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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 325649 matches for " Belinda S. Cowling "
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Defective Membrane Remodeling in Neuromuscular Diseases: Insights from Animal Models
Belinda S. Cowling equal contributor,Anne Toussaint equal contributor,Jean Muller,Jocelyn Laporte
PLOS Genetics , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002595
Abstract: Proteins involved in membrane remodeling play an essential role in a plethora of cell functions including endocytosis and intracellular transport. Defects in several of them lead to human diseases. Myotubularins, amphiphysins, and dynamins are all proteins implicated in membrane trafficking and/or remodeling. Mutations in myotubularin, amphiphysin 2 (BIN1), and dynamin 2 lead to different forms of centronuclear myopathy, while mutations in myotubularin-related proteins cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathies. In addition to centronuclear myopathy, dynamin 2 is also mutated in a dominant form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy. While several proteins from these different families are implicated in similar diseases, mutations in close homologues or in the same protein in the case of dynamin 2 lead to diseases affecting different tissues. This suggests (1) a common molecular pathway underlying these different neuromuscular diseases, and (2) tissue-specific regulation of these proteins. This review discusses the pathophysiology of the related neuromuscular diseases on the basis of animal models developed for proteins of the myotubularin, amphiphysin, and dynamin families. A better understanding of the common mechanisms between these neuromuscular disorders will lead to more specific health care and therapeutic approaches.
Phosphatase-Dead Myotubularin Ameliorates X-Linked Centronuclear Myopathy Phenotypes in Mice
Leonela Amoasii equal contributor,Dimitri L. Bertazzi equal contributor,Hélène Tronchère,Karim Hnia,Ga?tan Chicanne,Bruno Rinaldi,Belinda S. Cowling,Arnaud Ferry,Bruno Klaholz,Bernard Payrastre ? ,Jocelyn Laporte ? ,Sylvie Friant ?
PLOS Genetics , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002965
Abstract: Myotubularin MTM1 is a phosphoinositide (PPIn) 3-phosphatase mutated in X-linked centronuclear myopathy (XLCNM; myotubular myopathy). We investigated the involvement of MTM1 enzymatic activity on XLCNM phenotypes. Exogenous expression of human MTM1 in yeast resulted in vacuolar enlargement, as a consequence of its phosphatase activity. Expression of mutants from patients with different clinical progression and determination of PtdIns3P and PtdIns5P cellular levels confirmed the link between vacuolar morphology and MTM1 phosphatase activity, and showed that some disease mutants retain phosphatase activity. Viral gene transfer of phosphatase-dead myotubularin mutants (MTM1C375S and MTM1S376N) significantly improved most histological signs of XLCNM displayed by a Mtm1-null mouse, at similar levels as wild-type MTM1. Moreover, the MTM1C375S mutant improved muscle performance and restored the localization of nuclei, triad alignment, and the desmin intermediate filament network, while it did not normalize PtdIns3P levels, supporting phosphatase-independent roles of MTM1 in maintaining normal muscle performance and organelle positioning in skeletal muscle. Among the different XLCNM signs investigated, we identified only triad shape and fiber size distribution as being partially dependent on MTM1 phosphatase activity. In conclusion, this work uncovers MTM1 roles in the structural organization of muscle fibers that are independent of its enzymatic activity. This underlines that removal of enzymes should be used with care to conclude on the physiological importance of their activity.
Pregnancy outcomes in the extremes of reproductive age: A seven-year experience in Tanzania  [PDF]
Projestine S. Muganyizi, Belinda Balandya
Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OJOG) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ojog.2013.31012
Abstract:

