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Silene ciliata (Caryophyllaceae) is a key species to test evolutionary hypotheses in a global warming context. The recent advances in Next Generation Sequencing technologies can help in providing clues about climate-mediated local adaptation. In the present study, we analysed the full transcriptome of six individuals of S. ciliata from Central Spain, by aligning it with the transcriptome of S. latifolia. We aimed (a) to identify Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the transcriptome of the species, (b) to describe the biological function of the polymorphic genes expressed and (c) to identify loci that may be involved in local adaptation processes at optimal and marginal populations of the species. We identified a total of 147,118 SNPs distributed throughout 12,688 sequences. The number of polymorphic sequences annotated was 8023. One hundred thirty sequences containing polymorphisms strongly associated with optimal and marginal conditions were selected. Gene ontology searches were successful for 118, and many of these were related to responses to stress (n = 19) and abiotic stimulus (n = 16). Genomic data generated provide a starting point for further research on the identification of candidate genes related to local adaptation and other processes in the species.
The aim of the study was to determine the main factors (sociodemographic, anthropometric, lifestyle and health status) associated with high Na excretion in a representative population of Chile.
Na excretion (g/d), a valid marker of Na intake, was determined by urine analysis and Tanaka’s formulas. Blood pressure was measured by trained staff and derived from the mean of three readings recorded after 15 min rest. The associations of Na excretion with blood pressure and the primary correlates of high Na excretion were determined using logistic regression.
Chileans aged ≥15 years.
Participants (n 2913) from the Chilean National Health Survey 2009–2010.
Individuals aged 25 years or over, those who were obese and those who had hypertension, diabetes or metabolic syndrome were more likely to have higher Na excretion. The odds for hypertension increased by 10·2 % per 0·4 g/d increment in Na excretion (OR=1·10; 95 % CI 1·06, 1·14; P < 0·0001). These findings were independent of major confounding factors.
Age, sex, adiposity, sitting behaviours and existing co-morbidities such as diabetes were associated with higher Na excretion levels in the Chilean population. These findings could help policy makers to implement public health strategies tailored towards individuals who are more likely to consume high levels of dietary salt.
DNA methylation is a key component of the epigenetic machinery that is responsible for regulating gene expression and, therefore, cell function. Patterns of DNA methylation change during development and ageing, differ between cell types, are altered in multiple diseases and can be modulated by dietary factors. However, evidence about the effects of dietary factors on DNA methylation patterns in humans is fragmentary. This study was initiated to collate evidence for causal links between dietary factors and changes in DNA methylation patterns. We carried out a systematic review of dietary intervention studies in adult humans using Medline, EMBASE and Scopus. Out of 22 149 screened titles, sixty intervention studies were included, of which 65% were randomised (n 39). Most studies (53%) reported data from blood analyses, whereas 27% studied DNA methylation in colorectal mucosal biopsies. Folic acid was the most common intervention agent (33%). There was great heterogeneity in the methods used for assessing DNA methylation and in the genomic loci investigated. Meta-analysis of the effect of folic acid on global DNA methylation revealed strong evidence that supplementation caused hypermethylation in colorectal mucosa (P=0·009). Meta-regression analysis showed that the dose of supplementary folic acid was the only identified factor (P<0·001) showing a positive relationship. In summary, there is limited evidence from intervention studies of effects of dietary factors, other than folic acid, on DNA methylation patterns in humans. In addition, the application of multiple different assays and investigations of different genomic loci makes it difficult to compare, or to combine, data across studies.
The understanding of the 14C behavior in waste packages could lead, in the Spanish context, to a revision of the management strategies for radioactive waste and a revaluation of the near surface repository devoted to the disposal of waste containing this radionuclide in high concentrations. To achieve this objective, and in the context of the EU project Carbon-14 Source Term (CAST), the authors of the work presented in this paper have performed leaching experiments with irradiated graphite considering two different scenarios. One, in which the leaching solution simulates some of the expected conditions in a repository where a granite/bentonite mixture has been used as backfill material, and the other, using deionized water as a high efficiency chemical removal agent and for comparison purposes. The analytical approach to measure the release rate and speciation of 14C from irradiated graphite samples in the aqueous and gaseous phase is also described. The main results obtained shows that, after 359 days of leaching, no 14C activity was detected above the detection limits, and only leaching rates regarding beta-gamma emitters were observed: 2×10–6 cm/day for 137Cs and 1×10–5 cm/day for 60Co in granite/bentonite water media and 4×10–6 cm/day for 137Cs in pure water.
