accuracy. These results suggest that MPM and WFI are promising techniques for the early detection of ovarian cancer. (C) The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License.
    • Quantification of rock mass weathering using spectral imaging

      Park, J.; Kim, K.; Univ Arizona, Dept Min & Geol Engn (SOUTHERN AFRICAN INST MINING METALLURGY, 2019-12)
      The degree of weathering, a key parameter for evaluating rock mass strength, has traditionally been assessed based on visual inspection by engineers. In an effort to reduce the human bias associated with this approach, a study was conducted to investigate the potential for using spectral imaging to quantify weathering. This entailed developing a portable, rapid method for narrow-band multispectral (NBMS) remote sensing using a spectral index classification algorithm, applying this algorithm to detect weathered features, and then quantifying the degree of weathering based on the percentages of weathered and aperture areas. A case study was conducted on Mt. Lemmon in southern Arizona and spectral images were collected from rock slopes using a visible and near-infrared (VNIR) hyperspectral camera. A two-band ratio approach was used to delineate key areas. Wavelength ratios of 601 nm to 550 nm and 993 nm to 450 nm, were used to delineate weathered and aperture areas respectively on the rock mass. The weathering degree at the test site was then quantified using thematic images. This entailed assessing the percentages of the weathered (22.5%) and aperture (12.5%) areas in the thematic image and using them in a modified Geological Strength Index (GSI) evaluation. The weathering rating (R) was classified as 'slight' and scored as '5' based on the percentage of weathered and aperture areas, and the GSI was determined to be 43. This study successfully demonstrated the potential for using spectral information to quantify rock mass weathering, as well as for using the calculated weathering degree to How to cite: estimate the GSI.
    • Quantifying Adoption Intensity for Weed-Resistance Management Practices and Its Determinants among US Soybean, Corn, and Cotton Farmers

      Dong, Fengxia; Mitchell, Paul D.; Hurley, Terrance M.; Frisvold, George B.; Univ Arizona, Dept Agr & Resource Econ (WESTERN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS ASSOC, 2016-01)
      Using data envelopment analysis with principal components, we calculate an adoption-intensity index for herbicide-resistance best management practices (BMPs). Empirical results for over 1,100 farmers in twenty-two U.S. states suggest that many farmers could improve their herbicide resistance BMP adoption. Two-limit truncated regression results show that higher yields and a greater proportion of acres planted with Roundup Ready (R) seeds motivate weed BMP adoption. While soybean and corn farmers have lower adoption intensity than cotton farmers, farmer educational attainment and greater concern for herbicide effectiveness and for human and environmental safety are found to help increase the adoption of weed BMPs.
    • Quantifying Crustal Thickness in Continental Collisional Belts: Global Perspective and a Geologic Application

      Hu, Fangyang; Ducea, Mihai N.; Liu, Shuwen; Chapman, James B.; Univ Arizona, Dept Geosci (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-08-01)
      We present compiled geochemical data of young (mostly Pliocene-present) intermediate magmatic rocks from continental collisional belts and correlations between their whole-rock Sr/Y and La/Yb ratios and modern crustal thickness. These correlations, which are similar to those obtained from subduction-related magmatic arcs, confirm that geochemistry can be used to track changes of crustal thickness changes in ancient collisional belts. Using these results, we investigate temporal variations of crustal thickness in the Qinling Orogenic Belt in mainland China. Our results suggest that crustal thickness remained constant in the North Qinling Belt (similar to 45-55 km) during the Triassic to Jurassic but fluctuates in the South Qinling Belt, corresponding to independently determined tectonic changes. In the South Qinling Belt, crustal thickening began at similar to 240 Ma and culminated with 60-70-km-thick crust at similar to 215 Ma. Then crustal thickness decreased to similar to 45 km at similar to 200 Ma and remained the same to the present. We propose that coupled use of Sr/Y and La/Yb is a feasible method for reconstructing crustal thickness through time in continental collisional belts. The combination of the empirical relationship in this study with that from subduction-related arcs can provide the crustal thickness evolution of an orogen from oceanic subduction to continental collision.
    • Quantifying E2F1 protein dynamics in single cells

