Lattin C.R.,Tufts University |
Waldron-Francis K.,Tufts University |
Richardson J.W.,Northern Essex Community College |
de Bruijn R.,Tufts University |
And 3 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2012
Glucocorticoid hormones play a key role in the stress response, but plasma concentrations vary based on physiological, environmental, or social parameters. However, hormone titers alone do not determine organismal response. To enhance our understanding of glucocorticoid actions we can examine 'downstream' factors in the organismal stress response, measuring glucocorticoid receptors across target tissues. Here, we characterized intracellular binding sites for CORT (corticosterone, the avian glucocorticoid) in house sparrow (Passer domesticus) brain, liver, skeletal muscle, spleen, fat, testes, ovary, kidney and skin. We used radioligand binding assays to identify total capacity, relative density and affinity for CORT of intracellular receptors in each tissue. Most evidence supported two binding sites similar to mammalian low-affinity glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and a high-affinity mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) for brain, liver, kidney and testes, and only a GR-like receptor for muscle, spleen, fat, ovary and skin. However, kidney data were somewhat more complicated, possibly hinting at a mineralocorticoid function for CORT and/or GR in birds. In all tissues, GR and MR affinities were close to published house sparrow values (Kd∼6nM for GR, and ∼0.2nM for MR). Taken together, these data show that CORT receptor distribution appears to be as widespread in birds as it is in mammals, and suggest that independent regulation of peripheral receptors in different target tissues may play a role in CORT's diverse physiological effects. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Cook R.,University of Western Sydney |
Hennell J.R.,University of Western Sydney |
Lee S.,University of Western Sydney |
Khoo C.S.,University of Western Sydney |
And 6 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2013
Background: Pattern-oriented chemical profiling is increasingly being used to characterize the phytochemical composition of herbal medicines for quality control purposes. Ideally, a fingerprint of the biological effects should complement the chemical fingerprint. For ethical and practical reasons it is not possible to test each herbal extract in laboratory animals or humans. What is needed is a test system consisting of an organism with relevant biology and complexity that can serve as a surrogate in vitro system. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcriptome might be used as an indicator of phytochemical variation of closely-related yet distinctly different extracts prepared from a single species of a phytogeographically widely distributed medicinal plant. We combined phytochemical profiling using chromatographic methods (HPTLC, HPLC-PDA-MS/MS) and gene expression studies using Affymetrix Yeast 2.0 gene chip with principal component analysis and k-nearest neighbor clustering analysis to test this hypothesis using extracts prepared from the phytogeographically widely distributed medicinal plant Equisetum arvense as a test case.Results: We found that the Equisetum arvense extracts exhibited qualitative and quantitative differences in their phytochemical composition grouped along their phytogeographical origin. Exposure of yeast to the extracts led to changes in gene expression that reflected both the similarities and differences in the phytochemical composition of the extracts. The Equisetum arvense extracts elicited changes in the expression of genes involved in mRNA translation, drug transport, metabolism of energy reserves, phospholipid metabolism, and the cellular stress response.Conclusions: Our data show that functional genomics in S. cerevisiae may be developed as a sensitive bioassay for the scientific investigation of the interplay between phytochemical composition and transcriptional effects of complex mixtures of chemical compounds. S. cerevisiae transcriptomics may also be developed for testing of mixtures of conventional drugs (" polypills" ) to discover novel antagonistic or synergistic effects of those drug combinations. © 2013 Cook et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
News Article | October 28, 2016
Leading online higher education resource provider AffordableCollegesOnline.org has released its rankings of the Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts for 2016-2017. A two- and four-year school list was created for each state, with the following receiving top honors: University of Massachusetts - Lowell, Amherst and Dartmouth campuses, Westfield State University and Lesley University for four-year schools; Bunker Hill Community College, Holyoke Community College, Middlesex Community College, Massasoit Community College and Greenfield Community College for two-year schools. "The Massachusetts Department of Education has been steadily working on initiatives to ramp up college completion numbers by 2025,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of AffordableCollegesOnline.org. "These colleges are examples of how higher education in Massachusetts is becoming more flexible, offering affordable, top-quality online learning programs to help more students earn degrees.” To earn a spot on the Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts’s list, schools are required to meet several stringent base qualifications. Each institution must be an accredited, public or private not-for-profit college or university. Schools must also fall within specific affordability guidelines, offering in-state tuition rates below $5,000 annually at two-year schools and below $25,000 annually at four-year schools. A complete lists of colleges on the two- and four-year lists are included below. To learn more about where each specifically falls in the ranking and find more details about the data analysis and methodology used to score each state, visit the following link: The two-year schools honored as the Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts for 2016 are: Berkshire Community College Bristol Community College Bunker Hill Community College Greenfield Community College Holyoke Community College Massachusetts Bay Community College Massasoit Community College Middlesex Community College Northern Essex Community College Roxbury Community College The four-year schools honored as the Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts for 2016 are: Fitchburg State University Framingham State University Hebrew College Lesley University Massachusetts Maritime Academy National Graduate School of Quality Management Salem State University University of Massachusetts - Amherst University of Massachusetts - Boston University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth University of Massachusetts - Lowell Westfield State University AffordableCollegesOnline.org began in 2011 to provide quality data and information about pursuing an affordable higher education. Our free community resource materials and tools span topics such as financial aid and college savings, opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities, and online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success. We have been featured by nearly 1,100 postsecondary institutions and nearly 120 government organizations.
