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Hleap J.S.,Dalhousie University | Blouin C.,Dalhousie University | Blouin C.,Dalhouise University
Current Protein and Peptide Science

Protein structures can be conceptualized as context-aware self-organizing systems. One of its emerging properties is a modular architecture. Such modular architecture has been identified as domains and defined as its units of evolution and function. However, this modular architecture is not exclusively defined by domains. Also, the definition of a domain is an ongoing debate. Here we propose differentiating structural, evolutionary and functional domains as distinct concepts. Defining domains or modules is confounded by diverse definitions of the concept, and also by other elements inherent to protein structures. An apparent hierarchy in protein structure architecture is one of these elements, where lower level interactions may create noise for the definition of higher levels. Diverse modularity-molding factors such as folding, function, and selection, can have a misleading effect when trying to define a given type of module. It is thus important to keep in mind this complexity when defining modularity in protein structures and interpreting the outcome modularity inference approaches. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers. Source

Booth S.,Addenbrookes Palliative Care Team | Bausewein C.,Kings College London | Rocker G.,Dalhouise University
Progress in Palliative Care

Chronic lung disease is growing in prevalence and patients are living longer with long-term illness and a highsymptom burden: as these diseases are so common there are now millions of affected individuals and their families living with the sequelae worldwide. This has profound effects on the individual concerned (who is often highly symptomatic with breathlessness), their family, and on health services. There is a growing recognition that the historical model of medical management aimed at the disease alone is not meeting patients' needs and leading to high levels of unscheduled use of medical services at high financial cost and without health gain leading to further frustration for the patient. Service models for palliative care aimed at patients with a rapid deterioration from good health to death can also fail to meet the needs of this group. This paper examines new models of care for patients with advanced lung disease, outlining three services in some detail with a brief review of available evidence. It calls for new ways of evaluating the impact of such services. © W.S. Maney & Son Ltd 2011. Source

Glinianaia S.V.,Northumbria University | Rankin J.,Northumbria University | Pearce M.S.,Northumbria University | Parker L.,Dalhouise University | Pless-Mulloli T.,Northumbria University
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology

Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2010. The dramatic reduction observed in stillbirth and infant mortality over the last few decades has not been assessed by both birthweight and gestation. We have explored temporal changes in stillbirth and infant mortality in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, by cause of death, birthweight, gestational age, birthweight standardised for gestation and infant sex during 1961-2000. We included 131 044 singleton births to mothers resident in Newcastle, including 1342 stillbirths and 1620 infant deaths. Cause-, birthweight-, gestational age- and birthweight-for-gestation-specific stillbirth (per 1000 total births) and infant mortality (per 1000 livebirths) rates were compared between 1961-80 and 1981-2000 and between individual consecutive decades. Between 1961 and 2000, total stillbirth and infant mortality rates declined dramatically from 23.4 to 4.7 per 1000 total births and from 25.7 to 5.9 per 1000 livebirths, respectively. Rates fell continuously during the first two study decades; however, from 1981-90 to 1991-2000 the decline was not statistically significant. Between 1961-80 and 1981-2000, both stillbirth and infant mortality significantly declined in all birthweight and gestational age categories and for most leading causes of death. Although the population mean birthweight during 1981-2000 [3304 g (SD ± 569)] was significantly higher than during 1961-80 [3255 g (SD ± 572)] (P < 0.0001), the lowest stillbirth and infant mortality rates in 1981-2000 were consistently at about 1 SD above the mean birthweight, with mortality rates increasing for babies with lower or higher weight-for-gestation. Declines in stillbirth and infant mortality in Newcastle were associated with reductions in birthweight- and gestational age-specific mortality rates and occurred in most cause-specific groups of death. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Hleap J.S.,Dalhouise University | Blouin C.,Dalhouise University

Community structure detection is an important tool in graph analysis. This can be done, among other ways, by solving for the partition set which optimizes the modularity scores Q. Here it is shown that topological constraints in correlation graphs induce over-fragmentation of community structures. A refinement step to this optimization based on Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) and a statistical test for significance is proposed. In structured simulation constrained by topology, this novel approach performs better than the optimization of modularity alone. This method was also tested with two empirical datasets: the Roll-Call voting in the 110th US Senate constrained by geographic adjacency, and a biological dataset of 135 protein structures constrained by inter-residue contacts. The former dataset showed sub-structures in the communities that revealed a regional bias in the votes which transcend party affiliations. This is an interesting pattern given that the 110th Legislature was assumed to be a highly polarized government. The a-amylase catalytic domain dataset (biological dataset) was analyzed with and without topological constraints (inter-residue contacts). The results without topological constraints showed differences with the topology constrained one, but the LDA filtering did not change the outcome of the latter. This suggests that the LDA filtering is a robust way to solve the possible over-fragmentation when present, and that this method will not affect the results where there is no evidence of over-fragmentation. © 2014 Hleap, Blouin. Source

Areephong J.,Dalhouise University | San Juan R.R.,Dalhouise University | Payne A.-J.,Dalhouise University | Welch G.C.,Dalhouise University
New Journal of Chemistry

The synthesis and characterization of a novel isoindigo based small molecule semiconductor is reported. The new compound exhibits broad and efficient optical absorption extending beyond 800 nm, relatively low lying HOMO and LUMO energy levels of -5.14 and -3.69 eV, respectively, and good solubility in common organic solvents. When paired with PC61BM, organic solar cells gave power conversion efficiencies as high as 3.2%, among the highest achieved for small molecule isoindigo based systems. © The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 2015. Source

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