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Various foods are associated with effects against metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; however, their mechanisms of action are mostly unclear. Fatty acids may contribute by acting as precursors of signalling molecules or by direct activity on receptors. The medium- and long-chain NEFA receptor FFA1 (free fatty acid receptor 1, previously known as GPR40) has been linked to enhancement of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, whereas FFA4 (free fatty acid receptor 4, previously known as GPR120) has been associated with insulin-sensitising and anti-inflammatory effects, and both receptors are reported to protect pancreatic islets and promote secretion of appetite and glucose-regulating hormones. Hypothesising that FFA1 and FFA4 mediate therapeutic effects of dietary components, we screened a broad selection of NEFA on FFA1 and FFA4 and characterised active compounds in concentration–response curves. Of the screened compounds, pinolenic acid, a constituent of pine nut oil, was identified as a relatively potent and efficacious dual FFA1/FFA4 agonist, and its suitability for further studies was confirmed by additional in vitro characterisation. Pine nut oil and free and esterified pure pinolenic acid were tested in an acute glucose tolerance test in mice. Pine nut oil showed a moderately but significantly improved glucose tolerance compared with maize oil. Pure pinolenic acid or ethyl ester gave robust and highly significant improvements of glucose tolerance. In conclusion, the present results indicate that pinolenic acid is a comparatively potent and efficacious dual FFA1/FFA4 agonist that exerts antidiabetic effects in an acute mouse model. The compound thus deserves attention as a potential active dietary ingredient to prevent or counteract metabolic diseases.
We report on a comprehensive study of the defect structure in GaN grown on c-oriented sapphire by gas source molecular beam epitaxy and metal organic vapour phase epitaxy. Transmission electron microscopy is used to investigate the defect structures which are dominated by threading dislocations perpendicular to the sapphire surface and stacking faults. Additionally, dislocation densities are determined. For determination of dislocation densities by x-ray diffraction we employ a model that uses the linewidth of x-ray rocking curves for this purpose. Finally, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry is performed to complement the structural investigation.
The potential to instrumentalize drug use based upon the detection of very many different drug states undoubtedly exists, and such states may play a role in psychiatric and many other drug uses. Nevertheless, nonaddictive drug use is potentially more parsimoniously explained in terms of sensation seeking/impulsivity and drug expectations. Cultural factors also play a major role in nonaddictive drug use.
The strain relaxation and threading dislocation density of He-implanted and annealed SiGe/Si heterostructures have been studied. For He doses above a threshold of 8×1015 cm−2, the degree of strain relaxation depends primarily on the SiGe layer thickness; a similar degree of strain relaxation is obtained when the He dose and energy are varied over a relatively wide range. In contrast, the threading dislocation density is strongly influenced by the implantation depth. There is a strong correlation between the parameter He(SiGe), the He dose in the SiGe layer calculated from He profiles simulated using the program Stopping and Range of Ions in Matter (SRIM), and the threading dislocation density. We find that to achieve a low threading dislocation density, <5×107 cm−2, He(SiGe) must be less than 1015 cm−2. The strain relaxation mechanism is also discussed.
LiV308 powder has been prepared on a large scale by spray drying ofan aqueous gel. The material was further dehydrated at 150 and 350ºC. These materials were characterized by TGA, XRD and electrochemical methods. Materials dried at 150 and 350ºC, showed an unusual high reversible capacity, close to 4 Li per formula unit, and cycle well. The material dried at 350ºC is very similar to the crystalline LiV308 prepared by conventional high temperature synthesis.
Using finite elements we quantitatively calculate the inhomogeneous strain distribution associated with the so called crosshatch pattern. This pattern is a twodimensional, pseudoregular surface undulation that generally arises as an intermediate stage of heteroepitaxial growth of low misfitting semiconductor layers. This stage is characterized by an interplay of elastic and plastic relaxation processes. The calculations yield (i) the elastic strain energy density distribution and corresponding degree of elastic relaxation and (ii) the shear stress distribution in the glide system, in which misfit dislocations form. As a main result shear stresses due to the crosshatch pattern within the substrate are identified that cause misfit dislocations to multiply in the substrate.
