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Modern high-throughput molecular and analytical tools offer exciting opportunities to gain a mechanistic understanding of unique traits of weeds. During the past decade, tremendous progress has been made within the weed science discipline using genomic techniques to gain deeper insights into weedy traits such as invasiveness, hybridization, and herbicide resistance. Though the adoption of newer “omics” techniques such as proteomics, metabolomics, and physionomics has been slow, applications of these omics platforms to study plants, especially agriculturally important crops and weeds, have been increasing over the years. In weed science, these platforms are now used more frequently to understand mechanisms of herbicide resistance, weed resistance evolution, and crop–weed interactions. Use of these techniques could help weed scientists to further reduce the knowledge gaps in understanding weedy traits. Although these techniques can provide robust insights about the molecular functioning of plants, employing a single omics platform can rarely elucidate the gene-level regulation and the associated real-time expression of weedy traits due to the complex and overlapping nature of biological interactions. Therefore, it is desirable to integrate the different omics technologies to give a better understanding of molecular functioning of biological systems. This multidimensional integrated approach can therefore offer new avenues for better understanding of questions of interest to weed scientists. This review offers a retrospective and prospective examination of omics platforms employed to investigate weed physiology and novel approaches and new technologies that can provide holistic and knowledge-based weed management strategies for future.
To investigate whether a small regional memory clinic would benefit from engaging with a structured external audit process such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Memory Service National Accreditation Program (MSNAP).
The Psychiatry of Old Age service in Navan operates a public cognitive clinic. Despite the publication of the 2014 National Dementia Strategy, there are currently no national standards for memory clinics in Ireland. It may be beneficial to link in with an external quality control system as part of routine clinical governance.
Published data from the MSNAP group was reviewed and a set of audit materials extrapolated to replicate the MSNAP self-review process. The audit cycle involved (1) retrospective case review, (2) institution of a range of interventions and (3) a prospective audit, which included service user feedback.
Overall the results demonstrated a high standard of service, especially in the areas of accessibility, assessment and communication of diagnosis. The clinic performed well against MSNAP key performance indicators. Patient and carer satisfaction with the service was very high. Clinic policies needed further development, particularly in the areas of referral, consent and data protection.
The process was useful, providing clear pointers for action. It highlighted the need to formalise organisational and practice policies, patient support and education, audit and outreach. Although accreditation is a laborious process requiring financial investment, it provides a strong scaffold to maintain and improve standards and is likely to be a valuable learning experience, where national guidelines are lacking.
Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) is an invasive perennial weed infesting range and recreational lands of North America. Previous research and omics projects with E. esula have helped develop it as a model for studying many aspects of perennial plant development and response to abiotic stress. However, the lack of an assembled genome for E. esula has limited the power of previous transcriptomics studies to identify functional promoter elements and transcription factor binding sites. An assembled genome for E. esula would enhance our understanding of signaling processes controlling plant development and responses to environmental stress and provide a better understanding of genetic factors impacting weediness traits, evolution, and herbicide resistance. A comprehensive transcriptome database would also assist in analyzing future RNA-seq studies and is needed to annotate and assess genomic sequence assemblies. Here, we assembled and annotated 56,234 unigenes from an assembly of 589,235 RNA-seq-derived contigs and a previously published Sanger-sequenced expressed sequence tag collection. The resulting data indicate that we now have sequence for >90% of the expressed E. esula protein-coding genes. We also assembled the gene space of E. esula by using a limited coverage (18X) genomic sequence database. In this study, the programs Velvet and Trinity produced the best gene-space assemblies based on representation of expressed and conserved eukaryotic genes. The results indicate that E. esula contains as much as 23% repetitive sequences, of which 11% are unique. Our sequence data were also sufficient for assembling a full chloroplast and partial mitochondrial genome. Further, marker analysis identified more than 150,000 high-quality variants in our E. esula L-RNA–scaffolded, whole-genome, Trinity-assembled genome. Based on these results, E. esula appears to have limited heterozygosity. This study provides a blueprint for low-cost genomic assemblies in weed species and new resources for identifying conserved and novel promoter regions among coordinately expressed genes of E. esula.
