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Twin registries often take part in large collaborative projects and are major contributors to genome-wide association (GWA) meta-analysis studies. In this article, we describe genotyping of twin-family populations from Australia, the Midwestern USA (Avera Twin Register), the Netherlands (Netherlands Twin Register), as well as a sample of mothers of twins from Nigeria to assess the extent, if any, of genetic differences between them. Genotyping in all cohorts was done using a custom-designed Illumina Global Screening Array (GSA), optimized to improve imputation quality for population-specific GWA studies. We investigated the degree of genetic similarity between the populations using several measures of population variation with genotype data generated from the GSA. Visualization of principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the Australian, Dutch and Midwestern American populations exhibit negligible interpopulation stratification when compared to each other, to a reference European population and to globally distant populations. Estimations of fixation indices (FST values) between the Australian, Midwestern American and Netherlands populations suggest minimal genetic differentiation compared to the estimates between each population and a genetically distinct cohort (i.e., samples from Nigeria genotyped on GSA). Thus, results from this study demonstrate that genotype data from the Australian, Dutch and Midwestern American twin-family populations can be reasonably combined for joint-genetic analysis.
Porphyrins are vital pigments involved in biological energy transduction processes. Their abilities to absorb light, then convert it to energy, have raised the interest of using porphyrin nanoparticles as photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy. A recent study showed that self- assembled porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles can selectively destroy tumor cells, but detection of the cellular uptake of porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles was limited to imaging microscopy. Here we developed a novel method to rapidly identify porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles using Atmospheric Solids Analysis Probe-Mass Spectrometry (ASAP-MS). ASAP-MS can directly analyze complex mixtures without the need for sample preparation. Porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles were vaporized using heated nitrogen desolvation gas, and their thermo-profiles were examined to identify distinct mass- to-charge (M/Z) signatures. HeLa cells were incubated in growth media containing the nanoparticles, and after sufficient washing to remove residual nanoparticles, the cell suspension was loaded onto the end of ASAP glass capillary probe. Upon heating, HeLa cells were degraded and porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles were released. Vaporized nanoparticles were ionized and detected by MS. The cellular uptake of porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles was identified using this ASAP-MS method.
The fields of comparative theology and interreligious dialogue have largely presupposed the possibility of interreligious learning, but there have been few attempts to provide a philosophical framework for such learning. Utilizing the philosophical hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur, I argue that evaluations of religious truth should be understood holistically and contextually. In interreligious engagements, tensions are created in and questions are raised for one's own worldview. If one proceeds to imaginatively enter into another's worldview and finds resources there that enable one to alleviate those tensions and answer those questions, as well as make sense of one's reality in a broad way, then one may properly deem such beliefs to be true. Interreligious learning is thus construed as the recognition of truth that enables one to productively orient oneself to reality. The result is a provisional philosophical framework for understanding religious truth and interreligious learning.
Previous reports investigating adiposity and cognitive function in the population allude to a negative association, although the relationship in older adults is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of adiposity (BMI and waist:hip ratio (WHR)) with cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults (≥60 years). Participants included 5186 adults from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture ageing cohort study. Neuropsychological assessment measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) and Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Multi-variable linear regression models were used to assess the association between adiposity and cognitive function adjusting for insulin resistance, inflammation and cerebrovascular disease. The mean ages were 80·3 (sd 6·7), 71·0 (sd 7·3) and 70·2 (sd 6·3) years on the cognitive, bone and hypertensive cohorts, respectively. In the cognitive cohort, BMI was positively associated with immediate and delay memory, visuospatial/constructional ability, language and MMSE, and negatively with FAB (log-transformed), whereas WHR was negatively associated with attention. In the bone cohort, BMI was not associated with any cognitive domain, whereas WHR was negatively associated with visuospatial/constructional ability, attention and MMSE. In the hypertensive cohort, BMI was not associated with any cognitive domain, whereas WHR was negatively associated with immediate and delayed memory, visuospatial/constructional ability, language and MMSE and positively with FAB (log-transformed). In the cognitive and bone cohorts, the association of WHR and attention disappeared by further controlling for C-reactive protein and HbA1C. In this study of older adults, central adiposity was a stronger predictor of poor cognitive performance than BMI. Older adults could benefit from targeted public health strategies aimed at reducing obesity and obeseogenic risk factors to avoid/prevent/slow cognitive dysfunction.
