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The aim of this study was to assess the associations of intake of different types of meat with semen parameters and reproductive hormones in healthy young men. This cross-sectional study included 206 men, 18–23 years, from Southern Spain. All men completed a validated FFQ, underwent a physical examination, and provided blood and semen samples. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the associations between meat intake with semen quality parameters and reproductive hormones. Total meat intake was unrelated to semen quality or reproductive hormone levels. When subgroups of meat were separately considered, however, shellfish intake was positively related to progressive motility. The adjusted percentages of progressively motile spermatozoa for men in increasing quartiles of shellfish intake were 45·2, 42·0, 49·4 and 53·2 % with a significant linear trend across quartiles (Ptrend≤0·001). In contrast, men who consumed organ meats had significantly lower progressive sperm motility (51·5 v. 42·8 %; P = 0·001) and higher luteinising hormone levels (4·0 v. 4·6 IU/l; P = 0·03) compared with men who did not consume organ meats. Intake of shellfish and organ meats was low in this population, however. Given the scarcity of data on the relation between specific types of meat with semen quality and reproductive hormone levels, additional research is needed to confirm or refute these findings.
Ca homoeostasis is important to human health and tightly controlled by powerful hormonal mechanisms that display ethnic variation. Ethnic variations could occur also in Arctic populations where the traditional Inuit diet is low in Ca and sun exposure is limited. We aimed to assess factors important to parathyroid hormone (PTH) and Ca in serum in Arctic populations. We included Inuit and Caucasians aged 50–69 years living in the capital city in West or in rural East Greenland. Lifestyle factors were assessed by questionnaires. The intake of Inuit diet was assessed from a FFQ. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD2 and 25OHD3) levels were measured in serum as was albumin, Ca and PTH. The participation rate was 95 %, with 101 Caucasians and 434 Inuit. Median serum 25OHD (99·7 % was 25OHD3) in Caucasians/Inuit was 42/64 nmol/l (25, 75 percentiles 25, 54/51, 81) (P<0·001). Total Ca in serum was 2·33/2·29 mmol/l (25, 75 percentiles 2·26, 2·38/2·21, 2·36) (P=0·01) and PTH was 2·7/2·2 pmol/l (25, 75 percentiles 2·2, 4·1/1·7, 2·7) (P<0·001). The 69/97 Caucasians/Inuit with serum 25OHD <50 nmol/l differed in PTH (P=0·001) that rose with lower 25OHD levels in Caucasians, whereas this was not the case in Inuit. Ethnic origin influenced PTH (β=0·27, P<0·001) and Ca (β=0·22, P<0·001) in multivariate linear regression models after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, smoking, alcohol and diet. In conclusion, ethnic origin influenced PTH, PTH response to low vitamin D levels and Ca levels in populations in Greenland. Recommendations are to evaluate mechanisms underlying the ethnic influence on Ca homoeostasis and to assess the impact of transition in dietary habits on Ca homoeostasis and skeletal health in Arctic populations.
An old portable 60 MHz radar has been upgraded with a new digital data-processing and -acquisition system and a new antenna construction enabling a fast and low-cost installation on a Twin Otter aircraft. Augmented by a laser altimeter and kinematic global positioning system (GPS), the system has the capability of acquiring accurate data on location and ice-surface elevation, and adequate-quality data on ice thickness. The system has been applied successfully in mapping the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier, northeast Greenland, in spite of the difficult conditions with melting water on the glacier surface. The measurements from the floating part of the glacier have been evaluated by comparison of radar data with laser-altimeter and in situ measurements.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
This observational study aims to investigate the microbiological quality of commercially prepared lightly cooked foods with a major component of food of animal origin and collected as would be served to a consumer. A total of 356 samples were collected from catering (92%), retail (7%) or producers (1%) and all were independent of known incidents of foodborne illness. Using standard methods, all samples were tested for: the presence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. and enumerated for levels of, Bacillus spp. including B. cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriacea and aerobic colony count (ACC). Results were interpreted as unsatisfactory, borderline or satisfactory according to the Health Protection Agency guidelines for assessing the microbiological safety of ready-to-eat foods placed on the market. Amongst all samples, 70% were classified as satisfactory, 18% were borderline and 12% were of unsatisfactory microbiological quality. Amongst the unsatisfactory samples, six (2%) were potentially injurious to health due to the presence of: Salmonella spp. (one duck breast); Campylobacter spp. (two duck breast and one chicken liver pâté); L. monocytogenes at 4·3 × 103 cfu (colony-forming units)/g (one duck confit with foie gras ballotin) and C. perfringens at 2·5 × 105 cfu/g (one chicken liver pâté). The remaining unsatisfactory samples were due to high levels of indicator E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae or ACC.
