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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 221191 matches for " Heather C. Wick "
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Finding Novel Molecular Connections between Developmental Processes and Disease
Jisoo Park ,Heather C. Wick,Daniel E. Kee,Keith Noto,Jill L. Maron,Donna K. Slonim
PLOS Computational Biology , 2014, DOI: doi/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003578
Abstract: Identifying molecular connections between developmental processes and disease can lead to new hypotheses about health risks at all stages of life. Here we introduce a new approach to identifying significant connections between gene sets and disease genes, and apply it to several gene sets related to human development. To overcome the limits of incomplete and imperfect information linking genes to disease, we pool genes within disease subtrees in the MeSH taxonomy, and we demonstrate that such pooling improves the power and accuracy of our approach. Significance is assessed through permutation. We created a web-based visualization tool to facilitate multi-scale exploration of this large collection of significant connections (http://gda.cs.tufts.edu/development). High-level analysis of the results reveals expected connections between tissue-specific developmental processes and diseases linked to those tissues, and widespread connections to developmental disorders and cancers. Yet interesting new hypotheses may be derived from examining the unexpected connections. We highlight and discuss the implications of three such connections, linking dementia with bone development, polycystic ovary syndrome with cardiovascular development, and retinopathy of prematurity with lung development. Our results provide additional evidence that plays a key role in the early pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome. Our evidence also suggests that the VEGF pathway and downstream NFKB signaling may explain the complex relationship between bronchopulmonary dysplasia and retinopathy of prematurity, and may form a bridge between two currently-competing hypotheses about the molecular origins of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Further data exploration and similar queries about other gene sets may generate a variety of new information about the molecular relationships between additional diseases.
Maternal Obesity Affects Fetal Neurodevelopmental and Metabolic Gene Expression: A Pilot Study
Andrea G. Edlow, Neeta L. Vora, Lisa Hui, Heather C. Wick, Janet M. Cowan, Diana W. Bianchi
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088661
Abstract: Objective One in three pregnant women in the United States is obese. Their offspring are at increased risk for neurodevelopmental and metabolic morbidity. Underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. We performed a global gene expression analysis of mid-trimester amniotic fluid cell-free fetal RNA in obese versus lean pregnant women. Methods This prospective pilot study included eight obese (BMI≥30) and eight lean (BMI<25) women undergoing clinically indicated mid-trimester genetic amniocentesis. Subjects were matched for gestational age and fetal sex. Fetuses with abnormal karyotype or structural anomalies were excluded. Cell-free fetal RNA was extracted from amniotic fluid and hybridized to whole genome expression arrays. Genes significantly differentially regulated in 8/8 obese-lean pairs were identified using paired t-tests with the Benjamini-Hochberg correction (false discovery rate of <0.05). Biological interpretation was performed with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and the BioGPS gene expression atlas. Results In fetuses of obese pregnant women, 205 genes were significantly differentially regulated. Apolipoprotein D, a gene highly expressed in the central nervous system and integral to lipid regulation, was the most up-regulated gene (9-fold). Apoptotic cell death was significantly down-regulated, particularly within nervous system pathways involving the cerebral cortex. Activation of the transcriptional regulators estrogen receptor, FOS, and STAT3 was predicted in fetuses of obese women, suggesting a pro-estrogenic, pro-inflammatory milieu. Conclusion Maternal obesity affects fetal neurodevelopmental and metabolic gene expression as early as the second trimester. These findings may have implications for postnatal neurodevelopmental and metabolic abnormalities described in the offspring of obese women.
Neutrino Physics
Wick C. Haxton,Barry R. Holstein
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1119/1.19368
Abstract: The basic concepts of neutrino physics are presented at a level appropriate for integration into elementary courses on quantum mechanics and/or modern physics.
Neutrino Physics: an Update
Wick C. Haxton,Barry R. Holstein
Physics , 2003, DOI: 10.1119/1.1619142
Abstract: We update our recent didactic survey of neutrino physics, including new results from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and KamLAND experiments, and recent constraints from WMAP and other cosmological probes.
The Piecewise Moments Method: A Generalized Lanczos Technique for Nuclear Response Surfaces
Wick C. Haxton,Kenneth M. Nollett,Kathryn M. Zurek
Physics , 2005, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.72.065501
Abstract: For some years Lanczos moments methods have been combined with large-scale shell-model calculations in evaluations of the spectral distributions of certain operators. This technique is of great value because the alternative, a state-by-state summation over final states, is generally not feasible. The most celebrated application is to the Gamow-Teller operator, which governs beta decay and neutrino reactions in the allowed limit. The Lanczos procedure determines the nuclear response along a line q=0 in the (omega,q) plane, where omega and q are the energy and three-momentum transfered to the nucleus. However, generalizing such treatments from the allowed limit to general electroweak response functions at arbitrary momentum transfers seems considerably more difficult: the response function must be determined over the entire (omega,q) plane for an operator O(q) that is not fixed, but depends explicitly on q. Such operators arise in any semileptonic process where the momentum transfer is comparable to (or larger than) the inverse nuclear size. Here we show, for Slater determinants built on harmonic oscillator basis functions, that the nuclear response for any multipole operator O(q) can be determined efficiently over the full response plane by a generalization of the standard Lanczos moments method. We describe the Piecewise Moments Method and thoroughly explore its convergence properties for the test case of electromagnetic responses in a full sd-shell calculation of 28Si. We discuss possible extensions to a variety of electroweak processes, including charged- and neutral-current neutrino scattering.