Ambrose J.L.,University of New Hampshire |
Haase K.,University of New Hampshire |
Russo R.S.,University of New Hampshire |
Zhou Y.,University of New Hampshire |
And 8 more authors.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques | Year: 2010
Toluene was measured using both a gas chromatographic system (GC), with a flame ionization detector (FID), and a proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) at the AIRMAP atmospheric monitoring station Thompson Farm (THF) in rural Durham, NH during the summer of 2004. Simultaneous measurements of monoterpenes, including α- and β-pinene, camphene, Δ3-carene, and d-limonene, by GC-FID demonstrated large enhancements in monoterpene mixing ratios relative to toluene, with median and maximum enhancement ratios of ∼2 and ∼30, respectively. A detailed comparison between the GC-FID and PTR-MS toluene measurements was conducted to test the specificity of PTR-MS for atmospheric toluene measurements under conditions often dominated by biogenic emissions. We derived quantitative estimates of potential interferences in the PTR-MS toluene measurements related to sampling and analysis of monoterpenes, including fragmentation of the monoterpenes and some of their primary carbonyl oxidation products via reactions with H3O+, O2+ and NO+ in the PTR-MS drift tube. The PTR-MS and GC-FID toluene measurements were in good quantitative agreement and the two systems tracked one another well from the instrumental limits of detection to maximum mixing ratios of ∼0.5 ppbv. A correlation plot of the PTR-MS versus GC-FID toluene measurements was described by the least squares regression equation y=(1.13± 0.02)x-(0.008±0.003) ppbv, suggesting a small ∼13% positive bias in the PTR-MS measurements. The bias corresponded with a ∼0.055 ppbv difference at the highest measured toluene level. The two systems agreed quantitatively within the combined 1σ measurement precisions for 60% of the measurements. Discrepancies in the measured mixing ratios were not well correlated with enhancements in the monoterpenes. Better quantitative agreement between the two systems was obtained by correcting the PTR-MS measurements for contributions from monoterpene fragmentation in the PTR-MS drift tube; however, the improvement was minor (<10%). Interferences in the PTR-MS measurements from fragmentation of the monoterpene oxidation products pinonaldehyde, caronaldehyde and α-pinene oxide were also likely negligible. A relatively large and variable toluene background in the PTR-MS instrument likely drove the measurement bias; however, the precise contribution was difficult to accurately quantify and thus was not corrected for in this analysis. The results from THF suggest that toluene can be reliably quantified by PTR-MS using our operating conditions (drift tube pressure, temperature and voltage of 2.0 mbar, 45 °C and 600 V, respectively) under the ambient compositions probed. This work extends the range of field conditions under which PTR-MS validation studies have been conducted. © 2010 Author(s).
Nolfo-Clements L.,Suffolk University |
Clements M.,Northern Essex Community College
Northeastern Naturalist | Year: 2015
We performed short-interval markrecapture trapping on small mammals on Bumpkin Island in Boston Harbor in 2008, 2009, and 2011 in an attempt to record patterns of species distribution, population dynamics, and habitat use. The only species captured during these intervals were native Peromyscus leucopus (White-footed Mouse) and Microtus pennsylvanicus (Meadow Vole). Both mice and voles were trapped in 2008 and 2009, while only mice were trapped in 2011. Animal densities varied by vegetation type and by year. The variation in the densities between years may be attributed to a number of factors including food availability and the sporadic presence of predators, a unique characteristic of the some of the harbor islands. © 2015, Humboldt Field Research Institute. All rights reserved.
Weiner S.A.,Tufts University |
Weiner S.A.,Iowa State University |
Noble K.,Urbana University |
Upton C.T.,Williams College |
And 3 more authors.
Insectes Sociaux | Year: 2012
Polistes dominulus is a primitively eusocial paper wasp from Mediterranean Europe that is invasive to North America. In Eastern North America, P. dominulus is in competition with P. fuscatus. One reason for the success of P. dominulus is that their colonies produce more reproductive offspring than P. fuscatus colonies. A partial explanation for this difference is that P. dominulus foundresses make more foraging trips in the pre-worker period, which likely helps them to rear workers more quickly. In comparing the species, we found that P. dominulus had a lower absolute flight metabolic rate, but that P. fuscatus had a lower mass-specific flight metabolic rate. In addition, in P. fuscatus, wingloading correlated with flight metabolic rate, but that this was not the case in P. dominulus. This suggests that P. fuscatus is not able to transport large loads inexpensively. Therefore, the lower overall cost of transport of P. dominulus may provide an advantage by allowing the foundresses to make more relatively efficient foraging trips. In addition, we compared time in flight by P. dominulus and P. fuscatus over a range of temperatures and found that while P. fuscatus flew well over a broad range of temperatures, P. dominulus had a relatively narrow range of optimal temperatures for flight (30-33°C). These differences may help explain both the success and the limitations of the P. dominulus invasion. © 2011 International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI).
