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To estimate latent dietary profiles in a community-dwelling sample of older Americans and identify associations between dietary profile membership and individual demographic, socio-economic and health characteristics.
Secondary analysis of the 2012 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and linked 2013 Health Care and Nutrition Study (HCNS). Latent profile analysis identified mutually exclusive subgroups of dietary intake and bivariate analyses examined associations between dietary profile membership, participant characteristics and nutrient intakes.
An analytic sample of 3558 adults aged 65 years or older.
Four dietary profiles were identified with 15·5 % of the sample having a ‘Healthy’ diet, 42·0 % consuming a ‘Western’ diet, 29·7 % having a diet consisting of high intake of all food groups and 12·7 % reporting relatively low intake of all food groups. Members of the ‘Healthy’ profile reported the greatest socio-economic resources and health, and members of the ‘Low Intake’ profile had the fewest resources and worst health outcomes. Macronutrient and micronutrient intakes varied across profile although inadequate and excessive intakes of selected nutrients were observed for all profiles.
We identified dietary patterns among older Americans typified by either selective intake of foods or overall quantity of foods consumed, with those described as ‘Low Intake’ reporting the fewest socio-economic resources, greatest risk of food insecurity and the worst health outcomes. Limitations including the presence of measurement error in dietary questionnaires are discussed. The causes and consequences of limited dietary intake among older Americans require further study and can be facilitated by the HRS and HCNS.
A power MOSFET-based push–pull configuration nanosecond-pulse generator has been designed, constructed, and characterized to permeabilize cells for biological and medical applications. The generator can deliver pulses with durations ranging from 80 ns up to 1 µs and pulse amplitudes up to 1.4 kV. The unit has been tested for in vitro experiments on a medulloblastoma cell line. Following the exposure of cells to 100, 200, and 300 ns electric field pulses, permeabilization tests were carried out, and viability tests were conducted to verify the performance of the generator. The maximum temperature rise of the biological load was also calculated based on Joule heating energy conservation and experimental validation. Our results indicate that the developed device has good capabilities to achieve well-controlled electro-manipulation in vitro.
This paper considers the timing and mechanisms of deforestation in the Western Isles of Scotland, focusing in particular on the landscape around the Calanais stone circles, one of the best preserved late Neolithic/early Bronze Age monumental landscapes in north-west Europe. We present new archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence from a soil and peat sequence at the site of Aird Calanais, which spans the main period of use of the Calanais circles. We then draw on a new synthesis of archaeobotanical and palynological evidence from across the Western Isles and a review of comparable data from the wider North Atlantic zone, before assessing the role of early farming communities in clearing the wooded landscapes of the region. Pollen and radiocarbon dating at the site of Aird Calanais reveal that a layer of birch branches, dating to the late Neolithic (2912–2881 cal bc), was contemporaneous with a decline in woodland at the site, as well as with the major phase of Neolithic activity at the Calanais stone circle complex. However, our synthesis of the pollen and plant macrofossil evidence from across the Western Isles suggests that the picture across these islands was altogether more complex: woodlands declined both before, as well as during, the Neolithic and deciduous woodlands remained sufficiently abundant for Neolithic fuel procurement. Finally, we consider the implications of the results for understanding the interactions between first farmers and woodlands in the wider North Atlantic region.
Oldowan sites in primary geological context are rare in the archaeological record. Here we describe the depositional environment of Oldowan occurrences at Kanjera South, Kenya, based on field descriptions and granulometric analysis. Excavations have recovered a large Oldowan artefact sample as well as the oldest substantial sample of archaeological fauna. The deposits at Kanjera South consist of 30 m of fluvial, colluvial and lacustrine sediments. Magneto- and biostratigraphy indicate the Kanjera South Member of the Kanjera Formation was deposited during 2.3–1.92 Ma, with 2.0 Ma being a likely age for the archaeological occurrences. Oldowan artefacts and associated fauna were deposited in the colluvial and alluvial silts and sands of beds KS1–3, in the margins of a lake basin. Field descriptions and granulometric analysis of the sediment fine fraction indicate that sediments from within the main archaeological horizon were emplaced as a combination of tractional and hyperconcentrated flows with limited evidence of debris-flow deposition. This style of deposition is unlikely to significantly erode or disturb the underlying surface, and therefore promotes preservation of surface archaeological accumulations. Hominins were repeatedly attracted to the site locale, and rapid sedimentation, minimal bone weathering and an absence of bone or artefact rounding further indicate that fossils and artefacts were quickly buried.
