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Childhood obesity is a global issue. Excessive weight gain in early pregnancy is independently associated with obesity in the next generation. Given the uptake of e-health, our primary aim was to pilot the feasibility of an e-health intervention, starting in the first trimester, to promote healthy lifestyle and prevent excess weight gain in early pregnancy. Methods: Women were recruited between 8 and 11 weeks gestation and randomised to the intervention or routine antenatal care. The intervention involved an e-health program providing diet, physical activity and well-being advice over 12 weeks.
Women (n = 57, 43.9% overweight/obese) were recruited at 9.38 ± 1.12 (control) and 9.06 ± 1.29 (intervention) weeks’ gestation, mainly from obstetric private practices (81.2%). Retention was 73.7% for the 12-week intervention, 64.9% at birth and 55.8% at 3 months after birth.
No difference in gestational weight gain or birth size was detected. Overall treatment effect showed a mean increase in score ranking the perceived confidence of dietary change (1.2 ± 0.46, p = 0.009) and score ranking readiness to exercise (1.21 ± 0.51, p = 0.016) over the intervention. At 3 months, infants weighed less in the intervention group (5405 versus 6193 g, p = 0.008) and had a lower ponderal index (25.5 ± 3.0 versus 28.8 ± 4.0 kg/m3) compared with the control group.
Conclusion and Discussion:
A lifestyle intervention starting in the first-trimester pregnancy utilising e-health mode of delivery is feasible. Future studies need strategies to target recruitment of participants of lower socio-economic status and ensure maximal blinding. Larger trials (using technology and focused on early pregnancy) are needed to confirm if decreased infant adiposity is maintained.
The neurotransmitter serotonin has a role in affective disorders such as depression and anxiety, as well as sleep, cognitive function and appetite. This review examines the evidence that serotonin-related genotypes may moderate the behavioural effects of supplementation with the serotonin precursor amino acid l-tryptophan (TRP), on which synthesis of serotonin (or 5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) depends. However, 95 % of serotonin is synthesised and used in the periphery, and TRP is also metabolised via non-5-HT routes such as the kynurenine pathway. Moreover, understanding of genotypes involved in regulation of serotonin raises questions over the generalisability of TRP effects on behaviour across individuals with varied serotonergic genotypes. To date, only differences between variants of the 5-HT transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) have been investigated in relation to behavioural effects of TRP supplementation. Effects of 5-HTTLPR genotypes are usually compared between the alleles that are either high (L/L′) or low (S/S′) expressing of mRNA for the 5-HT transporter receptor. Yet, another key genetic variable is sex: in women, the S/S′ genotype predicts sensitivity to improved mood and reduced cortisol by TRP supplementation, during stressful challenges, whereas the L/L′ genotype protects against stress-induced mood deterioration. In men, the L/L′ genotype may confer risk of stress-induced increases in negative affect; there are insufficient data to assess effects on male S/S′ genotypes. However, better-powered studies to detect sex by genotype by stress by TRP interactions, as well as consideration of more genotypes, are needed before strong conclusions and recommendations for behavioural effects of TRP treatment can be reached.
The possibility of a gaseous halo stream which was stripped from the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy is presented. The total mass of the neutral hydrogen along the orbit of the Sgr dwarf in the direction of the Galactic Anti-Center is 4 − 10 × 106 M⊙ (at 36 kpc, the distance to the stellar debris in this region). Both the stellar and gaseous components have negative velocities in this part of the sky, but the gaseous component extends to higher negative velocities. We suggest this gaseous stream was stripped from the main body of the dwarf 0.2 – 0.3 Gyr ago during its current orbit after a passage through a diffuse edge of the Galactic disk with a density > 10−4 cm−3. The gas would then represent the dwarf's last source of star formation fuel and explains how the galaxy was forming stars 0.5-2 Gyr ago.
The first results from the HI Parkes All-Sky Survey (HIPASS) provide a spectacular view of the global HI distribution in the vicinity of the Magellanic Clouds and the southern Milky Way. A 2400 square degree mosaic around the South Celestial Pole (SCP) reveals the existence of a narrow, continuous counter-stream which “leads” the direction of motion of the Clouds, i.e., opposite in direction to the Stream. This strongly supports the gravitational model for the Stream in which the leading and trailing streams are tidally torn from the body of the Magellanic Clouds. The data also reveal additional tidal features in the Bridge region which appear to emanate from the LMC, and a distinct spiral structure within the LMC itself.