      Mathey-Prevot, Bernard; Parker, Bao-Tran; Im, Carolyn; Hong, Cierra; Dong, Peng; Yao, Guang; You, Lingchong; Univ Arizona, Mol & Cellular Biol (HIGHER EDUCATION PRESS, 2020-03)
      Background: E2F1 protein, a major effector of the Rb/E2F pathway plays a central role in regulating cell-fate decisions involved in proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Its expression is highly dynamic and tightly modulated through a combination of transcriptional, translational and posttranslational controls. However, the mechanisms by which its expression and activity can promote different cellular outcomes remain to be fully elucidated. To better document E2F1 expression in live cells, we have engineered a series of fluorescent E2F1 protein reporters that quantitatively capture E2F1 protein dynamics. Methods: Reporter constructs, under the control of the mouse or human E2F1 proximal promoter, were designed to express an E2F1-Venus fusion protein incapable of binding DNA. In addition, constructs either included or excluded the 3 untranslated region (3UTR) of the E2F1 gene. These constructs were introduced into fibroblasts and epithelial cells, and expression of the fusion reporter protein was validated and quantified in single cells using live imaging. Results: In all cases, expression of the reporter protein effectively recapitulated the behavior of E2F1 under various conditions, including cell cycle progression and genotoxic stress. No or little fluorescent signal of the reporter was detected in G(0), but as the cycle progressed, expression of the reporter protein steadily increased in the nucleus, peaking a few hours before cell division, but declining to baseline 2-3 h prior to the onset of mitosis. The absence of the E2F1 3 ' UTR in the constructs led to considerably higher steady-state levels of the fusion protein, which although normally regulated, exhibited a slightly less complex dynamic profile during the cell cycle or genotoxic stress. Lastly, the presence or absence of Rb failed to impact the overall detection and levels of the reporter proteins. Conclusions: Our validated E2F1 protein reporters complement nicely other reporters of the Rb/E2F pathway and provide a unique tool to follow the complex dynamics of E2F1 expression in real time in single cells.
    • Quantifying Environmental and Line-of-sight Effects in Models of Strong Gravitational Lens Systems

      McCully, Curtis; Keeton, Charles R.; Wong, Kenneth C.; Zabludoff, Ann; Univ Arizona, Steward Observ (IOP PUBLISHING LTD, 2017-02-14)
      Matter near a gravitational lens galaxy or projected along the line of sight (LOS) can affect strong lensing observables by more than contemporary measurement errors. We simulate lens fields with realistic threedimensional mass configurations (self-consistently including voids), and then fit mock lensing observables with increasingly complex lens models to quantify biases and uncertainties associated with different ways of treating the lens environment (ENV) and LOS. We identify the combination of mass, projected offset, and redshift that determines the importance of a perturbing galaxy for lensing. Foreground structures have a stronger effect on the lens potential than background structures, due to nonlinear effects in the foreground and downweighting in the background. There is dramatic variation in the net strength of ENV/LOS effects across different lens fields; modeling fields individually yields stronger priors for H-0 than ray tracing through N-body simulations. Models that ignore mass outside the lens yield poor fits and biased results. Adding external shear can account for tidal stretching from galaxies at redshifts z >= z(lens), but it requires corrections for external convergence and cannot reproduce nonlinear effects from foreground galaxies. Using the tidal approximation is reasonable for most perturbers as long as nonlinear redshift effects are included. Even then, the scatter in H0 is limited by the lens profile degeneracy. Asymmetric image configurations produced by highly elliptical lens galaxies are less sensitive to the lens profile degeneracy, so they offer appealing targets for precision lensing analyses in future surveys like LSST and Euclid.
    • Quantifying human-environment interactions using videography in the context of infectious disease transmission

      Julian, Timothy R.; Bustos, Carla; Kwong, Laura H.; Badilla, Alejandro D.; Lee, Julia; Bischel, Heather N.; Canales, Robert A.; Univ Arizona, Community Environm & Policy Dept, Mel & Enid Zuckerman Coll Publ Hlth (UNIV NAPLES FEDERICO II, 2018)
      Quantitative data on human-environment interactions are needed to fully understand infectious disease transmission processes and conduct accurate risk assessments. Interaction events occur during an individual's movement through, and contact with, the environment, and can be quantified using diverse methodologies. Methods that utilize videography, coupled with specialized software, can provide a permanent record of events, collect detailed interactions in high resolution, be reviewed for accuracy, capture events difficult to observe in real-time, and gather multiple concurrent phenomena. In the accompanying video, the use of specialized software to capture human-environment interactions for human exposure and disease transmission is highlighted. Use of videography, combined with specialized software, allows for the collection of accurate quantitative representations of human-environment interactions in high resolution. Two specialized programs include the Virtual Timing Device for the Personal Computer, which collects sequential microlevel activity time series of contact events and interactions, and LiveTrak, which is optimized to facilitate annotation of events in real-time. Opportunities to annotate behaviors at high resolution using these tools are promising, permitting detailed records that can be summarized to gain information on infectious disease transmission and incorporated into more complex models of human exposure and risk.
    • Quantifying Leaf Chlorophyll Concentration of Sorghum from Hyperspectral Data Using Derivative Calculus and Machine Learning