Background: Extremes of reproductive age are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Although varieties of adverse outcomes are reported across international studies, it has been difficult to compare the results due to inconsistencies in design partly due to arbitrary age cut offs for low and high risk groups. This study utilized the international consensus age cut offs to separate low and high risk age groups and compared pregnancy outcomes among them. Methods: Data of all deliveries at the Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 1st January, 2005 to 31st December, 2011 were analyzed retrospectively and compared using IBM SPSS statistics 19. Ages 12 - 17 years (teenage) and 35 - 50 years were classified as high risk and 18 - 34 years as low risk. We treated the presence of any prenatal complication as primary outcome and intra/postpartum variables as secondary outcomes. Chi square test was used to compare proportions and t-test for continuous data among two independent groups. ANOVA with Bonferroni adjustment was used to compare differences in means across age groups. Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to determine odds of developing primary and secondary outcomes with age as an independent (categorical) variable. P-values of 0.05 or less were interpreted as statistically significant. Results: In total 65,453 singleton deliveries were identified of which 64,818 (99%) were analyzed including 1680 (2.6%) teenage and 7961 (12.3%) deliveries at 35 - 50 years. Teenage deliveries had progressively declined from 39/1000 in2005 to 16/1000 in2011 incontrast to a rise from 103/1000 to 145/1000 deliveries for the 35 - 50 years. Across all age groups, prenatal complications were least for teenage (11.4%) and most for 35 - 50 years (32.7%, χ2 = 51.3, P < 0.0001). With reference to age 18 – 34 years, teenage deliveries had significantly lower odds for prenatal complications (OR = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.3 - 0.5), and for delivery of 4.0 kg or more (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.2 - 0.5). Further, teenage deliveries had comparable odds for Cesarean section, stillbirths and maternal deaths. However, they had less antenatal care attendance (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.3 - 0.4), more low APGAR score deliveries at five minutes (OR =

Manuel Castells and Historical Materialism  [PDF]
Mark Cowling
Open Journal of Political Science (OJPS) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ojps.2014.41001
Abstract:

Considering the very large volume of work produced by Castells, the relative scarcity of secondary literature discussing his theories is somewhat surprising. Castells does not really try to situate his theories about the network society in relation to Marxism. The argument of this paper is that Castells provides a plausible account of some major features of the means of production in the contemporary phase of capitalism, and also of the effects of this on society more generally. His theories could form the basis of an academically respectable version of historical materialism. Some problems with his theories are discussed.

Ecosystem Services, Land-Cover Change, and Stakeholders: Finding a Sustainable Foothold for a Semiarid Biodiversity Hotspot
Belinda Reyers,Patrick J. O'Farrell,Richard M. Cowling,Benis N. Egoh
Ecology and Society , 2009,
Abstract: Land-cover change has been identified as one of the most important drivers of change in ecosystems and their services. However, information on the consequences of land cover change for ecosystem services and human well-being at local scales is largely absent. Where information does exist, the traditional methods used to collate and communicate this information represent a significant obstacle to sustainable ecosystem management. Embedding science in a social process and solving problems together with stakeholders are necessary elements in ensuring that new knowledge results in desired actions, behavior changes, and decisions. We have attempted to address this identified information gap, as well as the way information is gathered, by quantifying the local-scale consequences of land-cover change for ecosystem services in the Little Karoo region, a semiarid biodiversity hotspot in South Africa. Our work is part of a stakeholder-engaged process that aims to answer questions inspired by the beneficiaries and managers of ecosystem services. We mapped and quantified the potential supply of, and changes in, five ecosystem services: production of forage, carbon storage, erosion control, water flow regulation, and tourism. Our results demonstrated substantial (20%–50%) declines across ecosystem services as a result of land-cover change in the Little Karoo. We linked these changes in land-cover to the political and land-use history of the region. We found that the natural features that deliver the Little Karoo’s ecosystem services, similar to other semiarid regions, are not being managed in a way that recognizes their constraints and vulnerabilities. There is a resulting decline in ecosystem services, leading to an increase in unemployment and vulnerability to shocks, and narrowing future options. We have proposed a way forward for the region that includes immediate action and restoration, mechanisms to fund this action, the development of future economic activity including tourism and carbon markets, and new ways that the science–stakeholder partnership can foster these changes. Although we acknowledge the radical shifts required, we have highlighted the opportunities provided by the resilience and adaptation potential of semiarid regions, their biodiversity, and their inhabitants.
Pregnancy Outcomes of the Internally Displaced Women in Juba, South Sudan  [PDF]
Sarah Mustafa, Projestine S. Muganyizi, Anthony Lupai, Belinda S. Balandya
Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OJOG) , 2019, DOI: 10.4236/ojog.2019.93029
Abstract: Background: Conflict and displacement substantially affect maternal reproductive health by increasing the risks formorbidity and mortality. However, most literature on pregnancy outcomes is from cross-border refugees and migrants. To date, scanty literature is available on pregnancy outcomes of internally displaced women. South Sudan, with 16 women dying daily is badly affected by internal conflicts of which by the end of December 2013 about 2.2 million people were internally displaced. The aim of this study was to determine pregnancy outcomes of women living in the United Nations House Internally Displaced People (UN IDP) camp and factors associated with poor outcomes. The study was ethically cleared by MUHAS and the Ministry of Health in South Sudan. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in UN House IDP Camp in Juba among internally displaced women who attended antenatal services in the camp, from September to November 2016. Among them, women who became pregnant in last 3 years, excluding the index, were interviewed about their immediate past pregnancy experiences. Additionally, the women were interviewed on reproductive health and gender violence matters. Interviews were guided by a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 20. Descriptive and multivariate logistic regression analyses were computed for associations with poor pregnancy outcome. Results: A total of 300 internally displaced women participated in the study. Data for 289 participants were analyzed for poor pregnancy outcome. More than half of the women, 157 (54.3%), had poor pregnancy outcome. Poor Maternal outcome was established in 47% of the women and poor fetal outcome in 27.7%.
Potentials for win-win alliances among animal agriculture and forest products industries: Application of the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development
Ellis B. Cowling,Cari S. Furiness
Science China Life Sciences , 2005, DOI: 10.1007/BF03187110
Abstract: Commercial forests in many parts of the world are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrient-deficient forests often exist in close proximity to large animal feeding operations, meat processing and other food, textile, or other biomass-processing plants, and municipal waste treatment facilities. Many of these facilities produce large surpluses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic matter as gaseous ammonia, urea, uric acid, phosphorus compounds, bacterial sludges, and partially treated municipal wastewaters. These co-existing and substantial nutrient deficiencies and surpluses offer ready-made opportunities for discovery, demonstration, and commercial development of science-based, technology-facilitated, environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable “win-win alliances” among these major industries based on the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development. The major challenge is to discover practical means to capture the surplus nutrients and put them to work in forest stands from which value-added products can be produced and sold at a profit.
Synergy between molecular biology and imaging science toward mechanism-based biomarkers associated with prostate cancer  [PDF]
Belinda Seto
Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering (JBiSE) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/jbise.2012.512A107
Abstract:

