Dr. Jason  Becker  Od image

Dr. Jason Becker Od

9250 N 3Rd St Suite 3030
Phoenix AZ 85020
602 443-3347
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
Participates In eRX: No
Participates In PQRS: No
Participates In EHR: No
License #: 1859
NPI: 1639433840
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A Comparative Study of Single-pulse and Double-pulse Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy with Uranium-containing Samples. - Applied spectroscopy
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) holds potential advantages in special nuclear material (SNM) sensing and nuclear forensics, which require rapid analysis, minimal sample preparation, and stand-off distance capability. SNM, such as U, however, result in crowded emission spectra with LIBS, and characteristic emission lines are challenging to discern. It is well-known that double-pulse LIBS (DPLIBS) improves the signal intensity for analytes over conventional single-pulse LIBS (SPLIBS). This study investigates the U signal in a glass matrix using DPLIBS and compares it to signal obtained using SPLIBS. Double-pulse LIBS involves sequential firing of a 1.06 µm Nd:YAG pre-pulse and 10.6 µm TEA CO2 heating pulse in a near collinear geometry. Optimization of experimental parameters including inter-pulse delay and energy follows identification of characteristic lines for the bulk analyte Ca and the minor constituent analyte U for both DPLIBS and SPLIBS. Spatial and temporal coupling of the two pulses in the proposed DPLIBS technique yields improvements in analytical merits with a negligible increase in damage to the sample compared to SPLIBS. Subsequently, the study discusses optimum plasma emission conditions of U lines and relative figures of merit in both SPLIBS and DPLIBS. Investigation into plasma characteristics also addresses plausible mechanisms related to the observed U analyte signal variation between SPLIBS and DPLIBS.© The Author(s) 2016.
Ethanol-Associated Cardiomyocyte Apoptosis and Left Ventricular Dilation Are Unrelated to Changes in Myocardial Telomere Length in Rats. - Journal of cardiac failure
The aim of this work was to determine whether ethanol-associated myocardial apoptosis and cardiac dilation are related to myocardial telomere shortening in rats.Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats received either drinking water with (ethanol: n = 19) or without (control: n = 19) 5% (v/v) ethanol ad libitum, for 4 months. Left ventricular (LV) dimensions and function (echocardiography and isolated perfused heart preparations), cardiomyocyte apoptosis (terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling), and leukocyte and myocardial telomere length (real-time polymerase chain reaction) were determined at the end of the study. Ethanol administration resulted in a marked increase in cardiomyocyte apoptosis (ethanol 0.85 ± 0.13% vs control 0.36 ± 0.06%; P = .0021) and LV dilation (LV end-diastolic diameter: ethanol 8.20 ± 0.14 mm vs control 7.56 ± 0.11 mm [P = .0014]; volume intercept at 0 mm Hg (V0) of the LV end-diastolic pressure-volume relationship: ethanol 0.40 ± 0.03 mL vs control 0.31 ± 0.02 mL [P = .020]). However, there were no changes in systolic chamber function as indexed by LV endocardial fractional shortening or the slope of the LV systolic pressure-volume relationship (end systolic elastance). The percentage of myocardial apoptosis was correlated with the degree of LV dilation (% apoptosis vs LV EDD: r = 0.39; n = 38; P = .021; vs V0: r = 0.44; n = 19; P = .046). No differences in leukocyte or cardiac telomere length were noted between the ethanol and control groups. Furthermore, cardiac telomere length was not associated with indexes of LV dilation (LVEDD and V0) or cardiomyocyte apoptosis.Chronic ethanol-associated myocardial apoptosis and adverse remodeling occurs independently from changes in cardiac telomere length. Telomere shortening may not be a critical mechanism responsible for cardiomyocyte apoptosis and adverse cardiac remodeling.Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Differential activation of natriuretic peptide receptors modulates cardiomyocyte proliferation during development. - Development (Cambridge, England)
Organ development is a highly regulated process involving the coordinated proliferation and differentiation of diverse cellular populations. The pathways regulating cell proliferation and their effects on organ growth are complex and for many organs incompletely understood. In all vertebrate species, the cardiac natriuretic peptides (ANP and BNP) are produced by cardiomyocytes in the developing heart. However, their role during cardiogenesis is not defined. Using the embryonic zebrafish and neonatal mammalian cardiomyocytes we explored the natriuretic peptide signaling network during myocardial development. We observed that the cardiac natriuretic peptides ANP and BNP and the guanylate cyclase-linked natriuretic peptide receptors Npr1 and Npr2 are functionally redundant during early cardiovascular development. In addition, we demonstrate that low levels of the natriuretic peptides preferentially activate Npr3, a receptor with Gi activator sequences, and increase cardiomyocyte proliferation through inhibition of adenylate cyclase. Conversely, high concentrations of natriuretic peptides reduce cardiomyocyte proliferation through activation of the particulate guanylate cyclase-linked natriuretic peptide receptors Npr1 and Npr2, and activation of protein kinase G. These data link the cardiac natriuretic peptides in a complex hierarchy modulating cardiomyocyte numbers during development through opposing effects on cardiomyocyte proliferation mediated through distinct cyclic nucleotide signaling pathways.
