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Maternal nutrition is critical in mammalian development, influencing the epigenetic reprogramming of gametes, embryos, and fetal programming. We evaluated the effects of different levels of sulfur (S) and cobalt (Co) in the maternal diet throughout the pre- and periconceptional periods on the biochemical and reproductive parameters of the donors and the DNA methylome of the progeny in Bos indicus cattle. The low-S/Co group differed from the control with respect to homocysteine, folic acid, B12, insulin growth factor 1, and glucose. The oocyte yield was lower in heifers from the low S/Co group than that in the control heifers. Embryos from the low-S/Co group exhibited 2320 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) across the genome compared with the control embryos. We also characterized candidate DMRs linked to the DNMT1 and DNMT3B genes in the blood and sperm cells of the adult progeny. A DMR located in DNMT1 that was identified in embryos remained differentially methylated in the sperm of the progeny from the low-S/Co group. Therefore, we associated changes in specific compounds in the maternal diet with DNA methylation modifications in the progeny. Our results help to elucidate the impact of maternal nutrition on epigenetic reprogramming in livestock, opening new avenues of research to study the effect of disturbed epigenetic patterns in early life on health and fertility in adulthood. Considering that cattle are physiologically similar to humans with respect to gestational length, our study may serve as a model for studies related to the developmental origin of health and disease in humans.
The energy content of finishing diets offered to feedlot cattle may vary across countries. We assumed that the lower is the energy content of the finishing diet, the shorter can be the adaptation period to high-concentrate diets without negatively impacting rumen health while still improving feedlot performance. This study was designed to determine the effects of adaptation periods of 6, 9, 14 and 21 days on feedlot performance, feeding behaviour, blood gas profile, carcass characteristics and rumen morphometrics of Nellore cattle. The experiment was designed as a completely randomised block, replicated 6 times, in which 96 20-month-old yearling Nellore bulls (391.1 ± 30.9 kg) were fed in 24 pens (4 animals/pen) according to the adaptation period adopted: 6, 9, 14 or 21 days. The adaptation diets contained 70%, 75% and 80.5% concentrate, and the finishing diet contained 86% concentrate. After adaptation, one animal per pen was slaughtered (n = 24) for rumen morphometric evaluations and the remaining 72 animals were harvested after 88 days on feed. Orthogonal contrasts were used to assess linear, quadratic and cubic relationships between days of adaptation and the dependent variable. Overall, as days of adaptation increased, final BW (P = 0.06), average daily gain (ADG) (P = 0.07), hot carcass weight (P = 0.04) and gain to feed ratio (G : F) (P = 0.07) were affected quadratically, in which yearling bulls adapted by 14 days presented greater final BW, ADG, hot carcass weight and improved G : F. No significant (P > 0.10) days of adaptation effect was observed for any of feeding behaviour variables. As days of adaptation increased, the absorptive surface area of the rumen was affected cubically, where yearling bulls adapted by 14 days presented greater absorptive surface area (P = 0.03). Thus, Nellore yearling bulls should be adapted by 14 days because it led to improved feedlot performance and greater development of rumen epithelium without increasing rumenitis scores.
Perturbation of epigenetic mechanisms, which is likely associated with an overexpression of DNA-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1)in telencephalic GABAergic neurons of schizophrenia (SZ) patients, participates in the pathophysiology of cognitive disorders.
We hypothesize that tobacco abuse, which is very frequent in SZ patients, may be an attempt to self-medicate cognitive dysfunction by reducing DNMT1 overexpression.
In mice treated with nicotine (4.5mg/kg/sc twice a day for 5 days) and decapitated 2,4,8,12 or 24 hrs after the last dose of nicotine, we counted the number of DNMT1 mRNA- and protein-positive neurons in various brain areas using a two-dimensional counting method.
Mice receiving nicotine exhibited a 30-40% decrease in the number of DNMT1 mRNA- and protein- positive neurons in layers I and II of cingulate, piriform, somatosensory cortices and caudate-putamen. A single dose of nicotine causes only marginal changes in DNMT1 mRNA expression.
The high affinity nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine (2mg/kg/sc twice a day for 5 days)given along with nicotine attenuates the nicotine-induced decrease of DNMT1 mRNA-positive neurons in various brain areas.
We also found that cortical layer I and hippocampal GABAergic neurons include high levels of α4 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)subunits which can then mediate the action of nicotine on GABAergic interneurons. The observation that repeated injections of nicotine decrease the DNMT1 mRNA and protein expression in telencephalic layer I and II cortical GABAergic neurons suggests that in these neurons, nAChR may have an impact on the epigenetic modulation of chromatin remodeling.
