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While child poverty is a significant risk factor for poor mental health, the developmental pathways involved with these associations are poorly understood. To advance knowledge about these important linkages, the present study examined the developmental sequelae of childhood exposure to poverty in a multiyear longitudinal study. Here, we focused on exposure to poverty, neurobiological circuitry connected to emotion dysregulation, later exposure to stressful life events, and symptoms of psychopathology. We grounded our work in a biopsychosocial perspective, with a specific interest in “stress sensitization” and emotion dysregulation. Motivated by past work, we first tested whether exposure to poverty was related to changes in the resting-state coupling between two brain structures centrally involved with emotion processing and regulation (the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; vmPFC). As predicted, we found lower household income at age 10 was related to lower resting-state coupling between these areas at age 15. We then tested if variations in amygdala–vmPFC connectivity interacted with more contemporaneous stressors to predict challenges with mental health at age 16. In line with past reports showing risk for poor mental health is greatest in those exposed to early and then later, more contemporaneous stress, we predicted and found that lower vmPFC–amygdala coupling in the context of greater contemporaneous stress was related to higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. We believe these important interactions between neurobiology and life history are an additional vantage point for understanding risk and resiliency, and suggest avenues for prediction of psychopathology related to early life challenge.
The DOHaD Society has passed its 10th birthday, so it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been achieved and the Society’s aspirations. At the 10th International Congress in Rotterdam in November 2017, Peter Gluckman (the Society’s first President) delivered a plenary lecture entitled ‘DOHaD – addressing the science-policy nexus: a reality check’; in opening the Congress, Mark Hanson (second, and outgoing President) not only highlighted the success of the Society but also the challenges it now faces in achieving impact for its work in the global health arena, that is beyond the research agenda; and in assuming the role of third President, Lucilla Poston highlighted the need for the Society to grasp opportunities to change healthcare policy, while persevering with basic research and well-planned intervention studies. In this review we summarize the points made in these three presentations and issue a call to action to the membership to take up the challenge of taking the Society’s work to the next level of translating science to policy.
This is a brief summary of the first workshop of “In Vivo XRF Measurements of Heavy Elements,” at the Denver Conference on Applications of X-Ray Analysis. In vivo x-ray fluorescence has been applied to medical applications since the 1960's, with much of the pioneering work being done in Sweden (1). First measurements were of iodine in the thyroid. Elements from iron to uranium have now been measured, at natural and elevated levels. Elevated levels occur either unintentionally through occupational or environmental exposure, or intentionally through medical administration. Examples of measurements are cadmium in kidney and liver, platinum in kidneys and tumors, mercury in the wrists and skulls of dentists, lead in various near-surface bones, copper in the eye and iron in skin. Nearly all measurements make use of either silicon or germanium detectors; radioisotopes and less frequently x-ray tubes are used for excitation.
X-ray microscopy is a field that has developed rapidly in recent years. Two different approaches have been used. Zone plates have been employed to produce focussed beams with sizes as low as 0.07 pm for x-ray energies below 1 keV. Images of biological materials and elemental maps for major and minor low Z have been produced using above and below absorption edge differences. At higher energies collimators and focussing mirrors have been used to make small diameter beams for excitation of characteristic K— or L-x rays of all elements in the periodic
Research is needed to identify the factors that explain the link between prior and future suicidality. This study evaluated possible mediators of the relationship between: (1) the severity of prior suicidality and (2) suicidal ideation severity at 3-month follow-up among a sample of high-risk military personnel.
US military service members referred to or seeking care for suicide risk (N = 624) completed self-report psychiatric domain measures and a clinician interview assessing prior suicidality severity at baseline. Three months later, participants completed a self-report measure of suicidal ideation severity. Three separate percentile bootstrap mediation models were used to examine psychiatric factors (i.e. alcohol abuse, anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, insomnia, posttraumatic stress symptoms, suicidal ideation, and thwarted belongingness) as parallel mediators of the relationship between prior suicidality severity (specifically, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and overall suicidality – i.e. ideation/attempt severity combined) at baseline and suicidal ideation severity at follow-up.
Hopelessness, specifically, and the total effect of all mediators, each significantly accounted for the relationship between prior suicidality severity and subsequent ideation severity across models. In the models with attempt severity and overall suicidality severity as predictors, thwarted belongingness was also a significant mediator.