Whole exome sequencing identifies a causal RBM20 mutation in a large pedigree with familial dilated cardiomyopathy. - Circulation. Cardiovascular genetics
Whole exome sequencing is a powerful technique for Mendelian disease gene discovery. However, variant prioritization remains a challenge. We applied whole exome sequencing to identify the causal variant in a large family with familial dilated cardiomyopathy of unknown pathogenesis.A large family with autosomal dominant, familial dilated cardiomyopathy was identified. Exome capture and sequencing were performed in 3 remotely related, affected subjects predicted to share <0.1% of their genomes by descent. Shared variants were filtered for rarity, evolutionary conservation, and predicted functional significance, and remaining variants were filtered against 71 locally generated exomes. Variants were also prioritized using the Variant Annotation Analysis and Search Tool. Final candidates were validated by Sanger sequencing and tested for segregation. There were 664 shared heterozygous nonsense, missense, or splice site variants, of which 26 were rare (minor allele frequency ≤0.001 or not reported) in 2 public databases. Filtering against internal exomes reduced the number of candidates to 2, and of these, a single variant (c.1907 G>A) in RBM20, segregated with disease status and was absent in unaffected internal reference exomes. Bioinformatic prioritization with Variant Annotation Analysis and Search Tool supported this result.Whole exome sequencing of remotely related dilated cardiomyopathy subjects from a large, multiplex family, followed by systematic filtering, identified a causal RBM20 mutation without the need for linkage analysis.
In vivo natriuretic peptide reporter assay identifies chemical modifiers of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy signalling. - Cardiovascular research
Despite increased understanding of the fundamental biology regulating cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and heart failure, it has been challenging to find novel chemical or genetic modifiers of these pathways. Traditional cell-based methods do not model the complexity of an intact cardiovascular system and mammalian models are not readily adaptable to chemical or genetic screens. Our objective was to create an in vivo model suitable for chemical and genetic screens for hypertrophy and heart failure modifiers.Using the developing zebrafish, we established that the cardiac natriuretic peptide genes (nppa and nppb), known markers of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and heart failure, were induced in the embryonic heart by pathological cardiac stimuli. This pathological induction was distinct from the developmental regulation of these genes. We created a luciferase-based transgenic reporter line that accurately modelled the pathological induction patterns of the zebrafish nppb gene. Utilizing this reporter line, we were able to show remarkable conservation of pharmacological responses between the larval zebrafish heart and adult mammalian models.By performing a focused screen of chemical agents, we were able to show a distinct response of a genetic model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to the histone deacetylase inhibitor, Trichostatin A, and the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 inhibitor, U0126. We believe this in vivo reporter line will offer a unique approach to the identification of novel chemical or genetic regulators of myocardial hypertrophy and heart failure.
Human cardiomyopathy mutations induce myocyte hyperplasia and activate hypertrophic pathways during cardiogenesis in zebrafish. - Disease models & mechanisms
To assess the effects during cardiac development of mutations that cause human cardiomyopathy, we modeled a sarcomeric gene mutation in the embryonic zebrafish. We designed morpholino antisense oligonucleotides targeting the exon 13 splice donor site in the zebrafish cardiac troponin T (tnnt2) gene, in order to precisely recapitulate a human TNNT2 mutation that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is a disease characterized by myocardial hypertrophy, myocyte and myofibrillar disarray, as well as an increased risk of sudden death. Similar to humans with HCM, the morphant zebrafish embryos displayed sarcomere disarray and there was a robust induction of myocardial hypertrophic pathways. Microarray analysis uncovered a number of shared transcriptional responses between this zebrafish model and a well-characterized mouse model of HCM. However, in contrast to adult hearts, these embryonic hearts developed cardiomyocyte hyperplasia in response to this genetic perturbation. The re-creation of a human disease-causing TNNT2 splice variant demonstrates that sarcomeric mutations can alter cardiomyocyte biology at the earliest stages of heart development with distinct effects from those observed in adult hearts despite shared transcriptional responses.

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