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Kefir consumption has been demonstrated to improve lipid and cholesterol metabolism, however our previous study identified that benefits vary between different commercial and traditional kefir. Here, we investigate the ability of pitched culture kefir, i.e., kefir produced by a small number of specific strains, to recapitulate health benefits of a traditional kefir, in a diet induced obesity mouse model, and examine how microbial composition of kefir impacts these benefits. Eight week old female C57BL/6 mice were fed a high fat diet (40% kcal from fat) supplemented with one of 5 kefir varieties (traditional, pitched, pitched with no Lactobacillus, pitched with no yeast, and commercial control) at 2mL in 20 grams of food for 8 weeks prior to analysis of plasma and liver lipid profiles, and liver gene expression profiles related to lipid metabolism. Both traditional and pitched kefir lowered plasma cholesterol by ~35% (P=0.0005) and liver triglycerides by ~55% (P=0.0001) when compared to commercial kefir despite no difference in body weight. Furthermore, pitched kefir produced without either yeast or Lactobacillus did not lower cholesterol. The traditional and pitched kefir with the full complement of microbes were able to impart corresponding decreases in the expression of the cholesterol and lipid metabolism genes encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), and CD36 in the liver. These results demonstrate that traditional kefir organisms can successfully be utilized in a commercial process, while highlighting the importance of microbial interactions during fermentation in the ability of fermented foods to benefit host health.
Approximate analytical expressions for the eigenfrequencies of freely propagating, divergent, barotropic topographic Rossby waves over a step shelf are derived. The amplitude equation, that incorporates axisymmetric topography while retaining full spherical geometry, is analysed by standard asymptotic methods based on the limited latitudinal extent of the polar basin as the natural small parameter. The magnitude of the planetary potential vorticity field,
, increases poleward in the deep basin and over the shelf. However, everywhere over the shelf
exceeds its deep-basin value. Consequently, the polar basin waveguide supports two families of vorticity waves; here, our concern is restricted to the study of topographic Rossby (shelf) waves. The leading-order eigenfrequencies and cross-basin eigenfunctions of these modes are derived. Moreover, the spherical geometry allows an infinite number of azimuthally propagating modes. We also discuss the corrections to these leading-order eigenfrequencies. It is noted that these corrections can be associated with planetary waves that can propagate in the opposite direction to the shelf waves. For parameter values typical of the Arctic Ocean, planetary wave modes have periods of tens of days, significantly longer than the shelf wave periods of one to five days. We suggest that observations of vorticity waves in the Beaufort Gyre with periods of tens of days reported in the refereed literature could be associated with planetary, rather than topographic, Rossby waves.
In 2017, transgender woman Danica Roem stunned political observers in Virginia by unseating a long-time anti-LGBTQ legislator from a conservative district in the Virginia House of Delegates.1 She was the first openly transgender person elected and seated to a state legislature. Delegate Roem’s election was historic in LGBTQ political representation, but it also occurred in a period when backlash against the LGBTQ community seemed to be growing (Taylor, Lewis, and Haider-Markel 2018). These two threads led us to ask: How are LGBTQ candidates achieving historic successes even as forces seem mobilized against them?
It is increasingly recognized that existing diagnostic approaches do not capture the underlying heterogeneity and complexity of psychiatric disorders such as depression. This study uses a data-driven approach to define fluid depressive states and explore how patients transition between these states in response to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
Item-level Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) data were collected from 9891 patients with a diagnosis of depression, at each CBT treatment session. Latent Markov modelling was used on these data to define depressive states and explore transition probabilities between states. Clinical outcomes and patient demographics were compared between patients starting at different depressive states.
A model with seven depressive states emerged as the best compromise between optimal fit and interpretability. States loading preferentially on cognitive/affective v. somatic symptoms of depression were identified. Analysis of transition probabilities revealed that patients in cognitive/affective states do not typically transition towards somatic states and vice-versa. Post-hoc analyses also showed that patients who start in a somatic depressive state are less likely to engage with or improve with therapy. These patients are also more likely to be female, suffer from a comorbid long-term physical condition and be taking psychotropic medication.
This study presents a novel approach for depression sub-typing, defining fluid depressive states and exploring transitions between states in response to CBT. Understanding how different symptom profiles respond to therapy will inform the development and delivery of stratified treatment protocols, improving clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of psychological therapies for patients with depression.
Cognitive deficits affect a significant proportion of patients with bipolar disorder (BD). Problems with sustained attention have been found independent of mood state and the causes are unclear. We aimed to investigate whether physical parameters such as activity levels, sleep, and body mass index (BMI) may be contributing factors.
Forty-six patients with BD and 42 controls completed a battery of neuropsychological tests and wore a triaxial accelerometer for 21 days which collected information on physical activity, sleep, and circadian rhythm. Ex-Gaussian analyses were used to characterise reaction time distributions. We used hierarchical regression analyses to examine whether physical activity, BMI, circadian rhythm, and sleep predicted variance in the performance of cognitive tasks.
