Recent Research Articles from UNTHSC

Recent research articles indexed in PubMed from authors affiliated with the UNT Health Science Center.

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NCBI: db=pubmed; Term="University of North Texas Health Science Center"[All Fields] OR "Univ. of North Texas Health Science Center"[All Fields] OR "UNT Health Science Center"[All Fields] OR "Osteopathic Research Center"[All Fields] OR "University of North Texas System College of Pharmacy"[All Fields] OR "UNT System College of Pharmacy"[All Fields] OR "College of Pharmacy, University of North Texas System"[All Fields]
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Chromobacterium spp. mediate their anti-Plasmodium activity through secretion of the histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin.

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 07:16
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Chromobacterium spp. mediate their anti-Plasmodium activity through secretion of the histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin.

Sci Rep. 2018 04 18;8(1):6176

Authors: Saraiva RG, Huitt-Roehl CR, Tripathi A, Cheng YQ, Bosch J, Townsend CA, Dimopoulos G

Abstract
The Chromobacterium sp. Panama bacterium has in vivo and in vitro anti-Plasmodium properties. To assess the nature of the Chromobacterium-produced anti-Plasmodium factors, chemical partition was conducted by bioassay-guided fractionation where different fractions were assayed for activity against asexual stages of P. falciparum. The isolated compounds were further partitioned by reversed-phase FPLC followed by size-exclusion chromatography; high resolution UPLC and ESI/MS data were then collected and revealed that the most active fraction contained a cyclic depsipeptide, which was identified as romidepsin. A pure sample of this FDA-approved HDAC inhibitor allowed us to independently verify this finding, and establish that romidepsin also has potent effect against mosquito stages of the parasite's life cycle. Genomic comparisons between C. sp. Panama and multiple species within the Chromobacterium genus further demonstrated a correlation between presence of the gene cluster responsible for romidepsin production and effective antiplasmodial activity. A romidepsin-null Chromobacterium spp. mutant loses its anti-Plasmodium properties by losing the ability to inhibit P. falciparum HDAC activity, and romidepsin is active against resistant parasites to commonly deployed antimalarials. This independent mode of action substantiates exploring a chromobacteria-based approach for malaria transmission-blocking.

PMID: 29670144 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Effect of functional electrical stimulation plus body weight-supported treadmill training for gait rehabilitation in patients with poststroke-a retrospective case-matched study.

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 07:10
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Effect of functional electrical stimulation plus body weight-supported treadmill training for gait rehabilitation in patients with poststroke-a retrospective case-matched study.

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2019 Oct 15;:

Authors: Bao X, Luo JN, Shao YC, Tang ZQ, Liu HY, Liu H, Tan JW

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) plus body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) provide effective gait training for poststroke patients with abnormal gait. These features promote a successful active motor relearning of ambulation in stroke survivors.
AIM: This is a retrospective study to assess the effect of FES plus BWSTT for gait rehabilitation in patients poststroke.
DESIGN: A retrospective case-matched study.
SETTING: Participants were recruited from a rehabilitation department in an acute university-affiliated hospital.
POPULATION: Ninety patients poststroke from Yue Bei People's Hospital underwent BWSTT (A: control group) were compared to an equal number of cross-matched patients who received FES plus BWSTT (B: FES plus BWSTT group).
METHODS: While B group received FES for 45 minutes plus BSWTT for 30 minutes in the program, group A received time-matched BWSTT alone. The walking speed, step length, step cadence, Fugl-Meyer lower-limb scale (LL-FMA), composite spasticity scale (CSS), 10-Meter Walk Test (10MWT), Tinetti Balance Test (TBT) and nerve physiology testing were collected before and after intervention.
RESULTS: One hundred and eighty patients with poststroke abnormal gait were chosen. There were significant differences in walking speed, step length, step cadence, LL-FMA, CSS, TBT, and 10MWT between baseline and post-intervention (P<0.05). There were significant differences in walking speed, step length, step cadence, LL-FMA, CSS, TBT, and 10MWT between two groups at the end of the eighth week (P<0.05), but not at baseline (P>0.05). In comparison with group A, the peak of somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) and motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude increased, the latency was shortened, and the conduction velocity of sensory nerve (SCV) and motor nerve (MCV) was significantly increased in the group B (P < 0.05). No adverse events occurred during the study.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that FES plus BWSTT could be more effective than BWSTT alone in the improvement of gait, balance, spasticity, and function of the lower limb in patients poststroke.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Introduce effective rehabilitation strategies for poststroke patients with abnormal gait.

