• A Carbohydrate Beverage Reduces Monocytes Expressing TLR4 in Children with Overweight or Obesity

      Niemiro, Grace M; Chiarlitti, Nathan A; Khan, Naiman A; De Lisio, Michael; Univ Arizona, Coll Med, Dept Pediat (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2020-03)
      Background: Childhood obesity is increasing, with about one-third of children overweight or obese. Obesity is characterized by a state of chronic low-grade inflammation that is related to cardiometabolic comorbidities. Inflammatory monocytes, which are classified into 3 different groups-classical, intermediate, and nonclassical monocytes, with Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4(+)) expression indicating a proinflammatory state-underlie several obesity-associated morbidities. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the responses of monocyte populations to beverages of differing macronutrient composition in children with healthy weight (HW) or overweight/obesity (OW/OB). Methods: Ten HW children (5th to 84.9th percentile; mean age 12.29 +/- 2.5 y) and 7 children with OW/OB (85th to 99.99th percentile; mean age 11.96 +/- 3.8 y) completed the study. Adiposity was determined via DXA. Using a doubleblinded, randomized, crossover design, participants consumed either a high-carbohydrate (CHO; 210 kcal; 0 g fat/56 g carbohydrates/0 g protein) or a whole-egg-based high-protein/fat (EGG; 210 kcal; 15 g fat/0 g carbohydrates/18 g protein) beverage. Venous blood was collected at baseline and 2 h postprandially for evaluation of metabolic and inflammatory responses. Repeated measures ANOVA and Pearson correlations were conducted. Results: Consuming the CHO beverage significantly reduced the primary outcome: TLR4(+) expression on classical monocytes in children with OW/OB only (25.60% decrease from baseline in OW/OB compared with 1.61% increase in HW). Children with OW/OB had significantly less percentages of TLR4(+) nonclassical monocytes than HW (4766% lower after CHO). Insulin and glucose (secondary outcomes), were significantly higher after the CHO condition compared with baseline (230.61% and 9.93% increase, respectively). Changes in glucose were significantly and negatively related to changes in monocyte populations in the CHO condition. Conclusions: These data suggest that high-carbohydrate beverages alter monocyte populations in the blood in children with OW/OB, which is related to glucose metabolism. These findings have implications for nutritional recommendations in children with overweight/obesity.
    • Flash droughts present a new challenge for subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction

      Pendergrass, Angeline G.; Meehl, Gerald A.; Pulwarty, Roger; Hobbins, Mike; Hoell, Andrew; AghaKouchak, Amir; Bonfils, Céline J. W.; Gallant, Ailie J. E.; Hoerling, Martin; Hoffmann, David; et al. (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-03)
      Flash droughts, which develop over the course of weeks, are difficult to forecast given the current state of subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction. This Perspective offers operational and research definitions, places them in the broader context of climate and suggests avenues for future research. Flash droughts are a recently recognized type of extreme event distinguished by sudden onset and rapid intensification of drought conditions with severe impacts. They unfold on subseasonal-to-seasonal timescales (weeks to months), presenting a new challenge for the surge of interest in improving subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction. Here we discuss existing prediction capability for flash droughts and what is needed to establish their predictability. We place them in the context of synoptic to centennial phenomena, consider how they could be incorporated into early warning systems and risk management, and propose two definitions. The growing awareness that flash droughts involve particular processes and severe impacts, and probably a climate change dimension, makes them a compelling frontier for research, monitoring and prediction.
    • How well do the spring indices predict phenological activity across plant species?

