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Zn plays an important role in maintaining the anti-oxidant status within the heart and helps to counter the acute redox stress that occurs during myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion. Individuals with low Zn levels are at greater risk of developing an acute myocardial infarction; however, the impact of this on the extent of myocardial injury is unknown. The present study aimed to compare the effects of dietary Zn depletion with in vitro removal of Zn (N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis(2-pyridinylmethyl)-1,2-ethanediamine (TPEN)) on the outcome of acute myocardial infarction and vascular function. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed either a Zn-adequate (35 mg Zn/kg diet) or Zn-deficient (<1 mg Zn/kg diet) diet for 2 weeks before heart isolation. Perfused hearts were subjected to a 30 min ischaemia/2 h reperfusion (I/R) protocol, during which time ventricular arrhythmias were recorded and after which infarct size was measured, along with markers of anti-oxidant status. In separate experiments, hearts were challenged with the Zn chelator TPEN (10 µm) before ischaemia onset. Both dietary and TPEN-induced Zn depletion significantly extended infarct size; dietary Zn depletion was associated with reduced total cardiac glutathione (GSH) levels, while TPEN decreased cardiac superoxide dismutase 1 levels. TPEN, but not dietary Zn depletion, also suppressed ventricular arrhythmias and depressed vascular responses to nitric oxide. These findings demonstrate that both modes of Zn depletion worsen the outcome from I/R but through different mechanisms. Dietary Zn deficiency, resulting in reduced cardiac GSH, is the most appropriate model for determining the role of endogenous Zn in I/R injury.
The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.
The macular carotenoids lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ) accumulate at the macula, where they are collectively referred to as macular pigment (MP). Augmentation of this pigment, typically achieved through diet and supplementation, enhances visual function and protects against progression of age-related macular degeneration. However, it is known that eggs are a rich dietary source of L and Z, in a highly bioavailable matrix. In this single-blind placebo-controlled study, L- and MZ-enriched eggs and control non-enriched eggs were fed to human subjects (mean age 41 and 35 years, respectively) over an 8-week period, and outcome measures included MP, visual function and serum concentrations of carotenoids and cholesterol. Serum carotenoid concentrations increased significantly in control and enriched egg groups, but to a significantly greater extent in the enriched egg group (P<0·001 for L, Z and MZ). There was no significant increase in MP in either study group post intervention, and we saw no significant improvement in visual performance in either group. Total cholesterol increased significantly in each group, but it did not exceed the upper limit of the normative range (6·5 mmol/l). Therefore, carotenoid-enriched eggs may represent an effective dietary source of L, Z and MZ, reflected in significantly raised serum concentrations of these carotenoids, and consequentially improved bioavailability for capture by target tissues. However, benefits in terms of MP augmentation and /or improved visual performance were not realised over the 8-week study period, and a study of greater duration will be required to address these questions.
The xanthophyll carotenoids lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ) are found at the macula, the central part of the retina, where they are referred to as macular pigment (MP). MP is studied in human subjects because of its proven role in enhancing visual function and its putative role in protecting against age-related macular degeneration. These benefits are probably due to the antioxidant and short-wavelength filtering properties of MP. It is known that eggs are a dietary source of L and Z. This experiment was designed to measure the egg yolk carotenoid response to hen supplementation with L, Z and MZ. A total of forty hens were used in the trial and were divided into eight groups of five hens. Each group was supplemented (with about 140 mg active xanthophylls/kg feed) with one of the following oil-based carotenoid formulations for 6 weeks: unesterified L (group 1); L diacetate (group 2); unesterified Z (group 3); Z diacetate (group 4); unesterified MZ (group 5); MZ diacetate (group 6); L–MZ (1:1) diacetate mixture (group 7); L–MZ diacetate (1:3) mixture (group 8). Yolk carotenoid content was analysed weekly (in four randomly selected eggs) by HPLC. We found that hens supplemented with Z diacetate and MZ diacetate produced eggs with significantly greater carotenoid concentrations than their free form counterparts. This finding potentially represents the development of a novel food, suitable to increase MP and its constituent carotenoids in serum.
The initial management of a trauma patient often involves imaging in the form of x-rays, computed tomography (CT) and other radiographic studies, which expose the patient to ionizing radiation, an entity known to cause tissue injury and malignancy at high doses. The purpose of this study was to use a calculation-based method to determine the radiation exposure of trauma patients undergoing trauma team activation in a Canadian tertiary-care trauma centre.