Excessive alcohol use is associated with brain damage but less is known about brain effects from moderate alcohol use. Previous findings indicate that patients with severe mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, are vulnerable to alcohol-related brain damage. We investigated the association between levels of alcohol consumption and cortical and subcortical brain structures in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients and healthy controls, and investigated for group differences for this association.
1.5 T structural magnetic resonance images were acquired of 609 alcohol-using participants (165 schizophrenia patients, 172 bipolar disorder patients, 272 healthy controls), mean (s.d.) age 34.2 (9.9) years, 52% men. Past year alcohol use was assessed with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test – Consumption part (AUDIT-C). General linear models were used to investigate associations between AUDIT-C score and cortical thickness, surface area, and total brain and subcortical volumes.
Increasing AUDIT-C score was linearly associated with thinner cortex in medial and dorsolateral frontal and parieto-occipital regions, and with larger left lateral ventricle volume. There was no significant interaction between AUDIT-C score and diagnostic group. The findings remained significant after controlling for substance use disorders, antipsychotic medication and illness severity.
The results show a dose-dependent relationship between alcohol use and thinner cortex and ventricular expansion. The findings are present also at lower levels of alcohol consumption and do not differ between schizophrenia or bipolar disorder patients compared to healthy controls. Our results do not support previous findings of increased vulnerability for alcohol-related brain damage in severe mental illness.
Twentieth-century Mexican literary authors produced a rich and varied corpus of writings that may be grouped together within the broad category of nonfiction discourse. The essay, literary and cultural criticism, and the chronicle served as vehicles for documenting events and exploring urgent questions of national identity, Mexico's political life and social conflicts, and high culture and popular art within changing conditions in a highly diverse society. Documentary or nonfiction writing practices such as the chronicle, while generally less studied in literary histories, often attract a large readership and give rise to debates over the meanings that they assign to events, public figures, personal experiences, and cultural phenomena. The capacity of nonfiction to create controversy and excite debate is rooted in the quality of overt referentiality that distinguishes it from works of fiction, with which it otherwise shares many formal and thematic features. Nonfiction owes a particular debt to what we call “real life” or “the real world,” the extratextual referent to which the work points. Although the referent of real-life events is always already mediated by language and convention and is not raw material to be reproduced in the text, nonfiction is assumed to bear a measure of responsibility for the accuracy of its account of human actions that works of fiction may evade. Mexican writers have long relied on the distinctive qualities of nonfiction to record, commemorate, critique, and protest against verifiable events and social conditions in an attempt to shape the national discourse around pressing issues of Mexico's past and present (Jörgensen, 2011: 191–197).
This chapter is organized into three sections that treat the essay, works of literary and cultural criticism, and the crónica, in that order. Liliana Weinberg, a foremost scholar of the Latin American essay, offers this basic definition of the genre: a carefully crafted prose composition that manifests the author's well-founded, responsible point of view on some topic related to the contemporary world (Weinberg, 2006: 20). Heterogeneous in theme, language, and style, the “prose of ideas” opens a public space of discussion in which absolute truths are put into doubt (Weinberg, 2010: 9, 12).
To determine chemical composition, physical characteristics and standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of CP and amino acids (AA) in eight current hulled barley genotypes, an experiment with growing pigs has been conducted. These genotypes included Yool, Campanile, Lomerit, Travira, Anisette, Canberra, Metaxa and Fridericus. Growing barrows with an average initial BW of 30±2 kg were surgically fitted with simple T-cannulas at the distal ileum, and allotted to an 8×9 Youden square design with eight periods of 6 days each and nine pigs. Barley was the sole dietary source of CP and AA. On average, the eight genotypes contained on as-fed basis 10.7% CP, 15.2% total non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), 17.1% NDF and 4.1% β-glucan, and had a mean test weight (TW) of 72.2 kg/hl. The SID of CP in the barley genotypes varied from 69% to 74%, and was greater (P<0.01) for genotypes Travira, Anisette and Metaxa compared to Yool and Campanile. Standardized ileal digestibility of Lys, Met and Trp (P<0.05) but not of Thr differed between genotypes. Moreover, barley genotypes differed in their standardized ileal digestible content (cSID) of CP and AA. Furthermore, SID and cSID of CP and most AA linearly decreased (P<0.05) with increasing NDF and total sugar content. Standardized ileal digestibility of CP and some AA and cSID of CP and most AA decreased linearly with increasing TW (P<0.05). Additionally, SID and cSID of CP and AA of most barley genotypes were lower when compared to tabulated values. In conclusion, a comprehensive database on chemical composition and SID of CP and AA in eight current barley genotypes has been made available. However, as present SID values are lower compared to feed tables, adjustments are required to minimize the risk of overestimating the actual protein value of barley for pigs.