      Gerst, Katharine L; Crimmins, Theresa M; Posthumus, Erin E; Rosemartin, Alyssa H; Schwartz, Mark D; Univ Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm (SPRINGER, 2020-02-27)
      The spring indices, models that represent the onset of spring season biological activity, were developed using a long-term observational record from the mid-to-late twentieth century of three species of lilacs and honeysuckles contributed by volunteer observers across the nation. The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) produces and freely delivers maps of spring index onset dates at fine spatial scale for the USA. These maps are used widely in natural resource planning and management applications. The extent to which the models represent activity in a broad suite of plant species is not well documented. In this study, we used a rich record of observational plant phenology data (37,819 onset records) collected in recent years (1981-2017) to evaluate how well gridded maps of the spring index models predict leaf and flowering onset dates in (a) 19 species of ecologically important, broadly distributed deciduous trees and shrubs, and (b) the lilac and honeysuckle species used to construct the models. The extent to which the spring indices predicted vegetative and reproductive phenology varied by species and with latitude, with stronger relationships revealed for shrubs than trees and with the Bloom Index compared to the Leaf Index, and reduced concordance between the indices at higher latitudes. These results allow us to use the indices as indicators of when to expect activity across widely distributed species and can serve as a yardstick to assess how future changes in the timing of spring will impact a broad array of trees and shrubs across the USA.
    • 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.
    • Extraterrestrial amino acids and L-enantiomeric excesses in the CM2 carbonaceous chondrites Aguas Zarcas and Murchison

      Glavin, Daniel P.; Elsila, Jamie E.; McLain, Hannah L.; Aponte, José C.; Parker, Eric T.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Hill, Dolores H.; Connolly, Harold C.; Lauretta, Dante S.; Univ Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab (WILEY, 2020-02-25)
      The abundances, distributions, enantiomeric ratios, and carbon isotopic compositions of amino acids in two fragments of the Aguas Zarcas CM2 type carbonaceous chondrite fall and a fragment of the CM2 Murchison meteorite were determined via liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry and gas chromatography isotope ratio mass spectrometry. A suite of two- to six-carbon aliphatic primary amino acids was identified in the Aguas Zarcas and Murchison meteorites with abundances ranging from similar to 0.1 to 158 nmol/g. The high relative abundances of alpha-amino acids found in these meteorites are consistent with a Strecker-cyanohydrin synthesis on these meteorite parent bodies. Amino acid enantiomeric and carbon isotopic measurements in both fragments of the Aguas Zarcas meteorites indicate that both samples experienced some terrestrial protein amino acid contamination after their fall to Earth. In contrast, similar measurements of alanine in Murchison revealed that this common protein amino acid was both racemic (D approximate to L) and heavily enriched in C-13, indicating no measurable terrestrial alanine contamination of this meteorite. Carbon isotope measurements of two rare non-proteinogenic amino acids in the Aguas Zarcas and Murchison meteorites, alpha-aminoisobutyric acid and D- and L-isovaline, also fall well outside the typical terrestrial range, confirming they are extraterrestrial in origin. The detections of non-terrestrial L-isovaline excesses of similar to 10-15% in both the Aguas Zarcas and Murchison meteorites, and non-terrestrial L-glutamic acid excesses in Murchison of similar to 16-40% are consistent with preferential enrichment of circularly polarized light generated L-amino acid excesses of conglomerate enantiopure crystals during parent body aqueous alteration and provide evidence of an early solar system formation bias toward L-amino acids prior to the origin of life.
    • Non-enzymatic Lysine Lactoylation of Glycolytic Enzymes

      Gaffney, Dominique O; Jennings, Erin Q; Anderson, Colin C; Marentette, John O; Shi, Taoda; Schou Oxvig, Anne-Mette; Streeter, Matthew D; Johannsen, Mogens; Spiegel, David A; Chapman, Eli; et al. (CELL PRESS, 2020-02-20)
      Post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate enzyme structure and function to expand the functional proteome. Many of these PTMs are derived from cellular metabolites and serve as feedback and feedforward mechanisms of regulation. We have identified a PTM that is derived from the glycolytic by-product, methylglyoxal. This reactive metabolite is rapidly conjugated to glutathione via glyoxalase 1, generating lactoylglutathione (LGSH). LGSH is hydrolyzed by glyoxalase 2 (GLO2), cycling glutathione and generating D-lactate. We have identified the non-enzymatic acyl transfer of the lactate moiety from LGSH to protein Lys residues, generating a "LactoylLys'' modification on proteins. GLO2 knockout cells have elevated LGSH and a consequent marked increase in LactoylLys. Using an alkyne-tagged methylglyoxal analog, we show that these modifications are enriched on glycolytic enzymes and regulate glycolysis. Collectively, these data suggest a previously unexplored feedback mechanism that may serve to regulate glycolytic flux under hyperglycemic or Warburg-like conditions.
    • Exalted Purchases or Tainted Donations? Self‐signaling and the Evaluation of Charitable Incentives

