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In utero exposure to the ubiquitous plasticizer, bisphenol A (BPA) is associated with offspring obesity. As adipogenesis is a critical factor contributing to obesity, we determined the effects of in vivo maternal BPA and in vitro BPA exposure on newborn adipose tissue at the stem-cell level. For in vivo studies, female rats received BPA before and during pregnancy and lactation via drinking water, and offspring were studied for measures of adiposity signals. For in vitro BPA exposure, primary pre-adipocyte cell cultures from healthy newborns were utilized. We studied pre-adipocyte proliferative and differentiation effects of BPA and explored putative signal factors which partly explain adipose responses and underlying epigenetic mechanisms mediated by BPA. Maternal BPA-induced offspring adiposity, hypertrophic adipocytes and increased adipose tissue protein expression of pro-adipogenic and lipogenic factors. Consistent with in vivo data, in vitro BPA exposure induced a dose-dependent increase in pre-adipocyte proliferation and increased adipocyte lipid content. In vivo and in vitro BPA exposure promotes the proliferation and differentiation of adipocytes, contributing to an enhanced capacity for lipid storage. These findings reinforce the marked effects of BPA on adipogenesis and highlight the susceptibility of stem-cell populations during early life with long-term consequence on metabolic homeostasis.
Although initiating breast-feeding is common in Indonesia, rates of exclusive breast-feeding are low. Our objective was to identify early barriers to exclusive breast-feeding in Indonesian hospitals.
Qualitative. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in April–June 2015. The data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Indonesian provinces of Jakarta, Banten and West Java.
Fifty-four participants including public health officials, hospital administrators, health-care professionals and parents.
Five themes were identified as contributing to low rates of early exclusive breast-feeding in Indonesian hospitals: (i) quality and quantity of breast-feeding education; (ii) marketing and influence of infant formula manufacturers; (iii) hospital infrastructure; (iv) policy, legislation and protocols; and (v) perceived need for infant formula supplementation. Participants noted that providers and mothers receive inadequate or incorrect education regarding breast-feeding; manufacturers promote infant formula use both inside and outside hospitals; constraints in physical space and hospital design interfere with early breast-feeding; legislation and protocols designed to promote breast-feeding are inconsistently enforced and implemented; and providers and mothers often believe infant formula is necessary to promote infant health. All participants identified numerous barriers to early exclusive breast-feeding that related to more than one identified theme.
Our study identified important barriers to early exclusive breast-feeding in Indonesian hospitals, finding that participants consistently reported multifaceted barriers to early exclusive breast-feeding. Future research should examine whether system-level interventions such the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative might improve rates of exclusive breast-feeding by improving breast-feeding education, reducing manufacturer influence, modifying existing infrastructure and providing tools needed for protocols and counselling.
Halley probes (Giotto, Vega) have shown that cometary grains can be extremely dark and might have fluffy structures. These probes have also detected submicron sized particles in the coma of the comet. In view of these observations and to interpret the observed data on several other comets we calculate the angular distribution of the scattered intensity, polarization and albedo for porous and compact particles. For these calculations, we apply discrete dipole approximation (DDA) first to the spheroidal particles, assumed to be made of small scattering elements (dipoles). Then we reduce the number of dipoles systematically to model the porous grains. We study the phase function, linear polarization, and albedo as a function of grain size and packing density.
The error box of the unusual Gamma-Ray Burst of March 5, 1979 falls completely inside the optical and radio image of the Supernova Remnant N49 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This region was observed twice in x-rays with the High Resolution Imager of the Einstein Observatory, six weeks and nearly two years after the Gamma-Ray Burst. We show the comparison between the two observations.
Objectives: A wealth of studies provide evidence for action simulation during language comprehension. Recent research suggests such action simulations might be sensitive to fine-grained information, such as speed. Here, we present a crucial test for action simulation of speed in language by assessing speed comprehension in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Based on the patients’ motor deficits, we hypothesized that the speed of motion described in language would modulate their performance in semantic tasks. Specifically, they would have more difficulty processing language about relatively fast speed than language about slow speed. Methods: We conducted a semantic similarity judgment task on fast and slow action verbs in patients with PD and age-matched healthy controls. Participants had to decide which of two verbs most closely matched a target word. Results: Compared to controls, PD patients were slower making judgments about fast action verbs, but not for judgments about slow action verbs, suggesting impairment in processing language about fast action. Moreover, this impairment was specific to verbs describing fast action performed with the hand. Conclusions: Problems moving quickly lead to difficulties comprehending language about moving quickly. This study provides evidence that speed is an important part of action representations. (JINS, 2017, 23, 412–420)
Young children are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition as nutrition transition progresses. The present study aimed to document the prevalence, coexistence and correlates of nutritional status (stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia) in Samoan children aged 24–59 months.
