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  1. Solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) is a rare soft-tissue sarcoma. This nonhereditary cancer is the result of an environmental intrachromosomal gene fusion between NAB2 and STAT6 on chromosome 12, which fuses the activation domain of STAT6 with the repression domain of NAB2. Currently there is not an approved chemotherapy regimen for SFTs. The best response on available pharmaceuticals is a partial response or stable disease for several months. The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential of RNA-based therapies for the treatment of SFTs. Specifically, in vitro SFT cell models were engineered to harbor the characteristic NAB2–STAT6 fusion using the CRISPR/SpCas9 system. Cell migration as well as multiple cancer-related signaling pathways were increased in the engineered cells as compared to the fusion-absent parent cells. The SFT cell models were then used for evaluating the targeting efficacies of NAB2–STAT6 fusion-specific antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) and CRISPR/CasRx systems. Our results showed that fusion specific ASO treatments caused a 58% reduction in expression of fusion transcripts and a 22% reduction in cell proliferation after 72 h in vitro. Similarly, the AAV2-mediated CRISPR/CasRx system led to a 59% reduction in fusion transcript expressions in vitro, and a 55% reduction in xenograft growth after 29 days ex vivo. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  3. Abstract Ants are important components of many terrestrial ecosystems because of their high abundance, their central position in food webs, and because they can strongly influence ecosystem properties such as soil aeration, nutrient cycling, and plant community composition. Moreover, ants are also known to respond strongly to changes in environmental and biological conditions. In particular, two major anthropogenic environmental impacts – climate change and the loss of primary producers – may have interactive effects on ant communities. To examine this potential interaction, we quantified pitfall trap sampled ant diversity and activity across a fully factorial experiment manipulating temperature and grassland plant species richness at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Minnesota, USA. Consistent with previous arthropod studies, we found a significant increase in sampled ant diversity in plots with higher sown plant species richness, such that plots with the largest number of plant species also had the highest sampled ant diversity. However, the strength of this relationship declined significantly in experimentally warmed subplots, especially when considered for higher aggregated spatial scales of samples. Taken together, these results suggest that the positive effects of plant diversity on sampled ant diversity may be partially undermined under warmer conditions. 
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  4. Freeman, S. ; Lederer-Woods, C. ; Manna, A. ; Mengoni, A. (Ed.)
    The thermodynamical conditions and the neutron density produced in a laser-induced implosion of a deuterium-tritium (DT) filled capsule at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) are the closest laboratory analog of stellar conditions. We plan to investigate neutron-induced reactions on 40 Ar, namely the 40 Ar( n , 2 n ) 39 Ar( t 1/2 =268 y), the 40 Ar( n , γ) 41 Ar(110 min) and the potential rapid two-neutron capture reaction 40 Ar(2 n , γ) 42 Ar(33 y) in an Ar-loaded DT capsule. The chemical inertness of noble gas Ar enables reliable collection of the reaction products. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024