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ItemAll-fiber-optic endoscopy platform for simultaneous OCT and fluorescence imaging(OpticsInfoBase, 2012-10-12) Mavadia, Jessica; Xi, Jiefeng; Chen, Yongping; Xingde, Li1We present an all-fiber-optically based endoscope platform for simultaneous optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescence imaging. This design entails the use of double-clad fiber (DCF) in the endoscope for delivery of OCT source and fluorescence excitation light while collecting the backscattered OCT signal through the single-mode core and fluorescence emission through the large inner cladding of the DCF. Circumferential beam scanning was performed by rotating a 45° reflector using a miniature DC motor at the distal end of the endoscope. Additionally, a custom DCF coupler and a wavelength division multiplexer (WDM) were utilized to seamlessly integrate both imaging modalities to achieve an entirely fiber-optically based dual-modality imaging system. We demonstrated simultaneous intraluminal 3D OCT and 2D (surface) fluorescence imaging in ex vivo rabbit esophagus using the dual-modal endomicroscopy system. Structural morphologies (provided by OCT) and fluorophore distribution (provided by the fluorescence module) could be clearly visualized, suggesting the potential of the dual-modality system for future in vivo and clinical applications. ItemAntepartum depression and anxiety associated with disability in African women : cross-sectional results from the CDS Study in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire(PLoS Organization, 2012-10-22) Bindt, Carola; Appiah-Poku, John; Te Bonle, Marguerite; Schoppen, Stefanie; Feldt, Torsten; Barkmann, Claus; Koffi, Mathurin; Baum, Jana; Nguah, Samuel Blay; Tagbor, Harry; Guo, Nan; N’Goran, Eliezer; Ehrhardt, StephenBackground: Common mental disorders, particularly unipolar depressive disorders, rank among the top 5 with respect to the global burden of disease. As a major public health concern, antepartum depression and anxiety not only affects the individual woman, but also her offspring. Data on the prevalence of common mental disorders in pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa are scarce. We provide results from Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Methods: We subsequently recruited and screened n=1030 women in the third trimester of their pregnancy for depressed mood, general anxiety, and perceived disability using the Patient Health Questionnaire depression module (PHQ-9), the 7-item Anxiety Scale (GAD-7), and the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHO-DAS 2.0, 12-item version). In addition to estimates of means and prevalence, a hierarchical linear regression model was calculated to determine the influence of antepartum depression and anxiety on disability. Results: In Ghana, 26.6% of women showed substantially depressed mood. In Côte d'Ivoire, this figure was even higher (32.9%). Clear indications for a generalized anxiety disorder were observed in 11.4% and 17.4% of pregnant women, respectively. Comorbidity of both conditions was common, affecting about 7.7% of Ghanaian and 12.6% of Ivorian participants. Pregnant women in both countries reported a high degree of disability regarding everyday activity limitations and participation restrictions. Controlled for country and age, depression and anxiety accounted for 33% of variance in the disability score. Conclusions: Antepartum depression and anxiety were highly prevalent in our sample and contributed substantially to perceived disability. These serious threats to health must be further investigated and more data are needed to comprehensively quantify the problem in sub-Saharan Africa. ItemAPOBEC3G-Augmented Stem Cell Therapy to Modulate HIV Replication: A Computational Study(PLoS Organization, 2013-05-22) Mac Gabhann, Feilim; Hosseini, IrajThe interplay between the innate immune system restriction factor APOBEC3G and the HIV protein Vif is a key host-retrovirus interaction. APOBEC3G can counteract HIV infection in at least two ways: by inducing lethal mutations on the viral cDNA; and by blocking steps in reverse transcription and viral integration into the host genome. HIV-Vif blocks these antiviral functions of APOBEC3G by impeding its encapsulation. Nonetheless, it has been shown that overexpression of APOBEC3G, or interfering with APOBEC3G-Vif binding, can efficiently block in vitro HIV replication. Some clinical studies have also suggested that high levels of APOBEC3G expression in HIV patients are correlated with increased CD4+ T cell count and low levels of viral load; however, other studies have reported contradictory results and challenged this observation. Stem cell therapy to replace a patient's immune cells with cells that are more HIV-resistant