Prostate cancer is a heterogeneous disease with subtypes that are characterized by different molecular profiles as a result of chromosomal rearrangements, epigenetic modifications, and activation of various signaling pathways. The subtype heterogeneity contributes to the challenges with a definitive diagnosis and biomarkers for disease progression. The current diagnostic test based on the detection of prostate specific antigen lacks sensitivity and specificity. Imaging plays an important role in characterizing biomarkers and elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms. For example, 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy glucose is commonly used to assess cancer cell metabolism. More recently, magnetic resonance spectroscopic observations of the in vivo dynamic conversion of hyperpolarized 13C- pyruvate to lactate demonstrate that imaging enables the visualization of molecular processes. Biomarkers have also been developed that reveal aberrant cell growth and proliferation, both hallmarks of cancer. Androgen dependent and independent signaling path- ways underpin prostate cancer pathogenesis as they lead to downstream effect in cell growth, proliferation, survival, and suppression of apoptosis. Molecular imaging with radiolabeled ligands and positron emission tomography/computed tomography has provided quantitative characterization of the interactions between receptors and testosterone or growth factors. These observations, along with data on genetic alterations of the receptor genes, shed light on signal transduction involved in prostate cancer. This review article highlights advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer and the synergy of this knowledge with imaging in characterizing potential biomarkers of the disease.

Historical survey of the non European army services outside of the Union of South Africa (Part II)
N Cowling
Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies , 1994,
Abstract: The writer of this manuscript, Captain J C Knoetze, served as Deputy Assistant Adjudant General NEAS at the UDF Administrative Headquarters in the Central Mediterranean theatre of operations. During this period he was commissioned to compile this history of the NEAS for the Union War Histories Committee. It was dated in Rome on 15 August 1945.
Operation overlord - A synopsis of the D-day landings
N Cowling
Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies , 1994,
Abstract:
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