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Infant protein intake has been associated with child growth, however, research on maternal protein intake during pregnancy is limited. Insulin-like growth factors (IGF) play a role in early fetal development and maternal protein intake may influence child body composition via IGF-1. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of maternal protein intake throughout pregnancy on cord blood IGF-1 and child body composition from birth to 5 years of age. Analysis was carried out on 570 mother–child dyads from the Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet study. Protein intake was recorded using 3-d food diaries in each trimester of pregnancy and protein intake per kg of maternal weight (g/d per kg) was calculated. Cord blood IGF-1 was measured at birth. Infant anthropometry was measured at birth, 6 months, 2 and 5 years of age. Mixed modelling, linear regression, and mediation analysis were carried out. Birth weight centiles were positively associated with early-pregnancy protein intake (g/d per kg), while weight centiles from 6 months to 5 years were negatively associated (B=−21·6, P<0·05). These associations were not mediated by IGF-1. Our findings suggest that high protein intake in early-pregnancy may exert an in utero effect on offspring body composition with a higher weight initially at birth but slower growth rates into childhood. Further research is needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms by which dietary protein modulates fetal growth.
In many regions of the world domestic dogs are free roaming and live in close relationship with humans. These free-roaming domestic dogs (FRDD) can cause public health problems such as dog bites and transmission of infectious diseases. To effectively control diseases transmitted by FRDD, knowledge on the dogs’ behaviour is required. To identify predictors of home range (HR) size, we collected global positioning system data from 135 FRDD living in eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Northern Australia. The core HR size ranged from 0·17 to 2·33 ha and the extended HR size from 0·86 to 40·46 ha. Using a linear mixed effect model with a Restricted Maximum Likelihood approach, the dog's sex and reproductive status were identified as predictors of roaming. Non-castrated males had the largest HRs, followed by neutered females. Also, FRDDs were found to roam further during the pre- than the post-wet season. These findings have implications for infectious disease spread. Identification of risk groups for disease spread within a population allows for more targeted disease response and surveillance. Further investigation of predictors of roaming in other FRDD populations worldwide would increase the external validity of such studies.
Low temperature photoluminescence spectra of Be-doped layers grown on Si (111) by molecular beam epitaxy have been analyzed. Emissions at 3.466 eV and 3.384 eV, and a broad band centered at 2.4-2.5 eV are observed. Their evolution with temperature and excitation power, and time resolved PL measurements ascribe an excitonic character for the luminescence at 3.466 eV, whereas the emission at 3.384 eV is associated with a donor-acceptor pair transition. This recombination involves residual donors and Be-related acceptors, which are located around 90meV above the valence band, confirming Be as the shallowest acceptor reported in GaN. The intensity of the band at 2.4-2.5 eV increases with the Be content. This emission involves a band of deep acceptors generated by Be complex defects, as suggested by the parameter g = 2.008 ± 0.003 obtained by photoluminescence-detected electron paramagnetic resonance.
Exposure to maternal undernutrition during the periconceptional period results in an earlier prepartum activation of the fetal hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and altered stress responsiveness in the offspring. It is not known whether such changes are a consequence of exposure of the oocyte and/or the early embryo to maternal undernutrition in the periconceptional period. We have compared the effects of ‘periconceptional’ undernutrition (PCUN: maternal undernutrition imposed from at least 45 days before until 6 days after conception), and ‘early preimplantation’ undernutrition (PIUN: maternal undernutrition imposed for only 6 days after conception) on the expression of genes in the fetal anterior pituitary that regulate adrenal growth and steroidogenesis, proopiomelanorcortin (POMC), prohormone convertase 1 (PC1), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and 2 (11βHSD1 and 2) and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in fetal sheep at 136–138 days of gestation. Pituitary GR mRNA expression was significantly lower in the PCUN and PIUN groups in both singletons and twins compared with controls, although this suppression of GR expression was not associated with hypermethylation of the exon 17 region of the GR gene. In twin fetuses, the pituitary 11βHSD1 mRNA expression was significantly higher in the PIUN group compared with the PCUN but not the control group. Thus, exposure of the single or twin embryo to maternal undernutrition for only 1 week after conception is sufficient to cause a suppression of the pituitary GR expression in late gestation. These changes may contribute to the increased stress responsiveness of the HPA axis in the offspring after exposure to poor nutrition during the periconceptional period.