PMID: 31615194 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

"Youth Are More Aware and Intelligent than Imagined": The Mountain Air Youth Photovoice Project.

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 07:10
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"Youth Are More Aware and Intelligent than Imagined": The Mountain Air Youth Photovoice Project.

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Oct 11;16(20):

Authors: Cardarelli KM, Paul M, May B, Dunfee M, Browning S, Schoenberg N

Abstract
Appalachian Kentucky reports some of the highest rates of respiratory illness in the United States, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. While smoking rates are high in the region, unexplained variation remains, and community-engaged research approaches are warranted to identify contributing factors. The Mountain Air Project's community advisory board recommended that investigators invite youth to provide their perspectives on possible contributing factors to respiratory illness, and we undertook an exploratory study to determine the utility of photovoice to elicit such perspectives with this population. While photovoice has been employed for other youth-focused health studies in Appalachia, to our knowledge, this work represents the region's first environmental study using photovoice among youth. Over eight weeks, ten participants (age 12-18) represented their perspectives through photographs and accompanying narratives. A brief thematic content analysis of the youth narratives that accompanied the photos revealed three primary themes of environmental determinants of respiratory illness. These themes included compromises community members make regarding respiratory health in order to secure a livelihood; tension between cultural legacies and respiratory health; and consequences of geographic forces. This study demonstrates the value of incorporating youth perspectives in environmental health research, and that photovoice was a valuable approach to elicit such perspectives.

PMID: 31614429 [PubMed - in process]

The Importance of Authentic Leadership to all Generations Represented within Academic Pharmacy.

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 07:10
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The Importance of Authentic Leadership to all Generations Represented within Academic Pharmacy.

Am J Pharm Educ. 2018 08;82(6):6694

Authors: Pinelli NR, Sease JM, Nola K, Kyle JA, Heldenbrand SD, Penzak SR, Ginsburg DB

Abstract
Academic pharmacy spans several generations including traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y, commonly referred to as millennials. It has been suggested that leadership styles must change to accommodate these generational differences in academic pharmacy, yet there are no data of which we are aware, that support this assertion. We contend that leadership styles are derived from one's authentic self and are based on core beliefs and values; therefore, leadership styles must not change to accommodate a specific generation or other subset of academic pharmacy. Instead, effective leaders must change tactics (ie, methods or processes) to reach and influence a specific cohort. This article develops and supports the argument that leadership styles should not change to accommodate generational differences in academic pharmacy.

PMID: 30181676 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Alcohol use and alcohol/marijuana use during the most recent sexual experience differentially predict characteristics of the sexual experience among sexually active young adult drinkers.

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 07:10
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Alcohol use and alcohol/marijuana use during the most recent sexual experience differentially predict characteristics of the sexual experience among sexually active young adult drinkers.

Addict Behav. 2018 07;82:105-108

Authors: Fairlie AM, Garcia TA, Lee CM, Lewis MA

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Few studies have examined associations between using alcohol only and using both alcohol and marijuana with sexual behavior on specific occasions. The current study examined alcohol and marijuana use during the most recent sexual experience in association with relationship characteristics, psychological issues, and condom use.
METHODS: Young adult drinkers aged 18-25 who reported not using a condom during sex in the past month were recruited nationally. An analytic subsample (N = 378) was identified based on substance use during the most recent sexual experience [53% female, 70% Caucasian; mean age = 22.42 years (SD = 1.90)]. Using logistic regression, two dummy codes compared the alcohol use only group (n = 197) and the both alcohol and marijuana group (n = 95) to the group who used neither substance (n = 86). Participant sex, drinking frequency, and number of sexual partners were included as covariates.
RESULTS: The alcohol only group and the both alcohol and marijuana group had greater odds of being with a casual acquaintance and loss of respect compared to the group who used neither substance. The alcohol only group had greater odds of being with someone they just met and embarrassment compared to the group who used neither substance. No associations were found for condom use or emotional difficulties.
CONCLUSIONS: Preventative interventions may need to address both alcohol and marijuana to more effectively reduce risky behaviors.

PMID: 29510295 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Insulin and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor synergistically promote astrocyte survival and proliferation in serum-free medium.