is a promising approach. Pre-implantation gene transfection of these stem cells can augment the HIV-resistance of progeny CD4+ T cells. As a protein, APOBEC3G has the advantage that it can be genetically encoded, while small molecules cannot. We have developed a mathematical model to quantitatively study the effects on in vivo HIV replication of therapeutic delivery of CD34+ stem cells transfected to overexpress APOBEC3G. Our model suggests that stem cell therapy resulting in a high fraction of APOBEC3G-overexpressing CD4+ T cells can effectively inhibit in vivo HIV replication. We extended our model to simulate the combination of APOBEC3G therapy with other biological activities, to estimate the likelihood of improved outcomes. ItemBacterial expression strategies for several Sus scrofa diacylglycerol kinase alpha constructs: solubility challenges.(Nature Publishing Group, 2013-04-05) Petro, Elizabeth J.; Raben, Daniel M.We pursued several strategies for expressing either full-length Sus scrofa diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) alpha or the catalytic domain (alphacat) in Escherichia coli. Alphacat could be extracted, refolded, and purified from inclusion bodies, but when subjected to analytical gel filtration chromatography, it elutes in the void volume, in what we conclude are microscopic aggregates unsuitable for x-ray crystallography. Adding glutathione S-transferase, thioredoxin, or maltose binding protein as N-terminal fusion tags did not improve alphacat's solubility. Coexpressing with bacterial chaperones increased the yield of alphacat in the supernatant after high-speed centrifugation, but the protein still elutes in the void upon analytical gel filtration chromatography. We believe our work will be of interest to those interested in the structure of eukaryotic DGKs, so that they know which expression strategies have already been tried, as well as to those interested in protein folding and those interested in chaperone/target-protein interactions ItemBasic linker of macroH2A stabilizes DNA at the entry/exit site of the nucleosome(Oxford University Press, 2012-06-29) Chakravarthy, Srinivas; Patel, Ashok; Bowman, Gregory D.MacroH2A is a histone H2A variant that is typically found in heterochromatic regions of the genome. A positively charged linker that connects the histone-fold with the macro-domain was suggested to have DNA-binding properties, and has been shown to promote oligomerization of chromatin fibers. Here we examine the influence of this basic linker on DNA of mononucleosomes. We find that the macro-linker reduces accessibility to extranucleosomal DNA, and appears to increase compaction of the nucleosome. These properties arise from interactions between the H1-like basic linker region and DNA around the entry/exit site, which increases protection of nucleosomal DNA from exonuclease III digestion by 10 bp. By stabilizing the wrapping of DNA around the histone core, this basic linker of macroH2A may alter the distribution of nucleosome-associated factors, and potentially contribute to the more compacted nature of heterochromatin. ItemCD36 and Fyn kinase mediate malaria-induced lung endothelial barrier dysfunction in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei.(PLoS Organization, 2013-08-15) Anidi, Ifeanyi U.; Servinsky, Laura E.; Rentsendorj, Otgonchimeg; Stephens, R. Scott; Scott, Alan L.; Pearse, David B.Severe malaria can trigger acute lung injury characterized by pulmonary edema resulting from increased endothelial permeability. However, the mechanism through which lung fluid conductance is altered during malaria remains unclear. To define the role that the scavenger receptor CD36 may play in mediating this response, C57BL/6J (WT) and CD36-/- mice were infected with P. berghei ANKA and monitored for changes in pulmonary endothelial barrier function employing an isolated perfused lung system. WT lungs demonstrated a >10-fold increase in two measures of paracellular fluid conductance and a decrease in the albumin reflection coefficient (σalb) compared to control lungs indicating a loss of barrier function. In contrast, malaria-infected CD36-/- mice had near normal fluid conductance but a similar reduction in σalb. In WT mice, lung sequestered iRBCs demonstrated production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To determine whether knockout of CD36 could protect against ROS-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction, mouse lung microvascular endothelial monolayers (MLMVEC) from WT and CD36-/- mice were exposed to H2O2. Unlike WT monolayers, which showed dose-dependent decreases in transendothelial electrical resistance (TER) from H2O2 indicating loss of barrier function, CD36-/- MLMVEC demonstrated dose-dependent increases in TER. The differences between