The main limitation for determining feed efficiency of freely grazing ruminants is measurement of daily individual feed intake. This paper describes an investigation that assessed a method for estimating intake of forage based on changes in BW of ewes. A total of 24 dry and non-pregnant Romane ewes (12 hoggets, HOG; mean±SD 51.8±2.8 kg BW; body condition score (BCS) 2.6±0.2; and 12 adults, ADU; 60.4±8.5 kg BW; BCS 2.7±0.8) were selected for the study and moved from their rangeland system to a confined pen with controlled conditions and equipped with individual automatic feeders. The experiment lasted for 28 days (21 days adaptation and 7 days feed intake measurement). Ewes were fed hay and trained to use the electronic feeders (one feeding station per ewe) in which actual daily intake (Hintake24) was measured. The pens were designed to maximize movement of trained ewes through an automated Walk-over-Weighing device, by using water and mineral salts as attractants. Total individual intake of hay measured in the automatic feeder at each meal (Hintake) was compared with indirect estimates of feed intake determined using differences in the BW of the ewes (∆BW) before and 1 h following morning and afternoon feeding at fixed times. The BW, BCS, Hintake, Hintake24, as well as plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), glucose and insulin profiles were determined. The BW was higher in ADU v. HOG but BCS was not affected by parity. The Hintake24 was affected by day of experiment as a consequence of reduced availability and intake of water on one day. Plasma glucose, NEFA and insulin were not affected by parity or day of experiment. The HIntake was and ∆BW tended to be higher in the morning in HOG, whereas Hintake was and ∆BW tended to be higher in ADU at the afternoon meal. Irrespective of parity or feeding time, there was very strong correlation (r2=0.93) between Hintake and ∆BW. This relationship confirms that our indirect method of estimating individual forage intake was reliable within the strictly controlled conditions of the present experiment. The method appears suitable for use in short-term intensive group feeding situations, and has potential to be further developed for longer-term forage intake studies, with a view to developing a method for freely grazing ruminants.
The Public Health England (PHE; United Kingdom) Real-Time Syndromic Surveillance Team (ReSST) currently operates four national syndromic surveillance systems, including an emergency department system. A system based on ambulance data might provide an additional measure of the “severe” end of the clinical disease spectrum. This report describes the findings and lessons learned from the development and preliminary assessment of a pilot syndromic surveillance system using ambulance data from the West Midlands (WM) region in England.
Is an Ambulance Data Syndromic Surveillance System (ADSSS) feasible and of utility in enhancing the existing suite of PHE syndromic surveillance systems?
An ADSSS was designed, implemented, and a pilot conducted from September 1, 2015 through March 1, 2016. Surveillance cases were defined as calls to the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) regarding patients who were assigned any of 11 specified chief presenting complaints (CPCs) during the pilot period. The WMAS collected anonymized data on cases and transferred the dataset daily to ReSST, which contained anonymized information on patients’ demographics, partial postcode of patients’ location, and CPC. The 11 CPCs covered a broad range of syndromes. The dataset was analyzed descriptively each week to determine trends and key epidemiological characteristics of patients, and an automated statistical algorithm was employed daily to detect higher than expected number of calls. A preliminary assessment was undertaken to assess the feasibility, utility (including quality of key indicators), and timeliness of the system for syndromic surveillance purposes. Lessons learned and challenges were identified and recorded during the design and implementation of the system.
The pilot ADSSS collected 207,331 records of individual ambulance calls (daily mean=1,133; range=923-1,350). The ADSSS was found to be timely in detecting seasonal changes in patterns of respiratory infections and increases in case numbers during seasonal events.
Further validation is necessary; however, the findings from the assessment of the pilot ADSSS suggest that selected, but not all, ambulance indicators appear to have some utility for syndromic surveillance purposes in England. There are certain challenges that need to be addressed when designing and implementing similar systems.