A retrospective chart review was conducted using the Nova Scotia Provincial Trauma Registry. All patients age 16 years old and over who underwent trauma team activation between March 1, 2008 and March 1, 2009 were included. Patients who died prior to imaging tests were excluded. Dose reports for each CT were used to calculate a whole-body radiation dose for each patient.
There were 230 trauma team activations during the study period, of which 206 had CT imaging. Data were available for 162 patients. The mean whole-body radiation exposure for all patients was 24.4±10.3 mSv, which may correlate to one additional cancer death for every 100 trauma patients scanned.
Trauma patients are exposed to significant amounts of radiation during their initial trauma work-up, which may increase the risk of fatal cancer. Clinicians who care for these patients must be aware of the radiation exposure, and take measures to limit radiation exposure of trauma patients.
In the Origin, Darwin explained that he used the term “chance” variation only to signify his (and others’) ignorance of the process by which new traits arise. In an enthusiastic review of the book, Asa Gray suggested a friendly amendment: that as long as the cause of variation was unknown, it should be attributed to God. Gray’s idea was that God had arranged for particular traits to arise in particular lineages at particular times, to be subsequently accumulated by natural selection. Before Gray’s suggestion, Darwin had hoped that evolution by natural selection might be viewed simply as God’s way of making new species. But in reflecting on Gray’s suggestion, Darwin realized that reconciling evolution by natural selection with any sort of conventional theology was going to be much more difficult than he had imagined (Figs. 16.1 and 16.2).
On the one hand, unless God arranged for just the right traits to arise in just the right lineages at just the right times (as Gray recommended), then evolution by natural selection would not guarantee the existence of any particular evolutionary outcomes, humans included. And surely humans were the end of Creation, no matter what the means. On the other hand, this way of making species required an awful lot of trouble on God’s part. Evolution by natural selection initially seemed like such a simple way for God to proceed: he only had to establish a set of laws (to govern population growth, inheritance, etc.) and then sit back and wait for species to make themselves, rather than creating each one separately. But the degree of divine guidance that Gray suggested – presumably for each and every species, not just humans – was as much or more trouble than special creation. Indeed, it was just a complicated form of special creation.
Macular pigment (MP) is composed of lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ). The present study reports on serum response to three different MP supplements in normal subjects (n 27) and in subjects with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) (n 27). Subjects were randomly assigned to: Group 1 (20 mg L and 2 mg Z), Group 2 (10 mg L, 2 mg Z and 10 mg MZ) or Group 3 (3 mg L, 2 mg Z and 17 mg MZ). Serum carotenoids were quantified at baseline, and at 4 and 8 weeks using HPLC. Response data for normal and AMD subjects were comparable and therefore combined for analysis. We report response as the average of the 4- and 8-week concentrations (saturation plateau). Serum L increased significantly in Group 1 (0·036 μmol/l per mg (269 %); P< 0·001) and Group 2 (0·079 μmol/l per mg (340 %); P< 0·001), with no significant change in Group 3 (0·006 μmol/l per mg (7 %); P= 0·466). Serum Z increased significantly in Group 1 (0·037 μmol/l per mg (69 %); P= 0·001) and Group 2 (0·015 μmol/l per mg (75 %); P< 0·001), with no significant change in Group 3 ( − 0·0002 μmol/l per mg ( − 6 %); P= 0·384). Serum MZ increased significantly in Group 1 (0·0094 μmol/l (absolute value); P= 0·015), Group 2 (0·005 μmol/l per mg; P< 0·001) and Group 3 (0·004 μmol/l per mg; P< 0·001). The formulation containing all three macular carotenoids (Group 2 supplement) was the most efficacious in terms of achieving the highest combined concentration of the three MP constituent carotenoids in serum, thereby potentially optimising the bioavailability of these compounds for capture by the target tissue (retina).
Reaction centers (RCs) from natural photosynthetic cells are photoactive proteins, which generate electron-hole pairs in presence of light. In a new approach presented in this work, a solution of suspended RCs with mediators has been applied as the electrolyte to build electrochemical based photovoltaic (PV) devices. In this approach, the mediators transfer charges from the RCs to the electrodes (indirect charge transfer). Various metallic and wide bandgap semiconducting materials, including Carbon, Au, Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), SnO2, WO3, have been tested as the electrodes. Among all WO3, which is a semiconductor, have shown the largest photocurrent density with an amount of ∼5.1 μA/cm2. The results show that the material of the electrode can affect the rates of the reactions in the cell. Choosing an appropriate material for the electrode, the charge transfer from the mediators to the electrode would be rectified to achieve a large photocurrent.