The traditional Inuit diet in Greenland consists mainly of fish and marine mammals, rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory capacity but markers of inflammation have been found to be high in Inuit living on a marine diet. Yet, the effect of vitamin D on inflammation in Inuit remains unsettled. This led us to investigate the association between vitamin D and markers of inflammation in a population with a high intake of a marine diet. We studied 535 Inuit and non-Inuit living in West and East Greenland. Information concerning dietary habits was obtained by interview-based FFQ. Blood samples were drawn for analysis of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and chitinase-3-like protein 1(YKL-40). Participants were divided into three groups based on degree of intake of the traditional Inuit diet. The diet groups (Inuit diet/mixed diet/imported foods) were associated with vitamin D levels in serum (74·2, 69·8 and 52·9 nm; P < 0·001), hsCRP (1·6, 1·4 and 1·3 mg/l; P = 0·002) and YKL-40 (130, 95 and 61 ng/ml; P < 0·001), respectively. YKL-40 level decreased with rising vitamin D level in Inuit (Inuit diet P = 0·002; mixed diet P = 0·011). YKL-40 was lower in groups with higher vitamin D levels after adjusting for other factors known to influence inflammation (P < 0·001). This was not seen for hsCRP. In conclusion, vitamin D and markers of inflammation vary in parallel with the intake of the marine Inuit diet. Vitamin D levels were inversely associated with YKL-40 levels, but no association with hsCRP was found. The hypothesised anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D was not supported. Other factors in the marine diet may be speculated to influence inflammation.
First-episode psychosis (FEP) patients show structural brain abnormalities. Whether the changes are progressive or not remain under debate, and the results from longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies are mixed. We investigated if FEP patients showed a different pattern of regional brain structural change over a 1-year period compared with healthy controls, and if putative changes correlated with clinical characteristics and outcome.
MRIs of 79 FEP patients [SCID-I-verified diagnoses: schizophrenia, psychotic bipolar disorder, or other psychoses, mean age 27.6 (s.d. = 7.7) years, 66% male] and 82 healthy controls [age 29.3 (s.d. = 7.2) years, 66% male] were acquired from the same 1.5 T scanner at baseline and 1-year follow-up as part of the Thematically Organized Psychosis (TOP) study, Oslo, Norway. Scans were automatically processed with the longitudinal stream in FreeSurfer that creates an unbiased within-subject template image. General linear models were used to analyse longitudinal change in a wide range of subcortical volumes and detailed thickness and surface area estimates across the entire cortex, and associations with clinical characteristics.
FEP patients and controls did not differ significantly in annual percentage change in cortical thickness or area in any cortical region, or in any of the subcortical structures after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Within the FEP group, duration of untreated psychosis, age at illness onset, antipsychotic medication use and remission at follow-up were not related to longitudinal brain change.
We found no significant longitudinal brain changes over a 1-year period in FEP patients. Our results do not support early progressive brain changes in psychotic disorders.
The IAU program on Exchange of Astronomers is directed by Commission 38. The details of the program and the way it is carried out are decribed in the IAU Information Bulletins under the heading “Guidelines for Grants”. Here I only give some basic facts about the program.
First of all it is a general program. All astronomers can apply and until now Commission 38 has been able to offer a grant to those who fulfill the conditions in the “Guidelines for Grants”.
Submillimetre observations of the externally irradiated protostar R CrA IRS7B show that this source has dramatically different chemical abundances in comparison with otherwise similar embedded protostars not subject to external irradiation.
Submillimetre observations of externally irradiated low-mass protostellar envelopes show that the gas temperature in the envelopes is dominated by the external irradiation. Detailed studies of the protostar IRS7B in Corona Australis also show that the chemistry is strongly affected by the irradiation, depleting the abundances of complex organic molecules.
