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White matter development during adolescents is crucial for a mature integration of neural networks in the brain. Autism spectrum condition (ASC), characterized by social and communication difficulties and rigid behaviour may interact with white matter development observed during adolescence. Changes in white matter development may link autistic symptoms to its genetic underpinnings and explain a 10-fold increase in susceptibility to ASC among siblings of individuals with ASC.
We used diffusion tensor imaging to study an association between age and white matter integrity measures, fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), in adolescents with ASC, their siblings and age-matched healthy controls. Diffusion-weighted data were acquired with 64-direction protocol with 3mm slices and TR of 6600ms and tract-based spatial statistics analysis was performed.
The control subjects showed robust signs of increase in white matter integrity correlated with age. In contrast, individuals with ASC showed significantly lower negative correlation between MD and age in a broad area centred in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (rSLF). When the three eigenvalues constituting a tensor ellipsoid were considered separately, siblings of individuals with ASC showed a diminished negative correlation between the second eigenvalue and age also centred in the rSLF.
Adolescents with ASC and their siblings experience alterations in white matter development in comparison to age-matched healthy controls, which are similar in direction yet different in scale for the two affected groups. The alterations are observed in the area associated with flexibility of behaviour and may explain both symptoms of ASC and increased susceptibility to ASC.
Analysis of human remains and a copper band found in the center of a Late Archaic (ca. 5000–3000 cal BP) shell ring demonstrate an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed based on “down-the-line” models of exchange. These findings challenge prevalent notions that view preagricultural Native American communities as relatively isolated from one another and suggest instead that wide social networks spanned much of North America thousands of years before the advent of domestication.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Preadmission skin antisepsis, while controversial, has gained acceptance as a strategy for reducing the risk of SSI. In this study, we analyze the benefit of an electronic alert system for enhancing compliance to preadmission application of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Following informed consent, 100 healthy volunteers in an academic, tertiary care medical center were randomized to 5 chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin application groups: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive applications. Participants were further randomized into 2 subgroups: with or without electronic alert. Skin surface concentrations of CHG (μg/mL) were analyzed using a colorimetric assay at 5 separate anatomic sites.
Preadmission application of chlorhexidine gluconate, 2%
Mean composite skin surface CHG concentrations in volunteer participants receiving EA following 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 applications were 1,040.5, 1,334.4, 1,278.2, 1,643.9, and 1,803.1 µg/mL, respectively, while composite skin surface concentrations in the no-EA group were 913.8, 1,240.0, 1,249.8, 1,194.4, and 1,364.2 µg/mL, respectively (ANOVA, P<.001). Composite ratios (CHG concentration/minimum inhibitory concentration required to inhibit the growth of 90% of organisms [MIC90]) for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 applications using the 2% CHG cloth were 208.1, 266.8, 255.6, 328.8, and 360.6, respectively, representing CHG skin concentrations effective against staphylococcal surgical pathogens. The use of an electronic alert system resulted in significant increase in skin concentrations of CHG in the 4- and 5-application groups (P<.04 and P<.007, respectively).
The findings of this study suggest an evidence-based standardized process that includes use of an Internet-based electronic alert system to improve patient compliance while maximizing skin surface concentrations effective against MRSA and other staphylococcal surgical pathogens.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):254–259
Effects of a marine oil-based n-3 LCPUFA supplement (mLCPUFA) fed from weaning until the end of the next lactation to sows with a predicted low litter birth weight (LBW) phenotype on growth performance and carcass quality of litters born to these sows were studied, based on the hypothesis that LBW litters would benefit most from mLCPUFA supplementation. Sows were allocated to be fed either standard corn/soybean meal-based gestation and lactation diets (CON), or the same diets enriched with 0.5% of the mLCPUFA supplement at the expense of corn. The growth performance from birth until slaughter of the litters with the lowest average birth weight in each treatment (n=24 per treatment) is reported in this paper. At weaning, each litter was split between two nursery pens with three to six pigs per pen. At the end of the 5-week nursery period, two barrows and two gilts from each litter that had individual birth weights closest to their litter average birth weight, were moved to experimental grow–finish pens (barn A), where they were housed as two pigs per pen, sorted by sex within litter. Remaining pigs in each litter were moved to another grow–finish barn (barn B) and kept in mixed-sex pens of up to 10 littermates. After 8 weeks, one of the two pigs in each pen in barn A was relocated to the pens holding their respective littermates in barn B. The remaining barrows and gilts were individually housed in the pens in barn A until slaughter. Maternal mLCPUFA supplementation increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentration in the brain, liver and Semitendinosus muscle of stillborn pigs (P<0.01), did not affect eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA concentrations in sow serum at the end of lactation, and did not affect average daily gain, average daily feed intake or feed utilization efficiency of the offspring. BW was higher (P<0.01) in the second half of the grow–finish phase in pigs from mLCPUFA sows compared with controls in barn A, where space and competition for feed was minimal, but not barn B. Carcass quality was not affected by treatment for pigs from barn A, but maternal mLCPUFA supplementation negatively affected carcass quality in pigs from barn B. Collectively, these results suggest that nutritional supplementation of sows can have lasting effects on litter development, but that feeding mLCPUFA to sows during gestation and lactation was not effective in improving growth rates or carcass quality of LBW litters.