Tomography of Massive Stars from Core Collapse to Supernova Shock Breakout
Matthew D. Kistler,Wick C. Haxton,Hasan Yuksel
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/778/1/81
Abstract: Neutrinos and gravitational waves are the only direct probes of the inner dynamics of a stellar core collapse. They are also the first signals to arrive from a supernova and, if detected, establish the moment when the shock wave is formed that unbinds the stellar envelope and later initiates the optical display upon reaching the stellar surface with a burst of UV and X-ray photons, the shock breakout (SBO). We discuss how neutrino observations can be used to trigger searches to detect the elusive SBO event. Observation of the SBO would provide several important constraints on progenitor structure and the explosion, including the shock propagation time (the duration between the neutrino burst and SBO), an observable that is important in distinguishing progenitor types. Our estimates suggest that next generation neutrino detectors could exploit the overdensity of nearby SNe to provide several such triggers per decade, more than an order of magnitude improvement over the present.
Solar models with accretion. I. Application to the solar abundance problem
Aldo M. Serenelli,Wick C. Haxton,Carlos Pena-Garay
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/743/1/24
Abstract: We generate new standard solar models using newly analyzed nuclear fusion cross sections and present results for helioseismic quantities and solar neutrino fluxes. We discuss the status of the solar abundance problem and investigate whether nonstandard solar models with accretion from the protoplanetary disk might alleviate the problem. We examine a broad range of possibilities, analyzing both metal-enriched and metal-depleted accretion models and exploring three scenarios for the timing of the accretion. Only partial solutions are found: one can bring either the depth of the convective zone or the surface helium abundance into agreement with helioseismic results, but not both simultaneously. In addition, detailed results for solar neutrino fluxes show that neutrinos are a competitive source of information about the solar core and can help constrain possible accretion histories of the Sun. Finally, we briefly discuss how measurements of solar neutrinos from the CN-cycle could shed light on the interaction between the early Sun and its protoplanetary disk.
Development and Evaluation of a Novel Interprofessional Learning Activity Addressing the Management of Phenylketonuria  [PDF]
Heather Donald, Morag C. E. McFadyen, Susanne P. Boyle
Creative Education (CE) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2013.43028
Abstract: This new initiative across the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University focuses around students from the Overseas Pharmacist’s Assessment Programme (OSPAP) and 3rd year Nutrition and Dietetics students working in an interprofessional setting to manage the care of individuals with Phenylketonuria (PKU). A problem based learning approach was employed which involved small group interprofessional working to solve a series of simulated case studies concerned with the management of phenylketonuria. The session was further enhanced by an expert patient narrative and the opportunity to test a series of commercially available low protein/low phenylalanine food substitutes provided by SHS-Nutricia and Vitaflo which are used in the disease management. Group evaluation of the activity was generally positive with all groups indicating that the learning objectives had been achieved in a setting which promoted collaborative interprofessional working, acquisition of knowledge pertaining to the management of PKU and a format which enabled a breadth and depth of material to be covered in a relatively short time. The contributions of the expert patient and availability of test samples enhanced the interactivity of the session and provided a meaningful insight into the real life scenario of PKU patients. Limitations of the session included the rather narrow range of healthcare professional students involved in the activity and the need for better signposting of preparatory reading material. Planned future developments of this initiative aim to involve health visiting, biomedical science and social work students to enable a more holistic approach to the health and social care issues of PKU to be considered and the inclusion of an Articulate quiz activity for student self evaluation pre event. In conclusion this initiative addressed the 6 learning objectives in an interactive manner which received positive learner feedback and the academic team has identified a clear strategy for future development.


Self-determination theory: its application to health behavior and complementarity with motivational interviewing
Heather Patrick, Geoffrey C Williams
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-9-18
Abstract: An impressive body of research has provided convincing evidence for the pivotal role of behavior in well-being, and morbidity and mortality, as well as health care costs [1]. Indeed, some estimates indicate that nearly 3/4 of all health care costs are attributable to chronic diseases resulting from health behaviors such as tobacco use and exposure, poor diet, and physical inactivity [2]. Other research has shown that adherence to five key lifestyle behaviors (eliminating tobacco exposure, body mass index (BMI) < 25, engaging in 30 minutes of physical activity or more per day, consuming alcohol in moderation, and eating a healthy diet) reduced coronary events by 62% over 16 years in a cohort of 42,000 US adult men. Further, men who adopted at least two of these behaviors had 27% lower risk for cardiovascular events compared to those who did not [3]. Lifestyle behaviors account for some 40% of mortality in industrialized countries and have been implicated in up to 2/3 of all cancers [4] as well as the onset and management of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Given the importance of health behaviors to well-being, health outcomes, and disease processes, developing a rigorous science of health behavior, its change and maintenance is critical to prolonging both length and quality of life.In recent years, the science of health behavior change has increasingly emphasized theory- based approaches to intervention. The use of theory to inform and test interventions is important both for expanding basic science and for developing interventions that have real-world practical utility. From the perspective of basic science, theories must be tested in multiple domains and through multiple methods to refine and expand them appropriately. Further, the use of theory is important to applications in health behavior change and maintenance because theories often inform us on how interventions work by identifying underlying mechanisms, thus providing mo
Solar and Supernova Constraints on Cosmologically Interesting Neutrinos
Wick Haxton
Physics , 1997,
Abstract: The sun and core-collapse supernovae produce neutrino spectra that are sensitive to the effects of masses and mixing. Current results from solar neutrino experiments provide perhaps our best evidence for such new neutrino physics, beyond the standard electroweak model. I discuss this evidence as well as the limited possibilities for more conventional explanations. If the resolution of the solar neutrino problem is $\nu_e \to \nu_\mu$ oscillations, standard seesaw estimates of $m_{\nu_\tau}$ suggest a cosmologically interesting third-generation neutrino. I discuss recent nucleosynthesis arguments that lead to an important constraint on this possibility.
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