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We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Adolescents' peer experiences may have significant associations with biological stress-response systems, adding to or reducing allostatic load. This study examined relational victimization as a unique contributor to reactive hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis responses as well as friendship quality and behavior as factors that may promote HPA recovery following a stressor. A total of 62 adolescents (ages 12–16; 73% female) presenting with a wide range of life stressors and adjustment difficulties completed survey measures of peer victimization and friendship quality. Cortisol samples were collected before and after a lab-based interpersonally themed social stressor task to provide measures of HPA baseline, reactivity, and recovery. Following the stressor task, adolescents discussed their performance with a close friend; observational coding yielded measures of friends' responsiveness. Adolescents also reported positive and negative friendship qualities. Results suggested that higher levels of adolescents' relational victimization were associated with blunted cortisol reactivity, even after controlling for physical forms of victimization and other known predictors of HPA functioning (i.e., life stress or depressive symptoms). Friendship qualities (i.e., low negative qualities) and specific friendship behaviors (i.e., high levels of responsiveness) contributed to greater HPA regulation; however, consistent with theories of rumination, high friend responsiveness in the context of high levels of positive friendship quality contributed to less cortisol recovery. Findings extend prior work on the importance of relational victimization and dyadic peer relations as unique and salient correlates of adaptation in adolescence.
The high fat content in Western diets probably affects placental function during pregnancy with potential consequences for the offspring in the short and long term. The aim of the present study was to compare genome-wide placental gene expression between rat dams fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and those fed a control diet for 3 weeks before conception and during gestation. Gene expression was measured by microarray and pathway analysis was performed. Gene expression differences were replicated by real-time PCR and protein expression was assessed by Western blot analysis. Placental and fetal weights at E17.25 were not altered by exposure to the maternal HFD. Gene pathways targeting placental growth, blood supply and chemokine signalling were up-regulated in the placentae of dams fed the HFD. The up-regulation in messenger RNA expression for five genes Ptgs2 (fatty acid cyclo-oxidase 2; COX2), Limk1 (LIM domain kinase 1), Pla2g2a (phospholipase A2), Itga1 (integrin α-1) and Serpine1 was confirmed by real-time PCR. Placental protein expression for COX2 and LIMK was also increased in HFD-fed dams. In conclusion, maternal HFD feeding alters placental gene expression patterns of placental growth and blood supply and specifically increases the expression of genes involved in arachidonic acid and PG metabolism. These changes indicate a placental response to the altered maternal metabolic environment.
The current study determined whether the pre-implantation conceptus modified endometrial fatty acid concentrations. Oestrus was synchronized in 14 mature lactating cows and embryos were transferred on day 7. Cows were slaughtered 10 d later, with each uterine horn flushed, the pre-implantation conceptus located, and inter-caruncular endometrial tissue collected from the gravid horn (containing the pre-implantation conceptus) and non-gravid horn. Endometrial fatty acid concentrations in the gravid and non-gravid horn were compared using linear models in restricted maxiumum likelihood. Investigations of the correlations among selected fatty acids and trophoblast weight or uterine fluid interferon-tau (IFN-τ) concentrations were also undertaken. The presence of the pre-implantation conceptus had relatively minor effects on endometrial fatty acid concentrations, but the ω6:ω3 ratio was greater and concentrations of stearic and oleic acid were slightly increased in the gravid horn. In the gravid horn, a negative linear relationship between the concentration of arachidonic acid and conceptus weight and IFN-τ concentration in the uterine luminal fluid were observed. In contrast, there was a positive relationship between concentrations of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid in the non-gravid horn and conceptus weight. In conclusion, the presence of the pre-implantation conceptus appears to modulate endometrial fatty acids, as indicated by the differences in endometrial fatty acid concentrations in the gravid and non-gravid uterine horns. The physiological implication of these local effects of the pre-implantation conceptus, on reproductive success requires further investigation.
