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The preconception, pregnancy and immediate postpartum and newborn periods are times for mothers and their offspring when they are especially vulnerable to major stressors – those that are sudden and unexpected and those that are chronic. Their adverse effects can transcend generations. Stressors can include natural disasters or political stressors such as conflict and/or migration. Considerable evidence has accumulated demonstrating the adverse effects of natural disasters on pregnancy outcomes and developmental trajectories. However, beyond tracking outcomes, the time has arrived for gathering more information related to identifying mechanisms, predicting risk and developing stress-reducing and resilience-building interventions to improve outcomes. Further, we need to learn how to encapsulate both the quantitative and qualitative information available and share it with communities and authorities to mitigate the adverse developmental effects of future disasters, conflicts and migrations. This article briefly reviews prenatal maternal stress and identifies three contemporary situations (wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada; hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA and transgenerational and migrant stress in Pforzheim, Germany) where current studies are being established by Canadian investigators to test an intervention. The experiences from these efforts are related along with attempts to involve communities in the studies and share the new knowledge to plan for future disasters or tragedies.
Potential participants seek information about clinical trials for many reasons, but the process can be challenging. We analyzed 101,249 searches in ResearchMatch Trials Today, a free interface to recruiting trials from ClinicalTrials.gov. Searches from March 2015 to November 2016 included a broad range of conditions and healthy volunteer concepts, including 12,649 unique topics. Trials Today data indicate that it is being used to identify trials on a variety of topics.
The goal of this study was to assess the utility of serial electrocardiograms in routine follow-up of paediatric Marfan patients.
Children ⩽18 years who met the revised Ghent criteria for Marfan syndrome and received a 12-lead electrocardiogram and echocardiogram within a 3-month period were included. Controls were matched by age, body surface area, gender, race, and ethnicity, and consisted of patients assessed in clinic with a normal cardiac evaluation. Demographic, clinical, echocardiographic, and electrocardiographic data were collected.
A total of 45 Marfan patients (10.8 [2.4–17.1] years) and 37 controls (12.8 [1.3–17.1] years) were included. Left atrial enlargement and left ventricular hypertrophy were more frequently present on 12-lead electrocardiogram of Marfan patients compared with controls (12 (27%) versus 0 (0%), p<0.001; and 8 (18%) versus 0 (0%), p=0.008, respectively); however, only two patients with left atrial enlargement on 12-lead electrocardiogram were confirmed to have left atrial enlargement by echocardiogram, and one patient had mild left ventricular hypertrophy by echocardiogram, not appreciated on 12-lead electrocardiogram. QTc interval was longer in Marfan patients compared with controls (427±16 versus 417±22 ms, p=0.03), with four Marfan patients demonstrating borderline prolonged QTc intervals for gender.
While Marfan patients exhibited a higher frequency of left atrial enlargement and left ventricular hypertrophy on 12-lead electrocardiograms compared with controls, these findings were not supported by echocardiography. Serial 12-lead electrocardiograms in routine follow-up of asymptomatic paediatric Marfan patients may be more appropriate for a subgroup of Marfan patients only, specifically those with prolonged QTc interval at their baseline visit.
Exposure to threat-related early life stress (ELS) has been related to vulnerability for stress-related disorders in adulthood, putatively via disrupted corticolimbic circuits involved in stress response and regulation. However, previous research on ELS has not examined both the intrinsic strength and flexibility of corticolimbic circuits, which may be particularly important for adaptive stress responding, or associations between these dimensions of corticolimbic dysfunction and acute stress response in adulthood.
Seventy unmedicated women varying in history of threat-related ELS completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan to evaluate voxelwise static (overall) and dynamic (variability over a series of sliding windows) resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of bilateral amygdala. In a separate session and subset of participants (n = 42), measures of salivary cortisol and affect were collected during a social-evaluative stress challenge.
Higher severity of threat-related ELS was related to more strongly negative static RSFC between amygdala and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and elevated dynamic RSFC between amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC). Static amygdala-DLPFC antagonism mediated the relationship between higher severity of threat-related ELS and blunted cortisol response to stress, but increased dynamic amygdala-rACC connectivity weakened this mediated effect and was related to more positive post-stress mood.
Threat-related ELS was associated with RSFC within lateral corticolimbic circuits, which in turn was related to blunted physiological response to acute stress. Notably, increased flexibility between the amygdala and rACC compensated for this static disruption, suggesting that more dynamic medial corticolimbic circuits might be key to restoring healthy stress response.
Variation in terrestrial productivity and biomass impacts evolution through linkages between productivity and biodiversity and through the types of resources available for consumption by herbivores. Geographic variation in terrestrial plant carbon is known on a global scale for extant biomes and is strongly correlated with precipitation, temperature, and the area of wetlands. Although estimates of extant terrestrial plant carbon density are still somewhat uncertain, the highest densities clearly occur in tropical and temperate rainforests, and the lowest occur in deserts, semideserts, and arctic/alpine tundra. Patterns of variation in ancient terrestrial plant carbon can be estimated through the correlation between biome/climate and carbon density, provided individual biomes show little change through time in primary productivity or density of plant carbon.
Density of terrestrial plant carbon has been estimated on a global scale for the latest Cretaceous, late Paleocene/Eocene, middle-late Eocene, early Miocene, and Holocene/Recent using the biomal reconstructions of Wolfe (1984), Upchurch (this symposium), and others. Latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) estimates indicate a relatively low value of 700-800 gigatons, which may underestimate carbon due to the presence of extensive latest Cretaceous coastal wetlands. However, much of this figure is readliy explainable by extensive deserts in Asia and little evidence for areally extensive tropical rainforest.
Major increase in terrestrial plant carbon occurred during the Paleocene/earliest Eocene in conjunction with a major areal increase in rainforest. During the early Miocene terrestrial global carbon was approximately 1200-1300 gigatons. This figure decreased by about half between the early Miocene and Holocene/Recent. The decrease in terrestrial carbon density resulted from a decrease in area of tropical and subtropical forests and increase in area of deserts, grasslands, and mediterranean woodlands/chapparal.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.