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Dallas, TX, United States

The Texas Institute of Letters is an organization devoted to the promotion of literature and literacy in Texas.Founded in 1936, the TIL offers awards to outstanding books written by Texas authors, or dealing with Texas subjects. The TIL also co-administrates the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, which awards residencies at the ranch of former TIL President J. Frank Dobie.Prominent members include: Larry McMurtry, Robert Caro, Dagoberto Gilb, Sandra Cisneros, Debra Monroe, James Hynes, and Chitra Divakaruni. Wikipedia.

BACKGROUND: Congestive heart failure in the setting of a preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction is increasing in prevalence among the senior population. The underlying pathophysiologic abnormalities in ventricular function and structure remain unclear for this disorder. We hypothesized that patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) would have marked abnormalities in LV diastolic function with increased static diastolic stiffness and slowed myocardial relaxation compared with age-matched healthy controls. METHODS AND RESULTS: Eleven highly screened patients (4 men, 7 women) aged 73±7 years with HFPEF were recruited to participate in this study. Thirteen sedentary healthy controls (7 men, 6 women) aged 70±4 years also were recruited. All subjects underwent pulmonary artery catheterization with measurement of cardiac output, end-diastolic volumes, and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures at baseline; cardiac unloading (lower-body negative pressure or upright tilt); and cardiac loading (rapid saline infusion). The data were used to define the Frank-Starling and LV end-diastolic pressure-volume relationships. Doppler echocardiographic data (tissue Doppler velocities, isovolumic relaxation time, propagation velocity of early mitral inflow , E/A-wave ratio) were obtained at each level of cardiac preload. Compared with healthy controls, patients with HFPEF had similar LV contractile function and static LV compliance but reduced LV chamber distensibility with elevated filling pressures and slower myocardial relaxation as assessed by tissue Doppler imaging. CONCLUSIONS: In this small, highly screened patient population with hemodynamically confirmed HFPEF, increased end-diastolic static ventricular stiffness relative to age-matched controls was not a universal finding. Nevertheless, patients with HFPEF, even when well compensated, had elevated filling pressures, reduced distensibility, and increased diastolic wall stress compared with controls. In contrast, LV relaxation as assessed by tissue Doppler variables appeared consistently impaired in patients with HFPEF. Source

Goring H.H.H.,The Texas Institute
Nature Genetics | Year: 2012

Gene expression is under partial genetic regulation, which may vary between different cell types and tissues. A new study finds that there is substantial but incomplete overlap among regulatory variants located near the regulated genes in three human tissues. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Nkhoma S.C.,The Texas Institute
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2012

Malaria infections containing multiple parasite genotypes are ubiquitous in nature, and play a central role in models of recombination, intra-host dynamics, virulence, sex ratio, immunity and drug resistance evolution in Plasmodium. While these multiple infections (MIs) are often assumed to result from superinfection (bites from multiple infected mosquitoes), we know remarkably little about their composition or generation. We isolated 336 parasite clones from eight patients from Malawi (high transmission) and six from Thailand (low transmission) by dilution cloning. These were genotyped using 384 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, revealing 22 independent haplotypes in Malawi (2-6 per MI) and 15 in Thailand (2-5 per MI). Surprisingly, all six patients from Thailand and six of eight from Malawi contained related haplotypes, and haplotypes were more similar within- than between-infections. These results argue against a simple superinfection model. Instead, the observed kinship patterns may be explained by inoculation of multiple related haploid sporozoites from single mosquito bites, by immune suppression of parasite subpopulations within infections, and serial transmission of related parasites between people. That relatedness is maintained in endemic areas in the face of repeated bites from infected mosquitoes has profound implications for understanding malaria transmission, immunity and intra-host dynamics of co-infecting parasite genotypes. Source

Molinaro R.,The Texas Institute
Nature Materials | Year: 2016

A multitude of micro- and nanoparticles have been developed to improve the delivery of systemically administered pharmaceuticals, which are subject to a number of biological barriers that limit their optimal biodistribution. Bioinspired drug-delivery carriers formulated by bottom-up or top-down strategies have emerged as an alternative approach to evade the mononuclear phagocytic system and facilitate transport across the endothelial vessel wall. Here, we describe a method that leverages the advantages of bottom-up and top-down strategies to incorporate proteins derived from the leukocyte plasma membrane into lipid nanoparticles. The resulting proteolipid vesicles—which we refer to as leukosomes—retained the versatility and physicochemical properties typical of liposomal formulations, preferentially targeted inflamed vasculature, enabled the selective and effective delivery of dexamethasone to inflamed tissues, and reduced phlogosis in a localized model of inflammation. © 2016 Nature Publishing Group Source

Almasy L.,The Texas Institute
Human Genetics | Year: 2012

As whole genome sequence becomes a routine component of gene discovery studies in humans, we will have an exhaustive catalog of genetic variation and the challenge becomes understanding the phenotypic consequences of these variants. Statistical genetic methods and analytical approaches that are concerned with optimizing phenotypes for gene discovery for complex traits offer two general categories of advantages. They may increase power to localize genes of interest and also aid in interpreting associations between genetic variants and disease outcomes by suggesting potential mechanisms and pathways through which genes may affect outcomes. Such phenotype optimization approaches include use of allied phenotypes such as symptoms or ages of onset to reduce genetic heterogeneity within a set of cases, study of quantitative risk factors or endophenotypes, joint analyses of related phenotypes, and derivation of new phenotypes designed to extract independent measures underlying the correlations among a set of related phenotypes through approaches such as principal components. New opportunities are also presented by technological advances that permit efficient collection of hundreds or thousands of phenotypes on an individual, including phenotypes more proximal to the level of gene action such as levels of gene expression, microRNAs, or metabolic and proteomic profiles. © Springer-Verlag 2012. Source

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