Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Latest Publications

Select tags to filter on

Innate Sleep Apnea in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats Is Associated With Microvascular Rarefaction and Neuronal Loss in the preBötzinger Complex

Reno Roberts, Robert T.R. Huckstepp

Sleep apnea (SA) is a major threat to physical health and carries a significant economic burden. These impacts are worsened by its interaction with, and induction of, its comorbidities. SA holds a bidirectional relationship with hypertension, which drives atherosclerosis/arteriolosclerosis, ultimately culminating in vascular dementia. To enable a better understanding of these sequelae of events, we investigated innate SA and its effects on cognition in adult-aged spontaneously hypertensive rats, which have a range of cardiovascular disorders. Spontaneously hypertensive rats displayed a higher degree of sleep-disordered breathing, which emanates from poor vascular health leading to a loss of preBötzinger Complex neurons. These rats also display small vessel white matter disease, a form of vascular dementia, which may be exacerbated by the SA-induced neuroinflammation in the hippocampus to worsen the related deficits in both long- and short-term memories.

Stroke. November 2023

Fri 08 Dec 2023, 07:59 | Tags: Neuroscience

The effect of organic matter amendments on soil surface stability in conventionally cultivated arable fields

Jacqueline L. Stroud, Simon J. Kemp, Craig J. Sturrock

In this study, new and traditional organic wastes (green waste compost, farmyard manure (FYM), anaerobic digestate or straw) were ploughed into an arable field experiment at a range of rates (1–3 t C ha−1) and under spring and winter cropping rotations for 5 years. The stability of the soil surface structure (<5 cm) was assessed in Years 3, 4 and 5 to guide the use of organic wastes in arable field management. In conclusion, to achieve a stable soil surface structure, a 150% improvement in aggregate stability would be needed here and ploughing in organic wastes was not a successful management approach on these arable field experiments.

Soil Use and Management. November 2023

A smooth tubercle bacillus from Ethiopia phylogenetically close to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

Yenew, B., et al. (incl. Didelot, X)

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) includes several human- and animal-adapted pathogens. It is thought to have originated in East Africa from a recombinogenic Mycobacterium canettii-like ancestral pool. Here, we describe the discovery of a clinical tuberculosis strain isolated in Ethiopia that shares archetypal phenotypic and genomic features of M. canettii strains, but represents a phylogenetic branch much closer to the MTBC clade than to the M. canettii strains. Analysis of genomic traces of horizontal gene transfer in this isolate and previously identified M. canettii strains indicates a persistent albeit decreased recombinogenic lifestyle near the emergence of the MTBC. Our findings support that the MTBC emergence from its putative free-living M. canettii-like progenitor is evolutionarily very recent, and suggest the existence of a continuum of further extant derivatives from ancestral stages, close to the root of the MTBC, along the Great Rift Valley.

Nature Communications. November 2023

Mon 04 Dec 2023, 08:09 | Tags: Microbiology & Infectious Disease

Spatio-temporal surveillance and early detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: a retrospective analysis

Massimo Cavallaro, Louise Dyson, Michael J Tildesley, Dan Todkill, Matt J Keeling

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been characterized by the repeated emergence of genetically distinct virus variants of increased transmissibility and immune evasion compared to pre-existing lineages. Here we study the spatial invasion and early spread of the Alpha, Delta and Omicron (BA.1 and BA.2) variants in England from September 2020 to February 2022 using the random neighbourhood covering (RaNCover) method. This is a statistical technique for the detection of aberrations in spatial point processes, which we tailored here to community PCR (polymerase-chain-reaction) test data where the TaqPath kit provides a proxy measure of the switch between variants. Retrospectively, RaNCover detected the earliest signals associated with the four novel variants that led to large infection waves in England. With suitable data our method therefore has the potential to rapidly detect outbreaks of future SARS-CoV-2 variants, thus helping to inform targeted public health interventions.

Journal of the Royal Society Interface. November 2023

Thu 30 Nov 2023, 09:04 | Tags: Microbiology & Infectious Disease

Microplastic transport dynamics in surcharging and overflowing manholes

Ben Stride, Charlotte Dykes, Soroush Abolfathi, Modupe Jimoh, Gary D Bending, Jonathan Pearson

The transport of microplastics within urban water systems remains poorly understood, with little prior research on their behaviour within manhole configurations. This study represents the first to measure and model the transport dynamics of microplastics within circular and square manholes under different hydraulic scenarios. The transport and fate of polyethylene (PE) was quantified and compared to solutes (Rhodamine WT dye) using energy losses, residence time distributions (RTDs), and mixing models within surcharging and overflowing manholesThis establishes the deconvolution method as the most accurate and appropriate model to accurately predict microplastic mixing in manholes and urban drainage systems.

Science of the Total Environment. November 2023

Mon 27 Nov 2023, 08:11 | Tags: Environment & Ecology

Post operative fibrinogen to albumin ratio acting as an indicator of futile recanalization in patients with successful thrombectomy

Tang T., Li D., Fan T.P., Guo L.J., Lan X.Y., Bi C.J., Boltze J., Thomas A.M., Zhao X.S., Mo M., Zhao M.H., Ji X., Li S

Timely recognition of futile recanalization might enable a prompter response and thus improve outcomes in patients receiving successful thrombectomy. This study aims to evaluate whether postoperative fibrinogen-to-albumin ratio (FAR) could act as an indicator of futile recanalization.This is a single-center, retrospective analysis of patients with acute anterior circulation large-vessel occlusion and successful thrombectomy between May 2019 and June 2022. A total of 255 patients were enrolled, amongst which 34.1% had high postoperative FAR. Futile recanalization was more prevalent among patients with high FAR compared to those with low FAR. After adjusting for potential confounders, high postoperative FAR was found to independently correspond with the occurrence of futile. This association was consistently observed regardless of prior antithrombotic therapy, treatment of intravenous thrombolysis, occlusion site, time from symptom onset to groin puncture, and reperfusion status. Our findings support high postoperative FAR serving as an indicator of futile recanalization in patients with anterior circulation large-vessel occlusion and successful thrombectomy.

Brain & Behavior. November 2023

Thu 23 Nov 2023, 08:09 | Tags: Neuroscience Cells & Development

Older news