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Nutritional science has traditionally used the reductionist approach to understand the roles of individual nutrients in growth and development. The macronutrient dense but micronutrient poor diets consumed by many in the Western world may not result in an overt deficiency; however, there may be situations where multiple mild deficiencies combine with excess energy to alter cellular metabolism. These interactions are especially important in pregnancy as changes in early development modify the risk of developing non-communicable diseases later in life. Nutrient interactions affect all stages of fetal development, influencing endocrine programming, organ development and the epigenetic programming of gene expression. The rapidly developing field of stem cell metabolism reveals new links between cellular metabolism and differentiation. This review will consider the interactions between nutrients in the maternal diet and their influence on fetal development, with particular reference to energy metabolism, amino acids and the vitamins in the B group.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and resulting changes in adiposity have been observed in the offspring of animals fed a high fat (HF) diet. As iron is an important component of the mitochondria, we have studied the offspring of female rats fed complete (Con) or iron-deficient (FeD) rations for the duration of gestation to test for similar effects. The FeD offspring were ~12% smaller at weaning and remained so because of a persistent reduction in lean tissue mass. The offspring were fed a complete (stock) diet until 52 weeks of age after which some animals from each litter were fed a HF diet for a further 12 weeks. The HF diet increased body fat when compared with animals fed the stock diet, however, prenatal iron deficiency did not change the ratio of fat:lean in either the stock or HF diet groups. The HF diet caused triglyceride to accumulate in the liver, however, there was no effect of prenatal iron deficiency. The activity of the mitochondrial electron transport complexes was similar in all groups including those challenged with a HF diet. HF feeding increased the number of copies of mitochondrial DNA and the prevalence of the D-loop mutation, however, neither parameter was affected by prenatal iron deficiency. This study shows that the effects of prenatal iron deficiency differ from other models in that there is no persistent effect on hepatic mitochondria in aged animals exposed to an increased metabolic load.
A survey of about 100 lines of sight was made using the coudé auxiliary telescope and the coudé spectrograph of the Shane 3m telescope of the Lick Observatory. the data acquisition required 7 observing seasons. the spectra were recorded photographically at 17Ao/mm using a Varo tube intensifier. Each plate was separately calibrated for intensity and wavelength. the plates were measured using the PDS microdensitometer of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceux, and that data reduced on STARLINK using procedures developed by D.W.T. Baines. Care was taken to treat all photographic material in a consistent manner throughout the duration of the survey. the reduced data may therefore be considered self-consistent. the emulsion types used were (principally) Kodak IIIaF and (more rarely) 103aD.
Little is known about the mental health of partners of survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict countries.
We studied 677 spouse dyads (n = 1354) drawn from a community survey (response 82.4%) in post-conflict Timor-Leste. We used culturally adapted measures of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological distress, explosive anger and grief.
Latent class analysis identified three classes of couples: class 1, comprising women with higher trauma events (TEs), men with intermediate TEs (19%); class 2, including men with higher TEs, women with lower TEs (23%); and class 3, comprising couples in which men and women had lower TE exposure (58%) (the reference group). Men and women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (classes 1 and 2) had increased symptoms of explosive anger and grief compared with the reference class (class 3). Women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (class 2) had a 20-fold increased rate of PTSD symptoms compared with the reference class, a pattern that was not evident for men living with women exposed to higher levels of trauma (class 1).
Men and women living with survivors of higher levels of trauma showed an increase in symptoms of grief and explosive anger. The manifold higher rate of PTSD symptoms amongst women living with men exposed to high levels of trauma requires replication. It is important to assess the mental health of partners when treating survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict settings.
Grief symptoms and a sense of injustice may be interrelated responses amongst persons exposed to mass conflict and both reactions may contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. As yet, however, there is a dearth of data examining these relationships. Our study examined the contributions of grief and a sense of injustice to a model of PTSD symptoms that included the established determinants of trauma events, ongoing adversity and severe psychological distress. The study involved a large population sample (n = 2964, response rate: 82.4%) surveyed in post-conflict Timor-Leste.
The survey sites included an urban administrative area (suco) in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste and a rural village located an hour's drive away. Culturally adapted measures were applied to assess conflict related traumatic events (TEs), ongoing adversity, persisting preoccupations with injustice, symptoms of grief, psychological distress (including depressive symptoms) and PTSD symptoms.
We tested a series of structural equation models, the final comprehensive model, which included indices of grief symptoms and injustice, producing a good fit. Locating grief symptoms as the endpoint of the model produced a non-converging model. In the final model, strong associations were evident between grief and injustice (β = 0.34, s.e. = 0.02, p < 0.01) and grief and PTSD symptoms (β = 0.14, s.e. = 0.02, p < 0.01). The sense of injustice exerted a considerable effect on PTSD symptoms (β = 0.13, s.e. = 0.03, p < 0.01). In addition, multiple indirect paths were evident, most involving grief and a sense of injustice, attesting to the complex inter-relationship of these factors in contributing to PTSD symptoms.
