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Non-communicable diseases are projected to become the most common causes of death in Africa by 2030. The impact on health of epidemiological and nutritional transitions in sub-Saharan Africa remains unclear. To assess the trends of dietary fatty acids over time in Uganda, we examined fatty acids in serum collected from individuals in rural south-west Uganda, at three time points over two decades. Independent cross-sectional samples of 915 adults and children were selected from the general population cohort in 1990 (n 281), 2000 (n 283) and 2008 (n 351). Serum phospholipid fatty acids were measured by GC. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to compare the geometric means of fatty acids by time period. Serum fatty acid profiling showed high proportions of SFA, cis-MUFA and industrial trans-fatty acids (iTFA), likely to be biomarkers of high consumption of palm oil and hydrogenated fats. In contrast, proportions of n-6 and n-3 PUFA from vegetable oils and fish were low. From 1990 to 2008, serum phospholipids showed increases in absolute amounts of SFA (17·3 % increase in adults and 26·4 % in children), MUFA (16·7 % increase in adults and 16·8 % in children) and n-6:n-3 PUFA (40·1 % increase in adults and 39·8 % in children). The amount of elaidic acid, iTFA from hydrogenated fats, increased in children (60·1 % increase). In this rural Ugandan population, we show evidence of unfavourable trends over time of dietary fatty acids.
Conservation resources are limited, yet an increasing number of species are under threat. Assessing species for their conservation needs is, therefore, a vital first step in identifying and prioritizing species for both ex situ and in situ conservation actions. Using a transparent, logical and objective method, the Conservation Needs Assessment process developed by Amphibian Ark uses current knowledge of species in the wild to determine those with the most pressing conservation needs, and provides a foundation for the development of holistic conservation action plans that combine in situ and ex situ actions as appropriate. These assessments allow us to maximize the impact of limited conservation resources by identifying which measures could best serve those species requiring help. The Conservation Needs Assessment complements the IUCN Red List assessment, and together they provide a more holistic guide to conservation priorities and actions. Conservation Needs Assessments generate national prioritized lists of species recommended for conservation action. These can subsequently be used to assist in the development of species recovery plans and national action plans, or to inform national conservation priorities better. Additional tools that will evaluate the recommendations for ex situ rescues, to determine the best candidates for conservation breeding programmes, are currently under development.
A new, clean, hot-water drill system (HWDS) was developed by the Science Management Office, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for use in the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project to gain access to Subglacial Lake Whillans beneath ∼800 m of ice in West Antarctica. One primary borehole was drilled into the basal ice environment of Subglacial Lake Whillans during the initial field season in 2012/13. This paper describes the process of designing, fabricating, assembling, shipping, testing, commissioning and traversing the WISSARD HWDS leading up to the first scientific use of the system.
The WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling) traversable hot-water drill system was designed to create various-diameter ice boreholes to a depth of >800 m, with most major components being controllable from a single user interface. The drill control system operates four low-pressure pumps for water generation and circulation, two hot-water generation units containing a total of six diesel burner modules with integrated high-pressure pumps, three winches (one with independent level-wind motor), a four-motor linear traction drive, and a large number of analog and digital sensors to monitor system performance and cleanliness. Due to development time constraints the control system design focused on utilizing commercial off-the-shelf components, while being highly modular, easily expandable and rapidly deployable. Additional emphasis was placed on providing redundant manual operator controls and maintaining a low degree of system automation to avoid dependence on software control loops for first-season deployment. The result of this design paradigm was a control system that was taken from concept to full operation in <6 months, successfully performing in the field without insurmountable problems.
Mandatory I fortification in bread was introduced in Australia in 2009 in response to the re-emergence of biochemical I deficiency based on median urinary I concentration (UIC)<100 µg/l. Data on the I status of lactating mothers and their infants in Australia are scarce. The primary aim of this study was to assess the I status, determined by UIC and breast milk I concentration (BMIC), of breast-feeding mothers in South Australia and UIC of their infants. The secondary aim was to assess the relationship between the I status of mothers and their infants. The median UIC of the mothers (n 686) was 125 (interquartile range (IQR) 76–200) µg/l and median BMIC (n 538) was 127 (IQR 84–184) µg/l. In all, 38 and 36 % of the mothers had a UIC and BMIC below 100 µg/l, respectively. The median UIC of infants (n 628) was 198 (IQR 121–296) µg/l, and 17 % had UIC<100 µg/l. Infant UIC was positively associated with maternal UIC (β 0·26; 95 % CI 0·14, 0·37, P<0·001) and BMIC (β 0·85; 95 % CI 0·66, 1·04, P<0·001) at 3 months postpartum after adjustment for gestational age, parity, maternal secondary and further education, BMI category and infant feeding mode. The adjusted OR for infant UIC<100 µg/l was 6·49 (95 % CI 3·80, 11·08, P<0·001) in mothers with BMIC<100 µg/l compared with those with BMIC≥100 µg/l. The I status of mothers and breast-fed infants in South Australia, following mandatory I fortification, is indicative of I sufficiency. BMIC<100 µg/l increased the risk of biochemical I deficiency in breast-fed infants.
