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Human mesenchymal stem cells were reseeded in decellularized human bone subject to a controlled mechanical loading to create a bone-on-chip that was cultured for over 26 months. The cell morphology and their secretome were characterized using immunohistochemistry and in situ immunofluorescence under confocal microscopy. The presence of stem cell derived osteocytes was confirmed at 547 days. Different cell populations were identified. Some cells were connected by long processes and formed a network. Comparison of the MSCs in vitro reorganization and calcium response to in situ mechanical stimulation were compared to MLOY4 cells reseeded on human bone. The bone-on-chip produced an ECM of which the strength was nearly a quarter of native bone after 109 days and that contained calcium minerals at 39 days and type I collagen at 256 days. The cytoplasmic calcium concentration variations seemed to adapt to the expected in vivo mechanical load at the successive stages of cell differentiation in agreement with studies using fluid shear flow stimulation. Some degree of bone-like formation over a long period of time with the formation of a newly formed matrix was observed.
Guidelines for a healthy diet aim to decrease the risk of chronic diseases. It is unclear as to what extent a healthy diet is also an environmentally friendly diet. In the Dutch sub-cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, the diet was assessed with a 178-item FFQ of 40 011 participants aged 20–70 years between 1993 and 1997. The WHO’s Healthy Diet Indicator (HDI), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score and the Dutch Healthy Diet index 2015 (DHD15-index) were investigated in relation to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use and all-cause mortality risk. GHG emissions were associated with HDI scores (−3·7 % per sd increase (95 % CI −3·4, −4·0) for men and −1·9 % (95 % CI −0·4, −3·4) for women), with DASH scores in women only (1·1 % per sd increase, 95 % CI 0·9, 1·3) and with DHD15-index scores (−2·5 % per sd increase (95 % CI −2·2, −2·8) for men and −2·0 % (95 % CI −1·9, −2·2) for women). For all indices, higher scores were associated with less land use (ranging from −1·3 to −3·1 %). Mortality risk decreased with increasing scores for all indices. Per sd increase of the indices, hazard ratios for mortality ranged from 0·88 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·95) to 0·96 (95 % CI 0·92, 0·99). Our results showed that adhering to the WHO and Dutch dietary guidelines will lower the risk of all-cause mortality and moderately lower the environmental impact. The DASH diet was associated with lower mortality and land use, but because of high dairy product consumption in the Netherlands it was also associated with higher GHG emissions.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
The goal of this study was to compare clinical and psycholinguistic approaches to the measurement of verbal behavior according to their ability to discriminate schizophrenic (n = 11) from manic-depressive (n = 11) and normal control (n = 11) subjects. Language samples were obtained during Rorschach testing and analyzed using a clinical measure, the Thought Disorder Index (TDI), and a battery of linguistic measures. Five linguistic categories were examined: productivity, repetition, dysfluency, cohesiveness, and syntactic complexity. On the clinical measure, schizophrenic subjects had high thought disorder scores. On the linguistic measures, the speech of schizophrenics differed significantly from the other two groups in productivity and in the number of clearly referenced elements, a measure of cohesion. This measure of cohesion was positively correlated with TDI scores. The findings are discussed in terms of the benefits of using more objective and quantitative measurements in research on thought disorganization in schizophrenia.
Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28.
We conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on 409 independent pairs of homosexual brothers (908 analyzed individuals in 384 families), by far the largest study of its kind to date.
We identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.
Results, especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation.
Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a major wheat disease that can inflict yield losses of up to 70% on susceptible varieties under favourable environmental conditions. The timely identification of plant genetic resources likely to possess novel resistance to this disease would facilitate the rapid development of resistant wheat varieties. The focused identification of germplasm strategy (FIGS) approach was used to predict stripe rust resistance in a collection of wheat landraces conserved at ICARDA genebank. Long-term climate data for the collection sites, from which these accessions originated and stripe rust evaluation scores for one group of accessions were presented to three different non-linear models to explore the trait×collection site environment interactions. Patterns in the data detected by the models were used to predict stripe rust resistance in a second and different set of accessions. The results of the prediction were then tested against actual evaluation scores of the disease in the field. The study mimics the real scenario where requests are made to plant genetic resources curators to provide accessions that are likely to possess variation for specific traits such as disease resistance.
The models used were able to identify stripe rust-resistant accessions with a high degree of accuracy. Values as high as 0·75 for area under the curve and 0·45 for Kappa statistics, which quantify the agreement between the models’ predictions and the curator's disease scores, were achieved. This demonstrates a strong environmental component in the geographic distribution of resistance genes and therefore supports the theoretical basis for FIGS. It is argued that FIGS will improve the rate of gene discovery and efficiency of mining genetic resource collections for adaptive traits by reducing the number of accessions that are normally required for evaluation to identify such variation.
Analysis of the Dutch national invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) surveillance data by sex reveals an increase in the incidence of serotype-1 disease in young female adults in The Netherlands after the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in the national immunization schedule. This has led to an overall increase in IPD in women aged 20–45 years, which was not observed in men of the same age. No other differences in serotype shifts possibly induced by the introduction of PCV7 were observed between the sexes in this age group. Serotype 1 is a naturally fluctuating serotype in Europe and it has been associated with disease in young healthy adults before. It remains uncertain whether or not there is an association between the observed increase in serotype-1 disease in young female adults and the implementation of PCV7 in The Netherlands.
Healthcare providers and other employees, especially those who do not work in a hospital, may not easily find help after the occurrence of a blood exposure accident. In 2006, a national call center was established in the Netherlands to fill this gap.
All occupational blood exposure accidents reported to the 24-hours-per-day, 7-days-per-week call center from 2007, 2008, and 2009 were analyzed retrospectively for incidence rates, risk assessment, handling, and preventive measures taken.
A total of 2,927 accidents were reported. The highest incidence rates were reported for private clinics and hospitals (68.5 and 54.3 accidents per 1,000 person-years, respectively). Dental practices started reporting incidents frequently after the arrangement of a collective financial agreement with the call center. Employees of ambulance services, midwife practices, and private clinics reported mostly high-risk accidents, whereas penitentiaries frequently reported low-risk accidents. Employees in mental healthcare facilities, private clinics, and midwife practices reported accidents relatively late. The extent of hepatitis B vaccination in mental healthcare facilities, penitentiaries, occupational health services, and cleaning services was low (<70%).
The national call center successfully organized the national registration and handling of blood exposure accidents. The risk of blood exposure accidents could be estimated on the basis of this information for several occupational branches. Targeted preventive measures for healthcare providers and other employees at risk can next be developed.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2012;33(10):1017-1023
The burden of respiratory infections is mainly seen in primary healthcare. To evaluate the potential impact of new preventive strategies against respiratory infections, such as the implementation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines for infants in 2006 in The Netherlands, we conducted a baseline retrospective cohort study of electronic primary-care patient records to assess consultation rates, comorbidities and antibiotic prescription rates for respiratory infections in primary care. We found that between 1995 and 2005, overall registered consultation rates for lower respiratory tract infections had increased by 42·4%, upper respiratory infections declined by 4·9%, and otitis media remained unchanged. Concomitantly, there was a steady rise in overall comorbidity (75·7%) and antibiotic prescription rates (67·7%). Since Dutch primary-care rates for respiratory infections changed considerably between 1995 and 2005, these changes must be taken into account to properly evaluate the effect of population-based preventive strategies on primary-care utilization.