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Articles 1 - 21 of 21

Full-Text Articles in Organisms

Genomic Data Mining Reveals Abundant Uncharacterized Transporters In Coccidioides Immitis And Coccidioides Posadasii, Hong Cai, Hao Zhang, Daniel H. Guo, Yufeng Wang, Jianying Gu Oct 2022

Genomic Data Mining Reveals Abundant Uncharacterized Transporters In Coccidioides Immitis And Coccidioides Posadasii, Hong Cai, Hao Zhang, Daniel H. Guo, Yufeng Wang, Jianying Gu

Publications and Research

Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii are causative agents of coccidioidomycosis, commonly known as Valley Fever. The increasing Valley Fever cases in the past decades, the expansion of endemic regions, and the rising azole drug-resistant strains have underscored an urgent need for a better understanding of Coccidioides biology and new antifungal strategies. Transporters play essential roles in pathogen survival, growth, infection, and adaptation, and are considered as potential drug targets. However, the composition and roles of transport machinery in Coccidioides remain largely unknown. In this study, genomic data mining revealed an abundant, uncharacterized repertoire of transporters in Coccidioides genomes. The catalog …


Cryptococcus Neoformans Melanization Incorporates Multiple Catecholamines To Produce Polytypic Melanin, Rosanna P. Baker, Christine Chrissian, Ruth E. Stark, Arturo Casadevall Dec 2021

Cryptococcus Neoformans Melanization Incorporates Multiple Catecholamines To Produce Polytypic Melanin, Rosanna P. Baker, Christine Chrissian, Ruth E. Stark, Arturo Casadevall

Publications and Research

Melanin is a major virulence factor in pathogenic fungi that enhances the ability of fungal cells to resist immune clearance. Cryptococcus neoformans is an important human pathogenic fungus that synthesizes melanin from exogenous tissue catecholamine precursors during infection, but the type of melanin made in cryptococcal meningoencephalitis is unknown. We analyzed the efficacy of various catecholamines found in brain tissue in supporting melanization using animal brain tissue and synthetic catecholamine mixtures reflecting brain tissue proportions. Solid-state NMR spectra of the melanin pigment produced from such mixtures yielded more melanin than expected if only the preferred constituent dopamine had been incorporated, …


The Temperature-Dependent Conformational Ensemble Of Sars-Cov-2 Main Protease (Mpro), Ali Ebrahim, Blake T. Riley, Desigan Kumaran, Babak Andi, Martin R. Fuchs, Sean Mcsweeney, Daniel A. Keedy Nov 2021

The Temperature-Dependent Conformational Ensemble Of Sars-Cov-2 Main Protease (Mpro), Ali Ebrahim, Blake T. Riley, Desigan Kumaran, Babak Andi, Martin R. Fuchs, Sean Mcsweeney, Daniel A. Keedy

Publications and Research

The COVID-19 pandemic, instigated by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, continues to plague the globe. The SARS-CoV-2 main protease, or Mpro, is a promising target for development of novel antiviral therapeutics. Previous X-ray crystal structures of Mpro were obtained at cryogenic temperature or room temperature only. Here we report a series of high-resolution crystal structures of unliganded Mpro across multiple temperatures from cryogenic to physiological, and another at high humidity. We interrogate these datasets with parsimonious multiconformer models, multi-copy ensemble models, and isomorphous difference density maps. Our analysis reveals a temperature-dependent conformational landscape for Mpro, including …


Editorial: Pathogens, Pathobionts, And Autoimmunity, Linda A. Spatz, Gregg J. Silverman, Judith A. James Sep 2021

Editorial: Pathogens, Pathobionts, And Autoimmunity, Linda A. Spatz, Gregg J. Silverman, Judith A. James

Publications and Research

No abstract provided.


Telomeric And Sub-Telomeric Structure And Implications In Fungal Opportunistic Pathogens, Raffaella Diotti, Michelle Esposito, Chang Hui Shen Jun 2021

Telomeric And Sub-Telomeric Structure And Implications In Fungal Opportunistic Pathogens, Raffaella Diotti, Michelle Esposito, Chang Hui Shen

Publications and Research

Telomeres are long non-coding regions found at the ends of eukaryotic linear chromosomes. Although they have traditionally been associated with the protection of linear DNA ends to avoid gene losses during each round of DNA replication, recent studies have demonstrated that the role of these sequences and their adjacent regions go beyond just protecting chromosomal ends. Regions nearby to telomeric sequences have now been identified as having increased variability in the form of duplications and rearrangements that result in new functional abilities and biodiversity. Furthermore, unique fungal telomeric and chromatin structures have now extended clinical capabilities and understanding of pathogenicity …


Preventing Transmission Of Covid 19 In Hvac Duct Systems: Implementations Of Hvac System Design Upgrade, Jacob S. Lopez, Adama Barro Jun 2021

