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Hardy S.,McGill University | Julien S.G.,Growth Science | Tremblay M.L.,McGill University
Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) constitute a large family of enzymes that can exert both positive and negative effects on signaling pathways. They play dominant roles in setting the levels of intracellular phosphorylation downstream of many receptors including receptor tyrosine kinases and G protein-coupled receptors. As observed with kinases, deregulation of PTP activity can also contribute to cancer. This review will examine a broad array of PTP family members that positively affect oncogenesis in human cancer tissues. We will describe the PTP family, their biological significance in oncology, and how recent progress is being made to more effectively target specific PTPs. Finally, we will discuss the therapeutic implications of targeting these oncogenic PTPs in cancer. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Hart T.G.B.,Growth Science
Agriculture and Human Values | Year: 2011

Technologies and services provided to resource-poor farmers need to be relevant and compatible with the context in which they operate. This paper examines the contribution of extension services to the food security of resource-poor farmers in a rural village in South Africa. It considers these in terms of the local context and the production of African vegetables in household food plots. A mixture of participatory, qualitative and quantitative research tools, including a household survey, is used to argue that local production practices contribute more to food security requirements than the extension services. This is because of the ability of African vegetables to grow relatively well in semi-arid areas where other exotic plants do not, their ability to provide at least two foodstuffs during their life cycle, and the ability of either the fruit or the leaves, or both, to be dried and stored for consumption in the winter months. These crops can make a significant contribution in terms of household food security, but a number of social and agroecological factors are constraining their production and placing their availability under threat. Despite this, the extension services remain focused on certain activities within vegetable garden projects, even when these are not meeting their proposed purpose-food security by means of cash-crop production. The paper concludes that social and agroecological constraints could be improved if the extension services were changed. This could include the use of context specific and low-cost technologies to ensure that these crops are able to increase their contribution to household food security for resource-poor farmers in semi-arid areas. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Julien S.G.,McGill University | Julien S.G.,Growth Science | Dube N.,McGill University | Hardy S.,McGill University | Tremblay M.L.,McGill University
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2011

Members of the protein tyrosine phosphatase (Ptp) family dephosphorylate target proteins and counter the activities of protein tyrosine kinases that are involved in cellular phosphorylation and signalling. As such, certain PTPs might be tumour suppressors. Indeed, PTPs play an important part in the inhibition or control of growth, but accumulating evidence indicates that some PTPs may exert oncogenic functions. Recent large-scale genetic analyses of various human tumours have highlighted the relevance of PTPs either as putative tumour suppressors or as candidate oncoproteins. Progress in understanding the regulation and function of PTPs has provided insights into which PTPs might be potential therapeutic targets in human cancer. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Feller I.C.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center | Lovelock C.E.,University of Queensland | Berger U.,Growth Science | McKee K.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 2 more authors.
Annual Review of Marine Science | Year: 2010

Mangroves are an ecological assemblage of trees and shrubs adapted to grow in intertidal environments along tropical coasts. Despite repeated demonstration of their economic and societal value, more than 50% of the world's mangroves have been destroyed, 35% in the past two decades to aquaculture and coastal development, altered hydrology, sea-level rise, and nutrient overenrichment. Variations in the structure and function of mangrove ecosystems have generally been described solely on the basis of a hierarchical classification of the physical characteristics of the intertidal environment, including climate, geomorphology, topography, and hydrology. Here, we use the concept of emergent properties at multiple levels within a hierarchical framework to review how the interplay between specialized adaptations and extreme trait plasticity that characterizes mangroves and intertidal environments gives rise to the biocomplexity that distinguishes mangrove ecosystems. The traits that allow mangroves to tolerate variable salinity, flooding, and nutrient availability influence ecosystem processes and ultimately the services they provide. We conclude that an integrated research strategy using emergent properties in empirical and theoretical studies provides a holistic approach for understanding and managing mangrove ecosystems. © 2010 by Annual Reviews.

Fanget A.,Laboratory of Physics of Complex Matter | Traversi F.,Bioengineering Institute | Khlybov S.,Bioengineering Institute | Granjon P.,Bioengineering Institute | And 5 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2014

A high-throughput fabrication of sub-10 nm nanogap electrodes combined with solid-state nanopores is described. These devices should allow concomitant tunneling and ionic current detection of translocating DNA molecules. We report the optimal fabrication parameters in terms of dose, resist thickness, and gap shape that allow easy reproduction of the fabrication process at wafer scale. The device noise and current voltage characterizations performed and the influence of the nanoelectrodes on the ionic current noise is identified. In some cases, ionic current rectification for connected or biased nanogap electrodes is also observed. In order to increase the extremely low translocation rates, several experimental strategies were tested and modeled using finite element analysis. Our findings are useful for future device designs of nanopore integrated electrodes for DNA sequencing. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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