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Pro-vitamin A carotenoids namely α-, β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin have potential roles in neurocognitive development, but current literature on these carotenoids mainly focused on preventing cognitive decline in the elderly. This study examined the associations of maternal plasma pro-vitamin A carotenoids concentrations with offspring cognitive development up to 54 months in the GUSTO mother-offspring cohort study.
Materials and Methods
Maternal plasma pro-vitamin A carotenoids concentrations at delivery were determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography. At age 24 months, the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID-III) was used to assess children's development for the following domains: cognitive, receptive and expressive language, and fine and gross motor. At age 54 months, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) was used to assess children's verbal and non-verbal intelligence. Associations of maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids with offspring cognitive development at each time point were examined in 419 mother-offspring pairs using linear regressions adjusted for confounders (e.g. maternal demographics, antenatal mental health and breastfeeding duration).
Median (IQR) maternal plasma concentrations (mg/L) were: α-carotene 0.052 (0.032–0.081), β-carotene 0.189 (0.134–0.286), and β-cryptoxanthin 0.199 (0.123–0.304). In 24 months old infants, higher maternal β-cryptoxanthin (per SD increment) were associated with higher scores in most of BSID-III domains: cognitive [β 0.18, (0.08, 0.28) SD], receptive language [β 0.17 (0.07, 0.27) SD], fine motor [β 0.16 (0.06, 0.27) SD], and gross motor [β 0.16 (0.06, 0.27) SD]. Additionally, a 1-SD increment in maternal β-carotene concentrations were associated with 0.16 SD higher scores in BSID-III cognitive domain (95%: 0.04, 0.28), which was attenuated after adjusting for breastfeeding duration. No significant associations were observed between maternal α-carotene concentrations and BSID-III in children at 24 months of age, or between maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids and KBIT-2 in children at 54 months of age.
Our study provides novel data suggesting a role of maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids, especially β-cryptoxanthin, in offspring early cognitive development. This adds support to the importance of consuming sufficient amounts of red- and orange-coloured fruit and vegetables (rich sources of β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene) during pregnancy. Further studies are required in other mother-offspring cohort with larger sample sizes, and intervention trials to confirm an effect of pro-vitamin A carotenoids on neurocognitive development.
Evidence on long-term influences of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency or concentrations on infant cognition is limited. We examined associations between maternal plasma vitamin B12 and cognitive development in 24-month-old infants. Maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were measured at 26–28 weeks’ gestation; infant cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at 24 months, for 443 mother–infant pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort. Linear regressions adjusted for key confounders examined associations of maternal vitamin B12 with cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor subscales. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamin B12 with folate or vitamin B6 insufficiencies on child’s cognition was explored. Average maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations was 220·5 ± 80·5 pmol/l; 15 % and 41 % of mothers were vitamin B12 deficient (<148 pmol/l) and insufficient (148–220·9 pmol/l), respectively. Infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency had 0·42 (95 % CI −0·70, −0·14) sd lower cognitive scores, compared with infants of mothers with sufficient vitamin B12. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamins B12 and B6 insufficiencies was associated with 0·37 (95 % CI −0·69, −0·06) sd lower cognitive scores in infants compared with infants of mothers sufficient in both vitamins. No significant associations were observed with other subscales. Study findings suggest the possible need to ensure adequate vitamin B12 during pregnancy. The impact of co-occurrence of maternal B-vitamins insufficiencies on early cognitive development warrants further investigation.
Since the 2000s, Greenland ice sheet mass loss has been accelerating, followed by increasing numbers of glacial earthquakes (GEs) at near-grounded glaciers. GEs are caused by calving of km-scale icebergs which capsize against the terminus. Seismic record inversion allows a reconstruction of the history of GE sources which captures capsize dynamics through iceberg-to-terminus contact. When compared with a catalog of contact forces from an iceberg capsize model, seismic force history accurately computes calving volumes while the earthquake magnitude fails to uniquely characterize iceberg size, giving errors up to 1 km3. Calving determined from GEs recorded ateight glaciers in 1993–2013 accounts for up to 21% of the associated discharge and 6% of the Greenland mass loss. The proportion of discharge attributed to capsizing calving may be underestimated by at least 10% as numerous events could not be identified by standard seismic detections (Olsen and Nettles, 2018). While calving production tends to stabilize in East Greenland, Western glaciers have released more and larger icebergs since 2010 and have become major contributors to Greenland dynamic discharge. Production of GEs and calving behavior are controlled by glacier geometry with bigger icebergs being produced when the terminus advances in deepening water. We illustrate how GEs can help in partitioning and monitoring Greenland mass loss and characterizing capsize dynamics.
We present possible conceptual designs of a laser system for driving table-top free-electron lasers based on terahertz acceleration. After discussing the achievable performances of laser amplifiers with Yb:YAG at cryogenic and room temperature and Yb:YLF at cryogenic temperature, we present amplification modules with available results and concepts of amplifier chains based on these laser media. Their performances are discussed in light of the specifications for the tasks within the table-top light source. Technical and engineering challenges, such as cooling, control, synchronization and diagnostics, are outlined. Three concepts for the laser layout feeding the accelerator are eventually derived and presented.
The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University in the City of New York is one of the world’s great architectural research libraries. In addition to its commitment to maintaining a comprehensive collection of bibliographic and archival materials for architecture, the library, its staff and services directly support academic programs in architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, art history and archaeology, as well as the liberal arts education of undergraduates. The Avery is also home to the Avery index to architectural periodicals. As publisher of this leading abstracting and indexing resource for research in architecture and related topics, the Avery is solely responsible for all editorial, business and technical operations and serves as an authoritative source for the terminology and literature of the field.
Multiple stakeholders in the scholarly publication and bibliographic lifecycle contribute to a complex network of complementary resources and services. Together, they provide a range of high-value products and services to researchers in our field. Increasingly however, the bibliographic record fails to include emergent forms and formats of scholarship, as well as relevant content beyond the traditionally circumscribed art historical domain. As a community, we need not only to develop strategies to expand and enhance the bibliographic boundary, but also to develop systems and toolkits that allow researchers to more dynamically contribute to the bibliographic enterprise.
The possibility of an extraterrestrial origin of biomolecule building blocks has been a subject of intense discussions for many years. The detection of amino acids in meteorites opens the possibility of a delivery of biomolecules synthesized in the interstellar medium or star-forming regions to the primeval Earth. Whereas it can be doubted if more complex species like amino acids can survive the strong UV radiation in the early Solar System, this does not necessary hold for more primitive precursor molecules like nitriles. These compounds can also be synthesized very efficiently in methane-nitrogen dominated atmospheres like the one present on Titan and the early ages of Earth. This Contribution focuses on the formation and degradation processes of nitriles in interstellar clouds and planetary atmospheres and on their possible role in the generation of biomolecules.