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 07:01
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Insulin and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor synergistically promote astrocyte survival and proliferation in serum-free medium.

J Neurosci Methods. 2018 09 01;307:240-247

Authors: Jia M, Shi Z, Yan X, Xu L, Dong L, Li J, Wang Y, Yang S, Yuan F

Abstract
BACKGROUND: In vitro systems allowing maintenance and experimentation on primary astrocyte cultures have been used for decades. Astrocyte cultures are most maintained in serum-containing medium which has been found to alter the morphology and gene profiles of astrocytes.
NEW METHOD: Here, we reported a new serum-free medium for astrocyte culture, which consisted of DMEM and NB media supplemented with insulin and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) (SF-I-H medium). Meanwhile FBS-containing (FBS) medium composed of DMEM medium containing 10% FBS were used for comparison study. Cerebral cortex was harvested from postnatal day 1 Wistar rats and brain cells were isolated and seeded to poly-L-lysine coated culture dishes after 15 min differential velocity adherence.
RESULTS: Compared with FBS medium, astrocytes in SF-I-H medium were smaller and exhibited process bearing morphologies. MTT assays showed that cell density and proliferation rate were higher in SF-I-H medium than in FBS medium all the time, and flow cytometry analysis revealed that SF-I-H medium promoted cell mitosis in a manner comparable to FBS medium. Consistently, western blot analysis further revealed that insulin and HB-EGF synergistically activated the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK1/2 signaling cascades as FBS.
COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHOD(S): Astrocytes cultured in SF-I-H medium grew faster than FBS medium.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results indicated that SF-I-H medium, in which cell morphology was similar with astrocytes in brain, was more effective for astrocyte survival and proliferation than FBS medium, providing a new cell model to study astrocyte functions without the interference of serum.

PMID: 29890195 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Perspective: Sistas In Science - Cracking the Glass Ceiling.

Sat, 10/12/2019 - 06:29
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Perspective: Sistas In Science - Cracking the Glass Ceiling.

Ethn Dis. 2018;28(4):575-578

Authors: Starlard-Davenport A, Rich A, Fasipe T, Lance EI, Adekola K, Forray A, Steed M, Fitzgerald A, Walker S, Pace BS

Abstract
In this perspective, we describe our experience as women of color scientists from diverse backgrounds and similar struggles embarking upon the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute-funded program called PRIDE (Programs to Increase Diversity among Underrepresented Minorities Engaged in Health-Related Research). Under the leadership of our mentor and friend, Betty Pace, MD, a renowned and successful African American physician-scientist, the PRIDE Program was designed to address the difficulties experienced by junior-level minority investigators in establishing independent research programs and negotiating tenure and full professor status at academic institutions. The strength of PRIDE's innovative formula was pairing us with external senior mentors and, importantly, allowing us to serve as peer mentors to each other. We believe this "Sister's Keeper" paradigm is one solution for women to overcome their limitations and extend understandings and best practices worldwide for science, medicine, and global health.

PMID: 30405303 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Glucocorticoid Receptor Transactivation Is Required for Glucocorticoid-Induced Ocular Hypertension and Glaucoma.

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 06:16
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Glucocorticoid Receptor Transactivation Is Required for Glucocorticoid-Induced Ocular Hypertension and Glaucoma.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019 05 01;60(6):1967-1978

Authors: Patel GC, Millar JC, Clark AF

Abstract
Purpose: Glucocorticoid (GC)-induced ocular hypertension (GC-OHT) is a serious side effect of prolonged GC therapy that can lead to glaucoma and permanent vision loss. GCs cause a plethora of changes in the trabecular meshwork (TM), an ocular tissue that regulates intraocular pressure (IOP). GCs act through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and the GR regulates transcription both through transactivation and transrepression. Many of the anti-inflammatory properties of GCs are mediated by GR transrepression, while GR transactivation largely accounts for GC metabolic effects and side effects of GC therapy. There is no evidence showing which of the two mechanisms plays a role in GC-OHT.
Methods: GRdim transgenic mice (which have active transrepression and impaired transactivation) and wild-type (WT) C57BL/6J mice received weekly periocular dexamethasone acetate (DEX-Ac) injections. IOP, outflow facilities, and biochemical changes to the TM were determined.
Results: GRdim mice did not develop GC-OHT after continued DEX treatment, while WT mice had significantly increased IOP and decreased outflow facilities. Both TM tissue in eyes of DEX-treated GRdim mice and cultured TM cells isolated from GRdim mice had reduced or no change in the expression of fibronectin, myocilin, collagen type I, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). GRdim mouse TM (MTM) cells also had a significant reduction in DEX-induced cytoskeletal changes, which was clearly seen in WT MTM cells.
Conclusions: We provide the first evidence for the role of GR transactivation in regulating GC-mediated gene expression in the TM and in the development of GC-OHT. This discovery suggests a novel therapeutic approach for treating ocular inflammation without causing GC-OHT and glaucoma.