Depression is the world’s most debilitating disease, more prevalent in association with chronic diseases. We studied two different patient groups: with chronic renal failure in hemodialysis (H), responsible for 100 procedures/day and oncologic patients under chemotherapy (Q), with an admission rate of 659,788/year in Brazil. This study aims at investigating the presence of depression symptoms in both (H) and (Q). We associated sociodemographic and clinical variants with depression symptoms, measured the number of symptomatic patients under treatment and detected the group with the higher symptom scores. It is a cross-sectional study of the reference services in Barbacena, with 200 sample patients, prevalence 15%, power 80%, error 4%, significance 5%. We used the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and a sociodemographic one. Both were analyzed by the software SPSS-17, descriptive statistics, CHI Square Test, Fischer and Student’s t-Tests, 5% significance. Following data analysis we found 16,4% (H) and 12,2% (Q) with low or moderate symptoms; 1,5% (H) and 8,2% (Q) with serious depression symptoms. We observed that smoking and depression symptoms are linked, 66,7% (H). Weight, somatization, tiredness, sleep deprivation and decreased libido were found to be the most associated among the clinical variants. Although mental scores in both H and Q are similar it is necessary to differentiate symptoms caused by the underlying disease or depression, once none of the symptomatic patients received treatment; in (H), 8,96% of patients revealed suicidal thoughts and 60% of men suffered from erectile dysfunction.
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.) is an important crop for rainfed production systems and can play a significant role as a feed source for ruminants owing to its high yield and drought tolerance. It is well-established that the maturity stage can influence the chemical composition as well as the nutritional value of crops traditionally used for silage production, although quantitative evidence that this occurs with pearl millet under rainfed conditions is lacking. The current research assessed the agronomic characteristics, ensilability, intake and digestibility of a Brazilian pearl millet cultivar (IPA BULK1-BF) harvested at four different growth stages. Forage was harvested at 35, 50, 65 and 80 days after sowing and ensiled under laboratory and farm conditions. Apparent digestibility of the silages was determined using 24 male lambs. The results showed that dry matter (DM) and panicle and stem proportions increased with the advancement maturity. The silage evaluations showed that DM, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates and lignin concentrations increased, while crude protein, ADF and in vitro DM digestibility decreased with the increase in plant maturity. Additionally, the fermentation characteristics were improved with the increasing maturity. The digestion study showed that intake of DM and N as well as digestibility of DM and fibre fractions decreased, while lignin intake increased. The results obtained for the production of dry and digestible DM, the ratio of plant fractions and fermentation parameters indicate the possibility of harvesting pearl millet forage after 50 days after sowing for silage production in the Brazilian semi-arid region.
Fertility and fecundity are usually considered signs of social and emotional well-being. Bipolar disorder (BD) is a prevalent psychiatric disease that influences the individual's life style and behaviours. Some studies have addressed the issue of fecundity among women with bipolar disorder but few have focused on determining the differences between disease subtypes, which is expected, taking into account the studied differences in demographic measures.
To examine the fecundity of a population of women with bipolar disorder.
The aim of this study is to compare the fecundity among women diagnosed with subtypes I to IV of BD, according to Akiskal's bipolar spectrum disorder classification.
A total of 108 female outpatients were divided into four groups. We analyzed number of offspring and demographic features between patients with different subtypes of BD using multivariate analyses.
Our results showed a significantly higher average number of children for BD IV patients when compared with BD I patients. Although not reaching statistical significance, BD I patients had less offspring than BD II and BD III patients. BD I patients had lower marriage rates compared to the other groups.