Preventing Transmission Of Covid 19 In Hvac Duct Systems: Implementations Of Hvac System Design Upgrade, Jacob S. Lopez, Adama Barro

Publications and Research

The recent pandemic outbreak has triggered a global alarm to increase efforts on finding the best methods to mitigate contagious viral pathogens. This project is a continuation of our mission to study engineering guidelines needed to implement upgrades to HVAC Systems in order to deter airborne pathogens such as the covid-19 virus. In our previous projects we researched how covid-19 can possibly flow through the ambient air inside of restaurants, office spaces, and locomotive train cabins. As we continued our research, we were able to find some solutions that will be best used to deactivate and prevent the virus from …


Intangible Cultural Heritage: A Benefit To Climate-Displaced And Host Communities, Gül Aktürk, Martha B. Lerski May 2021

Intangible Cultural Heritage: A Benefit To Climate-Displaced And Host Communities, Gül Aktürk, Martha B. Lerski

Publications and Research

Climate change is borderless, and its impacts are not shared equally by all communities. It causes an imbalance between people by creating a more desirable living environment for some societies while erasing settlements and shelters of some others. Due to floods, sea level rise, destructive storms, drought, and slow-onset factors such as salinization of water and soil, people lose their lands, homes, and natural resources. Catastrophic events force people to move voluntarily or involuntarily. The relocation of communities is a debatable climate adaptation measure which requires utmost care with human rights, ethics, and psychological well-being of individuals upon the issues …


When The Pandemic Opts For The Lockdown: Secretion System Evolution In The Cholera Bacterium, Francis J. Santoriello, Stefan Pukatzki Feb 2021

When The Pandemic Opts For The Lockdown: Secretion System Evolution In The Cholera Bacterium, Francis J. Santoriello, Stefan Pukatzki

Publications and Research

Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the diarrheal disease cholera, is a microbe capable of inhabiting two different ecosystems: chitinous surfaces in brackish, estuarine waters and the epithelial lining of the human gastrointestinal tract. V. cholerae defends against competitive microorganisms with a contact-dependent, contractile killing machine called the type VI secretion system (T6SS) in each of these niches. The T6SS resembles an inverted T4 bacteriophage tail and is used to deliver toxic effector proteins into neighboring cells. Pandemic strains of V. cholerae encode a unique set of T6SS effector proteins, which may play a role in pathogenesis or pandemic …


A Crisis Of Kelp, Rachel L. Sherman Dec 2020

A Crisis Of Kelp, Rachel L. Sherman

Capstones

Along with insects and lab-grown meat, for years seaweed has been lauded as a sustainable “food of the future” by the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization. As the world increasingly turns to alternative foods in pursuit of a healthier Earth, seaweed has all the makings of an ecological savior. It’s plentiful — seaweeds and ocean algae make up roughly nine tenths of all the plant life on Earth — it’s cheap to harvest and get to market, packed with nutrition, and keeps oceans clean, absorbing more carbon dioxide and releasing more oxygen than the world’s rainforests.

But outside of Japanese …


Biological Sex Influences Susceptibility To Acinetobacter Baumannii Pneumonia In Mice, Sílvia Pires, Adeline Peignier, Jeremy Seto, Davida S. Smyth, Dane Parker Apr 2020

Biological Sex Influences Susceptibility To Acinetobacter Baumannii Pneumonia In Mice, Sílvia Pires, Adeline Peignier, Jeremy Seto, Davida S. Smyth, Dane Parker

Publications and Research

Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) is an extremely versatile multidrug-resistant pathogen with a very high mortality rate; therefore, it has become crucial to understand the host response during its infection. Given the importance of mice for modeling infection and their role in preclinical drug development, equal emphasis should be placed on the use of both sexes. Through our studies using a murine model of acute pneumonia with A. baumannii, we observed that female mice were more susceptible to infection. Likewise, treatment of male mice with estradiol increased their susceptibility to infection. Analysis of the airway compartment revealed enhanced inflammation and reduced …


Characterization Of Immunomodulatory Microbial Factors In Medicinal Plants, Kriti Kalpana Feb 2019

Characterization Of Immunomodulatory Microbial Factors In Medicinal Plants, Kriti Kalpana

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Medicinal plants are one of the biggest sources of natural products with therapeutic importance. There are currently over 28,000 plants with putative medicinal values. Plant-derived compounds have been explored extensively for various biological activities ranging from anti-cancer, immune-boosting to anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Some of the most important therapeutic agents are of plant-origin, such as paclitaxel from Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia) and artemisinin from qinghao su (a Chinese medicinal herb; a.k.a. Artemisia annua) to name a few.