A cross-sectional community-based survey. Height and weight were used to determine prevalence of stunting (height-for-age Z-score <−2) and overweight/obesity (BMI-for-age Z-score >+2) based on WHO growth standards. Anaemia was determined using an AimStrip Hemoglobin test system (Hb <110 g/l).
Ten villages on the Samoan island of Upolu.
Mother–child pairs (n 305) recruited using convenience sampling.
Moderate or severe stunting was apparent in 20·3 % of children, 16·1 % were overweight/obese and 34·1 % were anaemic. Among the overweight/obese children, 28·6 % were also stunted and 42·9 % anaemic, indicating dual burden of malnutrition. Stunting was significantly less likely among girls (OR=0·41; 95 % CI 0·21, 0·79, P<0·01) than boys. Overweight/obesity was associated with higher family socio-economic status and decreased sugar intake (OR per 10 g/d=0·89, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·99, P=0·032). The odds of anaemia decreased with age and anaemia was more likely in children with an anaemic mother (OR=2·20; 95 % CI 1·22, 3·98, P=0·007). No child, maternal or household characteristic was associated with more than one of the nutritional status outcomes, highlighting the need for condition-specific interventions in this age group.
The observed prevalences of stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia suggest that it is critical to invest in nutrition and develop health programmes targeting early childhood growth and development in Samoa.
A pilot study by 6 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) explored how bibliometrics can be used to assess research influence.
Evaluators from 6 institutions shared data on publications (4202 total) they supported, and conducted a combined analysis with state-of-the-art tools. This paper presents selected results based on the tools from 2 widely used vendors for bibliometrics: Thomson Reuters and Elsevier.
Both vendors located a high percentage of publications within their proprietary databases (>90%) and provided similar but not equivalent bibliometrics for estimating productivity (number of publications) and influence (citation rates, percentage of papers in the top 10% of citations, observed citations relative to expected citations). A recently available bibliometric from the National Institutes of Health Office of Portfolio Analysis, examined after the initial analysis, showed tremendous potential for use in the CTSA context.
Despite challenges in making cross-CTSA comparisons, bibliometrics can enhance our understanding of the value of CTSA-supported clinical and translational research.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
We present observations of the bipolar planetary nebula NGC 2346 carried out with the 1-m telescope at the Vainu Bappu Observatory in Kavalur, India using (1) a high resolution piezo-electric scanned Fabry-Pérot Spectrometer (with a velocity resolution of 10 km s−1) for line studies in the 6000 A - 7000 A spectral range and (2) a pressure scanned Fabry-Pérot spectrometer (with a velocity-resolution of 5 km s−1) in the green region. The nebula was observed in the H I 6563 A and [N II] 6583 A emission lines using a 15″ aperture and in the [O III] 5007 A line using an 8″ aperture centered on the bright central spot. A number of scans in each of these lines were co-added to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. The [O III] profile shows a well defined split between the blue and the red component, typical of an expanding shell. The [N II] profile does not show a well resolved split, although a pronounced suggestion of a split was observed in all the scans. The Hα profile was broad and asymmetric. The composite [O III] and [N II] profiles were decomposed into two individual Gaussians for obtaining the expansion velocity.
Kinematic study of the multiple shell PN NGC 3242 was carried out by obtaining Hα and [O III] line profiles at 9 positions of the nebula using a high-resolution (R ≅ 50,000) Fabry-Pérot spectrometer. The positions cover both the bright inner shell and the faint outer shell. It is shown here that the two apparently continuous shells are kinematically separate: the faint outer shell was ejected ∼ 5000 years earlier and has less expansion velocity than the bright inner shell.
Background: Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) is notifiable in Canada with a differential diagnosis that includes a number of conditions. This analysis describes the epidemiology of AFP in Canadian youth less than 15 years old. Methods: Monthly active surveillance for AFP was conducted as part of the Canadian AFP Surveillance System. Results: From 1996 to 2014, 850 cases of AFP were reported, representing an average annual crude incidence rate of 0.77 cases per 100,000 youth less than 15 years old. The mean age of cases was 6.8 years (median 5.9 years). Nine percent had an abnormal neurological history and 53% had an acute respiratory illness within 30 days of onset. Fever occurred in 23% of cases, 96% experienced bilateral weakness, 21% had respiratory muscle involvement, and 26% had cranial nerve involvement. The average hospital length of stay was 13.5 days. The most common diagnoses were Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) or a variant (70%), and transverse myelitis (TM, 14%). At the time of the initial report, 14% had fully recovered. Conclusions: Our AFP surveillance system provides a baseline for AFP and its causes in the Canadian paediatric population. While rare, AFP is associated with severe morbidity in youth. GBS and TM were the most common diagnoses.