TodkillD, LoveridgeP, ElliotAJ, MorbeyRA, EdeghereO, Rayment-BishopT, Rayment-BishopC, ThornesJE, SmithG. Utility of Ambulance Data for Real-Time Syndromic Surveillance: A Pilot in the West Midlands Region, United Kingdom. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(6):667–672.
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an important disease of cattle caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis, a pathogen that may be extremely difficult to eradicate in the presence of a true wildlife reservoir. Our objective was to identify and review relevant literature and provide a succinct summary of current knowledge of risk factors for transmission of infection of cattle. Search strings were developed to identify publications from electronic databases to February 2015. Abstracts of 4255 papers identified were reviewed by three reviewers to determine whether the entire article was likely to contain relevant information. Risk factors could be broadly grouped as follows: animal (including nutrition and genetics), herd (including bTB and testing history), environment, wildlife and social factors. Many risk factors are inter-related and study designs often do not enable differentiation between cause and consequence of infection. Despite differences in study design and location, some risk factors are consistently identified, e.g. herd size, bTB history, presence of infected wildlife, whereas the evidence for others is less consistent and coherent, e.g. nutrition, local cattle movements. We have identified knowledge gaps where further research may result in an improved understanding of bTB transmission dynamics. The application of targeted, multifactorial disease control regimens that address a range of risk factors simultaneously is likely to be a key to effective, evidence-informed control strategies.
The 2013 multistate outbreaks contributed to the largest annual number of reported US cases of cyclosporiasis since 1997. In this paper we focus on investigations in Texas. We defined an outbreak-associated case as laboratory-confirmed cyclosporiasis in a person with illness onset between 1 June and 31 August 2013, with no history of international travel in the previous 14 days. Epidemiological, environmental, and traceback investigations were conducted. Of the 631 cases reported in the multistate outbreaks, Texas reported the greatest number of cases, 270 (43%). More than 70 clusters were identified in Texas, four of which were further investigated. One restaurant-associated cluster of 25 case-patients was selected for a case-control study. Consumption of cilantro was most strongly associated with illness on meal date-matched analysis (matched odds ratio 19·8, 95% confidence interval 4·0–∞). All case-patients in the other three clusters investigated also ate cilantro. Traceback investigations converged on three suppliers in Puebla, Mexico. Cilantro was the vehicle of infection in the four clusters investigated; the temporal association of these clusters with the large overall increase in cyclosporiasis cases in Texas suggests cilantro was the vehicle of infection for many other cases. However, the paucity of epidemiological and traceback information does not allow for a conclusive determination; moreover, molecular epidemiological tools for cyclosporiasis that could provide more definitive linkage between case clusters are needed.
Based on the Kubo-Greenwood formula, the thermoelectric effects in periodically and quasiperiodically segmented nanowires are studied by means of a real-space renormalization plus convolution method, where the electrical and lattice thermal conductivities are respectively calculated by using the tight-binding and Born models; the latter includes central and non-central interactions between nearest-neighbor atoms. The results show a significant enhancement of the thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) induced by the structural disorder and/or the reduction of nanowire cross-section area. In addition, we observe a maximum ZT in both the chemical-potential and temperature spaces.
Genetic resistance to gastrointestinal worms is a complex trait of great importance in both livestock and humans. In order to gain insights into the genetic architecture of this trait, a mixed breed population of sheep was artificially infected with Trichostrongylus colubriformis (n=3326) and then Haemonchus contortus (n=2669) to measure faecal worm egg count (WEC). The population was genotyped with the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip and 48 640 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers passed the quality controls. An independent population of 316 sires of mixed breeds with accurate estimated breeding values for WEC were genotyped for the same SNP to assess the results obtained from the first population. We used principal components from the genomic relationship matrix among genotyped individuals to account for population stratification, and a novel approach to directly account for the sampling error associated with each SNP marker regression. The largest marker effects were estimated to explain an average of 0·48% (T. colubriformis) or 0·08% (H. contortus) of the phenotypic variance in WEC. These effects are small but consistent with results from other complex traits. We also demonstrated that methods which use all markers simultaneously can successfully predict genetic merit for resistance to worms, despite the small effects of individual markers. Correlations of genomic predictions with breeding values of the industry sires reached a maximum of 0·32. We estimate that effective across-breed predictions of genetic merit with multi-breed populations will require an average marker spacing of approximately 10 kbp.