Plant–animal mutualistic interactions through ecological network systems and the environmental conditions in which they occur, allow us to understand patterns of species composition and the structure and dynamics of communities. We evaluated whether flower morphologies with different pollination syndromes (ornithophilous and non-ornithophilous) are used by hummingbirds and whether these characteristics affect the structure (core-peripheral species) of hummingbird networks. Observations were made in flowering patches, where plant–hummingbird interactions were recorded at three altitudes (300–2500 m) during three seasons (dry, rainy and post-rainy) from 2015 to 2016 at El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Chiapas, Mexico. We recorded 15 hummingbird species interacting with 58 plant species, and the greatest number of interacting hummingbird species (11; 14) and plant species (28; 40) were found at middle altitudes and during the dry season, respectively. In all study sites, most of the plant species visited by hummingbirds had an ornithophilous syndrome (67%) at high altitudes (22 plant species) and during the dry season (26 plant species), but more individual hummingbirds visited non-ornithophilous plant species. The hummingbird species at high altitudes exhibited the greatest level of specialization towards plants (H2′ = 0.74), but the networks of plant-hummingbird interactions were generalist (H2′ = 0.25); i.e. visiting plants with both syndromes, at low altitudes. The core generalist hummingbird species remained constant with altitude and season, but the core generalist plant species varied between different altitudes and seasons according to the phenology of the species.
Strong winds from massive stars are a topic of interest to a wide range of astrophysical fields. In High-Mass X-ray Binaries the presence of an accreting compact object on the one side allows to infer wind parameters from studies of the varying properties of the emitted X-rays; but on the other side the accretor’s gravity and ionizing radiation can strongly influence the wind flow. Based on a collaborative effort of astronomers both from the stellar wind and the X-ray community, this presentation attempts to review our current state of knowledge and indicate avenues for future progress.
The manipulation of the photoperiod by the use of lighting programmes is a useful tool, inexpensive and can help to reduce the negative effect on feed intake due to the stress caused by hot environments. Lighting programmes for broiler chickens are used to regulate feed intake, providing access to food and water, especially during the cooler hours of the day. The change in the length of the photoperiod can be an alternative way to improve the welfare, immune response and, consequently, the performance of birds that are subject to heat stress. The purpose of this paper was to review relevant research on the use of lighting programmes for broilers.
To characterise clusters of individuals based on adherence to dietary recommendations and to determine whether changes in Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores in response to a personalised nutrition (PN) intervention varied between clusters.
Food4Me study participants were clustered according to whether their baseline dietary intakes met European dietary recommendations. Changes in HEI scores between baseline and month 6 were compared between clusters and stratified by whether individuals received generalised or PN advice.
Individuals in cluster 1 (C1) met all recommended intakes except for red meat, those in cluster 2 (C2) met two recommendations, and those in cluster 3 (C3) and cluster 4 (C4) met one recommendation each. C1 had higher intakes of white fish, beans and lentils and low-fat dairy products and lower percentage energy intake from SFA (P<0·05). C2 consumed less chips and pizza and fried foods than C3 and C4 (P<0·05). C1 were lighter, had lower BMI and waist circumference than C3 and were more physically active than C4 (P<0·05). More individuals in C4 were smokers and wanted to lose weight than in C1 (P<0·05). Individuals who received PN advice in C4 reported greater improvements in HEI compared with C3 and C1 (P<0·05).
The cluster where the fewest recommendations were met (C4) reported greater improvements in HEI following a 6-month trial of PN whereas there was no difference between clusters for those randomised to the Control, non-personalised dietary intervention.
Using Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations is possible to study the homogeneity of deformation in the Equal Channel Angular Pressing (ECAP) process. In this work an investigation about the influence of a modified die on strain distribution in an ecaped Al6060 alloy was carried out. Due to that, tensile stress occurs in the vicinity of upper surface of the specimen in the severe plastic deformation zone, which increases the cracking and fracture tendency of the specimen and impedes further ECAP processing, the conventional ECAP die was modified to eliminate the tensile stress and enhance the compressive stress in the severe plastic deformation zone and reducing the cracking and fracture tendency of the specimen. Finite element analysis demonstrated that the stress state changes from tensile to strongly compressive when using the modified die. The aim of this study is to evaluate the advantages/disadvantages of the modified ECAP die and processing conditions.