      Savary, Jennifer; Li, Charis X.; Newman, George E.; Univ Arizona (JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD, 2020-02-20)
      It is common for charities to bundle donation requests with some type of product, such as a tote bag, pen, or coffee mug. The current studies find that people are more likely to donate when those bundles are framed as "charitable purchases" vs. "donations with a gift." We show that this effect arises because consumers want to avoid the negative self-signal associated with receiving a gift in exchange for donating. Five experiments provide evidence for the role of self-signaling, identify key moderators of the framing effect, and demonstrate the downstream consequences for people's likelihood of donating in the future. More broadly, the current studies lend further evidence to the role of self-signaling in charitable giving and provide greater clarity regarding how and when different donation solicitation techniques may be most effective.
    • Sustainable Agriculture Practices as a Driver for Increased Harvested Cropland among Large‐Scale Growers in Arizona: A Paradox for Small‐Scale Growers

      Mpanga, Isaac K.; Neumann, Gunter; Schuch, Ursula K.; Schalau, Jeff; Univ Arizona, Sch Plant Sci (WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2020-02-20)
      Extreme climate variability is a major factor threatening crop production in Arizona State. However, limited information exists on how growers are adapting with land-use practices. Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Agricultural Census (2012 and 2017) of the US Department of Agriculture, this study investigates trends of land-use practices among small- and large-scale growers and their possible effects on harvested cropland. From 2012 to 2017, there are reductions in total farmlands (-0.5%) and vegetable production lands (-4%) with varying temperatures, precipitation, and drought severity index. However, harvested crop- and vegetable land increased by 3% and 11%, respectively, which was mainly influenced by large-scale growers. This coincided with an increase in sustainable land-use practices such as conservation agriculture no-till (103%), reduced tillage (71%), and cover cropping (123%) which are most popular among large-scale growers. Manure application also increased by 30%. However, there were reductions in other practices such as intensive tillage (-9%), use of commercial fertilizers (-0.2%), nematicides (-63%), and chemical diseases control (-16%). Unfortunately, non-sustainable practices (irrigation, insecticide, and herbicide application increased by 27%, 39%, and 10%, respectively. This study reveals potential benefits of sustainable agricultural practices in Arizona and a need for increased adoption among small-acreage growers.
    • Functional characterization of the idtF and idtP genes in the Claviceps paspali indole diterpene biosynthetic gene cluster

      Kozák, László; Szilágyi, Zoltán; Tóth, László; Pócsi, István; Molnár, István; Univ Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm (SPRINGER, 2020-02-19)
      Claviceps paspali is used in the pharmaceutical industry for the production of ergot alkaloids. This fungus also biosynthesizes paspalitrems, indole diterpene (IDT) mycotoxins that cause significant economic losses in agriculture and represent safety concerns for ergot alkaloid manufacture. Here, we use Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to replace the idtP and the idtF genes in the IDT biosynthetic gene cluster of C. paspali with a selectable marker gene. We show that the Delta idtP knockout mutant produces paspaline, the first IDT intermediate of the pathway. The Delta idtF strain produces unprenylated IDTs such as paspalinine and paspaline. These experiments validate the function of idtP as the gene encoding the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase that oxidizes and demethylates paspaline to produce 13-desoxypaxilline, and that of idtF as the gene that encodes the alpha-prenyltransferase that prenylates paspalinine at the C20 or the C21 positions to yield paspalitrems A and C, respectively. In addition, we also show that axenic cultures of the wild type, the Delta idtP and the Delta idtF mutant C. paspali strains fail to produce an assembly of IDTs that are present in C. paspali-Paspalum spp. associations.
    • Four-fold Anisotropy of the Parallel Upper Critical Magnetic Field in a Pure Layered d-wave Superconductor at T = 0