The effects of a marine oil-based n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (mLCPUFA) supplement fed to the sow from weaning, through the rebreeding period, during gestation and until end of lactation on litter characteristics from birth until weaning were studied in sows with known litter birth weight phenotypes. It was hypothesized that low birth weight (LBW) litters would benefit more from mLCPUFA supplementation than high birth weight litters. A total of 163 sows (mean parity=4.9±0.9) were rebred after weaning. Sows were pair-matched by parity and litter average birth weight of the previous three litters. Within pairs, sows were allocated to be fed either standard corn/soyabean meal-based gestation and lactation diets (CON), or the same diets enriched with 0.5% of the mLCPUFA supplement at the expense of corn. Each litter between 9 and 16 total pigs born was classified as LBW or medium/high average birth weight (MHBW) litter and there was a significant correlation (P<0.001) between litter average birth weight of the current and previous litters within sows (r=0.49). Sow serum was harvested at day 113 of gestation for determination of immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations. The number of pigs born total and alive were lower (P=0.01) in mLCPUFA than CON sows, whereas the number of stillborn and mummified pigs were similar between treatments. Number of stillborns (trend) and mummies (P<0.01) were higher in LBW than MHBW litters. Tissue weights and brain : tissue weight ratios were similar between treatments, but LBW litters had decreased tissue weights and increased brain : tissue weight ratios compared with MHBW litters. Placental weight was lower (P=0.01) in LBW than MHBW litters, but was not different between treatments. Average and total litter weight at day 1 was similar between treatments. mLCPUFA increased weaning weight (P=0.08) and average daily gain (P<0.05) in MHBW litters, but not in LBW litters. Pre-weaning mortality was similar between treatments, but was higher (P<0.01) in LBW than MHBW litters. IgG concentration in sow serum was similar between treatments and litter birth weight categories. In conclusion, litter birth weight phenotype was repeatable within sows and LBW litters showed the benchmarks of intra-uterine growth retardation (lower placental weight and brain sparing effects). As maternal mLCPUFA supplementation decreased litter size overall, only improved litter growth rate until weaning in MHBW litters, and did not affect pre-weaning mortality, maternal mLCPUFA supplementation was not an effective strategy in our study for mitigating negative effects of a LBW litter phenotype.
Mentalizing deficits are a hallmark of the autism spectrum condition (ASC) and a potential endophenotype for atypical social cognition in ASC. Differences in performance and neural activation on the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ task (the Eyes task) have been identified in individuals with ASC in previous studies.
Performance on the Eyes task along with the associated neural activation was examined in adolescents with ASC (n = 50), their unaffected siblings (n = 40) and typically developing controls (n = 40). Based on prior literature that males and females with ASC display different cognitive and associated neural characteristics, analyses were stratified by sex. Three strategies were applied to test for endophenotypes at the level of neural activation: (1) identifying and locating conjunctions of ASC–control and sibling–control differences; (2) examining whether the sibling group is comparable to the ASC or intermediate between the ASC and control groups; and (3) examining spatial overlaps between ASC–control and sibling–control differences across multiple thresholds.
Impaired behavioural performance on the Eyes task was observed in males with ASC compared to controls, but only at trend level in females; and no difference in performance was identified between sibling and same-sex control groups in both sexes. Neural activation showed a substantial endophenotype effect in the female groups but this was only modest in the male groups.
Behavioural impairment on complex emotion recognition associated with mental state attribution is a phenotypic, rather than an endophenotypic, marker of ASC. However, the neural response during the Eyes task is a potential endophenotypic marker for ASC, particularly in females.
The WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) Divide deep ice core was recently completed to a total depth of 3405 m, ending 50 m above the bed. Investigation of the visual stratigraphy and grain characteristics indicates that the ice column at the drilling location is undisturbed by any large-scale overturning or discontinuity. The climate record developed from this core is therefore likely to be continuous and robust. Measured grain-growth rates, recrystallization characteristics, and grain-size response at climate transitions fit within current understanding. Significant impurity control on grain size is indicated from correlation analysis between impurity loading and grain size. Bubble-number densities and bubble sizes and shapes are presented through the full extent of the bubbly ice. Where bubble elongation is observed, the direction of elongation is preferentially parallel to the trace of the basal (0001) plane. Preferred crystallographic orientation of grains is present in the shallowest samples measured, and increases with depth, progressing to a vertical-girdle pattern that tightens to a vertical single-maximum fabric. This single-maximum fabric switches into multiple maxima as the grain size increases rapidly in the deepest, warmest ice. A strong dependence of the fabric on the impurity-mediated grain size is apparent in the deepest samples.