responses in WT and CD36-/- endothelial cells correlated with important differences in the intracellular compartmentalization of the CD36-associated Fyn kinase. Malaria infection increased total lung Fyn levels in CD36-/- lungs compared to WT, but this increase was due to elevated production of the inactive form of Fyn further suggesting a dysregulation of Fyn-mediated signaling. The importance of Fyn in CD36-dependent endothelial signaling was confirmed using in vitro Fyn knockdown as well as Fyn-/- mice, which were also protected from H2O2- and malaria-induced lung endothelial leak, respectively. Our results demonstrate that CD36 and Fyn kinase are critical mediators of the increased lung endothelial fluid conductance caused by malaria infection. ItemCharacterizing optical properties of nano contrast agents by using cross-referencing OCT imaging.(Optical Society of America, 2013-05-09) Xi, Jiefeng; Chen, Yongping; Li, XingdeWe report a cross-referencing method to quickly and accurately characterize the optical properties of nanoparticles including the extinction, scattering, absorption and backscattering cross sections by using an OCT system alone. Among other applications, such a method is particularly useful for developing nanoparticle-based OCT imaging contrast agents. The method involves comparing two depth-dependent OCT intensity signals collected from two samples (with one having and the other not having the nanoparticles), to extract the extinction and backscattering coefficient, from which the absorption coefficient can be further deduced (with the help of the established scattering theories for predicting the ratio of the backscattering to total scattering cross section). The method has been experimentally validated using test nanoparticles and was then applied to characterizing gold nanocages. With the aid of this method, we were able to successfully synthesize scattering dominant gold nanocages for the first time and demonstrated the highest contrast enhancement ever achieved by the gold nanocages (and by any nanoparticles of a similar size and concentration) in an in vivo mouse tumor model. This method also enables quantitative analysis of contrast enhancement and provides a general guideline on choosing the optimal concentration and optical properties for the nanoparticle-based OCT contrast agents. ItemClinical study reports of randomised controlled trials: an exploratory review of previously confidential industry reports(BMJ Publishing Group, 2013-02-26) Doshi, Peter; Jefferson, TomOBJECTIVE: To explore the structure and content of a non-random sample of clinical study reports (CSRs) to guide clinicians and systematic reviewers. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched public sources and lodged Freedom of Information requests for previously confidential CSRs primarily written by the industry for regulators. SELECTION CRITERIA: CSRs reporting sufficient information for extraction ('adequate'). PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Presence and length of essential elements of trial design and reporting and compression factor (ratio of page length for CSRs compared to its published counterpart in a scientific journal). DATA EXTRACTION: Data were extracted on standard forms and crosschecked for accuracy. RESULTS: We assembled a population of 78 CSRs (covering 90 randomised controlled trials; 144 610 pages total) dated 1991-2011 of 14 pharmaceuticals. Report synopses had a median length of 5 pages, efficacy evaluation 13.5 pages, safety evaluation 17 pages, attached tables 337 pages, trial protocol 62 pages, statistical analysis plan 15 pages and individual efficacy and safety listings had a median length of 447 and 109.5 pages, respectively. While 16 (21%) of CSRs contained completed case report forms, these were accessible to us in only one case (765 pages representing 16 individuals). Compression factors ranged between 1 and 8805. CONCLUSIONS: Clinical study reports represent a hitherto mostly hidden and untapped source of detailed and exhaustive data on each trial. They should be consulted by independent parties interested in a detailed record of a clinical trial, and should form the basic unit for evidence synthesis as their use is likely to minimise the problem of reporting bias. We cannot say whether our sample is representative and whether our conclusions are generalisable to an undefined and undefinable population of CSRs. ItemClinicalTrials.gov registration can supplement information in abstracts for systematic reviews: a comparisonstudy.(BioMed Central, 2013-06-18) Scherer, Roberta W.; Huynh, Lynn; Ervin, Ann Margret; Taylor, Jakeisha; Dickersin, KayBACKGROUND: The inclusion of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported in conference abstracts in systematic reviews is controversial, partly because study design information and risk of bias is often not fully reported in the abstract. