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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The long-term cholesterol-lowering effect of replacing intake of SFA with PUFA is well established, but has not been fully explained mechanistically. We examined the postprandial response of meals with different fat quality on expression of lipid genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in subjects with and without familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). Thirteen subjects with FH (who had discontinued lipid-lowering treatment ≥4 weeks prior to both test days) and fourteen normolipidaemic controls were included in a randomised controlled double-blind crossover study with two meals, each with 60 g of fat either mainly SFA (about 40% energy) or n-6 PUFA (about 40% energy). PBMC were isolated in fasting, and 4 and 6 h postprandial blood samples. Expression of thirty-three lipid genes was analysed by reverse transcription quantitative PCR. A linear mixed model was used to assess postprandial effects between meals and groups. There was a significant interaction between meal and group for MSR1 (P = 0·03), where intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced a larger reduction in gene expression in controls only (P = 0·01). Intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced larger reductions in gene expression levels of LDLR and FADS1/2, smaller increases of INSIG1 and FASN, and larger increases of ABCA1 and ABCG1 (P = 0·01 for all, no group interaction). Intake of SFA compared with n-6 PUFA induced changes in gene expression of cholesterol influx and efflux mediators in PBMC including lower LDLR and higher ABCA1/G1, potentially explaining the long-term cholesterol-raising effect of a high SFA intake.
This study aimed to evaluate the transcriptional changes occurring in isolated perfused mammary alveolar tissue in response to inoculation with S. agalactiae and to identify the most affected biological functions and pathways after 3 h. Four udders taken at slaughter from cows with healthy mammary gland were perfused ex situ with warmed and gassed Tyrode's solution. Mammary alveolar tissue samples were taken from the left fore and rear quarters (IQ-inoculated quarters) before inoculation (hour 0) and at 3 h post inoculation (hpi) and at the same times from control right fore and rear quarters (not inoculated: NIQ). A total of 1756 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between IQ and NIQ at 3 hpi using edgeR package. Within this set of DEGs, 952 were up regulated and mainly involved with innate immune response and inflammatory response, e.g., CD14, CCL5, TLR2, IL-8, SAA3, as well as in transcriptional regulation such as FOS, STAT3 and NFKBIA. Genes down-regulated (804) included those involved with lipid synthesis e.g., APOC2, SCD, FABP3 and FABP4. The most affected pathways were chemokine signaling, Wnt signaling and complement and coagulation cascades, which likely reflects the early stage response of mammary tissue to S. agalactiae infection. No significant gene expression changes were detected by RNA-Seq in the others contrasts. Real time-PCR confirmed the increase in mRNA abundance of immune-related genes: TLR2, TLR4, IL-1β, and IL-10 at 3 hpi between IQ and NIQ. The expression profiles of Casp1 and Bax for any contrasts were unaffected whereas Bcl2 was increased in IQ, which suggests no induction of apoptosis during the first hours after infection. Results provided novel information regarding the early functional pathways and gene network that orchestrate innate immune responses to S. agalactiae infection. This knowledge could contribute to new strategies to enhance resistance to this disease, such as genomic selection.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
To sustainably improve cleaning of high-touch surfaces (HTSs) in acute-care hospitals using a multimodal approach to education, reduction of barriers to cleaning, and culture change for environmental services workers.
The study was conducted in 2 academic acute-care hospitals, 2 community hospitals, and an academic pediatric and women’s hospital.
Frontline environmental services workers.
A 5-module educational program, using principles of adult learning theory, was developed and presented to environmental services workers. Audience response system (ARS), videos, demonstrations, role playing, and graphics were used to illustrate concepts of and the rationale for infection prevention strategies. Topics included hand hygiene, isolation precautions, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning protocols, and strategies to overcome barriers. Program evaluation included ARS questions, written evaluations, and objective assessments of occupied patient room cleaning. Changes in hospital-onset C. difficile infection (CDI) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) bacteremia were evaluated.
On average, 357 environmental service workers participated in each module. Most (93%) rated the presentations as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ and agreed that they were useful (95%), reported that they were more comfortable donning/doffing PPE (91%) and performing hand hygiene (96%) and better understood the importance of disinfecting HTSs (96%) after the program. The frequency of cleaning individual HTSs in occupied rooms increased from 26% to 62% (P < .001) following the intervention. Improvement was sustained 1-year post intervention (P < .001). A significant decrease in CDI was associated with the program.
