Georgia State University
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
Recent publications
The gut microbiome is intricately coupled with immune regulation and metabolism, but its role in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not fully understood. Severe and fatal COVID-19 is characterized by poor anti-viral immunity and hypercoagulation, particularly in males. Here, we define multiple pathways by which the gut microbiome protects mammalian hosts from SARS-CoV-2 intranasal infection, both locally and systemically, via production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs reduced viral burdens in the airways and intestines by downregulating the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and enhancing adaptive immunity via GPR41 and 43 in male animals. We further identify a novel role for the gut microbiome in regulating systemic coagulation response by limiting megakaryocyte proliferation and platelet turnover via the Sh2b3-Mpl axis. Taken together, our findings have unraveled novel functions of SCFAs and fiber-fermenting gut bacteria to dampen viral entry and hypercoagulation and promote adaptive antiviral immunity.
Background The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic hit South America badly with multiple waves. Different COVID-19 variants have been storming across the region, leading to more severe infections and deaths even in places with high vaccination coverage. This study aims to assess the spatiotemporal variability of the COVID-19 pandemic and estimate the infection fatality rate (IFR), infection attack rate (IAR) and reproduction number ( $${R}_{0}$$ R 0 ) for twelve most affected South American countries. Methods We fit a susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR)-based model with a time-varying transmission rate to the reported COVID-19 deaths for the twelve South American countries with the highest mortalities. Most of the epidemiological datasets analysed in this work are retrieved from the disease surveillance systems by the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and Our World in Data. We investigate the COVID-19 mortalities in these countries, which could represent the situation for the overall South American region. We employ COVID-19 dynamic model with-and-without vaccination considering time-varying flexible transmission rate to estimate IFR, IAR and $${R}_{0}$$ R 0 of COVID-19 for the South American countries. Results We simulate the model in each scenario under suitable parameter settings and yield biologically reasonable estimates for IFR (varies between 0.303% and 0.723%), IAR (varies between 0.03 and 0.784) and $${R}_{0}$$ R 0 (varies between 0.7 and 2.5) for the 12 South American countries. We observe that the severity, dynamical patterns of deaths and time-varying transmission rates among the countries are highly heterogeneous. Further analysis of the model with the effect of vaccination highlights that increasing the vaccination rate could help suppress the pandemic in South America. Conclusions This study reveals possible reasons for the two waves of COVID-19 outbreaks in South America. We observed reductions in the transmission rate corresponding to each wave plausibly due to improvement in nonpharmaceutical interventions measures and human protective behavioral reaction to recent deaths. Thus, strategies coupling social distancing and vaccination could substantially suppress the mortality rate of COVID-19 in South America. Graphical Abstract
Climate change poses a particular threat to the world’s unique built heritage—historic buildings, sites monuments, and museums. As preserving built heritage resources from climate change becomes a global priority, understanding the current inadequacies of legal frameworks designed to protect built heritage in coastal areas is essential. Only by identifying and examining these shortfalls can countries create resilient legal policies and tools that better protect coastal built heritage from the immediate and long-term effects of climate change. Building on previous comparative cultural heritage law scholarship, this article describes the legal frameworks that the United States, United Kingdom, and France use to protect their respective built heritage in coastal areas and identifies two critical challenges facing each country.
Few studies have investigated the potential of instructive feedback (IF) procedures to result in the emergence of novel‐related verbal responses. Furthermore, few studies have directly assessed the role self‐echoic behavior may have in IF procedures. The current replication and extension evaluated the effects of IF procedures during unmastered primary target trials on the emergence of novel verbal responses. All learners acquired primary, secondary, and related, but unpresented, verbal responses, and maintained responding for 2 months. These results extend the IF literature by providing evidence that IF may facilitate the emergence of novel verbal responses during skill acquisition.
The current study examined the extent to which sixth grade students used their pre-existing topic beliefs to guide comprehension of semantic ideas within multiple conflicting texts, and the sources providing them. Adolescents completed an inventory assessing their pre-reading topic beliefs one week prior to the study. During the study, students read 6 controversial texts, completed an assessment of their metacognitive awareness during reading, and wrote an essay from memory based on information provided by the texts. A between-participants manipulation tasked adolescents to read opposing stances in an alternating format, or to read all arguments for one side prior to switching to the opposing arguments. Regarding the results, the extent of adolescents’ pro-vegetarian topic beliefs predicted their taking a pro-vegetarian stance, inclusion of more belief-consistent and fewer belief-inconsistent (pro-meat) ideas, and fewer mentions of sources in the essays. The extent of adolescents’ topic beliefs also positively predicted expressions of metacognitive awareness during reading. When contradictory stances were experienced in an alternating format, adolescents included more source information in their written essays than when they read all arguments for one side prior to switching to the opposing arguments. The findings have important implications for theories of multiple text comprehension and applications for adolescents’ everyday reading experiences on the web.
