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Maternal stress during pregnancy can cause alterations to the fetal hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, a phenomenon known as fetal programming that may have lasting effects on offspring outcomes, including depression. Evidence suggests that these effects may vary with respect to the offspring's genetic risk. Nonetheless, few studies have examined these effects into adulthood, when risk for depression onset is highest. The present study builds upon the extant literature by examining the interaction of maternal prenatal perceived stress (MPPS) and offspring HPA-axis polygenic risk to predict offspring depression in early adulthood. A total of 381 mother–child dyads participated in a prospective, longitudinal study that spanned from pregnancy until offspring were 20 years of age. Polygenic risk was defined by a multilocus genetic profile score (MGPS) that reflected the additive risk of three HPA-axis candidate genes. The results indicated that the interaction of MPPS and HPA-axis MGPS confers risk for offspring depression at age 20, in line with the differential susceptibility model. This interaction may be specific to prenatal stress, as maternal stress during early childhood did not interact with genetic risk to predict depression. These findings provide the first evidence that genetic variants that are associated with the HPA axis may act in a polygenic, additive fashion to moderate the association between fetal programming and adult depression.
This essay analyzes the way that Edith Wharton’s writing frames the ethical and ontological relationship between human and nonhuman animals. Disputing a philosophical tradition that defines the difference between humans and animals on the basis of a capacity for language, Wharton – a committed animal lover – ambivalently suggests a less stark species boundary. The “humanimality” rendered in her work depicts human characters who are rendered animal through pain, through extreme experience, and through speechlessness. These representations are most manifest in Wharton’s wartime texts, Summer, Ethan Frome, and Fighting France. Wharton proposes that the appropriate posture toward both human and nonhuman animals is a pity based on the recognition of shared vulnerability to suffering. Yet her writing also frequently frames human–animal boundary-crossing as a mode of gothic excess, suggesting a pervasive anxiety about the very humanimaity that forms the basis of her compassionate ethics.
Codex published the ‘Guidelines for Risk Analysis of Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance’ to standardise the approach for evaluating risk posed by foodborne antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. One of the first steps in the guidelines is to compile a risk profile, which provides the current state of knowledge regarding a food safety issue, describes risk management options and recommends next steps. In Canada, ceftiofur/ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Heidelberg from poultry was identified as an antimicrobial resistance (AMR) food safety issue. The first objective of this article was to contextualise this food safety issue, using the risk profile format of the Codex Guidelines. A second objective was to evaluate the applicability of the Codex Guidelines. This risk profile indicated that ceftiofur/ceftriaxone-resistant S. Heidelberg (CSH) was commonly isolated from poultry and was associated with severe disease in humans. Ceftiofur use in poultry hatcheries temporally mirrored the prevalence of CSH from poultry meat at retail and from people with salmonellosis. The evidence was sufficient to indicate the need for risk management options, such as restricting the use of ceftiofur in poultry. The Codex Guidelines provided a useful approach to summarise data for decision-makers to evaluate an AMR food safety issue.
The psychedelic research renaissance is gaining traction. Preliminary clinical studies of the hallucinogenic fungi, psilocybin, with psychological support, have indicated improvements in mood, anxiety and quality of life. A seminal, open-label study demonstrated marked reductions in depression symptoms in participants with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The associated neurobiological processes involve alterations in brain connectivity, together with altered amygdala and default mode network activity. At the cellular level, psychedelics promote synaptogenesis and neural plasticity. Prompted by the promising preliminary studies, a randomized, double-blind trial has recently been launched across Europe and North America to investigate the efficacy of psilocybin in TRD. One of these centres is based in Ireland – CHO Area 7 and Tallaght University Hospital. The outcome of this trial will determine whether psilocybin with psychological support will successfully translate into the psychiatric clinic for the benefit of patients.
Personalised nutrition is at its simplest form the delivery of dietary advice at an individual level. Incorporating response to different diets has resulted in the concept of precision nutrition. Harnessing the metabolic phenotype to identify subgroups of individuals that respond differentially to dietary interventions is becoming a reality. More specifically, the classification of individuals in subgroups according to their metabolic profile is defined as metabotyping and this approach has been employed to successfully identify differential response to dietary interventions. Furthermore, the approach has been expanded to develop a framework for the delivery of targeted nutrition. The present review examines the application of the metabotype approach in nutrition research with a focus on developing personalised nutrition. Application of metabotyping in longitudinal studies demonstrates that metabotypes can be associated with cardiometabolic risk factors and diet-related diseases while application in interventions can identify metabotypes with differential responses. In general, there is strong evidence that metabolic phenotyping is a promising strategy to identify groups at risk and to potentially improve health promotion at a population level. Future work should verify if targeted nutrition can change behaviours and have an impact on health outcomes.