Neither physical activity, BMI, nor circadian rhythm predicted significant variance on any of the cognitive tasks. However, the presence of a sleep abnormality significantly predicted a higher intra-individual variability of the reaction time distributions on the Attention Network Task.
This study suggests that there is an association between sleep abnormalities and cognition in BD, with little or no relationship with physical activity, BMI, and circadian rhythm.
Estimates indicate that 30% of land surface globally is affected by soil acidity, influencing agricultural production. Application of lime increases soil pH and improves crop growth. We tested the hypothesis that liming will reduce rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin) growth by improving the competitive ability of the crop. Experiments at Merredin and Wongan Hills in Western Australia indicated that application of lime in previous years reduced L. rigidum density, biomass, and seed production in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crops in 2018. At Merredin, L. rigidum seed production in 2018 was reduced from 9,390 to 2,820 seeds m−2, and wheat tiller number and yield was increased, following lime application of 0 to 6,000 kg ha−1 in 2016. At Wongan Hills, lime application of 4,000 kg ha−1 in 1994 reduced seed production in the 2018 wheat crop from 4,708 to 1,610 seeds m−2, and application of 3,000 kg ha−1 of lime in 2014 reduced seed production from 3,959 to 921 seeds m−2 in 2018. Again, lime increased wheat tiller number, but not yield. A screen house experiment (in controlled conditions) indicated that lime application increased the initial growth of both L. rigidum and wheat seedlings. This supports the conclusion that reduced L. rigidum growth and seed production in the field resulted from increased competitive ability of the crop, rather than any direct and detrimental impact of lime on L. rigidum growth. Incorporation of lime reduced initial emergence of L. rigidum in controlled conditions, with L. rigidum seeds at a uniform depth, and in the field experiments in situations of high weed density, with seeds buried by the incorporation process. Nationally, the revenue loss from residual L. rigidum in crop is A$93 million per year. The current research confirms that application of lime will increase the competitive ability of crops growing in regions with acidic soils.
The otoliths (ear stones) of fishes are commonly used to describe the age and growth of marine and freshwater fishes. These non-skeletal structures are fortuitous in their utility by being composed of mostly inorganic carbonate that is inert through the life of the fish. This conserved record functions like an environmental chronometer and bomb-produced radiocarbon (14C)—a 14C signal created by atmospheric testing of thermonuclear devices—can be used as a time-specific marker in validating fish age. However, complications from the hydrogeology of nearshore marine environments can complicate 14C levels, as was the case with gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) along the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida. Radiocarbon of these nearshore waters is influenced by freshwater input from the karst topography of the Upper Floridan Aquifer—estuarine waters that are 14C-depleted from surface and groundwater inputs. Some gray snapper likely recruited to this kind of environment where 14C levels were depleted in the earliest otolith growth, although age was validated for individuals that were not exposed to 14C-depleted waters to an age of at least 25 years with support for a 30-year lifespan.
Here, the authors report a detailed method of growing LaAlGe, a nonmagnetic Weyl semimetal, thin film on silicon(100) substrates by molecular beam epitaxy and their structural and electrical characterizations. About 50-nm-thick LaAlGe films were deposited and annealed for 16 h in situ at a temperature of 793 K. As-grown high-quality films showed uniform surface topography and near ideal stoichiometry with a body-centered tetragonal crystal structure. Temperature-dependent longitudinal resistivity can be understood with dominant interband s–d electron–phonon scattering in the temperature range of 5–40 K. Hall measurements confirmed the semimetallic nature of the films with an electron-dominated charge carrier density of ~7.15 × 1021 cm−3 at 5 K.
Epigenetic programming is essential for lineage differentiation, embryogenesis and placentation in early pregnancy. In epigenetic association studies, DNA methylation is often examined in DNA derived from white blood cells, although its validity to other tissues of interest remains questionable. Therefore, we investigated the tissue specificity of epigenome-wide DNA methylation in newborn and placental tissues. Umbilical cord white blood cells (UC-WBC, n = 25), umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UC-MNC, n = 10), human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC, n = 25) and placental tissue (n = 25) were obtained from 36 uncomplicated pregnancies. Genome-wide DNA methylation was measured by the Illumina HumanMethylation450K BeadChip. Using UC-WBC as a reference tissue, we identified 3595 HUVEC tissue-specific differentially methylated regions (tDMRs) and 11,938 placental tDMRs. Functional enrichment analysis showed that HUVEC and placental tDMRs were involved in embryogenesis, vascular development and regulation of gene expression. No tDMRs were identified in UC-MNC. In conclusion, the extensive amount of genome-wide HUVEC and placental tDMRs underlines the relevance of tissue-specific approaches in future epigenetic association studies, or the use of validated representative tissues for a certain disease of interest, if available. To this purpose, we herewith provide a relevant dataset of paired, tissue-specific, genome-wide methylation measurements in newborn tissues.