In 1964 (Solar Cycle 20; SC 20), Patrick McIntosh began creating hand-drawn synoptic maps of solar magnetic features, based on Hα images. These synoptic maps were unique in that they traced magnetic polarity inversion lines, and connected widely separated filaments, fibril patterns, and plage corridors to reveal the large-scale organization of the solar magnetic field. Coronal hole boundaries were later added to the maps, which were produced, more or less continuously, into 2009 (i.e., the start of SC 24). The result was a record of ~45 years (~570 Carrington rotations), or nearly four complete solar cycles of synoptic maps. We are currently scanning, digitizing and archiving these maps, with the final, searchable versions publicly available at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. In this paper we present preliminary scientific studies using the archived maps from SC 23. We show the global evolution of closed magnetic structures (e.g., sunspots, plage, and filaments) in relation to open magnetic structures (e.g., coronal holes), and examine how both relate to the shifting patterns of large-scale positive and negative polarity regions.
To compare the breast-milk iodine concentrations (BMIC) of lactating women before and after the mandatory iodine fortification of bread in Australia in 2009.
Cross-sectional study. Breast milk samples were collected from two cohorts of women in South Australia within 7 d of delivery to determine BMIC. The percentage of samples with iodine concentration below 100 µg/l, a level considered adequate for breast-fed infants, was calculated. Sociodemographic information and intake of dietary supplements were obtained from all women.
The breast milk samples were collected between 2006 and 2007 in the pre-fortification cohort and between 2012 and 2013 in the post-fortification cohort.
The median (interquartile range) BMIC was higher in the post-fortification samples compared with samples collected in the pre-fortification period (187 (130–276) v. 103 (73–156) µg/l; P<0·05). Overall, the percentage of women with BMIC <100 µg/l was lower in the post-fortification cohort than in the pre-fortification cohort (13 v. 49 %; P<0·01). The percentage of women with BMIC <100 µg/l in the post-fortification cohort was lower among women who took iodine supplements in pregnancy (12 v. 29 %; P<0·01).
Mandatory iodine fortification of bread has resulted in an increase in the iodine content of breast milk in Australian women. However, iodine supplementation may still be required in some women post-iodine fortification to reach the level of BMIC that is considered adequate to meet the iodine requirement of full-term infants.
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization and use of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops focuses on the theory that the implementation of these traits is an extension of the intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was initiated in 2006 in the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history of GR-corn, -cotton or -soybean in the cropping system. The impact of cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and several categorical variables on seedbank weed population density and diversity was analyzed. The parameters of total weed population density of all species in the seedbank, species richness, Shannon's H′ and evenness were not affected by any management treatment. The similarity between the seedbank and aboveground weed community was more strongly related to location than management; previous year's crops and cropping systems were also important while GR trait rotation was not. The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location (geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific weed species, and the geographical location. Continuous GR crop, compared to fields with other cropping systems, only had greater species diversity (species richness) of some life forms, i.e., biennials, winter annuals, and prostrate weeds. Overall diversity was related to geography and not cropping system. These results justify further research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with herbicide-resistance traits to provide a more complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation to the weed seedbank.
Two theories have been put forward in order to explain the formation of manganese deposits in marine muds, and more particularly with regard to manganese nodules: one by Murray, in a paper read before this Society in 1876, the other by Buchanan in 1888. Murray assumes the gradual oxidation of carbonate of manganese resulting ultimately in the formation of hydrated peroxide of manganese.