To investigate: (i) how lunch frequency of adolescents varies between schools and between classes within schools; (ii) the associations between frequency of lunch and individual sociodemographic factors and school characteristics; and (iii) if any observed associations between lunch frequency and school characteristics vary by gender and age groups.
Cross-sectional study in which students and school headmasters completed self-administered questionnaires. Associations were estimated by multilevel multivariate logistic regression.
The Danish arm of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study 2010.
Students (n 4922) aged 11, 13 and 15 years attending a random sample of seventy-three schools.
The school-level and class-level variations in low lunch frequency were small (intraclass correlation coefficient <2·1 %). At the individual level, low lunch frequency was most common among students who were boys, 13- and 15-year-olds, from medium and low family social class, descendants of immigrants, living in a single-parent family and in a reconstructed family. School-level analyses suggested that having access to a canteen at school was associated with low lunch frequency (OR=1·47; 95% CI 1·14, 1·89). Likewise not having an adult present during lunch breaks was associated with low lunch frequency (OR=1·44; 95% CI 1·18, 1·75). Cross-level interactions suggested that these associations differed by age group.
Lunch frequency among Danish students appears to be largely influenced by sociodemographic factors. Additionally, the presence of an adult during lunch breaks promotes frequent lunch consumption while availability of a canteen may discourage frequent lunch consumption. These findings vary between older and younger students.
We examined associations between fast-food intake and perceived and objective fast-food outlet exposure.
Information from the Health Behaviours in School-aged Children Study was linked to fast-food outlets in seventy-five school neighbourhoods. We used multivariate multilevel logistic regression analyses to examine associations between at least weekly fast-food intake and perceived and objective fast-food outlet measures.
Data represent 4642 adolescents (aged 11–15 years) in Denmark.
Boys reporting two or more fast-food outlets had 34 % higher odds consuming fast food at least weekly. We detected higher odds of at least weekly fast-food intake among 15-year-old 9th graders (ORall=1·74; 95 % CI 1·40, 2·18; ORboys=2·20; 95 % CI 1·66, 2·91; ORgirls=1·41; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·92), Danish speakers (ORall=2·32; 95 % CI 1·68, 3·19; ORboys=2·58; 95 % CI 1·69, 3·93; ORgirls=2·37; 95 % CI 1·46, 3·84) and those travelling 15 min or less to school (ORall=1·21; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·46; ORgirls=1·44; 95 % CI 1·08, 1·93) compared with 11-year-old 5th graders, non-Danish speakers and those with longer travel times. Boys from middle- (OR=1·28; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·65) and girls from low-income families (OR=1·46; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·04) had higher odds of at least weekly fast-food intake compared with those from high-income backgrounds. Girls attending schools with canteens (OR=1·47; 95 % CI 1·00, 2·15) had higher odds of at least weekly fast-food intake than girls at schools without canteens.
The present study demonstrates that perceived food outlets may impact fast-food intake in boys while proximity impacts intake in girls. Public health planning could target food environments that emphasize a better understanding of how adolescents use local resources.
In this paper, we answer the question of equivalence, or singularity, of two given quasi-stationary Markov measures on one-sided infinite words, as well as the corresponding question of equivalence of associated Cuntz algebra
-representations. We do this by associating certain monic representations of
to quasi-stationary Markov measures and then proving that equivalence for a pair of measures is decided by unitary equivalence of the corresponding pair of representations.
LOFT (Large Observatory For X-ray Timing) is one of the four candidate missions currently
under assessment study for the M3 mission in ESAs Cosmic Vision program to be launched in
2024. LOFT will carry two instruments with prime sensitivity in the 2–30 keV range: a 10
m2 class large area detector (LAD) with a <1° collimated field of view
and a wide field monitor (WFM) instrument. The WFM is based on the coded mask principle,
and 5 camera units will provide coverage of more than 1/3 of the sky. The prime goal of
the WFM is to detect transient sources to be observed by the LAD. With its wide field of
view and good energy resolution of <500 eV, the WFM will be an excellent instrument
for detecting and studying GRBs and X-ray flashes. The WFM will be able to detect
~150 gamma ray bursts per year, and a burst alert system will enable the
distribution of ~100 GRB positions per year with a ~1 arcmin location
accuracy within 30 s of the burst.