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Seagrass Herbivory Levels Sustain Site-Fidelity in a Remnant Dugong Population. - PloS one
Herds of dugong, a largely tropical marine megaherbivore, are known to undertake long-distance movements, sequentially overgrazing seagrass meadows in their path. Given their drastic declines in many regions, it is unclear whether at lower densities, their grazing is less intense, reducing their need to travel between meadows. We studied the effect of the feeding behaviour of a small dugong population in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India to understand how small isolated populations graze seagrasses. In the seven years of our observation, all recorded dugongs travelled either solitarily or in pairs, and their use of seagrasses was limited to 8 meadows, some of which were persistently grazed. These meadows were relatively large, contiguous and dominated by short-lived seagrasses species. Dugongs consumed approximately 15% of meadow primary production, but there was a large variation (3-40% of total meadow production) in consumption patterns between meadows. The impact of herbivory was relatively high, with shoot densities c. 50% higher inside herbivore exclosures than in areas exposed to repeated grazing. Our results indicate that dugongs in the study area repeatedly graze the same meadows probably because the proportion of primary production consumed reduces shoot density to levels that are still above values that can trigger meadow abandonment. This ability of seagrasses to cope perhaps explains the long-term site fidelity shown by individual dugongs in these meadows. The fact that seagrass meadows in the archipelago are able to support dugong foraging requirements allows us to clearly identify locations where this remnant population persists, and where urgent management efforts can be directed.
Biscationic Tartaric Acid-Based Amphiphiles: Charge Location Impacts Antimicrobial Activity. - Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids
Cationic amphiphiles have received increasing attention as antimicrobials given their unique ability to disrupt bacteria cell membranes. While extensive research has demonstrated that amphiphiles' hydrophobic-to-charge ratio significantly modulates antibacterial activity, less work has focused on elucidating the specific impact of charge location on amphiphile bioactivity. In this study, two series of cationic amphiphiles, termed bola-like and gemini-like, were synthesized with analogous hydrophobic-to-charge ratios yet differing charge location, and their resulting antibacterial activity was assessed. Bola-like amphiphiles exhibited preferential activity against two Gram-positive bacteria, with activity increasing with increasing hydrophobicity, whereas gemini-like amphiphiles were active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, with activity decreasing with increasing hydrophobicity. After identifying lead compounds from each amphiphile series (bola- and gemini-like), biophysical experiments indicated that both amphiphiles were membrane-active; notably, the lead gemini-like amphiphile exhibited a strong dependence on electrostatic interactions for membrane interaction. In contrast, the lead bola-like amphiphile exhibited a reliance on both hydrophobic and electrostatic contributions. These results demonstrate that charge location significantly impacts cationic amphiphiles' antibacterial and membrane activity.
Minimal Clinically Important Difference in the Physical, Emotional and Total Symptom Distress Scores of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System. - Journal of pain and symptom management
The Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) is one of the most commonly used symptom batteries in clinical practice and research.We used the anchor-based.approach to identify the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for improvement and deterioration for ESAS physical, emotional and total symptom distress scores.In this multicenter prospective study, we asked patients with advanced cancer to complete their ESAS at the first clinic visit and at a second visit three weeks later. The anchor for MCID determination was Patient's Global Impression regarding their physical, emotional and overall symptom burden ("better," "about the same," or "worse"). We identified the optimal sensitivity/specificity cutoffs for both improvement and deterioration for the three ESAS scores and also determined the within-patient changes.A total of 796 patients were enrolled from six centers. The ESAS scores had moderate responsiveness, with area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve between 0.69 and 0.76. Using the sensitivity-specificity approach, the optimal cutoffs for ESAS physical, emotional and total symptom distress scores were â‰¥3/60, â‰¥2/20 and â‰¥3/90 for improvement, and â‰¤-4/60, â‰¤-1/20 and â‰¤-4/90 for deterioration, respectively. These cutoffs had moderate sensitivities (59%-68%) and specificities (62%-80%). The within-patient change approach revealed the MCID cutoffs for improvement/deterioration to be 3/-4.3 for the physical score, 2.4/-1.8 for the emotional score, and 5.7/-2.9 for the total symptom distress score.We identified the MCIDs for physical, emotional and total symptom distress scores, which have implications for interpretation of symptom response in clinical trials.Copyright Â© 2015 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Endoglin is required in Pax3-Derived Cells for Embryonic Blood Vessel Formation. - Developmental biology