Objective: The human gut microbiota has been demonstrated to be associated with a number of host phenotypes, including obesity and a number of obesity-associated phenotypes. This study is aimed at further understanding and describing the relationship between the gut microbiota and obesity-associated measurements obtained from human participants. Subjects/Methods: Here, we utilize genetically informative study designs, including a four-corners design (extremes of genetic risk for BMI and of observed BMI; N = 50) and the BMI monozygotic (MZ) discordant twin pair design (N = 30), in order to help delineate the role of host genetics and the gut microbiota in the development of obesity. Results: Our results highlight a negative association between BMI and alpha diversity of the gut microbiota. The low genetic risk/high BMI group of individuals had a lower gut microbiota alpha diversity when compared to the other three groups. Although the difference in alpha diversity between the lean and heavy groups of the BMI-discordant MZ twin design did not achieve significance, this difference was observed to be in the expected direction, with the heavier participants having a lower average alpha diversity. We have also identified nine OTUs observed to be associated with either a leaner or heavier phenotype, with enrichment for OTUs classified to the Ruminococcaceae and Oxalobacteraceae taxonomic families. Conclusion: Our study presents evidence of a relationship between BMI and alpha diversity of the gut microbiota. In addition to these findings, a number of OTUs were found to be significantly associated with host BMI. These findings may highlight separate subtypes of obesity, one driven by genetic factors, the other more heavily influenced by environmental factors.
Tetanus is a potentially fatal condition that is rare in urban environments but is seen in developing countries and post-natural-disaster. Therefore, the purpose of this report was to review the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and management of tetanus in the trauma patient.
A thorough literature review was conducted to look for the most current and thorough guidelines on the prophylaxis and treatment of tetanus. PUBMED (National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, Maryland USA), MEDLINE (US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, Maryland USA), and Cochrane Library (The Cochrane Collaboration; Oxford, United Kingdom) databases were searched for articles in English, published from 2005 to 2015, using the keywords “Tetanus,” “Trauma/Surgery,” and “Disaster.” Controlled trials, randomized controlled trials, trials of adult patients, published guidelines, expert opinions, and review articles were selected and extracted.
Current vaccination schedules in developed countries provide prophylaxis for tetanus. However, when severe natural disasters occur, many patients may not be able to provide a reliable vaccination history. In these situations, tetanus immune globulin (TIG) is indicated; if resources are not limited, both tetanus toxoid and TIG should be given to those with high-risk wounds. If resources are limited, TIG should be reserved for those that would benefit most or those least likely to have the protective antibodies.
Although tetanus is a disease that has a low incidence in the developed world due to high rates of immunization, during large-scale natural disasters, compounding factors like the types of injuries, lack of medical services and supplies, and the delay in treatment associated with an already low immunization rate result in an increased incidence and outbreaks of the disease that has higher mortality in an underdeveloped society. It is important for the urban physician that cares for trauma and critical patients to become familiar with the protocols for treatment and immunization of patients that have tetanus-prone wounds, as well as recognize the potential for outbreaks in the settings of major natural disasters.
FinkelsteinP, TeischL, AllenCJ, RuizG. Tetanus: A Potential Public Health Threat in Times of Disaster. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(3):339–342.