Our results suggest that the subtype of bipolar disorder influences fecundity and behaviours, as is expressed by the lower number of marriages seen in BD I patients. We found that fecundity is significantly impaired among BD I patients, which may imply that female with more severe disorders are less likely to become parents. Fecundity is higher among BD IV patients, which makes a way to speculate about the adaptive role of hyperthimic temperamental traits.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Since nutritional requirements are increased at the end of gestation to meet the demands of the pregnant uterus, pregnant beef cows are susceptible to mobilization of body reserves (mainly fat and amino acids (AAs)) and to alter the metabolism of nutrients in the liver and muscle to support such demands. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of CP supplementation on maternal nutrient metabolism in the late gestation of beef cows grazing a low-quality pasture. Forty-three pregnant Nellore cows gestating male fetuses (average age = 6 years; average weight = 544 kg) at 193 ± 30 (mean ± SD) days (d) of gestation were divided into eight groups (experimental units, with four to five cows each). Treatments were (1) control (CON, n = 4): pasture-based (PB) diet without CP supplementation and (2) supplemented (SUP, n = 4): PB diet daily supplemented with 2 g/kg of BW of a 43.5% CP supplement. Liver and skeletal muscle biopsies were performed at 265 days of gestation and samples were collected for mRNA expression. On day 280 of gestation, blood samples were collected to assess plasma levels of AA. The CON-fed cows tended to have greater (P = 0.057) total circulating AA than SUP-fed cows. The circulating glycogenic AA was greater (P = 0.035) in CON than in SUP cows. CON cows was greater for histidine (P = 0.015), methionine (P = 0.007) and alanine (P = 0.036) than SUP cows. The CON- and SUP-fed showed no differences for gluconeogenesis, fatty acid transport and signaling axis markers in the liver. The mRNA expression of markers for skeletal muscle synthesis, p7056k (P = 0.060) and GSK3B (P = 0.096), tended to be greater in cows from CON than SUP group. No differences were found for mRNA expression of markers for skeletal muscle degradation. We conclude that CP supplementation to CP-restricted late-pregnant beef cows reduces the maternal tissue mobilization and changes the profile of plasma circulating AA and the mRNA expression of markers for the synthesis of skeletal muscle tissue.
A child’s diet contains nutrients and other substances that influence intestinal health. The present study aimed to evaluate the relations between complementary feeding, intestinal barrier function and environmental enteropathy (EE) in infants. Data from 233 children were obtained from the Brazilian site of the Etiology, Risk Factors, and Interactions of Enteric Infections and Malnutrition and the Consequences for Child Health and Development Project cohort study. Habitual dietary intake from complementary feeding was estimated using seven 24-h dietary recalls, from 9 to 15 months of age. Intestinal barrier function was assessed using the lactulose–mannitol test (L–M), and EE was determined as a composite measure using faecal biomarkers concentrations – α-1-antitrypsin, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and neopterin (NEO) at 15 months of age. The nutrient adequacies explored the associations between dietary intake and the intestinal biomarkers. Children showed adequate nutrient intakes (with the exception of fibre), impaired intestinal barrier function and intestinal inflammation. There was a negative correlation between energy adequacy and L–M (ρ = −0·19, P < 0·05) and between folate adequacy and NEO concentrations (ρ = −0·21, P < 0·01). In addition, there was a positive correlation between thiamine adequacy and MPO concentration (ρ = 0·22, P < 0·01) and between Ca adequacy and NEO concentration (ρ = 0·23; P < 0·01). Multiple linear regression models showed that energy intakes were inversely associated with intestinal barrier function (β = −0·19, P = 0·02), and fibre intake was inversely associated with the EE scores (β = −0·20, P = 0·04). Findings suggest that dietary intake from complementary feeding is associated with decreased intestinal barrier function and EE in children.
The BW has been largely used as a selection criterion in genetic selection programmes; however, increases in BW can affect animal metabolism and metabolites. The knowledge of how genetic potential for growth affects the metabolites can give a footprint of growth metabolism. This research aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic potential for post-weaning growth (GG) on performance, carcass traits and serum metabolome of non-castrated Nellore males during the finishing phase. Forty-eight Nellore non-castrated males, with divergent potential for post-weaning growth, were selected and divided into two groups: high potential for post-weaning growth (HG; n = 24) and low potential for post-weaning growth (LG; n = 24). Animals were kept and fed for 90 days where performance and ultrasound carcass traits were evaluated. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of feeding period to analyse serum metabolites concentration. The hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were recorded at slaughter. The feedlot performance and carcass traits were not affected by genetic potential. The HG animals had a lower glucose (P = 0.039), glutamate (P = 0.038), glutamine (P = 0.004), greater betaine (P = 0.039) and pyruvate (P = 0.039) compared to the LG group at the beginning of feedlot. In addition, higher creatine phosphate concentrations were observed at the beginning of feeding period, compared to final, for both groups (P = 0.039). In conclusion, the genetic potential for post-weaning growth does not affect performance and carcass traits during the finishing period. Differences in metabolite concentrations can be better found at the beginning of feedlot, providing a footprint of growth metabolism, but similar metabolite concentration at the end of finishing period.
