Environmental Sciences

New Insights into Unusual Genetic Disorder Pave the Way for Promising Treatments

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) may not receive as much attention as Down syndrome or other genetic diseases that affect brain development. But as its lengthy name suggests, it is a multifaceted disorder that can have wide-ranging effects on an individual’s life. TSC affects about 1 in 6,000 people, causing seizures, mental retardation, and benign tumors in the brain and other organs.

Coastal Resilience in Cordova, Alaska

Alaska is an earthquake prone state, due to its location on the subducting Pacific Plate. Some of the largest earthquakes in the United States have occurred in Alaska. This means that we must be ready and prepared for an earthquake to happen here. To do this we must be resilient- able to bounce back after disaster, in this case an earthquake.

Red Tides

Red tides occur all over the world but the farthest north they have been detected in Alaska is Cook Inlet. They are large blooms of toxin producing dinoflagellates that may color the water a deep red. The key point is the production of toxin. Red tides can actually produce other colorations of the tides, but not all colored tides are necessarily toxic. The toxin is taken in by filter feeding animals and stored in their flesh.

Seawall Construction

Well-built seawalls have long been used as an inexpensive way to control coastal erosion. Seawalls are associated with reduced aesthetic value, and increased erosion at the ends and in front of the seawall.

Wastewater Management: A Plan for the Future

This document proposes a 50 year wastewater management plan for the Gastineau Channel, located near Juneau, Alaska. Recently, local wastewater treatment problems have become a recognized health hazard, causing the City and Borough of Juneau to face pending criminal charges. Juneau’s wastewater treatment facilities are discharging viruses, bacteria and parasites which are known to cause kidney failure and other maladies.

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.

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.

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