Observations of speckles in the scattering disk of the Vela pulsar are presented and speckle techniques for studying and circumventing scattering of radio waves by the turbulent interstellar plasma are discussed. The speckle pattern contains, in a hologrammatic fashion, complete information on the structure of the radio source as well as the distribution of the scattering material. Speckle observations of interstellar scattering of radio waves are difficult because of their characteristically short timescales (≈seconds) and narrow bandwidths (≈kHz). Here, we present first observations, taken at 13 cm wavelength with elements of the SHEVE VLBI network, of speckles in interstellar scattering.
Engineering, whether in the form of product development or manufacturing processes, often drives the selection or creation of new materials in order to meet performance requirements. Conversely, development of new materials, or new ways to process materials, can lead to new engineering capabilities that, in turn, lead to new products or improved product performance. The interplay between materials and engineering is dynamic, ongoing, and critical to the success of many new products and industries. In this article, we take examples of this interplay from four technology companies in different industries developing widely different materials systems. Each example demonstrates the critical role that materials play in creating new products, new manufacturing methods, and even new design methodologies. Our examples come from polymer microfluidic devices, silicon- and nonsilicon-based microelectromechanical systems, and metals additive manufacturing.
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and other forms of scanning probe microscopy have been successfully used to assess biomechanical and bioelectrical characteristics of individual cells. When extending such approaches to heterogeneous tissue, there exists the added challenge of traversing the tissue while directing the probe to the exact location of the targeted biological components under study. Such maneuvers are extremely challenging owing to the relatively small field of view, limited availability of reliable visual cues, and lack of context. In this study we designed a system that leverages the visual topology of the serial tissue sections of interest to help guide robotic control of the AFM stage to provide the requisite navigational support. The process begins by mapping the whole-slide image of a stained specimen with a well-matched, consecutive section of unstained section of tissue in a piecewise fashion. The morphological characteristics and localization of any biomarkers in the stained section can be used to position the AFM probe in the unstained tissue at regions of interest where the AFM measurements are acquired. This general approach can be utilized in various forms of microscopy for navigation assistance in tissue specimens.
We determined the protein expression of adipogenic transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and its co-repressor and co-activator complexes in adipose tissue from the obese offspring of under- and over-nourished dams. Female rats were fed either a high-fat (60% kcal) or control (10% kcal) diet before mating, and throughout pregnancy and lactation (Mat-OB). Additional dams were 50% food-restricted from pregnancy day 10 to term [intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR)]. Adipose tissue protein expression was analyzed in newborn and adult male offspring. Normal birth weight Mat-OB and low birth weight IUGR newborns had upregulated PPARγ with variable changes in co-repressors and co-activators. As obese adults, Mat-OB and IUGR offspring had increased PPARγ with decreased co-repressor and increased co-activator expression. Nutritionally programmed increased PPARγ expression is associated with altered expression of its co-regulators in the newborn and adult offspring. Functional studies of PPARγ co-regulators are necessary to establish their role in PPARγ-mediated programmed obesity.
The diffuse background of 2–20 keV X-rays over a band of the sky extending from Scorpius to the North galactic pole is found to be isotropic to within 5%, with a spectrum given by
where n = (1.35 ±0.100.07).
A comparison with spectra at higher energies indicates that the lower energy spectrum is flatter, corresponding to an apparent unit change in spectral index within the band 20–80 keV. A spectral break in this energy region has been discussed in connection with the collisional energy loss lifetime for metagalactic protons that radiate X-rays via inverse bremsstrahlung collisions with the ambient electrons of the intergalactic medium (Boldt and Serlemitsos, 1969; Hayakawa, 1970).
The aim of this study was to compare sensory processing in typically developing children (TDC), children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and those with sensory processing dysfunction (SPD) in the absence of an ASD. Performance-based measures of auditory and tactile processing were compared between male children ages 8–12 years assigned to an ASD (N=20), SPD (N=15), or TDC group (N=19). Both the SPD and ASD groups were impaired relative to the TDC group on a performance-based measure of tactile processing (right-handed graphesthesia). In contrast, only the ASD group showed significant impairment on an auditory processing index assessing dichotic listening, temporal patterning, and auditory discrimination. Furthermore, this impaired auditory processing was associated with parent-rated communication skills for both the ASD group and the combined study sample. No significant group differences were detected on measures of left-handed graphesthesia, tactile sensitivity, or form discrimination; however, more participants in the SPD group demonstrated a higher tactile detection threshold (60%) compared to the TDC (26.7%) and ASD groups (35%). This study provides support for use of performance-based measures in the assessment of children with ASD and SPD and highlights the need to better understand how sensory processing affects the higher order cognitive abilities associated with ASD, such as verbal and non-verbal communication, regardless of diagnostic classification. (JINS, 2015, 21, 444–454)