Common pharmacological treatments of mood disorders aim to modulate serotonergic neurotransmission and enhance serotonin levels in the brain. Brain serotonin levels are dependent on the availability of its food-derived precursor essential amino acid tryptophan (Trp). We tested the hypothesis that delivery of Trp via food may serve as an alternative treatment, and examined the effects of a Trp-rich, bioavailable dietary supplement from egg protein hydrolysate on cognitive and emotional functions, mood state, and sleep quality. In a randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel trial, fifty-nine mentally and physically healthy women aged 45–65 years received placebo (n 30) or the supplement (n 29) (both as 0·5 g twice per d) for 19 d. Emotional processing was significantly changed by supplementation, exhibiting a shift in bias away from negative stimuli. The results for the Affective Go/No-Go Task exhibited a slowing of responses to negative words, suggesting reduced attention to negative emotional stimuli. The results for the Facial Emotional Expression Rating Task also supported a shift away from attention to negative emotions and a bias towards happiness. An increase in arousal-like symptoms, labelled ‘high energy’, shorter reaction times and a slight benefit to sustained attention were observed in the treated subjects. Finally, when the supplement was taken 60–90 min before bedtime, a feeling of happiness before going to bed was consistently reported. In summary, daily consumption of a low-dose supplement containing bioavailable Trp may have beneficial effects on emotional and cognitive functions.
Foods and dietary patterns that enhance satiety may provide benefit to consumers. The aim of the present review was to describe, consider and evaluate research on potential benefits of enhanced satiety. The proposal that enhanced satiety could only benefit consumers by a direct effect on food intake should be rejected. Instead, it is proposed that there is a variety of routes through which enhanced satiety could (indirectly) benefit dietary control or weight-management goals. The review highlights specific potential benefits of satiety, including: providing appetite control strategies for consumers generally and for those who are highly responsive to food cues; offering pleasure and satisfaction associated with low-energy/healthier versions of foods without feeling ‘deprived’; reducing dysphoric mood associated with hunger especially during energy restriction; and improved compliance with healthy eating or weight-management efforts. There is convincing evidence of short-term satiety benefits, but only probable evidence for longer-term benefits to hunger management, possible evidence of benefits to mood and cognition, inadequate evidence that satiety enhancement can promote weight loss, and no evidence on which consumers would benefit most from satiety enhancement. The appetite-reducing effects of specific foods or diets will be much more subtle than those of pharmaceutical compounds in managing hunger; nevertheless, the experience of pharmacology in producing weight loss via effects on appetite suggests that there is potential benefit of satiety enhancement from foods incorporated into the diet to the consumer.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
We have used cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy to study the atomic-scale interface structure of InAs/Ga, _In.xSb superlattices grown by molecular-beam epitaxy. Detailed, quantitative analysis of interface profiles obtained from constant-current images of both (110) and (1ī0) cross-sectional planes of the superlattice indicates that interfaces in the (1ī0) plane exhibit a higher degree of interface roughness than those in the (110) plane, and that the Ga1-xln xAs interfaces are rougher than the InAs-on-Gal1-xInxSb interfaces. The roughness data are consistent with anisotropy in interface structure arising from anisotropic island formation during growth, and in addition with a growth-sequence-dependent interface asymmetry resulting from differences in interfacial bond structure between the superlattice layers. Roughness data are compared with measurements of anisotropy in low-temperature Hall mobilities of the samples.
ZnSe/GaAs heterojunctions were investigated by contactless electroreflectance and photoreflectance techniques. Negative surface charge densities on the order of 1012 cm-2 were observed for films grown on n-type GaAs indicating a large contribution to the conduction band barrier between the materials due to band bending. The conduction band offset was also measured using a new photoreflectance technique involving a tunable pump laser.
Medium-range order has been observed in ion-implanted amorphous silicon, suggesting a paracrystalline structure for this material. The origin of a paracrystalline structure may be due to an energy spike phenomenon. To evaluate the influence of energy spikes on a particular process, we have attempted to calculate the characteristic energy in a spike. However, the observed depth dependence of amorphous structures in as-implanted silicon is puzzling. To explain this, we simulated the depth distribution of cascade events in a particular energy range. We found a great increase of point defect concentration and cascade events as the depth increases. This result could explain the experimental depth dependence.
The microstructure of oxygen implanted silicon for use in silicon-on- insulator technology has been examined by transmission electron microscopy. A variety of buried oxide layers prepared using oxygen doses below and above that required for stoichiometric SiO2 formation have been studied. High resolution imaging in crosssection has revealed exceptionally flat Si-SiO2 interfaces, comparable to the best thermally grown Si-SiO2 interfaces. Examination of as-implanted material shows a complex interwoven crystalline/amorphous structure which evolves during high temperature (1350–1400° C) annealing into a buried oxide layer.