PMID: 31050723 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Current state of Alzheimer's fluid biomarkers.

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 06:16
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Current state of Alzheimer's fluid biomarkers.

Acta Neuropathol. 2018 12;136(6):821-853

Authors: Molinuevo JL, Ayton S, Batrla R, Bednar MM, Bittner T, Cummings J, Fagan AM, Hampel H, Mielke MM, Mikulskis A, O'Bryant S, Scheltens P, Sevigny J, Shaw LM, Soares HD, Tong G, Trojanowski JQ, Zetterberg H, Blennow K

Abstract
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with a complex and heterogeneous pathophysiology. The number of people living with AD is predicted to increase; however, there are no disease-modifying therapies currently available and none have been successful in late-stage clinical trials. Fluid biomarkers measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or blood hold promise for enabling more effective drug development and establishing a more personalized medicine approach for AD diagnosis and treatment. Biomarkers used in drug development programmes should be qualified for a specific context of use (COU). These COUs include, but are not limited to, subject/patient selection, assessment of disease state and/or prognosis, assessment of mechanism of action, dose optimization, drug response monitoring, efficacy maximization, and toxicity/adverse reactions identification and minimization. The core AD CSF biomarkers Aβ42, t-tau, and p-tau are recognized by research guidelines for their diagnostic utility and are being considered for qualification for subject selection in clinical trials. However, there is a need to better understand their potential for other COUs, as well as identify additional fluid biomarkers reflecting other aspects of AD pathophysiology. Several novel fluid biomarkers have been proposed, but their role in AD pathology and their use as AD biomarkers have yet to be validated. In this review, we summarize some of the pathological mechanisms implicated in the sporadic AD and highlight the data for several established and novel fluid biomarkers (including BACE1, TREM2, YKL-40, IP-10, neurogranin, SNAP-25, synaptotagmin, α-synuclein, TDP-43, ferritin, VILIP-1, and NF-L) associated with each mechanism. We discuss the potential COUs for each biomarker.

PMID: 30488277 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Assessing Health Needs in African American Churches: A Mixed-Methods Study.

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 15:03
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Assessing Health Needs in African American Churches: A Mixed-Methods Study.

J Relig Health. 2019 Oct 08;:

Authors: Su D, Garg A, Wiens J, Meyer E, Cai G

Abstract
Among major racial and ethnic groups in the USA, African Americans are the most religious, and faith-based organizations play an important role in health promotion for African Americans. This study aimed to assess health needs in African American churches using a mixed-methods approach. Based on quantitative and qualitative data collected from eight African American churches in Nebraska in 2017, the most prevalent chronic conditions among participating African American church members (n = 388) included hypertension (60.8%), allergies (41.0%), arthritis (36.4%), high cholesterol (35.8%), and diabetes (28.1%). Significant predictors of fair or poor health were identified as male sex, unemployment, delayed utilization of health care in the past 12 months due to cost, lower frequency of church attendance, and feeling down, depressed, or hopeless in the past 2 weeks. Pastors from participating churches identified cost as one of the primary barriers to providing church-based health services. There were substantial unmet health needs in African American faith communities, especially in the areas of chronic disease prevention and management, and churches would need more support to realize their full potential in faith-based health promotion.

PMID: 31595445 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

AMPK Signaling Regulates the Age-Related Decline of Hippocampal Neurogenesis.

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 15:03
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AMPK Signaling Regulates the Age-Related Decline of Hippocampal Neurogenesis.