A few studies have examined the association between vitamin D and telomere length, and fewer still have examined the relationship in black or male populations. We investigated the cross-sectional association between the vitamin D metabolite 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration in plasma and relative leucocyte telomere length (LTL) in 1154 US radiologic technologists who were 48–93 years old (373 white females, 278 white males, 338 black females, 165 black males). Plasma 25(OH)D concentration was measured by the chemiluminescence immunoassay, and relative LTL was measured by quantitative PCR. Logistic regression was used to obtain OR and 95 % CI for long v. short (based on median) LTL in relation to continuous 25(OH)D, quartiles of 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D deficiency. We found no significant association between continuous 25(OH)D and long LTL in all participants (Ptrend=0·440), nor in white females (Ptrend=0·845), white males (Ptrend=0·636), black females (Ptrend=0·967) or black males (Ptrend=0·484). Vitamin D deficiency (defined as 25(OH)D<30 nmol/l), however, was significantly associated with short LTL in whites (P=0·024), but not in other groups. In this population, we found little evidence to support associations between 25(OH)D and long LTL over the entire range of 25(OH)D in the overall study population or by sex and race.
Spectra at 16 - 45 μm of several regions within the central 80″ of the Galaxy have been obtained at 20″ resolution using the Goddard Cryogenic Grating Spectrometer No. 2 on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. A broad band of excess emission extending from 24 to 45 μm is present in the spectra at positions covering the “tongue” and the inner edge of the circumnuclear disk. A similar dust emission feature has been observed in some carbon-rich evolved stars and in a nitrogen-rich evolved massive star. The observations reported here are the first detection of this dust emission feature in the interstellar medium. After considering several possible candidates of the carrier for this 30 μm dust feature, we find that MgS is the best owing to its good fit to the observed spectra. The origin of this ~ 30 μm feature in the Galactic center is unknown. Based on the theoretical results of dust condensation and elemental abundances in a supernova, we find that the supernovae in the central 500 pc could provide the amount of MgS dust, which we proposed as the carrier of the 30 μm dust feature, observed in the central 3 pc.
Drillholes made by naticid and muricid gastropods are frequently used in evolutionary and ecological studies because they provide direct, preservable evidence of predation. The muricid Ecphora is common in many Neogene Atlantic Coastal Plain assemblages in the United States, but is frequently ignored in studies of naticid predation. We used a combination of Pliocene fossil, modern beach, and experimentally derived samples to evaluate the hypothesis that Ecphora was an important source of drillholes in infaunal bivalve prey shared with naticids. We focused on the large, thick-shelled venerid, Mercenaria, which is commonly drilled by naticids today. Laboratory experiments, modern beach samples, and the published literature confirm that naticids preferentially drill near the umbo (significant clumping of holes), show a significant correlation between prey size and predator size (estimated by outer borehole diameter), and prefer Mercenaria <50 mm antero-posterior width when other prey are present. Fossil samples containing Ecphora (with or without other large muricids) show no drillhole site stereotypy (no significant clumping, greater variability in placement), no significant predator: prey size correlation, drilled prey shells larger than the largest modern naticids could produce in an experimental setting, and drillholes larger in diameter than those estimated for the largest Pliocene naticids, thus supporting our hypothesis. Substantial overlap in the placement of holes drilled by naticids and muricids, however, made identifying predators from drillhole position problematic. The lack of overlapping ranges of prey shell thickness between fossil and other samples precluded the use of drillhole morphology to establish predator identity (e.g., ratio of inner borehole diameter to outer borehole diameter, drillhole angle). Whereas the difficulty in determining predator identity from drillholes limits the types of analyses that can be reliably performed in mixed-predator assemblages, recognizing Ecphora as a prominent drilling predator creates the opportunity to investigate previously unrecognized questions.
Although rates of anxiety tend to decrease across late life, rates of anxiety increase among a subset of older adults, those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. Our understanding of anxiety in dementia is limited, in part, by a lack of anxiety measures designed for use with this population. This study sought to address limitations of the literature by developing a new measure of anxiety for cognitively impaired individuals, the anxiety in cognitive impairment and dementia (ACID) Scales, which includes both proxy (ACID-PR) and self-report (ACID-SR) versions.
