Month: January 2018

Reduction in Clostridium difficile Infection Rates after Mandatory Hospital Public Reporting: Findings from a Longitudinal Cohort Study in Canada

The Role of Public Reporting in Improving Hospital Quality of Care is Controversial. Reporting of hospital-acquired infection rates has been introduced in multiple health care systems, but its relationship to infection rates has been understudied. Our objective was to determine whether mandatory public reporting by hospitals is associated with a reduction in hospital rates of Clostridium difficile infection.

Protein Flexibility Facilitates Quaternary Structure Assembly and Evolution

The intrinsic flexibility of proteins allows them to undergo large conformational fluctuations in solution or upon interaction with other molecules. Proteins also commonly assemble into complexes with diverse quaternary structure arrangements. Here we investigate how the flexibility of individual protein chains influences the assembly and evolution of protein complexes.

Production of α-Galactosylceramide by a Prominent Member of the Human Gut Microbiota

While the human gut microbiota are suspected to produce diffusible small molecules that modulate host signaling pathways, few of these molecules have been identified. Species of Bacteroides and their relatives, which often comprise >50% of the gut community, are unusual among bacteria in that their membrane is rich in sphingolipids, a class of signaling molecules that play a key role in inducing apoptosis and modulating the host immune response.

Two Different Mechanisms Support Selective Attention at Different Phases of Training

Selective attention influences sensory processing such that relevant information is preferentially encoded at the expense of irrelevant information. Over the last several decades, multiple electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies in humans and nonhuman primates have shown that attention selectively increases the amplitude, or the gain, of visual responses evoked by attended stimuli compared to responses evoked by unattended stimuli.

Seed size and its rate of evolution correlate with species diversification across angiosperms

Angiosperms are one of the most species-rich clades on Earth and have dominated terrestrial plant communities since the Late Cretaceous Period. The astounding diversity of flowering plants is distributed extremely unevenly across the Tree of Life (ToL). Each of the 5 most species-rich angiosperm families contains more than 10,000 species, while more than 200 families contain less than 100 species each.

Precision Genome Engineering and Agriculture: Opportunities and Regulatory Challenges

Plant agriculture is poised at a technological inflection point. Recent advances in genome engineering make it possible to precisely alter DNA sequences in living cells, providing unprecedented control over a plant’s genetic material.

Positively Charged Residues Are the Major Determinants of Ribosomal Velocity

Both for understanding mechanisms of disease and for the design of transgenes, it is important to understand the determinants of ribosome velocity, as changes in the rate of translation are important for protein folding, error attenuation, and localization. While there is great variation in ribosomal occupancy along even a single transcript, what determines a ribosome’s occupancy is unclear. We examine this issue using data from a ribosomal footprinting assay in yeast.

The Effects of Ocean Freshening on Marine and Atmospheric Circulation: Impacts and Solutions

Ocean freshening (the desalination of the oceans) is occurring, in part, due to increased terrestrial runoff and ice cap melting caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions. Ocean freshening causes a variety of problems on its own, independent of other variables of global climate change.

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