Aging Dis. 2019 Oct;10(5):1058-1074

Authors: Wang BZ, Yang JJ, Zhang H, Smith CA, Jin K

Abstract
The global incidence of age-associated neurological diseases is expected to rise with increasingly greying societies. In the aged brain, there is a dramatic decrease in the number of stem cells, which is a main cause for the decrease in brain function. Intrinsic factors, such as cell metabolism, have been studied but its role in neurogenesis is still unknown. Therefore, this study sought to establish whether AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling does indeed regulate hippocampal neurogenesis in the aged brain. We found that i) AMPKα2 was the predominant catalytic subunit in the subgranular and subventricular zones; ii) AMPK activation was at a significantly higher level in the aged vs. young hippocampus; iii) short term (7 days) treatment with selective AMPK signaling inhibitor Compound C (10 mg/kg/day, i.p.) significantly increased the numbers of newborn (BrdU+), Type 2 (MCM2+), and Type 3 (DCX+) neural stem cells, but not Type 1 (GFAP+/Sox2+) cells, in the aged hippocampus. Taken together, our results demonstrate that AMPK signaling plays a critical role in the age-related decline of hippocampal neurogenesis.

PMID: 31595203 [PubMed]

Utility of Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling in Point of Care Decisions: An Example using Digoxin dosing in Continuous Venovenous Hemodiafiltration.

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 15:03
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Utility of Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling in Point of Care Decisions: An Example using Digoxin dosing in Continuous Venovenous Hemodiafiltration.

Ther Drug Monit. 2019 Sep 30;:

Authors: Srinivasan M, Hirani R, Tsiu M, Kabani K, Chaturvedula A, Palasik B

Abstract
We describe the case of a patient on continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration (CVVHDF) with atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response (RVR) and hypotension requiring vasopressor use, which warranted digoxin therapy. In the absence of guidelines specifying appropriate digoxin dosing in patients undergoing CVVHDF, anecdotal evidence-guided digoxin dosing was performed for this patient using plasma digoxin concentration-based therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM). We use this case to demonstrate the potential role of physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling in assisting therapeutic decision making.

PMID: 31593032 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The Federal Trade Commission's mandated Four Loko labeling fails to facilitate accurate estimation of alcohol content by college students.

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 15:03
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The Federal Trade Commission's mandated Four Loko labeling fails to facilitate accurate estimation of alcohol content by college students.

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2019 Oct 08;:1-8

Authors: Rossheim ME, Yurasek AM, Greene KM, Gonzalez-Pons KM, Barry AE, Thombs DL, Trangenstein PJ, Nelson C, Cavazos T, Treffers RD, Jernigan DH

Abstract
Background: Four Loko, the leading supersized alcopop brand, is a pre-mixed alcoholic beverage containing up to 5.5 standard alcoholic drinks in a can. In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandated the addition to Four Loko cans of a label indicating its alcohol content in standard drinks, presented as "alcohol per serving" and "servings per container." Objective: The current study investigated whether college students accurately estimate the alcohol content in cans of Four Loko bearing the FTC mandated labels. Method: Undergraduate student drinkers (n = 833; 51.6% women) in three states (Florida, Montana, and Virginia) were provided an empty Watermelon Four Loko can and asked to determine the number of standard drinks it contained, using 12-ounce regular beer (Budweiser) equivalents. In Florida and Virginia, Watermelon Four Loko contains 4.70 standard alcoholic drinks; in Montana, it contains 3.13. Results: More than 60% of Florida students and more than 70% of Virginia students underestimated Four Loko's alcohol content by one or more standard drinks, compared to 45% of Montana students. Multivariable logistic regression analysis found the following variables were associated with greater odds of underestimating Four Loko's alcohol content by one or more standard alcoholic drinks: being female (AOR = 2.2), having never seen nor heard of Four Loko (AOR = 1.9), and residing in Florida (AOR = 1.7) or Virginia (AOR = 2.8) versus Montana. Conclusions: Students were far less likely to underestimate alcohol content for 8% alcohol-by-volume (abv) cans compared to those with higher alcohol concentrations. Thus, policies restricting supersized alcopops' abv may help consumers better estimate their alcohol content.

PMID: 31592678 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Patterns of Young Adult Social Roles Transitions Across 24 Months and Subsequent Substance Use and Mental Health.

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 05:52

Patterns of Young Adult Social Roles Transitions Across 24 Months and Subsequent Substance Use and Mental Health.