Human neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a worldwide neglected disease caused by Taenia solium metacestode and responsible for various complications and neurological disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the use of specific immunoglobulin Y (IgY) produced by laying hens immunized with a hydrophobic fraction of Taenia crassiceps metacestodes (hFTc) in NCC diagnosis. Egg yolk IgY antibodies were fractionated, purified and characterized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was carried out to evaluate the production kinetics and avidity maturation of anti-hFTc IgY antibodies throughout the IgY obtention process. Antigen recognition tests were carried out by Western blotting and immunofluorescence antibody test using purified and specific anti-hFTc IgY antibodies for detection of parasitic antigens of T. crassiceps and T. solium metacestodes. Sandwich ELISA was performed to detect circulating immune complexes formed by IgG and parasitic antigens in human sera. The results showed high diagnostic values (93.2% sensitivity and 94.3% specificity) for immune complexes detection in human sera with confirmed NCC. In conclusion, specific IgY antibodies produced from immunized hens with hFTc antigens were efficient to detect T. solium immune complexes in human sera, being an innovative and potential tool for NCC immunodiagnosis.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Introduction: Patient assessment is a fundamental feature of non-emergency community paramedicine (CP) home visit programs. In the absence of a recognized standard for CP assessment, current assessment practices in CP programs are unknown. Without knowing what community paramedics are assessing, it is difficult to ascertain what should be included in patient care plans, whether interventions are beneficial, or whether paramedics are meeting program objectives. Our objective was to summarize the content of assessment instruments used in CP programs in order to describe the state of current practice. Methods: We performed an environmental scan of all CP programs in Ontario, Canada, and employed content analysis to describe current assessment practices in CP home visit programs. The International Classification on Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was used to categorize and compare assessments. Each item within each assessment form was classified according to the ICF taxonomy. Findings were compared at the domain and sub-domain of the ICF. Results: Of 54 paramedic services in Ontario, 43 responded to our request for information. Of 24 services with CP home visit programs, 18 provided their intake assessment forms for content analysis. Assessment forms contained between 13 and 252 assessment items (median 116.5, IQR 134.5). Overall, most assessments included some content from each of the domains outlined in the ICF, including: Impairments of Body Functions, Impairments of Body Structures, Activity Limitation and Participation, and Environmental Factors. At the sub-domain level, only assessment of Impairments of the Functions of the Cardiovascular, Haematological, Immunological and Respiratory systems appeared in all assessments. Few CP home visit program assessments covered most ICF sub-domain categories and many items classified to specific categories were included in only a few assessments. Conclusion: CP home visit programs complete multi-domain assessments as part of patient intake. The content of CP assessments varied across Ontario, which suggests that care planning and resources may not be consistent. Current work on practice guidelines and paramedic training can build from descriptions of assessment practices to improve quality of care and patient safety. By identifying what community paramedics assess, evaluation of the quality of CP home visit programs and their ability to meet program objectives can be improved and benchmarks in patient care can be established.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Forage cactus is an important dry-season feed source for livestock in semi-arid regions, but in north-eastern Brazil, its contribution is limited by susceptibility to the carmine cochineal [Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell)] insect. New cactus germplasm shows superior agronomic performance, but the nutritive value of this material has not been adequately described. The objective of the current study was to assess the divergence in chemical composition and rate and extent of in vitro degradation of these genotypes. The treatments were 13 spineless cactus genotypes, eight of which were insect resistant types, two semi-resistant and three susceptible to the carmine cochineal. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design and were replicated three times. Nutritional divergence was assessed using canonical variate analysis and hierarchical agglomerative clustering, using the variables: crude protein, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates, degradation rate and potential dry matter degradation. Five distinct nutritional groups were identified: Group I (OO), Group II (F-13 and F-15), Group III (OEA, OEM, COP, IPA 20 and GG), Group IV (V-16 and F-08) and Group V (Miuda, IS and F-21). Group II (F-13 and F-15; resistant genotypes) showed a chemical composition degradability in vitro suggesting it may have the greatest nutritive value as ruminant feed, while Group I had the least. Spineless cactus genotypes resistant to the carmine cochineal showed nutritional characteristics similar to or better than traditionally used cactus genotypes, such as Gigante and IPA 20, which can expand the range of options for using this forage.