The consequences of a low litter average birth weight phenotype for postnatal growth performance and carcass quality of all progeny, and testicular development in male offspring, were investigated. Using data from 25 sows with one, and 223 sows with two consecutive farrowing events, individual birth weight (BW) was measured and each litter between 9 and 16 total pigs born was classified as low (LBW), medium (MBW) or high (HBW) birth weight: low and high BW being defined as >1 standard deviation below or above, respectively, the population mean for each litter size. Litter average BW was repeatable within sows. At castration, testicular tissue was collected from 40 male pigs in LBW and HBW litters with individual BW close to their litter average BW and used for histomorphometric analysis. LBW piglets had a lower absolute number of germ cells, Sertoli cells and Leydig cells in their testes and a higher brain : testis weight ratio than HBW piglets. Overall, LBW litters had lower placental weight and higher brain : liver, brain : intestine and brain : Semitendinosus muscle weight ratios than MBW and HBW litters. In the nursery and grow–finish (GF) phase, pigs were kept in pens by BW classification (9 HBW, 17 MBW and 10 LBW pens) with 13 males and 13 females per pen. Average daily gain tended to be lower in LBW than HBW litters in lactation (P = 0.06) and throughout the nursery and GF phases (P < 0.01), resulting in an increasing difference in body weight between LBW, MBW and HBW litters (P < 0.05). Average daily feed intake was lower (P < 0.001) in LBW than HBW litters in the nursery and GF phases. Feed utilization efficiency (feed/gain) was similar for LBW and HBW litters in the nursery, but was lower (P < 0.001) in HBW than LBW litters in the GF phase. By design, slaughter weight was similar between BW classifications; however, LBW litters needed 9 more days to reach the same slaughter weight than HBW litters (P < 0.001). BW classification did not affect carcass composition traits. In conclusion, LBW litters showed benchmarks of intrauterine growth retardation, LBW had a negative impact on testicular development and germ and somatic cell populations, and was associated with decreased postnatal growth during all phases of production; however, no measurable effect on carcass composition traits was established.
The aim of this study was to investigate spatial variation in risk of hospitalization in childhood pneumonia and empyema in the North of England and associated risk factors. Data on childhood (0–14 years) hospital admissions with a diagnosis pneumonia or empyema were linked to postcode districts. Bayesian conditional autoregressive models were used to evaluate spatial variation and the relevance of specific spatial covariates in an area-based study using postcode as the areal unit. There was a sixfold variation in the risk of hospitalization due to pneumonia across the study region. Variation in risk was associated with material deprivation, Child Well-being Index (CWI) health domain score, number of children requiring local authority support, and distance to hospital. No significant spatial variation in risk for empyema was found.
The role of radio polarimetry in the understanding of GPS and CSS sources is explored. After an initial discussion of what can be learned from polarimetry, the expectations of a simple evolutionary sequence of GPS/CSO to CSS to FR I/FR II sources are explored. Observational results are then compared with the expectations. Conclusions include: the GPS category is likely not a single homogeneous class of objects; Faraday depth effects are very strong inside the inner 3 kpc of CSS and CSO sources; in at least 3C 138 the Faraday screen has very fine scale (subparsec) structure; and there is evidence for increased ionisation near bends in some CSS jets probably due to jet–ISM interaction. New results on 3C 138, 3C 43, and 3C 454 are given.
The compact steep spectrum (CSS) and gigahertz peaked spectrum (GPS) sources are widely believed to be young radio sources, with ages ≤106 yr. If the activity in the nucleus is fuelled by the supply of gas, one might find evidence of this gas by studying the structural and polarisation characteristics of CSS sources and their evolution through this gas. In this paper we discuss some of the possible ‘smoking-gun’ evidence of this gas which may have triggered and fuelled the radio source.
Feeding n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) to gilts or sows has shown different responses to litter growth, pre-weaning mortality and subsequent reproductive performance of the sow. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) that feeding a marine oil-based supplement rich in protected n-3 LCPUFAs to gilts in established gestation would improve the growth performance of their litters; and (2) that continued feeding of the supplement during lactation and after weaning would offset the negative effects of lactational catabolism induced, using an established experimental model involving feed restriction of lactating primiparous sows. A total of 117 primiparous sows were pair-matched at day 60 of gestation by weight, and when possible, litter of origin, and were allocated to be either control sows (CON) fed standard gestation and lactation diets, or treated sows (LCPUFA) fed the standard diets supplemented with 84 g/day of a n-3 LCPUFA rich supplement, from day 60 of first gestation, through a 21-day lactation, and until euthanasia at day 30 of their second gestation. All sows were feed restricted during the last 7 days of lactation to induce catabolism, providing a background challenge against which to determine beneficial effects of n-3 LCPUFA supplementation on subsequent reproduction. In the absence of an effect on litter size or birth weight, n-3 LCPUFA tended to improve piglet BW gain from birth until 34 days after weaning (P = 0.06), while increasing pre-weaning mortality (P = 0.05). It did not affect energy utilization by the sow during lactation, thus not improving the catabolic state of the sows. Supplementation from weaning until day 30 of second gestation did not have an effect on embryonic weight, ovulation rate or early embryonic survival, but did increase corpora lutea (CL) weight (P = 0.001). Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels were increased in sow serum and CL (P < 0.001), whereas only DHA levels increased in embryos (P < 0.01). In conclusion, feeding n-3 LCPUFA to gilts tended to improve litter growth, but did not have an effect on overall subsequent reproductive performance.