      Lebed, A. G.; Sepper, O.; Univ Arizona, Dept Phys (MAIK NAUKA/INTERPERIODICA/SPRINGER, 2020-02-19)
      It is well known that a four-fold symmetry of the parallel upper critical magnetic field disappears in the Ginzburg-Landau (GL) region in quasi-two-dimensional (Q2D) d-wave superconductors. Therefore, it has been accurately calculated so far as a correction to the GL results, which is valid close to superconducting transition temperature and is expected to be stronger at low temperatures. As to the case T = 0, some approximated methods have been used, which are good only for closed electron orbits and unappropriate for the open orbits which exist in a parallel magnetic field in Q2D superconductors. For the first time, we accurately calculate the four-fold anisotropy of the parallel upper critical magnetic field in a pure Q2D d-wave superconductor at T = 0, where it has the highest possible value. Our results are applicable to Q2D d-wave high-T-c and organic superconductors.
    • Mixed Messages: II. Outcomes Associated with the Proportion and Placement of Negative Statements in Support Messages

      Ray, Colter D; Harvey, Jacquelyn; Floyd, Kory; Bonito, Joseph A; Reblin, Maija; Univ Arizona, Dept Commun (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2020-02-17)
      Few studies on emotional support have investigated mixed messages - instances when emotional support messages contain both positive and negative statements. Although researchers have recognized that mixed messages occur, most supportive communication research has ignored these ambivalent messages. We contend based on the negativity bias that the more negative statements that occur in an emotional support message, the less effective the message is. To test this possibility, we presented cancer patients (N = 417) with messages that consisted of 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, or 80% negative statements. Patients rated the messages on five variables: message effectiveness, affective improvement, supporter competence, likelihood to seek future support, and being better off if the supporter had said nothing. A significant positive linear trend occurred for all five variables. The results suggest that the presence and amount of negative statements within an emotional support message has a considerable influence on the recipient's perception of the message and supporter. From a practical standpoint, the results suggest that cancer patients' supporters should act cautiously when communicating negative statements within supportive messages, as even a brief negative statement may cause irreparable damage to the overall quality of a support message.
    • Reducing Injuries, Malingering, and Workers’ Compensation Costs by Implementing Overt Integrity Testing

      Cooper, Dylan A.; Slaughter, Jerel E.; Gilliland, Stephen W.; Univ Arizona, Eller Coll Management (SPRINGER, 2020-02-17)
      Workers' compensation costs are a substantial expense for employers. Given mixed results of training and job redesign interventions designed to reduce accidents leading to claims, organizations may wish to reduce these costs by screening job applicants with integrity tests. Building on theories of workplace safety and malingering (i.e., faking or exaggerating injuries for personal gain), we argue that overt integrity tests predict workers' compensation claims through both workplace injuries and malingering. Analyses of archival data from three organizations (study 1) found screening job applicants reduced workers' compensation claim rates and related costs, demonstrating a return on investment of 734% in one sample and 866% in another. In a three-wave survey of working adults (study 2), integrity test scores related directly to malingering, and indirectly to workplace injuries through motivation to work safely and compliance with safety rules. Analyses of three common dimensions of overt integrity tests (substance abuse, aggression, and theft) found theft scores directly related to malingering, and indirectly related to injuries through lower safety compliance. Substance abuse scores were related to higher rates of injury through lower safety motivation and compliance. Aggression scores were not related to malingering or injuries. We conclude that screening job applicants with overt integrity tests can be a cost-effective way to reduce unnecessary workplace injuries, malingering, and the related workers' compensation claims.
    • Sewing terror: price dynamics of the strawberry needle crisis

