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The first positive genome-wide association study on gestational length and preterm delivery showed associations with a gene involved in the selenium metabolism. In this study we examine the associations between maternal intake of selenium and selenium status with gestational length and preterm delivery in 72,025 women with singleton live births from the population based, prospective Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). A self-reported, semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire answered in pregnancy week 22 was used to estimate selenium intake during the first half of pregnancy. Associations were analysed with adjusted linear and cox regressions. Selenium status was assessed in whole blood collected in gestational week 17 (n=2,637). Median dietary selenium intake was 53 (IQR: 44-62) µg/day, supplements provided additionally 50 (30-75) µg/day for supplement-users (n=23,409). Maternal dietary selenium intake was significantly associated with prolonged gestational length (β per SD=0.25, 95% CI=0.07-0.43) and decreased risk for preterm delivery (n=3,618, HR per SD=0.92, 95% CI=0.87-0.98). Neither selenium intake from supplements nor maternal blood selenium status was associated with gestational length or preterm delivery. Hence, this study showed that maternal dietary selenium intake, but not intake of selenium containing supplements, during the first half of pregnancy was significantly associated with decreased risk for preterm delivery. Further investigations, preferably in the form of a large RCT, are needed to elucidate the impact of selenium on pregnancy duration.
A new species of the Paleozoic bryozoan genus Ptilotrypa of the order Cryptostomata is described from the lower part of the Yong Limestone Formation, Katian, Upper Ordovician of the Kumaun Tethys Himalaya: Ptilotrypa bajpaii new species. The presence of the genus Ptilotrypa in the Tethyan Himalaya suggests paleogeographic connections to the Upper Ordovician of North America and, consequently, Upper Ordovician age for the lower part of the Yong Limestone Formation. This species displays a reticulate colony shape, which suggests an efficient filtering capacity in an environment with a high primary production. Morphological peculiarities and systematic assignment of the genus Ptilotrypa are discussed.
We prove three more general supercongruences between truncated hypergeometric series and p-adic gamma function from which some known supercongruences follow. A supercongruence conjectured by Rodriguez--Villegas and proved by E. Mortenson using the theory of finite field hypergeometric series follows from one of our more general supercongruences. We also prove a supercongruence for 7F6 truncated hypergeometric series which is similar to a supercongruence proved by L. Long and R. Ramakrishna.
Secondary carbonate deposits (similar to speleothems) in urban undergrounds, have been recently highlighted as powerful archives for reconstruction of the historical anthropogenic imprint on the environment. The precise chronology of these secondary carbonate deposits is a key issue for the accurate time reconstruction of environmental conditions. We present three 14C data sets for urban speleothem-like deposits that developed in contrasted man made environments. The first one was sampled in an underground technical gallery of the Palace of Versailles (France), and the other two in a manhole (Saint-Martin spring) of a historical underground aqueduct in Paris (France). The comparison of these records with the bomb peak and relative chronology (laminae counting) allowed us to identify: i) fast carbon transfer from the atmosphere to the urban underground; ii) a high proportion of dead carbon and a high damping effect in relation to possible old carbon stored within urban soils and/or the influence of local fossil carbon burning. This study also shows that the lamination of these deposits is bi-annual in these highly urbanized sites.
Brown dwarfs have masses intermediate to stars and planets, but their atmospheres can span planetary plasma conditions as they cool over time. They are more directly observable than the currently known extra-solar planets. In this paper, we provide a brief summary of the atmospheric properties of brown dwarfs, and apply this knowledge to predict the thermal and spectral properties of extra-solar planets.
Biological and morphological plasticity in polyphagous insect herbivores allow them to exploit diverse host plant species. Geographical differences in resource availability can lead to preferential host exploitation and result in inconsistent host specialization. Biological and molecular data provide insights into specialization and plasticity of such herbivore populations. In agricultural landscapes, Aphis gossypii encounters several crop and non-crop hosts, which exist in temporal and spatial proximity. We investigated the host-specialization of two A. gossypii host-associated populations (HAPs), which were field collected from cotton and squash (cotton-associated population and melon-associated population), and later maintained separately in the greenhouse. The two aphid populations were exposed to seven plant species (cotton, okra, watermelon, squash, cucumber, pigweed, and morning glory), and evaluated for their host utilization plasticity by estimating aphid's fitness parameters (nymphal period, adult period, fecundity, and intrinsic rate of increase). Four phenotypical characters (body length, head capsule width, hind tibia length and cornicle length) were also measured from the resulting 14 different HAP × host plant combinations. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial COI sequences showed no genetic variation between the two HAPs. Fitness parameters indicated a significant variation between the two aphid populations, and the variation was influenced by host plants. The performance of melon-aphids was poor (up to 89% reduction in fecundity) on malvaceous hosts, cotton and okra. However, cotton-aphids performed better on cucurbitaceous hosts, squash and watermelon (up to 66% increased fecundity) compared with the natal host, cotton. Both HAPs were able to reproduce on two weed hosts. Cotton-aphids were smaller than melon-aphids irrespective of their host plants. Results from this study suggest that the two HAPs in the study area do not have strict host specialization; rather they exhibit plasticity in utilizing several hosts. In this scenario, it is unlikely that host-associated A. gossypii populations would evolve into host-specific biotypes.
