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We previously reported that the addition of a specified mulberry fruit extract (MFE) to rice consistently reduces post-prandial glycaemic (PPG) and post-prandial insulinemic (PPI) responses. This research tested whether this effect generalises to a broad range of rice types, reflecting the wide variation in rice characteristics known to influence glycaemic responses. In a randomised, balanced, partial factorial crossover design, Sona Masoori (SM), Bora Saul (BS), Gobindobogh (Gb) and Banskati (Bn) rices were tested with and without 0·37 g MFE. Healthy, normal-weight Indian adults (N 120) each consumed four of the eight possible boiled rice meals, all containing about 50 g available carbohydrate. The primary outcome was the effect of MFE on PPG, expressed as the percentage change in the positive, incremental AUC over 2 h. The mean effect of MFE on PPG for all rice types combined was −11·4 % (P < 0·003). The reduction in PPG was in a qualitatively similar range for all rice types (–9·8 to −15·1 %), and this was statistically significant for Bn. MFE also reduced the corresponding PPI response to all rice types combined by a mean of 10·1 % (P < 0·001; range −6·1 to −13·4 %), and the reduction in PPI was statistically significant for SM, Gb and BS. In conclusion, addition of 0·37 g MFE modestly reduced PPG and PPI responses to rices in general, and the effects were statistically significant for specific rice types.
The non-selective serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor agonist lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) holds promise as a treatment for some psychiatric disorders. Psychedelic drugs such as LSD have been suggested to have therapeutic actions through their effects on learning. The behavioural effects of LSD in humans, however, remain incompletely understood. Here we examined how LSD affects probabilistic reversal learning (PRL) in healthy humans.
Healthy volunteers received intravenous LSD (75 μg in 10 mL saline) or placebo (10 mL saline) in a within-subjects design and completed a PRL task. Participants had to learn through trial and error which of three stimuli was rewarded most of the time, and these contingencies switched in a reversal phase. Computational models of reinforcement learning (RL) were fitted to the behavioural data to assess how LSD affected the updating (‘learning rates’) and deployment of value representations (‘reinforcement sensitivity’) during choice, as well as ‘stimulus stickiness’ (choice repetition irrespective of reinforcement history).
Raw data measures assessing sensitivity to immediate feedback (‘win-stay’ and ‘lose-shift’ probabilities) were unaffected, whereas LSD increased the impact of the strength of initial learning on perseveration. Computational modelling revealed that the most pronounced effect of LSD was the enhancement of the reward learning rate. The punishment learning rate was also elevated. Stimulus stickiness was decreased by LSD, reflecting heightened exploration. Reinforcement sensitivity differed by phase.
Increased RL rates suggest LSD induced a state of heightened plasticity. These results indicate a potential mechanism through which revision of maladaptive associations could occur in the clinical application of LSD.
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) shotgun metagenomics (metagenomics) attempts to sequence the entire genetic content straight from the sample. Diagnostic advantages lie in the ability to detect unsuspected, uncultivatable, or very slow-growing organisms.
To evaluate the clinical and economic effects of using WGS and metagenomics for outbreak management in a large metropolitan hospital.
Intensive care unit and burn unit of large metropolitan hospital.
Simulated intensive care unit and burn unit patients.
We built a complex simulation model to estimate pathogen transmission, associated hospital costs, and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) during a 32-month outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB). Model parameters were determined using microbiology surveillance data, genome sequencing results, hospital admission databases, and local clinical knowledge. The model was calibrated to the actual pathogen spread within the intensive care unit and burn unit (scenario 1) and compared with early use of WGS (scenario 2) and early use of WGS and metagenomics (scenario 3) to determine their respective cost-effectiveness. Sensitivity analyses were performed to address model uncertainty.
On average compared with scenario 1, scenario 2 resulted in 14 fewer patients with CRAB, 59 additional QALYs, and $75,099 cost savings. Scenario 3, compared with scenario 1, resulted in 18 fewer patients with CRAB, 74 additional QALYs, and $93,822 in hospital cost savings. The likelihoods that scenario 2 and scenario 3 were cost-effective were 57% and 60%, respectively.
The use of WGS and metagenomics in infection control processes were predicted to produce favorable economic and clinical outcomes.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
The High Plateaus of Utah include seven separate mountain ranges that supported glaciers during the Pleistocene. The Fish Lake Plateau, located on the eastern edge of the High Plateaus, preserves evidence of at least two glacial advances. Four cosmogenic 3He exposure ages of boulders in an older moraine range from 79 to 159 ka with a mean age of 129 ± 39 ka and oldest ages of 152 ± 3 and 159 ± 5 ka. These ages suggest deposition during the type Bull Lake glaciation and Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 6. Twenty boulder exposure ages from four different younger moraines indicate a local last glacial maximum (LGM) of ~ 21.1 ka, coincident with the type Pinedale glaciation and MIS 2. Reconstructed Pinedale-age glaciers from the Fish Lake Plateau have equilibrium-line altitudes ranging from 2950 to 3190 m. LGM summer temperature depressions for the Fish Lake Plateau range from −10.7 to −8.2°C, assuming no change in precipitation. Comparison of the Fish Lake summer temperature depressions to a regional dataset suggests that the Fish Lake Plateau may have had a slight increase (~ 1.5× modern) in precipitation during the LGM. A series of submerged ridges in Fish Lake were identified during a bathymetric survey and are likely Bull Lake age moraines.