      Schaefer, K. Aleks; Scheitrum, Daniel; Univ Arizona, Dept Agr & Resource Econ (WILEY, 2020-02-16)
      In September 2018, a former strawberry-picking supervisor for a strawberry farm in New South Wales was arrested for inserting sewing needles in hundreds of punnets of fresh strawberries sold in retail stores across several Australian states. This paper analyses the 2018 Australian strawberry needle scare as a case study on the market impacts of agro-terrorism events. We develop a novel four-step procedure to estimate the effects of the strawberry needle contamination on wholesale fresh strawberry prices. Our results indicate a drop in wholesale fresh strawberries prices of about 20% while the needle crisis was ongoing. However, public and private supply restrictions caused wholesale prices to rise by up to 94% relative to expected dynamics over several weeks in the immediate wake of the incident.
    • PUENTES Program: An Institutional Response Claiming for Bridges in a Time of Trumpeting Walls

      Castiello-Gutiérrez, Santiago; Camacho Lizárraga, Mónica Irene; Univ Arizona, Ctr Study Higher Educ (Springer Singapore, 2020-02-15)
      Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the government openly anti-immigrant rhetoric threatening to deport unauthorized immigrants (including students with DACA protection), several actors in Mexico organized to launch the PUENTES program to facilitate enrollment of Mexican students living in the U.S. at a Mexican HEI to finish their degrees. In this chapter we analyze, from a policy perspective, how a country can prepare to serve their once migrant citizens, now returning students, who need to be re-enrolled into the higher education system and therefore into the society. Key findings suggest that the program has been successful in the following ways: (1) It has provided visibility to the issue of forced migration back to Mexico; (2) It helped to expedite changes in legislation that now make it easier for anyone with partial studies outside Mexico to continue with their education in an HEI in the country; and (3) It provided an alternative, not only to students who faced deportation but also to those who willingly saw an opportunity to continue with their studies at an institution in their place of birth.
    • Evaluation of the Cunningham Panel™ in pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infection (PANDAS) and pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS): Changes in antineuronal antibody titers parallel changes in patient symptoms

      Shimasaki, Craig; Frye, Richard E; Trifiletti, Rosario; Cooperstock, Michael; Kaplan, Gary; Melamed, Isaac; Greenberg, Rosalie; Katz, Amiram; Fier, Eric; Kem, David; et al. (ELSEVIER, 2020-02-15)
      Comparison of pre- and post-treatment status revealed that the Cunningham Panel results correlated with changes in patient's neuropsychiatric symptoms. Based upon the change in the number of positive tests, the overall accuracy was 86%, the sensitivity and specificity were 88% and 83% respectively, and the Area Under the Curve (AUC) was 93.4%. When evaluated by changes in autoantibody levels, we observed an overall accuracy of 90%, a sensitivity of 88%, a specificity of 92% and an AUC of 95.7%. Assay reproducibility for the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) revealed a correlation coefficient of 0.90 (p < 1.67 × 10-6) and the ELISA assays demonstrated test-retest reproducibility comparable with other ELISA assays.
    • Null geodesics of the Kerr exterior

      Gralla, Samuel E.; Lupsasca, Alexandru; Univ Arizona, Dept Phys (AMER PHYSICAL SOC, 2020-02-14)
      The null geodesic equation in the Kerr spacetime can be expressed as a set of integral equations involving certain potentials. We classify the roots of these potentials and express the integrals in manifestly real Legendre elliptic form. We then solve the equations using Jacobi elliptic functions, providing the complete set of null geodesics of the Kerr exterior as explicit parametrized curves.
    • Improving sustainable use of genetic resources in biodiversity archives