Many middle school students perform below grade-level standards in reading (National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, 2019), and recent observation studies demonstrate middle school teachers’ limited use of reading comprehension practices within content area instruction (e.g., science and social studies; as reported by Greenleaf (in: Hinchman (ed) Adolescent literacies: A handbook of practice-based research, Guilford Press, 2017)). In this experimental pilot study, we aimed to boost middle schoolers’ reading comprehension outcomes by providing schoolwide professional development (PD) on integrating reading comprehension practices within content instruction for English language arts, social studies, and science teachers. Six schools were matched into pairs and randomized to the schoolwide PD or a business-as-usual (BAU) condition. Content area teachers in schools assigned to the PD condition received distributed PD resources to support implementation, and coaching in one reading comprehension practice in the fall (i.e., get the gist) and one in the spring (i.e., asking and answering questions). Contrary to traditional PD, this PD was implemented across three content areas, was narrow in scope but long in duration (one practice per semester), focused on practices that could feasibly be integrated into content area instruction, and included ongoing coaching in content area teams. Students in schools assigned to the PD condition significantly outperformed those in the BaU condition on a measure of main idea generation (ES = 0.29) but not on measures of asking and answering questions (ES = 0.11) and general reading comprehension (ES = − 0.09). Findings suggest promise for implementing schoolwide approaches embedded within content area instruction to improve reading comprehension performance for middle school students.
Anterior load carriage, identified as a fall risk factor, is commonly required in daily living activities and occupations. Dynamic gait stability quantifies the kinematic relationship between the human body's center of mass and base of support and has been widely used to assess fall risk. The current study was conducted as a portion of a larger project exploring the effects of anterior load carriage on the control of body stability during various walking conditions. Particularly, this study examined the effect of anterior load carriage on dynamic gait stability during level overground walking among young adults. It was hypothesized that anterior load carriage would compromise dynamic gait stability during walking. Thirty young adults were evenly randomized into three groups: no load (Group 1), 10% body mass (bm) (Group 2), and 20% bm (Group 3). Each group walked overground at a self-selected speed carrying the assigned load. Kinematics were collected for the body and load through motion capture. Dynamic gait stability, gait speed, step length, and trunk angle were determined based on the kinematics and compared between groups. The results did not detect significant load-related effects on dynamic gait stability, step length, or gait speed. A significant load-related difference was found in trunk angle: the heavier the load, the more backward leaned trunk. Further analyses revealed a more posteriorly-leaned trunk in Groups 2 and 3 than Group 1 and in Group 3 than Group 2. The results indicated that young adults could maintain dynamic gait stability when carrying a front load by leaning the trunk backward but keeping other gait parameters unchanged.
In her Pharmaceutical Freedom, Jessica Flanigan argues that antibiotics can be regulated consistent with her otherwise largely deregulatory view with respect to pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs. I contend in this essay that the reasons for justifying antibiotic regulation are reasons that can be offered to justify the regulation of many other drugs, both pharmaceutical and recreational. After laying out the specifics of Flanigan’s view, I suggest that it is amenable to the regulation of drugs like varenicline. Though such drugs can legitimately improve the quality of a patient’s life by helping them quit smoking, they could be permissibly regulated if they expose others to impermissible risks. I then argue that recreational drugs like alcohol could be regulated using the same reasoning. In the penultimate section of this essay, I anticipate objections that one might have to my extension of arguments favoring antibiotic regulation to drugs correlated with aggression. Flanigan might find my extrapolation of her view as entirely plausible and accept that her view is relatively friendly to these regulations, or she might reconsider her antibiotic caveat if these regulations are overly paternalistic on her understanding. I conclude by briefly considering the benefits and drawbacks of adopting each view.
This study examines changes in labor supply, income, and time allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico. Using an event-study design, we show that the COVID-19 recession had severe negative consequences for Mexican households. In the first month of the pandemic, employment declined by 17 percentage points. Men recovered their employment faster than women, where men’s employment approaches original levels by 2021Q2. Women, on the other hand, experienced persistent employment losses. Within-household, men also increased their time spent on household chores while neither gender (persistently) increased their time caring for others. Instead, children reduced their time spent on schoolwork by 25%.