The study presented in this thesis started out as classical pharmacognosy research, which focused on the identification of immunostimulatory factors in …


What We Do Not Know About Fungal Cell Adhesion Molecules, Peter N. Lipke May 2018

What We Do Not Know About Fungal Cell Adhesion Molecules, Peter N. Lipke

Publications and Research

There has been extensive research on structure and function of fungal cell adhesion molecules, but the most of the work has been about adhesins in Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These yeasts are members of a single ascomycete order, and adhesion molecules from the six other fungal phyla are only sparsely described in the literature. In these other phyla, most of the research is at the cellular level, rather than at the molecular level, so there has been little characterization of the adhesion molecules themselves. A catalog of known adhesins shows some common features: high Ser/Thr content, tandem repeats, N- …


Of Rats And Men, Thomas S. Walsh Dec 2017

Of Rats And Men, Thomas S. Walsh

Capstones

This capstone is a data-driven investigation into New York City's rat problem. By using publicly available government data to map rat activity in NYC, I identified several socio-economic variables that correlate with rat populations at the community district, borough, and city-scale. I used these findings (mainly that rat problems are linked to lower incomes) as the basis of an investigation, which includes interviews with residents, experts, and city officials. Prof. Bobby Corrigan, urban rodentologist and formerly with the NYC Department of Health criticizes the city's efforts for the first time on the record.

https://thomasseiyawalsh.wixsite.com/ratstone


Taurine's Effect On Cocaine Reward And Neurogenesis In The Adolescent Male Rat Brain., Avery E. Villa-Gonzalez Jan 2017

Taurine's Effect On Cocaine Reward And Neurogenesis In The Adolescent Male Rat Brain., Avery E. Villa-Gonzalez

Dissertations and Theses

Adolescence is a developmentally critical transition from childhood to adulthood including both maturation of the body and the brain. Neuroplastic changes result in dynamic organization of the brain during adolescence, leaving them vulnerable to development of mental illness and drug-seeking behavior. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the psychostimulant cocaine is the second most popular illicit drug in the world. Cocaine, amongst having many detrimental effects, has shown to also decrease hippocampal neurogenesis, resulting in decreased neuroplasticity and cognitive dysfunction. Previous students in our laboratory have shown that treatment of adult male rats with the essential …


Laboratory Exercises In Microbiology: Discovering The Unseen World Through Hands-On Investigation, Joan Petersen, Susan Mclaughlin Oct 2016

Laboratory Exercises In Microbiology: Discovering The Unseen World Through Hands-On Investigation, Joan Petersen, Susan Mclaughlin

Open Educational Resources

The exercises in this laboratory manual are designed to engage students in hand-on activities that reinforce their understanding of the microbial world. Topics covered include: staining and microscopy, metabolic testing, physical and chemical control of microorganisms, and immunology. The target audience is primarily students preparing for a career in the health sciences, however many of the topics would be appropriate for a general microbiology course as well.


Anomaly Detection In Host Signaling Pathways For The Early Prognosis Of Acute Infection, Kun Wang, Stanley Langevin, Corey S. O'Hern, Mark D. Shattuck, Serenity Ogle, Adriana Forero, Juliet Morrison, Richard Slayden, Michael G. Katze, Michael Kirby Aug 2016

Anomaly Detection In Host Signaling Pathways For The Early Prognosis Of Acute Infection, Kun Wang, Stanley Langevin, Corey S. O'Hern, Mark D. Shattuck, Serenity Ogle, Adriana Forero, Juliet Morrison, Richard Slayden, Michael G. Katze, Michael Kirby

Publications and Research

Clinical diagnosis of acute infectious diseases during the early stages of infection is critical to administering the appropriate treatment to improve the disease outcome. We present a data driven analysis of the human cellular response to respiratory viruses including influenza, respiratory syncytia virus, and human rhinovirus, and compared this with the response to the bacterial endotoxin, Lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Using an anomaly detection framework we identified pathways that clearly distinguish between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients infected with the four different respiratory viruses and that accurately diagnosed patients exposed to a bacterial infection. Connectivity pathway analysis comparing the viral and bacterial diagnostic …


Parasitic Diseases Of The Central Nervous System: Lessons For Clinicians And Policy Makers, Arturo Carpio, Matthew L. Romo, R.M.E. Parkhouse, Brooke Short, Tarun Dua Mar 2016

Parasitic Diseases Of The Central Nervous System: Lessons For Clinicians And Policy Makers, Arturo Carpio, Matthew L. Romo, R.M.E. Parkhouse, Brooke Short, Tarun Dua

Publications and Research

Parasitic diseases of the central nervous system are associated with high mortality and morbidity, especially in resource-limited settings. The burden of these diseases is amplified as survivors are often left with neurologic sequelae affecting mobility, sensory organs, and cognitive functions, as well as seizures/epilepsy. These diseases inflict suffering by causing lifelong disabilities, reducing economic productivity, and causing social stigma. The complexity of parasitic life cycles and geographic specificities, as well as overlapping clinical manifestations in the host reflecting the diverse pathogenesis of parasites, can present diagnostic challenges. We herein provide an overview of these parasitic diseases and summarize clinical aspects, …


