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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. Abstract The fall armyworm ( Spodoptera frugiperda ) is a highly polyphagous lepidopteran pest of relevant food and fiber staple crops. In the Americas, transgenic corn and cotton producing insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have controlled and reduced the damage caused by S. frugiperda . However, cases of field-evolved S. frugiperda resistance to Bt corn producing the Cry1F insecticidal protein have been documented in North and South America. When characterized, field resistance to Cry1F is linked to insertions and mutations resulting in a modified or truncated ABC transporter subfamily C2 ( SfABCC2 ) protein that serves as Cry1F receptor in susceptible S. frugiperda . In this work, we present detection of a large genomic deletion (~ 8 kb) affecting the SfABCC2 and an ABC transporter gene subfamily 3 –like gene ( SfABCC3 ) as linked to resistance to Cry1F corn in a S . frugiperda strain from Florida (FL39). Monitoring for this genomic deletion using a discriminatory PCR reaction in field-collected S. frugiperda moths detected individuals carrying this allele in Florida, but not in surrounding states. This is the first report of a large genomic deletion being involved in resistance to a Bt insecticidal protein. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract For decades the poor mechanical properties of Ti alloys were attributed to the intrinsic brittleness of the hexagonal ω-phase that has fewer than 5-independent slip systems. We contradict this conventional wisdom by coupling first-principles and cluster expansion calculations with experiments. We show that the elastic properties of the ω-phase can be systematically varied as a function of its composition to enhance both the ductility and strength of the Ti-alloy. Studies with five prototypical β-stabilizer solutes (Nb, Ta, V, Mo, and W) show that increasing β-stabilizer concentration destabilizes the ω-phase, in agreement with experiments. The Young’s modulus of ω-phase also decreased at larger concentration of β-stabilizers. Within the region of ω-phase stability, addition of Nb, Ta, and V (Group-V elements) decreased Young’s modulus more steeply compared to Mo and W (Group-VI elements) additions. The higher values of Young’s modulus of Ti–W and Ti–Mo binaries is related to the stronger stabilization of ω-phase due to the higher number of valence electrons. Density of states (DOS) calculations also revealed a stronger covalent bonding in the ω-phase compared to a metallic bonding in β-phase, and indicate that alloying is a promising route to enhance the ω-phase’s ductility. Overall, the mechanical properties of ω-phase predicted by our calculations agree well with the available experiments. Importantly, our study reveals that ω precipitates are not intrinsically embrittling and detrimental, and that we can create Ti-alloys with both good ductility and strength by tailoring ω precipitates' composition instead of completely eliminating them. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Background. Rapid blood culture diagnostics are of unclear benefit for patients with gram-negative bacilli (GNB) bloodstream infections (BSIs). We conducted a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial comparing outcomes of patients with GNB BSIs who had blood culture testing with standard-of-care (SOC) culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) vs rapid organism identification (ID) and phenotypic AST using the Accelerate Pheno System (RAPID). Methods. Patients with positive blood cultures with Gram stains showing GNB were randomized to SOC testing with antimicrobial stewardship (AS) review or RAPID with AS. The primary outcome was time to first antibiotic modification within 72 hours of randomization. Results. Of 500 randomized patients, 448 were included (226 SOC, 222 RAPID). Mean (standard deviation) time to results was faster for RAPID than SOC for organism ID (2.7 [1.2] vs 11.7 [10.5] hours; P < .001) and AST (13.5 [56] vs 44.9 [12.1] hours; P < .001). Median (interquartile range [IQR]) time to first antibiotic modification was faster in the RAPID arm vs the SOC arm for overall antibiotics (8.6 [2.6–27.6] vs 14.9 [3.3–41.1] hours; P = .02) and gram-negative antibiotics (17.3 [4.9–72] vs 42.1 [10.1–72] hours; P < .001). Median (IQR) time to antibiotic escalation was faster in the RAPID arm vs the SOC arm for antimicrobial-resistant BSIs (18.4 [5.8–72] vs 61.7 [30.4–72] hours; P = .01). There were no differences between the arms in patient outcomes. Conclusions. Rapid organism ID and phenotypic AST led to faster changes in antibiotic therapy for gram-negative BSIs. 
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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024