There is a need to further our understanding of the role that the equine hindgut ecosystem plays in digestive processes and diseases. The aim of the present study was to utilise the real-time PCR technique to determine the abundance of candidate cellulolytic (Ruminococcus flavefaciens; Fibrobacter succinogenes) and non-cellulolytic (Streptococcus bovis) bacteria in lumen contents from the caecum, ventral and dorsal colon, and rectum of healthy horses (n 14). Total DNA was extracted from frozen and lyophilised lumen contents, and PCR primers and Taqman® probes were designed based on 16S rDNA sequences for specific detection of candidate bacterial species. Overall, in frozen and lyophilised digesta, there were significantly (P < 0·01) fewer candidate bacteria in the caecum than the dorsal colon and rectum. In frozen digesta, candidate bacteria levels were similar between the ventral colon, dorsal colon and rectum, but in lyophilised digesta there were significantly (P < 0·05) higher levels of bacteria in the dorsal colon and rectum. Frozen digesta contained disparate levels of candidate bacteria such that R. flavefaciens > F. succinogenes > S. bovis (P < 0·05), while in lyophilised digesta R. flavefaciens was present in significantly (P < 0·05) greater amounts than F. succinogenes and S. bovis. R. flavefaciens and F. succinogenes were abundant at significantly (P < 0·05) greater levels in lyophilised digesta v. frozen digesta, with no difference in S. bovis levels. These data indicate that for these bacteria at least, faeces are a suitable model for studying the bacterial ecosystem within the equine colon. The present study also indicates that the preservation method of digesta affects levels of bacteria detected.
Despite recent concerns about the high prevalence of sub-clinical vitamin D deficiency in adolescents, relatively few studies have investigated the underlying reasons. The objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence and predictors of vitamin D inadequacy among a large representative sample of adolescents living in Northern Ireland (54–55°N). Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were analysed by enzyme-immunoassay in a subgroup of 1015 of the Northern Ireland Young Hearts 2000 cohort; a cross-sectional study of 12 and 15 year-old boys and girls. Overall mean 25(OH)D concentration throughout the year was 64·3 (range 5–174) nmol/l; 56·7 and 78·1 nmol/l during winter and summer, respectively. Reported intakes of vitamin D were very low (median 1·7 μg/d). Of those adolescents studied, 3 % and 36 % were vitamin D deficient and inadequate respectively, as defined by serum 25(OH)D concentrations < 25 and < 50 nmol/l. Of the subjects, 46 % and 17 % had vitamin D inadequacy during winter and summer respectively. Gender differences were also evident with 38 % and 55 % of boys and girls respectively classified as vitamin D inadequate during winter (P < 0·001). Predictors of vitamin D inadequacy during winter were vitamin D intake and gender. In conclusion, there is a high prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in white-skinned adolescents in Northern Ireland, particularly during wintertime and most evident in girls. There is a clear need for dietary recommendations for vitamin D in this age group and for creative strategies to increase overall vitamin D status in the population.
Products of arachidonic acid metabolism (eicosanoids, e.g. some prostaglandins and leukotrienes) have important roles in the maintenance of pregnancy, and certain diseases of pregnancy such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and the machanism(s) of parturition both at term and before term. The volume of literature describing these last relationships dictates that the present review has to be focused rather than global in nature. Only studies of preterm labour in women and the use of human tissues will be discussed in detail despite the limitations in experimental designs that are imposed on such studies. Emphasis will be placed on studies of cyclo-oxygenase and to a lesser extant lipoxygenase pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism mentioning only briefly the pathways for catabolism of these eicosanoids. It should be noted also that eicosanoids from the epoxygenase pathways and those not derived from arachidonic acid will not be discussed here. The review of literature will not be comprehensive but rather selective in order to focus on specific issues of importance or controversy. In developing concepts of regulation I have emphasized studies with amnion since this tissue has received most attention experimentally. The significance of the eicosanoids in the mechanisms of labour at term and before will be described primarily in a section in which I have attempted to deleneate those regulatory mechanisms that are considered most significant in, or specific to, pregnancy and parturition. Studies of labour at term will be freely interspersed with studies specific to preterm labour since the latter are limited, and we need a ‘strandard’ for comparison; moreover, results from one series of studies helps the development of concepts for the other. Finally, the reader is directed to several excellent reviews that concentrate on areas not emphasized in this review.1–7