Psychological models of conversion disorder (CD) traditionally assume that psychosocial stressors are identifiable around symptom onset. In the face of limited supportive evidence such models are being challenged.
Forty-three motor CD patients, 28 depression patients and 28 healthy controls were assessed using the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule in the year before symptom onset. A novel ‘escape’ rating for events was developed to test the Freudian theory that physical symptoms of CD could provide escape from stressors, a form of ‘secondary gain’.
CD patients had significantly more severe life events and ‘escape’ events than controls. In the month before symptom onset at least one severe event was identified in 56% of CD patients – significantly more than 21% of depression patients [odds ratio (OR) 4.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.56–13.70] and healthy controls (OR 5.81, 95% CI 1.86–18.2). In the same time period 53% of CD patients had at least one ‘high escape’ event – again significantly higher than 14% in depression patients (OR 6.90, 95% CI 2.05–23.6) and 0% in healthy controls. Previous sexual abuse was more commonly reported in CD than controls, and in one third of female patients was contextually relevant to life events at symptom onset. The majority (88%) of life events of potential aetiological relevance were not identified by routine clinical assessments. Nine per cent of CD patients had no identifiable severe life events.
Evidence was found supporting the psychological model of CD, the Freudian notion of escape and the potential aetiological relevance of childhood traumas in some patients. Uncovering stressors of potential aetiological relevance requires thorough psychosocial evaluation.
We compare the preservation (taphonomic grade) and age of Chione (bivalve) and foraminifera from modern siliciclastic tidal flat sediments of Bahia la Choya, Sonora, Mexico (northern Gulf of California). Disarticulated shells of Chione collected from the sediment-water interface of Choya Bay exhibit a substantial range in taphonomic grade and age, several hundred years to ∼80–125 ka based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometer 14C dates and D-Alloisoleucine/L-Isoleucine values. There is not, however, a one-to-one correspondence between age and taphonomic alteration of Chione: old (or young) valves may be highly altered or they may be relatively pristine. In contrast to Chione, most foraminiferal tests at Choya Bay are quite pristine, which suggests a quite young age, but tests are surprisingly old (up to ∼2,000 calendar years based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometer 14C dates).
We suggest that following seasonal pulses in reproduction, some foraminiferal tests are rapidly incorporated into a subsurface shell layer by “Conveyor Belt” deposit feeders and preserved there, while the rest of the reproductive pulse rapidly dissolves. Ultimately, some of these buried tests, along with Chione, are transported back to the surface by biological activity and storms. The much greater range of taphonomic grades and ages among Chione shells suggests that they, unlike foraminifera, are sufficiently large and preservable (low surface/volume ratio and chemical reactivity) to undergo many cycles of degradation, burial, and exhumation before complete destruction. The age of foraminiferal tests indicates that time-averaging of microfossil assemblages at Choya Bay is much more insidious than would be expected considering the relatively pristine state of the tests alone.
Based on our studies, the lower limit of temporal resolution of shallow shelf microfossil assemblages appears to be ∼1000 years. We caution, however, that each depositional setting (taphofacies) should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis before gross generalizations are made. Indeed, the discrepancy between age and taphonomic grade of fossil assemblages at Choya Bay suggests that neither hardpart size or taphonomic grade are infallible indicators of test preservability or likely temporal resolution of the host assemblage, and that the dynamics of hardpart input and loss must also be evaluated.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Solid waste disposal is a significant problem. It has been estimated that almost a ton of solid waste is collected per year per capita in the United States. Solid waste disposal, especially in rural areas, is frequently done in an unsanitary, potentially dangerous and often unslightly manner. To cope with these solid waste problems, both state legislatures and the Environmental Protection Agency are now in the process of requiring communities which presently utilize unsanitary disposal practices to upgrade their facilities and management practices. A sanitary landfill operation1 is usually the least-cost method of accomplishing these requirements, especially in rural areas.2 Quality facilities and management practices are not costless, however. It is estimated that the U.S. spends more than $4.5 billion each year on solid waste management, and more than 80 percent of this amount is for collection.
Following its meeting in May, 2010, the IAU Executive Committee requested that a Working Group on NEOs within Div. III be re-activated and carry out the following activities:
a) investigate and formulate requirements for an international ground- and/or space-based NEO survey, to detect, track and characterize (optical/IR, radar) 90% of all NEOs with D >40 m and to establish as such a permanent International NEO Early Warning System; to submit to the President, Vice-President and OC of Division III by March 31, 2011, a progress report and by March 31, 2012, a final report on this matter, to be forwarded to the President and General Secretary of the IAU;
b) assemble a SOC in order to write and submit to the IAU Assistant General Secretary before December 1, 2010, a proposal for a GA IAU Symposium or a GA Special Session, to be held during the IAU XXVIII General Assembly, August 20-31, 2012 in Beijing, on theoretical and observational aspects of NEO research in general, and on requirements and other aspects of a permanent International NEO Early Warning System in particular;
c) prepare and submit to the IAU General Secretary by January 31, 2012, a Resolution for consideration by the IAU XXVIII General Assembly in Beijing, August 2012, asking for international action and support to establish an International NEO Early Warning System; such a Resolution, if accepted by the IAU XXVIII General Assembly, to be addressed to the IAU National Members, to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS), and to the International Council for Science (ICSU).