Stratigraphy, geochemistry and radiocarbon dating of a succession of sediment in the Santiaguillo Basin (central-northern Mexico) help reconstruct the millennial-scale dynamics of hydrological variability that occurred in the southern part of western subtropical North America since the late last glacial. Runoff was generally above average during the late last glacial from ~ 27 to 18 ka. Following this interval, runoff decreased and deposition of authigenic carbonate and aeolian transported sediment increased until ~ 4 ka. Heinrich 1 and 2, and Younger Dryas were intervals of reduced runoff and increased aeolian activity. The wetter climate of central-northern Mexico and arid conditions in north–northwestern Mexico during the late last glacial were probably related to formation of tropical cyclones in the eastern North Pacific during the autumn with restricted rainfall swaths and an absent/weaker North American Monsoon. Enhanced North American Monsoon and tropical cyclones with expanded rainfall swaths brought more summer and autumn precipitation to a broader region extending from the central-northern Mexico to the continental interiors of southwestern US during the early Holocene.
This study investigated the effect of a caffeinated energy drink on various aspects of performance in sprint swimmers. In a randomised and counterbalanced order, fourteen male sprint swimmers performed two acute experimental trials after the ingestion of a caffeinated energy drink (3 mg/kg) or after the ingestion of the same energy drink without caffeine (0 mg/kg; placebo). After 60 min of ingestion of the beverages, the swimmers performed a countermovement jump, a maximal handgrip test, a 50 m simulated competition and a 45 s swim at maximal intensity in a swim ergometer. A blood sample was withdrawn 1 min after the completion of the ergometer test. In comparison with the placebo drink, the intake of the caffeinated energy drink increased the height in the countermovement jump (49·4 (sd 5·3) v. 50·9 (sd 5·2) cm, respectively; P<0·05) and maximal force during the handgrip test with the right hand (481 (sd 49) v. 498 (sd 43) N; P<0·05). Furthermore, the caffeinated energy drink reduced the time needed to complete the 50 m simulated swimming competition (27·8 (sd 3·4) v. 27·5 (sd 3·2) s; P<0·05), and it increased peak power (273 (sd 55) v. 303 (sd 49) W; P<0·05) and blood lactate concentration (11·0 (sd 2·0) v. 11·7 (sd 2·1) mm; P<0·05) during the ergometer test. The caffeinated energy drink did not modify the prevalence of insomnia (7 v. 7 %), muscle pain (36 v. 36 %) or headache (0 v. 7 %) during the hours following its ingestion (P>0·05). A caffeinated energy drink increased some aspects of swimming performance in competitive sprinters, whereas the side effects derived from the intake of this beverage were marginal at this dosage.
Randomised controlled trials (RCT) testing the effects of antioxidant supplements on endothelial function (EF) have reported conflicting results. We aimed to investigate the effects of supplementation with antioxidant vitamins C and E on EF and to explore factors that may provide explanations for the inconsistent results. We searched four databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library and Scopus) from inception until May 2014 for RCT involving adult participants aged ≥ 18 years who were supplemented with vitamins C and E alone or in combination for more than 2 weeks and reporting changes in EF measured using flow mediated dilation or forearm blood flow. Data were pooled as standardised mean difference (SMD) and analysed using a random-effects model. Significant improvements in EF were observed in trials supplementing with vitamin C alone (500–2000 mg/d) (SMD: 0·25, 95 % CI 0·02, 0·49, P= 0·043) and vitamin E alone (300–1800 IU/d; 1 IU vitamin E = 0·67 mg natural vitamin E) (SMD: 0·48, 95 % CI 0·23, 0·72, P= 0·0001), whereas co-administration of both vitamins was ineffective (vitamin C: 500–2000 mg/d; vitamin E: 400–1200 IU/d) (SMD: 0·12, 95 % CI − 0·18, 0·42, P= 0·428). The effect of vitamin C supplementation on EF increased significantly with age (β 0·023, 95 % CI 0·001, 0·05, P= 0·042). There was a significant negative correlation between baseline plasma vitamin E concentration and the effect of vitamin E supplementation on EF (β − 0·03, 95 % CI − 0·06, − 0·001, P= 0·029). Supplementation with either vitamin C or vitamin E alone improves EF. However, subgroup analysis emphasises the importance of careful characterisation and selection of a population group which may benefit from such supplementation.