This study evaluated the effects of diet containing taro flour on hormone levels and the seminiferous tubules morphology of rats. After weaning, the male rats were divided into two groups (n=12 each): control group (CG) treated with control diet and taro group (TG), fed with 25% taro flour for 90 days. Food, caloric intake, mass and body length were evaluated at experiment end. Testis followed the standard histological processing. Immunostaining was performed using an anti-vimentin antibody to identify Sertoli cells. In histomorphometry, total diameter, total area, epithelial height, luminal height and luminal area were analyzed. The testosterone levels were performed using the radioimmunoassay method. Group TG presented (P<0.05): increase in mass, body length, testicular weight, histomorphometric parameters and hormonal levels. Food intake, calorie and Sertoli cells not presented statistical differences. The taro promoted increase in the testicles parameters and hormones.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
The objective of this study was to investigate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with birth weight, weight gain from birth to weaning and from weaning to yearling, yearling height and cow weight in Nelore cattle. Data from 5064 animals participating in the DeltaGen and PAINT breeding programs were used. The animals were genotyped with a panel of 777 962 SNPs (Illumina BovineHD BeadChip) and 412 993 SNPs remained after quality control analysis of the genomic data. A genome-wide association study was performed using a single-step methodology. The analyses were processed with the BLUPF90 family of programs. When applied to a genome-wide association studies, the single-step GBLUP methodology is an iterative process that estimates weights for the SNPs. The weights of SNPs were included in all analyses by iteratively applying the single-step GBLUP methodology and repeated twice so that the effect of the SNP and the effect of the animal were recalculated in order to increase the weight of SNPs with large effects and to reduce the weight of those with small effects. The genome-wide association results are reported based on the proportion of variance explained by windows of 50 adjacent SNPs. Considering the two iterations, only windows with an additive genetic variance >1.5% were presented in the results. Associations were observed with birth weight on BTA 14, with weight gain from birth to weaning on BTA 5 and 29, with weight gain from weaning to yearling on BTA 11, and with yearling height on BTA 8, showing the genes TMEM68 (transmembrane protein 8B) associated with birth weight and yearling height, XKR4 (XK, Kell blood group complex subunit-related family, member 4) associated with birth weight, NPR2 (natriuretic peptide receptor B) associated with yearling height, and REG3G (regenerating islet-derived 3-gamma) associated with weight gain from weaning to yearling. These genes play an important role in feed intake, weight gain and the regulation of skeletal growth.
Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes are known to express furosemide (Lasix®)-sensitive P-type membrane Na+-ATPase. In the present study, furosemide activity was studied in intracellular amastigotes and infected BALB/c mice to investigate its efficacy in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Intracellular parasites, but not macrophages, were found to be sensitive to killing by furosemide (IC50 = 87 µmvs CC50 ≫ 1000 µm, respectively). Although furosemide did not induce nitric oxide production or intracellular pH changes in infected macrophages, it led to a significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst. Freshly isolated tissue parasites expressed a high degree of Na+-ATPase activity that decreased with culture, indicative of a higher enzyme expression in amastigotes than in promastigotes. Both intraperitoneal and oral treatment of L. amazonensis-infected mice with furosemide dosages equivalent to that prescribed as a diuretic significantly reduced the parasite's growth compared with the situation in untreated mice. Combination with oral furosemide increased the efficacy and safety of intraperitoneal treatment with sodium stibogluconate (SSG). To summarize, furosemide control of intracellular leishmanial growth by means of parasite Na+-ATPase inhibition, and macrophage ROS activation may help explain its sole and SSG-combined therapeutic effect against murine CL.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Education interventions that stimulate complementary feeding practices can improve the nutritional status of children and may protect against future chronic diseases. We assessed the long-term effectiveness of dietary intervention during the 1st year of life on insulin resistance levels, and investigated the relationship between insulin resistance and weight changes over time. A randomised field trial was conducted among 500 mothers who gave birth to full-term infants between October 2001 and June 2002 in a low-income area in São Leopoldo, Brazil. Mother–child pairs were randomly assigned to intervention (n 200) and control groups (n 300), and the mothers in the intervention group received dietary counselling on breast-feeding and complementary feeding of their children during the 1st year of life. Fieldworkers blinded to assignment assessed socio-demographic, dietary and anthropometric data during follow-up at ages 1, 4 and 8 years. Blood tests were performed in 305 children aged 8 years to measure fasting serum glucose and insulin concentrations and the homoeostasis model assessment index of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). At the age of 8 years, the intervention group showed no changes in glucose and insulin concentrations or HOMA-IR values (change 0·07; 95 % CI −0·06, 0·21 for girls; and change −0·07; 95 % CI −0·19, 0·04 for boys) compared with study controls. Insulin resistance was highly correlated, however, with increases in BMI between birth and 8 years of age. Although this dietary intervention had no impact on glucose profile at age 8 years, our findings suggest that BMI changes in early childhood can serve as an effective marker of insulin resistance.