J Youth Adolesc. 2019 Oct 07;:

Authors: Patrick ME, Rhew IC, Duckworth JC, Lewis MA, Abdallah DA, Lee CM

Abstract
Young adults experience social role transitions across multiple life domains, and a deeper understanding of the ways in which these simultaneous transition experiences are associated with substance use and mental health will inform targeted interventions for this population. Data from the current study include24 repeated monthly assessments of young adults (N = 778; 56% female; age range 18 to 24 at baseline; 60% White, 18% Asian, 12% Multiracial, 5% Black or African American, 1% American Indian, 1% Pacific Islander, 3% Other, 9% Latinx) and outcomes 6 months later. Monthly assessments across 2 years were used to identify latent classes of frequency of social role transitions in four key domains (education, residential, employment, and romantic relationships) and associations between these classes and later outcomes. Three classes of social role transitions were identified: Infrequent Transitions (30.4%), Transitions except in Relationships (38.5%), and Frequent Transitions (31.1%). Compared to the Infrequent Transitions class, the other classes had greater typical drinking and hazardous alcohol use six months later; the Frequent Transitions class also had more hazardous cannabis use, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms. Young adults experiencing frequent transitions across multiple domains appear to be at risk for substance use and mental health problems and may benefit from targeted intervention to address substance use and mental health issues.

PMID: 31588973 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

How often parents make decisions with their children is associated with obesity.

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 05:52
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How often parents make decisions with their children is associated with obesity.

BMC Pediatr. 2018 09 25;18(1):311

Authors: Rahman A, Fulda KG, Franks SF, Fernando SI, Habiba N, Muzaffar O

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Evidence supports that better parental involvement and communication are related to reduced obesity in children. Parent-child collaborative decision-making is associated with lower BMI among children; while child-unilateral and parent-unilateral decision-making are associated with overweight children. However, little is known about associations between joint decision-making and obesity among Hispanic youth. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the relationship between parent-child decision making and obesity in a sample of predominantly Hispanic adolescents.
METHODS: Data from two studies focused on risk for type II diabetes were analyzed. A total of 298 adolescents 10-14 years of age and their parent/legal guardian were included. Parents completed questionnaires related to psychosocial, family functioning, and environmental factors. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the association between obesity (≥ 95th percentile for age and gender), the dependent variable, and how often the parent felt they made decisions together with their child (rarely/never, sometimes, usually, always), the primary independent variable. Covariates included gender, age, ethnicity, total family income, and days participated in a physical activity for at least 20 min. ORs and 95% CIs were calculated.
RESULTS: Adolescent participants were predominantly Hispanic n = 233 (78.2%), and approximately half n = 150 (50.3%) were female. In multivariate analyses, adolescents who rarely/never made decisions together with their family had significantly higher odds (OR = 3.50; 95% CI [1.25-9.83]) of being obese than those who always did. No association was observed between either those who sometimes make decisions together or those who usually did and those that always did.
CONCLUSIONS: Parents and children not making decisions together, an essential aspect of parent-child communication, is associated with increased childhood obesity. The results of our study contribute to evidence of parental involvement in decision-making as an important determinant of adolescent health. Further studies should explore temporal relationships between parenting or communication style and obesity.

PMID: 30253768 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Massively parallel sequencing of 12 autosomal STRs in Cannabis sativa.

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 05:52
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Massively parallel sequencing of 12 autosomal STRs in Cannabis sativa.

Electrophoresis. 2018 11;39(22):2906-2911

Authors: Houston R, Mayes C, King JL, Hughes-Stamm S, Gangitano D

Abstract
Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) is an emerging technology in the field of forensic genetics that provides distinct advantages compared to capillary electrophoresis. This study offers a proof of concept that MPS technologies can be applied to genotype autosomal STRs in Cannabis sativa. A custom panel for MPS was designed to interrogate 12 cannabis-specific STR loci by sequence rather than size. A simple workflow was implemented to integrate the custom PCR multiplex into a workflow compatible with the Ion Plus Fragment Library Kit, Ion™ Chef, and Ion™ S5 System. For data sorting and sequence analysis, a custom configuration file was designed for STRait Razor v3 to parse and extract STR sequence data. This study represents a preliminary investigation of sequence variation for 12 autosomal STR loci in 16 cannabis samples. Full concordance was observed between the MPS and CE data. Results revealed intra-repeat variation in eight loci where the nominal or size-based allele was identical, but variances were discovered in the sequence of the flanking region. Although only a small number of cannabis samples were evaluated, this study demonstrates that more informative STR data can be obtained via MPS.

PMID: 30221375 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Current state-of-art of STR sequencing in forensic genetics.