A multi-step Chloramphenicol (CM)-resistant derivative of an RC-stringent strain of Escherichia coli auxotrophic for threonine and leucine was resistant also to Aureomycin (AM) and Puromycin (PM). All three antibiotics released the repression of RNA synthesis due to amino acid starvation in the CM-sensitive parent strain, their relative activities being about 1:10:100 for AM: CM: PM. High doses of AM and CM failed to induce RNA synthesis. The CM-resistant strain required greater concentrations of each antibiotic than the sensitive strain to induce the same level of RNA synthesis, and appeared to be about one hundred times, ten times and five times more resistant to CM, AM and PM, respectively, than the sensitive strain.
The Sxr (sex-reversed) region that carries a copy of the mouse Y chromosomal testis-determining gene can be attached to the distal end of either the Y or the X chromosome. During male meiosis, Sxr recombined freely between the X and Y chromosomes, with an estimated recombination frequency not significantly different from 50% in either direction. During female meiosis, Sxr recombined freely between the X chromosome to which it was attached and an X-autosome translocation. A male mouse carrying the original Sxra region on its Y chromosome, and the shorter Sxrb variant on the X, also showed 50% recombination between the sex chromosomes. Evidence of unequal crossing-over between the two Sxr regions was obtained: using five markers deleted from Sxrb, 3 variant Sxr regions were detected in 159 progeny (1·9%). Four other variants (one from the original cross and three from later generations) were presumed to have been derived from illegitimate pairing and crossing-over between Sxrb and the homologous region on the short arm of the Y chromosome. The generation of new variants throws light on the arrangement of gene loci and other markers within the short arm of the mouse Y chromosome.
Chloramphenicol (CM), Aureomycin (AM) and Puromycin (PM) induce RNA synthesis in RC-stringent Escherichia coli starved of a required amino acid. This fact has been used to develop a method for comparing the levels of resistance of single-step CM-r mutants to the three antibiotics. Three levels of resistance to each antibiotic were found among four mutants selected in a single CM-s strain. The mutant with the highest CM resistance has the lowest AM resistance, and vice versa, while the level of PM resistance was not correlated with that of either CM or AM. The four mutants all differed from each other in their patterns of resistance to the three antibiotics.
We investigated an outbreak of Shigella sonnei infections in Denmark and Australia associated with imported baby corn from one packing shed in Thailand. We reviewed nationwide surveillance and undertook case finding, food trace-back and microbiological investigation of human, food and environmental samples. A recall of baby corn and sugar snaps was based on descriptive epidemiological evidence. In Denmark, we undertook a retrospective cohort study in one workplace. In total, 215 cases were laboratory-confirmed in Denmark, and 12 in Australia. In a multivariable analysis, baby corn was the only independent risk factor. Antibiotic resistance and PFGE outbreak profiles in Denmark and Australia were indistinguishable, linking the outbreaks. Although we did not detect S. sonnei in baby corn, we isolated high levels of other enteric pathogens. We identified a packing shed in Thailand that supplied baby corn to Denmark and Australia, and uncovered unhygienic practices in the supply chain. This outbreak highlights the importance of international communication in linking outbreaks and pinpointing the source.