Purpose To examine the relations between patient-reported outcomes (PROs) within a conceptual model for adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) ages 18 – 45 years enrolled in the multi-site Sickle Cell Disease Implementation Consortium (SCDIC) registry. We hypothesized that patient and SCD-related factors, particularly pain, and barriers to care would independently contribute to functioning as measured using PRO domains. Methods Participants (N = 2054) completed a 48-item survey including socio-demographics and PRO measures, e.g., social functioning, pain impact, emotional distress, and cognitive functioning. Participants reported on lifetime SCD complications, pain episode frequency and severity, and barriers to healthcare. Results Higher pain frequency was associated with higher odds of worse outcomes in all PRO domains, controlling for age, gender and site (OR range 1.02–1.10, 95% CI range [1.004–1.12]). Reported history of treatment for depression was associated with 5 of 7 PRO measures (OR range 1.58–3.28 95% CI range [1.18–4.32]). Fewer individual barriers to care and fewer SCD complications were associated with better outcomes in the emotion domain (OR range 0.46–0.64, 95% CI range [0.34–0.86]). Conclusions Study results highlight the importance of the biopsychosocial model to enhance understanding of the needs of this complex population, and to design multi-dimensional approaches for providing more effective interventions to improve outcomes.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a major health problem, yet most individuals with AUD do not perceive a need for formal treatment and do not receive treatment. The lack of treatment seeking among individuals with AUD may suggest a lack of self-awareness and insight into the seriousness of AUD related problems, as well as lack of empathy for the impact of one’s drinking on others. Recent work has suggested that empathy may be impaired among individuals seeking treatment for AUD. Further these impairments may differ by sex such that males with lower empathy reported more drinking consequences and greater drinking intensity, but there was no association between empathy and drinking among females. The current study used regression analyses (alpha = 0.05) to examine the association between empathy (as measured by the four scales of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index), independent components of gray matter volume in regions associated with empathy, and drinking variables among non-treatment seeking drinkers with AUD (N = 136) and also examined these effects by sex. Results showed greater perspective taking was associated with less temporoparietal and frontotemporal gray matter volume (B(SE) = −0.912 (0.043), p = 0.034). An interaction between perspective taking and sex was associated with craving, such that higher perspective taking was associated with less craving for males only (B(SE) = −0.48 (0.243), p = 0.049; R² = 0.087). Empathic concern was related to lower percent heavy drinking days for both males and females (B(SE) = −1.57 (0.743), p = 0.035; R² = 0.11). The current study found empathy may be an important predictor of craving for males and frequency of heavy drinking for males and females. Future work should investigate whether empathy predicts treatment seeking.
Let G be a simple graph, and let n, Δ(G) and χ′(G) be the order, the maximum degree and the chromatic index of G, respectively. We call G overfull if |E(G)|/⌊n/2⌋>Δ(G), and critical if χ′(H)<χ′(G) for every proper subgraph H of G. Clearly, if G is overfull then χ′(G)=Δ(G)+1 by Vizing's Theorem. The core of G, denoted by GΔ, is the subgraph of G induced by all its maximum degree vertices. Hilton and Zhao conjectured that for any critical class 2 graph G with Δ(G)≥4, if the maximum degree of GΔ is at most two, then G is overfull, which in turn gives Δ(G)>n/2+1. We show that for any critical class 2 graph G, if the minimum degree of GΔ is at most two and Δ(G)>n/2+1, then G is overfull.
Growing incidence of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and a lack of intensive examination of NSSI variability among adolescents justify identification of latent classes based on the endorsement of different NSSI behaviors. Latent class analysis was used to detect the heterogeneity of past month NSSI among 322 high school students (73.2% female). Two interpretable latent classes emerged. The Severe/Multimethod NSSI class (39%) engaged in almost all forms of NSSI with high intensity and motivated mainly for intrapersonal reasons. The results imply that compared to Mild/Moderate NSSI group (61%), the Severe class is at greater risk for poor mental health, which can exacerbate further NSSI acts. In school settings, identifying adolescents who are vulnerable for more severe NSSI can help to interrupt NSSI trajectories to emerging adulthood.