The metabolomic profile of a biofluid can be altered by dietary intake, exercise and disease processes and, thus provides an important tool for the study of many physiological processes. However, in addition to perturbation due to disease, the metabolomic profile of urine and plasma has also been shown to vary due to many intrinsic physiological factors such as age, sex, hormonal status and diurnal variation. Characterisation of this normal degree of variation in the metabolomic profiles of human biofluids is a necessary and important step in the development of metabolomics for use in nutrition-related research. The current review focuses on the impact of sex on the metabolomic profile. A number of studies have reported that sex impacts metabolites such as amino acids, lipids, sugars and keto acids. Furthermore, we examine the effect of the menstrual cycle on the metabolomic profile. Responses to dietary interventions can also differ between the sexes and highlighting this is important for the development of the field of precision nutrition.
Clinical Enterobacteriacae isolates with a colistin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≥4 mg/L from a United States hospital were screened for the mcr-1 gene using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and confirmed by whole-genome sequencing. Four colistin-resistant Escherichia coli isolates contained mcr-1. Two isolates belonged to the same sequence type (ST-632). All subjects had prior international travel and antimicrobial exposure.
This paper reports the molecular organization and mechanical properties of electrospun, post-drawn polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers. Without post-drawing, the polymer chain was kinked and oriented in hexagonal crystalline structures. Immediate post-drawing in the semi-solid state disrupted the crystal structures and chain kink at maximum draw ratio. Structural re-orientation at maximum draw resulted in a 500% increase in Young's modulus and a 100% increase in ultimate tensile strength. By applying post-drawing to electrospinning it may be possible to obtain PAN fibers and PAN-derived carbon fibers with enhanced mechanical properties compared to available fabrication technologies.
Innovation Concept: High-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation saves lives; however, current certification standards can leave providers poorly prepared to perform effective chest compressions (CCs). We designed a training program based on the emerging model of skill maintenance through frequent short practice sessions. The ideal frequency of training is currently unknown. Our goal was to provide medical students with access to efficient and effective CC training and to determine an optimal training interval. Methods: Thirty-six second-year medical students were randomized to three groups that trained at different frequencies: once every two months (q2m) (n = 12), once every four months (q4m) (n = 13), and control (n = 11). Study duration was eight months with the intervention groups, q2m and q4m, participating in five and three sessions respectively. The control group was assessed at study start and end, receiving no training in between. At each session, participants completed a one-minute pre-test of CC performance, viewed a one-minute training video, practiced CCs for two minutes with real-time feedback, and completed a one-minute post-test. Performance parameters measured were CC depth, rate, release, and hand positioning. A final “compression score” assessed integrated performance across these parameters and served as our primary outcome. Participants also reported pre- and post-training comfort with performing CCs which served as our secondary outcome. Curriculum, Tool or Material: Our “Quick Refresher Sessions” (QRS) were completed by participants independently without requiring an assessor or facilitator. A manikin with the ability to record and provide real-time quantitative feedback on CC quality was connected to a laptop running a customized interface. Participants typed in an individualized code and were guided through their six-minute sessions automatically. Conclusion: Immediately following the first training session, subjects had significant improvement in compression score (p < 0.001) and skill comfort (p < 0.001). At eight months, both intervention groups, q2m and q4m, achieved higher compression scores than control (p = 0.001 and p = 0.011) and showed greater increase in comfort level (p = 0.002 and p = 0.010). Performance between intervention groups at eight months was not statistically different. Overall, we conclude that independent QRS training every two or four months led to improved CC quality and provider comfort. Future directions include increasing sample size and tailoring training intervals to individual performance.
This article discusses the findings of an Arts and Humanities Research Council project researching how music festival communities in Scotland can address issues of environmental sustainability and climate change. It investigates how music festival communities are constructed with a focus on what role, if any, they might play in responding to the global challenge of environmental sustainability. Using music festivals in Scotland as a case study, we employed a variety of research methods to interrogate different constituents in music festival communities about their views and behaviours regarding climate change and environmental sustainability. These included festival audiences via onsite questionnaires; festival organisers and promoters via interviews and focus groups; and musicians via creative practice-led research. We conclude that rather than necessarily being a site for progressive or utopian socio-cultural experimentation (as they are occasionally portrayed in festival literature), music festival communities engage in complex and often contradictory behaviours when it comes to responding to – and making sense of – their own complicity in social challenges such as climate change.