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) requires trial registration of abstracts submitted for their annual conference as of 2007. Our goal was to assess the feasibility of obtaining study design information critical to systematic reviews, but not typically included in conference abstracts, from the trial registration record. METHODS: We reviewed all conference abstracts presented at the ARVO meetings from 2007 through 2009, and identified 496 RCTs; 154 had a single matching registration record in ClinicalTrials.gov. Two individuals independently extracted information from the abstract and the ClinicalTrials.gov record, including study design, sample size, inclusion criteria, masking, interventions, outcomes, funder, and investigator name and contact information. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus. We assessed the frequencies of reporting variables appearing in the abstract and the trial register and assessed agreement of information reported in both sources. RESULTS: We found a substantial amount of study design information in the ClinicalTrials.gov record that was unavailable in the corresponding conference abstract, including eligibility criteria associated with gender (83%; 128/154); masking or blinding of study participants (53%, 82/154), persons administering treatment (30%, 46/154), and persons measuring the outcomes (40%, 61/154)); and number of study centers (58%; 90/154). Only 34% (52/154) of abstracts explicitly described a primary outcome, but a primary outcome was included in the "Primary Outcome" field in the ClinicalTrials.gov record for 82% (126/154) of studies. One or more study interventions were reported in each abstract, but agreed exactly with those reported in ClinicalTrials.gov only slightly more than half the time (88/154, 56%). We found no contact information for study investigators in the abstract, but this information was available in less than one quarter of ClinicalTrial.gov records (17%; 26/154). CONCLUSION: RCT design information not reported in conference abstracts is often available in the corresponding ClinicalTrials.gov registration record. Sometimes there is conflicting information reported in the two sources and further contact with the trial investigators may still be required. ItemComparison of Sum Absolute QRST Integral, and Temporal Variability in Depolarization and Vectorcardiography Approach, in Healthy Men and Women(PLoS Organization, 2013-02-22) Sur, Sanjoli; Han, Lichy; Tereshchenko, Larisa G.BACKGROUND: Recently we showed the predictive value of sum absolute QRST integral (SAI QRST) and repolarization lability for risk stratification of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in heart failure patients. The goal of this study was to compare SAI QRST and metrics of depolarization and repolarization variability in healthy men and women. METHODS: Orthogonal ECGs were recorded at rest for 10 minutes in 160 healthy men and women (mean age 39.6±14.6, 80 men). Mean spatial TT' angle, and normalized variances of T loop area, of spatial T vector amplitude, of QT interval and Tpeak-Tend area were measured for assessment of repolarization lability. Normalized variances of spatial QRS vector and QRS loop area characterized variability of depolarization. In addition, variability indices (VI) were calculated to adjust for normalized heart rate variance. SAI QRST was measured as the averaged arithmetic sum of areas under the QRST curve. RESULTS: Men were characterized by shorter QTc (430.3±21.7 vs. 444.7±22.2 ms; P<0.0001) and larger SAI QRST (282.1±66.7 vs. 204.9±58.5 mV*ms; P<0.0001). Repolarization lability negatively correlated with spatial T vector amplitude. Adjusted by normalized heart rate variance, QT variability index was significantly higher in women than in men (-1.54±0.38 vs. -1.70±0.33; P = 0.017). However, in multivariate logistic regression after adjustment for body surface area, QTc, and spatial T vector amplitude, healthy men had 1.5-3 fold higher probability of having larger repolarization lability, as compared to healthy women (T vector amplitude variability index odds ratio 3.88 (95%CI 1.4-11.1; P = 0.012). CONCLUSIONS: Healthy men more likely than women have larger repolarization liability. ItemComputational Model of Gab1/2-Dependent VEGFR2 Pathway to Akt Activation.