Hopelessness, thwarted belongingness, and overall severity of psychiatric indices may explain the relationship between prior suicidality severity and future suicidal ideation severity among service members at elevated suicide risk. Research is needed to replicate these findings and examine other possible mediators.
There is a need to improve geographical and financial access to healthy foods for limited resource populations in rural areas. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs can improve access to healthy foods in rural and limited-resource populations. However, research is needed to discern the most appealing conditions for a CSA (e.g. price, frequency, food quantity) among rural, low-income customers. The goal of this study was to understand low-income consumers' preferences related to participation in a CSA program, considering price, frequency, food quantity and accessibility (e.g. distance) conditions. A modified exploratory choice experiment exercise was embedded within in-depth interviews to examine willingness to participate in CSA under a variety of conditions among 42 low-income adults with at least one child in the household in North Carolina, New York, Vermont and Washington. Willingness to participate in a CSA under each condition was summed and compared across conditions. Results were stratified by race, number of children and household members and McNemar's test and Student's t-test were used to examine differences in willingness between conditions. Salient quotes were extracted to support themes related to each condition. Our analysis suggests that the ideal CSA would be a full-sized share of eight to nine items of mixed variety, distributed every other week, priced at less than US$15, no more than 10 min further than the supermarket (SM) from their home and preferably less expensive but no more than 20% more expensive than SM prices. CSAs interested in reaching rural low-income populations may benefit from considering these consumer-level preferences.
Adolescence is a critical time point in the lifecourse. LifeLab is an educational intervention engaging adolescents in understanding Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concepts and the impact of the early life environment on future health, benefitting both their long-term health and that of the next generation. We aimed to assess whether engaging adolescents with DOHaD concepts improves scientific literacy and whether engagement alone improves health behaviours.
Six schools were randomized, three to intervention and three to control. Outcome measures were changed in knowledge, and intended and actual behaviour in relation to diet and lifestyle. A total of 333 students completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. At 12 months, intervention students showed greater understanding of DOHaD concepts. No sustained changes in behaviours were identified.
Adolescents’ engagement with DOHaD concepts can be improved and maintained over 12 months. Such engagement does not itself translate into behaviour change. The intervention has consequently been revised to include additional components beyond engagement alone.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
To examine perspectives on food access among low-income families participating in a cost-offset community-supported agriculture (CO-CSA) programme.
Farm Fresh Foods for Healthy Kids (F3HK) is a multicentre randomized intervention trial assessing the effect of CO-CSA on dietary intake and quality among children from low-income families. Focus groups were conducted at the end of the first CO-CSA season. Participants were interviewed about programme experiences, framed by five dimensions of food access: availability, accessibility, affordability, acceptability and accommodation. Transcribed data were coded on these dimensions plus emergent themes.
Nine communities in the US states of New York, North Carolina, Washington and Vermont.
Fifty-three F3HK adults with children.
CSA models were structured by partner farms. Produce quantity was abundant; however, availability was enhanced for participants who were able to select their own produce items. Flexible CSA pick-up times and locations made produce pick-up more accessible. Despite being affordable to most, payment timing was a barrier for some. Unfamiliar foods and quick spoilage hindered acceptability through challenging meal planning, despite accommodations that included preparation advice.
Although CO-CSA may facilitate increased access to fruits and vegetables for low-income families, perceptions of positive diet change may be limited by the ability to incorporate share pick-up into regular travel patterns and meal planning. Food waste concerns may be particularly acute for families with constrained resources. Future research should examine whether CO-CSA with flexible logistics and produce self-selection are sustainable for low-income families and CSA farms.
In September 2015, an outbreak of Escherichia coli Phage Type 32 with an indistinguishable multi locus variable number tandem repeat analysis profile was identified in Scotland. Twelve cases were identified; nine primary cases, two secondary and one asymptomatic case. Extensive food history investigations identified venison products containing wild venison produced by a single food business operator as the most likely source of the outbreak. Of the nine primary cases, eight had consumed venison products, and one case had not eaten venison themselves but had handled and cooked raw venison in the household. This was the first reported outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) linked to venison products in the UK, and was also notable due to the implicated products being commercially produced and widely distributed. In contrast, previous venison outbreaks reported from other countries have tended to be smaller and related to individually prepared carcases. The outbreak has highlighted some important knowledge gaps in relation to STEC in venison that are currently been investigated via a number of research studies.
