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  • Current opinion in rheumatology 09/2013; 25(6). DOI:10.1097/01.bor.0000434675.70268.bd
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    ABSTRACT: To date, a range of ion channels have been identified in chondrocytes using a number of different techniques, predominantly electrophysiological and/or biomolecular; each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. Here we aim to compare and contrast the data available from biophysical and microarray experiments. This letter analyses recent transcriptomics datasets from chondrocytes, accessible from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). We discuss whether such bioinformatic analysis of microarray datasets can potentially accelerate identification and discovery of ion channels in chondrocytes. The ion channels which appear most frequently across these microarray datasets are discussed, along with their possible functions. We discuss whether functional or protein data exist which support the microarray data. A microarray experiment comparing gene expression in osteoarthritis and healthy cartilage is also discussed and we verify the differential expression of 2 of these genes, namely the genes encoding the BK and aquaporin channels.
    Channels (Austin, Tex.) 08/2013; 7(6). DOI:10.4161/chan.26071
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    ABSTRACT: Acute venous thromboembolism poses significant problems in pregnancy, a time when objective diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential. Events can occur at any stage in pregnancy, but the period of greatest risk is in the weeks after delivery. Ultrasound venography remains the diagnostic technique of choice for deep venous thrombosis. For pulmonary thromboembolism, ventilation perfusion lung scan is usually preferred more than computerized tomography pulmonary angiography because of the lower maternal radiation dose and the lower prevalence of coexisting pulmonary problems. Low-molecular-weight heparin is the agent of choice for treatment of venous thromboembolism in pregnancy, and treatment should be provided for a minimum of 3 months and for at least 6 weeks after delivery. New anticoagulant agents such as dabigatran, rivaroxaban, or apixaban are not recommended for use in pregnancy.
    Hematology 12/2012; 2012:203-7. DOI:10.1182/asheducation-2012.1.203
  • Current Opinion in Structural Biology 10/2012; 22(5):591-3. DOI:10.1016/j.sbi.2012.09.005
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    ABSTRACT: Low molecular weight heparins are widely used to try to prevent pregnancy complications.In this issue of Blood, Martinelli and colleagues report a critical randomized trial that demonstrates no efficacy from such treatment
    Blood 04/2012; 119(14):3192-3. DOI:10.1182/blood-2012-02-410365
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    ABSTRACT: A central explanation for group living across animal taxa is the reduced rate of attack by predators. However, many field observations show a weak or non-existent effect of group size on per capita mortality rates. Herein we resolve this apparent paradox. We found that Pieris brassicae larvae defended themselves less readily when in groups than when alone, in that they were more reluctant to regurgitate in response to simulated attacks and produced less regurgitant. Furthermore, a simple model demonstrates that this reluctance was sufficient to cancel out the benefit from being in a group. This conditional strategy can be understood in terms of the costs and benefits of defences. For grouped individuals, defence is less often required because attack rates are lower and the costs of defence may be higher due to competition for resources. These phenomena are likely to be widespread in facultatively gregarious species that utilise anti-predator defences.
    Ecology Letters 04/2012; 15(6):576-83. DOI:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01770.x
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    ABSTRACT: The sulfur SAD phasing method allows the determination of protein structures de novo without reference to derivatives such as Se-methionine. The feasibility for routine automated sulfur SAD phasing using a number of current protein crystallography beamlines at several synchrotrons was examined using crystals of trimeric Achromobacter cycloclastes nitrite reductase (AcNiR), which contains a near average proportion of sulfur-containing residues and two Cu atoms per subunit. Experiments using X-ray wavelengths in the range 1.9-2.4 Å show that we are not yet at the level where sulfur SAD is routinely successful for automated structure solution and model building using existing beamlines and current software tools. On the other hand, experiments using the shortest X-ray wavelengths available on existing beamlines could be routinely exploited to solve and produce unbiased structural models using the similarly weak anomalous scattering signals from the intrinsic metal atoms in proteins. The comparison of long-wavelength phasing (the Bijvoet ratio for nine S atoms and two Cu atoms is ~1.25% at ~2 Å) and copper phasing (the Bijvoet ratio for two Cu atoms is 0.81% at ~0.75 Å) for AcNiR suggests that lower data multiplicity than is currently required for success should in general be possible for sulfur phasing if appropriate improvements to beamlines and data collection strategies can be implemented.
    Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 01/2012; 19(Pt 1):19-29. DOI:10.1107/S0909049511049004
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    ABSTRACT: This article reflects on contributions from medical anthropology to our understanding of the bio-social and bio-political implications of renal transplantation. Taking up the idea of transplantation as a 'complex', a vast assemblage of people, places, practices and procedures which intersect medical, social and cultural domains, I point to a reliance in the anthropological literature on overly pre-determined conceptual frameworks, organised around a distinct polarisation between organ giving and receiving, where one side (supply) takes analytical, and indeed moral, precedence over the other (receipt). These frameworks tend to fail us when it comes to thinking about the wider social, cultural and political implications of transplant technologies. In an attempt to offer a less polarised view, I draw attention to the material and symbolic role of the immune system in transplantation and the ways in which it simultaneously shapes opportunities for procurement and the lived realities of recipiency. This helps us see the many complex ways in which suffering and inequality are constituted all along the variegated chains of supply and demand that are internal to, and made possible by, transplantation practices themselves.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 11/2011; 73(10):1469-76. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.09.008
  • Medical Education 09/2011; 45(9):961-2. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04047.x
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    ABSTRACT: Geriatric horses (aged≥15 years) now represent a substantial proportion of the equine population, yet mortality rates for aged horses in the UK have not previously been described. Although post-mortem studies have provided some data regarding specific causes of death, "old age" is a common owner-reported reason for euthanasia of adult horses, indicating further elucidation of reasons for death or euthanasia is required for the geriatric equine population. The objective of this cohort study was to describe mortality rates, causes of death or euthanasia and factors associated with mortality in geriatric horses and ponies. Veterinary registered horses randomly selected for a cross-sectional questionnaire survey on geriatric health were enrolled in the cohort study (n=908). Follow-up information was obtained over an 18-month period via telephone questionnaires and mortality questionnaires, providing data regarding reasons for death or euthanasia, were completed for 118 cases of mortality. Overall and stratified mortality rates were calculated and Cox proportional hazards models were used to investigate risk factors associated with mortality. The majority (94%) of mortalities were euthanised, most frequently due to lameness (24%) and colic (21%). Veterinary advice was important in owner decision making regarding euthanasia of cases of colic or other acute illnesses, while poor quality of life was considered an important factor where euthanasia was due to chronic diseases or lameness. Overall mortality rate was 11.1 (95% C.I. 9.2-13.2) per 100 horse-years at risk, with the mortality rate of animals >30 years of age over five times the rate in horses aged 15-19 years. On multivariable analysis, increasing age was associated with increasing mortality and Cob/Cob crossbreeds and Thoroughbred/Thoroughbred crossbreeds had an increased risk of mortality. Horses considered to be underweight had a greater risk of mortality than those in good condition. Increasing number of owner-reported clinical signs and the degree to which pain was reported to limit normal daily activities were associated with increased risk of mortality. The results of this study provide useful information about rates and factors associated with mortality in geriatric horses in the UK, which should be relevant to veterinary surgeons involved in the treatment of aged horses.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 09/2011; 101(3-4):204-18. DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.06.002
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Ecology Letters 10/2010; 13(12):1494-502. DOI:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01539.x
Women in Engineering, Science and Technology: Education and Career Challenges Edited by A. Cater-Steel, Cater E, 01/2010: chapter 7: pages 138-152; IGI Global.