(PLoS Organization, 2013-06-21) Tan, Wan Hua; Popel, Aleksander S.; Mac Gabhann, FeilimVascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signal transduction is central to angiogenesis in development and in pathological conditions such as cancer, retinopathy and ischemic diseases. However, no detailed mass-action models of VEGF receptor signaling have been developed. We constructed and validated the first computational model of VEGFR2 trafficking and signaling, to study the opposing roles of Gab1 and Gab2 in regulation of Akt phosphorylation in VEGF-stimulated endothelial cells. Trafficking parameters were optimized against 5 previously published in vitro experiments, and the model was validated against six independent published datasets. The model showed agreement at several key nodes, involving scaffolding proteins Gab1, Gab2 and their complexes with Shp2. VEGFR2 recruitment of Gab1 is greater in magnitude, slower, and more sustained than that of Gab2. As Gab2 binds VEGFR2 complexes more transiently than Gab1, VEGFR2 complexes can recycle and continue to participate in other signaling pathways. Correspondingly, the simulation results show a log-linear relationship between a decrease in Akt phosphorylation and Gab1 knockdown while a linear relationship was observed between an increase in Akt phosphorylation and Gab2 knockdown. Global sensitivity analysis demonstrated the importance of initial-concentration ratios of antagonistic molecular species (Gab1/Gab2 and PI3K/Shp2) in determining Akt phosphorylation profiles. It also showed that kinetic parameters responsible for transient Gab2 binding affect the system at specific nodes. This model can be expanded to study multiple signaling contexts and receptor crosstalk and can form a basis for investigation of therapeutic approaches, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), overexpression of key signaling proteins or knockdown experiments. ItemConsequences of replacing EGFR juxtamembrane domain with an unstructured sequence.(Nature Publishing Group, 2012-11-14) He, Lijuan; Hristova, KalinaEGFR is the best studied receptor tyrosine kinase. Yet, a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of EGFR signaling is lacking, despite very active research in the field. In this paper, we investigate the role of the juxtamembrane (JM) domain in EGFR signaling by replacing it with a (GGS)(10) unstructured sequence. We probe the effect of this replacement on (i) EGFR phosphorylation, (ii) EGFR dimerization and (iii) ligand (EGF) binding. We show that the replacement of EGFR JM domain with a (GGS)(10) unstructured linker completely abolishes the phosphorylation of all tyrosine residues, without measurable effects on receptor dimerization or ligand binding. Our results suggest that the JM domain does not stabilize the inactive EGFR dimer in the absence of ligand, and is likely critical only for the last step of EGFR activation, the ligand-induced transition from the inactive to active dimer. ItemCost-effective therapeutic hypothermia treatment device for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy(Dove Press, 2012-11-18) Kim, John J.; Buchbinder, Nathan; Ammanuel, Simon; Kim, Robert; Moore, Erika; O’Donnell, Neil; Lee, Jennifer K.; Kulikowicz, Ewa; Acharya, Soumyadipta; Allen, Robert H.; Lee, Ryan W.; Johnston, Michael V.Despite recent advances in neonatal care and monitoring, asphyxia globally accounts for 23% of the 4 million annual deaths of newborns, and leads to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Occurring in five of 1000 live-born infants globally and even more in developing countries, HIE is a serious problem that causes death in 25%–50% of affected neonates and neurological disability to at least 25% of survivors. In order to prevent the damage caused by HIE, our invention provides an effective whole-body cooling of the neonates by utilizing evaporation and an endothermic reaction. Our device is composed of basic electronics, clay pots, sand, and urea-based instant cold pack powder. A larger clay pot, lined with nearly 5 cm of sand, contains a smaller pot, where the neonate will be placed for therapeutic treatment. When the sand is mixed with instant cold pack urea powder and wetted with water, the device can extract heat from inside to outside and maintain the inner pot at 17°C for more than 24 hours with monitoring by LED lights and thermistors. Using a piglet model, we confirmed that our device fits the specific parameters of therapeutic hypothermia, lowering the body temperature to 33.5°C with a 1°C margin of error. After the therapeutic hypothermia treatment, warming is regulated by adjusting the amount of water added and the location of baby inside the device. Our invention uniquely limits the amount of electricity required to power and operate the device compared with current expensive and high-tech devices available in the United States. Our device costs a maximum of 40 dollars and is simple enough to be used in neonatal intensive care units in developing countries. ItemCutaneous collateral axonal sprouting re-innervates the skin component and restores sensation of denervated Swine osteomyocutaneous alloflaps.