Introduction: Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) is being increasingly utilized during cardiac arrests for prognosis. Following the publication of recent studies, the goal of this study was to systematically review and analyze the literature to evaluate the accuracy of PoCUS in predicting return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), survival to hospital admission (SHA), and survival to hospital discharge (SHD) in adult patients with non-traumatic, non- shockable out- of-hospital or emergency department cardiac arrest. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was completed. A search of Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane, CINAHL, ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization Registry was completed from 1974 until August 24th 2018. Adult randomized controlled trials and observational studies were included. The QUADAS-2 tool was applied by two independent reviewers. Data analysis was completed according to PRISMA guidelines and with a random effects model for the meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was assessed using I-squared statistics. Results: Ten studies (1,485 participants) were included. Cardiac activity on PoCUS had a pooled sensitivity of 59.9% (95% confidence interval 36.5%-79.4%) and specificity of 91.5% (80.8%-96.5%) for ROSC; 74.7% (58.3%-86.2%) and 80.5% (71.7%-87.4%) for SHA; and 69.4% (45.5%-86.0%) and 74.6% (59.8%-85.3%) for SHD. The sensitivity of cardiac activity on PoCUS for predicting ROSC was 24.7%(6.8%-59.4%) in the asystole subgroup compared with 77% (59.4%-88.5%) within the PEA subgroup. Cardiac activity on PoCUS, compared to an absence had an odd ratio of 15.9 (5.9-42.5) for ROSC, 9.8 (4.9-19.4) for SHA and 5.7 (2.1-15.6) for SHD. Positive likelihood ratio (LR) was 6.65 (3.16-14.0) and negative LR was 0.27 (0.12-0.61) for ROSC. Conclusion: Cardiac activity on PoCUS was associated with improved odds for ROSC, SHA, and SHD among adults with non-traumatic asystole and PEA. We report lower sensitivity and higher negative likelihood ratio, but with greater heterogeneity compared to previous systematic reviews. PoCUS may provide valuable information in the management of non-traumatic PEA or asystole, but should not be viewed as the sole predictor in determining outcomes in these patients.
Dietary assessment methods including FFQ and food diaries are associated with many measurement errors including energy under-reporting and incorrect estimation of portion sizes. Such errors can lead to inconsistent results especially when investigating the relationship between food intake and disease causation. To improve the classification of a person's dietary intake and therefore clarify proposed links between diet and disease, reliable and accurate dietary assessment methods are essential. Dietary biomarkers have emerged as a complementary approach to the traditional methods, and in recent years, metabolomics has developed as a key technology for the identification of new dietary biomarkers. The objective of this review is to give an overview of the approaches used for the identification of biomarkers and potential use of the biomarkers. Over the years, a number of strategies have emerged for the discovery of dietary biomarkers including acute and medium term interventions and cross-sectional/cohort study approaches. Examples of the different approaches will be presented. Concomitant with the focus on single biomarkers of specific foods, there is an interest in the development of biomarker signatures for the identification of dietary patterns. In the present review, we present an overview of the techniques used in food intake biomarker discover, including the experimental approaches used and challenges faced in the field. While significant progress has been achieved in the field of dietary biomarkers in recent years, a number of challenges remain. Addressing these challenges will be key to ensure success in implementing use of dietary biomarkers.
Studies examining associations between fetal serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) exposure and child autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses or delayed language remain mixed and rarely prospectively follow children or employ gold-standard assessments. We prospectively followed a cohort of mother–child dyads from pregnancy through early elementary school (N = 178), and obtained maternal and alternate–caregiver ratings of behaviors related to ASD (N = 137), as well as direct, gold-standard assessments of child ASD symptoms and pragmatic language among dyads who experienced prenatal depression and either took SRIs or were medication free during pregnancy (N = 44). Prenatal SRI exposure was related to maternal ratings of ASD-related behaviors (β = 0.24 95% confidence interval; CI [0.07, 0.48]), and, among boys, alternative caregiver ratings (males-only β = 0.28 95% CI [0.02, 0.55], females-only β = −0.21 95% CI [–0.63, 0.08]). However, results of our direct assessments suggest an association between SRI exposure and reduced pragmatic language scores (β = –0.27, 95% CI [–0.53, –0.01], but not ASD (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule β = 0.14 95% CI [–0.15, 0.41]; Social Responsiveness Scale β = 0.08 95% CI [–0.25, 0.40]). These discrepancies point to issues regarding how ASD is assessed, and the possibility that SRIs may be more strongly associated with language or other broader behaviors that coincide with ASD. Larger prospective studies that incorporate thorough, gold-standard assessments of ASD, language, and other ASD-related behaviors are needed.