      Tuschhoff, E J; Hutter, Carl R; Glor, Richard E; Univ Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol (PEERJ INC, 2020-02-13)
      Tissue sample databases housed in biodiversity archives represent a vast trove of genetic resources, and these tissues are often destructively subsampled and provided to researchers for DNA extractions and subsequent sequencing. While obtaining a sufficient quantity of DNA for downstream applications is vital for these researchers, it is also important to preserve tissue resources for future use given that the original material is destructively and consumptively sampled with each use. It is therefore necessary to develop standardized tissue subsampling and loaning procedures to ensure that tissues are being used efficiently. In this study, we specifically focus on the efficiency of DNA extraction methods by using anuran liver and muscle tissues maintained at a biodiversity archive. We conducted a series of experiments to test whether current practices involving coarse visual assessments of tissue size are effective, how tissue mass correlates with DNA yield and concentration, and whether the amount of DNA recovered is correlated with sample age. We found that tissue samples between 2 and 8 mg resulted in the most efficient extractions, with tissues at the lower end of this range providing more DNA per unit mass and tissues at the higher end of this range providing more total DNA. Additionally, we found no correlation between tissue age and DNA yield. Because we find that even very small tissue subsamples tend to yield far more DNA than is required by researchers for modern sequencing applications (including whole genome shotgun sequencing), we recommend that biodiversity archives consider dramatically improving sustainable use of their archived material by providing researchers with set quantities of extracted DNA rather than with the subsampled tissues themselves.
    • Mean-field control for efficient mixing of energy loads

      Métivier, David; Chertkov, Michael; Univ Arizona, Dept Math, Program Appl Math (AMER PHYSICAL SOC, 2020-02-12)
      We pose an engineering challenge of controlling an ensemble of energy devices via coordinated, implementation-light, and randomized on/off switching as a problem in nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. We show that mean-field control with nonlinear feedback on the cumulative consumption, assumed available to the aggregator via direct physical measurements of the energy flow, allows the ensemble to recover from its use in the demand response regime, i.e., transition to a statistical steady state, significantly faster than in the case of the fixed feedback. Moreover when the nonlinearity is sufficiently strong, one observes the phenomenon of "super-relaxation," where the total instantaneous energy consumption of the ensemble transitions to the steady state much faster than the underlying probability distribution of the devices over their state space, while also leaving almost no devices outside of the comfort zone.
    • Inhibitory components of retinal bipolar cell receptive fields are differentially modulated by dopamine D1 receptors

      Mazade, Reece E; Eggers, Erika D; Univ Arizona, Dept Physiol; Univ Arizona, Dept Biomed Engn (CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS, 2020-02-12)
      During adaptation to an increase in environmental luminance, retinal signaling adjustments are mediated by the neuromodulator dopamine. Retinal dopamine is released with light and can affect center-surround receptive fields, the coupling state between neurons, and inhibitory pathways through inhibitory receptors and neurotransmitter release. While the inhibitory receptive field surround of bipolar cells becomes narrower and weaker during light adaptation, it is unknown how dopamine affects bipolar cell surrounds. If dopamine and light have similar effects, it would suggest that dopamine could be a mechanism for light-adapted changes. We tested the hypothesis that dopamine D1 receptor activation is sufficient to elicit the magnitude of light-adapted reductions in inhibitory bipolar cell surrounds. Surrounds were measured from OFF bipolar cells in dark-adapted mouse retinas while stimulating D1 receptors, which are located on bipolar, horizontal, and inhibitory amacrine cells. The D1 agonist SKF-38393 narrowed and weakened OFF bipolar cell inhibitory receptive fields but not to the same extent as with light adaptation. However, the receptive field surround reductions differed between the glycinergic and GABAergic components of the receptive field. GABAergic inhibitory strength was reduced only at the edges of the surround, while glycinergic inhibitory strength was reduced across the whole receptive field. These results expand the role of retinal dopamine to include modulation of bipolar cell receptive field surrounds. Additionally, our results suggest that D1 receptor pathways may be a mechanism for the light-adapted weakening of glycinergic surround inputs and the furthest wide-field GABAergic inputs to bipolar cells. However, remaining differences between light-adapted and D1 receptor-activated inhibition demonstrate that non-D1 receptor mechanisms are necessary to elicit the full effect of light adaptation on inhibitory surrounds.