We present the first systematic assessment of the population, demography and distribution of the Endangered Zanzibar red colobus Piliocolobus kirkii, in Unguja in the Zanzibar archipelago, based on a survey effort of 4,725 hours. We estimate the total population comprises 5,862 individuals in 342 groups (mean group size 17.12); 3.4 times the mean of all previous estimates. We calculated a total area of occupancy of 376 km2, with 4,042 individuals living within protected areas. Mean group sizes were significantly higher within protected areas (20.57) than outside (12.80). The number of adult females was 3,179 (54.21%), with a mean of 9.29 per group, and the number of adult males was 932 (15.89%), with a mean of 2.71 per group, giving a ratio of 3.31 adult females to adult males. This ratio was significantly lower outside protected areas. The total number of infants was 958 (16.34%), with a mean of 2.80 per group, and the number of subadults/juveniles was 793 (13.52%), with a mean of 2.32 per group, giving ratios of 0.30 infants to adult females, and 0.25 subadults/juveniles to adult females. The results indicate that P. kirkii is resilient and thriving far better than assumed. However, recruitment is low and the population may be in decline, with individuals outside protected areas most at risk. We tentatively support the categorization of P. kirkii as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, argue for greater protected area status for southern Uzi, Vundwe and Mchamgamle, and discuss conservation implications for this charismatic flagship species.
Notoedric mange, caused by obligately parasitic sarcoptiform Notoedres mites, is associated with potentially fatal dermatitis with secondary systemic disease in small mammals, felids and procyonids among others, as well as an occasional zoonosis. We describe clinical spectra in non-chiropteran hosts, review risk factors and summarize ecological and epidemiological studies. The genus is disproportionately represented on rodents. Disease in felids and procyonids ranges from very mild to death. Knowledge of the geographical distribution of the mites is highly inadequate, with focal hot spots known for Notoedres cati in domestic cats and bobcats. Predisposing genetic and immunological factors are not known, except that co-infection with other parasites and anticoagulant rodenticide toxicoses may contribute to severe disease. Treatment of individual animals is typically successful with macrocytic lactones such as selamectin, but herd or wildlife population treatment has not been undertaken. Transmission requires close contact and typically is within a host species. Notoedric mange can kill half all individuals in a population and regulate host population below non-diseased density for decades, consistent with frequency-dependent transmission or spillover from other hosts. Epidemics are increasingly identified in various hosts, suggesting global change in suitable environmental conditions or increased reporting bias.
Recommended rates of glyphosate for noncultivated areas destroy the
aboveground shoots of the perennial plant leafy spurge. However, such
applications cause little or no damage to underground adventitious buds
(UABs), and thus the plant readily regenerates vegetatively. High
concentrations of glyphosate, applied under controlled environmental
conditions, have been shown to cause sublethal effects in UABs of leafy
spurge that produce stunted and bushy phenotypes in subsequent generations
of shoots. We treated leafy spurge plants in the field with glyphosate (0,
1.1, 3.4, or 6.7 kg ai ha−1) to determine its effects on
vegetative growth from UABs and on molecular processes. The number of shoots
derived from UABs of glyphosate-treated plants was significantly increased
compared to controls in subsequent years after application, and new shoots
displayed various phenotypical changes, such as stunted and bushy
phenotypes. Quantifying the abundance of a selected set of transcripts in
UABs of nontreated vs. treated plants (0 vs. 6.7 kg ha−1)
indicated that glyphosate impacted molecular processes involved in
biosynthesis or signaling of tryptophan or auxin (ARF4,
CYP79B2, PIN3, TAA1,
TRP6, YUC4), gibberellic acid
(GA1/CPS1, GA2/KS), ethylene
(ACO1, ACS10), cytokinins
(AHP1, AK2, CKX1), and
the cell cycle (CDC2A, CDC2B,
CYCD3;1). Glyphosate-induced effects on vegetative
growth and transcript abundance were persistent for at least 2 yr after
treatment. Determining the molecular mechanisms associated with vegetative
reproduction in leafy spurge following foliar glyphosate-treatment could
identify limiting factors or new targets for manipulation of plant growth
and development in perennial weeds.
Long-term control of leafy spurge with glyphosate requires multiple
applications because the plant reproduces vegetatively from abundant
underground adventitious buds, referred to as crown and root buds.