Our findings support an expanded model of PTSD symptoms relevant to post-conflict populations, in which grief symptoms and a sense of injustice play pivotal roles. The model supports the importance of a focus on loss, grief and a sense of injustice in conducting trauma-focused psychotherapies for PTSD amongst populations exposed to mass conflict and violence. Further research is needed to identify the precise mechanisms whereby grief symptoms and the sense of injustice impact on PTSD symptoms.
The possibility that life, primitive or advanced, might exist in other places of the Universe has occupied the minds of scientists and lay-people for thousands of years. It is only in the last 25 years, however, that we have finally begun to search for answers to this profound question using experimental techniques. The goal of Astronomy is to understand the origin and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies and of the Universe as a whole. The appearance of life is an integral part of this whole process and our picture of the Universe will never be complete until we will comprehend also the significance of life in the process of Cosmic Evolution.
The Ca II K line serves as an important tool in determining the physics of the photosphere-chromosphere region of the solar atmosphere (Cram 1983). To date detailed analyses have centred on the study of line intensity profiles.
HR 6469 consists of an evolved G5 star and a close pair of fainter stars, probably both on the main sequence. The period of the close pair is just over two days, and shallow eclipses have been detected (Boyd et al. 1985), although no analysis of the light curve has been published. The wide system has a period of about 5.5 years, and has been resolved by speckle interferometry (McAlister et al. 1983). The G5 star and the primary of the close pair are detectable in the spectrum, with the latter showing modest rotational broadening. Spectral types and rotational velocities for the evolved star and the brighter component of the close pair have been published by Strassmeier & Fekel (1990).
Increasing recognition of the extent to which nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes to climate change has resulted in greater demand to improve quantification of N2O emissions, identify emission sources and suggest mitigation options. Agriculture is by far the largest source and grasslands, occupying c. 0·22 of European agricultural land, are a major land-use within this sector. The application of mineral fertilizers to optimize pasture yields is a major source of N2O and with increasing pressure to increase agricultural productivity, options to quantify and reduce emissions whilst maintaining sufficient grassland for a given intensity of production are required. Identification of the source and extent of emissions will help to improve reporting in national inventories, with the most common approach using the IPCC emission factor (EF) default, where 0·01 of added nitrogen fertilizer is assumed to be emitted directly as N2O. The current experiment aimed to establish the suitability of applying this EF to fertilized Scottish grasslands and to identify variation in the EF depending on the application rate of ammonium nitrate (AN). Mitigation options to reduce N2O emissions were also investigated, including the use of urea fertilizer in place of AN, addition of a nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) and application of AN in smaller, more frequent doses. Nitrous oxide emissions were measured from a cut grassland in south-west Scotland from March 2011 to March 2012. Grass yield was also measured to establish the impact of mitigation options on grass production, along with soil and environmental variables to improve understanding of the controls on N2O emissions. A monotonic increase in annual cumulative N2O emissions was observed with increasing AN application rate. Emission factors ranging from 1·06–1·34% were measured for AN application rates between 80 and 320 kg N/ha, with a mean of 1·19%. A lack of any significant difference between these EFs indicates that use of a uniform EF is suitable over these application rates. The mean EF of 1·19% exceeds the IPCC default 1%, suggesting that use of the default value may underestimate emissions of AN-fertilizer-induced N2O loss from Scottish grasslands. The increase in emissions beyond an application rate of 320 kg N/ha produced an EF of 1·74%, significantly different to that from lower application rates and much greater than the 1% default. An EF of 0·89% for urea fertilizer and 0·59% for urea with DCD suggests that N2O quantification using the IPCC default EF will overestimate emissions for grasslands where these fertilizers are applied. Large rainfall shortly after fertilizer application appears to be the main trigger for N2O emissions, thus applicability of the 1% EF could vary and depend on the weather conditions at the time of fertilizer application.
Using semi-empirical isochrones, we find the age of the Taurus star-forming region to be 3-4 Myr. Comparing the disc fraction in Taurus to young massive clusters suggests discs survive longer in this low density environment. We also present a method of photometrically de-reddening young stars using iZJH data.
A number of copy number variants (CNVs) have been suggested as
susceptibility factors for schizophrenia. For some of these the data
remain equivocal, and the frequency in individuals with schizophrenia is
To determine the contribution of CNVs at 15 schizophrenia-associated loci
(a) using a large new data-set of patients with schizophrenia
(n = 6882) and controls (n = 6316),
and (b) combining our results with those from previous studies.