We correlate structure analyzed by transmission electron microscopy with photo- and cathodoluminescence studies of GaN/Al2O3(0001) and GaN/SiC(0001) and show that an additional UV line at 364nm/3.4eV can be connected to the occurrence of stacking faults. We explain the occurrence of this line by a model that is based on the concept of excitons bound to stacking faults that form a quantum well of cubic material in the wurtzite lattice of the layer material. The model is in reasonable agreement with the experimental observations.
A cross-sectional study into risk factors for Salmonella was undertaken using data gathered from 252 fattening turkey flocks in the UK. The data was derived from the EU baseline survey conducted during 2006 and 2007, in addition to a voluntary questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression models identified significant risk factors for Salmonella spp. and Salmonella Typhimurium. A decreased risk of Salmonella spp. infection was associated with a history of intestinal illness in the sampled flock (OR 0·17), the use of wood shavings as litter (OR 0·21), use of disinfectant in the cleaning process (OR 0·25), incineration of dead birds on farm (OR 0·29), seasonal production (OR 0·31), farm staff also working with cattle (OR 0·31), and the presence of pigs on neighbouring farms (OR 0·38). The risk of isolating Salmonella spp. varied according to the company from which the poults were sourced. A reduced risk of S. Typhimurium infection was associated with the use of wax blocks to control rodents (OR 0·09), using mains water (OR 0·19) and having a Salmonella test programme (OR 0·23). An increased risk of S. Typhimurium infection was associated with storage of items around the turkey house (OR 5·20), evidence of mice (OR 4·71) and a soil surface surrounding the turkey house (OR 2·70). This study therefore identifies a number of important practical measures which can be implemented by farmers and veterinarians within the turkey industry to assist in the control of salmonellosis at the farm level.
To describe an outbreak of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection after percutaneous needle procedures (acupuncture and joint injection) performed by a single medical practitioner.
A medical practitioner's office and 4 hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.
Eight individuals who developed invasive MRSA infection after acupuncture or joint injection performed by the medical practitioner.
We performed a prospective and retrospective outbreak investigation, including MRSA colonization surveillance, environmental sampling for MRSA, and detailed molecular typing of MRSA isolates. We performed an infection control audit of the medical practitioner's premises and practices and administered MRSA decolonization therapy to the medical practitioner.
Eight cases of invasive MRSA infection were identified. Seven cases occurred as a cluster in May 2004; another case (identified retrospectively) occurred approximately 15 months earlier in February 2003. The primary sites of infection were the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hip: 5 patients had septic arthritis and bursitis, and 3 had pyomyositis; 3 patients had bacteremia, including 1 patient with possible endocarditis. The medical practitioner was found to be colonized with the same MRSA clone [ST22-MRSA-IV (EMRSA-15)] at 2 time points: shortly after the first case of infection in March 2003 and again in May 2004. After the medical practitioner's premises and practices were audited and he himself received MRSA decolonization therapy, no further cases were identified.
This outbreak most likely resulted from a breakdown in sterile technique during percutaneous needle procedures, resulting in the transmission of MRSA from the medical practitioner to the patients. This report demonstrates the importance of surveillance and molecular typing in the identification and control of outbreaks of MRSA infection.
The NASA Discovery mission EPOXI, utilizing the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft, comprises two phases: EPOCh (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization) and DIXI (Deep Impact eXtended Investigation). With EPOCh, we use the 30-cm high resolution visible imager to obtain ultraprecise photometric light curves of known transiting planet systems. We will analyze these data for evidence of additional planets, via transit timing variations or transits; for planetary moons or rings; for detection of secondary eclipses and the constraint of geometric planetary albedos; and for refinement of the system parameters. Over a period of four months, EPOCh observed four known transiting planet systems, with each system observed continuously for several weeks. Here we present an overview of EPOCh, including the spacecraft and science goals, and preliminary photometry results.