(PLoS Organization, 2013-10-18) Ibrahim, Zuhaib; Ebenezer, Gigi; Christensen, Joani M.; Sarhane, Karim A.; Hauer, Peter; Cooney, Damon S.; Sacks, Justin M.; Schneeberger, Stefan; Lee, W. P. Andrew; Polydefkis, Michael; Brandacher, GeraldReconstructive transplantation such as extremity and face transplantation is a viable treatment option for select patients with devastating tissue loss. Sensorimotor recovery is a critical determinant of overall success of such transplants. Although motor function recovery has been extensively studied, mechanisms of sensory re-innervation are not well established. Recent clinical reports of face transplants confirm progressive sensory improvement even in cases where optimal repair of sensory nerves was not achieved. Two forms of sensory nerve regeneration are known. In regenerative sprouting, axonal outgrowth occurs from the transected nerve stump while in collateral sprouting, reinnervation of denervated tissue occurs through growth of uninjured axons into the denervated tissue. The latter mechanism may be more important in settings where transected sensory nerves cannot be re-apposed. In this study, denervated osteomyocutaneous alloflaps (hind- limb transplants) from Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)-defined MGH miniature swine were performed to specifically evaluate collateral axonal sprouting for cutaneous sensory re-innervation. The skin component of the flap was externalized and serial skin sections extending from native skin to the grafted flap were biopsied. In order to visualize regenerating axonal structures in the dermis and epidermis, 50 um frozen sections were immunostained against axonal and Schwann cell markers. In all alloflaps, collateral axonal sprouts from adjacent recipient skin extended into the denervated skin component along the dermal-epidermal junction from the periphery towards the center. On day 100 post-transplant, regenerating sprouts reached 0.5 cm into the flap centripetally. Eight months following transplant, epidermal fibers were visualized 1.5 cm from the margin (rate of regeneration 0.06 mm per day). All animals had pinprick sensation in the periphery of the transplanted skin within 3 months post-transplant. Restoration of sensory input through collateral axonal sprouting can revive interaction with the environment; restore defense mechanisms and aid in cortical re-integration of vascularized composite allografts. ItemDecoupling nucleosome recognition from DNA binding dramatically alters the properties of the Chd1 chromatin remodeler(Oxford University Press, 2012-12-28) Patel, Ashok; Chakravarthy, Srinivas; Morrone, Seamus; Nodelman, Ilana M.; McKnight, Jeffrey N.; Bowman, Gregory D.Chromatin remodelers can either organize or disrupt nucleosomal arrays, yet the mechanisms specifying these opposing actions are not clear. Here, we show that the outcome of nucleosome sliding by Chd1 changes dramatically depending on how the chromatin remodeler is targeted to nucleosomes. Using a Chd1–streptavidin fusion remodeler, we found that targeting via biotinylated DNA resulted in directional sliding towards the recruitment site, whereas targeting via biotinylated histones produced a distribution of nucleosome positions. Remarkably, the fusion remodeler shifted nucleosomes with biotinylated histones up to 50bp off the ends of DNA and was capable of reducing negative supercoiling of plasmids containing biotinylated chromatin, similar to remodelling characteristics observed for SWI/ SNF-type remodelers. These data suggest that forming a stable attachment to nucleosomes via histones, and thus lacking sensitivity to extranucleosomal DNA, seems to be sufficient for allowing a chromatin remodeler to possess SWI/SNF-like disruptive properties. ItemDerepression of Cancer/Testis Antigens in cancer is associated with distinct patterns of DNA(BioMed Central, 2013-03-22) Kim, Robert; Kulkarni, Prakash; Hannenhalli, SridharBACKGROUND: The Cancer/Testis Antigens (CTAs) are a heterogeneous group of proteins whose expression is typically restricted to the testis. However, they are aberrantly expressed in most cancers that have been examined to date. Broadly speaking, the CTAs can be divided into two groups: the CTX antigens that are encoded by the X-linked genes and the non-X CT antigens that are encoded by the autosomes. Unlike the non-X CTAs, the CTX antigens form clusters of closely related gene families and their expression is frequently associated with advanced disease with poorer prognosis. Regardless however, the mechanism(s) underlying their selective derepression and stage-specific expression in cancer remain poorly understood, although promoter DNA demethylation is believed to be the major driver. METHODS: Here, we report a systematic analysis of DNA methylation profiling