Texel muscling quantitative trait locus (TM-QTL) is a QTL on chromosome 18, originally identified in purebred UK Texel sheep, which was reported to increase ultrasonically measured muscle depth at the third lumbar vertebra by around 4% to 7%. The objective of the present study was to comprehensively evaluate the TM-QTL and to determine whether it could provide benefits to the UK sheep industry through increased carcass meat yield in crossbred slaughter lambs. Effects of this QTL on a range of carcass traits, including those measured in vivo and by dissection, were evaluated in heterozygous carrier and non-carrier lambs produced by crossing heterozygous carrier Texel rams with non-carrier Mule (Bluefaced Leicester × Scottish Blackface) ewes from a lowland flock. The TM-QTL was found to increase loin muscling in crossbred lambs at a given live weight or carcass weight, as measured by ultrasound, X-ray computed tomography (CT) and carcass dissection. Depth of M. longissimus lumborum (MLL) was greater in TM-QTL carrier lambs compared to non-carriers as measured by both ultrasound at the third lumbar vertebra (+4.5%; P = 0.033) and CT scanning at the fifth lumbar vertebra (+6.7%; P = 0.004). Width and area of MLL measured using CT were also greater in TM-QTL carrier lambs compared to non-carriers (+3.0%; P = 0.013 and +5.1%; P = 0.047, respectively). Loin muscle volume measured using CT was greater in TM-QTL carriers than in non-carriers (+5.9%; P = 0.005) and the dissected weight of the MLL was +7.1% greater in TM-QTL carriers compared to non-carriers (P < 0.001). The proportion of the total carcass lean meat yield (LMY) that was contained within the loin region was slightly higher in TM-QTL carriers than in non-carriers (0.154 v. 0.145; P = 0.006). However, TM-QTL was found to have no significant effect on the total weight or proportion of LMY or of saleable meat yield in the carcass measured by dissection, or on muscling in the hind leg measured by CT or dissection. This work has verified that the inheritance of TM-QTL is associated with increased loin muscling in crossbred lambs, as has previously been reported for purebred Texel lambs.
Indicator traits used to select pigs for increased resistance to infection or improved health must be heritable and, preferably, be associated with improved performance. We estimated the heritability of a range of immune traits and their genetic and phenotypic correlations with growth performance. We measured immune traits on 589 pigs and performance on 1941 pigs from six farms, three of which were classified as ‘high health status’ (i.e. specific pathogen-free) and three were of lower health status. All pigs were apparently healthy. Immune traits were total white blood cells (WBC), and peripheral blood mononuclear leucocyte (PBML) subsets positive for CD4, CD8α, gamma delta (γδ) T cell receptor, CD11R1 (natural killer cell marker), B cell and monocyte markers at the start and the end of standard growth performance tests. At both time points, all immune traits were moderately to highly heritable except for CD8α+ cells. At end of test, heritability estimates (h2) (±s.e.) were 0.18 (±0.11) for total WBC count. For PBML subset proportions, the heritabilities were 0.52 (±0.14) for γδ TCR+ cells, 0.62 (±0.14) for CD4+ cells, 0.44 (±0.14) for CD11R1+ cells, 0.58 (±0.14) for B cells and 0.59 (±0.14) for monocytes. Farm health status affected the heritabilities for WBC, being substantially higher on lower health status farms, but did not have consistent effects on heritabilities for the PBML subsets. There were significant negative genetic correlations between numbers and proportions of various PBML subsets and performance, at both start and end of test. In particular, the proportion of PBML cells that were CD11R1+ cells, at end of test, was strongly correlated with daily gain (rg = −0.72; P < 0.01). There were also weaker but significant negative phenotypic correlations between PBML subsets measured at end of test and performance, for γδ+ T cells, CD8α+, CD11R1+ cells, B cells or monocytes. Phenotypic correlations with daily gain were generally lower at the start of test than at the end of test. These results show that most of the major pig PBML subsets are heritable, and that systemic levels of several of these PBML subsets are genetically negatively correlated with performance. This approach provides a basis for using immune trait markers when selecting boars that can produce higher-performing progeny.
Physical alteration of magnetite-bearing antigorite grains is investigated in this study using Mössbauer, visible/near-infrared (VNIR) and mid-IR spectroscopy coupled with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analyses. An expected decrease in grain size with grinding is observed using SEM. The HRTEM images illustrate that the nanophase-sized grains which adhere to larger grains have 7 Å antigorite patterns. Mössbauer spectroscopy shows the presence of antigorite, magnetite and an amorphous phase. Visible/near infrared spectra exhibit features common in serpentine. These spectra also show an increasing continuum slope with grinding, an effect which is characteristic of thin coatings or tiny grains on surfaces. Mid-IR spectra indicate the formation of fine-grained Si-OH and carbonate in these samples with grinding.