The ACID-SR and ACID-PR were administered to 45 residents, aged 60 years and older, of three long-term care (LTC) facilities, and 38 professional caregivers at these facilities. Other measures of anxiety, and measures of depression, functional ability, cognition, and general physical and mental health were also administered.
Initial evaluation of its psychometric properties revealed adequate to good internal consistency for the ACID-PR and ACID-SR. Evidence for convergent validity of measures obtained with the ACID-SR and ACID-PR was demonstrated by moderate-to-strong associations with measures of worry, depressive symptoms, and general mental health. Discriminant validity of measures obtained with the ACID-SR and ACID-PR was demonstrated by weak correlations with measures of cognition, functional ability, and general physical well-being.
The preliminary results suggest that the ACID-SR and ACID-PR can obtain reliable and valid measures of anxiety among individuals with cognitive impairment. Given the subjective nature of anxiety, it may be prudent to collect self-report of anxiety symptoms even among those with moderate cognitive impairment.
There is evidence for health benefits from ‘Palaeolithic’ diets; however, there are a few data on the acute effects of rationally designed Palaeolithic-type meals. In the present study, we used Palaeolithic diet principles to construct meals comprising readily available ingredients: fish and a variety of plants, selected to be rich in fibre and phyto-nutrients. We investigated the acute effects of two Palaeolithic-type meals (PAL 1 and PAL 2) and a reference meal based on WHO guidelines (REF), on blood glucose control, gut hormone responses and appetite regulation. Using a randomised cross-over trial design, healthy subjects were given three meals on separate occasions. PAL2 and REF were matched for energy, protein, fat and carbohydrates; PAL1 contained more protein and energy. Plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) and peptide YY (PYY) concentrations were measured over a period of 180 min. Satiation was assessed using electronic visual analogue scale (EVAS) scores. GLP-1 and PYY concentrations were significantly increased across 180 min for both PAL1 (P= 0·001 and P< 0·001) and PAL2 (P= 0·011 and P= 0·003) compared with the REF. Concomitant EVAS scores showed increased satiety. By contrast, GIP concentration was significantly suppressed. Positive incremental AUC over 120 min for glucose and insulin did not differ between the meals. Consumption of meals based on Palaeolithic diet principles resulted in significant increases in incretin and anorectic gut hormones and increased perceived satiety. Surprisingly, this was independent of the energy or protein content of the meal and therefore suggests potential benefits for reduced risk of obesity.
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is widely applied in the emergency setting; it is used to guide trauma triage and for the application of essential interventions such as endotracheal intubation. However, inter-rater reliability of GCS scoring has been shown to be low for inexperienced users, especially for the motor component. Concerns regarding the accuracy and validity of GCS scoring between various types of emergency care providers have been expressed.
The objective of this study was to determine the degree of accuracy of GCS scoring between various emergency care providers within a modern Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system.
This was a prospective observational study of the accuracy of GCS scoring using a convenience sample of various types of emergency medical providers using standardized video vignettes. Ten video vignettes using adults were prepared and scored by two board-certified neurologists. Inter-rater reliability was excellent (Cohen's κ = 1). Subjects viewed the video and then scored each scenario. The scoring of subjects was compared to expert scoring of the two board-certified neurologists.
A total of 217 emergency providers watched 10 video vignettes and provided 2,084 observations of GCS scoring. Overall total GCS scoring accuracy was 33.1% (95% CI, 30.2-36.0). The highest accuracy was observed on the verbal component of the GCS (69.2%; 95% CI, 67.8-70.4). The eye-opening component was the second most accurate (61.2%; 95% CI, 59.5-62.9). The least accurate component was the motor component (59.8%; 95% CI, 58.1-61.5). A small number of subjects (9.2%) assigned GCS scores that do not exist in the GCS scoring system.
Glasgow Coma Scale scoring should not be considered accurate. A more simplified scoring system should be developed and validated.
BledsoeBE, CaseyMJ, FeldmanJ, JohnsonL, DielS, ForredW, GormanC. Glasgow Coma Scale Scoring is Often Inaccurate. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(1):1-8.