Improving diet and other lifestyle behaviours has considerable potential for reducing the global burden of non-communicable diseases, promoting better health across the life-course and increasing wellbeing. However, realising this potential will require the development, testing and implementation of much more effective behaviour change interventions than are used conventionally. Evidence-based, personalised (or stratified) interventions which incorporate effective behaviour change techniques (BCT) and which are delivered digitally are likely to be an important route to scalable and sustainable interventions. Progress in developing such interventions will depend on the outcomes of research on: (i) the best bases for personalisation of dietary advice; (ii) identification of BCT which are proven to enhance intervention efficacy; (iii) suitable platforms (digital-based tools) for collection of relevant participant characteristics (e.g. socioeconomic information, current diet and lifestyle and dietary preferences) linked with intelligent systems which use those characteristics to offer tailored feedback and advice in a cost-effective and acceptable manner. Future research should focus on such interventions aiming to reduce health inequalities and to improve overall public health.
Embryo splitting might be used to increase offspring yield and for molecular analysis of embryo competence. How splitting affects developmental potential of embryos is unknown. This research aimed to study the effect of bovine blastocyst splitting on morphological and gene expression homogeneity of demi-embryos and on embryo competence during elongation. Grade I bovine blastocyst produced in vitro were split into halves and distributed in nine groups (3 × 3 setting according to age and stage before splitting; age: days 7–9; stage: early, expanded and hatched blastocysts). Homogeneity and survival rate in vitro after splitting (12 h, days 10 and 13) and the effect of splitting on embryo development at elongation after embryo transfer (day 17) were assessed morphologically and by RT-qPCR. The genes analysed were OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, CDX2, TP1, TKDP1, EOMES, and BAX. Approximately 90% of split embryos had a well conserved defined inner cell mass (ICM), 70% of the halves had similar size with no differences in gene expression 12 h after splitting. Split embryos cultured further conserved normal and comparable morphology at day 10 of development; this situation changes at day 13 when embryo morphology and gene expression differed markedly among demi-embryos. Split and non-split blastocysts were transferred to recipient cows and were recovered at day 17. Fifty per cent of non-split embryos were larger than 100 mm (33% for split embryos). OCT4, SOX2, TP1 and EOMES levels were down-regulated in elongated embryos derived from split blastocysts. In conclusion, splitting day-8 blastocysts yields homogenous demi-embryos in terms of developmental capability and gene expression, but the initiation of the filamentous stage seems to be affected by the splitting.
The Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is recommended to lower blood pressure (BP), but its effects on cardiometabolic biomarkers are unclear. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCT) was conducted to determine the effects of the DASH diet on cardiovascular risk factors. Medline, Embase and Scopus databases were searched from inception to December 2013. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) DASH diet; (2) RCT; (3) risk factors including systolic and diastolic BP and glucose, HDL, LDL, TAG and total cholesterol concentrations; (4) control group. Random-effects models were used to determine the pooled effect sizes. Meta-regression analyses were carried out to examine the association between effect sizes, baseline values of the risk factors, BMI, age, quality of trials, salt intake and study duration. A total of twenty articles reporting data for 1917 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The duration of interventions ranged from 2 to 24 weeks. The DASH diet was found to result in significant decreases in systolic BP ( − 5·2 mmHg, 95 % CI − 7·0, − 3·4; P< 0·001) and diastolic BP ( − 2·6 mmHg, 95 % CI − 3·5, − 1·7; P< 0·001) and in the concentrations of total cholesterol ( − 0·20 mmol/l, 95 % CI − 0·31, − 0·10; P< 0·001) and LDL ( − 0·10 mmol/l, 95 % CI − 0·20, − 0·01; P= 0·03). Changes in both systolic and diastolic BP were greater in participants with higher baseline BP or BMI. These changes predicted a reduction of approximately 13 % in the 10-year Framingham risk score for CVD. The DASH diet improved cardiovascular risk factors and appeared to have greater beneficial effects in subjects with an increased cardiometabolic risk. The DASH diet is an effective nutritional strategy to prevent CVD.