The study objective was to determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonisation in the nares and oropharynx of healthy persons and identify any risk factors associated with such S. aureus colonisation. In total 263 participants (177 adults and 86 minors) comprising 95 families were enrolled in a year-long prospective cohort study from one urban and one rural county in eastern Iowa, USA, through local newspaper advertisements and email lists and through the Keokuk Rural Health Study. Potential risk factors including demographic factors, medical history, farming and healthcare exposure were assessed. Among the participants, 25.4% of adults and 36.1% minors carried S. aureus in their nares and 37.9% of adults carried it in their oropharynx. The overall prevalence was 44.1% among adults and 36.1% for minors. Having at least one positive environmental site for S. aureus in the family home was associated with colonisation (prevalence ratio: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.07–1.66). The sensitivity of the oropharyngeal cultures was greater than that of the nares cultures (86.1% compared with 58.2%, respectively). In conclusion, the nares and oropharynx are both important colonisation sites for healthy community members and the presence of S. aureus in the home environment is associated with an increased probability of colonisation.
Background: Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive degeneration of the corticospinal tract. Historically, this disease was divided into two types:the classic subtype, with leg weakness and hypertonic bladder, and the complicated subtype, with features such as cerebellar ataxia or optic atrophy.Mutations in SPG7 (encoding paraplegin) leads to complicated HSP causing cerebellar ataxia, progressive external ophthalmoplegia in addition to the classical symptoms. AFG3L2 is a binding partner of paraplegin and mutations in AFG3L2 cause a similar syndrome Methods: From a neurogenetic clinic , we identified 11 patients with late-onset HSP. Sequencing of SPG7 and AFG3L2 was performed using a customised assay, and/or clinical diagnostic sequencing panels.SPG7 transcript level quantification was performed from whole blood RNA on a digital droplet qPCR system. Results: We identified 4 patients with pathogenic variants or variants of unknown significance in SPG7. No AFG3L2 mutations were identified. We provide evidence for pathogenicity for three mutations that were not previously associated with SPG7-related disease, based on their occurrence in context of the correct phenotype, and the reduction of transcript levels measured with RT-qPCR.A curious association of the heterozygous p.Gly349Ser mutation in association with an ALS-like syndrome is reported. Conclusions:SPG7 mutations sequencing has high diagnostic yield in late onset paraparesis
Early life exposures affect health and disease across the life course and potentially across multiple generations. The Clinical and Translational Research Institutes (CTSIs) offer an opportunity to utilize and link existing databases to conduct lifespan research.
A survey with Lifespan Domain Taskforce expert input was created and distributed to lead lifespan researchers at each of the 64 CTSIs. The survey requested information regarding institutional databases related to early life exposure, child-maternal health, or lifespan research.
Of 64 CTSI, 88% provided information on a total of 130 databases. Approximately 59% (n=76/130) had an associated biorepository. Longitudinal data were available for 72% (n=93/130) of reported databases. Many of the biorepositories (n=44/76; 68%) have standard operating procedures that can be shared with other researchers.
The majority of CTSI databases and biorepositories focusing on child-maternal health and lifespan research could be leveraged for lifespan research, increased generalizability and enhanced multi-institutional research in the United States.
Erect veldtgrass (Ehrharta erecta Lam.) is an invasive grass actively spreading in California that is capable of invading multiple habitats. Our objective is to contribute to a better understanding of the ecology, impacts, and potential for control of E. erecta in order to guide management practices. In a mixed-evergreen forest in Santa Cruz County, we measured impacts of E. erecta on native plant species richness and abundance in an observational comparison across 11 sites. Strikingly, we measured nearly four times greater total vegetation cover in plots invaded by E. erecta. However, native plants were not significantly less abundant in invaded plots than in reference plots, and native cover was not significantly predicted by E. erecta cover within invaded plots. We did, however, find evidence of change in community composition in response to E. erecta abundance. Our findings demonstrate that native species can persist in the presence of E. erecta, although the long-term impacts on populations of the perennial plants that dominate this forest understory are still unknown.