The high quantum efficiency (~100%) in the bacterial photosynthetic reaction center (RC) has inspired research on the application of RCs to build protein based solar cells. Conventionally, applying RCs as the photosensitive layer on the surface of a carbon electrode has shown poor photocurrents in the cells. The low photocurrent is partly due to the weak absorption of light in the monolayer of RCs. Also, an Atomic Force Microscopy image of the electrode shows lots of defects on the immobilized RCs at the electrode surface. In this work, we have built a bio-photoelectrochemical cell in which the RCs are floating in the electrolyte instead of being attached to the surface of an electrode. Despite the simple structure of the cell, the photocurrent is significantly higher in the new cell compared to when RCs are attached to an electrode. The amplitude of current reached to ~40 nA for free floating RCs, about five times larger than that in the cell with attached RCs. The aging effect was studied in both cells in a course of a week. The lifetime of attached RCs on electrode surface was slightly better than solubilized RCs in the electrolyte. Also, it is found that the mechanism which governs the charge transfer from RCs to the electrodes is the same in both bio-photoelectrochemical cells.
The present report summarises a workshop convened by the UK Food Standards Agency (Agency) on 25 March 2010 to discuss the current Agency's funded research on the use of metabolomics technologies in human nutrition research. The objectives of this workshop were to review progress to date, to identify technical challenges and ways of overcoming them, and to discuss future research priorities and the application of metabolomics in public health nutrition research and surveys. Results from studies nearing completion showed that by using carefully designed dietary and sampling regimens, it is possible to identify novel biomarkers of food intake that could not have been predicted from current knowledge of food composition. These findings provide proof-of-principle that the metabolomics approach can be used to develop new putative biomarkers of dietary intake. The next steps will be to validate these putative biomarkers, to develop rapid and inexpensive assays for biomarkers of food intake of high public health relevance, and to test their utility in population cohort studies and dietary surveys.
The objective of the present study was to investigate whether weight loss is associated with changes in serum concentrations of lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z), and/or macular pigment optical density (MPOD). We recruited 104 overweight subjects into this randomised controlled weight loss study. For the intervention group (I group), weight was assessed weekly and body composition, including BMI (kg/m2) and body fat (kg and percentage), was assessed at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Weight loss was encouraged using dietary and exercise programmes. MPOD was measured by heterochromatic flicker photometry and serum concentrations of L and Z by HPLC (at baseline, 1, 3, 6 and 12 months). The control (C) group was assessed at baseline and 12 months. Repeated-measures ANOVA (RMA) demonstrated significant weight loss in the I group over the study period (P = 0·000). There was no significant weight change in the C group (P = 0·993). RMA of dietary L and Z, serum L and Z, and MPOD demonstrated no significant time or time × group interaction effect in any of these parameters (P>0·05 for all), with the exception of a significant decrease in the dietary intake of Z seen in both groups, over the study period (P < 0·05). There was a positive and significant relationship between body fat loss (kg) and increase in serum concentrations of L in the I group (r 0·521; P = 0·006). Our finding that a reduction in body composition (e.g. fat mass) is related to increases in serum concentrations of L is consistent with the hypothesis that body fat acts as a reservoir for this carotenoid, and that weight loss can positively influence circulating carotenoid levels.
There can be good reasons to doubt the authority of a group of scientists. But those reasons do not include lack of unanimity among them. Indeed, holding science to a unanimity or near-unanimity standard has a pernicious effect on scientific deliberation, and on the transparency that is so crucial to the authority of science in a democracy. What authorizes a conclusion is the quality of the deliberation that produced it, which is enhanced by the presence of a non-dismissible minority. Scientists can speak as one in more ways than one. We recommend a different sort of consensus that is partly substantive and partly procedural. It is a version of what Margaret Gilbert calls “joint acceptance”–we call it “deliberative acceptance.” It capitalizes on there being a persistent minority, and thereby encourages accurate reporting of the state of agreement and disagreement among deliberators.