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Creators/Authors contains: "Baliga, Nitin S."

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  1. Abstract

    Consequential STEM experiences in informal settings can address issues of equity by fully engaging historically marginalized high school students in complex socio-scientific issues. However, inclusive and effective programs are in high demand, and there is little research on what specific aspects, context, and timeframes are most important when scaling these experiences. Using a mixed method approach, this study demonstrates that students make significant gains, in the short and long term, through in-person and remote informal programs ranging between 22-h and 320-h. Progress across STEM learning constructs is attributed to authentic research experiences, students’ connections to STEM professionals, direct hands-on participation in projects, and group work. Relative to formal education settings, research-based informal STEM programs can be implemented with minimal resources, can maintain effectiveness while scaling, and work towards addressing the societal challenge of improving STEM learning and outcomes for high school students from historically marginalized communities.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Data-Independent Acquisition (DIA) is a mass spectrometry-based method to reliably identify and reproducibly quantify large fractions of a target proteome. The peptide-centric data analysis strategy employed in DIA requiresa priorigenerated spectral assay libraries. Such assay libraries allow to extract quantitative data in a targeted approach and have been generated for human, mouse, zebrafish,E. coliand few other organisms. However, a spectral assay library for the extreme halophilic archaeonHalobacterium salinarumNRC-1, a model organism that contributed to several notable discoveries, is not publicly available yet. Here, we report a comprehensive spectral assay library to measure 2,563 of 2,646 annotatedH. salinarumNRC-1 proteins. We demonstrate the utility of this library by measuring global protein abundances over time under standard growth conditions. TheH. salinarumNRC-1 library includes 21,074 distinct peptides representing 97% of the predicted proteome and provides a new, valuable resource to confidently measure and quantify any protein of this archaeon. Data and spectral assay libraries are available via ProteomeXchange (PXD042770, PXD042774) and SWATHAtlas (SAL00312-SAL00319).

     
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  3. Oliveira, Pedro H. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT There is an urgent need for strategies to discover secondary drugs to prevent or disrupt antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is causing >700,000 deaths annually. Here, we demonstrate that tetracycline-resistant (Tet R ) Escherichia coli undergoes global transcriptional and metabolic remodeling, including downregulation of tricarboxylic acid cycle and disruption of redox homeostasis, to support consumption of the proton motive force for tetracycline efflux. Using a pooled genome-wide library of single-gene deletion strains, at least 308 genes, including four transcriptional regulators identified by our network analysis, were confirmed as essential for restoring the fitness of Tet R E. coli during treatment with tetracycline. Targeted knockout of ArcA, identified by network analysis as a master regulator of this new compensatory physiological state, significantly compromised fitness of Tet R E. coli during tetracycline treatment. A drug, sertraline, which generated a similar metabolome profile as the arcA knockout strain, also resensitized Tet R E. coli to tetracycline. We discovered that the potentiating effect of sertraline was eliminated upon knocking out arcA , demonstrating that the mechanism of potential synergy was through action of sertraline on the tetracycline-induced ArcA network in the Tet R strain. Our findings demonstrate that therapies that target mechanistic drivers of compensatory physiological states could resensitize AMR pathogens to lost antibiotics. IMPORTANCE Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is projected to be the cause of >10 million deaths annually by 2050. While efforts to find new potent antibiotics are effective, they are expensive and outpaced by the rate at which new resistant strains emerge. There is desperate need for a rational approach to accelerate the discovery of drugs and drug combinations that effectively clear AMR pathogens and even prevent the emergence of new resistant strains. Using tetracycline-resistant (Tet R ) Escherichia coli , we demonstrate that gaining resistance is accompanied by loss of fitness, which is restored by compensatory physiological changes. We demonstrate that transcriptional regulators of the compensatory physiologic state are promising drug targets because their disruption increases the susceptibility of Tet R E. coli to tetracycline. Thus, we describe a generalizable systems biology approach to identify new vulnerabilities within AMR strains to rationally accelerate the discovery of therapeutics that extend the life span of existing antibiotics. 
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  4. Medema, Marnix (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The scale of post-transcriptional regulation and the implications of its interplay with other forms of regulation in environmental acclimation are underexplored for organisms of the domain Archaea . Here, we have investigated the scale of post-transcriptional regulation in the extremely halophilic archaeon Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 by integrating the transcriptome-wide locations of transcript processing sites (TPSs) and SmAP1 binding, the genome-wide locations of antisense RNAs (asRNAs), and the consequences of RNase_2099C knockout on the differential expression of all genes. This integrated analysis has discovered that 54% of all protein-coding genes in the genome of this haloarchaeon are likely targeted by multiple mechanisms for putative post-transcriptional processing and regulation, with about 20% of genes likely being regulated by combinatorial schemes involving SmAP1, asRNAs, and RNase_2099C. Comparative analysis of mRNA levels (transcriptome sequencing [RNA-Seq]) and protein levels (sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment ion spectra mass spectrometry [SWATH-MS]) for 2,579 genes over four phases of batch culture growth in complex medium generated additional evidence for the conditional post-transcriptional regulation of 7% of all protein-coding genes. We demonstrate that post-transcriptional regulation may act to fine-tune specialized and rapid acclimation to stressful environments, e.g., as a switch to turn on gas vesicle biogenesis to promote vertical relocation under anoxic conditions and modulate the frequency of transposition by insertion sequence (IS) elements of the IS 200 /IS 605 , IS 4 , and IS H3 families. Findings from this study are provided as an atlas in a public Web resource ( https://halodata.systemsbiology.net ). IMPORTANCE While the transcriptional regulation landscape of archaea has been extensively investigated, we currently have limited knowledge about post-transcriptional regulation and its driving mechanisms in this domain of life. In this study, we collected and integrated omics data from multiple sources and technologies to infer post-transcriptionally regulated genes and the putative mechanisms modulating their expression at the protein level in Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1. The results suggest that post-transcriptional regulation may drive environmental acclimation by regulating hallmark biological processes. To foster discoveries by other research groups interested in the topic, we extended our integrated data to the public in the form of an interactive atlas ( https://halodata.systemsbiology.net ). 
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  5. Abstract The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to adopt heterogeneous physiological states underlies its success in evading the immune system and tolerating antibiotic killing. Drug tolerant phenotypes are a major reason why the tuberculosis (TB) mortality rate is so high, with over 1.8 million deaths annually. To develop new TB therapeutics that better treat the infection (faster and more completely), a systems-level approach is needed to reveal the complexity of network-based adaptations of Mtb. Here, we report a new predictive model called PRIME ( P henotype of R egulatory influences I ntegrated with M etabolism and E nvironment) to uncover environment-specific vulnerabilities within the regulatory and metabolic networks of Mtb. Through extensive performance evaluations using genome-wide fitness screens, we demonstrate that PRIME makes mechanistically accurate predictions of context-specific vulnerabilities within the integrated regulatory and metabolic networks of Mtb, accurately rank-ordering targets for potentiating treatment with frontline drugs. 
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  6. Abstract