Determining the molecular mechanisms involved in controlling vegetative
reproduction in leafy spurge following foliar glyphosate treatment could
identify limiting factors or new targets for manipulation of plant growth
and development in invasive perennial species. Thus, we treated leafy spurge
plants with 0 or 2.24 kg ai ha−1 glyphosate to determine its
impact on selected molecular processes in crown buds derived from intact
plants and plants decapitated at the soil surface 7 d after glyphosate
treatment. New shoot growth from crown buds of foliar glyphosate-treated
plants was significantly reduced compared with controls after
growth-inducing decapitation, and had a stunted or bushy phenotype.
Quantification of a selected set of transcripts involved in hormone
biosynthesis and signaling pathways indicated that glyphosate had the most
significant impact on abundance of ENT-COPALYL DIPHOSPHATE
SYNTHETASE 1, which is involved in a committed step for
gibberellin biosynthesis, and auxin transporters including PINs,
PIN-LIKES, and ABC TRANSPORTERS. Foliar
glyphosate treatment also reduced the abundance of transcripts involved in
cell cycle processes, which would be consistent with altered growth patterns
observed in this study. Overall, these results suggest that interplay among
phytohormones such as auxin, ethylene, and gibberellins affect vegetative
growth patterns from crown buds of leafy spurge in response to foliar
Palliative sedation is a last resort medical act aimed at relieving intolerable suffering induced by intractable symptoms in patients at the end-of-life. This act is generally accepted as being medically indicated under certain circumstances. A controversy remains in the literature as to its ethical validity. There is a certain vagueness in the literature regarding the legitimacy of palliative sedation in cases of non-physical refractory symptoms, especially “existential suffering.” This pilot study aims to measure the influence of two independent variables (short/long prognosis and physical/existential suffering) on the physicians' attitudes toward palliative sedation (dependent variable).
We used a 2 × 2 experimental design as described by Blondeau et al. Four clinical vignettes were developed (vignette 1: short prognosis/existential suffering; vignette 2: long prognosis/existential suffering; vignette 3: short prognosis/physical suffering; vignette 4: long prognosis/physical suffering). Each vignette presented a terminally ill patient with a summary description of his physical and psychological condition, medication, and family situation. The respondents' attitude towards sedation was assessed with a six-point Likert scale. A total of 240 vignettes were sent to selected Swiss physicians.
74 vignettes were completed (36%). The means scores for attitudes were 2.62 ± 2.06 (v1), 1.88 ± 1.54 (v2), 4.54 ± 1.67 (v3), and 4.75 ± 1.71 (v4). General linear model analyses indicated that only the type of suffering had a significant impact on the attitude towards sedation (F = 33.92, df = 1, p = 0.000).
Significance of the results:
The French Swiss physicians' attitude toward palliative sedation is more favorable in case of physical suffering than in existential suffering. These results are in line with those found in the study of Blondeau et al. with Canadian physicians and will be discussed in light of the arguments given by physicians to explain their decisions.
We developed two leafy spurge bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)
libraries that together represent approximately 5× coverage of the leafy
spurge genome. The BAC libraries have an average insert size of
approximately 143 kb, and copies of the library and filters for
hybridization-based screening are publicly available through the Arizona
Genomics Institute. These libraries were used to clone full-length genomic
copies of an AP2/ERF transcription factor of the A4
subfamily of DEHYDRATION-RESPONSIVE ELEMENT-BINDING PROTEINS
(DREB) known to be differentially expressed in crown buds of
leafy spurge during endodormancy, a DORMANCY ASSOCIATED
MADS-BOX (DAM) gene, and several
FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) genes.
Sequencing of these BAC clones revealed the presence of multiple
FT genes in leafy spurge. Sequencing also provided
evidence that two different DAM transcripts expressed in
crown buds of leafy spurge during endo- and eco-dormancy result from
alternate splicing of a single DAM gene. Sequence data from
the FT promoters was used to identify several conserved
elements previously recognized in Arabidopsis, as well as potential novel
transcription factor binding sites that may regulate FT.
These leafy spurge BAC libraries represent a new genomics-based tool that
complements existing genomics resources for the study of plant growth and
development in this model perennial weed. Furthermore, phylogenetic
footprinting using genes identified with this resource demonstrate the
usefulness of studying weedy species to further our general knowledge of
agriculturally important genes.