data from various tissue types to elucidate the mechanism underlying the derepression of the CTAs in cancer. We analyzed the methylation profiles of 501 samples including sperm, several cancer types, and their corresponding normal somatic tissue types. RESULTS: We found strong evidence for specific DNA hypomethylation of CTA promoters in the testis and cancer cells but not in their normal somatic counterparts. We also found that hypomethylation was clustered on the genome into domains that coincided with nuclear lamina-associated domains (LADs) and that these regions appeared to be insulated by CTCF sites. Interestingly, we did not observe any significant differences in the hypomethylation pattern between the CTAs without CpG islands and the CTAs with CpG islands in the proximal promoter. CONCLUSION: Our results corroborate that widespread DNA hypomethylation appears to be the driver in the derepression of CTA expression in cancer and furthermore, demonstrate that these hypomethylated domains are associated with the nuclear lamina-associated domains (LADS). Taken together, our results suggest that wide-spread methylation changes in cancer are linked to derepression of germ-line-specific genes that is orchestrated by the three dimensional organization of the cancer genome. ItemDevelopment of a screening tool to identify female survivors of gender-based violence in a humanitarian setting:qualitative evidence from research among refugees in Ethiopia.(BioMed Central, 2013-06-12) Wirtz, Andrea L; Glass, Nancy; Pham, Kiemanh; Aberra, Amsale; Rubenstein, Leonard S.; Singh, Sonal; Vu, AlexanderBACKGROUND: High levels of gender-based violence (GBV) persist among conflict-affected populations and within humanitarian settings and are paralleled by under-reporting and low service utilization. Novel and evidence-based approaches are necessary to change the current state of GBV amongst these populations. We present the findings of qualitative research, which were used to inform the development of a screening tool as one potential strategy to identify and respond to GBV for females in humanitarian settings. METHODS: Qualitative research methods were conducted from January-February 2011 to explore the range of experiences of GBV and barriers to reporting GBV among female refugees. Individual interview participants (n=37) included female refugees (≥15 years), who were survivors of GBV, living in urban or one of three camps settings in Ethiopia, and originating from six conflict countries. Focus group discussion participants (11 groups; 77 participants) included health, protection and community service staff working in the urban or camp settings. Interviews and discussions were conducted in the language of preference, with assistance by interpreters when needed, and transcribed for analysis by grounded-theory technique. RESULTS: Single and multiple counts of GBV were reported and ranged from psychological and social violence; rape, gang rape, sexual coercion, and other sexual violence; abduction; and physical violence. Domestic violence was predominantly reported to occur when participants were living in the host country. Opportunistic violence, often manifested by rape, occurred during transit when women depended on others to reach their destination. Abduction within the host country, and often across borders, highlighted the constant state of vulnerability of refugees. Barriers to reporting included perceived and experienced stigma in health settings and in the wider community, lack of awareness of services, and inability to protect children while mothers sought services. CONCLUSIONS: Findings demonstrate that GBV persists across the span of the refugee experience, though there is a transition in the range of perpetrators and types of GBV that are experienced. Further, survivors experience significant individual and system barriers to disclosure and service utilization. The findings suggest that routine GBV screening by skilled service providers offers a strategy to confidentially identify and refer survivors to needed services within refugee settings, potentially enabling survivors to overcome existing barriers. ItemDifferences in Reporting of Analyses in Internal Company Documents Versus Published Trial Reports: Comparisons in Industry-Sponsored Trials in Off-Label Uses of Gabapentin(PLoS Organization, 2013-01-29) Vedula, S. Swaroop; Li, Tianjing; Dickersin, KayBACKGROUND: Details about the type of analysis (e.g., intent to treat [ITT]) and definitions (i.e., criteria for including participants in the analysis) are necessary for interpreting a clinical trial's findings. Our objective was to compare the description of types of analyses and criteria for including participants in the publication (i.e., what was reported) with descriptions in the