Oxidative stress plays a major role in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus, which further exacerbates damage of cardiac, hepatic and other tissues. We have recently reported that Zn supplementation beneficially modulates hyperglycaemia and hypoinsulinaemia, with attendant reduction of associated metabolic abnormalities in diabetic rats. The present study assessed the potential of Zn supplementation in modulating oxidative stress and cardioprotective effects in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in Wistar rats with streptozotocin, and groups of diabetic rats were treated with 5- and 10-fold dietary Zn interventions (0·19 and 0·38 g Zn/kg diet) for 6 weeks. The markers of oxidative stress, antioxidant enzyme activities and concentrations of antioxidant molecules, lipid profile, and expressions of fibrosis and pro-apoptotic factors in the cardiac tissue were particularly assessed. Supplemental Zn showed significant attenuation of diabetes-induced oxidative stress in terms of altered antioxidant enzyme activities and increased the concentrations of antioxidant molecules. Hypercholesterolaemia and hyperlipidaemia were also significantly countered by Zn supplementation. Along with attenuated oxidative stress, Zn supplementation also showed significant cardioprotective effects by altering the mRNA expressions of fibrosis and pro-apoptotic factors (by >50 %). The expression of lipid oxidative marker 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) protein in cardiac tissue of diabetic animals was rectified (68 %) by Zn supplementation. Elevated cardiac and hepatic markers in circulation and pathological abnormalities in cardiac and hepatic tissue architecture of diabetic animals were ameliorated by dietary Zn intervention. The present study indicates that Zn supplementation can attenuate diabetes-induced oxidative stress in circulation as well as in cardiac and hepatic tissues.
Spermatogenesis is a highly co-ordinated and complex process. In vitro propagation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) could provide an avenue in which to undertake in vivo studies of spermatogenesis. Very little information is known about the SSC biology of teleosts. In this study, collagenase-treated testicular cells of farmed catfish (Clarias batrachus, popularly known as magur) were purified by Ficoll gradient centrifugation followed by magnetic activated cell sorting using Thy1.2 (CD90.2) antibody to enrich for the spermatogonial cell population. The sorted spermatogonial cells were counted and gave ~3 × 106 cells from 6 × 106 pre-sorted cells. The purified cells were cultured in vitro for >2 months in L-15 medium containing fetal bovine serum (10%), carp serum (1%) and other supplements. Microscopic observations depicted typical morphological SSC features, bearing a larger nuclear compartment (with visible perinuclear bodies) within a thin rim of cytoplasm. Cells proliferated in vitro forming clumps/colonies. mRNA expression profiling by qPCR documented that proliferating cells were Plzf + and Pou2+, indicative of stem cells. From 60 days onwards of cultivation, the self-renewing population differentiated to produce spermatids (~6 × 107 on day 75). In vitro-produced sperm (2260 sperm/SSC) were free swimming in medium and hence motile (non-progressive) in nature. Of those, 2% were capable of fertilizing and generated healthy diploid fingerlings. Our documented evidence provides the basis for producing fertile magur sperm in vitro from cultured magur SSCs. Our established techniques of SSC propagation and in vitro sperm production together should trigger future in vivo experiments towards basic and applied biology research.
We briefly describe the current version of the PHOENIX code. We then present some illustrative results from the modeling of Type Ia and Type II supernovae, hot stars, and irradiated giant planets. Good fits to observations can be obtained, when account is taken for spherically symmetric, line-blanketed, static or expanding atmospheres.
Rotavirus (RV) infection causes acute infantile diarrhoea in humans and animals and remains a major concern for vaccine development. The close proximity of humans to animals may foster cross-species infection resulting in the emergence of novel/unusual strains by genetic reassortment. In this study, we characterized 500 diarrhoeal samples for group A rotaviruses (RVA) from children (n = 290), piglets (n = 95) and calves (n = 115) in Northeast India during 2012–2013. The data showed that 142/500 (28·4%) faecal samples were positive for RVA with the highest level of infection detected in piglets (57/142, 40·1%) followed by children (51/142, 35·9%) and calves (34/142, 23·9%). Sequence-based G- and P-typing showed G1P (25%) and G1P (35%) were the prevailing genotypes in both humans and animals. Single cases of unusual genotypes, i.e. G9P, G5P in humans and G1P, G1P and G3P in animals were also identified. Cluster analyses of the sequences showed regional strains were genetically closer to their homologous strains. However, human G5P and porcine G1P strains showed homology to heterologous hosts of their prototype strains. The subsequent global spread of unusual RV strains may result in their establishment over time, presenting challenges to future vaccine evaluation programmes. More studies on emerging genotypes are required to elucidate how RVA strains evolve post-vaccination. This study supports the need for continuous surveillance of RVA infections after detecting from diverse hosts in a common setting.