The energy-salvaging capacity of the gut microbiota from dietary ingredients has been proposed as a contributing factor for the development of obesity. This knowledge generated interest in the use of non-digestible dietary ingredients such as prebiotics to manipulate host energy homeostasis. In the present study, the in vitro response of obese human faecal microbiota to novel oligosaccharides was investigated. Dextrans of various molecular weights and degrees of branching were fermented with the faecal microbiota of healthy obese adults in pH-controlled batch cultures. Changes in bacterial populations were monitored using fluorescent in situ hybridisation and SCFA concentrations were analysed by HPLC. The rate of gas production and total volume of gas produced were also determined. In general, the novel dextrans and inulin increased the counts of bifidobacteria. Some of the dextrans were able to alter the composition of the obese human microbiota by increasing the counts of Bacteroides–Prevotella and decreasing those of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Ruminococcus bromii/R. flavefaciens. Considerable increases in SCFA concentrations were observed in response to all substrates. Gas production rates were similar during the fermentation of all dextrans, but significantly lower than those during the fermentation of inulin. Lower total gas production and shorter time to attain maximal gas production were observed during the fermentation of the linear 1 kDa dextran than during the fermentation of the other dextrans. The efficacy of bifidobacteria to ferment dextrans relied on the molecular weight and not on the degree of branching. In conclusion, there are no differences in the profiles between the obese and lean human faecal fermentations of dextrans.
Prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics are dietary ingredients with the potential to influence health and mucosal and systemic immune function by altering the composition of the gut microbiota. In the present study, a candidate prebiotic (xylo-oligosaccharide, XOS, 8 g/d), probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bi-07, 109 colony-forming units (CFU)/d) or synbiotic (8 g XOS+109 CFU Bi-07/d) was given to healthy adults (25–65 years) for 21 d. The aim was to identify the effect of the supplements on bowel habits, self-reported mood, composition of the gut microbiota, blood lipid concentrations and immune function. XOS supplementation increased mean bowel movements per d (P= 0·009), but did not alter the symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain or flatulence or the incidence of any reported adverse events compared with maltodextrin supplementation. XOS supplementation significantly increased participant-reported vitality (P= 0·003) and happiness (P= 0·034). Lowest reported use of analgesics was observed during the XOS+Bi-07 supplementation period (P= 0·004). XOS supplementation significantly increased faecal bifidobacterial counts (P= 0·008) and fasting plasma HDL concentrations (P= 0·005). Bi-07 supplementation significantly increased faecal B. lactis content (P= 0·007), lowered lipopolysaccharide-stimulated IL-4 secretion in whole-blood cultures (P= 0·035) and salivary IgA content (P= 0·040) and increased IL-6 secretion (P= 0·009). XOS supplementation resulted in lower expression of CD16/56 on natural killer T cells (P= 0·027) and lower IL-10 secretion (P= 0·049), while XOS and Bi-07 supplementation reduced the expression of CD19 on B cells (XOS × Bi-07, P= 0·009). The present study demonstrates that XOS induce bifidogenesis, improve aspects of the plasma lipid profile and modulate the markers of immune function in healthy adults. The provision of XOS+Bi-07 as a synbiotic may confer further benefits due to the discrete effects of Bi-07 on the gut microbiota and markers of immune function.
Developer-funded archaeology on the Isle of Sheppey resulted in the discovery of not one but two Neolithic causewayed enclosures on the same hilltop in very close (c. 300 m) proximity. In the later Bronze Age enclosures and cremation cemeteries were constructed immediately to the east, followed by Iron Age enclosures and, ultimately, field systems dating to the later Iron Age onwards.
A radiocarbon programme enabled the chronological sequence and hiatus between all of these events to be discerned, but the majority of this paper explores the physical, chronological, and social relationship between the two Neolithic causewayed enclosures. These were of different forms and, although on the same hilltop, they each seem to have had distinctly different viewsheds over the Thames and the Swale respectively. There are subtle, but potentially significant, differences in the material culture and deposition which allow exploration of the possible functions and role(s) of the two largely contemporaneous sites. Questions may be addressed such as whether they performed the same functions for two communities or had separate and distinct roles for a single community. Beyond the Neolithic, the paper also explores the nature of the later use of the hilltop. The Bronze Age enclosures, though agricultural in function, clearly seem to respect their Neolithic predecessors invoking a remembrance of space, which is lost by the Iron Age. The shift away from the special function of this landscape in the Neolithic to a subsequent agricultural use is explored, as is the hiatus in use and subsequent re-use of the area.
Excavation at a cropmark enclosure in the Upper Severn Valley was undertaken to try and obtain material from which to provide relative and absolute dating for the site. Lying within an area rich in Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology and in close proximity to a proven long barrow, the conventional later prehistoric date postulated for the enclosure was questioned. Excavation proved the site to have been a ditched enclosure with internal bank and a possible gate structure. Post-pits ran inside the bank. Finds were few but radiocarbon dates from the floor of the ditch proved the early Neolithic credentials of the monument which seemed to have continued in use for at least some 500 years.