A novel program that addressed environmental services workers’ knowledge gaps, challenges, and barriers was well received and appeared to result in learning, behavior change, and sustained improvements in cleaning.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is doing research and development in the field of megawatt-class radio frequency (RF) sources (gyrotrons) for the Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH) systems of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and the DEMOnstration Fusion Power Plant that will follow ITER. In the focus is the development and verification of the European coaxial-cavity gyrotron technology which shall lead to gyrotrons operating at an RF output power significantly larger than 1 MW CW and at an operating frequency above 200 GHz. A major step into that direction is the final verification of the European 170 GHz 2 MW coaxial-cavity pre-prototype at longer pulses up to 1 s. It bases on the upgrade of an already existing highly modular short-pulse (ms-range) pre-prototype. That pre-prototype has shown a world record output power of 2.2 MW already. This paper summarizes briefly the already achieved experimental results using the short-pulse pre-prototype and discusses in detail the design and manufacturing process of the upgrade of the pre-prototype toward longer pulses up to 1 s.
Postprandial hypertriacylglycerolaemia is associated with an increased risk of developing CVD. How fat quality influences postprandial lipid response is scarcely explored in subjects with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). The aim of this study was to investigate the postprandial response of TAG and lipid sub-classes after consumption of high-fat meals with different fat quality in subjects with FH compared with normolipidaemic controls. A randomised controlled double-blind cross-over study with two meals and two groups was performed. A total of thirteen hypercholesterolaemic subjects with FH who discontinued lipid-lowering treatment 4 weeks before and during the study, and fourteen normolipidaemic controls, were included. Subjects were aged 18–30 years and had a BMI of 18·5–30·0 kg/m2. Each meal consisted of a muffin containing 60 g (70 E%) of fat, either mainly SFA (40 E%) or PUFA (40 E%), eaten in a random order with a wash-out period of 3–5 weeks between the meals. Blood samples were collected at baseline (fasting) and 2, 4 and 6 h after intake of the meals. In both FH and control subjects, the level of TAG and the largest VLDL sub-classes peaked at 2 h after intake of PUFA and at 4 h after intake of SFA. No significant differences were found in TAG levels between meals or between groups (0·25≤P≤0·72). The distinct TAG peaks may reflect differences in the postprandial lipid metabolism after intake of fatty acids with different chain lengths and degrees of saturation. The clinical impact of these findings remains to be determined.
Data on the impact of the recently recommended maternal pertussis vaccination are promising, but still insufficient to universalise this approach. We thus compared the epidemiological data prior to the implementation of this vaccination strategy in Argentina (2012) with the figures reported after 2012. During that 2010–2016 period, two outbreaks occurred, one in 2011 and another in 2016. In the former, the incidence was 6.9/100 000 inhabitants and the case-fatality rate 2.6%. Thereafter, a decline in incidence was detected until 2014. During 2015 and 2016 an increase in the incidence transpired, but this rise was fortunately not accompanied by one in the case fatality ratio. Indeed, in 2016 the case fatality ratio was the lowest (0.6%). Moreover, during the 2016 outbreak, the incidence (3.9/100 000 inhabitants) and the case severity detected in the most vulnerable population (infants 0–2 months) were both lower than those in 2011. Consistent with this pattern, in 2016, in the most populated province of Argentina (Buenos Aires), the case percentage with laboratory-positive results indicating a high number of symptoms (59.1% of the total cases) diminished compared with that detected in the 2011 outbreak without maternal immunisation (71.9%). Using the mathematical model of pertussis transmission we previously designed, we assessed the effect of vaccination during pregnancy on infant incidence. From comparisons between the epidemiological data made through calculations, emerged the possibility that vaccinating women during pregnancy would benefit the infants beyond age 2 months, specifically in the 2–12-month cohort.
Excessive salt intake is a common feature of Western dietary patterns, and has been associated with important metabolic changes including cerebral redox state imbalance. Considering that little is known about the effect on progeny of excessive salt intake during pregnancy, the present study investigated the effect of a high-salt diet during pregnancy and lactation on mitochondrial parameters and the redox state of the brains of resulting offspring. Adult female Wistar rats were divided into two dietary groups (n 20 rats/group): control standard chow (0·675 % NaCl) or high-salt chow (7·2 % NaCl), received throughout pregnancy and for 7 d after delivery. On postnatal day 7, the pups were euthanised and their cerebellum, hypothalamus, hippocampus, prefrontal and parietal cortices were dissected. Maternal high-salt diet reduced cerebellar mitochondrial mass and membrane potential, promoted an increase in reactive oxygen species allied to superoxide dismutase activation and decreased offspring cerebellar nitric oxide levels. A significant increase in hypothalamic nitric oxide levels and mitochondrial superoxide in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex was observed in the maternal high-salt group. Antioxidant enzymes were differentially modulated by oxidant increases in each brain area studied. Taken together, our results suggest that a maternal high-salt diet during pregnancy and lactation programmes the brain metabolism of offspring, favouring impaired mitochondrial function and promoting an oxidative environment; this highlights the adverse effect of high-salt intake in the health state of the offspring.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.