Fungal Melanin: What Do We Know About Structure?, Joshua D. Nosanchuk, Ruth E. Stark, Arturo Casadevall Dec 2015

Fungal Melanin: What Do We Know About Structure?, Joshua D. Nosanchuk, Ruth E. Stark, Arturo Casadevall

Publications and Research

The production of melanin significantly enhances the virulence of many important human pathogenic fungi. Despite fungal melanin’s importance in human disease, as well as melanin’s contribution to the ability of fungi to survive in diverse hostile environments, the structure of melanin remains unsolved. Nevertheless, ongoing research efforts have progressively revealed several notable structural characteristics of this enigmatic pigment, which will be the focus of this review. These compositional and organizational insights could further our ability to develop novel therapeutic approaches to combat fungal disease and enhance our understanding of how melanin is inserted into the cell wall.


A Guide To Enterotypes Across The Human Body: Meta- Analysis Of Microbial Community Structures In Human Microbiome Datasets, Omry Koren, Dan Knights, Antonio Gonzalez, Levi Waldron, Nicola Segata, Rob Knight, Curtis Huttenhower, Ruth E. Ley Jan 2013

A Guide To Enterotypes Across The Human Body: Meta- Analysis Of Microbial Community Structures In Human Microbiome Datasets, Omry Koren, Dan Knights, Antonio Gonzalez, Levi Waldron, Nicola Segata, Rob Knight, Curtis Huttenhower, Ruth E. Ley

Publications and Research

Recent analyses of human-associated bacterial diversity have categorized individuals into ‘enterotypes’ or clusters based on the abundances of key bacterial genera in the gut microbiota. There is a lack of consensus, however, on the analytical basis for enterotypes and on the interpretation of these results. We tested how the following factors influenced the detection of enterotypes: clustering methodology, distance metrics, OTU-picking approaches, sequencing depth, data type (whole genome shotgun (WGS) vs.16S rRNA gene sequence data), and 16S rRNA region. We included 16S rRNA gene sequences from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and from 16 additional studies and WGS sequences from …


Composition Of The Adult Digestive Tract Bacterial Microbiome Based On Seven Mouth Surfaces, Tonsils, Throat And Stool Samples, Nicola Segata, Susan Kinder Haake, Peter Mannon, Katherine P. Lemon, Levi Waldron, Dirk Gevers, Curtis Huttenhower, Jacques Izard Jun 2012

Composition Of The Adult Digestive Tract Bacterial Microbiome Based On Seven Mouth Surfaces, Tonsils, Throat And Stool Samples, Nicola Segata, Susan Kinder Haake, Peter Mannon, Katherine P. Lemon, Levi Waldron, Dirk Gevers, Curtis Huttenhower, Jacques Izard

Publications and Research

Background: To understand the relationship between our bacterial microbiome and health, it is essential to define the microbiome in the absence of disease. The digestive tract includes diverse habitats and hosts the human body’s greatest bacterial density. We describe the bacterial community composition of ten digestive tract sites from more than 200 normal adults enrolled in the Human Microbiome Project, and metagenomically determined metabolic potentials of four representative sites.

Results: The microbiota of these diverse habitats formed four groups based on similar community compositions: buccal mucosa, keratinized gingiva, hard palate; saliva, tongue, tonsils, throat; sub- and supra-gingival plaques; and stool. …


Phylogenomics Of Reichenowia Parasitica, An Alphaproteobacterial Endosymbiont Of The Freshwater Leech Placobdella Parasitica, Sebastian Kvist, Apurva Narechania, Alejandro Oceguera-Figueroa, Bella Fuks, Mark E. Siddall Nov 2011

Phylogenomics Of Reichenowia Parasitica, An Alphaproteobacterial Endosymbiont Of The Freshwater Leech Placobdella Parasitica, Sebastian Kvist, Apurva Narechania, Alejandro Oceguera-Figueroa, Bella Fuks, Mark E. Siddall

Publications and Research

Although several commensal alphaproteobacteria form close relationships with plant hosts where they aid in (e.g.,) nitrogen fixation and nodulation, only a few inhabit animal hosts. Among these, Reichenowia picta, R. ornata and R. parasitica, are currently the only known mutualistic, alphaproteobacterial endosymbionts to inhabit leeches. These bacteria are harbored in the epithelial cells of the mycetomal structures of their freshwater leech hosts, Placobdella spp., and these structures have no other obvious function than housing bacterial symbionts. However, the function of the bacterial symbionts has remained unclear. Here, we focused both on exploring the genomic makeup of R. parasitica and on …