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 05:52
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Current state-of-art of STR sequencing in forensic genetics.

Electrophoresis. 2018 11;39(21):2655-2668

Authors: Alonso A, Barrio PA, Müller P, Köcher S, Berger B, Martin P, Bodner M, Willuweit S, Parson W, Roewer L, Budowle B

Abstract
The current state of validation and implementation strategies of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) technology for the analysis of STR markers for forensic genetics use is described, covering the topics of the current catalog of commercial MPS-STR panels, leading MPS-platforms, and MPS-STR data analysis tools. In addition, the developmental and internal validation studies carried out to date to evaluate reliability, sensitivity, mixture analysis, concordance, and the ability to analyze challenged samples are summarized. The results of various MPS-STR population studies that showed a large number of new STR sequence variants that increase the power of discrimination in several forensically relevant loci are also presented. Finally, various initiatives developed by several international projects and standardization (or guidelines) groups to facilitate application of MPS technology for STR marker analyses are discussed in regard to promoting a standard STR sequence nomenclature, performing population studies to detect sequence variants, and developing a universal system to translate sequence variants into a simple STR nomenclature (numbers and letters) compatible with national STR databases.

PMID: 29750373 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Report from the STRAND Working Group on the 2019 STR sequence nomenclature meeting.

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 05:44

Report from the STRAND Working Group on the 2019 STR sequence nomenclature meeting.

Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2019 Sep 21;43:102165

Authors: Gettings KB, Ballard D, Bodner M, Borsuk LA, King JL, Parson W, Phillips C

Abstract
This report summarizes topics discussed at the STR sequence nomenclature meeting hosted by the STRAND Working Group in April 2019. Invited attendees for this meeting included researchers known-to-us to be developing STR sequence-based nomenclature schemata, scientific representatives from vendors developing STR sequence bioinformatic methods, DNA intelligence database curators, and academic experts in STR genomics. The goal of this meeting was to provide a forum for individuals developing nomenclature schemata to present and discuss their ideas, encouraging mutual awareness, identification of differences in approaches, opposing aspects, and opportunities for parallelization while some approaches are still under development.

PMID: 31586814 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Artificial fingerprints for cross-comparison of forensic DNA and protein recovery methods.

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 05:11

Artificial fingerprints for cross-comparison of forensic DNA and protein recovery methods.

PLoS One. 2019;14(10):e0223170

Authors: LeSassier DS, Schulte KQ, Manley TE, Smith AR, Powals ML, Albright NC, Ludolph BC, Weber KL, Woerner AE, Gardner MW, Hewitt FC

Abstract
Quantitative genomic and proteomic evaluation of human latent fingerprint depositions represents a challenge within the forensic field, due to the high variability in the amount of DNA and protein initially deposited. To better assess recovery techniques for touch depositions, we present a method to produce simple and customizable artificial fingerprints. These artificial fingerprint samples include the primary components of a typical latent fingerprint, specifically sebaceous fluid, eccrine perspiration, extracellular DNA, and proteinaceous epidermal skin material (i.e., shed skin cells). A commercially available emulsion of sebaceous and eccrine perspiration material provides a chemically-relevant suspension solution for fingerprint deposition, simplifying artificial fingerprint production. Extracted human genomic DNA is added to accurately mimic the extracellular DNA content of a typical latent print and comparable DNA yields are recovered from the artificial prints relative to human prints across surface types. Capitalizing on recent advancements in the use of protein sequence identification for human forensic analysis, these samples also contain a representative quantity of protein, originating from epidermal skin cells collected from the fingers and palms of volunteers. Proteomic sequencing by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis indicates a high level of protein overlap between artificial and latent prints. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD015445. By including known quantities of DNA and protein into each artificial print, this method enables total DNA and protein recovery to be quantitatively assessed across different sample collection and extraction methods to better evaluate extraction efficiency. Collectively, these artificial fingerprint samples are simple to make, highly versatile and customizable, and accurately represent the biochemical composition and biological signatures of human fingerprints.

PMID: 31581206 [PubMed - in process]

Building a Culture of Safety: Relearning Organizational Behavior.

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 05:04
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Building a Culture of Safety: Relearning Organizational Behavior.

Int Anesthesiol Clin. 2019;57(3):12-24

Authors: DeSocio PA, Garzon MP, Hicks MR

PMID: 31577234 [PubMed - in process]

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