We also compared the effectiveness of mechanical (hand pulling with volunteers) and chemical (glyphosate) management methods. Twenty-two months following management treatments, we found substantial reductions in E. erecta using both mechanical and herbicide treatments, but herbicide application also produced greater reductions in native species cover and species richness. Transplanting native yerba buena [Clinopodium douglasii (Benth.) Kuntze] into management plots following treatment did not slow regrowth of E. erecta. It did, however, increase total native plant percent cover in herbicide and pull treatments, although largely by increasing C. douglasii cover. Effective management is possible using either manual or chemical removal methods; the optimal method may depend on the availability of manual labor and the sensitivity of the habitat to non-target effects on native plants.
Much of the agricultural area in California’s southwestern San Joaquin Valley (SJV) is prone to moisture stress and high soil-salinity conditions. Increased prevalence of glyphosate-resistant (GR) biotypes of junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] in these environments and their ecological implications need to be further explored. Studies were conducted on GR and glyphosate-susceptible (GS) biotypes of E. colona to compare the effects of moisture and salinity stress on seed germination and salinity stress alone on growth and seed production. Intraspecific competition between the GR and GS plants was also assessed in a replacement series design experiment. With respect to germination, both biotypes were tolerant to moisture and salinity stress at germination; however, the GR biotype was more tolerant than the GS biotype. Water potential and electrical conductivity (EC) levels that reduced germination by 50% were estimated as −1.5 and −2.3 MPa and 8.5 and 12 dS m−1 for the GS and GR biotypes, respectively. The EC levels that reduced aboveground biomass by 50% were estimated as 9 and 11.5 dS m−1 for the GS and GR biotypes, respectively. Seed production was generally greater in the GR than the GS plants below 10 dS m−1. All plants produced up to 140 seeds plant−1, even at 20 dS m−1. The GR plants were more competitive and produced more aboveground dry biomass and seeds than the GS plants when grown together or alone. In conclusion, differences between these particular GR and GS biotypes to environmental stresses and intraspecific competition were noted that could have ecological implications for their prevalence in the southwestern SJV. The results also suggested that there could be high genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity in E. colona populations in the SJV and further population shifts could occur due to selection pressure from glyphosate.
The experience of childhood maltreatment is a significant risk factor for the development of depression. This risk is particularly heightened after exposure to additional, more contemporaneous stress. While behavioral evidence exists for this relation, little is known about biological correlates of these stress interactions. Identifying such correlates may provide biomarkers of risk for later depression.
Here, we leverage behavioral, experiential, and neuroimaging data from the Duke Neurogenetics Study to identify potential biomarkers of stress exposure. Based on the past research, we were specifically interested in reward-related connectivity and the interaction of early and more recent stress. We examined psychophysiological interactions between the ventral striatum and other brain regions in relation to these stress variables, as well as measures of internalizing symptomatology (n = 926, participant age range = 18–22 years of age).
We found relatively increased reward-related functional connectivity between the left ventral striatum and the medial prefrontal cortex in individuals exposed to greater levels of childhood maltreatment who also experienced greater levels of recent life stress (β = 0.199, p < 0.005). This pattern of functional connectivity was further associated with elevated symptoms of depression (β = 0.089, p = 0.006). Furthermore, using a moderated mediation framework, we demonstrate that this functional connectivity provides a biological link between cumulative stress exposure and internalizing symptomatology.
These findings suggest a novel biomarker linking cumulative stress exposure with the later experience of depressive symptoms. Our results are discussed in the context of past research examining stress exposure in relation to depression.
While livestock sector is the back-bone of Ethiopian economy, production levels are low due to a variety of causes. It is characterized by low milk production, poor growth rates, extended calving or lambing intervals and a relatively late age at maturity. The major constrain for this is seasonality of feed quality and poor availability during the dry season, with nitrogen supply especially limiting. However legume forages such as cowpea offer the possibility to enhance dietary N levels and improve livestock production (Abule et al., 1995). With its quick growth, drought resistance and rapid ground cover cowpea has become an essential component of sustainable subsistence agriculture in marginal lands and drier regions of the tropics. This study was conducted to examine the ability of cowpea forages, offered as a supplement to low quality maize stover, to enhance intake and production performance in growing Ethiopian highland sheep.