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Recent Submissions

Population genomics analysis of Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal in Billings, Montana
(Montana State University, 2024) Ilmuradova, Selbi; Comer, Jason
Given the rising impact of climate change and habitat modification, understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying plant adaptation is crucial for conservation efforts. This study investigates how different populations of Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal, commonly known as curly-cup gumweed, adapt to diverse environmental conditions in Montana, a key to understanding plant adaptability and resilience. Using a population genomics approaches and next-generation sequencing the populations of desert vs mesic plants were explored to identify genetic variations that maybe linked to their environmental adaptations. This study is tested by the hypothesis: these populations are unique under different selective pressures, which will be detected at the genomic level, providing a clearer picture of how species respond to varied ecological pressures. These insights will advance our understanding in the field of conservation genomics and highlight the crucial role of genetic diversity and adaptation in facing environmental changes.
Investigating the Potential Anticonvulsant Effects of Taxol Through Microtubule Stabilization in C. elegans Model of Epilepsy
(Montana State Univeristy Billings, 2024) Elbert, Madelyne; Marcette, Jana
Recent discoveries have unveiled a mutation in the CAMSAP gene as a causative factor in a distinct form of epilepsy. CAMSAP's pivotal role in microtubule stabilization and cellular signaling underscores its significance in neuronal function. This experiment poses to answer the question: Does the stabilization of microtubules stop the progression of convulsions for a specific type of epilepsy? Microtubules orchestrate the spatial organization within cells, essential for cellular integrity and function. Perturbations in microtubule dynamics, marked by instability and subsequent shrinkage due to GTP hydrolysis, can precipitate cellular dysfunction. To address this, we propose the application of Taxol, a renowned microtubule-stabilizing agent, in a C. elegans model. Leveraging the simplicity of C. elegans' nervous system, we aim to elucidate Taxol's potential in mitigating seizures induced by a specified solution. Through systematic observation at five and ten-minute intervals, we anticipate Taxol's intervention to stabilize microtubules and ameliorate convulsions. This research offers a promising avenue for understanding the molecular underpinnings of epilepsy and exploring therapeutic interventions targeting microtubule dynamics.
Financial education affects financial knowledge and downstream behaviors
(Elsevier, 2022-08) Kaiser, Tim; Lusardi, Annamaria; Menkhoff, Lukas; Urban, Carly
We study the rapidly growing literature on the causal effects of financial education programs in a meta-analysis of 76 randomized experiments with a total sample size of over 160,000 individuals. Many of these experiments are published in top economics and finance journals. The evidence shows that financial education programs have, on average, positive causal treatment effects on financial knowledge and downstream financial behaviors. Treatment effects are economically meaningful in size, similar to those realized by educational interventions in other domains, and robust to accounting for publication bias in the literature. We also discuss the cost-effectiveness of financial education interventions.
Connecting research and practice to enhance the evolutionary potential of species under climate change
(Wiley, 2023-01) Thompson, Laura M. et al.; Beever, Erik A.
Resource managers have rarely accounted for evolutionary dynamics in the design or implementation of climate change adaptation strategies. We brought the research and management communities together to identify challenges and opportunities for applying evidence from evolutionary science to support on-the-ground actions intended to enhance species' evolutionary potential. We amalgamated input from natural-resource practitioners and interdisciplinary scientists to identify information needs, current knowledge that can fill those needs, and future avenues for research. Three focal areas that can guide engagement include: (1) recognizing when to act, (2) understanding the feasibility of assessing evolutionary potential, and (3) identifying best management practices. Although researchers commonly propose using molecular methods to estimate genetic diversity and gene flow as key indicators of evolutionary potential, we offer guidance on several additional attributes (and their proxies) that may also guide decision-making, particularly in the absence of genetic data. Finally, we outline existing decision-making frameworks that can help managers compare alternative strategies for supporting evolutionary potential, with the goal of increasing the effective use of evolutionary information, particularly for species of conservation concern. We caution, however, that arguing over nuance can generate confusion; instead, dedicating increased focus on a decision-relevant evidence base may better lend itself to climate adaptation actions.
Interactions and Regulatory Functions of Phenolics in Soil-Plant-Climate Nexus
(MDPI, 2023-01) Misra, Deblina; Dutta, Writupana; Jha, Gaurav; Ray, Puja
Phenols are major compounds produced by plant species as a peripheral stimulus or as a regulatory defense mechanism under different environmental biotic stresses. These secondary metabolites are generated from shikimic and acetic acid metabolic pathways. The aromatic benzene ring compound plays an important role in plant development, especially in the defense forefront. They provide structural integrity and support to the plants. Phenolic phytoalexins released by pathogen/arthropod-attacked or wounded plants nullify or repel organisms for the advantage of the host. The allelopathic potential of phenolic compounds is observed in both natural and managed ecosystems. The global impacts of climatic variabilities such as drought, increased carbon dioxide, or greenhouse gas emissions alter the quantitative response of plant phenols. This review primarily discusses the different aspects of phenolic interactions concerning health, antioxidant properties, and insect-plant interaction as a nexus of soil and plant relations in response to variable climatic conditions.
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