Despite the increasing number of companies deploying big data analytics (BDA) in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, few studies have investigated how the use of BDA in CSR activities affects CSR performance. Drawing on the resource-based view, we propose that the impact of BDA use in CSR initiatives (BDA-enabled CSR) on CSR performance depends on a firm's ability to provide data-driven insights through big data management and big data analytics (big data analytics capability, BDAC). We further show that the positive interaction effect of BDA-enabled CSR and BDAC on CSR performance is pronounced in the CSR performance categories of environmental impact, employee relations, product safety, and corporate governance, but not in community relations, human rights, and workplace diversity. This study contributes to BDA literature as well as CSR literature by empirically demonstrating how BDA-enabled CSR and BDAC influence CSR performance. This study provides practical implications to strategy managers, social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists or investors, and policy makers.
Most animals encounter social challenges throughout their lives as they compete for resources. Individual responses to such challenges can depend on social status, sex, and community-level attributes, yet most of our knowledge of the behavioral and physiological mechanisms by which individuals respond to challenges has come from dyadic interactions between a resource holder and a challenger (usually both males). To incorporate differences in individual behavior that are influenced by surrounding group members, we use naturalistic communities of the cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, and examine resident dominant male responses to a territorial intrusion within the social group. We measured behavior and steroid hormones (testosterone and cortisol), and neural activity in key brain regions implicated in regulating territorial and social dominance behavior. In response to a male intruder, resident dominant males shifted from border defense to overt attack behavior, accompanied by decreased basolateral amygdala activity. These differences were context dependent – resident dominant males only exhibited increased border defense when the intruder secured dominance. Neither subordinate males nor females changed their behavior in response to a territorial intrusion in their community. However, neural activity in both hippocampus and lateral septum of subordinates increased when the intruder failed to establish dominance. Our results demonstrate how a social challenge results in multi-faceted behavioral, hormonal, and neural changes, depending on social status, sex, and the outcome of an intruder challenge. Taken together, our work provides novel insights into the mechanisms through which individual group members display context- and status-appropriate challenge responses in dynamic social groups.
The role of oxytocin in maternal caregiving and other postpartum behaviours has been studied for more than five decades. How oxytocin interacts with other neurochemical systems to enact these behavioural changes, however, is only slowly being elucidated. The best-studied oxytocin–neurotransmitter interaction is with the mesolimbic dopamine system, and this interaction is essential for maternal motivation and active caregiving behaviours such as retrieval of pups. Considerably less attention has been dedicated to investigating how oxytocin interacts with central serotonin to influence postpartum behaviour. Recently, it has become clear that while oxytocin–dopamine interactions regulate the motivational and pup-approach aspects of maternal caregiving behaviours, oxytocin–serotonin interactions appear to regulate nearly all other aspects including postpartum nursing, aggression, anxiety-like behaviour and stress coping strategy. Collectively, oxytocin's interactions with central dopamine and serotonin systems are thus critical for the entire suite of behavioural adaptations exhibited in the postpartum period, and these sites of interaction are potential pharmacological targets for where oxytocin could help to ameliorate deficits in maternal caregiving and poor postpartum mental health. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Interplays between oxytocin and other neuromodulators in shaping complex social behaviours’.
Purpose Hirschsprung disease is a neurointestinal disease that occurs due to failure of enteric neural crest-derived cells to complete their rostrocaudal migration along the gut mesenchyme, resulting in aganglionosis along variable lengths of the distal bowel. Despite the effective surgery that removes the aganglionic segment, children with Hirschsprung disease remain at high risk for developing a potentially life-threatening enterocolitis (Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis). Although the etiology of this enterocolitis remains poorly understood, several recent studies in both mouse models and in human subjects suggest potential involvement of gastrointestinal microbiota in the underlying pathogenesis of Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis. Methods We present the first study to exploit the Illumina MiSeq next-generation sequencing platform within a longitudinal framework focused on microbiomes of Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis in five patients. We analyzed bacterial communities from fecal samples collected at different timepoints starting from active enterocolitis and progressing into remission. Results We observed compositional differences between patients largely attributable to variability in age at the time of sample collection. Remission samples across patients exhibited compositional similarity, including enrichment of Blautia, while active enterocolitis samples showed substantial variability in composition. Conclusions Overall, our findings provide continued support for the role of GI microbiota in the pathogenesis of Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis.
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Binghe Wang
  • Department of Chemistry
Serry El Bialy
  • Department of Chemistry
Ashutosh Shandilya
  • Department of Chemistry
Dora Il'yasova
  • School of Public Health
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