We used Illumina microarrays to analyse our data. Analyses were
restricted to 520 766 probes common to all arrays used in the different
We found higher rates in participants with schizophrenia than in controls
for 13 of the 15 previously implicated CNVs. Six were nominally
significantly associated (P<0.05) in this new
data-set: deletions at 1q21.1, NRXN1, 15q11.2 and
22q11.2 and duplications at 16p11.2 and the Angelman/Prader–Willi
Syndrome (AS/PWS) region. All eight AS/PWS duplications in patients were
of maternal origin. When combined with published data, 11 of the 15 loci
showed highly significant evidence for association with schizophrenia
We strengthen the support for the majority of the previously implicated
CNVs in schizophrenia. About 2.5% of patients with schizophrenia and 0.9%
of controls carry a large, detectable CNV at one of these loci. Routine
CNV screening may be clinically appropriate given the high rate of known
deleterious mutations in the disorder and the comorbidity associated with
these heritable mutations.
Depressive symptoms are prominent psychopathological features of Huntington's disease (HD), making a negative impact on social functioning and well-being.
We compared the frequencies of a history of depression, previous suicide attempts and current subthreshold depression between 61 early-stage HD participants and 40 matched controls. The HD group was then split based on the overall HD group's median Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-depression score into a group of 30 non-depressed participants (mean 0.8, s.d. = 0.7) and a group of 31 participants with subthreshold depressive symptoms (mean 7.3, s.d. = 3.5) to explore the neuroanatomy underlying subthreshold depressive symptoms in HD using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
Frequencies of history of depression, previous suicide attempts or current subthreshold depressive symptoms were higher in HD than in controls. The severity of current depressive symptoms was also higher in HD, but not associated with the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden. Compared with the non-depressed HD group DTI revealed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, insula and cerebellum of the HD group with subthreshold depressive symptoms. In contrast, VBM measures were similar in both HD groups. A history of depression, the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden did not correlate with FA values of these regions.
Current subthreshold depressive symptoms in early HD are associated with microstructural changes – without concomitant brain volume loss – in brain regions known to be involved in major depressive disorder, but not those typically associated with HD pathology.
This editorial proposes a shift in emphasis in the field of mental health epidemiology in conflict-affected settings. After a brief summary of the nature of contemporary armed conflicts, we consider the current and potential roles that epidemiology can play with regard to: (1) establishing the burden of mental disorders; (2) identifying risk and protective factors; and (3) intervention research. We advocate for improved methodological rigor; more attention to mixed methods approaches and multi-level longitudinal research; inclusion of the determinants of mental health beyond conflict-related violence; and consideration of a wider array of mental health outcomes. We particularly highlight the importance of expanding interest to epidemiological research that advances prevention and promotion interventions (e.g., in the early childhood period), in order to fill the gap between epidemiology and mental health practice in conflict-affected settings.
Approximately 75% of the East Asian Flyway Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii population winters in the Yangtze River floodplain, China. Historically the species was more widely distributed throughout the floodplain but now most of the population is confined to five wetlands in Anhui Province and to Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province, where the majority (up to 113,000 birds) occur. Within-winter counts suggest that swans congregate at Poyang Lake before dispersing to other sites later in the winter. Counts show large between-year fluctuations, but suggest declines at Shengjin and Fengsha Lakes (both in Anhui) during the last five years. Declines at Shengjin Lake are likely due to decreases in submerged vegetation (particularly tuber-producing Vallisneria, a major food item) perhaps linked to eutrophication. Range contractions throughout the floodplain may also be linked to reductions in submerged vegetation coverage elsewhere. Changes in water quality and lake hydrology post-Three Gorges Dam may have adversely affected submerged vegetation productivity. Key information needs for the effective implementation of conservation measures for Tundra Swans include: (1) annual surveys of all major wintering sites throughout each winter to establish the importance of different sites during the non-breeding period; (2) more information on swan diets at important sites; and (3) an assessment of adverse effects of water quality and lake water levels post-Three Gorges Dam on submerged vegetation productivity at Poyang Lake and other important sites.
A 2,3-dibutoxy-1,4-phenylenevinylene comonomer was incorporated into a distyrylbenzene derivative 11. Novel 1,2-disubstituted-3,6-dibromobenzene comonomers 15 and 18 were prepared by directed metallation. Copolymerization of 11with a 9,9-dioctylfluorene-2,7-diboronate ester 1 yielded a green fluorescent polymer while copolymerization of 15 and 18 with the 9,9-dihexylfluorene-2,7-diboronate 22 afforded promising blue fluorescent polymers 23 and 24 respectively.