EPOXI (EPOCh + DIXI) is a NASA Discovery Program Mission of Opportunity using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft. The EPOCh (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization) Science Investigation will gather photometric time series of known transiting exoplanet systems from January through August 2008. Here we describe the steps in the photometric extraction of the time series and present preliminary results of the first four EPOCh targets.
To describe the control of an outbreak of infection and colonization with the New York/Japan methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone in multiple healthcare facilities, and to demonstrate the importance of making an MRSA management policy involving molecular typing of MRSA into a statewide public health responsibility.
A range of healthcare facilities, including 2 metropolitan teaching hospitals and a regional hospital, as well as several community hospitals and long-term care facilities in a nonmetropolitan healthcare region.
A comprehensive, statewide MRSA epidemiological investigation and management policy.
In May 2005, there were 3 isolates referred to the Western Australian Gram-Positive Bacteria Typing and Research Unit that were identified as the New York/Japan MRSA clone, a pandemic MRSA clone with the ability to spread and replace existing clones in a region. Subsequent investigation identified 28 additional cases of infection and/or colonization dating from 2002 onward, including 1 involving a colonized healthcare worker (HCW) who had previously been hospitalized overseas. Of the 31 isolates detected, 25 were linked epidemiologically and via molecular typing to the isolate recovered from the colonized HCW. Four isolates appeared to have been introduced separately from overseas. Although the isolate from the single remaining case patient was genetically indistinct from the isolates that spread within Western Australia, no specific epidemiological link could be established. The application of standard outbreak management strategies reduced further spread.
The elimination of the New/York Japan MRSA clone in a healthcare region demonstrates the importance of incorporating MRSA management policy into statewide public health programs. The mainstays of such programs should include a comprehensive and effective outbreak identification and management policy (including pre-employment screening of HCWs, where applicable) and MRSA clone identification by multilocus sequence typing.
Most studies of the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease occur between gene variants and
biochemical or physiological variables known to be atherogenic. In many situations, however, the
gene products are not necessarily known. We studied 17 families (n = 122) with mutations in the low
density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor gene as a model in which to test formally for linkage directly
between an atherogenic genotype and ischemic heart disease (IHD) or aorto-coronary calcified
atherosclerosis. In each family one of three different mutations was found: the Trp66–Gly mutation,
the Trp23–Stop mutation, or a ten kilobase deletion removing exons 3–6 of the LDL receptor gene.
Genomic DNA was used to determine these mutations by either enzymatic cleavage assays or
Southern blotting. Aorto-coronary calcification was significantly associated with age and plasma
cholesterol. Sex, hypertension, BMI and smoking were not associated with aorto-coronary
calcification. Nonparametric analysis indicated significant linkage of the LDL receptor gene locus to
aortic (p < 0.00005) and to aorto-coronary calcified atherosclerosis (p < 0.00001). Assuming a
dominant mode of inheritance, significant linkage was detected for aortic (LOD = 3.89) and aorto-coronary calcified atherosclerosis (LOD = 4.10). We suggest that the atherogenicity of variations in
other genes could be assessed by a similar approach.
This study compared the efficacy and tolerability of paroxetine with placebo in the treatment of panic disorder.
After three weeks of placebo, patients received 12 weeks of treatment with paroxetine (20, 40, or 60 mg) or placebo, and finally two weeks of placebo. Dosages were adjusted according to efficacy and tolerability. Standardised cognitive therapy was given to all patients. The primary measure of outcome was reduction in the number of panic attacks.
Analysis of the results showed statistically significant differences in favour of paroxetine between the two treatment groups in two out of the three primary measures of outcome, i.e. 50% reduction in total number of panic attacks and number of panic attacks reduced to one or zero over the study period. For the third measure of outcome, the mean change in the total number of attacks from baseline, there was a positive trend in favour of paroxetine. The results of the primary measures of outcome were strongly supported by the results of the secondary efficacy measures of outcome. In addition, paroxetine, at all doses, was very well tolerated.
Paroxetine plus cognitive therapy was significantly more effective than placebo plus cognitive therapy in the treatment of panic disorder.
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