      Bhadra, Sourav; Sagan, Vasit; Maimaitijiang, Maitiniyazi; Maimaitiyiming, Matthew; Newcomb, Maria; Shakoor, Nadia; Mockler, Todd C.; Univ Arizona, Sch Plant Sci (MDPI, 2020-06-29)
      Leaf chlorophyll concentration (LCC) is an important indicator of plant health, vigor, physiological status, productivity, and nutrient deficiencies. Hyperspectral spectroscopy at leaf level has been widely used to estimate LCC accurately and non-destructively. This study utilized leaf-level hyperspectral data with derivative calculus and machine learning to estimate LCC of sorghum. We calculated fractional derivative (FD) orders starting from 0.2 to 2.0 with 0.2 order increments. Additionally, 43 common vegetation indices (VIs) were calculated from leaf spectral reflectance factor to make comparisons with reflectance-based data. Within the modeling pipeline, three feature selection methods were assessed: Pearson's correlation coefficient (PCC), partial least squares based variable importance in the projection (VIP), and random forest-based mean decrease impurity (MDI). Finally, we used partial least squares regression (PLSR), random forest regression (RFR), support vector regression (SVR), and extreme learning regression (ELR) to estimate the LCC of sorghum. Results showed that: (1) increasing derivative order can show improved model performance until certain order for reflectance-based analysis; however, it is inconclusive to state that a particular order is optimal for estimating LCC of sorghum; (2) VI-based modeling outperformed derivative augmented reflectance factor-based modeling; (3) mean decrease impurity was found effective in selecting sensitive features from large feature space (reflectance-based analysis), whereas simple Pearson's correlation coefficient worked better with smaller feature space (VI-based analysis); and (4) SVR outperformed all other models within reflectance-based analysis; alternatively, ELR with VIs from original reflectance yielded slightly better results compared to all other models.
    • Quantifying lion (Panthera leo) demographic response following a three-year moratorium on trophy hunting

      Mweetwa, Thandiwe; Christianson, David; Becker, Matt; Creel, Scott; Rosenblatt, Elias; Merkle, Johnathan; Dröge, Egil; Mwape, Henry; Masonde, Jones; Simpamba, Twakundine; et al. (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2018-05-21)
      Factors that limit African lion populations are manifold and well-recognized, but their relative demographic effects remain poorly understood, particularly trophy hunting near protected areas. We identified and monitored 386 individual lions within and around South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, for five years (2008-2012) with trophy hunting and for three additional years (2013-2015) during a hunting moratorium. We used these data with mark-resight models to estimate the effects of hunting on lion survival, recruitment, and abundance. The best survival models, accounting for imperfect detection, revealed strong positive effects of the moratorium, with survival increasing by 17.1 and 14.0 percentage points in subadult and adult males, respectively. Smaller effects on adult female survival and positive effects on cub survival were also detected. The sex-ratio of cubs shifted from unbiased during trophy-hunting to female-biased during the moratorium. Closed mark-recapture models revealed a large increase in lion abundance during the hunting moratorium, from 116 lions in 2012 immediately preceding the moratorium to 209 lions in the last year of the moratorium. More cubs were produced each year of the moratorium than in any year with trophy hunting. Lion demographics shifted from a male-depleted population consisting mostly of adult (>= 4 years) females to a younger population with more (>29%) adult males. These data show that the three-year moratorium was effective at growing the Luangwa lion population and increasing the number of adult males. The results suggest that moratoria may be an effective tool for improving the sustainability of lion trophy hunting, particularly where systematic monitoring, conservative quotas, and age-based harvesting are difficult to enforce.