Online learning has become an increasingly expected and popular component for education of the modern-day adult learner, including the medical provider. In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, there has never been more urgency to establish opportunities for supplemental online learning. Heart University aims to be “the go-to online resource” for e-learning in CHD and paediatric-acquired heart disease. It is a carefully curated open access library of paedagogical material for all providers of care to children and adults with CHD or children with acquired heart disease, whether a trainee or a practising provider. In this manuscript, we review the aims, development, current offerings and standing, and future goals of Heart University.
For outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease, rapid identification of the source is crucial to enable public health intervention and prevent further cases. Outbreak investigation comprises analyses of exposure information from cases and, if required, undertaking analytical epidemiological studies. Hypothesis generation has been reliant on empirical knowledge of exposures historically associated with a given pathogen. Epidemiology studies are resource-intensive and prone to bias, one of the reasons being the difficulties in recruiting appropriate controls. For this paper, the information from cases was compared against pre-defined background exposure information. As exemplars, three past outbreaks were used, one of common and two of rare exposures. Information from historical case trawling questionnaires was used to define background exposure having removed any exposures implicated with the outbreak. The case-background approach showed good sensitivity and specificity, identifying correctly all outbreak-related exposures. One additional exposure related to a retailer was identified and four food items where all cases had been exposed. In conclusion, the case-background method, a development of the case-case design, can be used to assist with hypothesis generation or when a case-control study may not be possible to carry out.
Until the past half-century, all agriculture and land management was framed by local institutions strong in social capital. But neoliberal forms of development came to undermine existing structures, thus reducing sustainability and equity. The past 20 years, though, have seen the deliberate establishment of more than 8 million new social groups across the world. This restructuring and growth of rural social capital within specific territories is leading to increased productivity of agricultural and land management systems, with particular benefits for those previously excluded. Further growth would occur with more national and regional policy support.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS), modulated by metabolites of linoleic acid (LA), is important in regulating cardiovascular function. In pregnancy, LA is vital for foetal development. We investigated the effects of elevated LA in H9c2 cardiomyoblasts in vitro and of a high linoleic acid (HLA, 6.21%) or low linoleic acid (LLA, 1.44%) diet during pregnancy in maternal and offspring hearts. H9c2 cell viability was reduced following LA exposure at concentrations between 300 and 1000 µM. HLA diet decreased cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) mRNA expression in foetal hearts from both sexes. However, HLA diet increased CB2 expression in maternal hearts. The mRNA expression of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) in foetal hearts was higher in females than in males irrespective of diet and N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) mRNA expression showed an interaction between diet and sex. Data indicate that a high LA diet alters cell viability and CB2 expression, potentially influencing cardiac function during pregnancy and development of the offspring’s heart.
Background: Adults are at risk of being exposed to influenza from many sources. Healthcare personnel (HCP) have the additional risk of being exposed to ill patients.
To determine whether HCP were at higher risk than adults working in nonhealthcare roles (non-HCP).
Prospective cohort study.
Acute-care hospitals and other businesses in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Adults aged 18–69 years were enrolled for 1 or more of the 2010/2011, 2011/2012, and 2012/2013 influenza seasons. Swabs collected during acute respiratory illnesses were tested for influenza and pre- and postseason blood samples were tested for influenza-specific immune response.
The adjusted odds of influenza were similar for HCP and non-HCP (odds ratio [OR], 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63–2.63). Older adults and those vaccinated against influenza had lower odds, and those who shared their workspace and who used corrective eyewear had higher odds of influenza.
HCP and other working adults are at similar risk of influenza infection.
The Late Formative period immediately precedes the emergence of Tiwanaku, one of the earliest South American states, yet it is one of the most poorly understood periods in the southern Lake Titicaca Basin (Bolivia). In this article, we refine the ceramic chronology of this period with large sets of dates from eight sites, focusing on temporal inflection points in decorated ceramic styles. These points, estimated here by Bayesian models, index specific moments of change: (1) cal AD 120 (60–170, 95% probability): the first deposition of Kalasasaya red-rimmed and zonally incised styles; (2) cal AD 240 (190–340, 95% probability): a tentative estimate of the final deposition of Kalasasaya zonally incised vessels; (3) cal AD 420 (380–470, 95% probability): the final deposition of Kalasasaya red-rimmed vessels; and (4) cal AD 590 (500–660, 95% probability): the first deposition of Tiwanaku Redwares. These four modeled boundaries anchor an updated Late Formative chronology, which includes the Initial Late Formative phase, a newly identified decorative hiatus between the Middle and Late Formative periods. The models place Qeya and transitional vessels between inflection points 3 and 4 based on regionally consistent stratigraphic sequences. This more precise chronology will enable researchers to explore the trajectories of other contemporary shifts during this crucial period in Lake Titicaca Basin's prehistory.