The role of radio polarimetry in the understanding of GPS and CSS sources is explored. After an initial discussion of what can be learned from polarimetry, the expectations of a simple evolutionary sequence of GPS/CSO to CSS to FR I/FR II sources are explored. Observational results are then compared with the expectations. Conclusions include: the GPS category is likely not a single homogeneous class of objects; Faraday depth effects are very strong inside the inner 3 kpc of CSS and CSO sources; in at least 3C 138 the Faraday screen has very fine scale (subparsec) structure; and there is evidence for increased ionisation near bends in some CSS jets probably due to jet–ISM interaction. New results on 3C 138, 3C 43, and 3C 454 are given.
Leafy spurge seeds are responsive to alternating temperature rather than
constant temperature for germination. Transcriptome changes of dry leafy
spurge seeds and seeds imbibed for 1 and 3 d at 20 C constant (C) and 20 :
30 C alternating (A) temperature were determined by microarray analysis to
examine temperature responsiveness. Principal component analysis revealed
differences in the transcriptome of imbibed seeds based on the temperature
regime. Computational methods in bioinformatics parsed the data into
overrepresented AraCyc pathways and gene regulation subnetworks providing
biological context to temperature responses. After 1 d of imbibition, the
degradation of starch and sucrose leading to anaerobic respiration were
common pathways at both temperature regimes. Several overrepresented
pathways unique to 1 d A were associated with generation of energy, reducing
power, and carbon substrates; several of these pathways remained
overrepresented and up-regulated at 3 d A. At 1 d C, pathways for the
phytohormones jasmonic acid and brassinosteroids were uniquely
overrepresented. There was little similarity in overrepresented pathways at
1 d C between leafy spurge and arabidopsis seeds,
indicating species-specific effects upon imbibition of dry seeds.
Overrepresented gene subnetworks at 1 d and 3 d at both temperature regimes
related to signaling processes and stress responses. A major overrepresented
subnetwork unique to 1 d C related to photomorphogenesis via the E3
ubiquitin ligase COP1. At 1 d A, major overrepresented subnetworks involved
circadian rhythm via LHY and TOC1 proteins and expression of stress-related
genes such as DREB1A, which is subject to circadian
regulation. Collectively, substantial differences were observed in the
transcriptome of leafy spurge seeds imbibed under conditions that affect the
capacity to germinate.
Background: This study applies the updated HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) diagnostic algorithm.
Methods: Participants were 210 HIV-infected-adults, classified using proposed HAND criteria: HIV-Associated Dementia (HAD), Mild Neurocognitive Disorder (MND), Asymptomatic Neurocognitive Impairment (ANI).
Results: The algorithm yielded: normal = 32.8%, ANI = 21.4%, MND = 34.3%, and HAD = 11.4%. Normal participants performed superior to HAND-defined participants on cognition, and HAD participants performed more poorly on global cognition and executive functioning. Two distinct subgroups of interest emerged: (1) functional decline without cognitive impairment; (2) severe cognitive impairment and minimal functional compromise.
Conclusions: The algorithm discriminates between HIV-infected cognitively impaired individuals. Diagnosis yields two unique profiles requiring further investigation. Findings largely support the algorithm's utility for diagnosing HIV-cognitive-impairment, but suggest distinct subsets of individuals with discrepant cognitive/functional performances that may not be readily apparent by conventional application of HAND diagnosis.
The Avon Area Health Authority was a first-phase site for introduction of universal newborn screening in the UK. The aims of this study were: to review the programme's results to date; to assess the impact screening would have on other services (e.g. the cochlear implant programme); and to assess the longer term outcome for children identified by the screening programme.
All children identified by the Avon universal newborn hearing screening programme between April 2002 and July 2006.
Fifty-four children with a bilateral hearing impairment of worse than 40 dBHL were identified from a screened population of approximately 44 000. Nine of these children were put forward for cochlear implantation, and seven had been implanted at the time of writing. Thirteen of these children were identified with possible auditory neuropathy or dys-synchrony. All the newborn hearing screening programme criteria assessed were met.
The screening programme was effective. Some areas may need review in order to optimise patient care.