corresponding internal company documents (i.e., what was planned and what was done). Trials were for off-label uses of gabapentin sponsored by Pfizer and Parke-Davis, and documents were obtained through litigation. METHODS AND FINDINGS: For each trial, we compared internal company documents (protocols, statistical analysis plans, and research reports, all unpublished), with publications. One author extracted data and another verified, with a third person verifying discordant items and a sample of the rest. Extracted data included the number of participants randomized and analyzed for efficacy, and types of analyses for efficacy and safety and their definitions (i.e., criteria for including participants in each type of analysis). We identified 21 trials, 11 of which were published randomized controlled trials, and that provided the documents needed for planned comparisons. For three trials, there was disagreement on the number of randomized participants between the research report and publication. Seven types of efficacy analyses were described in the protocols, statistical analysis plans, and publications, including ITT and six others. The protocol or publication described ITT using six different definitions, resulting in frequent disagreements between the two documents (i.e., different numbers of participants were included in the analyses). CONCLUSIONS: Descriptions of analyses conducted did not agree between internal company documents and what was publicly reported. Internal company documents provide extensive documentation of methods planned and used, and trial findings, and should be publicly accessible. Reporting standards for randomized controlled trials should recommend transparent descriptions and definitions of analyses performed and which study participants are excluded. ItemECG marker of adverse electrical remodeling post-myocardial infarction predicts outcomes in MADIT II study(PLoS Organization, 2012-12-14) Tereshchenko, Larisa G.; McNitt, Scott; Han, Lichy; Berger, Ronald D.; Zareba, ZarebaBackground Post-myocardial infarction (MI) structural remodeling is characterized by left ventricular dilatation, fibrosis, and hypertrophy of the non-infarcted myocardium. Objective The goal of our study was to quantify post-MI electrical remodeling by measuring the sum absolute QRST integral (SAI QRST). We hypothesized that adverse electrical remodeling predicts outcomes in MADIT II study participants. Methods Baseline orthogonal ECGs of 750 MADIT II study participants (448 [59.7%] ICD arm) were analyzed. SAI QRST was measured as the arithmetic sum of absolute QRST integrals over all three orthogonal ECG leads. The primary endpoint was defined as sudden cardiac death (SCD) or sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT)/ventricular fibrillation (VF) with appropriate ICD therapies. All-cause mortality served as a secondary endpoint. Results Adverse electrical remodeling in post-MI patients was characterized by wide QRS, increased magnitudes of spatial QRS and T vectors, J-point deviation, and QTc prolongation. In multivariable Cox regression analysis after adjustment for age, QRS duration, atrial fibrillation, New York Heart Association heart failure class and blood urea nitrogen, SAI QRST predicted SCD/VT/VF (HR 1.33 per 100 mV*ms (95%CI 1.11–1.59); P=0.002), and all-cause death (HR 1.27 per 100 mV*ms (95%CI 1.03–1.55), P=0.022) in both arms. No interaction with therapy arm and bundle branch block (BBB) status was found. Conclusions In MADIT II patients, increased SAI QRST is associated with increased risk of sustained VT/VF with appropriate ICD therapies and all-cause death in both ICD and in conventional medical therapy arms, and in patients with and without BBB. Further studies of SAI QRST are warranted. ItemEpidermal stem cells in orthopaedic regenerative medicine.(Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2013-05-31) Li, Jin; Zhen, Gehua; Tsai, Shin-Yi; Jia, XiaofengIn the last decade, great advances have been made in epidermal stem cell studies at the cellular and molecular level. These studies reported various subpopulations and differentiations existing in the epidermal stem cell. Although controversies and unknown issues remain, epidermal stem cells possess an immune-privileged property in transplantation together with easy accessibility, which is favorable for future clinical application. In this review, we will summarize the biological characteristics of epidermal stem cells, and their potential in orthopedic regenerative medicine. Epidermal stem cells play a critical role via cell replacement, and demonstrate significant translational potential in the treatment of orthopedic injuries and diseases, including treatment for wound healing, peripheral nerve and spinal cord injury, and even muscle and bone remodeling.