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is a heterogeneous tumor made up of cell states that evolve over time. Here, we modeled tumor evolutionary trajectories during standard-of-care treatment using multi-omic single-cell analysis of a primary tumor sample, corresponding mouse xenografts subjected to standard of care therapy, and recurrent tumor at autopsy. We mined the multi-omic data with single-cell SYstems Genetics Network AnaLysis (scSYGNAL) to identify a network of 52 regulators that mediate treatment-induced shifts in xenograft tumor-cell states that were also reflected in recurrence. By integrating scSYGNAL-derived regulatory network information with transcription factor accessibility deviations derived from single-cell ATAC-seq data, we developed consensus networks that modulate cell state transitions across subpopulations of primary and recurrent tumor cells. Finally, by matching targeted therapies to active regulatory networks underlying tumor evolutionary trajectories, we provide a framework for applying single-cell-based precision medicine approaches to an individual patient in a concurrent, adjuvant, or recurrent setting.

     
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  7. Acidification of the ocean due to high atmospheric CO 2 levels may increase the resilience of diatoms causing dramatic shifts in abiotic and biotic cycles with lasting implications on marine ecosystems. Here, we report a potential bioindicator of a shift in the resilience of a coastal and centric model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana under elevated CO 2 . Specifically, we have discovered, through EGFP-tagging, a plastid membrane localized putative Na + (K + )/H + antiporter that is significantly upregulated at >800 ppm CO 2 , with a potentially important role in maintaining pH homeostasis. Notably, transcript abundance of this antiporter gene was relatively low and constant over the diel cycle under contemporary CO 2 conditions. In future acidified oceanic conditions, dramatic oscillation with >10-fold change between nighttime (high) and daytime (low) transcript abundances of the antiporter was associated with increased resilience of T. pseudonana . By analyzing metatranscriptomic data from the Tara Oceans project, we demonstrate that phylogenetically diverse diatoms express homologs of this antiporter across the globe. We propose that the differential between night- and daytime transcript levels of the antiporter could serve as a bioindicator of a shift in the resilience of diatoms in response to high CO 2 conditions in marine environments. 
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