Mutations in endoglin, a TGFÎ²/BMP coreceptor, are causal for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Endoglin-null (Eng-/-) mouse embryos die at embryonic day (E)10.5-11.5 due to defects in angiogenesis. In part, this is due to an absence of vascular smooth muscle cell differentiation and vessel investment. Prior studies from our lab and others have shown the importance of endoglin expression in embryonic development in both endothelial cells and neural crest stem cells. These studies support the hypothesis that endoglin may play cell-autonomous roles in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cell precursors. However, the requirement for endoglin in vascular cell precursors remains poorly defined. Our objective was to specifically delete endoglin in neural crest- and somite-derived Pax3-positive vascular precursors to understand the impact on somite progenitor cell contribution to embryonic vascular development. Pax3Cre mice were crossed with Eng+/- mice to obtain compound mutant Pax3(Cre/+);Eng+/- mice. These mice were then crossed with homozygous endoglin LoxP-mutated (Eng(LoxP/LoxP)) mice to conditionally delete the endoglin gene in specific lineages that contribute to endothelial and smooth muscle constituents of developing embryonic vessels. Pax3(Cre/+);Eng(LoxP/-) mice showed a variety of vascular defects at E10.5, and none of these mice survived past E12.5. Embryos analyzed at E10.5 showed malformations suggestive of misdirection of the intersomitic vessels. The dorsal aorta showed significant dilation with associated vascular smooth muscle cells exhibiting disorganization and enhanced expression of smooth muscle differentiation proteins, including smooth muscle actin. These results demonstrate a requirement for endoglin in descendants of Pax3-expressing vascular cell precursors, and thus provides new insight into the cellular basis underlying adult vascular diseases such as HHT.Copyright Â© 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
The role of Eph/ephrin molecules in stromal-hematopoietic interactions. - International journal of hematology
Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (BMSC) are fundamental regulatory elements of the hematopoietic stem cell niche; however, the molecular signals that mediate BMSC support of hematopoiesis are poorly understood. Recent studies indicate that BMSC and hematopoietic stem/progenitors cells differentially express the Eph cell surface tyrosine kinase receptors, and their ephrin ligands. Eph/ephrin interactions are thought to mediate cross-talk between BMSC and different hematopoietic cell populations to influence cell development, migration and function. This review summarizes Eph/ephrin interactions in the regulation of BMSC communication with hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and discusses Eph/ephrin-targeted therapeutic strategies that are currently being pursued for various hematotological malignancies.
The fate of cranial neuropathy after flow diversion for carotid aneurysms. - Journal of neurosurgery
OBJECT The authors sought to determine whether flow diversion with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) can approximate microsurgical decompression in restoring function after cranial neuropathy following carotid artery aneurysms. METHODS This multiinstitutional retrospective study involved 45 patients treated with PED across the United States. All patients included presented between November 2009 and October 2013 with cranial neuropathy (cranial nerves [CNs] II, III, IV, and VI) due to intracranial aneurysm. Outcome analysis included clinical and procedural variables at the time of treatment as well as at the latest clinical and radiographic follow-up. RESULTS Twenty-six aneurysms (57.8%) were located in the cavernous segment, while 6 (13.3%) were in the clinoid segment, and 13 (28.9%) were in the ophthalmic segment of the internal carotid artery. The average aneurysm size was 18.6 mm (range 4-35 mm), and the average number of flow diverters placed per patient was 1.2. Thirty-eight patients had available information regarding duration of cranial neuropathy prior to treatment. Eleven patients (28.9%) were treated within 1 month of symptom onset, while 27 (71.1%) were treated after 1 month of symptoms. The overall rate of cranial neuropathy improvement for all patients was 66.7%. The CN deficits resolved in 19 patients (42.2%), improved in 11 (24.4%), were unchanged in 14 (31.1%), and worsened in 1 (2.2%). Overtime, the rate of cranial neuropathy improvement was 33.3% (15/45), 68.8% (22/32), and 81.0% (17/21) at less than 6, 6, and 12 months, respectively. At last follow-up, 60% of patients in the isolated CN II group had improvement, while in the CN III, IV, or VI group, 85.7% had improved. Moreover, 100% (11/11) of patients experienced improvement if they were treated within 1 month of symptom onset, whereas 44.4% (12/27) experienced improvement if they treated after 1 month of symptom onset; 70.4% (19/27) of those with partial deficits improved compared with 30% (3/10) of those with complete deficits. CONCLUSIONS Cranial neuropathy caused by cerebral aneurysm responds similarly when the aneurysm is treated with the PED compared with open surgery and coil embolization. Lower morbidity and higher occlusion rates obtained with the PED may suggest it as treatment of choice for some of these lesions. Time to treatment is an important consideration regardless of treatment modality.
