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SNP in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is associated with risk of lower respiratory infections. The influence of genetic variation in the vitamin D pathway resulting in susceptibility to upper respiratory infections (URI) has not been investigated. We evaluated the influence of thirty-three SNP in eleven vitamin D pathway genes (DBP, DHCR7, RXRA, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP3A4, CYP27A1, LRP2, CUBN and VDR) resulting in URI risk in 725 adults in London, UK, using an additive model with adjustment for potential confounders and correction for multiple comparisons. Significant associations in this cohort were investigated in a validation cohort of 737 children in Manchester, UK. In all, three SNP in VDR (rs4334089, rs11568820 and rs7970314) and one SNP in CYP3A4 (rs2740574) were associated with risk of URI in the discovery cohort after adjusting for potential confounders and correcting for multiple comparisons (adjusted incidence rate ratio per additional minor allele ≥1·15, Pfor trend ≤0·030). This association was replicated for rs4334089 in the validation cohort (Pfor trend=0·048) but not for rs11568820, rs7970314 or rs2740574. Carriage of the minor allele of the rs4334089 SNP in VDR was associated with increased susceptibility to URI in children and adult cohorts in the United Kingdom.
Texture-engineered ceramics enable access to a vast array of novel texture-property relations leading to property values ranging between those of single crystals and isotropic bulk ceramics. Recently developed templated grain growth and magnetic alignment texturing methods yield high quality crystallographic texture, and thus significant advances in achievable texture-engineered properties in magnetic, piezoelectric, electronic, optical, thermoelectric, and structural ceramics. In this paper, we outline the fundamental basis for these texture-engineered properties and review recent contributions to the field of texture-engineered ceramics with an update on the properties of textured lead-free and lead-based piezoelectrics. We propose that further property improvements can be realized through development of processes that improve crystallographic alignment of the grain structure, create biaxial texture, and explore a wider array of crystallographic orientations. There is a critical need to model the physics of texture-engineered ceramics, and more comprehensively characterize texture, thus enabling testing of texture orientation-property relations and materials performance. We believe that in situ measurements of texture evolution can lead to a more fundamental and comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of texture development.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Technology-based dietary assessment offers solutions to many of the limitations of traditional dietary assessment methodologies including cost, participation rates and the accuracy of data collected. The 24-h dietary recall (24HDR) method is currently the most utilised method for the collection of dietary intake data at a national level. Recently there have been many developments using web-based platforms to collect food intake data using the principles of the 24HDR method. This review identifies web- and computer-based 24HDR tools that have been developed for both children and adult population groups, and examines common design features and the methods used to investigate the performance and validity of these tools. Overall, there is generally good to strong agreement between web-based 24HDR and respective reference measures for intakes of macro- and micronutrients.
Increased substitution of marine ingredients by terrestrial plant products in aquafeeds has been proven to be suitable for Atlantic salmon farming. However, a reduction in n-3 long-chain PUFA is a consequence of this substitution. In contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to the effects of fishmeal and oil substitution on levels of micronutrients such as Se, considering fish are major sources of this mineral for human consumers. To evaluate the effects of dietary marine ingredient substitution on tissue Se distribution and the expression of Se metabolism and antioxidant enzyme genes, Atlantic salmons were fed three feeds based on commercial formulations with increasing levels of plant proteins (PP) and vegetable oil. Lipid content in flesh did not vary at any sampling point, but it was higher in the liver of 1 kg of fish fed higher PP. Fatty acid content reflected dietary input and was related to oxidation levels (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances). Liver had the highest Se levels, followed by head kidney, whereas the lowest contents were found in brain and gill. The Se concentration of flesh decreased considerably with high levels of substitution, reducing the added value of fish consumption. Only the brain showed significant differences in glutathione peroxidase, transfer RNA selenocysteine 1-associated protein 1b and superoxide dismutase expression, whereas no significant regulation of Se-related genes was found in liver. Although Se levels in the diets satisfied the essential requirements of salmon, high PP levels led to a reduction in the supply of this essential micronutrient.
We present the results of a study of the solvothermal synthesis of mixed-metal cerium-containing oxides all prepared from CeCl3.7H2O at less than 250 ºC in single step reactions. The use of NaBiO3 in the presence of aqueous NaOH yields fluorite solid solutions Ce1-xBixO2-x/2 (x ≤ 0.6), whereas the use of either H2O2 or NaBrO3 as oxidant in the presence of TiF3 yields a Ce(IV) pyrochlore (Na0.33Ce0.67)2Ti2O7. With replacement of a fraction of the Ti reagent by Sn(IV) acetate, tin doping is possible in the pyrochlore. The materials have all been assessed for their use in catalysis by performing temperature programmed reduction (TPR) experiments under dilute hydrogen flow. The cerium-bismuth oxides show large and apparently reversible hydrogen uptake, but in situ powder X-ray diffraction shows that this is accompanied by phase separation into bismuth metal and CeO2 that occurs over 5 or more TPR cycles. In contrast, the cerium (IV) titanate pyrochlore shows reversible reduction at low temperature (150 ºC, after an activation step), which gives the material potential use as a precious metal support for catalysis: such as in the water-gas-shift reaction. Although Sn doping lowers the onset of reduction of the pyrochlore, consistent with an expanded lattice, the materials suffer from collapse to give SnO.