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The mechanism through which developmental programming of offspring overweight/obesity following in utero exposure to maternal overweight/obesity operates is unknown but may operate through biologic pathways involving offspring anthropometry at birth. Thus, we sought to examine to what extent the association between in utero exposure to maternal overweight/obesity and childhood overweight/obesity is mediated by birth anthropometry. Analyses were conducted on a retrospective cohort with data obtained from one hospital system. A natural effects model framework was used to estimate the natural direct effect and natural indirect effect of birth anthropometry (weight, length, head circumference, ponderal index, and small-for-gestational age [SGA] or large-for-gestational age [LGA]) for the association between pre-pregnancy maternal body mass index (BMI) category (overweight/obese vs normal weight) and offspring overweight/obesity in childhood. Models were adjusted for maternal and child socio-demographics. Three thousand nine hundred and fifty mother–child dyads were included in analyses (1467 [57.8%] of mothers and 913 [34.4%] of children were overweight/obese). Results suggest that a small percentage of the effect of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI overweight/obesity on offspring overweight/obesity operated through offspring anthropometry at birth (weight: 15.5%, length: 5.2%, head circumference: 8.5%, ponderal index: 2.2%, SGA: 2.9%, and LGA: 4.2%). There was a small increase in the percentage mediated when gestational diabetes or hypertensive disorders were added to the models. Our study suggests that some measures of birth anthropometry mediate the association between maternal pre-pregnancy overweight/obesity and offspring overweight/obesity in childhood and that the size of this mediated effect is small.
St Andrews was of tremendous significance in medieval Scotland. Its importance remains readily apparent in the buildings which cluster the rocky promontory jutting out into the North Sea: the towers and walls of cathedral, castle and university provide reminders of the status and wealth of the city in the Middle Ages. As a centre of earthly and spiritual government, as the place of veneration forScotland's patron saint and as an ancient seat of learning, St Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. This volume provides the first full study of this special and multi-faceted centre throughout its golden age. The fourteen chapters use St Andrews as a focus for the discussion of multiple aspects of medieval life in Scotland. They examine church, spirituality, urban society andlearning in a specific context from the seventh to the sixteenth century, allowing for the consideration of St Andrews alongside other great religious and political centres of medieval Europe.
Michael Brown is Professor of Medieval Scottish History, University of St Andrews; Katie Stevenson is Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland and Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of St Andrews.
Contributors: Michael Brown, Ian Campbell, David Ditchburn, Elizabeth Ewan, Richard Fawcett, Derek Hall, Matthew Hammond, Julian Luxford, Roger Mason, Norman Reid, Bess Rhodes, Catherine Smith, Katie Stevenson, Simon Taylor, Tom Turpie.
Theory suggests that early experiences may calibrate the “threshold activity” of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis in childhood. Particularly challenging or particularly supportive environments are posited to manifest in heightened physiological sensitivity to context. Using longitudinal data from the Family Life Project (N = 1,292), we tested whether links between maternal sensitivity and hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis activity aligned with these predictions. Specifically, we tested whether the magnitude of the within-person relation between maternal sensitivity and children's cortisol levels, a proxy for physiological sensitivity to context, was especially pronounced for children who typically experienced particularly low or high levels of maternal sensitivity over time. Our results were consistent with these hypotheses. Between children, lower levels of mean maternal sensitivity (7–24 months) were associated with higher mean cortisol levels across this period (measured as a basal sample collected at each visit). However, the magnitude and direction of the within-person relation was contingent on children's average levels of maternal sensitivity over time. Increases in maternal sensitivity were associated with contemporaneous cortisol decreases for children with typically low-sensitive mothers, whereas sensitivity increases were associated with cortisol increases for children with typically high-sensitive mothers. No within-child effects were evident at moderate levels of maternal sensitivity.
Recent studies suggest that sand can serve as a vehicle for exposure of humans to pathogens at beach sites, resulting in increased health risks. Sampling for microorganisms in sand should therefore be considered for inclusion in regulatory programmes aimed at protecting recreational beach users from infectious disease. Here, we review the literature on pathogen levels in beach sand, and their potential for affecting human health. In an effort to provide specific recommendations for sand sampling programmes, we outline published guidelines for beach monitoring programmes, which are currently focused exclusively on measuring microbial levels in water. We also provide background on spatial distribution and temporal characteristics of microbes in sand, as these factors influence sampling programmes. First steps toward establishing a sand sampling programme include identifying appropriate beach sites and use of initial sanitary assessments to refine site selection. A tiered approach is recommended for monitoring. This approach would include the analysis of samples from many sites for faecal indicator organisms and other conventional analytes, while testing for specific pathogens and unconventional indicators is reserved for high-risk sites. Given the diversity of microbes found in sand, studies are urgently needed to identify the most significant aetiological agent of disease and to relate microbial measurements in sand to human health risk.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
The greenbug, Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), is a major pest of cereals in some parts of the world and is of particular concern because it can be resistant to some insecticides and overcome the resistance of crops. In the UK, it has never been found on crops, but two rather little-known and closely-related species (Schizaphis holci and Schizaphis agrostis) are associated with the wild grasses, Holcus lanatus and Agrostis stolonifera. Since 1987, winged (alate) aphids morphologically resembling the greenbug have been found in increasing numbers in 12.2 m high suction-trap samples of the Rothamsted Insect Survey (RIS); hence, studies were undertaken to establish their identity. Clones (=asexual lineages) established from populations collected from H. lanatus in southern England showed strong preference for Holcus over Agrostis and Hordeum in laboratory tests and produced sexual morphs when transferred to short-day conditions, the males being apterous, as expected for S. holci. Multivariate morphometric comparisons of alatae caught in UK RIS suction traps in 2007 and 2011 with named specimens from museum collections, including S. graminum from many countries, indicated that the suction-trapped alatae were mostly S. agrostis and S. holci. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) mtDNA obtained from 62 UK specimens from suction-traps had 95.4–100% sequence identity with US specimens of S. graminum. Two of the UK specimens had identical COI sequence to the US sorghum-adapted form of S. graminum, and these specimens also had 100% identity with a 640 bp fragment of nDNA CytC, indicating that this form of S. graminum may already be present in the UK. Present and future economic implications of these results are discussed.
Monitoring species’ response in marine protected areas is important for informing both the management of those areas and the establishment of additional protected areas. Populations of spiny lobsters Jasus edwardsii were monitored in eight New Zealand marine reserves for up to 34 years. The populations displayed highly variable responses to protection. While a few showed rapid (within 1–2 years of protection) increases in abundance, others showed little response even after a decade of protection. Some reserves displayed little initial recovery, then a sudden increase following several years of protection, while others displayed significant declines in abundance following initial recovery. Marine reserves located in areas with initially high densities of juveniles tended to have rapid recovery, but aspects of reserve design had no significant influence on the recovery rate. Variability among recovery trajectories also suggests that supply-side dynamics may be a key driver of lobster recovery. Densities of legal-sized lobsters were positively correlated with reserve age, but the abundance of juvenile lobsters increased in all but one reserve, indicating enhanced recruitment, survival and/or movement of juvenile lobsters into reserves. It is important to consider the placement of reserves, with respect to potential levels of larval supply, when establishing marine reserves for either conservation or fisheries management purposes and for evaluating their effectiveness.