Sucher N.J.,Roxbury Community College |
Sucher N.J.,Northern Essex Community College
Synergy | Year: 2014
In this paper, I examine the role of the idea of synergy in life science research using examples in the fields of pharmacology/toxicology, molecular genetics and development, biochemistry, ecology and metabolic engineering. The research shows that synergy exhibits scale invariance. Small molecules act synergistically in the activation of single receptor molecules. Proteins function synergistically in development, metabolism and signaling. Synergy was found in the interaction between communities of organisms. Synergy manifests itself quantitatively or qualitatively: synergistic effects can be smaller or larger or they can be entirely different from what was expected. There is no single mathematical model that can be used uniformly to detect and quantify synergy. Synergy provides benefits for human health, wellbeing and economy. Synergy has explanatory and heuristic value in our quest to understand the function of and in designing complex biological systems. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.
Sucher N.J.,Crossing tech |
Hennell J.R.,University of Western Sydney |
Carles M.C.,Northern Essex Community College
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012
DNA fingerprinting of plants has become an invaluable tool in forensic, scientific, and industrial laboratories all over the world. PCR has become part of virtually every variation of the plethora of approaches used for DNA fingerprinting today. DNA sequencing is increasingly used either in combination with or as a replacement for traditional DNA fingerprinting techniques. A prime example is the use of short, standardized regions of the genome as taxon barcodes for biological identification of plants. Rapid advances in "next generation sequencing" (NGS) technology are driving down the cost of sequencing and bringing large-scale sequencing projects into the reach of individual investigators. We present an overview of recent publications that demonstrate the use of "NGS" technology for DNA fingerprinting and DNA barcoding applications. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Pelletier M.E.,Villanova University |
Desjardins L.A.,Northern Essex Community College |
Chanley P.,Northern Essex Community College |
Heymans L.,Northern Essex Community College
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2013
This paper describes a project-based first-year introductory course at a community college which emphasizes working in teams on hands-on projects that require using EXCEL and MATLAB. Assignments involve graphing data for Ohm?s Law and the speed of sound in air, distance measuring using ultrasound, programming in MATLAB to control the movement of a steppermotor rotor and programming in MATLAB to analyze and identify the visible spectra of several translucent materials. Students are required to make presentations of the projects and the results obtained. To document student success, data on student achievement in the course was collected for seven offerings of the course over three semesters: fall of 2011, spring of 2012, and fall of 2012. In addition, an outside evaluator used a self-survey to assess pre- And post- student attitudes toward certain skills thought to be enhanced by participation in the course. ©American Society for Engineering education, 2013.
Pelletier M.E.,Northern Essex Community College |
Desjardins L.A.,Northern Essex Community College |
Chanley P.,Northern Essex Community College |
Yoon I.,Northern Essex Community College
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2016
This paper describes an introductory engineering course utilizing active learning strategies and standards-based grading. This first-year course for engineering and technology students at a community college emphasizes working in teams to complete hands-on activities using EXCEL and structured programming with MATLAB. Initial assignments involve using EXCEL to display and analyze data from Ohm's Law and the speed of sound in air. The next assignment requires distance measuring with ultrasound and designing an ultrasonic range-finder. In the remainder of the assignments over the final three-quarters of the semester, MATLAB is used as a structured programming language to first control the movement of a stepper-motor rotor and then to identify different translucent materials from their visible light spectra as measured by a spectrometer. A final project combines the steppermotor rotor with spectroscopy to automatically identify different oils by their spectra produced with a tungsten lamp. Oral communication expertise is a very empowering skill-set to possess and being able to work well in a group and to deliver a presentation are highly prized job skills. To further reinforce the learned concepts and to incorporate another valuable skill-set, students are required to deliver over the course of the semester three presentations of their projects. Standards-based evaluation is used to assess each student's submissions. Standards for each week's submissions are published at the beginning of the semester and reemphasized as needed. As the course has a goal of facilitating learning, and encouraging the mastery of new skills rather than penalizing mistakes, resubmission of assignments that have not reached the required standard is allowed and encouraged. During the first four years of this course, Supplementary Instruction (SI) with SI Leaders was gradually introduced and is now incorporated into all sections of the course including adjunct instructor offerings. To document student success, data on student achievement in the course has been collected for twenty-two sections of the course over a span of four and one-half years. Data on course completion rates for this course will be presented and compared to course completion rates for other engineering courses at the community college which do not have SI and to the course completion rates for all courses at the community college. Longitudinal data on student persistence in engineering at the community college and on engineering students transferring to the university will also be presented. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2016.