Adsorption and attenuation behavior of 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) in eleven soils. - Chemosphere
NTO (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one) is one of the new explosive compounds used in insensitive munitions (IM) developed to replace traditional explosives, TNT and RDX. Data on NTO fate and transport is needed to determine its environmental behavior and potential for groundwater contamination. We conducted a series of kinetic and equilibrium batch experiments to characterize the fate of NTO in soils and the effect of soil geochemical properties on NTO-soil interactions. A set of experiments was also conducted using sterilized soils to evaluate the contribution of biodegradation to NTO attenuation. Measured pH values for NTO solutions decreased from 5.98Â Â±Â 0.13 to 3.50Â Â±Â 0.06 with increase in NTO concentration from 0.78 to 100Â mgÂ L(-1). Conversely, the pH of soil suspensions was not significantly affected by NTO in this concentration range. NTO experienced minimal adsorption, with measured adsorption coefficients being less than 1Â cm(3)Â g(-1) for all studied soils. There was a highly significant inverse relationship between the measured NTO adsorption coefficients and soil pH (PÂ =Â 0.00011), indicating the role of NTO and soil charge in adsorption processes. In kinetic experiments, 1st order transformation rate constant estimates ranged between 0.0004Â h(-1) and 0.0142Â h(-1) (equivalent to half-lives of 72 and 2Â d, respectively), and correlated positively with organic carbon in the soil. Total attenuation of NTO was higher in untreated versus sterilized samples, suggesting that NTO was being biodegraded. The information presented herein can be used to help evaluate NTO potential for natural attenuation in soils.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Economic Analysis for Commingling Effects of Insect Activity in the Elevator Boot Area. - Journal of economic entomology
Boot areas in commercial grain elevators and feed mills contribute to commingling of insects with grain that moves through the elevator leg. A partial budget and stochastic dominance model were developed to improve pest management decision-making and risk analysis assessment from commingling effects of insect activity in the boot area. Modified pilot-scale bucket elevator legs, containing residual wheat or corn, were infested with varying insect pest densities prior to clean grain transfers. Appropriate grain discounts were applied to grain samples obtained from clean grain transfers over either: 1) insect-free and untreated boots, 2) infested and untreated boots, or 3) infested and chemical-treated (Î²-cyfluthrin) boots. The insect-free boots simulated performing clean-out of the boot area. Partial budget analysis and stochastic dominance modeling indicated that boot sanitation (cleanout) about every 30â€‰d, avoiding costly grain discounts from insect commingling, is the preferred choice. Although chemical spray treatments of the empty boot may reduce insect populations of some boot residual grains, boot cleanout always had lower and usually zero insect pest populations in the boot residual grain, providing higher facility operational net income without the use of chemicals.Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
Efficacy of Deltamethrin Against Stored-Product Beetles at Short Exposure Intervals or on a Partially Treated Rice Mass. - Journal of economic entomology
Stored-product insects can potentially be exposed to grain protectants for variable time periods. Adults of three species, the lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) (Coleoptera: Bostrychidae), the granary weevil Sitophilus granarius (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) were exposed for 1, 4, 8, and 24â€‰h on brown rice treated with the pyrethroid deltamethrin at the label rate of 0.5â€‰ppm, then removed and placed on untreated rice. Adults of these same species plus the rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and the warehouse beetle, Trogoderma variabile Ballion (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) were exposed on treated brown rice mixed with varying amounts of untreated rice to assess progeny production. Immediate and delayed mortality of exposed adults did not exceed 7% for any exposure interval, but progeny production for T. castaneum was generally lower in comparison with that for the other species. Increasing the amount of treated rice decreased progeny production of R. dominica but not for any Sitophilus species. Mixed results were obtained for T. castaneum and T. variabile. Results show that long exposure times and treatment of an entire rice mass may be necessary to give complete control of stored-product beetles.Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
Effects of Flour and Milling Debris on Efficacy of Beta-Cyfluthrin for Control of Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). - Journal of economic entomology
Laboratory and field studies were conducted to determine if accumulation of a flour food source or milling debris affected residual efficacy of beta-cyfluthrin for control of Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), the red flour beetle. In the laboratory study, the high label rate of 20â€‰mg active ingredient (AI)/m2 gave effective control for 8 wks, regardless of whether or not the concrete was sealed prior to application or the presence of flour contamination. However, with the low label rate of 10â€‰mg AI/m2, the flour apparently absorbed the insecticide residues from the treated surface, and sealing the concrete did not have a beneficial effect on efficacy. Two field studies with the low label rate were conducted during autumn of 2012 and 2013 and summer of 2013, using only unsealed concrete. Accumulated milling debris caused a reduction in efficacy in the autumn studies, as shown by increased time to 100% knockdown, decreased mortality, and decreased residual efficacy. There was no such corresponding decrease in residual efficacy in the summer study. Overall, results of both studies show that accumulated food and milling debris can absorb residue of beta-cyfluthrin from a treated surface and have a negative impact on residual efficacy, particularly with the low label rate of 10â€‰mg AI/m2.Â© Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
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